So, we had our meeting with Max's preschool teacher this morning. It wasn't an easy meeting to sit through - it is hard to hear that your child is struggling. When I picked Max up from preschool this afternoon, he suddenly looked so small and vulnerable, so fragile and sweet. I did feel a sense of relief after the meeting simply because now we know what issues to work on.
Here is the short version: Max has several issues which make him different from most children, which I already knew. I mean, you can't have the most out of control child EVERYWHERE you go and not know that something is up. Unless you are in complete denial, which we are not.
He has difficulty with social interaction (he doesn't know how to relate to other children and he tends to hit, not out of meanness, but because he doesn't know how to play) and vocabulary (he is two and still cannot process what he wants to say enough for it to come out of his mouth - he can repeat, but he doesn't come up with the words on his own - this results in extreme frustration). He has sensory issues (he has texture issues with food, he spits out his food, he becomes overstimulated very easily in loud places, his clothes bother him so he takes them off in the playground). He is hyperactive (he has an even shorter attention span than most toddlers and has a lot of trouble sitting still - he is never still enough to watch cartoons or play with toys or hear a story, and has trouble following direction when it involves being composed) and has difficulty with coordination (he falls down more often than other toddlers, which results in lots of bumps and bruises, and he tends not to notice objects in his path). He also struggles with any changes or breaks in his routine.
All of these things are fairly normal in toddlers, however, Max has all of them at once and he is on the extreme end of the spectrum.
His teacher recommended that we take him to a pediatrician to be evaluated for occupational therapy or behavioral therapy. We definitely plan on doing this, but the doctor assigned to Max by his government insurance is not a pediatrician - he is a family practitioner, therefore doesn't specialize in these types of children's issues. So, that is one tiny hurdle, but we will get it ironed out.
His teacher also recommended that we take gluten out of his diet (some ADHD and autistic children improve after gluten and casien are removed from their diets), which I considered doing anyway since I have celiac disease and already eat gluten-free.
As I said before, ADD runs rampant in my husband's family, so I am not surprised by any of this. I was just hoping it wouldn't affect my boys.
But, I'm not discouraged. This is just a point from which to begin. We have some challenges ahead of us, but I am positive that we will overcome them and we are so grateful that Max has such a knowledgable and kind preschool teacher. She was so positive in our meeting and we could see how much she cares for the toddlers in her class.
So, here we go on this journey! Wish us luck!