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Ds1 - not sure what's going on, where do I start?

(10 Posts)
DishwasherDogs Fri 14-Nov-14 11:11:01

Ds1(14) announced to me last week that he had a reading age of 8.

I have spoken to his English teacher, who will put him forwards for dyslexia screening, although she thinks the problem is that he is monumentally lazy and needs to up his game.

In the last week, ds has been telling me the following:-

When he's speaking at school, quite often the wrong word will come out, not the word he intended.
He can't read small writing (he had his eyes checked a couple of years ago, but obviously this is something we will do again soon)
Feels he struggles to read.
Feels he doesn't understand what he's reading (although a comprehension test has shown that this isn't a big problem)

Dh and I have noticed since yr 1 (now yr 9) that he hasn't clicked at all with reading, he's very disorganised and forgetful (although I know this is typical boy/teenager territory)
He struggles socially, at the moment he has a small group of friends, they are the "misfits" in his yr group, and he feels he is the bottom of the pecking order.
He often feels bullied when to Dh and I it sounds like normal teenage banter.
He has history of being bullied since he was 7, we didn't know the extent until he started secondary and we had to take him out due to severe bullying and school were ineffective.
Can't tell the time with an analogue clock, only digital, dispute lots of practice.

He has occasional meltdowns, as opposed to tantrums, but only when under a lot of stress.
He has no empathy within our family, no idea when he's with friends, but often a situation will throw him and his way of coping seems to be to make it about him.
My mother had a suspected stroke earlier this year and had to stay in hospital - ds2 (poss ASD) froze and became very well behaved, ds1 immediately had a tantrum because he wanted to go out with his friends. He was very worried but couldn't show it until everything was ok. He was also like this when Dh had a stroke and was in hospital.

He hates change and going out anywhere, and is generally very anxious. He cannot tolerate ds2 at all (and vice versa), home is like a fight club - awful.

He's very practical, good at sports and very able physically.

I've flagged things up with schools since he was 5/6, but throughout it has been put down to laziness. He was screened for dyslexia aged 7 but didn't tick enough boxes for it to be considered an issue.

He had some sensory issues whe he was little, and chewed things, lined up cars (and potatoes!). Dh and I both feel he may be on the ASD spectrum - he's very similar to ds2 but not violent, or at least have some traits, but he doesn't really fit ASD (if that makes sense).

I feel bad because I've let this drop a bit in the last couple of years because of ongoing problems with ds2, and when I have raised issues with anyone about ds1, it has been made clear that he's a normal teenager and I'm trying to label him like I am ds2. I recorded him having a meltdown and played it to someone at school, but she felt he was having a strop because he wasn't getting his own way and was attention seeking.

Sorry, this is long, but does this ring any bells with anyone?
Free cake to anyone who gets this far!

DishwasherDogs Fri 14-Nov-14 11:12:51

Sorry, I meant to put in that he struggles with too many instructions. Even if you're spelling something out to him, if you tell him more than 2 letters at a time he can't remember them in order.

plus3 Fri 14-Nov-14 11:24:09

Hello he sounds just like my DS! Mine is 10 and has sensory processing disorder - huge problems in school and around yr1/2 sought a private OT to help.
WRT the reading - my son had a problem with visual bilateral co-ordination - his eyes lack the muscle control to focus properly. Only noticed this when he refused to read smaller print in books. We did vision therapy with huge results.
I also think DS is on the ASD spectrum, but having gone through the process we have stalled with SPD being his only diagnosis, and he is not failing badly enough at school to warrant any more help/input.

plus3 Fri 14-Nov-14 11:30:15

Sorry meant to add that an ordinary optician won't necessarily pick up the bilateral eye thing - although when the OT first tested DS it was completely obvious that he couldn't focus his eyes. He had to cover one eye and focus on a finger moving closer and further away. You could see how his eye just could not focus or refocus, and he physically moved his head to realign his focus....probably not explaining it very well, but such a simple test. I couldn't believe I had missed it TBH..

spaghettisue Fri 14-Nov-14 13:19:23

Hi Dishwasher Dogs,
When I read the first part of your post, I immediately thought dyslexia, especially with the organisational difficulties. However there are obviously more issues going on than that. It is good that he is going to be tested for dyslexia though.

You asked where do you go from here. My son's Dix (of asd) came after he was referred to paediatrics through the GP. So I would say to go and see your doctor with a list of the difficulties he has. You said ds2 had suspected asd, I don't know if this is being investigated, or it is just your feeling, but if the latter, likewise, I would go down the GP,route with him too.

Good luck with everything. X

DishwasherDogs Fri 14-Nov-14 13:56:39

Ds2 is being assessed in January, we don't know if he'll get a diagnosis or not, other people involved (school, parent support and enhanced mainstream services) think not as he masks it well and doesn't show any signs at school.

We have felt that we have no choice but to pursue this with ds2 as life seems to be very difficult for him most of the time and he can be very violent.
The GP wasn't supportive, so I would be worried to go about ds1 as well.
I don't think ds1 would want us to do this, but we need to find ways to get school to see that he's not being lazy - surely a 6 year gap in age and ability is more than laziness?

Plus - would ds need to see an OT to check the focus, or can I do anything to check myself? My gut instinct here is that his focus is ok - he can catch and balance fine, but then again, I don't know anything about it, so perhaps best left to experts!

To other people he appears to be a bit of a joker, very happy and confidant. At home he is ok if his day has gone well, if not, he gets very angry and obnoxious (typical 14 yr old?). He goes to meet friends once or twice a week, but will get really worked up about it before he is actually there.
He is very intolerant of others at home. He is generally gentle with his little brother, but has once or twice reacted in an extreme way that is completely not appropriate with a three yr old, and couldn't understand why we were angry with him - ds3 smacked him, so he smacked back.
If we go out for a meal (rare as it's such a nightmare), he will be horrible for the run up to it, even up to 2 days before, as if he's deliberately trying to ruin it, but once there will enjoy it.

I don't honestly know if I'm on high alert because of ds2 and imagining things, which I suppose is very possible.

PolterGoose Fri 14-Nov-14 15:07:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

plus3 Fri 14-Nov-14 22:09:54

We saw a behavioural optometrist - for the vision therapy. It was a series of eye exercises, which seemed a bit snake oil (ish) but we persevered and they did actually work.
Think it absolutely makes sense to chase the dyslexia as well though. Good luck

Ineedmorepatience Fri 14-Nov-14 22:24:07

Your story sounds similar to my Dd2 she struggled all the way through school we did the behavioural optometry thing and it did help but by the time we did it she was already convinced she was "stupid" [her words] sad

She went to college instead of 6th form at school and as soon as she was enrolled pretty much she was tested for dyslexia and diagnosed.

Schools are routinely failing to recognise dyslexia in our children and young people. If you can afford to get him assessed independently I would do it.

If you cant afford it push, push and push the school until they do it.

Good luck smile

DishwasherDogs Sat 15-Nov-14 09:25:27

I'll see what school come back with, then go privately if I need to. I'm sure they're missing something.

He can't accurately copy a name when he's on his Xbox, and he's definitely not lazy when it comes to FIFA games!

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