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What do you do if you think your friends child has SN.

(10 Posts)
wolfnipplechips Wed 08-Jul-09 17:10:44

This isn't for me its for a friend. She has always though that there may be a problem with her friends Ds. He wasn't out of nappies at 4 was very slow to speak, had behavioural difficulties etc. He is now 6, flaps when he runs, only really has bond with adults speaks with very monotone voice and is not aware of any danger, school have said he is egotistical hmm. I'm sorry the things i have mentioned are just the things she has described to me, i don't know the child at all.

The thing is my friends friend (sorry complicated) has been approached by a family member who has said she thinks she is sticking her head in sand re problem, the friend was furious and devastated, rang my friend who found herself consoling friend and reassuring her despite the fact that she too thinks he may have SN. She now feels really bad and doesn't know how to handle it, should she speak to school or should she just come out and say it, the mum is a single parent and is having a bit of a violent reaction to the family member who has brought it up. My friend really wants to be supportive and would like to remain friends with the person. WWYD

ICANDOTHAT Wed 08-Jul-09 17:40:02

She can't talk to the child's school because of confidentiality polocies, unless she is registered as a 'carer' for the child. Maybe her friend can talk with the family member about her concerns- safety in number ?. In her heart she will know if there is truly something 'different' about her son. I'm surprised school haven't spotted anything if it's this obvious to several of her close associates. He is still very young - sometimes children grow out of different behaviors or on the other hand, as he gets older it may become more apparent. A very tricky situation. Good luck to your mate.

milou2 Wed 08-Jul-09 18:15:46

Sounds like me to be honest! Whenever people (MIL) criticised my children's limited food choices, say, I felt as if I had no option but to bite the relative's head off as it felt as if it were a criticism of my efforts to make the children more normal.

There didn't seem to be a way to bring up a limited diet say to the doctor or school or anyone else without it turning into a parenting lecture. I was constantly reading about normalising my children and it seemed to revolve around putting one dish on the table and letting them go hungry. Many mumsnet discussions have headed that way!

So what can i say that is helpful? Ask the person to continue to be a friend to the mum, listen to her, reflect back any issues she brings up, suggest bringing up particular issues with her GP or a good teacher at the school. Whatever an issue might be, suggest she keeps a diary of what it is so she has some data. Things like that are a good help for any parenting concerns, sn related or not.

Show and feel trust and care for the mum as a cornered mum is not going to feel her best, obviously.

TotalChaos Wed 08-Jul-09 18:23:29

I don't think speaking to the school is likely to help, particularly if they are not seeing a possible problem. I agree with Milou - I would say your friend should listen and suggest seeking appropriate professional help - but be wary of advising in any way at all.

MissSunny Wed 08-Jul-09 18:43:22

Message withdrawn

lingle Wed 08-Jul-09 19:01:04

I think that all you can do as a friend is plant the seed. Trust me, the mother won't have forgotten the comment......

wolfnipplechips Wed 08-Jul-09 19:27:15

Thanks everybody. I think in her heart of hearts she know she has to say something, this lady feels that her family are just getting at her because she is a single parent, this isn't the first time they have brought it up they mentioned it way back when he was still pooing in a nappy at 4, its a shame because the child is struggling at school in terms of making friends. I'm very suprised by the school as they have labelled him a difficult child but haven't suggested causes, this is what the mum is holding on to, ib her opinion if anyone has noticed it should be the school.

TotalChaos Wed 08-Jul-09 21:34:05

sadly sometimes schools aren't on the ball, and I've even heard of schools that don't believe in raising concerns unless the parents raise them shock. I imagine that the mum will have been very wound up by people fussing about late toilet training - it is v. stressful trying to deal with criticism (implied or explicit) over something you have so little control over as your child's continence. if she accepts that her child still has language issues, she may be willing to take him for a hearing test, if he hasn't already had one, it's always worth ruling out a physical cause for a language problem.

wolfnipplechips Fri 10-Jul-09 10:33:30

Totalchaos thanks for your reply, his speech is now fine although it still sounds different IFYSWIM. The continence issues are quite a while ago but i know it must feel to her like she is being criticised as she really sees no problem.

Her child recently ran straight accross a main road despite her calling him to stop repeatedly and she blamed an adult she new on the otherside for being there, thus encouraging him to run rather than thinking by 6 a child should have a reasonable sense of danger, this is not a one off just an example. Maybe she just doesn't want to hear it, which is fair enough as long as she feels she can cope, her ds is struggling at school though in terms of friends sad.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Fri 10-Jul-09 10:40:00

Hmm, I have a friend who is similar- little chap clearly has SN and i've known for 3 years.

I didn't tell her, though did invite to ds3's birthday etc when all other kids were those with issues not just SN but those less likely to get invited elsewhere- shy etc.

I think the things is to be open, don't agree that there is no SN, suggest that its always worth a check over, if she'd really upset why not confirm her views on the NAS site....Mum will either come to it herself with support or be shoved there by scholl ssystem eventually

In which case friend will eb there with the lifeline and support needed

There's nothing to stop the firend chatting to school. School can't feed back at all, but can listen without comment- much as you might do if younwere concerned about a childs home life (and I have done)

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