Hate that I'm here :(

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HowMuchLonger, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. HowMuchLonger

    HowMuchLonger New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I've been lurking these forums for a few months now...decided to join. A little about my family (hopefully my sig works!). Together with husband for 20 yrs, he's bio dad to all 3 of my sons (17, 10 and 9). We both come from very messy backgrounds...substance/child abuse. Mental disorders (both diagnosed and undiagnosed). I'm pretty sure my mother was bipolar, unfortunately she never sought help and is now living out of the country with no ties to myself or siblings. Anyhow, I saw another member say their background was "toxic soup" lol...that pretty much sums it up! We once had a doctor (with a very bad sense of humour..luckily husband and I have the same bad sense!) ask if we ever chatted before procreating lol. I know to some that would be HORRIBLE..but we found it amusing!

    Anyhow, my reason for joining is difficult child 2 - 9 year old hell on wheels. I don't have tons of personal support...and the close friends I do have..well, I just can't let them in if that makes sense. I'm embarrassed and ashamed and guilt-ridden over what has been transpiring the past 3 years. I jsut need an outlet, a vent, possibly some advice from those that ARE there or have BEEN there. I'm tired of the "helpful" 20 year olds fresh out of school that don't have a child much less one like this that are just spouting what they've read in their textbooks.

    To live this life is FAR different from learning about it...

    My family is being slowly but surely torn apart by this little boy. My marriage has come close to collapse, my oldest son HATES his youngest brother and my middle son constantly worries about his younger brother. My husband really feels difficult child 2 needs a boot in the butt, and soap in the mouth. I'm at a loss and feel i've tried "it all" All the while the youngest son walks through life without a care in the world while the rest of us lay awake at night waiting for the next meltdown. It's so unfair and unreasonable and i'm just exhausted. I've had to seek help myself and am currently taking anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medications (I hate every minute of that....) I am also looking at getting some counselling...just myself...i'm DONE all the group stuff where half the parents biggest complaints are because their kid won't do his homework .. ahh if only it were so simple. I jsut feel I'm miles away from them.

    difficult child 2 has been an issue from day one. Always very busy, curious, touchy feely, never sit still, and made it very clear when he was ticked off. Our problems started around age 6/7. Started small (arguements at school, not wanting to do homework, breaking rules at school). It lead to a bunch of suspensions - which did nothing for him. These behaviours escalated and came out at home eventually. Swearing at teachers, fighting, ripping up work "you can't make me" "what are you going to do about it" blah blah etc etc. He actually brought a knife to school one day and almost got himself expelled. He claims he found it and had no intentions of using it (i dont know to be honest...) I did several parenting workshops including "dealing with oppositional children", signed him up for a skills program which he "graduated" from with flying colours (pfft). Got children's Aid (i'm in Canada) involved, psychologists, walk in clinics, pediatricians, school intellectual assessments done, social workers, you name it, we've done it or had them involved. He even just finished an intensive 7 wk out of school program that focused only on behavioural skills....To what avail...N O T H I N G :(

    He was diagnosed about 7 months ago with ADHD and tried a few medications before being put on adderall - which definitely is helping but his mood swings are getting more frequent and more violent/heightened. Today he in a totally calm voice informed me he wasn't taking his medications, nor going to school. I did my best to disengage and give him time to get on the ball. I called u[p a few times "get dressed" "come down"..."yeah" he responded but never did. Then he got really silly...yelling out "pee pee poo poo" and taking pictures off my walls and saying "do you like this...I PAINTED IT HAHAHAHA"...sounds pretty tame right...but the look in his eyes/on his face and his tone was just creepy and weird. I will admmit he knows how much silliness bothers his dad and I and sometimes he does it just to tick us off...so it could've been that..I dont know. Anyhow I had to send difficult child 1 off to school by himself cause I knew the meltdown was coming and sure enough it did.

    "F* YOU, F* THIS, YOU UGLY B*, YOU CANT MAKE ME, SCREW YOU...i'm sure you've all heard it. he pushed past me a few times trying to get out of the house, I wouldnt let him. asked him to calm down in his room and then we'll talk. I spent the next 40 mins trying to hold his door closed and then eh started threatening to go out the window...now we're pretty much wrestling (SIGH how did it come to this???) to keep him from going out the window, then the door, then the window. I tried to call my husband, no luck. Ended up calling a social worker and then an emergency contact number for kids in crisis. The lady talked to me a few mins then asked to talk to difficult child 2. /by now he's called me every name in the book, trashed his room, ripped up books etc. Gets on the phone with this lady he's never met/talked to and is nice as PIE. I wanted to rip his little head off :( She tells him all the same stuff i've been trying to and then they have a nice little chat..how nice for you two.

    She asked him to get ready for school...so he did (wow). Then she talks to me again, advising me to take him to a doctor, go to parenting classes, read this, that..make a sticker chart (do you know HOW FAR BEYOND sticker charts we are??).

    I am pretty much ready to give up on this. I've had to quit 2 jobs because of this kid, and we ended up having to go bankrupt. I've given up everything professionally, and socially (noone will babysit him). I don't see any light at the end of this tunnel. I cry myself to sleep 6 nights out of 7...i wrack my brain...what did i do wrong, what didn't i do right, where did it all go downhill.

    I really do love him, but feel like I walk on eggshells and wait for the next big explosion. I've lost all confidence in my parenting abilities...affecting how I parent my other two (luckily they're good boys and are staying on track). I go to be thinking about him, walk up in the night dreaming about him and walk up in the morning dreading waking him up. I constantly feel sick to my stomach as soon as he gets "the look" or "the tone" I almost feel like I'm either going to throw up or poop my pants. I'm a grown woman for goodness sakes and i'm afraid of a 9 year old :(

    I dont even knw what i've written here..its all so jumbled in my head and the mroe i type and recall the more tears are flowing and I dont want to cry anymore....i just want him to stop this. If you knew me in real life you'[d be shocked that i'm thinking of giving up my child to foster care (or whoever the heck will take him). I was always the mom bringing in cupcakes, going on class trips, where the neighbourhood kids come to play...now i'm just a weepy sobbing mess.

    UGH..thanks for the vent...school's almost out I need to dry the tears and get ready for round 2
     
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi, welcome, and many gentle hugs to you. Your post ... well, I could have written it 10 years ago. In fact, I think I did. ;)

    The whole episode this morning is just so familiar, from the refusal to the potty talk to the cursing to the bizarre (sorry) behavior with the pictures. I know what you mean about the look in the eyes. And I can *totally* relate to the rapid return of "normal" child when he talked to crisis worker. I won't bore you with my fantasized responses to the morons who continued to recommend doggone sticker charts and reward systems when my beloved son had progressed to all out assault and battery. "Gee, thank you, thank you for only biting me when I asked you to brush your teeth - here's a sticker." UGH!!!!

