Badly Behaved Children

I thought of boinging my previous thread on this topic but decided against it.

By way of a short recap, Little Mint is almost 11 now and has been seeing various experts. The occupational therapist and physiotherapists have agreed that he has "differences" but he hasn't been diagnosed as yet. As some of you know, I'd place every penny I have on him being dyspraxic.

Those of you with knowledge of dyspraxia will know that the problems change and evolve as the child grows up. Little Mint has above average intelligence and apart from some 'strange' behaviour, most people wouldn't notice a difference - cos he's found ways of covering up his differences.

Little Mint has always been seeking ways of being "accepted" by his peers. This leads him to do some stupid stuff - give cheek to adults, show off and such like.

We live in a small village and there is little choice of friends for him.

Unfortunately he just gives off a really precocious attitude which makes him unpopular with adults. Children like him because he's 'funny'. He admits that he feels different and I'm trying to persuade him that different is good and he doesn't need to try so hard to fit in and that it's okay for him to be himself. He obviously doesn't think it is.

Some boys in the village are a bit too interested in setting stuff on fire. I know that something is going to happen and Little Mint is going to get the blame. How on earth do I persuade him to walk away from these jerks and not hang around.

We're just talking bits of paper in fields but I'm worried this is going to get out of hand and I don't quite know where to turn.

I'm on my own with him and people will just love to point the finger at single parent with 'out of control' son.

Would the fire brigade help? I spoke to the shool the last time this happened and they just said "oh, they get spoken to about fire in Year 6". Well hoo bloody ray! We're now in Year 6 but these kids might burn down a building before they get their talk and some of the kids involved are Year 8 now ... I think they've forgotten the talk.

Oh and apparently there was a discussion because Little Mint 'grassed' to me the last time any fire lighting happened and he has now been threatened that if he tells anyone they will 'rip his tits off and sell them on Ebay'. He's also overweight - overeating I believe is caused by emotional eating.

He's seeing Ed psych in March although I'm not sure how helpful this will be.

Any constructive advice gratefully received.


  • have you been referred to a community paediatrician?
    that's how we got our diagnosis
    his behavious sounds like there may be more to it then just dyspraxia - which is often the case
    it's a collection of things on the autistic spectrum and people have different bits

    Autism West midlands have a card which people can carry which does not give the whole diagnosis but says that they have an autistic spectrum disorder and so:
    might behave oddly when arrested - or whatever
    a specific adult must be contacted if they are arrested or anything

    not much help when you have not yet got a diagnosis
    but worth thinking about for the future

    email me if you want
    i think you mentioned this before but we didn't get round to it

  • and the fact that he "grassed" makes me think even more that there is more than just dyspraxia

    at 10 he should be able to keep secrets if it is about something naughty
    but he can't

  • We've been seeing the paed. I haven't seen her in a while. She sent us off with various referrals. One to occupational therapist and physiotherapists (combined), one to psychologist and one to dietician.

    Dietician thinks we need to deal with underlying causes of overeating. Paed even mentioned testing him for chromosonal abnormalities (the thought of which sends me into a blind panic - I assume she means prada willie (sp?)).

    Psychologist was a joke. We turned up a bit stressed out. We were about to go on holiday and were moving house as soon as we got back and so there was some underlying tension. She immediate blamed everything on me displacing my depression and blaming everything on Little Mint. When I'm strong I can dispute that but I wasn't strong that day and just sat and cried. So she referred us for family therapy. We're still waiting.

    School were useless but after a row with headteacher when she told him he needed to go on a diet, she eventually offered ed psych and I accepted ... he's being seen in March and I'm assured there's no conflict with other professionals.

    So, I think we're a way off a diagnosis. Community paed wants to see me again but we're having difficulty finding mutually convenient times. I don't get paid if I don't go to work (hourly paid contract) and she doesn't work when I'm off! Hoping to see her in March though.

    I'd be devastated if Little Mint got arrested. I just want him to understand that he doesn't need this so called friendship. I've explained it isn't true friendship and true friends don't get each other into any sort of trouble but I don't think he believes me. He will measure his own accepability on whether these twits give him attention or not.
  • No he can't keep any secrets Lurker.

    No, that's a lie. Bless him, he didn't tell my mum that I started smoking again. I don't know why. I've now stopped again and he still hasn't 'grassed' me up.

    Why do you say that that's more than dyspraxia?
  • Being unable to keep secrets is a common ASD trait (lack of theory of mind means they don't see that the other person does not already know everything they know).

    Have you seen this? There's a few bits where I have read something and thought 'exactly!'
    I have my doubts about some of the treatment they are using - I'm very much against anything involving flooding hypersensitive stimuli - but I'll be interested to see what happens when they get into the treatment bit.
  • Prader Willi wouldn't seem likely - that's usually very obvious from an early age - the overeating is really quite extreme & constant, & most commonly IQ <=70.
    I was really very overweight as a teenager (size 18) - comfort eating & lack of confidence at sport, & my brother was also quite tubby (he lost it all getting taller, & now he is at uni & lives on pot noodles he comes back worryingly skinny sometimes).

