Knowing when it’s time to seek help

I’ve posted before about my son’s issues with hurting other children. A couple of days ago at the playground he was up on a play structure and tried to push a small girl down the slide. The more she protested the more he pushed. Finally he grabbed her very long hair and pulled out a chunk of it. It was horrible for me, not to mention the little girl and her mother. I was up early the next morning lying in bed thinking about it. I decided to seek some input and advice from my online mama group.

Many people suggested I have DS evaluated. Reading these words gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wanted to cling to the notion that it was normal behaviour, that he was just a bit slow, he’ll grow out of it, etc. But I recall going down this road with the speech delay. At 19 months it didn’t seem so urgent and I kept thinking he’d catch up soon, but by the time he was 2 I had to admit he was behind. So far I’ve been blaming his age and huge size. But he will be 3 in just a few weeks now and it’s becoming apparent to me that he is getting way behind, yet in a way I can’t quite put my finger on.

Today I asked a good friend, who has known DS since birth and has a son just 2 days older than DS, whether she got the impression that DS was “different”. She was everything you’d want a friend to be: diplomatic, honest, kind, and sensitive. She did say that he seems to have trouble communicating. I, too, have suspected this to be the problem. She talked about the different kinds of therapy available, and how it can be as simple as play therapy to help both me and DS learn better ways to communicate with each other. I’m a very verbal person, and I confess it never occured to me that there were other ways to communicate. When my friend put it this way, it didn’t seem so scary.

I know there are certain things about DS that seem “delayed” to me. For example, my DD was able to understand, from the age of 2 onwards, that some things need to wait. Like if she wanted a drink I could say “okay, I’m just going to put these dishes away and then I’ll get you a drink”. And she’d be happy and wait. DS doesn’t get that at all. He’ll act as though you said “no” and keep harping on it until you complete the request. He has zero impulse control and the concept of consequences, whether real or imposed, goes right over his head.

Anyways, I told my friend that in my gut I didn’t feel that anything was wrong. But when I’m honest with myself I know that is not really true. Deep in my heart I have always worried about him, more so than I did with DD. I can’t put my finger on it, just worried that something would turn out “wrong” with him (maybe because I failed my triple screen and ended up having amnio; perhaps that scare has stuck with me).

I’ve called our family doctor and made an appointment to get a referral for evaluation. I’ve learned from speech therapy that it can be kind of fun the way they do these things. And really, I think anything that can help me understand DS better will ultimately be a Good Thing. Still, this is all weighing heavily on my heart…

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Knowing when it’s time to seek help

  1. Space Mom

    Every person is different, you know that in your mind. But you don’t want YOUR child being the different one. That is completely understandable.The trick is being able to recognize that DS needs to work out the communication issues now and not later. If you just wait, it could become even more frustrating to you. I am sorry you are going through this. No one wants to think that something isn’t going right. This isn’t a case of something wrong, it’s a case of getting DS the tools he needs to move forward in communication skills.((HUG))

  2. Anna B

    You know as well as anyone that behavior is the symptom and not the cause. Once you ID the cause, you can eliminate the symptom. NO ONE wants to be the mom with the kid who hits (or tantrums or back talks [mine] or screams bloody murder or sulks or any of the things that make us want to hide). It is a bold move to find the source of the problem. I think you know what a change we have seen in Will since we got an outside opinion.You are in my heart as you start this journey, which I hope is short and easy. Or at least one of those. On the other hand, why wouldn’t the chick just get out of the way on the slide? 😉

  3. Elaine

    What a good mother you are!!!!! We all worry about our children at different times. You have the courage and humility to put his needs before anything else. Hope all goes well with the evaluation and if there are issues that remediation is simple.

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