At the end of the line.... don't know where to turn

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by justtotallyspent, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Hello again everyone... I have posted on and off over the last couple months, posted some relipies to offer another understanding ear. But here I sit at the end of the line, waiting for the phone to ring again today with the list of problems at school. A quick re-cap we have a 4 almost 5 yr old difficult child as well as 3 other children (1 only here on weekends).

    Our difficult child has pushed us to the end... over the past summer holiday from school his behaviors have blown totally out-of-control. He is physically aggressive daily to myself, siblings, schoolmates and our animals. He thinks no-one feels pain or hurt except him (if you pick him up you are causing him pain or "killing him"; mainly because you are removing him from something that he is unwilling to stop on his own). However he threw himself backwards off a chair yesterday to proclaim that it really didn't hurt so he wasnt going to sit for a time-out he would just knock himself off again. He refuses to take blame for inappropriate actions (always someones fault), proclaims often he does not nothing (sits in his room all day) even after just being out somewhere or playing. Often says no one like him and that we just trick him that we love him. In his thoughts if we "loved him" he would not do these things to get in trouble. He believe totally that no one gets in trouble or punished but him (even tho he sees others get in trouble). He will blame himself when someone does get in trouble and also feels everyone should get trouble also if he has did something wrong. It seemed to start gradual with all of these things but now it is continous and seems like it starts from the minute he is awake til he goes to sleep.

    School is interesting to say the least... they are trying to be understanding and help but also don't know what to say. He has wrestled inappropriately and after being told to stop.. continued until he hurt the other child and then said it was the other kid that had hurt him (it was all seen). He has ran away after recess because he wanted to stay outside, and has came home soaked after playin in any water he could find (the teacher changes him twice with clothes we sent). He refuses to sit for circle time, refuses to read and will say no any suggestions the teacher has. He picks what he wants to do (whichs changes everyday) and will go into tantrums if he is asked to do anything else.

    His tempertantrums last over 1 hr at times, where he hits, screams, breaks things, walks/runs in circles, jumps up and down and will yell about how you hurt him "kill him" if you try to restrain him as to save him from hurting himself or others.

    We have reached the end, we are talking Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but don't know. Thats a big step, my husband is aprehensive. He doesnt feel right just taking him outta the home, he is too young he says, but then worries what he is going to do to someone or something the following day. I have just went on and on and am looking to for some guidance.
  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    He needs professional help. Have you seen any type of doctor?
  3. we have seen a GP and counsellers (because they thought originally he just needed some behavioral supports). We are waiting for testing for add/adhd/odd/etc. but it is atleast 4 months. We can't afford to pay oput-of-pocket for someone private.....
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Who did the testing? I think he needs a psychiatrist (psychiatrist) instead of a GP and someone besides the school district (school) testing him. Insurance will pay for a psychiatrist and parts of neuropsychologist testing usually. In your case, if you can't afford to pay for full neuropsychologist testing, which can be very expensive, you might still be better off getting the parts done that insurance will cover. But you definitely need more specialization involved than the school district, a gp, and a typical therapist (therapist). They just won't be equipped to deal with this. You might also start asking some questions to find out if therapuetic foster care is a valid option in your area. I am not familiar with how much it might help but at his age, I think I would want to weigh all options prior to sending him to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Maybe if you go thru your local jurisdiction's mental health agency it could lead to wrap around services and further options.
  5. No we are still awaiting the testing, and these testings need to be done before we can get to a referral for a psychiatrist. The school has not had any input they are just trying to deal with what is happening. It will be covered but it's the wait times before it can happen if we want it covered. We can do it privately if we want it done faster (but can't afford that). We are lookin at therapetic foster care right now through the agancy we work with. Our problem is that is becoming so full-blown so quickly that we are running out of options that we have time to wait for. He is becoming a danger to himself and possibly others and we can't just wait until it can happen. I huge problem is his age and the fact that there is limited resources for children that young.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You're aware about the short-term solution of a psychiatric hospital stay in the event of an urgent crisis, correct? It might only offer a few days - a week but it is certainly better than serious harm coming to anyone, including himself.
  7. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    So the testing has not been done yet, you are on a waiting list? Who will be doing the testing? Your difficult child sounds exactly like mine! Mine was diagnosis'd with ADHD and ODD. We are still trying to get it all sorted out and find something that will work. We've been working on this since he was in Kindergarten and he just started 3rd grade. Some of the behaviors have been controlled a little bit with medication, but not enough. It's sad when they feel this way and think everyone is out to get them. When we have to physically remove our difficult child from something, he says the same thing "you're killing me" - or he will say "just kill me - I want to die". It's awful. I really hope you get the help you need. It is exhausting and you really need a good support system to get thru all of this. Take care of yourselves, get plenty of sleep, do things away from difficult child to relax (if you can). Hang in there.

