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ADHD? or SPD or both

(7 Posts)
Mehfruittea Sun 14-May-17 14:39:56

Sorry if this is the wrong place and goes on a bit. It's been bothering me for a while and DH wants no discussion of it.

I'm pretty sure DS (5) has SPD. I posted a bit of a rant asking if I was being soft with discipline or was I too harsh. Overwhelming the response was to consider SPD and I did. That was about 6 months ago and I think I have a much better understanding of the drivers for DS 'weird' behaviour. I was describing him to my pain counsellor (I'm disabled and she is there instead of more drugs!) and she asked me if I though he had ADHD. Since then I'm noticing more and more behaviours and wanted to get some honest, experienced opinions. DS is an only child so I have no comparator.

He doesn't sit still, not ever. Not when he watches tv or reading a book or eating tea. He will stand and constantly move, often in circles, stepping backwards, sideways, forwards, sideways etc. When we have tried to get him to sit at the table and eat, it is nuclear meltdown. Not worth the endless wrecked evenings and distress. (This was where I was at when I worried about being too soft/hard about discipline. We were having literally no quality time together or as a couple due to the simple task of getting him to sit down and eat. It felt like a cop out to let him carry on standing, like I was being a lazy mum.)

He doesn't sleep well, falling asleep at about 9.30pm and we are having to wake him at 7am. He will wake in the night 3-4 times a week. He will lay in bed from 8pm and talk to himself, moving his arms around and generally playing. Drama and meltdowns again if I ask him to even try and lay still. He says he can't stop the moving and gets really distressed about not being able to stop. It's not a defiant No, it's I can't.

He didn't start writing letters or words until school. Was in private nursery from 12 months but always refused to do art, hold pens etc. They didn't make him. His writing and motor skills could do with improvements but teacher is not concerned. She has not raised any issues to suspect ADHD so I haven't thought it either.

Trying to read at home, he is very able, and above the colour band school give him. He is reading all the words, but gets really excited, can't slow himself down to read them properly and guesses. He does know each word when I stop him and slow him down. He can't concentrate long enough to read the length of the book, and is instantly put off if there are a lot of words on the page. But he will read a 30 page book at 3 book bands higher than he is on, if I help him calm down and pace himself. But it's really hard work!!!

SPD symptoms are:
Dislikes some Textures of food, medicine and will make himself sick crying rather than take calpol
Steals fluffy Pom poms from school just to hold, brush his cheek with and keep in his pocket.
Nuclear meltdowns from age 1 over toothpaste- will only tolerate one flavour that is now discontinued (I have 4 more tubes in the cupboard and no strategy yet)
Has favourite pj's of mine, when first started school would come home, strip naked, demand I put them on and then want to hug for about 30 mins. (Think it was his way of coping with change)
Will hug and roll my sleeve up so he can put his cheek on my arm and get skin to skin contact. Or pull my top down!
Can't bear the hand dryer or hair dryer, loud noises in general disturb him

That's about it, thanks so much if you got this far. Do you think I need to consider ADHD?

Just in terms of school and moving to Y1, he's already complaining there is not enough play and hates writing because he has to sit still. It's easy to shrug this off as just a normal boy thing, which I have been doing as school are not concerned. But shoul I be? TIA

Polter Sun 14-May-17 15:09:11

I would go see your GP and get referred to a developmental paediatrician/child development clinic so they can assess him fully. You have enough in what you describe to warrant assessment.

While you're waiting I would look to support his need to move while he does things. Move'n'Sit cushion at the table, gym ball, swing for the garden. Look for active ways to do things. Eg for drawing and writing, and early reading skills, instead of pen and paper use a big paintbrush and bucket of water on a wall or big chalk on a patios, get him running around finding things that begin with whatever letter/sound. It is much easier to work with his needs than against them. Getting some sort of professional acknowledgement of his needs should help him get adjustments and supports at school.

Mehfruittea Sun 14-May-17 15:26:53

Thanks Porter. DH is really against any formal diagnosis and doesn't want me to go to the GP. I need to respect him on this, I understand his fears of labels.

I'm really trying to understand I suppose if this is something I should be cooking up strategies for? And be armed with enough to help him overcome any difficulties he might face at school when the formal teaching steps up a gear in Sept. I'm concerned he is 'behind' in his reading (based on his capabilities) because he can't concentrate long enough. But academically he is not behind based on his age so doesn't need support, in their view.

My mum always thought I was hyperactive and my nephew has ADHD. I know nothing. Can their be a family link? Does it make it more likely if another family member is also ADHD?

Polter Sun 14-May-17 16:03:34

Yes, strong family links with all the neuro/developmental conditions.

Without formal recognition you will struggle to get school to see anything more than naughty child tbh.

It upsets me that people think neuro/developmental conditions are not important enough to warrant assessment and diagnosis.

Mehfruittea Sun 14-May-17 16:55:38

Sorry Polter I didn't mean to offend. I think it's incredibly important and so does DH. DS is very good at school, a real stickler for the rules. He is not labelled naughty but equally DH doesn't want any labels at all. I understand where he's coming from, although I disagree. There is nothing really 'going wrong' for us to need a diagnosis yet. I'm just projecting fears forwards and seeing if there is anything I can do now to help.

I will start reading up on ADHD, I'm a bit worried his teacher would laugh her socks off if I said anything to her. She sees a very different little boy that he puts all his effort in to maintaining at school. I think that's why the meltdowns at home can be so epic.

Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.

Polter Sun 14-May-17 17:09:47

Reading up is a good start. Also do keep a detailed diary and make notes of anything useful you read, this will help you both spot patterns and remember stuff should you pursue assessment in the future. Keep an eye and don't wait until/if things reach crisis, waiting lists can be very long and that's the last thing you need at that point.

For sensory stuff 'The Out of Sync Child' is a good starting place.

Mehfruittea Sun 14-May-17 17:52:38

Thank you ☺️

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