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#1 of 30 Old 03-15-2012, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

 

This year has been very interesting!  I come to you with a few issues.   I can't remember how much I've told last. Basically, my son skipped Kindergarten and went into First grade. The principal wanted to ensure he'd be ok with First grade so the school had the Dept of Ed. reading specialist come and test him. She told me that she hasn't seen a child this bright in ten years. We never officially got him tested, didn't see any reason really as long as we're getting resources and all's well.  Anyway, he's been doing perfectly well and scoring well above his classmates. His teacher even decided on her own to give him Second grade Social Studies/Science. His class is mixed between First and Second grade so it's an accelerated environment. He's got all A's since the beginning. We struggled (and still struggle) with handwriting. But I'm proud of him and think he's improved well.

 

The issues:  he's being picked on.  There was a boy who was kicking him.   Then the group told him they don't want to play with him and upon him tearing up and walking off they told him to come back.   And lastly, he asked me for cookies to take to school to give to a boy. I asked him why and he said, "So he'll play with me."   My heart broke, and my husband says to leave him alone and let him get toughed up. He naturally feels everyone is a friend. He is naturally a friend to anyone and everyone. He kind of assumes that...as in why wouldn't that person want to play with me?  kind of attitude.  But there aren't a lot of students in his class to choose from and like I said he's being abused from the ones who are. 

 

Every morning it's hard to get him to get dressed. He said he hates school.  He's having a hard time making friends. He's extremely nice and a very easy target because of that. He's so sensitive and loving to others and the other kids are mean. He's the kind of kid who walks the line and tells others they should too 'so that' and gives the reason.  Yes this would be slightly annoying if I were the other kids. But he gives them good reasons like,  you shouldn't hurt others' feelings. How would you like it if your feelings were hurt and long explanations.  I've talked to him and tried to explain that we don't have to lecture anyone about anything.  If they are a close friend you can give encouragement etc.   I don't know this to be what's going on, but I do know what he does and what he's said in the past.  I also know he's physically slower and clumsier, and younger so that makes him feel sad.  He still walks upstairs same foot, non alternating etc. So here we've got a very moral kid who is smart and awkward and clumsy physically.  My husband works hard with him physically. We were both trying to teach him how to kick the soccer ball. He can kick from a still position if he just stands there and pushes out his leg, not like a typical kick. His arms and whatnot go flailing all over and he trips on his feet. My heart really breaks because he so wants to play soccer and sports.  He told me he doesn't want to go to the playground anymore because he gets hurt everyday.  He's such a hypochondriac and everything is giant. He bumped his elbow and to him that was grounds for not going to school. 

 

I'm sorry this has gotten so long but I wanted to try to explain various points.   How do I help him?  He needs friendships and to feel like he belongs and not to be the target of bullying or abuse otherwise.  

 

Anyone have experiences with this? 

 

Aisha

 

 

 


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#2 of 30 Old 03-15-2012, 09:57 PM
 
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You need to talk to his teacher so that school staff can help facilitate interactions.  It's very common in grade 1 that there's some social coaching and redirection.  Teacher needs to be alerted to the issues as it may be happening subtly and quietly so she's not aware.

 

You might also consider a social skills class and/or explicit social coaching.  There's a lot of good info about social skills, often categorized as for people with autism or social communication developmental needs.  I really like this:

http://www.socialthinking.com/books-products/superflex-curriculum

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#3 of 30 Old 03-15-2012, 10:14 PM
 
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Big hugs to start. We've BTDT. My DS has been bullied for several years. We took all your standard measures including some non-standard measures. They'd only ever work short-term. 3rd grade was the worst and then we were able to at least separate him from those kids during class. This fall we pulled him out of an academic program he loved because we weren't going to be able to separate him from those kids any longer. It was the best thing we could have done. The scars are still there... DS's confidence is low.... he's not as outgoing as he once was. However, now he's away from those kids and he is happy and feeling safe. 

 

My best advice, get your son into an activity where he can find some interest-based friends. That was DS's saving grace through the worst of it. Plus, it's good to see how your son fairs in different environments. Some kids are targets no matter where they go but we found that DS was ONLY ever a target with this group of school boys. That told us that the problem wasn't DS, it was the bullies. Not that I'm saying your son is at fault! It's just good to know if he's really got a target painted on him or if he's just with an extra nasty group. That knowledge can help you make decisions.  

 

Push hard on the school to deal with the problem. Don't just leave your son to "toughen up" like your DH suggested as really, this stuff doesn't resolve itself. Yes, kids need to learn to deal with difficult personalities but for a 5-year-old, "dealing" means having the knowledge and guts to ask for help.

 

Keep a close eye on things. Bullied boys often stop telling their parents after awhile. I had thought things were getting better until I started getting calls from the girl's parents telling me how worried there children were about DS. DS was embarrassed and felt like nothing could help and so he stopped talking. I learned that this is very, very common. 


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#4 of 30 Old 03-15-2012, 11:27 PM
 
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I agree --  you should talk to the teacher, and maybe involve the school counselor. Ask the teacher if there are particular kids that he seems to get along well with in class. See if you can invite those kids over for a one-on-one playdate. Our ds didn't have the greatest social skills in the early grades either (and he's not grade-skipped,  just young for his grade). He did two 'friendship' groups at school with the school counselor. One in 1st grade and one in 4th. I think they helped.

