I posted in a new group intentionally becaue I need a fresh point of view.
My son will be 6 in June. From the day he was born he was "different." He has never liked being held or cuddled. No swaddling, the bassinet was too confining and he wouldn't sleep in it. Baby wearing was like torture to him. He liked his space and he loved to be able to see everything going on around him.
He hit his milestones on time or early. He was talking sentances by 1 year old and he's never stopped. By 18 months he was in the why phase and that has never stopped either. He always questions everything.
He has always been very... particular. Even at a young age he would only use things the way they are made to be used. So like if he got a set of blocks he would only build the things that were pictured on the packaging, nothing else. If he got a toy in a box you play with the toy and throw out the box because boxes are to hold things not to play with. Toys for his age group have always bored him. We had to buy toys for older kids. He never put things in his mouth as a baby or toddler. He wouldn't even try a new food until we assured him it was indeed food. By the age of 10 months he was eating properly with a fork. He had an amazing attention span as an infant/toddler. At the age of 6 months he would play with the same toy for 2 hours. You could not tear him away from it.
At a very young age he could not handle the sound of Elmo's voice. It would send him into a screaming, crying fit until we removed him from where he heard it. I'm talking 2-3 months old here. A few months ago we finally got a diagnosis of sensory procesing disorder and we are working on helping him cope with his sensitivities to light, sound, and touch as well as understand how his body is feeling. He doesn't always know. I have to limit his food because he doesn't understand when he is full and will eat until he is sick. I have to monitor him closely if it is hot outside because he will become physically ill while insisting it's not hot and he doesn't need a drink of water.
And boy could he throw a tantrum! Redirection was not an option with him. I could leave the house for 6 hours and when we came home he would go right back to what he wasn't supposed to do. By the age of 13 months he would sit in time out on the bottom step for a 1 minute time out. Still he would go right back to what he wasn't supposed to be doing. I did a lot of babyproofing and a ton of discipline even at this young age. He could tell me exactly what he was in time out for but he would not stop doing it. As he got older he would sit nicely in his time outs but come out furious. They actually made his behavior worse! After a month of spending pretty much all day in time out (because he would come out screaming and hitting) I switched to disciplining him by sending him to his room instead. He would come out when he was ready to listen and it ended the anger after discipline. He also stopped behaviors after we warned him he would be sent to his room if he did not stop. But the tantrums turned to meltdowns. And the meltdowns have turned to full out rage.
So now he is 5 1/2. We are still very consistent on discipline. He has input as far as the rules of our home. We have talked about discipline together and he usually has some pretty good ideas so we do them. I'm talking he threw his favorite new ball at his sister's head so his solution was he lost his ball for a week. He wasn't happy about it but we both thought it was a fair punishment. If it's not fair I come up with a punishment. We are firm believers in natural consequence and consistency. We do not believe in spanking although I do admit I have tried it when I was at a complete loss of what else to do. It just made things worse (this was before I knew how bad spanking was for kids with spd).
We have recently started a chart where the kids have ways they can earn "mommy money" and then house rules. They decided that for breaking the house rules they should have to go to "jail" (ie time out on the steps) and pay one piece of money to get out. Money is pretty easy to earn. My almost 3 year old has a bunch of it. My 5 year old doesn't have any at all! They can use their money for rewards like a trip to the park, watching a movie, computer time, playing a game, staying up late, etc. and he really wants to save it up but he just can't seem to stay out of trouble!
So what is he doing exactly? Well, he cannot get started doing anything recently! Getting him dressed involves a 2 hour battle with a couple of time outs. His schoolwork (homeschooled) is taking all day. He randomly screams and shrieks for no reason at all. He gets distracted by everything! If I put a dish away and the handle on it is turned the wrong direction he might focus on that and not be able to do anything else until it is fixed. The floor can be a mess but whatever is picked up has to be put exactly right. Of course I have no clue which direction the handle is usually facing so it's quite the ordeal. Getting him to clean his room is a nightmare because his cars can be all over the floor and that's fine but if he's going to clean them up they must be perfectly lined up in the tub in order and matching.
His day must follow a certain order as well. Every day he...
takes out the compost
takes care of his rabbit
washes his hands
brushes his teeth
then schoolwork: math, Bible study, journal, history
more schoolwork: circle, spelling, reading, science, cursive
then we play together usually outside unless it is raining (he can't handle the water on his face) or really windy (in which case he usually hides because he's terrified of tornadoes)
we head up to my room and work on the scrapbook I'm making.
I make dinner while he showers and gets his jammies on
wash up, brush teeth
go to bed
Day in and day out it must be in that order. Because that's the way things are. You don't vary it. You don't say "we aren't doing this today." His school work only takes about 2 1/2 hours if he has a good day and just does it but when he's dragging it might take all day. Once again I can't change a thing with it.
If I take him to a store and there are tiles on the floor he must walk the row of tiles. He won't go off of that row and insists others do the same. He gets mad if he runs into a shelf or a wall. I can't count how many times I've carried him screaming and kicking out of a store because of a sudden outburst.
So his rages... they are bad. Last time he had one because I told him it was time to get ready for dinner and he wasn't finished with his schoolwork yet. He couldn't handle the varying of the schedule. He tried to push my daughter off of my 3' high bed. He tried to push me down the stairs. I ended up putting him in his room and holding the door closed while he screamed "I hate you" and threw things around until he finally calmed down. Yes, he was disciplined. He cleaned up his room, ate a snack in his room, and went directly to bed early. The thing is he was clueless why this was happening and why his room was a mess. He insisted he didn't do it. He has zero recollection of these rages.
I have never gotten a spontaneous hug, kiss, or "I love you" from him. It just does not occur to him. He will reciprocate but he will not initiate.
He is an amazing, smart little boy. His charter homeschool tested him at a 3rd grade level so he is highly gifted. He has his days maybe once a month or so where he is caring and on task and it's so amazing. We talk about this a lot. He breaks down in tears saying he tries but he just can't help it. For all of his quirks he is not one to lie.
I feel lost. I feel like this is more than I can handle. I've taken him to a developmental pediatrician who evaluated him for autism and told me he does not have it. They say he has "autism like behaviors" and sensory processing disorder. They referred him to a neurologist who basically blew us off and referred us to behavioral health. They said he has impulse control disorder and anxiety disorder and they would do counseling for him but our insurance won't cover anybody privately and they don't have anybody experienced with children. The developmental pediatrician doesn't feel that's the right diagnosis. He feels he has "quirks" because his billiruben was so high after birth it caused neurological damage. So what do I do about that? Get myself counseling and hang in there because he's going to be a tough kid to raise! Thanks for all of the help there! The school psychologist says to expect an autism diagnosis as he gets older. He wasn't willing to evaluate unless I wanted to because he can't make a medical diagnosis and the developmental pediatrician we saw has a great reputation especially for autistic children in this area.
I'm debating on taking him to a different developmental pediatrician. It's not diet. We follow an anti candida diet so no preservatives/artificial anything, no sugar, no gluten, etc.
Would you take him to a new doctor? Or do you have any clue what to do with this kid?