Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dmf, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. dmf

    dmf New Member

    I am new here and have never infact been on any forum.
    I have 2 kids (boys) aged 8 and 2. 8 yr old has been diagnosed ADHD/ODD borderline CD although I honestly doubt if he is borderline.
    I dont know what to do with him or for him. Everyday it is a battle to get ready for school, to do homework, to do anything. And if the arguing wasn't already getting to me then there is the physical aspect of it all. He may only be 8, but he is very tall and strong for his age (and I am not shrinking violet) so when he is grabbing onto me and hitting, kicking etc it hurts.
    I know I am rambling and I apologise to anyone reading this, but I just honestly am at the end of my rope. I have taken everything (almost) out of his room including belts incase he gets the idea to do something silly, the psychiatric told me to put a lock on his door and the paed gave me tablets to give him to help him calm down. I have done all this, but what happens when he wont take his medications and I have a 2 yr old he is threatening.
    Please help me. I am lost and starting to get afraid of the outcome.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    Do you know the name of the medications the doctor gave you? Are they making things better or worse?

    Again, welcome.
  3. wintak

    wintak New Member

    welcome. I'm not in Australia, but I have been told when difficult child is threatening or I fear for the safety of my younger two (5 and 3) to call 911 (fire/police dept). While I have not done that yet, I just can't bring myself to do it, is something I am getting very close to doing. Is there something like that you can call when he is threatening the safety of the family (you, included?)
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can you give us more of a background on your he was as an infant, toddler, etc. Any speech or motor delays? How does he interact with his same age peers? Did he suffer any trauma in his young life?

    Marg is from Austrailia and a great source of information. I'm sure she'll check in :)
  5. dmf

    dmf New Member

    thanks for the welcomes ladies.
    Ok, childhood milestones were normal. Speech was delayed but has definately caught up now. He is tall for his age but nothing medically wrong. He has always been a bit of a 'handful' but so is his dad :) (I think hubby is undiagnosed ADHD).
    We moved a few times when he was young and he has been hospitalised with asthma and a few other little bits and pieces when he was young, but nothing of late.
    He was 6.5yrs when his brother was born and he was such a lovely, caring beautiful big brother before and after he was born. we had some ups and downs, but the real problems only started once we moved into our own place in QLD. he seemed really happy and settled and had made friends at school and was doing really well.....and then the wheels seemed to fall off.
    since xmas we have had holes in walls, screens, clothes, self haircuts, hitting, kicking, biting, punching, threats to me and only last week threats to his brother.
    We have been given dexamphetamine for the ADHD and Catapres to help with the afternoon moods. also have been told to put a lock on his door for when behaviour starts.
    i am so lost at the moment. his dad works long hours and is often not home to witness the outbursts. threats, bribes, nothing seems to work. i have even threatened calling the police and after the disbelief he didnt care.
  6. dmf

    dmf New Member

    also, how to i learn all the acronyms??
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I am very far from being an expert, but it seems to me highly unusual (if not unheard of?) for there to be basically no problems until age 6 and then suddenly everything starts breaking down... Everything I have read, heard, experienced about ADHD seems to show that it manifests from the off, one way or another. Others may know better and advise accordingly. But is it at all conceivable that what happened was related to things other than a disorder? And if he DOESN'T have ADHD, then presumably these medications he is on would be damaging and destructive to him?? How comfortable are you with the diagnosis and who gave it?
  8. dmf

    dmf New Member

    Honestly Malika, I dont know. My brother is ADHD so am aware of the symptoms and have always thought he was but his dad is VERY against any form of diagnosis or medication for children (recently changed) so I have been unable to have anything done before now.
    The paed we have been seeing is apparently the best in the state and is director of or head of a bunch of things here. He is also seen by friends of friends who are happy with him.
    My son does ok at school which makes it more confusing. The teachers at school seem to think that he is holding himself so tightly wound at school that when he gets home it all unravels and that is when it all goes to hell
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I think a lot of things do "appear" when a child reaches elementary school. Many of the behaviors are discounted as "normal, if yet extreme" and many parents don't give it a 2nd thought until they "see" it in the classroom environment. A parent may have a strong willed child and not even think there is any medical reason for it. Society sends the message that if your child doesn't behave than you as a parent are doing something wrong. So, if you do not have experience with kids with ADHD or other issues, you may not recognize the added need for assistance.

