Protect him from ridicule? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 21 Old 06-09-2013, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
hellokt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi parents.  I'm back on the boards to ask you a question that's been heavily weighing on my mind.  I used to post quite a lot, but that was awhile ago and I couldn't find my login info.  I was debating which section to post this in and I'm thinking maybe you gifted parents have had to deal with this or something similar.  

 

So I have a very sweet 8 year old boy.  His nature is very gentle, careful, sweet, empathetic.  He's extremely bright, achieves at the top of his class.  But my son has always had a few "quirks".  Lately I have done more research on this and it may be some symptoms of sensory disorder.  He's an extremely picky eater (which might also be due to his giftedness).  And since he could walk, he has paced back and forth, usually running, while flapping his arms.  And while he does this, he sometimes goes over earlier conversations out loud.  He'll laugh.  He'll hum.  He tells me he's thinking and dreaming...it's obvious there's a lot of thoughts going on.  Up until recently, I just chalked it up to having a huge amount of energy.  But it's probably something more.  I've never seen another kid do this but I have read of cases online. 

 

So often I'll send him outside to do his running since he's getting so big and we have downstairs neighbors.  He'll run back and forth flapping his arms in front of the house.  And yesterday (I knew this day was coming), one of the neighborhood kids who's a few years older, was walking by and started mimicking him, laughing to his friend  :(     I was walking outside so caught glimpse of this.  I asked my son if he was making fun of him and he said no.  I gotta think the kids on the playground at school probably think he's a bit peculiar.

 

So the question is, do I have a talk with him about the ridicule he's going to get?  Tell him to avoid running in public because people are not going to understand?  I read about an adult who was doing this all his life and figured out in his mid-teens that kids made fun of him so that is when he learned to hide it, although even as an adult he still paces.  So I wonder if I should "give him a leg up" on this and help him hide it now?  Maybe work with him more intensely at finding a substitute activity, tho I have my doubts one exists.

 

On the other hand, I don't want him to think anything is "wrong" with him.  He already doesn't have the highest self-esteem.  In my eyes, he is perfect.  And the running really doesn't interfere with anything.  I have no intentions of taking him to any kind of therapist.  Should I just let him "own it" and be proud of who is his, quirks and all?  

 

I'd LOVE to hear perspectives on this, if you have any thoughts!  

hellokt is offline  
#2 of 21 Old 06-09-2013, 09:24 AM
 
CamMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Oh my goodness, yes. Most members of my family do some version of what your son is doing. Yes, we probably have some cases of undiagnosed ADHD, and my brother is likely Aspergers, but for many of us it is only a "quirk." 

 

When I was your son's age I used a single person indoor trampoline and music in our basement. I also went to the park and would get on the swing for hours. Now I put on headphones and walk around the neighborhood, just making sure that my lips don't move. I'm sure everyone imagines that I am just exercising. 

 

For what it's worth, in our family, it is probably a product of excessive energy, active minds, and high imagination. I am occasionally overstimulated by a book, movie, interaction, etc. and need to "walk it off." I replay or re-imagine events to my satisfaction, until the emotion fades. 

 

We are a family of early (often before age five) voracious readers many choosing mystery, adventure, high fantasy, or epics (i.e. the truly escapist stuff). 

 

If there is some organic issue driving your son's behavior, then of course you want to visit with a professional. I can tell you that I love my "walks" and my imagination. It's an outlet for creative thinking and imagining other possibilities has led me to a more interesting inner and "real" life. 

 

By the way, my six year old hums, runs around our house making seemingly random noise, and loves being outside (especially the swings:). He is highly gifted, minor social quirks, no major indications of attention issues or Aspergers. Just finished the Spiderwick Chronicles (fantasy)- so the apple isn't falling far from the tree. 

