Glad I found you guys!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 1dayatatime, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. 1dayatatime

    1dayatatime New Member

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Michelle and I am a 31 yr old mom to three children from RI. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 11 yrs. He is a computer programmer and I am an awake overnight residential counselor in an adolescent girls home. I am also a part-time college student (psychology and sociology major).

    My kiddos are:

    Alexis 11, who is fortunately very gifted and talented. No behaviors beyond starting puberty.

    Sebastian, 8, also gifted who has been diagnosed with ODD, Sensory Modulation Dysfunction and I am pretty sure he has tourettes. He goes to Occupational Therapist (OT) once per week and is on Abilify.

    Tristan, 7, who is gifted as well and has been diagnosed with CD. Tristan is on Risperdal.

    I have been quite overwhelmed recently. My boys are CONSTANTLY fighting!!! Surprisingly they both do extremely well in school. Sebastian by the teachers own words is "the best behaved boy in the class". However home, in public, and now at relatives' houses is a whole different story!! It just drains me. I am so sick of the fighting and yelling and the tension.

    Sebastian was born a difficult baby and was diagnosed with- Sensory Integration Dysfunction at 18 months. Early intervention did wonders for him. He with the exception of a couple of tough months when he 5 - Sebastian did very well from 3-7. Last year he started having issues after starting school for the first time (homeschooled prior).

    Tristan had absolutely no issues until last year. He fell from a 5 ft ladder onto a concrete walkway and fractured his skull in two places and had some minor bleeding on his brain. Approx a month later he started having violent temper tantrums, he was destroying property and hurting our cats. I tried to deal with- it on my own for three months and gave up and took him to a neuropsychologist. The neuropsychologist doesn't believe the fall is responsible although the trauma of the fall my have triggered some latent predisposition. We have family history on mental illness on both sides. Risperdal worked OVERNIGHT! Very infrequent meltdowns now but still a lot of fighting, lying and stealing.

    I had a wake up call recently when I tried to wean Sebastian from his Abilify to see if Occupational Therapist (OT) would be enough. I had three days from HELL. He was extremely defiant and had to be physically prompted and then at the slightest touch claimed I was abusing him and that he was calling 911.

    So I am glad to have found this group. I need a place to vent where people understand what I am going through and that I am not just a bad parent who can't control her kids!!

    Look forward to getting to know everyone,
  2. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Hello Michelle, you did find a great place to vent and get support. Looking forward to hearing more about your family. You must be surrounded with difficult child's from home and the job, then you have school to study them..oh my.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome aboard, Michelle.

    Some suggestions:

    1) Do a sig, like I have at the end of this post (and Kathie, above). It's a way to make it easier for you so you don't have to keep giving all the details every post (and get cramped hands!)

    2) Avoid using your real names or anything that could identify you - not that WE'RE dangerous, but confidentiality allows you to really vent here when you need to, without worrying that your child's teacher/doctor/neighbour is lurking and likely to use your words against you or your child. I know I was very glad to be able to really sound off here about some of the idiocy we were being put trough, and to also know that any suggestions being made wouldn't automatically be pre-empted by the "nasty people" being forewarned about what I was going to do about them/to them.

    3) Get a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It's brilliant for helping us cope with the difficult, apparently oppositional behaviour even if we're still not sure on diagnosis. It gives us a sense of direction, something we CAN do while we wait for doctors/therapists/teachers to get it right.

    Siblings will often fight, especially when close in age like your boys are. I went through purgatory with my girls, and they're almost 4 years apart.

    Something else for you to consider in the diagnostic alphabet soup, is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form. It can often be mistaken for other things like BiPolar (BP) or Tourette's. Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) is a classic finding in Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) (not always; just a lot). Have a look at the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on It's not officially diagnostic (you can't diagnose long-distance and not by yourself) but if you do the test on him and print out the result whatever the score then take it to the doctor, it can give them some idea of your areas of concern.

    Your son's head injury could be a factor, or it could be coincidence. You would need tests to determine this more closely. There could also be multiple factors - the injury plus something he was going to develop anyway.

    My difficult child 3 goes to a local drama class for kids with learning difficulties; a lot of his classmates have autism or Asperger's, some have no official diagnosis apart from unspecified learning disorder. A couple of kids have Downs, one has Prader-Willi.
    And one boy definitely has Asperger's while his sister is functionally autistic after a really serious brain injury sustained in a car accident when she was a toddler; she was in a coma for weeks, not expected to survive. Then the parents were told she'd never walk or talk. She's amazing, for a girl with most of one side of her brain just gone. Walks with a slight limp, has a lot of social problems but is amazing with what she can do for herself.
    But now her mother is wondering - what would she have been like without the brain injury? There seem to be signs that some of the girl's problems are independent of the brain injury, perhaps she was autistic before the accident. Maybe her recovery from the injury is more complete than doctors have realised, and what is seen now is significantly part of what she would have had anyway.

