I thought we were supposed to have good days?!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by In_a_Laundry_Bunker, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. In_a_Laundry_Bunker

    In_a_Laundry_Bunker New Member

    I just found this place and I oh so need a place to vent. Some place other then on the cell phone to my poor working hubby while my difficult child beams with pride over the chaos he's caused.

    I'm just lost on what to do. We don't have health insurance and even when we did difficult child wouldn't take the medications. So I can't say that anything works or doesn't work because he wont take them. I just don't know what to do but right now I don't like my kid very much and I honestly don't like myself for not liking him. Does it get better ever?
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board - I love your name!

    It does get better...but we had a lot of worse in there as well. Of course, my difficult child is 20 and has been whining most of the day about how bored she is!

    Others will be along soon.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board, although sorry that you have to be here.

    What about taking him to your county mental health clinic? They don't require insurance and, although they may not be the best, it really sounds like he needs SOME sort of treatment. Can you tell us more about him? How was his early development and does he have any strange quirks? Can he get along with his same age peers? Any psychiatric problems on either side of his genetic family tree? Are you getting a ny help from his school? 504? IEP?
  4. jal

    jal Member

    Welcome. Sorry you had to find us, but we're glad you did and hopefully you will be too. This is a great soft place to land. I can honestly attest that it can get better. I've been around here since my difficult child was around 4. He is now 9 and its not perfect (like anything ever is), but its a lot better & a lot more enjoyable (raising him) then it ever was.

    Please offer up some background info about your kiddo and what you've tried, or been through. It helps those of us who have been there to brainstorm and offer some suggestions, if that is what you would like...
  5. In_a_Laundry_Bunker

    In_a_Laundry_Bunker New Member

    Oh where to begin!

    He was diagnosed when he was 6 after a year of me trying to figure out if there was indeed something wrong or if he was a normal 5 year old. The behavior issues started right after he lost a friend of his to cancer. They weren't really close friends as she was in and out of the hospital a lot but it hit him hard and he went from a normal (abeit a little hyper) loving child to this angry, manipulative scary child. I've always thought it had something to do with his loss but that gets ignored every time I bring it up.

    He had a speech delay and needed tubes put in his ears when he was 5. The doctors thought that might be causing the behavior for awhile. But tubes put in speech corrected the behavior continued so that when they ruled it ADHD and ODD.

    He's tried Intuniv, Adderall, Risperdone. They all work for a few weeks and then he refuses to take them. He's turning 8 on the 2nd and I've tried to get him to explain to me why he wont take them and he just says they taste bad. Which I don't understand they're all coated. I wonder if its a side effect because my ADD medications dry out my mouth so honestly I don't take them either. LOL. But he just says they taste bad. We took him to a psychiatrist who wanted to do behavior play therapy with him but the cost made it a struggle and then every time we went to an appointment the doctor would tell us she had a family emergency or had accidently scheduled two people at once. I was taking him out of school for the appointments and after three times of going and not seeing her I just gave up really.

    He had problems in school from time to time but after I found out he was being sent to the prinicpals office daily because of poor handwriting I decided he deserved better then that so I've been homeschooling him this year. He does great during school time which is from 10am-noon. Sometimes his concentration lacks but I can adjust how I'm delivering the lesson to him to get him re-engaged. The ODD rares its head from time to time during school time but not nearly like it does when we're not doing lessons. I thought that meant more structure during the rest of his day but I can't seem to find the right schedule to balance everything I need to do and keep him busy.

    The rest of the day is a nightmare. I can't get him to do anything except watch tv. The witching hour is really when the school bus comes because that means his friends are home. He wants to be gone every minute and will fight to the death if I tell him he can't go. He's in scouts and besides not being able to keep his hands to himself he gets a long fairly well. Of course he has the problem of its never his fault. For example today he was playing the front yard and a kid he says is a bully rode by on a bike. I never heard the kid say a thing to him but I hear him screaming "You're a chicken" at the top of his lungs from the front walk.

