At what point.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Woofens, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Not sure what to title this thread. I have a ton of questions. I've looked through alot of posts, and haven't found anything that helps so far.

    Alot of the posts I have read involve pre-teens and teens. My difficult child is not quite 7 (November). He has been hurting people in his outbursts for over 2 years. He goes out of his way to try to injure people. If he knows you have a weak spot, he will use it to try to hurt you. I mean physical weakness, not about mental or emotional. He threatens to hurt people. After he broke my wrist, his favorite threat was "I'll break your wrist again". His baby sitter has torn ligaments in her wrist, (not from him) and if things turn physical between them when he has an outburst, he tries to hurt her wrist. By physical there I mean like bodily removing him from the situation to his room or trying to keep him in his room. He hits, kicks, and pinches his siblings. He threatens to run away almost daily (has even packed his clothes) but so far has never left the house. Mainly because I told him that even though the clothes and things he wears are his, M and I bought and paid for them and he cannot leave the house without permission in them, so if he runs away, it will be naked. (maybe not the best thing to tell him? I don't know)

    So I'm wondering, at what point do I call in the authorities? If I call the police, what are they going to do about a not quite 7 year old? I'm really afraid he is going to seriously hurt someone... he has in the past, my wrist and when he kicked the sitter. He kicks a lot, and has left bruises on almost all of us. He knows that he can over power me. I'm not a weakling I'm 6 feet tall and weigh about 150, but this kid is incredibly strong for his age, especially in his legs. He knows that I cannot physically restrain him for anything but a short period of time. He knows that I have back trouble and can't pick him up or carry him.

    Is 6 too young to involve the police? I called the local sheriff department today to speak to a juvenile officer but they aren't in until tomorrow.

    So far, knock on wood, his outbursts have only been with us. He has had no trouble at school, or when he is with his dad.

    Those of you with preteens and teens, did you have problems with them at age 6? Does anyone have a difficult child that is around mine's age?

    Thanks for reading
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Are you working with a child psychiatrist (psychiatrist)? The psychiatrist should be able to give you guidelines under which you would call an ambulance for transport to the ER.

    Do you have a Crisis Intervention Center in your area? If you don't know, you should call NAMI in your area to locate local crisis services. You can find your local NAMI chapter at NAMI should also have a hotline with info on the various resources (treatment facilities, school interventions, psychiatrists, etc) in your area.

    Above all, you need to get your difficult child evaluated so you have the right diagnosis and start him on appropriate treatment. FWIW, this sounds as if it goes beyond ADHD/ODD.
  3. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Right now, we can't get into the psychiatrist for 4 months. I will be making phone calls tomorrow AM to try to get this changed.
    I looked at the NAMI site and the closest NAMI chapter is over an hour away (in state, there is one about 30 minutes away in another state) I will make that call in the AM also.

    When we took him to the local Behavioral Health center for his intake, they gave me a number to call, like a crisis line for when I am overwhelmed. I haven't used it yet, guess I need to. I have a friend with a difficult child that is now 17 and talking to her when I am overwhelmed helps alot. She is 12 hours away, though we talk by phone.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    A crisis line may also be able to provide resources that include sending people to your house to help in a crisis. It's definitely worth asking a lot of questions about the services in your area. When you call tomorrow, the local sherriff's office may also have a list of resources available.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What professionals are involved in his life? I mean psychiatrists, therapists, attachment specialists, whatever? Do you feel they are the right people to reach him?

    My son did this. Not the threats, but going for your weak spot - both physically and emotionally. My husband called it the "sick gazelle syndrome". He meant that Wiz thought like a lion and would go for the weakest person/spot (sick gazelle) to attack.

    Anyway, as far as police, it seems like it would be worth a try. Some members here have had terrible luck with the police. WE had great luck. There are MANY placements and supports that are ONLY available through the courts. That means you have to go through the police.

    I know your son is sick. Mentally ill, I mean. You really NEED a psychiatrist (psychiatrist) on board as well as the therapists. Your son truly doesn't WANT to hurt people. Something is misfiring in his brain, or otherwise just not operating correctly. Finding that problem will help the violence. Medication may well also be needed. DO NOT let a reg pediatrician prescribe this. Your son NEEDS a specialist to handle this.

    Anyway, I am very sorry that the whole family is living in fear of this child. I have been there done that to some extent. And it started way before age 7, as I am sure your son's did also.

    Check into Occupational therapy (Occupational Therapist (OT)) to see if there are any issues there. Often brushing therapy can help greatly.

    As far as the police, they will want to find help/answers also. At least that was OUR experience. You may have to push the police to get them to do the paperwork to press charges. But it is better to press charges and get help (psychiatric inpatient would be best, from what I am reading) NOW than later when he is big enough to overpower you. Or when he is old enough to be tried as an adult and his records cannot be sealed. Anything done NOW can be sealed when he reaches 18. That will GREATLY help him and you don't want to wait so long that he hospitalized one of you and the records cannot be sealed and he can be tried as an adult and put into an adult facility. THIS is why he needs to be helped/charged/whatever NOW.

