5 Year Old Referred for Hospitalization (Mental Health)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LoonyAlana, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. LoonyAlana

    LoonyAlana Member

    I am new, and trying to figure out who to survive raising my youngest son.

    He's been diagnosed with severe ADHD at around 3 years old, but there is something else in addition to that in play. We've tried Play Therapy for 6 months with NO effect- it did not help AT ALL except to show doctors and psychologists that I try to use appropriate language and try different techniques that they recommend ("that's not your area", "if you choose to _____, then you choose not to _____")... basically, I've reached the end of my proverbial rope. He's flunking kindergarten, refuses to learn to read and/or write but is nearly a prodigy in regard to content comprehension (if someone tells him a story.) He throws violent tantrums on an almost daily basis, in a variety of locations, and they are always spurred by limits ("No"). He also has a tendency to run away and has had to be 'run down' by teachers and school staff to keep him from running off out of the building and/or off campus. We started taking him to a psychologist thinking maybe it was Asperger's, or Bipolar, or ODD... something. We knew something else (beyond ADHD) was wrong. She began testing him for anything and everything she could test him for. I was at our second session of testing, yesterday, that my son threw an EPIC tantrum. Like a pulling my hair, throwing toys at me, destroying the psychologist's office, and telling me he "hates me" tantrum. The psychologist just sat and watched me as I tried, in futility, to diffuse the situation. The 'up side', she said it's not my fault, that it's not just me being a piss poor parent. The bad side- she recommends hospitalization at a mental health facility. For a 5 year old. She even said that if he has another episode like he did before, and I am at home, to call 911 and request for a mental health officer. She said there is a disconnect (in my son) and that lends itself toward psychopathic tendencies (he takes apparent joy in causing me pain.) He plotted, in between acts of destruction, to determine what his best next method to use would be. He has no regard to punishment, says he "likes" being spanked, refuses to stay in 'time out', doesn't care if anyone else is mad or sad or angry... he only wants what he wants, and to hell with anyone else. The only way he'll do anything remotely similar to a 'time out' is when I psychically restrain him and force him to stop and rest for a minute- but even that is a battle. It's like he knows what is right and wrong, but just does not give a crap. But for every example I have of him being mean and aggressive, I also have all these moments of him being sweet and nice, and hugs and love. It makes it so hard.

    I've reached the point where I would be willing to admit him on the hope that we might finally find out exactly what is wrong, and work towards making it better. However, my husband does not agree. He doesn't see how hospitalization would EVER be a viable option for a 5 year old (for mental health issues.) All those times that he is sweet make it difficult for people to accept how 'bad' he can be. Even his daycare (prior to school) would say how there were days he would be a little angel, and if they didn't know better, they'd never believe he could be as vicious and destructive as he is on a 'bad day'.

    Sorry to go on and on... I've been reading through a few threads, and there are so many stories of children that people are looking for assistance. I just didn't find any off the bat that seemed geared toward a much younger child. I love him, I really do, but I'm almost scared of my 5 year old. I really am worried I have a little psychopath on my hands, and am at a loss as to what to do or try next.
  2. BlueTopaz

    BlueTopaz New Member

    Wow, I'm so sorry. I've been wondering if I need to hospitalize my 5-year-old. Age 5! Seems unbelievable. But our home is being torn about. My son and I are miserable. I'm divorced. Two counselors have recommended that I need respite care, which I believe involves her being hospitalized. My daughter can be adorable and sweet and hilarious, but there's the screaming, the tantrums, the NO NO NO. It is not as severe as your situation though. She went back to school today for the first day after break, and screamed for 30 minutes about it, until she was dragged out the door. Teachers there say she's wonderful. She can be kind to me - occasionally making me cards when I'm sobbing from exhaustion (for example), but I do suspect she gets some pleasure from tormenting me to that point. I'm in an outpatient program myself because I can't be doing things like sobbing and screaming in front of my kids. I don't think she's a sociopath, so there's that positive... but I'm just done. I swear she hates me sometimes, because she's so MEAN and contrary. And then an hour later she's so sweet and helpful. I don't get it.

