How do you decide if your child is wacky or has some kind of special need? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 09-21-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Ds is almost 4 and for at least 2 years we've been wavering between:


he's so funny and quirky


that def isn't normal.  


I don't know when to start evals, when do you just have a child who is 'differant'.  I''m not saying this well :) Maybe this isn't even the right board, but dh and I aren't sure where to go.  I tend to think that alot of childhood diagnosis' are overused and that sometimes you just have a kid who's unique.  I do have two half sibs with aspurgers so I also know that not all diagnosis' are wrong or harmful.  


So when do you do more, when do you stop saying, he's just so unique, differant, etc and say 'this could be a prob in the future'.


What do y'all think as parents?

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#2 of 10 Old 09-21-2012, 09:19 AM
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I'd post this on the special needs forum smile.gif
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#3 of 10 Old 09-21-2012, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks, I'll do that.

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#4 of 10 Old 09-21-2012, 10:54 AM
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It's hard to say really.  I've had so many kids i've worked with over the years.


In my experience, the kids who can't find or make friends (even with a lot of work on your part) are the kids who have the problems later on in life.  


There is always a place for the kids who's minds work differently.  If you really pay attention, you can find the other kids who think like your kid.  Maybe the quirky kid is a music genius, or artistically inclined, or loves dance.  Maybe he or she is a math geek, and a chess club would be his niche.  Maybe you  just need to find his "People".   


I've run across a few kids who I thought would be diagnosed with Aspergers or (at that time, it was called Pervasive developmental  disorder) But, it turned out they were just not the average kid, and once they got involved in something, they seemed to blossom.    J has always obsessed over something... at first it was Thomas the Train, then Rescue heroes, then bibles, then eventually he discovered Marching band.  Now he has a full ride college scholarship to a state college.   He's the Drum Major (most important part of a band) and he's 1st chair sax in his college Jazz band.  He was the quirky, weird kid who is now wildly successful.  


Ricky was a hard kid.  I thought for sure he'd spend most of his life in the back of the class licking the wallpaper.  He's 30 years old, and runs a large Comic company on the East coast.  He's a gamer, comic, genius.  (Never saw that coming)


But, some of the kids I was concerned about, did have problems.  The ones who went undiagnosed until grade school have the most problems, but all have devoted parents and a support group to help them.    

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#5 of 10 Old 09-21-2012, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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nextcommercial---thanks for such a thoughtful response.  You got me laughing.


We've been in some situations recently with kids his age that have really illustrated to us that he's just wired differantly.  Not badly, just not the same. 

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#6 of 10 Old 09-21-2012, 12:45 PM
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It is hard! It seems to be such a fine line between typical and genius and special needs sometimes. At 4 I think an evaluation is appropriate. I don't think parents can take that step back to see the whole picture with their own kid. I know I couldn't. The result could be anything including, we can't tell yet, come back in a year or if something changes significantly.

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#7 of 10 Old 09-21-2012, 10:00 PM
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its hard when you have a child that's different.


as a parent i KNOW that dd is different. there is that intuition.


when dd was younger i did seek medical opinion just to get a validation. the validation then was NO red flags. THAT is what i wanted to hear. also hard to diagnose without red flags since it could just be age appropriate behaviour. 


with the stuff i suspected (as a toddler sensory seeking SPD) a little bit of OT helped a lot. this was something i had to do on my own due to no red flags. 


later ADD - the girl kind - la la land. does not greatly impact her life. again no real red flags (didnt seek a diagnosis on this one) but it helps her for me to keep tabs on her. 

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#8 of 10 Old 09-22-2012, 04:53 PM
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DD1 is four and has always been just that different. We have only pursued therapies when her differences have interfered with her coping and having a "normal' life experience. For instance, she has diagnosed anxiety disorder & used to get therapy for it. You can't tell anymore, so no therapy anymore. She could probably be diagnosed right now as ODD & has ADHD tendencies, but neither of these things interfere with her social life, school life, and her father and I have figured out how to manage her oppositional behaviors at home (finally). She is always going to be "different", but not necessarily so different that it requires special attention beyond what we provide at home.


DD (4.25.08)  DD (4.23.10)  DD (10.13.12)

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#9 of 10 Old 09-27-2012, 02:48 PM
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I relate to what you say. Ds has been different pretty much from birth. None of his development was standard. He spent most of his first year just watching and observing but when he did something he did it suddenly and competently. He still learns this way now that he's 7. He struggles with social stuff. Manners and simple things such as apologising if you hurt someone are very difficult for him. His attempts at interacting with new people are often odd and embarrassing. However he has a great group of friends, adults always warm to him, he's chatty and bright and has lots of interests (frequently obsessions the same as me!) I think of him as 'slightly autistic around the edges' but knowing several autistic people I know he's not got enough traits to warrant a diagnosis. 


Slightly odd people are everywhere (I'm sure I'm one of them). As long as you don't feel the oddness causes insurmountable problems for either your child or you as a parent I think the best we can do is help our kids feel good about who they are and help them out in the areas where they struggle in the ways we think are best for them. :)

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#10 of 10 Old 09-28-2012, 09:55 AM
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Such a great question!  I have seen hundreds of kids in my private practice and notice that the ones who are struggling the most are the ones who parents aren't really tuned into what is going on with them.  Kids can have oddities and quirks, but if they learn how to embrace those and still function, that's okay.  I have been on the diagnosing side of things where I have diagnosed kids at a young age.  My question to parents is always, "Would you do something differently if you had a diagnosis?"  An evaluation can definitely lend you more information and more insight.  That said, a child in early childhood always needs love, attention, and parents who are tuned into what they need.  My dear 5 year old daughter has all the signs of ADHD and is one of the funniest, quirky kids I know.  We work with her on focus and concentration.  We also help her understand what to do when she is overwhelmed or overstimulated.  She dresses crazy and we let her because that is part of her personality.  Just keep loving your kiddo and building their self-esteem.  If you choose to get an evaluation, know that you are the expert on your kiddo and the clinician is giving you insight.  Try not to fall into the trap that many fall into where they are trying to change the personality of their kiddo b/c of what a clinician said.  Good luck!

Stacy G. York

Mother of 2 Kiddos, Wife, LCSW


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