    He loves to start trouble and stir things up. He's constantly hitting us or throwing things at us. He's even come after me with a baseball bat before. Its just scary. When he gets going he's a heck of a lot stronger then I am. His sister will be 4 in Feb. and even she is tired of fighting him. We sat down for dinner tonight and she said "I'm going to sit on this side of the table so my brother can't hit me" That just breaks my heart.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there. Have you ever had him go through a complete evaluation with a neuropsychologist? It sounds like you have figured out that his learning style does not match the traditional school setting. Did he ever have an IEP? IF he was being sent daily for an issue to the principal, then there should have been a child study on him and a referral for evaluation. You can still do that even if you homeschool by the way. You need to put it in writing and send the request to the Special Education. director and have it mailed return receipt. But the most important would be to have a neuropsychologist if you have not done that.
    Sounds like your hands are full. How can an 8 yr old refuse medications??? NO consequence works at all? I get it they can refuse to swallow, by the way..lol... I mean that really is a kid who can dig in if no consequence works for taking medications at age 8! (not a criticism, trust me, if you read posts from me... I have many unbelievable behaviors to deal with, haha)

    So, what does he do for socialization? Does he do any community sports or play dates with anyone? How does he play at home? What works and what does not work when you have these times when he is so oppositional with you? I promise there will be many of us who can relate. You will also hear that many here have at first had the adhd/odd diagnosis and as the kids got older, those changed to another umbrella diagnosis that covered both of those things. Did the medications work at all when he did take them? (maybe you said and I forgot already, sorry).

    Keep checking in... will be fun to get to know you. You have found a place where we all live it and understand it.... Kids who are a major challenge to parent. YUP, for sure you are not alone!
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First off welcome and hugs. The baseball bat thing is very scary. I know there have been times when my difficult child does not want to take his medications. We tried many different ways (including ice cream when he was younger) but taking his medications was non negotiable. His world stops until he takes them. No t.v., no games, no eating, no anything until he takes them. We fought that battle for a long time but it was an important one for him so we never gave in. Now he takes them with-o too much grumping.
  8. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    The laundry bunker was a great hiding place when my kids were young like yours! Welcome!

    Yes it does and can get better, but you'll have to work hard. I don't think one mom here will tell you it is easy. I saw trauma all over your first paragraph in the 2nd post. I am really big into trauma and have done much reading because trauma stole my lovely daughter from me. We fight every day to keep her head above water. We as adults have no idea how children will react to these events. It is hard to know what their brains process and what genetic predispositions arise if they have an early trauma. Some kids are rescilient(spelling??) and bounce with it, others take nose dives. Trauma research is not very old in the field. Really just began in late 70's. I just finished the pioneering book called, "To Scared to Cry". It has made a great impact on me. There is research happening right in my state as we speak that is suggesting most of the kids in the Juvenile Justice Sysytem have suffered trauma. It is life changing and brain changing and chemical changing-some books suggest it even affects DNA.

    Yes I agree with MWM, find a sliding scale place. Find someway to get help. Reach out to the school. Sometimes the counselor can help-they often know resources or can direct you to the district person who does. Call NAMI-they will know for sure.

    Keep reaching out here. It has saved me many times over the last months. It is the only place people understand, give support, ideas and tell you when you need to take care of yourself. I do get support at a NAMI group as well-though it isn't always enough. A big hug to you. Keep hope.
  9. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    He needs a comprehensive evaluation. Somehow. And soon.

    There is likely more going on than is obvious in your posts on this thread, but here's some of what I see for concerns...

    He's too young to really get full-scale Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) testing done, but... APDs often look like ADHD - especially difficulty with focus, paying attention, etc. If he is challenged by problems with "auditory figure ground", he will do fine working one-on-one with you but do terrible in a classroom. "Auditory figure ground" is difficulty processing a primary sound in the presence of background noise.