    How are you doing? Not that well, obviously, but how bad are you feeling? You need to take care of yourself so that you don't get to the point I'm at. No one advised me to get serious help for myself (except useless weekly therapy) until I went to this outpatient program. That's where I heard about respite care and possible in-home treatment, and had a counselor confirm how incredibly hard it is to care for kids like this. Good luck - happy to talk more if you'd like!
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Loony (and Blue Topaz-Blue-You might want to start your own thread as well) to our corner of the world. You have found a soft place to land.

    My husband and I first had our difficult child hospitalized when he was 7. It was one of the hardest things we ever had to do but we knew it was necessary as he just wasn't safe with his violence. Although it is hard, it can very much be needed (even at the age of 5) and you will know he is in a safe place.

    It definitely sounds like there is more going on than just ADHD.
    Have you ever had a neuropsychologist exam? That combined with a therapist and a child psychiatrist can give you a good idea of what is going on.

    You don't mention if your son is on any medications? I know when our son was so young I was hesitant (he was 4 when he started on medications) we knew that he needed them. It wasn't a magical answer and it was a roller coaster trying to find the right ones but that combined with therapy can be very helpful. However, I do remember when difficult child was your son's age and the therapy was really not at all helpful (even the therapists agreed).

    It truly is important to take care of you through all of this. If you do end up deciding to go with hospitalization use that time to recharge. Even if you don't hospitalize do some tag teaming with your husband so you have some much needed "me" time on a regular basis.

    Sending hugs your way.
  4. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Wow you are not alone; I'm so glad you found us but sorry you needed to. If you changed all the he's to she's I could have written this post when Angel was 5yo. Except the husband in denial part - my X split when Angel was 4yo. Like on an airplane (when air masks drop) you must take care of yourself first and foremost.

    I ended up quitting my job when she was in Kindergarten; I just couldn't do that to my employer (or myself) anymore. Practically daily that 3rd light on the phone would light up, knew it was the school calling me at work... "she flipped the teacher bit the principal we think she's still in the building but we can't find her GET HERE NOW!!!" To call my boss letting her know her office is unattended I got to go to my kid! The rages just get worse this isn't something they usually just grow out of.

    Angel's first psychiatric hospital stay was when she was 6yo I felt like a monster leaving my baby alone in that place full of teenagers (rough mentally ill teenagers), she was a baby and they took her dress & shoes and put a big tshirt on her - shoes had shoelaces & dress had ties at wasteband (safety reasons they had to). At 6yo my little girl had a full blown episode of psychosis that took about 5 days for the psychiatric hospital to get her back to planet earth so to speak. Those teens kind of made a mascot out of her, there was 24 hour supervision, she got the help she needed and I could finalize leaving work without dealing with keeping her safe. Her first hospital stay was probably her longest she was in for 19 days but it was the best thing I ever did for her.

    Your husband may see the impulse control / tantrums as not being a problem to hospitalize for, Angel running from school didn't seem that big of a deal until she caused a 6 car pile up on the road she ran into. You want to get to the root of this and treat or fix it while he is still smaller then you; trust me when I say having a 100 Lb. kid swing their full body weight from your hair is not fun. Funerals for 14yo boys who swing a shovel at a rookie cop is not fun either.

    Don't assume everything is mental either -you want to get a full neuropsychologist evaluation done - developmental pediatrician is a good place to start, need to cross paths with neurologist too in my opinion. Look at and rule out every medical problem that could be causing this.

