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I want to know if anyone else is going through what I am going through and if so if anyone has any advice as i am lost. I apologize in advance for the grammar and spelling as it's the least of my concerns. I'm a 28 year old single mother with 3 kids. My kids are 6, 7 and 8. 2 years ago my daughter was diagnosed with polymicrogyria and epilepsy. and has been taking medications which seem to calm her down. My youngest started school in September of 2013 and that's when I really first noticed the problems. He was getting in trouble a lot and I was getting phone calls to come pick him up on a weekly basis. The school recommended I put him on a IEP and I sought out a psychologist for help as well. I have yet to see a doctor more than once since, and that's not from a lack of trying by any means! During the month my son was under evaluation on the IEP he was forcibly removed from class a total of 51 times. Hitting, kicking, running out of classroom, throwing desks and chairs were only some of the reasons he was being removed and each time had to be put in an empty room or the tantrums would continue. This of course led to a school counsel meeting in which they decided to move my son to a different school with a small special needs class. He is now in a class with 8 students and 4 teachers and really does a lot better although we still have a few issues at school from time to time. The one meeting we did have with the psychologist, she pointed out that he was super smart and that his IQ was off the charts for his age and recommended that we bump him up a grade level educationally, which has helped some with the schooling. The biggest problem now is that the behavior has now found it's way to day care and he is at risk of being removed from the day care center. I don't have a lot of money or time to try to get my kids to different day cares and schools every morning and night. I took him the his pediatrician today without an appointment and started crying to the front desk lady to let me talk to the doctor, Thank God the request was obliged! After listening to me go on the doctor said he believed it was probably Oppositional defiance disorder since he seemed relatively ok if he was one on one. They gave us Intuniv and still recommends we find a psychologist which I am trying hard to do. Curious if this sounds familiar to anyone else and how to you keep sane?


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Hi there! Glad you found us and sorry you have to.

Many of us have had similar issues with our kids. You are in right track when you are looking to get your son evaluated. Often we recommend to pursue neuropsychologial evaluation. Either comprehensive evaluation in children's hospital or neuropsychologist depending where you live and what are resources available.

While your paediatrician can certainly be right about him having ODD, that is a diagnosis that mainly just describes behaviour. For effective treatment you need to find out why he reacts in oppositional way. Doing better in smaller class and with more one on one attention may hint to some learning issues like Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), sensory issues or many other. Does a day care has a bigger group of kids than his class?

How was his early childhood? Did you notice anything different in him before school age?

It is very good school has been helpful and you have found resources and working solutions there.

Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app


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Welcome. I am sorry you had to find us but you are most definitely not alone.

I have a few questions... has your son's development been otherwise normal? Any serious illnesses or other setbacks? How does he relate to his siblings? Has he made any friendships along the way? Does he either seek out sensory input (seem to run and bump into things or people, make unusual noises, etc) or avoid certain clothing textures and foods? Does he have problems with loud noises or very bright lighting? Any difficulty sleeping? And (I always hate to ask this) is there any chance that someone may have harmed him in some way and he is now acting out?

What does the school say is the reason they've put him in a special placement? That may give you some clues. The problem with many of the disorders that impact our kids is that there are many symptoms that can overlap and mimic each other. A few thoughts (and remember, I'm just a mom and NOT a healthcare professional)L he's becoming overwhelmed in a busy classroom/daycare setting because of sensory overload (I lean toward that because that is what happened with my child). Other possibility are that he is somewhere on the autistic spectrum, has anxiety or even a mood disorder.

The big thing is to try to get that diagnosis so you can start a treatment plan. Good doctors that work with children can be hard to find in the US (if that's where you are from). Some options include: getting a referral from your family doctor or insurance company, asking your daughter's specialist for referral, calling a nearby medical school or children's hospital. The types of doctor I would consider are child psychiatrist, developmental pediatrician or neuropsychologist. Personally, at age six, I would probably lean toward a developmental pediatrician at least to start because they often can find nuances in the child's development that point things in the right way.


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Yes! This sounds very familiar!
I agree, you are on the right track, moving your son to a smaller, specialized setting.
I commiserate on the day care issue. I have no good answers. Maybe check online for a caregiving agency and hire a Special Education student from a local college? We got used to coming home to babysitters who were in tears, and went through a lot of sitters. Not to scare you, just to show you that you're in good company.