CamMom is offline  
#3 of 21 Old 06-09-2013, 09:44 AM
 
CamMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Just re-read that you "won't" be taking him to a therapist, so ignore that. As far as "owning it" my thought is to try a substitute activity. I listed a few things that worked for me. If a substitute doesn't work, I would say "own it" but talk gently (one time) about the ramifications. If he's okay with the possibility that other kids will make fun, I would let it be.  He will ultimately decide when he's no longer "okay" with it and be more stealth. The imagination (the driver) is an awesome thing- I know many people who have difficulty thinking even hypothetically, let alone imaginatively. How cool. 

CamMom is offline  
#4 of 21 Old 06-09-2013, 03:46 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,570
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Why are you so against taking him to "any kind" of therapist? Our son has/had sensory issues and occupational therapy was super fun for him and extremely helpful. It didn't change who he was, it helped him flower. He had OT from about 5-7. He's in middle school now, and while he's a bit quirky (he's got a few mild tics), he does not stand out, he gets along with other kids and he has good self-esteem. The OT helped teach his brain new pathways for motor organization and it helped desensitize him to some of the stuff that overstimulated him.

 

I would read Sensational Kids and perhaps The Out of Sync Child has fun.

Linda on the move likes this.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#5 of 21 Old 06-09-2013, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
hellokt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

CamMom!!!  Thank you SO MUCH for jumping in here.  It is so wonderful to hear an adult's perspective who actually experiences something similar!  Gosh, I feel like I won the lotto or something :)   Yes, my son also does some quirky things when he gets excited.  Like if he's winning a game, or today he was at a birthday party and the kids were picking teams and he was one of the first picked and he was jumping out of his skin with excitement.  Literally doing his quirky jumps (yes they look way different than regular old jumps).  I actually almost held him back a year for Kindergarten because I couldn't imagine how he was going to sit still for 6 hours at school.  But it turned out to not be a problem at all.  He can focus just fine and really thrives being challenged at school.  I'm sure at recess there's a lot of physical energy let loose.  And yes, he LOVES the swing.  He's not on there for hours, but it's definitely a favorite.  

 

" I replay or re-imagine events to my satisfaction, until the emotion fades"  Yeah, he seems to be doing this.  He'll go over conversations, kinda whispering to himself.  If it's a new word or phrase he hears, he'll repeat it to himself, while he runs.  And then he'll use it in proper context the next day and never forget it.  He learned language early and taught himself to read based on the street signs since he knew what street it was and how to pronounce the name of the street.  

 

Sorry to ramble on about him.  I'm just so excited there's someone out there who can relate that I can actually converse with!  I really like your advice, about talking with him once about it.  And before that, trying to find a substitute behavior.  I'm curious to hear more about the driver of the behavior, in case this applies to my son who's not articulating it real well to me.  He's told me a few times he does it because he likes to dream.  Is it because he's so excited thinking his thoughts that it just makes his body do strange things?  When he runs back and forth he often puts his head down and leans forward, like he's just about to fall down, but then he doesn't.  Just plain ole running (which would be viewed upon as "normal") doesn't seem to do it.  It's the trippy run with head down and sudden jerks.  Have you felt like that before?    

hellokt is offline  
#6 of 21 Old 06-09-2013, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
hellokt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Lynn, that is wonderful you found a good OT.  If I knew of one that my son would really love going to and could help with this, I'd definitely consider it.  But at this point it seems like too much of a risk to his delicate personality.  I don't know, I'll think about it and read more into it.  Thank you for the book recommendations! 

hellokt is offline  
#7 of 21 Old 06-09-2013, 08:47 PM
 
CamMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to skip rope, do jumping jacks, and walk (still walk). As a young adult I took up running and hiking. My uncle, my grandfather, and brother are "pacers." My father was and still is constantly outdoors hiking, fishing, etc. I don't know your son's motivation exactly, but for me it was excessive energy and emotional/intellectual/social excitement and daydreaming. When I was younger it was much more pronounced.

When my 6 year old son gets excited, he can hardly contain himself- he had imaginary friends that he played with around age three (actually becoming upset when his dad "sat" on one of them at a restaurant). Today he put on a pedometer and spent most of a rainy Sunday running around our house nearly driving everyone batty. I often catch him whispering words or phrases that he reads in a book. I think it's because a new fun word or idea excites and fixates him and he has to cycle through it.

