6 yr old ADHD son wont wipe anything. Please Help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DeterminedMama, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    Without a whole back story:

    My 6 year old ADHD son just about refuses to wipe butt, hands, & boogers. I have to to be right next to him in order for him to attempt it, and have to assist him to do it to completion. If i don't watch him, he lies and says he does it. Also struggling to help with his lack of empathy, compassion, and any sense of guilt.

    My fiance and I are going crazy trying to deal with these, amongst many other issues. If anyone has gone thru this, please help?!!
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    My first thought is there might be more going on than simple ADHD, especially coupled with the other issues you mention, and there are professionals that can test for multiple issues. In the meantime, persistence persistence, persistence. All things in their own time. My daughter didn't get the butt wiping thing down until she was 10. She didn't lie about it, just couldn't/wouldn't do it. We use wet wipes for this to make it easier. Using foamy hand soap makes hand washing more fun (and making it too fun may mean you go through a LOT of soap, just FYI). She still can't wash her own hair.

    Keeping on kids about hand washing is pretty common to most kids to some degree until the really get it down, and if you've ever seen some news stories you know there are adults that don't always wash their hands after the bathroom (gross, right?).
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome. Well, I have to agree... it does sound like more/different than ADHD. My 6 year old ADHD son has empathy, compassion and can feel guilty - even though he also has some quite ODD characteristics. As for the wiping thing - he also always does that (even if not well, and always too quickly, so hands are washed but not dried, etc). We really can't diagnose over the internet and shouldn't attempt it - can you tell us more of the back story?
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lack of compassion is not an ADHD trait. Did your son, perchance, have a very chaotic infancy and toddlerhood where he had many caregivers or a lack of consistent caregivers? Lack of empathy, along with inability to listen to anything, reminds me of attachment disorder. On the other hand SOME (and I say this as a mom with a child who has TONS of empathy) kids on the autism spectrum appear to have no empathy, but that is only because some do not know how to express it. But ADHD? That's not a symptom of ADHD and is usually not a symptom of higher functioning autism either. If the poor little guy had some tough early years, that would explain it more. What happened to his father? Was he abusive? Is your son cruel to animals or does he wet the bed and poop in inappropriate places? How does he interact with his same age peers? How does fiance deal with him? I wouldn't spank this child.

    Is this child seeing a psychiatrist? Has he had a complete neuropsychologist evaluation? I would recommend both.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Has your son had a complete evaluation looking at all areas of development?

    These evaluations are not done by a regular doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist.

    A neuropsychologist or a developmental pediatrician with a team of professionals (speech pathologist, occupational therapist,psychiatric, social work for example). do these kinds of very in depth evaluations.

    Many of us prefer a neuropsychology evaluation which is quite long, can be done over hours on a day or over several days...

    They are specially trained to consider how brains work and analyze behavior. They consider developmental and mental health diagnoses.

    I agree he sounds like there could be more going on. I've had many students with those issues and they have had a variety of challenges. Sensory Integration Disorder, General developmental delay, Autism, emotional disorders, among them.

    Of course, It could just be that a power struggle has developed but that is pretty easy to figure out if there are no other issues because then things like positive rewards for the right behavior can work wonders.

    I would suggest that along with the comprehensive evaluation, you get an occupational therapy evaluation. They analyze motor and sensory skills. A disruption in this area often goes with adhd or sometimes problems in this area can look like adhd but really be a sensory integration problem, etc.

    My son too had challenges in these areas. He does like to wash hands though. Now he wipes too much, gets worried about smells and germs.....sigh, from one issue to the next.

    Is your son willing to play in sand, dirt, water? Does he play well with other children? How does he do in school?

    Lack of empathy and guilt happens to some degree in several conditions including attachment disorder as mwm said. But there can be other reasons for example, Kids with autism can have a hard time taking the perspective of others which can come off as a lack of empathy. There are other reasons too. What do you mean by this? Can you give examples? Is it is in relation to the wiping etc or is he never kind to others (when not self serving)? Some kids need to be taught how to notice and read non verbal expressions and understand how others feel.

    Your son is quite young and if there are additional issues (or alternate issues) to the adhd, that is really quite hopeful because there are non typical parenting methods and therapies that can really help.

    by the way, my son used to wipe his nose on anything he walked by or sat near. He is 16 and it has only been a few years that he doesn't wipe on me! So nice he finally doesn't do that. Now if we could consistently cover mouths during sneezes our coughs!

    Welcome. Glad you found us.
  6. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    Ill look into sensory integration problems and how we can deal with that. We have tried rewards. It does not matter. Like i said in last post, he knows that once his punishments over, its over. He knows if he doesnt earn the reward like time w grandma & grandpa this time, he can earn it another time. If we say you dont get to have a sleepover w grandma and grandpa bc xyz behaviors/incidents/whatever, he'll ask "forever?" and as long as we say not forever, for this week, or whatever, hes fine with it. He struggles in school and is very unpredictable. I am a certified teacher and am great with structure but husband isn't. At times we battle over husband slacking, as ADHD and whatever else is going on i feel NEEDS structure to have progress.
  7. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    Oh no..... I just spent a LOT of time on back story and it looks like it didn't post.......
  8. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    Ill give shorter backstory...... Ugh.... Biological mother is drug addict. Has history of lying, stealing, crack use, pill use, domestic abuse on her ex, my husband. She was out of his life before age 1. Up til that point very few milestones. He withdrew in hospital from methadone after birth. Father has always felt guilt over situation only making matters worse as he was never reprimanded and had zero structure until I came into his life.
  9. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    Happy to have found you also. Driving myself crazy, & trying to do my best. Tried therapy but haven't found one my husband likes. Without him having that trust or willingness, we've got nothing.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well that clarifies alot! He really needs a comprehensive evaluation. It will take many kinds of therapies to help him reach his potential.
    Attachment disorder happens because of inconsistent care sometime in the first few years of life, so that may be part of the problem.

