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Is mother toddler group right place for speech delayed child?

(18 Posts)
mamadadawahwah Fri 25-Feb-05 22:19:26

I have been taking my two year old to mother toddler group for about 6 weeks. Increasingly, he gets out of control by the end of the first hour and the last two times i have pulled him out early. I know i am being talked about and have a niggling feeling the other mothers think i cant cope, which is not true. I am just taking him out cause he causes a disturbance and gets too fired up and out of control.

Anybody have problems with mother toddler groups? I dont feel my son is getting much from it. The other mothers have yet to speak to me. They take a break half way through and have a cup of tea, but i am always following ds in case he gets into mischief so i dont sit and gossip with them. (which is what they do). Only problem is without this group my son has no where to go all week as we dont have many children in his life.

Anybody else feel this way about mother/toddler groups? I just feel uncomfortable and everyone is just so darned "perfect" if you know what i mean. My son is the only one who makes a "scene". Now normally, i wouldnt care about that at all but I dont want to be the butt of their patronising gossip sessions after i leave. I also dont want to have to explain to them that my son has speech delay (its not really noticeable yet).

What to do what to do.

Chandra Fri 25-Feb-05 22:25:44

I didn't like my M&T group, my DS is very quiet but even then very few spoke to me, and when they spoke it was soooooo competitive, you can said anything without being put down . Lots of people don't like them so don't feel bad about it. I don't know many people with children the age of DS so he goes to the nursery (which he loves) several hours per week which covers the socialisation problem and I take him around the city/ play with him the rest of the time.

Chandra Fri 25-Feb-05 22:27:02

How old is your child?

hercules Fri 25-Feb-05 22:28:15

Sounds familiar. I only go with my sister. DD is a smacker and uses weapons if possible. She now tries to bite

mamadadawahwah Fri 25-Feb-05 22:30:30

Thanks Chandra. My son is just turned two. I am thinking maybe nursery would be better. This particular group is structured with different activities each 15 minutes, then a break for drinks and a biscuit, then more play then a round of songs. I am bored silly with it, and i bet my son is too. I am so curious about other peoples children, but you darent ask them anything or they think you are prying or being competitive yourself. Which i am not. I loathe that sort of thing. My son loves kids, adores them, but dosent play appropriately and throws sand at them. As you can imagine, he gets left alone at the sand pit as they quietly move their little darlings away from him. Arrgh and grrrr. I should add their darlings are much older than him, some 3 and 4 yr olds so you would think they would understand the nature of a 2 yr old.

Chandra Fri 25-Feb-05 22:34:51

Probably nursery will do the trick, it has been great for DS, it has made him very sociable, and alo has given him some extra communication skills as we don't speak English at home (BTW he was 2 yesterday).

coppertop Fri 25-Feb-05 22:46:48

If you can find the right group then M&T groups can be great. Ds1's group was ideal. There were about half a dozen children, no 'perfect' mothers and lots of room to run around in. It was run by a lovely lady who also had an elder child with AS (although at the time we didn't know for sure about ds1's ASD). The group had finished by the time ds2 was born and so I take him to a different one. It's pretty cliquey and I'm too busy chasing ds2 to sit and chat - not that the majority speak to me anyway! Ds2 seems to love it though so I keep going. If it gets to the point where it's too much I'll stop going.

Saker Fri 25-Feb-05 22:52:24

I don't know if it would be applicable for your child, but I take ds2 (who has global developmental delay) to "opportunity group" which is a Special Needs group. There are one-to-one helpers for the children and the parents take part of the time out to go and have a chat and a drink. The helpers are used to dealing with special needs kids so there is no big deal if one is disruptive or spends the whole time opening and shutting doors etc. There are few of these groups around locally - I assume they exist in other areas of the country. It might be an alternative if you are fed up with the standard Mother and Toddler group and give you a chance to get a sit down also.

mamadadawahwah Fri 25-Feb-05 22:56:48

Thanks saker, must look into that one. How do you find out about these groups? Nippa? I asked my HV and she didnt know anything about SN groups for toddlers. Maybe i should start one myself!!

