Greetings Community Members,
I am the boyfriend of a single mother with whom I've spent the last 3 years of my life with and I plan on marrying her someday. I have seen her son grow from 3 1/2 yrs old to just over 7 yrs old. He's a good kid but his behavior and understanding of things seems cloudy.
In the three years I have noticed quite a few things about her son which I consider to be red flags, but then again, I'm not a parent so I can't tell if I'm being too analytical. I'm going to make a brief numbered list and I would appreciate any insight or advice that anyone has to offer. I've read countless essays and literature online and I would like to supplement that with actual accounts from other parents. Thank you in advance for your time and help. I'll be checking this thread regularly.
Are These Signs of Autism/ADD or something to be concerned about?
1. He can't seem to control outbursts of spastic behavior; nonsense talking, compulsively rolling or shaking his head, talking nonsense
2. Compulsive lying; we have explained the virtues of telling the truth without yelling or being too overbearing. He lies constantly.
3. Doesn't seem to hear or zones out easily.
4. Can't remember what he does at school; when he does remember what he does he explains it poorly and unintelligibly
5. Compulsive staring
6. Doesn't seem to understand how to play with his toys or doesn't understand directions.
7. Cannot communicate in complete sentences and cannot make intelligible sentences. It's like his own language that can sometimes be interpreted but not always.
8. Still wets the bed constantly
9. Does not show any sign of negative temperament at all, ever; I don't want him to be temperamental but all of the kids I've known have at least exhibited that behavior sometime or another.
10. Has trouble discerning fantasy and reality.
I think there is enough to approach your girlfriend with your concerns. Encourage her to speak to the pediatrician about these concerns.
How is he doing in school? If it is affecting his school work they can look into if he needs special education or not. If it doesn't affect his school work, but does seem to affect his "life" in general, then there are other therapy options.
If he is able to function at school and outside of the home in other settings without more support than any other 7 year old, then there really isn't anything that can be done/nothing needs to be done. If he does have a disorder and it is diagnosed before he reaches 18 yrs old, then there are some benefits regarding college support and possible adult therapy.
I think your number one thing is to talk to his mom about it. If she does not want to persue the issue at this time, then there really isn't anything you can do other than wait a year or so and bring it up with her again. It's possible that if there is an issue, it will not be really apparent until he is older.
State Certified Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
New Mom as of March 2009!