Been saying "He'll grow out of it" for way too long. What is wrong with my son???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by OCmama, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. OCmama

    OCmama New Member

    Zach is 6-years old and is in first grade. He was a very easy baby. He was a good sleeper, eater and was not fussy at all. As a toddler he was VERY demanding and he had a very difficult time playing by himself. He had a very hard time transitioning from one activity to the next. He potty trained at 3 years old. He went through a period at the beginning of potty training where he went pee and poop on the toilet with no accidents. Then he got constipated. He did not poop for 9-days. When he finally passed the poop he bleed. That was the end of him pooping in the toilet. He consistently pooped his pants from that point (3-years old) to 5.5 years old. We tried a number of things to help this. It is finally under control but he still has holding issues. I don’t know if it’s relevant or not.

    So fast forward to today…
    Zach has tics that come and go both movements and making sounds. Mostly eye blinking and clearing his throat. He also grips his hands constantly. His behavior at times is horrible, he throws tantrums, has outburst, he has hit me, grandma, babysitter. He says “I hate you…You are the worse mom in the world…You never let me do anything.” Then after he has calmed down he feels guilty and cries for what he has done. He wants to please SO bad but his bad behaviors are constantly getting in the way. He tells me that his brain tells him to do bad stuff. I can see that he is just not happy in his own skin. Breaks my heart. He is obsessive about things and relentless in his begging for things and constantly making unreasonable demands and then falls apart when his demands are not met. Once he makes his demand for something if it’s not handled in a delicate way that’s when the tantrum begins. Screaming, kicking, throwing things, name calling, this can last anywhere from 5 mins up to an hour. He is always trying to control everyone around him adults and peers. In situations where there is a lot of people (like Thanksgiving at our house with 25- family members) he falls apart. It is very tricky to parent him. The traditional parenting methods DO NOT work. We have a stable loving home. My husband and I have been married for 8-years, we have another son that is 2-years old, Zach has friends in our neighborhood (although he treats them horribly at times) and loving grandparents.

    My objectives are to find out why he struggles so much and help him learn to problem solve and control himself.
    Independently perhaps none of these things are out of the ordinary for a 6-year old boy but when you put them all together there is something serious going on and I want to find out what it is!
    Our family life/marriage is suffering because we feel defeated by our son. Sometimes I feel like I am in an abusive relationship with my own kid. It’s horrible to deal with for us and I can’t imagine how horrible it must be for him.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry that this has been a terrible day for me at work so I won't sound "warm and fuzzy" but...I do care and want to send you support. Because of my tired state I'll just ask bluntly "what professionals have you consulted about his issues?" "have you ever heard of Tenex?" Tomorrow I'll check in and see if you have responded but, believe me, I am ready to join your team of support. Hugs DDD
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Welcome, you've found a great place to ask questions and brainstorm with other parents having challenging kids.
    Like DDD mentioned: have you seek any kind of professional help?
    How about school? How is he coping there? Does he receive services?
    At first, people are going to ask a lot of questions in order to better help you.
    From what you descibe, I agree that there is something going on. It is more than just "growing out of it".
    These kind of issues don't disappear on their own.
    Have you looked into sensory issues (overstimulation when there are lots of people, lots going on is usually a consequence of sensory issues).
    Hang in there, it will get better. You will have to work at it, but I promess it will get better.
  4. patienceforu

    patienceforu New Member

    We are just starting our journey through this. We have an appointment on Friday to see a Psychiatrist. I have never heard of Tenex but I will google it right now. Sorry you've had a bad day at work. Gets some rest and I look forward to you checking in with me tomorrow. Any help is so appreciated.
  5. OCmama

    OCmama New Member

    I am new to this site and I created two accounts. As a result you may see a reply from "patienceforu". We are starting out on our journey. We have our first appointment on Friday with a Psychiatrist. For the last 3-years I have pretty much been alone in this. Questioning myself if there was really something going on with him. Wondering if I just had a bratty, misbehaved child. Doubting myself and my parenting skills. This is all new to me. I finally facing the truth that there is something seriously wrong with my son.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Repeat after me : "I am NOT a bad parent."

    We - the parents on this board - have probably heard that too many times to count - each.
    This is NOT your parenting.

    Somehow, in some way, you have a child that is wired differently.
    It is going to be a process to figure all of that out.
    And it sounds like you are starting that process.

    In the meanwhile, though... some thoughts.

