Intro & Book Questions :)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Heather, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Heather

    Heather New Member

    First I must say I was completely unable to come up with a unique username. I stumbled across this site today while researching & have fallen in love with all the helpful information. Finally, something in English that makes sense. I'm really hoping to not write a novel and make sense also.

    I will start with the easy part of my life first.

    I'm, obviously, Heather. I'm 23. I work parttime at the Public Defender's Office in order to set my schedule around my youngest son's preschool in original hopes this would help towards behaviors. My husband works out of town 5 days a week & I'm lucky enough to do all the parenting aspects alone.

    Jaylissa is 7 1/2 years old. She lives with my mom due to my age & inability to parent (mature?) when she was born. However, we're very close & see her daily, etc. She is in 1st grade this year. She was officially diagnosed with ADHD last year. I am strongly against medication & would not allow any to be tried when the diagnosis was made last fall. She has greatly improved with just a change of things at home & is doing awesome in school this year.

    Zakarius "Zak" just turned 5 years old this summer. He is in full time Kindergarten this year. However, he's nowhere near ready & spends half of his day in Special Education classes & has a great IEP in place. He been in speech therapy since 2 1/2. Occupational therapy since the age of 3 1/2. And he was diagnosed with Dyspraxia at 3. He has many texture issues with foods which presents a great experience at mealtime (he's already a vegetarian by choice). He demands a very good routine in order to avoid any "meltdowns". His talking is awesome. And he's improving in leaps & bounds every day lately.

    And that brings us to Alex...
    Alex is the entire reason I came across these boards. After everything with Zak I had never dreamt I'd have another child with Special Needs & may have been in denial the last several months.

    Alex is 3 1/2 years old & will be 4 in February. He just began going to Preschool this Fall. He was the baby I had dreamed of from about 3-12 months. And then his personality began to come out. And now he's the child I dread having to spend my days with on some occasions.

    The first thing that brought this to my attention & out of my subconscience was his teacher telling me they are finally experiencing behavioral problems during school. I was amazed this was just finally occuring & hadn't happened months ago. She said "He is very defiant & is not easy to redirect anymore." When I repeated this to my mom she laughed & commented that I finally have a child just like myself & asked if I was willing to finally consider an ODD & ADHD possibilty. (I was diagnosed at 14 with ODD, ADHD & possible Bipolar. I'm fully unmedicated but have it all completely under control & have for about 3 years.)

    This, of course, was a fear I hadn't really wanted to face knowing the hell I was from a VERY young age. I have no doubts in my mind that Alex is ADHD. He has every trait & NEVER stops going until he's fast asleep. However, I find this easy to handle at home. We've eliminated sugar from his diet & he does fairly well.

    The ODD is a hard concept for me to grasp. However, after much research he does appear to possibly qualify. I love this child to death, but wow. My family will RARELY keep him. The only person willing to watch him for ANY period of time is my mom. My husband (who is not his biological father) & stepad both believe I am too "lenient" & allow him to get away with murder. They have yet to realize that Alex does not take to any "normal" parenting techniques. I realized at a very young age to pick my battles with him. Spanking is absolutely pointless. Taking away his toys makes no difference. Positive rewards for positive behavior are one of the biggest things you can do for him. Along with listening to what he has to say & rephrasing it in a 3 year olds words "I understand you would like this/feel this, but..." And he's forced to take responsibility for his actions. If he destroys his room he cleans his room.

    Alex's main issues are (in no special order)...
    **Going out of his way to upset you (I bought a brand new lipgloss & explained to him it was not for his use. Within 2 seconds he had used the whole thing as lotion & then laughed at me.)
    **Saying things to purposely upset (His favorite to my stepdad is Ha Ha I can do it if I want to. The newest one I heard regarding school "I don't want to listen so I not going to" or he comes up with some kind of other completely snotty thing)
    **If you make him mad you will pay for it (Zak said something to him, so he broke Zak's toy.)
    **Saying mean/hateful things when in trouble (I'm generally called a Stupid Jackass or told that about how much he hates me when he's upset. Zak & Jaylissa are always "stupid" now. He hates everyone. Or any other mean comment his 3 year old brain can think of.)
    **If I send him to his room he proceeds to absolutely trash it until he's either A. physically stopped B. get bored for being ignored while he does it.
    **CONSTANT Arguing (He argues with literally anyone that will give him the time of day. We give a little boy a ride to school & the argument yesterday was the fact the little boy didn't really have a dog)
    **He blames EVERYTHING on his brother. I really thought this was *normal*. But it's getting out of hand. I went to eat with a friend & he got in trouble. His first were Zak did it... Zak wasn't even with us & hadn't been for hours.

    I'm sure there is more. But you get the idea. The child surely has some red flags which leads me to believe I should have an evaluation done. And with my own diagnosis I'd assume he's at an even higher risk. I just absolute HATE labeling my kids at such a young age. However, I highly believe in early intervention. So, I am highly considering making an appointment with a Child Psychologist. I'm assuming from reading that's who I need to see, right? That may take awhile due to the closest one being 3 hours away & the fact they are always booked up. But after some more reading & good documenting I think this appointment will be made. I hate to see him suffer in school

    And, if you've made it this far, wow

    Now for my questions....

    I'm all about reading books & doing everything I can to avoid any types of medications. I know the Explosive Child book comes HIGHLY recommended from everyone here & the reviews I found. Does anyone believe it would be helpful in this case? He's not extremely "explosive" & if that's all it targets I don't know how much help it would be. But I was thinking I'd order that & see if I could find some assistance.

    And are there any other books that anyone feels would be helpful in this instance?

