Intro Post, Question about Swearing in School

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Castle Queen, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Guest

    First off want to apologize for the months of lurking without posting. I guess I was hoping against hope that I really don’t have a legitimate difficult child. You would think after 6 years of tdocs and psychiatrists that I would have passed that denial phase! I am eager to join you ladies (and gentlemen!) in offering support and hopefully learning some things about how to handle my difficult child.

    I will try to keep my intro short but informative and get right to my immediate problem (which as you know with difficult child’s varies from day to day!) I think I will call my difficult child “Knight” and easy child will be “Sprite”. Knight was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD at the tender age of 4. After getting expelled from daycare for aggressive behavior at 4 and nearly expelled from a new daycare at 5, he went on stimulant medication. It made a difference almost immediately in curbing most of the aggression. Most, but not all. Last summer he was expelled from another daycare. Teachers, and myself, have also noticed an anger and anxiety in him that seems to be increasing over the years. therapist added anxiety to his diagnosis. Yet, he is not prone to meltdowns or rages- maybe short explosive bursts of temper but no drawn out raging. Thus the go-round of medication changes- he’s always been on a stimulant of some sort or another, but thru the years we’ve tried SSRI’s (to help with anxiety), Tenex, other antidepressants, Remeron…sigh. Nothing seems to be effective for very long. We are losing psychiatrist in December. We lost therapist in July and new therapist doesn’t seem to have much of a clue.

    Ex-H and I went through a divorce this past year which was final in July. He has his own issues- alcoholism and ADHD at the minimum, also possibly depression and bipolar. He was actually hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar about a year ago, but later he told me it was a bad reaction to some antidepressants he was on. He claims physical issues too (he tripped and fell while on a drunken binge and has had back problems ever since), and doesn’t work or pay child support. He is filing for SSDI. He and I have a very contentious relationship and not much respect for one another. In fact, when we took Knight to a neuropsychologist a few months ago she refused to evaluate him because she was afraid her results would create yet more fissures in our relationship.

    Knight has issues with swearing. He swears at home in the mornings when his medications haven’t yet taken effect. Telling him to stop or threatening consequences just escalates the bad language, so I have learned to just shut his door and let him go at it. Generally by the time we leave for school, he’s calmed down. Today, though, I got a email from his teacher requesting a meeting regarding his inappropriate language at school. This has not been mentioned to me at all so far this year, she said it had “only recently come to light.” I agreed to meet, asked her if she had tried any of the interventions from his 504 plan? And asked for some more details (it seems like teachers and daycare workers always speak in generalities and I am always missing crucial details) She responded that she hadn’t heard any of the bad language herself, that other students had reported it to her. She says she has tried confronting him privately and he just clams up. She wants to meet with both of us to discuss a consequence or reward system together and talk about what might be causing the behavior.

    OK, if you’ve stayed with me up till now, does anyone get an “UGH” feeling from the final sentences in the last paragraph? She hasn’t even heard any of the salty language herself??? And Knight is now her target, and not the kids who are “reporting” him? I am hurting for Knight so badly right now- not that it’s necessarily “wrong” to report him, but this kid doesn’t have a friend in the world except easy child. :sad-very: I am unsure what to do now. I want to meet with her to show I can cooperate, but I know Knight won’t be any more cooperative in this meeting than he was when she talked to him privately. And I still am missing vital details to even be able to help!! Also, I don’t know how to advise her on strategy since nothing seems to help in my own household. I can tell from her email that she hasn’t made any effort at all to bond with my son so I don’t doubt he is feeling distrustful of her and probably his classmates now too.

    Please help!!
    Lasted edited by : Nov 29, 2010
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    CQ - welcome!

    First of all, lots of hugs. I know it's not easy, especially when you have problems with XH.

    One thing I can say, right off - Knight is most assuredly, on top of the diagnosis's he has, having some issued with the separation from his Dad. Knowing there are issues there does make it harder on you. I understand. But something you may not realize - or you might! - Knight may have an underlying fear that his behavior is the reason for XH being, well, X. "I was so bad Daddy was drinking and hurt himself and left..." No matter that you know it isn't true, it may take a LOT of love (from you) to make Knight understand that, no, that's not true. (FWIW, Onyxx thought that she had asked BM to leave husband, and so was to blame for their fights and subsequent divorce - and after a LOT of discussion, she finally realized that wasn't a memory, that was what BM had told her. And with subsequent events, she now understands it WASN'T her fault.)

    The teacher was right to come to you. She was also right to ask Knight about it in private. But then - trust me - kids say things around other kids they would never say around an adult. I haven't heard enough to say that she's targeting him - yet.

