am I doing the right thing.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sjexpress, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    If so, then why do I feel so awful and guilty?? difficult child was just awful with his hate and verbal abuse to me and the whole family all afternoon. He woke up this morning complaining of a sore throat but did go to school. By lunch time the nurse called me and said he had been down twice, has no fever but feels he can't make it the rest of the day. I picked difficult child up from school and he was thankful but believe me, he could have stayed! Then it started... nothing I said or did was right, he accused me of stealing his money because he wanted to buy something and did not have enough. I reminded him where he spent it all but that was not right either. Then he was mad because I would not take him to the store to look around, then I would not let him go swimming ( he was home sick), then he had to come with me to pick easy child up from pre-k because husband was not home and this made difficult child mad too. Then husband came home and difficult child started in on him about how we are all so stupid, do everything wrong, we are mean and he hates us all.
    Tonight difficult child baseball team is playing in the world series ( they made it) and I am sure he is nervous but still, you can't treat people like ****. While getting his uniform on he continued his verbal abuse by screaming that I took out the wrong socks ( they are green and we have one pair so I am sure they were the right ones), that I must have shrunk them then, etc... Then while I was helping difficult child get his socks on because he was flailing around saying they were too small, he dropped a money bank he was looking at and it landed on the side of my knee and really hurt! I know it was an accident but while I was holding my knee trying to catch my breath from the sudden pain, difficult child was yelling at me not to be such a baby, suck it up, it doesn't hurt, etc.... really compasionite kid I have! If he didn't want to say sorry ( he never does since he is perfect and nothing is ever his fault) he should have just kept quiet! This threw me over the edge and I told him I was not coming to his baseball game because he treats us all terribly to which he replied.. who cares! So I am home and husband took him (husband had to as he is the coach, poor guy) and I feel bad not being there but also not really as I am so angry still! Am I wrong or do you just keep doing the "right" thing for your child no matter how they treat you?? Thanks for letting me vent!

  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    No, I don't personally think you keep doing what your child wants no matter what the abusiveness or disrespect. I don't suppose that does the child any favours... that said, how do you help your boy realise that his language and behaviour are unacceptable, destructive and self-destructive? That's the 64,000 dollar question I realise.
    You may have explained this before but how is it your boy is undiagnosed?
    Hugs. People who don't have a difficult child don't understand all this stuff but I know how awful it can be...
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You're nicer than me. I would have forced him to stay home. Period. Even if hub was the coach. Even if the other kids didn't want him to stay home. It's one thing if a child is TRYING to do well and doesn't. That gets a pass from me. But verbal abuse or physical abuse is automatically a loss of privileges in our home. Not only would he have stayed home from baseball, but his electronics would have been gone for at least a week. in my opinion, a parent does "right" by his kid if he/she lets him know what is and is not acceptable. I don't think letting even a difficult child do whatever he wants to do or say whatever he wants to say is doing our best as a parent. The real world will not accept the behavior, even if we do.

    I have tried both, and I find that for us losing privileges is effective. I don't know if it works with all kids, but it has worked really well with mine.

    In the meantime, in my opinion this child badly needs to see a neuropsychologist and get treatment. I've raised five kids, and a ten year old who acts like that needs help or else teenagerhood and all it's problems are looming in front of him. I wouldn't wait. I also wouldn't allow him to get away with mouthing off to me like he did.

    I'm sorry you had to go through this. Keep us posted.

  4. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I agree with MW Mom... I would have kept him home. My difficult child also plays baseball and my husband is also his Coach. If he was verbally and physically abusive to me or anyone else he would not be allowed to play.

    husband would have went on his merry way to Coach the other kids.

    I know how hard this all can be believe me. I hope you have a better day tomorrow.
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    in my opinion it doesn't sound like you are doing the "right" thing for him. are there EVER any consequences for his behavior? (please keep reading, I'm not trying to be mean)

    From the scenario you described, it sounds like you, as a parent haven't transitioned, from understanding that there are deeper issues, to taking control of them. I too am concerned that you don't have a diagnosis. Without one, what do you think his issues are? How are you approaching assisting him in learning the "right" way. Allowing yourself to be a doormat for his anger and frustrations is NOT going to get him to responsible adulthood.