    Okay, I really did end up writing a novel. Which is what happens when I decide to write something at 11:30 at night *lol* Thanks in advance for your help AND making it this far through this post!
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Welcome aboard. It sounds like you have your hands full. We've all been there, done that.

    Yes, I do think The Explosive Child will help you. The title leads you to think it would be most helpful for kids who are very explosive but broaden that to include inflexible, defiant, noncompliant and it's a clearer picture. Be sure to read the adaptations for younger children at the top of this board.

    Actually for a child this young a child psychologist wouldn't be my first choice. With the family history I'd start with a developmental pediatrician or a pediatric neuropsychologist. Child psychologists often tend to jump to treating behaviors fairly quickly and what you want is a thorough assessment and parent here have found the two specialty areas I've mentioned to generally be more thorough.

    Outside of difficult type behaviors, has he displayed any developmental differences?
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Welcome! I agree with SRL - The Explosive Child is great and I'd go the neuropsychologist route. Around my neck of the woods, psychiatrists for children are for medications. No therapy, occasional evaluations (referrals) but that's about it.

    Don't forget to go to "My Stuff" up top and fill out a profile. It makes it easier for people to get to know you!

    Does he have any quirks?

    Hates itchy tags? Sounds set him off? Super fixated on anything in particular? (We had an obsession with YU GI OH cards) Picky eater? Smells of certain things make him sick?

    Again, welcome to the group!

  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I agree with SRL 100%.

    Explosive Child - yes

    Neuropsychologist - yes

    Find time for yourself to get a cup of coffee for 1/2 hour with no kids - YES

    Welcome to the board. You found a safe place to land.
  5. Heather

    Heather New Member

    Thanks for your replies!!

    I've decided to go for the book & I had never thought of the neuropsychologist route. Of course I was only able to find ONE within 3 hours of here & I'm anal about hearing other peoples opinions first. So, I guess I'm in search of someone who has used this guy & can confirm he's not crazy.

    A cup of coffee... Alone... *lol* That sounds amazing!

    Alex show's no other problems besides the ones I had listed. He has reached every developmental milestone on time, if not early since day one. His speech is perfect. He eats anything put in front of him & would be my perfect child if it wasn't for his severe behavioral issues.

    But you did describe Zak to the t. Zak is 5 & has done EVERYTHING late. He sat up at 10 months, crawled at 12 months, walked at 18 months. Didn't utter a word & was completely unable to understand until well after speech therapy began at 2 1/2 years old. He has extreme texture issues for food. He despises meat. (He lives off of soft foods, oatmeal, pudding, jello & that's just about it.) He's overly obsessed with cars, keys, you name it. He can take apart something completely by himself & somehow get it all back together. He's antisocial & won't make friends under any circumstances. He only functions under a strict routine, if I screw it up I have hell to pay. I'm not sure about the noises, but he has asked to stay with my mom & is an angel there. She highly believes he's happier there because it's calmer without Alex's fits of rage & demands & he can just sit in silence & play by himself. His speech has improved drastically though & he talks good. He can finally count to 13. He knows most of his ABCs. So he is making progress. But he's still developmentally about a year behind his classmates.

    And I think that sums it up! Thanks again for your reponses! It's probably time to get some more work done now!
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Was a professional evaluation for Autistic Spectrum Disorders included as part of Zak's assessment? We're obviously not diagnosticians here, so do your own homework and seek out professional evaluation, but I can tell you that literally every statement you've made about him in the above post are components of that disorder.

    Here's a few sites that you might want to check out:

    neuropsychologist appointments are costly in terms of time and money so it's wise to check them out ahead of time. Most parents here have found them very worthwhile though.

    I'd really give TEC a good try with Alex and see if things don't improve.
  7. Heather

    Heather New Member

    No, Zak never received a thorough evaluation for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). He had a "thorough" E&D (Evaluation & Diagnosis) done at 3 years old. The testing wasn't as good as I had thought it was going to be. Was crammed into the morning & he was tired & uncooperative. This is when they diagnosed the Dyspraxia & wrote off my concerns of Autism. Before the Dyspraxia I was highly convinced he was high functioning Autism, however, they do share *some* of the same characteristics so I've left it alone for the time being to see what happens. When he was just 20 months old my Grandma asked me if he was Autistic & I remember the conversation perfectly. Those were the words no mother ever wants to hear & I lived in denial for months before finally seeking any help at all. I know he needs more testing. His IEP meeting is Monday so we shall see if anyone at the big, intimidating table would like to discuss the subject. If not he's got a doctor's appointment in February which is a LONG ways off, but I'm sure we'll need a referral to a real doctor & I'll be left to argue out why I want referrals on both the boys.

    Is there a specific doctor I should request in this testing too? We seriously live in the middle of nowhere so it's a challenge to find a good doctor that specializes in these kind of fields within a halfway reasonable distance. I'm just lucky I've got pretty good insurance on the kids that takes the blunt of their bills.

    (And as I type this Zak is quietly sitting with his beloved collection of screwdrivers fixing his fourwheeler. And the sad thing is he'll probably actually fix it better then I could. While Alex works on destroying the house & irritating the hell out of anyone that will allow it!)

    I'm crossing my fingers the book works with Alex!!
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hi and welcome to the site.

    Like SRL, when I read about Zak, my first thought was Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    One of those agencies might be able to point you toward more local the very least guide you in the right direction.

    With Alex, I'd definitely go the neuropsychologist route, too. We got more answers in just a few hours of testing than we did with years of tdocs. We wasted so much time....sigh...

    You have a lot on your plate. Like BBK mentioned, make sure you get time for yourself.