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5 year old, behavior at school
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5 year old, behavior at school

Hi,  we have a five year old son that started Kindergarten in late August.  We always thought he was a typical boy, and was like the other five year old boys he played with.  by the fourth week of school this year, we found out he had been in the principals office three times a week, that he cried and flung himself on the floor and took his shoes and socks off when he got upset.  He has been suspended for one day for hitting and put off the bus for three days for hitting.  We have been told by the school guidance counselor that he was "mentally ill" and from the principal that he had some type of sensory disorder.  His behavior at home is very different than the way he acts at school - he listens, responds having games/toys taken away if he misbehaves and is rewarded for behaving well.   He is a very bright boy-he can read and does his school work well, so the academic part of school isn't a problem.  It is how he behaves.  we are at a loss as to what to do.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Thanks for any advice or help you can give.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi.  Well, my son has sensory integration disorder and is in first grade---------- he is a lot different at school than he is at home.  I actually didn't realize he had sensory until a preschool teacher told me and we had him evaluated by an occupational therapist.  It is the best thing we've ever done and helped our child so very much to cope better in school and be successful.

I don't like that a teacher says he is mentally ill or attempts to truly diagnose him though.  That is inappropriate.  They can say something like we are having these issues and they may be sensory related or psychologically related, we would suggest X to find out.  

As his parent, you are his advocate.  Don't panic---------------  no matter if there is an issue of true nature within him or he is just having a terrible time adjusting to school-------  you will be able to deal with it.  Finding out exactly what is going on is important.  Is he young for his class, by the way (mid to late summer birthday------ ?)?  Does he have any issues with anything at home like sock seams bothering him or doesn't like to get wet or tags bothering him?  How does he do in a crowded place?  Has he ever been in a classroom enviroment before?  How is his speech?  How are his fine motor skills (does he like to write)?  

I would look at the school as a group that you need to work with-------- so the key people are going to be his teacher, the principal and the school counselor for now.  You need a good working relationship with them. They may suggest that he is evaluated by a psychologist and occupational therapist.  This is not a bad idea because remember-------- you want to know WHY he is having such difficulty and standing out developmentally (in terms of emotions) from his peers.  Then you can go about problem solving and helping him.  Maybe it is just transitions and things like giving him choices would help or using a sensory clock with visual capability for him to be a part of the transition or maybe it is something more like with my son in which some activities that address the nervous system will help slow his "engine" down when he is at school.  (by the way, my son is doing fantastic in school after diagnosis and activities for his nervous system were introduced).  

Don't feel alone-------- many kids have a rough start to school.  It is just important to look at why and help as this is when a child's self esteem can really take a hit and it will last a life time.  Be very positive about school at home and do not punish him for what goes wrong there.  (consequences need to be immediate and home needs to feel safe).    

Google sensory integration by the way and see if anything rings a bell.  My son is a seeker and has always played intensely and liked to spin and crash.  Look for clues like that.  Let me know what you think.  
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi.  Well, my son has sensory integration disorder and is in first grade---------- he is a lot different at school than he is at home.  I actually didn't realize he had sensory until a preschool teacher told me and we had him evaluated by an occupational therapist.  It is the best thing we've ever done and helped our child so very much to cope better in school and be successful.

I don't like that a teacher says he is mentally ill or attempts to truly diagnose him though.  That is inappropriate.  They can say something like we are having these issues and they may be sensory related or psychologically related, we would suggest X to find out.  

As his parent, you are his advocate.  Don't panic---------------  no matter if there is an issue of true nature within him or he is just having a terrible time adjusting to school-------  you will be able to deal with it.  Finding out exactly what is going on is important.  Is he young for his class, by the way (mid to late summer birthday------ ?)?  Does he have any issues with anything at home like sock seams bothering him or doesn't like to get wet or tags bothering him?  How does he do in a crowded place?  Has he ever been in a classroom enviroment before?  How is his speech?  How are his fine motor skills (does he like to write)?  

