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Advice needed Re:DS(9 Posts)
I am struggling to know how to proceed as I am worried that my DS has massive red flags for being on the spectrum somewhere. It runs quite heavily in the family, and my younger child had diagnosis of autism at 2.5. Her main issues that raised red flags were her speech and language delays and how she communicated. She is also very anxious about changes to her routine and always needs to know what is going on. She copes well with a visual timetable, uses PECS although she is pretty verbal. She is now 3.5 and attending nursery with a 1-1 support. She doesn't have massive sensory issues that are noticeable, although she doesn't like getting messy and noises sometimes upset her.
DS, on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. I have always felt that he was different. He was very bright, very early reader and quick academically. He lacks confidence physically (slow to crawl, walk, pedal a bike, etc), and as a toddler worried me with his extreme tantrums (would often try to bite or scratch because it was time to go home etc). However, he has always been very good at following rules and has always been mostly well behaved at nursery/school. He impresses people because he is very clever academically and comes aross as articulate. He had only one incident at nursery ever, and that was him having a wobbly at 3 because they wanted him to say sorry for something which had been an accident. He ended up trying to bite his key worker, who was trying to make him say sorry. He was 4. He continued having 'tantrums' after toddlerhood - seemed to get worse around times of change - Christmas, his birthday, etc. He has always been OK at school, even if he wasn't happy about something there. He is very 'rude' at times and very blunt. He is always enraged that he has to do what grown-ups say and they get to make all of the decisions. He complains that he never gets to choose anything. It's almost like he has no idea of authority.
He started year 1 this September and hasn't really been enjoying imself since. He does not like the work as far as he is saying. I believe this is because they give him things he finds very easy, but involves a lot of faffy cutting out or colouring in or similar which he then finds frustrating. He also appears to dislike the creative writing tasks the most. He has been told off by his teacher for not doing enough writing, but he says his attention is distracted away by the noise and the talking of those around him. He is waking up every morning with a stomach ache and saying he doesn't want to go to school. Some mornings it's a trial getting him to put on his pants.
He hates losing at anything. He still talks about when he came second at a game of lazer quest 2 months ago. He did very well, but he actually cries about it at night. If he loses at anything he is extremely upset. And remembers it for weeks/months. He has always been this way.
He has real problems with smells and a very active gag reflex. He gets truly hysterical at certain sounds and in particular cannot cope with his hands being wrinkly after swimming or the bath - almost always result in a wobbly.
He gets extremely distressed and shouty and starts 'tantrumming' very suddenly when things don't go his way. On Friday he wanted to go to the park after school. His sister was very distressed in her pushchair and we needed to go home for other various reasons (shopping delivery). He was full of hell as soon as I said no, despite his sister rying loudly in the pushchair and me explaining my reasons. We got home and he caused a massive scene out the front, refusing to come in. "I NEED to go to the park! You don't understand! I NEED it!" Eventually he came in and was screaming and yelling at us. DD was getting upset by his shouting and I suggested as calmly as i could that he go upstairs to calm down for a while. He refused - several times. We have prearranged (with his agreement, while he was calm) that he should go to his room as a safe place to calm down. The next step in the agreement is that I count and he needs to be upstairs ASAP or face losing his iPad use for the whole day. He still refused. He finally caved when I reached the next sanction. He then went upstairs and slammed his door lots and had a huge screaming fit . Later, when he comes back downstairs, he almost cannot remember what he did or why.
This is typical of what he does almost every day for one reason or another. It seems to be getting worse, not better as he gets older.I really want to help him. His school see none of this usually as he complies almost always in school, but then brings his stress over school home and lets it out there. He seems to have problems socially - he stands out like a sore thumb as he doesn't seem to be on the other kids' wavelengths at all. I have walked past the school and seen kids who are supposed to be his friends being quite mean to him. He mostly just takes it and doesn't seem to know what to do. He wouldn't tell a teacher to get them in trouble, and he never really complains about this. He always says it's the work that bothers him about school - he says he already knows it and he doesn't like always having to do it. Obviously he has to go to school, obviously he doesn't already know everything, and I try to explain this. He is very capable and picks up new concepts very quickly.
So what do I do? If I speak to my GP, what is likely to happen, if anything? I would hate to see him labelled, but if it is getting worse I think we all need a bit of help. I am very worried about him actually. My DD is the one who on the surface has the biggest struggles but actually I worry about him so much more as he always seems unhappy nowadays.
Sorry its such a long OP. I am grateful to anyone who gets this far.
Thanks very much for replying. I think I will make an appointment with the GP. I don't want to open u a whole can of worms if it isn't going to help him though. The school are not particularly worried because he doesn't pose them a problem. It worries me because they may turn around and say it's a parenting issue, which I am pretty sure it isn't, but then why would the problem only be at home? The thing is he regularly is upset about things that happened in school and brings it home with him.
I would seek GP's help now re having your son further assessed by a developmental paediatrician. Also I note that ASD is in your family tree and it is not beyond possibility that your son is also somewhere on the ASD spectrum.
Situation re school is not altogether unknown; many staff in such places simply do not have enough training to actually recognise children with the whole gamut of additional support needs. I would say that just because they cannot see it does not mean to say there is nothing amiss. I think he is being missed here precisely because he is so easy going and very compliant in class; easy to miss children too with additional needs in a class of 30 or so. His social difficulties could well be having an impact on his ability to learn in class.
I would also be speaking to the School SENCO and making this person more aware of his social difficulties. I would also state that his needs at school are clearly not and are nowhere near being met at this time. Also lashing out after school at you and at home because its "safe" often happens as well as a result of needs not being met at school.
Use a "label" solely as a signpost to seeking him more help. Seek help for him and be his advocate too. You are after all his best - and only - advocate. You are best placed to fight his corner for him, this is also because no-one else will do so.
It sounds to me very much like my DS who was diagnosed with Aspergers in Y1. Your GP will be aware of your other child's diagnosis and in unlikely to think there is a parenting issue, so will make a straightforward referral. DS found the first three years at school difficult as he, like many with Aspergers, can learn a subject without coloring in and faffing around with stuff. He also found the constant repetition which happens in KS1 to be very annoying and boring. He started by kicking off at home and then he started kicking off at school as well. I would go to the GP now and get the ball rolling and then if the issues start at school at least they can see that you are being proactive.
He is still very much in the early days of his school career but Juniors could well be an additional hurdle for him with the extra work and social unwritten pressures being applied.
I would certainly try and get extra support for him now rather than wait till Juniors or even secondary school. Speak to the SENCO and make him known to this person asap.
Let us know how you get on.
Thank you all so much for your really helpful replies.
I think it helps me to know I am not going mad, and that other people see an issue with him. Hard though, so soon after having a diagnosis with DD to be looking critically at our other child .
Thanks again. I think I will be making an appointment soon.
Until then, does anyone have any ideas of how to help him to calm down when he is losing the plot and not listening to reason would be much appreciated.
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