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Possible ASD son, anyone with experience want to talk to me? Kind of struggling here.

(84 Posts)
harrisonnnn Wed 16-Sep-09 14:00:21

I have namechanged for this, although not really sure why. I guess incase anyone in RL knows my usual posting name.

I think my son is on the Autistic spectrum.

Today at 11am I was asked to come and collect him from school as they couldn't cope with him anymore and the headteacher thought the teacerh needed a break from him sad

I am gutted and at my witt's end. I do not know what to do or how to handle this. I had a long talk with him this morning before school where he promised me he would try his hardest and earn some stamps on his reward chart but obviously he didn't even try.

I could just do with some support and advice really, and similar experiences so I know I am not alone.

Mostly, what strategies aftually work for helping them conform and behave better in school?

Any advice appreciated.

harrisonnnn Wed 16-Sep-09 14:02:35

PS I was told you are all lovely and friendly here!

silverfrog Wed 16-Sep-09 14:11:03

hello, and welcome smile

how old is your ds?

what difficulties was the teacher having? did school say why you had to collect him? why wwasn't there a place he could go in school to cool off?

what has your ds said about it? he may well have been trying his hardest to be good, but it got lost in translation.

what makes you think your ds might be on the spectrum?

sorry, lots of questions, but the more we know, the more likely that someone here has had a similar experience and can help you out.

don't be too down about this - on the whole, i have found that schools are not always that good at handling anything out of the ordinary, and so your ds's behaviour may well not have been that bad in the first place

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 16-Sep-09 14:14:54

I think that maybe there have to be some bad consequences not just rewards. My DS (autistic) simply doesn't get the "reward for NOT being bad" concept, and tbh I think that is quite hard for some nf boys. But he does get instant loss of his fave toy for bad behaviour, or something like that? Is there anything that would work at school, like Time out or anything. We use ABA (behavioural strategies - very simply, reward good behaviour, but penalises/discourages bad behaviour) on my DS and gradually, gradually, he learns to edit his own bad behaviour as he does not want the bad consequences. Because he is also extremely speech-delayed, the punishment has to be something he can SEE, rather than hear (so bargaining with him does not work). And of course I don't mean violence, as I would never ever condone that. But I do mean clear boundaries - "if you do that again in class, you will have to miss computing/PE and sit in the corridor doing maths questions or you will lose your DS for one week/till Christmas".I don't know if any of that rambling helps, as every autistic child is so different, but I do think that like any child he must learn not to get his own way or things may get worse in the teenage years.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 16-Sep-09 14:19:02

Hello and welcome as well.

Would also ask if your son has ever seen a developmental paediatrician. If not this is a person worth seeing, you can get a referral via your GP.

Is your son on any plan currently like School Action or School Action Plus?. It has various names but these are general support based plans.

Feel sad actually that you've had to go in and collect him; it does not sound like the school have handled things very well.

Sorry for all questions but again the more we know the more likely it is that someone else has had exactly the same experience (btw I used to have to bring my son home for lunchtime in reception but he was reintroduced back into lunchtime at school over several weeks).

harrisonnnn Wed 16-Sep-09 14:35:57

Thank you both.

Ok, I will try to summarise:

DS is 6. In yr2, ikn the same class as last year with same teacher as it is a mixed year class.

He was being distruptive today, throwing his shoes and socks around, distracting the other children, crawling under the tables, roaring really loudly when the teacher tried to talk to him.

He had a warning, had to sit and miss 5 minutes of playtime as a punishment (this is used frequently), then was sent to head who called me as last resort.

Should explai the Head asked me at the begining of term if she could do this as a last resort if need be, and I agreed, but I think we both thought the threat of it would be enough for DS and unfortunately it wasn't, he kept pushing the boundaries after being told the consequence would be me pickig him up from school early.

He has a beanbag in the hall outside his classroom where he is meant to take himself to cool off when things get to difficult fro him to handle. He didn't use it today at all despite being reminded it was there.

MY DS has said very little about it, tried to blame the other children, tried to deny it, tbh I havn't pushed him for explanations, he cannot handle that kind of ambiguous questioning.

The school SENCO and the ED Psych who observed him hinted at ASD. In fact, they said if it wasn't for the discrepancies between how I report him to be at home and how he is at school it would be a straightforward diagnosis of autism sad

I have posted before about my Jekyl and Hyde son, under my usual posting name.

Things just don't seen to be improving.

I am not sure what punishments actually work. He does't have a favourite toy I can take away. He would be happy with just a stick to play with and is not in any way posessive about his things, so taking them away hardly effects him.

He has clear boundaries at home. I always stick to what I say and I am a consistant parent. He knows what to expect and gets that.

He is an only child. He was very premature. He is advanced now intellectually, especially in reading and drawing and gross motor skills. Is reliable and conrolled in what he does (e.g I never have to worry that he will spill juice when pouring it for himself for example, or take too much shampoo or squeeze too much toothpaste)

He can take things literally and doesn't 'get' some jokes, I once jokingly replied "worms and snails" whe he asked what was for supper and he cried shock

He hardly ever gives eye contact to stangers, doesn't answer questions unless he is very sure of what answer is expected of him. Was selectively mute until he started reception. Didn't speak or even babble until he was 2 whe he spoke in sentances. Hardly cried as a baby.

