New to the forum

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by GoodNightMoon, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. GoodNightMoon

    GoodNightMoon New Member

    I'm new to the forum. I found this site in my search for information on ways to help my 3 year old son. As an infant he was difficult to soothe. He wouldn't go to anyone, not even close family or friends. At 8 months, a gross motor delay was detected because he wasn't turning himself over. During the period of 8 months - 18 months he learned how to walk, but fussed and tantrumed through every intervention to teach him to move. At play groups, he insisted on sitting with me. He wouldn't play near the other children. By the time he was 2, he played away from me, but would be aggressive with other children - biting, pushing, yelling at them. Noises of all varieties startled him - anything from hearing a toilet flush in a distant room to a siren, would prompt him to ask, trembling, "What's that noise!?" To call him sensory defensive is putting it mildly! As he rounded the corner of 3, his behavior improved around children outside of the family, but at home he continued to intentionally aggravate his older brother (who is 5 and on the autism spectrum, and is easily irritated). In June, I decided to experiment with the gluten-free, casein-free diet because of my 5 year old son's diagnosis). No major difference in my 5 year old, but my 3 year old's behavior improved within a week.

    My 5 year old is diagnosis with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. I realized something was amiss with my 5 year old from about the time he was 14 months old... It took a lot of perseverence to show the professionals what his deficits were. His behavior has dramatically improved as a result of his placement in Special Education preschool and my willingness to implement the behavioral strategies at home. His sensory symptoms have virtually disappeared. The areas where he has difficulty are initiating and maintaining conversation with children, intense interest in an unusual topic, perseveration on numbers, sing-songy prodosy, hyperactivity, and anxiety.

    What I am concerned about in my 3 year old is that "NO" is his knee jerk reaction to most everything I say; continued hypersensitivity to sound; he thinks there are monsters everywhere and storytelling/pretend play revolve around violent themes with monsters, dragons, dinosaurs, and bad guys; screaming; tells others very often "I'm mad"; disagreeable with adults and children; frequently, intentionally annoys his brother.

    Let me put it this way: the 3 year old's behavior has gotten in the way of me and my husband's joy - and to a certain extent, his brother's, who he is constantly attacking for no reason.

    I joined this board because I'm worried about my 3 year old and would appreciate any insights that other members have to offer. And I joined this board because I am tired. I'm tired from having already gone down the path of pursuing a diagnosis for my 5 year old. I'm tired from having 2 kiddoes who need extra support and attention from me throughout the day. I'm tired of going through this alone.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi GoodNightMoon, welcome to our forum.

    Have you had any evaluations done on your little guy? Since you're seeing behaviors that are impacting functioning I'm thinking with a sibling already on the spectrum it would be a good idea to have a thorough evaluation on him done. I know you're tired and this isn't what you want to hear, but I've heard the statistic that if a family has one child on the spectrum the chances of subsequent siblings also being on the spectrum is 20% (and that it goes up to 40% if they have two children on the spectrum). The other thing I can tell you is that every parent I've ever heard from who has more than one child on the spectrum says that they present in very different ways, often so much so that the parents frequently don't even suspect Autism in the younger sibs.

    The other thing I can tell you is that when a child is overwhelmed in the sensory area, it seems to spill over to everything. Is he getting Occupational Therapist (OT)?

    If you haven't already, you'll want to read through the thread at the top of this board about adapting Ross Greene's book The Explosive Child for young children. You might find some help with those contrary behaviors there.

    I'm sorry life is so hard right now. Most of us are dealing with one and know what a handful that is.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sounds to me like the little guy is also on the spectrum, although maybe in a different way. There is no one way to be a spectrum child. I would have him evaluated closely these next few years. That is a lot like my own son, dxd. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified acted, at that age. He got interventions and improved a lot! He's sixteen now and ready to drive. I don't think this is a defiance issue. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) runs in families.

    Welcome to the board.
  4. GoodNightMoon

    GoodNightMoon New Member

    SRL and MidwestMom,

    THANK YOU! Thank you for your thoughtful, informative replies to my post. Being immersed in the situation day after day, and having two children who are so very different, the autism spectrum didn't occur to me. I was so focused on the temper tantrums, anger, inaffection, and monster talk that I have been "secretly" concerned that he was a future sociopath in the making. Has anybody else felt this way?

    After reading your posts last night, I took the time to fill out the developmental pediatrician paperwork for my 3yo difficult child. It's in the mail, and the ball is rolling on getting an appointment. The top developmental pediatrician in my area has a long wait list. It can be up to/over a year between a parent's initial call and the actual appointment.

    In the mean time, 3 yo difficult child is entering the Special Education preschool that my older son went to . . . as a peer model (!). The teacher is fully aware of my concerns, yet she took him on as a peer model nonetheless. She said that his behavior could possibly be from his primary role model being a socially disordered older brother. On a gut level, I disagree. But because she has waaay more experience than I do in child development, autism, and siblings, and because I aim to be rational, and because I think it's important to work WITH teachers in order for them to become allies, I am letting her take in my son's behavior at her own pace. [Plus, I trust her. She was my guidepost in getting my older son diagnosed; she was the first person who shared my concerns about my older son's behavior.]

    Regardless of whether 3yoGFG ultimately gets an IEP, he is where I want him to be. This program brought out the very best in 5yoGFG, and brings out the best in so many children.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Nice to see that you don't waste time!

    I'm only a parent hence no expert, but from what you're describing, I would be inclined to think there may be some issues of his own going on. Oftentimes neurotypical children pick up a behavior here or there from an older sibling with challenges, but if the children are living in a stable environment frequently what parents see is the younger one passing the older one up in areas like ability to cope, social skills, self-control, etc.

    A few things that might speed up the process for you:
    1) Ask to be put on the waiting list and then prepared to drop everything and go if they call. Cancellations aren't real frequent but with the winter sick season coming up you just might be surprised.
    2) Get working on having the audiology, Occupational Therapist (OT) and speech/language evaluations done so you'll have that data by the time you have your first appointment. You may want to call the developmental pediatrician's office to see who they recommend if you don't have anyone in mind.

    Another thought: there are several disorders that can have a lot of overlap with Autism so you may want to do your homework on those. Fragile X in milder forms, Tourette's Syndrome, and Non-verbal Learning Disability come to mind.
    It must be a relief to know he's already heading into a program that you trust. That's one huge hurdle you won't have leap.

    Please keep us posted.