    I'm not sure about where you are and because of his age, but our first step was to write a letter to the school district to request an evaluation. At the time, we found a sample letter here. We had to send it certified mail and then the school district had so long before they were required to respond.
  8. We are in canada, and the dr. that will be doing the testing works through the CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario). We have followed all the steps set out for us. We work with a Counselling service that deals with children and youth and their families. They have helped us we methods for dealing with him, but the stress and disruption in our lives is too much. My husband has been adament about not removing him from the home due to resentment or other issues that maybe arrise. I feel that is our only option left. We are months away from any answers, we have been unable to get him on any medications that could atleast help cease some of his problems until he is seen and tested and has a diagnosis. We are just basically left to deal with it until the waiting time is over.... From the beginning til now has been 1+ yr and dispite our trying to help the situation things have only declined.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, we in the US need to be aware that the differences in terms and medical opportunities are different in different countries. I am sorry it is taking so long for you to get in to the referral process but that is probably what it is going to take. I am going to post a thread over in watercooler for a long time member who lives in your neck of the woods who might be able to help you out. She is also from Canada and knows more than I do about your health care system. I do know that they use the terms of ODD and CD as general terms more than we do down here for all the umbrella disorders though. Let me go look for her.
  10. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Hi there, sorry I haven't seen your other posts, I tend to hang out in watercooler mostly these days. There are only a few members here in Canada, and particularly in Ontario. I wanted to say hello from a fellow Ontarian.

    I'm so sorry your family is having such difficulties. And I definitely relate to the long waits for OHIP covered insurance. All services were either covered that way for my difficult child, or via the school. I know the waits can be astonishingly long.

    I'm glad that CHEO is working with your family. Our local equivelant (I'm in northern Ontario) was the first place that my difficult child was referred when he was about 4 I believe, and we received counselling services there. Sometimes it felt more like it was me as a parent getting help more than my difficult child, simply because my difficult child really didnt' want to participate. One thing that the counsellors there taught me very early on was a safe way to restrain my difficult child at that age, when he was behaving dangerously to himself or to others (usually to me!). It was a lifesaver in the early years. It not only offered me a safe way to prevent injury to him or myself, but it also proved to be a effective way of minimizing what was for us previously a hour or two meltdown into a much shorter one. It had the added affect of having a reassuring approach for difficult child. He'd fight me every time when I'd first get him into the "hold", but once he'd realized I had a good hold and wasn't doing it in anger but in a theraputic approach, it usually actually helped sooth him and calm him. Took the wind out of his sails so to speak. Perhaps you could speak with your therapist about working with you to learn the safe way to restrain him (It's a from behind hug/hold type restraint that doesn't hurt difficult child, doesn't give him a way to hurt others, and once you've got a good grasp it's pretty hard for them to get out of it). It not only helped difficult child calm quicker, I found I was so grateful for a tool to stop his rages, that it became easier to remain calm instead of my normal feeling of frustration, anger, at my wits end feeling etc.

