Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Rookie question - am I overthinking things?(12 Posts)
EP assessed DS(nearly 6 - Y1) last week. not got report yet but had feedback phone call. One of the things she said was that school is a very anxiety making place for DS and this is the root of a lot of his behaviours.
Getting referred to investigate sensory processing issues, ADHD, ASD, and EP proposing help with gross and finemotor skills issues in the first instance.
So, DS is very active, often seeming not able to keep still even if it really is important to do so (unsafe location, or just plain inappropriate in the circumstances) - jumping skipping spinning, dancing and generally just throwing himself around a lot. He seems happy when he is doing these things.
I know he is like this when he is excited, or very tired, but had not occurred to me it could be anxiety driven...until now.
He is often like this on his way into school - I had always thought this was exuberance as he loves school (despite being in trouble a lot) and I often encourage him to let off steam in the playground, and then try and help him calm down, focus a bit, take some deep breaths etc. before he goes into class.....but any calming effect lasts about three seconds and he's off doing gangnam style again.
If its anxiety based and I cant directly control what goes on in class, how can I help him cope and be calm, or should I just let him express himself and put the onus on the school to make the class a less anxiety making place?
i think a referral to an OT who has experience in sensory intregration therapy may also help. it sounds like he is using all this energy as a way of calming himself down. It maybe the the school enviroment is too much for him - the noise etc and so this is how he makes himself less anxious.
my son is exactly the same and has now been dx with sensory modulation dysfuntion - he also has asd and ADHD
If he has sensory problems and is hyposensitive to movement, he may need to move vigorously as he is seeking the sensation. My DS has ASD and is very active, hyposensitive to many senses, but not usually due to anxiety in his case, more due to excitement. He enjoys these stims, they don't happen when he's anxious or upset, but he still finds them very hard to control.
There are DC who don't meet the ASD criteria for DX but still have sensory processing disorder. It may well take an OT trained in SPD to work out the cause. They should also be able to recommend a sensory diet/programme to help him cope in school, weighted lap blanket, wobble cushion, sensory breaks maybe?
I'm not saying your DS is like my DS, obviously I don't know, but keep an open mind. If the EP is seeing anxiety, your DS may be more anxious than mine.
He sounds very much like my ds although he is quirky as well. OT was no help to us told us he is a sensory seeker and then goodbye. Ds definatly has anxiety i see it in him i have a history of anxiety myself (family blame me on this one), he's always fidgeting and making noise never walks has to skip and hop, the only 7 year old boy i see who skips home from school! hes always climbing over the back of the sofa or lying on it or in the windowsill, yesterday we baked cakes have never been able to do it before as he was too dangerous in the kitchen, he was better but struggled kept telling himself 'deep breaths, deep breaths' then stuck his hand on the hob 'to see if it was hot' luckily it wasnt on but i had told him already no touching the cooker! he knows about road sense but if his anxiety is high say he sees a dog it all goes out the window and he dives onto the road (this may be an age thing though im unsure)
Ds also loves school despite his peers being sketchy with him friends one day pushing him the next, ive asked him if he worries about anything at school, the noise, change etc and he says no but he definatly seems calmer on school holidays less stims etc so i dont know.
Ellen, BJK thank you - you have put some perspective in this.
As i say i never considered anxiety and he is always joyful at going to school and it could be a calming technique, or sensory seeking technique regardless of mood.
In fact the point he becomes obviously unhappy or anxious is when he is asked to stop, and if he doesn't stop in class then he gets into throuble as he is expected to sit still and pay attentoin...and then he has a meltdown - that is not usually jumpy/spinny, that is verbal wailing and knashing of teeth and running away (or flailing if he is stopped form running away).
Without an OT assessment I guess we are stabbing in the dark...I just dont want to be making things more stressful by trying to 'calm' so he's being more compliant with behaviour expectations, if that is stopping him from calming himself...IYSWIM.
