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Gravitating towards vulnerable children

Chirpy chicken April 24, 2019 13:07
Hi folks, This isn't for myself but for a friend who isn't on this site, I am currently supporting her so looking for suggestions. AS has been with her since the age of 3, he will be 11 this year. The child has always been a wee cutie, a very handsome chap with the most gorgeous eyes. Has above average intellect, but emotionally very young. He is a compulsive liar and very manipulative but because he looks like butter wouldn't melt he gets away with a lot of things from everyone but my friend who manages him with firm rules and boundaries.take those boundaries away and he cannot regulate himself and this is when he gets himself into bother. He doesn't have a true friend but is desperate to be liked, He gravitates towards vulnerable children, either looked after or children who should be looked after! However as he to eager to please, this is where the problems start! he is currently in his last year of primary school, which is very local, he only has to walk down a path from his house to the school, a 5 minute walk, however this has its challenges, with his silly behaviours. He thinks his silly behaviours will get his peers approval, but what is happening is the parents of other children as saying "don't play with him" His transition to high school has started, an odd day here and there. This involves him having to get a bus as the school is about 2.5 miles away. And now he is meeting other children from different primary schools, and like a magnet, he has gravitated towards the children who are as vulnerable as he is. My friend is very worried about how she is going to manage this and keep him safe. When he has gone to clubs and activities, my friend has to stay, as it goes pear shaped if she leaves. My friend is a non driver so transporting him to school is not possible. Starting high school this year, my friend is going to lose some of the control/strategies she currently uses , As he is inevitably going to have more freedom, but with this ther will be more trouble! Anyone any suggestions of any books or written articles that may help her support him through the changes that will come in moving to high school this year
Edited 17/02/2021
waterfalls April 24, 2019 13:30
Hi Chirpy chicken, I am afraid i don't know of any books or articles that would help to support him through the changes to senior school, but as he lacks emotional maturity i am not sure that he would be able to take on board any of the suggestions anyway. I must admit the words "silly behaviours", "doesn't have a true friend", needing firm boundaries, and your friend having to stay with him at clubs to prevent it going pear shaped, compulsive liar and manipulative, all of this suggests to me that something other than attachment is going on. Has your friend had him assessed for ADHD/ASD ? My ad is also desperate for a true friend but doesn't have one- and this is because she has ASD and has no clue how to make and keep friends and she will also act "silly" in order to get peer group approval. She also lies all the time and is quite manipulative as well. When you say he can't make the 5min walk to school without acting silly - is this because he is running off and/or climbing inappropriately with no sense of danger? - my ad has ADHD and when her meds wear off she does this also. If it were my ad then i would not let her walk even 5mins to school by herself - even on her meds she is very vulnerable and i wouldn't trust her at all. Also for senior school i would be taking her to school on the bus myself if it were me - but i appreciate your friend may not be able to do this. I would contact the senior school and see if they have bus buddies - in my eldest's school they are told by the teachers to look out for the younger children on the trains/buses and make sure they are ok - perhaps one of the older children could be linked up with her son and 'escort' him to and from school? my ad is in special ed and gets the school bus to and from school - theres no way on earth i would trust her on her own on public transport and she is aged 12. In fact i can't ever see a time in the future when i would be happy to let her go anywhere on her own. i hope someone with better and more helpful advice will be along soon. best wishesxx
Edited 17/02/2021
Donatella April 24, 2019 18:22
He sounds like a very vulnerable young boy who’s very open to being exploited, bullied etc. What formal support is your friend receiving? Is she in touch with other adopters? Does the boy have contact with any other adopted children? Can i assume that his current school and secondary school are aware of his adoptive status and aware of any potential issues he may have? It does sound as if has some quite complex needs that reading a book isn’t going to fix. Has mum considered that there may be more to this than adoption/attachment/trauma? What does she know about genetic history. Is there anything that could be at the root of his behaviour? When mine were younger all their issues were assume to be attachment - that wasn’t the case and with the right diagnoses came the right support. Has he seen an EP? Paeds? Camhs? ASF for therapeutic support? I think for sure this is a conversation she needs to be having with the senco in both schools so that support is put in place.
Edited 17/02/2021


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