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Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Tearna, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Tearna

    Tearna Guest

    *****Hi Tearna! I took this out of Keri29's post and set you up with your own thread so that you'd get more input rather than being missed in an older post! Welcome! Beth*****

    I don't know what I'm looking at or even where to begin. I'm at the end of my rope and to the point where I'm looking for a hand out of the darkness that I seem to deal with on a daily basis.

    So I guess I should start at the beginning...We had a new baby in September. A few months later my dear adorable son turned 2 in December. I was prepared for the regression, the temper tantrums when I paid attention to the baby. I was prepared for almost anything other then what I'm facing.

    My day starts at 6:30 am, get up before DS 2.75, run down splash water on my face and attempt to be conscious before he wakes up. By 7 am he is out of his room, naked, the bed is wet (he has a potty chair he can get to and does use by himself especially if he doesn't want to do something else he is supposed to be doing.) He hits,pinches, kicks, throws himself or toys at people he screams at me and anyone that he is angry at. I thought this was just terrible tows but I'm beginning to have doubts.

    I will be making a doctors appointment tomorrow and hope to get him in this week. I need help and maybe someone who understands what I might be going through. I feel like I'm losing my sanity.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 17, 2010
  2. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Guest

    Hi Tearna.

    Welcome to our community.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi, Tearna.

    I know this seems over the top behaviour, but it is still possible that he is reacting out of jealousy. What happens if you ask him for help?

    I have had four kids and each time it was interesting to see how the immediately older one reacted. I also had the benefit of full-time child care once each child was 12 weeks old. But what I observed -

    easy child, when difficult child 1 was born, stopped being a baby and immediately became an Older Child. She helped mother him, she helped look after him.
    BUT - she also spent a bit of time regressing and wanting to have a turn at being the baby.
    So I let her.

    difficult child 1 was often put in a fraser chair (one of those little semi-reclining chairs that can be carried from one place to another) or a baby bean bag. Or I would lie him on a cotton blanket on the floor, with a toy stand over his head.
    easy child wanted a turn, so I let her lie on the blanket and put the toy stand over her, so she could reach the toys and play with them. She noted that her reach was a lot longer. Then she wanted to sit in the baby bean bag and have me spoon-feed her. So I did. She didn't like strained peas but I said to her, "This is all difficult child 1 is allowed to eat, he's still too little to be allowed food with lumps in it."

    easy child then decided she was bored with lying on the floor or in the bean bag, and wanted to get up to go outside. "Oh no," I told her. "Babies have to lie down inside. I could take you outside but you'd have to stay in the playpen or in the fraser chair. Babies can't run around because they can't walk yet."
    "But I can walk. I can run," she told me.
    "That's because you're not a baby, you're a little girl. What other things can you do that difficult child 1 can't do?"

    We made a list. easy child and I discussed what it is like to be a baby. You have to either lie on the floor or get carried a little, or be put to bed in a cot and expected to sleep for two naps during the day and early to bed at night. Food is boring and pureed. You can't run, can't climb trees, can't walk and can't talk. Can't get your own snacks out of the fridge. Can't ask for what you want. And most important of all - a baby HAS to go in the nappy, can't say when they want the potty or the toilet.

    easy child decided she wanted to be a big girl; she'd had a turn as a baby and was glad to move on.

    I also began to lean on her a little to be a big sister and do big sister tasks. "Can you please fetch me a clean nappy?" "Quickly, darling, I need a clean washer. I have my hands full, I can't let him go or he might roll off the change table."

    Boys often like this too. There are big boy things he can do for the baby. Or you could ask him, "What would you like to do as a big brother?"
    But you might have to work up to that.

    Some years later, I was volunteering at a play group. It was for easy child 2/difficult child 2 when she was about 3 years old. By this time, easy child was a 'big girl' at school. She used to love coming with me to play group when it was school holidays for her, but at about 7 years old easy child became very upset. She didn't know what to do - was she a big kid and really, too old for play group? Or was she still young enough to join in the fun activities for pre-schoolers? She felt confused, not sure which way to go - mature, or a little kid? She hated feeling confused.
    So I suggested she consider herself a big kid because she was, after all, in Grade 3. But I knew she loved playing with the craft stuff so I sent her to 'work' to help the little ones with their craft projects.

