3.5 year old, ADHD/sensory processing disorder (SPD) red flags vs. immaturity?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by scootmom, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. scootmom

    scootmom New Member

    Hi - I was reading up on ADHD and stumbled upon this site.

    My son will be 4 in early 2016. He has always been a "spirited" and feisty kid - lots of tantrums etc. I'm told (and I agree! that he's very articulate for 3 and has an excellent memory for learning). For the last year we noticed issues with sensory processing, but things have greatly improved since last June. I think the reason for the improvements were getting to know what bothers him and adjusting our parenting style - giving him a heads up about transitions, new experiences, extra time to deal with things, understanding his expectations and helping to adjust them when necessary.

    He started pre-school for the first time this September and from our perspective things are going well.
    We recently had his first parent-teacher conference and even though in the beginning of the year he did have some issues with sharing, pushing, and even a biting incident - the teacher assures me that this year, is when you deal with these things; learning how to interact socially, how to share, what's appropriate, how to deal with your feelings etc. Bottom line - I think he's one of the more difficult kids in her class but she fully sees potential for him to move past these behaviors this year.

    What has me worried is that she said he has a lot of difficulty paying attention and sitting still when they come together as a class (circle time). He often has to sit a part from the class until he's ready to pay attention and listen to the teacher. He also has a lot of the difficulty on the days when they are off routine (say, the halloween party), he gets distressed by the commotion and noise and has to leave the room. The teacher asked me if I've talked to his pediatrician about all this and of course now I'm down the internet worm-hole, worrying myself off a cliff.

    In addition to the above behavior at school two more things add to my worries that something might be wrong 1) He is not very coordinated for his age and although he can jump he doesn't seem to be able to hop on one foot - 2) He shows poor impulse control at home.

    What I'm trying to get a feel for by posting is - is 3-4 years old too young to call these adhd/sensory processing disorder (SPD) symptoms or pre-cursors? I'm really on the fence. I've looked through tons of symptom-checkers online and things don't seem to add up perfectly one way or another. Appreciate any insight. Thanks!
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.

    I'm just another parent. But... the combination you describe? COULD be signs of autism spectrum. He will be high-functioning, or things would have been noticed long before now. But Sensory processing challenges do not go away with changes in parenting - this just makes life at home easier. An Occupational Therapist (OT) has therapies that can help. That, plus difficulty with transitions, needing to leave the room, tantrums...

    I'd be pushing for a comprehensive evaluation - the kind that take 6-10 hours over multiple days. You want to know what you are dealing with before he starts school next year, if that is possible - because it's only with diagnoses and you have the clout to negotiate accommodations and interventions in school.
  3. scootmom

    scootmom New Member

    Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. So where does one begin? We're not in the public school system - we attend a parochial Catholic school.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Agree 100% with Insane Canadian. Total evaluation. Could be mild autism. The earlier he gets interventions, the better he will do, whatever is going on. Private schools did not work for us with our Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child. Public school offered much more help and understanding. Good luck!!!
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Comprehensive evaluations are usually a referral service, and can be done by a neuro-psychologist, or a PhD-level psychologist with a specialty in testing, or by a team approach which would usually be out of a children's or teaching hospital.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! It could be a lot of things. I would definitely check into a multi-evaluation which would include a neuro-psychiatric, a therapist, and a child psychiatrist. Sometimes having that multi-level look at things can be very helpful.