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So fed up with this odd behaviour please help

(10 Posts)
MojoLost Mon 19-Oct-09 16:29:29

DS has this sometimes impulsive need to touch other children's faces and hair. It is extremely annoying, and he is not trying to be friendly or making contact or playing, he is perfectly capable of saying hello, etc. It is just a very odd behaviour.

There have been times when I've thought he is over it, days of not touching anyone and me feeling relaxed thinking it's all over, but over the last week it has come with vengance. The teacher has told me that he is annoying all the other children (and I dont blame them). Also, he is very difficult and just doesn't listen.

They told me that the way they are handling it at school is, whenever he does this the teachers have taught the other children to take both his hands, push them towards him saying NO DS.

Well it's obviously not working.

Can any of you kind soulds out there please give me ideas of how to end this nightmare.
I am so tired of this, will I have to follow him around until he's 30?
Fedup mojo

MojoLost Mon 19-Oct-09 16:37:51

Forgot to say, he is 4.9 yrs and has a global dev delay but doing well and improving

catkinq Mon 19-Oct-09 17:00:06

do the other children play well with him? I wonder if he likes gettign them to take his hands and say "no DS".

Littlefish Mon 19-Oct-09 17:04:38

Good point catking - if he is doing it consistently at school, it may be that he likes them holding his hands and saying his name. ie. he likes the reaction, so the more they do it, the more he does it IYSWIM.

What do you do when he does it?

What do you think worked last time?

Have you tried using social stories with him?

MojoLost Mon 19-Oct-09 17:08:49

Thanks for replying.
Yes it is clear that the no DS hand holding is not working and it may be reinforcing the behaviour, but I don't know what to suggest to the school.

When he does it with me, I get angry and say NO DS frowning like hell and he stops.

I haven't tried social stories with him. Has that worked for you? I thought social stories were used when the child needs a visual explanation of something. He understand what is said to him, and he knows he shouldn't do it, but he still does it.

Feeling so depressed about it.

Littlefish Mon 19-Oct-09 17:13:07

You're right that social stories are used to reinforce things in a visual way. Even if your ds understands what is said, and knows that he shouldn't do it, I think it might be worth trying them just as another way of getting the message through.

It could be as simple as a page with a drawing of ds touching someone's hair and face, and that child looking sad and saying "I don't want to play with ds because he's upsetting me" (or whatever message you think will most influence your ds), followed by a picture of ds saying hello, and a child looking happy and asking him to play with her/him. It just gives you another way of talking about it.

madwomanintheattic Mon 19-Oct-09 17:29:49

dd2 still does this sometimes - she's 6 now and it has much improved over the last year. she couldn't be near anyone without touching their face or hair before that lol. it was just her way of showing affection i think - which was a bit of a shame as it was quite annoying sometimes! we've taught her not to do it and other ways to show her affection - even just smiling at her friends/ us etc. she had just got locked into the habit i think.

i just have to persuade her not to strangle me when she's hugging next and all will be well...

if he has dev delay, does he have iep set up at school? you could ask for this to be put on the iep as a social target for next term, to focus the school's attention on gentle diversion and replacing the behaviour with something more socially acceptable...?

MojoLost Mon 19-Oct-09 17:52:14

Hi littlefish, that social story idea sounds great, I'm not great at drawing, but will try to put something together, thank you.

madwoman, it is encouraging to know that your DD has improved. They do have this issue as a social target, they have taught him to say hello and shake hands when he wants to make contact with someone, but the hair and face touching hasn't stopped, if anything I think it's getting worse. He doesn't do it to everyone, and he very very often just says hello xx without any problem, if only I knew why he still touches children.

I will try the social story, thanks.

Littlefish Mon 19-Oct-09 18:33:55

Your drawings don't have to be great smile. I've used stick people in the past - as long as there is one identifying feature (hair, jumper, shoes etc.), and you tell your ds that it's him!

anonandlikeit Mon 19-Oct-09 19:30:30

Could you try small changes so rather than touching face & hair allow him to touch their hand or shoulder, this generally is more socially acceptable.

Ds2 is a physical hands on learner rather than remembering purely what he has been told.

So by Moving your ds's hand from their hair/face & saying firmly not face - hand (moving his hand to their) then it may be easier for him to remember.
He is also still getting the physical connection with them that maybe he is needing.

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