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autonomous h'edders help pls i'm having a wobble...

(14 Posts)
dandycandyjellybean Sat 20-Apr-13 21:13:04

We have had a mega difficult year as a family, my Dad having cancer, surviving that only to be told that he has a rare incurable muscle wasting disease. Several other fairly biggish issues, and now my disabled for 20 yrs dh with me as his carer, is being assessed as fit for work! (Cue lost forms, a hideous medical and now a sword of Damocles hanging over us while we wait to find out if we will suddenly be £500 a month worse off and basically both be expected to find a job)!

Anyway, ds (7) is obviously more aware of all of this than perhaps a child who went to school. He is an only, but has lots of friends and gets lots time playing with them. He also has a dog who is his constant companion and best buddy.

We all love home schooling; were completely autonomous until this year, do a little tiny bit of 'you need to sit and do this' type stuff now, just to help him to learn that you do have to do stuff you don't want to sometimes, and that it won't kill you!

He will not go anywhere without us, apart from a few friends houses to play and Nanny's or his aunties. He gets very anxious about stuff and has had a few nervous tics this last 12 months, they all pass but then another one develops. I am really beating myself up and thinking that if we were 'normal' and he went to school he wouldn't overhear so much stuff and have these tics (although we try and tell him as much as we can, if obviously aimed at his level of understanding with much reassurance.) Also worry about the fact that he is too anxious to go many places without us, most 'schooled' kids are leaving their parents for whole days at the age of 4. Are we creating a big mess; should we send him to school? Every fibre of our family is saying no, but then I see our 'normal' friends kids who seem to take so much in their stride and I worry that we are doing our ds a huge dis-service even though I believe passionately in HE.

Pls let me know what you think, and thanks for reading this massive essay!!!

ommmward Sat 20-Apr-13 23:04:03

The tics and separation anxiety are waving all sorts of OCD flags at me. Not that I am remotely qualified, but they are the sorts of things that friends whose children are diagnosed with OCD have described. I'd be exploring that and, if that's what's going on, definitely get professional help.

And stop with the beating yourself up, already, lady. Children pick things up when a family is under huge stress,whether or not they are in school. (((( )))))

ommmward Sat 20-Apr-13 23:05:01

Ps you know I'm an unschooler, so I'm not playing some standard 'put everything in the hands of the professionals' card here :-)

dandycandyjellybean Sun 21-Apr-13 09:08:14

ocd, really, i'm in floods of tears. Have we done this to him? sad

ommmward Sun 21-Apr-13 09:21:06

no, no, no - OCD has a strongly genetic component, and if it's going to present in someone, I think it presents whether thier life is full of stress or whether it's all fluffy white clouds and roses round the door.

There ARE WAYS that psychologists can help people with OCD to disengage from their tics and anxieties - I've seen it done really successfully. I'd seek professional advice. And remember I'm just a random voice on the internet, responding to a really short description - I might be completely off the wall.

BoundandRebound Sun 21-Apr-13 09:25:42

You need to access the services you would have got through school so go to your GP. You may find it harder and longer to access but he needs assessment and you need a plan of action and professional help,

It doesn't matter if the situation is to blame, which won't be causative but may not have helped, it matters that you deal appropriately with his issues now

And don't worry too much small children do sometimes develop transitory tics and speech patterns too as a part of development and if he doesn't have a wide HE network it may not be as easy for him to model peer behaviour or get release for his stresses.

Anxiety sucks in small children, but happens in all environments including traditional school settings

ommmward Sun 21-Apr-13 10:31:02

When you say tics, do you mean Tourette's type tics, or something more like a stim? I don't remember whether your child is spectrummy - if he is, then it could just be anxiety coming out in stims. Which is a perfectly sensible way of releasing tension ('normal' people do it by cracking their knuckles or biting their nails or flicking their hair or something) as long as it doesn't hurt him or annoy other people, IMO

morethanpotatoprints Sun 21-Apr-13 22:03:58

Just wanted to say I'm sorry you are having such a hard time.
Please don't think of your family as abnormal and your friends as normal.
I do agree that children pick up on our anxiety and you have had a really bad year. He would be the same if he was at school, as mine were when my parents both died within 6 months of each other.
Please don't beat yourself up, none of this is your fault and sometimes learning difficulties or sn takes a while to surface and isn't always apparent. Not that I'm a professional here neither.
If I were you I would get an assessment done and then you know what you are looking at. Also revisit your reasons for H.ed as I bet they were/are very strong.