    I think you're spot on that there is far more going on than simple ADHD. We all bring with us our biases - to me, the episode this morning sounds a bit like a disconnect with- reality. The grandiosity, the battle over out the door vs out the window, the potty talk... it's all just so hugely inappropriate in a 9-year-old. Has anyone ever addressed the mood swings?

    I've got to run off to start Mom's afternoon Taxi Service, but I wanted you to know you're not alone, you're not crazy, you're most definitely not the first parent to have these feelings about their kid (for about 2 years, during the very worst of it before Residential Treatment Center (RTC), my first thought of the day was "I hate him" and my last thought of the day was the same - it's a simply *lousy* way to live), and you *will* survive this. I think the mood swings and aggressive behavior need to be addressed by a professional, and I know how hard it is to get them to really hear you, especially when he puts on his Mr. Charming hat. Taping and/or videotaping these episodes might be very helpful in terms of getting a professional to understand what you're dealing with-.

    Hang in there!!!
     
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome!

    I know exactly what you mean when you talk about the "silliness" - when they seem like they're happy but they are behaving in a strange, of-the-wall, mean kind of way...

    That "silliness" is almost worse than when they are angry or upset. I hate it!

    A lot of us here feel like we've lost a lot due to our difficult children and all that goes along with them. We've lost jobs, friendships, spouses...

    It's hard!

    Vent any time...
     
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome... And I hate for you that you are here. But you're part of the family now.

    I think, just like Sue, that I've written similar posts. I've hung on to my job by the skin of my teeth, because I am a stepparent... But husband has had a heck of a time, between the kids' mother and Onyxx. A bit with Jett.

    Have you taken difficult child 2 to a neuropsychologist? I don't know if they are different in Canada. There MUST be more than ADHD, I agree. And I also know that a LOT of kids have co-occurring psychiatric issues, too.

    Hugs, and welcome. I'm not much for posting online but I've been here almost every day for 2 years, even when things were going well.
     
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Welcome! You have found where you belong....((hugs)))...none of us want to need this board but it is a lifesaver to many of us.

    I'm not sure how child psychiatric hospital admits work in Canada (I know we have several active Canadian members so hopefully they will see this). I would call the police and ask for transport for an unstable mentally ill child to the ER. Ask them to document the trashed room, etc. If you can get them to approach the house without lights and sirens and let them in, they may get to see him "in action". Kanga was a great one for calming down the second anyone official was in view.

    If you can do it, I would arrange for special time with each of your other son's. I would take each of my kids out of school for 1 day a quarter for a mommy-and-me day. We wouldn't spend the whole day discussing Kanga but just enjoying each others company.
     
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Just like your son and Kanga - Onyxx is just like this. But we've been able to get the police to see her in action, if nowhere else. It's certainly worth a try!!!
     
  7. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Welcome Howmuchlonger. I know you hate being here but you will find it as a great source of knowledge, support and comfort as time goes on.

    I am sorry you are going thru such a terrible time.

    I agree with the other ladies. A full evaluation by a neuropysch is critical.

    Take care and drop by and relieve some stress here and there.
     
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome. This is a good place to be when nothing else in your area seems to help.

    Some thoughts - the ADHD alone could explain a lot of this, especially given the other possible problems he's been trying to cope with. The weird behaviour, the mood swings - I suggest you keep a daily notebook of his behaviour and mood. In the diary, note what medications he takes and when. Any reported problems - list them. Note times when there are issues. For a while, avoid interacting unless it is important. My suspicion is, you might find the medications are causing at least in part, the mood swings and strange behaviours. It certainly needs to be considered so you can check it out, rule it out if you're sure it's not rebound. Because if it IS rebound, or a reaction, then the sooner you change his medications the sooner the problems will ease. Those problems. There are still a lot of others.

    Your husband has to back off though. Big time. Not that I don't feel sympathy for his position, but I suspect it is not helping, it is probably making this kid a lot worse. You will be feeling like you're the meat in the sandwich with all this, and having you trying to hose things down while your husband is looking for a switch, is only adding to the confusion in your son's head (and anxiety) and the conflict between you. It's not just him, it's not just you, it's the bad combination of you and husband in conflict to such an extent over this, that aggravates the problems for your boys.

    You need to change your mindset on discipline. Not that you've been wrong, just not the right fit for this boy. He clearly needs help, he clearly needs a lot of hands-on (and is resisting it big time) but harsh discipline with these kids often undermines progress, so you end up going backwards if you try it.

    You've been lurking, so you will know we often recommend "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Read it, get your husband to read it. It seems counter-intuitive, but it can turn around a kid like this, at least so far as the kid is reacting to an increasingly confusing environment (and the school is part of the confusion here too - you have no control over that).

    Your first step is to try to get into your son's head. What is making him tick when he does this, or that? Part of this is to recognise that when he swears and gets angry, there is a reason that makes sense to him. I'm not saying it's acceptable, only that at some level it will be understandable. If you can work out where it is coming from, then deal with the source and not the result. Of course we don't want our kids swearing at us, but we need to find out where the anger and frustration is coming from, and work on that first. Then after the cause is no longer an issue, you can begin to work on the swearing.

    I'm going to take a stab in the dark here - when he was tearing up his books and yelling, "You can't make me, what are you going to do about it?" my guess is, he was in conflict with either a teacher at school, or you trying to get him to do his homework. I'm guessing it was perhaps a writing task, or possibly a maths task in an exercise he was struggling with, could not understand. Or it was at a time when he had had enough for the day and wanted it all to stop. And someone (you? A teacher?) was insisting hard and trying to force the issue. The reaction you describe is very, very familiar - it is the reaction of an individual who feels pushed to the edge. An adult behaving like this would usually only do so when really, really aggravated beyond belief. But this is a child. What is more, it is a child whose coping skills and social skills are not in line with his peers. He is going to be more inclined to use this behaviour, and if it works for him (ie if he can 'win') then he will learn to do it again next time. It's not calculated, it is merely a learned response. And if he is bright, he will learn fast.

    When you deal with his outbursts by physically blocking him and standing your ground, you may feel it is the only thing you can do. But in this case, you are actively teaching him how to be oppositional, because it is what you are doing to him. Kids like this learn by imitating you. You then find your own parenting techniques being used back on you. My example here is when easy child 2/difficult child 2 was about 2-3 years old. She had asked me for a fourth cup of juice and I said, "No, it is water's turn." She took a sip of the water I gave her, then stood with her hands on her hips and glared at me. "I told you I wanted JUICE! Why don't you do what you're told?" Punishing the "insolence" would have got me nowhere. I did try - it escalated the problem greatly because to her, I was being unfair to punish her, for behaviour I came out with constantly.

    From this you can see that, if whatever you do as discipline is what he will do back, then getting physical with him is going to actively teach him to get physical with you.

