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Fidgeting and lack of eye contact causing problems for DD at school

(6 Posts)
anniemouse Sun 26-Oct-08 23:28:47

Hi - I've never posted on this board before so I'm nervous. QuintesstialShadows suggested I post on this board following my original thread here

In short - my 8yo DD is a fidget and will not maintain eye contact with her teachers - which the teachers are finding quite hard to deal with. They think she is being rude and indifferent. She does however take things in and does well academically.

I am struggling to find a way to address this as DD is being put on the class bad list and this makes her quite upset. Has anyone got any suggestions so that I can make both DD and her teacher happy???

mabanana Sun 26-Oct-08 23:40:04

I have posted on your other thread, but you need to set up a meeting with your dd's teacher and the SENCO. She could well have Aspie tendencies or dyspraxia. My ds is a shocking fidget and his eye contact is erratic. The difference is, he has a dx and a statement, and if he was being put on a 'bad list' for harmless behaviour that he cannot help, ooooh, they'd know about it sharpish!
You need to be assertive on her behalf. This could really squash her confidence and self-esteem. Our society's fetish for eye contact is a nightmare for lots of kids. As I explained, many children simply cannot listen and process information and maintain eye contact at the same time. Also eye contact is culturally specific - ie it's not innate. In many Asian countries eg Japan, eye contact is NOT polite, it's rude. I think you need to sort this for your dd's sake.

amber32002 Mon 27-Oct-08 06:45:15

From what you write here and on the other thread, your daughter fidgets, finds eye contact hard, is quite clumsy at times, and likes detailed work.

Definitely worth getting some expert opinions, I'd say.

You wondered about Asperger syndrome. We can't tell if it is or isn't - it could be a number of things - but as someone who has Asperger syndrome, I'd say the girls with this can be very, very difficult to spot. Most schools only think to look for really bad behaviour - troublemaking, swearing, escaping, violence, etc. The fairly well behaved children (most of the girls) with any sort of disability or special educational need tend to get completely overlooked.

How is she at parties? Relaxed, sociable and happy to stay to the end, or not? Does she find friendships easy to maintain and seem to understand the rules for them? What happens if there's a sudden unexpected change of activities during the day - does she cope perfectly reasonably, or is she shocked/upset?

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 27-Oct-08 07:13:59

Hi anniemouse

I've read your other thread and I feel one way forward here is to ask your GP to refer your DD to a developmental paediatrician (note that type, certainly not a community paed). I would agree that you need answers and as amber rightly points out many girls with any SEN tend to get overlooked especially if they are coping academically.

I read your other comment about other teachers/nursery staff not identifying anything. TBH that does not really surprise me very much as these people are not actually trained to spot any such problems. You need a professional opinion from a paediatrician as these people can diagnose.

anniemouse Mon 27-Oct-08 09:19:22

Thanks for all your kind words of advice. I will certaintly ask my GP for a referral as a first step.

DD has often been labelled as 'naughty' - but she is very kind hearted. She does have a furious temper but has learnt a long time ago, not to lash out - and will only do so when severely provoked - but this is a rare occurance. However, the school has said that she does get very emotional when reprimanded and can get angry. They have said in this aspect she is emotionally immature.

DD does like attention - so hence I wasn't sure if her behaviour was due to that - or something else. However, she does not genuinely seem to be able to control her fidgeting and eye contact and has always been a bit of a live wire.

DH and I did wonder when she was 4 yrs if there was something a bit different about her - but whilst she can be clumsy in her day to day activities - she can do other things such as ride a bike well, and loves to read. She also is very sociable and likes to chat. She has an excellent long term memory but short term she can forget little things/where she has left something etc. Friends wise she doesn't have one particular friend but tends to flit among a group of friends. She also favours boys more so than girls.

At parties she is relaxed and happy to the end. She loves them. She also likes routine, and I tend to automatically tell her at the start of the day what our plans are. TBH if there is a change of plan - it is prob only a minor one so she copes with it very well.

I have exhausted all options at home now to get her to stop fidgeting and maintain eye contact. I am also not sure how much of her behaviour is part and parcel of growing up/ age/attention seeking or something else. I am also concerned as Dh and I have long accepted the way she is. I do find her teachers comments worrying and I don't want to stress her further at home either.

pushkar Tue 28-Oct-08 07:37:00

first make an appt at the camhs department is who you need to be referred to,by your doctor. put pressure to get an appt before christmas, my son had no eye contact and fidgeted he has mild autism but , i helped him by giving omega 3 fish oils and cod liver oil 5ml of each in a drink daily, another friends child has little eye contact and fidgets, no concentration at all he is slightly hyper and he still cant sit for more then 10 mins as they,ve done nothing...he is in a mainstream school.
my son is getting better we do a special diet and no sugar and lots of play interactions with flash cards and visuals aids for stories.
one year ago he was on the move all the time, now he sits in a restaurent for one hour!
your child is not not badly behaved but probably has something wrong, and needs some help. i also helped my son at the osteopath for sitting and walking and concentration

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