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Strange social & interaction probs. What to do???

(57 Posts)
blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 14:34:00

I have a 5yr old ds, who started school in September.
He has been having trouble since nursery days with his social & interaction skills.
He finds it hard to mix (other than with very close friends), has trouble settling to/choosing activities in class & more concerning, he turns his back to the teacher during carpet time & in assembly!
When we went to see the school christmas play, he turned his back to us every time they had to stand up & sing. When I asked him why, he said "I thought you would laugh at me."
He is also a very lathargic child, who does everything at a very slow pace & has been reported to sometimes just lay on the floor in class when he does not know what to do!
I have told him again & again about this, but he will just answer "I was bored!"
I have been blaming myself as a parent, again & again & wondering what I have done to make him like this.
If someone says they are not his friend at school, he gets upset at home about it, but will not tell a teacher at school.
He is however, very bright.
He can count to 100, recognises numbers beyond 20, is starting to build words & takes in any facts that you throw at him!
I suffered from PND after ds2 & feel that this has contributed to the anxieties that he suffers with.
I just want him to be like the other children & am getting myself in a state about it.
Can anyone help?

soapbox Fri 04-Feb-05 14:38:05

Message withdrawn

alison222 Fri 04-Feb-05 14:39:35

Blue teddy, you can't go around blaming yourself.
Its probably nothing you have done at all. In fact the fact you are blaming yourself shows how much you care and want the best for yourson.
I have no advice to offer sadly, but sending you lots of cyber hugs.

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 14:46:36

I do have his friends back for tea occasionally & he is fine playing with them, infact he really enjoys it!
It is larger groups that he has a problem with.
He is often on his own in the playground, sitting on the wall & it is heartbreaking to watch (although it dosen't seem to bother him!)
The SENCO is going to refer him to the school doctor for a developmental assesment & to some communication & interaction place.
He is very articulate, but is so strangly anxious.

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 14:49:37

The SENCO has also said about someone coming to see him regarding gifted children, as he is very bright.
He takes or leaves his toys at home as well, but put him on a computer & he will be as happy as Larry!

soapbox Fri 04-Feb-05 14:51:43

Blueteddy - it wasn't so much the having friends home for tea I was getting at, but gradually increasing the number he has at one time, so that you gradually get him used to larger groups.

Sorry - didn't mean to suggest you weren't already doing that!

alison222 Fri 04-Feb-05 14:53:00

How was it with the SENCO? Did it make you feel any more positive? Did you get any practical advice from her/him?
Do you have similar problems at home re him doing things or is it just at school that there are problems with choosing activites.
Sorry to ask so many questions, but am wondering itf it will then ring any bells with someone else who can help

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 14:55:19

Hmmmm, good idea!
He enjoyed his own birthday party, including 15 children, but was very unsure when I left him at a friends party the other week.
It is such a stress because he had come such a long way by the time he left nursery & now it feels that we have gone right back.

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 14:57:16

The SENCO session was not too bad.
At first she suggested some social & interaction disorder (never heard of it!), but it was not as daunting as I thought.

soapbox Fri 04-Feb-05 14:59:09

Blueteddy - I think its always a bit easier for them on 'home territory'!

15 is a big group. Both my children are very shy and it has taken a lot of work to get them integrated into real friendship groups at school!
But I think we are getting there!

I know what you mean about nursery - I too put a lot of effort in and of all the children we used to count as friends we only see 1 or 2 on a regular basis now.

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 15:25:01

I told him this morning that if he turned and faced the teacher today, he could play his game boy after school.
The teacher has told me that he has done much better & that only once did he turn his back on her & as soon as she asked him to turn round, he did!
He is now playing super mario as his treat!
His teacher is making him a super mario sticker chart for school, which seems like a good idea!

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 15:51:11

Forgot to mention that I was very much like this as a child as well, so it could be genetic.
It is made worse by the fact that I work in the school that he attends.
It was really hard not to cry during my SENCO meeting yesterday, especially when mentioning how much blame I put on myself.

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 21:20:15

Bumping this up incase any evening posters have similar experiences or advice for me.
I am feeling very concerned.

MrsFROSTgetful Fri 04-Feb-05 22:38:22


some of what you say reminds me of my boys at that age ( who are diagnosed with asperger's syndrome)....

however ---- don't panic.... as said may times before there are lots of kids like mine who are NOT autistic!!

Hopefully none of what i will go on to say will appy- and that will hopefully help you relax...however if it starts you thinking-let us know as there are many of us on this board who have SN kids- ready to advise- but don't want to start you worrying!!

