Since DS1 was three I've gone through times of thinking we should seek a diagnosis yet then things improve a lot so I think I'm being overly worried about him and he's just quirky. He went to two preschools and both suggested that there was something "not quite right". The first was a bad fit and in the second he improved so much that in the end there didn't seem to be a need.
He's highly creative, a bit clumsy and loud and although he loves to have friends and has some good friendships, he finds social interaction in groups quite difficult and can put kids off as he sort of misjudges situations. He's also very cautious and anxious but fun-loving too. He can be aggressive and explosive but is very repentant after and generally very loving and empathetic. He often is so focussed that he can't hear people talk to him. He's also incredibly distractable too and it takes him forever to get simple tasks done (like getting dressed).
It's like he has an on/off switch. When he's on, he's bright-eyed, fun and wonderful to be with. When he's off it's really hard to communicate with him and he's very volatile.
The other thing that worries me is that he is completely unaware of his bodily needs. He will hang on forever when he needs to go to the bathroom, then dashes there in a blind panic. Right now he has a constantly runny nose and he is completely oblivious to it. He also tends to use too much force - his hugs can knock me over!
We also have a five year old and a 6-month old baby and I'm finding DS1 to be really stretching my patience now. It took him two hours to fall asleep tonight and he needed one of us to be with him. I'm exhausted!
So, I'm now wondering if a lot of this stems from social anxiety. Looking back I think that the problems have gotten worse when he has had a difficult social situation to deal with. He started a new school a few weeks ago and he's quite intimidated by some of the kids. It's a small, alternative and very nurturing school, so I feel he's in the best place. However, he is finding the social aspect overwhelming. The school is open to parents so we spend a lot of time with him there.
Both my dad and my older brother were/are very socially anxious and possibly Aspergers, so there's certainly some of this in the family.
We live in a country where there isn't a great understanding of any of this and not many resources, so I just don't know where to start.
I would like to see a professional with him, but what kind of professional should I be looking for? How do you explain that to the child without it seeming that they have a really big problem? Has anyone any suggestions about alternative therapies that we could pursue together for his anxiety?
I'm feeling at the end of my tether right now and getting really frustrated with him. I just want to understand him and help him be happier but I have so little energy left after baby and I don't know where to begin.
I would really like to hear others' experience with anxiety issues.