    Angel was 6 years into treatment for bipolar disorder before saw a developmental pediatrician; who diagnosis'd Asperger's and referred to Occupational Therapy (help process all the sensory issues she had going on) & GI doctor who helped with the chronic constipation and food sensitivities that were causing both GI and behavior problems. Add to that her thyroid problems, abusive father, stress of mom who's always working or cooking, and this schizophrenia gene she got from Dad poor kid didn't stand a chance (I'de try to run away too)

    Sorry didn't mean to write a book, just want you to know you're not alone sadly you will find there are many of us who have been thru similar experiences and when you get those answers on what is going on then you have a better idea how to fix it and things do get much better when you aren't flying blind (so to speak). If he is admitted to the psychiatric hospital use that time to rest and regroup because unfortunately often insurance companies not doctors decide when the patient is being discharged and most stays are less then 2 weeks.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You have gotten good advice. Just have a questions: Where his very early years chaotic? Was he adopted? Did he see you to through a contentious divorce and have a new stepfather come in during his formative years? Any psychiatric illnesses on either side of his DNA tree, even if he has never seen his father(he still carries his DNA).

    The most common reasons for a young child to act antisocial are attachment issues and most psychologists don't understand it yet unless most of their young patients are adopted at older ages than birth. That's why I asked if he had early disruptions in his parenting and life during his first three years in which his developing brain is like a sponge. Any abuse? Adopted kids are more prone to attachment disorder, but it is happening more and more with youngsters who have to live through the loss of a parent through divorce, especially if they are mistreated or have many caregivers in those early years. Here is a link about attachment spectrum disorder to see if it rings true. This link is very positve, however, untreated or misdiagnosed attachment problems can lead to adult psychopathology. Do not worry yet. Your kids are very young and could get a lot of help. medications however do not help if it is attachment disorders. They can blunt the behaviors, but not stop the big picture. The kids would need therapy IF this is what is going on. You'd need a therapist or psychologist who deals with this disorder in order for the professional to recognize it though.

    The link:
  6. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I just wanted to add in my story here to and to let you know you've been given good advice!

    We had to admit my oldest (who is now 22 by the way) at 6 yo at the time to the hospital. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. She was very out of control at the time. She would be acting up at school and we'd get calls all the time. She would literally try to jump out of moving cars. She would run away, jump out of windows, etc. One of the times she ran away it was from my mother's then place of business on a busy highway. My father chased after her (he was in his 50's) and due to that fact he ended up having a heart attack. It was not fun at all during those times. She stayed at that time for over 2 weeks but we finally had gotten a diagnosis for her of Bipolar, which we had never gotten before. They had only given us ADHD and no one knew what to do with her until that point. I could tell you so much more but the gist of it was that that stay, as hard as it was (and it was truly hard as they took her kicking and screaming for me, holding her arms and legs-that's not to say it will be like that for you or anyone else) it was the best thing that ever happened at the time to get us on the right path for her.

    We now know over the years that she not only had ADHD, Bipolar but she now also has borderline Personality disorder as well. She has other issues too but had we not bitten the preverbial bullet and placed her we would never have been able to move forward. My then husband (we are now divorced for other reasons) refused to participate in any kind of treatment for her and refused to sign the papers, he made me. I can completely understand where you are at. I am also now involved with a wonderful person who accepts my 3 children for all that they are and AREN'T, problems and all and let me tell you they ARE a handfull and a half!

    You have to be concerned for YOU and others and know that sometimes the hardest part is the first step. I'll keep you in my thoughts and send you strength.
  7. LoonyAlana

    LoonyAlana Member

    Well, thanks for asking. I've suffered from depression (and taken Lexapro for it in the past) and am looking at getting into a therapist and on medication again. It depends on the day, and how reasonable my son is being that particular day... Not that I'd wish similar events (or children) on anyone, I'm glad I'm not the only one.
  8. LoonyAlana

    LoonyAlana Member

    Thanks for the words of welcome! He's been seeing the same pediatrician since he was about 1½-2 years old. She's just your run-of-the-mill pediatrician, and he also has been seeing a neurologist since about 3½ (ish) years old in addition to the 6 months of play therapy we attended. We tried Adderall (sorry if it's spelled wrong- but basically it's Ritalin) starting around June of 2013 for his ADHD. He took it for about 2-3 months, but reached a point where he no longer wanted to take the medications, so he'd refuse to eat any breakfast at all. The school wasn't happy with him having no breakfast, so we stopped even trying to force the medication in order to get him to eat. At this point, I'm not overjoyed with the neurologist- he barely sees my son at all during the appointments and while I at least have an ADHD diagnosis it just seems like we're spinning our wheels in his office and wasting our time.
  9. LoonyAlana

