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Got any advice or ideas for me?
Re: 6yo ds

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#1 ~iMum~

Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:37 PM

Sigh. I'm not sure where to start or what exactly I'm posting this for so please be gentle with me.

Ds, now 6, was the perfect baby and toddler, but it became clear early on that he has a strong stubborn streak. Since starting prep last year (qld-full time) we can see he is a smart kid, but not a high performer. About the middle of last year he  didd't get the partner he wanted in a game the class was playing outside, so he staged a sit in on the spot and refused to move for over an hour. In the end, the principal had to call DH go up to the school to sort it out. When DH got there he  asked  DS  what was  going on, DS told him, and DH said too bad, that's not how it works and get to  class. DS was fine then and went back to  class.

Then, just before the Easter holidays he again didn't get the  partner he wanted for something they  were doing at school so he hit 2  other kids and 2 teachers!! And also spat on his best friends back. The teacher said it looked like  he just kept getting  more and  more worked up and wouldn't  calm down. He got lunch time detention for the next 3 days (as  well as home punishments), but didn't seem fussed by  it. Which is a  problem at home now that he's getting older - punishments don't bother him,  whether they  be loss of  privileges, not being allowed to a friends place, no treats etc. It just doesn't bother  him.

Other  things we've noticed:
- you can't give  him a series of  instructions, such as "take you lunchbox out  of your  bag and put it  on the sink,  then put your bag in your  room and  bring me  your  home reader". Given that we do  these things every school day, it shouldn't be that hard, surely? We need to  break it down and ask him one thing at  a time. It's effective, but slow.
- he doesn't talk  about 'stuff'. I'm not  really sure  how to describe it, but when  you ask him how is  day  was the answer is usually  one  word. Even if  you're more specific (eg. who did you play with at lunch  time and what did you  play?) he doesn't elaborate.
- road sense. He has none, just dawdles along..
- although still in a booster seat, he can't do up his seatbelt and doesn't even bother trying most times. He will also sit in the car and wait to be told to put it on (we usually make him at  least try to  do it), despite it being what he knows (or should know) is  something that has to get done every time you get in the car.
- about 6 months ago he we went DS1 to a friends place around the corner and was so belligerent and stubborn that she rang us to come get him and said he wasn't allowed there again because he wouldn't listen to her.

It's like he's all there, but there's something not quite right IYYKWIM? I know it sounds terribly stereotypical, but if he was a girl you'd probably think it was cute  that she's off with the fairies/in her  own world. A bit like an absent-minded, I suppose. Take school drop off for example, at the same age  I could drop DS1 (now 8) off  at the gate and trust he would make his way straight to class. With DS2, I just  don't trust that he would do the same thing. I've tested this out before by  pretending to be gone, but secretly  watching him; he goes to class, but dawdles along about it.

We have an appointment  with a  psychologist this coming Friday, to see if there's something to be concerned about. As a psych student myself, I'm at  a loss (not that I should be diagnosing yet anyway). DS doesn't seem to fit into any particular mold of disorder  ie doesn't appear to have aspergers traits, ADD/ADHD, etc. About the only thing I can think of is some sort of  processing delay/disorder, but I have no idea where or what because he doesn't 'fit' the descriptions I've read of auditory  or central processing disorders.

You could be forgiven for thinking we're being neurotic, but given his age and that his behaviours are being noticed/causing stress we can't not do anything. Can anyone help me out with any advice or ideas,  please?We just don't know what to do with him anymore sad.gif Is there anything I should be  asking him teacher to comment on that would  be  helpful for the psychologist?

Sorry, this ended up being waaay longer that I anticipated. Thanks if you read it all.

#2 ~iMum~

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:25 PM


#3 Ianthe

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

You may be better off posting this in challenging behaviour.

He sounds a bit like my eldest son who has mild ADD. Even now he is 15 and I can't overload him with instructions. Have you tried a visual chart with what he needs to do?

Something does sound not quite right for a 6yo. I hope the psychologist can put you on the right path.

#4 lizzzard

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

I'm no expert either, but it does sound like he might have some attention difficulties - attention disorders don't always include a hyper-activity component...?

Not sure what to suggest, but seeking the advice of a psych certainly can't hurt. Good luck original.gif

#5 ~iMum~

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:36 PM

Good idea Ianthe.

Mods, could you move this thread over to the challenging behaviour area, please?

#6 bubzillaiscoming

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:36 PM

Hmmmm sad.gif sounds difficult and like those behaviours would be a little bit troubling. Obviously I don't know your son at all and I know you have said that he doesn't seem to be Aspy, but when I was reading your thread all I could think of was Aspy. I am a secondary school teacher (state school in Vic) and see kids all along the spectrum and some of them display many 'normal' behaviours coupled with a few 'odd' traits but basically function well in a mainstream setting. Obviously I have no idea and you are doing the right thing consulting someone about him. With any behaviour that is a bit different (not an obvious problem) early intervention is key. You specifically asked if there was anything you should ask the teacher in order for you to inform the psych - in my personal experience, if there is a problem then the psych will be happy to contact the school direct to speak to the teacher (and they will probably ask more specific/direct questions). I would also be pushing for extra attention at school. It sounds terrible but many kids slip through the cracks and it is really the parents who push and push and push who get assistance and so on.
I think for now, you are on the right track - good luck on Friday!

