Newbie (sorta)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Woofens, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    I've been a member for a while, but have never posted... a friend told me about this board when I started having trouble with my oldest son, but I never posted. Now I am at my wits end... with my youngest difficult child. My baby, he is almost 7, and we have been having trouble with him for over 2 years now. He broke my wrist kicking me 2 years ago, when he was not quite 5, he has sent my babysitter ( she is more than that, she is my daughter in my heart) to the ER on more than 1 occasion, once for kicking her so hard in the chest we thought he had cracked her sternum.
    He is super intelligent, (probably too smart) and extremely strong for his age and size. I can not physically restrain him (haven't been able to for almost 3 years). He has gotten worse over the past few months, and had a "tantrum" for lack of a better word at the DR office when we went in for his physical. The DR heard the commotion and burst in the room as he was trying to kick me. She went so far as to suggest sedating him to calm him down. It didn't come to that, but it was bad. She then recommended we see a child psychologist. We have him seeing a therapist, with an appointment to see the psychiatrist in 4 months. (The soonest they can get us in).

    On a daily basis, we deal with tantrums, outright defiance, name calling, threats (to harm us or to run away) destruction of property, screaming, all the while laughing in my face. My 10 and 11 YO easy child daughters are terrified of him, because they never know when he is going to explode. He has uncontrollable rages when he lashes out at everyone and everything around him, and to be honest I am afraid of him also. He has the strength to physically hurt me, and has in the past. He is a master at exploiting weakness, he knows that the babysitter has an injured wrist and if provoked tries to grab and twist her wrist every chance he gets.

    He only acts like this at home or in public with me and my SO. He causes no problems at school or when he is with his father every other weekend ( only day visits, never overnight). I am actually to the point where I am ready to see if he qualifies for placement out of home. I have considered giving custody of him to his dad, but his dad is an alcoholic with an alcoholic live in girlfriend that has already lost her kids, so that isn't a good option.

    I'm so frustrated and upset... I don't know what to do anymore. This is an everyday occurrence in the home, most days numerous times a day. I am in tears at least once a day, and I am so tired of living like this. I can't help but think, if he is like this at 6, what will he be like at 16?? That terrifies me.

    He is the youngest of my children, I also have an almost 18 difficult child who lives with my mother (she thought she could control him, and in her eyes it was my fault he was out of control) he is a HS drop out with no job, no drivers license, and is constantly begging handouts from us.

    I guess I just wanted to say hi, and cry a bit on someones shoulder.

  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    He sounds like my K, prior to he being on medications. Well she still gets this way but not multiple times a day!
    Things do get easier once you have a psychiatrist behind you and or a diagnosis. Are you getting a Nuero-psychiatric evaluation? I would recommend this as well. It is much more thorough than most any other Doctor evaluation.
    Sometimes just having support and a direction to turn makes it *feel* like it is easier to deal with! LOL

    Hang in there, one thing I would do is let the psychiatrist who you are going to see in 4 months know is that you would like to be on a cancelation list if possible.
    I am on one for my new psychiatrist and I have been moved up 2x's now from 2 months to next week!!!
    I would also make up a very thorough and comprehensive parent report- you can find one in the archives here. I would also if you haven't already start journaling everything! Moods, where, when, why, triggers etc! How long... depression, violence all of it! How long does he sleep...
    I also had short videos of things that were important to us to show the psychiatrist's or whomever. Like K breaking things in a blind rage and then attacking my husband violently, biting, hitting, spitting- abnormal things. Her lying on the floor going on and on about how she wanted to die and please just kill her. You know fun stuff like that!!!
    I did it because some doctor's would say, "Well all kids say they want to die at times" they changed their minds after they saw our videos!!!

    Anyway I wanted to welcome you and hang in there! Remember most of our kids do not want to be this way... they are suffering also. Patience and a deep breath.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so sorry for your struggles. Can you call the psychiatric's office and beg for an earlier appointment? I did that with the psychologist's office last year. We were to see him the day before Thanksgiving but toward the end of October when difficult child felt like jumping off the 3rd floor balcony at the Mall of America, I called and BEGGED. I told them we could not wait until November. You would think there would be emergency openings?