I would look at the school as a group that you need to work with-------- so the key people are going to be his teacher, the principal and the school counselor for now.  You need a good working relationship with them. They may suggest that he is evaluated by a psychologist and occupational therapist.  This is not a bad idea because remember-------- you want to know WHY he is having such difficulty and standing out developmentally (in terms of emotions) from his peers.  Then you can go about problem solving and helping him.  Maybe it is just transitions and things like giving him choices would help or using a sensory clock with visual capability for him to be a part of the transition or maybe it is something more like with my son in which some activities that address the nervous system will help slow his "engine" down when he is at school.  (by the way, my son is doing fantastic in school after diagnosis and activities for his nervous system were introduced).  

Don't feel alone-------- many kids have a rough start to school.  It is just important to look at why and help as this is when a child's self esteem can really take a hit and it will last a life time.  Be very positive about school at home and do not punish him for what goes wrong there.  (consequences need to be immediate and home needs to feel safe).    

Google sensory integration by the way and see if anything rings a bell.  My son is a seeker and has always played intensely and liked to spin and crash.  Look for clues like that.  Let me know what you think.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much for your response!  There was relief in just reading it.  My son has never like wearing shoes and he does not like the tags in shirts-always wants them cut out. He was in an in home daycare before school, the setting was not as structured as school.  He has a good vocabulary and likes to write and draw-and is actually a very good little artist.  He absolutely HATES the music time at school, or any loud noises-always has.  

We have tried to be positive with him, and tried to be positive with the school- even when we are getting calls/email from the school daily.  Thanks for point out the home thing, we had been taking away priveleges at home for behaviour at school- but we also want him to know without a doubt that he is safe and loved.  

Does an evaluation start with the pediatrician?   Your information was very helpful, and the information I found on sensory integration was helpful as well.  Some of those on the checklist are him to a T.

Thanks again for your help
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi,  well your pediatrician would give you a referral to an occupational therapist.  I called around and asked questions of the OT's regarding if they worked specifically with sensory kids.  We chose one that really focused on this.  Your insurance company may have a list of approved occupational therapy practices and you can just give each one a call and ask some questions to decide.  Your school may also suggest an ot evaluation with its own staff.  This is good----------- but I can't tell you how much I recommend private ot.  It makes a huge difference.

Yes, socks are a biggie at my house too.  My son has never worn socks in the house even if it is 2 degrees outside.  As long as he wears them when he leaves, I let it be.  Pick your battles, right?  And auditory processing issues are  common with sensory kids--------- can you imagine how stressed their system gets in a new chaotic kindergarten classroom environment?  

I have lots and lots of things you can do for an over active nervous system if you need any ideas.  There is a book called "The out of sync child has fun" which is by Carol Kranowitz but honestly, if you google "sensory processing disorder and heavy work" you will pull up lots of simple things to do.  I have a huge list too.  Let me know how I can help.  

Sensory is the kind of thing that once you have an idea what it is---------- you can really intervene and make it better.  We've been so pleased with our son's progress and wish you the same or better!  good luck  (and contact me any time with questions or for support!)
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a single mom who was has a 5th girl who has been so active that I always had concerns. She went to a preschool and it did not prepare her for tha structure or high new academic expectations....spelling test in kindergarten. Day one she has had struggles didn't want to go to school. I am getting calls more frequently and just had the long term sub teacher ask if I ever concidered add screening. She has had dificulties with clothing, socks, tight even if they are her size.....can't read others body language, forgets things loses things, self awarenes. Play therapist recommend Sensory evaluation. I put if off until the new sub teacher asked about screaming. They diagnosed her with muskeltitol-NEC system-poor coordination. Scoop has helped in everything they can with out a IEP. And I feel don't believe it is sensory and think ADD. We had our 1st OT apt this week and I am very eager for progress. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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