Questions about my 7 year old

by Gina
(Massachusetts)

My son has always been a quirky kid. He is a sweet little boy who is very affectionate and did almost everything on time and talked on schedule. But as early as preschool he hated fire drills and would get very panicky when one would occur.


He was diagnosed with mild low muscle tone as a baby and he is kind of a floppy kid with very little strength. He walks awkwardly and has an unusual gait. At times he will invade a person's personal space without even realizing it. He has never been interested in playing or watching sports either. He will play outside at playgrounds however playing on the slides and swings. He likes to run and climb but even when he runs he sorts of run/skips.

His classmates are starting to think he is a little odd and he is getting picked on by some of the kids in his class. He will sit with some kids at lunch but always prefers to play alone at recess. Ar first I thought he might have Asperger's due to his trouble making friends but he likes being around small groups of kids but at times seems like he doesn't know what to talk about. He is able to converse normally and is very comfortable doing so with the members of his family and plays frequently and appropriately with his 6 year old brother. He also has no stims, does not obsess about certain topics or continue to talk to people about things that they aren't interested in. He does understand emotions of others and has a great imagination. He does make eye contact too. I notice he does worse in social situations when there is a lot of noise and crowds. If he has a playdate with one or two kids he is pretty appropriate.

At school he is very disorganized, messy and has trouble finding a particular object if there are other objects around it. He has trouble filtering out noises and he is very easily distracted by both visual and auditory stimuli. He has trouble catching a ball and will often just stand still instead of trying to catch it.

He is somewhat structured but not overly rigid. He will have emotional outbursts at times (if he isn't getting his way) but they are usually manageable. But he will at times overreact to something minor. He has no texture, taste or smell aversions.

Does this sound like any of your kids? How do I get more help for my son? Please share with me your thoughts I am on the verge of tears all the time trying to figure out what to do. Thanks,

Gina

Comments for Questions about my 7 year old

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 03, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Feeling your frustration
by: Anonymous

Our 7 year old son sounds very similar. He has lower muscle tone, is very bright (above grade level), walk on his toes, gets a skip/hop in to his run, and is not very into sports. We have outside OT and PT, and had to put him on medication this summer for anxiety and depression after an unsupportive school year. He was "sick" many days not wanting to go to school. New school this year, more supportive teacher, and more compassion have been helpful. We have been told he may possibly have Aspergers, but have not seen the social difficulty. He is a very concrete thinker, and can get heightened over things very easily. It is so hard to see your child struggle. Through many conversations with friends, I have realized that we are the parents of these kids for a reason. We won't stop seeking ways to make them feel good. When my child is happy, I am learning to enjoy it more instead of worrying about how he does things. Him being happy will be his greatest strength in life. If he can draw on that experience, he will be more likely to use it again. Keep seeking out help, but realize that your son is so lucky to have you as his parent because you are looking for ways to support him.

Jul 01, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Sounds like MY 7 year old!
by: Anonymous

Your description of your son sounds a LOT like my 7 yo daughter. I started thinking that she was "different" around age 2 - but couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. She was finally diagnosed with SPD at age 5 and has received OT, but only in the summer time because she doesn't qualify for services at school.

We've taken the route of working with classroom teachers to find areas of modification - it's not so important that she finishes a worksheet in 5 minutes, but that she gets the concept down. Last year we ended up moving her into a different classroom because the teacher was unwilling to implement any of the modification suggestions we made. This saw Hannah going from hating school to loving it and actually learning - rather than just trying to make it through the day. She went from reading below grade level to well above grade level in 5 months as a result of the switch.

Hannah participates in "lunch bunch" once a week at school which provides "social "networking" opportunities with other kids in a facilitated setting. This is run by a parent volunteer in coordination with the school counselor. Sometimes they talk about specific things like empathy, or what does it mean to be a good friend, and other times it's just modeling social/conversational skills - like asking, what did you do this weekend, does your family have a pet etc...

We will continue summer OT (we 've been really lucky with finding a fabulous Dr. and OT) and supplementing with extra curricular sensory activities like swim lessons & yoga, nightly massages, brushing, etc... and will continue to learn and be the best advocates we can.

It's difficult work, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not - can't - always be on top of what's best for Hannah right this moment, but I've learned to listen to my gut and know when it's time to step back, observe, reflect and modify schedules/activities and seek help.

Keep up the good work - and thanks for sharing your story, it's a great help to all of us!






Apr 21, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Getting more help!!!
by: Anonymous

Thanks Don. The school put him on an IEP after I requested they evaluate him. His OT at school has recognized some sensory issues and works with him for a 1/2 hour a week. I wish I could get more than that though. The school Psychologist is supposed to work with my son weekly on social skills training also. I am glad the school has recognized a problem but my son's pediatrician seems to think the 1/2 hour of OT is enough. I really think he needs a lot more help than that.

Apr 21, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Seek professional help
by: Don Forde

Gina... Not having any expertise in this area other than interacting with my SPD diagnosed grandson, professional help, (OT -occupation therapy) through a school Individual Educational Plan IEP) and/or a medical facility, such as Childrens Hospital in Boston will help.

First, I would have him diagnosed, then follow through with their recommendations.

You are the catalyst that can help him greatly. Don't give up hope, you are not alone. Their are many parents that have children with the same or similar symptoms.

My daughter-in-law recognized issues with my grandson and OT, etc. has helped him significantly.

Sincerely, Don Forde

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to The SPD Q & A.