    LoonyAlana Member

    Sorry you've gone through that, Nancy! Yes, my husband just sees hospitalization as a big, negative, life-changing (in-a-bad-way) thing that he WILL NOT agree to. At least at this point, without getting a second, or third, (or more) opinion. It's going to be an uphill battle, although overall I am lucky that my husband is (in general) supportive and loving... just isn't overly fond of doctors and hospitals and what-not. As I mentioned in my previous reply, we've seen a neurologist (it's how we got the severe ADHD diagnosis) but I'm not overly happy with him. However, trying to find a pediatric neurologist that is covered by my insurance is no easy task (let alone getting an appointment.)

    Sorry, this part seemed to apply to both HelpAngel & MidwestMom:
    We have been battling issues with my youngest son ... forever basically. I developed Pre-Eclyamsia during pregnancy and was induced a month early. He has a severe soy allergy (causes projectile vomiting), he was diagnosed with gallstones as early as a year old. He had asthma as a child, and was generally a 'sick, allergic' child with a stubborn streak the size of Texas. His father, my second husband, and I are still together and generally 'happy'. I do have an older son (14) from my first marriage, and he's had the privilege of going through an ugly divorce, rarely seeing his deadbeat dad... that kind of thing. We are not aware of a history of mental illness in the family, with the exception of depression. My mother, myself, my sister, even my oldest son have all suffered from depression. However... my mother was adopted. We have no clue other than her given name at birth, and that she was Irish in regard to her background. Well, come to think of it, she even had an attempted suicide, and died in her sleep at 50 years old due to severe liver damage (alcoholic) and prescription narcotic (legally obtained) abuse. Basically, with the exception of his medical issues, he's been at the same daycare since he was 3 months old (although management has changed), both my husband and I get along well and rarely even argue. I even breastfed him until around 13 months old. He hasn't even spent more than a few hours away from either of us (and never spent an evening away from us.)
  10. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I want to start by saying what a good job you are doing as a mom and your son is very lucky to have a loving stable family unit. You are years ahead of where I was when Angel was that age on getting treatment. I was glad to hear that you feel the neurologist is wasting your time - neurologist is more to rule out brain tumors, epilepsy, seizure disorders etc. glad to hear that isn't what is going on with your son.

    He still sounds similar to what Angel had going on - bipolar that was being made worse by several other issues. I believe without the Ritalin they started Angel on when she was 4yo she might have not required a psychiatric hospital stay at all. The Ritalin didn't cause her bipolar but it did escalate it toward mania to the extent she required being hospitalized. If her first medication had been a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic there is a good chance her illness could have been properly managed and she would have never seen the inside of a psychiatric hospital. Her sister was diagnosis with bipolar 5 years ago, was there since birth yet has never required hospitalization for it, taking the right medications no one would ever even suspect she has it.

    Several things in your post make me think that bipolar might be part of your son's story... brother with both depression & adHd (both extremes of moods high/low) - without major life stressors might never be diagnosis bipolar but if he has a major trama (girl friend dumps, friend hurt or dies, fails major test, scores goal for other team...) or plays with recreational drugs (crack, speed or sativa type marijuana) could throw him into depression so intense there could be a suicide attempt or mania that might not sleep for 3 days and become violent or delusional. Not meaning to scare you just saying don't make my mistake, I was so focused on Angel the other 2 weren't given as much attention as they needed.

