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Do you sometimes feel like you are the only one who really understand your child?

(22 Posts)
mysonben Wed 23-Sep-09 19:23:04

Because i do.
Of course there are plenty of times when i don't get DS, what he is trying to say or what he is doing. But when i don't get it i say it, and try another approach.
But more and more i feel like people either assume or pretend they understand him and vice-versa.

Like yesterday, i knew DS had gone with his nursery to the local library that afternoon, when i picked him up he started talking in his familiar jargon, i didn't quite got it the first time (although i got the impression he wanted to get his drink),
his teacher says -
"are you telling mummy where you went this afternoon?"
DS: "Yeah"
Teacher: "tell mummy then! whre did we go?"
DS "hmm" looks up to ceiling with blank face.
Me: "did you go for a walk somewhere?"
DS starts to point at his trainers...
Teacher": We went for a walk and went to get some books at the library didn't we?" she was also signing walk, books,...
DS still looking at his trainers...
Teacher: "WOWWW!!! Are these trainers new?"
DS :"yeah!!!"
and it went on ...this was painful to watch, DS had abosolutely no idea of what to say, i don't think he even understood what the teacher was getting at.
Then after the teacher left, DS ran to the little chill cabinet to get his sippy cup.

This was just an example, this kind of things happens all the time with his speech and/or with some of his behaviours,...
people don't really understand him but carry on pretending they do and that DS gets it too when it is plainly obvious it isn't the case.

mysonben Wed 23-Sep-09 19:25:41

Forgot to mention DS 's trainers had been cleaned but they are not new, he's had them for about 2 months, but the teacher still carried on about his new trainers and DS kept saying "yeah!" hmm
Maybe i should have said something...???

MoonlightMcKenzie Wed 23-Sep-09 19:33:05

Perhaps the teacher was just trying to tell YOU what they had been doing that day, and seeing if he would show recognition.

btw I'm totally with you on others not 'getting' my ds, but to be fair they don't make it their life project as you and I would. However, I do NOT stop banging on to everyone about my ds in a very boring attempt to make sure they at least partly 'get him'!

mysonben Wed 23-Sep-09 19:40:55

Maybe she was, Moonlight.
I'd rather it was that, than her absolutely not "seeing" that DS didn't understand waht she was saying.

I second you on "I do NOT stop banging on to everyone about my ds in a very boring attempt to make sure they at least partly 'get him'! "

I do that too...grin only not often with his teachers or professionals involved (which is when it matters), because i feel awkward like i'm trying to tell them how to do their job.
In others waords i'm not assertive enough when it really counts!

linglette Wed 23-Sep-09 19:56:46

If this is happening all the time mysonben, I think you may need to step things up a notch in terms of how much they understand his language.

Using the verb "to tell".... that's a really hard one.... is that even one he receptively "owns" yet? It's very new to DS2 still.

What about writing a communication passport especially about his language?

Forgive me, I can't remember what kind of nursery setting you have him in and whether you are happy with it.

It's so counterintuitive for most women to talk to our kids in a way that makes sense to them.

To answer the question in the title:I used to, yes, and I still know him best (of course) but it's getting much better now.

mysonben Wed 23-Sep-09 22:17:32

Yes Linglette, it does happen very , very often unfortunately.
Thankfully some of the times the 'conversation' is at a basic level that DS can understand so his answers are meaningful. But that happens too rarely in my books.
DS is in a MS nursery, with an IEP and the staff are fully aware of his problems.
I'm sitting on the fence about how well the staff deal with him, some points are good, some are not, but as DS isn't statemented i can't ask for too much can i?
And i think they always 'do more' when i'm around iykwim? hmm

linglette Thu 24-Sep-09 10:26:09

DS2 isn't statemented either mysonben......

How about writing a document: "September 2009: These are the kinds of questions I can answer and conversations I can have". Then ask them for a meeting and present it.