My guess is that your son is not running so much as adding movement to his thinking- probably why it doesn't look much like running. If you suspect that his actions are fueled by something that he needs help with, you have to decide how it's best to help him. But if it's only the running, it could easily be a physical outlet for an active, imaginative mind.
CamMom is offline  
#8 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 06:14 AM
 
CamMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

hellokt- check this out and see if any of it sounds like your son. 

 

http://giftedkids.about.com/od/gifted101/a/overexcite.htm

CamMom is offline  
#9 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 08:18 AM
 
EnviroBecca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 5,131
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

Like CamMom, I relate to this very strongly from my own experience.  If I were a child these days, I would be identified as "stimming" and sent for evaluation, I'm sure.  I used to rock forward and back (sitting or standing) when looking at something that strongly interested me, or when thinking about exciting ideas that did not require a visual reference (I had many elaborate fantasy scenarios) I would pace in circles with my hands behind me and fingers waving stiffly.  I also did a lot of twisting my hair, rubbing my feet back and forth on the carpet, rubbing the ends of my hair against my face, pressing each fingernail in turn in certain specific ways, manipulating beads in my necklace or buttons on my shirt, stuff like that.

 

I remember as early as preK having other kids comment on this behavior, not so much teasing as asking why I was doing that.  Gradually I began to realize it was unusual and to feel more self-conscious.  Through elementary school I made efforts to stop the most obvious behaviors when I was in public, and I found that it helped to set up time to do them at home to "get it out of my system"; for example, I would come home from school and take my parents' address book into my room and rock over it playing number games, and then the next day that would help me resist rocking over my math book and--a side effect, but a very helpful one--resist playing those number games instead of listening to the teacher!  I also took dance lessons for years and thus learned some moves that "look like I'm doing something" instead of looking weird.

 

With the smaller fidgeting behaviors with my hair and such, my parents worked hard against the destructive ones (nail biting, etc.) and my best friend had a nice tactful way of mentioning to me in private that something she had seen me doing during school was unattractive.  Gradually I became more conscious of what I was doing and more willing to keep my hands under the desk doing something safe and unobtrusive to substitute for other fidgeting.

 

As late as 13 years old, I remember spending the early mornings in summer pacing on our driveway thinking.  But it was a very quiet street; if anyone came outside, I would try to act like I was doing something "useful" such as weeding the flowerbed or practicing my dancing, until I felt unobserved again.

 

I've always thought of it as a way of channeling excess mental energy so my brain doesn't explode. smile.gif

 

As an adult, I still need some of this kind of thing, but I feel I've done pretty well at integrating it so I appear normal.  Most days I French-braid the front part of my hair so that I have a long braid hanging down the back of my head, and the loose hair at the end of it forms a spiral curl (I wonder why?  The rest of my hair is not so curly!); I can stroke my braid or wrap the curl around my finger while I'm thinking, and it doesn't look too weird--but I avoid doing a lot of that in front of people; it's mostly for fidgeting while I'm working alone in my office.  At home I allow myself several hours a week of staring at interesting things while standing up kind of vaguely doing stretching exercises and kind of rocking--I don't need to do it in as structured a way as I did when I was little.  I also tend to "wander" around the room, basically pacing, while talking with my partner in the evenings.  If several days go by when I can't do these things, I begin to feel very antsy and frustrated.

 

I used to talk to myself, as well, and gradually learned not to do that when anyone could hear.

