I think I am ruining my kid.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by christielynnj, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. christielynnj

    christielynnj New Member

    My 5 year old son was on day 2 of VBS. On day 1 his teacher said he was put in time out for pushing the other kids around. Today, with 15 minutes until it let out for the day, the director calls pleading with me to come inside, skip the pick up line and come get your child. I go inside and she starts the list of all his offenses (he hit her in the belly, he kept running toward the doors trying to get out, he was inconsolable at lunch and on the playground) all the while I am apologizing and then she explains "he is behind this door with our pastor and some other volunteers". I put her out of her misery and assured her I wouldn't bring him back (without any tears for once). She was visibly relieved and it was all I could do not to show any emotion in front of her, morph into psycho mom on my son, and break into tears once we were in the car. This is a fairly common scenario for us. He was "expelled from pre-k 2 after 3 months for biting. He only got to attend pre-k 3 for about 6 months (we moved) and I was called in at least once a week. Pre-k for started rough with the running away incidents and hitting other kids, but by the last 4-5 months he was a perfect angel at home and school. I felt like I could breathe again instead of waiting by the phone everyday for a call to come pick him up. Feeling confident, I signed him up for VBS at the same school...he made it two days before the behavior started up again. Now a few weeks later I felt like we would give it another try at a different church and this all happened.

    He has never been diagnosed with anything. The doctor says that doesn't become an option until 5 (he's been 5 for 2 months). He has delayed speech which he receives therapy for and is improving. He has trouble with making eye contact, he likes to line things up, he loves counting, he moves constantly, doesn't seems to be bothered by loud noise. He seems younger mentally than his peers, he will play with other kids and seems very outgoing (he likes to introduce himself to everyone and tell about his fave toy of the moment), but most kids kind of look at him funny (maybe because his speech isn't quite right) and he usually ends up on his own sooner or later. We stopped going to playdates because a group of boys decided he needed to be put in jail and they all ganged up on him...he didn't seem to notice what was going on, but I was beside myself with anger and sadness.

    I have basically taken on my parents style of parenting which is zero patients, yelling, screaming, rage (Mom's style) and constantly disappointmented, talk down about him to others, little affection (Dad's style). The main differences are that I feel immense guilt and grief over my behavior. I worry that I am making him this way, but at the same time I feel like I only act this way when he goes into crazy mode. When he is doing well I am doing well. We've tried different discipline methods 1-2-3- magic seemed to be like magic, but not so magical anymore. We spanked some in the beginning, but it only made him aggressive. Time outs led to him deciding to do the bad behavior and time out himself. Really at home he is manageable, but when he is at school, church, etc. he is out of control. With Kindergarten starting in a couple of months I am terrified at what will happen.

    My husband's friend said he sounds a lot like his son who was diagnosed with Aspbergers...however, from what I have read it doesn't sound right to me. My mom says his behavior sounds like my sister's when she was his age and she was put on Ritalin which made her all better. I don't know where the hitting comes from or the running away, but I feel pretty confident the way he shows his frustration and anger is learned behavior from me.

    I have to believe that it is more than just me though because I have a two year old that is the polar opposite of him in every way. My 5 year old never made a peep until two and my 2 year old has made sounds since he was born. the baby makes constant eye contact, very affectionate, can sit still...doesn't have much going on verbally, but tries, calm, easy going. The 5 year old is all over the place.

    I'm at a loss. I don't know where to start to help him. I feel like a complete and utter failure.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the site! Take a deep breath.......relax and read on.

    I did sense some autistic like traits when reading your description of your son. It is good that he is 5 now and you should have the doctor request a multi-disciplinary exam at the local Children's Hospital.

    Most things I tried worked for short periods of time. I guess just change tactics every few months if it helps.
  3. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Didn't have anything to ad but I've been there with the beating yourself up over the way you feel about and treat your child. That is my life!
    When I can emotionally distance myself and maintain my chi things go smoother but it is so hard!
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That's a crock of you-know-what.
    Kids get diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or Asperger's from around age 3... at least, up "here"... (and where I live, we're in the dark ages).

    It's harder when they are younger, but the major red flags I see in your description include:
    - eye contact
    - social skills
    - one-topic specialty
    - lining things up
    - delayed speech

    There's probably more that you haven't told us... like coordination (can he tie shoes? ride a bike? do up buttons?), for example.

    Instead of double-guessing, perhaps you should be pushing the fam doctor for a referral for a comprehensive evaluation - someone or a team who can look at the whole picture and tell you what is really happening.