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SuZir - Yes his day care is a large group. Over 3 in the room. It seems like the older he gets the harder large groups are for him. As far as early development go, He's always been a bright child. He was 10 lbs at birth and was ahead of most his age with milestones. He's always been really mommy clingy though which I figured was normal for the youngest child. At 6 though he's still not potty trained (We've tried everything)

TiredMommy - He had his appendix out when he was three and has broken several bones and needed stiches more than a few times. Kind of expected for a little boy and haven't thought much of it. He gets along very well with his older brother but fights a lot with his sister. With her neurological issues it seems like the two of them enjoy frustrating each other. Friends are hard to come by as he seems to either want to be by himself or has to be the center of attention. He gets made fun of a great deal at his old school and his daycare for not being potty trained (His sister actually instigates most of the taunting). He can be fairly clumsy and will prefer some foods over others. It does take a while to get him to sleep but once asleep he stays that way. Since he's difficult to handle, my ex husbands family may have smacked him around a bit. I avoid taking him over there at all costs though. My ex doesn't always take that caution. School moved him because he was a danger to others. Even on the IEP he would kick and hit and throw desks. They were having to restrain him even. Takes over an hour to get him focused and he hates change or deviation. We were thinking he may be on the spectrum a bit and trying had to find the right doctor with my insurance.

TerryJ2 - I hadn't thought about a college student!? I know with my degree I needed tons of times doing on the job stuff. I will try calling around. As for sitters, I've run out. People refuse to watch my kids and when people see me in the grocery store I hear the comments about how I don't discipline ect ect.


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Welcome AML! Glad you found us but sorry ou had to even look our way. Do you have insurance OR since he has an IEP will the school pay for a Neuro/psychiatric evaluation? Our family and many others have found that the N/P evaluation really paints a more complete picture of the child...strengths as well as weaknesses. The evaluation is not cheap (at least not in Florida!) but the school board paid the difference between the costs and what our insurance would pay. One thing to keep in mind...make sure YOU seek out the best professional team for the evaluation. Our school board has a psychologist "on the payroll" who is about as qualified as I am. Yikes. The closest "quality" evaluators were almost two hours away but truthfully it was well worth the effort.
Sending hugs. DDD


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Who would perform something like that? I went to a pediatric neurologist who refused to test him for neurological problems since he hasn't has a seizure. I'm from Utah and that came from the only pediatric hospital here. I'll try calling the school to see if that would be something we could do.

Dun Haddit

I'm absolutely stunned your school recommended the IEP - out here, you have to fight to get them.

Meltdown behavior, lack of friends, hi IQ shout aspergers to me, but that is because I have a 15 yo son on the spectrum and throwing chairs or even assaulting people he thought were in his space was common, even though he has absolutely no clue about anyone else's personal space.

I have had that behavior in my 8 yo girl who started displaying the violent and erratic behavior when we coldn't get the court to force the bi mother to help select a dr to treat for ADHD. That all came to a head when she destroyed the therapists office and he had the PERT team from the sheriff's department take her to the hospital for involuntary commitment.

I have had that behavior in her twin brother who suffers from adhd, inactive type, with anxiety and severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He would perceive someone as being mean and attack them. Smash his own head into walls and stab himself with pencils (again, same issue with sister, bio mom would not agree on treating dr so he was without medications)

The above three are the least of our worries at the moment. But the one thing all 4 children have in common is bipolar disorder in the bio mom. All three of our boys are being treated for that and it seems to be working. Our 12 yo has sever issues stemming from extreme abuse by bio mom so in addition to being bipolar, he has depression, anxiety, ODD, and borderline personality disorder.

Take advantage of everything the school has to offer and if, by chance, your child is onthe spectrum, you may qualify for respite and other options for after school programs, so get in touch with any and all special needs groups, autism groups, etc.

With our biggest problem child, in addition to what the therapist thinks is wrong and the psychiatrist thinks is wrong, we are having him tested for environmental allergies, thyroid issues, hyper and hypo glycemia etc. Before we have him on a cocktail of medications for the mental issues, we want to make sure there isn't anything else that could possible be causing the absolute hell he puts us through.