 

I guess what I'd suggest for your son is that you mention occasionally, gently, that his arm-flapping looks a bit odd and maybe he could turn it into something else, for example an arm-flapping exercise like jumping jacks or "windmill" toe-touches.  Nobody is surprised to see a person exercising in his yard.  Talking to himself is trickier; if there are ever times when you are confused about whether or not he's talking to you, certainly mention that, but otherwise I think you'll just have to let him gradually understand the social awkwardness of talking to oneself--or you could put a Bluetooth headset on him. smile.gif

 

I went to a very geeky university where I met a lot of people who clearly had stimming habits they'd channeled in acceptable directions.  All of us were interested in a pair of identical twin men who seemed to spend most of their free time walking in circles around a certain tree on campus talking to each other.  They eventually were interviewed by the campus newspaper and said this was a game "kind of like Dungeons & Dragons" that they'd been playing together since they were little, discussing and developing their fantasy characters.  A lot of us were jealous of them after that.  Imagine having another person who shares your inner world and gives you just enough social support that you can indulge in public!

 

Anyway, I think you are correct in not making a big deal of this but wanting to help him avoid ridicule.  It's a fine line to walk.  I think my parents did pretty well in addressing only the harmful activities directly and accepting most of my odd behaviors as personal habits.  My dad took a home movie of my full-blown rocking and finger-wiggling when I was 4, and I'm glad he did because it was so weird and it's striking to see myself from the outside, but he never ever spoke of it like, "Check out this weird thing Becca used to do!"  It was more like, "She was really interested in that Sears catalog!" said in a warm voice, like he found it charming and he really loves me as an individual with all my idiosyncrasies.  Just recently I found a reprint of a 1927 Sears catalog at a used-book sale, and when I mentioned it to my dad, he said, "Oh, that'll be good for hours of rocking!" love.gif


Mama to a boy EnviroKid treehugger.gif 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby baby.gif!

I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more. computergeek2.gif

EnviroBecca is offline  
#10 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 08:31 AM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokt View Post
  If I knew of one that my son would really love going to and could help with this, I'd definitely consider it.  But at this point it seems like too much of a risk to his delicate personality.  I don't know, I'll think about it and read more into it.  Thank you for the book recommendations! 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by hellokt View Post

 

On the other hand, I don't want him to think anything is "wrong" with him.  He already doesn't have the highest self-esteem.  In my eyes, he is perfect.  And the running really doesn't interfere with anything.  I have no intentions of taking him to any kind of therapist.  Should I just let him "own it" and be proud of who is his, quirks and all?  

 


I don't understand these two post side by side. You are concerned that an OT will be too much for your sensitive son to handle, but want him to be proud to be quirky in front of playground bullies?

 

 

My DD has extreme sensory issues related to her autism diagnosis, and she is also gifted. There are SO MANY fun ways to address sensory issues and to make room for those needs to be meet in really positive ways. I second the recommendation for The Out of Sync Child. Figuring out what sort of sensory input is most helpful to your son and then providing it is ways that will not expose him to ridicule would be helpful to him in developing truly positive self-esteem.

 

For my DD, swim team was the magic ticket. It was amazing for her sensory issues, and she had a blast. For another child, it could be something very different than that, such as the trampoline suggestion up thread.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#11 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 10:06 AM
 
KCMichigan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 922
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 


I don't understand these two post side by side. You are concerned that an OT will be too much for your sensitive son to handle, but want him to be proud to be quirky in front of playground bullies?

 

 

My DD has extreme sensory issues related to her autism diagnosis, and she is also gifted. There are SO MANY fun ways to address sensory issues and to make room for those needs to be meet in really positive ways. I second the recommendation for The Out of Sync Child. Figuring out what sort of sensory input is most helpful to your son and then providing it is ways that will not expose him to ridicule would be helpful to him in developing truly positive self-esteem.

 

For my DD, swim team was the magic ticket. It was amazing for her sensory issues, and she had a blast. For another child, it could be something very different than that, such as the trampoline suggestion up thread.

I agree with Linda here,

 

 

OT is unlikely to be too much to handle if your DS is functioning well in the classroom. You state that 'he will get ridiculed' or the 'riducule he will get'- which implies that so far, he has not been teased/made fun of.

 

OT would be a great way to be proactive and help him learn (not lose) to channel some of his quirks. It does not imply that there is anything 'wrong' , just think of an OT as a teacher for your body. A child (or adult) learns different ways to use their body to function in life and/or to help their body work with them (vs against them) in a variety of environments.