 

Don't forget about looking to the girls for friendships at this age too -- our shy, sensitive, imaginative son did much better with girls in 1st and 2nd grade than with boys. He just didn't get boys. It wasn't until he discovered sports at the end of 3rd grade that he figured out how to interact with boys. He's embraced that wholeheartedly, both playing and watching. As dh put it, "if they sold season tickets to dog sled races, he'd want to get them!" But in early elementary, he wasn't ready for that. (He was also in occupational therapy for motor delays and sensory issues.) The boys were overwhelming.

 

Your son's 'bossiness' is fairly typical for 5-6 year olds who are very much 'by the book'. Kids who can see why the rules are a good idea are particularly prone to this (our daughter, for example). Part of the problem with the other kids might be developmental. 8 year olds (so, some of the 2nd graders) are moving into a different phase of development where they understand that rules can be bent. So, they're going to doubly resent  a "little kid" telling them what the rules are. And they really don't care about the reasons, no matter how good they are.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aishamama View Post
  I also know he's physically slower and clumsier, and younger so that makes him feel sad.  He still walks upstairs same foot, non alternating etc. So here we've got a very moral kid who is smart and awkward and clumsy physically.  My husband works hard with him physically. We were both trying to teach him how to kick the soccer ball. He can kick from a still position if he just stands there and pushes out his leg, not like a typical kick. His arms and whatnot go flailing all over and he trips on his feet. 

 

I hate to say this, but your son is 5, going on 6. Walking upstairs  like this is a 2-3 year old skill and walking downstairs with alternating feet is a 4 year old skill. If he were my son, I'd want him evaluated by a physical therapist (or maybe occupational therapist, I'm not sure which one). It sounds to me like he's got motor planning or coordination issues. The kicking the ball thing is another red flag for me for this. Again, most kids in kindergarten can do this. Having this addressed isn't going to address the social issues, but those physical skills do become more important with age.


 

 


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#5 of 30 Old 03-16-2012, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your help.  I had talked to the teacher about the boy who was kicking him. Thank you for reminding me I have to follow up and keep asking. I think you're right that he will stop telling.  It was really tough to get that out of him in the first place, same with the playground incidents. I think it was just my lucky day that he somehow told me. He expresses his other anxiety issues, but mostly those are from massive catastophic, like he worries a lot about what if all of his family members all die and there's no one to take care of him, or what if a big earthquake comes, etc. So getting these daily worries out of him was amazing to me. 

 

Lynn, I'm also worried about his physical issues. His teacher noticed the non-alternating feet part when she made him the line leader one day.  

 

Whatsnextmom, my heart breaks for your family.  Giant hugs back to you too. It's terrible that kids have to face these issues in addition to all of the really hard things they have to learn. 

 

Joensally, thank you for the link. That is helpful.

 

I'll update again later, have to make sure the kids are dressing. 

 

thank you

Aisha


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#6 of 30 Old 03-16-2012, 06:48 AM
 
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My son is also grade skipped. He skipped 1st. He's now in 4th. There has always been at least one kid that decided to pick on him because he's younger. He's still learning how to deal with that and getting better as time progresses. However, he does have friends. I worried at first because he did struggle right after the transition.

 

We did a couple of things that seemed to help.

 

- We explicitly coached him on how to identify someone who might be open to being approached to play at Recess and then acted out how to approach them.

 

- We talked to the teacher to make her aware of the issue. She did some subtle pairing up of the kids on their way out to recess if there were other students who may have been looking for a friend as well.

 

- After talking about what the other kids did at recess and identifying a couple of kids that my son seemed interested in playing with we set up some one on one playdates.

 

- We figured out what activities any kid could join at recess time and encouraged him to do those things. For example at my son's school there's usually a 4-square game anyone can join and a line for tether ball that anyone can hop into.

 

All of it did help. As I said, my son does have friends. There is still at least one person every year who feels a need to pick on him. However, he's doing well and has people to play with. I'd work on some explicit coaching, I'd also involve his teacher and the school counselor.


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#7 of 30 Old 03-16-2012, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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JollyGG, thank you!  These were really good points and advice.  You've made me think of some practical ways I can myself work towards this situation too.

 

Here is what I think we can do.  We are moving in June, and again he'll have to start a new school unfortunately. But this new school 'should' be much much better because all of the kids who get into the school have to be at a certain level.  Children are declined admission due to limited seats so they only choose the top performers having the best perceived fit and based on testing.  I am a little peeved that they won't tell me what kind of test they gave him or his score. I'm 'trying' to look over their admin and focus on the good qualities of the school, its aim, and the teachers. I can't say for sure at this time, but I am assuming since these are the dynamics of the students, probably there'll be more kids he will be able to relate to in his new class.  

 

Next, I can work really hard on developing good relationships with a few of the parents in his class and invite them over frequently.  I remember at the start of the school year my son was friends with one kid (who moved) and the mom wanted to have a playdate but I didn't like them. They were negative and their son made off kinds of scary drawings. So it was a blessing that he ended up moving but then my son was left friendless.  So this new school has more students and so maybe I'll be able to at least have a relationship with some good parents for the sake of our children and making everyone tighter knit. Perhaps we can facilitate bonds or at least try.   

