BTDT moms, need advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
BTDT moms, need advice
9
Sat, 04-07-2007 - 2:13pm

This is about my 3 1/2 DS, after reading about everything form Autism to sensory disorders to now Asperger, my sons seems to have a lot of the symptoms (in my opinion) of Asperger. I have been struggling for the past year with his behavior and about 6 months ago decided this was enough of an issue to get prof. advice. So we contacted child find, had the appointment and they said they couldn't help b/c he was not in a school setting yet, and he passed all their intell. tests with flying colors. They told me see his ped. ASAP b/c he definately had behavioral issues that should be addressed w/a child psy. So we saw his ped. and she met w/us for an hour and recommended I get him in a class w/children and me and to enroll him in a part time class w/o me, since I am a SAHM. So, we did join a Tiny Tots class and he still has NO interest in the other children and the only time he wants to do circle time is when the parachute comces out.

I have a younger son who is 2 1/2, who loves to play w/the other children in the class and interacts w/them just fine.

The things that worry are: he is sometimes overly aggressive w/other children. He doesn't talk to them, he'll push them or draw on them with sidewalk chalk, or most of the time will just stare at them even when they talk to him. He is usually OK when we are outside b/c he can run and do his own thing. When he does hurt his brother or me it's like he doesn't understand that he caused it, or doesn't care. He shows no empathy and only says sorry to get out of time-out. At a b-day party last month with the neighborhood kids, he would NOT play w/them, or do any games, he just kept running off to play by himself. He loves his cars and his quirky thing is he knows makes and models of almost all cars, his toys and real ones. He's known these since he was 2. He is always "invading others personal space" and gets very upset when you try to get him to back up. He will head butt people in my family, time-outs work only for the 3 min he is in them. I've even tried spanking when he is acting up so bad (that never worked either). Sorry so long, my question for you all is does this sound like it could be normal 3yr old behavior? His ped. said get him in classes and she would review with me in July at his 4 yr old check-up. that's 3 months away and I don't know how to handle my son anymore, he hurts me, DS, DH and extended family and has so many tantrums everyday I find myself crying b/c I feel like I failed him as a mom. Should I push this issue w/ the ped. or wait and see how he acts when I'm not there in a class setting? BTW, we can't afford these extra classes b/c I am a SAHM but this is what our ped. said we have to do. He is enrolled in pre-school in the fall and I'm afraid he will be kicked out if this behavior progresses. Which he says "will be fun b/c when he goes the other kids won't be there." Can a 3 yr old really have anxiety?

Please, any advice would be great.

Thank you so much!
Jessica

Jessica

Mommy to Jack (5) and Brady (4)

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2003
Sat, 04-07-2007 - 9:19pm

Hi Jessica~

First of all, hugs to you...it's rough to know something's not right and then not be able to get the support you need.

To answer your last question first, absolutely 3 year olds can have anxiety. I'm not saying your child is "spectrum" but it's quite common for spectrum kids to have anxiety issues. Our 6 year old DD suffers from extreme anxiety about certain things and has since she was very young.

I can understand why you want to follow your peds. advice, but I would encourage you to push the issue because of the pre-school situation. You want your son's educational experience to start off on a good note and setting him up to get kicked out is hardly the best introduction to school.

You need to ask your ped. for a referral to have your son evaluated by someone who specializes in childhood psych. I'm not sure what area you live in, so my best advice is to seek out other local parents who have experience and get their opinion(s) on which doctors they like, dislike, etc.

Good Luck~
Amy

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2006
Sun, 04-08-2007 - 12:36am

Your son sounds almost identical to how my now7 year old daughter was at that age.

- Christina mom to-

Chloe (10)    Aiden(8)   

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
Sun, 04-08-2007 - 8:50am

Dear Jessica,

Hi and welcome! This is a tough situation, I agree with Amy about not wanting your ds' first school situation to be one too challenging so that your ped can "find out". Your ds' difficulties are already apparent from your description and a further evaluation seems warranted, if for no other reason than his behavior and how you are all struggling. Of course, it is possible that your child is not on the spectrum, but at this point I really think the "wait-and-see" advice is not sound. If your child IS on the spectrum or even struggling with extreme anxiety, you want to get services and therapies started now, and if not, no harm done. I would call the ped and say no to waiting until the July birthday, you want the referral now.

I'm unclear -- is Child Find your school district? Not being in a school setting seems like a weird answer to me, your school district should be testing him to see if he needs services, possibly therapeutic preschool? When my ds was 3, we had him tested by school district and they found many more issues than I was aware of, particularly sensory. We knew he was having meltdowns, but thought they were 3 year old behavior ... although they were getting worse. And our ds had no aggressive behavior at all. He WAS interested in other children but wasn't enrolled in any formal settings, had great language and eye contact. Anyways, at 3 he started therapeutic preschool and has been making great strides ever since. And he is on the spectrum (a fact we actually didn't find out until he was almost 7), albeit mildly, his sensory issues are still his biggest problems and they have vastly improved.