    Yes, I'm aware that you probably got to this point because if you handled it calmly and with more "giving ins" and then, the situations were diffused, but that doesn't seem to be working any more. It's time to change things up. What struck me most as an "oh no you did not!" was when he yelled at you because YOU pulled out the wrong socks. EXCUSE ME???????????? The boy is 10 he should be more than capable of dressing himself and getting his own clothes out. If not, then in my opinion he's not mature enough to participate in team sports. I think it's time to pepper your "understanding" of his issues (what are the diagnosis's again?) with some old fashioned rules, privileges and consequences. It's perfectly OK for him to get angry, but the way he is expressing that anger is in my opinion, ABSOLUTELY NOT OK. Please read some of the threads involving older kids with dxs like bipolar, mood disorder, ADHD etc. KIDS NEED RULES AND CONSEQUENCES.

    Ex: DD1 has some serious anxiety issues. When pushed with challenges, she will literally snap and have a tantrum just like a 4 y/o (she's now 10) This of course is unacceptable to the school, so they threaten her with a suspension. She's a smart girl, she does not want to get suspended, but still, has a VERY difficult time controlling her 'snap'. Knowing this, I and the teachers watch her for signs that she's getting over anxious and may snap. We point it out to her and try to diffuse the situation. After several times of doing this, we realize that she's not getting any of her work done, because we are always diffusing it for her. So, we need to take it up a notch. Instead of diffusing the situation, we start leading her through step by step - pushing her through that anxiety. All the while, we make sure she is becoming aware of her own feelings and the steps we take to break things down for her, so that in the future when there is not so much "hand holding" going on, she can recognize when she might begin to snap and remove herself from the immediate situation, or start breaking it down herself so she can get through it. (by the way this is primarily in her gifted class, and pulling her out is not an option because if she doesn't learn to face these types of academic challenges, she'll be doomed to a life of under-achievement. Also she'll just be bored to death in a regular class all 5 days.)

    In other words, she is learning to deal with her own issues. Yes, she's got more than anxiety going on, and she's working on all of it and has been involved in becoming self aware, and taking responsibility for her own actions since she was 8.

    It's ironic since that last two days, I've been PRAISING her when she got angry. She had gotten to a point where she wasn't expressing her anger or frustrations at all. They would get bottled up and build up inside her, and when they come out, it wasn't even a rage, it was this very odd almost different personality, but in that state she felt OK enough to let out those feelings. So now she is being PRAISED when she raises her voice or yells and complains in a "healthy manner" - no name calling, no property destruction, no mean expressions. And when I do praise her, I remind her that here at home, that is acceptable, but in school, she'll still have to take it down a notch or two.

    Stop feeling awful and guilty, and channel some of that energy into appropriate parental anger. Get a diagnosis for your son, at the very least, get him and the family into therapy - don't need a diagnosis for that, and a diagnosis can emerge from even just a few sessions. STAY STRONG. If you haven't yet, get a copy of The Explosive Child. It's recommended to almost everyone who comes to this forum. (It's next on my list even though my difficult child really isn't all that explosive, but I as a parent do NEED more guidance to be an even better more effective parent.)

    (((((HUGS))))) I"ll say it again. If our kids came with instruction manuals, it would be much easier.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I agree with the other ladies. Miss KT's happy butt would not only have been kept home for antics like that, she would have faced some serious consequences. As MWM said, trying to behave well and not quite making it is one thing. Pitching a great big honking fit, and physically hurting you, is something else again. in my opinion, you need to start teaching him to be independent ASAP. That means, for starters...he needs to put his own darn socks, or stay home. There is no way I would be dressing a 10-year-old.

    Get a diagnosis, and work towards getting a handle on his behavior. The teenaged years are bad enough, and I've only raised one child.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK, I'll take the bait and play devil's advocate here...
    For the record: NOT that I support the way he treated you, because I don't.

    BUT... when I see stuff like this...

    ... I start seeing red! This is not necessarily the the case. It is possible to be highly athletic, and still have major problems with...
    - finer motor skills, like dressing
    - organization, planning, initiation, inhibition, and other executive functions

    Sports do absolutely NOTHING to address any of these issues, either. NOT EVER.

