I’m finally feeling better after a bad last week… so that means I’m also feeling up to discussing something else that happened. My son had his first “assessments” at school.
Academically, he’s fine. Knows his ABCs, and colors, and shapes, and the names of three different animals (yes, that’s how it was written on the paperwork). Not that I was worried, whether he did well academically or not. I mean, these are two- to three-year-olds. I know there are parents who do, but I’m not going to stress over the “academics” of preschoolers. Enjoy being three, you can study the finer points of dodecahedrons later.
However, Chance’s behavior
has been “red-flagged” at school. His
behavior is “age appropriate”, yet still “consistently excessive” in terms of
energy, aggressiveness, and “lack of focus” compared to the other kids his
age. (Don’t you love all those quote
marks?) The director of the school was
very nice and supportive (yes, the director was in my parent-teacher
conference), but she also suggested that we start looking at other assessments
I can’t say part of this was terribly surprising. There have
been ongoing issues with his aggression at school and we’ve been working on
it. It’s not that he’s a bully, it’s not
vindictive behavior… but he’s very rough. Sometimes it’s in play and sometimes it’s not. He can’t seem to NOT touch the kids around
him. If someone is holding his hand he
tries to touch with his feet.
And if it’s a bad day and he’s told to not kick, he might start those feet flailing just because he was told not to.
See, because my son IS strong-willed. And highly energetic. And cheerfully exuberant even when he’s being completely
and purposefully defiant. He’s impulsive
(good and bad) and affectionate (good and bad). Choke holds and hugs can look interchangeable. He might hit a kid over a toy and two seconds
later give him a kiss. He always wants
to be with and/or meet new people, even if he’s not getting along with them
very well. He has no fear physically and
the (sometimes idiotic) bumps to prove it. He is often totally exasperating and makes me
want to tear my hair out, but he’s also one of the most fun kids I know.
And I don’t want anyone squashing any of that out of him.
Yet we do need to get his behavior under control.
(This just feels crappy.)
So the energy and rough behavior wasn’t surprising. What was surprising was that I didn’t realize his focus was so far off from the other kids. Because when he wants to be he can be very focused. But his teachers say his mind seems to be “always working” and therefore he loses concentration instead of focusing on what’s at hand. Or he’s too busy noticing other things to pay attention to what he’s supposed to be doing. I know he can be all over the place when he’s excited – I’ve seen for myself that if we’re at a birthday party or other function, he runs at twice the speed as the kids around him – but apparently at school he’s almost always all over the place and the lack of concentration shows.
Now we are setting up appointments and doing all the reading and so on and so forth. And it’s a bit overwhelming. Immediately, ADHD popped up. Which also wouldn’t be that surprising; two of my brothers were/are ADHD and we’re almost certain it might be undiagnosed in Keen’s family as well. But other terms and disorders were mentioned in that parent-teacher meeting (not that they were suggesting) and I’m slogging through those as well.
Even though… it might not be anything. It might be a blip brought on from potty-training-induced anxiety. We might be playing too rough with him inadvertently and he’s transferring the roughness. He also didn’t start the “terrible twos” as early as most of the kids, so I was sort of thinking/hoping that maybe it was just hitting extra hard now. (At least that was what I was thinking before he was red-flagged.) I am still hoping that Keen and I can make changes with our approach to help Chance make changes with his behaviors. That was research I had started looking into before his school assessment came up.
This is coming out a little choppy but that’s where I’m at
at the moment. This will probably have
to be a two-parter (or twenty-parter). - wg