 

As far as the physical aspect, maybe since we have three boys we can get a teen boy kid/mentor or even a younger, male occupational student to come and play games with them on the weekends so as to work with them (primarily ds#1 without him feeling it).    Has anyone done anything like this?  I was thinking if it's a teen boy they might get inspired by him and look up to him you know?  That might build his confidence a little. Anyone agree or disagree?

 

Jolly, you made an important point about interactive kinds of recess activities.  This is one area this school is lacking in.  They have a playground but they don't have interactive activities or sports. So it's kind of like the kids just go there and slide/swing/race around.  The teacher sits there while they play and then takes them in. It's a very small school with limited resources. I enrolled him for the 3rd language learning and a few other reasons.

 

Thank you all so much for all of your help.  You've given me hope and some practical take homes. 

Aisha

 

 


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#8 of 30 Old 03-16-2012, 08:52 AM
 
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One of my boys was grade skipped.  He was young for his grade anyway, and he's in the 20th pct for height. So he's little-- really little-- in his class of 5th graders, some of whom are hitting puberty and huge growth spurts.  One of his friends is at least a foot taller than him.  His best friend is probably 8 inches taller.  Occasionally I hear the other kids say, "Hi, little guy" to him. I asked if it bothers him and he says it doesn't.  It helps that he's really athletic, though, so he fits in that way.

 

My son was very much the rule guy when he was your son's age.  It really annoyed the other kids in K, and a few of them taunted him over it, plus some of his advanced work.   We've reiterated to him over and over that he needs to worry about himself and only himself.  This is still a problem in sports, when he's annoyed at the kids who try to get out of the hard work and training.  He's inclined to bust them on it and tell the coach, but we have to tell him to stay out of it.  He also tries to parent his youngest sibling-- he just can't help pointing out the rules!  But again, we tell him to worry only about himself (unless it's a safety issue.)  If I were you, I would just keep stressing that he needs to be concerned with his own behavior and not others' and I think it will get better over time.

 

As for the bullying-- I think a best friend can really insulated him from the bad behavior of other kids.  I think you have a good plan to befriend parents.  But my son is very particular about his friends and some of my favorite moms don't have his favorite sons!  Fortunately, we do like his bff's family, but by 2nd grade there was no way I would have had influence over choosing his friends.  So, just fair warning. :)  But I do think it's a good idea to host lots of playmates as he gets settled into his new school, so he can find his bff.  Sounds like it's a gifted school.  That's terrific; that's how my son has found his friends.

 

Even more than academics, I would be concerned about his social and emotional wellbeing, though.  They might be tied together sometimes, but if he's being bullied, I would do everything I could to make sure the situation changed immediately, even if that meant sitting in the classroom for a few days to observe the behavior myself.  See if the school psychologist can get involved.  I agree with the pp who suggested finding an activity where he can excel and find friends.  My son also has good buddies from his sports team, and if he's ever bothered by school issues, he always has his sports buddies to retreat to.  Maybe there's a lego club, or origami, or art group that your son can join?  

 

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#9 of 30 Old 03-16-2012, 09:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aishamama View Post

 

Here is what I think we can do.  We are moving in June, and again he'll have to start a new school unfortunately. But this new school 'should' be much much better because all of the kids who get into the school have to be at a certain level.  Children are declined admission due to limited seats so they only choose the top performers having the best perceived fit and based on testing.  I am a little peeved that they won't tell me what kind of test they gave him or his score. I'm 'trying' to look over their admin and focus on the good qualities of the school, its aim, and the teachers. I can't say for sure at this time, but I am assuming since these are the dynamics of the students, probably there'll be more kids he will be able to relate to in his new class. 

 


A new school will most likely help. It at least gives him a fresh start to get to know people.

 

It sounds like he'll be going to a gifted school. My son goes to a full time gifted school and there are still bullying issues. Sometimes worse as they can get a bit competitive. But he's found some really amazing friends there. As someone else mentioned having good friends does insulate hims somewhat from those bullies. I've also found the parents to be fantastic and helpful so meeting the other parents is a really good idea. Honestly the parents I'm closest to do not belong to the kids my son is closest to though I am friendly with those parents as well. But the support of the other parents has been really good regardless. And I've found that those other parents can help me figure out what other kids may be open to friendship, what sorts of open activities there are at recess, let me know about the social skills group that meets weekly, they will even occasionally prompt their children to invite a specific child to joint the football game at recess or whatever a couple of times.

 

Does he have to stay in school until June? Is homeschooling until then an option?

 


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#10 of 30 Old 03-16-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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Quote:
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 My son goes to a full time gifted school and there are still bullying issues. 



Yes, being gifted doesn't make you nice unfortunately. 4 of the 6 boys who bullied DS were gifted. My DD didn't have bully issues (she's a very bully proof personality) but she found most of her social frustrations within the gifted program. However, I agree that at least the gifted school can offer other children who may very well be a good fit.

 


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#11 of 30 Old 03-16-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aishamama View Post

 

As far as the physical aspect, maybe since we have three boys we can get a teen boy kid/mentor or even a younger, male occupational student to come and play games with them on the weekends so as to work with them (primarily ds#1 without him feeling it).    Has anyone done anything like this?  I was thinking if it's a teen boy they might get inspired by him and look up to him you know?  That might build his confidence a little. Anyone agree or disagree?



