6yo threatening to hurt himself and other children

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by VagabondDreamer, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. VagabondDreamer

    VagabondDreamer New Member

    Hey it's been a long time since I've posted anything here.

    The last couple of weeks my son has been hitting himself in the head and choking himself more often that usual. He is constantly calling himself stupid, a moron, a jerk, etc etc. He will get upset and state that he is going to kill himself. He goes to day camp through the YMCA, which he has managed to mostly stay out of trouble due to it's a small group and structured. Except he has been sent home twice in the last two weeks due to this increase in these kind of behaviors.

    Last week he was sent home because he was having a very tough mental day, choking himself and shouting that he was going to kill himself. Yesterday he was sent home because another child stated that he had threatened to get a knife out of his backpack and kill him. Of course, none of the staff members heard this. My son is now suspended for Monday, and they will be investigating the situation. I do believe that my son probably said he was going to get a knife and kill himself. There have been previous times when comments we directed towards himself and other children have believed that it was towards them. I am so afraid they will remove him from the program. They make us pay for camp, of course 2 WEEKS in advance, and state that if a child is suspended that they will not refund you. I don't know what I will do, as I am running out of money. I can't pay my bills, and now I am facing the possibility of not being able to work and losing my job over one child's account of a situation.

    I called his psychiatrist, who of course directed us to go to the children's hospital here. And of course, after 4 hours of sitting around and a $200 copay, they did nothing and discharged my son. No one wants to do anything to help a 6yo child. I have turned everywhere for help and they all beat around the bush. I truly believe my son may have a mood disorder in addition to the ADHD/ODD he was diagnosed with. I have expressed my concerns to his psychiatrist who repeated blows me off and doesn't believe that he does. I am bipolar myself, and often wonder if he may be also. He had an episode like this prior to starting ADHD medications, so I am confident that it's not just his medications affecting his mood.

    We are having somewhat of financial crisis due to childcare expenses, and I have not been able to take him to see his therapist at all this summer. He also has another counselor that is state funded and visits my son in school, but has only been to our house once or twice all summer. My son doesn't particularly like that counselor, and I'm not sure he's helping much. He is much younger and inexperienced I feel. The therapist is great with him though, and is also my therapist, which really helps with our family issues. On top of everything, I have been in a mixed state, primarily deep depression, for almost 3 weeks. I fear I may be making my son's moods worse, and I can't afford to see my psychiatrist for help. I am a single parent with little to no help from anyone else. I can't get away from all of this for a few days to regroup. I'm just so tired and don't know where to turn.

    I guess my question is, if any of you are also experiencing such problems with your child, have you found anything to help bring them out of such an episode?
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I don't remember where you're from so not sure what your options would be. I would DEFINITELY find a new psychiatrist for him. You need one that will listen to you and not get "stuck" on one thing and not admit he might be wrong and something else is going on. Suicidal thoughts and actions, such as your son is displaying, should NOT be taken lightly. Tell the psychiatrist that they dismissed the issue and that you are SCARED for your son. I would be scared. Have you asked your son why he wants to "kill" himself? Our kids have a tendency to make drastic decisions over some of the smallest things because they don't know what else to do. Maybe if you could get to the why, you can teach him other ways to deal with whatever his "issues" are. Just a thought.

    I know what it's like to be financially strapped because of a difficult child. I am also a single parent with no help and I have been out of work for a year now. I don't know how I would be able to work because of the supervision difficult child 1 requires, especially when it comes to him being alone with difficult child 2. They have NO tolerance for each other and I am terrified that I would come home one day and find difficult child 1 did something drastic to difficult child 2. It really stinks that you're not getting the quality help you need.

    Have you contacted your county human services dept for help? That's where we got some of the funding for some of the services difficult child 1 needed.

    {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Self-harming to your son's degree is not a part of ADHD/ODD. I'd find a new psychiatrist who is willing to look closer.
  4. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    Unfortunately,I don't have any answers as to the immediate problems you are having with your sons threats towards himself and others or where else you should seek help but I do have a suggestion about the YMCA camp. My difficult child attended the YMCA day camp for years by where we live. He did well there for the most part except for one year when I received frequent calls to come and get him for being involved in a fight ( many times the story was that he did not start the fight but was "part of it") or for a threat made to another camper ( he said he was going to punch him in the face if he made him lose the game) Each time we had to pick him up, he was suspended the next day too. We had already paid in full for the entire summer and were told one more incident, he would be thrown out of the camp.
    I finally went into the camp director and had a meeting with him and some head counselors that delt with my difficult child. I explained his difficulties and ways that they could help difficult child get out of or deal with these situations before they escalated. I felt ultimately that difficult child required a bit more supervision than others and it was certainly in the "job description" of being a camp counselor so I was not asking them to go above and beyond. It seemed like the fights occured during competitive games like basketball, soccer, touch football, etc...when the kids argued about a rule, fair or foul, etc... and I found out the counselors were sitting in the shade hanging out rather than being involved with the kids. I said if a counselor was involved in the game, they can iron out any disagreements and then everyone would be happy or if difficult child was getting hot under the collar, have him sit out awhile and then go back in after he has cooled off. There were a few other things I discussed with the camp but they worked with me and difficult child had no further problems and I had no more calls. Yes, he did get some timeouts to cool off but nothing that I needed to be called about.
    Maybe this is something you can try at your YMCA. Find out what is causing his outbursts and what they can do to help your difficult child manage it better. Good luck and I hope he completes his daycamp. I know how expensive these darn camps are!
  5. VagabondDreamer

    VagabondDreamer New Member

    The head counselor at the camp is actually very good. I have spoken to her a few times, and she is totally willing to help. She is very interactive with the children, and really tries to get my son to feel accepted and participate. We discussed that if he becomes to where things are escalating (he generally becomes increasingly out of control over time) to call me. I would always rather pick him up early and finish my day working from home, than to allow things to escalate to the point where he may need to be removed from the program. The time he was sent home for wanting to harm himself, I actually volunteered to come get him. Friday afternoon when this event happened, this particular counselor had actually taken the afternoon off. I later found out that almost an hour prior to this incident, he was throwing rocks at the glass doors and cussing at the staff. Of course no one called me right away as I had requested. The one time she is gone, is the only time all summer my son has been written up and sent home. This proves the rest of them suck. The counselor who called me didn't even have much detail to tell me about the incident.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Summer program staff are usually inexperienced older high school or college kids. They do O.K. with PCs but are at a loss on how to handle difficult child situations especially when there are so many other kids to keep tabs of. Once in awhile you may find a gem of a worker but my experience is they usually can't handle difficult child behaviors. Ït is good that the director is willing to get involved, she most likely has some experience with difficult child behaviors.

    One thing you can try is taking difficult child to the ER when he is stuck in one of these episodes. He may get the assessment he needs and another referral to a children's psychiatric hospital. Make sure the hospital has a children's psychiatric ward. I don't know that all do. You may have to travel out of town to find a facility that specializes in children's mental health.

    My son had self harm thoughts and also thoughts of hurting me. He was 11 years old. After our first therapist appointment. he could no longer handle life and begged to go to the psychiatric hospital our therapist referred to as an option if we needed more help. He was hospitalized for two weeks and diagnosed with severe anxiety. That does not mean your son has anxiety, it could be something else.

    Continue to be a thorn in your psychiatrist's side. Call his office with every incident until he is willing to give you the help you need or prescribe an overnight observation at a children's psychiatric hospital.

    Keep a log of every incident and give a copy to psychiatrist's every week. Have a copy available for the next assessment you get.