easy child is now a difficult child and I am going crazy with two of them!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Hi, all (Very long, sorry)

    It's been literally years since I have been to this site. I first became a member back when difficult child 1 was having behavior problems at home and at school and she was in the beginning process of being diagnosed as bipolar. Flash forward nine years later and she is currently on good medications and doing well with the help of medications, an IEP, and a really good p-doctor. She is now what I like to call a "typical teen," drama and all. She is not the reason why I am here now. My younger son is now the problem. He was always, and I hate to use this phrase, my "good child." Sweet, calm, loving, and hard working in school and at home. Not that my daughter wasn't good, so to speak, but she was always the one who had issues while my son was the child who never gave me any problems. Never. Like ever. Until now.

    In the last couple of years my son has come from being a sweet, shy little boy who always does what he's told to a very hyper, hard to control 11 year old who is constantly testing the boundaries and my patience. When he does not get his way, he can throw a temper tantrum and rage out of control. It doesn't happen very often, because to be honest I rarely tell him the word "no," but when it does, look out. The last time he had such a rage was in the car when I was driving him to his very first therapy appointment. He did not want to go, so for the whole half hour ride over there he kicked at my seat, kicked the windows, and took off his seatbelt and opened the car door. He was threatening to jump out of the car onto the freeway as I was hysterically driving and trying to control him. Once we arrived at the office he refused to talk to the therapist the entire forty five minutes we were there. Needless to say, it was our first and last therapy session.

    That’s another thing he will do. He will refuse to speak to any adult that is not me, his dad, or his grandmother. Teachers at school will ask him questions and he will refuse to answer. He does not make eye contact and will keep his head down and refuse to speak. He is like this everywhere we go. When I am introducing him to somebody new he will hold his head down and he will not say hello, even with my prompting. On the rare occasion that he does speak, he does so in a whisper and does not make eye contact with the other person whatsoever. I have tried my hardest to explain to him what he is doing is rude and it can be offensive to some people, but it’s just the way he is and he won’t change.

    He has plenty of friends and he is popular at school, and he can be quite talkative with them at times. As a matter of fact he frequently gets in trouble for talking during class, but he only does it with his friends. When the teacher reprimands him he is silent and refuses to speak. His teachers have also reported that my son seems to display a lack of empathy towards others. Even with his friends he can be downright rude and say hurtful things with no remorse. I do not see this side of him at home. At home is very respectful and loving and he is constantly giving me hugs and kisses and telling me he loves me. He is only rude to others and it can be quite embarrassing. My mom took him to get a haircut a few weeks ago and when the hairdresser asked him how he liked the haircut he started yelling, not at her, but more like to himself. He said it was the worst hair cut he’s ever had and he said he hated it. When my mom tried to explain to him that he was being incredibly rude, he refused to apologize. He kept going on and on about how much he hated it until finally my mom, very embarrassed, took him and left. When he got home later and I heard of the incident, I tried to explain to my son why he was wrong and how it was very impolite for him to do what he did. For the life of him he didn’t GET it. He kept saying “I was only being honest.” I have tried my hardest to make him be polite but he just won’t listen. When he gets gifts he doesn’t like he will toss them aside and declare very loudly that he doesn’t like what he got. My daughter will even step in and tell him he is being rude but he just doesn’t care.

    He is also very impatient and when something isn’t working right, like the computer or the cell phone, he will throw things across the room and sometimes break them. He is also incredibly hyper at home. He jumps on the bed and the couch, he body slams himself into the walls, he climbs all over everything, jumps on top of me when I am trying to watch TV, jumps all over my daughter and starts fights with her, and so on and so on and so on. difficult child 1 will beat the **** out of him and he will still go back for more. He is also very rough with our cat. I have tried to teach him how to pet him nicely but he will grab him and squeeze him and he doesn’t realize that what he is doing is upsetting the cat. Our cat will go nowhere near him because he doesn’t know how to be gentle.

