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    #206270 - 11/21/14 08:45 PM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    kdoelit Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/19/14
    Posts: 32
    We are going to a new doctor that is very knowledgeable about children that differ from "the norm" especially kids that may be on the spectrum of autism somewhwere...while I don't necessarily think that he is...unless it is HFA, I do want to get his take on what we are dealing with...it is just so complex and difficult to explain in just one initial visit. Maybe I can write it out in an email to the doctor prior to our visit? I want to get his expertise because he may be able to help us with where to go from here...he of course will want to meet him since it is our first visit. I will try to see if I can get one of the nurses to take him out of the room briefly or something while we talk maybe? Wasn't sure what most people do at Dr appointments

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    #206272 - 11/21/14 10:28 PM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    I have had good luck with communicating with our pediatrician by fax. I figure out what I want to tell/ask her and write it all out, and fax it to her office. I usually get a call back either from her directly or from a nurse (depending on the topic) after she reads it.

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    #206273 - 11/21/14 10:38 PM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4918
    Quote:
    I like the idea of some sort of play/social therapy.
    Would you plan to tell the leader about your son's observed behavior toward younger children?

    Quote:
    Since he is in this window of time where his behavior is still malleable, before that magic age of 8...I would like to bring in all the resources we can... I'm pretty sure the new doctor we got established with (since we moved) thinks he is full blown autistic. He didn't speak at all in the room to her, yelled and shouted over us while we talked...jumped from chair to chair like a lunatic and it made me break down crying...she is pushing for the psych eval but I know he is not usually like that!
    One of the resources you could bring to bear may be the psych eval.

    Quote:
    When the appointment was over he then started asking me tons of questions, conversing like a normal human and calmly walked out of the office like nothing had happened.
    Some may say this suggests he is in control of his choices.

    Quote:
    Would you recommend getting him a tablet or something to curb his excess mind energy? His excuse a lot of the time is that he was looking for something to do
    Others may disagree, but no, I would not recommend a tablet as the way to resolve a 4-year-old's behavior issues.

    Quote:
    he has a loving adult in his life (his teacher) who believes in him and he responds well to her. She treats him differently than possibly even I do, and he behaves for her. I am in disbelief, because all teachers before threw their hands up in the air and conference after conference were at a loss for what to do. But she GETS him...He even told me "mommy, I wish you could be more like Mrs. J"....this really hurt my feelings but at the same time it made me realize I need to strive to do the exact same as she is doing for consistency. He then countered that by saying "but mommy, don't tell her that I told you that..." ... she has no trouble with him whatsoever ... Any parenting tips here?
    Have you asked this teacher for tips as to what she finds successful with your son? You mentioned that her sons, now 10 and well-behaved, exhibited similar behavior to your son's when they were 4. Have you asked her whether her twins simply outgrew their behavior without intervention, or what approaches were utilized?

    Quote:
    hungry... blood sugar getting low
    This old post and this SENG article may be of interest as they mention the acronym HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) being possible triggers for negative behavior or tantrums. Other threads have discussed that diet can be an issue.

    Quote:
    I do not want to defend him for the aggressive behavior... He is just soooo incredibly sensitive... I need that insanity to end...
    These ideas from your posts plus any impacts of your recent family move, may be good to discuss with a professional.

    Quote:
    baby sister
    Because you mentioned his aggressive behavior toward young children, and there is a young child in the home, you may wish to seek professional answers and approaches without delay.

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    #206274 - 11/22/14 06:57 AM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    cammom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/11/13
    Posts: 299
    You have a lot of responses here-- I think indigo is being practical, when I read through everything that you're saying in it's entirety.

    What I have found kdoelit, is that giftedness can exacerbate or complicate behavior problems, but it doesn't cause them. The exception, of course, is if a child is in an inappropriate environment to meet their learning needs.

    My reassurance to you is that my DS acted in some extreme ways at age four. One of his teachers even said that he does not show empathy. I took this with a grain of salt, because like you, I had a complete picture of his strengths and challenges. Now, at age eight, he is compassionate and kind and sensitive.

