First visit with Social Worker

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by amy1129, May 5, 2011.

  1. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member that over with. I was so nervous and scared walking into the apt. I was stuttering, dry mouth and couldnt get my words out at first. It was so overwhelming to finally be at this point and hopefully getting some insight into my son.

    Anyways, hubby and I felt like we buried her in stories and thoughts. But she listened to everything single thing we had to say and offered little insight but she said she needs more info to be able to fully know whats going on. She was relating to the information we were giving her and was kind of leaning towards the thought process of him being wired slightly wrong and is having sensory issues with transitioning. Most everything we told her was him reacting to situations where his world is changing like from stopping tv to go brush teeth, stopping playing outside to do homework, leaving sports to go to a restaurant, leaving home to go do errands with me etc. And his moods levels are getting stronger in intensity and leaking out of the house into school and grandparents house. She gave us a few examples to try and prevent the "explosions". she said that if its a sensory thing he will hopefully not have such a meltdown and if we start to prep him, like ok after this commercial we are going to get ready for bed, then say it again and again until its time, this way his brain will be ready for the change. (fingers crossed)

    We go back in 2 weeks with the results of our findings.

    Thanks for listening.

  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi amy....

    sorry haven't read some of your other posts.....and you don't have a signature. how old is your son?? my daughter also exhibited sensory issues and transitioning issues very early on. That was one of the first clues' that there was something off.

    What i have found that works as of late is a schedule, routine, knowing what comes next seems to help alot with kids like that. My daughter has alot of anxiety, sensory issues galore, bipolar and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). so i get the sensory stuff and transitioning can be a nightmare.

    i also agree the heads up for them before you transition into something else helps alot. Was this social worker someone that was doing an evaluation on your son?? hope the findings lead you to an answer, some insight on how to proceed.
  3. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    Sorry, I stink at all these abreviations and such so no signature yet. My son is 6, turning 7 in June. This "issue" has been going on since he was about 2-3, I discussed with pedi at his well visits and they just kept telling me it was his age, then at 4 she said to call a idiot self walked outta there like I am not calling a therapist for my 4 year old.....dr asked again at 5, said to call again, then at 6 I said I would call someone, never did, the finally broke down and call the mental health line on my ins card. The social worker only working with hubby and myself for the first few visits then will want to meet my son.

    How long with the tricks take to work? we have been working on these changes with my son since thursday (today is monday) and no change what so ever. I was just wondering when to "give up" and move on to the next thing.
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Amy! I think rather than going with "when this commercial is over" I'd go with "5 min. warning", "2 min. warning" and then of course "1 min. warning". Some kids will not be able to differentiate from a commercial to say "we're going when we finish this book". Using numbers would be the same each and every time that you want to shift actions.

    I'd give it a week or're totally changing tactics, so I'd give it some time.

    Hang in there!

    Beth :)
  5. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Hi Amy -

    Have you followed up with your pediatrician about getting a neuropsychologist evaluation?

    Did you tell the social worker about your son saying he wants to die?

    Were you able to pick up a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene? I think someone suggested that book and I recommend it too. I know you went to a lecture but I think you should get a copy of the book too.

    Frankly, given the level of behaviors that have developed at home, you are not going to see changes in 5 days and it's pretty unrealistic of you to expect that. Is that about how long you have persisted in trying other interventions at home before you give up?

    Do you have a set bedtime routine? Starts about the same time every night, done in the same order and includes some one-on-one time with him reading a book or listening to a story or you singing to him?

    I get the sense from your posts that you feel helpless to change his behavior and reluctant to express your authority as the parent/adult. Is this right or am I misinterpreting things?

    If that is how you are feeling then the changes need to happen first with you and husband. You must get really clear that you are the parents and you are the ones setting the agenda, not him.

    When you have a willful child (let's assume it's mostly that rather than something biologically wrong) you have to exert your will at least as strongly as he is exerting his. You must be prepared to walk away when he's throwing a fit. You must be prepared to level consequences appropriate to his age and situation without hesitation/remorse/guilt.

    You must be in control of the pattern of his day and be pretty inflexible about enforcing that pattern. You cannot argue with him and you MUST level consequences. If he trashes his room, he has to pick it up before he gets dinner, goes outside to play, gets to use a computer or video game. If he has a tantrum and kicks holes in his door or walls then he loses his door until he can demonstrate that he isn't going to damage property in the house. Say something once and then walk away. You must use actions more than words to get the message across. If he's having trouble in the car you pull over, take out a book and ignore him until he stops. Then you start the car and drive on. If he's throwing a fit in the store you tell him to stop. If he doesn't you leave.