    Another thing he does: he walks around the house naked ALL the time. I have explained to him over and over again that it is incredibly inappropriate at his age but he refuses to get dressed. The only way I can keep his clothes on is to actually dress him myself. He is constantly testing the boundaries and to be honest, I don’t really know if this kid even KNOWS that half the stuff he is doing is wrong. I just can’t seem to get through to him. I must say that except for the selective mutism, he NEVER displays this kind of behavior at his dad’s. He never starts fights with difficult child 1 and he is never super hyper over there. He is always on his best behavior. He absolutely hates going over to his dad’s. He does not like it there and his stepmother treats both of our kids pretty badly. I don’t know why he never displays this kind of behavior in front of his dad. I see the worst of him and he takes everything out on me. difficult child 1 is the same way. She is on her best behavior over there even though she hates being there. I don’t know why the teachers, grandparents and I see the worst of the worst, but that’s just the way it is with my kids. I know my son can control himself to a point because he does so at his dad’s, but as soon as he returns back in my care he goes completely wild.

    He is driving me crazy. I just got out of a two year long depression and right now I am very scared of losing it and destabilizing. I seem to be holding it together okay for now, but I feel like any day now I can crack. His dad has threatened to take both kids away from me in the past, and he says is going to use my mental instability against me in court. My kids may be the biggest stressor in my life, but they are all I have and I will be devastated if I lose him. I’m really afraid that one of my kids is going to go off one of these days and CPS will take them away. Right now I feel like I am living on the edge. Honestly if it wasn’t for my job I think I would be certifiably insane right now. I feel less stress at my job than I do at my house. I would rather be working than be at home. It sucks to have to say that but it’s true. Handling one difficult child was tough but handling two difficult children is damn near impossible. I honestly can’t wait until they grow up and move out of the house and I hate myself for feeling like this.

    Our first p-doctor appointment for difficult child 2 is April 2nd. I am really hoping we can get an official diagnosis and start moving forward to get the help my son needs. My biggest fear is that p-doctor will say that there is nothing wrong with difficult child 2 and he’s just a bad kid who has no empathy for anybody. I am counting down the days till the appointment. I don’t know what to expect but hopefully we will begin making some progress. Anyway, thanks for reading, if you’ve made it this far, and wish me luck.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You already know the routine, but I'll remind you...
    - start a parent report and a journal (go find susiestar's posts and you'll have the link to the parent report)
    - start documenting everything you know about when this started, what the ramp-up was, where he's at now, what you've tried and results or lack there-of...
    - and then... share with us. And we'll see what rings bells (like usual)...

    Hitting a brick wall and crashing into GFGhood isn't unheard of. Can happen at a number of ages/stages... or can happen due to specific triggers. Symptoms alone don't tell you the cause.

    I'll be watching for more info... rather than giving you a generic "dump" and maybe overload...!
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Awww, sorry your easy child became a difficult child. Did I read right your older one has bipolar disorder? I dont know about onset for that, hope he hasn't developed it too. I guess if it is something you are familiar with then you have a little head start??? I hope your appointment goes well and you get some answers so you can start to move forward. Glad to meet you..... will be looking for your update, Dee
  4. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Oh something else I forgot to add. He is intellectually gifted. When he was seven his teacher called him her "future engineer" because he was so talented in every subject. Now all teachers can seem to say about him is he is not living up to his potential. He was also a late walker and late talker. He did not start walking until he was sixteen months old and did not say his first word until he was three.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome back. Sorry you had to hook up here again but it's good to seek support when you are overwhelmed and I can surely understand if you are feeling that way. I agree that it is really imperative that you record the changes that have taken place with your son and when those changes became apparent. It appears that he is not on any medication and has not had a psychiatrist yet. His behaviors are "way out there" and he does need more help than you can provide.

    Often a first psychiatrist appointment. is a big disappointment because we so hope for significant help right away and the psychiatrist is just trying to get a picture of the family at the initial appointment. Having a written report and listing accurately but briefly the main
    problems helps. I'm sending supportive hugs your way.

    by the way I have no idea if your Ex is a good man or a loose cannon but do not allow yourself to live in fear. The goal is to find the best environment for your child. I'm sure you have their best interests foremost in your heart. DDD
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You did say your easy child/difficult child has an ADHD diagnosis, right?