    I went through similar things with easy child 2/difficult child 2 but in her case, she was 7 when difficult child 3 was born so there was less of a problem.

    Now to difficult child 1 - he was about the same age as your son when his little sister was born. And difficult child 1 was clingy, still very demanding and no way was he close to being toilet trained. He was learning bowel training but it was a huge issue. He also was phobic about having water in his face - I'm almost certain it's because while I was in the hospital having the baby, difficult child 1, staying with his grandparents, was being forced physically to cooperate with having his hair washed. It made the phobia so much worse that it was years before we could wash his hair properly again.
    difficult child 1's behaviour - he was clingy still. easy child 2/difficult child 2 had to share my lap. In fact, as she got more adventurous, difficult child 1 would often be on my lap while the baby cruised the floor. In the childcare centre, easy child 2/difficult child 2 became a carer as an infant. Long before she could walk, she would crawl over to a baby who had dropped a pacifier, and put it back in. Or she would pat a crying baby, or try to rock them. So the baby began to baby her big brother. And he let her. When she was a toddler and nimbler with her fingers, she was doing up his shoes for him, before he was able to I finally had to say to difficult child 1, "Your baby sister is doing things for you which you should be doing for yourself."

    Going back to this - what I did when my older child regressed, was first of all, I let them. I said, "It's OK if you want to be a baby again. But you have to be ALL baby, complete with the restrictions. Back to nappies, back to sleeping in a cot. Two naps during the day, early to bed. Staying in bed until I choose to get you. Drinking from a bottle. Not being listened to. OR - you can be a big brother. You can be proud of what you can do. You don't have to be all grown up yet, it's OK to still be a little kid, but you don't have to be a baby. You can be the bigger one, the responsible one, the helper who is growing up to be a man oner day like daddy."

    That said - there are other problems too, such as throwing things, tantrums etc that do come hand in hand with two years old. It's not OK to hurt people. He needs to have something he can be directed to do, when he is angry. And he needs to have a way to express his anger more appropriately. Why do you think he is getting angry? Can you find a way to give him a voice? Tantrums are inappropriate, but he needs an alternative; he needs a voice.

    In practical terms - the wet bed is an issue. Summer is a good time to toilet-train, but boys can be later. My boys were. You can either put him back in Pull-Ups (which are still not newborn nappies, or even toddler nappies) or you can try to train. Bribes work well. But if the bed is wet, almost three years old is NOT too young to learn how to change the bed. No punishment, no recriminations, just, "OK, the b ed is wet. We can't leave it like that, we need to change it and air it, so you can have a pleasantly clean and fresh bed to sleep on tonight." Teach him how to at least strip off the wet sheets and carry them to the laundry. Praise him for doing this. Maybe even show him how to use the washing machine. In which case - show him how you find anything else that needs washing, to make up a full load. Show him the lot, how the washing gets hung out (or put in the dryer). Of course he's too little to do it all, but he can do as much as he can. It's OK, it happens.

    And to make life easier for you - don't cover the mattress with plastic. Use a sheet of vinyl. We found plastic makes a horrible crinkly noise plus it feels wrong. Vinyl (the same heavy duty stuff you would use to reupholster the kitchen chairs) will lie flat, won't crinkle or sound awful and is comfortable to sleep on (with a sheet over it, of course). We bought about a metre of it and cut it in half across the width. it was plenty big enough to tuck under the mattress on both sides and to cover the middle third of the child's bed.

    Now observe him and try to identify what has happened just before he gets upset. Make notes. Once you can understand him a bit more, it might be easier to help him. And this is worth the effort, if it gives you some peace.

    Keep us posted, there is a lot of help here. And no judgements. I remember being SO TIRED!

