Tomorrow I am taking the first, very basic step towards what I am hoping will bring some answers and help with Nemo’s behaviour problems. Not because I am tired of ’embarrassing’ situations with him or because we can’t handle him at home, but mostly because the situation in school has totally exploded since he is in grade 1 :
Nemo has been more upset and miserable than ever about having to even go to school and deal with it all – it breaks my heart on a daily basis. But he has also now been so erratic and reckless that obviously other children are suffering – either because the attention of the teacher is focused on him, or, worse, because he has actually been physically hurting them. This is a completely new development of his attitude towards others, and yes, it’s very upsetting for all of us. At the same time, I find it hard to punish him, even for the ‘finger bending’ incident, because I know that quite possible, this must have appeared the only thing to do for him, right there and right then. Afterwards, all just spiralled into chaos and distress for all.
I have been a bit tired and lame, I think, when I went to the doctor the first time and Nemo, who understands more than is sometimes good for him too, behaved like some sort of new breed of model child, he just sat there and listened and nodded politely to our conversation.
This time I feel way more ‘ready’. I am prepared: I have been reading around and can now put the finger on some of the problems we encounter almost daily and can also express myself better (it’s not my mother tongue after all!). I have brought it down to the following list so far, and yes, I have found ‘our life’ reflected mostly in the world of children with ‘Asperger’s’ or another form of ‘high functioning Autism’. Life with Nemo.. it has all this :
- Frequent inappropriate, clumsy, even rude behaviour in all kinds of social situations
- Difficulty to make friends his age
- Great difficulty with direct communication, problems with eye contact, body language, humour, basic rules of conversation, listening, loudness etc.
- Intense focus /obsession with one subject (where even the slightest detail needs attention)
- Regulating emotions: Tantrums!
- Poor gross motor skills / clumsiness / lack of balance
- Sensory issues: Low tolerance for Noise (school / crowd) but also showers
- Rituals / rigid routines –
- Apparent little empathy / lack of bonding with people and animals
- Difficulty with change / demand of planning
- Toe walking
- General intelligence / curiosity in science, abstract concepts seems over-average
I must say that I have not observed, or fail to recognize, anything that could be seen as ‘stimming‘ (repetitive, eccentric behaviours or movements).
Also, I want to say that while on that list are all those more negative and disruptive parts of Nemo’s personality, he also has MANY character traits that are simply overwhelmingly beautiful and make me proud and happy EVERY DAY to be his mum.