    But the behavior and the cursing? Not appropriate. And I think it would be worthwhile to return to the neuropsychologist (or, better, find another one); their "findings" won't necessarily make things worse, but may in fact point you in a direction. At least now that Jett has official diagnosis's, we can work with the IEP and him. Even if we don't always know what we're doing!

    More hugs, by the way. And that's just a little bit, really. There are others who know a LOT more (and might even contradict what I've said, LOL).
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Another vote for the neuropsychologist evaluation. I mean, you're divorced from ex...who cares if you get along worse because of the evaluation? Why not go without him? Right now, you really don't know what you are dealing with. You'll have a lot more info after a neuropsychologist evaluation. by the way, I'd dump this one and go to a different one. Her puzzling logic as why not to test your son doesn't set well with me.
    Good luck and welcome to the board ;) but sorry you have to be here.
  4. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Guest

    Yeah I was stymied too when she refused to do the evaluation. She said whatever the results, they would just give us something more to fight over. I guess we just presented badly to her from the beginning- I wish I had not informed EXH about the appointment but was acting in good faith based on our divorce decree. He started right in on how I was the one with ADHD, not him. He seems to think it's about assigning genetic blame and figuring out the why's, not about helping Knight. The neuropsychologist also said Knight's history was well documented and there wasn't much doubt her result would be ADHD. Well, yes, but what else? I was disappointed because the only other neuropsychologist in town has a 3 month wait. This was after it took the first therapist leaving and getting a new one to even get a referral- the first therapist wouldn't give one because he said Knight doesn't have academic issues.

    I guess I'm not so much feeling like the teacher is targeting him, as that the students are. I feel like once again we have gone into the school year with the goal of him making one friend, and once again it's not gonna happen.:( And he doesn't "get it."
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome CQ,
    Glad you found our corner of the world (sorry you needed to). I agree with the others about the neuropsychologist exam. If you are comfortable with the teacher when you meet, share your concerns that you are afraid he might be a target of the other kids. I know at times my difficult child who targets others has often been targeted himself. Fortunately his teachers were always aware of this and have been good about sorting out who is doing what.

    I totally get how hard it is when our kiddos don't have friends; it's really really hard. Gentle hugs.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    More hugs... I understand about the 3-month wait... We started the process in March 2009, first appointment was July 2009, next one was September, then December, then February. It can take a while - but in my opinion, worth the wait.

    And obviously, if you and XH were already divorced - genetic blame means nothing. I have what I call "situational ADHD" and it's based on my stress levels. Who honestly cares WHERE it came from, it needs to be dealt with NOW. Your XH sounds a lot like my kids' BM.

    I'm so sorry about that... But seriously, wait if you must. And I agree - that one neuro sounds off...
  7. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Guest

    Thanks for the welcome. I feel like I've needed this place for a long time.

    Does anyone have any suggestions I can present in the meeting with-the teacher for possible behavior plans to combat the swearing? I feel so lost without knowing any of the details of the incidents. I don't know if Knight was angry, trying to be cool, trying (albeit inappropriately) to get attention, or what. Added to this is the fact that whatever consequence is used, it will be the result of some child reporting Knight.

    Do you think its appropriate that any consequences are handled in school only?
  8. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Welcome to the boards. Glad you decided to speak up and join us, although naturally none of us wishes anyone to need us. :)

    On the X front, I can understand. ExDH, before his passing, was referred to as King Moron in my sig line because, well, when it came to difficult child 2's issues, he was an idiot. I just needed to "be firm and not back down." I just needed to <insert your choice of denial logic here> and everything would be fine. While I took difficult child 2 to every doctor known to man, dealt with daycare expulsions, school phone calls, and in general, fought the system on difficult child 2's behalf, exDH was oblivious. I was wasting money. I was wasting time. I wasn't accepting responsibility for my role in his behavior, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, okay. Whatever, King Moron. Come live here for a few weeks - you'll sing a different tune, I promise.

    Eventually, as difficult child 2 got older and his problems more pronounced, it got harder for exDH to argue his points without sounding like an even bigger moron, so he kept quiet. Then, when I started faxing him copies of evaluations, hospital discharge paperwork, etc., he started to come around and get with the program. Until then, I just kind of had to go it alone and not worry about what he thought, what HE felt I should do, etc. My standard response became "Anytime you think you can handle this better, be my guest."