  4. Tearna

    Tearna Guest

    Thank you all for the warm welcome.

    Recent Update*

    The past 3 days I have been down with the flu, day 1 Daddy was a life saver but with him working nights he didn't get to sleep much. Due to the economy he can't just call off work. So this was not an option for us. However he did his best to help and I begged Grandma to take him for day 2.

    On day 2 at Grandma's she told me he was great, they had a few run ins but he kept her busy and she liked it. On the morning of day 3 he came home.

    Day 3 was a pretty good day, I was still pretty sick and couldn't do much for the tantrums so we did our best to do activities that helped to avoid them. husband gave me a break till he had to sleep for work. The rest of the day went pretty smooth til bed time, he wouldn't go to bed, woke his brother (the baby) several times Daddy even got up and tried to get him to go to bed but we lost and I stayed up till 1 am and finally he dozed off.

    Day 4 (that's today, yesterday if you go by the clock but still today to me.) The day started off pretty good. We went to Walmart and we have made a pact with DS that if he behaves in Walmart he can get a toy. We made a fatal mistake (cause we are still learning) and went to the toy area first. This resulted in 1 hour of looking at all the different toys he could get and him playing a game we call "Change-a-Rooni" Where he wants this one then that one and then the one over there...Daddy wasn't much help as he was very happy to carefully select and inspect every remote control car, Hotwheel, and Dump truck Walmart had on display. The screaming began.....Still playing "Change-a-Rooni" Finally I looked at DS and I said "I will leave the toy area, you will get no toy and you can scream all the way through Walmart while mommy does her shopping." I don't talk down to him I scrunch down and look him in the face. He stopped.....I felt like I won some kind of war. And Daddy showed him 2 toys....a remote control car $12.97 and a Hotwheels $3.97. Of course he picked the remote control one but we got the hotwheels one anyway for future use.Things went well the rest of the day. Then came dinner....Toys do not come to the dinner table. Trying to explain this to DS was a little difficult and the way was back on. I took the RC car and put it out of his reach and told him he could have it IF he tried one bite of his dinner. It was a new meal so I figured it's not fair to make him eat it if he doesn't like it. I think we fought about an hour. This includes the hitting, biting (the new skill he has learned) punching, kicking, screaming and throwing. Each time I would pick him up, take him to his bed lay him down, pin him down if needed and explain to him that he needed to calm down and then he could come out. That didn't go so well for awhile but after time he would calm down and come out. He tried to throw his food at me once, that didn't go as he planned, he went back to his bed, me carrying him like I do the baby (other then holding his hands so I didn't get hit in the face). In the end he came out, took a bite of his food then asked for his car, which I gave him, it was the deal we had made. He didn't eat anymore. I left his plate on the table in hopes he might change his mind. An hour later he wanted some chocolate milk, I refused because he had not really tried his dinner, so he picked up a few pieces and stuck it in his mouth. So he got some chocolate milk. Then off to his car again...

    It was a nice time after that till bed time rolled around and we fought about that a little. Normally he is allowed to take a new toy to bed. I don't mind as my goal is to get him to lay quietly on his bed. New car in hand he climbed into bed. I don't even think it was 5 mins later he was out of bed, naked and playing on the floor. This happened a few times and finally I told him, "New car needs to go nite nite so it can recharge or it wont work anymore." He didn't fight much as I took it out of the room and nothing was heard about it after. I expected a war, I got none. Maybe 15 mins after that he was sleeping.

    I am thanking my lucky stars he has been so good but I'm wondering if it's ADHD he might have or if there is anything wrong with him at all? I'm just so confused, is he a typical child just trying to find his voice and place in the world?

    We have one of those vinyl mattress cases for his mattress. He sleeps on the bottom bunk of a bunk bed. I do have an older son that comes into town during the summer. He has not been here in a few weeks.

    I also wonder you say your son doesn't like his face wet. DS will stick his face in the water but freaks if I pour it over his head, I try laying him back but he fights and I don't want to scare him. Any suggestions?

