Advanced search

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Flapping, fidgeting, muttering, poor concentration and inappropriate conversations - not looking good is it?

(35 Posts)
bobsmum Tue 11-Dec-07 22:25:25

Not posted on this board I don't think, but have asked for help on and off over the last year or so.

Now it's kind of reaching a crisis point and I'd like some advice and info from folks in the know smile

Ds is 5 and has been in P1 since August. He has had an involvement with an Ed Psych since last Sept when his nursery referred him.

Now he's on 3rd stage of staged intervention (4th being a statement) and has a full time learning support person in the classroom and in the playground.

He is keeping up with his peers easily with reading/writing/numbers etc. He excels in music.

But his class teacher in particular finds him incredibly disruptive and hard to manage.

He mutters under his breath a lot and repeats words he likes the sounds of or sings constantly. He cannot sit still or keep on task for any length of time. He's more than capable of doing what he's asked but instead scribbles, says it's boring and tantrums.

I've had 2 letters home in the last 2 days saying his behaviour is unacceptable and he is being cheeky and using inappropriate language with staff. When probed, ds confessed he's called a teacher 'smelly cheese" which hardly seems the crime of the century, but I get the impression this backchat is constant.

He can't sit still and flaps (this is getting worse) when he sees things moving or is excited about things.

Obviously Autism has been mentioned a few times over the last year or so, but my mum's an OT and an Autism specialist and she has her doubts.

So what now?

The Ed Psych is coming back to observe before Easter and until then I'm getting constant complaints about the naughtiest boy in the school.

He's not uncontrollable at home. He needs to be told things several times, but otherwise is very obliging, affectionate and eager to please. At school he doesn't give a damn apparently. But he says he loves it.

twocutedarlings Wed 12-Dec-07 11:04:18

Bobsmum im so sorry your going through this, it sound like you having a very stressfull time at the moment.

I think the you DS needs to be seen by a developmental pead. You can ask your GP to refer you, however in my area schools are also able to refer children.

You say that you son has fulltime one to one, so why are they allowing him to be disruptive? However its fantastic that they have done this most school wouldnt.

Has the school had any experiance of working with children on the spectrum?. Dont get my wrong im not saying for one minute he is or on the spectrum. But alot of things that are used for ASD children would probably really help him IYKWIM.

My DD who is also 5 has AS, she also really struggles to sit still and consentrate for any amount of time. For carpet time she now has a treasure box that she can sit and look through when she get fidgity, she also has like a jigsaw thing with just 4 pieces and she has to earn the pieces by completeing her work with the rest of the class or joining in with group work ect. Once she has all 4 pieces she gets a reward. This has helped her loads. And gradually she is starting to need them less and less.

Does his teacher use a visual timetable?? this is another thing that has really helped my DD.


coppertop Wed 12-Dec-07 13:52:16

I would be asking the school what they are planning to do to help with the problems at school. They need to be looking at strategies now rather than waiting for the Ed.Psych.It's not enough for them to just complain to you about the behaviour.

Fidget toys are helpful for things like carpet time. Sometimes it can help if there is a small cushion on the carpet to sit on.

Is it possible to get your ds seen by a Paed? (Sorry, I don't know what the system is in Scotland).

bobsmum Wed 12-Dec-07 17:58:34

Thanks folks!

Ds has visual cards pinned up around the classroom - (is its Pecs symbols? - black and white line drawings) He oten talks about ehm and says they help to remind them not to interrupt and to sit still.

My mum's a bit concerned that he's beginning to depend on so much intervention and help, rather than be encouraged to manage on his own sometimes - she calls it "learned dependency" - and bascially ds seems to now expect to be led by the hand throughout the entire day and when he's not given direct specific instructions, he just doesn't bother, even though he does know what's expected of him IYSWIM.

I've got a meeting with his class teacher on Tuesday - any ideas what I should be bringing up?

There were no letters home today, but his homework diary is still at school - maybe the horrors lurk in there!

He came home this afternoon and wrote 6 Christmas cards to his friends, beautifully and with illustrations (grin) - so sat wonderfully still for at least half an hour concentrating fully. Maybe it's because I was sitting with him, but he still managed it.