    Motor skills issues - HUGE red flag. No matter whether you think his motor skills are in general "on par" with peers, it will pay to get a detailed Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation of motor skills - fine and gross. Gross motor skills problems are a huge social deficit - at least in current culture. Fine motor skills problems are... a total disaster at school, and 10x worse than that for the first 3-4 years, with all the crafts and such on top of learning to write. The Occupational Therapist (OT) cannot give a diagnosis, but can document the problems in ways that other specialists understand (school and medical), AND has therapies to help. If he has motor skills problems, you might want to look into Developmental Coordination Disorder. One good starting point is CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research

    Social issues/challenges. He wants to be included, but does things that push others away. He needs to be at school - but he can't handle school. The list goes on. This could be related to any number of things, or multiples... from frustration due to things like Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) and/or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), all the way over to something on the autism spectrum, such as Asperger's - obviously high-functioning.

    Something is going on here that is way beyond ADHD.
    Toss out the ODD diagnosis... more likely, that is just a "placeholder" - acknowledgement that there is something else going on, but if the therapist/psychiatrist doesn't have a good handle on what other diagnosis it might be, the ODD "diagnosis" does document the behavior issues... but ODD doesn't provide any guidance, interventions, accommodations or medications to deal with the issue, because the real source of the problem can be so varied, and the correct solutions to be trying are dependent on the cause.

    The additional "trauma" factor... may or may not be part of the picture. It MAY be huge. Or, it may just be an unfortunate coincidence that this event happened at the same time as your son "went off the deep end".

    A comprehensive evaluation should cover all of this and more.

    Until you have a more complete picture of what you are dealing with, it will be difficult to find solutions that work well.
  10. In_a_Laundry_Bunker

    In_a_Laundry_Bunker New Member

    The laundry bunker came from a conversation with my husband. I have ADD and I can do many things but my kyptonite is laundry. Its always piled up. He was complaining to me about it one day and he asked if I just liked a mountain of dirty laundry around at all times. To which I replied that it was a good place to hide from the kids. Thus Laundry Bunker was born. :)

    The neuropsychologist sounds like a great idea. My husband's benefits kick in around Feb. He just started a new job. So i'm not without forever but I need ideas or a plan or hope to cling to until Feb. It seems so far off right now. He was diagnosed by our family doctor and confirmed by the psychiatrist we saw briefly.

    As for his medications I've tried everything from zero consequences to bribing and nothing works. He clamps his mouth down when I try to force it. He once sat in timeout from the time he woke up to bedtime because he refused to take it. I recently discovered a stockpile of medications under the microwave where he'd pretend to take them only to spit it out and stick it under there. I wish they came in liquid form because that I could probably force.

    When he gets defiant he gets sent to his room until he can calm down. We try to do the 123 magic with him. Sometimes that works most of the time it doesn't. When he gets violent I end up having to almost tackle him and kind of pin him in a hug until he calms down so he doesn't hurt anyone or himself. He's broken windows before when he was going off and then walked across the glass. Its not always easy I have RA which has pretty much zapped all my strength from my arms and legs.

    I'm trying to learn more conflict resolution to see if it helps. I'm also trying to find some self hypnotherapy to see if that will work. I kinda of discovered that by accident I found a self hypnosis app for my phone to help me shut my brain off so I can sleep at night. We were camping this summer with the cub scouts and a storm was coming and he just broke out in a full panic attack which I'd never seen him do before. I made him listen to the app and he calmed right down and went to sleep. I'm desperate to find something like that for ODD because it would be a god send.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I see no one else has suggested "the" book yet...
    You might want to find it at the library first and see if it "fits", but... many of us around this board have the book, use it, and... refuse to lend it out.

    The book is: The Explosive Child.
    It has a companion book: Lost at School (or is it lost in school?)
    The first is from a parent perspective, the second from a teacher perspective...
    I have both, and only lend out the second one.