    Thank you all again, you at least have a concept of what I might be dealing with and it is good to read, get ideas and in some cases leave stories that you all can gather something from. Sometimes I feel like I am just going insane. In my world no one seems to see anything of what I go through. At least some of you might have been here where I am now.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You used good logic and it made sense to him. That is a huge clue - use this.

    It sounds to me that taking him to his room and holding him on his bed could actually be a part of the problem - you are applying external force to him to make him do what you want him to, but he does not want to. You are using force, which shows him that if you want to win, you use force. So he tries to use force so HE can win.

    Of course, shows like SuperNanny show similar tactics, which do work for a lot of kids. But sometimes it doesn't. We used to send our kids to their rooms for misbehaviour. We were good at this. It worked brilliantly for us - being sent to your room was not so much a punishment, as a place to go when you (the child) needed somewhere quiet to regain control. But we could not do this with difficult child 3. And as I said, we were experts. But sometimes, some kids need a different approach because what SHOULD work, what has worked brilliantly with others, can be exactly what makes things worse in this case.

    I'm thinking that a lot of problems for your son (from his point of view) revolve around him feeling a need to have some control, and at the same time he hates NOT having control, or someone else imposing control. Now, giving control to a kid is not necessarily a bad thing. You can let him have control, while you stand back a little and supervise. He doesn't need to know that in an emergency you can step in and grab him to keep him safe.

    The water in the face is a great example - difficult child 1 had trouble with this, because I believe he was for a while forced to allow water in his face. Or afraid of water in his face, as when made to lie down on his back in the bathtub. What we did with difficult child 3 when we came to this point, was we talked him through lying himself down on his back, promising him that we would watch to make sure his face was safe from being submerged. We also encouraged difficult child 3 to put his face under the water and blow bubbles. Blowing bubbles (through pursed lips or through the nose) in the bathtub was a precursor to swimming lessons. But we found that when we let the child have control over when and how to lie down in the bath, we had a lot better cooperation with hair washing.

    Success also needs to be reinforced and praised. Success this way breeds more success. So with the hair washing problem, we found creative ways (working with the child, discussing ideas) to get hair washed. Swim goggles was one idea. A special face visor was another. Or a folded face washer held over the eyes (held by the child).

    I've posted elsewhere on ways to get a child to try something new to eat. Again, logic is needed, as is giving the child some sense of control.

    First, observe which groups of foods the child has difficulty with. For example, difficult child 3 dislikes creamy textures, prawns and spinach. So we know to avoid related foods as a rule. difficult child 3 loves coffee but cappuccino is too creamy in texture. He hates prawns, so we won't force the issue with crab or lobster either. No spinach - so also, no other cooked limp leafy greens especially if they have a bitter taste. Otherwise - we will ask him to try it.

    Now, the method we have set up with difficult child 3 to try food is as follows (it's all important):

    1) We will only ask him to taste. It's his choice to eat more.

    2) He may have a drink of his choice, or something else, available and ready to wash the taste away if it turns out he doesn't like the food.

    3) If possible we will have a meal that he does like, available for him to have (or be able to get it for him fairly readily if he won't eat the new food). Often just having it available, knowing he will have the choice, gives him enough security to eat the new food.

    4) Taste. Then difficult child 3 MUST tell us if he likes it or not. We are not judgemental about his decision, it is HIS choice. Whatever his preference, he does not have to eat any more of the food if he doesn't want to.

    5) Most important - difficult child has to describe something about the food that he likes, and what it is that he doesn't like. He can be honest about this because he knows that he can choose to eat more or not, regardless.

    The way this works - difficult child 3 feels safe, he feels he has control. This lowers his anxiety to a point where he feels braver about actually trying to have more. We have a better chance of winning on this, by giving difficult child 3 some sense of control. End result - difficult child 3 feels that he has had free choice, but from our point of view we have a much higher success rate of him trying new foods and often, enjoying them.

