How can I best help my son? — Scope | Disability forum
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How can I best help my son?

toast Member Posts: 46 Listener
This discussion was created from comments split from: Ask an Educational Psychologist.


  • toast
    toast Member Posts: 46 Listener
    Hi Hannah! My son is 5 and in reception. He's struggling socially which is impacting on all aspects of his development. The harder he tries with other children - the more they back away from him. I've seen it myself dropping him off at school and at parties etc. He growls at them / talks in silly exagerated voices and is very full on / in their faces. Its as though he's trying too hard. I've tried to discourage this and say that games start and finish and when you pretend to be something else - it stops when the game stops. I've been reading a book I was recommended called 'how to be a friend'. I'm not sure he quite gets it though. He told me last week he doesn't want to go to school any more and that people do not want him to play with him :(

    His writing and drawing have also become much more childish and scribbley over the last few weeks and his concentration is patchy. His behaviour is not very good and he's having lots of tantrums.

    I appreciate he's only young - but I can see a difference in him and his peers of the same age. How can I best help him? I've already spoken with his class teacher re the friends issue. I think a lot of it is he has a lively toddler younger brother who people gravitate too and make a fuss of and a profoundly disabled older sister. He is extremely sensitive. We are doing our best with trying to help his confidence / self esteem, spend quality 1 to 1 time with him and inviting children round to play.
  • EducationalPsychologist
    EducationalPsychologist Member Posts: 119 Courageous
    edited September 2015
    Hello toast,
    It sounds like your son is trying to interact with his peers but isn't quite sure how to go about it. Initially I would recommend arranging a meeting with the school special educational needs coordinator (SENCO), especially as his difficulties socially are now impacting on other areas of development and he is saying he does not want to go to school. Your SENCO should be able to work together with you and teaching staff to put some things in place to support him. This might involve a social skills group at school, some whole class circle times focused on how to make friends and play together or some emotional literacy work to help him build his skills in recognising, understanding and responding to emotions in himself and others. The school has a responsibility to ensure all your sons needs are met, this includes social and emotional needs.

    With regards to having a disabled sibling, you might like to contact the Sibs organisation (website below). They will be able to offer you advice on how to support siblings and may offer social or support groups. Although your son is not the primary care giver, he still is part of the family and will need support to cope with the emotional implications of living with a disabled sibling.

    Does your son have any speech and language difficulties? Is he able to express himself verbally? Does he have difficulty finding the words he wants to say? Is he able to remember 2-3 verbal instructions and follow them?

    Resources you might find helpful are:
    Books by Cheri Meiners
    The book 'Nightlights' by David Fontana

  • EducationalPsychologist
    EducationalPsychologist Member Posts: 119 Courageous
    PS you're doing a great job, keep supporting him as best you can and 1-1 time is very important so keep going with this!
  • toast
    toast Member Posts: 46 Listener
    thank you for your reply. His vocabulary is v good and generally has no issue expressing himself - he's pretty articulate. He does lisp a bit and cannot say his r's which often means he needs to repeat himself a few times to make himself understood. I think this makes him a bit self conscious. I'm not so sure about following the multiple instructions - he gets very easily distracted and is very 'dreamy'. I think he prob would struggle with 3 instructions at once. He'd do the first, maybe the second if it was a familiar routiney sort of thing but more than likely go off at a tangent with further instructions. I do often feel like I'm repeating myself/ nagging at him to do stuff.


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