Beth - posted on 11/23/2008 ( 2 moms have responded )
OMG, I think I found what I've been searching for! I have a sweet little boy who is 6 years old. I've always known he was advanced in several areas and behind in the social emotional arena. I pressured the school into an IEP last year and found he was beyond their testing in reading and above average in math areas at 5 years old. (that just means that the tests weren't normed for his reading level for his age.)
I've been looking at Asperber's Syndrome for his smart abilities yet severely regressed social emotional. However, he truly wants to make friends and just doesn't know how and just doesn't totally fit autism spectrum. His humor and interests are age appropriate. He is just able to read and understand books on his favorite topics that are beyond his age group and his vocabulary is beyond his friends.
Why couldn't I just accept the mental emotional strain of having physical and mental abilities above your emotional / chronological age? I've been looking for what's wrong with him instead of viewing him as gifted. It's just that his social and emotional deficits overshadow his wonderful abilities.
I think I've made some big mistakes and I don't know if anyone can offer me advice to put me on track. I put him in preschool when he was 3 because I felt he needed more than I could give him at home. He began walking at 7 months, knew all his letters by 15 months and began reading independantly by 4 years old. We loved learning together, but I didn't know where to go from there.
My happy boy cried every day of preschool 3s, preschool 4s, AK - Alternate Kindergarten. It broke my heart that he began hating school at an age he should have been having a blast. I saw the social worker regularly looking for what was wrong with my boy. He had meltdowns beyond normal 3 - 4 year olds lasting hours. Not at school usually before I got him out of school and well into the evening. He was uncontrollable in his emotional outbursts even from the time he was 6 months old. He just has very strong emotional reactions to happy, sad, frustrated, and loving.
Long and short he tested off the charts for reading and comprehension and above grade level for math. Although he has sensory senitivities and personal space issues he longs for friendships. He can focus for looong periods of time on topics of interest yet he is easily distractible in a classroom setting. He has a serious problem with anxiety (per dr. and family) He misses social cues which causes him MUCH heartache. He is very easy to tease since his buttons are so available and he is so animated when agitated.
What I think I did wrong: I kept him in AK instead of letting him go on to Kindergarten due to his social issues. We didn't even think he would be able to sit through all day kindergarten this year. (He prooved us wrong!) I understand that kids who are bored tend to act up more, but he also has the anxiety problem that causes him to not try if he thinks things are too hard.
I think I should have challenged him by putting him in kindergarten when he was 5. Right now the work is rediculously easy for him, but the social group is right for him. I also see that with his fine motor delay his spelling abilities are far above his physical ability to put them to paper. He receives OT for fine motor delay.
He is all over the map and I am just as jumbled in how to help him. I come from a very unsupportive family who is only able to criticize how I discipline him (I'm either too tough or not tough enough) or are just negative about his outbursts instead of soothing him so he can verbalize his frustration and understand what is expected of him and why.
The thing is I also have a very smart 4 year old gilr who is very social and feels deprived of my attention due to her big brother's needs and 7 month old baby sister's needs.
I've taken Love and Logic 3 times to help me deal with my two strong willed smarty pants. It has helped my son a lot. He still gets frustrated, but knows what is expected of him and he is really trying very hard.
All my confusion just makes me worry more about his self concept. He is enveloped in love and admiration, yet is also repremanded and corrected for his actions equally as much. He must feel nothing he does is good when he has so many under acknowledged talents.
But other 6 year olds don't make friends on how well you read and can do math.
I've written a life story here, but any advice or constructive help to connect me with a group or theory would be greatly appreciated. Sorry this was so long!