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Playtime worries, advice please.

(19 Posts)
brokenspacebar Tue 06-Oct-09 21:56:07

DS is 5, started school in August (P1) he has social communication disorder, language disorder, "asd traits". He has quite good support at school,but unsupervised at break times - he has a buddy, one of the older girls, who looks out for him - she wasn't at school today.

Dd said he had been crying at break time, she said another child had told her - ds had been punched in the stomach by a boy (a 7 yr old,P3). I only found out about this this afternoon, when dd came home from an after school club.

I asked ds about it and he sort of explained what happened, confirmed he had been punched.sad

I suppose ds is an easy target, he does argue with people, black is white kind of thing, but never physically. I have witnessed him being punched repeatedly by an older girl at a soft play place (she didn't think anyone was watching) and he just stood there. I shouted at her and got up to my ds asap - boy was she shocked, but it was very horrible to see, ds had just tried to get past her, she had been holding court with all the other children and took exception to ds. I digress....

So, without storming into school in overly protective mother attitude - what should I do? I wasn't informed about this by his teacher/t.a - I did see them this afternoon. I know the playground supervisor was made aware of it, dd told me.

ChunkyMonkeysMum Tue 06-Oct-09 22:01:01

I think you are quite within your rights to go into school or phone and let them know you know about it, and ask if it was seen as your DD told you she thought someone was made aware of it. Then ask why you were not told & had to find out from your own DD.

My DS1 is also 5 and has ASD, and this is exactly what I would do in your situation.

brokenspacebar Tue 06-Oct-09 22:31:02

I will speak to the teacher/ta in the morning, to make them aware of it, but I really am worried about ds now. I don't want him to be alone tmrw. I just hope I can avoid crying, because I feel really emotional about this, not being able to protect my wee boy.

I am going to ask dd to keep an eye out for him, I know I shouldn't have to, it isn't ideal, I want dd to be able to play with her friends etc, but just for tmrw if she can stick close to him.

ChunkyMonkeysMum Tue 06-Oct-09 23:05:35

I know how you feel about not wanting to cry. I have felt like this so many times when discussing my worries about my DS with the school.
Good luck. Let me know how you go.

brokenspacebar Wed 07-Oct-09 10:01:01

Thanks Chunky, I spoke to the teacher this morning, I had my slightly emotional voice on, but I told her about ds being hurt andh is buddy being off. She is going to look into it, ask for a relief buddy and let the playground assistant know to be extra(?) aware of ds. I am glad I did, I was so upset about it all last night, but I feel better today.

My ds is such a cheerful child, I worry he will get bullied (what parent doesn't worry about that?), and the damage that will do - I just feel he is an easy target.

Marne Wed 07-Oct-09 10:09:55

Its so hard when they start school, ddd1 started last year and the first few months were the worst, she got bullied by another girl, was shut in a cupboard and pushed around, i was straight on the phone to the school and the parent of the child and it soon got sorted out (although the mother of the child avoids me like the plague now). I just wanted to wrap her in cotton wool and keep her at home. I think i found it more upsetting than her because not once did she moan about going to school.

Dd1 is now in he second year and everyone has excepted her (as being a little different), she has a lot of friends and a lot of older children who look out for her, we are very lucky that she goes to a very small school where everyone looks out for each other.

I hope things get better for the both of you and don't worry about looking overprotective (that's our jobs as parents), just do what you feel is best for your DS.

brokenspacebar Wed 07-Oct-09 10:15:06

Thanks Marne, that is my worry about ds, that he won't complain.... The teacher was surprised, said most children tend to be very protective of the younger ones - it might have been a typical playground altercation, but I just couldn't let it slide. Ds is okay going to school, but would much rather be at home with me and his toy cat.

claw3 Wed 07-Oct-09 11:00:31

Brokenspacebar - I know exactly how you feel, he sounds very similar to my ds and i am having the same problem. Ds will not tell a teacher.

Have exactly the same problem where ever we go, soft play areas, park etc. Ds always ends up being hit.

My ds reminds me of a puppy, overfriendly and no matter how many times he gets kicked, punched, told to go away, he just keeps going back trying to be friendly.

Although children shouldnt be hitting my ds, he also has to 'learn' how to read social cues, how to know when other children have had enough and how to ask for help.