    We've also had our share of "professionals" who weren't helpful, resisted giving referrals, etc. In a period of 3 or 4 years, we went through a half a dozen psychiatrists and I couldn't tell you how many tdocs. I got so tired of hearing "we don't think his issues warrant xyz" (whatever I was requesting.) It got to the point where I laid all my cards on the table as soon as a new professional was brought on. It was very simple. If I request a particular test, evaluation, consult, referral, whatever, you have two choices: 1) give me what I ask for, if for no other reason than to ease my own mind or 2) you're fired. Period. Those were the only options. It got to the point that I just refused to work with anyone who wouldn't truly, honestly, help me, my son, and my family. I just didn't need to bang my head against any more brick walls. I didn't care if that made me unpopular, or unpleasant to deal with, or basically got me labeled as "that" parent. Heck, I once fired a psychiatrist simply because when I brought up a suggestion made by a therapist, his response was "yeah, everyone thinks they're a psychiatrist." Do what? Um, excuse me, but if you can't work as part of this team without getting your PhD feathers ruffled, the words of Donald Trump - YOU'RE FIRED! (He wasn't doing anything except seeing difficult child 2 for 15 minutes once a month to write rxs - no referrals, no testing, just a medication dispenser, so he wasn't much use as it was.) I was even prepared to travel 2.5 hours each way to take difficult child 2 to docs in Atlanta, if that's what we had to do to get him the best care - so long as everyone involved in his case would work as a team. (I had a house full of resistant difficult children - I sure didn't need resistant professionals to boot.)

    Be "that" parent - the thorn in their side, pit bull, PIA parent. If some professional gives you some lame "it will only cause problems" b.s., remind them that withholding professional services for fear of rocking the boat is no way to manage the care of their patient. After all, their job is to get difficult child the care he needs, not act as marriage counselor or ostrich (head in the sand.) What professional in their right mind would promote that kind of denial? It would be the same as telling my father he shouldn't go to the cardiologist to have his heart evaluated because it might cause problems/arguements for the rest of the family. It makes no sense. Their responsibility is to your son's medical care, not your marriage or relationship with your ex. Having a complete evaluation done helps figure out what you're dealing with, how to approach it, and how to best overcome it. I would think that would be far better than allowing everyone to keep stumbling around in the dark. Oh, I better get down off my soapbox on this one. I could rant and rave for days. lol. :)

    On the swearing front, I don't know how well this might help, but we found it helpful - in varying degrees - for all 3 of my difficult children for various behaviors. A therapist once suggested a poker chip system. First, each of my kids got to design and decorate their own "chip jar." (We used large canning jars and paint pens - the idea of having them personalize it themselves is to get them invested in the idea, even if resentfully, at first.) We targeted specific goals/behaviors, 1 at a time. Each time they were "caught" doing something right (cleaning their room, taking a shower without a fit, not using bad language when frustrated, etc.) they got to put a chip in the jar. If they broke the rule/didn't follow instructions/whatever, they had to take a chip out. At the end of each week, they got to "cash in" their chips for extra privileges, a particular outing, or cash - their choice. The key, according to our therapist, was to have THEM put their chips in and take them out. Have THEM handle everything - even deciding when something warrants getting or losing a chip (to an extent, of course.) The more you can do to help them learn to "own" their choices and get them invested in the concept, the more successful it will be. In our case, the chip system worked for minor problems (like calling each other nasty names, fighting over things instead of compromising, etc.) It didn't work for bigger problems like difficult child 2's rages, because he didn't have as much choice or control over those behaviors as a really young kid.

    We established rules in the beginning like one or two warnings before losing a chip. As they progressed, we'd drop the warnings down to only one, then no warnings. When they were allowed warnings, all I was supposed to do was say "that's your second warning. What happens if this happens again, now?" It made the whole helping them decide when they lost a chip a whole lot easier on me. They had a clear understanding of expectations, so they knew when they were about to lose a chip, they could either be more mindful, or lose it - their choice. If they lost it, they knew it before I even said anything. In fact, difficult child 2, being the strict "rules are rules" concrete thinker he was, didn't even require a reminder. He'd just go take out a chip. lol. difficult child 1, on the other hand, would argue until she lost all her chips, half the toys in her room, all electronic privileges, and spent the rest of the day in her room, sulking. lol. It took a lot longer to make progress with her.

    It's an idea, anyway. At least it gives you something to present to the teacher as a thought - something to start off the brainstorming process. Even if it's just a note sent home once a week stating there were/weren't any problems that week. A good note = chips. A bad note = lose chips.

