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Does this all sound normal or 'quirky' for a 6 yr old?

(24 Posts)
MagicFingerGoesPop Fri 19-Aug-11 21:20:22

Talks loudly, ALL the time
But is startled by loud noises and frightens with them easily
Constantly fidgets and cannot sit still
Constantly needs things in mouth, despite being told not to over and over, always seems to have something in there
'forgets' things even less than a minute after being told, will walk up the stairs and get 'distracted' and not know what he has been asked to do
But is quite intelligent by all accounts (fluent reader, inquiring mind etc etc)
Seems to have no sense of personal boundaries/space with people and touches, climbs on, bangs into people, stands on toes
Is constantly falling over, banging into things
Still cannot ride without stabilisers
Fixates on a topic (such as, say, moving house and questions it constantly, even if told it is not happening and if and when it does, it will be in a long time) and will come back to it time and again, often days or weeks later (so obviously thinking about it)
Does not have an obsession and seems to drift from thing to thing with no real interests (not interested in dinos, car, lego, just wants to play on the computer and would do so all day long)

Or is this a normal 6 yr old?

On the other side of the coins is a lovely, caring, funny little guy who I love with all my heart!

Memoo Fri 19-Aug-11 21:24:55

Sounds like my Ds, he's 10 now and exactly the same. Gets totally obsessed with one thing and talks about it constantly to the point where I have to tell him to stop talking. Very clumsy and rubbish at following instructions. Only learnt to ride without stabilisers when he 7.

dreamfeeder Fri 19-Aug-11 21:29:15

Could be that he has some sensory integration issues. The startling/ bumping into things/ no sense of personal space/ things in mouth/ can't sit still can all be difficulties processing sensory information. As in we are all so bombarded with sensory information all day, and we just filter out what we don't need eg. traffic noise, radio in background, light flashing on computer monitor and focus in on what we need, eg boss talking to us, so automatically we don't even realise we're doing it. Lots you can do to help and WILL improve gradually anyway. Look it up on Wikipedia. If thats even the problem. Is general coordination ok?

Jemma1111 Fri 19-Aug-11 21:29:58

My Ds was quite similar to your child at this age, standing on toes, startled by loud noises etc. I spoke with the SEN teacher at his school and we decided to refer him to be checked for possible Dyspraxia.

He was assessed but found that there was nothing wrong with him at all, I'm sure your child is perfectly normal too but if your concerned then its probably best to mention it to the school.

Ineedacleaneriamalazyslattern Fri 19-Aug-11 21:34:27

I hope it's normal because you just described my dd at 6.
She is almost 8 now and totally different now.
She still has no concept of space and other people but has learnt to ride a bike, no longer chews everything and manages to spend more time on her feet rather than falling over fresh air.
She is still a bit of a dolly daydream and is easily distracted once out of sight but with a bit of gentle reminding is getting there.

festi Fri 19-Aug-11 21:35:02

sounds pretty much like my dd and I can assure you I tend to think she is pretty normal but with a uniqueness as most children do, but when listed like that it may apperar to indicate some sensory problems, ASD, ADHD, Dispraxia and list goes on. It is difficult to make a judgement, if you have any concernes then you should talk with school and GP. I would definatly talk it over face to face with someone if you dont think he is not developing as he should.

MagicFingerGoesPop Fri 19-Aug-11 21:39:58

grin @ falling over fresh air!

Any tips on how to 'get through' to a child like this ?

I am not 100% sure there is nothing to worry about, as I do often think 'I wonder why he does that/is like that' often on a daily basis. But then I am unsure. Talking to the school would be a good idea. Will wait for a few weeks to settle down into a new class and see what the teacher says.

Interesting that some of you say dyspraxia or sensory problems. I have thought that sometimes myself.

Is there anything (stupid question) that definitively rules OUT dyspraxia/ASD/ADHD/sensory problems?

Jemma1111 Fri 19-Aug-11 21:51:59

I only now a small amount about Dyspraxia, not sure about the others.

Other things to look for could be, is your ds able to catch and throw balls well, tie shoe laces, is he interested in learning the time ?

Dyspraxia is to do with co-ordination and because my Ds is a really artistic drawer and writer for his age I was told, before he was assessed, that it was unlikely he was Dyspraxic because his fine motor skills were so sharp.
I'm glad he was checked out though.

plus3 Fri 19-Aug-11 21:52:56

Sounds completely like my Ds (7) and he has sensory processing disorder. An occupational therapist can 'diagnose' which senses are affected and will organise a treatment programme which allows the child to function more effectively in everyday life. Can recommend 'The Out of Sync Child' by Carol Kranowitz for more information.
My Ds was assessed in Yr 2 and is about to go into Yr 3 a much happier, more focused little boy. It is so worth pursuing a diagnosis & therapy because the change in my Ds is phenomenal.

BruceBabe Fri 19-Aug-11 22:02:26

omg, most of that could be my 6 yr. That's enough to reassure me that there are other kids similar :-)

MagicFingerGoesPop Fri 19-Aug-11 22:10:32

Interesting. If it IS spd, the websites say the children are often referred to as the 'floppy babies'. (no offense intended, this is a quote directly off the website) BUT Ds sat at 5 months, crawled at 6, walked at 11, but today, has trouble catching a ball unless carefully thrown. Drops things. Knocks things off tables.

He also has trouble reading cues from people, such as when he tries to 'fit in' with older children he will not get that he is annoying them, thinking he s funny, when to anyone else it is clear he is trying to fit in (bless him) and he is just annoying them. He doesnt get when to stop mucking around, even if others are fed up with it.

He has trouble 'coming down' off mucking about. He just doesnt seem to get it when he has crossed a line.

He does have friends though, but tends to be the leader but also very easily led on the silly side. He will often do something I have expressly told him not to do 'because they told me to'.

