I need help and ideas on how to best approach my 11 year old DS. He has a diagnosis of PDD-NOS, anxiety, and sensory issues (given at age 9 but probably starting around age 4). We are now homeschooling after a long history of extreme school anxiety. DS has no learning disabilities that we know of and did "well" in school. However, I have come to see his "success" in school more fueled by social anxiety resulting in a high degree of perfectionism and student compliance. To me, DS seems to really struggle to express ideas or come up with solutions to even fairly basic problems. For example, when I have tried to have him apply math concepts to really basic real-life situations, he's at a loss. Socially and emotionally, and perhaps even intellectually, he is more like a typical 8-9 year old than an 11 year old about to turn 12.
I am wondering if perhaps I should "adjust" his age and my approach to better meet his needs where he is, not only academically, but spiritually/emotionally as well. Sometimes I really wonder if some of his delays may be due to unmet needs. I don't want to go into to much detail but suffice it to say I was very stressed during the pregnancy, he was born into a bad marriage that was ending and his early years had a lot of emotional upsets and changes. He entered daycare at 3 when we divorced and never adjusted and carried that anxiety with him throughout his school years despite being in loving supportive environments. I was often lost in my own emotions and not as stable for him as I wish I'd been. I don't fault myself too much, it was an awful situation and I did my best, but I know he's is experience the lasting effects of that.
Do you think it would be helpful for me to "go back" in time a bit with him when it comes to Waldorf principles of learning and growth? Consider him more at the beginning of the second 7 year cycle rather than the middle? Maybe back even further? What can I do to perhaps meet those needs now to help heal his anxiety? We are doing nutritional therapy and I am looking into homeopathy and herbs as well, but from a spiritual/emotional standpoint I want to apply Waldorf concepts to help him heal and to meet his needs. I just am not sure where to start.
I know its a complicated issue. Any advice or ideas appreciated!