    A book we recommend here is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It explains a lot of useful techniques which we found seem paradoxical but which actually helped a great deal with discipline methods. We seemed to be doing the opposite of what we had been doing and the opposite of what felt the right way to parent, especially difficult kids. But the Ross Greene methods worked, where before with our strictness, we had been seeing things getting worse.

    Tearna, your son is a lot younger than difficult child 3 was when we started the above method of "have a taste and tell us" but if you can see the elements that worked (child feeling in control, and communication) and apply them to him, you might find some common elements.

    Also useful - distraction and deflection. Instead of saying, "Stop that!", you say, "Put that down and come over here to me." It takes practice, but giving him a task to do especially if you can give him a reason, can change a situation like magic. (for example "car has to go to bed or it won't be able to play tomorrow" - that can be a good analogy for him).

    Meanwhile, you might need to head towards getting him evaluated by a neuropsychologist. WHat I'm seeing, in the degree of control he seems to need, could fit with a number of conditions including Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). For a sneak peek which you can also share with the doctor, go to and look for their informal Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. Print the results whatever they are, it can give the doctor an idea of the degree of problems you're having.

    From what you describe, you're already well along a progressive path with him even though it mightn't feel like it.

    With "normal" parenting, the temptation always is to clamp down even harder on the discipline and parental control, when you have a difficult child. But if the child is (for any one of a range of reasons) desperate to have some control himself, this can rapidly lead to an escalating behaviour problem and all discipline attempts can only make things far worse. So you will need to watch yourself, supervise yourself and do your utmost to over-ride these habits. Don't beat yourself up or feel guilty, it only slows you down. Keep a diary if you need to, to keep tabs on how things are going. And stay in touch.

    If you can get your husband to lurk here or post here, it will also help a great deal in keeping you both more tightly 'in sync' as parents working as a team. You will need each other to do this, for the best chance of fast success.

    Let us know how you get on.

  6. Tearna

    Tearna Guest

    Just thought I would put in an update....

    DS2.77 has his good days and his bad ones. I wake him in the morning and wonder what child will I have today? We recently learned that his eye site in his right eye is very poor and currently not being used by the brain. He will be getting glasses soon (currently they are on order).This has been going on for some time and when he was younger he used to go to a pediatrician who said that his eye would straighten out on its own and I didn't need to worry. When he was 2 I switched doctors, that doctor made the appointment for him to see the pediatric ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist asked me why it took so long to get this taken care of.......I had the appointment for over 6 months. I told him he needed to clone himself, since he is the only pediatric ophthalmologist in the area.
    all that aside I go on September the 1st to see about getting him tested for adhd or whatever...if they wont test him or tell me he is to young do you think I should seek behavioral counseling for him?
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If the doctor says he's too young, go find another doctor. difficult child 3 was diagnosed just on 3 years old, and it was obvious. When I look back, I can see the signs of autism in difficult child 3 from a week old. But back then, it could have simply been a kid making exceptional eye contact with the movement of leaves in the trees, except that it was the flicker of light that had the most effect and he really would stay focussed on the trees for as long as we were near them. I've never seen a baby so young hold his attention on something for so long. If I wanted to settle difficult child 3 down, I would walk outside with him, to the trees. Instant peace while the baby stared at the leaves in the trees. From the first day home from hospital, 7 days old.

    Despite this, and the indication that you would think it would mean he is "very autistic" - difficult child 3 is amazingly high functioning and has a lot of potential. Increasingly, he is a deep thinker able to discuss some very abstract concepts, two years ago I would have said he would never be able to. As time goes by, difficult child 3 keeps breaking through the glass ceiling.

    Your difficult child sounds very frustrated and this will mean he has a short fuse and likely to rage. So can you think of ways to help him better express his frustration and perhaps better ways to help him learn that you are there to help him, not hinder him? Something that worked for us, is having as much stimulation as possible, available for him. Boredom was always a disaster, and easy child, easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 3 especially, have needed to be swamped with constant mental stimulation. When easy child started school, her teacher found that she had to keep pushing more work onto her, at a higher and higher level, because if easy child began to get bored she would rapidly become disruptive. The teacher had to keep plenty of work at hand and be ready the instant easy child finished the previous exercises.

