another newbie...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by renovation, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. renovation

    renovation New Member

    I'm not sure if I belong here. My 6 year old son doesn't seem to have ADHD, and I'm sure he's not on the autism spectrum, but he's a very difficult behavior challenge. I love him so much, but he seems to lack a moral compass - he knows right from wrong, but he doesn't seem to care at all. He's cute and social, and very bright, but I'm afraid he's going to be a sociopath, and I'm not saying this lightly. At school, he does fine academically, but his behavior is just awful. His teacher sent me an e-mail this morning saying that she caught him in two lies and it was only 10:00 a.m.

    I don't think it's ADHD because he's sort of the opposite - very in control and controlling, sneaky when it suits him, and manipulative. I don't think it's autism because he's appropriate socially to his peers and has a lot of friends - he's one of the popular kids (the obnoxious, smart popular kids). I don't know what to do - should I take him in for psychiatric testing? Should I get a different discipline book? I've read them all...
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and welcome. I really don't have answers other than to say that a firm diagnosis is NOT required here. Just a child you are having trouble with. It is a great group, and I think you will find a lot of support.
  3. lillians

    lillians lillians

    hi,, i am also new,, with of course diagnosis to the hilt,,, our older child, now 17 was diagnosed as nas/adhd,, then later with tourettes,,its been a hard journey,, while younger he was all yu say,,bright cutsie,, social,,, but in trouble at school everyday,, there is a book callled ryan,,about a young lad with tourretes, after reading this book i was sure as a family we had written it,, the actions of this child so severe,, we had mega services and help, with all aspects of services from child developement on,,we started with the local health dept,, they have seen everything and know much they always steered us correctly,, at 17 now he stays out of trouble,,, well not quite,,lol but he is getting there,,,this has been a struggling year for him,,,do yu have a child developement center-- a good place to start,,
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Hi and welcome!!

    It sounds like you have your hands full lol, as do many of us. I don't think any of us can tell you whether or not you should take him for some type of evaluation. Me, personally learning what I have since my daughter's birth and especially from being here I'd say if it's a huge behavioral issue that you have spent countless time on to address, as you stated you have read many books on parents, behaviors, etc. i'd say maybe a look into it a little further would be warranted.

    You said he does well academically and is socially in tune, has friendships, and maintains them? Does he sleep well at night, what types of behaviors do you see at home? Does he exhibit any type of violent behaviors at all?How is the teacher working with him to address whatever behavioral issues are going on at school?

    Also you can add a signature at the bottom like we all have, so we can get to know you better. :)

    welcome again!!
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You need to get those lies defined more carefully. There are lies of "I didn't do it," and there are lies of "I was walking to school when a big polar bear jumped out of the bushes, attacked me, ripped off my backpack, took out my homework and ate it. That's why I don't have my homework with me today," kind of lies. The first ones can be told by anybody, including kids with autism (or Asperger's). The second - generally not possible with autism. Unless someone else told him the story first (which clumsy questioning can prompt).

    While I'm not saying that your child IS autistic, don't be too quick to dismiss it. It is far more complex than you may realise, and your son may still be young enough to slide by socially. difficult child 3 can be VERY popular with his peers if all they are talking about is computer gaming and how to play them. he is the Grand Master, they are the mere starry-eyed pupils. But in everything else - he is left behind floundering. But that is now. At 4 or 5, it was different. He was STILL the Grand Master, the other kids were even more starry-eyed. But back then the other kids were also socially inept because they were still just little kids.

    Welcome to the site, help is here.

  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Have you tried "The Manipulative Child"? It will not give you all the answers you are seeking but may help in how to handle the manipulation issues.

    Has your teacher asked about testing? You should talk to her and ask if she has had past experience in this type of behavior and how the parents dealt with it.

    If you have a real good doctor, you can ask him or her what you should do. However, many doctors do not like to admit that they don't have the answers and their first step may be to diagnosis as ADHD so that they can give a medication to try.

    When my son was falling apart Summer of 2007, his pediatrician doctor said, "I don't know what this is. I am going to treat the symptoms. I think it is anxiety so here is Zoloft." I refused to give my son medications on a "I don't know, I think". I asked for a referal. By the time I got into doctor #2, the referal stated difficult child was going for ADD! That doctor took less than 5 minutes to determine that difficult child was not ADD. It did end up as anxiety but I am still glad I made sure before giving a medication like Zoloft.