    There are very few cities with actual psychiatrists for children in Ontario. If you do have one available in your area I'm happy for you! In most areas, including here, there is a pediatrician offering childrens mental health services. They of course specialize in children like ours, but I found it annoying to not have a doctor trained in child psychology and psychiatry. I did discover that most local childrens mental health agencies (like the one you are involved in) are hooked up with the Algoma Hospital in Sudbury. It can be a pain to travel for a consult etc but the program is sort of the gold standard for families who are at the end of their rope with aggression etc. Algoma also has a program to connect counselling agencies such as the one you are using, utilizing a video conferencing room at your local agency where you already have services. They have a special conference room and normally present would be any therapist or case manager involved at the counselling agency, yourself and spouse, often a Special Education coordinator from your childs school, sometimes a family doctor if they are active in working with your difficult child, and representatives from any other agencies assisting your family (CAS if there is a contact already for possible theraputic foster care placement etc, which I've been through with my son if you ever want to PM me about that). This conferencing to the docs at Algoma can be a huge stepping stone to true help. Algoma offers a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) as well. They also have a program that is one of a kind in Ontario and is multi-purpose. First they get to observe your difficult child over a longer period directly interacting with you and your family. This can help them decide if some medications might help and what possible diagnosis might be out there. What happens is usually you have a video conference. Then they set you up with their "family lodge" program. Basically you and your family (difficult child, spouse if one, siblings) go stay there for a full week. it is on hospital property but it is a "family home". They use the week to observe you and your family and come up with concrete approaches to help based on your difficult child as a individual and on your family dynamic. It is an award winning program and one I would definitely recommend looking into.

    I don't know how other areas of the province work regarding Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I know for difficult child, they wouldn't even consider it until minimum of age 9-10, simply because they felt children of younger ages would be unable to understand removal from the home, and were considered too young to truly get all they could out of the treatment out of the home full time approach. Now that being said, it could be a local to me thing and be different where you are. What kind of support has the school offered? Even without a diagnosis from a psychiatrist, the school absolutely can do a IPRC hearing (identification and placement review committee) and designate your son special needs under the "behaviour" umbrella. It is quite simple and much easier to do at the beginning of the school year (each susequent year it is just granted unless they are notified the child no longer requires the designation). Separate from the psychiatrist route, the school is often the quickest to get some testing going> Which can really help to bring the assessments along to a psychiatrist when you can finally get in. It can help therapists as well to understand your difficult child better. Because each school board has their own agency to provide in school services, it isn't a lengthy process to get the testing done. They will send in physio and occupational therapists. It can help build your son a individual education plan (IEP) for the school to follow, a huge help to your son and a huge help to your teacher. They will rule in or out any learning or developmental (physical) delays. They can identify areas of difficulty (transitioning between activities, how to keep your difficult child to task, what triggers frustration etc) which allows the school and you to develop guidelines for the teacher to follow to allow your difficult child to succeed more in the classroom. The bonus is that most kids enjoy the testing and working with the therapists (most continue to see children with IEP's to some degree even if just once or twice a year).

    If you can possibly get some of these things on track, you may be able to ward off that awful feeling of waiting for a ridiculous length of time for the referal to a psychiatrist etc to go through.

    Once you have a IEP in place at school, you will have a much more capable staff approach at school to help avoid needless aggravation for your difficult child leading to school outbursts. It will help the teachers and other staff understand your son isn't just a "brat", he's a child struggling and with unique approaches to handle problems as they arise.

    Again, welcome to the board although I'm sorry you needed to seek out this type of support to begin with. We all do relate though to the overwhelming feeling with young children showing problems and running low on "parent fuel" to keep up with our demanding and challenging kids. Feel free to pm me anytime. I'll try to keep my eye on the general forum more often as well to look for posts if you make them.

  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks Mattsmom, You are a peach!
  12. thanks also Mattsmom.... I PM'd you also..... I will post more soon