    At home, try to involve difficult child in what you are doing. If you're in the garden, set difficult child up with a small garden area that he can work, plant seeds, make mud pies or whatever he wants to do. In the kitchen, get him to make things too. My mother used to make scones and would let me play with leftover scone dough which I would shape into a mini loaf or a shape, and then my mother would bake it. I make pasta and often would get the kids to crank the handle of the pasta machine. If I'm making pasta for a number of people, I weigh the kneaded pasta dough and allow about 100 g per person. Each person can then choose what width noodles they want, so I roll out each 100 g batch individually and cut each individually. I boil it individually because when it's really fresh it only takes 2 minutes at most to cook, then I can serve it individually. The kids love to help make pasta.

    Other things you can do with home-made pasta, is colour it. Finely chopped herbs make it speckled green; tomato paste makes it orange. Beetroot makes it red. When you cook with kids, you yourself can take the time to play and try different things. The kids learn that "what if...?" is OK in cooking too because sometimes you can make some delicious discoveries. Even at 2 years old, there are things they can learn. And babies are too young! Got to be a big kid for this...

    Another thing you can do (it's a bit girlie, but I did this with difficult child 1 as well) is teach him how to shred the dried lavender flowers and fill a lavender bag. I used other fragrant plants too. Lemon verbena is wonderful, it was difficult child 1's favourite. We used to pick it and put the fresh leaves inside difficult child 1's pillow case. Even cut fresh, lemon verbena does not go mildewed or mouldy. Or you can use eucalyptus leaves. If a child has sensory issues, smell can be wonderful to explore, especially if you give the child some control over what fragrant plant he gets to put in his bag. Use those cheap organza bags with a drawstring, you can buy them cheap in craft stores. Or if you have scraps of light fabric, make some bags yourself. Stitch on three sides, tie off on the fourth once the bag is filled.

    Keep your child busy and stimulated. Whatever child you have when he wakes, can be changed through the day.

  8. Tearna

    Tearna Guest

    I really want to thank you for all the help you have given me so far. Your tricks and advice have been a blessing in my days and I think you have helped me make things a little better for DS2.75 and myself. I have not found a glossary on this site for all the abbreviations you say difficult child what does that mean?
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Tearna! If you look carefully at the posts, different things have a light dotted line underneath. If you hold the cursor over them, the meaning behind each will come up.

    Isn't Marg wonderful? She has so much knowledge and the patience of a saint!

  10. Tearna

    Tearna Guest

    Thanks NVTS,
    For some reason I always thought the explanation was a bit different. I saw that they said difficult child and when I moused over it it said problem child i guess it just didn't click with me.
  11. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Gday Tearna,

    difficult child actually means "Gift From God" describing our children with the tongue FIRMLY placed in the cheek.

    nvts you said
    She sure does. She puts up with me!

    Marg's Man
  12. Tearna

    Tearna Guest

    Update again about DS2.75

    Today we finally got to see his doctor. He was a young guy and seemed very confused about what I was telling him. I was a little concerned when asked if I had a room that had nothing in it that I could just put him in when he gets out of hand. How could I do that? He's a child not a lawn mower that I just put away when I am done with it. There was also an older pediatrician that came in and watched the interactions for a bit he recommended that I have him evaluated by the behavioral services department at Pittsburg' s UMPC from what I understand this is a great hospital but I have problems making it that 2-3 hour drive specially with winter coming. Luckily I found out later that there is a local pediatric psychology department. The pediatrician that saw him today said he seems to have oppositional defiance disorder. I'm hoping that behavioral services will be able to help.

