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Newbie. Ds' Assessment On Monday. Bullying


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#1 Stomachinmouth

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 10:20 PM

It's all a bit too much. CAMHS have referred us to Harper House for an assessment. They think that my son has Aspergers. I'm confused and overwhelmed by the info. available (not by the possibility of DX (getting with the lingo - lol). I've known that there was something - relieved that he's not just 'naughty and hard work' tbh.
He's very special. It's hard though
At the moment, what I'm finding hardest is the fact that his uncooperative ways at school are leading to him being labelled by other children as naughty. Parents are picking up on this and furthering this stigma. We have no play dates. Ever. I'm preparing myself for him not to be invited to class parties.
I'm sensitive. CAHMS have told me that I need to prepare myself and grow a thick skin. Just HOW do I do that? All I want is for a few children (even two) to have play dates and for their parents to see that this six year old is actually very lovely. They're not interested.
At summer camp, last week, a parent accused my son of 'laying on her daughter'. He had fallen on a pen and landed on her. He'd hurt his leg in doing so and it was neither his intention to land on her not to hurt himself! This particular other seems intent on telling all and sundry that my son is bullying her children. He's actually not doing anything of the kind. He is no innocent but the worst that he did was to lose it when playing sleeping lions as other children were trying to wake him up through making sudden loud noises close to him (NOT ideal for him) - sensory thing. He stood up and shouted, cried, went a bit bananas.
He did shut another girl's hand in a door... because she was annoying him by not doing what he said. She wasn't hurt it was upset. Haaayelp!

#2 Kadenza

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 11:51 PM

Hi & welcome to ASDf :)

Dx is such a hard time, but hopefully you'll get some answers soon and some strategies that help your son.

When Boo was going through dx, there was one parent in particular who was just plain nasty. I got so angry I ended up asking her if she had heard of autism, and whether she was proud of herself for calling a disabled child names. It wasn't having a thick skin so much as really, really wanting to hit her, a and deciding that this was a better option! It stopped her snide remarks. In fact she didn't speak to me at all after that, which, to be honest, was preferable.

The thick skin will come. It develops as you become your child's champion.

How's your relationship with school? Do they know you've been referred for dx? Can you talk to them about developing friendships and social skills? Ask them to treat your son as though he has autism whilst you await confirmation, and ask them what strategies they will provide. They must, by law, make "reasonable adjustments", and they must not, also by law, have blanket policies. So they should be able and willing to tailor the school day to meet your son's needs. This might include visual timetables, an emotions fan (or thermometer), small group work etc etc.

See what you can find out.

And be kind to yourself.
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#3 Stomachinmouth

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 09:03 AM

Thank you, Kadenza. That particular parent (one of several) has never spoken to me. She will push in front of me like a little rat to collect her dd from school, complain to the office about my son and insist he's bullying her daughters when they're tripping him up and laughing at him, etc. Other parents have stopped even saying hello to me on the basis of the 'facts' she's telling them about my son's behaviour. Most I get are the 'awkward and smiley sky-high avoidance eyes' when I say hello.
School are good. He's now in a private school. He was in an excellent state school for nursery and they used to scream and shout at him to 'try to get through to him'. He used to go into shock. Sensory thing.
They were beyond frustrated with him as he didn't respond to the usual rewards and consequences for three to four year olds (stickers, thinking chair, etc.). I asked whether they had someone else at school who could help with devising motivational tools to help him to 'confirm' and follow instructions. They said no. HV visited. She said to move him. DH's parents passed away and I moved him to a private school reputed to be good with boys at the end of that year. He's been there for two years now. Parents wish he wasn't there. No play dates. And it honestly seems that he gets this reputation not from being really awfully behaved but because of the constant reminding and telling him what to do. Of course he DOES do things that aren't great (kicked a ball from someone's hands WHILE they held it - "because I wanted it!") and has little / no empathy for his peers. But. Aaaaaargh
I'm very stressed. Assessment tomorrow.
I'd live to say that to this particular mother. However, when I mentioned even to the nicest class mum that he may have autism, she said (with thinly veiled and instinctive excitement): "Does that mean he'll have to move schools?"
I responded with: "No. Why would he? He's a very clever boy!" (You selfish cow).
But I DO understand them. Ashamedly, if I didn't have such a special child, I might not have wanted MY son or daughter to mix with him if I'd heard rumours. People treat behavioural difficulties like infantile contagious diseases.

It irritates me that I'm even talking about his behaviour as it's actually NOT that bad. No, he's not the most compliant as he always has something he's already planned to do. Takes a while and some considerable frustration (on his part) to get him to adjust his plans and follow someone else's.
I'm exasperated and the social affects and complaints founded on air (summer camp this week told me clearly that the parents were being vile and that he had been fantastic) are getting me down.
I feel like telling then I'm having and have had a hard enough year WITHOUT their convoluted and nasty lies, rumours, etc. They also know I had a cancerous tumour removed from my spine in January. Thankfully my back is clear (scans a few weeks ago). Nodules on lungs undiagnosed, not grown in last 3 months and ...
It's been a shit time.

#4 Eggman

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 10:35 AM

Sounds awful and I have an idea how you must be feeling.

 

I'm wondering if it's worse for you because your child goes to a private school. Maybe these parents have even greater expectations and so don't want anyone who would potentially cause difficulties.

