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2 different opinions, 1 from gp with a child with aspergers, other 1 from TA whos done a course on autism

(19 Posts)
brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 17:50:19

Had a visit for the morning at my nearly 5 year old sons school that he will start in September.

All the parents left, except me, which is fine. He clung to me for the first 1 and 1/4 hours, which is fine, i knew he would. The teachers got all the children sat down round a big table, my stomache flipped as i knew my son would not sit with him and would probably flip out if told too. Not cause hes a little sod, just because he cant cope with lots of people.

The staff tried to coax him which made him worse, the teacher bought him out his own plate with a biscuit on and he smacked it out of her hand, stamped on my foot and punched me, fortunately he didnt scream and shout! I have warned the TA and reception teacher on numerous ocassions that im worried about him lashing out. I explained to the TA that he really couldnt cope with lots of people and thats why i didnt take him to parties anymore.

Anway the TA said "he will have to learn to socialise for when hes older"

I told her what the GP with the son with Aspergers had said about my son "you have to realise that he is not missing out by not socialising, if he doesnt like gatherings and parties then dont take him, you cant force him to socialise. Its more about YOU thinking hes missing out, when actually hes not because hes probably quite happy being at home" (or something similar!)

So can children with Aspergers/ASD be taught to socialise? My son will play happily with his 3 cousins, who he knows extremely well but if we go to the park and theres lots of people in there he wont go in there, he goes in there when its empty and we have great fun,lol

brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 17:55:21

p.s i did tell my son that his behaviour was "unacceptable", this is what ive been told to say, but i dont think he understands what it means!?

brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 18:07:36

another p.s, what would others have done if their child had done this? Fortunately it didnt develop into a full blown noisy tantrum BUT i was a bit embarassed about the other teachers opinions of me as a mother

Shells Thu 25-Jun-09 19:47:13

Hi Brandy. My son the same age and with no diagnosis, but ASD traits.

The TA is just wrong. He doesn't 'have to learn' to socialise at all. To whose benefit? He might have to learn to cope in the classroom - but forcing him to join in is not the way. She needs some basic training!

Poor you. I think if it was me then I would have a word with the teacher about his needs and make sure they're fully understood and that no-one is going to stress him unneccessarily.

There's a 'starting school' support thread - have you seen it? Bubbla has some good ideas.

Oh - and bugger their opinions of you as a mother. If he's happy and safe sitting on your knee then thats a good sign to me. Means he's bonded with you. Well done.

daisysue2 Thu 25-Jun-09 20:04:49

School at this age, before they have any support is a nightmare. My daughter did all those things and worse. She is now super sociable embrassingly so as her language level is so bad. But we get used to her. I wish though, that I had never pushed her when she was younger to do stuff she didn't want to do as I think that made her worse. Just relax as school is sensory overload for them so forcing them to be sociable is too hard and causes problems. You are doing the right thing. He will have to learn to socialise or to deal with social situations but he doesn't have to enjoy being sociable so don't do it too early when he doesn't have the intellect to understand. So called experts in school can be a nightmare just smile and tell them your opinion remember you are the expert on your child not a TA. Good luck and you are doing the right thing.

brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 21:10:13

oh thankyou for your comments, the TA is extremely nice but i think she just obviously doesnt have enough training or education towards asd. I must admit ive been reading up on it so much lately and just from chatting to mums on here ive learnt loads smile

Fortunately a little lad that was in reception last year was diagnosed ASD, and I think from what i can gather the reception teacher and the mother of the child had a few fall outs over his diagnosis. The teacher did admit to me that she couldnt understand the fuss the mum was making about homelife with her boy. When i said about my sons sleep problems and the tantrums, socialising etc she said that she understood totally because of what this other mum had gone through. So i spose the other poor mum having the school be unsupportive and then her getting her son statmented has actually helped me out.

My son isnt statmented, i have asked for him to be, the teacher said she would start gathering evidence from September.

Daisysue2, did your daughter get aggressive with you also at school? I have told the school that if hes cornered and feels out of control he will attack!

Yurtgirl Thu 25-Jun-09 21:13:41

Just a quick suggestion
I would reccomend going on an Earlybird plus course run by the National Autistic Society.
You will meet other parents who understand what you are experiencing and get lots of helpful tips on how to cope with situations as you described in your op


brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 21:21:20

Thankyou yurtgirlsmile ive got all the NAS info here so il have a look when my little man has finally gone to sleep.

Roll on next week when i finally get a prescription for the Melatonin

brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 21:21:23

Thankyou yurtgirlsmile ive got all the NAS info here so il have a look when my little man has finally gone to sleep.