    As far as me I'm hanging in there some days are harder then others. I fell apart at the doctors office when the nurse told me she felt bad for me. I know she doesn't have a medical degree but I'm sure she had some experience with children. If others see what I see maybe someone will be able to give me an explanation or at least guide me on how to help him and find some peace myself.
  13. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Tearna! I'm not a doctor so I couldn't EVER consider a diagnosis. But when everyone starts talking ADHD and ODD my red flags go up. Quite often they're a symptom of a different problem. Make sure that they do thorough testing to make sure that he's not a super high functioning child with Autism (mine have Aspergers Syndrome) and is presenting in a different or aggressive way.

    It's not scary, it just makes sense to get it done before those wicked Pa. winters come knocking at your door!!!

    Keep in touch!

  14. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Hi, Tearna.

    Marg has some great advice. It's really important to trust your instincts. I had early concerns about my difficult child (at about age 3) and the pediatrician said he was just showing "negative behavior." In my heart I felt there was a bigger problem, but he was my first child and I thought the doctor must know more than I do. Well, by not following up, we just ended up prolonging the agony, making life more difficult for difficult child and for the whole family. We didn't start the path toward a "real" diagnosis and treatment until years later when a neighbor mentioned that he might have ODD and I began to do some research.

    I also think I could have been more effective had I discovered The Explosive Child earlier.

    Hugs -- and keep us posted.
  15. Ivy

    Ivy Guest

    Hello there! I'm new here too so it might be hubris to attempt to respond to other people's issues when I'm so green at tackling my own. BUT, I wanted to echo what others have said about getting another doctor's opinion- preferably a developmental pediatrician or skip straight to a neuropsychologist or someone in psychiatric who can diagnose autism and related disorders. Our pediatrician, whom we LOVE, said there was absolutely no way our son could be autistic because he's "too engaged." We took him to TEACCH anyway, where he was diagnosed. (TEACCH is wonderful, by the way, I feel so lucky to live nearby so we can participate in their programs.) Now I'm wondering how we could ever have had a question about it--it seems so obvious now that we're used to the idea. Yes, he's engaged- he loves hugs and kisses, but that doesn't make him not autistic. Nowhere is it written that autistic kids can't enjoy affection. And he makes eye contact, but at TEACCH they noticed he rarely makes eye contact and speaks at the same time- always one or the other.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Ivy, welcome. When you get a chance, start a thread of your own to introduce yourself and do a sig of your own.

    I can relate to having a child with autism who doesn't fit the usual accepted concept. difficult child 3 makes eye contact and is affectionate. But on his terms.

    His older sister does not have a diagnosis but she and we are convinced she is Asperger's, because although the doctor says she makes good eye contact, she says she has to work at it and doesn't like to make eye contact with people she doesn't know. And she knows the doctor. When we first met the doctor, his attention was mostly occupied with her brothers.

    Something else to watch for (it's difficult to identify in younger children) is prosopagnosia, or face blindness. It's generally not complete face blindness in high-functioning autism, but it can be. We found our kids have difficulty recognising people out of context. For example, we were at the mall when I bumped into a friend from church who difficult child 3 has known since birth. I offered the friend a ride home and difficult child 3 was introducing himself, explaining about the family dynamics to her because he didn't recognise her. Even after I said, "This is so and so from church," he had trouble identifying her. It was only when we got back home to her house, that he realise who she was. He would have been at least ten years old, probably older, because this was after he left mainstream schooling.

    There is a website with some basic tests for face blindness - again, it's not officially diagnostic but it can be interesting to get your child to do the tests. Or to do it yourself.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 deals with the problem by focussing on a person's clothing or some other aspect of their appearance, and linking it with the person's name. She deals with customers daily (check-out chick) and has to be able to match the customer with the occasional forgotten bag of shopping. Her photographic memory helps a little; but mostly by matching the scarf or brooch the person is wearing with the groceries she checked through.
    [An interesting added advantage to the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - her cash register always balances at the end of the day, her brain keeps a running tally of what is in there, she couldn't understand why others can't do it too].