    The caution to you is that my DS is being diagnosed now. He has expressive/receptive language delays that have caused him to have difficulty to interpreting social cues/body language/ etc. It's possible, that there is a global issue causing the deficit in social pragmatics- so we're taking it one step at a time

    The deficit in social pragmatics has caused problems through the years making friends, staying out of trouble at home, and is co-morbid with anxiety. I'm mentioning all of this because social skills are *very* important for a child's functioning. My son doesn't have friends, and it makes him deeply unhappy. The other night, after spending a week trying to do nice things for his classmates without acknowledgement, he became resigned. He said (exact quote) "I'll never be acknowledged for nice things, and I do nice things all the time."

    Of course, it broke my heart-- but I know, that the chasing, screaming, inability to understand the rules of games, and interact naturally is causing him to be isolated by other children. Never mind that he's far ahead in the classroom, and it may be another source of bad feelings from his peers.

    The best thing that I can do for DS (his psychologist and I are in perfect accord on this) is to help him adapt socially. I cannot change the mean things kids say, and I cannot and would not change his intellect so he doesn't stand out further. Regardless of the diagnosis, DS will be entering groups for intensive social skills and executive functioning within weeks.

    I want to recommend a "start" for you-- there is a book called (literally) "The Social Skills Handbook." It has pictures and deals with simple things like personal space, not interrupting, asking to play, etc. My son reads it to himself-- but it can be learned just by looking at pictures.

    I think some behavior interventions are essential for your DS- when I read through all of your comments, there are issues at school. It sounds like your son is at least in need of play/social therapy. I sense that there are other issues- possibly ADD, possibly sensory integration, possibly HFA, or a delay in social pragmatics, etc. Only someone trained can give you those answers-- but rest assured, 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 were our worst years. Even with a diagnosis, things got soooo.... much better at 5 1/2.


    Edited by cammom (11/22/14 07:01 AM)

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    #206301 - 11/22/14 05:29 PM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    kdoelit Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/19/14
    Posts: 32
    In response to Indigo's comments...

    "Would you plan to tell the leader about your son's observed behavior toward younger children?"

    Yes of course the leader would know. I was assuming that a social therapy group would consist of children all having some sort of social delays...or else they would not need that group? And I will add, he doesn't always act that way...if he is at a playground he rarely bothers other kids, he is capable of totally fitting in and socializing normally at times. The triggers for the problem behavior we cannot quite figure out. It is by no means, always....as a matter of fact, the hitting of that young girl in his class that was the first time that had ever happened and he has played and worked along beside her daily for 3 months with no problems...I think you are assuming my son is running around hitting and spitting at every single child he sees. No, that is not the case. Those behaviors have occurred very infrequently...they concern me, yes...honestly he didn't used to act that way. I noticed this behavior starting after we moved. I think this has been traumatic on him. He desperately misses our old home where he had his own backyard where I allowed him to play in the fenced in yard and explore...now we live in an apartment where that is not possible. My husband also has had to be gone for weeks on end for the first time ever due to military obligations. There may be "normal" child coping things going on here...we have been very stressed financially. He feeds off of the energy of others very much and I now he can pick up on our emotions. It's tough, I've been searching for a job for months and meanwhile we kept them in a school setting for consistency and this has helped tremendously! The behavior really started to worsen over the summer when we moved...sure, he has always had some problems with defiance etc. but his last school where he was one of 22 children in the classroom all ranging from ages 3-6 he did fit in relatively well. Sure, he got in trouble...but it wasn't ever to where they were going to kick him out of school. The other kids didn't let him play with them on the playground sometimes, but he did find a couple of the girls that liked him and played with him. The older girls really loved him and he related well to their kind/gentle ways as opposed to rough boys. He did play well with a girl slightly younger than him also though, so that was good. I never once got a note last year about him hitting or spitting at another child.

    Others may disagree, but no, I would not recommend a tablet as the way to resolve a 4-year-old's behavior issues.
    I am not saying the tablet will solve the behavior issues, I am just saying it may help his brain stay active so that he can make the more appropriate choices during times that I need to talk with other adults or times that require him to sit for lengths of time...trust me, I never thought I would even be thinking of getting one but with the right educational apps I believe it may be a good tool with the right set of rules behind it...very limited use, has to earn it etc...

