6 year old has extreme behavior issues

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wornoutparents, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. So we have a very handsome 6 yr old boy who whilst with us is extremely well behaved,

    BUT take him to camp, day care, school, childrens church and its a completely different story,he has on many occasion:
    trashed the classroom,
    hit his teacher,
    flipped desks and chairs,
    spat at people,
    screaming temper tantrums
    hit himself and others

    he has been suspended,
    sent home,
    sat at a desk by himself with an area marked by tape that he had to remain in,
    in school suspension,
    we have shadowed him in class you name it we tried it!, to no avail,

    we took him for an evaluation with a therapist referred to us by his school and were starting to see a slight ray of hope, therapist = answers = problem solved!!!

    OR so we thought, we happily walked through door and sat with said therapist and explained the story of our lives for the last 6 mos,
    after a brief overview by us we were asked to leave so the evaluation on monkey could begin, a short while later we were invited back in and were told that monkey is Bi-Polar, much to our shock as we hadn't envisioned this at all, and after such a short initial meeting we couldn't believe that a diagnosis was being made so quickly we thanked the therapist for there time and decided we needed to explore monkeys issues further before accepting this diagnosis.

    we have battled on through endless meetings, conferences, suspensions etc....
    (we have no health insurance as monkey and mom are in the Immigration process (moved here from England) so finances are tight)

    finally today after only 9 days at his summer camp we get a call saying monkey has hit another student,
    was banging his head on the table saying he didn't care he wanted to "bust it open", a hole episode of being disrespectful to the adults,
    no remorse until he was told mom was being called and then he is trying to bargain with them to save his butt!!!!! he is now suspended and we were told one more incident will result in termination from camp

    we are at the end of our rope and not sure where we can get help if there is any for us, some of monkeys behavior has scared us and left us completely bewildered

    any advice, would be gratefully heard!!!
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome worn out parents. Sorry you had to find us but glad you did. You will find much support here. I'm sorry your son is struggling so. I've dealt with much the same only my difficult child is the same at home as away. Even if the doctor turns out to be right I would be questioning a diagnosis made that fast. I would definitely recommend a second opinion along with a visit to a neuropsychologist. They can do a lot of testing and offer a lot of good information.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds as though things are really hard. Did he have any of these problems before he moved here? Were they the same or different? I would be skeptical of a diagnosis that came that quickly also. I was, actually. We had several therapists (tdocs) who gave us all kinds of diagnosis's (diagnosis). Finally we were able to see a psychiatrist (psychiatrist, has an MD) and got a thorough evaluation and correct diagnosis.

    I actually recommend you find a developmental pediatrician and/or a neuropsychologist to evaluate your son. The dev pediatrician we saw had our son do a battery of tests with the group of professionals at his office. They then had a meeting to discuss all of the results and figure out what was going on. This is sometimes called a multidisciplinary evaluation and is very very useful to figure out exactly what the problems are. The tests took about 3 sessions that were each 3-4 hours long. Some kids cannot do tests that long and they do more sessions that are shorter. Neuropsychs are specially trained in how the brain effects behavior. Good ones will run approximately the same tests our dev pediatrician did. They also break the testing up into several sessions.

    After the testing you will get a report and it should contain the dxs that are appropriate and ways to help, along with recommended accommodations for school. This will be the most effective way to help your son (we use difficult child to indicate the child who brought you here - it stands for gift from God). It isn't cheap but it is cheaper in the long run than going to doctor after therapist after doctor after therapist and have each of them figure out what is going on from talking with you and difficult child for 45 minutes. You won't spend as much money on therapies that don't target the problem or that make it worse or on medications that don't treat the real problem and cause serious side effects.

    You also need to contact the school he will attend because he will need an IEP when he starts school. It stands for individualized education plan and is designed to help your son's education fit his needs and abilities. You can find a LOT of info on IEPs and school issues in the Sp Ed forum and archives. There is a letter requesting an IEP that is available to send to your school. You will need to add the appropriate details, of course. When you send it you MUST send it by certified mail, return receipt requested. This puts federal timelines into place which means that the testing and evaluations must be done within so many days (I think it is 60 days. It may be hard to get evaluations done in summer. Sometimes the people who do the testing are on vacation or take leaves of absence in the summer. If those people are teachers they usually are only paid for 9 months of the year. While the law says the days count, the realities are that sometimes you have to be a little patient in the summer because it may be impossible to get the right people to do the testing. A little honey (aka patience) may make things easier later. Just make sure you send the letter to the school. I would also try to send one to the Superintendent with the explanation that principals may not be in during the summer and you want to be sure this is addressed before the school year starts. You should still send one to the school, but it helps keep things moving if you show you made a good faith effort to let the right people know what you need.

    In the meantime (while you wait for appointments and evaluations, etc...) it would be very helpful if you started a Parent Report. Our FAQ board has a thread titled Parent Input/Multidisciplinary Evaluation. It has an outline of a Parent Report that some wise moms figured out and wrote down years ago. It is a great way to keep everything organized so that you can access info at any time and can share whatever needs to be shared in a timely manner. I have found it to be invaluable, both for my difficult child and for my daughter who is dealing with some medical problems.

    I also recommend reading The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It suggests a different way to approach parenting that many of us have found to be incredibly helpful, regardless of the problems our kids are dealing with. It seems counter-intuitive and certainly is NOT the more traditional way to parent, but it IS effective. Many of us refer to it as sort of a "bible" for parenting. I also recommend using Love and Logic books. Most of our kids operate on an emotional level that is about 1/3 less than their age in years. This means your son would be operating at about the level of a 4yo. Given that, I recommend Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood. I also recommend their regular book, Parenting with Love and Logic and their website ( www.loveandlogic.com). The website has a lot of stuff for teachers. I have found those helpful also, though I am not a teacher. They have descriptions of all of their books on the site so that you can decide if one would suit you more than another. You can purchase their books on the site, or in bookstores or from amazon. If you choose to use amazon.com, there is a link on the home page that will take you to the site. Purchases made by going to amazon via this site do help support the site. It is NOT mandatory and no one will ask if you did that or not. No one would refuse to give help or support based on that either.

    Whatever else you do, keep coming back. We really care, we have truly been there done that so we "get it" and know you are not exaggerating or making it up. We don't judge either.

  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Bipolar disorder tends to be genetic. Anybody in the family with diagnosed or undiagnosed mood problems, depression, etc?

    The home environment is very different from others. It sounds as if your difficult child may be getting overstimulated outside the home. A lot of our kids get overstimulated easily, but I'm wondering if your little one may have some sensory issues? Different type of clothing aggitate him, problems with socks, likes to rock or swing more than most kids, avoids touching or doesn't seem to respect your personal space, can't stand brushing teeth, shampooing hair or maybe uses water as a soothing mechanism? Has an aversion to some food textures?

    Any of this sound familiar.

    Ditto on needing a 2nd opinion.