Saturday Morning Newbie

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tracyinks, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. tracyinks

    tracyinks Guest

    Hello all....... I found this forumn and actually just the opening paragraph on the main site brought tears to my eyes...... and the "soft place to land for the battle weary parent" really hit home with me.

    Short version..
    my son (who is my life) turns 7 in a couple weeks....... He is ADHD but SEVERE ODD. One set of docs said he was bipolar but the new set say no to that........

    Lets see........... my battle began when he was kicked out of his first daycare at 2.5 years old for biting...... there were 4 others after that, then Special Education preschool with an IEP BEFORE Kindergarten...... nothing wrong with his learning ability, but has been and continues to be all behaviour.......

    I get so tired talking about it and his behaviour that I almost don't feel like writing about it... I'm at my wits end.

    They (school) are ready to put him in an alternative school if he doesn't shape up. The principal has our cell phone numbers programed in her personal cell.

    They wouldn't allow him to even attempt summer school so we contacted a specialized camp recommended by his therepist. He is currently in the second session. The camp is good, but even there we have very few "good" days....

    My fear is that he will not make it very far in 2nd grade before they start talking alternative school, and quite frankly I don't want his peer group to be troubled kids, however I am the main wage earner and if I don't work we don't make ends meet.. plus.......... DO I EVEN HAVE THE PATIENCE to homeschool my child????? husband is new to all this...... he is very very supportive, but he is just as clueless as to what to do.

    Oh and my child is EXTREMELY social, he is a master manipulator, very charming, cute, and huggable, total outdoor kid........... He is truly my miracle child and I thank God every day for him....... but I am completely at my wits end.....
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Weekends are a bit slow, but wanted to say hello.

    There's a Special Education 101 forum if you need help with-school issues.

    Glad you found us.
  3. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hello Tracylinks and welcome to our little world. I wrote that line about a soft place to land for a battle weary parent quite a few years ago because I was battle weary and felt pretty alone. My resolve to do what my child needs got strengthened after I found this site and realized it wasn't that I had a child that I didn't raise correctly but a child who didn't know how to function in a world because he saw the world through different eyes than a typical child.

    In my mind, you are in the discovery phase.
    I think we start out with the amazement phase where their different behavior is remarked on and we are told he is smart and quick and oh so talented.
    Then we get the embarrassed phase where our child doesn't act approriately. Gets asked to leave daycare/private schools and told they can't handle him. Doesn't get invited to many birthday parties or social gatherings than before.
    Then we start the discovery phase. Think of it as an onion that requires the layers to be peeled as we try one diagnosis that leads to the next.
    Then we have the treatment phase where we try many different behavior modification routines, different medications, different alternative treatments.
    All these phases are developed out of need and have the undercurrent of fear. We can't project forward and see a regular life for a our child. What does our child need that we aren't giving them?
    Looking back over the years, there is fear, frustration, embarrassment and downright anger that they just can't get it.

    You want to start to peel back layers and have him evaluated by the best you can find and afford. More is known today about kids who think differently than 5, 10, 15yrs ago. Start researching. Educate yourself in the ways of unique children. Find ways to channel his energy or creativity.

    Don't let anyone or any school tell you that your child can't go to school unless it is with an IEP and has been agreed to by you and whatever specialist your son needs. Look at school programs that will be a better fit. My son was pulled into a gifted Learning Disability (LD) program in 3 rd and 4th grade. He learned more there than with any other teacher. In my experience, not all alternative programs are about behavior problem. Be careful about not wanting your child being with troubled kids. I am sure there are parents in his class that don't want their child around your troubled child. I understand what you mean about him learning worse behaviors but your little guy could be teaching difficult behaviors to other youngsters. You have to look at the program and ask yourself "what does my child need?" If it fits then go for it.

    In the meantime, you may want to read "The Explosive Child".

    My son was a biter. He was asked to leave or not accepted in every private program for special learners in our city. He was a lovely child who didn't sit still for 3 seconds. He had quite a few idiosyncratic behaviors and his growth and development pattern was different. Not blatantly but different. Potty and bowel training was a nightmare. School was confusing in that he was obviously bright, articulate and totally unable to attend for more than a minute. Even PE was nightmare.

    You might want to start with a hospital trained clinical psychologist and a neuropsychologist. It may give you some sort of insight into why he is behaving in such a way that the schools can't handle him.

    Trust me when I say if the school system who are trained can't teach him then what makes you think you can? I found that out when I tried for 2 days. He sure didn't cooperate with me anymore than the teachers. There are people who have had success, just not me. I think at this age it may be more difficult than when they are older to homeschool.

