Pragmatic Language Disorder

(5 Posts)
lifecouldbeadream Mon 31-Dec-18 21:29:04

Hi All,

I wonder if anyone could give me some guidance about what to do next. We have a son who is now 10 and for years we have had difficulty with him and the way that he interacts with others. For context he was born prem.

The issues haven’t changed, but as he gets older it has become more obvious that he struggles socially.

He interrupts, talks VERY loudly, changes topic mid conversation, and talks at length about topics he is obsessive about, you can see people’s eyes glaze over, but he just doesn’t pick up on it. It’s like a monologue. He also doesn’t really appreciate when certain things are inappropriate to say. He’s a bright boy, but I’m coming to the conclusion, that some of his behaviour is not usual.

I don’t know where to go from here, I’d come across Pragmatic Language issues after reading a thread posted on Mumsnet last night and it really resonates. Should I ask the GP/ school?

Does anyone have any experience of this and does this sound like your child? I’m honestly not sure what I should be doing, but I feel like I’m letting him down as I’ve had a suspicion for years that something wasn’t quite as you’d expect, but nothing has ever seemed to fit before.

I’m not sure whether it’s relevant, but he seems to suffer with varying tics, and is utterly obsessive about topics he is interested in..... his depth of knowlege is incredible.

Any help/advice is massively appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
BlankTimes Tue 01-Jan-19 02:13:52

List everything he does that you have noticed is different to his peers.

It’s like a monologue
Well spotted, it's very common.

Is he anxious, does he go with the flow or prefer routine to change, can he follow verbal instructions easily or does he query things a lot?
Is he literal in his interpretation, does he appear immature for his age?

See if this resonates
“persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction” and “restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests” (this includes sensory behaviour), present since early childhood, to the extent that these “limit and impair everyday functioning”

Anything ring any bells here?

Have school expressed any concerns? Ask to see SENCO and say what you've said above, then get them to list their concerns and observations of any different behaviour in school.
Don't just take a verbal answer from them, email so you create a paper trail of your concerns and their responses, some schools are far better than others.

Take both lists to your GP and ask for a referral for assessment.
Waiting lists are very long in some areas, so don't delay.

It could be any number of things, but a team of professionals Paed, Ed Psych, SLT and OT is the best way to diagnose exactly what your sons difficulties are and recommend strategies to help him.

lifecouldbeadream Tue 01-Jan-19 07:31:02

Thanks so much for your reply.

He’s overly chatty, and will speak to strangers in exactly the same way he’d speak to someone he knows well, so happy to strike up a long conversation about something he’s interested in with another parent he doesn’t know in a park for example.

I wouldn’t say he’s anxious, except that he doesn’t like doors to be open, so if we’re going back and forth between rooms we would have to tell him that we need to leave the door open as otherwise he’ll have closed it.

It has felt quite hard in recent years as I think some of his inability to behave in a socially appropriate way looks like we just aren’t enforcing any manners, but actually, this has been an ongoing years long issue.

I’ve read through the sensory book link you’ve posted, I was reading it and thought, no, not much of that applies, but now I have started listing it, there is a short list that do. He does have ‘tics’ so as a young child it was wiping his hands on his trousers. If he was playing for example, he would move his hand to wipe it every few seconds. Current tic is facial. He doesn’t like eating food with his hands, so eating a sticky bun in a cafe results in using the paper napkin to hold it, we can’t butter a crumpet to the edge as he won’t then hold it. He doesn’t like labels, but this has lessened in recent years. He likes very tight, long hugs.

It’s only when you write it down, that you realise just how much we just accept as being normal for him.

Over the years teachers have expressed that he finds it tricky to settle in the new school year, so they will have a couple of tricky weeks until he gets the hang of classroom management.

I had reached the conclusion that I was going to speak to school in January, but felt I was likely to struggle to explain what I think is not quite how it should be, but your reply has really helped to formulate my thoughts. I’m fairly certain in my own mind that there is something unusual, and I think the school are generally supportive, so I’ll discuss with class teacher and then Senco.

I know that the professionals will have a much better view of this, it’s just that for the first time, Pragmatic Language seems to explain so many things about him.

I feel I’ve failed him by not addressing it earlier, but he’s so bright and lovely, I think I hoped it was just a bit of growing up that was needed.

@Blank Times I can’t tell you how much your post has helped. Thank you so much.

OP’s posts: |
BlankTimes Tue 01-Jan-19 12:03:36

You're very welcome smile

As parents we can't win.
For some it is hard to see any differences in our own children because we live with it every day and it's our 'ordinary' which is exactly what you described when you said "It’s only when you write it down, that you realise just how much we just accept as being normal for him."
Those of us who did think something was amiss very early on often find that every concern we expressed was dismissed and minimised by school and health professionals and family for years as immaturity or quirks or "all kids do that sort of thing" so we still end up starting investigations into diagnosis for a child at 10 or older.

Please don't beat yourself up about not doing anything about it sooner, take heart that you're starting now. What should be a simple process of support from school, seeing the GP to be referred to the right people, having some screening tests and then a diagnosis or not works that way in the private sector, but does not flow so smoothly in the NHS due to incredibly long waiting-lists because the system is so overloaded. There are lots of posts about diagnosis on this board and SNChat.
Sometimes they are on the main boards too, this recent one explains peoples' experiences of the diagnostic system.

Deep breaths, you CAN do it! New Year, new start.
Good Luck flowers

lifecouldbeadream Tue 01-Jan-19 18:27:03

Thank you. It means a lot. X

OP’s posts: |

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