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Do you coddle this situation or keep reintroducing it?

My son is 3 and already diagnosed through ECI with severe anixety.. I wouldn't think to medicate at this age at ALL.. he has trouble talking to other kids but is very much getting better at that and it makes me so proud :) the area I am wondering about is this... we have many times gone to my niece's school functions and plays and arts and academic expo's and he has a very hard time with the level of noise and chaos of all the kids and parents and like last night, got VERY upset in uncontrollable tears.. not a fit or tantrum, just a very emotional breakdown - my mom ended up holding him and I requested trying a different approach and wanted to show him around and get down to his level and hopefully get him to shut out that chaos and noise and focus more.. we both ( My mom and I ) Have anxiety also, but her's is extreme enough to be unable to work and I am functioning - she thought that my idea would just be torturing to him so we did end up leaving since I couldn't get his attention focused and he kept asking for her to hold him - what are your thoughts.. he does have some minor sensory issues so I know this could have added to it, but is it wrong to want to introduce this like I wanted to?


Asked by maxsmom11807 at 11:13 AM on Mar. 4, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (7)
  • I think next time I would try to find a quieter less crowded area away from the main crowd to start and gradually work your way in...maybe take it just a step further each outing. I think I would back off when it got to be too much for him, and I would comfort and remove him from the situation...maybe go out in a hall and let him calm down and then ask him if he wants to try again. You might do well keeping to the edges near exists too until he feels more comfortable and confident. I don't like being in the middle of a big crowd and I'm a tall adult, so I'm thinking from a 3 year olds perspective it might be really scary. I think you should keep reintroducing, but also cut it short when it's too much. I think if you force it when he's already worked up it may be harder to get him to try the next time.  Also keep in mind he may never be a "crowd" person, and that is ok as long as he can cope with it when necessary.


    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 11:45 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • I think you did the right thing to remove him from the situation. I know Occupational Therapy can help, but just to try to make him deal with it right then and there, is too much for him. Think of yourself being "attacked" (lack of a better word) with a bunch of loud noises all at once and it's all painful and confusing at once. I'm sure your mother understands, since you said she's not able to work because of it.

    My son has these same issues (he's still undergoing evaluations for autism, so he's not receiving OT yet). It's really sad to see him having a meltdown over the sensory stuff. He can't handle loud noises.

    Answer by thatgirl70 at 11:19 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • no as long as you are willing to appoach it in different ways as well and see what works best. this way obviously didnt work so try another.

    Answer by laura970 at 11:19 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • I know, I really FEEL for him also - he went through ECI and they said he doesn't qualify for OT but I also know his scores were border line in many areas but all together, he didn't qualify for any Therapy of any kind.. the only advice I was given by the OT at ECI during the evaluations is to slowly stop giving in to some of these "fears" or sensory type issues like needing a wash cloth/clean hands while eating etc.. make him slowly get used to the feeling of food on his hands then once he's done eating, give him the washcloth, this goes the same with Noise levels and over stimulating situations.. My husband seems to think he needs to tough it out - my mom wants to over coddle ( I feel ) and I just want to help TEACH him- I just don't know how to find a middle ground for a 3 year old either.. :(

    Comment by maxsmom11807 (original poster) at 11:24 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • My child was someone who initially was turned down for early intervention. But I was able to prove the person who did the assessment was not qualified to do the evaluation nor was the assessment tool reliable or valid. But I am also a professional who works with people of different needs. Just because they say he does not qualify for services does not mean a child does not need them. With anxiety...I have to be honest. If it impacted my child's ability to function in every day living situations I would consider medication. I would also have my child see a professional therapist skilled in anxiety disorders in children. In fact my son does see a licensed therapist for mild anxiety. I would not set my child up for failure and place him in situations he was uncomfortable in. I would slowly, and we have, desensitize him to situations that are uncomfortable.

    Answer by frogdawg at 12:00 PM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • With medication, the right therapy, and parent support - anxiety can be well managed. There is a big difference between normal anxiety and off the charts need help anxiety.

    Answer by frogdawg at 12:03 PM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • Well for the average person, how would you honestly go about telling the Psychiatrist and Early Education Teacher and Assessor that their tools of detection are invalid? How would I begin to know or think this? We are waiting to see how preschool goes in the school setting and if they continue on this road, would have him reevaluated however these were the tools I was given directly from all 3 of the teachers, the schools Occupational Therapist and the Psychiatrist - to slowly introduce him in different methods depending on his reactions.. he can fully function on a DAILY basis, its THESE type of situations that he seems to go in over load in.. so medication in my eyes is Out, however I would never be against it if it helped him in the future.. As for a anxiety therapist, I can take that into consideration but he also, is 3.. would that be jumping the gun a bit?

    Comment by maxsmom11807 (original poster) at 1:51 PM on Mar. 4, 2011