Son Acting Spacey!

Updated on March 31, 2010
L.W. asks from Ardmore, OK
21 answers

Hello ladies! Something is on my mind lately and I just wanted to ask and see if this has happened to any of you.......

My son is 3 1/2 and the light of my life. Lately, when I go to his school, his teacher has been saying he has been difficult to re direct and get his attention b/c he's always talking. Well, that was last week. Today, he cried when we got to school and he was saying he wants to go home. I have to work so, that wasn't an option. Since he hardly ever does this......I just called his teacher and she said that he has been acting spacey today like he's on medication. I told her that he's not on anything at all. She said, well, OK............don't know why then. His allergies have been really picking up latly and I was wondering if this could be a reason for his spaciness? Just wondering. THanks for any answers you might have for me!

I also need to add that I am pregnant but, have not told my son yet. I am throught the first trimester and was waiting until we knew what we were having first so, he could have something more concrete to think about. Plus, 9 monts to a kid would seem like 9 years Ithink. Don't know if this could have something to do with it.

He also says he loves school. I used to teach at this school and I love it too. But, something could be going on there, I just doubt it. THings have been reported to me alot. He covers his ears when it gets "sort of" loud. He won't eat sweets like at all. Not even a cupcake. Things like this. One teacher went so far as to say it could be a sensory disorder. That is really why I am worried. Should I take this to heart and get him tested? I don't notice many of these problems at home. I do notice that he won't eat sweets, though. BUt, I don't like them either. I'd rather have salty stuff and so would he.

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K.K.

answers from Houston on

Do they use hand sanitizer? I read a story before about a young child licking the hand sanitizer from their hands and they exhibited symptoms of being drunk. When you mentioned that the teacher said he was acting "spacey", I thought about that story. Just a thought.

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D.F.

answers from Austin on

I have a friend who has a son with SPD. She was able to find him a school that has teachers who are educated about this disorder, and they teach her son accordingly. He is thriving now! As you are facing pre-K and elementary school, you should find out and start treating if need be now. She was able to find a school in her district that has these kind of teachers for her son who is to start kindergarten in the fall. Best of luck!

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J.H.

answers from Houston on

Yes! Get him tested b/c the sooner the better if anything is wrong. To me, those sound like classic signs of a form of autism. My friends child has that and won't eat sweets, covers ears, spaces out, cries sometime; all things you named. That being said; it could also be nothing but I like to have checked out when I have behavior that is in question.

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W.W.

answers from Houston on

Hi,
I have a child with autism and the first thing I thought was a spectrum disorder. There are other things that can make a child act like that. He could have a a urinary tract infection. This is notorius for making people act a bit different. Low zinc can make food taste horrible too. I hope it is some thing that is simple to treat. Do not let the teachers tell you to ignore it. Maybe video him when he is acting like it so you have some hard evidence. It may be useful when you see a professional. See a good pediatrician.
Good luck.

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K.Z.

answers from Houston on

Reading this it could be as simple not feeling good due to allergies to the noticing of something more like ADHD, Aspergers, etc. I would start with the Dr and have a good checkup to see if it is just physical. It could be allergies and need the medication adjusted.
Watch his behavior over the next weeks/months and see if his moods & sensitivity increases. Maybe keep a notebook like a diary just write what you see including what time of day and activity before. My son is Aspergers and I started to notice things around age 3. Didn't know much about Aspergers back then. But when things were tough, around 11 years I kept a notebook. First for my sanity, but then it was very helpful for me & the Dr to see what was working and wasn't. It helped find triggers that could set him off.
But start with the physical side, and watch the behavior. It is going to be alright!! You are a wise & great Mom to start now.

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S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

Could be allergies. When my allergies are really acting up, I feel spacey. Like I'm not even in my own head.
Sometimes growth spurts bring changes like that, too. And Dr. T. Berry Brazleton has written that the 1/2 year stage of kids' lives are sometimes topsy-turvy. My youngest one would do weird things about half way thru the year...when he was 3, 4, 5.

Make sure he is getting enough sleep. "Sleep hangovers" feel like you had one to many to drink the night before and it's caused by too little sleep. In a 3 1/2 year old, you would probably see spaciness and emotional upset more easily.

We have a very good friend who does not like sweets. Just the way her taste buds are. She loves sour foods and salty foods, and can turn down the richest desserts and most fabulous looking sweets without a problem.

If it were my son, and things don't get better in a week, schedule a check up with the pediatrician.