    Anyway, another option would be to take him to a psychiatric hospital for an evaluation. We got into out pscyhologist less than a week of my phone call begging to be seen ASAP. On the way out of that visit, difficult child told me he needed more help than the once a week counseling the psychologist could give - he could not handle his thoughts of self harm anymore. So, we went down the street to the psychiatric hospital and asked for an assessment. He was assessed to needing in-hospital care so was admitted right then and there.

    psychiatric hospitals do deal with crisis needs. They will help get the medications going (if needed) and once the child is stable will discharge back into your care. You then need to follow up with your own psychiatrist or medical doctor to contine proper care.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I have a few questions that will help us help you :) Are you convinced that all your children have been diagnosed correctly?

    1/Has he ever had a complete evaluation, such as one done by a neuropsychologist maybe at a university or children's hospital? If not, I think he should get one.

    2/How was his early development? Did he speak on time? How is his eye contact with strangers? Did he play with toys the right way? Did he have any strange repetitive behaviors like head bumping or hand flapping or tongue noises or high pitch squeals? Any obsessions? Did he potty on time? Any sensitivities to food textures, material, loud noise? Does he know how to sociailize NOW?

    2. You already mentioned alcoholism on the family tree on his father's side. Did you know that alcholism in a biological parent puts the child at an increased risk for a mood disorder? You having bipolar also puts him at an increased risk for childhood onset bipolar.

    I'm actually wondering if there is some autism mixed with a mood disorder. No, I can't diagnose, but your kids all seem to have symptoms of both and they commonly co-exist. If so, they both need to be treated. medications alone won't be enough.

    Welcome to the board. Others will come along, although sometimes it's slow on the weekends :)
  5. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks to all for the welcomes. Just knowing that there are other parents out there that deal with this helps so much. I'm gonna try to answer everyone here, hope I don't miss anything.

    I had hoped (until the episode in the doctors office) that this was just a passing thing, but I'm realizing that we should have addressed this much sooner. Hindsight.. oh well.. can't change the past.

    I hope to start the journal and parent report ASAP. We do have a couple videos of him raging, no picture, but sound. I took it with us to the therapist last week, and he said he "might watch them next time". We don't go back to him for 2 weeks. I will call Monday morning and ask to be put on the cancellation list, and beg to be seen sooner.

    As for the psychiatric hospital evaluation, I don't even have any idea where to take him. I know that a couple of our local hospital have psychiatric units... but I'm not even sure where the closest psychiatric hospital is. We do have a local behavioral center that has Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but I don't have alot of faith in them, as I took difficult child 17 there when he tried to set my house on fire and they told me he "wasn't bad enough to need treatment there".

    MidwestMom, I am sure that easy child 1 has been diagnosed correctly. We fought for years to get diagnosis's on her, and she is so much better now than she was before. She is turning in to a typical pre-teen, and we never thought she would, so yes, I'm sure her diagnosis's are good.

    easy child 2 her biggest problem is the ADHD. Her medications aren't working, and we are fighting the insurance company to try Focalin, but they have refused us. The want us to try Adderol or Straterra (both of which we have tried with limited success). The Concerta helped for almost 2 years, but seems to have lost its effectiveness. She does well on the medications for a while then they seem to lose their effectiveness. The Concerta has worked the longest with her.

    To get the complete evaluation, do I call his pediatrician and ask for a referral? I am so completely lost right now.

    I'm gonna try to answer your questions.. so here goes.
    Not yet... I need to know how to go about getting one done.

    Everything was pretty much normal except he was late to potty train, and we still have issues with him refusing to have a bowel movement, and he still ***** his thumb. He is very sensitive to loud noises (we took him to see WWE Smackdown a couple months ago, it was a disaster). He has no problem with eye contact, and is a little shy around strangers but warms up quickly.
    I did not know that about alcoholism... but I'm confused about the reference to bipolar? There is no bipolar disorder in our families that I know of.

    The worst (best??) part of it is, he is sitting in the living room with us now, like nothing happened this AM, watching SpongeBob. His moods swing so drastically and quickly. I never know what is going to set him off or why.

