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Personality or something more?

(3 Posts)
KitKat84 Thu 09-Jun-11 18:33:03

I have a 5 y/o ds who is worrying me. He has always displayed certain personality traits but since starting school in September they have decreased. However the last couple of months seem to have got worse again.

He has massive sensory issues - clothes are a nightmare - socks aren't right/shoes not fitting right/doesn't like cuffs of his school jumpers touching his wrists/doesn't like the texture of his polo shirt etc .....

Things have to be "right" which I know can be quite common in young children but this is utterly obsessive - if a banana doesn't peel the "right" way he will go mad. We made ice lollies the other day and when he wound it up to eat it, the top wasn't even and he had a massive tantrum.

He will eat about 5 different types of food - pasta, cheese, bread, chocolate and bananas. Oh and cake. Any food which isn't one of these gets ignored or tantrumed about.

His tantrums are by far the worst I have ever experienced and I work with children. He will literally throw himself and scream, he's a big boy and carrying him with him thrashing about everywhere has resulted in my nose bleeds/bite marks etc ... I can recognise things that trigger these tantrums and can often distract him before he gets worked up but sometimes no distraciton will work. For instance he dropped a cake on the way out of school the other day and he went crazy. Took me 45 minutes to get him home on a journey that normally takles 10. he will say "sorry sorry sorry I will stop crying" but as soon as he does then he carries on.

He hates being late for things, we were 30 seconds late getting into the cinema last week so he barely missed any of the film but then proceeded to have a 15 minute tantrum outside the cinema. I couldn't take him in until he calmed down and then as soon as we went in he started again. I managed to distract him and he managed to watch the rest of the film with minimal fuss.

He cannot play sports without tantruming. He did do an after school sports club but I have had to pull him because he was so agressive if he lost.

he is very attached to his teacher. She has her ppa time on a Thursday morning and another teacher takes her place and ds refuses to go in whilst shouting he doesn't like this teacher. I had to have 2 teachers trying to get him in the classroom this morning as he refused to go in for me.

However he is very affectionate, makes eye contact and although he doesn't have any close friends, he will play with other children. he is articulate, bright (but not more than average iyswim) and can be a funny little man when he wants to be.
Whilst he can show mild forms of the above negative behaviours at school, he is far far worse at home. So he will strop occasionally at school but his teachers manage to get control of the situation and ds doesn't go into full meltdown. He goes to boys' brigade one evening a week and although they say he is fine, I have my doubts!

Am I worrying about nothing? He has had these behaviours from toddler age so it's not something that has suddenly started. I work with children though and I see a lot of traits in ds that worry me. Because he is not so bad at school, I don't think they can fully understand my concerns...

Octaviapink Thu 09-Jun-11 19:13:50

I'm no expert, but it may be worthwhile reading up on some ASD material. He clearly does engage with others so autism isn't on the horizon I don't think, but perhaps along the spectrum. Does he have a sense of humour - does he understand and tell jokes? Does he understand others' moods? 'Orderly' construction type activities can be very helpful, I believe - Lego etc. OR, it may be just a phase that he's going through with you - if others say he's fine with them...

KitKat84 Thu 09-Jun-11 20:03:38

Yes he has good understanding, empathy and can tell and understand jokes. That's what made me think that autism was out of the equation.

Orderly construction activities are a no go as they are one of his triggers, if things don't fit or break or move with ease it sets him off.
It does seem to be worse with me so I wonder if I am inadvertantly making the situation worse.

Just remembered another thing - he hates plans being changed, he can't cope with it at all and goes into meltdown.

I shall do a bit of reading on the subject - I have basic knowledge but I may be able to find some behaviour management strategies!

Thanks for your reply

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