    1) Have you ever seen the book "The Explosive Child"? (Ross Green) It presents an alternative view of what drives many of "our" kids, and alternative approaches to parenting (and teaching) that sometimes work better than traditional approaches. Worth a read, if for nothing else it really opens your eyes to the kinds of issues and challenges that might be affecting your child.

    2) Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation - if you're getting a comprehensive evaluation from a team (such as a children's hospital), this might be included. But often, it isn't. Occupational Therapist (OT) can evaluate for sensory and motor skills issues. The Occupational Therapist (OT) report will be useful to others who work with your child (including the psychiatrist). AND... the Occupational Therapist (OT) has therapies, interventions and accommodations that help.

    You may not get the right diagnosis (diagnosis) on the first pass - like some of us, you may get a diagnosis that is partially correct but not the whole picture (ADHD, and the child is ADHD plus other things), OR you may get a diagnosis that isn't quite accurate (ADHD, but the child is really Aspie or something else entirely)

    It is a process. It takes far too long. But he is young, and you have time to make a huge difference. Hang in there. Keep trying.
  7. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Based on your descriptions, the symptoms sound like Tourette's, anxiety, and/or Asperger's.
  8. Anxworrier

    Anxworrier New Member

    I know all our kiddos are unique, but it helps to be on this board and learn from and gain support from those who have been there done that! My difficult child is now 13 and was a difficult toddler, inflexible, explosive, extremely sensitive, very black and white, but in most other ways pretty typical. His temper is what we continued to struggle with. We had him and ourselves in therapy for awhile. I think he did get something from that. But at a certain point we no longer saw improvements and stopped going. I seem to only really deal with his issues when they throw us into crisis mode. A terrible rage at home etc.what I have found is that he DID improve over time. He isn't out of the woods yet, but starting him on vyvanse has been nothing short of a miracle. This is the first time in his life we tried medications and it was because we were in crisis mode with his change to middle school, (the s@&! Hit the fan). He was lying to teachers about his work, not doing the work etc. one thing that helped me long time ago was dr greenes book the explosive child. My parents and in laws thought we were too easy on him and he just needed a firmer hand. Wrong! He is wired differently. And I think there is something going on with some lagging in the prefrontal cortex area. When kids do not react to situations at an appropriate level, their emotional responses are way out of line for the scenario. My difficult child was always contrary, his knee jerk response to life was NO. This is all starting to change and improve!

    Everyone here will tell you to get a neuropsychologist evaluation done, which we still haven't done...but I would absolutely recommend doing that earlier not later! I avoided testing ears ago out of fear of his rages and behavior when that is exactly WHY I should he me taken him.

    What you said about almost feeling abused struck me with me because for years I felt that I walked on eggshells to avoid setting him off, and even the most innocent conversAtions he would pick a fight or disagree with me. I could never ever say the right thing to him. I would say the most difficult age was 6-9 And after that he started gaining better self control with temper etc.

    sending you a cyber are not alone and not a bad mom!
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    In my blunt way, I'd say his behavior is not normal six year old behavior. I think he should be completely evaluated because he could have a neurological disorder called Tourettes Syndrome that causes other disorders such as bipolar and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I would start with a neuropsychologist and a neurologist (no, they aren't the same). You can't do this yourself and it's not your fault that your son is wired differently.

    I'm sorry you are having such a hard time and, really, we are just a bunch of caring parents. Please keep posting.
  10. isis

    isis New Member

    You're his mom and all of your instincts are likely exactly right: there is something 'wrong' and it is horrible for him. You are doing the right thing to start to get help but I agree with the other posters that you should throw your net wider and get every evaluation you can (neuropsychologist for sure, Occupational Therapist (OT)). Also, if anyone tells you something that doesn't seem right (I heard: he's a little eccentric, but he's fine at the first psychiatric we went to, so so so wrong) follow your instincts and keep digging (I didn't and it was a mistake, mostly for my poor son who was suffering all the more that no one would acknowledge that something was wrong). The more help he can get, the less suffering for him as treatments may help and less suffering for you as you realize that its not you, its not your parenting, you're right, he's wired differently (that's why traditional parenting methods DO NOT work, they don't!).
    Good luck, believe in yourself, you're doing the right thing though its so hard to face.
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Great news that you have an appointment tomorrow...Way To Go!

    Now, lol, are you ready for the appointment? Have you put together any type of parent report or journal to give to the psychiatrist? If not sit down today and make notes of relevant events in chronological order or close to it. Birth normal? Infancy normal? Walking? Talking? Sleeping? Eating? Make it short and to the point. The psychiatrist may not even look at it so don't bother to write too much. Then note the onset of bothersome behaviors and certainly estimate when the tics etc. began and any pattern you have seen. Include notes on how he gets along with peers, family members etc.