    It's inconvenient. It's annoying. It may make you late to appointments or force you to do an errand later. But it will work - if you do it consistently until he is an adult. YOU have to build time for it into your day, all day, every day for the next 12 years.

    Yep. Until he's an adult. Because he will test you now and again. If he has cognitive issues or problems with impulse control or mental illness - you should probably expect that one of you is going to have to stop working full time to stay home with him because you will not be able to leave him alone when he gets older. If you don't learn this lesson - he won't either. And he will still be doing this when he's 16 and bigger and stronger than you.

    Our oldest son is severely physically disabled. We understood and accepted that we could not just jump up and go somewhere on a whim or change the pattern of his day because something "came up". Well this is actually the same but the disability is on the inside not the outside. Where before we had to allow time to get our older son dressed, into his wheelchair and loaded into the van - now with our younger son we have to allow time for challenging behavior.

    You and husband must absolutely be on the same page and take the same "actions not words" approach. You must be willing to level consequences - loss of play dates, loss of video games or time watching TV, going to his room for the night/day because he can't get along/be nice, loss of dessert or other special things.

    You must inspect what you expect - if he's to clean up a mess then you inspect afterwards and make him do a good job. Think long term. When you are tempted to overlook something really bad like kicking a hole in a wall or spitting on you ask yourself "what lesson am I teaching him?" Then ask yourself - is this a lesson that will serve him well when he's 18 and trying to get a job or when he's 30 and has kids of his own?

    If you can do these things NOW it will pay off in the long run.

    We have struggled with this and I really think it has contributed a lot to the issues we are having now with our 15 yo son. He clearly has mental health problems but we have decided that those issues cannot be the most important thing in his life. We are treating him as much as possible as if we believe that he can control his behavior, that he can conform to the expectations we would have of a "normal" child, that we should hold him accountable while teaching him that he can have the same goals as all the other kids his age and that he can achieve those goals if he decides that he wants to.

    And things are changing - for the better. And we feel better too - because we no longer feel beat down, helpless and uncertain.

    But do not expect results this month. Improvement will be incremental but it will come. You can't give up on him or give in to him and you must be prepared to do the hard work of parenting a kid who needs more attention and support and structure than most. It's what you signed up for when you had him and you will do a great job - once you accept the nature of the challenge.


    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  6. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    I have not followed up with pedi yet, they are so far removed from this. I think because my insurance doesnt require pre certifications they just handed me a list of names last july at his check up. The social worker did ask if we have ever had a neuropshych done or any other testing and I said no. she said that might a step we take.
    I did go to a workshop of dr greenes and his program worked for about 2 weeks at the most. I mentioned this to the SW and she doesnt agree with dr greenes ways, she feels like we are giving my son the control but letting him brainstorm solutions. Example, dr greene said to pick something that happens alot, ok teeth brush time. He always fights us, either falls to the ground screaming no, runs to his room slamming door saying i approached my son, you know you get mad at us when we ask you to brush your teeth? well how about me and you think of some ways to get your teeth brushed without you getting mad. he thought about it and said stand with me while i do it. In my head, i was like "thats it". I said ok, so if mommy or daddy stands with you, you will do it without getting mad. he said yup and it worked, then it didnt. SW says thats letting him control the situation and he is controlling you by having you stand next to him to do such a task that doesnt require me to be there. I kinda agree with her, and since it isnt working anymore i dont know where else to turn.
  7. seriously

    seriously New Member

    So you have everything you need to make a neuropsychologist appointment. When are you going to do it?

    I think the thing that was helpful to me about Ross Greene's book was the idea of classifying/prioritizing things. Also looking for triggers.

    I also agree that offering to stand with him while he's brushing his teeth may not have been a good call given the overall picture with him. It was great that he was able to brainstorm at all. That, in my opinion, is a very good thing. Now it's your job to recognize when the suggestions he comes up with are just another form of controlling you and either offer an alternative or ask him what else he can think of that doesn't require your presence.

    The teeth brushing should be embedded within a set routine that includes you checking on his progress and eventually have some time with him reading a book, etc.

    I'm guessing here, but is it possible when the teeth brushing thing fell apart at 2 weeks that it was really him testing you to see if you were going to follow through? Was there any consequence for the change in his behavior?

    Having a difficult child is tough. As parents we end up doing a certain amount of grieving over the child we thought we would get. I know I felt resistant to most of these ideas at first and even felt angry and criticized when other people told me this stuff. It was hard not to feel like life was really unfair. I have learned, painfully at times, that I can't whine or avoid doing what has to be done. When I followed this kind of advice consistently and persistently - things got better. It works and I wish that I had been able to shake off those feelings of resentment and disappointment sooner.