 

I dont think pacing is all that unusual either. Lots of people pace, fidget, talk to themselves, etc. It is fairly socially acceptable as long as you are not 'screaming/disturbing/ making very loud noises'.

 

Though -- it is likely you will see scenes with neighborhood kids,classmates, etc. That does not make it acceptable, but rather know that anything 'nonstandard' is likely to be a target for kids that have bully-ish tendencies.

 

Another good thing may to be to do some social acting with your DS. He stated he did not know or was not aware that the kids were mocking him. That may indicate that he could benefit from some social practice. You want to 'bully-proof' as best you can. Go over some scenarios to help your DS have a statement ready if anyone is making fun of him and/or asks him. A low-key reaction or logical explanation takes the wind out of some teasing behaviors and also gives kids a a self-confidence boost since they dont feel as threatened.

 

Have you talked to the school? What do they say? Do they see any of those behaviors and if so- are they worried? 

 

I would start with OT and also start with some conversations with your DS. What he does and why. Affirm to him that other people do the same thing so he does not feel that he is 'alone' in his actions.

KCMichigan is offline  
#12 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 11:19 AM
 
CamMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would just affirm the "why." If it's a sensory integration issue or not understanding social norms, maybe he could benefit from some help. If it's excitability related to his energy and intellect- he will eventually learn to disguise it and it will probably taper as he gets older. My own son put on a Disney princess dress every day he entered his preschool classroom between the ages of 3 and 5. In my efforts to prevent bullying. I had a conversation with him where he informed me that the dress was "pretty" and he "liked wearing it" and "why does everyone have to like wearing the same things"?
CamMom is offline  
#13 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 02:12 PM
 
Tigerle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,347
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

I still have the urge to run if I feel over-excited emotionally or intellectually, and I am close to 40. Sometimes I still indulge -  when I think people will jsut think I left the burner on on the stove, or am trying to avoid getting a parking ticket or catching a bus or whatever. I also used to play for hours with a ball in the alley in front of our house as a preteen, bouncing it against the walls of the house, just thinking. Must have driven the neighbours mad. I wore out several good quality leather balls that way and was very upset whenever I needed a new one and couldn't get one right away. I talk to myself in my head, which sounds benign, the problems is that the emotions of whatever is going on in my head show up on my face and may be inappropriate to the occasion.

 

DS1 has a number of sensory quirks, which get better in summer and worse in winter. the constant humming is currently out, and he is rarely telling himself stories out loud these days, and now that it's spring he has also stopped writing in the air or on the table. However he now has a facial tic, an odd grimace he started developing after losing his first baby teeth. things come and go all the time. The really unpleasant phase was when he chewed up my hair and his fingers and clothing - well, and the spit play and lip chewing wasn't that great either - you get the idea. I feel that apart from time spent outdoors doing stuff (not necessarily exercise, physical exhaustiong makes things much much worse), diet and supplements help him self-regulate best. I wish OT had done more for him, but in our case, OT has been of limited help, mostly I think because our OTs experience was with vestibular issues and stuff like pencil grip rather than tics and stims caused by sensory processing disorder. I have recently heard about an OT supposedly specializing in sensory issues (hard to find where I live, it is a VERY new field here) and am currently mulling it over, mostly because he has a hard time taking part in PE, all the running and movement by the other kids overstimulates him and makes him shut down and withdraw. He LOVED going to the OT, for what it's worth. It does not feel like therapy for the kids. ANd unlike the obvious stimming behaviour that everyone can see, no one his age needs to know.


Mesleepytime.gifDH geek.gif DS1 10/06 drum.gif DD 08/10 notes.gifDS2 10/12babyf.gifwith SB ribbonyellow.gif and cat.gifcat.gif 
Tigerle is online now  
#14 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 02:30 PM
 
joensally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,977
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You're getting responses from a number of old-time posters here who are raising some pretty quirky gifted kids.  wave.gif

 

If he's doing this at school, kids are making remarks.  He may be oblivious to them as they may be "subtle" given the age.  Kids only get rougher as they get older.  Helping a quirky kid navigate their school experience includes changing stuff up as their peers and environments change.  Up to grade 3, the range of acceptable may be broader, but kids narrow it down as they get older, become more cutting, and the pecking order becomes more apparent.