#7 ShoshieRu

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:43 PM

It's like he's all there, but there's something not quite right IYYKWIM? I know it sounds terribly stereotypical, but if he was a girl you'd probably think it was cute that she's off with the fairies/in her own world.

Not my daughter original.gif She sounds very similar to your DS and people don't let her off the hook for being cute.

OP, I found 'Raising your spirited child' to be very helpful. My DD fits the definition to a tee. Spirited kids are 'more' at everything - more intense, more energetic, the list goes on. They can also be slow to adapt - so need lots of warning when a change is about to happen (which could even be 'pack up your toys, it's time for a bath'!!)

We had a terrible time with DD in her FYOS and her 2nd YOS and her 3 YOS ... you get the picture wink.gif Teachers would get frustrated because she is clearly very bright and imaginative but can't keep her butt glued to a seat, is very stubborn, is (seemingly) resistant to punishment.

Long story short though, DD's prep teacher (very experienced) did say to me 'those ones are great - they hit their stride in about Year 3 or 4'. At the time I thought 'no effing way!' but it is true. DD is nearly 8 and she is still spirited - she can't barely keep still at home or out and about - but she CAN sit in her seat and work and she is learning that she needs to do certain things to avoid certain consequences.

It took a lot of time (still does wink.gif ) and effort to give her clear and logical consequences for us to see her behaviour improve.

As for seeing a psych ... can't help you there. I've resisted that for years. Hope it helps for you though original.gif

#8 ~iMum~

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:52 PM

Bubzillaiscomin: re 'slipping through the cracks'. That's something I forgot to mention. The school we're at at the moment is only little (220-odd kids). Ds1 is proving to be quite the nerd and we'd like to move them to a week-regarded (but much larger) school to allow him to be more challenged at school. We worry, however, that ds2 will definitely 'slip through the cracks' at a larger school.

Shoshieru: yes, with the changes! Both ds's hate change and need lots of lead in time. Luckily, ds2has had the same teacher last year and this year. I worry how he's going to cope next year with a new teacher. He always gave new careers at kindly grief until he got his head around them.

#9 FeralZombieMum

Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:04 PM

I'm sure bmj will pop in here at some point.

It's great that you are getting the ball rolling with seeing a specialist. Let the school know, and see if there are other problems they haven't discussed with you.

If he does eventually end up with a 'label' it doesn't really matter what it is, just that it can help explain to you why he seems stubborn? difficult?, and you can then work on the right way to communicate with him.

I can see a lot of my DD's past behaviours in what you've posted. She's got a high IQ, has ADHD, Aspergers and Anxiety. Sometimes it's hard to know which of those 'labels' is the reason behind certain behaviours, often they seem to overlap one another where she is concerned.

QUOTE (whathousework? @ 15/04/2012, 06:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
although still in a booster seat, he can't do up his seatbelt and doesn't even bother trying most times. He will also sit in the car and wait to be told to put it on (we usually make him at  least try to  do it), despite it being what he knows (or should know) is  something that has to get done every time you get in the car.

This is something that used to frustrate me soooo much. She was my first, so I didn't know if I was expecting too much. In the end, I just ignored her and started the engine and drove slowly down the driveway. Unfortunately this made her more anxious and she started to hit herself and was yelling...but as soon as I was on the road, she'd managed to do up her seatbelt.
There were many times after this when she asked "Do I put my seat belt on?". I tried answering her, but then the next time, she seemed to take a step backwards.
So in the end, I ignored her again. Only took a few times of her going ballistic in the car before she realised that I wasn't going to help her with the seatbelt problem. (This was before she was diagnosed with Aspergers and in hindsight it wasn't the right way to go about it.  ph34r.gif)

Of course, we were lucky it eventually worked with her because she was afraid of not having her seatbelt on.

Unfortunately - she just found other things to 'need help with' - now it's "do I put my shoes on?" - she is almost 16!!! This is what life is like with her - we solve one problem, then a new issue arises - if we don't solve the problem, it eventually goes away, but another one will replace it.

Part of the issue is anxiety related - going in the car can be stressful because you are taking them to a different environment. When my DD is anxious, part of her brain (the one that contains common sense laughing2.gif) seems to shut down on her.

He may not actually know how to do up a seat belt. Get him to practice with the other seat belts.

If he knows how to do it up, you could try having a seat belt race with him.

I'd be looking at using social stories to help him with things like going to class in the morning, what to do when you don't get the partner that you want.

With getting organised - he probably needs visual clues - google PECS. (Picture Exchange Communication System). He probably needs something similar at school.

When at school, and a partner needs to be chosen - the teacher needs to say some thing beforehand, so that he understands he might not get his chosen partner. It's things like this - pre-warning him, that can reduce some of his negative behaviour.

Good luck! laughing2.gif

#10 Therese

Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:16 PM

I have moved this for you original.gif

#11 ~iMum~

Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:14 PM

Thanks, Therese.

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