My 6 year old six grader

by Joe
(San Diego, CA, USA)

My 6 year old is in the first grade and we are concerned with the following:

1. flaps his hands when he is excited

2. fixation on things such as things that spin, bouncing balls, bouncing lights etc.

3. He dislikes buttons

4. Does not like taking showers

5. He is very slow when getting into and out of the car.

6. Will spend a lot of time washing his hands.

8 dislikes touching sticky things (syrup)

9. First grade teacher is concerned since he cannot retell a story, has difficult time writing in his journal, not focused. She told us that she has a difficult time processing information. He does not play with the same students, sometimes he plays by himself and is always the last one to put everything away before recess.

10. At home he does not like to do his homework. However, he does his work and has completed every assignment. He has known all of his sigh words and likes math, but teacher does not see this in her class.

11. He does make eye contact when talking to us and people.

12. When on vacation, he walks up to kids, his age, and begins to talk and play with them.

13. He does have conversations with his sibling, cousins, kids he just met, with us, but his teacher does not see this in her class or at recess.

14.He understand facial expressions, he understands sarcasm and feels sad when he sees someone in pain.

15. He likes to catch (football, ball)

16. gets frustrated when riding a bike

17. speaks fluently

18. He was a very easy baby.

19 Does not throw tantrums

20. Dislikes changes in routine

21. Likes to play fight w/siblings and friends

22. He always puts toys under pillow.

23. He is not bothered by crowds.

Please respond and let me know what you think my child has. We have scheduled an evaluation with the school, the regional center and a doctor that specializes in learning disorders. Last year the doctor dismissed Aspergers. We were told that he would outgrow hand flapping. He is doing it less, but still concerned about what his first grade teacher stated and his fixation on things.

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Apr 30, 2010
needs imput
by: Anonymous

My daughter shares many of those same issues.

I found out that my child flapped her hands because she needed input, she is a sensory seeker
she used hand flapping for a couple of years and has just recently dropped the habit altogether. Now she likes to wear tight bands on her arms. I will tell you that she did not flap everywhere, most of it happened at home and like you i noticed that at times it accompanied excitement,

also she had OCD, and is obsessed with water and washes her hands all the time.

OT helped with the sticky hands issue also
my daughter couldn't tolerate anything on her hands sticky or not, i worked with her during baths. i would use shampoos, exfoliating body washes, honey, and put a little on her hands, at first she would immediately wash them off in the water but gradually she became desensitized and over time has come to love being messy. it took a while but the result were worth it.
(now she likes to put paint on her body just as she does soap)

good luck and get with an OT

Feb 09, 2010
My 6 year old first grader
by: Joe

The title of my post should be "My 6 year old first grader" not "my six grader" Sorry. Hope you can continue posting comments. It is really helping.

Feb 09, 2010
We experienced the same!
by: Amma

Its classic SPD. He is craving stimuli to help find himself in space. Ask your school OT about brushing. When he is in la-la land as we say in our house(some in-house humor)give him deep proprioception, massage arms, back, you can pretend its a game so its also socially appropriate. At such times also give him chewy foods like Pizza crust. We saw frequent stomach aches when she started school. I think all the external stimuli with the expectation of academic work, social interactions is a hard one for children with SPD. I actually think its a nervous but a real physical reaction that leads to stomach cramps. It helped our child when we acknowledged that it can be a very scary and tough place to be in and we worked with her teacher to give her separate time in class, where she was given a chore to do by the sink, washing paint brushes, scrubbing the sink etc. Those breaks are down to once or twice a month, whereas it started off as two or three times a day!

Feb 08, 2010
My 6year old
by: Anonymous

Yes, I am reading 'the out of sync child' great book. My son has many of the symptoms in this book. I forgot to mention "fatigue". He is always telling us that he is tired. It is a struggle getting him to put his clothes on, but I am still concerned with his fixation on things that spin, bounce etc. On Friday we went to eat pizza at a local restaurant. When he saw the bouncing lights on a video machine, he stopped at began flapping his hands for a while. Very interesting. His teacher has not noticed the hand flapping in her class or at recess. Last year he did do it in class and at recess. He does this at home when he is excited or when he sees things spinning, bouncing,

Feb 08, 2010
Get him seen to ASAP
by: Steven

Your son sounds like my son in many ways. It is good that he is speaking (my son does not say a word at 3yo). The hand flapping could be excitement, but it also could be his way of getting himself to focus on a new/different activity or event. I agree that you should make an appointment with a developmental pediatrician as soon as possible. You should also start reading 'The Out of Sync Child' if you haven't already. There are many answers to your questions in that book.

Feb 07, 2010
hmmm....consider developmental pediatrician too
by: Anonymous

I'd definitely have school OT look at him but I would back it up with a developmental pediatrician visit-comprehensive and often pediatricians are quick to dismiss this stuff.

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