    My difficult child has been diagnosed with ADHD. It did not "appear" until he was 12 years old. He was the perfect child until his anxiety attack and all behaviors broke loose. There was no sign that he had any issues until he was 11 1/2 years old. When he started falling apart, we were all baffled.

    The ADHD was diagnosed from a neuro psychiatric exam. The doctor stated it was a unique form (for lack of better words). difficult child seemed to be super focused at times and than at other times very distracted almost like one extreme of nothing to the other extreme of definitaly having ADHD.

    I think many kids may not get diagnosed until maybe 5th - 9th grades when school becomes harder. So many of these kids are very smart and can work around/through their difficulties without parents seeing them struggle. Too bad it is so hard for older kids to get the help they want since many middle school teachers would rather write the student off as lazy or uninterested. There really needs to be a push into helping the older kids who have done well in elementary school and start to struggle in middle school - there just may be ADHD or something else going on that they hid well in elementary school.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi, Deb. Another Aussie here, I'm from Sydney and a long-termer on the site.

    What I have found here - this mob have given me a lot more confidence to take certain steps over the years as well as the knowledge of what to ask for. Most of the members here are from the US, with a scattering of others from around the world, so a lot of the advice is US in flavour. However, much of it still is a good fit. We have resources they don't, and vice versa.

    Calling the police or threatening to - unless you can follow through and actually do it, don't make the threat. We teach our kids to not be afraid of the police, to be prepared to call the police themselves if they need to, so it should never be used as an empty threat. I would suggest you make a discreet call to the police and ask their advice - what should you do in the event of X, Y or Z? You might find a useful contact in the local cop shop who could be of assistance. Or there might be a program they can get your son involved in.

    We had to call the cops when difficult child 3 got attacked in the local playground one afternoon. The kids attacking him were all younger, and it had been part of an ongoing neighbourhood general harassment for ages. Because the kids were all under 10 years old, no charges could be laid. But crikey, did they put the fear of God into those kids! Some of them stopped harassing difficult child 3 permanently. Others kept it up but had no backing from their mates. Other kids were moved to different schools, banned from playing with certain kids, so the gang was pretty much tamed and broken up.

    Your husband needs to be on board. There is no easy way around this. Of course he doesn't see the problems, but he does need to believe you. it is hard to accept that your precious No 1 son could be anything other than perfect, and it will be extra hard for your husband to accept that his son could be going through the same trials he had as a kid. Denial is more than just a river in Egypt.

    What can help - and sometimes you can't always see why it helps, but it does, trust me:

    1) some form of daily effective communication between you and school. In our case I bought a cheap exercise book from the supermarket, labelled it difficult child 3's Communication Book" and put a plastic cover over it, and stuck it in difficult child 3's school bag. I would write in it anything possibly relevant ("he didn't sleep well last night, he will be more tired and likely to be more cranky") and the teacher would also make notes ("he had a good morning but started to not pay attention after lunch. I think something happened on the playground during lunch.") I could then use this information to try to identify deeper problems and help difficult child 3 with coping skills. The immediacy of this communication was really valuable. it also saved me having to lie in wait for the teacher on the classroom steps - after a day teaching my kid, I knew the teacher would need to head home ASAP for a stiff drink!