    Sports DO have a postiive impact. Its a good thing this kid IS good at sports and has a framework in which he can succeed. If he did not have that, you would likely be having MORE issues and more SERIOUS ones.

    The one thing that is not fair to ANYONE in this picture, is that this child does not have a full and complete diagnosis of all issues. It isn't enough to get one label - that may be the most obvious single thing going on but can still be less than 10% of the whole picture. These kids are VERY complex. To avoid secondary problems (the issues you had today are secondary problems), these kids need to be caught BEFORE AGE 8. How many are? Well, I haven't seen stats... but given that many kids don't start the diagnosis route until they hit school (exp. if the issues are not from a pervasive developmental disorder like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)), AND that it takes an average lf 7 years to get a complete diagnosis (quoting from someone else on this forum...) - well, you do the math as to how many get caught in time.

    Secondary issues start showing up no later than grade 3 - might not be caught until later, can start as early as K or grade 1. Anxiety, depression, anger, lashing out - verbally and/or physically, stealing, lying, cheating, work refusal, etc. - there are some cases where some of these things can be a primary issue, but far more often, they are secondary - brought on by other needs not being addressed appropriately.

    So - as MWM said...
    Take this as a big red flag. Its a warning. Get help - for all of you - as fast as your legs can get you there.

    Having said all that - you're still a Mom. You're still normal. Every day takes its toll. Look after yourself - for your sake, and for his sake, and for the rest of the family. We've all been there done that!
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think that you have forgotten a BIG part of raising kids. Regardless of what their issues are, our jobs, as parents, are to make them able to function as contributing members of society. Not all will contribute the same things, but our job is to work so they can get there. NO child who is too sick to go to school should go to a sports event. Once in a while thank you has gotten to go to an evening function if being home was due to sensory overload and the problem has passed, he has gotten to a point that he can handle being in public. But that is rare - if he is home he isn't able to go anywhere.

    You are doing too much for him and making excuses because of his problems but not really working toward a solution. He needs to be faced with real logical, natural consequences for his behavior. Having a tantrum like that at your mom and hurting her means you don't leave your bedroom and if you make too much fuss in there everything but your mattress, sheet, pillow, blanket, light source and seven outfits of MOM"S choosing leaves the room. That means all your electronics, fun stuff, etc.... are in boxes int he garage or maybe in a storage unit mom and dad rent until you show you can behave and not hurt mom.

    NO WAY should you have gone to ANY activity of his tonight. He hurt you, you have NO energy to do anything at all for him/with him/that benefits him. You must retire to the bathroom where you take a very long bubble bath wtih a book, some candles, a favorite snack and a nice beverage and absolutely ZERO interruptions until you are darn good and ready to come out. THAT is TLC for hurt mommys and children who inflict that hurt must do mommy's chores - like the dishes, sweep the floor, whatever they are capable of while she heals from the injury.

    Ideally, difficult child should have gone to his room to spend the time alone and you should have been able to do whatever to recover from your injury. Dad has a commitment as the coach but family has to come first. He might have to call another parent to fill in as the coach - NO game or tournament is worth mroe than his family or worth moer than getting through to difficult child that he does NOT get to hurt HIS WIFE and get rewarded for it. THAT is the message your husband needed to send. You and husband really MUST send the message that hurting someone, anyone but ESP your mother and father, is a HUGE way to get both parents to cut every ounce of fun out of YOUR life - that it is totally unacceptable to hurt your wife/husband and no matter why it happens (except for an honest and real accident but those are NOT caused while you are shouting at your mother that she can't do anything right,etc...) there will be some fearsome consequences to pay if it happens.

    Your son DOES need a full evaluation. A neuropsychologist evaluation with the up to 10 hrs of testing is going to be crucial. So is getting a psychiatrist to also evaluate him. But it is going to take months to get in as it may take three or four months until an appointment is available. Until then??

    You go and get a copy of Parenting Your Chidl with Love and Logic by Fay and Cline and a copy of The Explosive Child by Greene and you read them. Then apply common sense to come up wtih a mix of the methods that you and husband can stick to. And you stick Occupational Therapist (OT) it.