Our cases are a little bit different because there are also abuse issues, and every doctor we come in contact with thins there was prenatal drug use, or smoking, or drinking, or all three. Domestic violence in her home when they lived with her and a whole host of wicked things.

do not be afraid to try every angle you can get to find out what is really going on....even if it means diet change, but do that slow through process of elimination and with a food diary. Gluten is the demon for almost anything now-a-days, and though it may be, removing it from your diet may not be the answer and doctors even warn don't do it unless you've been advised to do so.

I do recommend probiotics, though. In some cases, behavior can be linked to different yeasts and bad bacterial die-off...what ever you try, give it time to document pro/con results before moving on too quickly to the next thing. I've tried homeopathic and naturpathic for my step children, but medication seems to be the only thing keeping them stable....except the 12 yo, and there just may not be anything that is going to help him.


Im sorry the pediatrician Neurologist wouldn't see him, but maybe if your sons reg pediatrician writes a referral to be tested, the Neurologist would then have to see him. I know its hard trying to get started, but you will get there :) Everyone here already suggested great ideas, one that Im going to take on where to find a babysitter who can handle my son!

Staying sane, hmm well, as we all know stress levels! My son hasnt raged at school just at home, stores and with family and friends so so far . So it was suggested by here and my friend to take everything away for my son ( even down to clothes and leave one outfit in the room) and have him "earn" them back. That you can try meanwhile.. I have yet to follow through with it myself. But so far I have taken away his electronics today for his issue this AM. Im still trying to find more stress relievers but coming here is a huge huge help for me! Keep posting!!! Hugs


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I'll see if the taking things away helps any. As of now it usually means me going deaf from him screaming and bruises from him hitting. It seems like the more I push with him the more he resists. It's hard to take away everything since he's got a brother and sister of such a close age, but there may be something I can figure out. Bipolar disorder, ADD and ADHD do run big in both my family and his dad's. Drug abuse is also big on both sides of the family though it seemed to skip both me and my ex. Paranoid schizophrenia runs in my family which is what I was concerned my daughter had when she was hallucinating and threatening to kill people. My brother always had very similar symptoms when we were kids which got worse as he aged which seems to be what is happening with my son. I know something has to be wrong since it's not exactly normal for a 6 year old to still be in diapers full time. If we take them off of him for any period of time or put underwear on ect. ect. he'll just poop and pee in those he doesn't care, naked or not. The group that he worked with in school doesn't think he understands the meaning of reward/good behavior and consequence/bad behavior which makes training and punishments hard. He just doesn't seem to think he is doing things wrong even when told.
After reading this forum it doesn't seems like I'm the only one that feels like I have no options. There have been some great suggestions and I hope that I can get any of them to work. It sounds like I'm not the only one who wonders every day how they wake up and actually function. Found a psychologist who will start seeing us tomorrow so keep fingers crossed for me.


Well-Known Member
I would take him to a neuropsychologist, which is NOT a neurologist. It is a good diagnostician and tester who is a psychologist with extra training in the brain. They catch more things than just epilepsy and do a lot of hands on testing, often catching things other diagnosticians, who do not test as thoroughly, miss.

You can get a referral from your pediatrician, but a pediatrician is not trained to test for childhood disorders either. Neuropsychs can be found in university hospitals and children's hospitals and do 6-10 hours of testing in all areas of function. It is far more than an IQ test. He is the go-to person in the US to find things such as high functioning autism, learning problems, early mood disorders, attachment issues, processing issues and other stuff that affect a child's behavior.

Have you looked into public school's early education for children with challenges? They are free and not supposed to be based on intelligence. Your son's battle with his emotions would affect his learning and he should qualify. The teachers there would be able to better deal with him and his behaviors as they have that extra training (hopefully...not all are equally as talented with differently wired children). He wouldn't get kicked out for behaviors either. Clearly, something is not right and maybe it is part of his physical disorder causing the other behaviors. I would not leave any stone unturned. Early intervention gives ya the best overall outcome.

Try to make time for yourself and your loved ones who cause you less stress than difficult child. If you can, get respite. If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy :)

Good luck!!!
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