Saker Fri 25-Feb-05 23:00:45

I see you are asking about portage in another thread. Portage may well know about any SN groups. Portage is a worker who comes to your home and works at certain targets with your child on a regular basis. They can be really helpful and supportive. Also if you have a child development centre there may be adverts or info in there. Whereabouts are you - people on this board may be able to point you in the right direction.

Jimjams Fri 25-Feb-05 23:06:14

I learned to choose them carefully (left too many in tears!) If you are getting something out of them then go, if not don't. An understanding one can be great, a judgmental one awful

pixel Sat 26-Feb-05 01:01:33

I never went to any 'mother and toddler' groups as I didn't really fancy it (wasn't very confident about walking into a roomful of strangers)but I wanted my children to have the opportunity to play with others when they were toddlers. I found the local leisure centre filled the gap nicely until they were old enough for pre-school. They run a 'kinder kingdom' on certain mornings and afternoons which is a big hall filled with soft play equipment, slides, bouncy castles, ball pits etc. The staff used to amuse themselves setting the equipment up in different ways (mini obstacle courses etc)so it didn't get boring. You just turn up and buy a ticket for an hour to go in and play with your child. It was perfect for me as although I did quite often strike up a conversation with another mum (or dad!) there was no pressure to do so, and as there was no 'tea break' you couldn't feel the odd one out. Also, if I thought it was all getting too much for ds (SN) I could just leave without it being a big thing. Both my kids loved it when they were small and it was a brilliant outlet on a rainy day. As we went every week we did tend to see the same people but it was much more relaxed than a formal group. I think most leisure centres have something similar.

Fran1 Sat 26-Feb-05 02:04:06

Taking a break?

Thats impressive, the group i used to go to, the "mums" had a break the entire time with endless cups of tea, it always seemed to be me playing with the children on my own.

Every week i wondered who these groups were for, the children? or the parents? For me i wanted my dd to get used to mixing with other children, obviously i was alone in that plan. So we left quite quickly esp. after the bible stories.

I don't think what you felt has anything to do with your sons speech delay. I think many mners have found this from m&t groups. Maybe try some others in your area, or try a more structured thing like tumble tots, or activities in your local library, where the focus is on the children and not the mums gossiping.

anniebear Sat 26-Feb-05 07:38:05

I went to an M&T group for the children, but yes, also for me!!

And yes, if the girls played well, I did feel it was a sort of 'break'

I used to sit and have a coffee whilst they played......great!!!! I do enough at home with them and allowed that time for me to have a sit down

Obviously mine were ok at M&T and the group I went to all knew about Ellie and were understanding so I was quite fortunate.

For me Ellie was able to learn by watching what the other children did and listening to them talk.

But I do realise that for me it was a good place to go as for once, mine were good there!!!!

One thing I know some people do is give a little card out to the other Mums briefly explaining their children's condition. Obviously other parents will see a child as 'naughty' as it wouldn't cross their minds that a child may have sn. May sound very ignorant, but my child wasn't ill till 8 months old, before then I don't think I knew a sn child. one group I went to had a child their that was so 'naughty' never crossed my mind he may have been SN, now I would look and wonder if he did, becasue having an SN child myself has obviously made me more aware.

But I am sure lots of us wouldn't be able to give out a card like that. Don't know if I could. But could work.

I suppose if we don't tell other parents, how do they know about sn?

I found that if I talked about Ellie and told them, that they were sympathetic and understanding. In the end everyone used to make such a fuss of her and you could see their enjoyment and delight in seeing her acheive new things each week. You should have seenone of the Grandparents when Ellie took some of her first steps and two and a half!!!!!! she was ecstatic!!!

well I have waffled a load of waffle.....sorry!!!! Don't know if it has made sense!!

If at the end of the day you don't enjoy going, Nursey would be a good idea and we all know that most children behave better when they are not with their parents!! Mine do!! so Maybe Nursery would be good...and a break for you!!!!

