DS(7) shrill squeal driving me crazy(7 Posts)
For the last 6 months or so, DS has been doing this really high pitched shrill squeal/screech & its driving me crazy. Its an awful noise & it hurts my ears! He often does it as he runs out of school to meet me, but also does it while in the park playing with friends (in excitement I guess), and at home. Some days he does it a lot, then he might go a few days without doing it at all.
How the hell do I get him to stop?! I've tried asking him not to, asking him to use words instead of squeals, and ignoring it completely - none have made any difference. DH thinks he's doing it for attention & I should warn him beforehand then give him a consequence e.g. going home from the park the moment he starts. But a little bit of me feels like its almost like a tic or stim - he's had a few before - so should I really punish that? How do I know if its one v the other? Is this typical behaviour for kids of his age? I don't notice any of his friends doing it, nor their siblings who are 2 years younger. My 3yo doesn't really do it either, unless she hears him then copies. Should I be worried about this?
If you feel like it's a tic or a stim, then it probably is.
Has he got any other issues aside from tics?
If I'm honest, I don't really know. Sometimes I wonder if we're just not doing a very good job at parenting/disciplining him when he misbehaves. Or whether this all stems from sibling rivalry & is just him attention seeking. Then other times I worry theres more to it but then I doubt myself & wonder if its just my own anxieties exaggerating it all in my head.
For background, as a baby/toddler he hit all his developmental milestones ok, clapped, pointed, waved & made eye contact fine. He talked very early - full sentences by 18 months. But he was very sensitive to loud noises and struggled for a long time with stranger/separation anxiety. He much preferred the company of adults & although he had one friend, he got very upset if other children went near him or made any noise (shout/cry etc) & would actively seek quiet areas to stand. He cried at every nursery/preschool drop off & the staff were concerned how he'd settle into school (he's summer born too).
I saw his GP around this time to express my worries about his difficulties interacting with other children. She was very understanding but suggested a wait and see approach; and said to go back if he was still struggling once he started school.
And although he took a good part of the reception year to go in without crying, he has made remarkable progress. He's now in Y3, he is acedemically very bright, well behaved, does exactly what is asked of him, never in trouble - a model student really. He's made lots of friends & plays well with them, and will also now talk to unfamiliar children too, so seems to have outgrown his earlier issues. School have never expressed any concerns about his behaviour, in fact they couldn't speak more highly of him.
For the most part, at home he is kind, loving & sensitive, but has some behaviours that can be hard to live with (in a driving us crazy kind of way). He
1.dives, jumps & bounces everywhere, almost all the time (except when his favourite tv shows are on). When sitting he fidgets & jiggles, taps his feet etc.
2. talks ALL the time. Interrupts & speaks over you. Talks at you regardless of whether he has your attention before starting the conversation.
3. his only topic of conversation is the tv shows & characters he is (almost obsessively) interested in
4. he fills every silence with noise. if not talking he makes silly vocal noises, bangs & taps thing.
5. often repeats his own words - sometimes random words sometimes sentences. often 10-20 times over. As if he likes how the words feel rolling off his tongue.
6. he's an incredibly picky eater. Likes bread/cereal, & other 'beige' foods but not much else. Seems to dislike foods with texture - rice, mash/baked potato, soup, any sauces, veg, dumplings, most fruits. Its very hard to cook for him, he eats like a sparrow - DD 3 eats more than him
7. he does the squeal. in the past he has done eye blinking, mouth stretching & hitting himself on the head but these have all passed after a few weeks/months.
8. he doesn't seem to listen. We arealwsys having to repeat instructions to him e.g. get down from the sofa yet it never seems to register.
The two that worry me the most are that:
8. he gets frustrated very easily and it can quickly escalate into a bit of a meltdown, with him hitting himself in the forehead & saying things like "I'm useless" "I'm rubbish" " I hate myself" - we have never ever said things like this to him & can't understand why he would feel like this about himself. its heartbreaking to hear him say such negative things about himself I I really don't know how to handle it.
9. he panics very easily about something that would be minor to you or i e.g. taking off a plaster is a massive deal & usually leads to him screeching & crying, he panics about characters in disney films my almost 3yo dd likes to watch & wont go in the room or even upstairs if he's seen the dvd box for it.
When I read it back it part of me thinks a lot of these things individually are just normal 7 year old behaviour (jumping around/not listening etc) and then I worry that maybe we're not setting firm enough boundaries, but theres this niggle that all together there could be something more to it. He's so very different from my daughter & the older she gets the more I see it.
Wow that was longer than I expected. Sorry!
He can also look me in the eye when he's speaking, communicate clearly and interact perfectly well with others. He dotes on his sister but is struggling with sharing with her & his babyish behaviours are exaggerated when he plays with her.
Does he display these behaviours in school? Make an appointment with class teacher and SENCo. Ask about Sensory Integration. Some schools are really hot on this but if you're met with a blank, ask for a referral to the Occupational Therapy service for assessment. Also, go back to GP with your list and the school's comments.
thankyou for your reply. Not as far as I am aware - he has always been very quiet & well behaved at school.
At parents evening we were all set to discuss some of the behaviours we see at home, and did express shock when his teacher said how quiet he is in class (because there is never a moment at home without some sort of noise!) but then when she had finished telling us how wonderfully he is doing & how well he behaves in class, it didn't seem right to go into all of the rest of it. I suppose we left feeling that if he behaves so well at school it must be our parenting that is letting us down at home.
Do you think it sounds like he has sensory issues? What sort of help can they give for this?
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