How many times over the years have I posted here? I have no idea. I go back and forth between, my son (4.5 years) is typical but just has an unusual personality, to, he has special needs and will need support to succeed in school. At the moment I am leaning toward special needs. Here is what is going on, with some background first:
*Poor eye contact at birth, dx'ed w/ strabismus, which cleared up but eye contact never got much better, almost never self initiated, never sustained
*Fussy baby, difficult to console, for no apparent reason. Liked to be held facing out, not cuddly.
*Relatively early talker but more labeling of objects rather than engaging in conversation; now has typical expressive language but doesn't appear to always hear me when I speak, I think he has poor auditory processing, definitely cannot follow multi-step directions; rarely complies on the first request to put on coat, for example; lisping is a sign of stress or lack of sleep
*Little emotional control; cries at the drop of a hat despite a nice, stable home life; gets upset over very very small things, especially if something is not, in his words, "correct" or if things do not go as planned in his mind
*Plays great one-on-one but gets overwhelmed in a group
*Needs a security object or he "crumbles" in public (usually holds a small character figurine in each hand)
*Struggles with loud sounds (hated the bowling alley, covers ears in public restrooms, wants to know what every sound is)
*Many seemingly irrational fears (being alone in any room of the house, especially afraid of his room, terrified of wind to the point of panic)
*Affectionate only on his terms--don't dare try to hug or kiss him without permission!
*Poor impulse control--hit me on the head with a (toy) baseball bat today but didn't seem to be being malicious, just seemed to do it completely and utterly without any thought
*We have been to Child Find but his only delay was fine motor (6th percentile) and mild receptive language (40th percentile--not enough to qualify for services)
*His ped thinks it is either an anxiety disorder or auditory processing disorder or possibly he somewhere on the autism spectrum. He admitted he is not qualified to make the dx and is sending us to a fantastic developmental ped/neurologist.
You're reading this thinking, of course he has special needs. But honestly, no one would know all this stuff unless you knew him really really well, or unless you knew a lot about autism spectrum disorders or anxiety disorders or ADHD. I really have no idea where he belongs in all the alphabet soup.
We are trying to decide about putting him in pre K vs K next year. His current preschool has a great pre K program. It is half day with 12 kids and 2 teachers. The curriculum is similar to K but it is more sheltered for kids who are immature or struggling socially. I think it would be the ideal place for him, esp. since our K is full day. He would literally drown in there. I guess my mind is made up--I just need to take the steps to make it official. One problem is that we have permanently discontinued vaxes and I'm not sure if the church preschool will accept our religious exemption. It is accredited by the state of Virginia if that makes a difference--I'm almost scared to ask.
I wish we had a dx so I could get some books and start reading. I want to know how to best respond to his tantrums and fears, and to learn to help him cope with the stresses of daily life. Any advice or thoughts are appreciated. Thanks