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Struggling with how to approach preschool with explosive 4 y/o.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Pretty new here but very pleased with feedback I've seen so far...
I am probably jumping the gun a bit but need some advice on whether or not and how to approach my daughter's preschool teacher about her temperament issues. Dd turned four in July and has been periodically seeing pediatric therapist since the spring for what started out as anxiety/extreme shyness and has over the past few months morphed into explosive tantrums that at their worst involve pinching, biting, flipping chairs, etc. Funny thing is the therapist "predicted" this may happen and said that four can be rougher than three as far as emotional development goes.
Husband and I decided preschool would be a good gateway to kindergarten, more so for socialization than academically b/c she's already ahead of the curve there. She is only child and only has a couple of real playmates but we have always made it a priority to go to playgrounds, storytimes, etc.
Like I said, up until about six months ago her biggest problem was anxiety, very clingy and hesitant around new people but then she started getting more intense, prolonged tantrums, at least 3 to 4 times a week. She wants to go to the park and play but gets really possessive and will actually guard the swings and has said she hates babies because they tend to stare at her (as babies do). I suspect some sensory issues because she doesn't like crowd noise but also some social deficits because she seems fine approaching kids one day but will other days will sulk after an hour at the park and say she didn't have time to make friends.
Her therapist has us reading the Explosive Child and we are noticing some improvement with CPS approach already, but of course, she still has bad days and I have no idea how or if this is going to manifest in a classroom setting. We visited the class in the spring and dd loved it, but explosions were just starting to manifest. So far the worst of the rages have been reserved for me with a couple of exceptions but she doesn't necessarily confine them to home. She has never been physically violent with other kids up to this point (thank goodness) though she did clip a toddler with a swing a couple of weeks ago after I told her to stop hogging it.
So... the therapist's stance is that its too soon to diagnose her with anything and I don't disagree but am I obligated to tell her teacher what is going on? Obviously I don't want anyone to be at the mercy of dd's explosions, but worry about her being slapped with a label if we tell the teacher what we're dealing with at present?
Did I mention I have GAD myself? As though this post doesn't prove it wink1.gif
post #2 of 10
hhmmmm Tha's a tough one. What's the therapist think? My school district has a preschool for kids needing any special intervention. They do it without labels or any IEDs or anything. It's also free. My sister is disabled and her kids qualified because of her disability they "might" be at risk. There are lots of ESL kids, there, too. Anyways, that might be the first place to look.

If that's not an option, I would generally say that to just wait and see what happens. My dd can be ... dramatic. But, it really seems she saves it for me. (Aren't I special?) She seems much less dramatic around everyone else. And at preschool, she does just fine.

Good luck and Welcome.gif
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
School district does offer free screening... going to follow up with her therapist this week and see what she has to say. Thanks for the input!
post #4 of 10

Hi and Welcome to Mothering!


It looks like you have gotten a good response already.  I would try maybe posting in Special Needs Parenting as well, they might have some good input.


I hope you get some good answers!

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oops! Didn't realize I was still in welcome forum when I started thread.
post #6 of 10
No worries at all! I just want you to get as much input as possible. smile.gif
post #7 of 10

My 5yr old started having an awful tantrum each day similar to what you described. Other than the one daily tantrum she is excellent and a big helper and we thought they just couldn't be her simply acting out. We tried eliminating dyes and extra sugar which she very rarely got anyways but nothing helped. Someone mentioned gluten so we cut it out 3wks ago and after the first 3 or 4 days we haven't had one tantrum. It has been wonderful having my little girl behaving again! I am 9months pregnant so I had been tired and we were eating pb n j and bread way more than our very TF diet pre-pregnancy. So maybe it is food related for you guys too, just something to try. Good Luck!

post #8 of 10
Welcome cure baby.
I would examine the preschool factor in your daughter's behavioral changes. Research shows that preschool enrollment tends to have a negative effect on social skills, behavior and emotional development. One of the largest and most recent studies is by UC Berkeley:


Edited by Asiago - 8/28/13 at 3:19pm
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Good articles and good info. Thanks!
My dh and I have always been pro-family caretakers and while I was working part time dd was always in my mother's care. The preschool program she is scheduled to attend is 2 days a week, 2.5 hours a day; I would not want her doing more than that anyway. And certainly if she reacts negatively, we will not hesitate to pull her out.
post #10 of 10
You are welcome. Good luck and I wish you and your daughter the best.
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