1st Grade and Suspended twice already :\

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Mama De, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Mama De

    Mama De New Member

    Hi My name Is De. I have a 7 year old who has behavioral issues. He is a loving, caring, emotional, sensitive, SMART little boy. EVERYONE loves him. But he has been suspended from school twice in the past 2 weeks for hurting other kids. He refuses to acknowledge personal space. He tries to be funny most of the time but at times it is inappropriate. He isn't meaning to hurt kids, but when he is overly excited and/ or frustrated or not being heard he will have explosive tantrums. When he was 2 he witnessed abused towards me and his dad and while I was trying to fix the damage with counseling his dad was scaring it out of him, trying to suppress it. He spent a year with his dad and his dads family while I was in school and trying to join the military and instead of taking him out of school half the time as I lived in another state than his dad, we both agreed for he and his brother to spend the school year with his dad. Unbeknownst to me, My child was verbally abused by other family members. I KNOW my son has behavior issues due to these reasons. But now I have moved back to the same state and my children are with me. My son was doing great for a little bit with his outbursts, so I loosened up on the reigns a bit. He is angry. And he is angry at himself VERY often. He has been bullied at school and refuses to tell his teachers "Because he doesn't want his friends to get into trouble" so HE gets into trouble because he hurts the kids who are mean to him. I was a violent child. In my last foster home towards the end, after everything my foster parents decided to put me on a point system. And once I stopped rebelling against it, I realized that it was my own fault why I wasn't allowed to do literally ANYTHING. I had the control of everything, it was my choices. My son is a lot smarter than most 7 year olds. This point system worked for me. And I am hoping it works for him. I am basically needing other ideas. I have tried spankings, which it LITERALLY hurt me more than him and cant bring myself to spank my kids anymore. I have tried time outs, groundings, Being aggressive, being passive. I have tried end of the week rewards, which with this, he will only be good long enough to get the reward and then once he has it the behavior changes. After he hurts someone he feels such remorse that he sometimes hurts himself. He is a lot harder on himself and gives up VERY easily on himself. He actually feels like its the end of the world. I am tired of yelling. I am tired of hurting him. I am tired of letting him down. I don't know if any other parents have had this problem before with their children. I am ADD and bi-polar, OCD, suffer from anxiety attacks. I JUST recently have begun medication for myself. I REFUSE to put my son on medication. I had my issues under control until I had my kids and just recently the OCD and anxiety attacks have gotten worse in the past 2 years. I am scared that my child is going to go down the wrong path. I am scared he is going to unintentionally hurt someone, and I am scared that it is my fault. I know these things I have wrong with me are hereditary. And I am afraid because My mom had all of this, and now I do, that because I am his mom that now my child will suffer too. Mine was triggered from a traumatic event at a young age and I am scared that what my son saw has damaged my son. I don't want people to think my son is a bad boy. He isn't. And even his principal says that all the staff love him, and that he is everyones favorite student. But other students need to be safe. It hurts my heart to hear that students need to be safe from my child. And knowing that it is my fault. So this is the run down. If anyone knows of anything I can do please message me or reply to this. Thank you so much for your time. ~AmothersGuilt~
     
  2. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Has your son ever been evaluated by a child psychiatrist or PhD level child psychologist or a neuropsychologist? His acting out could be his expressing his feelings because he doesn't know any better. Have you looked into PTSD? My son suffers from that (along with other things) and he has a real issue with trusting people, even people he knows well. Your son has had a turbulent life. Punishing him for not having the skills he needs to handle everything he's had to deal with is like punishing a quadriplegic for not getting up and walking. It will only do more damage to expect him to do things he isn't capable of doing. You really need to change your interpretation of his behavior and start looking at it from a victim's point of view.

    As for the school, I would recommend you ask for "an evaluation for special education services". Put the request in writing. The way I worded mine was "I would like __________ evaluated for special education services. I would like this evaluation to include, but not be limited to, academic, psychological, behavioral, OT, and SLP evaluations." Send the WRITTEN request Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested. This starts a federal timeline for them to evaluate him in every area and should identify what causes and when the problems occur and then come up with a plan to address his needs. Also, the day they receive the request puts him under certain protections (not preventions) of disciplinary actions.

    In the meantime, you REALLY need to have him evaluated. He's being punished at school and at home for things beyond his control. You need to find out WHY and help him gain (teach him) the skills he needs. The sooner the better. That will also help push the school harder. If you don't, they won't. Kwim?

    Welcome to our little corner of the world.
     
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome MamaDe. I don't have too much time right now but wanted to say Welcome. Although I did read your entire post I am not sure that I absorbed what outside interventions your son has had. I hesitate to respond at this time because I may have missed some important information. Sigh.

    I did absorb that you have had a difficult time in the past and now are prepared to take medications to help stabilize your life. That's great. Probably the most valuable help for your son will come from your consistent and confident parenting methods. Don't beat yourself up for the mistakes you made before...most of us have yelled, spanked, been inconsistent, etc. before we finally "found our groove". I, personally, had to start each day saying a quick prayer that I could handle the parenting stress.

