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My name is XXXXX XXXXX son is Petey, his sister is Isabel, and his dad is Pete.
It sounds like a skilled child therapist is needed to help evaluate your son. You've been clever in testing his ability to read body language and other social cues when he's not in the moment.
Also, I should mention we NEVER use physical punishment and NEVER tell him he is a "bad kid". If we need to discuss his bx, we are clear to say we don't like what he is doing in the moment.
I'm an adult therapist myself
It could be that he is shy, which is causing anxiety or stress, that is overwhelming his current coping skills. When that happens, it's easy for the brain to get overwhelmed and start looking for danger, even when none exists.
but child psych isn't my thing. plus, he's my kid, so I have zero objectivity.
Then you know a lot about parenting and adult psych stuff. The problem is kids don't have all the tools we have as adults... especially emotional regulation.
However, he gets along with girls. That's his personal "stratgey". He hangs out with the girls, who he says are "nice" and he understands. It's just boys his age or older that he feels mean badly towards him.
Any chance the REM disorder is putting him at a higher risk of functioning on a stressed-out level (lack of adequate, restful sleep, increased sensitivity to stress; hyperarousal, etc)?
Yeah....i tried to kid-ify DBT for him. He likes mindfulness, and kind of gets that there could be different ways to see things, except of course, if it's about him personally.
possibly. until he got the correct diagnosis and medication, he actually had some psychotic-like episodes at night. Until he was 2 and 1/2, he never slept for more than 2-3 hrs at a time.
DBT is hard this young, because emotional multi-tasking isn't really in their skillset yet. But it's good that you've started that technique with him.
we only got the final correct diagnosis a few months ago, and finally the correct medication.
he takes klonopin and melatonin at night. not to happy with klonopin at age 5, but it keeps his body relaxed during sleep so he won't flail and hurt himself.
yeah, dbt isn't kid-friendly. but i think mindfulness, just body awareness is good. and starting a foundation of being aware of the connection b/t emotions and how we react.
Good. But that means his body is probably running on a deficit and more stress-based than we'd expect in a normal child. I don't hear anything that makes me worry that he has a clinical diagnosis at this point (Aspergers, ODD, CD, RAD, etc).
we have multiple autistic family members on both sides. he is definitely NOT autistic.
He might benefit from play therapy (to get at non-verbal stuff, and indirect, which is less emotionally threatening). He may also benefit from learning HRV Biofeedback to help with emotional regulation but also help restore the body's stress versus relaxation system functioning.
i'm more worried b/c my mother, uncle, and brother have problems with paranoia. Mom & uncle are schizophrenic/affective and my brother is just chronically paranoid globally about others.
It's really your call. If you think the social issues with boys is causing enough problems, it's probably wise to call in a child therapist. If it's something that concerns you, but he seems pretty well adjusted in other areas of his life, it might be a "wait and see if he outgrows it as his social and emotional skills grow"
i am not doing the clinical diagnosing there, btw. those are long-term, well known problems diagnosed by others years ago,
it's weird because otherwise he's totally sweet and adjusted. Younger or smaller boys are OK.
it's just older or larger boys that are "out to get him."
Well, and in his age, we'd expect to see some natural paranoia/self-centered/irrational thinking. Their world is small, and they are usually the center of the drama, so they usually interpret clues as being ABOUT them instead of NEAR them.
my husband believes he is just sensitive and boys tend to be rough /physical and loud, and that he is overwhelmed by that, and hence smaller boys and girls are easier.
We also tend to see more social problems with peers in kids who are intellectually gifted.
he is very bright- 3rd grade math/reading level by testing
but physical motor skills are 2 years behind chronological age, despite being a very tall kid, according to neuro.
And right now, that probably is the case. Again, going back to the stress mind at work (think PTSD clients), he's going to be more suspicious and on alert for danger, and older, rougher, bigger boys are going to set off alarms.
you have a point.
He just doesn't have the emotional skills to be rational about that at the time he's feeling the danger or "they hate me" emotions
That's probably still two to three years away
i think we'll just keep coaching him, observing, and ask camp to let us know if he acts troubled or they see him struggle. so far counselors and teachers report he is well-liked by peers, even when he believes he is not
So right now, work on keeping him as social as he's comfortable, keep working with mindfulness, maybe add in breathing and relaxation skills, but also give his body time to catch up from the sleep deprivation.
have a good night