 

It may also be because you haven't got any past history with these parents. Not saying you should and I don't condone at all their dreadful reactions to you and your son.

 

I just know that when my son was at Preschool we had the most horrendous time. LE was completely out of control and he was very difficult. Me and my son were judged every single day.

 

Nearing the end of his time there though I was walking home from Preschool in tears after a particularly upsetting conversation I had with one of the staff there and I was spotted by another mum in her car.

 

She absolutely insisted I get in and talk to her. It all came tumbling out (to my horror) and I told her how awful it all was and how nobody ever said a single nice thing about my son even though he was lovely.

 

That lady became my ally and supported me and my son from that day on. I'll never forget her kindness.

 

I'm not sure how long your son has been at the school but I'm hoping that you might find such an ally as it made a huge difference for me. There are good people out there even though sometimes you feel that you are completely alone.

 

Loads of (((hugs))) and let us know how you get on with diagnosis.


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#5 Stomachinmouth

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 11:38 AM

I am so pleased to hear that you found such an ally. So rare. So wonderful. Unfortunately, the one person I'd have thought to be that ally (has a son with ADHD in an older year group) is being outrageously bully-like herself. School don't understand and couldn't believe what she'd been doing to me (tripped me purposely after major back surgery) and to DS (told other children to sit away from him - to get up and move) at a 6 yr old birthday party. WTAF! In front of me. For NO reason. Not even her own children. Wasn't until lSt day of term when she took a swipe out if the blue at him ON FRONT OF TEACHER, as they came out of school, that school now believe the insane things that this adult is doing. No reason other than my DS couldn't go to her DS' party on September and that I've found out she's a record held at school, on file, of bullying other parents. I reeeeeeerally don't need this.
Assessment tomorrow and my head is swimming with these many horrible parent situations.
Know what you mean about private school having parents less likely to accept a child with SEN/ a disability. But I won't move him for that reason. He's already been moved once because last school's staff (and I) weren't aware of his difficulties and were outrageously intolerant and intimidating towards him.

#6 bigmuma

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 05:53 PM

So sorry to hear about your difficulties. My DS was at private school before being diagnosed. The Nursery thought he was just gifted and needed to be challenged - how wrong were they! Part the way through year 1 we removed him as even with a dx, their way of dealing with him was to send him to the head every time he was non-compliant. He then spent virtually all day with the head! We also sent a letter to all the parents of his class explaining about his difficulties and pointing out that he was not a danger to any of their children! Moving him to a regular state school was the best thing we did. They got him a statement, lots of support and he gradually settled. They had a desk set up in one corner which was his space. They partitioned round the desk on 3 sides with pin boards which were all set up clearly with picture timetable etc. It was his area where he could have all his things which wouldn't be touched by other children. He could choose whether he wanted to sit there for lessons, or at a regular table with the other children. As the years progressed, he spent more time in the 'regular' class environment and less in his 'safe zone'.
I wonder if your son's school are open to supporting you a little more, particularly with the other parents. Do you know what they say when there are complaints? Your son definitely has the right to be supported and not be seen as the problem. It is part of a school's job to educate in tolerence and understanding of children who are differently abled!
I hope things improve for you.x

#7 Stomachinmouth

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 08:21 PM

School do defend him but as there's no dx and it's confidential info anyway (I'm not at all convinced that parents there wd b any more tolerant or understanding), they just try to fend off blaming and finger pointing. I think that because he comes across as highly articulate, extremely tall etc. they would see any label as am excise for poor behaviour. I worry so much that coming out with his label would mean that he'd be bullied and teased about it - instead of being proud of himself as a special individual. I think he'd be devastated if that perception were to change because of the negative comments of others.

#8 Eggman

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 11:43 AM

Problem is he is already experiencing negative comments.

 

If he received a diagnosis it may actually help with his confidence to know there is a reason why he finds certain things difficult?

 

If he was getting teased and bullied at school for his disability then you could come down hard on the school and they would have to put measures in place to stop it.

 

At the moment you don't have much protection because he is undiagnosed.


Edited by Eggman, 04 August 2014 - 11:44 AM.


#9 Lizbet

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:57 PM

Any news after the assessment?

 

So feel for you as we went through something similar with our youngest although at a state primary school. Also our daughter was bullied by a boy whose adoptive mum had a go at her in school. We were fortunate in the second incident that when I spoke to both her class teacher and head they denied any such incidences and the parent had a warning about approaching children. It turned out her son was lying but it was very painful especially as I thought she was my friend so I completely empathise with your pain.



#10 Stomachinmouth

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 07:21 PM

Thank you both / all. I appreciate the empathy as it feels very scary (for me on behalf of my son) to have parents bullying him in effect and their children too. I need his school to give the parent who swiped his hand away from a bear he'd touched, was intimidating towards him and told children to move from him at a party table (when all he was doing was... absolutely nothing but eating party food nicely).
The outcome isn't in writing yet but after the three hour assessment, Harper House said they were confident that when they add the scores up (psychologist/ psychiatrist questioning us- can't remember) and the play therapist with my son for an hour and a half. They looked certain. Said it was high functioning autism that he has. I asked about Aspergers and they said that that's the old name for it.
I've been posting in the Facebook group. It's been soooooo WONDERFUL to have found both this and the FB group just in time!!! Thank you all and whoever set each ip




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