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Pre school are concerned

(69 Posts)
Soulcakequack Wed 05-Apr-17 14:23:35

My little boy is 3 this summer. I've started to noticed a widening gap between him and his peers in terms of social skills, communication, following simple instructions and attention.

I wasnt too bothered I just thought he was young for his age. However his preschool teachers are quite worried. And have flagged up a lack of eye contact as additional area of concern ( I have noticed it but as it's not none i didn't worry)

He is a lovely kind cheerful little soul. I sent him to preschool at 2.5 for a few hrs despite being Sahm because he was keen to play with 'the boys and girls'.

The school are kind and supportive. But I'm so frighten for him. Deep down I know something isn't quite right. I used to be an early years teacher and ive been quietly concerned for a while. i don't want school and friends to be as tricky as I fear it could be for me.

And I've no idea what to expect from the process and my experience is only a snapshot of what happens in reception.

Can anyone advise me please?

Soulcakequack Wed 05-Apr-17 18:06:13

Huge typo my fears are for him not me... I'm so scared for my little boy

JustAnotherSilentOldNumber Wed 05-Apr-17 18:11:17

I can't advise you but flowers

FrayedHem Wed 05-Apr-17 18:45:19

It's a hard place to be and your fears are normal and understandable. It can all feel quite overwhelming and conflicting.

I think the best thing to do lift the lid on your concerns and start getting some referrals - Speech and Language Therapy to look at the communication difficulties and a paediatrican. You can usually self-refer to SALT, either by a drop in or contacting the clinic directly. Paeditrician is usually access through your GP, though for my DS3 the SALT referred us on. A hearing test is also advisable.

Having a supportive preschool will really help. They should be able to refer to their area inclusion officer/SENCO for some support and guidance.

FWIW, my DS3 (4) was dx with ASD yesterday and my eldest (11) also has ASD. I was in bits when DS1 was dx as it was all so unknown. With DS3 I shrugged and smiled. For us, the dx is really all about protecting his education, it makes not a jot of different to us at home.

Imaginosity Wed 05-Apr-17 19:14:06

I was really depressed and anxious when I spotted differences in my son at age 4. It doesn't help googling about it and reading so much doom and gloom.

He is 7 now and doing very well. Because he was diagnosed he got help in school and this has made a massive difference to him. He is doing well academically. He has friends but he spends most of the yard time alone as he finds the noise from the other children a bit overwhelming. I take him to meet friends from school in groups of 2 or 3 and he prefers this.

He still has issues - he gets annoyed at school at times and can seem a bit grumpy. Now and then he lashes out and hits someone when he feels under threat. He drifts off from his friends when he's not interested in what they are doing. Because he's that bit older now we can explain to him things like why he should behave well in school and he is very motivated by rewards so we can improve his behaviour.

For us it's really not the end of the world. We do have a bit more stressful time of it than parents of the other children in his class because he has more issues. My son however is generally happy and that's very important. I think he'll always be a little bit different to the average person but I can see now this difference is not a bad thing.

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 05-Apr-17 19:24:12

Similar traits were there for my son at a very early age too, our nursery picked up on it and although it was hard to deal with, 10 years later I'm so glad we got the ball rolling when he was pre-school age, although he didn't get a formal diagnosis (Asperger's Syndrome and dyspraxia) till he was 7. He's 13 now and a delightful young man. I won't lie and say it's all been easy, but early intervention has made a big difference in getting hime the support he needs at school.

Soulcakequack Wed 05-Apr-17 20:48:47

Th an you all for taking the time to message. It really helps, I want to believe they're wrong because I fear how much harder life could be for him.

The plan for now is to arrange the area inclusion / senco to observe him at pre school. My sensible head knows a supportive pre school who are on the ball is a fab thing. But it's still a huge shock that everything isn't "fine"

Chasingmytail17 Wed 05-Apr-17 21:46:08

Soulcakequack I hear and feel all of what you say. I am in this with you atm. My DS1 is 3 and the same that you have said about your DS could be said. Nursery are on the ball and SLT are now involved. We also have a paediatrician appointment in a few months and an ABA consultant visit lined up. The feeling that there is something 'wrong' with your lovely child is a horrid feeling and I still find the conversations with professionals difficult as they make me dwell on everything as a problem. The only things that make me feel better are remembering that he is the same child he has always been. He may be different from others but he is who he has always been. I have also found doing what I can to get the right people involved has helped me emotionally, I'm channelling feelings for his best interests and learning things that might help him all the time. Be kind to yourself if you feel like me it's a hard time.

Soulcakequack Wed 05-Apr-17 21:54:44

Chasing im sorry your family are in a similar place. It's very very hard. I sent him to pre school worrying that he might take a while to make the friend he craved... And it's a whole new ball game.

I just want to protect him and make sure he has a happy childhood. I worry most of all about friends as he wants to play but seems so lost :-(

Chasingmytail17 Wed 05-Apr-17 21:57:41

Yes I worry about friends too. My DS is so loving with the adults he knows but just seems completely disinterested in his peers. I want him to be able to enjoy playing with them as well as us. I keep reminding myself that he seems happy so may well not be bothered by this atm but something in me feels he would like to play with them but just can't...

Soulcakequack Wed 05-Apr-17 22:11:37

My little one loves other child but 90% of the time just can't figure out how to play and gets upset.

It breaks my heart watching him ask others to play and then not being able to do so.