The things off the top of my head that i would think about are:

"trouble settling to/choosing activities in class"
? would he prefer to do the same thing...and then keep at it with enthusiasm? Would he find it hard if what he wants to do is being used by someone else? when time to finish a favourite activity (home or school) is it difficult for him to stop and move on to something else?

" he turns his back to the teacher during carpet time & in assembly!" AND "When we went to see the school christmas play, he turned his back to us every time they had to stand up & sing. When I asked him why, he said "I thought you would laugh at me."

My middle son often does this- even at home he will 'watch' the TV whilst turnt away. Carpet time is challenging for may kids who have short attention spans or are very bright- because to them to sit still for so long is simply too hard- and then with aspergers there is often the problem that they cannot look /face the person speaking to them as well as listen- so they turn away -so that they can use their ears.....
(the MARIO sticker chart sounds great...sounds like a good 'switched on teacher'!!!)

Assemblies/school play - like carpet time- it may be impossible for him to concentrate on singing AND looking at the audience.....or he may have been genuinely nervous...however even now with my 11yr old with AS- in his school play he was on stage singing with 4 others....and had to jig around - and the only way i could watch him was through my camera...everytime i looked directly at him he turned away.
How is he in 'normal' assemblies? Does he find sitting on the floor -close to other children hard? My ds2 has to have a defined space around him- cannot tolerate being touched- so he sits at the end of the row. some AS kids do not attend assembly due to the difficulties they genuinely have

"He is also a very lathargic child, who does everything at a very slow pace & has been reported to sometimes just lay on the floor in class when he does not know what to do!"
does he find it hard to 'keep on track' so if he has several things to do he may get lost and give up????? or when the teacher has asked him to do something- does he need step by step directions...there is something called 'sequencing' where for eg. if you say "can you go upstairs,open your wardrobe and get your blue shirt" will he 'forget' and either not get it/come down- or need to come back and check what he had to do? My son would be best with "Please go up and get your blue shirt"- i have to only give the important point being on this is that children with sequencing problems can simply give up when they are 'overloaded'...

"I have told him again & again about this, but he will just answer "I was bored!"..."

When my sons have behaved like this in class etc like you i have over and over explained why they shouldn't do ahtever it is- and the significane here is simply that of the fect that the child may not 'just be able to stop'....they will often repeat a behaviour constantly- and what you did today about the Gameboy/mario was FANTASTIC...because you gave him a 'COPING STRATEGIE/REWARD'... if the teacher can remind him with the mario chart as soon as she notices him 'drifting' and still give the sticker then that's fantastic... important not to expect him to remember unprompted.

"I have been blaming myself as a parent, again & again & wondering what I have done to make him like this. "

YOU are not to blame..... wheteher he has a SN or not........ you would not be posting on here if you were a bad mum!!!

"If someone says they are not his friend at school, he gets upset at home about it, but will not tell a teacher at school."
This is a killer- and still makes me cry- my middle son sees everything in black and white- so he himself doesn't lie- therefor cannot cope when people are mean - does your son have common interests like his friends...or is he interested in his 'own thing' everyone is into pokemon...does he join in- then the next week when they are into something else- does he enjoy that to? in the playground does he 'understand' team games or role play.....and if he is playing with friends will he try to get them to do HIS game...

"He is however, very bright.
He can count to 100, recognises numbers beyond 20, is starting to build words & takes in any facts that you throw at him!"

Wow! what a credit to you! when he is feeling low these are things to remind him about!!

Both my asperger's sons are like this to however i would describe them as lacking common sense (sounds cruel) and socially clumsy.They cannot 'put themselves in anyones shoes' so to speak- talk endlesly about their favourite interests- oblivious to whether they are boring the person they are talking to, they have a HUGE vocabulary- but don't get sarcasm....

So...probably scared you to death- NOT my intention- but feel for you and have just checked that noone else has posted this evening since you bumped the thread -as i would have not posted this if others had posted and made more positive sound so down and i hope that something in this will help.

For me-i always new ds1 'had something 'wrong' with him'...and believed after a while that it was when at 7/8 they began to suggest ASPERGER's too- i freaked out- i had no idea what AS was...but they mentioned Autism and i panicked.
However the more i read/learnt i realised how vast the autistic spectrum is and that in time i accepted 100% that not only him but my middle son has it too.... and i believe my 3rd will be diagnosed within 2 years (he is 5)

so..... i do see your worries 'through autistic tinted spectacles' and i really would love someone else to go come on here with a different view- so that you get a balance of ideas!

Enjoy the weekend!