TheArmadillo Fri 19-Aug-11 22:14:01

A lot of it does sound like a perfectly normal 6yo (most the ones I know cannot stop still - if you ask ds to sit down he will e.g. bounce up and down, never listen, forget what they were doing almost immediately (usually cos they weren't properly listening in the first place), have no volume control or off button, struggle with personal space especially with people they know (climb on them, stand on their feet, get very close) and quite a few of the others you have mentioned) but a couple of things stand out

- "is startled by loud noises and frightens with them easily" - not so much the startling (some people are just jumpy - I am) but being frightened by them. Occasionally if it was dark or they were watching a scary film or similar but not as a standard response.

- puttings things in his mouth all the time - again occasionally I think is normal but as a regular behaviour not so much

- falling over/bumping into things/walking on toes - I think this is borderline, again it depends on frequency. 6yos can do all of these regularly (couple of times a day) but not usually constantly.

I think you probably know your ds better than anyone, so if you feel like somethings not quite right then maybe speak to the school and/or your gp.

TheArmadillo Fri 19-Aug-11 22:18:37

xposted with your social skills post - that still sounds quite normal for 6yo. Some can be better at the social skills but many aren''t.

My ds favourite is lecturing people on his favourite video game and not noticing when their eyes glaze over. Also doesn't really notice subtleties of behaviour like someone getting annoyed unless they actually act it (getting cross etc) but still might be confused as to why they were cross. Stuff still needs to be spelt out to them I think.

MagicFingerGoesPop Fri 19-Aug-11 22:30:31

Thanks. Armadillo - an example. In church they were singing and the priest said for the choir to 'hooray' loudly. Apparently it was too loud and he cried. sad

He CONSTANTLY has things in his mouth. More than my toddler.

Almost every mealtime or at least 3 out of 4, something will go on the floor. If a child is going to get hurt or fall of something, it will be him. He had injury notification forms almost every day. The school havent said anything though and when I questioned it, they said to get his feet measured in case his shoes werent right. They are. sad

He also prefers adults to children. For example, we went to meet his friends at the park (and I am friends with their mothers). Rather than call out to his friends, who he says are his best friends, and who he plays with every day, he will call out to my friend instead. Every time. he doesnt call out for his friends ever, only mine. (coincidentally I am really good friends with his friends mothers!)

Oh I dont know, maybe I am being paranoid. He is my little boy and I love him and I see these quirks, which are just so him and I love them and they are part of what makes him him, iyswim, but if there is something there then I just want to access the help that he can get because I just want him to be happy, and if there is something there and I can help him with it then I want to, iyswim?


MagicFingerGoesPop Fri 19-Aug-11 22:31:42

But it is reassuring that you all seem to think he is ok. (not that having a diagnosis of something would mean he is NOT ok, in any way, but ykwim). He is my little boy and I will love him regardless of some label that he may or may not have.

MagicFingerGoesPop Fri 19-Aug-11 22:32:39

And thank you to everyone for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it.

plus3 Fri 19-Aug-11 23:06:24

My Ds was in no way a floppy baby & yet he still has SPD... Your Ds sounds so much like mine! I got completely worked up about it all when we first found out - there is alot written about how autistic children are heavily affected with sensory issues, but that SPD can be an isolated problem. Went to the community paed's team to make sure we weren't missing anything & they talked alot about society not allowing any quirks in personalities anymore.
I still worry about him but the OT has help so much. It would be worth getting a private assessment if you could afford it. Think ours was about £300.

dreamfeeder Sat 20-Aug-11 09:20:53

They don't have to be floppy babies to have some senory processing issues. He sounds like a lovely little boy, with lots of good points.

SPD is NOT always associated with ASD/autism (although children with ASD/autism usually have some senosry issues- hence the confusion).

As far as I know there is nothing definitive that rules any of them out without an assessment.

I'd just do as you were going to - let him settle into his new class and then ask the teacher. Best to ask as sometimes these children struggle to sit still etc and can get constantly nagged by the teacher when they just can't be expected to!!!

Chummybud1 Sat 20-Aug-11 17:47:51

Sounds like my son who ihad Dcd which is another name for dyspraxia, speak to school and gp for referral as there is no harm getting it checked out.

plus3 Sat 20-Aug-11 19:07:37

sorry, I wasn't suggesting that SPD automatically means autism, but I had concerns that my DS was on the spectrum which is why we went to the community paeds team.

thatsenough Sat 20-Aug-11 19:20:11

He sounds very much like my DS, although he can ride a bike well.

We have considered dyspraxia for over a year now, especially as he has some fine motor control problems (pencil grip, lego, brakes on bike etc).

His teacher at school is happy with his progress and our GP wants to leave a referral until he starts juniors, as at this age what is considered normal can vary.

Does he have any emotional problems - DS can get very upset over quite minor things.

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 20-Aug-11 19:23:34

I have to say some of the stuff you describe sounds like my ds 8 who has sensory processing disorder and dyspraxia amongst other SPLD but it sounds alot more like my (fc) 6yo who doesn't have any sensory issues or DCD. I think with these things you have to go with your gut instinct. We just knew with our ds that things were not right IYSWIM.

For our ds we have recieved all the diagnosis through the NHS but no one will treat him due ot funding being cut. We are seeking a private therapy programme for him.

greengirl87 Sat 20-Aug-11 19:27:33

i know this sounds odd, but have you had his hearing checked? This could affect his balance, loudness of voice etc.

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Sat 20-Aug-11 19:55:08

Sounds just like my DS who has been diagnosed with dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder and is being assessed for ASD.

I would say that if you are concerned, either get the school to refer you for assessment and/or go to the GP and ask for an assessment by a Developmental Paediatrician.

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