    I am crying for you now, as I remember the turmoil and hate my Wiz went through.

    To give you hope: Wiz will be 17 in Nov. Will graduate High School in May. Will have another year of vocational school to become a machinist (using big computers to tell big machines how to make things is HIS description of what he is learning!). He hugs and kisses me. Is a great big bro and cousin. Has APOLOGIZED to me, Jess, thank you, husband, and his grandparents for the things he did. He is planning to work as a machinist to put himself through college to learn something I don't understand about drama (not acting, but behind the scenes stuff). My son has a FUTURE. And it is mostly because I had the sheriff's deputy remove him from our home. (He lives with my parents in the same city we live in.)

    There is HOPE. And the police may very well be able to help you find the HELP you need to reach the hope.

    I will say that I think your son needs placement out of your home in a psychiatric hospital (psychiatric hospital) for a long term stay. NOT a 3 day stay, but longer so he can really get help. NOT that he will never be able to live with you, but that right now he needs more structure and intensive therapy than he can reach in your home (or that anyone else could provide him in home.)

    I am sorry to say that. But I have been there done that and SEEN how it can help. My Wiz has THANKED me for putting him in the psychiatric hospital for 4 months, and for taking him back for 2 acute stays (3 days) because he knows he NEEDED the help.

    I am sending prayers. Also sorry this is so long.


  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Just noticed you are in rural OH. I can say that Cinci's Children's hospital it excellent with psychiatric issues. We lived there for a number of years. It would be worth it to try to get him in there and stay with friends or at the Ronald McDonald house. That is just in my opinion, and strictly in my opinion.

    Call the crisis line EVERY time he gets violent. It will help create a paper trail that can help you get the services you need.

    Sending hugs,

  7. Woofens

    Woofens New Member


    I cried when I read your post, not because it upset me, but because I had already had the thought that he is too out of control now to be helped by us, and that he would probably need to be placed somewhere for long term treatment.

    When I first put difficult child 2 into the juvenile system (unruly) when we went to court the first time, I had to tell them everything that had led up to us being there. When I laid it all out, it was overwhelming. At the time I hadn't looked at the big picture, just each incident by itself. I guess I've been doing the same thing with difficult child 1. I can explain away the problems on a day to day basis, but when I look at the whole picture I kick myself for not doing something sooner.

    As of this moment, the only people involved are his pediatrician, and the therapist they assigned to him at the Behavioral Health System. We are working on getting him into see a psychiatrist. I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with his therapist, he wouldn't even listen to the recording I have a difficult child in once of his outbursts when we were there. Told me maybe next time. We have only had 1 visit with him though, we go back on 10/15, so I was giving it time before giving up on the therapist.

    I know that we need help. Calling the crisis line seemed to me like I was admitting that I'm a lousy parent because I can't control my child. My family doesn't understand, they think that if I smack his bottom enough he will shape up. My mom has my oldest difficult child because she thought I was the reason he was such a wreck. When I had him he was enrolled in school, and at least attending on a semi regular basis (failing but in school) since he has been with her, he has tried and dropped out of an online school and is not attending school at all, is jobless and has no plans for the future. His only concern is how to keep gasoline in his motorcycle which I was against him getting, my mother let him have it. I did pay for the insurance and registration and plates on the bike, but I hoped he would get a job. I'm still hoping.

    Since you have been there done that, what happened after Wiz's inpatient stay? I'm so afraid difficult child will think that we've abandoned him (6 seems so young). What about school work during the inpatient stay? difficult child does seem to have some attachment issues, which doesn't make any sense to me since I have been a stay at home mom since before he was born. The only times I have been away from him for more than a few hours was when easy child 1 had her surgery in 9-2004 (difficult child was 3) we were in the hospital for a total of 31 days out of 35, 10 days in 2007 when I went to Iowa for a visit with my best friend, and in 6-2008 when I went back to Iowa to help that friend when her father passed away. I used to take him everywhere with me.

    We are on the other side of the state from Cincy. We are in OH but only an hour from Pittsburgh PA. With our insurance, going out of state for treatment is a PITA. Cincy is about 4-5 hours away.