    There is good news though, especially for your husband. You and he are perhaps both focussed on the belief that you need to clamp down harder when he is more difficult. But this is often what makes them worse. If you change your approach and ease back, focussing on causes and letting some stuff go for now, you may find improvement to some degree, fairly quickly. Again - follow "Explosive Child" in this, so your efforts are coordinated and directed. Planning ahead is the way to go here, as well as working with your son when there is a problem. The aim is prevention, being proactive and not reactive.

    Now we look at diagnosis. Some of the things you began your post with, indicate that before the ADHD issues were a problem, there were other interesting characteristics. That indicates that it could be more than ADHD. it IS more at the moment. I really hate the term ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) but it does describe a lot of what you have listed here. It is, I believe, caused by a child imitating discipline methods as a coping strategy, for a start.

    Curious, touchy, feely - we had that with difficult child 3 especially. difficult child 1 was clingy while difficult child 3 would take off and go exploring, would only accept physical contact on his terms. He was affectionate but he had to initiate contact. easy child 2/difficult child 2 was so affectionate and touchy-feely, that she was often inappropriate, right up into her teens. I would walk through a room and be grabbed by her for a hug. I could be chopping onions and I would be grabbed for a hug - no looking first to make sure I was not in danger of cutting myself... pure impulse. And even now, I have seen her with her friends (female) - she is very demonstrative, I have seen her snuggling up to a female friend. Socially unusual here in Australia for friends of the same sex to make this sort of physical contact.
    Where this is coming from in these three kids - it's not ADHD, it's Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). And if you have Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in the mix, it complicates the picture. It can be good news also, to an extent. But if you don't manage to find a way through to your kid, it can mean added problems.

    If he is feeling stressed, he is likely to go to pieces so fast, you get hit by the shrapnel. Other parents who don't experience this, don't get it or they blame you. ANd while you have more control than you realise, it is not in the way you traditionally expect and you have to make changes in your responses, in order to see changes in his. You have to get inventive. You also have to become your son's facilitator and support and not his obstacle.

    Your son cooperated for a stranger on the phone - that is interesting and actually, a very good sign. It means that he is basically a good kid, but is not able to communicate to you why he is struggling. He is also not coping with you blocking his bad actions as your way of handling him. it is not only not working, it is setting you guys up for really bad failure. It might work for a child who is occasionally wayward but otherwise 'normal'. It is not working for this boy.

    Get in his head.

    Read the book. Get your husband to read it too, or if he can't, get him to lurk here, join here or whatever. My husband did that and it has really helped us a great deal. Anything I have said about your husband here - I am not critical of his position, he is reacting the way any bloke would. The woman he loves is out of her depth and he wants to fix it for her. But I am telling you form our own experience - it won't work for him that way, not with this kid. But other ways do work. They're not a cure, but any improvement can make it a bit easier to know what you're coping with.

    I'm starting to repeat myself (that's what happens when your boys come and talk at you - difficult child 1 just dropped in for a visit too) so I'll let you absorb this and see if any of it gels for you.

    Let me know what you think, and shoot back any questions.

    Marg
     
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that post, Marguerite. I, for one, found it very helpful!
     
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    No worries, Malika. It's just that we've been there done that. That's all.

    On the medication issue, I meant to say that some medications for ADHD can cause rebound. This is like all the day's ADHD stuff that was covered by the medications, has now suddenly all come out in one big dose at the end of the day. difficult child 3's friend with ADHD gets tearful at the end of his day on Concerta. They lowered the dose and eased off the rebound but still had good benefit.

    difficult child 1 had bad rebound on ritalin - he would get violent unmedicated also. He has refused to try Concerta.

    When your son refuses his medications, I would try to find out what his reasons are. He needs to understand why he needs it, and not in any negative way, either. Too often these kids are so easily made to feel bad about themselves that they can learn it's easier to just give up and stop trying. We explained to our kids that with ADHD, there is a switch in the brain not working properly, like a light switch with a short circuit. The medications make the switch work effectively. The switch is an on switch, but it goes to a control circuit that helps the brain stop and think before acting. It also helps switch off the distractions to a varying extent. Some people need insulin. Some people need medications for epilepsy. It's just one of those things. And a lot of people need medications for that brain switch. Finding the right medication and right dose takes time. The dose is not dependent on the degree of problem; difficult child 1 takes half the dose his little brother does but has more ADHD problems when unmedicated.

    difficult child 3 went rather ga-ga on Strattera. Three days, and we had to take him off it because he was violent, incoherent, talking in circles and very, very angry without knowing why. The benefit was minimal after three days. On Concerta he did get some benefit, but there was rebound. We went back to dexamphetamine knowing we'd tried everything. He now takes citaloprim as well, for the anxiety. It makes a big difference to him. Every kid is different but the range of problems can be extreme. And then - you can be doing everything right s far as possible, but you cannot control everything and the school or the neighbourhood will let you down and trigger problems in him. But the more you can fix, the easier it is to identify when there is a problem coming in from somewhere else, so you can go deal with them too.

    Marg
     
  11. HowMuchLonger

    HowMuchLonger New Member

    Thanks so much everyone for all your kind words....they really really did make today much easier to take. He came home from school (had a good day...gotta be happy for the those) very apologetic, demure, quiet and accepting of the consequences he knew were coming....which again I was happy about. I jsut wish I could get through to him that if he cut out all the BS that happened in the morning he wouldn't have to come home feeling that way....he could jsut be a kid and be happy. Anyhow, he took the list of consequences well - no tv, video games, computer time, and in the house for the day.

    Seriously...if my oldest son had ever tried even 1/4 of this..he'd be grounded until he was 50!! We do get that this one is different...after the first 5 mins of talking to him, I've lost him...and after the first day or two of punishment...I've lost him, so we try to keep it short and simple.

    slsh - we've discussed the mood swings with every professional in his life. Part of the problem is that other than school, noone has seen the more serious freak outs. Nice as pie when talking to psychologist, pediatrician, social workers...and has ALL the answers... "keep things small...share my feelings....walk away....ask an adult for help..." Everyone is SO impressed with how mature and responsible he is. ARGH makes me want to purposely antagonize him just to get him to go off during an appointment!!

    I'll come back in a bit...I need to take care of supper...and then I'll respond to everyone else. Again, thanks so much guys
     
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If it's rebound, it hits worst at home in safe territory, after school is out and medications are wearing off. With a lot of effort these kids can hold it together for a short while, especially in a 1:1 situation. That's why I suggest you keep your own good notes. It might also help to have daily communication between yourself and school. We kept a travelling journal with difficult child 3 which we called our Communication Book. Teachers would write in it, sometimes something seemingly almost irrelevant, but these could be clues which tip us off to a problem he displays later in the afternoon. Then there were the times when the school deliberately withheld information. They had a policy of not notifying us of detention, for example, until after the week's detention was served. I really fought that one hard when I found out, because I remember one classic week - difficult child 3's behaviour at home was worse and worse through the week and I could do nothing with him. I was writing in the book, "Is there any change this week? Something happening at school that could be causing him to be more stressed?" and the teacher said, "No, no change here." Then the next week I got the note, "Your son served detention last week for the following reasons..."

