5 yr old needs help - Mom needs advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jenniferm3389, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Jenniferm3389

    Jenniferm3389 Scared Mom

    My 5 1/2 year old just started Kindergarten 9 days ago and 3 of the days he has had a bad report sent home. This issues surround Self-Discipline and Respect and have included:

    *Took a kids glasses and threw them in PE after the coach told him not too
    *Threw a chair in class when he got mad
    *Shoved a chair at a kid when the child said something unkind
    *Didn't listen in Art class
    *Hitting students
    *Distracting & bothering students
    *Ran from teacher and PE coach
    *He also cries when he doesn't get his way so the other kids are calling him a baby.

    At home the issues are:

    *He cries when he doesn't get his way
    *At home he yells contantly and is very disrespectful
    *Grabs toys from his sister when she is playing with them
    *Breaks toys
    *Cannot stop touching things even when told to stop
    *Will rarely make eye contact when I am trying to talk to him
    *Runs through the house constantly
    *Doesn't listen and laughs when being punished
    *Refuses to clean up his toys

    Home dynamics:

    *I work in the day and dad works at night
    *Dad does not interact with the kids at all and just watches TV all day
    *Dad does not discipline and just yells constantly
    *During the day nothing is picked up or cleaned up
    *Dad will walk over a mess instead of picking it up or will kick it out of the way

    Current thoughts:

    *Dad is setting a bad example to the kids
    *Wondering if the issues with my son are not coming from his father

    My role:

    *I have talked myself blue in the face
    *Purchased parenting books that husband refuses to read
    *Trying to redirect my son in a positive way
    *Don't think it is working because there is no backup from my spouse
    *Trying to live with the chaos but it is taking it's toll

    I have depression and anxiety
    Oldest son 19 is in rehab and on all sorts of medications for mental issues
    Oldest daughter 16 is on Prozac
    Next son 14 ???
    Next daughter 10 ???
    Son 5 Anxiety/depression? ADHD, sensory processing disorder (SPD), ODD?
    Daughter 3 - she is just a normal crazy

    Any thoughts and advice are welcome because I am at a loss. Wondering if ending this marriage is what may be best for my kids. (Husband is the father of the last two - the older ones do not live with us.)
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    To me,who had a similar son, especially with lack of eye contact and lack of appropriate interaction with his same age peers and no clue about social norms, it sounds like he could be on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. Although he is young, even five year olds tend to know about appropriate and inappropriate behavior unless their own thinking gets in the way or if the child is mentally ill. in my opinion I don't think he is mentally ill.

    I would see a neuropsychologist for a complete evaluation. I personally am a layperson, but my opinion is that he's not trying to be "bad" nor that it is a parenting issue. I think he has a neurological difference that is making life hard for him so he gets frustrated and acts out. You may want to take this little test as a sort of layman's screening tool to see if he fits Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) (autistic spectrum disorder/Aspergers). If it's Aspergers, the scale is less accurate because there is no speech delay. This disorder, if he is on the spectrum, requires early education and school intervetions, some Special Education, and learning about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) so you can deal with parenting a differently wired brain. Check out the scale--it can be quite accurate if you are honest in your answers. But you do need a professional to make the diagnosis. Never self-diagnose. Also, doubt that anything you do with your marriage will help, unless he is physically abusive. And then that STILL probably is just agitating things, not the cause. Good luck!

  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Given the family history and the behaviors you're seeing, I agree with Midwestmom that an evaluation is indicated. I will tell you that most of the time in these situations when you see your pediatrician they like to refer to a psychologist/therapist for behavioral counseling or a pyschiatrist who usually jump to medications fairly quickly. You need a more thorough evaluation and want a developmental pediatrician or pediatric neuropsychologist to start.

    The school will also be better to work with if you acknowledge the problems and let them know that you are working on getting an evaluation done.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Agree with others but also think parenting issues may be contributing. I had similar situation for a while until I convinced spouse it was really hurting the kids and, more importantly, not getting the chores done, house clean, let alone peace and quiet for TV viewing that was desired. Behaviors improved but didn't go away.

    Does your child act or respond differently with you? If not then neuropsychologist evaluation outweighs parenting in my humble opinion. Did he go to preschool? How did he act there?

    Agree that you need to meet with school and ask how they would normally proceed in such a case. I would formally request a meeting with teacher that meets your SD's definition of the first step in getting a Special Education evaluation since family history and your own assessment strongly suggest that's the direction you are heading.

    If they want you to get him assessed for ADHD or whatever and you don't want to, I wouldn't tell them that. I would just talk about the fact that, regardless of the results of any such assessment, it's not going to presto change what's happening at school. So you may need to persistently and politely ask how they expect you to control your child's behavior when at school? How are they going to keep your child and other children safe? What has the teacher tried in the classroom? on the playground? Can she identify any triggers or situations that seem to cause your child to get overwhelmed? Is she an experienced teacher? If not, is there a master teacher or mentor who could observe the class and offer tips? Is there an aide in the classroom? What is does the aide see happening? Can the school psychiatric do a classroom observation?

    You get the idea. I wouldn't tell them what to do just ask how they are going to ensure your son is learning his letters? How are they going to make sure your son makes friends? How are they going to make sure your child is able to write his letters? Operationalize (make measurable) whenever possible and put the responsibility on them to come up with solutions. If they ask you for suggestions, by all means offer them. If they don't or they just want to play the blame game (must be family problems) go back to your questions. Broken record game.

    Good luck
  5. Jenniferm3389

    Jenniferm3389 Scared Mom

    Thank you for all of your advice - I really appriciate it!

    Currently I am trying to find a neuropsychologist in my area.

    As far as the parenting issues go... yes my son does respond differently to me than my husband. I can usually calm him down a lot easier and when I talk to him he will mostly listen and can tell me the next day what we spoke about. I have taught my son to come to me when he starts feeling out of control and he will come to me and lay on me to breathe calmly until he feels better.

    I try to keep the house calm, controlled and in a routine. However this is not the case with my husband and it usually just escalates to chaos. I cannot take the yelling that my husband does to my son anymore and he refuses to see the damage that he is doing in an already hectic environment.

    Thanks for listening!
  6. Southern child

    Southern child New Member

    Hello Jennifer,

    Our stories are very similar. I have a 5 1/2 yo also who has ODD, mood disorder and ADHD. My boyfriend of 3yrs is completely over my son and his behaviors, he actually is moving into the den, that's how much his behavior has effected our relationship. I get calls everyday from school, he has run out of class, hit, rolled on floor, thrown all the chairs, tipped over bookcases, kicked, etc....The funny thing is that he can behave at home. He has already had a teacher change this year. His medications don't seem to work anymore.
    I feel your frustration and pain. Are there any support groups in your area? Would your husband be willing to go to counseling with you?

    I find this site helpful just knowing that I am not alone, that this ODD really does exist...