    Yes I have asked his teacher about tips, we talk about it a lot...probably too much in front of him, that's why we need to meet outside of school. But she says that with her boys, she had to have very structured days for them. She does the same for him. A chart is what she recommended, showing exactly what to expect for the day and there are some specific choices outlined in there to give some autonomy/ability to choose activities etc. They always had to clean up after themselves before moving onto the next one. He has a very structured day there, and he thrives on that...It's harder to do at home but I do plan on making a schedule chart and getting some more materials for him to appropriately play with/learn with. When he is engaged, like I have said before he is a pleasure to be around...he asks politely to do things, no aggression etc. It's totally different.

    These ideas from your posts plus any impacts of your recent family move, may be good to discuss with a professional.
    AGREED. I tried to get our pediatrician before we moved to send us to a professional, and we sat through a couple of sessions with a counselor about child behavior but seriously nothing from that helped us...like mentioned before, if he truly is gifted this may be why no traditional discipline techniques designed for "the normal" child work for us.

    Quote:
    baby sister
    Because you mentioned his aggressive behavior toward young children, and there is a young child in the home, you may wish to seek professional answers and approaches without delay.

    Yes, he can be too rough with his 17 mo sister and I have to watch them together playing 100% of the time because I fear that she will get hurt. He loves her, and they can play nicely together. However, sometimes he just doesn't understand why he can't sit on her, or hit her out of excitement...It's always when he is excited and running around like a whirlwind that he just can't keep his hands to himself. Problem is, usually he isn't hitting her hard just more playfully so she laughs and doesn't cry. He has a hard time knowing limits when other children don't seem bothered by it but the adults around him do...I have a hard time knowing when to step in and when to let them just be kids and play. For him things have to be very black and white...we don't hit PERIOD. I've been tempted to say we just don't touch others but with a sibling that is almost impossible. I am constantly removing him from the situation and sometimes I think he does it for attention also. He will say things like "mommy, look I am hitting her!...come look!" which makes me think he wants attention. It's not usually out of anger, but just rough play or attention getting activity. Still, it's very difficult to ever get anything done when I can't ever turn my back.

    Sorry, lots to say...I just think that you think my son is some hardened criminal in the making and I truly don't think that he is. I know you are going to say again that I am defending him because he is my son...but I think that if we make some changes it may not be too late to help him become a wonderful young boy. He can be a delight, super caring and has a huge heart. In all fairness, nobody knows my child like I do and nobody on here can see him in person. A professional will be able to steer us better and give us some answers. I do still appreciate the advice and the insight. It has been helpful for sure.

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    #206302 - 11/22/14 06:01 PM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    kdoelit Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/19/14
    Posts: 32
    And thank you Cammom for your response also! That is good to know that things improved after 5.5....we are definitely going through a tough age right now!! He wants so much responsibility and doesn't understand that he is only 4 years old. A lot of the daily frustrations that he has are due to his age and inability to do what he wants to do...

    The difficulty in receptive/expressive language delays is interesting to think about with my son also. That may be another possibility. Obviously we may have to wait, as you did to get a diagnosis but it does appear as if his auditory processing is slightly different than ours...He loves me to turn the radio up to almost deafening levels yet doesn't like loud noises at times...he seems to hear you say something but it doesn't seem to process. What are some of the qualities associated with these processing disorders?

    I will try to get "the social skills handbook" that might help him realize the best ways to interact with others...Just tonight he asked me politely. "mommy, after daddy is done watching football and after I finish eating my dinner, would you allow me to watch just one show before I get ready for bed?
    I told him yes and thank you for asking so politely and that is the right way to ask for something beacause people are more likely to say yes. This is much improved from "please please please can I watch something!!??" and then melting down if I say no. He then said "I know, that is the right way to ask other people for things."
    This shows me that he is paying attention and he is wanting to socially do the right thing.