    Regardless of how tired husband is when he gets home, you and husband need to sit down and draw up some basic rules. You say mean things about parents - X is the punishment. And when you want them to do something, anything, they tell you they are not interested in doing fun activity X with somoene who called them names or said they were stupid or said they were a monkey's toenail because they lost your money or whatever. People do not want to do fun or nice things with/for someone who is mean/verbally aggressive to them. Then you do. not. do. it. Regardless of his pleas and demands.

    If you hurt someone on purpose - your life stops. you lose X for Y amt of time. This is a HUGE thing. If at 10 he is allowed to tell you that what he did to you didn't hurt and you are a baby who needs to "curse meaning inhale" it up, and you give no real consequence except for mom staying home from his game? By twelve he will be well past the boy here who used a knife to cut the pocket out of his mother's shorts to get money out of them - while she was sleeping with the shorts on her person!! I am not kidding. He will likely be past that point of caring what you want, do or say long before age 12 if you don't start standing up to him NOW.

    HOw do I know? My son tried it. Not with a knife that we saw. And not on me. But when he was mad about something, or just bored or cranky, he would go and torture his little sister int he middle of the night. I found out MONTHS after it started ONLY because the cat insisted I follow her into my daughter's room. She was almost unconscious. She had been sleeping and he went in and started choking her while she slept. We learned that his teacher at the middle school was letting him do all sorts of thigns that we had specifically revoked permission for in writing. The docs wanted to say it was a psychotic break and on some levels it was, but that was NOT the reason for his violence. The violence was because his teacher and his grandparents were letting him ignore many of the rules so in his mind none of the rules applied to him. Not even the ones that meant it was wrong to kill your sister. He wound up in a psychiatric hospital for 4 months where they finally clued in to the fact that the violence was NOT because the psychotic break. He just lost his grip on what was fantasy and what was reality in regards to pokemon and anime. He knew full well and good the entire time that he was hurtign people (he told us this years later).

    Sorry I went on so much, I just see so much danger ahead for you and your younger child if you do not get this turned around asap. While he seems to have something going on, and that does need treatment and identification, if you don't stop the violence the rest won't matter. He is oging to start lashing out at school and at teammates and someone will press charges. Then you are going to be in a huge world of hurt and your chances for help will decrease hguely. So get the books, get the neuropsychologist on board, and start putting big limits on his world each and every time he is violent.

    Be very very careful to NEVER leave your younger child alone iwth him. Not until you know what is going on and how to best try to help. He probably knows that hurting his llittle brother will upset you the most and it is highly likely that he will begin to use this when he is angry with you. Yes, I sound like a doomsayer. But I have just seen it too often. And at age 4 your other son is just too vulnerable.

    It would be a good idea to start a parent report. It is a way to organize info about your son so that you ahve it all in one place and you can communicate it to the docs effectively. the link in my sig will take you to the thread that explains it.
  9. wintak

    wintak New Member

    We've had a particularly difficult couple of weeks but....I would have sent him to the game. In our family, if we are committed to something, we finish it. We do not quit, we do not let a "team" down. That said....I've been the battering ram of a 8 year old difficult child who is really letting his mouth say some foul things (he just screamed he hates the WHOLE family...just before I sat down here)

    I hope it calms down a bit. But for what it's worth, part of being in sports is realizing that no matter what kind of icky mood you're in, you have committed to the team and you will show up and play.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'll skip over all the discipline stuff, looks like that's been covered. I will agree he needs a full evaluation, and I'll tell you that when my Kiddo is coming down with something she always backslides and her behavior nosedives. One rule my Dad had when I was growing up (yes, I was also a difficult child. am? no matter) was that if I was too sick for school I was too sick for outside activities, including the upcoming weekend. No ifs, ands, or buts.
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    Point taken, Insane.

    AND if the above situations had been presented differently, I would 100% agree with you, and not have made the statement as I did. AND I concede that it is entirely possible that sjexpress' difficult child has issues as you described. So, I do apologize for my hasty assessment - I do very much tend to "shoot from the hip"

    HOWEVER even if such issues are present, the resulting behavior should not be tolerated. Just like others mentioned, there is a distinct difference between a child "trying" to control their behaviors and failing, and a child who is just reacting any way they want.

    The issues need to be identified, and "treated" with appropriate accommodations. Hopefully this will result in 'better' behavior - knowing that 'better' for a difficult child is far from ideal.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Keista, you beat me to it.

