I have an appointment with my doctor next week for my son but I can't help thinking about it while waiting, and I was wondering if other parents with special needs experience might recognize something in my son's behaviors that would give me an idea of what I might be looking at. He is 7 1/2 years old and was a completely normal baby and toddler, there were no signs of anything different. Here is a list of what I've noticed:
- He is always sniffing things, picking things to pieces, feeling things, making odd faces and sounds (I mean intentional funny faces and noises, not something uncontrolled, but he will sit at the kitchen table and make noises for 10 minutes).
- He has always walked up on his tip toes, which isn't necessarily related.
- He gets upset extremely easily and he will go and hide under a bed or a table and refuse to come out, covering his face and ears. He especially can't handle losing at a board or card game.
- He refuses to let anyone help him learn anything. He refused help riding a bike for years and then suddenly this summer started on his own and he still won't participate in swim lessons because he insists he will learn on his own.
- Not much concern for personal safety. From the time he could walk he was climbing everything. I always find him dangling from some piece of furniture, no matter how many times he hurts himself.
- He is sneaky and will go behind my back and do what I've told him not to do. He will hide stashes of candy or other things I've told him he can't have and then hide somewhere and eat it all.
- He doesn't respond to punishment. If I take something away he will respond with a 'who cares' attitude or give me a snarky response about how I might forget by tomorrow or he doesn't really want it that much anyway, or he doesn't care if he has to wait a few days for it.
- Has trouble talking, struggles to get his thoughts out and pauses and repeats words quite a bit. He is an excellent reader and has tested two grades higher than his own in vocabulary and reading skills, he just seems to struggle when it comes to speaking out loud.
- Gets really involved in what he is doing and it takes repeatedly calling his name before he will hear me.
- Forgets constantly, leaves things lying around that I ask him to pick up repeatedly (will walk into a room to do something and then forget to do it).
- Moves from one activity to another constantly unless it is something he is obssessed with at the moment (right now it is Roblox.com) but there is usually a trail of toys and left on electronics behind him. He also does not sit still well at all and gets bored easily.
- He doesn't like loud noises, he will hold his hands over his ears until it goes away.
- He never dresses or puts shoes on. I have to repeatedly remind him to get dressed as he wanders the house in underwear. And he always goes outside in his socks, he can't seem to remember to put shoes or boots on.
- Follows every statement he makes with the question, “right?” as if he needs my agreement to state an opinion or make an observation. And he repeats the word until I agree or disagree with him.
- Interacts differently with others. This is an odd one that I'm not sure how to explain. I watched a child tried to trick him out of his time on a computer and he seemed completely unaffected by her repeated attempts to get him off. He had a response for everything she threw at him and didn't seem to care one way or another, just kept on playing like she wasn't there. I've also seen where someone will say something to him that I would find insulting and he gets this spacy look in his eyes like he is looking through them like they aren't there and then it will clear and he will either change the subject completely or walk away as if he didn't hear a thing. If a group of kids are doing something, he'll just walk right in and join. He does play well one on one and shares well and will take turns. He spends a lot of time in pretend play with his brother and I've seen him pretend playing with toys, even though he will get embarrassed and stop if he sees me watching.
- Loves animals. He loves cats and dogs especially and is always making sure ours have food and water. He pets them and plays with them and is always treating them with extra care.
It is such an odd list of things (or seems that way to me) that I keep second guessing myself as to whether anything is actually wrong or not.