    Do what you feel is right. You see your child 24/7 so when a doctor who sees him for less than 1/2 hr makes a determination that does not feel right, push for more answers and assurance.

    We welcome you. I see this forum as a support to parents whose kids have a disorder in conduct. If there is a behavior problem than there is a problem that you are working on resolving. Hopefully we can make your life easier with support. We know that your child's behavior is not a reflection on you. We know that you love your child and are trying your best to make your child's life easier. If not, you wouldn't have found us.

    I hope you and difficult child is having a good evening.
  7. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Welcome! You have found a great place with lots of support and information. An evaluation might not be a bad idea in a child as young as yours; at least it could rule some things out. You sound as though you have a pretty good handle on his behaviors and issues. Have you read "Before It's Too Late" by Stanton Samenow? It's a very useful little book and talks about many of the issues you've described.

    If you can give us an idea of family structure and any other issues, such as possible harm to other children, harm to pets or animals, fire setting, meltdowns, intolerance to touch or textures, other sensory sensitivities, etc., it would give a more complete picture. But just as you feel comfortable.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think we need to know more about your son. Can you tell us his story and your family history--psychiatric problems or substance abuse? Was his early development normal? We really need more information.
    I think a neuropsychologist evaluation is the way to go. They are really good. I would do this first and do it now. It's easier to help our kids the earlier we get them interventions. Is somebody on his family tree a psychopath?
  9. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Welcome to the board. You will find our corner of the world a great place to land.
  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Welcome, glad you are here, while I am sorry you had to find us.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Renovation, welcome.
    I have the same questions everyone else does ... exactly what kinds of lies?
    Lies at six are different than lies at 16.
    Manipulative? What is he trying to achieve? Does he want total control of his world, or just an extra cookie?
    The Manipulative Child is a great book that I would recommend. It really opened my eyes to somethings.
  12. renovation

    renovation New Member

    Thank you for the welcome and supportive words. The lying - it's manipulative (denying that he hit his brother, telling his teacher he's done with his worksheet, telling his teacher he forgot his snack in order to get the snack she had for kids who forgot, etc.) He seems to be out to get whatever he can get away with. He has an older brother (8) and a younger sister (3). My older son is my benchmark, although I know all kids are different. He is just a really good person - he wants to do the right thing, he's generally truthful, his instincts are altruistic. I don't mean he's perfect at all - he's just a pretty good 8 year old. I'm not sure why my 6 year old is so different. They get along like brothers - they fight like wolves and they can't stand to be apart - the "I hate you, don't leave me" type of thing.

    Family history - I have been taking zoloft for 3 years for mild depression. My maternal grandmother was bipolar.

    I need to surf around this site more, but last night I just felt like yelling for help. It was a really bad day. I know people here have bad days I can't imagine, and I hope to be able to offer my support back!
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The lying is manipulative (it generally is) but it still sounds simple. Kids lie for a number of reasons, often to get what they shouldn't have or to get out of trouble. Or both. The interesting thing is, we can brand a kid as a liar when in fact we are AWARE of the lying, which means they are not good at it (because they keep getting caught out). It's the liars you DON'T catch who are the bigger worry.

    However - yes, you need to find a way to break this habit.

    Part of the difference between older and younger - younger siblings tend to be sneakier, more manipulative because parents tend to be less vigilant when they're watching two instead of one. You tend to relax more with your second child. The second one learns to slip below the radar; the first knows to not even try, you're watching them.

    Your boys are quite close in age - they could be best buddies as they get older.

    It sounds to me like younger difficult child is "trying it on" and needs to be watched so you CAN keep catching him out. You need to praise him more when you 'catch' him being good. Try to minimise competition between the boys, your younger one may feel the bar is too high for him and so isn't trying so hard to be good. He needs to know just how much you value him when he IS being good.

    It mightn't take very much at all, before you see a change. However, you are going to have to REALLY watch yourself, push yourself to keep on watching him to catch his lies but to also be positive with him when it is warranted also.

    Keep us posted in how you get on.