    I'll know more tomorrow AM after phone calls. Right now, difficult child 2 is here I have to take him to the ER because he wrecked the above mentioned motorcycle. Not seriously, possibly broken ankle and some burns from the muffler Sigh.. it never ends does it?
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Pittsburgh also has a very good Mood Disorders Clinic. Details are listed in the Bipolar Child book. You might want to call tomorrow to see if you can get your son help there.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You have received good advice. I'm just adding my support, the violence is so hard to live with day in and day out. No family should have to deal with that. Sending gentle hugs your ways.
  10. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    gentle hugs and prayers, you're not alone, you're son is not the only child with these issues, I would say an emergency psychiatric evaluation or a call to a crisis unit, would "hopefully" get things moving faster for you.
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    If you are in good with your pediatrician maybe you can call and have a consult with him/her? I did and was very honest about how scared I was for K and our family. Our pediatrician from that point on was willing to do anything to help us get the help we needed. When K needed to be Hospitalized she called and pushed and begged!
    We lived in a small town then of about 8000 people. Help was so hard to find, we had to push so hard for any help.
    To get out first diagnosis we ended up having to go to another state across the country!
    Do not give up, bug everyone and anyone you can think of who might help you!
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wanted to add my support...sending many hugs.
  13. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks so much to all for the support and advice. Yesterday was a <b>great</b> day. No rages at all. Headed one off by sending him to work with M when Dad called to cancel for Sunday. We were actually able to out to dinner as a family, with no major problems. I had to ask difficult child J to stop inappropriate behavior a couple times but he immediately complied and incident was over.

    I spent this AM registering difficult child 2 to vote and getting the registration and temporary tags and insurance for his motorcycle. So now he is insured and has no excuse (until its gets colder) for not getting his GED and a job.

    This afternoon I spent on the telephone, with difficult child J's therapist at Behavioral Health, this pediatrician, and the school. difficult child's behavioral therapist realized quickly he didn't have enough experience with difficult child to help much, told me so (we have only had 1 appointment) and recommended case therapy. Which I took to mean that we will have a therapist here in home 1 X per week or more or less as needed. I will be receiving a phone call later in the week with more details, and will know more then. He also said that residential therapy might end up being an option and I should remain open minded to the possibility, due to the violence and quick escalation of the rage episodes. I already anticipated this so no big shock there, kind of a relief to hear it from a "professional". Not thrilled about it, but will use if necessary. Told me Pittsburgh was probably not an option as he knows they will not accept our insurance and to check Columbus OH (about a 3 hour drive).

    Pediatrician was wonderful. She was horrified at my description of this weekend with difficult child. She is trying to get difficult child into see a child psychiatrist ASAP, making the telephone calls herself. This pediatrician is amazing, she literally saved easy child 1's life a few years back. (easy child 1 had brain and skull surgery contracted bacterial meningitis and was on huge doses of steroids to combat meningitis and her stomach perforated. pediatrician hospitalized her the night before because she wasn't "comfortable" with her symptoms. easy child 1's stomach perforated while she was in hospital, and they life flighted her to Childrens Hospital. Was told afterward if this had happened at home, we probably wouldn't have recognized symptoms in time to save her from massive infection and probable death from infections). She also instructed me to not hesitate to take difficult child to ER or call 911 for police or ambulance the next time the rage is so totally out of control, because then they would have to call psychiatrist on duty to see him. Not the best scenario but better than doing nothing. She is going to be very helpful I believe. She also asked me to call Pittsburgh to ask about a sliding fee scale since they do not take our insurance.

    OK... good news... pediatrician office called back with a list of phone numbers, called the first one she recommended and after a brief run around with his insurance, we have an appointment on October 16 with a child psychiatrist. I'm telling myself I can and will make it through the next 10 days until the appointment, even if it is 1 minute at a time.

    Talked to the school, have a conference later this week with teacher and Principal to discuss everything. Will update ASAP.

    I have to go get a video camera, to document the rages... so I can check back later

    Thanks again to all, I see a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel.. I know things will probably get worse before they get better, but I have some hope right now.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    It really sounds like you are on the right track! I am glad teh pediatrician is pushing so hard for you. I have a cousin near Columbus (I have family scattered all OVER Ohio) who have a son with autism to the point he is 7 and nonverbal. I KNOW Columbus has some really good docs, so keep checking there.

    If residential can be done, go for it. The level of violence warrants it. You can use your cell phone camera to document rages, if nothing else is available. There are also some decent video cameras that hang on your belt and cost about $100 - we got husband one for his birthday last year. It is just a little bigger than his blackberry, literally.

    And I know my blackberry takes dang good pics, and was only $20 wehn we renewed our contract. Videos can be put onto a micro SD chip and then onto a computer. They can also be watched on the phone. I have the Pearl, if that helps.

    Anyway, I am glad I could reassure you. 6 or 7 or even 10 seems so YOUNG to be put into a psychiatric hospital, or residential program, but you do what you must do for the best interest of your child.

    I know that going to all the therapy sessions AND most of the visiting hours made a big difference in how the staff treated my child, AND in their prognosis for his recovery after he was out of the psychiatric hospital.

    Accept ANY help you can get - in home, doctor office, drive to Columbus, whatever.

