Another newb with half a diagnosis

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Super, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Super

    Super New Member


    My youngest is a happy, bright boy... who I knew at age 2 was not picking up speech as quickly as he should.

    Of course, I was ignored by pediatricians until he was 4, at which point he started preK and someone besides the mom stepped up to say "yeah, he does have a problem".

    At which point doctor proceeded to blame me for never having put him in daycare (apparently before daycare was invented no children were verbal. Jeez.)

    He did GREAT in preK, and has made huge strides in his speech with a terrific therapist and consistent at-home work. His PreK teachers were the most awesome people ever and he socialized REALLY well.

    His speech delay is articulation caused by a high palate and weak tongue. He will simply skip sounds that are hard, and blended sounds at the beginning of words are hard as well as L -comes out as W- and T - comes out as D.

    His handwriting is very faint, so the speech therapist just referred him to Occupational Therapist (OT) for evaluation. He is amazingly strong otherwise, just his grip is weak. His fine motor skills are good - he can play extremely intricate video games that require precise movements better then his older brother and sister!!

    Another batch of things have cropped up in the past 6 months since preK ended, however, and they are all sensory. (He is a VERY tactile learner, and the one thing he did have problems with in preK was constant touching everything and everyone - never in a mean way, just wanting to touch!)

    He has started putting his hands in his mouth (he has never done this, did not suck his thumb as a baby nor did he have a pacifier - of my 3 kids, he was the best about NOT putting stuff in his mouth). If asked why, he says he needs his hands to be wet.

    He has started putting his hands over his ears when HE talks. Especially if he is in a room with a vibration (air conditioning hum, etc).

    He has also gotten very sensitive to the light when going outside or driving in the car.

    He really doesn't like his socks and shoes. He will wear them when we go out, no problem, and wears shoes at bowling, no problem - a little complaining occasionally about them feeling wet and sticky (humid Georgia!) - but as SOON as we get in the door off come shoes and socks. He will literally sit down right inside the front door and take them off and rub his feet. He makes his feet stick out of the covers at night also. He also has gotten very picky about his waistband of his pants or the tops of his socks leaving lines on his skin.

    He used to love riding in the car - we moved to GA from TX last year and drove 800+ miles in 2 days and he was an angel. Now he prefers to stay home and his tolerance for being in the car is about 15-20 minutes before he starts getting agitated.

    He is very leary of new foods. Fortunately, he will eat very healthy stuff that he has always loved, which is great since I was pretty solid on healthy foods, but he has really slammed the door shut on new stuff. Also he cannot stand even mild chewing gum, says it is too spicy and drinks water like mad.

    Something that I always loved about him but that I am now realizing is tied in - he wants me to rub his back every morning and night, very firmly. He will lie there forever and let me rub his back, or pat it, or scratch (I have no nails to speak of) and always wants me to do it "more, Mommy, harder".

    So... all VERY sensory related. Touch, taste, hearing, brightness. I just realized he has started being very attuned to smells, too, so that's all 5 senses...

    He isn't shy and he talks a blue streak. He does have a HUGE vocabulary that startles the heck out of people if they can get past the articulation to understand him. He makes eye contact, no problem there, and is a huge hugger and kisser and cuddlebug.

    So... We have an appointment with the Occupational Therapist (OT) lady, and with his not-a-douchebag new pediatrician, and looking for referral for a full psychiatric evaluation and so on.

    We (my partner and I) feel it is likely some sort of sensory processing thing.

    We weren't sending him to the public elementary school here because it is so horrible and we already pulled the other two children and started them in cyber academy.

    However, in light of how well he did in preK, and the fact that a lot of this stiff he is doing is really new and showed up after school ended, we are scraping and scrimping to put him in private Kindergarten as soon as possible to see if that helps him get back on the track of progress (in the meantime I am schooling him in cyber academy and trying to get him out of the house and around other kids as much as I can).

    Some kids need socialization more than others... so maybe the doctor WAS right and this is all my fault for keeping him home with me since I ran my own business and I could keep him home...