I think that is a terrific idea, but I cannot imagine that he'll benefit properly until he has had proper occupational therapy, one on one. "Without him feeling it" isn't really an option at this point any more - he will have to realize that he has work to do, for instance on alternating feet on walking upstairs and your OT may have you practice this at home (I remember mySIL having to practice this extensively with my nephew, her holding a broomstick out in front of him for hm to hold on to as he practiced walking up and down. He was three at the time). I think having his physical issues addressed will go a long way towards reducing one thing that has made him a target. And it's not about changing who he is, or making him tougher, or trying to make him fit hin against his personality, it is something that needs to be done asap for his wellbeing alone.

 


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#12 of 30 Old 03-16-2012, 01:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aishamama View Post
 

 

As far as the physical aspect, maybe since we have three boys we can get a teen boy kid/mentor or even a younger, male occupational student to come and play games with them on the weekends so as to work with them (primarily ds#1 without him feeling it).    Has anyone done anything like this?  I was thinking if it's a teen boy they might get inspired by him and look up to him you know?  That might build his confidence a little. Anyone agree or disagree?
 

 

An occupational (or physical) therapy student won't be able to give him appropriate help unless he knows what the issue is. Is it a problem with balance? With core muscle strength? With motor planning?

 

I'm with Tigerle with this one. You're going to have to let him know that something's up. Here's the deal: He's smart. He probably already knows that his physical skills aren't up to speed. If he's got younger brothers, they're going to surpass his physical skills pretty soon, and then he'll really know. If you don't talk about his problem, he's might assume that there's nothing that can be done about it or that the problem is so big and scary that mom and dad can't talk about it.

 

Our son was in occupational therapy weekly for 2 years starting at age 5. He never felt bad about it. We introduced his OT as a teacher who was going to help him learn some things that were hard for him. He liked going to OT. OT or PT (and I'm not sure which you'll need)  can be fun. He also did listening therapy and exercises at home.  He went from a 5 year old who couldn't pedal a trike when he started OT to riding a bike shortly after his 7th birthday. He can keep up with the other boys physically now. He's never going to be a star athlete, but he's good enough to play a game of pick up basketball with his friends.

 

The thing is, he barely remembers going to OT.  We did it after school, and it was just something we did. When he asked why he was doing this, we talked about some of the things that were hard for him (he had sensory issues and motor planning issues) and how he was learning to work with his body better. I cannot say enough good things about what OT did for my kid. I really can't.

 

So my question for you is: Why are you afraid to have your son know that his motor skills need a little help?


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#13 of 30 Old 03-17-2012, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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An occupational (or physical) therapy student won't be able to give him appropriate help unless he knows what the issue is. Is it a problem with balance? With core muscle strength? With motor planning?

 

I'm with Tigerle with this one. You're going to have to let him know that something's up. Here's the deal: He's smart. He probably already knows that his physical skills aren't up to speed. If he's got younger brothers, they're going to surpass his physical skills pretty soon, and then he'll really know. If you don't talk about his problem, he's might assume that there's nothing that can be done about it or that the problem is so big and scary that mom and dad can't talk about it.

 

Our son was in occupational therapy weekly for 2 years starting at age 5. He never felt bad about it. We introduced his OT as a teacher who was going to help him learn some things that were hard for him. He liked going to OT. OT or PT (and I'm not sure which you'll need)  can be fun. He also did listening therapy and exercises at home.  He went from a 5 year old who couldn't pedal a trike when he started OT to riding a bike shortly after his 7th birthday. He can keep up with the other boys physically now. He's never going to be a star athlete, but he's good enough to play a game of pick up basketball with his friends.

 

The thing is, he barely remembers going to OT.  We did it after school, and it was just something we did. When he asked why he was doing this, we talked about some of the things that were hard for him (he had sensory issues and motor planning issues) and how he was learning to work with his body better. I cannot say enough good things about what OT did for my kid. I really can't.

 

So my question for you is: Why are you afraid to have your son know that his motor skills need a little help?


 

I shouldn't be afraid.  Thank you for asking that question.  I need to think deeper and sort out these feelings, especially after reading your post about how much help your son has gotten. I bet that boosted his esteem quite a lot. 

 

I have written more at the bottom.



Quote:
Originally Posted by chaimom View Post

One of my boys was grade skipped.  He was young for his grade anyway, and he's in the 20th pct for height. So he's little-- really little-- in his class of 5th graders, some of whom are hitting puberty and huge growth spurts.  One of his friends is at least a foot taller than him.  His best friend is probably 8 inches taller.  Occasionally I hear the other kids say, "Hi, little guy" to him. I asked if it bothers him and he says it doesn't.  It helps that he's really athletic, though, so he fits in that way.

 

My son was very much the rule guy when he was your son's age.  It really annoyed the other kids in K, and a few of them taunted him over it, plus some of his advanced work.   We've reiterated to him over and over that he needs to worry about himself and only himself.  This is still a problem in sports, when he's annoyed at the kids who try to get out of the hard work and training.  He's inclined to bust them on it and tell the coach, but we have to tell him to stay out of it.  He also tries to parent his youngest sibling-- he just can't help pointing out the rules!  But again, we tell him to worry only about himself (unless it's a safety issue.)  If I were you, I would just keep stressing that he needs to be concerned with his own behavior and not others' and I think it will get better over time.