Has a secure loving home environment (I hope) and a lot of one to one time and attention from me.

He likes and gets lots of physical contact from me (including bear hugs to calm him down if he gets too hysterical about something) but lashes out and freaks out if the staff at school go near him or physiclly try to touch him or restrain him.

Having said all of this, he has made a lot of progress at school and is now, at least, doing all his work, a huge improvement on last year when he did nothing but spend all day on the computers. The computers have now been removed from he classroom in an effor tto integrate him more.

Phew, it feels better just writing all that down.

harrisonnnn Wed 16-Sep-09 14:40:43

Attila he saw a paediatrician at the end of last year who basically asked me loads of questions in front of him while he 'played' with toys, and said that if it wasn't for how he behaved at home (no problems) she would diagnose Autism. It was rally hard, tbh, answering all her questions about him with him there. I hated for him to hear us both discussing him like that.

Am pretty sure the school have some kind of action plan in place. Last year he had a TA in the classroom but not this year. They are trying to integrate him more but it seems to be backlashing somewhat.

I just can't help but feel things must be rally bad for him to be sent home sad.

Is it normal for ASd boys to respond better to their mothers than other people? The strategies that work for me don't seem to work with them. He doesn't care what anyone says or thinks apart from me it seems. Is this normal?

harrisonnnn Wed 16-Sep-09 14:45:41

I am torn between being very cross with him and just hugging him .

He has written a letter of apology to the tesacher and a page of 'lines' blush of 'I will listen in school' and has had his playdate this afternoon cancelled. I got him to do the writing because I don't want him thinking that being sent home from school enables him to spend the rest of the day playig. He did it all without complaining but was cross with me for picking him up form school and tried to blame me.

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 16-Sep-09 14:49:21

he sounds a little like he might be aspergers not autistic. My DS is also 6, but he has a TA with him all the time. Is it an option to go back to his having more help?

harrisonnnn Wed 16-Sep-09 16:05:26

What is the difference between Aspergers and autistic?

What does ASD mean? Does that just mean somewhere on the Autistic spectrum?

I'm not even sure he is either of these things tbh. I do't know enough about it. I need to read up I think.

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 16-Sep-09 16:12:26

The definition of Aspergers is, roughly speaking, a normal IQ, in fact sometimes very bright, no language delay, but problems with social areas (making friends, taking turns, compromise, eye contact) and some areas of rigidity - could be lack of empathy/imagination or could be an overarching need for routine/sameness. Autism is all the above, plus problems with language and (sometimes) lower IQ. aspergers kids can often be noticed by a certain robotic type speech, or over-formal speech. Hope that helps? both autism and aspergers can be on a spectrum of very mild to very severe, and have to be diagnosed by an expert.

harrisonnnn Wed 16-Sep-09 16:18:52

thank you sickof.

I really don't think DS can be then. He doesn't really have social problems. He has theory of mind, is very popular, changes how he interacts and speaks to people depending o their age, is gnerally kind and conciderate and lovely and friednly and chatty provided he knows the person.

He just cannot seem to deal with the group situation of school, doesn't care about authority or getting into trouble, doesn't have any need to 'please' adults apart from me...

<sigh>

maybe he's just a bog-standard 'naughty' kid hmm

anonandlikeit Wed 16-Sep-09 16:39:49

Hi harison,
It could be that your ds has ASD traits but perhaps may not fit the full triad of impairment.
You may also see a very different child at home because you know your ds as only a mother does & you (maybe without realising) give him the absolute best environment that suits him.
Maybe the overstimulating classroom environment is what triggers these behaviours.

Has the Ed Psych offered any follow up support or any more formal assessment?

If your ds was more settled with a TA last year, maybe that is what is needed.

Was today recorded as an exclusion from school for your ds?

anonandlikeit Wed 16-Sep-09 16:41:16

Harison.... bog-standard naughty kids don't tend to be good at home but naughty at school. wink

harrisonnnn Thu 17-Sep-09 14:19:58

Thank you anon.

Yesterday was recorded as an 'authorised absence' not an exclusion.

No follow up from ed psych or paediatrician has been offered.

There is a TA for the whole class in the mornings, not just for him.

It is definately the over-stimulation of the clssroom setting that triggers him off, he finds it 'stressful' (his own words).

winsk Thu 17-Sep-09 16:00:25

I have the same problem with My son, but he tends to hold in the behavious till after school- He is generally well behaved but when overstimulated or stressed he can become agressive, make noises (tics), he relys on routine only when going through a time of difficulty.

He is currently on the waiting list to be assessed by Fast, I go through phases of thinking "he fine" because like your son he does soicalise well.