Have also just picked up some fish oil stuff from the supermarket - is that worth a shot?

bobsmum Wed 12-Dec-07 18:03:54

Coppertop - he did have a rubbery, squashy cushion bought for him by the nursery which then came with him to school. The Ed Pscyh (and my mum) suggested that he didn't need it any more because it was just one more thing making him stand out amongst his peers.

There are only 6 in his class btw and his classroom is a composite class of P1/2 & 3. It's a small rural school.

bobsmum Wed 12-Dec-07 18:06:04

Coppertop - he did have a rubbery, squashy cushion bought for him by the nursery which then came with him to school. The Ed Pscyh (and my mum) suggested that he didn't need it any more because it was just one more thing making him stand out amongst his peers.

There are only 6 in his class btw and his classroom is a composite class of P1/2 & 3. It's a small rural school.

I don't imagine the class teacher has encountered much beyond the norm. There are certainly other "naughty" children, but the fact that ds comes across as so capable, seems to confuse the issue as most people who meet him can't understand why he just doesn't "get" so many basic social issues.

Might have to speak to the GP if we're going to be in limbo for another few months.

bobsmum Wed 12-Dec-07 18:06:32

oops - bizarre double post!

wooga Wed 12-Dec-07 21:27:56

Maybe you could see if anyone at your ds's school can do social stories or maybe see about a home/school book where you can each communicate about your ds?
Does the teacher prattle on a bit or keep things simple and to the point when she talks?
My ds used to strugggle with a particular teacher-she's lovely but would go through everything they were doing in one go and as my ds has poor auditory memory he would struggle to keep up and would get bored.
Go with the reward idea too!
Chase up help through your GP or HV if you can.

whenachildisbob Tue 18-Dec-07 11:09:39

Right .

I'm off to the school at 1pm to speak to ds' class teacher.

We are going to discuss his IEP and set some targets for him to meet.

I'm keen that as well as the constant stream of negative comments we've been getting home in his homework diary, that she find at least one positive thing to mention too. Is that reasonable?

I also wondered if it would be worth asking for a clearer run down of the timetable for the week so I can "brief" ds on what is is expected of him in each activity.

Anything else I should be saying??/asking??

aquariusmum Tue 18-Dec-07 11:18:30

I think you should definitely ask them about what strategies they are going to use, and yes ask for some positives. I had a similar issue and took a list with me of all the positives I believed had happened this term due to school. Could there also be a role for more trainig for his shadow, even spending time with you at home to see how you manage him? Good luck, go in very courteous but also with armourplating round your heart as I know I find these meetings quite stressful and it's better to be prepared. Good luck!

whenachildisbob Tue 18-Dec-07 11:33:05

That's good advice about tehe armourplating AM smile

I've gone from having an angelic, clever little boy who would get endless comments from little old ladies in the street about his manners and his good behaviour, to what seems to be the worst horror in school.

Was in school for a lunchtime activity last week and was really shocked at the teaching assistant and the level of intervention. He wasn't allowed to be left alone for one second and he just seemed switched off and weirdly passive. He just let himself be "shepherded" around and looked a bit spacey. It really worried me that that is the ds the school are seeing rather than the vocal and feisty wee man I have at home.

aquariusmum Tue 18-Dec-07 11:43:12

It is odd that he is so different at school , but I guess they are under more pressure there. Definitely your shadow should see the lovely wee man you have at home. Has anyone suggested ADHD? My DS is autistic and apart from the flapping it does not sound much like autism with your DS, given he has no speech delay and you don't mention too much social stuff. But I'm no expert of course. I guess the rural school has its up and downsides - upside, very small class size; downside, far less experience of the ranges of kids behaviour because smaller school?

aquariusmum Tue 18-Dec-07 11:48:24

forgot to say, I absolutely swear by fish oil to improve behaviour. I use this one which was featured in the papers and which had great effects on behaviours, particularly hyperactive behaviours. It's called VegEPA and if you ring 0845 1300424 you can order it. MY DS won't take pills so I prick the capsule and pour oil into juice, but they are easy to take if he will swallow pills. I take them too, and my DH and all my relatives as I think it's magic stuff, especially in this day and age where none of us eat enough haddock, pilchards or mackerel any more!

whenachildisbob Tue 18-Dec-07 12:05:11

IS your fish oil expensive? The stuff I got from the supermarket (eye q capsules) was pricey especially as he's meant to take 6 a day for the first 12 weeks! Dh needs bit of convincing that we should be forking out that much - do you know of any research I could point him to?

