Back in March the health visitor came out and did Devon's 4 year check and his behaviour was out of control and the way in which he was dealing with emotions and socialising were causing her concerns and she wanted to refer him to the Children's and Young People Service (previously know as CHAMS), to me I had know since a young age his behaviour was challenging and he was hard to deal with it but for someone else to see and comment on it I was relieved, the health visitor said she believed that his behaviour was too do with the separation as he had been the same at his two year check and his behaviour was such a challenge for his dad that at the point of the separation they had a seriously fractured relationship but now it is excellent because being at Daddy's house is fun!
Devon has always been a funny little boy I remember from a young age his temper tantrums went on for hours you couldn't distract at all whereas at the same age Myles can be distracted and it stops within minutes but no not Devon it was hours! Yet physically he was fantastic walking at 10.5 months, climbing stairs and anything else he could achieve, at 18 months old when the door was shut at the doctors he took a chair to the door so he could climb on it to open the door! Not bad logic for an 18 month old, he certainly knew what he wanted to achieve, I have a video of him at around 2.5 of him climbing on to the bench so he could go through the window to get in the garden because the patio door was shut!
Devon had me at home for the first 13 months of his life and even after that point I only worked a few hours at week, it was only when he went off to nursery that I was working more so he has a strong attachment too me, he can be over clingy and very in your face, very demanding on attention and sometime over bearing, it feels terrible to say that about your own child but it is how he makes me feel at times, my Mam and I often joke he should have been an only child! He has had the most attention out of all three of the children and they say about middle child syndrome but he has been that way since before being an only child. I often wonder if its my fault as I suffered from postnatal depression with Alana so didn't bond as-well with her as a baby so Devon in some ways was like my first child and I wrapped him in cotton wool and he was never out of site, Alana stayed at my Mam's every other week from 2 weeks old whereas as Devon was 6 months old before I let him sleepover!
I had been going the battle alone before the health visitor sent the referral in and I had already completed a parenting course 1,2,3 Magic to help deal with his behaviour but it only worked to some extent. I had tried everything I could do and I was at breaking point and I think that made the situation worse as I was more on edge and therefore stuck on a vicious circle.
I had concerns myself about Devon in terms of he had been at Nursery for over a year and still couldn't name any of the children he went to Nursery with, when we were out and about he would never talk to any other children or at the park he would never find anyone to play with and instead play in his own little world with his own toys.
There are also a few other little things that concerned me about Devon:
He randomly stops and talks to people in their cars and shout hello to them
He blames random objects/people for hurting him
He bites himself and blames others
He cant be left alone without hurting his brother
If you remove him from situation he will take himself and thinks you are playing a game
He has no fear!
He doesn't like loud noise, yet if its quiet he has to shout and make noise
You can tell in his facial expressions he isn't sorry and its just a word
His toys have to be in a certain order and notices if anything is missing!
He cant have food he doesn't like on his plate and it has to be removed, also gags at pictures of food he doesn't like
He struggles with learning and has an extremely short attention span
He knows what stickers he has in his sticker book before even checking.
There are loads of other bits that I will think about at the time but forget to write down, he is a lovely little boy at times but then others he makes me think what I have done to deserve this. A few weeks ago we had an appointment with the Children and Young People's service who went through all of the history, for weeks I had been blaming myself thinking had I caused all of his problems and his behaviour but the lady we saw believed it wasn't my parenting at all as I have two other very well behaved other children, we went through the possible options of what I thought was wrong with him and I mentions ADHD but then he is fine at nursery the model child in fact! I mentioned ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disoreder) but again she felt he was too young and this normally appeared in teenage years and the other thing that I felt he related to was Aspergers. Aspergers no longer exists as a name but she felt that he fits into the High Dysfunction Disorder and then the next steps would probably to be go down the testing on the spectrum route as she doesn't feel that his behaviour is the issue alone.
After the meeting I was feeling positive and felt like a huge relief to be told by an professional that they didn't feel it was my parenting!
The two weeks since the holidays started I felt like things were massively improving and that as a parent I could start afresh instead of being stuck in a vicious circle and really pushed time out despite it taking up to an hour at times and he eventually learnt that he was staying no matter what. Then last week something amazing happen he made a friend at the park and was playing lovely and make believe playing pirates I was over the moon and he learnt how to write his name and copy letters something he has struggled with. He has made massive improvements in his swimming after a week of 121 intensive course he progressed so much, more than the two terms and I was feeling like actually I have no concerns but then the last week its like we are back to square one :-(
I have no idea what if anything is causing my 4 year old's problems perhaps I'm expecting too much from him I guess all we can do is wait and see what his next appointment brings.