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Old 02-12-2014, 12:23 AM   #1
harmoni247
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Would you get your son evaluated? (5 years old)

So my thoughts are a bit jumbled, and I keep doubting myself and feeling silly, so I apologize in advance if this is very wordy and disorganized.

I got my son evaluated with Early Intervention when he was 2. My concern at the time was his behavior. He behaved very compulsively. He would get this look where he'd clench his jaw, teeth, and lips and make his movements very rigid. He'd hit people in a repetitive motion (e.g. slap your lap 10-ish times really fast), dig his fingernails into you while stressing his arm muscles, squeeze you incredibly hard when hugging, push into you (i.e. both hands on either side of your arm or leg and pushing them together with all his might). You get the picture. His body just got very tense and impulsive. He did this when he was really mad, excited, love-y, whenever. It seemed like it was just too much "feeling" for him to handle. When he realized that it hurt someone (like his brothers), he'd get REALLY sad about it. He felt SO bad.

So when we got him evaluated, they said he was way behind in speech (about a year...he had zero words). But that's all they were worried about. He had excellent motor skills, he was very interactive and loving. The rest they chalked up to frustration from not being able to express himself. So we did speech therapy and he was caught up by age 3.

So we stopped speech therapy. The behavior, however did not resolve itself. Over the past 2 years, it's evolved a bit. It's not as intense as it was back then, but it's still there and it's still very characteristic. I would describe his actions almost the same today as I did above, when he was 2. Minus the digging his nails, I guess. It's also less frequent, but definitely still multiple times per day. It's his facial expression while doing these things that concerns me the most. The only major difference is his empathy. So many years of punishing these things has made him shut down when he gets told he was wrong. I've tried so many different things, and I HATE punishing, but sometimes, I just get fed up, kwim?

OK, so this past year: I enrolled him in a Waldorf school. I warned the teacher ahead of time, and felt really silly doing that, but I was worried about him with the other kids. He has such a sweet heart, but I knew that he might hit another kid just out of compulsion. So I found that his teacher's observations not only backed up my own, but brought a much sharper light on everything. So many things that he does at home, I just shrug off. If he hurts his brothers, I step in, but I hadn't noticed how many times a day he randomly comes up and hits me. She also noted some new things that didn't shock me. When other kids are playing, he would randomly destroy their toy set up. She watched this more closely, and realized that when he wanted to play with kids, he routinely did destructive things to "introduce" himself. He wasn't catching on to the social cues, like "say hi" and "grab a toy and bring it over there....add on to what they've made", kwim? He'd just come in, wreck it, and laugh. I think he wants to make them laugh as well.

I talked with a social worker in the school district who thought that his "issues" weren't severe enough to warrant an IEP. She suggested seeking a private evaluation through insurance.

I keep backing out of making those arrangements, because now that he's not in school (we pulled him out for unrelated reasons), I guess it just doesn't seem that bad.

But I've been looking over Kindergarten curriculums for him (he should actually be starting 1st next year, but there is NO way I would ever consider that....) and I'm realizing that he isn't really catching onto academics either. He's had a lot of exposure to numbers and letters and math concepts; he's had workbooks, we've done sandpaper letters (montessori manipulative), letter puzzles, we use the abacus on a regular basis, he watches programs/has apps that go over all of these things. He's been steadily exposed to all of these things for years. Yet he couldn't recognize the letter "A" if you held up a flashcard. He can sing the alphabet song, and he can trace the letters in work books, but he won't remember the name of that letter 5 minutes after you tell him.

Should I reconsider the evaluation? Could these all be connected? Does this sound like anything you know? Am I overreacting? I need opinions before I drive myself crazy.

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Last edited by harmoni247; 02-12-2014 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:58 AM   #2
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I would for sure get him evaluated.
The touching you 10 times & destroying things sounds like a friend of minds kid who has turrets (not sure how to spell).

Hugs mama and good luck.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:35 AM   #3
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I would get him eval'd. It probably depends what you have available but a neuro psych would be my first choice
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:21 AM   #4
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Re: Would you get your son evaluated? (5 years old)

I have learned to trust your mama instincts, they are usually right on. See a Developmental ped and a child psychologist.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:25 AM   #5
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Re: Would you get your son evaluated? (5 years old)

It doesn't hurt to get him evaluated. In the end you may find better ways to support his learning and his emotional development. Go for it!
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:39 AM   #6
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Re: Would you get your son evaluated? (5 years old)

I read the title of your post, and my general advice is that if you need to ask that question, then the answer is yes. Reading your post says the same thing to me... it can't hurt to get him evaluated. Worst case, nothing is wrong. Best case, they find something, and you get a better sense of how to help your child. (((((hugs))))) because I know how hard a step it is to take.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:57 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone. I don't know why this is such a hard step to take. After I wrote it, I thought no one is going to say "no," even I would tell someone to try it, it won't hurt.

I told DH, it reminds me of his birth. He came 7 weeks early, and my midwife told me to stay home, that it was probably fake labor. So the whole way to the hospital, I felt silly and stupid. Like I was being dramatic. Sure enough, I was 9cm when I got there. :/

I guess I just doubt my instincts a lot. Especially in scenarios where I don't want to be right!

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement and for reading my crazy long post.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:10 AM   #8
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Re: Would you get your son evaluated? (5 years old)

100% YES, please get him on a wait list for a developmental eval at a local children's hospital today. It can take upwards of 9mo to get an appt. depending on where you live. Please do not wait any longer. There are windows in development and you are missing prime opportunities to help him. The farther behind he gets the harder it can be to try and catch up. I know it can be so hard but really you already know there is an issue. Having someone tell you "yes, your child has special needs" is not going to change who he is but it will help you get him what he needs
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
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Re: Would you get your son evaluated? (5 years old)

Just for the social issues alone, i'd get him tested.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:15 AM   #10
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Re: Would you get your son evaluated? (5 years old)

dp
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