    And if it IS Asperger's? There's lots of productive people out there living "normal" lives... with Asperger's. It's a different road, the "road less taken" if you will. But the best place to start is knowing what you are dealing with.
  5. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    He sounds a lot like my autistic son at that age....I agree with getting a comprehensive evaluation done. There is hope and you are not ruining your kid!
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    That's a load of you know what that a child can't be diagnosed with anything until the age of 5. When easy child was 2 he went to a preschool program for 2 year olds and about halfway through the year a little boy joined the class who was diagnosed as having autism. He came to school with an one on one aide and everything!

    Tell your pediatrician that you want an evaluation and you want one NOW! There are alot of things that can be helped when caught early and when support is given.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He sounds like an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kid to me too. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids can be VERY friendly, but they are inappropriate, like they introduce themselves to everyone, maybe stand too close, and possibly talk too loud, and babble on and on about THEIR interests. They tend not to interplay with other kids...give-and-take play. They annoy other kids by being too pushy and invading space.

    I would take him to a neuropsychologist. He can be diagnosed now. Even if he doesn't let a label, you'll know ALL about his problems/deficits to get him help.
  8. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I'm with the others. He sounds just like my son at that age. difficult child 1 had a really hard time in school and was almost kicked out of kindergarten after only 2 days because he became violent. It turned out that his "fight or flight" response was in high gear. If I had known then that he was on the autism spectrum (no one EVER suggested that possibility), things would have been very different for us, saving us a lot of heartache and incorrect medications causing even worse problems. difficult child 1 had a hard time with chaos and noise and didn't get the whole socially appropriate thing.

    I really think you need to demand a referral from your family doctor for a neuropsychologist evaluation or a comprehensive evaluation by a team. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can be diagnosed early and there are so many interventions out there that work wonders. Another thing you might want to consider is a thorough Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation by someone experienced with kids on the spectrum. difficult child 1 has many sensory issues that only our GOOD Occupational Therapist (OT) (out of the 4 we tried) figured out after several sessions and many different evaluations. He can't handle loud noises (unless he's a part of making them), people touching him (unless it's a game he enjoys), the feel of certain fabrics, certain smells (coffee breath being the worst), etc. She even figured out that he has a hard time sensing when his pencil is on the paper to write and black words on white paper look like wiggly worms to him. She did not leave a stone unturned.

    You are doing the best you can with what you have been given. Give yourself a break. Your biggest goals should be to learn to see things from a different perspective (learn to see things the way he sees them), research Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in it's entirety (not just Asperger's), get the evaluations and then services to help him, and ease up on him and yourself.

    You've come to the right place. Stick around here and you can even keep your sanity.
  9. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I know this is probably too late for this session of VBS, but maybe you should try to stay with your child, at least all the time the first day. Our VBS is just 2 hours in the evening, was this an all day VBS? Thne if it went well, the next day, stay half the time with him... you would be there to help him control his behavior, and maybe he would be more comfortable. I know we would LOVE for more moms to stay and "help" at our VBS, plus you could maybe connect with more people too. The others offered great advice for trying to get your son help. I just think putting a 5 year old in a new situation with new kids and new adults could be overwhelming for most 5 year olds. KSM
  10. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    KSM has exactly the right idea. That is exactly what I did on the 3rd and 4th and 5th day of kindergarten with difficult child 1. It worked. It would also mean you could observe what is causing the behaviors. You can be the detective and find all the "whys" which will be key to figuring out how he thinks and what some of the issues might be for him. I still do this sort of thing with difficult child 1 in new situations and he's turning 15. You need to not just make him stop doing the things he does but figure out why he does them in the first place. Do not jump to conclusions that he's just being "naughty", which is what most people will try to convince you of. He can't help acting the way he does. Would you punish a quadriplegic for not walking? He CAN'T do it.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, ChristieLynn.
    Wow, does he sound like an Aspie!
    I would quit the yelling right now, if I were you. You are wasting your breath. He. Doesn't. Get. It.
    What he does get is that you are always mad at him. But he doesn't know why.
    If I could go back in time and change my parenting style when my son was 5, I would.
    But there's no time like the present.
    Go to a neuropsychologist NOW. A professional. Not someone who says you can't diagnosis at age 5. Sure, you can't give him a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder or bipolar, which he probably doesn't have anyway, but someone who can at least say that he's got developmental issues (such as the speech issue) so you can get interventions for him.
    No more days of teachers not being able to handle him. Wrong teacher. Wrong school.
    I agree with-the others, that if you really want him to stay in the VBS class, you should sit there for awhile and observe.
    My son got "kicked out" of daycare when he was 2. Actually, I took him out, just before they were ready to kick him out. It was mutual. His behavior improved within 24 hrs. Turns out that he'd had 4 new teachers in as many weeks. And Aspies hate change. What he needed was consistency. (Side note: they weren't fully qualified teachers, either.)
    Just one example of something to look for--consistency, routine.
    Also, maybe oral instructions confuse him.