    2) some form of effective daily communication between you and your husband. In our case, I joined this site and my husband began to lurk. he would read my posts and when he got home would often discuss things with me. Not always about our kids, sometimes about another problem I might have posted on. He will read this thread, almost certainly. He has since joined this site in his own right (because when he logged on in my name, it changed what I had read and what I hadn't, I began to lose track of my threads). And even though husband & I talked together a lot about our kids and worked really hard to be on the same page, having him lurk here tightened up our communication more than I would have thought possible. We couldn't work out why at first, but I think it is because when we write, we condense our thoughts into an easier-to-read format. When we try to talk together, we keep getting interrupted.

    3) a book we recommend here is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. When I joined here there were references to this book all the time. I read a lot of the posts, tried to do what I could, but kept postponing getting the book. It was never in the bookshops; and besides, if I bought every book recommended, we'd have to move. Our place is bad enough now! But I finally took the advice I was beginning to dish out to others and got the book out of the library. And it was amazing. It gave me a different insight. It doesn't tell you right away how to do things, but simply in the process of me reading it, difficult child 3's behaviour began to improve. This was because all unconsciously, I was changing how I reacted to him. It was so easy!

    Changing mindset, I call it. And we try to discipline our kids, the more they misbehave or give us a hard time the more we try to clamp down hard on our control of them. But for some kids, this is absolutely the wrong thing to do. it seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes relaxing things a bit and focussing just on the most important issues and letting the rest go for a while, can bring about a general improvement in the kid's attitude. And that snowballs in a good way towards a general improvement longer term. You an also use the same techniques on PCs.

    Oh, you asked about acronyms - there is a link, I'll try and find it for you. But if you slowly scroll over the acronym, it will usually tell you what it means. difficult child means Gift From God, the kid who brought you here. Mine are numbered because I have a cluster. easy child is Perfect Child, the kid who allegedly doesn't have any problems but still can be a headache. husband is husband, so wife is Dear Wife (for those members who have a Y chromosome or female partner for other reasons).

    medications are not always the answer for ADHD, but they can help. We have problems with ritalin and Concerta in our house, so we use dexamphetamine which we have to get privately compounded (more expensive but we feel it's been worth it).

    Something else for you to consider - do you think you would qualify for a Carer benefit? Talk to Centrelink. You would need a specialist to fill in some of the paperwork, and they generally knock you back on first application (Centrelink seem to do that on principle) but you could get it through on appeal. Also there should be support available through school - it is based on what his needs are, above and beyond those of the average kid in the classroom. The money for this support comes from the Federal Government but is administered through state education systems (that's for public education). There are a lot of supports available, undoubtedly more than you are being told about. Because often the school won't know themselves what is available, and they are not allowed to tell you, because that would then risk costing Dept of Ed money and Dept of Ed staff are not allowed to interfere.

    Anyway, welcome. There is a lot of great support here.

    So go check out the book in the library. Doesn't matter if it's an older edition - they're all good. Also there is some good info on tis website - go to Early Childhood for some discussion on adapting the book to younger children.

  11. dmf

    dmf New Member

    Thankyou. You have given me lots to think about and read so all i can say for now is a very big thankyou.
    Hope to talk again soon
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    No worries, there's lots more. When you're ready.

  13. april1974

    april1974 New Member

    Just wanted to say welcome...and I hope you can get some must be aweful to have your son kick & hit you...I know it hurts when my son name calls and says mean things. I know last year my M grabbed my husband by the throat with both hands and squeezed really tight, literally choking my husband (he was 4) we were leaving a family gathering and he didn't want to go...I didn't realize until then that he had hit my husband before etc...that day my husband told me that M has done this before but the choking was new. My husband literally had to pry his hands off his neck so he could catch his breath, it happened so fast I don't think anyone even saw. We had a talk with ds...and I did say to husband that ds needs to have a bit of fear in him...he needs to know taht it's not ok for him to be physical with him and you will retaliate. I know this is probably very old school and not beneficial but my line in the sand is any child hitting me or husband....we have since then implemented a no hitting policy in our home since we had issues with him at school...luckily now he is more verbal in nature with us at least and doesn't hit us anymore. I'm sorry you are going through this and I hope you can find a solution for your son so you can all feel safe in your home ♥