Not sure if I should laugh or worry

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2006
Not sure if I should laugh or worry
9
Wed, 09-15-2010 - 4:51pm

I went to pick up Nathan, my "NT" 9-year-old, from school yesterday, and he said something kind of strange.

He said, "I was at recess today, and a kid who I've never seen before in my life came up to me and asked me my name. I did something which I believe was the right thing to do. I said to him, 'Can I be sure it's safe for me to trust you?'"

I waited for the punch line. Well, there was none. He had said that to the kid, and the kid walked away. I told him that if a kid on the playground comes and asks his name, the kid is reaching out, and wants to see if you can be a playmate. It would have been good for Nathan to give him his name.

We are not a very social family, I admit. We're pretty extreme introverts, and don't really know anyone. So that would explain why he's not a social butterfly, I suppose. But I don't think we ever gave him any reason to mistrust kids on the playground. So I wonder where that came from.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2006
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 3:06pm

It's nice to know we aren't alone.

Sometimes I worry about Nathan. He's not AS, but he's got a whole bunch of little anxieties and that kind of thing.

In fact, this morning I got a glimpse of something that's been bugging him. It's not got anything to do with the thing about strangers, but I think I'll put it in this thread anyway, because I suspect others will be able to relate to it.

It's Monday, and, like so many other days, he was really worried and negative about having to go to school. He said it was going to be a terrible day because he has Music. I always assumed his issue with Music class was sensory. You know, having to be in a class of 32 kids, half of them singing off-key, while banging on their percussion instruments.

Well, it turns out, the real problem is that he's terribly nervous about singing where others can hear him. That would explain why he gets so angry when I say things like, "I heard you singing in your room, and wow, you have such a beautiful voice!" This is something I can relate to very well. I spent all of 5th and 6th grades with my stomach in absolute knots because of oral reports. I couldn't sleep, and I was a jittery mess for two years. I don't want him to have to suffer like that, and I don't want him to grow up like I did, as a person whose life choices have been severely limited by fear.

So, this morning, when I dropped him off at school, I poked my nose into the music classroom and had a chat with the teacher. I have to admit, I've never really cared for this teacher (my boys' only music teacher for the past six years), and I'm not sure that I accomplished much by being there. I told her of Nathan's anxiety, and she said it's because he's an introvert, and as long as she had hear him singing just a little bit, his grade won't suffer. I told her that I'm not worried about his grade, but I would love to see him get past his fear.

I could tell we weren't on the same page. I wasn't trying to get Nathan excused from having to sing. I was trying to get her to work with him to help him be comfortable with singing. I'm no expert, but surely there are tricks to relaxing and working through performance fear? I don't want to just accept that he's got limitations because he's "an introvert." Introverts can perform and give speeches. They just don't want to party all night afterward.

I've been thinking of him all day, though. I hope this teacher manages to do something helpful for him. Judging from what I've seen over the years, my hopes aren't all that high.

Evelyn

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 9:11am

We have the problem with taking safety messages slightly literally here too. I got a huge lecture about internet safety in chat rooms recently and there was a whole, complicated argument about obeying people in uniforms when he was reading the Book Thief and The Boy in Striped Pyjamas, the downside of being clever AND literal :-)



Kirsty mum to Euan (11, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"



Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/



"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2006
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 11:23pm

Oh Rocket, you just described my kids ROFL.

I tell ya, the smoking, drugs and alcohol thing they teach in school is of course a great idea, but so hard for our kids LOL.

I feel sorry for my SIL as we only see family about 4 times a year, but a few times she drank a bit too much. Not bad (really no one in my dh's family really over dose it, but they do like to drink at family gatherings) but enough for him to mention that she is drinking too much and she must be an Alcoholic ROFL.

I have had to explain, no, she just really enjoyed herself on christmas lol. And OMG Alcohol is a drug mom, wellllll sorta honey lol.

I swear I worry all the time what he must tell teachers LOL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 4:39am
My ds is the same way. When they had the DARE program he became downright militant about drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. If he saw someone smoking he would say "Don't you know there
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-2010
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 4:11am

One thing that we run into with Dawson is we warned him not to talk to strangers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2008
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 8:23pm

I had to laugh when I read what Nathan said to the kid. Almost sounds like a line out of a movie. Perhaps he heard that somewhere?

I'm very introverted and often don't leave the house during the week. I work from home so I never have to leave the house really until I need something from the store, etc. Ryland also loves to be at home. He often gets angry if we have to go out. :)

Photobucket
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Wed, 09-15-2010 - 8:08pm

<<>>

My quirky, ADHD kid is the same way. When we run into the classmate, the classmate will seem to be excited to see DS, but DS acts like he barely knows him. When I ask, "Who was that?", my son will say something like, "Oh, it's so-and-so from school", and I know that I've heard him talking about so-and-so before, and has previously identified him as a friend. I'll ask if they are no longer friends, or whether there is a problem, but he always says (seemingly sincerely) that there is no problem and that they are still friends, and when I ask him directly why he's so standoffish, DS responds by shrugging his shoulders.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2006
Wed, 09-15-2010 - 7:27pm

Well, remember, Nathan is my "neurotypical" kid. Well, as NT as anyone in my family gets. None of us are NT poster children, I suppose. He's certainly got his quirks.

As important as it is for kids to know that they can't go taking rides and candy from strangers, sometimes I think we, as a society, go a bit overboard. They're always having school assemblies about Stranger Danger. Sure, I don't want them to be total morons, like I was, taking rides from any ol' tattooed, toothless, rebel-flag-waving, guy in a pick-up truck. (Yeech! Where was my brain?)

But we are so isolated and insulated. When I was a kid, you could walk out your front door and there would be other kids playing outside. Their mothers would be inside, cooking dinner, and looking out the window once in a while. The grown-ups in the neighborhood pretty much knew whose kid was whose. Now, at least where I live, it's totally different. We never, ever see kids outside playing, because they are all either at organized activities or doing their four hours of homework. Cars go into their garages, and disappear, so we never see our neighbors.

What you said about Peter reminds me of David. He never, ever, ever acknowledges someone when he sees them out of context. Even at school, when we go to pick up Nathan, when his former teachers see him and say hello, he doesn't respond. Sometimes he doesn't recognize them, but sometimes I'm sure he must. It's the same with classmates. He won't even talk to classmates who he considers "friends", if it's not in the right setting. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that I'm there. Who knows?

Evelyn

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Wed, 09-15-2010 - 6:41pm

We ran into our next door neighbour in the dentists office and peter was downright RUDE. He turned his back on poor Martin, who he has known all his life and who always remembers him at Christmas, and started (audibly) muttering things about stalkers.

Turns out he didn't recognize our neighbour out of context and he therefore -after hearing a Talk in school abotu sexual predators, immediately jumped to the worst possible scenario of why a strange man would want to speak to me.

Luckily Martin was very understanding about the whole thing.

It sounds like Nathan jumped to a similar kind of conclusion. The only explanation I can think of is our kids usually think in black and white -no grey. So if he doesn't know the kid, he's a Stranger. And a Stranger is usually a Bad Thing. In fairness to Nathan, he did give the kid the benefit of the doubt, (but not enough, apparently). He wasn't mean and handled it well. Peter probably would have been less nice in that kind of situation.

It is very very difficult to explain these kinds of social nuances to our kids, but we just have to keep plugging away with the examples.

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com