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New and Overwelmed,..Need Advice
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New and Overwelmed,..Need Advice

Hello,...I am a mom of 3 kids. I have a 9 yr old Daughter (Kaitlyn), a 6 yr old Son (Kevin) and a just turned 5 yr old Son (Brady). Its my two sons that I am worried about. My 6 yr old Kevin, has always been very slow at everything. He was in a slower kindergarten class and did ok, but we moved and when he started 1st grade within the first week I KNEW we had a serious problem.Every paper he would bring home he had failed miserably. His teacher saw this also. So, they did some evaluations on him (which took forever). They diagnosed him with being developmentally delayed, so they have started him in speech & language therapy, social therapy and some academic therapy. The special ed teacher thinks that its his developmental delays that are causeing his academic and social problems, BUT, in the evaluation that the speech & language teacher did, she highly adviced him to be checked for ADD and possibly autism. And SHE thinks its his autism or ADD thats causeing the developmental delays! Who do I believe? Also he was an emergency c-section and went 6 minutes without breathing when he was born. Anyway, here is his symptoms....
                           * He has no attention level hardly at all
                           * He has always been a very quiet/solem child, will sit and stare at walls when
                             he's bored or has nothing better to do.
                           * Doesnt do very well in groups although he has friends at school.
                           * When he was a baby and toddler, he hated being hugged, he will give hugs now
                             but you can still tell that it makes him uncomfortable.
                           * Doesnt make a wholelot of eye contact, turns his eyes away alot when being
                             talked to.
                           * When he was younger he had a hard time responding to his name being called.
                             Still has some problems with this, at times its like he's deaf.
                           * Can't process multi-task commands.
                           * He zones out alot, like in his own little world.
My Youngest son Brady, he is almost the exact opposite. He does make eye contact and seems to be pretty smart academically even though he hasnt started school, the main problem with him is his behavior. We have tried MANY types of disapline and none of them seem to even phase him. His symptoms are...
                          * Loves spinning himself around and around constantly, even while eating.
                          * Very Hyper and ramboitous.
                          * Constantly is getting into things, tearing stuff up, refusing to listen.
                          * Goes on violent rages where he hits our cat for no apparent reason, and doesnt
                            seem to get or care that it hurts the cat when he does that.
                          * Doesnt like eating. It takes him almost an hour to finish a meal, and alot of the
                            time, he never finishes it, he just says he's full.
                          * Seems to enjoy repetative behavior, not a whole lot, but some.
Anyway, This is a small insight of what I'm facing and I would greatly appreciate any help or insight!

Carrie
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I can't say for sure but I'll take a stab at trying to post something. (It'd be nice to see more activity on this forum)

Is your six year old in regular ed class with no IEP or modifications?  When I went into first grade, my parents thought I'd do well in an ordinary 1st grade class like any other student. Well they were in for a shocker...lol. I remember having trouble paying attention to the teacher because of distractions and not quite knowing what was expected of me. To me story time meant "go to the table and draw your own stories" instead of sitting with all the other students while listening. I did listen and pay attention to the teacher to the best of my ability, but I did in my own way to their dismay. Distractions are a big problem.

I suggest looking into getting an IEP set up and talk with the teachers on a regular basis and make sure they are informed about autism and ADD. If the teachers can understand the child has a disability, they can work better with that child to help them pay attention and remove distractions. My guess is your six year old may be overwhelmed and somewhat confused about what he must do. If he has autism, it is likely bad enough he has to hear the roaring sounds of a noisy classroom off in a distance, flickering florescent lights, bright flashy posters on the walls, and you name it.. Trying to pay attention to anyone in such a circumstance is a challenge.

