Ds is 3.5 and I've always felt that there is something different about him, something not quite right. It's not glaringly obvious and I wasn't sure it was serious enough to do anything about but it's not going away. My mom and close friend who spend a lot of time with ds also agree. So I went to a consult with our ped today. We just moved here last year so she's only seen him once for his 3 yo visit last year.
Here's my list of concerns I took with me:
- can't stop anything - can't stop crying, can't stop playing, can't stop hitting, can't stop moving, can't settle down to go to sleep - just seems to have no ability to control his body
- as a baby: very serious, studying everything; very fussy, high needs, colicky baby who screamed all the time (dh has said that if we had had ds 2 first and then ds1, he would have gone to the hospital thinking something was horribly wrong because of all the screaming...)
- loves swinging - spent much of his babyhood in the swing and even now will spend most of a playdate swinging on the swings at the playground
- loves spinning - both watching and spinning himself; used to sit in his Bumbo and watch our front-load washer spin around; always turned cars over and spun wheels instead of rolling them on ground (!); until recently, always lay head on floor to watch the wheels of toy cars/trains/etc go by. He also runs around in circles constantly.
- obsessed with trains - like has to know every detail about them and that's pretty much all he plays with
- very sensitive emotionally and physically; HATES the wind, any loud or sudden noise like fireworks freaks him out; we watch DVDs but not TV and he's scared of most of the kid's films he's been exposed to at friends; he's very sensitive to people's emotions and to what people say.
- HUGE problem with transitions; if plans change last minute, there will be a meltdown; even with advance notice he has a really really hard time changing activities
- HUGE sleep problems, has been like this since a baby when he screamed to sleep all the time; has to have someone with him to sleep and most of the time can't seem to settle his body down
-HUGE tantrums over everything. I am so exhausted by the end of the day.
- seeks sensory experiences - sandbox, water play, touching people, running into things, hitting (he's really very aggressive right now); when he goes cuddles, goes to bed and wakes up, he tries to shove his hands and feet under me, in between my legs, down my shirt - like he needs to bury himself or feel my weight on him
- remembers everything and doesn't let go of anything. My favorite example of this is when he had a 104 fever and was on the couch and remembered we had talked about pizza for dinner earlier. He was completely out of it and slept most of the night but every time he stirred and woke up a bit, he wanted to know where the pizza was..... He'll hold onto things for days.
- 'late' talker (started with a few words at 20-21 months so not extreme or anything), he speaks very articulately and has a very big stutter - both beginnings and ends of words
- I think he's very bright - knew most letters, numbers and colors by 18 months. I finally knew he knew them because he had a Thomas the train coloring book and when I asked which engine he was looking at, he said Percy and I asked how he knew and he pointed to the tender and said 6 (or whatever number Percy is, I don't remember right now. I should know better!)
- advanced gross motor skills but trouble with fine motor skills
Something I forgot to tell the ped is that he has a little tic once in a while when he is tired - he taps his head with his thumb.
So I share all this with the ped and the first thing she starts talking about is the tantrums and how we deal with it. She wants me to put a gate up in his room and when he starts screaming, put him there and leave him until he calms down. She calmly told me he might vomit and that's okay - he needs to learn to calm himself down and that he's not getting any attention. Meanwhile I'm thinking that that is so far away from the parent that I have tried to be for three years - and that the only reason it would work is if he just gave up on me and that would break his heart. I have worked my butt off for three years to build an attachment with my son - I'm not about to do CIO now! Although, I have to admit, I haven't been all that gentle recently and there's been a lot of yelling going on around here. I just don't know what to do anymore.
She called him a low transition kid and said they have a very hard time transitioning and are prone to wild tantrums like that. She doesn't think we need to be too worried because he can hold a conversation with someone and she'd like to talk with him for about 20 minutes to do a better evaluation of him. Nothing about SPD - I know that's not an official 'disease' but so much of what he does seem to fit that description. She did say that a lot of it seems like it could be ADHD later but it's too soon to know for sure or to medicate for that. I did express to her that I'm not trying to pigeon-hole or label ds with a diagnosis but I do want to know if there is something I can do to help him with some of his problems - for his sake and mine.
This is all so new to me and I'm not sure what to think about any of it. I'm not sure how much is going to manifest itself during her 20 minute interview with ds - he's very shy and it may take him half of that just to start talking. And he can be quite calm with strangers - it's mainly at home that he really lets himself go. From her advice, I'm worried she's just going to tell me to be more strict at home or something and not really look for the answers I need and I don't know what the next step would be. And I'm still not sure there's a real problem so I don't know how much to push - maybe it's just me, yanno? He's so smart and acts so mature sometimes and is such a little joy to be around. He's really starting to create a little pretend world - with his trains and trucks of course - and just today, he put pretend rocks in his tractor and build a mountain with them! He's never ever been into imaginary play like that. There are just all these little things and you never know when the next explosion is coming. And I've always had this gut feeling, even when he was a baby, that something was different.
Yikes, this got really long. I've been turning things over in my head for so long with noone to talk to about it, I didn't realize how much I actually had to say. Thanks if you've made it this far.
Do these things sound normal or should I be concerned about them? What happens next?