    Years ago people didn't talk about mental illness most swept it under the rug and didn't seek treatment (with good reason 50 years ago treatment often hurt more then helped)that's why when asking about MH issues in family tree there are ?s about suicides, alcoholics & drug abuse; a person who has attempted suicide, who dies in sleep from alcohol & drug abuse probably had undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

    I still say a good developmental pediatrician is worth their weight in gold, and even though had to wait 4 months to get into ours she saved Angel's life, actually she saved both of my girls many years of the wrong type treatment. The problem I had with specialists is they have tunnel vision toward their specialty - often their treatment was totally making another condition horribly worse. I had a meltdown myself one day in the neurologists office after listening to her and the psychiatrist have a pi$$ing contest on the speaker phone. The neurologist had increased the mood stabilizer that the psychiatrist was prescribing with an eyedropper. "I need a doctor who is going to look at her brain, her butt, her feet and every other square inch of her and stop trying to chop my kid into pieces and only deal with their select part of her".

    GI doctor about flipped out when told him the psychiatrist was suggesting a gluten-free, casein-free diet - they often substitute the wheat with soy in that diet - Angel has sensitivity to soy have to limit it and she needs the fiber in the wheat. Thyroid being out of whack causes constipation, so do a lot of psychiatric medications, 4 times Angel has been in hospital for constipation twice requiring the OR. I'm not just talking tummy ache cause can't poop I'm talking life threatening into OR to remove 12 Lbs of it in one shot before her intestines explode.

    I strongly advise you to see a developmental pediatrician. Your husband is probably right in the thinking there are other avenues besides inpatient at this point. My insurance the only way Angel can be admitted to psychiatric hospital is if she can't take care of physical needs (comatose crapping herself) or is a danger to herself or others. 17 times she has met that criteria, though thankfully not in the past 2 years (finally got a handle on this).

    Take care of yourself so you are able to care for others and keep posting, this site & the parents here have helped me more then I could begin to explain. Yes I took a break when got a stability break to do some camping, read some books for fun etc... but now I'm back I feel I owe it to this website to help others the way these wonderful people helped me - they were literally my life line for several years.


    PS your original post you said most threads involved older children - there is a separate forum called early childhood most of those posts involve kids 2-7yo
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  11. LoonyAlana

    LoonyAlana Member

    Thanks for more info- I don't know why, but now that he's school aged, I just don't think of him as 'early childhood' anymore. Probably just my weird thinking. We considered bipolar as a possibility early on... like as early as 2 and 3 we were worried he had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or bipolar... something. He's just always been this stubborn child that is VERY difficult and set in his ways. He seems to have traits that point to Asperger's, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ODD, and we don't even try to deny he has severe ADHD. He seriously is like the 'poster boy' for severe ADHD. Our Pastor (he's also my boss) thought that he had autism, and even his pediatrician thought that was a possibility (that is what lead to the referral to a neurologist and the ADHD diagnosis)... the play therapist, neurologist, and now psychologist have all ruled out that possibility, because he is too social. But I'm really concerned about his lack of concern and empathy. He really doesn't care at all about punishments. He spanks himself and says he likes it. If we threaten to throw away a favored toy- he says, "Go ahead. Do it." It's like he's daring us to punish him, and could care less what the rules and punishments for not following said rules are. I even had a long discussion with our daycare provider (thank goodness they've been willing to work with us and not kick him out because there is not another program that would take him). He feels he 'owns' his friends (or rather, the kids he likes) - for example he asked the Daycare teacher, "Where is MY Mario?" She informed him that Mario is his own person, and does not belong to anyone but his family, but he still insisted, "No, he's MY Mario." Then (during the same afternoon) he attempted to play (really, boss around the other kid) and Mario flat out told him, "leave me alone and stop picking on me." So, he wants to make other kids do what HE wants, when he wants, in the way that he wants or else he throws a fit. Another little girl (that has been 'friends' with him for years now) told him, "I'm not playing with you because you hit the teachers and your friends." My son promptly replied, "I don't like you!" Her response was, "You don't have to like me." (pretty smart for a 5 year old on her part.)

