Friday, 11 October 2013

Signs of Stress

Nathan has had a rough week at school.  His teacher has seen lots of tantrum and resistance (he'll scream and retreat when asked to do something).  He doesn't want to go to the autism room for his breaks.  Luckily, no upswing in aggression.  That particular challenge seems to have gone down.

At home, we've had an increase in tears and tantrums and some major setbacks in toileting.

To me, all of this points to one clear conclusion: he's under stress.  His teacher and I have been in regular communication about this.  She's worried about him, too.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what the stress trigger would be.  There are simply too many options to figure out and no convenient upsetting event to point to:

He could be being bullied or ostracized (nothing too overt or I think the school would have picked it up.)

He could be having trouble settling into the new expectations of grade one. (His peers are maturing and aren't as accepting of things.  Same with school expectations.)

He could be upset about the anti-aggression measures.  (He does get very hard on himself if he thinks he's made a mistake.)

Something could be physically bothering him.  (An infection, an upset stomach)

He could need more breaks and respite than he's getting.

I know most 6 year olds probably don't have the insight to tell their parents if something is bothering them.  But I'm betting there would be a higher chance of being able to tease it out of them with some careful listening and questioning.

I, on the other hand, need to have someone like Sherlock Holmes, able to form reliable conclusions based on observation.  Tiny little details which come together into an accurate picture.

I'm hoping that the long weekend at home will give us some better insight into what's going on.  He woke up very happy and excited today.  Lots of bouncing around and talking.  It was also the first time in a week that he hadn't wet the bed overnight.  At first blush, this makes me think something is happening at school but it's too early to draw an actual conclusion.

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