It shouldn't be beyond them to grasp that using verbs like "tell" and questions like "why" are equivalent of having a Wimbledon player serving the ball to someone who's still learning tennis.

mysonben Thu 24-Sep-09 15:20:43

Thanks Linglette for the tip. Will prepare a document, we are supposed to be having monthly meetings with SENCO and nursery teacher, last one was back in july, so one is due soon i expect.
But to be honest, SENco has already writen a list of strategies to help DS understand and behave, it does state:
-use gestures + makaton when possible when asking him to do things as clues.
-avoid direct questions, and also comment on what he is doing.
-after group instructions, ensure DS id given the instruction individually.
Give 1 piece of info at a time. ...ect
I have the feeling the staff use too little and not enough these strategies with DS.
It is a rather large and busy nursery, and although i have very little evidence that they simply leave DS to get on with it,
that's the feeling i get.
I mean when i pick him up after a nearly 5 hours session, i get told "DS has been very good, stayed in the garden all afternoon looking for planes in the sky!" angry, and during the whole course of last year DS only brought home 2 pieces of artwork (one for mothers'day and 1 painting) that's it, whenever i go to check his tray it's always empty. sad

mysonben Thu 24-Sep-09 15:23:15

Oh dear... i'm being silly now, i'm crying. sad

debs40 Thu 24-Sep-09 15:36:44

Ooooh is so hard when you have to leave any child in the hands of others but when your child has communication problems, you sort of have to have double the trust.

My son is 6 and great verbally but he is very uncommunicative about school and really can't follow the rights of wrongs of things that happen. We stopped at the entrance of the class yesterday as a girl was being told off. The teacher was firm and not shouting but DS said 'oh no mummy I'm sorry' and didn't want to go it! I understand that he can't see the difference between someone getting told off and him getting told off but it is hard to explain that to others.

Anyway, I think you should ask nursery when the next meeting is and prepare some notes of concerns to run through with them. You could even hand it to them beforehand so they get the chance to really think about their answers. Ask whether it would help for you to speak directly to all the staff to explain your son's key issues. Sometimes it can help rather than have it second hand.

Above all, keep an open mind about nurseries. Two pieces of art work is not alot and you sound like you have doubts. Look around. It costs nothing and upsets no one. Talk to the managers at other nurseries. My youngest is now at a nursery which was my third attempt at finding a decent nursery here and it is by far the best. I kick myself that DS1 didn't get the chance to go there.

Changing can be upsetting but the upset is quickly forgotten.

Take care

mysonben Thu 24-Sep-09 15:47:14

Thanks Debs40. Both DH and i have been sort of edgy about DS's actual nursery. We both feel the staff is nice and is fairly agreeable in theory, but don't do much when it comes to it iyswim?
We are still waiting to hear from a small sn nursery who runs a language group, DS's paed and SALT have put an application forward for a place 2 mornings a week. I really hope they accept him there, should know in the next two weeks hopefully.

debs40 Thu 24-Sep-09 19:07:54

That sounds great!! Let us know how you get on. I understand your worries completely

grumpyoldeeyore Thu 24-Sep-09 20:08:53

I find it hard not to be too wordy with DS3 still - despite knowing he has speech delay. Comment not question - I have to remind myself this about 1000 times a day + utterances same length or slightly longer than child's. Its actually hard to do especially when you have NT children and you have to switch from wordy to short and sweet and back again. I would talk to her tomorrow and say that felt she "lost" DS (she probably knows this) and if she had said "wow nice trainers" instead of "are those new trainers" then been better - I think if you can give examples that would help them "get it". Our nursery staff do the short phrases thing whenever someone goes in to assess DS but then when I arrive and he's having his nappy changed they are babbling away non stop. Good luck with the language unit I wish we had one here. We have similar feel about nursery - well meaning staff - no expertise. We get "he had a good morning really happy just carrying the animal toys around all morning".

linglette Fri 25-Sep-09 09:03:32

I'd be very surprised if a SENCO-speak list like that got anyone changing their behaviour.

If you write your own testimony/explanation that is jargon-free and starts from the successful communication moments that they already have with him, (ask what these are) that will be better. It will sound like the child they know as well. Remember the process that you went through yourself........

Have you got "It Takes Two to Talk"? I would photocopy some of the cartoons that show you the "instead of X, do Y" approaches. If you could do one or two in A3 you could ask them to display them in the staffroom. Or cut out photos of Ds to create your own cartoons!

It is distressing when you see them not getting it isn't it?

moondog Fri 25-Sep-09 09:26:15

MYson, as a SALT, I spent my entire working life watching adults talking at people with language difficulties and convincing themselves it is a conversation.