    His recent thing is he loves board games...but not kid board games for his age, he likes games like Life, Monopoly etc. He will play those games with an adult or one of the big kids at school and he has fun and takes turns/follows the rules etc. I think board games are a good outlet for him. Things like that make me think he must be gifted if these games challenges his intellect more than the games designed for kids his age.

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    #206305 - 11/22/14 07:21 PM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4918
    Quote:
    I was assuming that a social therapy group would consist of children all having some sort of social delays...or else they would not need that group?
    Needing a social skills group does not imply aggressive behavior.

    Quote:
    I think you are assuming my son is running around hitting and spitting at every single child he sees.
    This is false. I have assumed nothing. I have responded to what you chose to post.

    Quote:
    tablet... chart
    Based on the information in your posts, I would recommend the chart.

    Quote:
    we sat through a couple of sessions with a counselor about child behavior but seriously nothing from that helped us...like mentioned before, if he truly is gifted this may be why no traditional discipline techniques designed for "the normal" child work for us.
    The psych eval, recommended by your doctor, may be of help. There are professionals familiar with the gifted. Another poster has shared the list found on the Hoagies website.

    Quote:
    I fear that she will get hurt... he just doesn't understand why he can't sit on her, or hit her out of excitement... we don't hit PERIOD... He will say things like "mommy, look I am hitting her!...come look!" which makes me think he wants attention... I just think that you think my son is some hardened criminal in the making and I truly don't think that he is.
    The psych eval, recommended by your doctor, may be of help. You posed this question in your original post: "I go to a new doctor in a couple of weeks and would like to see if we need to get a psychological evaluation or something? What do you recommend? Sometimes he is flat out just out of control...extreme defiance. I fear oppositional defiant disorder as well but hoping this is all part of being gifted..."

    Quote:
    I think that if we make some changes it may not be too late to help him become a wonderful young boy.
    The psych eval, recommended by your doctor, may be of help: "she is pushing for the psych eval".

    Quote:
    In all fairness, nobody knows my child like I do and nobody on here can see him in person.
    Correct. And yet you started a thread to ask for advice. My advice is to have the psych eval, as recommended by your doctor.

    Quote:
    A professional will be able to steer us better and give us some answers.
    Correct. I have stated this consistently.

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    #206307 - 11/22/14 08:03 PM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    ndw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/29/13
    Posts: 314
    I haven't read every post on this thread but the little that I have seen tells me you have a lot on your plate right now kdoelit. Moving is hard and your husband going away can be really tough in so many ways.

    I don't know if has been mentioned but I would think if your son loved being in the backyard before then he has more excess energy to manage in an apartment. Is a small exercise trampoline feasible? Maybe not if you have neighbors below. It's not a solution to all your problems but extra energy needs an outlet. Too much undirected energy can make a child feel edgy and they can have difficulty controlling how it explodes. Sports, running around the park, swimming, anything might help. But, I get it might be hard if you have another child and a husband away to fit in some activities.

    When my husband was away and our DD was young, and he was away a lot, she would get quite sad at this age. I was also really tired so it makes coping that much harder.

    Kudos to you for reaching out and trying to find different solutions.

    Are there any military backed programs you can access to help your son? Our military puts Defence liaison aids in schools with lots of military kids. They also have family support including social workers and booklets for kids explaining why dad or Mum is away etc. spouses also get funding for job search. I don't know what may be available to you.

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    #206329 - 11/24/14 09:12 AM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    kdoelit Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/19/14
    Posts: 32
    Thanks everyone...sorry Indigo, I don't want to appear ungrateful for the advice. It's just a LOT to digest right now. It's all starting to make sense right now and a light bulb has gone off for me...I have tried to push aside all of his behavior in the past as "terrible 2s, terrible 3s" etc because all other parents would say not to worry, I'm sure he is fine...he's still so young etc etc...It has taken until now that he just turned 4 for me to finally accept that he is different...I wouldn't be surprised if he has dual diagnoses of gifted but HFA, or ODD or possibly ADHD along with it. Although his teacher doesn't think he is ADHD because when his energy is channeled into the right thing, he has no trouble focusing. Definitely hyperactive but she said he is different from all ADHD children in the sense that he CAN control it at times and doesn't always act that way. Most other ADHD kids she has seen can't channel their energy as well as he can at times...The times he can't seem to control it are the frustrating ones...he can almost be bi-polar. Jeckyll and Hyde like. Not sure if some underlying bipolar tendencies can be in the mix or not, but I suppose a psychologist will pick up on all of that...

