Five year old with unknown behavior issues

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bugerd, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Bugerd

    Bugerd New Member

    Okay I am very new at this but am at a loss as to what monster has overcome my 5year old son. I will go to the end of the world to help him, but at this time do not know what he has or how to so I need help. First let me say we are under the care of a counselor. My son has episodes where he can be as nice as can be and then as soon as he gets told something he doesn't like he comes out swinging, biting, kicking, or with the evil words. These words can be anywhere from, "I hate you", "I wish you'd die", "Your a butthead", to downright cursing at me and his Father. He will hit the dog, has broken his toys and threatened to harm himself with a broken toy. He has also threatened to break his toes, fingers ect. My son was not like this a year ago. My husband and I do discipline him, going to bed early, putting his toys in toy jail, grounding, you name it we have done it, but it is as if he is looking at us flipping us off. The counselor believes he has rage issues and referred us to a psychiatrist for possible medication. I can not even get a psychiatrist to make an appointment with my son for four months or longer. I am worried because he starts Kindergarten next week. Like I say I will never ever give up on my child, but cry myself to sleep not knowing how to help. Any words of advice??? Thank you so much!
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome to the board! Sorry you have to be here, but you did find the right place.

    First, I know it's 4 months off, but did you schedule the appointment? If not, do it. If you find another sooner, you can always cancel, but get an appointment. If someone else cancels, they may get you in sooner.

    Second, if he threatens himself with a toy, you can call 911 and get him into a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. This WILL end up with a sooner rather than later follow up appointment with a psychiatrist. Yes, threats have a wide range, from the ones you really don't believe (he's just venting anger), to he's in a rage and actually has a sharp jagged edge of a toy up at his neck and you are not able to talk him into putting it down. Some would say to call 911 on ANY threat. But DEFINITELY call 911 if you are truly afraid of what he may do.

    Ya think? Sorry, sometimes the things counselors say make me wonder what rock they've been under. The Real question with your son is, what is driving those rages?

    Have you read the Explosive Child? By Ross Green. It's considered the most helpful book on this forum. Might find some useful information in there.

    School might be good for him because there is a structure to it that most parents can NOT duplicate at home. School staff can also be very instrumental in identifying issues that parents don't even consider at home.

    Others will be by with their 2 cents.

    Welcome again to the board. :notalone:
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Is the psychiatrist the counselor recommended a CHILD psychiatrist? Is the counselor a licensed psychologist? Has he been diagnosed by anyone with anything? Is there any mental health issues on either side of the family tree? Can you pinpoint what the rages are in response to? I agree with keista. The WHY is very important in helping to deal with them. For some kids, "normal" punishments do't work with our kids. Many of us have had to get creative but without knowing why they are acting the way they are, that can't be done. Try documenting as many details as you can about everything that was done and said BEFORE the meltdown started. See if you can find a pattern. Also, call around for a child psychiatrist or better yet a neuropsychiatrist/neuropsychologist. You need to know what is going on if you're going to help him at all. I also agree with the 911 suggestion. If he is physically harming himself or others, you need to call 911. That will create a paper trail for future help, provide outside documentation of the behaviors, and could hasten access to services.

    Welcome to our little corner of the world but am so sorry you had to find us. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}}
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Was he in pre-school? Or will Kindergarten be his first school experience?

    The reason I'm asking is, if he went to preschool and the behaviours showed up in the last year, there is a reasonable possibility that your child has issues that cause major problems at school. These could be a very wide range of things - from sensory to motor skills to learning disabilities to developmental disabilities to mental illness to whatever else. But for some kids, the structure of school reveals some critical weaknesses, and the kid is bright enough to be aware that he cannot make his brain and/or body do what the other kids do... and some kids drop like a rock. Really fast.

    On the other hand... if he was NOT in preschool, but the behaviour had a noticable starting point, there may be other issues lurking out there - have you used babysitters, for example? time with extended family members? etc.??? I don't like to point fingers on this one, but there could be a remote chance of sexual interference with a kid this young - and if that is the case, major behaviour problems would not be unusual. DO NOT TRY TO FIGURE THIS ONE OUT BY YOURSELF. It takes trained child-sexual-abuse counsellors to work it through with a kid this young. In fact, I'm not sure I'd even "go there" at this point... get some of the basic evaluations done first, and see if these explain what is going on, and whether the interventions have any effect. But if those fail... you might need to explore this possibility.
    OR it could be as simple as some other major trauma (even a car-accident, for example) that has set off a chain of events. In which case, PTSD might be at play here.

    Rage issues? The key is going to be to figure out WHY. Because you can't put out the "rage" fire while the experiences of life are continuing to pour fuel on the fire.


    Sorry you had to find us - but glad you found us early! He's young yet, and you have time to work through the issues.
  5. Bugerd