    I want to thank you for your support, and your suggestions.

  6. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    duplicate post
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Woofens, welcome. Because you're a new member, your posts must be approved by a moderator before they become visible to the public. I approved both of your posts because the second one contains info the first one doesn't. Please feel free to edit to omit duplicate material.
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    If you ever are ready to look into the psychiatric hospital option, try googling "Child Psychiatric Hospitals" for your state.

    Your older son would have dealt with an adolescent facility with different circumstances. I can see why that option isn't as appealing.

    If you ever do want to look at this option, ask members here to PM you their input on a good one (I don't think we are allowed to promote an individual facility on the board).

    The psychiatrist may also give you info on this. During my difficult child's first psychologist appointment, he stated that if we needed more help than the once per week visit he could give us, than we can look into the different levels of care at the nearby psychiatric hospital. There are day programs and out-patient programs also.
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Sometimes a Pediatrician can refer you to a Nuero-psychiatric. Some Children's Hospital's have them. Teaching Hospital's especially one's with a good psychiatric dept.
    We went through an independent Neuro-psychiatric, with a referral from our pediatrician.
    Sometimes you can even google Nuero-psychiatric's in your area just to see what comes up.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We got a neuropsychologist referral by firmly requesting one from our pediatrician. It was ten hours worth of testing and worth every minute.
  11. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks to all for the suggestions and advice. I was in bed by 10:30 last night, yesterday just wiped me out emotionally, and physically.

    We had another episode yesterday evening, after hours of him acting like a easy child (doing some chores for me, watching TV) he and S (easy child 2) were arguing about coloring books. I took the book in question away from both of them (it wasn't marked with a name, which I normally try to do) and asked S to pick up the toys before she colored. She had Polly Pocket stuff all over my living room. As she was picking up, for some reason, he smacked her across the face.I told him (again) that we keep our hands to ourselves, and sent him to his room. Then it turned into a war, me having to sit beside him or stand in the doorway to keep him in the room, until I exploded, and started yelling (which I'm trying very hard not to do) He stayed in his room (screaming various things) until SO(M) came home, which is when I told him he could come out. Then he refused to come out, and fell asleep (this was after 9 PM).

    I think what set him off so badly yesterday AM was that Dad was supposed to come get them yesterday and called at the last minute to cancel. They only go with Dad for 5 hours every other Saturday and Sunday, so he treasures his time with dad, as do I, as its a welcome break for me. Now I'm dreading today as Dad called a few minutes ago to cancel for today also. The only saving grace today is that today M only works 12 -5 PM so difficult child and M are outside cutting grass and doing yardwork. Hopefully the time he spends with M today will offset Dad not coming. I could send him to work with M today (that is an option he loves to go to work with M on most days) but it seems like I'm rewarding him for his behavior yesterday. I don't know anymore.

    I'm gonna make phone calls tomorrow, to see if I can get him into the psychiatric sooner and to find out about psychiatric hospitals and a psychiatric evaluation.

    I'm so angry with his Dad.... he didn't totally believe me about difficult child's outbursts, but I called him yesterday in the middle of the big one we had and he heard what I'm dealing with. He told me, "Well, now I know you aren't lying", but he still called to cancel today. I guess I should have known not to count of him (as if all the time we were together didn't teach me that) but I had hoped.

    I'm sure I'll post sometime later today to let you know how today went.