Trying to address this as well as trying to stop people doing too much for peopel with communication difficulties, therefroe negating the need to ask or comment is what I spend probably 90% of the day doing.

It's very frustrating.

moondog Fri 25-Sep-09 09:28:12

'It's so counterintuitive for most women to talk to our kids in a way that makes sense to them.'

So very true. To commuincate effectively you have to almost create a new persona.

And most people in field of SN are well-meaning and being kind, do too much.

linglette Fri 25-Sep-09 11:12:13

Yes and all the communications between nursery/school/professionals are written upon the assumption that everyone has truly grasped the child's communication and learning style whereas of course they almost certainly have not (unless they somehow absorbed it by osmosis grin). You learn by being shown and by doing, not by reading jargon.

They assume teachers have magically acquired an understanding because they have "been on a training session". Which is very odd because no good teacher would assume a child understood something "because I have explained it to the class".

I have also come to suspect that reports use language that actively inhibit the teacher from seeing the child as .... a child. Just listen to it and put yourself in the teacher's shoes: "Functioning" (not "living") "intervention" (not "help"); "tactile defensive" (not "very sensitive to touch"). Would we allow a teacher to use that language about a child without additional needs? Of course we would not. Is it surprising that the teacher listens politely to that language then thinks "hmm, somehow it doesn't seem very holistic, it doesn't seem like little Johnny, I'll quietly drop it when they've gone away".

mysonben Fri 25-Sep-09 16:52:47

Thanks ladies for your advice.

Yep i have "it takes 2 to talk" which reminds me, one of their rule with OWL...observe, wait, listen. An excellent system , so simple but i used to talk for DS before and didn't follow his lead. That would be a good start with the staff at his nursery. Will copy that for them.

Moondog, the language problem is the issue that DS struggles the most with, his SALT says his language delay/disorder is moderate/severe, as opposed to the issues with social side of things, sensory, rituels, behaviours,...which are present but mild.

I long for the day when he will talk/ understand spoken words properly.

I mean he is making progress with speaking i mean a year ago he could just put 2 words together, and he spoke barely more than 50 words at age 3.
Much better now , but a conversation is still out of the question, he gets 'lost' so quickly.
Yesterday evening, we were driving in the car and he could see the moon, he kept saying "moon come with me mummy"...hmm it took me a few minutes to see he meant the moon was 'following' us, you know moving as we drove.
DS speaks often like that, a bit like riddles wink

TotalChaos Fri 25-Sep-09 19:39:42

Moondog, yes, definitely agree with your comment about the new persona - I think of it in my head as the "mommy" voice - americanism deliberate following Hanen grin

mysonben - I did the Hanen ITTT course at about the same stage you are at with your DS (the able to put sentences together stage, but not converse). Hanen has some really helpful ideas about taking better turns etc, that help build up conversational skills, also turn taking games help if they encourage your DS to talk about what he's doing when it's his turn, and then you talk when it's your turn iyswim

moondog Fri 25-Sep-09 20:14:17

Useful tactic TC.
Linglette, another one of my huge bugbears os the pathologisation of behaviours, spome of which are actually quite reasonable and understandable and would be 'allowed' in a child or adult without SN.

Using this jargon also creates a ituation in which parents are disempowered and lead to beleive that the 'expert's are dealing with it in their special mysterious 'expert' way.

Which is, quite frankly, bollocks.

I am beginnig to feel that a huge swathe of the SN machine is a waste of time (and I consider myself to be part of that machine.)

If someone would tell me how to link a pdf file, I will pass on a fantastic article for Centre for Policy Studies about the growth of the SN industry.

moondog Fri 25-Sep-09 20:15:05

experts obviously.
Not expert's

Apostrophe went awol there

Phoenix4725 Sat 26-Sep-09 10:52:07

Is there anyway you can spend a couple days helping in sessions so your on hand o advise.What have just done with ds when he started school meant his Lsa if unsure could ask for advice and #I could see what was doing and we would then be able to discuss thing straight away instead of waiting to hometime.

Meant now have a happier and more confident Lsa and I am not going daily now though do one morning aweek just helping so can see class dynamics.

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