(((((hugs)))) and good luck. Stay in touch, let us know how things are going.

Sara
ilovemalcolm

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Mon, 04-09-2007 - 2:19am

Thank you for your responses! To answer one question, Child Find is through the school district. And they said I should look into enrolling my son in public pre-school so the resources were there if needed. I have already enrolled him in a ppreschool at my church and had never considered the public pre-school b/c I didn't like the way it was described as an option for problem children. Of course I'm making assumptions that I would be putting in a school where every child had some sort of emotional problem and I kinda envisioned this very chaotic room with children running wild. Of course I know this is not the case, but from what I read on our public shool system website, it is not described well. Your income must be low and your child must need help. I am so lost and my husband has never wanted to admit something is wrong but he also denies that he still has ADD as an adult even though he had brain scans showing he had ADD as a teenager and was on medication. I am so afraid of being looked at like this mom who keeps insisting or looking for something to be wrong w/my child. But on the other hand, why do I care what anyone thinks if my son needs help who else can get it for him?

And now I feel like I am constantly watching him for things I haven't noticed like never sitting completely still, screaming (like a squeal) all the time, running in circles, I watch his hands all the time b/c sometimes he has alot of twitching but I don't know how often, my DH always says he just needs to be around other kids more and I agree but when we are it doesn't do any good. Sorry to vent, I'm just really struggling with this...am I overreacting or not?!? Did any of you ever second guess yourself? It seems like such a big decsion to go forward. And if I do, we have Kennedy Kreiger here in Maryland and my ped said w/my ins. it would be covered to go there and have him tested. I don't want to discount my DH opinions but what if he's wrong and I don't do anything? I know he just wants to have everything normal but sometimes its just not possible.

Thanks again,
Jessica

Jessica

Mommy to Jack (5) and Brady (4)

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
Mon, 04-09-2007 - 11:12pm

Hi again Jessica,

You do sound so very worried and I also feel for you that your dh seems to not be helping you out much here. I don't think you are overreacting, though. I can hardly say for sure that he has a diagnosable problem by your description or over the internet, but by the size of your overwhelming concern and anxiety I am concerned for you and him. And watching him all the time, worrying, is not very good for YOU no matter what...

What you describe could have "red flags". There are other possibilities of what could be going on, such as high sensory issues, but again you might be wanting to address these with OT, other help and not want to wait. I think it would be a good idea to go for the evaluation through your insurance, sometimes it takes quite awhile to get an appt., so if you started now to work at getting him in to Krieger Kennedy that would be a step towards finding out if there are bigger issues or not.

It actually doesn't at all sound right to me that public school preschool services would only be available to low income children, btw, but "problem" children does mean children who have delays and issues. And our preschool was wonderful and with tons of the exact learning my son needed, caring and structured, not chaotic at all, also the place he started to make friends from the first day he arrived, friends he still has!

So I gather you will be having him start preschool in Fall and then Child Find will look into what is going on with him more, I find this system strange as here the evals started when we requested them and our ds was not yet in any preschool...

It sounds like your pedicatrician is supportive and that's good. Maybe you could ask your dh how he would feel if there really is a serious problem and he delayed getting him help, causing your child to lose valuable time? And that there is no harm to anyone in investigating, in having your child tested?

You are a wonderful mother. You are looking for answers. You are not doing anything wrong, and if your ds has issues they didn't come from not spending enough time with other children. If there IS something, finding out young is such the best thing to do, our ds has grown so much it's amazing. This board is a great place to come for support and lots of BTDT advice, so make yourself right at home, even if it turns out that your child is not on the spectrum or ADD or anything, we are happy to help and support you on this journey with your child.

Anyways, more (((((HUGS)))) to you and do stay in touch and let us know how things are going, OK?

yours,

Sara
ilovemalcolm

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2006
Thu, 04-12-2007 - 4:13pm

Jessica-

I haven't read any of the other responses but first don't feel like a bad parent. You can be the perfect parent and sometimes kids have issues. that said - how old was your child when you called child find? It sounds like they should have directed you to birth to three - ie..Early Intervention. I find that child find doesn't seem to get it. I had my oldest son evaluated by them and they were like he is great when he so clearly has some sensory issues. I also wouldn't wait the 3 months on the pediatician. Unless your ped is a developmental ped, they don't usually have the expertise needed. I'd call child find again and ask for a full team evaluation from your local elemetary school. If you express your concerns, they HAVE to give you an evaluation. don't take no for an answer.

