My son is 8 and I'am concerned about his behaviour. He has a LD (perceputal) that affects reading, math and most importantly memory. He is starting a new school in Sept and I know he will not remember the other children's names. It took him three years in his old school to learn the children's names- he can not even remember his cousins names. He has always had problems with social skills, he can be very annoying- in your face type of child. Lately, he is mean to his siblings and even friends, I remind him constantly not to do things- even take away privelages but we keep coming back to the same unacceptable behaviours. He is the oldest of four children, and I am not sure what other 8 year olds are like, but how do we get him to realize his mistakes and change the behaviour. I just want him to be happy. I feel like he has enough to deal with having a L.D. but I know if we don't deal with this he will not make friends. If he is told to stop doing something, he immediately does especially if it comes from a person of authority (school), but it seems he just can't remember- that the behaviour is wrong. Any help/ suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
There is no quick fix that can be offered here and your son sounds like a very interesting young man. The easy answer for his new school would be to affix each child's name to their desk and/or for the teacher to have a bulletin board with each child's picture and name on it. I would speak to the school and his teacher in advance about this particular challenge he faces and find a way to suggest the bulletin board idea to help him as best can be done. You might also want to have a conversation with your son and then the teacher about whether the class should be told of your son's difficulty with names so they understand that he is not uncaring of their names - he just has trouble remembering them.
Learning social skills is a hard task for most children and it comes harder to some than others. Learning social skills is a task that we pursue through life and those who have the extra challenges that your son has will need extra time. Does he have friends? He might realize his mistakes if, as he loses friends or has trouble making them, he's gently and kindly reminded of the behaviors that drove the other kids away.
My own LD son used to invite children over to the house and then quickly tell them they could not touch any of his toys. He pronounced all of his toys as "special" and the guest would be allowed only to watch him play with his own toys. The child quickly asked me to take them home and the natural consequences served to slowly help my son to figure out that if he wasn't happy playing alone, he'd need to start sharing.
That your son quickly does the opposite of what an authority figure is telling him isn't to me a sign he can't remember. That's a common behavior for much younger children seeking attention that he continues to display. That should be dealt with by the authority figure who should explain in no uncertain terms that he isn't going to get cute attention when he does that as does a toddler.
The harsh reality is that before your son can be happy as you want him to be, he's probably going to have to endure some unhappiness and that can be a powerful help in helping him to learn a different way to be.
THanks for the great advice, It seems so simple, but I guess where my own child is concerned,things get cloudy. My son did have friends at his old school, this behaviour is relatively new. It's hard with all his other problems to face one more failure- but you are probably right that he will have to learn on his own. Thanks again, for the great suggestions, at least it will take one matter off my mind. Darlene