During the last few months, I've been having a lot of concerns about my 5 year old son's behavior. I was a single mom and have been his main influence up until a little over a year ago.
He was born naturally and healthy. We had to get involved with Early Intervention "Birth to Three" program when he was about 6 months old. He was diagnosed with torticollis, the tightening of the muscles in his neck. He mainly stayed on his right side in the birth canal which caused him to have to go through physical therapy. They did some tests and we've worked with a therapist every week who would come in do stretches and exercises to loosen up his neck muscles so it made it easier for him to start crawling, sitting up, and rolling over. From 6 months of age to 3 years I worked with him.
He is developmentally delayed. He was referred to attend preschool at a school for children with delays and other disabilities. Before we stopped meeting with the physical therapists she gave me information on Sensory Integration Dysfunction for children with sensory issues, which falls on the Autism spectrum. He's never been formally diagnosed and does really well in school. He has worked with the same preschool teacher since he started there. She has more concerns with his learning abilities than his behavior - but I am experiencing problems with him at home. I had to go meet with her and explain to her some of the behaviors I have been dealing with along with hyperactivity.
With the hyperactivity, she sees that may be a problem when he goes into Kindergarten next year, because he will have 1 teacher and no teacher's assistants. It will be all day, and not just afternoon classes and the morning and afternoon will be all in one class next year. I informed her that my son has gone through a lot of changes at home, like the loss of our pet cat, which he is randomly bringing up and saying he misses her because she ran away.
We also have a dog that we have to watch him with, because he gets too rough with her. One morning I heard the dog yelp and found that he had bit the dog. He couldn't give a reason as to why. Having to move twice in the past year I'm sure has confused him, because we had lived in the same place since he was born.
A male authority figure stepped in last year. He doesn't like my boyfriend because he sets down rules which I also try to be consistent with. His father hasn't been in the picture for the past few years due to being incarcerated, and my son is scared of law enforcement. He worries when he sees them that he may lose me too. I just recently got him into counseling where the counselor is going to do a parenting style counseling with me and my son because of his age, and so he can get to know him. It's too soon for him to see anything with my son because he's only seen him once, and I need some advice soon.
This situation has been very stressful to my family. I try to talk to my son with direct eye contact, and all I get in return is disrespect, yelling, asking me "what?" and looking away because he doesn't want me looking at him. He requires a lot of my attention and I don't ever get a break. But it seems like he is always doing something repeatedly that he has been told not to do and for which he knows that there will be a consequence.
We have tried reward systems such as sticker charts, and now the teacher and I exchange journals back and forth. He gets marks in the journal at school and a prize. But if he gets a bad note from home he doesn't get the mark at school, and the teacher talks to him about the problems. I alert her of what he is lying about and repeatedly doing at home. When he's been bad and knows it he says "Mom you going to write me a good note" I tell him "No" because I'm not going to lie to his teacher, and I explain to him why that's wrong, but he asks me that almost every time he knows he's getting a bad note. I praise him and reward him for positive behavior then after he's been rewarded he turns negative all a sudden.