    <this is a recording... well, not quite, but...>
    1) 50% of kids with ADHD also have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (whether they ever get that diagnosis or not) - developmental coordination disorder. Good info source: www.canchild.ca Sometimes kids can "fake it" through to about grade 4 or 5... run on raw intellegence and creative ways of minimizing motor-skills work (e.g. writing... ) until the volume of work and quality expectations skyrocket somewhere between grade 4 and grade 5.
    2) LDs are frequently co-morbid with ADHD. And the smarter the kid, the longer they can "hide" it, but eventually... they can't.
    3) 70% of kids that have ADHD and an Learning Disability (LD)... also have Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) - and most of us think of APDs in terms of what was generally called Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), which showed up in problems processing verbal language. BUT there are others that don't affect language... like auditory figure ground (difficulty "hearing" in the presence of background noise... this is not a hearing problem, it's a "filtering" problem).

    If he hasn't had any evaluations yet, while you're waiting for other stuff (or alongside other stuff), see about an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory and motor skills issues (not a school Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation... they won't cover the bases), and an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation specifically looking for non-traditional APDs.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I really second IC and the others on the complete evaluations....maybe add neuropsychologist to your psychiatric evaluation because it sure seems like there are some real skill issues with not knowing social cues and maybe even some sensory issues. Have you ever wondered about autism? Some things kind of fit in what you said but not all...it is such a huge spectrum but his behaviors would not be so unusual for an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kiddo....not being able to clue into or care about what others think is very very common for some kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    His behaviors would also not be unusual for someone with a raft of "smaller" issues that, when taken together, are way too big of a combined issue... Sheer mental exhaustion really kills empathy and social skills FAST. (been there done that)

    But... the only way to know is to leave no stone unturned.
  9. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your quick responses. DDD, My ex unfortuanately is not a good man. He allows his new wife to treat our kids like ****. She has slapped my daughter in the face (difficult child didn't tell me until months later) pulled her ear hard when she forgot to close the car door, tells her "You're just like your mother" even when she knows it bothers difficult child, yells and screams at my son every time he gets an answer wrong on his homework, gave away to good will a brand new dress with tags still attached that I bought my daughter for Christmas out of spite, makes fun of my daughter for being immature for her age even though she knows she has a mental disability, and the list goes on and on and on. She is the stepmother from hell and my ex allows her to treat my kids poorly. He also bad mouths me around the kids as well. He is constantly putting me down in front of the kids. Both my kids say it bothers them A LOT but they are too afraid to say anything to them about it. My ex is trying to get out of paying child support and that is why he keeps threatening to take my kids away. He has no interest in them. He has never been to one single IEP, one parent/teacher conference, one back to school night....nothing. Last weekend he pulled a no show when I arrived at our meeting place so he could take the kids for his scheduled weekend visit. When I called him to ask him where he was he said "sorry not taking them" and hung up on me. He later texted me and told me he did it on purpose out of spite because he is angry at me for taking him to court for more child support. He lied to the kids and told them he "forgot" he was supposed to take them for the weekend. He does not believe my son has ADHD or anything else wrong with him. He once said to my daughter, "You're brother does not have ADHD or bipolar. I have to have at least ONE normal child, don't I?" This hurt difficult child tremendously but she didn't tell her father how badly he hurt her feelings. He also thinks Tourette's is a made up disorder and that everybody who has it is "faking it." My dad, brother, and nephew all have tourette's and I guarantee you they are not faking anything by a long shot. Who would want to fake something like that? But that's his thinking. He is in heavy denial and absolutely NO help at all. I can not count on him for any moral support whatsoever. As a matter of fact, most of the time I feel like we are enemies....sigh.

    Buddy~actually one of my son's preschool teachers thought he was autistic. When I took him to have him evaluated through the county, they told me he was definitely not autistic because he played with the toys they gave him and he gave me hugs and kisses. I don't know how reliable the info is but it's something to keep in mind. We'll see if psychiatrist can give us more of a clue.
  10. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Welcome back!

