Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
What hobbies are there for the child who acts up wherever he goes?(26 Posts)
DS loves the idea of attending an extra-circular class like the other boys at school do - but he has high functioning autism so it's not so easy to find something for him.
Most of the boys he knows are in swimming, football, rugby, tennis etc etc. DS does not like sports
I tired DS in a martial arts class and on the first day it went largely ok -but the second day was a bit of a disaster and I had to take him out if it early. He was getting upset if he came last in the warm up run and not paying attention in group activities. I could see the other children looking at him thinking 'who is this weird kid were stuck with ok our team'. He was being a bit disruptive and I felt it wasn't fair in the other students and parents to leave him there.
I feel like there's noting for him - which makes him more isolated. The other children in the class are meeting at the weekend at these classes and DS is sitting at home.
It worries me as I wonder what will he fit into in life
Maybe look into something he can do one to one. DS has had one to one horse riding and trampolining lessons both of which he loves. He copes much better in group lessons now so has started doing trampolining in group sessions
If he wants to go then I think you need to discuss with leaders what can be done to help him.
DS wouldn't have managed at 6 either, swimming was a disaster! But he's 8 now and doing much better.
He loved the karate and I think he'd be sad if he can't go back - but I feel I can't realistically request anything from the class teachers as I feel like they will not really want him there if he's more difficult than other children. Why would they want the hassle of it?
I could try one to one classes and I'm sure he'd love them but I was hoping for something a bit more social for him.
There is an arts and crates class - he loves crafts - but I have visions of him having a strop if he's forced to make something he doesn't want
ds2 managed much better with these groups when he was older...8. To get out and about at the weekend we relied more on family outings I'm afraid. Ds loved trains.
Ds2 finally could cope with group football when he was 9. Similarily Judo only became possible when he was 13. Drama funnily, worked much earlier on, at 8. Swimming lessons worked early on, at 5, but ds was a water baby so not frightened of putting his head under.
Music classes failed, as did Scouts and dancing of any kind...I think as they get older their tolerance of other people and environments can improve. Ds also always enjoyed soft play from early age, is that a possibility?
It's called inclusion, of course they will help him, they have to. Don't let your attitudes to disability make your child's disability even larger than it is.
I used to find that if I explained my child's needs the teachers were usually very helpful and had some training or experience with SNs. If they didn;t I wouldn't have wanted to send him to the class in the first place. You should ask them if they can accommodate him rather than feel guilty. Our local sports centre for example is mean to support ds if he has difficulties coping rather than complain to me that he is being badly behaved. And he has behaved well there as a result of that communication.
I do agree with zzzz about talking to the karate school. My friends lad has ASD and has been doing karate for years they are all incredibly patient and inclusive (and known to shed a tear each time he successfully completes a grading!)
Ds2 finds arts and crafts very difficult but he has always loved any group classes - I would just have a word with the teacher and say he likes x an y and finds cutting or some textures difficult/awkward. If they are classes for small children they will be aimed at all abilities, really they will. Ds2 went to a painting class recently and was adamant he wouldn;t like it, and came out with an amazing Van Gogh!!! Your son, if he likes these classes, deserves to go them, as much as any child. Don;t feel guilty. If he doesn;t like them, then well and good, ditch.
I would def persevere with martial arts. Dd1 started at age 4 and went until she was 11. She gained her black belt, British championship titles and numerous other trophies and awards. When she started she was a nightmare and I didn't think she would stay!! There were also several other children who came and went that had SN. We persevered as did a few others with add or adhd and they all did really well. Stick at it. Did has adhd btw
My ds goes to Beavers. Frankly, it is Leader who makes it possible and she and the other helpers are amazing.
The other parents do look a bit surprised (especially when he is swearing his head off) but they can see he has a disability and I've had quite a few warm smiles from them.
Beavers is good as there are no winners or losers and it is very structured socially so everyone is part of a friendship group no matter what their social skills.
I think I found the karate stressful as the parents sit watching the class. I was initially thinking this was great that I could stay in the class in case DS acted up. But if felt under pressure when DS was acting up as I'm sure people who aren't really aware of SN just see a badly behaved child. I didn't want then thinking that about him. And it felt very public
You will get a thicker skin. I'm not unsympathetic (and there are things I won't do) but the choice is, you suck up the disapproval or he lives on the outskirts apologising for who he is, what he is and what he can or can't do.
