I'm just curious as to where, academically/artistically/etc your 4 year old is at. My stepson turned 4 July 30th. His teacher has informed us (well, his mother) that he is socially behind, artistically behind, and has a lot of difficulty focusing. I have seen these problems for a while, my husband and I are positive he has ADHD (Inherited from my husband). He has a very hard time concentrating. He can recite the alphabet but only read 5-6 letters. He can read his numbers but cannot count higher than 20. I'll be blunt and say that his 2 year old sister knows her numbers and letters better than he does (I am not trying to compare them, as every child is different...however, being that she is significantly younger, it really surprises me). He can draw a circle and a straight line, and an X. Anything else I asked him to draw he attempts but cannot.
I am not a teacher, or educated in child care, so I do not know if he is where he should be. I really don't feel like he is, and right now we only get him every other weekend so my time to work with him is limited (and the poor kid probably gets fed up with me because I am always trying to play school with him). We are at the very beginning of getting custody, and I pray that we get it so he can be put on the right track.
Also, how are your children with speech? I had problems with R when I was a kid and had speech therapy to correct it. My stepson struggles with R, S, and L. His mom isn't concerned, but I wondered when does it become time to get him into speech therapy to correct his speech? I want to be prepared so if/when we get custody, we can get him on the right track.
My son has autism, so he's not where kids typically would be by his age - he'll be 5 in a couple of months - but he's at or above what you're describing for your stepson. He can count past 20, knows the alphabet and can identify all letters on sight, can write his name... He has deficits in language due to the autism, but the speech he does have is not impeded. He can pronounce all syllables except for "th" (he says "f" instead, like "free" instead of "three") which is typical until age 7.
As soon as you get custody you need to demand an evaluation through the school district for the purposes of implementing an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). You should also schedule an evaluation with a Developmental Pediatrician. Those 2 appointments combined will give you the foundation to get him all of the services and therapies he may need.
Yes Bethany listen to Jen. My 2 1/2 year old can do those things and more. It sounds just like autism. Praying you get custody of him very soon!! Good luck.
That's what really sparks my concern. Nevaeh just turned 2, and she pronounces her words much better, counts everything, reads half the alphabet (and can sing the whole thing) and reads her numbers, shapes, colors, etc. Landon was not anywhere near where she is at this age, and he still isn't. I am praying hard that we get custody soon too...Thank you.
Autism hadn't exactly crossed my mind, but regardless I fully intend to have him evaluated. I feel like the real problem is he has a shitty mother, who literally lets him run around all day, he's missed 4 days in the two weeks he's been in school and now she's pulled him out because the teachers concerns "insulted her" because she thinks he is brilliant. She treats him like a baby (I am not exaggerating, sometimes she will spoon feed him because he tells her to). We have tried several times over telling her that she is causing severe damage by her actions (and neglect). I know an evaluation will answer all our questions and concerns.
Thank you for the advice!
Yep- definitely wasn't trying to say I think he has autism, it's hard to tell just from a description. I was just trying to put across that whatever is causing his delays, he's behind my son, who has autism. Your stepson definitely needs help to get him caught up, and the evaluations will help him get the support he needs. Poor kid sounds like he's not getting what he needs from his mom. So sad :(
I know :-) I have considered Aspergers before because of his seemingly lax reactions to emotions, but if I sit him down and show him pictures of faces, he's pretty good at identifying the emotion in their expression. It's a tricky situation with his mom, because I know she loves him and wants the best for him...but I just don't think she knows how to be a parent, even after 3 kids. She has a young frame of mind and seems to think kids raise themselves, and is flighty. The fact that she is a good person makes it a heartbreaking decision for my husband and I to seek custody, but our concern is the best interest of him, so it's a choice we are making. The fact that he is showing so many delays makes the decision easier and urgent.
Do you know if he is up to date on Dr. check ups... I would think the doctor would be able to pick up on something at this point. Unless of course his mother does not discuss it (since a lot of the questions the parent has to answer, but some things can be observed too). I would take him to his pediatrician and express your concern.
At what age did he say his first word, do you know?
He is not up to date on his vaccinations (another problem his school has with her) so I can only assume he is not current on his check ups. She has a bad habit of not telling us anything (like when he is hospitalized with a high fever) until far after the fact. We have to grill her for information. I am trying to get him set up with my daughter's pediatrician (we live two hours apart) so I can have someone here to help.
He started jabbering around 9-10 months old, with the basic Mama/Dada/Baba words. If I remember correctly he started real words around 15-16 months old. He was a slow talker, seemed to absorb words but wasn't in a hurry to say them himself.
Is this his 1st year in a school program, is he in a pre-school? Before was he at home with her during the days and not at a daycare? It very well could be the lack on his mothers part, or like you said it could be a developmental problem. But if this is his first time in a school/social atmosphere and 1st time dealing with someone taking the time to teach him on a regular basis, it very well could also be he just hasn't gotten the chance to learn the many things he is capable of. My boys were slow talkers as well and they absorbed but didn't really speak the words for a while (but they also have passed any developmental delay screenings for their age) so what you describe in his early stages doesn't sound abnormal. Sounds more like he just lacked the opportunities (social interaction, verbal interaction, daily teaching, etc.) to learn. I might be completely wrong, but regardless he probably will need some sort of intervention (speech therapy?) whether the delay is the result of a disorder or not.
This is his first school experience yes. He was at babysitters beforehand, and has an older sister and brother, but they also struggle academically because they miss so much school, and they have no guidance outside of school. I work with him every time he is with us, but he has a very difficult time paying attention. His mind wanders within a few seconds, he can't keep his eyes focused on me when I'm talking or on the paper I put in front of him. Sometimes he will copy something I do, but when I ask him again later, he can't remember the answer or how to do it, even after several repeats of the lesson.