Takver Sun 21-Apr-13 22:12:51

"He will not go anywhere without us, apart from a few friends houses to play and Nanny's or his aunties."

TBH, you could be describing my friend's youngest child - except adding school to the list (and she wouldn't speak to adults at school bar those from her class). She knows me pretty well, dd is good friends with an older sibling, but she was very reluctant and unhappy a couple of times that she had to come home with us for emergency childcare, even with her siblings there for support.

Fast forward a couple of years, & her DM is trying to figure out how to get her to drama group, hosting a sleepover, et al.

So I suppose I'm saying that just if your ds was at school, it wouldn't necessarily make him more confident elsewhere.

dandycandyjellybean Mon 22-Apr-13 11:13:49

Sorry for the massive over reaction and thank you for all your sensible and kindly replies.

I have thought long and hard about this over the last 24 hours and I realise that a lot of his anxiety is probably stemming from just that: me being on a hair trigger because of all the stress. Lots of over reacting and crying, too, which he hates.

I spent a lot of time looking at ocd and he doesn't really fit as far as I could see, I think he is fitting more into the nervous tic syndrome. His tics are facial, started about 6 or 7 months ago with an eye roll. Passed in a couple of weeks then he had a cold and developed a sniff tic. When that passed he had a sore patch on his bottom lip where he had licked and it had gotten chapped, and he started to stretch his mouth open because the skin felt tight. This then became a tic. Then after a play date with a mate who is has autism and has an eye rolling mouth opening tic, ds then developed that one! He said he did it because mate did!

Current one is scrunching top lip up to nose. It seems that it may be age related, on the website for nt it said it tends to develop around the age of 7 and usually passes of its own accord. Occasionally it can be a marker for later development of tourettes (hoping not in this case).

Omm totally agree with your point about it being a way of him relieving tensions; as a family we all have strong personalities and feel things strongly and ds has definitely inherited this. I would love any suggestions about how to help him deal with 'big' feelings, how to cope when he feels really angry, etc.

I am really grateful for all your input; I think at the moment I will hold off on taking him to the gp, mainly because I don't want to flag it up to ds as a problem, and I would like to see as things ease off whether his tics will, too.

With regard to the going places without us, it was really reassuring to hear that 'school' children get it,too, and I think that this is something that we can work on gradually as a family.

I also realise that I need to try really hard to modify my responses, take a breath and count to 10 (thousand!) before I react - easy peasy! grin

maggi Wed 24-Apr-13 07:10:06

How often does he do the tics? All the movements you have described sound very usual to me. I have cared for many children over the years and have seen all manner of little 'habits' they have which sometimes expanded upon and sometimes used to deliberately try to get a reaction. I found if anyone commented or reacted to these movements, the child did it all the more. But as the children grew these phased out (sometimes replaced by different 'habits') but eventually one day I realised they had vanished. Hopefully the same will happen with your child.

I have a habit of saying 'eerr' (Alot!) when I'm pausing in my sentances to prevent people thinking I've finished talking. I really struggle not to do it, but I don't think of it as a problem. It annoys some people though.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 25-Apr-13 17:12:34

Op, my DS has had lots of issues and I am the opposite of you - I worried that it was sending him to school that had done it to him! Actually, I still wonder if he would be better off now if I had taken him out of school earlier sad. The truth is, no matter what problems our children have, we always worry that we are responsible in some way.

It's not true, you know, that all schooled children are confident and don't suffer separation anxiety. Your judgement is skewed by your worries. Please don't add this to your concerns - it sounds like you have quite enough on your plate.

My son has OCD, alongside Tourettes and general anxiety. It is an inherited condition. However, I can't tell you how many children I know who have had tics - some of them quite extraordinary - and grown out of them.

dandycandyjellybean Wed 08-May-13 14:22:44

Thanks again for the replys, I have seriously modified my tendency to hair trigger reactions, and the tics seem to be easing. And yes maggi, the more I research, the more I think it is an age related, reaction related thing.

We just had our second 'inspection' and it was a dream so we are all feeling much more positive!

Thanks folks.

ommmward Wed 08-May-13 19:10:21

Lovely update - thank you!

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