Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
DS 'no one wants to play with me at break or sit with me at lunch '(16 Posts)
DS1 (6yrs) recently diagnosed with ASD and currently under assessment for adhd, said this to me at bed tonight. He’s had a really sad day at school today (Mondays are always shit but today particularly so) and seems to be beginning to realise that he is different from other children. His special interest is sea creatures, especially squid (last nights Blue Planet 2 was a huge hit) and he said that he will ask if tomorrow if anyone wants to play his sea creatures games but that they probably won’t so he’ll have to play by himself again. I had an awful time at school (due to being AS myself as I now realise following my recent diagnosis) and it’s bringing it all back. I’m sat here in tears at the thought of years of school misery due to his divergent interests, anxiety and lack of social skills. Not helped by his teachers conners questionnaire response which rates him 0 for ‘fun to be around among other things. Please tell me it won’t always end like this and I can help him avoid the hell I went through as a child. He has a younger brother whom he adores and vice versa, which is done comfort (I was an only).
Aww I felt so sad reading this as I have the same worries with my daughter. Have the school put anything in place to help? My daughters school has said each day she will do a fun task with another child to help her to build friendships.
Hello cheeseontoastie. School haven’t suggested that but it’s a good idea. We have parents evening next week and I’ll raise it then. Also trying to arrange a meeting with teacher/TA and SENCO so will ask about pastoral care. It’s so hard isn’t it? He’s really struggling at the moment, lots of anxiety and related outbursts, and so sad too. Breaks my heart
Yeh I thought it was a good idea when they told me. the school seem quite focused on encouraging friendships for my dd which I think is good as It's such a horrible thought of them being on their own and no one wanting to play with them. I know they can't force children to be friends but I definitely think there are ways they could encourage it abit more so your son doesn't feel so alone.
It is heartbreaking when they realise they are different.
The school should be putting things in place to foster your DS's social skills. Does he have an EHCP?
Ellie56 we have applied for an EHCP needs assessment and school are asking the LA Autism Team to come in and advise/work with them. I think some more pro-active work on the part of school would be good x
Do you know what op? I think his sea creatures games sound amazing. My ds who is 6 and borderline (not dx) would love to play with him. I wish he was at our school.
Just some ideas - have school done Lego therapy play groups with him. If not it's very easy to do and the course to train a TA is cheap. Worth looking at - eg bricks for autism. Really seems to help social skills.
There are also social skills games schools can buy and do in small nurture groups as an intervention - they cost around £25 and half an hour a week would really benefit him.
Can they provide him an older buddy, eg maybe for guided reading once a week who would be a friendly face in the playground
Is there a buddy bench?
A few more ideas - could you offer or ask if some le else could run an after school club on an area of special interest for him - that may provide some social help with like minded children
Do any clubs outside school appeal him eg Beavers or similar?
I wonder also about sleep SALT guidance on communication skills. Eg If there are social stories that could help guide him on any behaviours he may need to modify? These have helped my ds
Finally for you
Maybe trying to persuade the school to run a lunchtime club for a group of children that incorporates you DS's special interests could help validate your DS interests, support his self-esteem and provide a structured environment within which he could spend time with other children .
I think this approach might work better generally than trying to teach children with ASD social skills because it can be quite complex to unpick exactly which skills are weak and generalising these skills can be hard.
It depends how responsive the school are really. Good luck. I'm sure my DS 8 would be really interested in a sea creatures game.
Some great ideas here, especially
about bricks for autism and lunchtime clubs. I’ll raise these with the SENCO in advance of our meeting next month. As it happens I got an email last night, inviting DS1 to join beavers (he’s been on the waiting list for over a year and I’d forgotten) and the scouts seem quite inclusive so we will try that.
They have been amazingly inclusive in our area - we asked for a call before joining to discuss sn and likely trigger points. I gave them a copy of his iep and beaver leader said he had no problem with us staying in the scout hut with him for as long as he felt he wanted us - we did that a few meetings and now he loves going.
I hope things improve for your ds soon
My DD's primary introduced Circle of Friends for her. Which works as a small group of children who look out for a child in the playground and they all report back on how things are going. I think loads of little boys would love sea creatures. But I know how heart breaking it is when they say no one played with them.
This may be a silly idea, but would he play Octonauts?
He sounds very sweet btw.
I hadn't considered Octonaut based play, Pansies. I suspect one issue may be that he is very rigid in his thinking and controlling in his play, so if other children were not as au fait with the correct terminology and where they actually live/what they eat etc, he is likely to get very upset and angry. I see this with his brother. His ability to compromise and let others direct play/go off piste, is pretty much zero, sadly. He can be very sweet too, just usually in 1:1 scenarios and generally with adults or much older/younger children. Which is the antithesis of school breaktimes. Also, he is in Y2 and the school is quite new and there are only 2 classes above him, so the opportunity for an older buddy is quite limited. I would think he would need a child 3-4 years older really, as by then their patience and understanding seems to be much better and they would be more likely to adopt a mentoring role rather than viewing him as a weird nuisance. sigh
I think the play rigidity school could try to help by eg playing a structured game of storytelling with figures like stuffed toys where the aim is that everyone contributes ideas and you all have to work together to create the story with everyone being allowed to contribute. Salt / school did this with mine and it helped. Not a perfect fix but things are improved
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