Help with-physical aggression

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiggles77, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Wiggles77

    Wiggles77 Guest

    Hi again...

    This will be my 3rd post on my easy child/difficult child... 6 year old not diagnosed with anything but has extreme behavior issues. This started last year in Kindergarten, mostly in school. Summer was good and now that school is in session I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Problem is, since summer, my child has started to become physical with me. He used to be purely verbal but is now moving on. This is not often (no more than 2-3 times a month?) If I try to stop him from doing something (talking back or going slow), and he gets angry with me, he becomes extremely physical. He will hit me, yell mean words at me, pinch/squeeze me, etc. When I try to leave the situation he will block me... either with his body/hands, or by bringing over a chair or laundry basket.

    He won't go to time out... never has, ever since he has a toddler. I used to put toys on time out and that worked for a few years, but now he just gets a chair and takes them off on time out.

    I try telling him to take a minute away from me and he yells "no, i am staying RIGHT here!". If I try to take a time out by going into the other room and shut the door, he will bang on the door, kick it, throw things at it... all the time yelling really mean things to me.

    TOday his after school care called me at work to come and pick him up because for the first time he did this to the director... squeezed the director's throat after he got in trouble for something. And for 1+ hour said mean things to him and would not listen.

    I am at a complete loss at what to do. I try reasoning with him and he won't listen. Or tells me he will stop when I give back whatever I might have taken away (usually a toy or privilege).

    What has worked the past 2 times was that I took him into a big bear hug and kept on telling him I loved him. This is the only thing that calms him down. It is the only thing that brings tears to his eyes these days. I don't even know if I should be doing this... is this giving in? Shouldn't I be stronger with him?

    I don't know what to do. Don't want him turning into a sociopath. But when he threatens day care workers physically i just dont know. He is only 6! He tells me they can't tell him what to do because they are "just humans" like him. That "humans cant tell other humans what to do". I try explaining that they are special humans who have a job to watch and direct children... but he denies that they should be listened to because they are mean to him? Mean because they are trying to stop him from doing things such as bumping other children?

  2. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I sooooooo feel your pain. Sounds just like my son. I found this board in 2007 when my son was in Kindergarten. He just started 3rd grade and I am back (been away for a long long time) to get some info and find support. I don't have much to offer, but just wanted to say hi and I'm sure others will be along soon to provide you with some great advice and support.

    Hang in there!
  3. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member


    I wish you could wiggle right out of this predicament!

    Since he likes the big bear hug, I am thinking sensory issues, that his nervous system is completely disorganized. Has he had on Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation (occupational therapy)? With all his physicality -- it seems to be always a "squeezing" type motion -- hitting, pinching, bumping, banging, kicking, throwing, squeezing the throat of the director. Some kids need that "deep pressure" to stay organized. He seems to be seeking this specific type of input. Can he be given something else to squeeze?

    An official Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment would be best, also "The Out-of-Sync Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz (not sure about spelling of last name) is a classic in the sensory world.

    I have to say I think the director could have been a little more creative than sending him home. Sensory issues have been around for a long time and he's only six.


    P.S. My younger son is like that. He used to ram himself into walls to get himself organized. He now has a beanbag chair that he finds very calming, also a weighted blanket.

    HTH some -- I don't think it's all of the challenges your son is facing, but I do believe it's a part of them.
  4. Wiggles77

    Wiggles77 Guest

    Jules71: thanks for the kind note... welcome back... we will get there together! :)

    Barneysmom/Jo: Thanks for the advice! Actually, I had looked into sensory issues about a year ago when all the school issues started. I focused on the auditory side of things though. After you "mentioned" it I looked this up again... and he fits alot of the sensory seeking - Proprioceptive... did I mention that anytime, ANYTIME we go to a store he has to push a grocery cart? Even if we are only getting 1 item... he will basically demand (in a nice way) that he gets to push that Thought it was just a quirk but maybe I will look into this some more.

    Thanks ladies!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why don't you have him evaluated?
  6. This sounds to be so much like my situation also. Our difficult child even younger however, only turning 5 and we are dealing with the same things. He to believes he is the only to make rules that no one else has the right to tell him what to do. He is also very physically aggressive, that has become gradually worse over the past year. He too bites, punches, pinches both myself and his siblings. (and now just recently is getting to that point with husband) We are only in the second week of school (only his 3rd day) and already we are being contact by the school as his behavior has became 10x worse since the end of the school year last yr. He is only just starting Sr Kdg and already they don't know how to handle him. All ready been warned for inappropriate wrestling, ran away, refuses to sit on the bus and has came home soaking wet everyday (can't stay out of puddles or any water). He too always believes someone else did something to deserve the bite/pinch/hit/etc. even if we seen it all happen and no one did anything. We are waiting for testing (up to another 4 month wait), we have did or tried I should say everything.... and I too am lost (and feeling alone) and I wanted to make sure you don't feel alone, I wish I could give you more help but hopefully knowing you atleast know someone else going through the sames things you can get some comfort......
  7. Wiggles77