    Your son sounds very much like many of our sons. My middle ADHer was, like your son, handsome, popular, polite and intellectually gifted. His ADHD however made it impossible for him to function appropriately when surrounded by the other students, activities, teachers etc. When he began Concerta he no longer had to struggle daily to follow the rules. On the weekend he did not need meds and, as you know, stims are quick in/quick out so there was no reason to use it on the weekends etc. Yes, I did read that you are against meds for your son but many of us alter that original view when we see our children struggling unnecessarily.

    You have found a great place with alot of diverse but caring people. Glad you found us. DDD
     
  4. MidwestMom

    MidwestMom Well-Known Member

    I'll throw a few ideas around here. I do not 100% understand your son's story, but I will do the best I can. And, while maybe some of your choices could have been better, this isn't your fault. Most likely he was born wired differently and he would have been this way no matter what. However, imo there WERE some things that could have been different, but no point in overthinking now since all of us were young parents once and made mistakes. Hindsight is wonderful. So don't take any of this as criticism of you.

    It seems that you and his bio. father fought in front of him and you tried to stop it, but you couldn't and he saw the abuse. Is this right? If so, there's one trauma right there. I am unclear whether the son was a part of the abuse. It does seem that bio. dad has issues of his own.

    Next, it seems, you are going to school and in the military and leaving him with same violent bio. dad. Two things happened there. First of all, his stability was uprooted by going to live with somebody other than you and his father allegedly abused him. Not good. So when he came back to you, his living situation changed yet again and he had been abused. Constantly changing a young child's living situation can lead to attachment issues, plus obviously both bio. Dad and you have issues that he may or may not have inherited.

    I wouldn't even CARE what teachers and parents think of your son. What I'd focus on is getting help for him. He does not have to turn out like you or his bio. dad. The very first thing I'd do is to sign him up for a neuropsych evaluation for an intensive look at what his issues may be and advice on what to do to help. I wouldn't 100% rule out meds, but for now you don't have to think about them. However, your son may need interventions that will help him calm down so he doesn't hit. Hitting other kids is a big problem. I had one kid who did it. It has to be stopped, but your child is most likely "differently wired" and normal discipline probably won't help him. I especially urge you not to spank him. That won't do it at all.

    Rather than worrying about what may happen in twenty years, I'd focus on how you can help him NOW and the first thing you can do is get a neuropsych evaluation to see how his brain works. Do not think you can fix this yourself or with just the help of an average therapist or, heaven help us, the school. The school is full of great educators, but they do not know how to diagnose or treat childhood disorders and don't let them tell you they do.

    I'm going to give you a link to attachment disorder. I don't know if h e has it, but it's something imo you should at least be aware of. I think there are a lot of things going on and you just have to peel the onion, like the rest of us and never give up hope. Here is an attachment disorder link. See if you think this fits and may be part of the puzzle:

    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/parenting_bonding_reactive_attachment_disorder.htm
     
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi and welcome. I am going to encourage you to seek out a full comprehensive evaluation too. Not just a psychologist interview etc. We are talking about a long evaluation that often takes a couple of days or a few hours at a time over a few weeks. (eight to twelve hours total on average). A neuropsychologist (neuropsych) eval helps you sort things out. Helps to see how his brain is wired and how that is connected to his behaviors.

    I agree that this is likely multi-layered. to say he is "refusing" to do something may be inaccurate. He may NOT have the skills to do better at this point.

    In the USA there are laws that protect children who have special needs, and having recurrent behavioral problems which interfere with your child's (and often it can impact other children) days at school means he needs accommodations. Regardless of the diagnosis.

    Look, we can all do better and yes, sometimes choices we have made in the past add to our children's problems. However, from your description, your son sounds like a child who really does have other challenges beyond what he was exposed to. Guilt at this point is going to be a wasted emotion (and most of us really do GET IT so I am not saying I dont understand) and what is needed now is to ask for those private evaluations in the medical community (you may have to be insistent and persistent to get it done! Dont ask, tell them this is what you want for your son, period....another way to get it done is to do a team evaluation for example through a developmental pediatrician who has other professionals help administer the testing including motor, language/communication, ability, adaptive developmental skills, overall developmental level, etc.) Just make sure it is a comprehensive evaluation, not just an adhd eval or a psych eval. if at all possible.

    Meds are a scary thing, and it is wise to be cautious. But a lifetime of suffering if there is truly a disorder that could be helped is sometimes not worth the trade off. Just take in all the information and then make the decision as you put a plan together to help your son.

    After requesting the school eval (in writing) and hopefully getting an IEP (individual education plan) developed, the law says that any behavior plan must be positive meaning that it uses positive methods to develop appropriate skills not punishment for what they do wrong. Even if you stop a "bad" behavior, what are they going to replace it with if they dont know what to do better?? Your son most likely does not want to react this way. He has challenges that result in impulsive behaviors and not being able to communicate his feelings or needs/wants in a better way.

    Hang in there, it is a long road and you can do it. Hope you check in and let us know how it is going. WELCOME, you are not alone.
     
  6. MidwestMom

    MidwestMom Well-Known Member

    Buddy...you always say things so much better than me. Bet you are the most compassionate person in the world.

    I second what she said, and the way she said it.
     
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Awww, I'm learning to say thank you, so...Thank You.

    I think we make a good team here. I personally needed to hear things in different ways from different people to put it all together. It's just so emotional.

    Yeah, we make a good team, we warrior moms. That's for sure!
     
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