Hi all! Introducing myself and my 5-yr-old...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gadawg27, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. gadawg27

    gadawg27 New Member

    Hey everyone! I'm new here and have to say I'm very glad to find other parents dealing with issues similar to my own! I'm a stay at home mom mom right now, though I am a certified public school Paraprofessional and will be going back to school in January to get an Early Childhood degree. My husband and I are high school sweethearts, and both in our late-twenties. I have a 5-yr-old son in Kindergarten (The Boy) and a 2-yr-old daughter (The Girl). My husband (The Man), works full time as a Project Manager in construction and real estate. We live in NE Georgia.

    OK now that all that is out of the way, let me tell you a little about The Boy, as he is the reason I am here. Please forgive me if this is really long, but I want to give the full picture...

    The Boy was the WORST pregnancy...high blood pressure issues and tons of swelling and sickness. Then he was born with plagiocephaly and torticolllis. PT took care of his neck, but helmet therapy only slightly improved his head shape, though the neurologist assured us there were no brain issues and it's not terribly noticeable unless you already know he has it. He hit all his developmental milestones either on-time or early, and has always been a great communicator. From the time he was a year old we could tell he had defiance and resistance issues...taking away the pacifier and getting him into his own bed was a total nightmare. Getting him to poop in the potty was rough too, though I hear that's common for boys. Otherwise around the age of 3 we really started to notice a major increase in the defiant behavior. Then when he started K-4 he had trouble with paying attention and participating, and he was constantly making noises, "driving his motorcycle" everywhere he went (in other words, could not just walk calmly, had to run and pretend to be riding a motorcycle). Nap time was a nightmare every day...he spent it screaming and crying. Eventually they asked us to take him to half days so he wouldn't keep the other kids awake during afternoon naptime but our funds could not cover the preschool with me only working a few hours a day so I decided to take him out and homeschool him for K-4. It didn't take me long to see all the things he was doing in class...it was nearly impossible to get him to finish a task unless it was something HE wanted to do. He's extremely smart and learned all kinds of things...but when asked by other people he would pretend he didn't know. He actually ended up getting put in an EIP reading class in Kindergarten because during the registration testing he acted like he didn't know a lot of his letters and sounds and whatnot. If you try to make him do something he doesn't want to do he'll grind his teeth and clench his whole body trying to fight it. He is NEVER violent, however he will smack himself on the forehead if he's trying to resist or trying to remember something. We signed him up for t-ball in the spring and OH MY...the kid had no clue what was going on if it was time to be in the outfield. He could hit the ball great, but otherwise it didn't hold his attention AT ALL. He has had some obsessive tendencies over the past couple of years...one being monster trucks, another being cans. Yes, the kind you drink out of...we recycle, and for awhile there he would sneak them from the bin and hide them in his room. He would get upset if he saw an old nasty can in a parking lot somewhere and you didn't let him get it. He would also collect things like empty bottles and paper plates. He would probably still do that except that we compromised and let him start a bottle cap and pop top collection...we told him that could be his "thing" and so he had to let the rest of it go. Of course...he does still have a wagon full of cans outside, but he just doesn't obsess over it like he used to. That's really been his only quirky behavior so far.

    Fast forward to Kindergarten and The Boy is having many of the same problems as preschool, though he is a little more mature. I have to say, he has the BEST teacher...she is very strict but in a loving sort of way, and I think she is going to be a huge help for us and feel so blessed to have her in my son's life! So his first few weeks of K were pretty good, but it didn't take him long to start bringing home bad reports and for his teacher to start calling us in the middle of the day. Some reports we've gotten are: he gets distracted by the other kids very easily, his motor is always running, he's constantly talking (both to other kids and himself--and loudly sometimes), he's making random noises, won't walk calmly in the hallway, etc. At first his teacher thought with some time and adjustment he would get the hang of things, but 11 weeks in she called and said maybe there is a real problem after all (which we expected, we just wanted to give him a chance before going the psychiatric route). She said that she feels like she's just getting on to him constantly for things he can't control and doesn't want him to hate coming to school (which he was starting to do) and I agreed with her...we always tried to reinforce whatever she was doing at school (the old "you get in trouble at school and you're gonna get in trouble at home" scenario) and we're all just so tired of it being constant misery around here! We've tried spankings, taking things away, denying priveledges, offering rewards, TONS AND TONS of praise when he has good days (or even sort of good days!), and even bribery...anything to try to make it "worth it" to him, but nothing ever sticks. He gets bored very easily and you have to ask him over and over to get something done...and punishment causes a major meltdown. I kept hoping that with some time and maturation he would grow out of some of these behaviors, but it hasn't happened.

    All that being said, his first appointment with the child psychologist is next Tuesday, and I am so nervous but also excited to hopefully get to the root of the problem and get my boy on track. We've tried every negative and positive reinforcement we can think of to help him modify his own behavior and tried so hard to stress to him that HE is the one responsible for his behavior and the consequences, but really...I don't think that's true. He wants so badly to "be good"...the last time he had a really bad day at school he cried and cried and told me "I want to be a good boy but it's so hard, I just can't stop it!" It broke my heart!!

    I've said all these negative(ish) things about him to see what y'all think his problems might be (I'm thinking probably ADHD with ODD and possibly some anxiety issues), but now I must end the post with all the great things about my boy because there is so much there but his behavior keeps some people from seeing past it to the good stuff...

