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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I'm wasting your time with a question that's not strictly "special needs," please forgive me.


My ds is just 4.5. He's a great kid
but speaking as a former preschool teacher, I don't think he's great "preschool material." He's loud, active, social only when he feels like it. Tests limits. Very high-spirited and emotional. Hasn't napped since before he was 2.

Those are his (imo) "run of the mill" problematic tendencies. If that was it, he might be a trial to his teachers, but not really a huge mismatch with school.

But, he also has separation anxiety. I tried to send him to Mother's Day Out, 2 years ago. He went for about a total of 10 hours, and spent 9.5 of them screaming and crying for me, hitting anyone who tried to comfort him. He has improved-- sometimes he'll let me leave him with his father, or a sitter he knows. Other times he'll throw a screaming fit and be inconsolable. He is still very resistant to letting others (who aren't me) help or comfort him-- again, screaming fit and inconsolable.

He has some sensory issues and phobias. He hates having wind in his face or sun in his eyes. He would not let a teacher sunscreen him! Don't dare to smooth his hair, either. Those are fit-throwing offenses. He's scared of certain loud noises, such as vacuuming and flushing toilets, and the sound of water going through the plumbing.

He's terrified of any toilet that's not in our house. I now work at a preschool aftercare, and ds comes with me. After 8 months, he still resists going to the potty there. He will only use the urinal-- only if I come with him, flush for him after he leaves the room, and let him wash hands in the classroom instead of the bathroom (because the first and only time he ever used the bathroom sink, it made a screeching noise when he turned it on). I can't imagine this would fly at any preschool.

I need to find a job, and I really want to separate from my husband. It seems like everyone is telling me I "have to" put ds in school or daycare. Can I really do that? I don't want him and everyone around him to be miserable. I don't want to get a call at work, telling me that my screaming, crying son has pooped himself because he wouldn't use the bathroom, either. I don't want him to be kicked out (his older brother, who is an "easier" child, was asked to leave his school when he was 7!).


Am I making too much of this?
 

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Phew mama, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate in your family life, I'm sorry to hear that.

In terms of your son, I'm still new at all this, but it sounds to me like he has some strong sensory challenges - there is some great information in this forum and elsewhere on meeting the needs of sensory kids (both kids who need sensory input and kids who are sensory defensive). I'm wondering if those might contribute to his separation anxiety? My daughter, who was also terrified by loud toilets and other noises, used to cling to me in public places because she didn't know how to handle the loud noises that inevitably came.

Is it possible you could find a home care setting for him? Maybe he would feel more comfortable in a smaller, more home like environment?
 

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I kept my boy away from preschool until he was just past 4 thinking he just couldn't cope with it - but you know, once he was there he was able to find ways to cope, and that's what life requires. find a good school and skilled teachers and they'll be able to help him through it all. They'll have dealt with the sensory stuff, hyperactivity, developmental delays, potty problems 100x before, you know? just make sure you find the right school, it can be a big piece of helping him out.

(says the mom who's 6 year old is terrified of flushing and unfamilair potties and goes to school every day with 2-3 extra sets of clothes. and he has big issues with brushing and hair and washing and has seen an OT since he was 2. He has an IEP for autism. but hey, he started napping as a 5yo in preschool, because that's what the routine called for and they really helped him into it.)
 

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You're not making too much out of this at all. You do have a lot to deal with.


I don't like to diagnose kids from what I read on a message board but it sounds like perhaps he has some sensory issues that need to be addressed so that he can be more comfortable in various environments.
An OT evaluation by an OT who knows about sensory issues would be a good idea. I've found not all OTs know about Sensory Processing Disorder.

In the meantime, you could read The Out of Sync Child or The Out of Sync Child Has Fun if you haven't already done so.

http://www.amazon.com/Out-Sync-Child...0273259&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Out-Sync-Child...0273259&sr=8-2

There are preschools in my state that are home based preschools. They're small and very homey. They feel less like a traditional preschool and more like a stay at a favorite aunty's home. I don't know if you have such preschools in your area but perhaps you could look into it.
 

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I wouldn't conclude anything based on his behavior at Mother's Day Out 2 years ago. That was a lifetime ago.

I am wondering if there are any special needs preschools in your area and if that might be a good possibility for him.
 

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I think a special needs preschool would be great...even if he doesn't qualify for some reason you could still enroll him in an integrated classroom, so the adults interacting with him would be quite familiar with sensory issues and able to accommodate any special need.
 

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Your son sounds a lot like my son a couple of years ago. We did OT for him for sensory processing disorder and it got tons better.

FWIW, ds was also in daycare 3x a week from age 2. The place he went was a very calm, gentle, Reggio Emilio inspired place, and they gave him lots of space. Pottying was an issue, but he got over it (they didn't make him flush). He thrived there. So much so that we kept him there for Kindergarten too. He's in 2nd grade and doing well, for the most part (he's got some anxiety, but the sensory stuff is largely resolved).

I highly recommend the book "Sensational Kids" -- it's a good place to start.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dandy View Post
I think a special needs preschool would be great...even if he doesn't qualify for some reason you could still enroll him in an integrated classroom, so the adults interacting with him would be quite familiar with sensory issues and able to accommodate any special need.
There are Head Start preschools. Head Start is for both low income students and students with disabilities. At the Head Start preschools I've visited, there have been about 18 children. About 10 of those children were typical children without any developemental issues and 8 of the children had various disabilities from speech delays to autism to physical disabilities There were two teachers and two aides for the 18 children.
 

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I felt the same way about Jayce when I started looking at preschools when he was 3. I didn't think he could handle even the SN one we chose, but its been awesome for him! He's really thrived!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I wouldn't conclude anything based on his behavior at Mother's Day Out 2 years ago. That was a lifetime ago.

I am wondering if there are any special needs preschools in your area and if that might be a good possibility for him.
Well, I'm not basing my conclusions on his MDO experience-- just using it as an example.

There are special needs preschools around. The private ones are out of financial reach, and the public ones are not an option for this year-- it's just too late. They're filled, and I haven't had ds assessed at all, anyway.

There is a home daycare/preschool that works for ds nearby-- mine.
That's what I've been doing for the past few years. I was getting burned out, and wanted to make a change. I got into grad school for this summer, but can't go because I learned stbx has been blowing all our money.

So, I've made arrangements to do in-home childcare this summer, which works well for ds. I'm scrambling to find a fall job.

I think I may have to keep doing home daycare, though, at least for this year. I have a 12 year old with anxiety and social issues, too! He has been homeschooled for 5 years, and doesn't want to go to school. I shudder to think of him coping at a public middle school. I wouldn't know how to lay a bet on which ds would be kicked out of school first.


Thank you for the recs and advice! Now I have a much clearer idea of what to do next.
 
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