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#1 of 8 Old 10-04-2011, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi.

I'm here for advice.

My DS turned 4 in July. He is never been a very easy child to deal with. But now, more and more, we are worried about him. He is always been a stubborn, willful child, in fact at 6 months when we started solids, I didn't have another route than babyled weaning because he just refused to be fed by me.

He's always been very prone to tantrums. He wasn't even 2 and he would throw a tantrum if I got out of bed before him, or if for any reason I broke the order of events the way he had displayed in his head. I rember an half an hour tantrum because he gave a bite to his apple outside the house while he should have done it before leaving the appartment and he wanted me to go back home, so he could give a bite to the apple. And I can go on and on with tons of similar examples. I had to deal with hours crying over these matters.

Now at age 4 he is much better on the tantrum side. But the behaviours are still there and my husband and I can clearly see it: 

he is watching a video and I ask him to turn off the Ipad, he needs to bring the video to the almost end and then he would tell me that it's almost done. He get upset so much if he was expeting something in a certain way and doesn't happen (like waking up before the grandparents visiting, to wake them up.)

He is going to school but he has issues to socialize. He has always preferred adult company. A little it's our fault, we moved lot (he was born in the UK, moved to Italy, then to Monaco). He has to deal with 4 languages at the same time (he is fluent in 3).

Talking about feelings is very difficult for him. If I tell him I love him, he says he already knows and I don't need to tell him.

If he needs to pee, he gets hysterical but refuse to go. Now he finally sleeps through the night, otherwise we had to deal with maybe one hour tantrum in the middle of the night because he need to go to the toilet and I couldn't walk him although he was sleepy...Getting him out of nappies was very easy. Food: he doesn't like food to be mixed or hot, everything very cold. He is overall very sensitive.

I haven't looked for help so far and I'm wandering if I not helping him in this way.

Any thought is welcome.

 

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#2 of 8 Old 10-05-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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This could be lots of things.  That being said, I have a son on the autistic spectrum (no verbal problems, so Asperger's would describe best) and I could have written almost your exact post when my son was the same age.  That doesn't mean your son has the same problem, it could be something else like OCD, or it could be due to stress.  I think since you are worried and feeling a need to ask others about this, that is sufficient cause to look into things more.  I don't know enough about your location to know what resources are available, but some sort of developmental assessment would help clear things up and point you in the right direction, whatever that may be.  If you have the opportunity to look into things now, when he is 4, that's a lot easier than dealing with things when he is in the thick of school and dealing with social aspects of friends, adjusting to routines that aren't his own, and the pressures of learning new things.  Good luck!


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#3 of 8 Old 10-05-2011, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your answer Farmerbeth. I would feel more comfortable to look for help in the UK or in the US, I'm sure we would have a better chance to find someone we could trust, we are thinking to move back but we are not sure when that's going to happen, maybe I should talk to our pediatrician about it.

My DH thinks DS is slightly OC and I should have been firmer with him so not to encourage his obsessive  behaviours (I'm the one spending all the time with him) but I'm not sure what is the best approach. Sometimes I think he is just a very sensitive boy, that he can sense our feelings or worries, other times I really wonder what wrong with him.

He doesn't really want to go to school, but we don't have other friends or/and friends with children, or family closed by, so he is left with school to socialize. He goes in the morning, for 3 hours, I pick him up for lunch and he goes back for other 3 hours in the afternoon. No school on Wednesdays.

Last week he was tearful when I dropped him in the afternoon. I discoverd it's because, before the bell rings, they spend 15 minutes in the courtyard, children of 3, 4 and 5 years old and his teacher is not there. I solved the problem by dropping him to school at the last minute, so he doesn't have to spend the time there. Yesterday I was a couple minutes earlier and he got in anyway, I told him the teacher was going to get them into class in a couple minutes, then I watch him from the fence: he was sitting there by himself, while all the other children were playing. He told me he feels lonely in school.