    NDW - I agree, the lack of yard impacts him. Some of our worst times are at home because he simply has nothing to do but bother everyone around him and get into trouble...jumping on furniture to burn energy etc. We do have an attached garage so I am looking onto getting a small trampoline or something so I can send him there to jump out his energy. This move has been hard on him...I'm not sure of any specific military resources, but I will be looking into it.

    He does so much better when we go places. We went to the children's museum yesterday and he was great! No issues whatsoever because he was in his element. It's just hard to keep him challenged every second of the day...

    This is just so frustrating...I am finding myself becoming slightly depressed about it and feel pretty hopeless myself which I know doesn't help matters. I think when we have some solutions that work it will make life easier. Right now it's hard to enjoy very much of anything because he is so intense and stressful and he demands so much that he is becoming all encompassing. We always wanted a third child and I feel like because of him we cannot have one...and I don't want to resent him for that. It's just such a tough road when you have behavior problems like this. I am sure family counseling or some sort of support for me and my husband would be of benefit to help us get through this tough time. My husband still isn't totally convinced there is anything "different" or wrong with him...in that way also, I think a diagnosis would be helpful. I have known all along, it's tough to get him on board. I tried to explain to him that yes he may be gifted but he may be learning disabled or have some other diagnoses that make it not so cut and dry. This is all so new to us it is pretty overwhelming. I'm learning a lot though and know we will get through this if we take it one step at a time and focus on the good moments.

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    #206338 - 11/24/14 09:57 AM Re: Suspected gifted 4 year old...what do I do? [Re: kdoelit]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4918
    Quote:
    the lack of yard impacts him. Some of our worst times are at home because he simply has nothing to do but bother everyone around him and get into trouble...jumping on furniture to burn energy etc. We do have an attached garage so I am looking onto getting a small trampoline or something so I can send him there to jump out his energy.
    Kids do benefit from exercise and having a way to get the wiggles out.

    If the garage has a concrete floor, this may be a dangerous surface to land on if taking a spill from a trampoline. While every physical activity has risks (and no physical activity presents risks as well), here are some ideas which other families have used:

    Indoor:
    - Wii fitness exercise games.
    - Stationary exercise bike. There are stands for use with a conventional bicycle.
    - Cardboard boxes to make a fort and tunnel to crawl around in.
    - Somersaults, learning to stand on one's head/hands (usually against a wall).
    - LOL, jumping on the bed used to be a thing. Not saying it's safe in all circumstances.
    - Is an active class such as gymnastics, swimming, soccer, or a martial arts a possibility?

    Garage or outdoor, limited space:
    - Jump rope or hopscotch only needs a small area.
    - Basketball.
    - Roller skates or scooter, used with helmet, elbow pads, knee pads.
    - Suspending a ball from a tree limb or rafter, for batting practice. Beware, the ball can swing and hit anyone standing in the immediate area.
    - Taking a walk with you, while you push baby in a stroller.
    - Taking a bike ride with you.

    Quote:
    husband... it's tough to get him on board.
    Might it help to have your husband totally in charge of DS at some time period when DH is not deployed? For example, in the immersion experience of parenting DS, DH would not watch his football game unless watching it with DS and interacting with him, DH would plan meals, coordinate activities, run errands with DS, ensure rules are followed by DS such as bed making, hand washing before/after meals, and DH would be the go-to person for question answering. DH could field complaints and supply solutions. There may be a novelty effect for a while, but DH may begin to see and hear DS' cries for help through his various behaviors.

    With much at stake, helping your son may not be a totally DIY endeavor: a professional familiar with gifted may be of great help.

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