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He just doesn't 'get it'

(22 Posts)
Barmymummy Mon 14-Sep-09 09:47:21

Can any of you relate to what I am describing here because it worries me so much and I feel so alone.

Ds just doesn't seem to 'get it'.

Examples of what I am rattling on about are:

* Its colours on the theme table this week at playschool and he shows no interest/understanding of what I am on about. When I ask him to name some colours he has to look around him to think of some but can't think up any in his head.

* After repeatedly telling him that we are going to playschool today he says to me "are we going home now?" after dropping DD off at school.

* Why do you think all the birds are round the tractor DS? Don't know. I think the birds are hungry, what do birds like to eat? Chips. hmm. What lives in the ground that birds like to eat? Bugs. OK, whats wriggly and long and lives in the ground? Snakes.

The list just goes on and on and on of similar things. He is asking questions non stop though which is good but are typical of a 2/3 year old I guess. EG, mummy whats this called? (points to push button on zebra crossing) Its a button DS. Oh, whats this? (Points to rings around the button). They are rings around the button. Oh...what are they for? Etc etc, non stop all day questions like this but they tend to be more of 'whats this called' as opposed to 'why'. He does ask me why questions ie why do you put the milk bottles outside the door mummy?" but as I say mostly what questions.

Is this a development delay, his delayed receptive language or just typical of ASD?

Took him to his school classroom today to say 'hi' to his future teacher and he point blank refused to speak to them or even look at them. They tried to engage him but he carried on playing with the sand. When pressed to say hi he shouted I DON'T WANT TO and everyone turned to look sad. Wouldn't engage with them at all. When it was time to say bye he stands on the doorstep, says byeeee v nively and waves his hand giving full eye contact. hmm This is typical of his greeting behaviour actually.

Am just so bogged down with it all atm, feel like I'm getting nowhere fast and wondering if he is ever going to catch up or lag behind everyone for ever more.

Can anyone relate or throw some understanding on this for me?

Jo5677 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:09:38

Hi,i can really relate to this and really empathize with how your feeling atm.
My son was diagnosed quite a while ago with 'global developmental delay with receptive and expressive language difficulties'...and put somewhere on the autistic spectrum.
Almost all his words at one time were just nouns because all he wanted to know was what things were called.
He started mainstream with a T.A a long time ago now and for the first 2 years i really wondered if he would ever improve (he sounded very much like your son).
Anyway we persevered as aside from the odd incident of yelling at staff/children to go away he really wasn't/isn't dispruptive.
He is now almost 8 and although it's been a very slow process he has come on massively.
He now 'gets' things a lot more and the world definately makes more sense to him.
He has even made some friends...i wondered if he ever would bless him. He does still occasionaly ignore them or tell them to go away but they know thats just him and they come back and try again with him in 10 minutes.
Academically he is way way behind,and maybe i should be a lot more concerned about this than i am.
Fact is though i'm just relieved he can now hold ok'ish conversations with people and now at least he knows what they're talking about even if he's not neccessarily that interested.
I guess i can't offer much advice as each child is so different but i do hope that as time goes by things get a little better for you both as they did for us.
I wish i'd known back when he was 4 just how well he'd do,would have saved me a lot of heartache and worry.
Take care, Jo.

Barmymummy Mon 14-Sep-09 10:14:34

Oh thank you so much, that has helped so much. The yelling of go away is exactly what he does lol!! His speech has come on so much lately that at times I forget how well he has done. He is probably about 6 mths behind I guess.

What support does he get at school if you don't mind me asking and how are they handling his academic difficulties as these are going to be worries of mine too I am sure.

DS isn't DX'd and there are no plans to yet (Paed says so, not us!) so therefore he will have no 1:1 help. Obv plans will be put into place if he struggles of course.

Jo5677 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:26:52

No worries,i totaly know what it feels like to feel a bit bogged down with things.

My son has had one to one help and still does. Now he has just gone into key stage 2 the school have just started getting special help in from an out reach center. He had the option of either attending a unit 2 hours a day away from school or for the help to come to him.
We went for the latter option as we felt it would best suit him as he's so settled atm.
So far so good ! Basically a proffesional comes in and talks to and advises his T.A on differnt methods of teaching him,and helps with setting appropriate targets.

I've made it my business lol to be very good friends with the teachers and T.A's at the school and as such they've always been very supportive and willing to back me with any help or support he has needed.

We went very much along the lines of putting plans in place as and when needed.
It may well be your son doesn't need much help at all,fingers crossed for you.

Barmymummy Mon 14-Sep-09 10:29:06

I have to go out now but would you mind if I asked you some more questions lol? Would really like it if I could CAT you or something? Would you mind?

Jo5677 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:34:28

Not at all,you're very welcome to ask away.
I'm just of out now too lol but feel free to get intouch anytime (i'm new to Mumsnet...didn't know what CAT meant so had to look it up blush.
Speak soon, Jo.

Barmymummy Mon 14-Sep-09 10:37:52

You have to select the option in your profile to allow contact from another mumsnetter first then it should allow emails through. Let me know when thats done and I'll be in touch grin thanks so much smile

Jo5677 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:41:09

I'll get on to it and get back to you soon,thanks smile

Jo5677 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:50:37

Done ! smile bfn,speak soon,Jo.