    I guess, I'm not thinking it's bipolar at this point because he is has NO remorse. NO guilt. No care of rules, of breaking them, of punishments. It seems like even the worst ADHD kid out there would at least feel guilty about doing something wrong, and he knows when he's doing something wrong - he just flat out tells daycare and me and teachers, "I don't care." when we try and lay out rules. My husband was saying just last night, "Well I don't put up with that, I am 'alpha dog' and he's going to listen." Well, that's all well and good that maybe our son listens to him... but if he ignores me, teachers, doctors, school personnel, daycare... if he's regularly running away from his teachers... I just keep running into brick wall. On one hand, part of me is all for taking him to a hospital to hopefully figure out just what his deal is. I've had that feeling before of just wanting to darn near call CPS and flat out ask them to just take him away. But then my husband starts making his points as to why he's against it, and it makes sense, too. Apparently, my husband (as a child- according to him, because we can no longer ask his parents) acted just like our son. (It's the 'Mother's Curse', isn't it? having children that act just like you did.) Obviously everything I've done thus far isn't working, and I'm frustrated and just plain upset over it all. I've been trying really hard to keep myself from slipping into my own past destructive habits just to deal with my son. I love my son, and would never really want to give him up or anything, but I have to threaten to get him to do anything that does against his wishes. Even simple things, like making sure his bottom is fully wiped after going to the bathroom is a battle. I'm tired of being at war.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just out of curiosity. Was your son an early speaker? My son was a very early speaker. He spoke in complete sentences by the time he was 15 months old. We later found out that early speech like that can be indicative of bipolar (obviously doesn't mean just because the don't speak early they can't have bipolar or that if they do speak early that they do have bipolar).
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Although I have raised alot of children I have not had the same set of circumstances. on the other hand I truly believe your "Mommy gut" is right. Having your son inpatient for evaluation is NOT going to phase him at all. He is "a player" due to ?? parts of his being. It might, however, be embarrassing for your husband to consider a mental health evaluation. Based on reading, and re-reading your post I think that he deserves an evaluation that "could" help him move on in life as a healthier and happier human being.

    I have coped with MH issues since 1965 or 1966. My husband and I had our third child and she "just wasn't right". She ended up being diagnosis's as ADHD before the term meant anything to 90% of the world.
    Before I found the right expert (an Australian PHD, by the way) little, cute, difficult child truly almost ruined the entire family. We sought out the head of the University Psychology department for help. He said "send her to a residential community where she can happily live her life." WTH?
    My husband said "let's do it before OUR life is ruined". I could not do it...but, on the other hand, I was so very tired and stressed out that it was in a way tempting.

    Bottom line (and I am NOT encouraging separation or divorce, lol) is that if you really, truly believe that your child has serious problems then you need to "man up" and tell your husband that a residential evaluation is in the child's best interest, the siblings best interests and in the best interests of your marriage and family. I assume the facility is "good". I assume you have confidence in the recommender
    and most of all I am assuming that your child will likely find it "a new challenge" and may be appropriately diagnosed. I send hugs. DDD
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is he kind to his same age peers and animals? Does he like to watch or play with fire? Does he poop and pee in inappropriate places?

    I don't think you can actually get an accurate diagnosis at his young age and it sounds like more than one thing may be going on. In order to get him services in school, you'll need a working diagnosis however and often ADHD just isn't impressively serious enough to get the school to do anything. My youngest hasa an ADD diagnosis and when I say nobody thinks it's a big deal at her school, I mean it. She had to learn to help herself and fortunately she was capable of that.

    I suggest having a neuropsychologist test him. I like them best (my opinion of course). A neuropsychologist will do 6-10 hours of intensive testing and give you some pretty good idea of why your child acts out to the degree he does. Then you can get help. You can't get help if you aren't sure what you are dealing with and a neuropsychologist does so much investigating in my opinion they come closest to the problem(s) and can give you a good head start.