WestCountryLass Sun 27-Feb-05 00:01:18

I really like my P & T group. I did however join one with a load of other Mums from first time mums group and left because it became quite a clique as they all knew each other and I felt it was exclusive and made newcomers feel unwelcome and I did not want to be a part of that.

If you are not enjoying it then don't go, maybe comsider otehr groups for your DS (music, gym, swimming, soccer tots etc)?

survivour Sun 27-Feb-05 04:41:30

Hi mamadadawahwah..... my son is 32 months, and is speech delayed, he has 7th nerve cranial palsy, a right facial stroke. I could have easily been the author of this thread.... we have been about 7 times in all, he is getting better, but I like you chase him round the hall. It should be from 10am till 12 noon, lately we have been getting there at 11am. Don't want people taking.... then last Wednesday a bot older than my son came up to us, tried to take the spinning top of my son, he did not want to let go, so the other boty in question, started hitting my son on the head. I removed the boys hands off my son and said no... take the yoy and move away, calmly and clearly, the mother came over and stated that her son had got to the toy first, I replied my son was a heart baby, and that he had had major heart surgery, and hitting him was not a good idea, her reply....OH, then she came back and appologised..... I smiled, said don't worry I understand...... Looking back I wonder if I should go back, I don,t fancy ending up in hospital with my son because someone has pushed my son in the chest, and broken the wires holding his chest together....It probably will not happen, but hay worry is what mothers do.... Let me know how you feel about this.... And sorry for the long post....

1980louisiana Sun 27-Feb-05 15:30:58

hi mamadadawahwah (did i spell this right?!) i know exactly what you mean about toddler groups my ds2 is nearly 22 months and ive never took him, im really shy and also i have my ds1 who is 4 and has adhd and and i had to take him out of nursery so hes at home all the time. I used to take ds1 to a toddler group from he was 1 to 2 and a half. Then i had ds2 and then it was summer break and i just never went back. My eldest son was so disruptive itwas embarassing, we didnt know he had adhd then. All the kids were like wee angels and there was my ds1 into everything! I used to feel like the parents were all talking about my sons behaviour. And then one day someone at the toddler group left a door open and my son got outside and i was looking for him luckily i got him within a minute as the toddler group is beside a main road. My mum was with me and she got at the leader about it and the leader said my son was boisterous! he was only turned 2! of course hes going to go out a door if its open. It never felt the same going back there after that. I didnt feel comfortable but i did go for another few months. My son will be starting p.1 in September so hopefully along with taking his medication he will be ok. I should really take my ds2 to a toddler group but im that shy theyll probably think im odd. My mum said she would go with me but i keep making excuses to her. She just thinks im shy but ive also got social phobias. Gosh im really going on a bit here sorry!

ChocolateGirl Sun 27-Feb-05 21:22:46

Doesn't sound like a very friendly group to me. The leader should have made you welcome and introduced you to a few people, at least.

If you can bear to keep going you might find that he will settle down there in a few more weeks. Must be difficult for him when he's new and younger than the others. I started going to M&T group with my ds2, nearly two and a half years old, and felt awful because he just hit any kid who came near him, wouldn't join in with the singing (even though he loves singing), etc. Luckily I have been going to this group on and off for a few years because I went with my friend when ds1 was young. So I had got to know some of the other mums a bit and ds1 was always well-behaved so I didn't have to go thru that awful thing of thinking everyone is looking at you etc. Believe me, the other mothers are not perfect, they are just lucky that their kids behave at the group!

I wouldn't force yourself to carry on going if things don't improve for you both. There are loads of people who don't go to playgroups, I'm sure it doesn't make that much difference in the end. It is as much for you as for him!

My ds2 is in nursery three mornings a week and he is much better behaved there for some reason! Maybe the activities interest him more or something...

You are very brave to go to a M&T group by yourself! I don't think I could face joining a new one now and having to chat to strangers, etc. My ds2 has settled down a lot now, and doesn't hit half as much, but it has taken weeks.

hope that's of some comfort...

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