    A number of things concern me here:

    1) this child still has no diagnosis, so we don't know why he is doing these things. And I think the answer is complex. And this child probably doesn't understand "complex".

    2) The behaviour described in the child fits with what we have experienced. IF there is a similar underlying cause, then it needs to be handled differently, and even seen differently, to how other kids behave. Another reason for evaluation. And not just school evaluation, they rarely get it right. A number of factors here - illness developing. Game coming up. Confusion over his money (and apparently certain plans and expectations he had privately that were not coming to fruition). Anxiety over change and over other people's expectations. A change in routine. IF this kid has any Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) tendencies, he will react to this with hostile behaviour that often reflects how he feels other people treat him in similar situations.

    3) He is dishing back what he gets. At some level and at some times, he has hurt himself and had someone tell him to stop being a baby, to suck it up. All he is doing, is reflecting back the same behaviour, since that was the pattern that he was taught. That is what you do, in his mind. So the yelling at you, screaming at you - partly it is what he feels he experiences, part of it is anxiety, part of it is frustration and change will aggravate this. Change in how he is feeling (ie getting sick; or recovering) and change in routine.

    That said - you don't have to accept this as okay. it is NOT okay. But punishing it will only make the problem worse, because HE will then learn to punish YOU when he feels you behave that way toward him.

    What you do instead - you stay calm. You revise and rehearse, as much as you can. He needs to be calm enough for this, but as and when you can, you say, "It is not right to swear at people. I do not swear at you. Please do not swear at me." (and don't forget the 'please'). "Now let's try that again - you were asking me to do something for you? How do you ask nicely?" If you have to, prompt it for him. "You say, 'Please, mum, can you help me?' and I will then do my best to help you, because you have asked me so nicely. Now, let's try that again. What do you need to say?"

    Do this calmly.

    And as for you hurting yourself - try to use humour to deflect. And observe - somewhere, someone is treating him with disrespect, is an adult throwing their weight around in the mistaken belief that this is how a child should be disciplined. Find who is doing this and educate them fast. About the head and neck... because that has to STOP so your son can stop learning the wrong way to behave, and begin learning the right way.

    You do not have to accept this as okay. It is not okay. But you cannot change it the way most people think it can be changed - by punishment and scolding. Because this kid has learned to punish and scold, and is VERY good at it!

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    OMG, Marg! This may be the very, very, very, very first time I ever disagree with you (I'm sorry, but I do!).

    First of all, even if an adult is treating him this way, and we don't know if this is happening, he should not be acting this way. Period. Find out what is going on and deal with it, if it's happening, but don't excuse the child or he may think it's ok or get a victim attitude: "I can act this way because it happened to me! So ********** you."

    Even if my autistic son had behaved this way at ten, and he certainly had issues, he simply would have been punished for it. He started out a child who tantrummed, hit, bit me, spit in my face and tantrummed in restaurants and malls. Picture this while he writhes on the floor and I try to lift him (and he is an African-American adopted little boy while I am white...people probably thought I was kidnapping him)..."Help! Help! Help! No! Help, sombody! DON'T HURT ME!" And here I am just trying to pick him up so that I can calm him. I never ever even spanked this child.

    Yes, he was THAT hard to handle. I'm surprised that nobody ever called social services on us, but there were less cell phones back then.

    I knew I needed to do the best I could to make Sonic's behavior somewhat acceptable. By age five he was calming down, but he still had his tantrums and namecalling moments when he wasn't so nice. Every single time he did some inappropriate, he was put into time out and his activities (mostly his beloved videogames) were taken away and hidden so he couldn't sneak and get them. In time, he became quite appropriate. He didn't like losing his privledges AT ALL and that enticed him to behave in a socially acceptable manner.

    I don't believe it is ever a good idea to allow any child to abuse us or anyone else. No matter what is wrong with the child, he can often be taught to be more acceptable. While Sonic sometimes acted clueless, he never said hurtful things, but my oldest child did (see below). He learned fast that he either stopped the abusive language or his fun came to an end. I think ESPECIALLY children with disorders need to start very early on appropriate behavior or they will be ostracized in school, in the community, and, later, they will have a hard time holding a job. Does it work for all kids? No, but it's better in my opinion than trying to rationalize with a child who has just pretty much said, "I don't care about you."