    At one point, we actually had a notebook that stayed in difficult child 1's bookbag. Each teacher, daycare worker, and I all wrote notes for the day in it - even if it was something as simple as "uneventful day." It really helped keep communications open. If she had a bad day at school, the folks at daycare knew about it, and when I picked her up, so did I. If she had a good day, we all knew. If something of concern happened, I signed by the note to indicate to the teacher/daycare personnel that I had read it. At one point, we all even listed any consequences given for a particular behavior so others could choose to follow along with it when reasonable. (Ex. if she lost TV privileges at home, the folks at daycare wouldn't let her watch movies there either - she had to go to another room and do something else instead.) It did WONDERS for consistency for her, not to mention, she knew we all knew everything, so there were no openings for manipulating on her part.

    Big hugs for you, hon. I know how hard this can be. It's easy for me to sit here, on the other side of the storm, and rattle off ideas that might or might not work. Just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel - really. You'll get 1001 suggestions on how to address this behavior or that, whether here or elsewhere. Some of them may work for awhile, some of them not at all. The trick is to just keep trying. Have as many tools at the ready as you can muster. While you're trying one thing, keep listening and looking for more ideas to try next if the current one doesn't work. It helps, if for no other reason that to help you feel more prepared and ready for whatever comes next.
  9. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Guest

    So, the teacher and I have agreed to postpone meeting for a week. I gave Knight a warning that if the swearing doesn't subside, he WILL be involved in a meeting with the teacher and myself. This in itself may be a successful deterrent. Also, we are going to try moving up the time he takes his afternoon medications from 12:30 to 11:40. Just in case they are starting to wear off-but really I think it's the "unstructured time" rather then the medications wearing off. We'll see.

    Knight has a therapist appointment on Wednesday and I'll solicit suggestions from the therapist. But really, I can't fathom a rewards/consequences system that depends on whether or not my son is reported by others. Just...doesn't...make...sense.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome!!! Don't worry about the time you lurked - we understand that people speak up here when they are ready, and IF they are ready, and often need time to get to that point. I am just glad you finally spoke out - we can always enjoy another member.

    You asked if it was okay that school problems were handled at school and not at home. I think it is perfectly fine. Talking to your child about school, encouraging him to do his best, letting him know that you expect him to behave well at school is enough. He does NOT need to be punished at home for transgressions at school. My parents firmly believed that if we got into trouble in school we should get double punishment at home - twice as long or whatever. Reality was that it ruined a LOT of the little time my brother had at home, at least through 10th grade. My husband was fine with that idea, but we quickly learned that it would mean that just about every waking moment our oldest would be in trouble. It is no way to live.

    We learned that if we were to have ANY quality family time we needed to let the school handle school problems during school hours. If needed we would go to the school to help handle things, but school problems would NOT come hom. Period. Many other parents have also done this, simply because it was the ONLY way to let their child have anything positive in his life.

    Moving your son's medication time may be helpful, it is at least worth trying. Most kids have some type of trouble in the unstructured parts of the day, at least they do at some point. It is hard to figure out the social rules, and what is and isn't okay, during time when you are all together with little direction. Can you think back to recess when you were a kid? In the school I went to, we had recess in the parking lot. There was some equipment available, but mostly we just ran around or sat and played jacks or something. If you were not part of a group you could wander around and not be part of anything and feel rather lost. I see the same thing at my youngest's school today. Bus rides are another tricky time. Bullies have great fun getting kids like our difficult children to do things - and rarely get caught.

    If things continue to be problematic, maybe your son needs an aide at recess, or maybe to have someone direct him into physical activity to keep him busy - walking or running around the edges of the playground would get the energy out and would help give him a task, which would mean less chances to get into trouble. Just an idea!

    The person who refused to refer you to a neuropsychologist is an idiot. Find someone else to do her job because she hasn't got a clue. Then find a neuropsychologist to give him a complete evaluation. There will be waiting lists of up to several MONTHS to get into specialists (we recently waited 5 MONTHS to see a specialist for my daughter, and it is a normal waiting time for him), but you are going to live those months anyway. Get on those waiting lists, and keep looking for other docs who might be able to help.

    Once again, Welcome!!!
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I like the jar idea, Hex, but not taking chips back out. Certainly not at the moment. For a kid with anxiety issues and poor self-esteem issues, especially one with swearing problems, you cannot risk that jar being empty. You also need to make it clear - rewards once earned, stay earned. If you must, have a separate jar for the swearing and then help him compare the results. With a swear jar, I would not use it as a basis for punishment (seriously, I would not punish this) because he's already dealing with natural consequences - no friends. But not punishing it doesn't mean not dealing with it.

