Confused and at wit's end...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MissRissa74, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. MissRissa74

    MissRissa74 New Member

    Hello all. I'm new here, but nowhere near new to the situation. I'm the proud mother to 2 adorable children. My 6 year old daughter is mostly fantastic. I rarely get any grief from her.

    My son, on the other hand, is an utter handful, to say the least. He is now 4 years old and I'm definitely at my wit's end with him. He's never been an easy child to deal with, but lately, things have gotten harder and harder. It's insane, really. His tantrums are out of this world and can sometimes last for hours on end, depending on the severity of the situation. I can usually tell at the beginning of the day how hard it's going to be. Maybe I should tell you a little about "Junebug" instead of just rambling...

    It started when he was tiny, in a walker. He would get frustrated when he couldn't get to where he wanted or couldn't get his way and he would bash his head or face into whatever he could. If he was walking around and got angry, he would do the same thing. The child had more bloody noses, busted lips than any child I've ever met. The head-bashing finally slowed when he almost knocked himself out once by slamming his face into the corner of a table. Needless to say, it scared the **** out of me. I thought things were better and contributed his frequent tantrums to "being a boy". There were times he would stand in the corner screaming for extended periods of time. I actually got one of his fits on camera. He does things, says things that just don't hit me right. He doesn't like to eat and it's a chore in itself to make him eat a full meal. He can't sit still and be quiet at the same time. He refuses to follow directions and I'm constantly saying the same things over and over to him. His fits are horrible. At bedtime, he'll lay in bed and cry for hours sometimes. He breaks things on purpose when he gets mad and throws things. We've had our dog since they were both really little and he can't stand him. He's finally to the point where he might pet him once every few months. He's always yelling at him and trying to hit/kick him. He tells me, and anyone else that will listen, that he doesn't know how to be good and that he likes to be bad. He blames everything on everyone else. He often tells me, when he's mad, that I'm going to make him cry. There's been numerous occasions where he's actually put up a fight with me. He recently, within the past 6 months, got mad at his sister and told her that he was going to kill her. I don't think he meant it, but it scared me. He randomly picks up sticks outside and hits whoever is there. We've talked about it many times and he won't stop.
    Today probably would've been one long fight had I not allowed him to spend most of his day outside rollerblading. He spent the entire day on the slight slope going into our garage, going down over and over again. He even refused to come in and eat dinner. So, to avoid a fight, I let him stay out until it was almost dark. Then, I made him come in. He said he was hungry and he ate and then got ready for bed. Tonight was the first night in quite a while where he didn't throw a huge tantrum when it was time for bed. Tomorrow is his doctor's appointment. They're wanting to check him out for ADHD and I've also been reading and think that ODD may be an issue. All of the symptoms are there:( I'm sorry this ended up being so long. I guess I needed to vent to someone.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi MissRissa,

    I'm glad you found us and I'm hopeful that we can help you.

    First off, do listen to your mommy gut--something doesn't sound right here--and it's important that you get to the bottom of it. Pediatricians frequently will refer to a counselor to help with behaviors so be prepared for that. What you want is a thorough evaluation covering a lot of bases. With the younger ones we suggest a developmental pediatrician (or pediatric neuropsychologist), audiology, speech/language and occuptional therapy. Given the specific issues you're dealing with if I weren in your shoes I would be insistent. I suggest that you print out a copy of the description you wrote here and take it along with the video of the fit to your pediatrician tomorrow.

    Some questions for you--we obviously can't diagnose since we're only parents but we can send you in directions to do research.
    Are there any mental health issues in the biological family such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive tendencies, substance abuse?

    Is his speech unusual in any way--delayed, advanced, adult sounding, flat/emotionless, and/or does he repeat big chunks of movies or books?

    Does he engage in repetive behaviors such as the rollerblading down the slope over and over again all day?

    Does he line up toys or other household objects in straight lines or formations?

    You said he wasn't eating well--does he have strong preferances for food textures? HOw about being fussy about clothing?

    Hang in there--we'll get you pointed in a direction where you can get some help with him. In the mean time I would lay low with demands until you have answers. Keep him and sibs and the dog safe. Don't worry about manners, picking up toys, etc. Save yourself a battle that you can't win.
  3. MissRissa74

    MissRissa74 New Member

    Hello again. I thought I would reply and answer some questions you had and also tell you what I found out at the doctor yesterday...

    First off, Junebug's daddy has dealt with depression on and off his entire life. He's also ADHD. Numerous people in my family are on medication for depression as well.

    His speech is top of the line for someone so small. He talks like a grown man but is a lot like his dad. Not really emotionless, but it's hard to tell what he's thinking until **** hits the fan. He screams a lot, rather than just talking.

    He likes to do high-energy activities. Skateboarding, rollerblading, things like that keep him busy. It's hard for him to sit and watch a movie or anything. He can't sit still and be quiet at the same time either.

    He likes to make lines, with cars, blocks, etc. He once took about 200 of those little cars and lined them across our front room. We would move one and he would line it back up, perfectly. I thought it was funny. He continued to do it and one day I just took a picture of it. He was proud.

    He never really used to be picky about food, but he's getting worse. He doesn't really like to eat much, but he will if we push him a little. He will wear just about anything but if he wears a hoody, it's zipped up all the way to his neck most of the time.

    As far as his doctor's appointment yesterday, it didn't go as planned. I did find out that he is Anemic and has a low white cell count. They said that could be why he's not been eating. He's lost a pound since March, instead of gaining. The doctor also put him on something called DMG and said it should help calm him down? I did a little research online for it and found that it's most commonly used for Autism. I'm not sure what to think right now. I called my doctor though, who specializes in behavioral issues and ADHD in children and I intend to take him there today when my daughter gets home from school. Hopefully, they'll be able to tell me something! Thank you for the help though, I appreciate it!
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    The questions I asked were prodding around to see if there are signs of Autistic Spectrum Disorders so I'm a little surprised that the doctor didn't bring up the topic.

    Given what you're saying about his dad and the lining up toys, picky eating, and flat speech/talking like an adult, I'd suggest that you do some reading up on Asperger's Syndrome, the highest functioning of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)'s. Keep in mind that all kids won't exhibit all symptoms, or not all symptoms at a given age. For instance, some kids may have better eye contact or be more affectionate or have more desire for social interaction than others.

    Eating issues such as you are describing are sometimes due to Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Sometimes the activity seeking can be attributed to this as well.

    We're only parents here, not diagnosticians, but there are enough red flags here that I'd be requesting an evaluation for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)'s. Even if the signs wind up being from a different set of reasons, the evaluation explained in this article should be general enough to get some answers.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Good heavens. If he's lining up toys, I strongly suggest taking him to a neuropsychologist to test him for autistic spectrum disorder--since he talks well, Aspergers Syndrome. I would say he has lots of red flags there for that. This can REALLY improve with the right interventions. I urge you to do it right away. THis bright little boy can learn to direct his frustration in a positive way as long as he gets interventions early enough. Interventions does NOT mean therapy. He is not a "bad" or "defiant" kid. There is no medication for autism. I would take him to a traditional doctor who will really help him, rather than somebody who wants to give him something for this. Maybe he doesn't even have it, but it sounds a lot like my son, who does. Anyway, good luck.