Turning "Thee" Years Old

by Alyssa
(Calgary, Canada)

Taking a walk in the park

Taking a walk in the park

My son is extraordinarily loving, perceptive, and caring. He will initiate contact by waving to strangers and saying "hello" until acknowledged. This is not extraordinary behavior, however its something I admire as it's something I as his mom have tried to instill due to the lack of social opportunities he had until about two years of age, and my own tendencies to stay "solo."


I will begin by saying that as a formal student of children behavior and adult behavior I tend to perhaps over-analyze, thus it's taken me sometime to be sure I was being objective about the cues I had been seeing since birth.

My son has more than just a few checks from the above checklist in the auditory, tactile, visual and emotional regulation sections. Before even recognizing that there was scientific information regarding sensory issues I seemed to be aware that there was something sensory issue related, most likely because I myself am easily overstimulated and frustrated by to much background or high pitched noises and thus was sensitive to those concerns in others ... I too shy away from touch (and in my adult life this has caused issues with intimacy) ...

Based on those facts when my son wouldn't try foods, even at six months after I started introducing foods into his diet I became concerned. The rice cereal would be left to turn cold, the mac and cheeses was looked at with minor disgust and the only things I could get him to put in his mouth were crunchy cracker like foods ... I started looking for such material in different varieties (that would contain necessary nutritional value) and found it difficult to say the least. Since then I've managed to integrate peanut butter sandwiches into his repertoire of "veggie" chips and sometimes pancakes or "cupcakes" (handmade muffins that had hidden ingredients that would make up for the loss of nutrition else where ... at daycare, this poses problems where the meals are predetermined and the consequences of not eating may lead to not enjoying a "social" activity outside the house. As of now I am not sure it's a tactile issue or just a plain deference to some foods, however coupled with the fact that he withdraws from unexpected touch, hugs on his own premises (and when initiated with first with an oral expectation from me or himself, he will embrace tightly), and his tendency to resist staying in a group of peers I've become to wonder perhaps there is something tactile about it. However as of now he doesn't seem to mind clothing, bed sheets and will brush his teeth, though the taste of toothpaste is obviously a discomfort, he's still willing to do it and independently ...

As an infant turning one and going on two, I noticed also that he didn't seek out or explore like I had imagined he would. In fact when he took his first steps at 11 months I was surprised that my "running" sneakers were not at all needed, that in fact he stayed pretty much where he was "supposed" to ... the word "no" was not a familiar word until one and a half years or two ...my almost one year old daughter has unfortunately heard the word "no" to many times during her passion for seeking since her ability to camando crawl at six months. Now taking her own first steps she wants to run ...Orally my son never put anything in his mouth. I never worried about sitting him on the grass and chewing on his surroundings, whereas my daughter my eyes are ever so vigilant about the surrounding and what can be taken in orally ...

These were minor concerns until I started working at daycare with my son and daughter. I want to keep in mind that I'm also considering emotional problems as my son and daughter have been through many monumental transitions that I myself had a hard time coping with (losing our home in California, a move to Cananda with my family, me starting a new job and thus for the first time leaving my kids behind, and all the while waiting for my husband to arrive in Canada, their dad) ... however I do believe that we can help out with transitions as parents if we are honest and layout expectations in a consistent manner no matter what the circumstances ...

Having said that upon deciding to work at a daycare with my children after working away from them for a period of time, and being able to observe interaction s and behaviors from other children my concerns were heightened!

My son at two years of age started resisting change to routine. If altered without an explanation, a meltdown would ensue, and giving just ordinary direction at this time was useless ...I was slapped in the face many times! I am against spanking and physical means of punishment so would take him and place him in a quiet room for time out ...where his temper would escalate for a bit before simmering down. The tantrum was loud, and dangerous to some extent! During times of routine, my son adorably wants to please. He will help with anything, resist nothing at all upon my commands to clean up or put on shoes or so forth ..however place him in daycare, and all these great listening skills are left behind and I am left with my bottom lip on the floor wondering where my boy went. He will engage in play with his peers but is the boy asking the line when going on "outings" and prefers to be just outside the group lining up cars or traintracks while the other three year olds are creatively engaging in some sort of imaginative play. I being a natural preschool teacher have some structured time in the mornings that consist of calendars, singings songs, body movement games and coloring numbers and abc's ...my son will literally attend for five seconds before doing everything else but what the group is doing. To give him the same consequences of such behavior to him as the other kids leads to a huge 15 min to a 1/2 an hour meltdown that is highly distracting in him whereas the other kids may verbally resist for a bit, but then go on to follow direction ...

Verbally my son can repeat anything (though most of his sounds are not yet recognizable by anyone who doesn't really no him) and can hold conversations with the same pattern to them ...I listen to other kids begin weaving stories together (age appropriate of course) while my son will recite what he already has heard or what we have practiced ...he will tell his peers and us to be quiet when we are talking or singing so that he himself can go about what he is doing.

My son is brilliant mechanically ...understanding the physics or mechanical inclinations of items not even previously handled. He's quite observant and does recognize when people are "sad" "mad" or "happy"...

I guess my question is whether or not this is developmentally astray, if he may have some emotional problems I should be attending to or if I am just once again over analyzing ...I am taking him to seek professional help, as I do want my son to have a good self concept and get from this life all that he can so as a mother I am naturally drawn to do whatever needs to be done in order to make this happen ...feedback is more than welcome!

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