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#4 of 8 Old 10-05-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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No matter the cause of the obsessive behaviors, you might want to let your DH know that most obsessive behaviors are anxiety based, so "firm" needs to be not anxiety provoking.  Being consistent and predictable in your expectations is a good type of firm for obsessions, but the heading toward punitive firm can set them off.  Also, if you have a child that transitions poorly (like when you have a hard time getting your son off his I-pod), it helps to give warning (which you did) and maybe also physically use something to show how much time he has left, like a timer or a clock.  If you are being firm about the time, then you need to be clear he has the tools to really understand how many more minutes you mean.  It sounds like you all have a lot on your plate, especially for a less familiar location.  I do think the pediatrician would be a good place to start, for now, until you know what other options you have or if you move.  It also sounds like, no matter what is up, he really needs the adults in his life right now to help facilitate social interactions, so staying involved with the teachers and enlisting whatever help you can from them.  I hope you can find some help to tide you over this rough patch - keep us posted!


Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

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#5 of 8 Old 10-15-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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Obsessive behaviours can be caused by many things. What you describe does sound more like Asperger's but children with Sensory Processing Disorder but who are not autistic (like my son) can be this way too,(read The Out of Sync Child). Like FarmerBeth's child, my son was more like that when he was younger but has gotten a lot better.  I am by no means and expert but am trying my best to learn about all this. I used to think of Sensory Processing Disorder as a disorder in its self, but am starting to wonder if it is instead a symptom that accompanies other conditions

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#6 of 8 Old 10-18-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Chiming in with the others on the fact that obsessive behavior is generally caused by anxiety. Your little guy has a very strong need to control his world and his experience of it. So he exhibits what looks like stubbornness or willfullness as a result. The tantrums are his way of letting you know he is having great difficulty handling the stresses of life.

 

Not sure if he'd fit onto the Autism spectrum. My DD has a lot of similar behavior at nearly 6. Things that help are a lot of lead up to transitioning from one activity to the next, a lot of positive reinforcement and reminders that a change is coming, a lot of rewarding behavior we want to see repeated while trying to minimize our response to any unwanted behavior (eg tantruming). Also, books and DVDS about worries, anxieties and such have helped her a lot. She has sever separation anxiety and we've developed rituals around dropping her off to school to help her manage that. She has things at school that remind her of us so she feels less alone there.

 

She also works with a behavior consultant interventionist once a week on her anxiety. They go through books together. One that worked well was "Worry Dragons" - it has a book and work book. It's designed for kids a bit older than DD and it took her longer to go through it than expected, but it's helped her a lot to be able to identify things that cause her to feel worried/anxious and begin to put labels to those feelings and stimuli.


Weary SuperMama superhero.gifto my  amazing neurodiverse 6 y.o. DD hearts.gif and to my on-the-go neurotypical 3 y.o. DS wild.gif

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#7 of 8 Old 10-18-2011, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachcomber View Post

Chiming in with the others on the fact that obsessive behavior is generally caused by anxiety. Your little guy has a very strong need to control his world and his experience of it. So he exhibits what looks like stubbornness or willfullness as a result. The tantrums are his way of letting you know he is having great difficulty handling the stresses of life.



Thanks.

Yes, I think a good starting point would be work on general anxiety.

 

I always tried to name his feelings but my DS wants to have control of that too and as I try he just doesn't want to listen to it.

In general I  tell him that he is safe to tell me stuff and more or less he does it but with difficulties and taking his time. I'll start reading on anxiety to gather ideas.

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#8 of 8 Old 10-19-2011, 07:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franci View Post

Yesterday I was a couple minutes earlier and he got in anyway, I told him the teacher was going to get them into class in a couple minutes, then I watch him from the fence: he was sitting there by himself, while all the other children were playing. He told me he feels lonely in school.


This part stood out to me. It sounds like he could use some help in learning how to relate to other children. I don't know if social skills classes are available to him where you are at. Sounds like you might have a hard time getting through to him yourself, as he may be resistant to any input from you. But if you think this would help, here is a book that has helped my DS...
http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Teaching-emotion-communication-children/dp/1885477910/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1319033806&sr=8-5
The Social Skills Picture Book : Teaching play, emotion, and communication to children with autism (it also works for children who do not have autism!) My DS likes this book, because it gives him some social rules, all spelled out.

I have also tried to give DS social guidance during one-on-one playdates, so he knows what to do to greet the other child, ask him to play, etc. ( Right now, it's too much for him to be in a group setting and try to learn social interaction. And he certainly isn't picking it up on his own, even one-on-one, as most other children do.) Do you think your DS would be open to your guidance in this way?



Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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