 

As for the bullying-- I think a best friend can really insulated him from the bad behavior of other kids.  I think you have a good plan to befriend parents.  But my son is very particular about his friends and some of my favorite moms don't have his favorite sons!  Fortunately, we do like his bff's family, but by 2nd grade there was no way I would have had influence over choosing his friends.  So, just fair warning. :)  But I do think it's a good idea to host lots of playmates as he gets settled into his new school, so he can find his bff.  Sounds like it's a gifted school.  That's terrific; that's how my son has found his friends.

 

Even more than academics, I would be concerned about his social and emotional wellbeing, though.  They might be tied together sometimes, but if he's being bullied, I would do everything I could to make sure the situation changed immediately, even if that meant sitting in the classroom for a few days to observe the behavior myself.  See if the school psychologist can get involved.  I agree with the pp who suggested finding an activity where he can excel and find friends.  My son also has good buddies from his sports team, and if he's ever bothered by school issues, he always has his sports buddies to retreat to.  Maybe there's a lego club, or origami, or art group that your son can join?  

 


 

oops. That was a big assumption on my part.  Sometimes when kids are younger they don't really mind that much who they are playing with and kind of think everyone's friends. The cards will turn in this regard anytime. Excellent points chaimom.   Right now this school is sort of a skeleton, bare bones school, with no resources. I could not manage hs'ing with all of the kids and our new baby back in the summer.  We thought it'd be better to send the kids to a school where other social problems are absent. Our district school is not where we'd ever consider to send them. 


 

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A new school will most likely help. It at least gives him a fresh start to get to know people.

 

It sounds like he'll be going to a gifted school. My son goes to a full time gifted school and there are still bullying issues. Sometimes worse as they can get a bit competitive. But he's found some really amazing friends there. As someone else mentioned having good friends does insulate hims somewhat from those bullies. I've also found the parents to be fantastic and helpful so meeting the other parents is a really good idea. Honestly the parents I'm closest to do not belong to the kids my son is closest to though I am friendly with those parents as well. But the support of the other parents has been really good regardless. And I've found that those other parents can help me figure out what other kids may be open to friendship, what sorts of open activities there are at recess, let me know about the social skills group that meets weekly, they will even occasionally prompt their children to invite a specific child to joint the football game at recess or whatever a couple of times.

 

Does he have to stay in school until June? Is homeschooling until then an option?

 


 

Basically my husband is not very cooperative, not validating, and has his own (opposite to my)  thoughts about everything in life. He thinks he'll be ok, will toughen up, will learn how to deal etc.  What do I do if my husband doesn't agree?? 

 

I am ok though for him to keep on the remainder.  The teacher moved the desks around so in each group there are more compatible kids. My son is sitting with all girls except one boy who doesn't speak much English.  The girls are ok overall. I've asked yesterday if she can just keep a look out at PE time and maybe coordinate some intentional games. 

 

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Yes, being gifted doesn't make you nice unfortunately. 4 of the 6 boys who bullied DS were gifted. My DD didn't have bully issues (she's a very bully proof personality) but she found most of her social frustrations within the gifted program. However, I agree that at least the gifted school can offer other children who may very well be a good fit.

 


These are very good points. Thank you for pointing those out.  

 



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I think that is a terrific idea, but I cannot imagine that he'll benefit properly until he has had proper occupational therapy, one on one. "Without him feeling it" isn't really an option at this point any more - he will have to realize that he has work to do, for instance on alternating feet on walking upstairs and your OT may have you practice this at home (I remember mySIL having to practice this extensively with my nephew, her holding a broomstick out in front of him for hm to hold on to as he practiced walking up and down. He was three at the time). I think having his physical issues addressed will go a long way towards reducing one thing that has made him a target. And it's not about changing who he is, or making him tougher, or trying to make him fit hin against his personality, it is something that needs to be done asap for his wellbeing alone.

 


 

Yes, this is a skill that needs to be learned. And my 4 y/o has already passed him in all aspects physically.  

 

In every way, my husband invalidates my feelings. We clash in nearly all aspects of life.  I am struggling with him. Counseling is out of the question for us because when I mentioned it, he said for me to go learn how to communicate. I try to focus on his good qualities and try to overlook his horrible ones. He does the same for me.  So, I guess this is just marriage and living life with another person beyond the honeymoon days. There's no consideration about divorce or separating so basically it's just how things are.

 

The thing is that I was just like my son when I was his age except I didn't have good parents.  I have thoroughly explained all of these things to my husband.  He says that he'll have more time to practice when he gets done in June with this job. And he will, but I think he should have some professional, consistent help. But my husband like I said, laughs in front of the professionals when I mention, as a way to blow off concerns. Why I was hoping to keep it subtle was to not make it a big deal to my son, but perhaps it has to be more formal. I was hoping to give him a little time with more physical, intentional play and see how that goes.  He's managed to do really well in some areas where I thought he'd never get out of but it took time. I will see.   But, I do know you're all right that he needs help to function in normal, necessary ways.  

 

I even still have trouble with stairs. Something happens in my brain where it freezes or I get confused. When I am stepping, something wrong happens and I trip. It's like I can't suddenly remember which leg was supposed to go or which one was stepping.  Honestly it's not so automatic and seamless like it should be.  I see the same stress on my child's face because I have been there. 

