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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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bluefish

Beavers

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bluefish   

First of all " Happy New Year!"

 

Ds has been on the waiting list for Beavers for ages, and finally got his place. He has been very excited and has talked of nothing else. He went tonight and didnt cope at all,as there were lots of children from school. He knew there would be and seemed ok about it(even though people in the wrong place is often a problem) He became upset and we came home. The hard part for me is that he is devestated! I had to carry him home sobbing(no mean feet struggling through the ice with a very ,upset six year old clinging on like his life depended on it I can tell you :whistle: )

He says he just cant go, I have said it doesnt matter at all,to which he repiled through his sobs" Yes it does it really does!" I suggested we try next week but he says that just cant happen.

anyway, just feel very sad for him.

does anyone else have this problem with people being in the wrong place?

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Mumble   
does anyone else have this problem with people being in the wrong place?

I know he's quite young, but is he able to tell you any more about what the issue is with people being in the wrong place? If you know the exact reason it will be easier for you/him to address.

 

I have a problem with having to mix with people I know/might know out of context (so for example, going out as a group to the pub after a lecture, sitting with a group for evening meals) because my facial/person recognition is so poor I have trouble in context - out of context I am completely lost and unable to identify people which in such a situation is difficult because they don't understand and I'm very aware that I know the people who are talking, but don't know them and all my efforts are put into thinking who on earth are you, how do I know you, how much do you know me and then trying to use that to build an appropriate response which I would find difficult even if I was sure who the person was :rolleyes:. The effort involved is exhausting and can be quite disorientating after a while, so I tend to zone out which further makes social integration/interaction difficult.

 

I don't know if he has a friend at school who also goes to Beavers, but maybe if you could identify someone (perhaps they're a bit young though :unsure:) who could be his special buddy so he only has to concentrate to start with on knowing, locating and identifying one out of context person? Also, if he sees this person coping with others out of context, maybe it would help him feel more settled (depending on the reason for his distress).

 

Alternatively, I don't know how many go who are not at his school - could you make links through whatever the Beaver equivalent of a Brown Owl is with some 'outside school' boys/girls and then he could develop Beaver friends separate from school peers.

 

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you could also try to establish if he would be happier going to a beavers where he knows noone. in my experience (i was a cubs helper) you should be able to find another group far enough away that it isn't 'local' without it being too far to travel (unless you live in the middle of nowhere). then he could have the beavers experience without the social stress of people in the wrong places. i have the same issue. it says a lot for my social skills that when i started brownies i didn't know/recognise anyone in my group... except that actually over half of them went to my school and 8 were in my class!

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bluefish   

Hi, great Idea about finding a beavers group where he does not know anyone, I think this could work?

He is still upset and keeps bursting into tears. He has said it was too noisey(which it was) and has tried to explain about not seeing people he knows. I now think part of the problem is as we live in a small area he knew all of the children, most from his old school who it seems for him no longer exist now he has moved schools and some from his new school who he says "belong at school"

He keeps saying he was frightened. I find it very hard to see him so upset. He is often very confident in situations and seems oblivious of the shyness some children would naturally show. He will happily march up to a shop assistant to ask them for something and is at ease with adults, but will then struggle terribly with something I think he will enjoy and take in his stride.It seems he finds the "fun things" much harder to cope with eg was terrified by the christmas fair (town shouldnt look like that!) wont go to parties or visit friends.

I think perhaps it was a little ambitious of me to think he would like beavers.... maybe in a year? I do understand his difficulties but do not ever want to assume he wont like or wont cope untill he tries as I think there will be many things he will enjoy.

 

Thank you for your replies x

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baddad   

I'm glad you put the sub-heading under the title of this thread... :whistle:

 

My son went to beavers for about 2 months. Mostly enjoyed it, but the woman who ran it who thought she knew about autism (yes! She had seen rainman!) found she didn't quite know as much as she thought she did...

If you can get your son to go back, or you can leave the door open for later on, it would be fantastic when he gets a bit older... i know my son would love to do cubs etc now with his old Beaver's mates, but with a waiting list a mile long wouldn't stand a cat in hell's chance of getting back in. and jamborees and stuff too! Yarroo!

