Should we be upfront or wait until they get to know him?(5 Posts)
We suspect DS1 may have HFA/Aspergers & are going to look at a pre-school for him tomorrow. I'm torn about whether to mention our concerns straight away or to let them get to know him a bit first & then compare notes. My main reason for sending him in the first place is because I'm struggling with his behaviour & would like an objective opinion from someone who knows him, is trained to spot things & isn't his mother!
I've always thought completely open & honest information sharing is important but on the other hand I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better just to let them get to know him just as him before I push for more observations. He's very good at masking it - unless he suddenly bolts I'm not sure many people would notice much when they first meet him. I've discovered that once he gets comfortable with the new environment he starts displaying more of the behaviour we've seen at home. I don't want them to see me initially as an overly concerned parent
if I was I might have been perturbed by his passive first year, instead of thrilled at having an 'easy' baby & dismiss my concerns in the first week because he seems 'normal'.
I should say, I have a level 5 in early childhood development, much of which focussed on things like ASD, my niece has ASD, we strongly suspect BIL & FIL both have HFA & the list of traits in women reads like me on paper. I'm well aware of the subtle indications of ASD that those who don't know about it might dismiss as being a boy/toddler. I'm virtually certain that he's on the spectrum but do have wobbles that I'm overly sensitive to the potential signs & seeing things that aren't there because of my training!
Sorry, rambling... Do I tell the pre-school from the off or take a more relaxed approach & raise it when he's been there a term or so? We're planning on HE eventually so ideally I'd like to get the ball rolling while he's at pre-school so I don't want to leave it too long before mentioning it!
I do sound like a bit of an obsessive, overbearing type parent... I'm really not, I swear!
I think you should tell them that you have some concerns.
I don't think I would share what my concerns were with them. However, if there were particular behaviours that I was concerned about (like bolting), I might mention those.
If you want their objective view, I think you are more likely to get one if they come to it on their own. That said, they obviously need to know enough to know if your son would fit in and if they could look after him properly.
I don't doubt they could look after him fine. He's a lovely child much of the time & has never been aggressive to anyone other than DH & I when we've tried to move him while he's having a tantrum. Even then it's just 'get off me' type flailing rather than any sustained attack. He pretty much always does what he's told by other adults, just not us! The bolting is only an issue if he can get passed a door & even then only happens occasionally/when he's bored.
The behaviours we see are things like flapping/clawing at his face if over stimulated, humping his hands on the floor if bored/left alone too long
might mention that one!, lack of displays of affection, not being at all concerned at being left with strangers, completely passive behaviour if another child takes things from him... I once had to intervene when an older child was kicking him in the stomach repeatedly & he was just standing there stumbling backwards just looking confused! I'm much more concerned about how other children might behave towards him than how he'll treat them PFB because he'll just let them do things like that & the most he'll do is claw his own face in frustration if something he was playing with is suddenly taken away! His memory is also amazing. He remembers things we did 6 months ago, could name all the instruments in an orchestra by 2.5y & could pick out some of them in a piece of music. Still struggles with colours sometimes & is nowhere near being potty trained but he could tell you if it's a clarinet or bassoon on the radio...
I think I'll sit down with DH tonight & write a list of behaviours that we can mention if it comes up in conversation but not mention the ASD link or specifically bring anything up if they don't ask. It's just a preliminary visit & the nurseries I did my training at all did home visits before each child starts so I'm assuming they'll do the same & I could mention a few things then.
I'm probably making this into more of an issue than it needs to be. I didn't really want to send him at all but I think we do need an objective opinion & would rather it comes from someone who knows him than push for a referral through the HV/GP who'd only have what I say & some short assessments to go on. I've heard from friends that this pre-school is very good & he'd have 2 children he knows there so Fx we're doing the right thing. It'll probably be good for DS2 to have me to himself sometimes too!
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