 

Specifically what happens is: when he tries to swing is that he can't pair up his legs and keep them together to go in and out to swing. One leg goes one way and the other goes the other way.  I've tried a few ways,  like I kneel with him sitting stationary on the swing and I move his feet for him to show him the motion and practice the together while moving coordination.  It's a struggle but he can do it with me moving his feet. Alone he cannot.  The same issues are happening when he tries to kick the soccer ball.   We stand there together and I say LEFT foot forward ONE step, swing the right forward and kick. That is difficult but he can do it, not gracefully, but he gets the ball kicked.  He can't remember alone. Standing without lunging forward he can kick easily.  It's the coordinating with the other leg that's the problem.   So when he tried to run forward and kick the ball, that was a disaster.  His arms were flailing all over the place above in the air. He'd miss the timing for kicking every time. Sometimes he'd fall down because he'd try to stop and then kick.  That was really hard for him.  He can ride a bike with training wheels and also turn the handle bars in the proper direction if he goes slowly. He looks scared though, even with the training wheels on. 

 

The only thing I can think of at this point is in the summer after we move to just take my son myself to be seen and not even mention it to my husband.

 

 

 


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I think motor skills are really important for boys socially. It's how they develop their pecking order at the playground, plus it's a lot easier to find friends who will play catch with you than to find friends who want to discuss when time starts. Ds1 too had motor planning issues and a combination of gym and OT was really helpful and gave me insights into how it was affecting his daily life without my realization. It improved his core strength and help improve his motor skills enough to compensate for his vision issues which we only uncovered later.

Many of the things you mentioned were difficult for my son at 5, but to a milder degree. Physical movements never come intuitively to him. He has to learn and practice the movements until something clicks and then there will be clear progress until the next learning curve. By 7 he was one of most active boys at the playground, but would have incidents when he ran straight into walls or fell flat on his face and I would have to collect him from school. Earlier this year, I found out he also had an on-off ear infection which affected his balance somewhat. Now he is quite self aware and will adjust accordingly - not run on days when he feel off balance.

Regarding the husband, I must say my husband has never initiated any of the assessments and never shown open support. However he does not interfere with any that I wish to undertake for ds1. I do often wish he will show more support instead of shrugging and saying it might get better with age, or ds just needs to try harder or that it might just be in the head. I am fortunate in that my parents have always been very supportive and show great trust in my judgements and fortunately, time has always shown that I am on the right track. I search and pay for all the assessments and therapies myself, my mum helps me look after my younger one during the sessions.

Our most recent parent- teacher meeting was a breakthrough of sorts when dh, after sitting on the teacher's words for two days, actually said "okay, let's do it" to my proposal to homeschool and have ds assessed for dyspraxia. First time I am getting open endorsement from him.

So take heart. I think men do tend to want to take a wait and see approach, especially for sons. They don't see enough kids to compare what is normal, and they generally do not have the time to read up the way we do. If they don't say no, it's more or less an 'up to you'.
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Every mom I ever talk to says "I'm in charge of all the medical stuff, my husband never schedules or takes care of anything." (well my DH takes the kids when it fits better with his work schedule, but I make the appointments and decide on follow-up). And that goes for SAHMs as well as for mothers who work as many hours out of the house as the fathers do. Odd, but that appears to be the way it is. My DH would never have moved to schedule the appointment that eventually led to our DS being evaluated for ASD, but when he read the email I'd written to the psych department in which I'd detailed all our concerns (I'd written it on his computer without telling him beforehand, but left it open for him to read without thinking, maybe subconsciously leaving it for him to see) he mused "well, if you put it all together like that maybe there is reason for concern". Turns out there probably wasn't, but I had to make the move so I knew we hadn't missed the boat on anything. 

 

I would not frame this as in issue of conflict between you and your husband - you may have no more conflict on this than most other married people, and even if you did, this is about what your DS desperately needs. This is not just a social or a health issue, it is a safety issue. I am imagining a crowd of 6yo jostling at the top of the stairs on their way out to recess and your DS trying to figure out which foot he should take first. If you are in charge of the kids generally during the day while your DH is at work and take care of ped's appointments and stuff anyway on you own, I see no reason whatsoever for you to wait until June to schedule an appointment for an OT and PT eval. You've got another three months until you move - imaginge the fun your DH could have over the summer playing soccer with a kid who can actually kick a ball, and how much more confident your DS will feel going into his new school in fall with his newfound skills. The world must be a very scary place for him right now. You know the fear he feels. Make the call tomorrow.


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I just wanted to respond on husbands a little. I happen to have a very involved husband. He went to every doctor visit prior to about age 8 for the kids. He handles all the dental appointments on his own. He worries more about physical health than I tend to. However, even he didn't really "get" the gifted/occupational therapy/touchy feely sort of stuff. He's the primary breadwinner and I haven't worked more than part-time since the kids were born 15 years ago. DH just doesn't have the same opportunities to see our kids WITH other kids as I have. Plus, DH himself was a different sort of kid... on the younger side for grade, highly gifted, sort of a "beta male" and so much of what he's watched DS go through is "normal" to him. He got bullied all through his Catholic school experience and because he felt helpless to change it, I think he came from a place where it couldn't be fixed. He is brilliant but the school focus was on neatness and speed and perfect behavior so he never felt intelligent despite his IQ. His initial response with DS was always "lets work more on sports." Because we'd already gone through some "stuff" with our older DD, he was open more to alternatives for DS but I know he has thought me crazy at times lol. 