 

I would highly recommend the materials at socialthinking.com.  Particularly The Social Detective, which refers to habits as "expected" or "unexpected," which is a lovely, non-judgmental way to frame it.  It's done sort of comic book style, and offers a jumping off point to talk about how pacing isn't expected - is there a substitute activity that is expected?


Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

joensally is online now  
#15 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 03:17 PM
 
KCMichigan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 922
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

You're getting responses from a number of old-time posters here who are raising some pretty quirky gifted kids.  wave.gif

 

If he's doing this at school, kids are making remarks.  He may be oblivious to them as they may be "subtle" given the age.  Kids only get rougher as they get older.  Helping a quirky kid navigate their school experience includes changing stuff up as their peers and environments change.  Up to grade 3, the range of acceptable may be broader, but kids narrow it down as they get older, become more cutting, and the pecking order becomes more apparent.

 

I would highly recommend the materials at socialthinking.com.  Particularly The Social Detective, which refers to habits as "expected" or "unexpected," which is a lovely, non-judgmental way to frame it.  It's done sort of comic book style, and offers a jumping off point to talk about how pacing isn't expected - is there a substitute activity that is expected?

wave.gif Haha! Your right--- a lot of us on this board have quirky kiddos. (and most of us may be quirky adults as well).

 

I agree that 3rd grade is sort of a milestone. My kiddos are going into 3rd this fall and I am a bit worried about the social implications. PreK-2nd is much more gentle and tolerant. I am hoping that having been with the same kiddos for 2 years will lessen the sting of a 'pecking' order that will likely erupt.

 

Both my DDs are quirky. One more so socially.  We have had GREAT success with OT for sensory processing (age 3-5). We still use some of the techniques years later. Both DDs have done social circles (a peer support social group) at school for the past two years. They are not 'behavior' issues, but both have 'odd' mannerisms and has some physical challenges.

 

 

OP- does your DS have friends that are similar in mannerisms? I know that having a peer group has helped my DDs. Their whole group is has a funky little vibe, with each kiddo having different little idiosyncranies. Most of the kids are likely GT- there is no GT in our district, but somehow the scienc-y, book-loving kids gravitate toward each other.

 

One of my DDs hums/rocks when she is overstimulated or overwhelmed. The other fidgets & talks to herself a lot....she whistles a lot (ARGGGHHH this drives me nuts!) when she is thinking.

 

 

A PP suggested a trampoline or ball bouncing, both are great sensory activities. A fidget ball or a stretchy rubber band (I like to play with rubber bands when thinking) may also be a good socially acceptable replacement.

KCMichigan is offline  
#16 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 07:47 PM
 
CamMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I probably didn't make the most helpful analogy- I was trying to make the point that in my efforts to prevent my young son from being laughed at, that he taught me something about tolerance. I think that help should be sought when help is needed- you are the best judge of that as a loving parent. Your son's behaviors don't seem all that different to me because in my family most of us do some version of it- we even joke that only the brightest people talk to themselves:) My close friend's husband is very gifted- he is also a pacer. I wish you luck- he sounds like a great kid.
CamMom is offline  
#17 of 21 Old 06-10-2013, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
hellokt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Just a quick post to say THANK YOU all so much!  I love your replies and thank you so much for taking the time.  I'll respond tomorrow when I find some time.  

hellokt is offline  
#18 of 21 Old 06-11-2013, 04:39 PM
 
Aufilia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,863
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 


I don't understand these two post side by side. You are concerned that an OT will be too much for your sensitive son to handle, but want him to be proud to be quirky in front of playground bullies?