    So please know that I am not criticizing you and husband. Rather I am totally sympathetic and really hope that the lessons I have learned the hard way will be helpful to you and your family.

    Many hugs,

  8. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    oh i dont think you're criticizing us, at this point i take all I can get...well within reason. my family and others think its our fault that we spoil him and he just needs a swift kick in the a#@ and he will be "fixed".

    I want to make the neuro apt, but wanted to wait until the 2nd visit with social worker, I assume she has people she uses regularly, i am so oblivious to this stuff, I wouldnt know where to begin.

    I cant seem to remember if there was any consequenes to dr greenes approach not working anymore. I think what happened was I continued to do "as he asked" and reminded him that this is what he asked us to do once it got bad again I think we went back to the tantrums. The problem I am seeing is his resistence isnt always in the same fashion. For example with teeth brushing, he maybe has 7 different reactions with us and we never know which one we are going to see. This is the same with most of tantrums, it could be just a simple normally spoken "NO", to a full out scream grunt thing with slamming doors. And sometime, just sometimes, he says OK mummma and goes and does it without anything. He is either really really bad or he is really really good, like sickening good, overkill with the i love you's, its one extreme to the other. I would have to say that maybe 20% of the week is a normal boy, 10 is that kill us with kindness kid, and the other 70% is the difficult boy. and the bad boy isnt there all day, maybe 10 outbursts on a weekend day, thats on a good day.

    I try not to acknowledge his behavior but I dont ignore it either, my husband on the other hand is really really hitting his breaking point with him. I am with him there but we handle it differently. Its just getting so hard and I fight back the tears everytime he is screaming "I HATE YOU" to my face...sometimes I cry right in front of him and it doesnt faze him at all and I think that is the worst part of it all.

    UGH so sorry this turning into a huge vent!!
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Oh Aaaaamy! So what if it turns into a big vent? That's one of the reasons we're here !

    Kids like ours are very frustrating - our reactions are human - right, wrong or indifferent - if you were resting on your laurels, ignoring it or doing the "not my son" - then you'd have a reason to feel like a lousy parent. Keep in mind: the BEST parents in the world are (and I'm quoting a Priest that spoke at a special needs meeting that I went to) people that are Priests/Nuns and Old Maids. They ALWAYS know the best way to raise a child. Now add in the fact that "our kids" are particularly difficult, it's those parents who's kids are either "perfect" or "demons" that constantly feel that a good beating will fix our kids.

    Ummmm, not so much!

    Vent away - cry here, yell here, laugh here - we all understand. And believe it or not, getting it off your chest to us will allow you to be a better parent - you'll be dealing with his baggage and not your own!

  10. Confused

    Confused Guest

    Hi amy1129,
    I agree with seriously,I have actually taken my sons door off,several times due to him banging his head,toys,self against in, oh slamming too. His closet doors are off permanently because he broke it doing the same thing and climbing his shelves in there. So, yes , it is hard, but it seems like you have a good Social Worker so far, and everyone here is giving good ideas! Good luck
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I read this thread and thought "some good advice"... How are things going with your little boy right now, Amy?
    I did think, reading "seriously"'s post... "Oh my goodness, that feels like a world away from mine..." I feel a sense of admiration for this level of discipline and consistency but... such an approach just doesn't work with my son. Presumably that is true for others too? Consquences in the sense of punishment just make him angry, hostile and confrontational - consequences in the sense of he mops up the drink he has spilled on the floor, that he accepts and I enforce. Trying to send him to his room for a time out, the few times I tried it, was a joke - he raged, threw things around, kicked the door, wouldn't stay in unless I held it shut which of course made me stressed and angry. Like living in a battle zone!!!
    I don't have any punishment system with J. I get cross with him when he has done something "wrong" and/or we talk about it. He gets gold stars if he has done something "good". I sometimes say "1,2,3" when I want him to come or to do something and he usually comes after the 3 - even though nothing actually happens after the 3. If I ask him politely and respectfully to do what I would like, he complies - most of the time. Treating him like I think and expect he is going to be good and kind and reasonable seems to make him good and kind and reasonable...
    And then sometimes this system, such as it is, all goes out the window and he will be naughty, disrespectful, uncontrollable, whatever... and I get stressed and uncertain again. But one thing is for sure... Punishing him for misbehavior just does not work.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with getting the neuropsychologist appointment. A social worker is not enough for our kids. They need evaluations and in my opinion then to see a psychologist and usually also a psychiatrist. But the neuropsychologist is the best diagnostician in my opinion. It's hard to treat something that you don't understand.

    Good luck and keep us posted. (((Hugs)))