    I remember one meeting I had with the teacher, I'd arranged for a therapist to sit in on the class and we had a meeting together afterwards - me, the teacher, the therapist. Again it was a bad week for us at home and I asked if there was anything happening at school that could be a the cause. Then I noticed the staffroom noticeboard - difficult child 3's name was on the board for some infraction. We had just asked the teacher a direct question, "Has there been a problem? Have there been any incidents?" and been told no. The noticeboard told a different story. I asked the teacher and he played it down. But it was the first step to another detention, and I had only the previous week insisted that ANY infraction needed to be punished immediately (not wait until he built up enough black marks over six months) and I was to be notified immediately.

    So never discount problems at school that you may not be getting told about. Also, teachers often won't bother parents about every little thing, or even a lot of big things, because if they do that with every kid, it's too much work. But once your child is identified as having problems and needing support, you can make a case for them telling you about YOUR child's activity at school.

    Marg
     
  13. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Welcome, you've found a safe place to land. May I ask which province you're in? (I have family in S. Ontario)
     
  14. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    LOL - sorry, I'm just experiencing such deja vu here. My kid also *always* knew all the proper answers about how to manage his rage. Oh my, he was just a master at calm discussion with the professionals - and flipping over into Tasmanian Devil mode here at home and at school. I remember when we hit hospitalization 8 or so just *begging* psychiatrist to have staff "trigger" thank you (directing him to brush his teeth was guaranteed to provoke nuclear-level meltdowns) so that staff could really see firsthand what we were dealing with. psychiatrist chuckled, patted my hand, and assured me that they understood.

    I think it's a form of honeymooning when he's so calm, rational, and appropriate with the professionals. thank you would be transported to the local ER a spitting, biting, kicking, cursing, wild-eyed, out of control kid. Probably 90% of the time, the second he hit the ER, he'd be right as rain. And the vast majority of the time he spent in the hospital, he was totally in control and appropriate. Honeymooning. New environment, new people, no behaviors. *Incredibly* frustrating.

    I agree with JJJ that when you're dealing with assaultive/destructive behavior, calling 911 for transport of a mentally ill child to a hospital for evaluation may be your best bet in #1, keeping everyone safe, and #2 documenting and getting more witnesses to the level of raging that you're dealing with-. I'm betting that at his age, you're probably nearing your max in terms of being to safely contain him during a rage. The professionals you're working with have *got* to come up with a better crisis plan for you guys. Just because they're not witnessing the rages doesn't mean they're not happening - somehow, you need to either get them to join you in your reality or find a professional who will hear you and address this.
     
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Another vote for This-Is-Way-More-Than-ADHD.

    I don't know how they do things in Canada. In the US, I'd recommend taking him for a compolete neuropsychologist evaluation. Also, Adderrall made my son mean and aggressive (he's not). In fact, stimulants in general made my son mean and aggressive.

    It could be that your son knows exactly how he should stop himself from raging, but can't do it. Knowing the talk is a whole different story from actually putting it into effect.
     
  16. HowMuchLonger

    HowMuchLonger New Member

    Ok, it's morning which is my quiet alone time so I have more time to respond to everyone.

    StepTo2, I also think there is more than ADHD going on...I had mentioned ODD to a social worker who informed me that they would treat that the same as they would ADHD..so having that already diagnosed is pretty much the same thing. But I'd have to think there would be a difference. Perhaps not in medications, but maybe dosage, or perhaps adding a second one, or even just discipline approaches? I'm not exactly sure what a neuropsychologist is? I'm guessing maybe we have a different name for them here. He has spoken to a therapist but we mainly stick with our pediatrician for medications/advice right now. She feels we're OK. And in a way I guess she's right...for the most part we get through the day, but it's these random seemingly unprovoked outbursts that still aren't being addressed.

    JJJ, after yesterday's meltdown my first thought when I couldn't reach my husband was to call either an ambulance or the police but that scared me almost more than dealing with him did. I think perhaps if it does happen again, I may have to go that route though. In the heat of the moment I'm ready to strangle him, kick him out, tell him exactly what I'm thinking (I HATE THIS, I HATE YOU), but afterwards...he's just my little boy...a 9 year old baby....He'd kill me for telling anyone, but he still sucks his thumb and has a piece of fluff he rubs on his face for comfort, and will still come in my room after a nightmare or during thunderstorms kind of kid...and then for that foul language and HATE to come out of his mouth..it's just so contradictory. I would love though for someone else to witness these meltdowns. Even his dad has only seen/heard a partial one over the phone. I love your idea about time with the other kids. My oldest is almost 18 and understands the situation. It doesn't make him like his brother any more. My youngest seems to almost target the older boy..I think because if he can engage my oldest, it's pretty much always the oldest getting in trouble as he "should know better". My middle son is a very tender hearted sensitive kid...if the youngest gets in trouble, the middle son cries as well. One day difficult child 3 threatened to kill himself. It took me 30 mins to calm difficult child 3 down...but another 4 hours to console difficult child 2.

    Marguerite I totally appreciate you taking the time to post all the useful information. Some we've done, some hadn't thought of. I have been keeping a log for myself and his pediatrician in regards to moods/behaviours etc to keep track of how the medications are working. I've PORED over them trying to find a link, a commonality, anything to help us figure out the triggers with no luck. No overlapping foods, circumstances, school days. It's just so random and unpredictable which makes it worse. I know when he was on Ritalin the rebound (is that that same as crash?) effect when the medications would wear off was terrible. He would get that manic silliness, or the other extreme very violent and raging for no reason. We then tried dexedrine...that was a little bit better, but the crash between dosages (morning and afternoon) was very challenging for the school. We switched to Adderall on the Christmas break. It's the SR version so only one a day and it seems to last longer than the other two did. He's doing much better at school in every category. The problem is there's still the underlying "animal" just waiting to come out...everyone can feel and sense it. He gets the look on his face, or the tone of his voice changes (gets lower and more drawn out and slower), or there is sometimes the manic silliness. The silliness is almost (to me) a warning or a challenge he puts out. Like, "oh yeah, see if you can handle this and if you dont' get annoyed i'll ramp it up until you do" We had this yesterday and when he couldn't engage me that's when the violence, raging started. I tried to use humour to diffuse, but it made it worse. That seems to be the problem here is that sometimes things work and sometimes they do the complete opposite so you're always walking on eggshells and unsure of yourself. How does a 9 year old gain so much POWER over people???