  17. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    It might be a good idea to contact the older physician that made the recomendation to UMPC and find out specifically why he suggested that as opposed to the local psychology department. It's likely that the larger facility has more resources and/or professionals on board that he knows are reliable.

    It's not uncommon to have to travel to larger facilities for a major evaluation, then for follow-up to occur locally.

    If you're seeing symptoms of Opposititional Defiance Disorder, it will be important to find out the reasons behind that. ODD as a diagnosis is limited in terms of helping you sort through what's going on because there's usually some underlying condition.

    A book suggestion for you: What Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions by Dr. Douglas Riley.
  18. Tearna

    Tearna Guest

    @ SRL,
    The pediatric doctor was unsure of the local abilities for children, such as a pediatric psychologist or psychiatrist. Fortunately my insurance company suggested something closer than Pittsburgh which is about a 3 hour drive one way for me. Not that I mind it at all I would go through Iceland and the jungles to get my kids taken care of. I'm sure many of us feel the same way.
    Additionally I have really been sinking my teeth into the information provided on Dr. Ross Greene's website. Although the website primarily deals with older children I have been attempting to implement some of the suggestions Dr. Greene suggests. Also I have been paying particular attention to what causes the outbursts from DS2.75. Commonly it is when we attempt to impose our will upon him. It doesn't matter what the reason is that we are imposing our will, only that we are stopping him from doing something or making him do something we want. So we have tried different strategies to curb or at least control the explosions that result. Here are some of the things we have found that work.

    • A later bed time (we moved it from 8 pm to 9 pm, and hour later then the baby)
    • negotiations, DS2.75 gets to negotiate if he doesn't like something (such as whats on TV, whats for dinner and if he brushes his teeth before the bath or after)

    • Distraction- no more yelling (this only gets yelling from him) No more threats (he doesn't seem to understand the consequences when we try to impose them) Best of all No more getting sent to his room (where he will throw a larger temper tantrum which usually results in him getting hurt or him throwing toys out of the room which normally harm me)
    We are still working on the hair washing thing. He freaks out at even the slightest bit of water touching his back or neck, he wont sit in the tub and baths, although he likes them turn into battles when I try to bathe him. We are trying to work on that.
    Potty training, I really think he is ready he stay dry for hours at a time, asks to use the potty *(only when its time for bed)* and seems generally interested in things when he is wet. Sometimes he tells me that he has gone and wants to be changed but not often. When I do try to change him we are in a battle because he does not want to stand up which makes it harder to get his "undies" off him or to put on clean ones.
    Glasses, recently he was prescribed glasses, now the trick it getting him to keep them on. The doctor suggested cables (extended "arms" that wrap under the ear so the don't fall off as easy). He would have had those broken by the time I got home from picking them up. Instead we went with a different frame which is make of a rubber/plastic material. so far he has thrown them, stepped on them and even bent them in half, and the frames have returned to their original shape. Now I need to figure out how out how to keep them on his face. Any suggestions?
    Well that's about it for now. I promise to keep you posted and keep a lookout for responses. So happy that I found this site because I sometimes feel so overwhelmed that I feel like I'm living a life that should not be happening. It helps to know that there are others out there who understand and have been where I am now. I'm sure many of you have felt how I feel right ?
  19. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Wow! Sounds like things are mellowing, even if at rate of a bit at a time!

    The hair washing thing might be conquerable. We got difficult child 2 to put a sun visor on in the tub, place a washcloth on his back and neck and then gently wash the hair. I also let him shop with me at Target and he smelled all of the kids shampoos and picked the one he liked best. It's all about control really as well as sensory issues. With the visor, he felt like water wouldn't go in his eyes and with the washcloth it kept the "slime" feeling of the shampoo off his back.

    As far as some of us feeling overwhelmed sometimes? You wouldn't be human if you didn't! lol!

    Have a great weekend! (Well, what's left of it anyway!).

  20. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Oh yeah! At the top of this forum is a "sticky" that helps adapt The Explosive Child for younger kids. Just click on it like you would any thread and you can buzz through it!