A Story From England

I have a nine year old son. He is a loving, caring child who can show sympathy and worry about others. However, since kindergarten he has struggled his way through school. When it became obvious he wasn't settling in school and was fighting and getting into trouble in the classroom, the school asked for him to be assessed for ADHD, ADD, and Asperger's disorder. The child psychologist said that he didn't have any of these conditions, that he was wired slightly differently and needed some extra assistance and guidance.

My son was suspended in second grade for hurting a child whilst he was fighting over a pencil. He was suspended in third grade for ignoring an instruction from a teacher. At the end of the fourth grade he was asked to leave the school. When we explained to him that he wouldn't be returning to school, my son cried for hours. It was so sad...I know no matter how much he tries, my son can't help himself and doesn't seem equipped to settle at school. Every day I tell him it's a new day...that he deserves to be happy and enjoy life...to have what the other kids have...but it never really makes much difference.

We moved recently and he started a new school. We discussed how it was a nice school where he could have friends and a fresh start. Quickly he was lashing out at kids and generally being not very nice to them. He was suspended last week and returned today. I am at my wit's end...I'm losing hope for him...and I really don't know what to do. My son is desperately unhappy and has no friends, although in the past he has had very good friends at home and at school. I look at him and can't imagine what it must be like to have an unhappy childhood. It makes me so sad for him.

I'm very open and honest about my son's behaviour...I know he isn't a bad child. But I do worry and wonder where it will end. I go to collect my kid at school every day and parents ignore me and gossip about me and my family. Whilst I understand that they are disdainful because he has been hitting their kids, I know also they don't know my son...the kid who is affectionate and loving at home. He's my kid and I don't have the choice to give up on him no matter how frustrated and helpless I feel. So I am the mum who puts on a smiley face and asks him encouragingly every day how his day was. It's very hard for us as a family...but life seems so much harder for him.