    Wiggles77 Guest

    Midwestmom: I would like to... don't think it is covered by my insurance, which means I would have to pay for it out of pocket. That is the same thing with Auditory Processing... I would like to have him tested for that BUT my insurance does not cover it... :C

    Also, at this point, everyone (school, pediatrician, my family) thinks this is purely a behavior management thing. Which of course keeps me thinking that I have done something wrong in all this... maybe he is just a quirky, strong willed kid who has suffered at my bad parenting? What I don't get is the total disrepect for authority... and it is only occasional, not all the time... and the pure stubborness of not listening to anyone. It is like he gets into this zone where he is just angry at a person and nothing anyone can say about it helps.

    Justtotallyspent: THANKYOU. I feel your pain and appreciate the solidarity! You say your son is being tested in 4 months... do you mind me asking for what?
  8. He will be tested for add/adhd/odd/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). We are currently calling everyone we know of to get this moved up as his behavior has increased so much over the 3 months. We are too in the same boat that we have to pay out-of-pocket for any more specific testing and it is not option for us at this time (the expense is too great). I too always blame myself in that how I deal with causes more problems. I have started counselling for myself, and even tho I have been explained repeatedly that it is no ones fault it is nature to blame one's self. We cannot talk to our difficult child when he gets locked into something, we have just had to turn to allowing him to go to his room (which is sparcely decorated) due to his tendancies to distroy things and allow him to finish (often can be 1hr). Any type of interaction well only escalate things. We will stop him if he could cause harm to himself like jumping off bed (floor isnt carpeted) or trying to open window, but he will just excalate his behavior until he decides he has had enough and then it will be like it has never happened ( I truly believe sometimes he doesn't remember what just happened).
  9. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    (snipped above by me)

    It is sooooooo hard when everyone around you thinks it's your fault. It is NOT your fault. The people on this board understand that. I used to feel the same way. My friends still don't get it. Sometimes my husband doesn't get it. My Mom does for the most part, so I get a lot of support from her. My in-laws don't get it. It's tough!

    Just hang in there and keep doing what you're doing to try to get help.

    The part you wrote about your child having to always push the cart at the grocery store - made me remember what was helping a little for us when my difficult child was in Kindergarten. The resource people at his school would pull him out of class at times to do "heavy work". They would have him do jobs where he was pushing, pulling, moving things. It helped get his aggression and energy out. For us, sports (non-competitive) help tremendously. The busier we can keep him physically, the better his behavior is.

    I also like what you said about putting his toys in time out. That is very creative. Our difficult child would never stay in time out either. I always think of shows like Dr. Phil or Super Nanny and always imagine them saying you have to keep putting them back in TO over and over and over and over. Ya know what - that would NEVER work for us. He is relentless and will NEVER give up - ever. It is exhausting to say the least.
  10. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    I think that the theory about "purely a behavior management thing" is just wrong -- we've all heard it and Wiggles it's just blah blah blah.

    You can request an IEP for him which will include testing, and by law the school has to provide this within 6o days of your written request. Don't let them blow you off or make you feel guilty -- this includes your pediatrician and your family. You know in your heart and gut what is going on.

    hang in there

  11. Jena

    Jena New Member


    hi, sorry for what your going thru and barneys mom is soooo right. we've all been there it's basically your fault bs! now listen i'll admit that i as a parent can always learn better techniques on how to handle my child and am always open to new info or resources or being taught as i'm sure many of us are. yet at the same time with-that being said no school or teacher should ever lable it a behavior problem especially a kid with whom has yet to receive evaluations.

    i know what you mean about insurance, we had to pay a fortune for our neuropsychologist testing. all evaluations are more and more cash payment these days as well as therapists i'm finding. can you ask the school to do testing? mine did that for my difficult child. not always the best testing. also try going thru insurance to find therapist and alot of times they can do testing and will once they get to know the kid and have a repoir with you. another loop i found to get out of formalized testing evaluations in office. they often use same critieria for testing just with-o the huge cash payment

    good luck!! hang in there.
  12. Wiggles77

    Wiggles77 Guest

    thanks again for the advice, guys!

    Last March when he was in Kindergarten, I DID submit the formal written request for testing. This was done through the district's Special Education office. It was forwarded on to the school psychiatrist who DENIED it. Not DENY forever... just temporarily hold off... her official reason was because she felt, based on the teacher's observations, that this needed to be approached via behavior management first. The teacher's argument was that he could not possibly have a "learning disability" because he was one of her top academic performers.

    Anyhow... I had planned on following up on this at the beginning of this year, but believe it or not my son has been doing an excellent job in first grade (KNOCK ON WOOD). He seems to like and listen to his teacher (KNOCK ON WOOD). She is very structured and keeps her class very quiet which I think is good for my son.