ETA: I am in Maryland (HoCo) and my DD has been in our local preschool for two years and it has been a wonderful and amazing experience. She gets all her services in school every day. She is in a MINC (multiple intensive needs classroom) with about half children with special needs of some sort and the other half are NT kids to model appropriate behavior. Call your local elementary school and ask about the pre-school. but don't wait - if there is something going on with your little guy, you want to get him into some services sooner rather than later.




Edited 4/12/2007 4:24 pm ET by divaliscious11
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Thu, 04-12-2007 - 5:16pm

Thank you for your response! I did have an evaluation be Child Find and that is how they came to the conclusion that our ped. could help more. they basically said we have a diagnosis book about one inch thick where a child psy. has one about three inches thick and could help him more than we can. I have called the ped., got a referral and sched an appoint. at Kennedy Krieger in one month to meet w/a psy. Since you are in MD, have you been to Ken. Krie. w/ your child? If so could you give some advice. We are being seen by the Behavioral Psychology Clinic since I guess most of my DS issues are behavior. Educationally he is right on target if not a little ahead. And as far as local preschool goes....well, that is a joke! I was just told that Harford County is now based solely on income and you have to be poverty level to be approved! It has NOTHING to do with children who have special needs at all anymore. So even though Child Find reccommended I try to enroll him in the public preschool, I actually don't think we are "poor" enough for it! My husband and I are self-employed, so right now we are actually using medical assistance b/c health ins. was getting to be way too high to afford. But this is a catch 22, if my DS is diagnosed w/ a disorder, I could be refused ins. in the future and I will also be making enough income in the next year or two to not qualify for medical assistance anymore. I can't think about that right now though!

Sorry so long, thank you again!
Jessica

Jessica

Mommy to Jack (5) and Brady (4)

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2006
Thu, 04-12-2007 - 6:10pm

Ok..hmm... I wonder if Child find is pushing you to a private doc because your sons delays seem to be more visibly social (which of course should have bells and flags waving but.....) If you can get in to KKi (there wait lists are notoriously long) AND your insurance will cover it, then it can't hurt. who told you that county pre-schools are only for economically disadvataged? that is just wrong... Harford county has 32 elementary schools and 21 have PRe-K programs for special needs children - and it is NOT income dependant! Here is a link to the page in the School board website dealing with special education.

http://www.hcps.org/Academics/InstructionalSupport/content/SpecialEd.asp

another reason you may want to initially deal with the school and not private doctors is that you can get a medical diagnosis and an educational diagnosis. Since you have concerns about being able to get medical insurance, you may want to get whatever services your child needs at this point via the school system. DD has an educational diagnosis of autism(this covers all ASD designations), her test scores have her in the mild PDD range. This has nothing to do with intellegence or ability to learn - its mainly for IEP purposes.

when we intially were trying to figure out what we needed to do the local autism society chapter was very helpful. here is the contact info for Harfard County

Autism Society of Harford County
4513 Philadelphia Road
Aberdeen, Maryland
p. 410-734-6144
email princessbuttercup@prodigy.net
The Autism Society of Harford County will meet the third Monday of every month (except December) at the ARC Northern Chesapeake Region. We offer support for any individual affected by autism, we provide education and raise awareness through special speakers and parent networking. For more information, please call Rebecca Sorensen at 410-734-6144 or Ruth Good at 410-879-4643. Rebecca Sorensen princessbuttercup@prodigy.net 410-734-6144

(this was taken off the net)

hope this helps...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 04-19-2007 - 5:39pm

Hi and Welcome. I'm new to the board but not to ASD. Its sounds to me like your son has some behaviors that would make me want to check it out more.

As the other ladies have said, your child is entitled to a full evaluation from the local school district. It should include a speech eval., an occupational therapy eval., a pysch eval., and some kind of child developmental specialist at the very least. Your school district is obligated to provide this to your child at no cost. I would say 6 months is enough of a lag time that you could request another eval. I don't know what a school setting would have to do with it at all. My DS's eval took place partly at home and partly in a preschool setting and parly in a clinical setting. And if you aren't satisfied with the results of the eval you have paths for recourse. There are greivance processes that ensure that kids get what they need.

I would not wait 3 months. I know that in the 3 months my DS starting receiving services his behavior improved so much that I was amazed. He goes to a special developmental preschool and is in a class with other ASD kids.

You shouldn't have to pay out of pocket to get your son services. It is mandated that they be provided because it prepares children to enter "real" school.

I would definitely seek out other advice and then you can take that diagnosis to the school district to show them which should open doors as far as preschool.

My DS was in a regular preschool and I ended up having to go with him every day so that he didn't disrupt the other children. In the end the move to the developmental class was a great move for us.

HTH.

Heather