    As for the socks, even if he has sensory issues (like Sonic does) he can at least attempt to put his own socks on at ten. He can get help, but our kids often develop a sense of helplessless and "do it for me, Mom" because things come harder for them and we feel bad so we don't make them try. I think that's the wrong way to go. Sonic, with his autism, was doing his own clothes, doing the dishes every fourth day, and taking care of his own room by ten. He was taught how to go shopping at school so he can shop himself too.

    So I guess we differ on this. But, at the same time, I also agree a diagnosis is needed. But even if the diagnosis is ADHD, Aspergers or bipolar, in my opinion it's never a good idea to let bad behavior go without a consequence. And in my opinion this was over-the-top verbal abuse. If he talks this way to you, imagine how he will be talking to other people when he is fourteen. And if he always gets his way because he is difficult, he could start to just do what he wants to any rate, he needs help and the family could use counseling on how to deal with his anger. JMO :)
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's okay, we've disagreed before and will again.

    I was not saying at any point that this is okay. I think this sort of behaviour is very much NOT okay. But if you want to help the child change his behaviour, sometimes more traditional methods are not the way to go; sometimes the child is behaving tis way because for him, the more traditional discipline methods are actually part of the cause. For some kids. Which is why an evaluation is needed, to try to find out what is going on.

    Letting a child be abusive without response, is not healthy. But responding to abuse with what the child perceives is an abuse response (and even when we are following parenting 101, to a child with skewed social sense, it can seem abusive to them) is also not the way to go.

    We had a really rough day yesterday with difficult child 3. I was not the problem, but I was copping verbal abuse. I was not wearing it, I kept making it clear that I was trying to help and did not deserve to be treated badly. difficult child 3 wanted my help and he was not going to get it if he did not show me respect. When he disrespected me, I made it clear I was not accepting it. But I knew I would get nowhere if I tried to send him to his room, or punish in some other way. I got a better result by pushing through and insisting on respect, then demonstrating that when he showed me respect, he got a good result.

    difficult child 3 has hit me. Not long ago, either. And I made it clear - that is abuse and he is 17, anybody observing could have called the cops and what would difficult child 3 do then? Absolutely no excuse, never ever. I avoided difficult child 3 for the rest of that day and would not talk to him, would not spend fun time with him. He wanted to play a game later - I told him I was still very hurt and he had to make amends. Even if he felt justified in his anger, he was never justified in his violence.

    A couple of weeks later he verbally threatened me. I said to him, "That is a serious threat and I have every right to call the police. You can apologise to me now, or explain yourself to the police. And it will not look good for you - you are 17 now, far too old to use that approach and get away with it. I am your mother; I forgive a lot more. One day you will say that to someone outside the family and I will not be able to help you. So learn now - no more threats of violence."

    And there have not been. He has learned that lesson. Even yesterday when he was so very angry (and I understood why) he did not make any threats of physical violence and he did not hit.

    It took time, but I don't think any other more conservative discipline would have taught that lesson.

    Please go back and read what I wrote. I was not endorsing ort condoning violence or abuse. But if you recognise where it is coming form, it makes it easier to know HOW to help the child learn a better way to respond.

    And surely that is the ultimate goal? Punishing in the meantime - what is the purpose? To teach! But for these kids, it anti-teaches. That is what I was trying to say.

    We HJAVE to teach, but for some kids, that needs a different approach.

    Which is why we need to know - is this child one such child who needs that different approach?

    But we never, ever allow ourselves to be treated like dirt - because, according to my own logic, that teaches the child to continue to behave that way and that it is right. And it certainly is not.