    It presents a different approach on managing challenging kids, starting with a different set of assumptions.
    Might be worth a try...
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I dont know if this would work but my son uses a clonidine patch to help with aggression. You might have to put it in a place he can't reach it like the middle of his back. but since it doesn't taste bad.... it is changed weekly. ritalin also comes in patch form.
  13. In_a_Laundry_Bunker

    In_a_Laundry_Bunker New Member

    I've never heard of the patches. I take clonidine to help me sleep at times. I just recently read about its use for aggression. I will look into that asap. And thanks for the book recommendation I will be downloading it as well.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I didn't know they used Clonidine for sleep. Are you sure it is not Clonipin? But if it is, yeah, you can imagine then how it can calm. If you do end up using it, post here, we can give you tips on them....they can itch and they can come off, but most of us have figured out ways to help with that.
  15. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Just wanted to say welcome... Others have given you great advice.... Keep posting and you will not be alone in your journey ....HUGS
  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome. Hoping you have come out of that laundry bunker for a moment :) I was interested that you said school time was 10 am to noon... this is very short. Just two hours school time a day? Or do you mean that in the afternoon you do activities together, visit places, do projects, etc? If not, it would surely be a lot of unstructured free time... As for television, if your son is anything like mine - and I'm afraid they do sound similar in some ways - television is just NOT GOOD. Seems to crank him up to be very excited, agitated and aggressive.
    Anyway, look forward to hearing more. Believe me, we understand how difficult all this can be...
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Buddy-We used to use the Clonidine for sleep for difficult child. Now due to his other medications we only use it to help with the ADHD stuff.
  18. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    One trick that worked for difficult child was the drink that she could take her medications with. I would buy a special drink just for taking her medications. Something she desired, but that I did not want her to have too much of.
  19. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Hello, and welcome to the board. I can see my own son in some of the things that you describe, and I know that it can be heartbreaking to have to watch and live through. Let me tell you, though, that it CAN get better. It takes alot of time and patience, and a good team of psychiatrists and tdocs on your side, but it can get better. It will never be perfect, but there are time when better is all that we can hope for.

    Does you son see a therapist? If not, I would try to find one. If you're not sure where to start to look I would start with your pediatrician. See if they can recommend someone that they trust and see if that person works for you and your son. It sounds like he's got pent up anger and he needs to be able to get that out, regardless of what he's angry about. You mentioned the friend of his who passed away when he was young, and that absolutely could have affected him, but I know from my own experience that a difficult child can pull anything out of a hat to be angry about and will hang on to that like a pit bull.

    Do you have someone that you can call when your son threatens you? Someone who can come to the house and help you by trying to calm difficult child down? We've had that happen here and when difficult child is spinning out of control like that nothing that I can say will get through to him. By then he's just too far gone and I can call my in-laws and my father in law will come down not only to make sure that difficult child does nothing to me, but to talk difficult child down from the ledge.

    Have faith. You've come to a great place for support and comfort.
  20. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Here is the website run by the author of the Explosive Child and Lost at School. Collaborative Problem Solving Approach by Dr. Ross Greene | Lives in the Balance
    The Lost at School walks you step by step through collaborative problem solving-more practical. On the website there are videos that do this-I recommend watching them first. I also have to say that while I love these strategies and have used them at school with my students and at home with my daughter-they are not the be all and end all. They do take care of dealing with the skill deficits that cause many problems. I think in the long run, they stop some problem behaviors-they require you are persistant as do all methods really. But, in the world, consequences, especially intermittent consequences, are a real thing, nobody escapes these. I think they need some of this as well as long as it is logical/natural/developmentally appropriate and timely.

    This is a sticky suject here-but I have had great success using a "bag of tricks" and using what makes sense in the moment both at home and school. I have also had failures with both in both places and have had to regroup and often stick to something for a long period to have it work. I am not a fan of physical holds-had to do some of that a few times with son when he was young to protect him as you have. I would recommend that you learn the safe way to do this-I took MANDT training. I don't know if there is something else out there-this is still the most popular in school and other settings.

    My boy also had Occupational Therapist (OT) issues. We got a PT assessment and luckily we had a good PT working at the school district who provided services. We also attended a program at the YWCA for sensory integration until it was shut down. This is very common with ADHD. I have seldom seen an ADHD kid without handwriting issues. Now my boy is a mechanic and plays the drums-does both with incredible skill??? Go figure?? Having to sit and write is one of the things that require such consentration. I also think they avoid any activities when they are very young that would help develop these skills. Too much sitting time.