    I agree with you on my husband backing off. I don't want to sugar coat anything but I also don't want to make him look like the bad guy. He has done a complete 180 in his attitude and own behaviours over the past year. He usually dealt with this with a spanking and fairly long punishment (a week with no outside time). When that was obvious it wasn't working I worked hard at convincing him we needed to do more, listen more, talk more and CALM DOWN. It's almost a blessing that most of our issues occur when he's at work as he has time to process and think about it and come home after work in a much calmer state. He's very old school "you WILL respect me, don't you EVER treat your mother like that..etc" and it's been almost as hard a road for him changing his own behaviour and impulse to spank first ask questions later. He's still a work in progress as well ;) I think part of the problem is he was always so strict that I laid back and almost became the "jellyfish parent" (Barbara Coloroso) and that has added confusion. I'm trying really hard to get to a good middle ground and pull my husband there with me. For the most part we're on the same page, but the overt and disgusting disrespect still has his hackles up.

    I have read the Explosive Child years ago for difficult child 2. I'll be honest, we've not had many problems with him for several years, so I've abandoned or forgotten most of the theories. I will have to pick up a copy again and see how I can use it for difficult child 3.

    The "getting in his head" is what has us all stumbling. There seems to be no rhyme or reason other than to just antagonize and make everyone miserable. I sometimes feel that the happier anyone is, the more he tries to make them unhappy. One of his biggest problems is talking. He shuts down when in the rage and won't listen or talk reasonably (which I know is normal)...but it makes it very hard. I feel like after we've got him calm he will then share his feelings but I feel he's making stuff up. For example with yesterday's meltdown he claims it's because he hates waking up in the morning..it's rough for him. I can get that and deal with that, but why then have you had NO problems the past 300 mornings???? Or he'll say "it's because my mom doesn't do anything with me..she's always working or on the computer". This will be after me spending every waking moment with him, quitting my job to stay home for him, volunteering in his classroom 5 days a week etc etc. Another one we hear often is "it's because of easy child or difficult child 2"....when easy child was away for the summer working and difficult child 2 is outside playing. If we so much as put a seed of an idea in his head he runs with it, so it feels made up and fake. I think he may be having problems knowing himself why he does it, so just waits for an opportunity to jump on an excuse. Yesterday he spoke with a social worker on the crisis line and I could hear her say "did you sleep well last night?" and that was it..he was off and running with this newest story of how he hates mornings and can't sleep etc. Instead of ignoring it we jumped on it ourselves and part of his consequences for yesterday's antics were to figure out a way to avoid this in the future. We came up with him going to bed 1/2 hr earlier, and letting me know when I first come in to wake him whether this is a good or bad morning.

    *had to take a break for school*

    I too have worried my physical blocking or holding the door to his room will make matters worse, but the other option scares me more. He is extremely impulsive and reckless and will/has run out of the house to be gone for hours. At 9 yrs old that is UNacceptable and scary.

    I agree that cooperating with a complete stranger on the phone is a good thing (it could've become much worse if he hadn't), but that leads me to believe he is very much IN control of not only himself (there goes the diagnosis?) but of the situation? I don't know about that one yet.

    My husband and I have both tried finding out the reasons for refusing the medications. He's been on them since October and has only ever refused them twice (yesterday being the 2nd). He "claims" they taste bad, are gross, can't swallow etc...but again, it's a made up concept. The other 148 days he had no problem taking them when 'he wanted to' is the feeling I'm getting from him.

    We have here in Ontario schools what we call agendas. They are great books that come home every day with notes in from the teacher and students themselves. Behaviour, homework, upcoming events/projects etc. SOME teachers are awesome at filling these out, but interestingly enough, I find the biggest complainers of my son's bad behaviours are the ones LEAST willing to do the work and put something concrete down in these books!!! Frustrating! I had one teacher that would just put a sticker - green for good day, yellow for so-so, red for bad....but never write was was good or bad about it! I never knew how to consequence or talk to him about the day because I had no idea if red was him not finishing work, or something more serious like poking a kid in the eye with a pencil!! difficult child 3 has just finished a 7 week out of school program that deals with ONLY behaviours, strategies, tools etc for kids with behaviour issues at school. They go to a regular school for a regular school day but no academics...all strategies. He did awesome there, only a few hiccups at the end (I think he was anxious about transitioning back into his regular school). I knew he'd do great...almost didn't want to send him but never turn down an opportunity for help when it arises even if a waste of time :/

    I've been trying to answer all questions in order but I think I've mucked it up, hope this isn't too confusing! Marg I think you had mentioned/asked about the gap from birth to the 6/7 years old when behaviours started. As I was saying in my first post (but wandered off topic) he was a handful as a child. I was relieved when he started junior kindergarten just for some time to catch my breath! Never had any real 'behaviour' issues that I could see (although, I once had a family member say "I dont know why you guys are so worried about difficult child 2 when it's difficult child 3 (then easy child) you need to worry about - she must've seen something we didn't). JK went GREAT! He is an extremely intelligent kid (which makes it harder because he knows how to manipulate and con) and did well, was popular and well liked by all. SK, same thing. His teacher was so taken by him she bought him an "extra special" xmas gift the other kids didn't get that she snuck to me after school before xmas break. Grade one again was awesome...until about the last month of school. Very little things but we were shocked as he had been such a great student with NO problems at school. From day ONE of grade 2 he was a menace. Suspended in the first week for threatening a child with scissors ("i was just handing them to him..."), Suspended one day after returning from suspension for telling teacher to "screw off" and flicking lights on and off in class and running through school with teachers chasing him....the rest of the year continued like this. I think out of 160 school days he was actually there for about 70..and of those I have NO clue how much time was spent in the office. Through all this he managed to pull all b's and two c's (!!??). I spoke with the teacher and she confirmed she ahdn't just "passed him on" he had really scored that high on the work he would get done.. "probably would've been straight A's if he'd been here...". Just a side note. difficult child 3 (and a few others) did so much mental damage to this teacher she ended up leaving after that year, her first, at the school :( Around mid-May the school ahd to call my work and get my supervisor to contact me. The message was simply "the police are on their way, not sure if you can get to the school on time...." AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I cried my eyes out all the way to school and threw up when I got out of the car. How can the police have to be called for a (then) 7 year old??? Anyhow, we got through and grade 3 was semi-good. We really thought we were on the right track, found the right disciplines, rewards, punishments, words etc. Then grade 4....suspended day two, day 5, day 10, brought a knife - 20 day suspension pending expulsion....right back to square one. Actually we were WAY beyond square one. They obviously decided not to expel (luckily the impulsive reckless kid kept it in hsi pocket and didn't pull it out). It was at that point we sought help and here we are today on Adderall

    Whew, I've wrote a book here...sorry guys. There's so much more and I keep hoping the more people I talk to someone will hear something that will be the red flag and I can change it and make everything better :( Unfortunately it hasn't happened yet.
     
  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    A couple of things stood out to me in your "book" as you call it. by the way, don't worry - the rest of us do this, too.

