Avatar universal

Almost 3 year old, daycare probems

My son will be 3 in two months.  Recently, my daycare communicated that my son does not talk, AT ALL, at daycare.  He is vocal at home, but not quite up to speed as his peers.  I have had him tested by several doctors etc recently and find out through evaluations that he does have a speech delay, and another set of psychiatrist says that he is delayed in all areas.  Our state has a program that will work with a delayed child until the age of 3 for free (which doesn't matter, I'd pay for it) in the daycare setting, at our house, or both.  I have gotten the ball rolling on that even though we will only get a few weeks and then we'll have to switch to an OT somewhere local, but not in our familiar setting.  Ok, my son has been going to daycare since he was 8 months old,  He has never liked it.  Some teachers I can tell he likes more than others, but he doesn't communicate verbally which ones they are.  His classroom now, he has been in since June, so four months.  He hates it the most.  Every morning is a struggle.  He cries in the car, walking in, when I leave him etc.  The daycare is supposed to be "one of the best" and I'm lucky to have a spot, but I can't take it anymore.  I feel like part of the reason he is delayed is because he doesn't feel comfortable there.  He is completely withdrawn there and doesn't participate.  At home, he is happy and fun.  The daycare we use suggest dropping them off quickly and they adjust better than if we hang around.  I understand that works 99% of the time, but my son is the 1% it doesn't work for.  I asked this morning if I could come in an read story time, or visit for lunch or stay all day.  I don't care, I'd whatever it takes to make his day less hard for him.  I haven't heard back from the lady to tell me if that's ok.  A few weeks ago, the OT that will work with us until my son is 3 came to evaluate him at daycare.  I stayed with my son until she got there and was there when she got there for a little while.  He seemed so withdrawn.  I kept playing with him and he was starting to come out of his shell.  I was hoping that he would talk so the teachers could hear him, but as soon as he was starting to get playful with me, the teacher grabbed him to put him on the potty.  Then he cried a lot because I wasn't there.  I had to listen to him screaming while he sat there.  I know that my presence isn't making it easier yet, but I feel like if he sees that I trust the daycare, he will learn to trust the daycare.  Any advice?  I want to just keep him home with me.  I feel like him being mute 8 hours a day is changing him for the worse and my maternal instincts say hold my baby close.  I also sometimes feel like the teachers don't like me.  We live in a nice area and i may be wrong, but I just feel they are always standoffish.  Not nurturing in any way at all.    
7 Responses
13167 tn?1327194124
If you're at home,  why is he in daycare?  I'm asking sincerely.

I know SAH moms (myself included) who put their 3 year olds in preschool programs,  so 2 or three mornings a week from 9 to noon,  so they could socialize with other kids and the moms could get all their work done and have time for the kids.  

Have you googled "selective" or "elective" mutism?  It's an anxiety condition that causes people,  mostly children to not speak in places where they are anxious.  

Have you considered pulling him out of daycare for a year or so and spending the year with him?
189897 tn?1441126518
      The daycare seems to be making the matters worse, not better.  You need to explore other options.  Hopefully, the OT can be helpful in those matters.  The OT should have the experience to help you and suggest what to do.  Give the OT some time to get to know your son.  Also try to get the OT to visit at your house early on so that your son will be more relaxed.
      I think that after 3 the local school district will pick up when the state leaves.  Here again, your OT should know about this.  Best wishes.
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi there.  I have a slightly different take on this.  I have been through this when my son was the exact same age.  He was in preschool (just one half day a week) and I was told he wasn't talking much, wasn't interacting, didn't want to participate and they suspected developmental delays (sensory integration disorder).  This was VERY hard for me.  I tried to think of what *I* was doing to be causing him to appear delayed, tried to solve problems myself, etc.  I bring this up because I don't think your making him more comfortable will solve the problem of his actions in a new or uncontrolled (to him) setting.  Home and mom are supposed to be comfortable.  But that when he is out of that zone---  they are noticing that compared to other kids, he is standing out.  You can not solve that problem yourself hon.  I would imagine that the daycare isn't doing anything different to your son than they do to the others but your son is screaming.  Very hard.

I dealt with many emotions surrounding this same type of situation.  WHY my son and why was he having so much difficulty?  I felt like he was a completely different kid when with me.  But you know what?  He was.  And it didn't matter---  the point was how he functioned overall and away from me.  

I kept arguing "but at home . . ."  or "well, I do this and maybe that is why he is doing that at school . . ."  etc.  When in reality, it was his nervous system not functioning properly.  I remember the day I saw quietly in his room observing him when I realized that I needed to help him and not insert my own pain over the situation into things.  I embraced his delay and began earnestly trying to help him.  Watching him in his class with his peers convinced me.  

You are doing the right thing by pursuing Occupational Therapy.  I can not say enough good things about it.  It helped in so many ways with my son.  If you need any ideas for at home activities too or ways to build comfort, I'm happy to help.  

I would say this regarding his daycare.  I found that a situation in which my son is happier is better.  This daycare may not be a good fit.  I think a preschool that is open to helping him is better.  I had my son in a private preschool for half days only and he always went only two before he started kindergarten at 5.  Worked for us.  I had debated putting him in for more days but found the two days was really best for us.  So, be flexible.  Other friends of mine have put their kids in the three to five early intervention programs that their public school system offers.  At three, this will be offered to your son.  This is usually half day but IS five days a week.  They often do receive OT and speech at school (but from my experience, I would absolutely pay for private Occupational therapy on top of whatever the intervention programs offer you).  

My son went to OT for six whole years.  Cost a boat load.  LOL  We paid out of pocket.  But worth it in every way.  Fast forward, my son is now 11.5.  While we've had challenges along the way--  he is a straight A student with advanced classes, a model student being self motivated and focused, plays various sports on teams, swims competitively, has a small but solid friendship circle, plays trumpet in band and is functioning very well.  Does he still have his delay?  Yes.  However, the years of OT and all we did early on taught him how to cope and handle it.  THIS is the goal.  

So, I've been where you are at.  And know that this can get MUCH better.  But it requires acceptance of the situation and hard work along the way.  You can do it and you'll be amazed at how far your child will come.  good luck to you and I'm happy to help in any way that I can
189897 tn?1441126518
   I agree with Specialmom completely.  Nicely said.
Avatar universal
I am going to be staying home starting in January.  If my son liked his daycare, then I would continue to send him because it's basically preschool now because they learn so much.  But in January, if he is not better, then I will take him out and try MMO and enroll him in some classes at a facility called little giants.  I have read about selective mutism and I really feel that it's pretty close to what we are experiencing but we have no diagnosis yet.  Hopefully the OT can help me figure out more what is going on.  Thank you for responding to my post.
Avatar universal
Thank you for commenting on my post.  The OT plans to start at the daycare Monday and she would like to come to our house too.  I am so ready to get started.  I feel so bad that my ds is sad and anxious.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your response.  I do feel that the daycare is not a good fit.  All of the daycares here have very long waiting list so I haven't been able to try any other.  I am planning to stay home in January, and when I mentioned taking him out of daycare to the OT, she wasn't convinced it was the right thing to do yet.  She starts working with him this Monday so maybe she will be able to guide me a little as to what is best at the end of the year.  I am constantly wondering what I can do to help and it's killing me inside.

I am so proud to hear that your son is doing so well in school  It is hard to find positive stories on the internet and I don't feel that my son is not as delayed as many that I read about but he definitely behind his peers. I think he just needs a little extra TLC to feel comfortable.  One Psychiatrist called him slow to warm up.  

Thank you again.
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189897 tn?1441126518
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