Going into Day 3

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Lulu, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    Well, the defiant cycle continues. I thought it started Monday night when the boy wouldn't get off the potty to get ready for bed and my timer business ticked him off. As I thought back, I saw that he had trouble leaving preschool Monday--not putting his coat on and zipping it as the teacher had directed; instead, staying involved in a dinosaur he was drawing for a classmate (N is an incredible artist). Anyhoo, he has been nothing but rude, recalcitrant, weepy, screamy, and threatening, and it continues today. Typically, he does fine at school, so fingers crossed that this behavior does not begin to bleed into that.

    I feel like I'm just coming on here daily to vent about things that are too touchy to mention to my family and friends ("you need to give him what for"), but that aren't extreme enough--I fear--to seem important to most of the people on this list who are often dealing with heart-wrenching scenarios. But my heart remains wrenched as my boy screams from his bed five minutes before my alarm goes off, and the day gets worse from there.

    He seems to be catching a cold. Is this a trigger of harder defiance? He spent a bit too much time on a new video game yesterday. Is this exacerbating it? I have to say husband and I are doing a pretty good job of keeping our cool with him, and I truly do feel sorry for the boy. He seems so out of sorts. But this can't continue every day, right? There is no enjoyment in life this way. For anyone. How many days need to go by before I call the pediatrician for a referral?

    He has his days like this, but then there is respite for us all. But I well remember the last long cycle, which was in the fall during a 10-day bout of penecillin for strep throat. We thought the illness and the food dyes in the medications were setting him off. I've been extra careful with his diet since then, and the episodes have decreased. But those 10 days nearly put us all in the loony bin. I'm not looking forward to even one more day of this as I'm already very depressed. I can't get my part-time job done because he is taking so much of my time and energy. And he is being rude to his little sister and seemingly not being punished for it (or else the consequence also affects her negatively). He did apologize to her and me this morning, in a fleeting moment of clarity. He cried on my lap as we waited for Dad to put him in the car and drive him to preschool. Sigh.

    Thank you for reading if you got this far.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Yes, our kids can be more sensitive to environmental changes such as illness and changes in routine than other kids. But that in itself is a red flag. I would suggest calling your pediatrician and arranging an appointment to discuss a referral. I spent two years chalking up behavior a great deal to allergies which wound up not being allergies at all but sinus infection, only to find out down the road those only accounted for a small fraction of the behavioral issues. He'd wake up on the wrong side of the bed day after day and in the end allergy/sinus had little to do with it and his neurological differences had almost everything to do with it.

    All that is lost is time and money if you go through the evaluation process and nothing is found. But there is a great deal to be gained from getting in there and having professionals take a hard look at what's going on/not going on.

    Picking up that phone and scheduling that appointment was probably the hardest phone call I ever made in my life, but I'm glad I didn't wait any longer than I did. Everything we learned through assessment and research was a step in the right direction of giving difficult child some help.

    I wish I had an encouraging answer for you about could this continue. The truth is it often ebbs and flows but with some problems (such as sensory integration dysfunction or bipolar) it often just keeps getting worse and worse until adults in the child's life start getting them some help or until the child figures out ways to compensate for the problem areas themselves.
  3. GinAndTonic

    GinAndTonic New Member

    Hi Lulu. I'm new here and don't know your history, but man, you're describing my home life in so many ways. Defiant kid, OK younger sister, stressed and depressed me, my part-time job not getting done...

    We've been in a defiant cycle for the past week. I have no idea what started it off. I just noticed at the beginning of the year that his bad behavior comes in waves, and I'm going to try to start keeping track of it (although I haven't figured out how yet).

    Sigh back at you.
  4. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    Thanks, folks. I am beginning a kind of "behavioral history" for N (and it occurs to me that A will need one too, at the rate she's going) so I can get a handle on his quirks through time when I go to discuss them with the experts. I am calling the pediatrician's nurse tomorrow for a referral to a dr who can evaluate. My husband does not know that I am doing this yet. He's out watching the UNC-Duke game (go heels!!) at the moment.

    SRL, I used the Hyperlex-info evaluation thing, and N scored below the cutoff for major-areas, but one above for the specific check-marks. He definitely has qualities. I hope someone can help us.

    On a brighter note, I received notice today that N has passed the first hurdle to get into our district's gifted K-12 (it was a 15m screening at his preschool). Now he goes to take an hour-long test administered by a school psychologist. I'd like him to be in that class since the kids are going to be more like him, and--of course--his mind will be challenged. I'll keep you posted.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    There is a parent form in our FAQ's that may help you with the behavioral history.

    That screening tool was designed to sound the alarm for kids who have issues, but would easily slip under the radar of other screening tools or be dismissed for some reason (gifted but difficult, poor parenting, whatever). A lot of the kids who have borderline scores wind up with borderline diagnoses but that at least gives the parent some direction to go to look for help.

    Good luck on the gifted program. Our state cut all funding for gifted education some years ago and our already not very good program was slimmed down even further.