    Any comments are welcome. I'm in the deep end here and trying not to be terrified and committed to doing whatever my little guy needs to make his life as great as possible. I'm just really new to all of this and would love some input.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It isn't your fault. When I was a kid, back in the dinosaur days, we didn't go to preschool and we all socialized just fine, unless we had special needs problems and they were ignored at the time. This has nothing to do with seems you have a "different wired" child who is bright, but has issues. Senosry issues rarely stand alone, so I recommend you take him for a total evaluation, not just to an Occupational Therapist (OT). They are limited to only Occupational Therapist (OT) stuff. I'd take him to a neuropsychologist for a complete evaluation. Talking a lot and acting socially interested is not the same as being socially appropriate. Does he know how to play, give and take, with other kids? Does he take turns and use his imagination? Or does he sort of sit beside kids to play or just run around and hope they follow him? Or does he get in their face and stand too close? It's amazing how easily social skills come to "typically wired" children. My son is nineteen now and on the high end of the autism spectrum. He always spoke a lot, once he learned to talk, but he really didn't know how to interact in ways that the other kids liked. He is learning more now and has since he has been in high school, but he did have many interventions. He also had many sensory issues that are much better now.

    Whatever is wrong, it sounds as if good interventions will help him a lot and that he is bright (which will help). I would still do a total evaulation. Are they any issues on either side of his genetic family tree?

    My motto is "better safe than sorry." Don't shy away from a neuropsychologist.
  3. Super

    Super New Member

    Thanks for the response!

    No, not shying away! I believe I mentioned the psychiatric evaluation is something we are also pursuing, I know the post was long but it is in there. :) Neuro is definitely a top priority.

    Occupational Therapist (OT) is just another party we can get involved quickly and start some active work with (getting the neuro stuff done will take quite a while from what I understand from friends with special needs children, and we are trying to be pro-active.)

    Socially, he did great! He played imaginatively and creatively, and was also happy with directed play. He would lead or follow equally well. The teachers loved him, all the little girls fought to be his girlfriend, the boys were best buddies with him. He took turns, shared, was empathetic to sad or hurt classmates, etc.

    He had no issues in preschool with interacting with other kids besides the constant need to touch (he would simply want to lay his hand on the back, shoulder or the knee of the kid sitting or standing beside him, or to touch their clothing or hair-bows if they were interesting or textured -- it wasn't "inappropriate" or aggressive touching). So we worked on "personal space" and by the end of the year that had pretty much resolved!

    Genetics. Ugh. My parents were very, very sick, bad people who had their own reasons for breeding 9 children *shudder*. Both sets of my grandparents, and all of my aunts, uncles, cousins and large extended family on both sides are as normal as you can imagine, so I'm figuring my bio'rents (TM) were just evil.

    His side of the family, though... definitely some serious issues that were never addressed. AS I found out after I married him, my ex husband was one of a huge family of extremely co-dependent, drug using whack-jobs rife with suicide and jail time. Not the best gene pool there, although finding out any "real" diagnoses would probably be futile - neither side of the family would have been interested in any sort of medical or psychiatric help, so goodness knows what sort of stuff is floating around.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If you can get quick access to Occupational Therapist (OT), go for it while you're waiting for the other appointments. Any high-quality comprehensive evaluator (neuropsychologist etc.) will make use of any evaluations already done. So... get the Occupational Therapist (OT) to do a full evaluation of two common areas of concern: sensory, and motor skills. Whatever they find, you can then jump into therapy for, and the early intervention on those fronts is worth a LOT.
  5. Super

    Super New Member

    Thank you! That is our plan since there's no telling how long to get all the neuro-psychiatric work done.

    It's funny; he has really good eye hand coordination - he beats his older brother and sister at complex video games requiring extremely precise control - but then the handwriting is just very wobbly and weak.

    Hopefully everything will come together quickly and we'll get a game plan in place. As I mentioned, we are seriously searching for a private kindergarten to try to put him back in a more stimulating environment and see if some of this stuff resolves.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Coordination is a really different "beast". My difficult child has major fine motor skills problems, but can play several musical instruments quite well. Sometimes, it's a matter of how much practice... if he has had lots of time on the games and not much writing, he may have "perfected" his game skills, so the coordination problem doesn't show up there. Sometimes, it's the nature of the particular actions. Writing is an extremely complex skill. If you go to:
    There are some really good articles there, including several to do with the mechanics of writing. Under parent resources, or school resources - not sure which.
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    It sounds like you are doing all the right things. If the Occupational Therapist (OT) is a "good" one, you will learn a lot. We went through a total of 4 of them and only one of them was worth much. SHE is the one that got to the bottom of a LOT of difficult child 1's issues and was extremely helpful. difficult child 1 was a "chewer", always had a piece of something in his mouth to chew on. He HATES certain textures of clothes AND of food. Tags come off the minute we get any new clothes home. He loves deep pressure so the Occupational Therapist (OT) helped us get a weighted blanket. Since my difficult child 1 has issues with touch (PTSD stuff), I am the only one allowed to rub and scratch his back and he loves that as well. There are lots of sounds he cannot tolerate like the hum of the air conditioner and overhead projector but fans are okay.