    It can only be conjecture, but it shows we have to be careful to avoid seeing everything necessarily as connected.

    Anyway, welcome. This is a soft place to land and a great place to vent.

  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just want to add my welcome Michelle! Glad you found us, sorry you needed to. You have truly found a soft place to land and will receive much support here. I second the recommendation on The Explosive Child.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Michelle, welcome. I'm glad you found us.

    In my experience, both ODD and CD (which by the way is typically reserved for the over-18 crowd) are not helpful dxes. They describe behaviors, but don't get at the root cause of those behaviors. Many childhood disorders, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, mood disorder and autistic spectrum disorders, can fuel oppositional behvaiors. Without knowing exactly what's going on with your boys, there's no way you can put all the appropriate interventions into place.

    Has Sebastian ever been evaluated for an autistic spectrum disorder?
    Has Tristan ever had a full neurological evaluation, including MRI and EEG?

    I third the recommendation of The Explosive Child.

    Again, welcome.
  6. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    I wanted to add my welcome as well. Great group of people are on board who are supportive, knowledgeable and have been there and done that. You definitely have your hands full at home and work. Wow!

    Read the Explosive Child by Ross Greene. Most of us have it and it helps tremendously when working with our special difficult child's.

    Great place to vent, others will be along. Welcome.
  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Hello I just wanted to add my welcome. I am in the middle of corraling my 2... so off and running!

    Tell us more and ask away!!! We are a good group of people.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome.
    So sad about your son's injury. Have you asked if his changed behavior has something to do with that?
    I agree that both ODD and CD are not helpful diagnosis. In fact, if anyone diagnosed such a young child with CD, I'd be heading for the hills to find another diagnostician. I like NeuroPsychs best, but most test 6-10 hours. Did this one do that? Frankly, I would want to check it out with another neuropsychologist's opinion. ODD rarely stands alone, but is usually caused by a different, bigger issue.
    Do you have any mood disorders or substance abuse on either side of the family tree? Do your children understand how to socialize and "get" social norms? Did either have any delays, obsessions, quirky behaviors? Kid #2 sounds a lot like a child who could have Aspergers Syndrome, even if he also has Tourtettes. I would want that looked at.
    Welcome again!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and welcome! this is an AMAZING place for help and support. We all blow off steam here so we can keep functioning in our daily lives. So there isn't judgement when you are tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, or just blow it. Mostly because we have ALL done it ourselves.

    The others have had good questions. I think I would be pursueing the possibility of a traumatic brain injury causing tristan's behavior. I certainly would get several opinions and then go with the doctor/opinion that my gut tells me fits best.

    My strongest piece of advice (besides sticking around here for the help and support) is to ALWAYS trust your instincts. If they tell you soemthing is not right with the diagnosis or treatment or whatever, then something is NOT RIGHT. Many of us have learned our biggest mistakes came when we ignored our instincts. We often have to really PUSH to find the real cause of the behavior - often against professionals who think we are over-reacting or emotional or whatever. We spend every day, every week with our kids. The "pros" spend 10 minutes or a couple of hours a year with them.

    So stick around, and trust yourself.

    Gentle hugs!
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Michelle!
  11. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Wanted to add my HI and WELCOME! Vent away anytime.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Michelle, Welcome!

    Marg beat me to it--I was going to recommend The Explosive Child.
    It's a great book and it will help you a lot.

    Yes, some of these kids have to stay on their medications. We all like to think it's just a temp thing and we can take them off in a few mo's, but that's pretty raire. Your middle son sounds like a handful, but at least you have some diagnosis's that help you figure him out, and can send you in certain directions for help.

    Your youngest is quite a confusing bundle. It's really hard to say whether the fall was a red herring or not. It does seem like a funny coincidence that the behaviours didn't begin until after the fall.

    Still, I can agree with-what Marg said, "It can only be conjecture, but it shows we have to be careful to avoid seeing everything necessarily as connected."
    It is SO hard to figure it all out.