    Good luck!
  15. LoonyAlana

    LoonyAlana Member

    Sadly, I didn't keep up with his baby book, so I don't know exactly when he started speaking, or walking, or anything like that. Although, in general, both of my boys (as best I can remember) either were 'average' in age or speak, or possibly early. I can remember at an early age his 'stubbornness' showing even when we were working on his drinking out of cups - "My sips!" Was always his response, he'd take a drink out of our cup and basically steal the drink from us. He also has a broader vocabulary than I would expect a young child to have, and he's really intelligent about so many things (when he chooses to absorb the information.) He can have long, in-depth conversations about the states of matter, cloud formation and water vapor, and how Doctor Who can regenerate and travel through time and space in his Tardis...

    My oldest was the same way as well; when he was 5 years old he said once, "It's not appropriate to use the bathroom (at a gas station) and not buy something." and again at 6 years old he had said, "Mom, the other kids antagonize me."

    I'm not sure if this is because my husband and I will use 'big words' at times, or what. I am an avid reader and don't shy away from using large words while talking to the kids.
  16. LoonyAlana

    LoonyAlana Member

    He controls and bosses around his 'friends'. He does have some friends, but does not have regular play dates or anything like that, and there are a large number of kids at daycare (for example) that are either afraid of him or don't like him because he is so controlling and bossy. He feels his friends 'belong' to him- "My Mario" was how he referred to a 'friend' with his daycare teacher. "Where is my Mario?" Mario actually stopped attending daycare for a while because of my son, because he wanted to control where he sat for lunch, where he napped, what he played, who could play with him. He is very possessive. In regard to animals, we do have some. We have a Labrador retriever that is the size of a small horse, and while our son can play rough unless we intervene, he hasn't tortured the animal. We have rabbits, too, and are very careful to supervise any interaction between him and the rabbits. It's not like he's trying to hurt them, but he doesn't realize how strong he is compared to the fragile animals. But he does love the animals, and gives regular hugs and pets to them and helps to feed them.

    He's 'OK' with fire- we've gone camping a few times and/or had fires in our pit in the backyard, but he's not overexcited by them. He even dislikes smores and roasted marshmallows. So he'll be interested when we have one, but doesn't seek out for us to make a fire.

    The potty issue. *Sigh* It's been an uphill battle. Very early one (a little before 2) he was very interested in using the potty. So we got him a potty chair, and encouraged him to try it out. He, at first, liked sitting on it but never 'did his business' on it. He reached a point, around 4 years old or so, where he could use the potty (mainly #1) and used pull-ups, but still chose most often NOT to use it even if he knew he needed to pee. At the same time, that was around the time he swore off clothes while at home, and he could sleep (not even wearing a pull-up) through the night without any accidents or anything. Then in July he started school (our first attempt was at a 'year-round' public charter school) - at that point he knew how to pee and poop in the potty but most often chose not to do it. He'd ask for us to put on a pull-up just so he could then soil it. But once surrounded by all the other kids that had no issue using the potty, essentially during that one school day, he got it. He peed, he pooped, all in the potty, and we were happy and bought all sorts of new underwear and stopped buying pull ups. But then... maybe about 2-ish months ago, he got strep butt and it was quite painful for him to poop and be wiped, but even once it cleared up, he's still naked around the house and can still pee just fine and dandy in the potty, but now cannot seem to poop in the potty anymore. He'll be standing in the living room, totally in the buff, and suddenly clap his hand over his bottom (poop is already out between his cheeks and his hand is just keeping it from falling onto the floor) and he'll run to the bathroom for us to clean up him. Or, he'll clap his hand on his bottom, lie and say, "I'm not poopy" and refuse to go to the bathroom for us to clean him up. He apparently just refuses to go poo during the day (at school and daycare) and saves it all for us. And he'll only allow the smallest of amounts to come out at any time (rather than sit and try to get as much out as possible) so that we'll have to 'clean him up' easily 6-8 times PER DAY.