    It really does sound like you have a great handle on things that will help with diagnosing. Your insight is going to come in really handy when helping him learn the skills he's going to need as he grows up and you're starting young enough to really make a difference.

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. We're glad to have you.
  8. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Welcome. You might feel at the end of your rope, but you sure sound on top of the game! I applaude you for it.
    Your little one is only 4 and it's such a young age. Don't blame yourself for any of it. Parents don't cause speech delays or sensory issues.
    But now that you know he has a speech delay, being a classroom might be a good idea. At least, that's my opinion and that's why I put Sweet Pea in daycare 3 times a week (I would need her to go 2x because I too run my business from home, the 3rd day is really for added stimulation).
    Keep your difficult child on all the waiting lists fr a comprehensive evaluation. Also, keep in mind it is worth driving a while to get to the bigger centers even if you can't do therapy there. That's what we did for Occupational Therapist (OT) for example and it was well worth it. The report is so complete.
    If you can, look up the book from Carol Kranowitz "out of sync child". She explains sensory issues VERY good.
  9. Super

    Super New Member

    Thank you all! I feel in control now which helps :) (D is 5, by the way, sorry if I typed 4 somewhere! He turned 5 in May right when PreK finished.)
  10. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    V is the same age with a May birthday! He just entered K like yours. V is in public school and trust me: husband and I had some long conversations about to sign him up or not. There is no easy answer and, unfortunately, one never knows if it's the right decision until one tries.
    One thing I've learned though: there are no quick fix with raising a difficult child. We are here for the long haul. Resource management (as in dollars) is very important: one must decide what is worth trying, what can wait or is second on the list, etc. It is sad, but it is a reality.
    So when you look at the private K, make sure it does not put your family in financial hardship which would help no one at the end.
  11. Super

    Super New Member

    D was doing so well in preK, (which here in GA is lottery funded, so he was able to attend a lovely private one), and we noticed most of his issues appear after it let out for the summer.

    His speech, which he continued therapy for, continued to improve, but all the other odd stuff popped up in the last 6 months.

    We are doing the GCA (Georgia Cyber Academy), and my older kids (V, girl, 8th, and C, boy, 6th) are doing well, but for D as much as I love teaching him I feel it is just wrong for him.

    Thus the search for a private preK since the public schools here are horrific. I do NOT want him in a Christian run school, and it's hard to find preKs that are secular. Montessori at this point seems the best bet; we've found a few close by that aren't THAT bad, around $700 a month.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    So sorry about your yucko do tor. Glad you found a new one. Great that he did so well in pre k! He sure does sound like he has a sensory integration problem. It's wonderful that you're addressing it. It can make them look as.if they have other conditions (like the sensory seeking can look like adhd ) but its true it can also often be connected to other issues. Great that you are pursuing a broad evaluation too. Not sure if you are looking into a psychiatric evaluation or a neuropsychological evaluation. They are quite different in scope. Many of us who have kids with neuro symptoms like yours like the neuropsychologist because they are psychologists who have additional training in assessment of how the brain and skills/behaviors/issues are connected. They have a broader view of what could be going on (often) where many psycholgists go down the mental health and traditional behavior modification road. Not always of course but many of us have experienced this.
    Not having daycare did not cause his artic issues and you're right that was nonsense to say. So pls. don't second guess what was done. Lots of kids have developmental artic issues and no other communication issues. Given his other (sensory) issues I'm sure you will be on the look -out for any language or social communication issues that for some kids pop out/become obvious in later elementary years.
    Glad you found us! Welcome!!!
  13. Super

    Super New Member

    Thank you! Yes, we are looking for a neuro-psychiatric evaluation (I'm still getting a handle on all the terminology, obviously!)