    I wouldn't dismiss family therapy 'till you've tried it - my family had it for a while (when I was in hospital with ED) and it was actually quite helpful - I suspect with all of us having some level of communication impairment &/or mental health problems it was useful to have a while to talk with someone around to look at what we were doing.

    Hope the ed. psych is useful - i'd expect them to know a fair bit about dyspraxia, it's probably one of the commoner things they'll deal with.

    [important note: I don't claim to be 'expert' on anything. I'm a psychology undergrad, which in no way qualifies me to do anything, and I have dyspraxia & lots of my family have dyspraxia or other PDDs].
  • Sorry DG, but I had to have a chuckle at your disclaimer in light of other discussions going on yesterday and today.

    You are indeed an expert because you are right in there experiencing the same as Little Mint and I always appreciate reading what you have to say on the matter.

    Just going to have a look at your link now.
  • DG - do you know if I'm meant to be at the meeting between Little Mind and Ed Psych? I've just been told the date but not a time which makes me think I'm not expected to attend. It might even be better if I don't but then again, if Little Mint puts on his "I'm normal" facade, he's sure to pull it off and we will have achieved nothing.
  • Little Mind = Little Mint (with a jolly big mind!)
  • don't get your hopes up
    the ed psych's are not that interested in dyspraxia
    they are interested in children who throw chairs around the classroom

    well they are here
    yours amy be fantastic
    we have never had any help from them
    but we have had two fanatastic
    and,when we eventually got there, some goot OT's (paediatric OT's are very few and far between BTW)
    and it was a physiotherapist who made the original diagnosis - after my GP sent us to see an orthopaedic consultant because i was concerned about how boy1 was moving - and he sent us on to the physio

    i amfortunate enough to live in an area with a children's hospitl - hence the paediatric OT's and physio's and on the ball paediatricians

    i would not consider leaving the area for that reason

  • mint
    it's difficult to disguise that certain adult way of talking

    adults who don't know think it is cute or a bit eccentric
    a psychologist should be able to pick it up

  • when we went to the local autism unit for assessment (again i am lucky - the dept for the west midlands is practically at the end of my rd - still had to wait ages but it was easy to get to) i was worried that they would challenge me and ask what i was dooing there with my perfectly normal child

    but they didn't

    they said they knew he was "one of theirs" as soon as he walked in the door
    it was fantastic to have people accept everything i said and just say mahy of the things he says and does are "typical"
    they didn't really have anything to offer us as he was already going to social skills groups and gross motor skills groups at school
    but i still left feeling happy
    because the were telling me i wasn't nuts
    that he does have problems
    and we were doing the right things to help him

    <and breathe>

  • Minty - you very probably do need to be at the ed psych meeting.
    It would not surprise me if she wants to ask about how Little Mint was when he was younger.
  • hmmm - actually my original diagnosis came from an ed psych (tactile defensiveness rather than dyspraxia, but i think that was the more 'popular' term then) - after referral to the Child Development Centre at hospital. But it was through school that all my most useful referrals have turned up, rather than via GP. Can't really remember all my primary school referrals. There was definitely a speech therapist who I saw lots, & lots of hearing tests every year too (recurrent glue ear), and a lot of ppl at the Child Development Centre who I was never really sure what they were all called (i suspect there was a neurologist at some point though as it says on my report), but I only saw them for a year or so before i went to secondary school & they stopped.
    at secondary I only saw the mental health ppl for depression rather than anything for dyspraxia - they thought i'd got something but wasn't really their concern. 6th form I got an excellent in-school learning support department who were the first people to 'officially' say dyspraxia, although by then i'd worked it out anyway. at uni there are lots of people who give me biscuits and book tokens to be allowed to give my brain a poke. This is fun and a good way of supplementing loan :¬)
  • I've already answered questions on paper about how he was as a baby.

    I knew from 6 weeks old that there was something 'wrong'. I've been telling the professionals ever since but they've never listened to me ... just keep offering me counselling.

    He reserves most of his peculiar behaviour for me and my mum.

    Thursday was classic. He broke his cornet by being disorganised and not putting it away. It's on loan from the County and so I arranged an exchange. I went to music services to do the swap and as I walked in I clocked a case and thought 'please don't let that be the replacement'. Of course it was the replacement. Nothing wrong just that it was a completely different case to the one he'd had. I knew this would send him over the edge and it did. So we had tears and tantrums and talk of giving up music (he's musically gifted too) because of the shame of being seen with this different case.

    I just ignored him (much to his disgust). 24 hours later it was the best case in the world and he loved it and couldn't wait to show it off at orchestra on Saturday morning. I ask you? Anyone witnessing that behaviour would think he was 3, not about to turn 11!