    Having these notes will make you focused and less apt to "forget" something that is important to you and your son. I'm so glad you found us. You are no longer alone. Hugs. DDD

    PS: You might ask the psychiatrist is he feels it would be beneficial to have a neuro/psychological evaluation done.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome.I'm so glad you found us.

    I'm also glad you have a psychiatrist appointment Friday. I hope that s/he schedules testing and doesn't base everything on a 5 min. consult. YOu've got to insist on testing--both psychoeducational and neurological--and learn to be assertive. It is intimidating but you will learn.

    From your description, your son definitely has something neurological going on. And he is overwhelmed by his environment and cannot cope. You will learn his triggers--anything from tags on clothing to the word "no," to fluorescent lights to general fatigue. Anything that would tire out a regular kid will be multiplied with-your kid.

    Let us know how it goes after your appointment Friday.
  13. OCmama

    OCmama New Member

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and helpful recommendations.

    DDD: I will definitely get myself prepared for tomorrow's appointment. Thank you.

    Ktllc: He does not receive any services. His behavior is really good at school but he struggles academically. He struggles with memorization, fine motor, problem solving (math). He is pulled out of his regular class each day for 30-min for small group interventions. He does not have an IEP. I did meet with the school at the beginning of the year to discuss my concerns. They offered small group interventions and said that we could re-visit our plan at anytime.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What does he get for interventions for his fine motor skills issues?
  15. OCmama

    OCmama New Member

    We had our first appointment with psychiatrist and I am so disapointed. After a 15 min discussions about him she wrote me an rx for resperdal and told me he will eventually outgrow the tics. I told her I would really like him to be evaluated by a neurologist and she said " why.??? He is not having seizures". What should be my next step?

    He currently does not receive services for his fine motor.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You need a neuropsychologist, not a neurologist....
    She rxed risperidone with only a 15-min appointment? Gaaa!!!

    He needs a comprehensive evaluation. This is about way more than the tics... and risperidone is a pretty heavy duty medication.

    Have you done a private Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation? We had to go that way initially.
    An Occupational Therapist (OT) can evaluate for sensory and for motor skills issues.
    The report the Occupational Therapist (OT) provides can be a catalyst for other services (esp. if the Occupational Therapist (OT) notices things that are "not neuotypical"), and will be used by other evaluators.
    Plus... the Occupational Therapist (OT) has therapies and interventions and accommodations that work. So in the mean time, at least you could be making progress on one front.

    Does ADHD run in the family? MI? other stuff? There's often a genetic component, and that also can be a catalyst.
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We used Risperdone some years ago and a small dose helped difficult child#2. on the other hand I'm not too impressed by the appintment report you're sharing. How do you feel about it? Did she seem to really listen? answer questions? make notes? read your notes? schedule another appointment soon? tell you to call if any problem or concern arose? Did she interact with difficult child at all? Or you?

    Like others it doesn't sound ideal. BUT how YOU feel about the appointment is really important to know. Hugs DDD
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Find a new dr.
    This can take months. Be patient. been there done that.
    So sorry.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    See another psychiatrist. Fifteen minutes for a first appointment? REALLY? And did he NEVER hear of Tourettes Syndrome? He thinks neurologists only treat epilepsy?

    Sadly, we often need second and even third opinions.
  20. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Very often in my experience the mental health profession especially will only focus on their small world and models for intervention that fall under mental health. Thats great fo people who truly have those challenges, (and some neurologists I've been to will only look at the seizure issue).
    When you call for appointments questions to ask are whether the doctor works with kids who have developmental disorders of any kind.

    A neuropsychologist is (usually, again make sure....I met a woman recently with twins who got the whole it's your parenting blame ....wonder why the other child who is only slightly younger is doing great?...since then they have diagnosis.) Anyway, neuropsychs are psychologists who do extensive testing focused on how behavior is connected to how our brains work. They diagnose disorders across specialties including mental health and neurology. Well worth looking into. Other options include looking at specialty children's hospitals for kids with chronic challenges especially or university based clinics with neuropsychologist departments or with developmental pediatricians who often have a team of specialists who also do in-depth testing....(again ask ahead of time, the longer the sessions--usually need a day or two depending on the clinic, the more likely it will look at everything. They usually send out several parent forms, sometimes teacher forms ahead of time. Fifteen minites would make me very uncomfortable. But you were there and know whether you feel comfortable. Risperdal works great for some, it made my son very aggressive. So just be cautious as usual.