Every so often I come accross something that shocks me and I feel I need help and support, just now I have concerns over the fact that when he is focused on doing something he has to do it! at the weekend he walked into a disabled toilet and ushered the elderly lady off the toilet seat so he could get on! My son has difficulty with social understanding- if I was to talk him through this he would become anxious and embarassed but at the time he was so focused on something he had to do.

buy1get1free Thu 17-Sep-09 17:11:14

If your ds is no problem at home and a bit of a nightmare at school - then the school environment may be causing it. Whether it's the noise, routine, behaviour expectations or academic work, it has to be one of them. Sorry, I have not read all your posts, but what is his reading. writing and numeracy like?

usedtobeadinosaur Thu 17-Sep-09 17:26:29

Hi there!

Welcome - you will find everyone a pillar of strength on here. I haven't had chance to read other posts - first port of call GP/HV get a referral. It is better of getting him assessed and knowing than sitting in despair thinking you can't handle the beahviour and feeling crap about parenting skills (I know - I've been there!!!) DX isn't easy, but if your son does have a problem you can start to help him and it is in some ways a relief. Keep talkin gon here and let us know how you get on

pushkar Thu 17-Sep-09 18:04:23

hi their are some sites that might help you identify if your child is autistic

there is a list of things at
www.recoveredfromautism.com just click on the blue bubble
more compliccated sites to get around
are
www.treatingautism.co.uk
www.autism.com
this is a few but if you do the check list on the first wepage also at www.autism.com they have an atec scoring called evaluation scoring for autism or something like that you could fill it in on line. it is complicated but when you submit it they send you back a scoring
if it is higher than 10 then its likely.

there is lots of support and help available you may also want to look up generation rescue

I know I shoved all this on in one go but knowledge is really useful
chin up!!

BethNoire Thu 17-Sep-09 18:10:51

The best palce to satrt (I have two boys with asd) is by looking at the website of the national autistic society- or NAS; search google for NAS triad for the single most useful piece of info you will find IMVHO

Be aware that children can make massive improvements once a plan has been put in place so don't give up hope- however recovery is a very controversial area of ASD and you should read any literature about it with that awareness.

There are two ways to proceed- either via the school as a referral to CAMHs or whoever your school refers to (different areas differ) or via GP; I would strongly recommend the GP route as it is in my experience more direct and gets you to the experts (developmental Paed).

Read the book alled Don't Shoot The Dog (not actually about dogs despite apapearances!) as it is a wonderful intro to how to approach asd's and the issues they can cause

And treat yourself with extreme kindness, give time to your own needs and those of the people you love, as it can be a hard and challengng time.

I hope that whatever the outcome, you find answers and I remember the origical thread- reminded me a lot of my eldest ds1.

MoonlightMcKenzie Thu 17-Sep-09 20:09:11

Could it be that at home you pre-empt his needs, triggers and have adapted his environment to get the best from him?

Parents often develop good coping strategies that the school doesn't have the resources or time to do because apart from anything else they constantly need changing and refining. This is often why children can behave better at home than school.

harrisonnnn Thu 17-Sep-09 20:27:04

winsk that sounds a lot like my DS. I go through phases of thinking he is fine and then see or notice something and realise "oh my goodness a normal child wouldn't do that!"

buy1get1free it is definately the school environment triggering it! You are spot on. His reading is fluent, adult fluent, and he is a bit addicted to it and it can be hard to get through to him when he is reading. Writing like your average 6 yr old boy's. Not that neat, quite large, but spelling pretty good due to his reading. Numeracy, again, pretty average for a 6yr old. No difficulties but he missed quite a bit last year as he refused to take part in the numeracy lessons, instead hiding under a table and eventually being left to read on his own. By the end of last year he spent most of the school day reading one of his books at his 'work-station' and generally being able to say "no" if he didn't want to do any work and be left to read instead!shock They have cracked down on this now and he is fighting it sad

harrisonnnn Thu 17-Sep-09 20:27:41

thank you usedtobeadinosaur. I feel welcome already!

harrisonnnn Thu 17-Sep-09 20:35:03

thank you puskar and BethNoir, I will set aside an evening with a cup of tea to just go through those websites and arm myself with information. It is really helpful speaking to other people with similar experiences with thier DCs! Sometimes I feel very alone dealing with it all and having no one to share it with.

Moonlight it is very reassuring to hear you say that, yes I suppose as his mother I have been thre from day one getting to know him and being able to pre-empt his needs and provide him with the environment and situations that best suit him and his needs. I know what works for him (like the bear hugs when he gets unconsolable or too stressed or anxious or crying, even if the reason for his distress is my fault, like washing his hair or not letting him have another biscuit or whatever). I know what works best for him but I am only begining to realise consciously that this is what I have been doig all along and it may not have been how I would have parented had he been differnet.

I do hope he gets better at coping at school enough to fit in and learn what he needs to to have a fulfilled life.

I also worry that his teachers don't like him. I know it's probably irrational but I would hate for them to not like him sad

Littlefish Thu 17-Sep-09 20:35:23

Forgive me if this is completely wide of the mark, but do any of these descriptions sound like your ds?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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