    Being the size of a 13/14 year old isn't helping him either.
  • Lurker, I believe I'm west midlands too but a lot more remote than you. I'm on the Welsh borders. I take it you're in B'ham.

    I might get joy with Ed psych if only because they're all feeling a bit guilty about taking so long to see him ... 2 years after first suggesting it. We kind of got forgotten somewhere along the way.

    Headteacher agrees that Little Mint has very low self esteem and difficulty maintaining friendships.

    Unfortunately, being of high intelligence, it doesn't place him in their remit of 'special needs' even though he is if only by reason of high intelligence alone. He's not a genius but he is gifted.
  • If I disappear off the radar over next couple of days, please excuse me. It's my strange working pattern but I'll be back. I really appreciate hearing what you have to say.
  • Mint - unless they've told you not to turn up, you might as well. Having strangers ask you to do weird, frustrating and annoying things is not much fun for most children, and apart from anything else you might want to ask them afterwards where things will be going - take a notebook!

    it has always annoyed me that children don't get extra 'special needs' support on account of being too clever. classwork can be just as meaningless if it's the millionth time of learning about 'food webs' as for childrne stuggling to keep up.
  • Don't get me started on Ed Psychs, teachers who can't hack the classroom so go off and do a Pysch MSc or whatever, come back and suddenly they know it all.
  • interesting - what makes you say that Huge?
    (you don't have to be a teacher any more to become an Ed Psych, am vaguely wonering about it when i graduate).
  • Just my experience DG, the ones I have dealt with always seem to think that they are intellectually on a higher plane than us lowly teachers, yes, even us with MA's so it's more of a personal bete noire than anything else, just that I spent 2 hours with one of them telling me what my job was and stating the bleeding obvious.
    I just find it vexing when all they do is quote theory but are frightened of getting their hands with kids in a school environment.
  • Today I phoned the Fire Brigade! There were great. They are going to send an educational officer round to 'educate' Little Mint about the dangers of fire ... and fit me a free smoke alarm (double bubble!).

    I told them that there were other kids involved and so they are going to contact the school as well.

    Fire officer asked if Little Mint had special educational needs. I explained that he's not diagnosed but may be slightly autistic. It shouldn't then come as any surprise if he behaves peculiarly. Knowing him he'll get quite excited about the dangers and will be asking if they can go and experiment with petrol or aviation fuel or something.

    I daren't even buy the petrol mower I would so love to have because I daren't keep petrol.
  • Huge, ref what you said on the 'For Me' thread, you don't sound daft at all.

    Little Mint is very huggable. I worry incessantly about him though. Lots of stuff playing on my mind at the moment. Weight, love of fire, paranoia ... he thinks a 13 year old in the village is going to hurt him ... as in put him in hospital. It goes on and on and on and we get over one problem and there's another. I could seriously write a book.

    I think the paed thinks I'm being a pushy mother ... he does come across as fairly normal.

    I've just upset his teacher because I told her that he thinks she's got it in for him at the moment. She says he's actually giving her a really hard time and being a bit rude to her. I don't know what to think any more. If you take a firm line with him he thinks your shouting at him and so he thinks she's constantly shouting even though she isn't (and I believe she isn't cos he's always accusing me of shouting when I'm just being firm). However, she won't accept what I say is different about him and so now she's really offended that he's accused her of shouting.

    I feel I can't do right for doing wrong.

    I'm so tired. I sometimes feel like putting my hand up and saying okay, you're right, I'm wrong. I just can't cope so where do we go from here. The day I do that though, I think I'll end up in a mental hospital!
  • phew here now
  • Mint
    when I was his age we bashed the heads of red top matches, bought meths and white spirit, did stuff. It had to have a risk attached to it otherwise it wasn't boy's stuff.
    Tis probs easy for him to boss the teacher especially in year 6 as he/she is (he says cynically) just waiting for them to leave for big school, which is a whole different oyster .
  • Yeah I know Huge. I was no angel myself ... I used to hang out with my two older brothers (much to their disgust!).

    If only it was just the fire thing. It's a whole host of stuff. I have another Badly Behaved Children thread from last year.

    He's just a bit different to the others. He says he feels different. He struggles to make and keep friends and believes nobody likes him. I do my best to boost him but it doesn't seem to be enough.

    His head teacher is alarmed at his low opinion of himself.

    On a positive note. He's very clever and has a fabulous sense of humour. He's loyal and very loving and I wouldn't be without him for the world.

    I just hope he's gonna be happy at secondary school.

    Must get to bed. Firewoman is coming in the morning to fit smoke alarms (in case he feels the need to burn the house down in the middle of the night!). Then we're off to Abertillery (I think) for a swimming gala. Deep joy. That'll take the whole day then!
  • Catch you tommorrow Mint, hate the fact that for the past x years in schools it's cool to fail, to be " a boff".
    Have a stepd who is scared of succeeding, how fecked up is that?
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