Its all very complicated and I can see this taking a long time to find out the best ways to help DS....in the mean time we potentially continue to unkowingly get it wrong and do the opposite of what he needs...
if he did have diffcult modulating things he will find it incredibly difficult to get himself into a just right state. this is a whole new area for me. my son used to chew and he was struggling at school so we got a private OT report - it was an eye opener for us to realise that he had such difficulties. we are now fighting for him to get OT in his statement. he has high anxiety and is now completely out of school. I am not suggesting that this may be what happens to your son but the OT isnt necessarily about 'calming' him its being able for him to be able to be in a good state for learning etc and that can be quite a lengthy process as it will be trial and error for each child as to what works best for them
Wobble cushions are good, because the child gets sensory feedback all the time and has to work at keeping still! Sounds all wrong, but they do seem to work for some. May be a short term idea while you are getting an assessment sorted. Not all OTs know much about SPD, BTW, you need to make sure you get one who does.
JeffFaFA (Dunham.com??)lol - our DS sound so similar..sorry crossed posts. now I'm even more confused.
DS has anxieties that i recognise - but reactions are more like something life threatening is about to happen and he needs to get away...even though it might only be washing with soap (or is that just a boy thing?), being touched on the shoulder unexpectedly or physically coralled anywhere (school do this a lot).
Oh well, will learn as we go I suppose...and take the professional opinions if they seem to be sensible and reflect reality.
got to love peanut lol I picked that name because ds reminds me a bit of peanut with the excitibility lol. Ds confuses me in everything he does, he loves to brush against people practically surgically attatched to people in the playground but seems its on his terms if i or his brother touching him unexpectably he jumps and either laughs on shouts 'oi' or reacts slightly aggressively depending on his mood, he dosnt really have meltdowns at all any more in the pre school years they were shocking 3 hour tantrum because i crossed the road the wrong way! now he is just huffy and emotional, cries alot and i see his anxiety increase (the stopping of meltdowns is what makes me think its unlikely asd)
ds has a wobble cushion at school he dislikes using it though, he also has chewlery but hes not allowed to use the cushion off his chair so not at carpet him or assembly etc and the chewlery was taken off him for pinging it
The most obvious thing about ds at the moment is despite his constant energy when he stops he lazes about, he will run round the supermarket but sit on the floor at the checkout or lean on the shelves, he will skip to school but hold onto the pram and lean on it, he is starting to look wobbly stands very awkwardly with his arm up hes started doing it when sitting at the table as well, like the taller he gets the more effort upon him, tried to get him to do a wheelbarrow position the other day after reading on here, it was like trying to hold jelly!
yes, DS is very touchy feely grabby cuddly...when he wants to be, with absolutely anyone...stranger danger is a nonsense as far he is concerned.
He gets quite upset if you do not allow him to grab/cuddle you.....which obviously some friends/adults do as they dont like it.
Trying to teach him about personal space of others (defends his own very well) and he just collapses in tears...he doesn't understand why you would not want a cuddle from him.... he cant stand the rejection...but would happily thump or shove someone if their being too close was a bit annoying, and that is justified as far as he is concerned.....but suggest that others might treat him the same if he invades their space and he's horrified that anyone would do that ......no idea what to do with that one.
Its a minefield.
Ds to a T that. I'am mortified when visiting friends and family as he has to sit on their lap, be in their face put their arms around him have constant attention from them has even tried to lick them, annoying but cute at 3,4... innapropriate at almost 7. He hated giving me and dh cuddles when younger never asked for one ever and if we asked would say no or sort of stick his head on you but we had lots of proper cuddle conversations with him and now he asks for them all the time, if we say not now (as hes had 100) or we are in the middle of something he takes the rejection hard will cry and try and do it anyway, he will climb on you which hurts at his size and if you tell him hes hurting you dosnt care, wont get off and we have to really shout at him and lift him off he just says 'but I like it' 'its not hurting ME' makes taking him anywhere really difficult
It doesn't solve anything, but just knowing DS is not the only child like this, and I am not the only one trying to understand this, is comforting.... someone else understands...which is huge! thank you
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