    Regarding your ex, his wife, and their antics - if you haven't started already, you need to make sure that you document EVERYTHING they do/say regarding your children. When we started having issues with my difficult child's biomom, I started a journal of everything she did. My documentation was the main reason we ended up winning full custody of difficult child (which, in hindsight... j/k). I am a big believer in documentation, and from what you say about your ex, it could be invaluable if you ever do have to go to court.

    Good luck to you - you certainly sound like you have your hands full!
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well, if this was anywhere in the criteria for autism then we would have a bunch of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids who would now be off the spectrum, LOL. Quality of play in general can be ONE thing that is looked at. MOST kids with autism give some form of hug or kiss especially to the people that they are bonded with. It is not attachment disorder...they are very attached to their parents usually! I am sorry they told you that. Since the criteria covers many signs/symptoms and behaviors and they dont have to have all of them in each section...the amount of combinations leads to kids looking very different and it is true...it is a spectrum. The severity of each symptom varies greatly from person to person. The only way you will know is to have him evaluated by someone who works with autism. Some psychologists are good at that, some are not. Some psychologists stick to the mental health diagnoses and do not look down the road (can't even see it when it is in right there in the room with them) because they are just not trained that way. So if it is something you are wondering about you can do a separate evaluation from the psychiatric you are going to .... adding that neuropsychologist evaluation. It is really good to do that anyway because you get such a good picture of how your child learns, processes, etc. and it helps to program for them and to find therapies that are more effective. If they quickly blow off any idea or concern you have without really evaluating, in my humble opinion always be suspicious. Pat answers like, they hug, or they make good eye contact so they can't be autistic is a huge warning sign that they really dont know about autism.

    In your case you have family history of other things so it could be quite a puzzle to solve. But you can do this....just keep digging and come here to vent when it is hard, OK?? As you know, we do get it.
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    Ditto Buddy. I was thinking Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) also when I was reading your post. Those county ppl that said that to you could not be more wrong. Because he, a child, played with toys???????? Shocker!

    I've got two kids diagnosed with Asperger's. Son is very classic and was obvious from a young age. DD1, just recently got diagnosed and is not as obvious. In fact, she doesn't fall on the spectrum via the ADOS (Autism diagnostic scale), but when she's evaluated via the sub-tests - WOW! Could not be more obvious.

    I believe your kids are smart enough to know that if they acted out at their Dad's they'd be in an even bigger world of hurt, so they manage to keep it together. It's why they fall apart the second they come home to you. They are comfortable and safe with you and at school. So yeah, the good new is that they can keep it together, but it comes at a great price - the fallout afterwards.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok...I know your son was a easy child...but didn't he have SOME clues that he was struggling? He did walk and talk late...I'm inclined to agree that autistic spectrum disorder needs to be looked at, and that a neuropsychologist is the best type of diagnostician to see. I would call today...they are so good that most have long waiting lists, but the wait is worth it. We were also told our son could not have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for dumb reasons...his eye contact was too good, he was too friendly, etc. Baloney. He is 18 now and nobody doubts he is on the spectrum anymore. It gets more obvious as they get older, especially if they had no interventions. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is also a good diagnosis to get school services. Not all diagnosis. have t hat power. I'd definitely give it a neuropsychologist a try. Even if he is not Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a neuropsychologist does such long and intensive testing that something should come out of it that you haven't thought about before. Many Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are stoic a lot and seem not to have empathy, but they do. They just have trouble showing it or expressing it. And they are very literal, which may be why your little guy was honest about his haircut. The k ids don't understand social niceties.

    Onto stepmother: If stepmother slaps your kids, I'd call CPS. NOBODY slaps my kids with impunity. I just would not let it go. Are they old enough to decide not to see worthless dad and his crazy wife if they testify in court?

    I am sorry you are having a hard time now, but there is so much hope. Keep us posted and let us know what you are going to do.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info on bioDad. Sometimes on our CD board the adults have issues that are totally separate from the childrens issues. Obviously this is not the case.

    Record the patterns. Pray that psychiatrist is receptive. Do not accept that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is not an issue...we have lived with it and it is bizarre. Hugs. DDD