    First - I know it's scary to call the police. But if you are in danger of being harmed, or HE is - you must. I had my school district beat the snot out of me almost 2 years ago and husband convinced me NOT to call. Well... She tried it again, he said she had calmed and... They were already on their way. I was done being hurt. I lock my bedroom door at night. I carry my cell phone everywhere. Seriously - it could escalate, fast. If you must, you must.

    Second - we have agendas, too. And the teachers are TERRIBLE - almost ALL of them. We have one - out of about 12 for both kids - who will email us occasionally. We've received 2 emails from her since August. Agendas are great, if they are used - I know the kids do not show them to their teachers. We have to pull teeth to get them to show them to US. You may have to have weekly meetings with the teachers...
     
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That was really great feedback.

    Just to clarify - I wasn't commenting on the gap in the problem (him seeming to be OK for the first 7 years) because from what you said, I can see issues from Day 1. But they changed when he went to pre-school/school. Why the change? Because he had to begin interacting with other people, and he was not able to control them or their actions. Kids like this need to be able to understand their world, and the easiest way to understand it is to control it. As parents, we then respond by not letting them have control, and thus begins the vicious circle. Actually, letting the child have control as much as possible, in areas tat don't matter to you, can help them learn to compromise and let you have control where it DOES matter. For example, if it's cold outside, the child wants to wear his red jumper with green trousers, you want him to wear the brown jumper because it looks so much nicer. But really - if he's wearing a jumper, ANY jumper, that is more important. And if it's cold outside and he wants to go out and play in such a hurry that he refuses to take the time to put a coat on - let him go without the coat. But keep it handy near the door, he will be back for it. But if you make a federal case out of it, his own stubbornness will stop him from coming back so soon and admitting he made a bad choice.

    The agendas sound like what I was talking about - you need good communication. And it is NO coincidence that the teachers who complain the most are the ones giving you least useful feedback. That is exactly hat we observed - whenever a teacher tried to "wean us off" communication, problems escalated. These problems greatly reduced when we returned to daily communication. A possible difference between your agendas and our communication book, is in the Book I used to write stuff too, such as "He had nightmares last night, was wakeful for hours and is likely to be tired and irritable this morning." My level of reporting set the expectation for the amount of detail I wanted in return. If you're not getting enough feedback, go to the school and ask for more. Maybe even put your request in writing. For us, it was part of the IEP. It came in very handy. One incident is a good example - difficult child 3 had been horrible at school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, however, he was good as gold. He was quiet, sitting still and not fidgetting and even seemed to get on with his schoolwork a bit better. On Friday afternoon the kids walked to the sports oval and he walked quietly beside the teacher. She actually wrote in the book that he had been very good and polite. He didn't want to run with the other kids, though, and was clingy. The bus collected the kids from the oval and dropped them home. When he got home, difficult child 3 came in to my room where I was, climbed on the bed beside me and cuddled in. That's when his forehead made contact with my arm, and I knew immediately - fever. Big time. I grabbed the thermometer, read the result (103 F) and called the doctor immediately.
    Over time we saw a pattern - his behaviour would be worse while he was coming down with a cold or similar, would be back to his normal while he HAD the cold, then would worsen again as he recovered. My guess is, while his body was changing state (going form well to ill and back again) he was less able to adapt, and the problem behaviours broke out.

    Factors we noted that reduced his ability to "hold it together" -

    * getting sick or recovering (from a range of different illnesses)

    * substitute teacher (any)

    * teacher having a bad day

    * other kids in class or in the playground hassling him or being mean (hard to identify but has a huge impact)

    * class work that is challenging (ie writing tasks, new topic, work that he doesn't 'get')

    * changing task (including changing form something he doesn't like, to something he likes - it's all difficult)

    * communication problem esp teacher or child feeling unheard - the frustration in either of them causes massive deterioration in behaviour.

    * punishment for almost any reason can cause raging, without the discipline 'working'. Reward-based is more effective, coupled with calm removal of child form dangerous situation (as far as possible). Deflection should be used where possible.

    Avoid "no" and "don't" words, change to "do this instead" or "come here to me" alternatives. For example, difficult child 3's idiot teacher in Grade 5 (who couldn't understand this basic concept even after it was explained to her in detail) would say to difficult child 3, "Stop tapping that pencil on the desk, it's annoying the other kids." difficult child 3 might not have even been aware he was doing it, but repetitive movement and sound is actually a coping mechanism for him and he could not stop for long. A better option would have been for her to say to difficult child 3, "Put down the pencil and come here to me." It changes what he is doing, but not in a negative way. Chances are when he goes back to his desk, the mental pattern will have changed and he won't feel a need to tap the pencil so much.

    You have not identified any link yet. But if you look at your list, you have ruled out a lot of things and that is progress. I'm betting two things:

    1) The problem(s) triggering the behaviour issues are complex and probably social-based. Something is happening in his interactions with others, probably at school, that is not being managed appropriately. For us, the kid were mostly wonderful to difficult child 3, but there were a handful who were horrible nd who encouraged other, younger kids in other grades, to be horrible too. The aim was to trigger difficult child 3 to rage, because it distracted the teacher from the lesson and these kids could then relax and not have to work so hard. One boy would sit near difficult child 3 in class and when the teacher was not looking, would poke him with a pin, or a sharpened pencil or whatever he had. I only knew about it because a parent who was supporting as a volunteer in class came and told me. Also told me that the teacher must have known, but chose to do nothing (also did not put it in the communication book). When the parent told the teacher, the parent was told, "The kids will sort themselves out, they always do." But kids will only sort themselves out, if they are sufficiently skilled socially. That kid literally spent years sticking sharp objects into my son, and there is no way he could put up with it without there being problem behaviours breaking out somewhere.

    2) There could well be something like Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) going on here, with all the related problems. They do learn to adapt as they get older, but support helps them adapt faster, as does understanding and therapy. And frankly, just plain maturity (ie time).

    Now, the shouting and disrespect. This is important, please share this with your husband. Picture yourself driving home after work. You've had a really bad day and it has been so unfair. The boss was yelling at you because you wore a red jacket instead of a brown one. At coffee break there was no coffee and the boss yelled at you again because you were supposed to buy coffee and milk on the way to work. Then after coffee break you couldn't find your papers, someone had taken them while you were away from your desk. You reach for your chocolate bar you keep in your top drawer and ants had found it, it was covered in ants and you took a bite without realising. You rushed form your desk to rinse your mouth out, and the boss yelled at you again and threatened to sack you. Your co-worker then went to the boss and complained about you. By the end of the day you had already lost it with the boss and been given your notice. You know the next mortgage payment is due plus the biggest credit card bill you've ever had. And in the traffic on the way home you drive into the back of someone who stopped suddenly. Then you remember you forgot to pay the insurance bill last month. And the car you just hit was a Daimler, consulate car. You get out to go talk to the other driver, and a car behind you starts honking loudly. It is at this point that you lose it. Totally, completely. You cry, you swear, you collapse in a heap on the road and scream that life is just too, too unfair. Then someone chastises you for not having enough self-control and the Daimler driver especially chastises you for swearing in front of the ambassador. You then proceed to tell the chauffeur exactly what he can go and do to the ambassador, and where they can both go to do it.