    My oldest son also had 'issues' where he wet his bed, nearly every single night until about 2 months ago. He's 14, and we had tried medication, reward system, shaming system, waking him up (or trying to) each hour of the night... although with him I did know that particular problem likely has some sort of psychological basis. He had it nearly solved with only 1-2 accidents per month until he went with his father for the first time over the summer. I had divorced his father the year before, but that summer was the first time he actually used his 'visitation rights' to take him all summer long (I had also just gotten remarried, and my ex was angry about that.) But I digress... basically, just trying to show the picture that both boys had (or still have) potty 'issues'.
  17. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    To me it sounds that many of his struggles may be sensory or anxiety related. Those together (and with added early ADHD diagnosis) often morphed to something in autism spectrum. Either a diagnosis or 'just' traits. Being social doesn't really rule that out, not especially with someone so young. Child that young may seem very social and even be so and difference for age-appropriate social skills may be difficult to put your finger on. But big clue is, that his peers do notice the difference. They know, he is not quite like others. Neuropsychologist and occupational therapist and evaluations from them could be useful.

    For example toilet issues you describe sound very sensory. 'Liking' to be spanked could be either sensory, or total confusion how to handle that kind of situation and anxiety, or both. Him not trying at school sounds performance anxiety and so on.

    Hospitalization can be a good thing, if he is going to be appropriately evaluated for the time he will be there. Just warehousing him there for few days will not do any good. It may be more useful to actually book the evaluations than hope there will be right professionals present when ever he happens to be hospitalised. However, it may be helpful to think that mental health or neurological issues are not different from physical issues. If he is very sick and needs urgent care, he needs to be at hospital. It doesn't matter how young or old he is. If it is not needing 24/7 care, you can go outpatient route to treat the issue. But in the end mental health or behavioural neurological issues are no different than various physical issues. When a child is ill, they have to be treated in appropriate way. If hospitalisation is needed, there is no shame in that any more than if it is needed due for example epileptic seizure or leukaemia.
  18. gwend1

    gwend1 New Member

    Hi, I agree strongly with medical testing if you can find a doctor well educated in food sensitivities and nutritional impacts on behavior. My daughter has gone from multiple rages (breaking things, hitting me, etc) a day to being happy and generally easy - all as a result of what she eats. We were gluten, casein and soy free for several years and saw great improvement with her sensory issues. Eight months ago we began the Feingold diet and it's been life changing. She needs Feingold and GFCFSF as well as fish oil, zinc and a good multivitamin and she is doing beautifully. After having such success with Feingold I consulted a nutritionist in the integrative medicine department at our academic hospital and learned that she is low in iron and severely deficient in zinc. Both are minerals associated with ADHD and other behavior disorders.

    Two of my friends (one of whom is also my pediatrician) began using Feingold with their children after seeing the changes in my daughter and they are doing really well. My pediatrician friend's daughter is now off medications and hasn't raged or destroyed anything in months. We are both astonished and it is changing the way she practices medicine.

    My daughter also has dyslexia and a visual processing disorder and that might be something to look into also. It's very common for children with dyslexia and vision issues to avoid reading and writing like it hurts - because it does. Vision issues are diagnosed by a COVD optometrist and many professionals can assess for dyslexia (a neuropsychologist would include this as part of the assessment)
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Just a word on wetting the bed at night at older ages. We were told that this is usually a medical issue, an immature bladder, and that it is more common than you think. Nobody talks about their teenager who still wets the bed, but it happens. It can also be a psychological issue if the child has been sexually abused. We fostered a child who wet the bed every night at age seven and later found out his foster mother before us had sexually abused him all the time.The psychologist we took him to told us that bedwetting can be a sign of a child who has been sexually abused. But sometimes it's just biology.

    It is not useful to ever shame a child for wetting the bed. We were told just to have our son put his sheets in the laundry which is what we did. He did stop somewhere around age thirteen.

    To everyone who has a young child who is running you ragged: Please do take advantage of respite so that you can have some down time. If your child has gone through a chaotic life in the first three years, have him/her assessed by somebody who understands attachment disorders.
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    more common than "immature bladder" is that some kids haven't developed the body chemicals that allow them to rouse themselves from sleep... they sleep so deeply and have signals that are so weak, that they don't get the message. There are various ways of dealing with it but... generally, it is best to assume that the child CANNOT control this and is not doing it on purpose.