new here....Help with 4 1/2 yr old.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2002
new here....Help with 4 1/2 yr old.
Sun, 03-15-2009 - 3:52pm
OMG as if the anxiety of having a 4 yr old and 2 yr old wasnt enough now ive been getting recurrent phone calls from my sons preschool asking me to come get him because he's having a bad day...Now the school is screaming autism.I dont know what to do.Hes not the same child at home that he is at school..Apparently at school he is obsessed with organization and routine at home he is sloppy and doesnt care if he naps at 11 or 2...My sis is
 BabyFruit Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Mon, 03-16-2009 - 12:03pm

Whether your ds has autism or not, I don't know. I will say, however, that IF he does, the earlier he gets diagnosed and interventions started, the better it will be for him. Testing certainly doesn't hurt anything (testing is generally done through play with the child and by asking the parent a lot of questions) and can give you peace of mind.

I have two children on the autism spectrum and two neurotypical (NT) children. Autism is called a "spectrum" disorder because there is a range of skills, behaviors, etc, and your child can fall anywhere within that broad range.

There is a quote I love that says "when you've met one child with autism, you've met ONE child with autism." That's because no matter if two autistic children have the exact same diagnosis, they will still have plenty of differences just because autism is so very individual. That can sometimes make it difficult to see whether your child is autistic or not since your child may not fit the stereotypes (my children did not fit any stereotypes).

My children have a high-functioning form of autism, specifically Asperger's Syndrome. They have high IQs and are advanced academically. However, they have some sensory issues as well as deficits in motor skills, social skills (they have friends and enjoy being around other people but don't always know how to interact appropriately), etc.

Because my children were so high functioning, they did not get a diagnosis until they were 8 & 12yo. I'd asked the doctors about various of their odd symptoms over the years, but the docs always dismissed my concerns. By themselves, the symptoms weren't meaningful. It wasn't until I wrote down a list of my kids' symptoms and quirks that the doc could see the comprehensive list of symptoms, see the bigger picture, and realize there were some concerning behaviors that warranted further evaluation.

Some of the behaviors you mentioned about your ds ARE issues for children with autism. Children without autism can exhibit those behaviors, too, but it may be that the school sees enough concerns that they want to play it safe and have you get your ds checked out.

It's very possible for a child to behave differently in one environment than another. My children actually behave better out of the home, then lose it emotionally at home after holding it together all day. More commonly, you'll see children with autism who do better at home, in their safe environment, than they do in another environment where there are more stressors. For instance, IF your ds has autism, it may be that the reason he is obsessed with organization and routine at preschool is because he's feeling stressed, and the organization/routine helps calm him. Even simple things like fluorescent light bulbs in the classroom can be more stressful for an autistic child than for a neurotypical child.

I'd recommend letting the school test ds. If you're not happy with their conclusions, you can get private testing done (some insurances will pay for it, others won't) through a neuropsychologist or a developmental pediatrician. My kids had very comprehensive testing done by a team of doctors (speech/language, neuropsychologist, psychologist, & someone else I always forget) at our local Children's Hostpital's neuropsychological department.

There's also an AWESOME board here at iVillage for Asperger's/PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental delays, not otherwise specified). I've found my best answers through those ladies.

Best wishes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 03-16-2009 - 5:09pm

You got some great advice from momnstuff. The testing will just give you information but what you do with that information is another thing. It never hurts to have more information.

Is it possible that you can go in and observe some of the things that his teachers are seeing and expressing concern over?

My dd, Lindsay is a very smart, warm and funny kid. She has lots of friends and really enjoys playing with them both at home, the park and at school. However, when she gets upset or frustrated she loses her temper and her coping skills. Her reactions are completely normal even though they are frustrating and can make it difficult to deal with her when she is upset. We are working on finding some ways to help her cope better and recognize when she is getting frustrated before it reaches the point where she feels she has to lash out (or throw herself on the floor crying). I was talking to one of the teachers at school and I told her that a big part of me doesn't care that this is normal behavior, she is too loud and dramatic and it needs to stop. I feel that just because something is normal and age appropriate doesn't mean you let it go and hope they out grow it.