    What I am describing here is the level of frustration a child can have, even if all they're dealing with is ADHD. And we are increasingly suggesting that this could be more than ADHD (and ODD). Adults often don't recognise the issues that can set a kid off, as being valid or of any concern. So Jacob laughed at you when you fell off the monkey bars? Get over it! But Jacob is still sniggering behind his hand on the other side of the classroom; he whispers something to Jack next to him and they both snigger, looking at you. You get mad, the teacher sends you out of the room for swearing at her.

    Once a kid learns how to swear (and the best lessons come from other kids at school - my kids learnt some appalling words at a frighteningly young age) then it's hard to put that genie back in the bottle. Also, when an individual (especially a child with impulse control) is sufficiently aggravated, they will swear. It is proven that it reduces pain significantly (emotional pain as well as physical pain) to swear. Swearing is a coping strategy. For everybody. And here you have a child who is having more trouble coping than other kids his age.

    When he swears at you, of course it is not acceptable and it is disrespectful. But punishing him for it is not going to work, until you can remove his NEED to swear. Of course he knows he shouldn't. But when he is so upset, he cannot really control himself all the time in everything. Something has to give somewhere, and it is generally the people he feels safest with, that he will display the worst behaviour to.

    What we do - we quietly respond with, "I am not shouting/swearing at you; please do not shout/swear at me." I also often add, "What is the real problem here? Let's see what we can do to help."
    If you think about it, you should quickly be able to find a fairly obvious immediate trigger. For example when you are blocking him from running outside - he wants to go out. Why? Is he running outside to run away in rage? Or does he want to go outside to play after you've told him he has to stay inside and get his chores done? If the latter, then try to say to him, "I will let you go outside, AFTER X has been done." Keep the required task short, only five minutes. Even offer to set a time - "Spend five minutes doing X and we will go outside together immediately you are finished." Then keep your promise and as you do so, say to him, "I am letting you go outside now, as I said I would." Reinforce. And note - none of those statements were a negative statement. They were "Do X, you get Y immediately."

    You have been asking him the various whys and wherefores, and his answers are sounding more like guesses. So it sounds like he isn't sure himself, of his reasons and is grasping at ideas. That's OK - but it indicates his self-awareness is way below par also. But you have raised the subject, so now he will think about it. If he says things like, "Mum doesn't spend enough time with me," when you know it isn't the case, then gently remind him how much time you spent with him in the immediate past. Or you can say nothing about that, just ask him, "How would you like me to fix this? What would you like me to do?" and then discuss with him how you can work together to give him what he wants. Even if you feel resentful given all you have already given up for him, push it aside. Because what happens with this process, is he will realise that you already do a lot and he hadn't noticed. Or wants more than any reasonable person can expect.

    Warning - these kids (any kids at a certain age) are egocentric and if you do not let him know that you have other important tasks to get done he will always take for granted that you will be 100% available for him. That actually is bad for him; when he sees you doing other important tasks (such as preparing dinner) he will see that we all have to do what we have to do, before we do what we want to do. You will be a clear demonstration of that. He needs to learn it, you will be his example.

    We use computer game time as reward. Not just difficult child 3 playing games, but playing games WITH ME. Lately it's guitar hero, and difficult child 3 & I sing along. Or I sing while he plays. It is fun, we're doing something positive together and we set time limit. Whatever time we spend comes off the time he has 'banked' by completing certain tasks Initially we brought this in s a reward for behaviour - difficult child 3 having a tantrum-free day (defined as not having to be sent to his room, but being able to regain self-control if upset) was rewarded with 15 minutes of gaming with Mum, cashable next day. I played a lot of Mario Party!

    Your husband has to let you deal with the issue when difficult child is swearing at you. It's not husband on the receiving end, he needs to back off. I do get it - my husband is the same about disrespect, but has also learnt (the hard way) that you need to try to change the more basic stuff first. "Disrespect" is fairly complex socially and especially in impulse control plus extreme frustration, not much under the child's control.

    You also need to learn how to apologise to him, so you can teach him how to apologise. He will need to be led through it, and this could be something your husband can work on with him. First, if you and your husband ever shout at one another or fight, he needs to hear you apologise to one another also. Then next time difficult child has been shouting at you, AFTER he has calmed down husband could try going to him and saying, "How are you feeling now? You know those things you said to your mother before - I understand you were very upset. But they perhaps were a bit stronger than was really right. She is your mum, she does a lot for you. I sometimes argue with her too, and she argues with me sometimes. But when we calm down, we say sorry. Would you like me to help you say sorry to her?"

    If he can't, don't push it. Always in these interactions, you back off and drop it if he begins to get upset. The aim is to push as far as he can handle it, but always back away before he goes into another meltdown. And where possible, teach him to resolve his distress in more appropriate ways. This will take time and patience, as well as a lot of forgiveness.

    Your husband sounds like a wonderful man - he loves you, he wants to protect you. But you are a big girl and have to deal with your own stuff here. He needs to know that he is still just as much a protector ad the man of the house, if he does back away from this for a while (except in the way I suggested).

    it is possible that husband has stirred difficult child up too much, too recently, for my suggestion to work just yet But it will come with time and patience.

    Keep posting, I'll keep thinking, and we will see if we can help you find more ideas and information. But I do think that if he hasn't got one already, he needs an IEP. You can then use this to force a higher quality of communication via the agendas. If you set the ball rolling and begin by communicating with them at the level you require, it might also help.

    Marg
     
  19. HowMuchLonger

    HowMuchLonger New Member

    Even more wonderful ideas and suggestions guys..thanks

    StepTo2 - I think I'm slowly coming to terms with having to call the police. It always sickened and frightened me, but after this latest meltdown, once I made the decision to call someone, anyone to help me I felt a calmness...maybe jsut because I finally MADE a decision...or maybe because it's always been hard for me to ask for or accept help it was a weight lifted. I don't know for sure. The agendas here are pretty much a joke depending on which teacher your child has. The school and board strongly support and push these onto us parents. We have to pay a portion (only $5 or $2 depending on how much is subsidized by home/school assn), and half the time I feel like I write my life story in it...only to have it return 3-4 days in a row with NO response....and then the school constantly spouts "parental support, communication, CONSISTENCY"...makes me fume!