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L.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

If he is acting spacey----it could be that he need a different allergy medication, if this is happening on the days that he takes this medication. If not then because of some of the other behavior he should be tested. Better to be safe the sorry for both of you. On the baby when the baby starts moving that would be a good time that way he would be in on it also. Good luck on both..

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K.B.

answers from San Antonio on

Don't be afraid of Sensory Processing Disorder- There are soooo soooo many awesome things out there to help these days. As a mommy with a "sensory" kid, I have learned more about myself and I am even more sensory oriented than he is. Our occupational therapist often laughs at me because there are things she does with my son that she will look over and say, "the look on your face looks like you know how good this would feel." The earlier you get a diagnosis for sensory stuff the sooner your son can learn coping mechanisms for sensory overload if indeed he does have it. I didn't eat sweets as a child- my mouth didn't like them- the sweet made my jaws hurt. If there is a new baby coming I would really get going sooner than later. Not all sensory kids share the same issues. My son and I have some of the same ones but not all. He was very irritable when it came to getting dressed. He had to have the right socks, only elastic waistbands, no shirt could ever have a collar... now (2 years later) there are times that I have to say you wore that golf shirt yesterday please go change and he will come down with some other collared shirt. He could care less what brand of sock I buy him but they have to fit. If the heel is not on his heel but on his ankle he will take them off and go find another pair. He has learned to cope with the day to day stuff whereas when he was little it would drive him crazy!! I hope my words are encouraging... be an advocate for him now while it is still the two of you. Talk to your pediatrician and ask them to make a referral to an Occupational Therapist and go from there. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Good Luck!

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L.B.

answers from Austin on

Allergy/sinus!!!!!!! My daughter started her downward spiral around 3 1/2 and it most definitely effects mood/behavior/zoning out. Dr's will say it doesn't but the wise nurses will pull you aside afterward and tell you how much it does! My daughter will leave the state for 2 weeks and within 48 hours completely clear up and come back and within 48 hours be a mess. Watch out for chronic sinus infections that are hidden in the nasal cavities. Dr's are slow to diagnose until there is a history of it. These take 21 day antibiotics to clear.

B.A.

answers from Austin on

Your son's school should not be offering a diagnosis vs. objective observations. The link to the following article may be helpful regarding child stress that might be a factor:
http://blogs.goddardsystems.com/Cedar-Park-TX/2010/02/24/...

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B.L.

answers from Houston on

L.-- does your son have any difficulty with social situations, like making friends or going to birthday parties? I ask because that can be a sign of Asperger's syndrome, which is a high-functioning form of autism. I hope I'm not scaring you; I'm not a doctor, but I have a son with autism, and Asperger's seems to run in our family. I would recommend that you ask you ask your pediatrician for a referral to a developmental pediatrician to discuss your concerns. That way if he does have Asperger's, he can get some help with social functioning. If he seems just fine in social situations, then I highly doubt it's Asperger's, and it may just be that he has some sensory issues, like sensitivity to sound. That may account for the "spaciness"-- some kids with sensory issues will "zone out" for a time when their senses are overloaded by a lob of stimuli. I would highly recommend a book about sensory issues callled The Out-of-Sync Child. (sorry-- can't think of the author, but you can google it.) It's a book about Sensory Processsing Disorder, which is just a fancy way of saying that some children (people) have trouble processing the information they get through their senses. There are different types of sensory difficulties, which may affect the senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, and some fancy ones like vestibular, which may affect balance. Your son may be covering his ears because of a sensory issue with sound. Again, I'm not a doctor, but as the mother of a child with autism, I would recommend an evaluation just to rule it out. I really don't mean to scare you; I just know that kids with sensory issues and/or Asperger's can really benefit from therapies, so I think it's better to find out for sure so that your son can get help if he needs it. By the way, if I didn't make this clear, your son may have some sensory sensitivities and NOT have Asperger's; they can exist independently of each other. The hallmark of Asperger's tends to be a difficulty with social situations-- difficulty making friends and coping with birthday parties, preferring to play alone, etc. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions: [email protected]____.com this wasn't too much info!! ~B.

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T.P.

answers from Houston on

Definitely check with your pedi for recommendations to see a specialist. But I would also question the school to see if anything has changed there. I have heard that kids are very keen on pregnancy. He may sense something has changed with you but does not know how to express it. You may want to explain to him about the pregnancy.

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S.R.

answers from McAllen on

Hi,
As a mom with a kid with pdd-nos and adhd your kid does some of the things mine does, like refusing specific types of food, or covering his ears with loud noises, so, I would get him tested for everything, from allergies, to autism, just rule out possibilities it might be like you said your pregnancy, or even a track infection, does make kids act totally different, so good luck, and remember the sooner you know the sooner you can solve it, whatever it is.

