I'm looking for ideas to help our ds - mostly socially now. He was diagnosed with SPD at age 5 and has been in weekly OT for 2 years. His OT is about to discharge him because he's now within the range of normal for all his batteries - and I agree. His sensory stuff and fine motor skills have really come together for him. He can button a shirt, swing on the swings. He ran around for half the day on Saturday without shoes or socks on (when he was 3, we couldn't get him to walk from the bathroom to the bedroom without socks on). He actually got brave enough to jump into the pool all by himself yesterday!
But, he's still not typical. He tends toward obsessions -- his current obsession is playing teacher. His absolutely favorite Christmas gift is the school ID and "gotchas" (reward slips) that "Santa" made for him. The only flaw is that "Santa" used a generic ID holder and clip to clip the ID to the lanyard, and his teacher's clip reads "Avery" on the back. Who the heck notices the BRAND NAME of your teacher's ID holder???
He was desperate to buy an Avery brand ID clip until I told him they only sold them in packs of 250 for $65.00, and I was NOT paying $65.00 so he could match his teacher. Then he badgered me to e-mail the company to see if we could buy smaller amounts. They won't, and their salesmen were not open to sending us a 'free' sample! I managed, a couple of weeks ago, to find a package of 50 on Ebay
for $6.00 + shipping, which I consider a real steal! So, for his birthday on Wednesday, he'll get a set of Magic Tree House books, a bike (financed by Grandma) and 50 Avery 2930 ID clips. Guess which one is going to be the favorite one?
He's sweet, loving and imaginative. He makes up lesson plans as a teacher. (I'm the pupil.) He grades my homework. He grades his sister's homework much more gently than mine. She'll get "good start to your story" (which are letter-like scribbles"), and I'll get "you need more detail about what happened."
That long winded background was to give you some sense of who he is. He's interested in playing with other kids, and wants more friends. But he really has a very hard time making friends on his own. He does well if another child decides that they want to be HIS friend, but he doesn't know how to go about initiating friendships/activities with other kids. This was brought home at his birthday party yesterday - we invited 7 kids to a pool party at the local rec center, and 5 came (and the two missing kids didn't come for other reasons, they had both really wanted to come).
But watching the other kids playing the pool, they were able to interact easily with each other. 2 of the boys who had never met each other quickly began chasing each other around the pool, squirting each other with water, laughing. Ds was at first oblivious to their game, and then when I suggested he join in (rather than play with me), he was clueless about how to get started.
He's said several times that he wants to have a friend at school (he misses his old best friend who goes to a different school), and that he's lonely/bored. It doesn't help that the neighborhood (and his class) are filled with girls, who aren't really kindred spirits. (His previous obsessions were fire trucks, buses and garbage trucks. He could care less about Hanna Montana!)
I'm in a bit of a quandary as to how to help him. He's not behind enough on any skills to qualify for special ed. But he has a hard time with non-verbals and with entering conversations/playgroups, etc. He's too quirky to be normal, and not obviously different enough to get/need any help.
Sometimes I feel like my worries are petty - his development seems so good (especially when I read other parents who are majorly struggling with medical or developmental issues). If he was happy with who he was, I wouldn't worry. He's funny, creative and I love him to death. But HE senses that he's not "getting" it, and I don't know how to help.