  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Actually, 'better' in any kid is far from "ideal".
    But I will say that, knowledge is power. The more we find out about what we are dealing with, the more we can adjust our own approach - and are in a better approach to advocate for others to change their approach. If you're dealing with a high fever, it matters whether its from menningitis, or from measles... the first needs immediate medical intervention and the second will probably run its course. Treating every fever with tylenol doesn't solve the problem - it just reduces the fever. And treating a fever in a kid with the wrong drug (asprin) can cause serious problems. So it is with behavior problems... the behaviors are like the fever - a sign that something is definitely wrong. But you need to know what you're dealing with, or the approach you take to dealing with the behavior may compound the problem. (been there done that - way too often)

    Unfortunately, there's no "magic number" when it comes to diagnosis. "One" isn't so often accurate, but may be if its broad enough (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), for example, covers so much territory that it may in fact be the only cause, but you still have to find a way to define the "edges" of YOUR kid... as Marg has had to do); more often, its multiples. And the "system" (education and medical) will fight back after a few diagnosis... and say "well, what else do you expect... more labels aren't going to change anything". But it isn't about the labels... its about knowing what to do, what might work, what might explain some unusual combination. And all too often, one diagnosis works against the next diagnosis, and the two of those make it more difficult for the third diagnosis... and then you add in non-medical challenges... mixed-handedness, high sensitivity, etc. A hands-on learner with a motor-skills difficulty, mixed-handedness, and some attention or auditory issues... is in BIG trouble - take away almost any one item from that list, and the rest gets easier.

    So DIG. Deep. Get to the bottom of it. The biggest value in the correct list of diagnosis is sometimes just the impact of the diagnosis list on the kid... especially if its a host of smaller stuff and not one big umbrella... because the kid is actually "normal" - except for a, g, t, v and z... (substitute whatever diagnosis you want in there!). By limiting the "damaged parts" to a defined list, the rest of the person starts making sense.

    Oh - about all those books and theories out there? Read them! Some will make sense, and some won't - that's because some fit your situation, and some don't. Same goes for comments on threads like this, too - none of us has walked a mile in your moccossins, so we might guess wrong. If it fits - use it.
  16. keista

    keista New Member

    Unfortunately, that is the ultimate problem here. Sjexpress does NOT know where it is coming from, and therefore does NOT know how to handle it, and we also can NOT give any truly constructive advice on her question, "Am I doing the right thing?"

    So, sjexpress, we can all give you advice and voice our opinions, but until you have at least a 'hunch' at a diagnosis, it's not going to do you much good. Until you know what's 'driving' your child's reactions, you will not know how to react.

    I gave the example of praising DD1's 'acceptable' expression of anger. But other times, when I KNOW that what she is doing is giving me "attitude" I put a stop to that very quickly. In the very recent past she was experiencing "episodes" that didn't seem to be her true self at all, and I treated those "episodes" differently, and had to 'experiment' to see what would work. During these "episodes" she was aggressive and cold and distant, and just plain BIZARRE. and I'm not sure I would have made it through all that emotionally if I had not found this forum, and gotten everyone's insights.

    While I was typing Insane explained it very well, so please get your son evaluated by a professional.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Marg, ok, yes, I do think you did well with your child. Letting the child know that you can call the police is good. Sadly, some kids don't respond to even that threat. But it's worthwhile to point out that physical abuse (and this includes hitting, gettting in your face and threatening etc.) is not acceptable in the house or lawfully.

    And I also agree that having no diagnosis is having no direction, or professional helping with the plan of treatment, no understanding. I will repeat, this child needs a neuropsychologist evaluation ASAP. He is getting older and the younger the behaviors are directly and correctly addressed and the cause of them treated, the better the end result. Right now it is like stabbing in the dark.

