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Nursery concerned about DS "in his own world"

(11 Posts)
NotNob Fri 05-Feb-16 16:07:07

Hi
We are awaiting a GP referral. DS's nursery have suggested he be referred but are unwilling or unable to say what their suspicions are. He is 3 years old and has been described as "in his own world" and is happy to play on his own rather than with other children. They are encouraging him to play with others but even when appearing to do so, is still just playing his own games. He's quite obsessive about certain games - ninjas and other such, picked up from his older DB - and insists only only playing these games.
He also had some vacant moments when he will sit alone at nursery, sometimes staring apparently into space, until a teacher speaks to him. They have mentioned absense seizures but I have yet to witness anything. He does seem to have a vivid imagination, and as he walks along, at school pick up for example, he will jump, run, fight, pretending to be a ninja. I can see what they mean about his own world but I put this down to a good, somewhat intense imagination.
He socialises well with his DB but they do share playing interests. He also plays well with his cousin of a similar age.
Other observations: his speech is very good, motor skills fine, empathy great, eye contact good and excellent at numbers, alphabet etc. He loves the colour yellow, grinds his teeth (daytime) incessantly and is very strong willed. He jumps a lot when excited. He is stubborn and very active. Sensory issues are mild; mild dislike of loud noises and doesn't like eating or drinking anything which is too warm or too cold. Time out doesn't not work. He does not seem interested, particularly in other children but only in playing his own games.
A recent audiology report has come back as mild hearing impairment in one ear through glue ear. Review in a few months.
DH is convinced there's nothing wrong with him, along with my DSis who knows him well. I am an anxious person (health anxiety) but even I wasn't concerned or had noticed anything until nursery spoke with me. They say he is an enigma, there are some red flag, when I've asked his key worker about ASD, she says she's not convinced but wonders if it is more than developmental. GP doesn't seem overly concerned but stated as we're not experts and nursery have flagged it, we should refer to comm paeds, SALT etc.
Anyone relate to this? I am anxious yet also slightly defensive about him as he's still young. I'm hoping he's just quirky.
Any thoughts or advice much appreciated. Sorry it's long and rambling blush

zzzzz Fri 05-Feb-16 16:14:37

ASD Is a developmental disorder. What are the "red flags" nursery are seeing. Nothing you've listed screams autism nor does it rule it out because so much is about how often/how much and for want of a better word flavour.
What (if any) concerns did you have before nursery mentioned it?
How is his sleep/diet?
What does he hate doing?
What happens when he's bored?

NotNob Fri 05-Feb-16 16:30:31

Hi. Thanks for responding. The red flags are not socialising as they would expect, problems following instruction eg washing his hands, putting on shoes. I have noticed this too; he's capable but doesn't want to. His vacant moments when he sits alone, seemingly in his own world. Sometimes he tantrums at nursery when he's asked to do something he doesn't want to.
He is the opposite of independent, but perhaps just v lazy.
Eating is good, has his likes and dislikes but generally easy.
Sleep is rubbish, fine going to sleep but comes in with us in the middle of night.
He's fine with routine change.
When he's bored he complains?
He hates being told something he doesn't want to hear - currently tantruming cos he can't join in Xbox game with DB and his friend!

PolterGoose Fri 05-Feb-16 16:39:04

An awful lot of what you describe could be explained by the glue ear. The effect of even minor hearing loss can be quite significant. Personally, unless you've got serious concerns, which it doesn't sound like you do, I would wait until the audiology review.

But, if you genuinely believe he has developmental difficulties, follow it up, you know him best and parents are almost alway right when they notice developmental concerns.

zzzzz Fri 05-Feb-16 16:46:16

Does he socialise as YOU would expect?

zzzzz Fri 05-Feb-16 16:53:23

Like polt I think glue ear is often more of a deal than people think but obviously we don't know him and nursery are concerned (though nothing you have said is beyond the norm).

How does he cope with you at playgroups/swimming/family events?

Do not be worried that you might get dx by mistake....it's not like that.

NotNob Fri 05-Feb-16 17:05:49

Thank you polyergoose, the audiologist did say in a nursery environment he could be affected.

zzzzz I think so, but I see him only with children he knows well. Perhaps of significance is his older brother was under brief investigation while at a different nursery for social skills. Someone from the council development team (I think) was brought in to observe him as he didn't like being around other children. They concluded he was fine but there were no other "red flag" aside from this. It took him until year 1 at school to make "proper" friends and they remain a small select few. He still can be a little socially awkward but he's fine and school have no concerns as far as I know. Perhaps DC2 is similar, but much less introverted than DC 1.

NotNob Fri 05-Feb-16 17:07:06

zzzzz playgroups/swimming/events all great, loves them.

NotNob Fri 05-Feb-16 17:13:02

I should probably also mention he is not socially shy at all, just doesn't seem to get it, for example, when he meets another small boy he will go to play fight them, assuming they are in the know regarding his ninja game.

zzzzz Fri 05-Feb-16 18:23:06

He sounds like he's 3 to me grin

Try not to worry. There isn't anything to "do" or "fix" if he did have some form of ASD, its more about accommodating and supporting and you are probably doing all that effectively if he is managing all those things. Generally parents have a gut feeling. I can see if you are anxious it's hard to judge but you could always get on the list for assessment and drop out if you don't feel it's appropriate.

NotNob Fri 05-Feb-16 20:56:18

Thank you zzzzz

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