The official Red flag went up when my son hit two years of age. He had an apparent language delay. Many of my friends would tell me that he was a boy and boys develop slower yadda, yadda, yada! Sure, nice…but being a child development professional, I knew the signs! I could tell if something was “off” I had several students in my day who just could not sit still or made poor to no eye contact. I started to get sick to my stomach just thinking that my child may have some developmental delay. I took him to a speech and languge pathologist who gave me a brief evaluation. She said that it was really too soon to tell, and he should be fine. Yes! Just what I wanted to hear!
Well, as time went on we started to attend birthday parties and events. I noticed that he would get horribly overstimulated! It was like he would go crazy! He could not handle the noise or the commotion. He would sometimes cry and run around in circles. At ages three and four, I slowly declined the party invites saying it was his nap time or we would be busy that day or we could attend, but just for an hour. It got to be a chore trying to settle him down that I believe it effected his friendships later on. We had him tested and at 3 1/2 and decided to enroll him at a speech and language class. I received so much help there! I learned how to make picture lists to help him transition from one activity to another. First we will put on jammies ( a picture of jammies) next we will brush our teeth. I did this with everything! This saved so much anguish! When the speech therapist deemed him ok, we stopped. Our boy started speaking in complete sentences at the age of four! The sentences were very simple , some did not make ANY sense, but it was something! He attended preschool at three and had an amazing teacher and a fantastic experience. At age 4, things at preschool were not so amazing. The teacher was “green” and had little classroom management skills. I felt like I was continuously having to educate her and that was not my job. My son was agitated, got sent to the office for his outbursts and was not the happy boy he was the year prior. I made unscheduled visits during the day and found out Why he was so unhappy. The teacher had too many children in the class. She had an illegal child to teacher ratio and on top of that, it was chaos! My son could not handle the overstimulating environment. I ended up pulling him from the school and reevaluating the entire situation. Lots of prayer was said and the light was shown to me with a quaint school just down the road.
I enrolled my son in a private Christian school where he started a TK (transitional Kindergarten) program.. The schools small class sizes and moral values were what I had been praying for. My sons TK teacher told me that this “extra” year before going to kindergaten was a Gift. She was my angel! This was IT! Finally a teacher who got it! Well, the first week of school he was sent to the principals office. I drove to the school and cried in the hall. He had such a great Summer. I was stunned to find out why he was in the office. Apparently the aid was busy cutting something out or filing papers. My son wanted her attention. Because she was not responding the way he wanted, he simply stepped on her foot! Now, my son had never done anything like that before! I was devistated. The principal (a woman) told me that my son after speaking with her gave her a hug and asked that she forgive him. It melted her heart and mine as well. After a few months went by with no other major incidents , I took him for testing through our school district. I was Sure that my son had ADHD and needed some help. my son had difficulty with his fine motor skills, language, attention and social behaviors. Yup…I knew he had ADHD! To be continued….