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Do you think he might actually be adjusting to the "less talking" idea? Maybe he's not feeling well physically and the only way he tried to express it was to say he wanted "to go home"? Hmmmmm...
See how he is when you pick him up. Check for a fever, etc.
I've been there and dropped my son at school with him saying he wanted to stay home for O. reason or the other but then they start using any old excuse to stay home! Good luck.

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J.T.

answers from Victoria on

is he getting enough sleep? is he eating healthy. even though he dosent like sweets that dosent mean he is getting healthy foods. these two things can really make a difference. in my early twentys i took a meyers briggs test. it showed that i was intp and sometimes ints. it pointed out that i do have a sensitivity to lights, noise, crowded places. it really put a ton of things in line. perhaps your son is just more sensitive to his surroundings?

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C.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Of all the things you mentioned, the only one that sets off my radar is the sensory issue. Definitely keep your eye on that! But the fact that he has a hard time settling down or was spacey one day, doesn't seem "off" to me. I mean, how much can a 3 1/2 year old boy settle down? Also, if the spaciness is just on occasion, I wouldn't be too concerned. The fact that he doesn't like sweets...yay! That's great! Is he okay with other foods?

How are is play skills doing? Does he play well with his friends? Does he handle transitions well? Is he pretty easy-going or does he tantrum at the drop of a hat? Do you notice anything else "off"?

I definitely noticed issues with my daughter (who is Asperger's) at 3 1/2. But she had pretty severe issues with lack of interactive play and lots of tantrums. Also, I had a hard time have reciprocal conversations with her. While she had an advanced vocabulary and could speak in VERY complex sentences, getting her to answer simple yes/no questions could be really hard! I'd also never get answers to questions like, "What did you do in school today?" Very frustrating!

So, keep an eye on things, but so far, it doesn't sound like reason to panic!

C.
www.littlebitquirky.blogspot.com

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M.S.

answers from Killeen on

This sounds suspicious. I think you should settle your little one down and ask him if he likes his teacher. The reason I say this is because my oldest was ADD and Hyperactive and when he was little his teacher complained about his not settling, etc. She then made his life miserable by calling him names, shaming him because of his behavior, etc. He was "too much" for her to handle. I discovered this when I spoke to him and a friend of his (he was 4) and the friend told me that the teacher was mean to him all the time. She constantly told me that is was all him and she ha no idea why he was having problems with her.Etc. etc. etc. Those years taught me much about human behavior and how to deal with it. Good Luck, and hope all is well.

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L.N.

answers from New York on

could he be tired? going through growth spurt? please don't forget, at his age he can afford a couple more years of crying spells, which are still normal. he's chatty, he's making friends, so all the makings of a normal child.

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P.D.

answers from Macon on

This is a tough situation. If you could observe without him noticing would be my first recomendation. If not ask the teacher for specific examples of what is going on. You should schedule a time to sit down with her soon to find out the details.

If you can schedule a day off of work to be a helper for the day, then you can see first hand how the children's behaviors are addressed by the staff.

I also recommend that you talk to your son and ask him questions about how he feels about school. You'd be surprised how much you could learn about this issue from a 3 1/2 year old.

I think that when kids have allergies, that fluid build up can affect their attention because their hearing can be poorer.

If he is crying because he wants to go home, I wonder... how the teacher addressed the difficulty to re direct; I wonder if there's something that upset him recently at the school; I wonder if he just feels crummy because of his allergies are getting worse.

When you get a report like this from school, it's like playing detective; and I feel it's important to get to the root of the problem. Good luck

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R.

answers from San Antonio on

It is very likely his allergies. My kids all have seasonal allergies, but they affect my oldest's behavior the most. She also happens to have ADHD, so she has a harder time staying focused as it is. My 3 year old (and my other 2 for that matter) take Zyrtec for thier allergies. They respond really well to it and I have not noticed any side effects. Anyway, the allergies are really rough and can totaly make your head foggy.

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L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

He is still quite young so I think that could be it. I have an 11 year old who gets a bit spacey...some of this is his personality. BUT, he does get allergies and headaches/migraines just like I do and these do create a spaced-out feeling. I am not saying your little one has migraines, just that it has been a very bad allergy season and that this might explain his behavior. You might want to have him checked out. My oldest is on singular and my youngest is on zyrtec and these meds really help prevent the worst of their allergy symptoms. Good luck!

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