    But I still would have kept him home from baseball and taken his electronics :)
  18. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    I appreciate everyone's responses but apparently there are many questions as to why my difficult child is undiagnosed, untreated, allowed to behave this way, maybe treated poorly himself, etc.... Well, when I first posted long ago, I did write about our history but I will do it again to clear things up. Believe me when I say we are trying to do our best for our difficult child and family.
    difficult child was born difficult. He was colicy, never slept, cried often. It was a normal pregnancy and delivery. There is no known mental illness ( weird relatives maybe undiagnosed?) on either side of the family. As difficult child got older, he tantrumed frequently and hard when he did not get his way. We did not give in and used time outs which never did anything for us but we continued. By 5 yrs old the pediatrician was telling us he was just immature and he will out grow this. difficult child did fine in nursery school and in kindergarden so no help from school. We tried lots of behavior charts/reward systems on our own but again, nothing mattered. By 7 we decided to find help on our own for difficult child and started seeing psychologist with him. We spent a almost a year trying new behavior charts, rewards, consequences, etc... nothing changed for us and again, other than talking too much in class, school and summer camp were fine! difficult child behavior continued on with tantrums when he did not get his way, verbal abuse of the family, never being wrong, etc... Over the past 3-4 yrs we have tried 2 other child psychologists, a family counselor where we all went and both difficult child attended age appropriate anger management classed and husband and I attended a parent group, and we have even taken difficult child to a "natural doctor" who was recommended that treated difficult child with vitamins, accupressure ( no needles) and dietary changes. Again, nothing really helped us! And husband and I were consistent in doing and following thru with every thing we were supposed to do, including punishments no matter how much worse it made things. Yet, in all these years and the tons of money we spent on co-pays, not one of these professionals gave difficult child a diagnosis and school was fine so we had no help there. Never have we hit difficult child, been unattentive to his needs or illnesses. We do our best to encourage his independance and don't baby him or do everything for him no matter how much he carries on( yes I helped him with his socks as he was struggling since his feet were sweaty- I didn't think this was a huge deal) I have no idea where his anger and aggressiveness comes from or why his lack of care or concern for his family. He does apologize for his actions after he calms down and many times says he does not know why he acts this way. It is so sad for all of us because when he is not having these "moments", he is an amazing kid- smart, athletic, funny, etc.. he just can't control his emotions when frustrated and it affects us and his life with friends, on teams,etc..
    When I found this site and heard about neuropsychologist evaluation, i searched and found 2 places by me that does this but our insurance did not cover it and there is no way we can afford the thousands of dollars out of pocket they quoted us it would cost. THe last psychologist suggested maybe medications (never diagnosed difficult child) and we should consider a psychiatrist. We were against it at first (the medications) but since again we really have to help our ds, are willing to go that route but now after years of nothing helping, difficult child is absoluley refusing to get more help. Yes you say I am the parent and get him there no matter what we take away or promise him, but it does not work for us. We can take away his ipod, computer, keep him home from ball games, but nothing breaks difficult child. He is over 5' tall and weighs 140lbs. He is not someone who you can carry or force into a car or office. He is not physically trashing our home or injuring anyone that the police need to be called so that is not an option.
    So this is where we are at right now. An 11 yr old who still wants what he wants when he wants it or has tantrums of crying, demanding, saying we are mean, no one loves him , etc... He is easily frustrated and becomes verbally abusive and get in your face aggressive when things don't go as he thinks they should. He is a great student and athlete and great kid when things are going smoothly. All our lives are affected by this and we avoid many things for fear of difficult child's behavior surfacing in public around others. Like others, it is a sad and isolated thing and I wish it could be different. I have many days of "why me or us", or how great things would be if.... but I certainly do not appreciate others saying we are not doing the right things because they are wrong and have no clue about us!

  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Jan -

    Take a deep breath. Things are really bad right now - and its really hard to put things in perspective. But you need to come up with a game plan.

    Path 1: Lets see if we can help you find ONE outside resource who agrees that you have a problem:
    - Are his problems mostly at home? or does school encounter the same behavior issues?
    - Does your family doctor see this as a bigger problem, or "just" a behavior issue?
    - Are you in a major center (don't tell us which one - you need to be discrete here - just a yes/no answer) If not, are you in a city? or more rural?

    Path 2: Be your own sleuth: Start researching some of the possible diagnoses, and see what YOU think fits - and then fight to have these proven or disproven...
    - ADHD or ADD
    - executive functions (not a diagnosis, but a collection of issues... often goes with ADHD and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis)
    - Aspergers
    - Autism spectrum disorder
    - central auditory processing disorder
    - developmental coordination disorder
    - sensory processing
    - learning disabilities (there are regional associations for this, and they are a good source of info)
    - *** OTHERS here... more ideas??? ***

    Keep us posted. WE are on your side - even if it feels like the whole world is against you.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  20. keista

    keista New Member

    Mood disorder
    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

    It may not be any of these, but the symptom checklists might ring some bells.

    From HIS perspective. Unfortunately that is the big problem, because you don't have a clear understanding of what his perspective is.

    Here's another question:
    When he's in his "normal" state, does he accept consequences for his actions? Or does that just set him off again?