    Marg - could you please come and live with me?? No wait, your sig says you live near water..can I come live with you??? LOL. I have been trying really hard to pick my battles with him. I've given up having nicely dressed, properly groomed children with matching, non-holey socks. difficult child 3 goes to school looking (and probably smelling) like a hobo. Although he has started taking notice of girls lately and will stop a quick min. to wet down his cowlick before running out the door. I learned about "planned ignoring" in one of the workshops I took...that one's hard. I find it hard to decide which behaviours I should ignore and which are definite deal breakers. I think 10 years ago I would have been able to make that decision in a heartbeat and now I'm just so un-confident and unsure of myself. We also talk ALL the time at our counselling about natural consequences. Our biggest is the going out without proper clothes for the weather. I have given up fighting him about a coat, hat, mitts, gloves. I know he'll come in before frostbite sets in, or hypothermia (although he is just stubborn enough one day he might not lol). But he'll come home literally 10 days in a row shivering, red faced, frozen complaining..and do it again another 10 days. Apparently he's a little slow on the uptake here!

    I 'think' we have pretty good communication with the school (at least on my end!). One thing I didn't address is our location. We are in one of the worst areas of our city (all we could afford to buy in) with one of the proven worst inner city schools..doesn't help does it? I volunteered for many years at the breakfast program there and out of the 300 students, we'd have 220 come through the doors every morning to get something to eat :/ I know some were there for the social aspect, but you can always spot the ones that aren't...We have something here in Ontario called EQAO where they test the kids in grade 3, 6 and I believe 9 and then compare each school with the board standards. At the end of the reports they tell you how many students are IEP'd in that particular school...in our school 57% !!! I haven't seen the other schools but that has to be high no? A lot of behavioural issues, family issues, social, economic etc etc etc. Some of difficult child 3's behaviours have definitely been either learned or encouraged there. The bigger problem to me is the high turnover rate.
     
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome!! The other have given you a lot of great feedback and advice and I have some other suggestions.

    My first is to start a Parent Report. The link in my signature will take you to the thread that explains it, but it is a report that YOU write about your difficult child. It is a way to keep ALLLLLL the info together in one place. The outline is great and will help you remember things. Just don't do it all in one piece - work on it in chunks. You can copy sections of it to give to docs, school, whatever as it is needed for them to have the info. They will do a lot better using the info if they can read it and refer back to it. You likely will not want many people to have the entire thing, but you can give them copies of whatever you think is relevant.

    Have you ever thought about sensory issues being a problem for him? Not everyone processes sensory input the normal way. for some of us the right sensory input can be almost mesmerizing or be so pleasant that we can fixate on it - and the wrong sensations can cause huge meltdowns and avoidance and major outbursts. Often the person with sensory issues doesn't have a clue about why the sensation is so upsetting. This can be severe enough to be called sensory integration disorder or you can just be more responsive to sensory input.

    Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) is well explained in The Out of Sync Child by Kranowitz. She describes what it is, how different senses can be involved and the problems that it can create, how the brain works differently for kids with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) than for those with-o it. She also describes the therapy used to treat it. My youngest had poor muscle tone/stamina, did not color or draw or write if he could escape it, was clumsy in sort of odd ways, and had strong, even violent reactions to many things that didn't even register to my husband or even to me. I say even to me because I have always had sensory problems - just didn't know it was a diagnosis and treatable until I had kids. My mom always described her problems when we were in a noisy area as not having the right filters to keep the background sounds out. It is an excellent description.

    Each of my kids has serious sensory quirks - Jessie cannot sleep with-o a "silky" even now - she is 15! She went through many blankies because they wore out but each of them had binding that was very smooth silky material. My mom even sewed a length of silky ribbon to her carseat cover when we made a new one. When she is upset or overwhelmed it helps soothe her. Wiz would vomit if he had to try something with tomato in it other than pizza - because the texture of pizza is different than the texture of sauce on pasta or of a ripe tomato.

    My youngest had so many Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) problems that through 3rd grade he missed ONE FOURTH of the days of every quarter of school. He would be very pale and his whole body would be really rigid sort of and it almost seemed like he was vibrating on the days he missed. The school set up a 504 plan that covered his absences so we didn't have to worry about attendance problems, thankfully! If he went to school on days like that he either had to come home early because he just couldn't cope or he would come home, have a total meltdown, wnd up vomiting for a couple of hours and then crash like the dead. This usually meant he needed at least 3 days to be able to go back to school.

    We had a private Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation done when he was 3 or 4. School CAN do an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation here in the states but they only look at what problems will impact education. We had to see the impact on his whole world. Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) is one of the FEW diosrders that has a treatment that is totally non-invasive and can re-wire how the brain works. Brushing therapy uses a very soft brush like a surgical scrub brush to brush the body in a certain pattern and order - on bare skin or on top of clothing - followed by gentle joint compressions. This cannot be learned at home because if done incorrectly it can cause real problems. for example brushing the stomach area can disrupt the entire digestive process! In spite of this, brushing is easy. Once you are comfortable with it, brushing and joint compressions can be done slowly in about 2 - 3 minutes. Teachers can do it in the classroom if the child eneds that or the school Occupational Therapist (OT) can come in to do it and to give the teacher a break.

    Even more amazing than rewiring the brain is the almost instant impact on how a child feels and thinks about himself. In the evaluation the Occupational Therapist (OT) asked my son is he was good at cutting and then if he was good at school. This child has always had excellent grades and rarely any complaints from his teachers. As he was struggling to cut he told her that he wasn't good at anything and wasn't smart at all. He continued to cut and seh did some gentle joint compressions on his shoulders and neck. Everything about him changed - and clearly NOT on purpose! He sat up straighter, he smiled, he looked up and said "See, I really CAN cut on the line!!" He also seemed to think he was one of the "smart kids" at school - he talked about it when seh asked another question. It was like seeing Mr. Hyde turn into Dr. Jekyll in front of me. At age 4 he was NOT faking it - it was very clear.

    Though your son is older, the brushing and compressions can help. It has helped ME not react to as many sensations, not get as gritchy when I am overwhelmed, etc... even though the Occupational Therapist (OT) and psychiatrists all told me that if you don't work with the child at a young age (3 or 4 if possible) then it won't really help. Even my older kids improved a lot after a couple of months of brushing therapy a couple of times a day.

    The other aspect to Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) treatment is providing a sensory diet. Sometimes wehn a kid is about to meltdown or is melting down, taking a break to do a soothing sensory activity (a sensory break) can turn things around 180 degrees. Many of our elem students have sensory breaks written into their IEP's and it makes a big difference. The best book on providing the sensory input that your child may need is The Out of Sync Child has Fun by Kranowitz. It is all activities and what sensory needs they can fill, ways to modify them to fit your needs and ways to do them for little or no moeny!

    I urge to to find an Occupational Therapist to evaluate your child's sensory issues and then to do what you can to provide the sensory diet he needs so that he can learn how to manage this and not have to be managed by it. SOrry so long but it got away from me.

    Welcome to our group!
     
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