Teach him to sit at the front of the bus, and to KNOW he can sit there.
I'm not the best person for this as I'm very sensitive anyway and I can't help worrying what people think.
I will have to become tougher - not sure how though.
I'm not that tough either. I go with fake it till you feel it.
It's harder for our kids. They don't get any time off. I think if da can live it, I can.
I do know exactly how you feel. I took ds2 out of Beavers because another [older] child told me he constantly fidgeted and interrupted, and I hated the idea of the other children rejecting him. But the Leaders themselves were never disapproving, and there were all SENs accommodated there. I saw myself when I helped (after ds2 left ironically) the way some children slowly adjusted and benefited from the structure of Beavers and Cubs, despite initially minding not winning some of the games or not standing in the line nicely, and were accepted naturally by the other children - why ever not. I think in these smaller groups you feel even more hypersensitive when you watch, but of course school (when you are not watching) is no different... It has taken me a long time to judge whether ds should perservere in a setting or be whisked away, mostly he now behaves beautifully, testament to the fact that usually he enjoys whatever he is participating in.
I still think it is very important for the person taking the class to be properly informed about your child's reactions, in advance. Ie: ds2 couldn;t cope with "barked" instructions, and had very poor motor skills - it is important to explain that to a Karate instructor - so that the teacher doesn;t think he is playing up, just feeling a bit jittery/odd in a new situation.
I know how you feel. My DD has tried a number of things and got frustrated and left before we realised she had ASD. I did take her to a Tae Kwon Do school that advertises itself as being good for kids with issues with concentration and behaviour. My DD started at age 6 and stuck it out for a year but in the end it wasn't for her. My friend's DS who has similar issues to my ASD daughter lasted 3 years and got a lot out of it. He couldn't cope with the step up in age range but may return when he has matured a bit.
I felt really uncomfortable discussing DD's behaviour at activities, even harder before diagnosis as I didn't know what to say. I have found leaders to be very understanding. DD now does Brownies (fantastic as not competative) and waterpolo/swimming. She loves being in water. Lots of the coaches have experience of SN and now they know DD has ASD they keep an eye out in case she is getting stressed. I feel guilty taking their time but they have been brilliant.
I really think it's worth talking to the coach of anything your son might be interested in to see what they suggest to include him. I understand how hard it is though.
Do you have any activities for SN kids locally? There is a weekly activity evening here but we haven't tried it yet as new to diagnosis and it's on a night when my DD does swimming.
ds1 has been excluded from virtually every extra-curricular activity we have tried .
One of the best we have tried for him was a children's climbing group because they divide into small groups with an adult child ratio of 1:4 and at least two of the children are occupied at any one time. It gave the illusion of social interaction without too high demands and was non-competitive (we chose not to work him through the award scheme to avoid this problem). It also encourages co-operation because one child belays for another.
Cubs was also very good for ds2 because he had a brilliant leader who was able to pick up when he was struggling and let him have some space. There can be a fair bit of disorganisation depending on the group which ds2 struggled with - he was fine in the activities but disliked the beginning and ending charging around.
The worst ones we found were where the instructor: child ratio was too low and there ended up being a lot of hanging around which was a disaster waiting too happen. Trampolining was the worst for this which was a shame as ds1 loves to bounce.
We did find it essential to speak to the instructors and explain the ds's difficulties and that they needed simple, direct instructions rather than being expected to follow the herd. The worst period was pre-official diagnosis as then we felt a lot more awkward about asking for adaptions - ridiculous in hindsight as we should have just explained. All of the instructors we have spoken to about the issues have been more than willing to give it a go - it doesn't always work if they have little SN experience but at least they had a helpful attitude.
Things I have heard are more inclusive are scouts and woodcraft (google the latter for an explanation). Community centres also sometimes run groups for more isolated kids. Would computer classes interest him - he might be working on his own more but would be surrounded by others and maybe get to know them gradually.
I would keep going to the classes he enjoys if you can and if the teachers are good with him. My ds has had good times and bad times at clubs. He has been to many. He had one to one swimming lessons and went to sports classes that were especially for children who have disabilities. At age 7 he now manages well (with extra support) in group classes. He does football, swimming and beavers every week.
More about Woodcraft. Never been myself but have heard about it from friends... Specifically mentions ASD children so they may be more inclusive:
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