 

L&P

 

BD :D

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Sorry to hear about ds bluefish. Its a shame to see wee ones upset, and you just want to take away their pain. Obviously I dont know to what extent is your ds affected, my little boy soon 7 has aspergers, when he was 5 i took him for taekwando because i have often heard parents of children on the spectrum giving it praise, so i thought i wil try. My son saw a boy from his class whom he was totally fixated on and he became very wild, he started pulling other peoples belt, i was so mortified, and the class master told me he could not come back "he said, I cant have that", later he said you can bring him next week. I just thought forget it. I tried him again when he was six and he saw a girl from his class and he said he wanted to be in her group even though she was in a higher belt, when i tried to explain to him he just pulled away from me. I nervously sat and watched as a lady was teaching them some moves, but there was a guy with a big booming voice, instead of following the lady in this little group he followed the guy. I decided that it was not for him as it was noisy. He went for gymnastic for a while and has now stopped as some girls were calling him names. He just goes for swimming and really enjoys it. I feel its is good to keep taking them to different things as they need to find their niche. There is quite a lot of things out there and it can be really overwhelming. I am quite happy with him just doing the swimming because he is a school for 5 days and mingles with other children for 30 hours a week, i think for some1 with aspergers its quite enough.I try to compensate for the fact that he does not have freinds by playing with him exclusively, rolling about on the floor, in the good weather we walk a lot and he talks to me, he sometimes goes on his bike while i jog. I want his childhood to be happy, as you have probably gathered i am a worrier, I find it difficult to parent him, i cant use my own insticts and always rely on what tony attwood says.

 

Kind regards and give ds a big cuddle

 

 

 

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caci   

Is he able to tell you what he thought Beavers would be like ? What he thought Beavers do ? It might be that he imagined a very different thing.

 

Is it posssible he was expecting real beavers (the animals?) - our children can take things SO literally sometimes.

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I'm sorry to hear that it was an upsetting experience for him >:D<<'> I attended Brownies when I was small, but only for about 4 months. I found that I felt very self-concious about seeing the other children 'out of school'. It was also noisy, and I think another negative factor was that it was stressful enough being at school all day, and then coming home and going straight off to Brownies was too much - I needed time to myself to wind down. However, I do think that these sorts of activities can be very beneficial for some kids.

 

The suggestion that was previously made about him having a 'buddy' or best friend there is a good one. I remember when I started violin lessons, I asked my only friend if she would go with me, and it made the world of difference. I felt far more comfortable. We even went on to perform in a show, which I know I certainly wouldn't have done if she wasn't there.

 

My brother (also ASD) has a big problem with seeing people from school/that he knows also.. We went to an event recently and he happened to see some children from his school. He pulled his hood up and ran and hid. Then later on when they said hello to him, he shouted at them and became angry. It can be so difficult. I hope everything works out for you both >:D<<'>

Edited by Thompsons

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Sally44   
Hi, great Idea about finding a beavers group where he does not know anyone, I think this could work?

He is still upset and keeps bursting into tears. He has said it was too noisey(which it was) and has tried to explain about not seeing people he knows. I now think part of the problem is as we live in a small area he knew all of the children, most from his old school who it seems for him no longer exist now he has moved schools and some from his new school who he says "belong at school"

He keeps saying he was frightened. I find it very hard to see him so upset. He is often very confident in situations and seems oblivious of the shyness some children would naturally show. He will happily march up to a shop assistant to ask them for something and is at ease with adults, but will then struggle terribly with something I think he will enjoy and take in his stride.It seems he finds the "fun things" much harder to cope with eg was terrified by the christmas fair (town shouldnt look like that!) wont go to parties or visit friends.

I think perhaps it was a little ambitious of me to think he would like beavers.... maybe in a year? I do understand his difficulties but do not ever want to assume he wont like or wont cope untill he tries as I think there will be many things he will enjoy.

 

Thank you for your replies x

 

I too think he might be better or okay with a beavers group where he does not know anyone. The 'confidence' you talk about may actually be the fact that he does not have the anxiety of having to go up to someone he already feels is familiar in a shop. It is a new experience and therefore he does not have to try to sift through his memory to 'find' who this shop assistant is. In any familiar yet different situations the struggle of trying to process and understand the information may just be too much for him. This kind of perception is usually called gestalt. So imagine that every environment is like a completed puzzle to your son. If he then finds people in the 'wrong place' it is like pieces from one puzzle have been put into a totally different puzzle, which makes them familiar yet strangely out of place.

I would just talk to your son about it matter of factly and say that you understand that he finds it very upsetting when he sees people from his old school at beavers. But also tell him that not everyone feels like he does and that is why other people do not get upset when he does. I have found that explaining to my son that he has a difficulty in a certain area when others don't helps him understand that he is not mad, bad or stupid, but that he is trying to cope with something that others do not have a problem with.

 

I'm about to attempt to take my son to cubs on 19th January. My son also has problems with identifying people. He still cannot name 6 members in his class.

 

You could also make up an 'environment' game where you have some A4 sheets of paper and write the environment on each eg. home, school, supermarket etc. Then have some named faces of people. Ask him to put them in the place he knows them, then see if you and he can identify another environment where he might see that person. You could start by using a picture of himself eg. at home, then move it to school, then move it to the supermarket or the cinema etc. See how he reacts to this and talk about it. If he recognises a school friend by name in school, ask him if he sees that person in the supermarket would he know who it was? There are many adults with autism who talk about recognising people by their colour of clothes, perfum or the way they walk rather than their face. And how confused they got if they met a different person with the same perfum, or a familar person dyed their hair. One girl I used to chat to via email told me that she found it very hard to go home during holidays (she was at university), because when she returned her dad had either grown a beard, or shaved it off - her mother would have dyed her hair, wear a different perfum and new clothes, her siblings would be taller and appear different. She used to ask them to send her a recent photo of all of them so that she could study them in the days prior to going back home. Sometimes she never went home because she found the changes too disturbing.