 

 

My DD has extreme sensory issues related to her autism diagnosis, and she is also gifted. There are SO MANY fun ways to address sensory issues and to make room for those needs to be meet in really positive ways. I second the recommendation for The Out of Sync Child. Figuring out what sort of sensory input is most helpful to your son and then providing it is ways that will not expose him to ridicule would be helpful to him in developing truly positive self-esteem.

 

For my DD, swim team was the magic ticket. It was amazing for her sensory issues, and she had a blast. For another child, it could be something very different than that, such as the trampoline suggestion up thread.

 

I don't want to gang up on you, but Linda said a lot of what I'm feeling -- and also urge you to look into OT.  Don't fear therapy--a good therapist is worth their weight in gold in helping a child learn about their own mind and body and find ways to express their needs in a socially-acceptable way.  Our OT recently moved away and my daughter was so sad because she enjoys her OT appointments so much and adores her OT.  I've always felt like our OT was one of the people who really understood best how her giftedness interacted with her sensory & ADHD behaviors. 

 

Also, I'm just going to throw this out there as an idea if you would really prefer something off the beaten path and less medical-y, you might look into Feldenkrais.  This would not normally be something I'd go in for because it leans more toward mystical-Yoga-and-naturopathy stuff in my mind and I'm not really into that, but DD had some free Feldenkrais therapy by some student therapists last year and we got more out of it then I'd expected.  If insurance covered it, we'd probably have stuck with it.


Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
Aufilia is offline  
#19 of 21 Old 06-11-2013, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
hellokt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Ok, I think I wasn't clear re: my worries with the OT.  The concern is with his self-esteem and that is it.  As much as I might say "it's a teacher for the body" or along those lines, he may still think I'm taking him because something is wrong with him.  That is the concern.  Now if I KNEW the OT was going to be just terrific and my son would love going, then I'd probably be willing to take that risk.  Does that make sense?  

 

I do believe his quirks are an outlet for an overexcited brain, as some of you described and feel yourselves (thank you!).  His running has very sudden jerky movements, as do his jumps when he gets some exciting news or feedback.  It seems like at that very moment his brain contains SO MUCH sensory info that it comes out physically too.  Of course this is all my perspective but I've been watching him for a long time :) 

 

As far as his social skills, he does pretty ok.  He has a great sense of humor and I often see him laugh with other kids.  He's not afraid to raise his hand in class, in fact, I get the feeling that teachers get tired of calling on him.  He's definitely teacher's pet type.  He's not real good at reading people, just like his father but his father is far worse - son is in Mama's training program for that ;).  He's definitely attracted to certain types of kids.  For one, he does not like trouble, so if he smells it, he stays far far away.  Right now his "crowd" is anyone into the game Minecraft, as he is pretty much obsessed.  This has actually been a good thing on many fronts, including social.  It's a bond he has with kids now, even ones he used to not talk with.  But yeah, as he gets older, he'll probably gravitate towards the geekier crowd.  We don't have a G&T program at our school either, but there are a lot of high achievers so he seems to fit in pretty well.  He is going into 3rd grade and I guess I too was sensing that the kids will be more in tune to unacceptable social behaviors.  Really I think the awkward running at recess will be the only thing that draws attention.  He also wears his emotions on his sleeve and probably does jerky jumps here and there in class when he's super excited about something.  For now, that would probably blend right in.  I got to see the class in action when I volunteered for a few hours and my son was one of the least jumpy.  I was really surprised!  Yeah, it's probably just the arm flapping-humming-jerky running he does that's going to raise some eyebrows.   