    The Boy is so funny! He is one of the most fun-loving kids I've ever met. He gets along really well with other kids, no matter the situation or age difference. He is great at sharing, and although he likes to annoy his younger sister, he is very sweet to her most of the time. He's very loving to both people and animals. He's very smart and makes excellent grades so long as he pays attention...in fact, I would say that 99.9% of the papers he doesn't make 100 on are due to careless errors rather than not knowing the material. People have always made comments about him being such a "little man" because he talks and acts like a much older person outside of the behavior issues. He's sensitive to the feelings of others, and very easy-going. He loves to draw and write letters to his favorite stars (Bigfoot the truck and the girl from iCarly to name a few :D) and can really focus in on something and do a wonderful job if it's something he wants to do. When he gets in trouble he's very remorseful, so I really believe that if he could control himself, he would. Maybe not all the time...all kids have their defiant moments after all...but much better at least. If it has wheels, the kid can drive the heck out of it...as soon as he's old enough, he wants to race his 4-wheeler and I'll tell you right now, he will win! He's been driving Power Wheels since he was 2 and friends and family were amazed by how well he did even back then...and now, holy cow! We are very proud. :) We are going to get him involved in our county wrestling team to try to focus some of his energy...I did some research on good sports for ADHD kids and martial arts and wrestling were at the top of the list so we're going to give it a try. The Man was a wrestler (and, looking back also ADHD it seems...my son is a carbon copy of my husband!!) so we're hoping this is something positive the whole family can get involved with to support The Boy. We do attend church where the kids are in AWANA and I have to say The Boy does awesome there...but it's pretty fast-paced, which of course matches his style.

    Anyway...there's a huge long intro for ya...if you can think of any questions/comments I'd love to hear them! I'll be prowling around looking for other folks in my situation too...it's just so nice to know I can tell folks all this stuff and they can say they've been there too and understand without judging or thinking I'm not tough enough with The Boy. I don't have a ton of questions yet, but I'm sure I will as we get further into the process...look forward to speaking with you guys further!! :laugh:
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is my opinion. I could be wrong, but I'd at least read up on it. He doesn't sound ODD to me and I think he's a lot more active than just ADHD. From experience, I am wondering is he doesn't have Aspergers Syndrome. These are usually very smart kids who are...well...different. Often they are very hyper, but the ADHD is just part of Aspergers. Often they are quirky, have strange habits, blurt things out (sometimes that don't make sense). Often they are socially inappropriate, speaking like a young adult, making odd noises, standing too close to other kids, touching them, you get the drift. They don't "get" social rules, even though they are bright. They tend to have obsessive interests and have monologue rather than doing a give-and-take conversation. And they often have a low frustration level and rage when told to transition from one activity to another...or when they can't do something or when they are overstimulated.

    I would take him to a neuropsychologist. They do 6-10 hours of intensive testing and look for everything. It's a lot better than guessing, although often young kids don't get the right diagnosis...but it will give you something to work with.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
  3. gadawg27

    gadawg27 New Member

    Thanks for the reply! I checked into Asperger's as well, and other than making noises when he's bored he doesn't really display those symptoms. He's actually really great at back and forth conversation and never crosses the line in social situations with other kids...in fact, unless you were to see him in a structured setting where he's supposed to be still and quiet, or try to get him to do something he doesn't want to, he seems like a totally normal kid. At his wrestling practice last night I was watching him play with all his friends and there was no difference between him and the other boys...there isn't until it comes time for him to settle down and focus. He does get frustrated sometimes, but never gets enraged. When he does throw a tantrum it's mainly just crying and saying it's unfair, you hurt his feelings, etc...basically what I consider a 2 or 3-yr-old response instead of a 5-yr-old response. Transitions are actually one area in which he doesn't have problems because changing things up stimulates his interest. He's perfectly cool with not sticking to routines...he just goes with the flow as far as that is concerned. He's also really good at picking up on the moods of others, which I think is something that Asperger's kids have trouble with...if his little sister is sad he talks gently to her and tries to cheer her up, if he comes into the room and notices that someone is angry or upset he'll immediately ask what's wrong...he's great at reading body language and facial expressions. Also he's great at getting and delivering jokes...really he has no social trouble at this point, other than disrupting class when he's bored.

    I do wish I could take him to a neuropsychologist anyway though, just because I think that's the better route than child psychologists...however, due to location/insurance/monetary issues it's just not in the cards right now. We're just going to try to do the best with the resources we have, and pray that the Lord will provide some answers for us! :redface:
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If you're thinking this might be what's up I also agree that you're going to need more professional evaluation than just a psychologists. Often what parents are reporting here is that they'll get attempts at behavioral help from a regular psychologist but that it's limited until you really get to the bottom of the issues.

    Unless you live in a larger metropolitan area it's pretty common to have to travel out for evaluations. Also, I should mention that if you do have insurance and it looks like a particular type of specialist isn't covered, sometimes your pediatrician can help you out by intervening.

    Have you talked with your pediatrician about addressing the hyperactivity? What we hear from parents whose children have ADHD as a core problem, is that they wish they would have trialed medications earlier because if it's severe, it gets in the way of functioning in a big way.

    You may want to research Sensory Processing Disorder. Some kids who are in constant motion do so because they are trying to meet unique sensory needs. If it rings a bell, check out the book "The Out of Sync Child" by Carol Kranowitz.