Chasingmytail17 Wed 05-Apr-17 22:19:41

Watching is so hard! That is really good that he is showing some interest and inclination to play with them. Obviously very tricky for him and you that it then doesn't work out though! My DS doesn't seem to even realise that the other children would play with him. He doesn't speak to them and just generally carries on as if they weren't there playing games only irh adults.

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 05-Apr-17 22:32:44

Friendships have been the hardest thing for us, I have had to work hard to facilitate DS's social life as it wasn't going to happen naturally, we have been fortunate and developed a close circle of adult friends of DCs his age from his school / pre-school so the DCs have spent a lot of time together outside school and have always known one another even if they aren't best friends. DS has been through Beavers, Cubs and is now a Scout with the same set of boys, the leaders have been great with him, we have also managed to find sports teams he can participate in and he is definitely getting better at socialising year by year. It all got a lot easier once they were old enough to play on the Wii or tablets together instead of conventional play it has to be said. However some of his earlier school playdates were terribly hard for me, but you just have to keep going with it. On the plus side he hangs out with me and loves doing things with me a lot more than most other 13 year old boys I know do with their mums. So it's not all bad news.

Chasingmytail17 Wed 05-Apr-17 22:42:37

Thank you wh0kn0ws I agree I can see this is likely an area which will need me to assist in engineering the right friends and situations. How was your DS at 3yrs sort of age? Did you first notice a difference because of his interactions with peers?

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Thu 06-Apr-17 05:59:02

It was earlier than 3, but yes, he was definitely different, I used to meet the other mums and children from my ante-natal class and he either wouldn't or couldn't join in with their play, same at nursery. He has always found it easier one to one rather than in groups, and much easier for him in adult led activities (eg Scouts) than when the time is unstructured eg school breaks.

Soulcakequack Thu 06-Apr-17 14:45:33

Helping with social makes sense. I find shirt small play dates work well. He has children who like him and he likes in return. But he needs an increasing amount of support to play with them.

I worry that the gap will continue to grow but I guess that's why support now is good.

Out of interest how did your children sleep as from 0-3. Early on he woke a huge amount and now still wake since 1/3 times a night. He needs a huge amount of help to fall sleep too

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Thu 06-Apr-17 14:53:28

Sleep is one area we've had no problems with at all, I can't remember when he slept through the night, certainly by 1, but I've always been able to leave him to settle himself. Fussy eating on the other hand....

Soulcakequack Thu 06-Apr-17 16:07:33

Who knows thank you for taking the time answer all these questions. I'm really greatful for your time and positive message.

Soulcakequack Thu 06-Apr-17 18:10:18

Ok so after what was a really nice play date ive had a penny dropping moment. My son talks to people but not with them. His friends are all having conversations and he simply can't.

LightTripper Thu 06-Apr-17 18:24:44

Hello SoulCake. Like chasing we are in a very similar position. Concerns have been raised about our DD (3 next month) by carers. I didn't really take it that seriously but went with it and have now been told to expect an ASD diagnosis probably in the autumn (there's a bit of a wait for the assessment). Similar to Chasing we have the area SENCO going into her preschool after Easter, some SLT support and are talking to an ABA consultant tomorrow.

It's been a shock and really hard but I've found talking to people really good. A lot of my friends have their own issues with DC (if not ASD) and ASD is so much more commonly diagnosed now that most seem to have some ASD children on their DCs' schools. So hopefully with support at home it will just be one of the many parenting challenges life will throw at us.

My DD sounds a bit like yours. She is interested in other children but either just stares and smiles at them or starts a game then runs away and doesn't know how to get involved /included. I'm hoping the SENCO and/or ABA consultants can suggest some practical measures to help her get involved more with her peers so she doesn't fall any further behind than necessary.

Would be great to share what we learn here.

Soulcakequack Thu 06-Apr-17 18:28:05

Light sharing knowledge sounds great to me. To start with I was sure thee wasn't too much wrong but now I'm starting to get very concerned. I'm so cross with myself for not noticing it earlier. I was an early years teacher for years before I was a mum....

LightTripper Thu 06-Apr-17 18:28:33

Hmmm... I think that may be true of DD too. She can tell people things or ask them for things, but never in a way that really results in a back and forth (except with close family... But we are probably doing the heavy lifting on taking those conversations forward...)

Soulcakequack Thu 06-Apr-17 18:50:09

This might be an odd question but ive found parenting hard work. I love him and he is a huge joy. But it always seemed everyone else was finding it easier / doing it better. I put it down to parental guilt. But now I wonder.......

Blossom4538 Thu 06-Apr-17 19:04:21

Same here. We just have the one and that's probably why!

We noticed early and health visitor fobbed us off. Pre-school agreed with us and progressed things further. Really pleased we started assessment/support early. It is a difficult and stressful time. Dd has a few struggles, is in school (Year 1) and still under assessment. The fact pre-school were on the case and worked alongside me for transfer to Primary School, has made such a difference and school are very supportive and nurturing. Don't get me wrong, it is still hard for DD and us at times.

What have you found difficult, behaviouraly and parenting wise?

PartOstrich Thu 06-Apr-17 19:12:03

flowers Similar position here. I'd quietly had concerns for ages, HV reassured me, preschool picked it up. My DC same age as yours, diagnosis of ASD last week (I have a recent thread on SN Chat about it). I still have those fears about his future of course, school, socialising, other people's opinions, all that. But when I look at him I remember he's just the same child he was before last week and he's wonderful. I haven't got any advice really as it's all so new for me too but just wanted to send an unmumsnetty hug.

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