DS1 (nearly 6) is very quirky and I’m not sure where to go with it. We haven’t looked for a diagnosis yet, partly as we live in a country where there aren’t many resources for this.
He has been in two preschools, including the one he is in now. Both have made it clear that something isn’t quite right. The place he is in now is very small, multi-age (he’s the oldest) and very nurturing. We have an ongoing conversation about him and they accept him and work hard to accommodate him. So, that is great.
Recently a couple of people (good friends) have mentioned that he reminds them of nephew/friend’s kids who are on the spectrum. This shocks me a bit and has me thinking that we are so used to him that we don’t really see things as they really are.
So, I’m just not sure what to do now. This is his last year in the school. Next September he will have to start proper school. Homeschooling is not common here and since absolutely all children go to school there is no one to visit with during the day, so I think it would be very lonely for him (I also work part-time). He is a bit clumsy in his interactions but loves other kids. However, most kids start full-day public school here at the age of three (!). So, by six they are pretty wise. He is going to be a long way behind socially. I’m wondering if I should give him a go in football classes or something like that in order for him to be with bigger kids in a more school-like environment. Or, am I just trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole? Or, alternatively, I am over-protecting him?
A few things about him:
- He is very sensitive to his surroundings: noise, light etc
- He is clumsy interacting with other kids – doesn’t know when to stop, tends to annoy, misses the subtleties etc (but loves being with other kids)
- He is very intense emotionally. When he is excited he nearly explodes and when he is frustrated he can be very violent (very remorseful afterwards)
- His motor skills and coordination are not very good. He has improved a lot over the last year but is still prone to tripping over more than the average kid.
- He seems to have an “off” switch. When he switches off he is in a complete world of his own – doesn’t hear anything, doesn’t answer, no eye contact and he just looks completely absent. Those are the moments that I do see that all is not quite right.
- He is very scared of many things and gets anxious very easily.
- He fidgets A LOT
- He won’t just join in when other kids are doing an activity if it’s not extremely interesting to him
- He often talks too loudly
He is also extremely verbal, loves making and creating things and has a million interests. When his switch is “on” he is full of wonderful ideas, sociable, empathetic and maintains good eye contact. He can play for long periods by himself and has the ability to focus on a specific interest for a long time. He is also generally a happy and optimistic person.
So, what’s my question? Well, I’m not sure. I’m very lost right now. Should I seek a diagnosis? Should I encourage more peer interaction in preparation for big school? He's a truly wonderful little boy and I have no desire to try to make him into something he isn't, but it seems that society here doesn't quite work that way and I am worried that he ends up disadvantaged by our choices. Anyone with a similar experience?
Thank you if you made it this far :)