    I hope we can share our experiences and offer you support and help you learn new ways to survive the life of a warrior mom.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just adding in my welcome-glad you found us. Truly this is a soft place to land.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wanted to add my welcome, Tracy.
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Tracy, welcome to the crowd - and it's a great crowd!

    Your son sounds like a mix of my two boys. difficult child 1 was diagnosed with ADHD with a serious "sprinkling" of ODD, eventually, we got a neuropsychologist done and it came up as Aspergers Syndrome. The neurologist took one look at difficult child 1 and said "whoa - how'd we miss THAT!". He's a tough nut. difficult child 2 however, had the same diagnosis, but once we got past the fact that he does considerably better with extremely clear, step by step instructions, he's wonderful. He recently moved into a CTT class and is doing great!

    I've gotta go, we've got footsteps up and down the hallway!

    Keep coming back, it's a great group of people!

  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome to the site. It's not easy sometimes, trying to get a 'handle' on your child.

    I am not suggesting your son could be on the autism spectrum, you haven't really given us enough to go on and anyway, we can't diagnose on this site. But always remember, every kid is different and sometimes we have preconceived ideas about what a particular diagnosis looks like. it's amazing how people can get it wrong, especially with diagnoses that are still being fiddled with. I'm using autism s an example, because it is the diagnosis in our family. But when I was a kid, autism was considered to be a mysterious condition where children lived in another world, were locked out of ti world somehow because of something wrong in their brain; that they were incapable of feeling any emotion or attachment to anyone and simply spent their days sitting in a corner rocking and slamming their heads against the wall.

    Flash forward to ten years ago, and autism was considered to be a mysterious condition where some part of the brain didn't work properly and tended to make kids with it withdrawn, difficult and sometimes violent, incapable of expressing and feeling love. Communication problems, social problems and sensory issues. There were still a lot of people saying that kids with autism are withdrawn and unemotional.

    Now let's look at my own understanding. I believe that people with autism feel emotions extremely keenly, but not necessarily in ways tat observers recognise as valid. The often deadpan expression is because they have never been properly taught that facial expression and body language is a method of communication. But with difficult child 3, his older sister easy child used to play a game with him when he was a toddler, where we would say an emotion and make the matching facial expression, then get difficult child 3 to copy it. So on demand difficult child 3 learned the facial expressions to match "happy", "sad", "angry" and so on. So by the time he started school, if difficult child 3 was feeling angry he would deliberately put on his angry face in order to communicate this to the teacher. But it looked so fake that his teacher had difficulty realising that the emotion displayed, while looking fake, was actually felt as real.

    difficult child 3 is also very outgoing, he always has sought out people and willingly approached total strangers in order to instigate social interaction. This seems contradictory for someone with autism; but the social problems come about because difficult child 3, although outgoing, is still socially inept and often inappropriate.

    All I'm saying here - in trying to determine a diagnosis, often you need to be broadminded and prepared to think outside the square.

    But when trying to ensure your child's needs are met (not always the same thing as getting a good diagnosis and medications) you need to focus more specifically on your own child and where he can excel, what he is interested in, and where he is struggling. Use the strengths and abilities to try to overcome the problems. Also you as parent have to be confident in your own knowledge and abilities when it comes to your own child. It can take a lot of personal sacrifices, but if you consider your efforts to be an investment in your child's future, it is a lot easier to justify the effort and not feel so resentful. We have a fairly narrow window of opportunity to help our kids, before they are legally adults and out of our reach. All we can do is the best we can, in the time we have.

    We are home-schooling difficult child 3 (in a way) via a state-based correspondence school. As I said, difficult child 3 is socially outgoing and also because he is autistic, homeschooling was greatly resisted by the education department. difficult child 3 is also very strong-willed and resists my teaching him. However, tis is working for us better tan anything else. It's as if he is finally learning anything at all, he learned noting while in mainstream. Well, a nothing - mainstream taught him tat his lot in life is to be bullied. He also learned some bad habits socially from the bullies.

    So for us, this works. But it works because difficult child 3 has a lot of control over his own education. He has standards to meet but within those, I let him choose what subject to work on and when. If he is falling too far behind in one area because he is preferring a different subject, he soon makes the choice to balance things out so he is working at about the same level for all subjects.

    "Explosive Child" is a brilliant book which helped us a great deal, especially in putting together a good system to get him working well at home. On the social side - when school hours finish and other neighbourhood kids come home from school, difficult child 3 has finished his academic workload and is ready to go play. When he was in mainstream, he was coming home with loads of homework, which was made up from all the work he had not been able to complete during the day. Now, he is far freer to socialise than before. also he sometimes accompanies me on shopping outings which gets him mixing with members of the public in a standard life skills environment, so he is learning practical socialising and also helping me buy the groceries!

    Anyway, welcome and let us know how you're getting on.