    Organic neurological damage from the drugs she used causes holes in his ability to learn. Some things can be learned and others have to be taught over and over daily.

    He may also have fetal alcohol disorder or effect, because those that use drugs often drink too.

    You will need a lot of support and he will likely need special education to be able to reach his potential. Getting those private evaluations will support your efforts.

    The occupational therapy evaluation is really important still and I'd add a full speech and language pathology evaluation especially looking at his ability to process and comprehend language. There can be subtle issues that have a big impact.

    There really is no time to waste, I hope his dad will be on board since you probably don't have any legal authority to arrange these things.

    The longer you wait the harder it is to change behaviors. plus, being in trouble, failing, having people upset with him daily will eat away at his self esteem. He needs support to be successful and proud of himself.

    And using a child psychiatric and using straight behavioral methods alone probably won't help. It's very important to figure out what's under the behaviors as discussed before, then to treat all of those areas. Psychologists and mental health professionals often only work on surface behaviors and stick tofamily problems add the cause. We all can do better, but this boy likely has much more going on. He has probably some degree of brain injury.

    This is not likely to be a case of his just being oppositional and defiant, or adhd. Those are usually symptoms of bigger issues in a child with this boy's history.

    Let us know how things are going!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ditto what the others said. And with-his bmom's history, you're going to have lifetime problems with-him. He's definitely got sensory issues.
    Just wanted to hop on and say, "Welcome."
  12. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    Buddy. I absolutely agree. What I find so difficult is that in school he does have his own aide, but they are really only attacking things at a behavioral level and I do also feel like a therapist can't tackle all of it properly, and would focus more on aspects of the family.
    He has had evaluations thru the school but the resistance that i get from my fiancé makes things tough. He didn't want me at the neurological evaluation bc at the time we were fighting, as he was in denial that there was a problem at all.. I have no idea what the dr actually said. Since then, he's come around since he's been realizing this is a real issue. We do have his IEP, he was diagnosed with ADHD & impulse disorder. I'm trying to do everything I can to give him the structure he needs and wasn't sure if he wasn't 'getting it' bc of lack of consistency or bc he actually lacks the ability neurologically to make these connections and learn. Also, my fiancé is very much against medication, tho I feel that if there is a problem with the way his brain is functioning, medication may be necessary to help his brain get done what it needs to so he can function to his fullest potential.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    DeterminedMama, I agree. You are on the right track. You may have to go this alone, and just tell your fiance' along the way ... that is, if you get custody. Do you go to all the dr appts and have access to medication records?
  14. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    And again my post got deleted before it even got sent. I'm on my iPhone and frustrated that I got my thoughts in order and they disappear. Again!

    Yes I agree we need a lot of work. He has his own aide after being classified as ADHD/ impulse control. Therapy didn't seem to do all it could bc I do feel as tho its IN him not behaviors that need changing. I work so hard at trying to make things better every day and am honestly mentally exhausted myself. husband is in denial and has trouble admitting there is a problem. I think he's coming around, but once he disappears off to work, its out of sight out of mind. And then slowly it turns into me being the bad guy, who wont let him be a kid, although I'm the one struggling with these 'behaviors' that I try so hard every day to make better, and I'm a certified teacher, I know how to TEACH I just cannnnot get him to learn. No matter how much I try. Teachers are struggling bc they are trying to target behaviors and its just not working! We have good days but its so inconsistent and not getting any better.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very good distinction. I feel for you.

    I know how to TEACH I just cannnnot get him to learn.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You've got a kid with a lot of problems, none that he caused. If fiance won't get him optimum level help, you may want to rethink if you want to raise this child all your life. He is going to get more and more difficult, especially without help.

    School evaluations are pretty useless.

    If fiance wants you to be this child's stepmother, I'd make sure he includes you in everything. It should be a dealbreaker. I read a lot of posts were fiances or live-ins are doing most of the caring for somebody's child that is partly the way he is because of the father's negligience. Is this what you really want for you life?

    Take a lot of time to think about it, especially if this man blames you for his child's problems, drug exposure issues, and possible brain damage. I adopted a child like yours...he is on the autism spectrum. This child is not going to probably ever be completely "normal" and it is doubtful he can ever completely change into a typical kid. He could very well have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which is organic brain damage which makes children unable to retain information. This is a special needs child who will have some special needs as an adult. He may need care even as an adult, although there are outside agencies to help with that...
  17. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  18. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    Sorry for the multiples..
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  19. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    Can't take my phone not posting. Ill reply on computer later..... ((I bet this post will post...)) smh
  20. DeterminedMama

    DeterminedMama New Member

    I did not go to his neurological evaluation bc at the time my fiancé and I were fighting really bad since he was in denial and said 'there's nothing wrong with my son.' He didn't want me to go. Altho i do have access to records and can make appts etc. I keep his insurance card on me. This cycle happens over and over where we get into it bc I gently try telling him that our sons behaviors and feelings are not normal, that we need help, and I need him on the same structure boat as me. Then he comes around but it keeps happening. I'm hoping things are different this time. I can't take it. I'm trying to do the right thing. Seemingly at times, alone. Hoping this time is different.

    Thanks all for the guidance & support.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013