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DS, HFA, lying(17 Posts)
DS1 has not been assessed but he is believed by myself and the school, among others, to have HFA. The issue we are having at the moment with him is that he will never admit fault, always accuses others of "making things up" and "telling on him". He has always been this way - he will never apologise for anything and will swear blind that "he hit me first" even though on occasions I've been sitting there looking at him whilst he lashes out first, and mostly for no immediately discernable reason. He mainly bashes DS2 for "being annoying" but will not concede that this is not a good reason for violence.
I now have reason to suspect that he is hitting another boy at school. He says that this boy hits him first, pushes him over, strangles him. The boy in question is smaller than him and although I suspect he's a bit of a monkey I'm pretty sure that this is not what is happening. DS1 is very upset about whatever the situation is with this boy, and says he won't go to school anymore because this boy is hitting him.
I have consistently tried to point out to DS1 that I know he's lying about DS2 hitting him and this boy at school hitting him, and he won't have it.
Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? Does anyone know how I can get through to him that I know he's not telling the truth? I don't believe we can begin to tackle the actual issue of the hitting/violence with DS1 until he can see and admit that he is "at fault" rather than DS2/the other boy.
Thanks for reading.
You suspect he is not telling the truth. What do school say?
I haven't spoken to them yet about this particular issue. I suspect/know he isn't telling the truth because there was an incident with this boy after school in the playground. DS1 came running up to me screaming that he had been attacked. I went and found the boy and he was really upset and crying and wouldn't talk to me. I asked him if DS1 had pushed him and he said yes. Also, the boy is friends with DS2, and DS2 has consisently said that DS1 is not telling the truth. I know this sounds like I am believing DS2 over DS1 without evidence, but as I say, DS1 consistently lies about his behaviour towards DS2 at home, even though we have the evidence of our own eyes and ears to go on. I don't believe DS1 is lying maliciously, but he just won't back down on it. I am at a loss.
OK, fair enough with the kid at school. I will try and get to the bottom of what exactly is happening there. However, we do know what is happening at home with DS2, the violence and the denial and lying, and I am at a loss as to how to solve the problem.
How old is he OP?
When DS was a bit younger he would very often misinterpret situations and feel like he was under attack and therefore retaliate. In his eyes he was just defending himself therefore he really didn't feel to blame (and really he wasn't). So for example there was another boy with who really liked DS, but his way of greeting DS was to sort of tumble into him. DS saw his as aggressive so used to lash out - which to school staff observing looked like unprovoked attacks.
No one thought to explain to DS that the tumble was a greeting as to most other kids it would have maybe been obvious (and it's only 3 years later now he's able to explain things better he's been able to tell me why he did what he did. If only I'd understood at the time).
I suppose what I'm trying to say is he might struggle to explain his actions (even if he's verbal) if he does have communication difficulties, and those communicative difficulties might also be the reason he seems to be hurting or lying for no reason.
There might be a fair bit of unpicking involved.
I find now with DS (8) if I draw for him how he sees a situation (e.g. He explains it to me, I draw it), it can help me understand how he's viewing events as opposed to how I'm viewing them.
He's 7.5. He's very able academically. I think this is the issue, Marshmallower, some of the time. He's misinterpreting the actions of other children. We had a while ago an issue where he was upset about groups of children chasing him - he thought they were going to hurt him, whereas in fact they were probably just playing boisterous chasing games.
However, the problem persisted for ages even though I kept explaining that they weren't going to hurt him and were just playing. He just would not believe me, and kept saying I was wrong.
I am trying to help him by explaining these things but he just won't accept this is the case.
Is this the kind of problem that diagnosed HFA kids would get help with from specialist teachers? Are there people out there who would know how to explain these things to DS in a way that would sink in and that he would believe?
How supportive are his school? I'll be honest I think a lot depends on that.
If they are willing to listen to you and think creatively about how to support your DS without any diagnosis that's a good start.
It's been a long and at times very difficult time for us getting the right support for DS as he's also academically able which meant school (his previous one) just couldn't understand why he couldn't 'behave' or 'learn from his mistakes'.
I do now think HFA is something of a misnomer as DS's sensory and SLT needs are pretty severe (we've just got an EHCP for him and he has a high level of support). So whilst he's really eloquent, he actually finds communicating and understanding what's being communicated to him really hard.
Social stories help. Cartoon strips and me drawing a situation also works well with DS. The biggest thing really has been him maturing and being able to explain more how he's feeling.
He has full time 1:1 and they do a lot of work on the incredible 5 point scale with him which has worked very well.
Also DS can be very antagonistic towards DD which can be very tricky to manage - but equally she's very adept at pushing his buttons too.
His school is lovely and sympathetic to his and my issues, but has no SEN department. There are a few SEN kids there who have "helpers". They are willing to help with getting a diagnosis should we go down this route but I'm pretty sure no specialist help will be forthcoming unless and until we do this.
I am all for doing it but DH is not keen for reasons of "labelling". I'm worried that we're doing him a disservice by not getting help as soon as we can.
A DH not wanting to pursue a diagnosis for fear of 'labelling' is a very common theme on these threads (mine was the same).
It's helpful to think if it was any other disability (e.g. Epilepsy) it wouldn't be seen as a label but a diagnosis. It's the same for autism.
They won't diagnose him if he's not autistic, and similarly by not getting a diagnosis won't make him not autistic.
For us it's opened up understanding (of DS for himself and for the rest of the family), and also unlocked support at school.
It's good school sound supportive. These SN boards have been invaluable for me.
What you say in your second paragraph below is blatantly obvious to me, but DH seems to think he'll improve as he gets older.
Sigh. I'm just going to have to tell him I'm pursuing it whether he likes it or not. This issue with the boy at school has pushed it for me now. If he ends up in trouble with the school or the boys parents he'll be terribly upset and won't be able to understand.
Thanks for your support.
He won't trust what you say if you don't trust him surely?
You don't need dx to secure help at school. You do need to demonstrate need. (So if the school don't know they can't help). Dx is a separate private medical process, just as it would be if he had undescended testicals or boils.
A common method for working with offenders who deny their offences is instead of working on how to stop the behaviour, which creates resistance and push back, you work along the lines of 'what can you/we do to stop you getting in trouble for this?'. You are still addressing the problem but the re-framing makes it easier to work together and find solutions.
There's a reasonable chance your ds does feel he's being assaulted (look up sensory and tactile defensiveness) so to him his responses are proportionate. Look at his sensory needs and maybe try some scaling work like the incredible 5 point scale. The Explosive Child book would be well worth a read too.
zzzzz I see what you're saying, but this is why I'm at a loss as to know what to do.
Polter Thanks for this. I am actually currently reading The Explosive Child, I'm hoping it will help me help DS. I do think he has some sensory issues - he's always had a tendency to "massively overreact" to the slightest thing which seems to suggest there's issues. I will also look into the 5 point scale.
The book 'Too Loud Too Bright Too Fast Too Tight' is great for sensory defensiveness, written by a psychologist who developed sensory processing problems after a brain injury (so she had within normal range sensory experience too). Don't underestimate how debilitating sensory problems can be.
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