I have wondered about ADHD tbh.

His nursery teacher mentioned Aspergers last year, but there's not enough that fits.

There are certainly loads of social rules that he just doesn't "get" naturally, but with a bit of explanation and prompting he conforms eventually.

For example at lunchtime he would apparently empty the contents of his lunchbox over the table and spread it all out. I was told this was a Very Bad Thing for some reason, so I told his to pretend his lunchbox was like a plate and take out one thing at a time, so he did. Problem more or less solved! Not sure what terrible thing this was meant to indicate though.

He also told his class how apple juice was made while they were all drinking apple juice. But again this was inappropriate behaviour for a 5 year old and he should have picked up on the cues that his classmates weren't interested and stopped. Again, I'm not sure why this is so bad?

aquariusmum Tue 18-Dec-07 12:37:15

The fish oil is expensive but I ignore the packet and just give one a day - my theory is that any oil better than none. The apple juice chat sounds a little aspergery, does he have friends? It's just that my friend has a little girl who sounds like your DS in terms of behaviour at school, and I'm pretty sure she is ADHD. But it is all such a broad spectrum. My understanding is that Aspergers is no speech delay, no IQ problems, but problems with understanding social conventions and sometimes an odd manner of talking, or obsessive interests. My boy is ASD but also extremely hyperactive, but they didn't give him a separate DX of ADHD as they said autism often involves hyperactivity. My boy is nearly 5, but because he is so speech-delayed we have to use different kinds of ways of stopping him running around, eg very firm voice, holding him still, and even sometimes spraying water on back of his hair (which he hates) as an aversive thing. Anyway, I[m rambling now, your DS certainly sounds like a puzzle but also sounds bright as a button to me!

aquariusmum Tue 18-Dec-07 12:39:43

If you google VegEPA you might find the big Daily Mail article, or other articles, which I saw a couple of years back. It was used in a study of children with hyper and bad behaviours at school, but also with a poor diet, and it showed great results. It contains no DHA, only EPA, which these scientists at Cambridge University figure is the best way to take fish oil (most store brands have DHA and EPA)

whenachildisbob Tue 18-Dec-07 15:23:58

Had a very positive IEP meeting with the head and the class teacher. The teacher was far more sympathetic to ds' needs than I think I had given her credit for.

They've also picked up on his physical delays which no-one else but me and dh have really mentioned before, so they're going to be more understanding of his capabilities I think. Ds is very dextrous and good with his fine motor skills - although this is only in the last few months.

He plays the piano and drums incredibly well and can draw and write well, but struggles with stairs, standing in a line a the school bell, climbing, riding a bike etc.

His main target for January is to sit still and be quiet when an adult or his classmates are speaking in class. So no drumming, humming, playing with words, repeating etc etc. It would be great if he could manage this or even improve, but none of us really know where to start with this.

I'm going to get photocopies of the symbols on the class wall to use at home, but I really don't know how to get it through to him that no matter how he feels, these are just rules you have to stick to.

aquariusmum Tue 18-Dec-07 15:26:58

good news! it's nice when things turn out better than you hoped and they sound like they are making a real effort. smile

whenachildisbob Tue 18-Dec-07 15:28:52

Yes - am feeling fairly positive now smile

Just got to get ds to be a good Joseph in the school nativity tonight - fingers crossed!!

Mumfun Tue 18-Dec-07 20:24:53


Just wanted to say that I have read your thread with huge interest amnd a lot of recongition.

My son sounds a lot like your DS - so many of the things you mention he does. Unfortunately for you he is younger in age so I dont think I can tell you much about positive interventions as hes at an earlier stage.

I will write nore if you are interested but my DS flaps with excitement, has behaved very inappropriately socially and is on the school Special Needs Register due to poor behaviour in class. He has been seen by an Ed Psych with the result of too early to tell but maybe aspergers. I think he fits a bit of aspergers but in my hearat of hearst I dont think he fits it enough.

The one pount that struck me that you said is that I too have gone from the most ideal child who was adored by everyone to one who has had huge problems at school nursery. he also behaves hugely differently at home - its as if he just goes into the less supervised enviornment and says Wheeeeeee - away I go. He is also very strong willed which causes issues at homee and nursery.