    It amazes me that you got into the psychiatrist THIS MONTH!! Many of us have had to wait 3 or more months to see a psychiatrist for the first time.

    I hope that this doctor can help.


  15. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Woofens-I am glad to hear you are getting some help with this. I'm not really sure if anything I 'll say hear will make a difference in your treatment of your specific situation but know that I am here to support you nonetheless.

    My son is 8 1/2. He has not had neuropsychologist exam and does not have any diagnosis other than Learning Disability (LD)-reading/writing/spelling problem. However, because of the way his brain works he will go into a tantrum over the littlest things sometimes. He especially doesn't like to be seemingly ignored or misunderstood. That is if you don't understand what he is talking about or can't quite devote your full attention to him (because you are reading a message board-haha) then he will get angry.

    He commonly pinches easy child when she doesn't listen to him and he gets angry. Then if I try timeout he gets even more upset and screams that no one ever listens to him. He will throw things if sent to his room and does not like to be held down when he is out of control.

    Lately, I have not experienced any of these severe reactions. I'm not sure if it's me or him or both. I have picked up a wisely recommended from here book entitled The Explosive Child. It basically says that your child can not control their reactions when their brain gets in "vapor lock". These kids have low frustration tolerance (LFT) and can not handle anything that does not go their way and need to be handled carefully until they learn how to work with their brain and calm themselves down and work on some compromise.

    I have been working on the techniques of getting him to calm down and learning to compromise. You know your child best and he may not be anything like mine, but you may want something to take the edge off the next 10 days and this book might help.

    P.S. I'm in PA so I am not that far away. I will open up my private mail so if you want to email me you are welcome to.
  16. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks again to everyone here... just knowing I'm not alone is so very helpful. I'm not sure why we were so quickly accepted in to see the psychiatrist, unless the pediatrician had something to do with it, or the fact that I was sobbing almost hysterically during the phone call to his office. Every phone call I made today I cried through. The counselor, the pediatrician, the school, I went through an entire box of tissues. Not to mention the conversation with my mother (which went much better than expected) and Moonwolf and her SO. (Moonwolf is my daughter in my heart and a daily caregiver to my difficult child and now a member here). Does admitting that you need help always hurt this much? I'm not even sure why I'm crying but every time I start to talk about it (or even type here) I'm in tears.

    I told my mom today that one of the biggest problems I'm having accepting that something is not right with difficult child is that he was the first of my 4 bio kids that I actually felt like I was "ready" for. He was the only one of my kids that was planned, I was 29 when he was born, and had finally grown up. (I wasn't so much a difficult child as a kid, but as a young adult OMG LOL I was a wreck and my first difficult child D was born when I was barely 18.) When difficult child J was born I felt for the first time in my life that I was ready to be a good parent. I knew I had made mistakes with the older kids, and was convinced that with difficult child J I was finally going to "do it right". So I guess that is possibly what is causing the crying.... coming to terms with the realization that he isn't the child I thought I'd have. I went through the same thing with easy child 1 T when she was first diagnosed as MRDD. I don't remember it being this severe though. I had a very hard time with easy child 1 T with wanting to blame myself for her problems, I had done something... I made myself sick wondering if it was because I had worked full time when she was a baby (night shift) and didn't spend the time with her she needed... what I could have done differently during pregnancy, and during her infantry. She had problems from before birth.. and I wondered if the medications I took to prevent pre-term labor had contributed.. etc etc. It took me a long time but I got past that... I realized if I hadn't taken the medications, she probably would have been born premature and that would have been an entirely different set of problems. Thing like that...

    With difficult child J I know that I didn't cause this, that I haven't done anything to cause this and I am trying (successfully for the most part) not to blame myself, and my experiences with easy child 1 T have helped so much. I am going to make an appointment with my doctor this week to explain this all to him and see if I possibly need to go back on my anti-depressants. Possibly something for my nerves also. I know that I am at risk for needing medications for depression, I have suffered from chronic depression most of my life. I've been off medications for over 2 years, but know myself well enough to know that its time to see the DR. When we had our intake for the county Behavioral Health to get difficult child J in to see a counselor, they asked me for a goal for his time with them. I told them that I wanted to get through the day with difficult child without crying. I have cried more in the past 3 days than I did in the 6 months before we went to the intake.

    I'm sorry I'm rambling. Its just such a relief to be able to talk to people that understand I tend to run off at the mouth.

  17. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Take a breath Woofens. Cry if you need to but don't dwell on the issue. It will get better. You know you didn't cause this and you KNOW somewhere in that brain is a wonderful child begging to get out. KNOW that you will find him the right diagnosis and get him the help he needs. He can't do it by himself (heck he's still a baby @6). So at the risk of being brash,- Get some sleep and then pull up your bootstraps and dig in to gettin it done!
    I am calling it a night myself. Talk to you in the morning.