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ASD son miserable at school

(10 Posts)
miserableson Fri 03-Mar-17 09:24:15

Please can I have your ideas?

My son is 8 and has ASD, hypermobility, struggles with writing for any length of time and with friendships, give and take etc.

The major issue is that he's so miserable when it's time to go to school. It has always been this way but it's getting worse. He lives for the weekends. It's heartbreaking making him go in and sometimes I think I shouldn't make him - but I know that it would be that much harder to get him in next week, for example.

He is working at average levels for most subjects.

I cannot home-school him - we would both go mad.

School are supporting with some lunchtime clubs and a little pastoral care. He loves his teacher but friendships are pretty wobbly.

What else should school and me -be doing to support him?

zzzzz Fri 03-Mar-17 19:00:16

Friendships are not a good way to judge how well a child is doing at school.

What happens on his best day?

miserableson Fri 03-Mar-17 20:12:54

Thanks zzzz - they mean a lot to an 8 year old though and if there is little or no social interaction then there are further knocks to the self -esteem... To an autistic child friendships reflect how they see themselves.

Good day - friends have some time for him & he does at least one enjoyable learning activity.

Allthewaves Fri 03-Mar-17 20:15:28

Could they give him an activity for the play ground? My younger son had a lego box or something similar where he's sit at side of yard and other kids could play with him or more likely next to him but they would chat and he felt good!

zzzzz Fri 03-Mar-17 20:20:27

To an autistic child friendships reflect how they see themselves.

This isn't always true, but if it IS how he judges his day it's very important.

tartanterror Fri 03-Mar-17 21:17:12

It's such a shame he feels like that. Is he on an EHCP or SEN Support? It sounds like he needs support during lunch and breaktimes for starters? Some schools put on a lunch games club for children struggling with freeplay. Our school has been experimenting with a circle of friends - I'm not sure how its going yet! The you could try asking for teaching time from the school SALT to help pragmatics/social skills. Outside of school can you support him with finding a peer group? Woodcraft Folk groups are interesting as you join as a family and go together so you can mediate a little bit - and they seem to attract a crowd with alternative children anyway so the atmosphere is more accepting that, say, scouts. Does he know about his diagnosis? If not now might be the right time to bring it up - I am Special by Peter Vermeulen was recommended to me as a way of sharing the news in a positive way, but we haven't used it yet. . Can you enlist a friendly parent in your DS' class and try some sort of playdate around a structured activity? Putting support in place in and out of school would hopefully head off possible school refusal in the future. good luck

Ineedmorepatience Sat 04-Mar-17 08:25:45

It sounds like he needs much better support to work on social stuff.

The lego in the corner of the playground sounds like a great idea (if he likes lego) a minecraft club or coding or something similar would probably work equally well.

I am not sure what you meant by To an autistic child friendships reflect how they see themselves Lots of people with autism are actually ok with being around the edge of friendship groups and certainly for many one friend is more than enough.

Its the quality of the support in school that needs looking at.

Good luck 💐

OneInEight Sat 04-Mar-17 08:44:13

I cannot home-school him - we would both go mad.

I thought this about ds2 and dh definitely did but none of us actually have once we took the plunge. Infact our only regret is that we didn't do it as sooner as keeping him going at school when he clearly hated it has added to his mental health problems.

ds1 only made an improvement with his social interaction when he had an EBD placement because then support was given throughout the school day and this is really difficult for a mainstream teacher with 30 responsibility for 30 children to perform. Problem we have found with lunchtime social clubs is that although they enjoyed them the skills were not generalised and actually it withdrew them further from their classmates because it ended up being only the children with difficulties who attended.

youarenotkiddingme Sat 04-Mar-17 09:58:16

My ds judges his day on interactions with others.
It seems more that he's managed to get through the day without fall out from someone. He doesn't seem bothered about friendship in the normal sense of the meaning but more having someone to spend time with on his interests.

Ds can't even tell you how his friends/peers view him. His salt even said he seeks friendship to fulfill his own needs!

For that reason I agree it may be beneficial to your ds to have something available he likes and let him chose a buddy or something to join him.

At 8 ds had computers in library at lunch. He gained so much confidence because peers were begging him to chose them. Ok, it was mostly so they could play computer or avoid cold weather - but ds wasn't interested in actually playing with them - just feeling like he could. From there they could work on helping him interact appropriately with the buddy. Over time he started to chose a small number of pupils repeatedly because he'd begun to understand his interactions with them were meaningful and build a very slight friendship with them.

Now in secondary he has had a rollercoaster journey. He tried really hard to interact in tutor group. It frequently went wrong sad
So they suggested he and another pupil with social communication difficulties form a 'python computing club'. Basically they get access to a computer room at break times rather than learning support and feel included in something special. He also been encouraged to join the tech team as his special interest is technical theatre. He meets them once a week at lunch.
On top of that they have allowed him to stick to drama for enrichment rather than chose different activities trembly as per the norm so he can access the activity rather than being on the outside.

Such small simple things but bourne from such understanding of him and his needs it's done ds the world of good.
And he's 1 of 1200 pupils.

miserableson Tue 07-Mar-17 10:11:31

Thank you for these suggestions.

DS definitely likes time to do his own thing, yes, but as he's getting older he wants some acceptance and play from his peers. Just so long as he's in total charge! 😧 It's tough as some of them just take the micky sad

I like the idea of Lego outside and computers some lunchtimes...

Thank you for the book suggestion.

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