He discloses very little to us about school, but from the bits and pieces we have been able to put together most of the things he is anxious/upset about seem to be either social or sensory related. For example:
- crowding or being bumped on the bus (younger kids are required to sit 3 kids/seat)
- violent or aggressive play themes or talk on the playground
- misunderstanding/taking things literally (often associated with the violent themes, but not exclusively)
- other kids breaking the rules sometimes bothers him
- changes in routine (supply teachers, etc.) used to bother him a lot but don't seem to be as big a factor now (though I think they still impact)
Academics don't seem to be a trigger at this point. If anything, I think he is not challenged enough at school, but at the same time I'm not sure that asking for more challenging work is in his best interests either... IQ and achievement testing showed an unusual amount of variability, with some scores in the gifted range and others squarely in the average range; his area of weakness was the comprehension subtest of the WISC which requires social understanding... which I guess should not surprise me. Processing speed and memory were fine - both high average. No ADHD or CAPD. Achievement scores were almost all above the predicted level based on verbal IQ, despite the fact that he is in French Immersion (with no formal English instruction) and testing was done in English. French reading skills are well below English, but still above grade level expectations for immersion kids and primarily held back by lack of opportunity (kids are being required to read a certain # of texts at each level rather than starting at their current level and progressing from there), and lack of French vocabulary (which is appropriate for grade level in French Immersion but does hold him back from understanding more difficult French text). So although there may be academic issues at some point in the future, at this point he doesn't express any concerns and is doing well academically.
Sensory diet wise, we have lots of opportunities for sensory-rich play at home (especially proprioceptive and vestibular input), and give lots of opportunities for sensory input that is calming for him too (quiet place to retreat to, stress balls, gum). At school I think he is sometimes overwhelmed by sensory input but will freeze rather than acting out. He is choosing to stay inside for recess whenever he can, which allows him a chance to retreat from unwanted sensory input... but also does not give him enough activity or social opportunities (although there is sometimes a small group of quiet, calm kids who stay in and that may be better for him socially then the playground anyway...).
Any thoughts on what accommodations you would ask for if we were going to move forward and share more details with the school in order to get more in place for him? (I have some thoughts on this, but would love input from others...).