 

OT is a wonderful thing. DS got it when he was 5 due to some eating issues and a host of sensitivities. Wow! What a help not only to DS but to all of us. Do whatever you can to get an evaluation and try to get your DH there. I think it'll made a big difference in how you all approach things.

 

 


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#17 of 30 Old 03-18-2012, 01:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aishamama View Post

Basically my husband is not very cooperative, not validating, and has his own (opposite to my)  thoughts about everything in life. He thinks he'll be ok, will toughen up, will learn how to deal etc.  What do I do if my husband doesn't agree?? 

 

.....

Yes, this is a skill that needs to be learned. And my 4 y/o has already passed him in all aspects physically.  

 

In every way, my husband invalidates my feelings. We clash in nearly all aspects of life.  I am struggling with him. Counseling is out of the question for us because when I mentioned it, he said for me to go learn how to communicate. I try to focus on his good qualities and try to overlook his horrible ones. He does the same for me.  So, I guess this is just marriage and living life with another person beyond the honeymoon days. There's no consideration about divorce or separating so basically it's just how things are.

 

 

 

It is completely normal for daddies to live in denial and mommies to take care of things like this. Completely normal. I like the phrase, "I can see how you could feel that way, but none the less, this is what I've decided to do."

 

The way you describe it, your marriage is in the toilet and you've lost hope of it getting any better. Don't let that stop you from getting your son the help he needs. Do you really want to live with knowing that you weren't the best mom possible because you were waiting for your husband's permission to do the right thing?

 

With what you describe, I'm 100 % in favor of getting an evaluation and finding out what the heck is going on with him. Then you can make a plan. Right now you don't have enough information to make a plan. This doesn't sound to me like something that is going to get better on it's own, instead it's causing social problems, which have the potential to get a lot worse.

 

In addition to an evaluation, I suggest signing him up for a low key activity that works on gross motor skills. Something he would enjoy -- if it's swimming lessons or a boys gymnastics class or ANYTHING. He needs to be in something mellow, but a lot of Ys and Parks and Rec have nice little classes where young children do fun motor activities. I'm not suggesting this instead of an eval, but in addition it to.

 

Your little guy needs help, and the more ways he gets it the better. He does need his daddy to spend time with him and work with him. Frankly, every little boy does. He does need an eval and for a professional to figure him out better. But if he can also work on this stuff in a fun way with her peers, it would good.

 


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#18 of 30 Old 03-18-2012, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone, 

 

I completely believe everyone when you say it's very normal about the husbands.  I can understand that.  The aspect which makes difficulty is when I'm expressing myself to the Pediatrician and my husband laughs as to mitigate my concerns or sort of scoffs, if you understand what I mean.

 

Is OT done on a referral basis from a Pediatrician or ?  If so I will have to change my Ped first. I don't like the office we are going to at all. I may even go ahead and have him formally tested for giftedness with quantitative results since it's the Spring now.  Maybe it'll help paint a clearer picture. 

 

Few Questions:

When they test him for giftedness do they test according to his exact age or would they adjust it since he's grade skipped?  How long does the test take? How long does it take to get the results back? 

 

I wish the school he did his entrance exam through would tell me what kind of test they did. My son said it wasn't a math/reading test. It was about pictures and whatnot. Perhaps that test would be helpful for us if it was an IQ test. 

 


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#19 of 30 Old 03-18-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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Aishamama,
Yes I get that your husband openly undermines you when you are raising your concerns to a professional/ outsider. That is a hard thing to swallow. I've had some challenges in my marriage and what has worked best for me is to decide that sometimes it's not that personal. My husband is a researcher. It is in his nature to pick holes and find counter arguments. We have both learn that chocolate helps soothe my feelings and potato chips help him crunch through anxieties.

My son went for OT evaluation through a clinical psychologist because we had other issues. (should I say I had other issues since dh was never home when they happened?) But I believe you can just as easily ask around for a recommendation and call the OT yourself and arrange for an evaluation. My unscientific way is to go to other mothers whose kids are like mine and they can usually give me a couple of good recommendations, together with info on how the OT work. A lot depends on how well the therapist get on with the child, and how experienced the therapist is with kids like yours.

For tests, there are many out there, generally catering to an age range. The scoring will be adjusted for the age. A good tester should explain to you why he or she selected that particular test, ie what information are we looking for, and also keep in mind what the results are being used for.
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#20 of 30 Old 03-18-2012, 08:41 PM
 
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Aishamama,
I don't mean to be intrusive and i apologise beforehand if i am. I see that you have three boys and a fourth on the way. This is a lot to handle physically and emotionally. If you don't already have some help, please do try to get someone to lighten your load. I completely understand needing spousal support especially at a time like this. It gets overwhelming. If you can outsource or simplify certain aspects of daily life, it will help. Getting a professional evaluation will also help to clarify your thoughts and allow someone else take some of the worries and responsibilities off your shoulders.
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#21 of 30 Old 03-18-2012, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much!  Not being intrusive at all. I had the baby last summer =D  I've forgotten to update my signature line. She's now 9 months old. It was a very difficult summer but we got through it.  I am hoping to get some help at home in the summer so I am not just getting by or barely surviving. I think our quality of life should improve a little bit and enjoy the kids. 

 

Thank you also for your help in both posts. I deeply appreciate everyone's help and all viewpoints have been very helpful. 