  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Now looking back on last night, do you think you could have done anything to help him transition better?
    I am just throwing out some thoughts here. Mainly because you do have awhile before your apt.
    He could have been tired. Cranky, held it together all day, a lot of our kids need to let it go at some point in the day.
    When K and N are arguing/fighting over a book or something. I will get in between them, hold the book, work with both of them to fix the problem. OK here is 2 books, I don't care whose it is... who wants which one? I let them know they are not in trouble, we are just trying to work together.
    I would then let them know that they can choose to play nicely for say, 10 more minutes and then we will all clean up. Or ask him to hold on until you finish cleaning up.
    If he gets upset, give him something to hold or to help calm him down. (squishy ball, clay, floam) Ask him to hold on until he is calm.
    Sometimes when they are tired and things are changing end of the day... it is extra hard on our kids. It will take time, maybe just see if he needs to sit with you, offer it to him.
    Do the opposite of what you would normally do. The battles are no fun for any any of you! Sometimes they just want know that you will not leave them that they will be OK.
    Another big one that is hard to understand is that most of our kids feel so out of control, so they will do anything to control their environment around them, using any means, violence, anger etc. Feeling in control makes those of us with a Mood-Disorder feel better.
  13. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Totoro, I'm not sure... I never know what is going to set him off or why. Something that works one day blows up in my face the next. Situations that caused him to wig out in the past sometimes cause no reaction. A couple months ago, we took the kids to the zoo for the first time. When we got there I wanted to take a picture of the kids so that if the worst happened ( us getting separated from 1 or more of the kids or difficult child running off) we had a picture with what they were wearing. difficult child refused to let me take a picture and hid in the bushes for over 20 minutes screaming. I finally told M to take S and T and we would catch up. Once I got him out of the bushes I sat with him for another 15-20 minutes on a bench, holding him forcibly until he calmed down and would talk to me. We were relatively OK for the rest of the day. This was a planned trip the kids knew we were going to the zoo that day, and what was expected behavior wise.

    Then 2 weeks ago, M called me from work and said he was closing for the weekend, and for me to pack for all of us for 2 days, and that we were heading south. 2 hours later we were in the SUV, heading toward Virginia, with no real planned destination. We ended up in Williamsburgh VA and spent the following day at Busch Gardens. difficult child let me take a picture of him at the gate, stood with us for a group shot taken by the park, and only had a fit when we wanted him to dress up for an old time picture in costumes. We eventually talked him into it, and had a relatively calm day after that.

    I don't even remember what set him off yesterday AM. It was after the phone call from their dad but I don't remember why he exploded. Last night it was the fight over the coloring book.

    Alot of the time it seems to be a power struggle between him and me. The episode at the DR office was because he didn't want to take his clothes off for the physical, even though we had talked about it and he knew going in he would have to strip to his underwear. He just flat out refused to undress.

    I'm not sure what I could have done differently.... maybe gone in and found one of his coloring books, but he didn't want to color, he just didn't want S to have a coloring book he said was his that she said was hers. Obviously taking the book didn't solve the issue since he slapped her a few minutes later. If I had given him the book she would have been extremely upset, and it doesn't seem fair to her. I am honestly not sure who the coloring book belongs to.

    When I had the trouble with difficult child 2 D, he was older, and it was different stuff, in a way but alot of the same too, out right refusal to do his chores, open defiance, refusal to go to school (difficult child 2 is a HS drop out now). So far difficult child 1 has gone to school without much trouble, but alot of mornings he doesn't want to go, but still does.

    I was on the phone with difficult child 2 today (he called in the middle of the trouble yesterday) and he asked me how it was going. He said so give him to his dad or place him somewhere. I said that didn't work with you, remember, giving you to dad didn't work, and dad giving you back to me just made things even worse. I told him flat out that I knew we had messed up with him and that I wanted to try to do things right with difficult child J, to fix the problems before he got totally out of control. difficult child D told me he was never that bad LOL. Maybe not in some ways, but he was older and the thing he did were worse because of his age (like setting my kitchen on fire). I asked D flat out, so if J acts like this when he is 6, what is he gonna be like at 16? D said, yea you need to find out how to fix it now.

    Yesterday I asked M if he could ask any of his police officer friends to come just talk to difficult child maybe explain to him that if this continues, he is going to end up in the juvenile system. I'm not sure what is going to happen with that. His police officer friends are in a different county than what we reside in so they have no authority here, but I don't think that will make a difference to difficult child. I just want him to realize that in the legal sense what he is doing here is not acceptable, and that we do have legal action we can take. I don't think he understands that. I'm not sure that I want to involve juvenile yet... he is so young. I have an uncle that is a Captain in a neighboring police dept, I might call him and ask him for his opinion/ or to talk to him. I hate to do that as it seems the only time I talk to him is when I need help with something (advice, etc).

    M took difficult child to work with him, so my house is peaceful until 5:30 or so hopefully.