New here, with a post about safe playtime for kids

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wethreepeeps, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    Hello, this is my first time posting here. My son is 8 years old, and has MR with an IQ of about 70, ADHD, ODD, Bipolar 2, and other diagnonsises that his psychiatrist calls "multi-dimensional development delays". He's on Seroquel 400mg, Depakote 750mg and Adderral 20mg XR. In the past he's been on Clonidine, Thorazine, Trileptal, Tenex, Risperdal, and Ritalin, in various combinations over the last five years.

    I would like to know how other parents create safe play environments for their children. My son is constantly bored, because I've had to limit his toy choices for the safety of the rest of the household. He doesn't like to touch other people, even to hit them, so he's a thrower. He'll throw anything he can pick up when he's angry, and also, the most troublesome, when he's frustrated, and he frustrates so easily. Block tower falls down? Throw the blocks and it doesn't matter if they hit the windows, the tv, other people. Time to put the matchbox cars away? I get hit in the face with them. Trying to read a book and he can't understand a word? Rips the book apart. Crayons get peeled, snapped into bits, and sometimes eaten. I don't know what to give him to play with and also keep him from destroying the house. Anything the least bit challenging like puzzles or games results in screaming and tears and declarations of, "it's too hard because I'm stupid!" Blocks of any sort get the same response when he can't build tall, elaborate buildings perfectly, art supplies get thrown or broken when the picture isn't "good enough". The only thing he's happy playing with is matchbox cars, the things that cause the most damage when he throws them. Did you know they could leave dents in sheet rock? It's frustrating for him and for me as well, not knowing how to keep him entertained.
     
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    Sorry I don't have much help. Does he like to play outside on the grass?

    I did want to welcome you though.
     
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Is he able to learn to label his feelings of frustration and then learn to handle that in a better manner?

    In other words...could you maybe try teaching him to learn what it feels like to feel frustrated by rewarding him when he says Im mad about this. Then teach him to put the item down softly...another reward...
    walk away...another reward.

    This may take months and months of repetition and I would imagine that you would have to catch him in the act and reward him immediately with something like a small piece of candy.

    I dont know...just throwing out an idea. Maybe you could ask someone like a behavioral therapist who works with developmentally delayed kids.
     
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Hello and welcome.

    You have a major challenge with a child in this range of cognitive delay. He is bright enough to know he is not as bright as other people. Children with severe MR do no suffer this internal comparison because they don't compare themselves to others in the way your son can.

    I wonder if reducing his level of frustration through positive interaction might help--think 3 to 4 year olds and what a child of this age might like to do. I am NOT suggesting his mental age is that of a 3 or 4 year old--but rather that you need play activities that are well BELOW his mental age so that he will feel positive and successful when he tries to interact with the environment.

    How does he respond to verbal praise? Tangible rewards? Restrictions such as time-out, if you use them? When children with global delays get stuck in a negative "rut," it can be difficult to find things that turn out positively for the child and the parent.

    If you asked him what he would do if he had three wishes, do you know what he would say? Sometimes finding out what a child really wants cannot be granted, but it may give insight into what appeals to the child. If a child's first wish is to go to Disney World, is it to meet Mickey Mouse, ride on fantasy rides, or stay in a hotel with a swimming pool or something else entirely...

    Until you figure out what he would like to do, you cannot use the Premack Principle to reinforce him (Grandma's Law: do what I want and then we'll do what you want.) One way to discover what a child likes to do is watch him when he is unsupervised. However, in your current situation, that is not going to work. So, perhaps you could just ask him...

    Maybe people who have younger children will have specific suggestions but I thought I would add a thought or two to my welcome.

    Also, is your son in school? If so, does he have an IEP? If you want inofrmation on school issues, feel free to stop by the Special Education section of the board--sometimes problems at home are a reflection of problems at school and not the other way around as schools usually assume.

    Welcome to our world.

    Martie
     
  5. jodyice

    jodyice New Member

    I just wanted to add my welcome. I understand how frustrating it can be for you and for your son as well. Sorry I don't have any help. You're in a good place though with many that can offer advice and help.
     
  6. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    Is he able to learn to label his feelings of frustration and then learn to handle that in a better manner?

    In other words...could you maybe try teaching him to learn what it feels like to feel frustrated by rewarding him when he says Im mad about this. Then teach him to put the item down softly...another reward...
    walk away...another reward.