- Mary I. The autistic girl who had to take 1st grade in a separate school and repeat the first grade in order to make it into second.
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Thank you soo much for answering!  Yes, he is in a regular 1st grade classroom, but he has special ed 8 hrs a week, which is where they take him out of the regular class and go to a different classroom for the special ed. And yes, he does have a IED that they made for him. The things that you were saying sound so similar to what he goes through. Thats one of the biggest problems with him is being able to keep attention. When I would try and help him with his homework, I got SO frustrated becuase I wasnt able to help very much or get through to him. The stuff they are teaching 1st graders these days is ridiculas!! On one paper they wanted him to find the pronouns in the sentence and circle them. What???!!! He cant even distinquish between a single word and a sentence let alone what the sentence consists of! His teacher though understands totally because she see's what I see. He will be paying attention to what your saying but he has this totally clueless look on his face that lets you know that you might as well be speaking spanish! But anyway, yes, he has an IED and hopefully those 8 hrs will help him. He has problems wording stuff, you can tell that he is really trying to think of what he needs to say to get his point across but just seems to have no luck, therefor alot of his sentences dont make much sense. he cant write in a straight line, he writes crooked or else the letters to a word are very far apart from each other. One thing kevin has complained alot about, (and it keeps coming up many times), is that he says the teacher goes too fast for him. Its not really her fault, but thats just a sign that says, he is unable to comprehend what she is saying and keep up. When he's trying to recollect what the first sentence she said was, she's already onto the 3rd sentence. I feel so bad for him, but its almost a given that he will be repeating the 1st grade. So far, all his grades have been F's, they are slowly coming up since the IED started, but its very slow.He is also very disorganized, cant keep up with papers, looses things. I dont know. maybe after he's been through some more testing by his doc, that will tell us more. I just wish like heck that we had caught this sooner. I KNEW he was slow, but he seemed to be doing alright in his slower kindergarten class, (at least thats what his teacher said), and the rest I just thought it was his personality. I have a feeling if I had of known sooner, we could have spared him from alot of this, and maybe done some things to improve the problem areas before he ever got into school. So, if you dont mind me asking, how did you do after they started the IED and repeated the 1st grade? Was you able to catch back up and keep on top of things or did you have to continue with the special help and the IED? Just wondering,...I guess what I'm wondering is, is he gonna be like this forever or with the right help and lots of work can he improve to where he wont need any help any longer. What were you like as a child? Were you one of the quiet, solem ones or was you one that was hyper-active? Just trying to gain some knowledge on what HE goes through cause its so hard for him to express whats wrong. Also, this might be totally off the topic, I havent read anything like this as a symptom of Autism but Kevin doesnt seem to have a problem with lights and stuff, (that I know of), but he is EXTREMELY sensitive to heat! This past summer, it was torture whenever we would go out somewhere were we were out in the sun. It could just barely be hot or warm and he would just start BAWLING crying that it was too hot for him. I mean he would cry like it was killing him. Other times, he wouldnt say anything at all about it. Could this be a sign? have you ever heard of this? Anyway, thanks again so much for posting back!! I agree, I wish this board was more active!

Take Care,
Carrie
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Since he has an IEP, he must have gone thru an M-team.  This is where a team of specialists dertermine what his disability is.  Is it autism or ADD or something else?
ADD is realy a mis-nomer.  It stands for attention deficit disorder.  As anyone who's been there, done that and got the tee-shirt can tell you, there is no Deficit involved here!  Persons with ADD pay attentiion to EVERY-THING. That's the challenge.  They tend to pay attention to the teachers watch, the walls, the markers, the chaulk, their hair, the scissors, ther hair, the scissors (what if he he).  They slip in and out of the lesson.  But have all sorts of distractions going on.

There was a time when the school (first grade) thought that mjthewriter had ADD. This was before she was dx'ed as PDD-NOS.  So, we were good little parents and took her to a doctor that the school recomended.  We weren't so sure about her having ADD.  Doc perescribed Ritalin.  The ritalin acted as we predicted --  a stimulant.  When children with ADD have Ritalin, it does not act like a stimulant, it pulls them down the curve with the right dose.  However, when Ritalin acts like a stimulant (as it realy is) on someone, then something else is going on.  Needless to say, she was mis-diagosed.  We had her re-evaluaterd and this set her in motion to get into a better school with more focus on autism.

We still saved the left-over meds for years as a constant reminder to us, as parents to never never never let the "experts" talk you into anything that doesn't "feel" right.  If you disagree with an M-team evaluation, you have a right to a second opinion at the district's expense.  
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To be honest, I don't know how I mananged to get past grade school. I wish I remembered better. I think I mananged to retain some of the lecture material.  I can fully understand the part about trying to process the first sentence while someone is on the third or fourth. I don't do well with spoken lectures or set of directions. Mostly I got by reading the text books.  Most of the time the answers to the questions came straight from the text. I could remember by the pictures on the page where to find my answers.  My least favorite subject was math, besides music which I already expressed my frustration. 2nd grade, we'd play "around the world" where the teacher would present a flash card in front of two or more students. The one to answer first, got to the next round and compete against the student one seat over from the last.  I could never do well, so I never got to walk around the classroom answering to flash cards. Probably a good thing because I didn't like the stress and frustration having to answer so quickly.  In 3rd grade we had a timed math test, where we were supposed to see how many math problems we could solve in a limited amount of time. Though it could be somewhat fun, I was mostly stressed out with the fact I could never finish before the time was up. Word problems...grrr...I still can't do those without help. If you expect me to do math, give it to me straight foreword without excess ****, please.

My grandma and my parents may say I was hyperactive, though I didn't oberve that as a kid.  I more so payed attention to my surroundings, the posters on the walls, the windows off to the side, what was wirtten on the chalk board and so on...  One of my favorite activities in the school was when all the class rooms in an area go tinvolved on a single subject, such as the rainforest. Each classroom became a station and we'd have tangable, fun exercises. I remember we were to make sand bottles as an activity in one classroom, only they had no sand. They had salt though and we colored the salt with chalk. I also enjoyed field trips, though my teachers seemed to almost always complain about me misbehaving. I think it was because I would wander off and try to do my own things or I would get lost and frustrated.
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