Roll on next week when i finally get a prescription for the Melatonin

Yurtgirl Thu 25-Jun-09 21:25:02

Be warned getting repeat quanitites of melatonin can be a real pain.
I can get it from the pead - 40 min drive away who we see once or twice a year

Local gp made a huge fuss last time - finally got some and am rationing it cos I know it will be tricky to get more

ATM ds thinks he is having it daily - when in fact he is just having milk - sneaky me for lying to him! (If he genuinely needs it later in the evening he has some)

brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 21:34:39

Ive had this problem already. It said in the GOSH paed letter that he should be started on a trial of it. I phoned the gp yesterday when i got the letter and asked for a prescription and they told me they couldnt give me one and i would have to get it from London. One of the nurses in London phoned me and said they would send a prescription for 4months worth in the post and then hopefully the gp would prescribe it.

Too be honest he wouldnt need it every night, tonight was awful so i could have done with it to get him off. Hes just fell asleep now, cant understand it, hes had a very busy day and i thought he would be worn out. But i did say to my mum yesterday that i thought he was building up to not getting off to sleep again, after 4nights of bliss with him nodding off nicely. Thankyou smile

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 26-Jun-09 07:35:00


Re your comment:-
"My son isnt statmented, i have asked for him to be, the teacher said she would start gathering evidence from September".

She would start gathering evidence from Septembershock. No, No, No!!!!!!!!!.

Apply for the Statement on his behalf NOW!!. You can do this and you don't need anyone's permission to apply. Statements, even if accepted can take around six months to set up so you need to get the ball rolling asap.

Attila has model letters you can use.

P.S That TA is just plain wrong.

brandy77 Fri 26-Jun-09 07:55:29

Oh Really! you see i work in a school as a TA but ive never been involved in the statementing process, i just support the statemented children.

Right thanks for that, il get on to it today.

brandy77 Fri 26-Jun-09 07:55:30

Oh Really! you see i work in a school as a TA but ive never been involved in the statementing process, i just support the statemented children.

Right thanks for that, il get on to it today.

HecatesTwopenceworth Fri 26-Jun-09 08:04:46

they're both right! And they're both wrong.

There's nothing wrong with choosing to not socialise, if that is how you are happy. But, if at all possible you need to learn how to interact with others - even if on a most basic level, because you need people! Even if you don't need them to be your friend, or to have a relationship with, you need them and encounter them in other ways - serving you in a shop, sitting next to you on a bus, standing in front of you in a queue... there are a million different examples really.

so although I agree that you don't have to learn to socialise - ie have friends that you hang around with - if that doesn't make you happy, you do need to be socialised in order to function, or you will be unable to get even your most basic needs met.

It's very early in the morning and I am typing this to a background of "so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so" and various clicking sounds hmm but I hope you get what I am trying to say! grin

Goblinchild Fri 26-Jun-09 08:05:09

Brandy, got to go to work (teacher) but I'll be back on this evening. Your boy and mine sound as if they have a lot in common, mine's now 14 and things have got better and better through the years. The school need to understand more, and you will need to dig your special bolshie knickers out from the bottom of your drawer.
He can learn social skills, but it's collaborative, not all on him and you.
Talk this evening.

cory Fri 26-Jun-09 09:07:10

agree with Hecate

of course he will need to learn (inasfar as he can) how to handle everyday life so as to make it less scary for him, but that is not the same as being dragged into a circle to socialise

he needs proper tuition by someone who understands his situation and where he is coming from, that's not the same as insisting that he should be the same as everybody else

the school needs educating

start pushing for that statement now! (and btw as a parent, you can appeal if you get turned down- the school can't)

coppertop Fri 26-Jun-09 13:14:48

Another one who agrees with Hecate.

I think learning to interact with others is going to be important but it's something that needs to be worked on gradually. I think when my two were learning how to sit in groups they started off by just working with the TA and one other child to start with. Gradually the group got bigger but it was done so carefully that my two were okay with it. Pushing them into it would have been a disaster.

The Paed used to prescribe the melatonin for us and then we got it from the hospital pharmacy. To make it easier for us he contacted the GP himself and asked for the melatonin to be prescribed by the GP instead. We were sent copies of the correspondence so that we knew what was happening. We now get it on repeat prescription and the local pharmacy just orders it in for us if needed.

fatslag Fri 26-Jun-09 15:22:30

Is he having any kind of therapy? ABA? TEACCH? It would help him with controlling his temper and learning to express himself rather than exploding when he feels overwhelmed.

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