    This may take months and months of repetition and I would imagine that you would have to catch him in the act and reward him immediately with something like a small piece of candy.

    I dont know...just throwing out an idea. Maybe you could ask someone like a behavioral therapist who works with developmentally delayed kids.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Unfortunately, this hasn't worked. He goes from zero to full blown rage in a heartbeat. He's knocked out windows, kicked holes in the sheet rock, kicked the cat until I had to adopt it out, thrown textbooks at teachers. It's like a three year old's tantrum, but in an 80lb 8 year old. He also learns the reward systems pretty quickly and will approach me and say, "I feel mad and I'm not screaming, so give me some candy. I want two pieces this time or I will scream."

    He's been through two cognitive behavorial therapy programs, and the last one said he lacks the ability to develop emotional insight and recommended an 18 month residential treatment program. But we live in Louisiana, and there is no voluntary residential treatment here.
     
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Welcome. I'm sad that your difficult child struggles to play safely. It's hard for a parent to see that level of frustration; that level of anger.

    My difficult child son, was very explosive in his play. Heck, still is. However, I learned to have one toy out at a time. I also set up a play tent, of sorts, that helped wm stay on task, tune out outside stimulation. It was a successful intervention for a long while.

    He also had a bed tent. For some reason wm needed that feeling of safety he felt in a setting of this nature.

    If the behavior modifications aren't working, it's time to move forward. Many times my difficult children are given only two choices & the resultant consequence is in their laps. It's helped with their frustration & gives them a feeling of being in control of a part of their life.

    Just some thoughts for you to consider. I hope that you can find help, answers for your difficult child soon.

    Find time for yourself, when you can. :warrior: This is a marathon - it won't be "cured" overnight. Take time to recharge your batteries whenever you can.
     
  8. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    Hello and welcome.

    You have a major challenge with a child in this range of cognitive delay. He is bright enough to know he is not as bright as other people. Children with severe MR do no suffer this internal comparison because they don't compare themselves to others in the way your son can.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes, unfortunately he is keenly aware of his limitations. It doesn't help that my older child, 17 months his senior, is in the gifted program at school.

    [quote}I wonder if reducing his level of frustration through positive interaction might help--think 3 to 4 year olds and what a child of this age might like to do. I am NOT suggesting his mental age is that of a 3 or 4 year old--but rather that you need play activities that are well BELOW his mental age so that he will feel positive and successful when he tries to interact with the environment.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I see what you're saying, and I agree with your conclusion. At church or in waiting rooms, etc, he prefers to play with toddler toys. But he does go to school, and spends a lot of time around kids his own age, and he's very aware of what they like to do and he wants to do those things as well, so he holds himself back from preferred activities because he wants to fit it.

    [ QUOTE ]
    How does he respond to verbal praise? Tangible rewards? Restrictions such as time-out, if you use them? When children with global delays get stuck in a negative "rut," it can be difficult to find things that turn out positively for the child and the parent.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    He doesn't respond to verbal praise or rewards. He just starts demanding access to the rewards without the accompnying behavior and becomes enraged when he doesn't get it. Time out makes him furious, and he kickes the walls and bangs his head on the wall, refuses to comply, soils himself while in time out and screams threats and obscenities.

    [ QUOTE ]
    If you asked him what he would do if he had three wishes, do you know what he would say? Sometimes finding out what a child really wants cannot be granted, but it may give insight into what appeals to the child. If a child's first wish is to go to Disney World, is it to meet Mickey Mouse, ride on fantasy rides, or stay in a hotel with a swimming pool or something else entirely...

    Until you figure out what he would like to do, you cannot use the Premack Principle to reinforce him (Grandma's Law: do what I want and then we'll do what you want.) One way to discover what a child likes to do is watch him when he is unsupervised. However, in your current situation, that is not going to work. So, perhaps you could just ask him...

    Maybe people who have younger children will have specific suggestions but I thought I would add a thought or two to my welcome.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Attempts at behavior modification or rewards, even big ones, only work to a certain extent. He definitely has a point where he is totally out of control of the behaviors, and the only thing that stops them is eventually passing out from exhaustion.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Also, is your son in school? If so, does he have an IEP? If you want inofrmation on school issues, feel free to stop by the Special Education section of the board--sometimes problems at home are a reflection of problems at school and not the other way around as schools usually assume.