    In reg to the kids fighting, on occasion, I would ground both of my kids if they were fighthing, no matter whose fault it was. If it was a specific item, instead of grounding the, I'd put the item in Time Out. (A stuffed animal, a computer printer, whatever, would get locked in my ofc.)
    easy child knew that difficult child had problems and that she couldn't react "normally" around him, at least not all the time. She knew she was supposed to not argue, that she was supposed to negotiate or change the subject, and she knew not to get into a screaming match.
    difficult child knew he wasn't supposed to bait his sister, go into her room, annoy her, etc. It seemed for a while like they fed off of one another.
    Threatening both of them with-punishment helped for a while, because it forced easy child to think outside the box and figure out how to work with-difficult child better. It also taught difficult child that easy child isn't really perfect, and then the two of them kind of teamed up against us, the parents, which was rather amusing, but predictable.
    I don't know if that would work for you.
  13. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Hi kind and lovely Mother,
    I just found this place myself and I am so happy to read about how well your children are doing in school and how much you are struggling with them as a parent elsewhere. I have one child and very recently had a terrible month where I had to ask for some help. Apparently when kids are doing well at school and not so much at home the teachers and team at school may not be concerned...but if you were to ask the district psycologist and the social worker for your district it maybe possible to get some in home therapy either through the DOE or DOH.
    In my opinion the quallity of our childrens developement is to important not to ask for the help after all some of what we are having trouble with are the sorts of things that sort out well with a behavour plan.
    Parenting is a proformance art and when the members have such challenges as you discribe or the realitive simplicity of my household what harm is there in getting outside input really?
    Also when our kids have this quirkie uniquenesses it is oour job to acquaint them with the type of people who can and will be available to help them through out thier lives as needed. I am looking at the next phase when college and all the challenges that will come with that for my ADHD son. I am hoping that the fact that he has established good relationships and learned that when one person isn't helpful find a new one who maybe will be his ticket to getting the help he needs on his own...or that he will continue to ask me to get it for him as he does now.
    When I did get a crissis intervention at the school over his recent inappropriate behavor with me (swearing and pushing) he was totally stoic for the first session, began to respond in the second and was engaged and willing to accept intensive family therapy in the third. He said afterward that he felt better and he did want to get the help.
    You have a few differant beings with each their own needs and perspectives...and I think you would save yourself alot of finding out by braille by getting someone to
    give you the tools that are available and which you can learn and pick up and in a context where your children will not be ganging up on you because they can.
    One of you...three of them.
    THis way you will have the tools and more knnowledge about what opitions to look intoo and the person helping you will not be advising you in general...they can
    enjoy the smbiance of your world and help you to take the group in hand and oh what a relief!
    I hope that you are in the care of a specialist for your children taking medications and that you are talking with either that one or the nurse readily over the behavour issues. THree days is a long time to be upset at that age and I do not think you need to guess if you are in the right care...just call and ask. No medical person is going to ignor such if you call.
    Glade to read about your situation. Hope to read about a terrific and unexspected outcome later.
  14. 1dayatatime

    1dayatatime New Member

    Thank you for the welcome and suggestions. I created a signature :D.

    I am pretty sure that S is not on the Autistic Spectrum. He is very engaging socially and his only delay is slight dysgraphia. He had speech problems early on but they were resolved with the insertion of ear tubes. I did go on and I completed the assessment in which he scored at "37".

    I did recently get a copy of "The Explosive Child" after reading many recommendations for it. I have to honestly say I am still "digesting" the philosophy of the book. I also have a husband who would *never* be able to follow the program.

    With regards to T - the neuropsychologist's explanation was that the injury was on the left side of the brain and aggression is controlled by the right side of the brain ?? Within a month's time T had the fall, a month later had a severe asthma attack which ended him back in the PICU and then a day after his discharge he started school for the first time. So there was a lot going on there. I have now way of knowing what really triggered it. All I know is that if he misses just one dose of his medicine you can tell.

  15. 1dayatatime

    1dayatatime New Member

    S had a full evaluation by a local special needs school. This is where he was given the Sensory Modulation diagnosis. Although he has some symptoms that are found to be comorbid - he just doesn't have the social issues.

    T - has never had an MRI or EEG. After his fall he had several CT scans. His neurological consults have all been interviews.

    I have "The Explosive Child" just not sure what I think of it yet. Thanks for the recommendation.

  16. 1dayatatime

    1dayatatime New Member

    Thanks for your response and welcome!

    The neuropsychologist only did one short computer test to check for impulsiveness. T definitely exhibits short attention span and impulsiveness at home but not at school. I didn't know that 6 to 10 hrs of testing was standard. I may have to look into a second opinion.

    We have two very disordered families - myself included. I have struggled with- anxiety and depression. My mother although not officially diagnosed may be bipolar and is definitely Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). My husband's maternal aunt is bipolar. My father is an recovering alcohol and drug addict.

    My kids are actually very good at socializing. They both have a lot of friends at school.

    S - has some quirky behaviors. He is not a fan of clothes - they come off as soon as he gets home. When he does wear clothes he would prefer to wear the same clothes over and over again. He has a couple tics and has exhibits some "OCDish" behaviors - sometimes things HAVE to be in a certain order - this has gotten better over time. No obsessions and no other delays except for slight dygraphia. In fact he had the highest reading level in his class last year.

  17. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hi and welcome to the board. I have nothing to add to what the others suggested. You'll find lots of support here.

    We do have another 1 Day At a Time, though, and I'm wondering if it could become confusing?
  18. 1dayatatime

    1dayatatime New Member

    Thank you for the welcome and advice.

    I have been trying to follow my gut. Although I did get a bit of a surprise recently. I felt that S didn't really need the Abilify that was prescribed. After having received a lot of sessions of Occupational Therapist (OT) I decided to wean him off. OMG - I couldn't believe the child that emerged. He truly appeared to be ODD - a diagnosis I never bought into. So I have had to come to the realization that there is more than just Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) that is effecting him.