Although the school have denied that he is being hit, they are trying to help him. They are introducing social stories and doing some work with him on reading social cues etc. He also has a help 'card' which he holds up in the air and a 'permission card' to go inside at playtime if things get too much for him.

Im not sure how successful any of this will be, we only started this on Monday, but perhaps you can see something in the above which you feel might work for you ds.

brokenspacebar Wed 07-Oct-09 12:36:22

Cheers Claw, it is heartbreaking when you think of your child being so vulnerable. I hope the cards help your ds.

I am lucky that dd is at the school and lets me know what is going on - when she sees/hears about it! I think my ds can be argumentative/doesn't read the social cues either, so I know what you mean there.

I know the school want to help as much as they can - we have a meeting coming up soon, so I will bring it up there. I would like to know more about social stories, might ask about that too. I will have to look into it all a bit more.

claw3 Wed 07-Oct-09 13:02:47

Broken - It is heartbreaking, especially as you know your ds means no harm and you understand why he acts the way he does.

As a said i am a total novice at this, but my understanding of social stories are that they tell a story of what to do in certain situations, a visual aid which are read/looked at to a child regularly ie daily to help enforce what to do ie tell a teacher, ask for help, when to stop approaching children etc. School SALT is currently preparing some for my ds.

Good luck with your meeting and the thing which helps me is trying to remember ds also has lots of positive, nice experiences in school and his day isnt all filled with other children not being nice to him.

ChunkyMonkeysMum Wed 07-Oct-09 14:10:17

Have a look here. This is a social story book sold by the National Autistic Society.
I have bought one and am going to give it a try with my DS.
Bullying is my main concern as well as my DS would not realise he was being bullied and would therefore not tell anyone. He has speech & language delay and can't have proper conversations, so I do worry that something could happen & I wouldn't know about it.
He currently attends a mainstream school but it's no longer appropriate for him so we are going through the long & agonising procedure of trying to get him into a specialist school. I was adamant that I did not want him going to a mainstream with a special needs unit as personally I feel that this is making children with SN stand out even more as targets for the bullies. Thankfully the EP agreed with me, so she has told the LEA that it must be an ASD school only.
I know it's not practical, but at least your DD is also at the school to help keep an eye on him at break times. That must be a little bit of comfort for you.

claw3 Wed 07-Oct-09 14:22:06

CMM - Hi, how old is you ds?

Just had a look at your link and i am a total novice and havent even seen a social story yet! Would the book be appropriate for a 5.5 year old?

Currently on a spending spree with timetimers and books

ChunkyMonkeysMum Wed 07-Oct-09 15:01:55

Hi claw. My DS is 5.11, so yes it would definitely be appropriate for your DS.

claw3 Wed 07-Oct-09 15:15:41

Do the stories including how to deal with bullying, that would be particularly helpful?

ChunkyMonkeysMum Wed 07-Oct-09 16:20:34

I'm not sure. I'll have a look in mine later (when kids in bed) & let you know.

claw3 Wed 07-Oct-09 16:35:37

CMM - Ive ordered a copy anyway, will be useful im sure, whether it does or not.

Thank you.

brokenspacebar Wed 07-Oct-09 18:31:25

Thank you for the info re social stories, I am going to start thinking about doing these, need to read more. I noticed this when I was looking at the link, it looks interesting.

The teacher came out after school, to have a quick word, said the head teacher was looking into the "incident". I feel bad if I have caused trouble, but the teacher did thank me for letting her know.

They are trying to find out why ds's buddy wasn't around and put some strategies into place for the future, I am impressed they have taken it seriously - but feel a bit self conscious about it all too.

claw3 Thu 08-Oct-09 09:35:41

Moondog gave me this link to social stories, it explains it all very well. Hope it is of some help to you.

Dont you love MN and the way info is passed on, its brill Have bookmarked your link also, thanks.

Dont feel bad you have to look out for your ds, no one else will.

brokenspacebar Thu 08-Oct-09 09:57:53

I do luff mn and all the mn'ers! The information I have found on here has been brilliant, the sn board is a credit to mn, imho.

Cheers Claw, it does make a difference, being a parent to a child with sn, being able to share my worries and not feel so alone with it all.

Away to have a look at Moondog's link.

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