    Welcome to our world.

    Martie

    [/ QUOTE ]

    He does have an IEP. He's in a remedial first grade class with ten students, a teacher, and two aides. This is his second year of the first grade. Bub is very paranoid and has a ton of anxiety as school that other kids are making fun of him or talking about him. If a kid accidentally bumps him in line, to bub the kid wants to kill him and tried to shove him and he'll act out whenever he's around the child from then on. He was also on medical leave and homebound for three months after his last stint in the hospital, and his anxiety level was down but he refused to participate in homebound or any type of homeschooling. He says he doesn't care if he learns to read or write. I get called about twice a week to come pick him up from school for violent behavior. He was in an ED classroom the first part of the year, where he was bullied, and it took me getting an attorney to get him in the placement he's in now.
     
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I noted that time outs for your difficult child result in worse behaviors. I've had to turn time outs into time ins. This would be having my difficult child at my side for a period of time. It's very calming for the tweedles to have a time in.

    I'm there to redirect, a physical presence & to reassure that I still love them even though they made poor choices.

    Again, I'm sorry that your difficult child is so very challenging at this point in time.
     
  10. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    I noted that time outs for your difficult child result in worse behaviors. I've had to turn time outs into time ins. This would be having my difficult child at my side for a period of time. It's very calming for the tweedles to have a time in.

    I'm there to redirect, a physical presence & to reassure that I still love them even though they made poor choices.

    Again, I'm sorry that your difficult child is so very challenging at this point in time.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm always in the room when he's in time out. Heck, I'm always in the room with him. I can't leave him alone. He eats non food items, he steals from around the house, urinates on the bed, and draws on the walls. I share a bedroom with him because I had to turn my bedroom into a storage area for everything breakable in the house, and anything metal after he said he was going to put a fork in the microwave so it would blow up and burn the house down. He also wanders the house at night and will eat sugar, flour, tubs of sour cream, anything he can reach. He is adopted, but he was surrendered at birth and there has never been any abuse. He was in the same foster home from the time he left the NICU until we brought him home at age 3, and his foster parents were a kind, if slightly aloof, older couple.

    I don't know if it's time in, per se, but I have had him sit next to me when he's out of control and it's just a game to him, to keep my attention on redirecting him becuase he refuses to sit, or he'll urinate, or rock back and forth and babble, or curl into a fetal position, or pick lint off the rug and eat it ::rolls eyes::
     
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Welcome to our site. I'm glad you found us and hope you find good help and encouragement here.

    Outside of school staff and the psychiatrist who is currently involved, have any other specialists been in on his diagnoses and treatment?

    Since this was an adoption at age 3 and you're seeing such extreme behaviors, have you researched the possibility of attachment disorder? There are informational links on our home page.
     
  12. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    Do you have a support group? My heart feels for you.
     
  13. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    Originally Posted By: SRL
    Welcome to our site. I'm glad you found us and hope you find good help and encouragement here.

    Outside of school staff and the psychiatrist who is currently involved, have any other specialists been in on his diagnoses and treatment?

    Since this was an adoption at age 3 and you're seeing such extreme behaviors, have you researched the possibility of attachment disorder? There are informational links on our home page.

    He also sees a neurodevelopmental pediatrician, and this is his third psychiatrist. He was in talk therapy with a psychologist for a while, and has been in PT/Occupational Therapist (OT)/and speech since he was a baby. He saw two LCSWs for therapy while he was enrolled in a mental health rehab program, but he actually got worse. When I was married I was able to provide him with much better therapy, though he didn't really respond. Now my ex is totally out of the picture and we don't have private insurance, so he only gets what Medicaid provides. He has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), but the psychiatrist and neuro-pediatrician say that his IQ is the reason that he's not responding to therapy of any sort, that he's just not capable of grasping the concept of cause and effect, so he doesn't understand how his actions effect others or why he should do anything other than exactly what he wishes.

    There's also a possibility of Fetal Alcohol exposure, but he doesn't have the facial characteristics. But his last foster mother told me that his bio mom had a reputation in their small county as a drunk. Her other five children had been taken away already, so their was a protective order on him and he was taken into custody upon his birth and put straight into foster care, where he stayed until we adopted him.
     
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow. Poor kid. I don't have any advice, just support.
     
  15. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome. :smile:
     
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