Out of interest does he also get upset if you tidy his room, or move furniture around or buy a new piece of furniture or change your appearance?

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Sally44   

Regarding noise, I also have a pair of DIY ear defenders that go everywhere with us. If he needs them they go on.

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bluefish   

Hi Sally, thank you for your reply it made a lot of sence. We had a difficult night, as he was scared of going to school(which he adores) as he was worried his teacher would ask him about beavers.He managed ok this morning, he waited outside his classroom and I told his teacher to please not ask him if he enjoyed it,and put a note in his home/school book to explain he had found it upsetting. We also took buiscuits in for snack time for his class as a very special treat which made him feel important!

 

 

Yes he has a huge problem with things being moved or tidyed. and also hates it if I change my hair of purfume!

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puffin   

I really feel for you. However it can take quite a while to settle into a new activity. Do you think he would try again - for example if you promised to wait outside or something like that? Perhaps it will take longer to realise that kids from school belong at beavers as well

 

We had a similar issue when DD1 AS/ADHD decided she wanted to be a figure skater at the age of 6. She really could not cope for the whole time because of sensory issues and sometimes she found it all too hard. So we spent a year - perhaps more - sitting in the changing rooms waiting for her to come off the ice because she'd had enough sometimes she'd manage 20 minutes - other days it was 10.

 

However suddenly she was doing a full lesson - DH remembers the day when she was around 9 when she announced he didn't need to wait! A few years later she got it into her head she wanted to go to a 6 day residential camp by herself. That was perhaps a step too far as the reality of sleeping in a dorm with 14 other was tough but she manged 3 days which I thought was pretty good.

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sesley   

could you get some of the children he knows from school to chat to him to say how much they enjoyed going to Beavers ,and when they are at school to,approach him and say how much fun Beavers was lst night and hope to see you there next week. Some how explain that it must be a good place to go for if he likes it and so school people like it too. Could you get a program of what Beavers will be doing over the year and show you son and ask him,if there is anything in particular he is interested in.Could you write a social story about how people go to school and wear a uniform and how some people like to go to Beavers in another uniform, and write the names of the people in your story from school to match the Beaver names . Explain you will see people you know in school,in shops in church in Beavers.

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cmuir   

Hi

 

Yes, I've experienced something similar with my son, though not at Beavers. Would it be possible to wean your son in gently? For example, perhaps you could ascertain what activities they'll be doing, then prepare your son a little before you go. Could your son also go for a short period of time, building up to a full session when he can manage it.

 

Best wishes

 

Caroline

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you may also find that you can help out at his beavers, would that give him more confidence (at first at least). i got involved with cubs because i had to go to supervise some very challenging children we had in placement. they were more than happy to have me help as it took the strain off them to deal with the more difficult behaviours, but i actually spent more time helping other kids or standing in the kitching just keeping an eye on things.

 

you should also find that different beavers are run in very different ways. our local one is absolute chaos (which drives the parents nuts) but others in the area are far calmer. it might be worth calling round any other groups in the area and asking them about their noise/behaviours.

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bluefish   

Hi once again thanks for the replies.

Ds really does not want to try again and has decided he might when he is a year 2!

Lots of the children he knows were very kind to him and tried to get him to join in but he simply said "Leave me alone"

I was with him as I was filling out crb forms so I could help out and before I could finish the forms he was poking his eyes and begging to leave:(

He also is so independent he does not want me around.....

Last night was the most distressed I have seen him in over a year, since things were awfull at last school.

I was heart broken last night that he was saying he didnt want to go to school,as the children had seen him upset and "people will ask about beavers"

He managed well at school today(thank goodness) his teacher said he did not mention it to her but she heard him telling some children he would be a Beaver in year 2!

 

I think after it upset him so much we will leave it for a year! I had almost forgotten how distressed he can get and what an effect it has on me when we have very difficult nights. I was so scared last night that it was going to affect school where he is so very very happy.

It is funny as I prepare him for everything,like a school trip, I drive miles to show him where it will be ,how long it will take to get there, what door he might go in ect, we check out how it smells,what the seats are like at a theatre so there are no suprizes and the stress is not there for him (or his teachers/classmates)on the day and this system really works for us, So when he seemed so excited at the thought of beavers I did none of this preperation......things have been so good since his new school last year I think I fell into a false sence of security and assumed he would just love it!

 

Thanks for replies!

My worst day in over a year,with lots of crying

on the plus side although I had a rotten day and was so worried about him, not only did he do great, but that cant be bad to have a really tough day in a year! ;)

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