Hello, Noob here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by chipotle, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. chipotle

    chipotle New Member

    Hello my name is Samantha and I have a 8 year old that was diagnosed with ADHD when he was three. we are having a terrible time with him and hopefully this forum can give us some hope. Here is what I was going through last year and it is still the same. To add to this he is very defiant. No matter what we ask him or tell him to do he simply refuses. He argues with everyone on any subject and has become violent. Instead of arguing he has for the last few days just started hitting, pushing and kicking the other kids in the house. I am wondering what is going on. I am starting to feel he has more than adhd, maybe aspergers and ODD or Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). Any in sight would be great.
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Hi and welcome :)

    I'm sorry you are having such a hard time of it. It does sound a bit like a roller coaster with him and defiance to an extent also misinterperting ( ican't spell lol) alot of what you say.

    Have you had anymore evaluations done since the diagnosis when he was 3? Is he currently in therapy at all? On any medications? You can add a signature at the bottom of your page so that we can get to know you better.

    Does he show any anxiety at all i was wondering? Also does he sleep well at night, or is a continuous fight with hyperactivity? Does he stay asleep?

    You said he cannot seem to maintain eye contact? Does he have sensitivity to light at all, or to materials certain clothing? Did he have any speech delays younger at all? Does he like certain foods, and has a very limited diet?

    Sorry so many questions. I read your post and it sounds like my good friends daughter who is in the process of having a evaluation done for her.

    welcome again :)
  3. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    don't have much advice to give, just wanted to say and add my "WELCOME TO THE BOARD" message.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    If she wasn't evaluated since she was three, it's probably time for a re-evaluation, and I'd see a neuropsychologist. She sounds like it's more than ADHD to me. I would turn a special eye to high functioning autism. She really sounds like she could be a typical spectrum kid. Here's an online test you can take to see if she fits. The smelling her hand, poor eye contact, and playing mostly with younger kids and sometimes being in her own world really fit the bill. Here ya go:
    Have you thought about atustic spectrum disorder? I'm not a neuropsychologist, but I have an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child...
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Mwm, it's her son she's having trouble with, not a daughter.

    I saw this thread early on but it's busy here right now, this has been my first chance to come back and give this the attention it needs.

    Samantha, welcome to the site. We can help, so stick around, read up on other threads, do some research, keep us informed and share with us. There are answers, but even before there are answers for you, there can be ways to cope. Sometimes you don't need answers, in order to bring about some quick, positive change.

    First - I think you are right to be concerned that this could be more than ADHD. Whether it is or not, isn't within our capability here. It would have to be diagnosed by the appropriate health professional. However, we CAN tell you what we think, so that you have a possible sense of direction. Just bear in mind, we are not health professionals, we are just parents in similar situation to you.

    While waiting for a more thorough evaluation, I strongly recommend you get your hands on "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. I'm currently re-reading this, finding more stuff I'd forgotten. So although I would have told you to read the book anyway, I am particularly emphatic because reading your example is like reading a slab of this book, right before he tells you how to view the situation and what the underlying problems are. Not that he diagnoses - what he in fact does, is says that in a wide range of learning problems or disorders, kids are delayed in development in certain social areas and certain self-management areas and it is this lack of development that is leading to the behaviour problems, rather than the child being defiant purely to annoy us. A good line from the book - "emotional illiteracy" - describes just why these kids are such a behaviour problem in ways which are made worse when we get exasperated with them instead of stopping, thinking, and finding another way to help them.

    Now, looking at your examples:

    He does not hear what I am saying here are some examples:
    Me: I dont like the way you are treating me
    Him: Well if you dont like me I hate you.
    Me: I did not say I dont like you. I said I dont like the way you are treating me.
    Him: See you just said you dont like me."

    I don't think he is deliberately misunderstanding, he really isn't 'hearing' you right. It COULD be a physical hearing problem, or it could be an inattention problem. Or even both. The first step is to double-check that his hearing is OK. It can be surprising, just how bad a kid's hearing can be, yet how well the kid hides it (without meaning to be deceptive).
    The inattention is the most likely reason, but there is also a chance that he may have a language-based problem. Frankly, if he is having difficulty with inattention this could even flow on to leading to some mild language-based delays in comprehension, so if inattention is likely (as with the ADHD diagnosis) then I would focus also on finding ways to deal with the inattention problem. medications, for example - if he's already on medications, the dose may be insufficient. Or if he's on medications but these problems are happening at the end of the day, then you need to take the inattention problem into account when you deal with him (very frustrating, but he won't be doing this on purpose).