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 22:52:03

OMG paniking now!
I did not want him to be labelled, but my ds sounds very similar to yours.
I always assumed my ds was not on the spectrum because, he is not at all regimental, uses his imagination well & is very aware of peoples feelings (will cry his eyes out if he sees me upset)
I also see myself at the same age in him!

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 22:54:38

Btw, every day we have a battle to get him to dress himself, as he takes so long!

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 23:03:00

Did your ds's come across as very intellegent as well?
Panic, panic, panic!
Did not want him labelled.

MrsFROSTgetful Fri 04-Feb-05 23:05:13

please don't panic....1

Fire away with some more examples and i will offer 'strategies' and you can try them....if they work GREAT...still does't mean he is AS...many NT kids have struggles too!

The dressing....well THAT one is familiar too!!!

DS1 & 3 will often be found with the same sock- in the 'pulling on stage' - gazing at the tv....and blissfully unaware that it's time to go to school!
DS2 will (at age 8) STILL put thigs on in the wrong order.
DS1 & 3 will even put clean pants/socks on top of the day befores etc.

STRATEGY:-..... layer clothes so that the last thing in the pile is the last to put on....
this has to be *so exact* as it's easier to put on trousers with socks on than without- AND easier to pull up trousers without a t-shirt hanging over their bottom ofpile is
then PANTS
and on top SOCKS!

so every morning i WATCH them put on the socks and pants- then leave them for 5 mins then check for progress.

blueteddy Fri 04-Feb-05 23:08:38

I do lay his clothes out for him!
I always put it down to being lazy!
He even walks slowley, which I find most frustrating!

MrsFROSTgetful Fri 04-Feb-05 23:17:47

yes...from birth they slept poorly and people wiould say
"you've got a bright one there"

so i put up with poor sleep- and true enough they are bright.... their handwriting the only thing they are achademically challenged with!!

DS1 is 11 and reads/spells as age 14+- wowever his creative/comprhension literacy is at a lower level- so his probs are that if he read a book and you tested his understanding of the plot or the character's feelings etc...or what may happen next etc...he would struggle. But even at age 5 he was reading adult type magazines about playstations etc

DS2 has better writing than ds1- however he holds his pencil awkwardly-has to be reminded to hold it close to the point- will usually hold it close to the top...and rushes his writing- makes lots of mistakes- crosses out alot- and the best efforts come from him when we 'tweak' his homework to 'fit in with pokemon/gameboy'

ds3 (not labeled...yet...but i think he will be!)
is a little more able writing wise - but he is less able verbally...though he chats away- he still uses 'baby' speech...or says a word exactly as it is spelt/or he makes a word up that makes more sense..... so for example- he says MAY-KED instead of MADE ....and he also cofuses 'HOT/COLD'- though if you gave him too drinks he would know which is the hot/cold one- BUT he often says things like " I need my gloves on because my hands are getting hot" DS1 did the same as a pre-schooler- and DS3 wasn't around despite what people try and tell me -HE HAS NOT LEARNT THIS BEHAVIOUR!!!!!

MrsFROSTgetful Fri 04-Feb-05 23:25:10

YOU COULD TRY A SIMPLE EGGTIMER..... we have a wind up one- and i sometimes set it for 5 mins at a time-important to not give him too long before you 'move him on'

Routines are a funny thing here....none of mine are EXTREME as far as routinnes go-some on this board have daily battles where their child has to rigidly do things a set way- and will keep having to start again if interupted- or totally 'meltdown ' if the routine is changed.

my son's need 'timing down off activities' they don't do well if things stop abruptly.

if we go out as a family- gameboys go to- then we can go in shops without ds2 rolling on shop floors when he cannot cope anymore- he cannot cope if we are browsing- he's ok if i say we are going here,here and here....but if someone stops to talk to me- he will start pulling me and gets very angry- or if i go to an extra shop he does the same.

he also walks slow...has very precise footsteps- and at home is contantly walking around- rarely sits down.

Swilt Fri 04-Feb-05 23:38:43

Mrs frostgetful, you have a wealth of information. Not been on MN long but I did notice many had missed you, Now I see why.

I can really empathise with you blueteddy.

MrsFROSTgetful Fri 04-Feb-05 23:48:34

thanks ! i read alot of books....!!!

MrsFROSTgetful Fri 04-Feb-05 23:49:16

had to add have made me have tears in my eyes...happy tears!!!!

coppertop Fri 04-Feb-05 23:53:11

Quick hijack to say: See, MrsF! MN just isn't the same without you and your help. Remember how your pizza-circle tip got my ds2 talking for the first time?

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