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#22 of 30 Old 03-19-2012, 03:09 AM
 
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I've been looking at your other thread (the one about speediness/slowness) and have been thinking that the two issues identified in these two threads must be related, ie a motor planning deficit/dyspraxia or something of the sort that is both affecting his ability to play/run/walk upstairs and holding up his writing. So as this is or will be affecting his ability to succeed in school I am wondering whether you could get the school involved in this (I am assuming your child is currently in public school)? I am not in the US but there are some very knowledgable people here to coach you on how to request an evaluation from the school, if that applies. Having the school agree that yes, there is an issue, would help you stand your ground against a disbelieving husband.


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Quote:

Originally Posted by aishamama View Post

 

The aspect which makes difficulty is when I'm expressing myself to the Pediatrician and my husband laughs as to mitigate my concerns or sort of scoffs, if you understand what I mean.

 


Your husband sounds like bully.

 

Do you have the ability to make appointments for your child and just make things happen, or will your husband stop that from happening?

 

Can you stand up to him, not to convince of him anything, just to do it, without feeling threatened?


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#24 of 30 Old 03-20-2012, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes it comes off that way.  I talked to him yesterday again.  Perhaps our kids have what you all are saying sometimes 2E?   

 

I'm still working on him.  I know that most of the time I get my way, so probably I'll just take my way here too. 

 

 


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#25 of 30 Old 03-20-2012, 09:52 AM
 
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I think it sounds like you need to do some research.  If you think about it this way, a 2E (twice exceptional) kid is a statistical outlier at least twice over - related to IQ and learning difference(s).  This means that most people have not encountered a kid quite like this, and not with this particular blend of strengths and challenges.  So, teachers, peds, psychologists may have limited experience.

 

We have had a pretty bizarre experience navigating the system - professionals either see everything through a gifted lense, or they ignore the gifted stuff and focus on deficits and pathologizing.  I've had to be the person standing up for my kid, and his right to be who he is (focus on strengths and valuing complexity), and then to also advocate for the accomodations he requires at school.  I won't pretend it's easy.

 

I really think that the following books and websites are valuable.  The Webb book is available with sizable previews on google books.

 

James T Webb's The Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults

Eides' The Mislabeled Child     

Bright Not Broken

Eides' website The Mislabeled Child and blog Neurolearning

Davidson Gifted Forum - Twice Exceptional sub-forum

 

This stuff is not simple, and can be overwhelming.  I cope by staying focussed on my kid is wonderful and complicated, and just keep moving forward.  You don't need to get every answer this month, although it can feel that pressured.

 

If you think about it, most of what you're describing sounds like processing issues - it sounds like he has complexities and challenges in various processing systems, so it makes sense that it would affect multiple things.  For an example, I googled and found this.  I'm not saying that there's a vision issue, but I think this article does a decent job of describing how one part of a child's system can manifest as behaviour or in other domains:

http://www.visionhelp.com/vh_add_06.html

 

 

 


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#26 of 30 Old 03-20-2012, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh thank you Joensally. We just got his vision checked and a physical done last week and he was fine.  Yes, I do need to do some research.  I think I misunderstood.  I appreciate your help and recommendation.


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#27 of 30 Old 03-20-2012, 11:13 AM
 
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who did the vision check?  this matters.


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#28 of 30 Old 03-20-2012, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The nurse in the doctor's office.  It was for his physical for school.   He seemed to have some trouble at first. Then the nurse came to him and asked him what the pictures are to make sure he knew what they are. And she told him the names. They were a little ambiguous, the apple like picture looked like a tooth.  So after that was straightened out it was alright.

 

20:35 and one was I think was 20:20. I'd have to check the exact numbers. I was taking care of the two little ones while dh was helping out but said she said it was ok? Is this vision ok?


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#29 of 30 Old 03-20-2012, 12:19 PM
 
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That's just a broad screening.  My son tested as a bit far sighted by the regular optometrist (so more detailed exam that what you're describing).  Took him to the developmental optometrist, and discovered that in fact he has a couple of complicating issues with his eyes.  We couldn't figure out why he could read (huge, non-phonetic words in isolation - not within a line of text), but would not read.  The particular issues he has also have behavioural manifestations (distracted, avoiding work etc - looked ADHD-Inattentive), and so the school was dealing with his attention but ignoring that his eyes were fatigued and he couldn't do the work as presented.  We had all of this confirmed by the opthamologist (medical doctor) at the children's hospital.

 

Vision may not be an issue at all for your son.  But there are a lot of kids for whom a thorough developmental eye exam produced a lot of "a ha" for the adults.  

 

A lot of what you're describing sounds like brain-based processing (sensory, motor planning).  Ruling out vision and hearing issues are standard protocol.  

 

I know you've received a variety of responses, but wanted to mention that anxiety is an expected outcome of sensory issues, and other processing issues that make navigating the world more complicated.


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#30 of 30 Old 03-22-2012, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank so much !! 

 

We've got an appointment for Monday for the start of some evaluations. And I'm waiting on OT dept to call back.  So far I've run in to dead ends in getting his IQ officially tested.  I wasn't planning on doing this but it seems that it'd be helpful as part of this process since there are so many other issues.  So hopefully we'll have answers soon and get on the way to making life a little easier for him.

 

Thank you everyone. Your encouragement was the biggest catalyst to getting him help. 

 

 


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