    Bugerd New Member

    Thank you so much guys, it is good to know that I have so much support. My son has had two years of preschool, and has been with the same babysitter since he was three months old. For the most part he did very well in preschool. He had two major outburst upon which he tore up books, and hit another child. The teachers were very cooperative and found that he was bored at times which was distracting him. My son has had some explosive behaviors at the sitter, upon which the sitter has been awesome has far as redirecting him. My son is very big boy; 63lbs and 45 inches tall. I have been told by the teachers that everyone will expect more from him as he his a, "big kid" which I became defensive about. My son has be involved in sports since he was three and really liked football the best, imagine that. : )
    I use to work for Children Services so that sexual abuse issue was immediately explored but I realize might not always be disclosed. I have not made the appointment for the evaluation yet, as I had to submit my information regarding my son and then they will call me back in four months with an appointment time. As far as our family tree, my mother is bi-polar but I have not had any contact with her for 10 years and she has not seen my son. My husband has rage issues in his family. I have anxiety issues upon which I take medication for and have obsessive compulsive issues as well as my husband. The counselor thinks my son got the rage issues from my husbands side. I worry about what he will be like when he is at school, but he always seems to be a different kid at church, school, or in public. I do not want my child labeled, as I am sure you all have fears about to. Our kids are special no matter what is going on! I have always told my son that I will never give up and will always advacate for him! I will have to check that book out that was suggested. Do they put children this young on medication and is always the best answer? They have me going to a behavior pediatrician what exactly do they do? Thank you so much guys, what a relief to know I have so much support! : )
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Depending on severity of problems and the nature of the diagnosis, yes, they can put young children on medications.
    It isn't "always the best answer"... but sometimes it is the only answer.
    And, with medications, you won't really know until you try.... medications are tricky - the "right" medication is some combo of the right drug/dose/timing/etc. for your kid. And for some kids, NO combo works.

    Not a bad place to start, in my opinion... this will be a medical doctor with specialty training in pediatrics (care of children) and in children's behaviour issues.
    They have a good handle on what "normal" is, can do a fair bit of intiial screening including ruling out (or finding!) all sorts of "medical" issues that may be at the root...
    Their work provides a good basis for bringing in other specialists.

    But like everything else, it depends on whether you get a "good" one... 'cause the label on the doctor doesn't tell you THAT.

    As far as kids and labels... kids with untreated problems get labelled anyway - as a "bad kid" or whatever else. I'd rather have a medical label.
  7. keista

    keista New Member


    Yes, medicating can be a tricky thing. But more often than not, with this kind of child (oops! I just labeled him as "this kind of child"), it is necessary. I first decided to medicate my daughter because I was seeing the pain that she was in. I could deal with her tantrums and meltdowns, and so could the school staff, but it pained me to see what it was doing to her, inside. Life is hard, but it shouldn't be THAT hard. We've gone through some medications that just didn't work, to medications that actually worked, but caused her to develop new symptoms, to medications that just weren't right for her. Right now she's not on anything, but I'm quite certain it won't last very long. Just taking this time to asses her REAL symptoms and problems. After all, she's matured by 2 years, learned lots of coping skills, and puberty is on it's way, so we'll just have to see. BUT despite the fact that it's been difficult finding the right medications, I would not go back and not do it. Overall I believe (even the not so good ones) helped her out.

    Genetically, you son has a very volatile background. Doesn't matter that he's never met your mom. He's got some of her genetic material in him as well as yours. And as for the 'rage issues' on your husband's side. Something is driving that rage. Doesn't mean you'll be able to pinpoint what it is, but in my opinion rage just doesn't exist on it's own (neither does addiction)

    I have a friend who has anger management issues. She was forced into "anger management treatment" because she was rude, disrespectful and combative with CPS regarding her son. She now talks the talk and walks the walk of someone who's *successfully* completed such treatment, but sadly they NEVER even addressed the issues that were driving that anger. I know this because it is still there, she's still in intense pain and gets INTENSELY angry, she just *manages* it appropriately. If they had skipped the "anger management" and just forced her into full therapy she would have been better off. She would have learned to deal with the issues driving her anger as well as managing her anger. Essentially there's a giant band-aid on this woman.
  8. Bugerd

    Bugerd New Member

    Well my little one had a very good day yesterday, but it is always like the eye of the storm sometimes. Today so far he has thrown my phone and called me a couple names. Looks like we will be trying the grounding technique again as we did that the other evening and it did seem to help as he had a good day yesterday. We meet with the counselor tonight to update him on everything, after openhouse at school. Hope all goes well.
  9. keista

    keista New Member

    Go with what works. What many parents don't realize is that grounding or time outs aren't always punishments, but a therapeutic respite for overstimulated kids.

    A friend was telling me about his daughter this past summer. This 3 year old girl would have a tantrum because she WANTED a 'time out' and she wasn't getting it (they were at the zoo with a group). He was puzzled. I told him his daughter was VERY smart, and he should listen to her. lol Seriously though, the kid was overwhelmed, and Dad would have loved to give a time out, but how do you do that at the zoo with a group? Lag behind, catch up later, but give the kid a break somehow.

    Anyway, I have also noticed that when my kids are grounded they function a bit better. The reason is that you've taken away stimuli, that may be fun and enjoyable, but can totally overwhelm a child. I'm 'trying' to create a more 'spartan' existence for my kids for that reason.
  10. Bugerd

    Bugerd New Member

    We went to the counselor last night and my little one was diagnosed with anxiety issues and the early signs of bipolar. We are being referred to a different doctor that can get him on some medication and help us down the right path to learn how to deal with this. I am comforted now that I know what it is, and I am now under the mindset, "Okay how can I help him, help himself" I was told that there are all different kinds of bipolar and once you find the right kind of medication you feel much better. What are some of the medications used for five year old males?
  11. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Anxiety and Bipolar were two of the diagnosis's that my difficult child carried for awhile. Now we know it was Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) all along and that explained why the bipolar medications weren't working. Our current psychiatrist explained to me that many other diagnosis's mimic bipolar in children. Be VERY careful with the medications.
  12. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I found the book the Bipolar Child to be very helpful when difficult child 1 was diagnosis bipolar. He was about the same age.