 

I guess I'm going to make my focus finding possible replacement activities for the running.  I asked him tonight that if we got a bar to hang inside the doorway if that sounds like it would be a fun thing for him, or actually make his body feel better and possibly get some energy out.  He smiled and said that sounded like it would be fun!  Not the answer I was hoping for. I remember an OT that visited his preschool many years ago recommended that, esp for boys.  I have a feeling the trampoline would be the same for him - just fun.  He LOVES his running.  It's something that seems to takes care of his physical and mental needs.  When he comes home from school, he usually asks me to take his bag upstairs and he stays outside to run for 20-30 min. (and when I say run, i mean his type of running).  Then he'll come up and have a snack and drink, perhaps do some homework, and then continue more running inside unless I ask him to go back outside.  I should give him my fitbit pedometer to wear and for sure I would be log the most miles against my fitbit friends orngbiggrin.gif

 

So if anyone has any other possible replacement activities that might work for him, I'd love to hear.  I'm thinking perhaps his own ipod w/headphones might be in the mix.  He did just start piano lessons and really loves it so far and loves playing around on the piano.  I wonder if he gets real good, if that would be a good mental/physical release for him.  Oh, I'm going to see right now if the library has that book for sensory issues.  Thank you all again for your insights and sharing your stories.  I got tears in my eyes reading over them knowing we're not alone and seeing the warmth and humor being expressed :) 

hellokt is offline  
#20 of 21 Old 06-11-2013, 07:35 PM
 
KCMichigan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 922
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokt View Post

Ok, I think I wasn't clear re: my worries with the OT.  The concern is with his self-esteem and that is it.  As much as I might say "it's a teacher for the body" or along those lines, he may still think I'm taking him because something is wrong with him.  That is the concern.  Now if I KNEW the OT was going to be just terrific and my son would love going, then I'd probably be willing to take that risk.  Does that make sense?  

 

 

I guess it is how you present it. I dont hesitate to take my kiddos to the eye Dr, dentist, pediatrician, or specialists (one DD goes to several specialists for a medical concern). I didnt hesitate to take my kiddos to an OT, PT, or any other specialist that I felt  may help them. We always presented it as a positive and 99% of the time they enjoyed it and the therapists they worked with.

 

We have A LOT of conversations of how people are different. Everyones body, mind, and emotions are different. There are a lot of ways to live a good life-- even if it does not look like your own. Being quirky falls under those conversations. 

 

I wouldnt be surprised if your DS realizes he reacts differently than some kids he knows. Right now , it seems that he does not mind. But he might someday-- and by being proactive-- you could potentially keep him from thinking something is 'wrong' . As young as age 3 or so, my DDs wondered why certain kids did X or Y. They also could state that spinning, humming, etc made them think/feel better. So rather than downplaying the behaviors, we helped them place it in socially acceptable ways and also to have verbal prompts for people that asked them about it. It is about empowering my kiddos to have 'tools' to handle their energy, emotions, and physical needs. Also it gives them the social 'tools' to feel more in control when teasing does occur....when and if someone says something, they are prepared rather than blindsided.

 

It is much easier to prevent negative self-images than trying to boost them up later.

 

Without taking a risk- you wont know what your DS thinks! But that is just my opinion. 

 

If what you are doing right now works-- take some time and see what your DS thinks. 

KCMichigan is offline  
#21 of 21 Old 06-12-2013, 02:44 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

You might find that you feel more comfortable with OT as you learn more about sensory integration.

 

I understand not wanting to over-therapy what is basically a normal childhood. For me, that channeled into wanting to find really fun ways to include the kind of sensory input that my DD needed into our normal life to the greatest degree possible. An OT could help with that! 

 

I think that leaving him to find his own sensory outlets is less than ideal. It really sets him up for failure both in meeting his sensory needs and in fitting in with his peers.

 

Also, for some kids, this gets to be a bigger deal as the years roll along at school. Recesses get shorter. The standards for acceptable behavior become higher. The amount of sensory stuff built into lessons decreases very year. I'd look into now, while it isn't causing huge problems, rather than waiting until big problems surface.

 

BTW, my DD knows she is on the autism spectrum and she really likes herself. Being like other people is NOT a requirement to like yourself. Not needing extra help  doesn't confer self esteem. And Not by a long shot. thumb.gif 

 

One of the things that she is proud of is what a great swimmer she is, and the reason she spent many hours at swim practice each week while she was growing up is that it was perfect for her sensory issues.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off