    "Another time: The kids were watching a movie in the other room, he was getting a bit hyper.
    Me: Trevor please come out and watch TV with me for a few minutes until you calm down. (he walks into the kitchen and sits down)
    Me: (confused) Trevor what are you doing?
    Him: You told me to come out here and sit here
    Me : No I said to watch tv with me for a few minutes
    Him no you didnt you said to sit here
    Me: No I didnt but anyway you can watch tv with me
    Few minutes later
    Him Why cant I watch tv with you
    Me: You can I said you can
    Him: No you said to sit here and not watch tv.
    This conversation went on for 5 more minutes until I gave up and stopped discussing it."

    Again, he seems to have misheard you. ALso, when you try to coccect the misunderstanding, he has already decided that what he beleives, is what has happened. The more you try to convince him otherwise, the more you are challenging him and his faith in his own observations. He has to have SOMETHING about himself that he trusts, and so is determined to insist he is correct. Dr Greene refers to something similar to this as 'reflex negativity' - the child who responds to "Yes, it is," with an automatic, "No, it isn't." It's an instant protective reaction. And the more you try to control it with strictness, the worse it will get. It becomes a tug of war, and sometimes the best way to end a tug of war game is to let go of the rope. Don't engage. Instead, simply say, "I'm sorry you thought that's what I said. It's certainly not what I intended. Now let's start over."
    In your above example, you pulled him out to stop escalation of behaviour. You were being proactive. but it began to backfire when he was increasingly anxious over what he thought you had said. WHat you probably needed to do was to stop the discussion (it was just going back and forth, like a tennis game) and get back to the main issues, which were, "come here with me, it's not a punishment but simply a change of scenery."
    There's nothing wrong with saying sorry to your child, even if it's not your fault, as long as you're not constantly apologising for things which are not a problem. For example, it's OK to say, "I'm sorry you felt that way," but NOT OK to keep saying a blanket, "I'm sorry." The former is directed, logical and sorts out misunderstandings. The latter is grovelling, attention-seeking, annoying, time-consuming and counter-productive. (I'm a bit touchy on this subject at the moment - long story!)

    Trying to send him on time out is likely to cause similar problems - he sounds like, in general, he is having great difficulty making any transition form what HE is doing, to what anyoone else wants him to do. Time out is yet another transition. I do think you would benefit from investigating this further and finding ways to begin to gently teach him how to transition. A lot of us I'm sure would be happy to help there, we've been there. It's been a huge issue in our household, we've made great progress and have developed some ways. It's a matter of not clashing heads over it, but instead thinking laterally and leading him, rather than dragging him or pushing him.

    "A few nights after many chances I have sent him to bed. He becomes possessed, yelling screaming crying for another chance. He will then for hours go between yelling and crying to quietly talking to himself."

    I think you need to read the book. You have a lot of re-thinking to do, because it seems to me you're still trying to use conventional good parenting techniques on him, but they're just not working. You need to change mind-set, finding the lateral thinking path that will work better in your particular case. PLease note, I am not saying you're a bad parent - far from it. If anything, you're probbbably too good, especiallywhen it comes to being strict, consistent, using rewards/unishment to try to train him. But it's not working, because for some kids it only makes them worse. They need a different way. The book helps.

    "His eye contact is horrible he can sometimes keep it."

    You need to harden yourself, at least as far as reacting to this is concerned. You could try encouraging him to communicate verbally, but he needs to feel free to say what he wants without being chided for "being rude". Getting him to commuicate is more important; you react to the content of what he says and worth WITH him to help him understand, rather than get upset with him. If he says to you, "I'm angry with you," you say to him, "I'm sorry you're angry. Why? Let's work on this."
    If he is angry because you asked him to go to bed (because it's bedtime) then you need to still make it clear, you were doing your job as parent; ask him how better you could do your job, and work with him on this. Chances are when he stops to really use his head about it, he will back down and accept you were right. But he needs to learn how to think rationally, which thse kids just can't do well when tey get angry and frustrated.

    Another good Ross Greene quote -
    "Goal number two - think clearly in the midst of frustration.

    Goal number one - stay calm enough to achieve goal number two."

    "He over reacts to everything if we tell him no on something he goes into a rage throwing himself on the floor or against the wall yelling and screaming and saying mean things, or he will begin to throw things around. Everything and anything will start a fit.
    Everything is an argument! I mean everything with everyone!"

    THese are classic signs of a kid who is easily frustrated but also cannot effectively control orcommunicate that frustration. He needs to find better ways to communicate it and then to learn to control it. See my above quote about goals.

    "He can not tie his shoes no matter how many times we show him (this may be normal kid though)."

    Some ADHD kids (also other related conditions) the kid seems to be physically unco. Don't force him too hard - the kid is likely to be motivated to give you what you want, and he knows what you want - he just can't comply because he isn't yet capable of it. Trying to teach him by increasing his motivation through reward and punishment isn't gonig to make this work any faster, but will only make him more frustrated and more likely to rage.