Ill have to go over your posts again as there are some good learning points for me - if there is anything you are interested in from our story just ask!

whenachildisbob Tue 18-Dec-07 20:33:48

Mumfun - that's really interesting about your ds 'changing". I really thought I had it easy until he started pre-school. In a way I still do - he eats brilliantly and isn't picky, sleeps well (always has) and is polite and well mannered. But in certain situations he gives other people big problems and headaches.

But he's not vicious or naughty and plenty of boys in his nursery and school were real bullies with a lot of kicking/biting/hitting etc - we've never had that and he's great with his little sister.

But he is very strong willed and defiant and will debate and argue his case until we have to tell him to stop.

Just noticed on your profile that you'd had a few toilet training issues with your ds. At 2 and a half he told me it was ok not to use the potty because I had a washing machine for dirty pants!! shock He still has a few accidents every so often when he forgets to go. hmm

Mumfun Wed 19-Dec-07 16:58:01

Just amazing. Everything you have said in your last mail is exactly true of my DS - every word. I could have written it - he also has a little sister. Only difference is that he did not want to go near a potty or toilet and only started to under heavy direction to, after age 3.

My DS has an excellent nursery teacher this year and I will write up what she has suggested for him later. It might help you.

whenachildisbob Wed 19-Dec-07 17:00:08

Ha ha - should have added - he didn't "get" toilet training until almost 4 - I thought he would be going to school in nappies. He still has accidents now, but maybe only a few a month.

Mumfun Wed 19-Dec-07 21:54:53


One thing is I dont know what the symbols are you have round the classroom - I havent heard of those.

Ill just say now what DS nursery teacher has said of him.

One she feels that he is looking for attention a lot - and when she said this I looked back and agreed that I think he is - and has been since his sister was born. We didnt realise that he had such a strong reaction to her- because he has always adored her - there has never been any negativity towards her - but really looking at it objectively it is true. What we have done is I (or his dad when here - he is away a lot)give him a special time every day where his sister is not there. And his nursery teacher tries to at school- she has 20 children to look after so not always easy in a London school where there are often new children to settle in. DS does love the special time and it is seen as helpful.

His teacher also thinks that he reacts to sugar - she has seen marked change in his behaviour when having eaten something with sugar in. This is just new so am going to keep this in mind. And in this day and age etc impossible to avoid everything with sugar.

They havent given him any one to one but they have got extra resources into his class sometimes from the rest of the school due to he and a couple of other children in his class needing extra help. He is on level 2 on his IEP etc.

One thing has been interesting has been he has a male teacher for an out of school activity. Although he has been typically assertive of his views with this teacher I think he has probably got on with him better than a female teacher might - I think DS has reacted well to a male teacher.

Tiredness affects him badly - his behaviour like many other childrens is much worse when tired.

We have done sticker charts in conjunction with the school on behaviour in class and doing what he is told and they have helped.

Dont think teacher or I were impressed by Ed Psych - she just said to do social stories which is apparently a standard part of nursery class already. She did say she suspected Aspergers. I took him to GP who said he would refer him to paediatric assessment if we wanted. He said he was pretty sure he didnt have aspergers (I think he was too sure TBH) but I was so relieved that I didnt pursue the paediatric assessment. I probably should have but I can go back if I need to.

Dont know if any of this helps but you are not alone in dealing with this kind of situation!

whenachildisbob Thu 20-Dec-07 09:29:51

Thanks so much mumfun! you really could be describing my ds too!

And as for the tiredness thing?! He had 2 showings of the nativity play at school - for the first evening one he was an absolute star. He sang, delivered his lines and played the indian bell mini cymbally thingies beautifully and in perfect time - all wonderful. But he got home after 9pm.

So the next performance at lunchtime yesterday was a complete and utter disaster - he sobbed really loudly throughout the whole play! I was mortified, but the teachers just left him - I wish he'd been whisked away for the sake of the other kids.

Sticker charts work for a few days, but he just can't hold out for the long term reward - he's not really that bothered. THe teachers can't understand why rewards and praise don't bother him that much. But he does care what me and dh think, just not his friends and teachers.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: