New, looking for some words of wisdom and hope

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mimix2, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. mimix2

    mimix2 New Member

    First, I want to say THANK SWEET JESUS I found this group....

    Second, I am the mother of two of the most adorable and sweet little boys. However, my 4 year old is really starting to concern me.

    My oldest son was born premature at 34 weeks gestation. From the time he was born, we have been seeing specialists and trying to stay one step ahead of any delays that could develop from premature birth. He was delayed in walking, talking, and even cutting teeth. He is 4 yrs. and 2 months. He has been involved with the local early intervention (EI) since he was 15 months old, EI sent a therapist to our home once a week to work with him. When he turned 3, he started a pre-school class that is geared toward developmental delays and children with disorders. He still attends the class 4 days a week. There has been some improvement in his speech and cognitive development. However, on a daily basis the defiance gets worse and worse. I feel like he doesnt do anything he doesnt want to with out being bribed or forced. He constantly tells me "no", attacks his little brother, he is very sneaky, still does not sleep through the night, will not pee on the potty, makes little to no eye contact, still walks on his tip toes, has an obsession with anything that spins, repeats himself constantly, and always asks "Mommy are you happy?"

    My son is tiny and very very cute, he knows how to charm and has made up elborate stories for attention, for example, he "pretended" to be hurt a whole weekend without slipping up once so that I would carry him....

    I have an appointment with his pediatrician next month and want to know what I have to say to her to get the answers I so desperately need! I also am open to any and all suggestions on how to deal...:faint: I am exhausted, but still so in love with this little boy!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, he has a lot of symptoms of autistic spectrum disorder, maybe Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified (high functioning). A pediatrician is usually not good at spotting this. I don't care for developmental pediatricians either, but a lot of people do. I prefer NeuroPsychs as they test very intensively. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids do VERY well with help, but it needs to be ongoing, even after the kids seem to be doing better.

    To see if the diagnosis is maybe a fit (we are NOT professionals) here is an online test that can be very useful if you answer honestly:

    Good luck, and don't worry. Early intervention is wonderful. My son started out as Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and was adopted...his birthmother did drugs. Traumas before and during birth can cause Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but it is also very workable. My son is sixteen now and nobody would know he is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I'm very pleased. Tickled, in fact, at the progress.

    Others will come along. Welcome to the board.:tongue:
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I agree with Midwestmom in that I'd suggest researching Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Keep in mind as you do that not all kids will display all symptoms, nor do they usually display them all the time.

    Recent research does show an increase in Autism in preemies:

    As for dealing with the behaviors, I'd recommend starting with the thread at the top of this board on adapting The Explosive Child to young children. Getting a copy of the book would be a good idea. It won't solve all of your problems but it may give you some strategies to better cope on a day to day basis.

    Welcome to the forum. Hang in there-we know how hard your job is.
  4. mimix2

    mimix2 New Member

    Thank you guys for the support and advice.

    Autism was mentioned early on, but I thought all the possibilities were ruled out, till lately. Hypothetically speaking, if he was autistic would the lack of direction from school (he is on winter break) make signs and symptoms worse? He seemed like he was doing so well till break started and now he just can't control himself.

    I know that he has the best of intentions and feels really bad when he gets in trouble, but just CAN NOT control his actions...
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yes, the structure and routine at school often produces calmer behaviour in children with autism. Observe him and see if he is developing his own routine at home - if he is, follow through and tighten it. If he isn't, then work with him to develop a good routine. If you can put in place some hih level of school-ish stimulation (such as educational computer games) you might also find his behaviour settling.

    We found we needed to keep our kids stimulated academically. If you can use the high skill areas in your child as reward, you can help him develop more in the challenging areas.

    Follow the "Explosuive Child" techniques and adapt them to what works for you and for him. Remember to not try to 'fix' everything all at once. Make a list, choose three things and leave the rest. Make sure others know what you are working on and what you are leaving for now. It is when people don't stick to this, that we have problems. For example, if you choose to work on his speech delay and his aggression to his little brother, forget the toilet training for now, and anything else. But make sure that what you are4 working on, he can actually control - toilet training, for example, could be difficult for him if his body is simply not recognising the sitgnals, or if he has phobia problems over using the potty. We had this problem with both boys. difficult child 1 especially went through a stage of not wantinhg to soil his nappy, but also not wanting to use the potty or toilet. It was as if at some level he felt that al he had to do was use willpower, and he would never need to excrete again. Only his grandfather could resolve the problem, we visited grandpa every week - in between there were no bowel movements at all. Grandpa had to literally bully it out of him.
    It can take years for the penny to drop. difficult child 3 was definitely school-aged, I think he must have been at least 6 or 7. He must have been that old because it took that long to get him out of Pull-ups at night. I heard him getting up in the morning, heading for the toilet (he hit that door like a SWAT raid) then the sound of Niagara Falls (what is it about the male bladder capacity?) then from the othr side of the door I heard difficult child 3 exclaim with exasperation, "Every morning there's more wee!"
    He really hadn't realised that excretion is a normal and ongoing bodily function. I sat him down and explained that everybody excretes. You can't simply wish it away or stop doing it. Your body makes it, you have to get rid of it to make room. It's normal.

    The apparent insolence - don't react too much to it, it's often borne of anxiety or stress, if you handle it calmly and don't take it personally, he will improve by following the example iof your calm, polite behaviour. These kids imitate and copy, so give him good behaviour to copy.

    Read through other posts and other threads, a lot has been written about kids like ours. Hope is there - difficult child 3 is now doing really well. He was recently interviewed on Aussie TV, I posted the link in General (it would have been about October or November 2009 if you want to go exploring). The link is of the entire story, it's about 12 minutes on autism and some treatment ideas. Ignore the stem cell stuff, it is unproven and what is described in the story sounds expensive and dangerous as well. But the interview shows difficult child 3 talking to the reporter about how it feels to be autistic. It gives a lot of hope. He has come a long way, I have no concerns for his prospects in the workplace as a functioning member of society.

    Autistic kids have a lot of gifts to go wiht the problems. We raised our kids to embrace their autism as a vital part of their individuality. They have to work to "pretend to be normal" as difficult child 3 described himself at age 8 but also value their capabilities. From difficult child 3's point of view he has to work hard to concentrate on behaving appropriately in social situations but he has a rapid, encyclopedic knowledge of computers and anything electfronic and an almost freakish ability to problem-solve with anything technical, mechanical or similar. He has gone from significant language delay to have a vocabulary in the superior range.

    There is more than just hope, there is joy and excitement. He is still frustrating at times and hard work at times, but his ongoing improvement is making the effort worthwhile.