Barmymummy Mon 14-Sep-09 11:02:41

Blimey I have to pay £5!! Had no idea blush....erm.....will be back later lol!!!

mysonben Mon 14-Sep-09 12:23:42

Hi Barmy,

I can relate too.
It is just hard not to worry when they are just not on the same wavelengh as us.
Some days are worse than others with my DS , like this morning i'm saying to him "we are going to the doctor", he says "yes", then as we head off he has a moment when he realises we are not going to the park! he kept saying "noooo, this way" and pointing towards the park hmm.

Personally i think the issue with "not getting it" is a mixture of the receptive language delay and asd.
I find DS's understanding can varie from day to day and also depends slightly on the subject of 'conversation', if i'm talking about something DS is quite familiar with he seems to understand better and quicker, than if the topic is new or unfamiliar.

I have no doubt that DS is making progress , albeit quite slow, and i'm quite hopeful that one day DS will be able to have good levels of conversation and understanding...at least when he feels like it!wink

TotalChaos Mon 14-Sep-09 15:40:07

yes some of this rings bells (as you may recall my DS has language delay, and supposedly probably not ASD). When he was about your DS's age, we also had a phase of basic questions "what are you doing" etc, and conversations can still sometimes be surreal to say the least. I remember an eye appointment with DS where he refused to cooperate, name the pictures he could say - then very chirpily said "bye!" at the end of it....hmm. all we can do is plough on. I do find it frustrating feeling sometimes I have to teach language to DS, whilst the majority of kids just seem to absorb it like a spone

Barmymummy Mon 14-Sep-09 16:52:57

Thanks ladies.

Went to pick up DS and was pulled aside because apparently he had come in from the outside area in tears because it was raining saying mummy won't come and get me now hmm. They had no idea what he meant...nor do I...and nor does DS....sad

Things like that just drag me down because I can't ever get to the bottom of it.

lou031205 Mon 14-Sep-09 18:44:56

DD1 is like this too. It is a worry.

RaggedRobin Mon 14-Sep-09 21:23:00

"he just doesn't get it" is actually my personal diagnosis of ds. whenever people ask me what my concerns about him are, they all boil down to "he just doesn't get it". unless a question is fairly concrete, he usually replies with jargon from a story or tv programme. he has pretty much no interest in what's going on in the real world, and lives in his own fantasy bubble.

he's 3.9 and following several recent inconclusive assessments from paed and SALT, we're still none the wiser. his keyworker at nursery says "there's definitely something, but i just can't put my finger on it" so it seems that "he just doesn't get it" is as close to a diagnosis as we are going to get.

good to hear some positive stories from others though smile

itsahoot Tue 15-Sep-09 22:41:24

Any advice on ADD in teenage girl who has just started secondary level and also has dyspraxia?.

TotalChaos Wed 16-Sep-09 07:56:05

itsashoot - no experience of that age group or those conditions, so can only advise very vaguely - is your DD under any professionals who feed advice back into school? and are there any out of school activities she does that can boost her confidence and give her chance to socialise with new people (as I imagine, but may be completely wrong, that being a teen with ADD/dyspraxia may knock her self-confidence at times).

robin - my DS was very similar at that age, it was quite heartbreaking really that the only sentences you got out of him were telly talk. It did all improve massively as his language improved, hope it's the same for your boy. It was using PECs that turned the corner for my DS into being able to generate his own sentences.

RaggedRobin Wed 16-Sep-09 21:07:53

itsahoot: do any of her classes have classroom assistant support which could be used to keep the girl (not sure if it's your dd!) on task and help her to organise herself? not necessarily 1:1, just someone to monitor how she is coping?

RaggedRobin Wed 16-Sep-09 21:16:53

totalchaos: thanks for that, it's so good to hear of progress. he does make attempts at his own sentences , but they are so stilted, he really struggles to find the words, yet he can memorise the most complex sentence structures and vocabulary from a story or film.

if you have time, can you explain a bit more about how he used PECS? i've seen PECS used with kids who are non verbal, but i'm not sure how it would work when they are very verbal, but just not in a meaningful way!

also i find myself saying "we don't really want to talk about tv all the time ds, shall we talk about something else?" but am not very sure if this is the right apporach. i'm trying to help him to understand that other children won't respond when they don't understand what he's talking about. any ideas?!

TotalChaos Wed 16-Sep-09 21:32:47

re:PECs - private SALT prepared a communication book, so on one side was words/symbols for "I", "want", "more", "like", "see", "hear" etc - and on the other side were pages with places we went,food/drink to request, toys to request. Idea being that having the visuals in front of him would help him make sentences. So in about ten days we went from a garbled "havva more juice" to "I" "want" "more" "juice". Then after a couple of months he really "got" how to structure a sentence so could come up with his own ones - an early one being - "I want mummy run on grass". Having the visuals in front of him really made something click for DS with regards to sentence structure.

NB - of course this is using PECs as a means to an end, rather than pure PECs - i.e. leapfrogging past lots of the initial stages.

RaggedRobin Wed 16-Sep-09 21:40:06

i think i should be making more use of visuals to broaden ds's range of topics. something someone mentioned here once that i meant to try but didn't was some kind of visual "bridge" between nursery and home, to encourage discussion about what happened that day.

i think i'll suggest it to the nursery.

Barmymummy Wed 16-Sep-09 22:11:05

Can relate to this too. 9 months ago there wasn't a hope in hell that DS could tell me what had happened at playschool or anything close.

9 months on and after a vocab explosion he can do a fairly good job. He is 4.3 now so things definately do get better once their vocab picks up.

Have just got some pictures to try and help him understand the order of events for the day as he was getting confused/anxious about whether he was having lunch at playschool or at home. Is helping a bit now and he enjoys doing it himself smile

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