    So the problem currently is in after school care... where things are loud and unorganized and some of the kids really mean... my son is just not succeeding there. Hmph.

    I am almost positive the school won't start evaluations based on the problems he is having? After school care is not part of the school but run by a 3rd party...

    Anyways 1 bit of good news, after this string I contacted my son's pediatrition and she has referred him to Kaiser's Occupational Therapist (OT) department for an evaluation. I can at least get that part cleared away. Baby steps, right? :)
  13. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Nice going. I learned a huge amount from both my sons' Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluations. Knowledge about sensory issues lasts a lifetime, grade by grade, and it's an essential item for your toolbox.

    I have sensory issues too -- it's great to know how to manage them! I love to "borrow" my son's weighted blanket. "Mom, did you take my blanket again?"

  14. Like your difficult child, my son did very well in 1st grade, too, with a structured, firm teacher. The other two years, Kindergarden and now 2nd grade, however are another story because the teachers are not always so firm. I wish we could hand pick them. It does appear that with very structured, firm teachers my difficult child does well like yours. However, you can't guarantee that type of teacher every year. With a less firm and structured teacher the behavioral problems become very evident (even the school counselor vouches for this change with the teacher types my son has had). Also, over this past summer in camp he wasn't in a structured, firm environment and the behavioral issues were more evident, too.

    The school system sounds very uninterested and/or uninformed. Luickly my difficult child's school is working with me and I hope you'll find some success with your school, too. My difficult child (7) was also a top level academic performer, but his defiant behavior has been a huge issue that is most evident without structure. I did pay for psychiatric testing and got the confirmed ADHD with ODD diagnosis from 2 doctors. Since this past summer and the beginning of this year with this new teacher, my difficult child is continually getting worse. Now we are in weekly counseling and considering medications. I also read all of the parenting books you will find people post here. Many are very helpful, but each case is different. What works with my difficult child one day may not work the next.

    I want to encourage you to stand your ground with the testing and the school. Only you know what is right for your child, and you may just have to stay all over them to get your child what difficult child needs. You are the advocate.
  15. Wiggles77

    Wiggles77 Guest

    so, yeah...

    crazy child striked again tonight. Picked him up from after school care and he was in a BAADDD mood. Took him 20 minutes (and me crying in school parking lot) to get him into the car. Got home and took him another 30 minutes to come inside from the car.

    For 2 hours he was upset with me for various things... but showed his anger by punching me and throwing grass & dirt at me. And oh yeah dirty laundry. And mean names such as "ugliest mommy" "I hate you" "freaky" Stupid. I kept on locking myself in bathroom (we live in 1 bedroom) until I heard him calm down but would come out and he would start all over. Wasn't until I told him bedtime was approaching and we were not going to have time to read books that he calmed down (funny how they think).

    What I really don't get is him not showing any respect for authority. He thinks he can control anything. Like when I told him he had lost his tv privileges for the weekend he tells me he is just going to turn on the tv anyway. Or this morning I told him to put away his breakfast dish he told me we were not leaving the house until I (!) did it. Why is he so bossy? Why does he think he can control adults? He does this to the after school director at school, too.

    Weird thing is, I left his father when I was 5 months pregnant... showing similar tendencies... verbal abuse and smashing holes in tables and threatening me... I have him again in miniature form.

    Do you guys have any tips for reacting to this violence? At this point I would take ALL suggestions... today his hitting me got so bad I told him if he hit me 1 more time I would call police. It worked today but he is so curious about things I am afraid next time it will not work (he would do it just to see what a jail looked like).
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Just had to add my 2 cents worth--it is SO irritating when people say it's totally behavioral. These kids are wired differently. Yes, their behavior can be off the charts. But it is NOT bad parenting. They can take your kid for a month and then tell you how good they were at parenting, right?
  17. Rannveig

    Rannveig Member

    Sending sympathy, Wiggles, as even the tiny bit of that sort of behavior I've seen from my daughter totally flummoxed me. It's so hard to know what to do, and other people think they have a clue but really don't. I wonder if you could ask this good teacher your son has to give you some pointers on how she manages her classroom that maybe would work at home as well. I just really hate the image of you having to lock yourself in a room to get away from your son; we have to find a way to stop this! Also, could you have a girlfriend spend a few nights at your place and observe? Maybe an outsider like that could make some objective observations about the things that seem to set your son off and help you alter the environmental stimuli that seem to be a problem for him. If you can just somehow modify his behavior a bit until you can get a diagnosis through some testing...I'd feel so relieved for you! You shouldn't have to have it so rough in your own home.

    By the way, I've never in my life used time outs with my kids. I could never imagine they would work. I know that others swear by them, but I always imagined my kids reacting like your son, i.e. being like, "Yeah, you and what army are gonna make me?!" Hopefully in due course you and some medical professionals can find a way to channel your son's strength of will constructively.

    Take care, Ranny