    "You can tell him something a million times and he just wont get it.
    When we put him on time out it will be for 5 minutes starting when he is quiet. He will and has carried on for hours screaming that he will be there forever and ever, no matter how many times we tell him when he is quiet he can get up he carried on for hours."

    Again, it all fits. But it can be improved, even before you get any good medical answers. read the book (sorry to sound like a broken record!)

    "He can read and reads well. He can add small numbers. He is not stupid, he is actually very smart. Sometimes he sounds so intellegent and others he just seems out there, in his own world. Heplayes better with younger children than he does older or of his own age.

    He is smelling everything, even if he touches something he has to smell his hands. This is anywhere we are.
    He constantly plays in his hair and ***** his tounge (sp?)."

    All very interesting, and all possibly indicative of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form being a worthwhile line of enquiry. Do visit www.childbrain.com and look for their Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. We can't use it to diagnose, but regardless of results, printing it out and handing a copy to the doctor could indicate where your concerns are lying. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) isn't necessarily bad news, either - we've become increasingly grateful for the positive aspecgts of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in our kids; the honesty (apart from trying to say, "I didn't do it", they tend to not be creative with lies and are in fact bad at it), the loyalty, the loving nature (aprt from the temper tantrum "I hate you" which you should never take on board anyway). The intelligence, the intense focus on topics they're interested in. So many things.

    "He can get into trouble for something and do it an hour later, no matter how many times he is talked to or punished for it he wont stop doing it. He acts like he is being killed if you touch him when he is in a fit. (somtimes I have to hold his arms to make eye contact to tell him something) he yells screams says ouch like you are hurting him. When he is not in a fit or upset he does not react to touch this way."

    He sounds like he could have sensory issues - how is he with food? Does he have certain funny quirks over certain foods? Or food textures? WHat about clothing? difficult child 1 used to be shocking when it came to certain shirts and the labels inside the collar. Also my other kids were finicky about wearing wool next to their skins. easy child 2/difficult child 2 won't even wear it unless she has at leasy two thick layers of clothing underneath, and then will complain if her hand touches it.

    From your description, it sounds like he just isn't ready to learn the things you're trying to teach him.
    What is it he gets into trouble for doing, that he repeats an hour later? That sounds like either something he has no control over, or something he simply isn't learning. Some behaviours you're trying to punish, could be behaviours he can't control. For example, if you punish him for getting upset and it's not stopping him getting upset again later, then chances are, he simply isn't able to control it. He may understand it's not acceptable, but when he loses his temper what he knows is right or wrong simply goes out the window.

    I've used the analogy before - sometimes it's like punishing a blind kid for failing to copy accurately from the blackboard.

    People will say, "But he's so bright - what do you mean, he's not able to understand this?"
    There can be a huge difference between a kid who has an encyclopedic knowledge of a lot of topics, and a kid who can 'read' people well and who is socially competent, astute, able to discuss the fine detail of human interactions in all their subtleties. Think of a school comprehension exercise, where a kid reads a piece of text and then answers the questions. A kid like difficult child 3, for example, can answer questions such as "What did Jack say when he saw the pig?" because he is skilled at skimming the text for keywords ("Jack", "pig") and reading just that sentence to basically read the information loudly broadcast openly in the text. But if the question is something like, "What do you think Jack felt when he saw the pig fly past his window? Explain in your own words" then he is totally lost. If the text doesn't specifically say, "Jack felt astonished, and showed it by raising his eyebrows", then difficult child 3 cannot answer such a question.
    In difficult child 3's case, we know that the reason for this is his autism. However, as he gets older and his brain begins to mature a little bit more, we are able to teach him how to read subtle social cues.
    difficult child 1 had even more severe problems with this sort of text analysis, but we were able to help him, with intense support from his teachers, to get a good pass in his final matriculation exams. However, his brain had to be ready to tackle the task.

    A very bright child can still lag behind his peers in certain areas. If you do a psychometricassessment on a kid and look at the sub-scores, a kid with learning problems will have big gaps between different sub-scores. The areas of high score and the areas fo low score will help identify the specific learning problem. You can then begin to do remedial work on the low score areas. A psychometric test is only a guide, it is not hard and fast. You CAN drastically change your score, simply be learning how to do the tasks required. They really are greatly over-rated, but they have their uses when not over-used and when trying to help a child with learning problems. Just don't let yourself be too influenced by the score, it's very easy to get a lower score than you really should.

    Anyway, that's it just to get you started.

    He sounds like a great kid, underneath it all. He also sounds like he wants to make you happy and wants to be seen as good, but probably at the moment is incredibly frustrated by not understanding what is going on and why it sometimes seems just too difficult.

    So, welcome aboard, sorry you need to be but glad we're here for you.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Marg, oh. LOL :)
    I get overly excited when I type a response, I guess, and forgot the gender of the child. Trevor would be a male! Duh!