    What I suggest - involve him in the problem. "Son, you are swearing too much for other people's comfort. It is not good, other people lose respect for you when you swear. Some people who don't know us well also lose respect for the rest of your family; they think, 'what sort of family does this child come from, that they allow him to swear like this? What sort of language does this boy listen to in his home?' It's not good for you, it's not good for me. I also don't like hearing it, it makes me sad to hear those words come out of your mouth. Now, I know it's not easy to break habits, but I want to help. Let's see what we can do to find another way around this problem."

    As for where he is hearing this - that needs to be addressed. Two likely places, other than the adults in his life (not always where it comes from) are computer games, and other kids. difficult child 3 got into trouble at school for calling a kid some very nasty words, when it was the kid being called names who had first used those words at difficult child 3. I quickly addressed this with the teacher who was trying to blame me for letting difficult child 3 use such language! I told her, very clearly, that difficult child 3 had learned those words in her classroom and not my home, and furthermore, he had been the one to have those words applied to him first. And she had not dealt with that at the time, and difficult child 3 using those words now, were HER consequences. But swear words once learned are very hard to unlearn.

    Something to take into account here with swearing - it is scientifically proven that if you swear when you hit your thumb with a hammer, that you cope with the pain better. Swearing increases your tolerance to pain. Which makes me wonder - is his swearing a form of emotional pain management? If so, then he needs added help dealing with his anxiety and emotional distress. I know you're already doing as much as you can, but you have already said, it's not enough. His anger and anxiety issues are going to make him more prone to swearing.
    Another question - call this cultural differences. But what is he saying, that is considered swearing? I know when my sis-in-law spent a year in the US as an exchange student, she was a nice girl who did not swear. But some of the words that came out of her mouth horrified her host families, because words that are acceptable here in Australia are considered really bad swearing in the US. SImilarly, there are words that people easily use in the US that horrify us here. So sometimes there can be cultural issues.

    Also to consider - he may really need to swear, to ease his pain. But he can teach himself to use an innocuous word as a swear word. "OK son, I know you need to swear. But how about we find some really good words for you to use instead? It can be done - and it can be fun!"
    Some really good choices, are words form other languages. They also need not be swear words in their own language. The analgesic effect comes from your own mind and the association in your own mind, with a forbidden word being used. "Strong" words make us feel better. So what we have to do, is find other, more acceptable, strong words. Swearing is also a form of self-expression, of telling other people, "I hurt tis much." This could also account for the analgesic effect (if you believe you have shared information about your pain level in one effective four letter expletive).

    I used to shout "sugar!" if I hurt myself. I remember shouting it vehemently one day at our church in the vestry in front of the minister. I had not said a bad word, but he could tell, from the vehemence with which I said it, that I was THINKING bad words. I got a lecture. A certain brand of soft drink that also starts with the "sh-" sound is another effective substitute. Yes, that sh word is a banned word in our culture (less so these days). Extremely verboten.

    Language to choose words from - Germanic. Scandinavian. Slavic. Yiddish. They simply feel better in the mouth, even if they don't mean anything nasty. I've been told by those who are appropriately multilingual that the best language in the world in which to swear, is Yugoslav.

    In a person with anxiety, anger and concentration/attention issues, you CANNOT stop compulsive behaviour, especially if there is any component of it being a coping strategy (however inappropriate). The person needs a coping strategy first and foremost. So if their current coping strategy is inappropriate, first help them put a better one in place. Work with the person in this, do not punish. This is therapy, not discipline. Reminders, replacement (of technique), rehearsal, removal from a situation if necessary, as well as quiet place to go and simply be, when things get too difficult - these help in the meantime. Next - try the substitution method. Sit with him and make a list of good words to use instead. Go through them and practice using them as swear words. Make a fun game of it, almost joking. "OK, let's pretend I've hit my thumb with a hammer. How about this one? 'tchuss!' Any good, do you think?" Let him make the final choice, and help him practice using that word. Whenever he uses an unacceptable word, make him swear again - with the acceptable word. Coach and encourage.

    I know it seems bizarre to teach your child to swear, but if he's going to swear anyway (and he will) then he can swear using words which people are less likely to find offensive, but which still help his pain.

    As for the teacher - I suspect she also is concerned at his lack of friends and the way it is being reported, and her strategy is to try to stop the swearing, to make it easier for him to make friends. When you meet with her, take along the suggestions form here and discuss them with her. See what she thinks. Always give the teacher the benefit of the doubt, that the person really wants to help your child. Even if the teacher has another agenda, if you assume the best, you will get off on the right foot and be a team from the start. And in my experience, even when I've had to deal with teachers who I felt had my child pegged wrong and who were hostile to him or me, I still worked hard to keep a good working relationship, for the sake of my child.

    I would suggest a communication book to travel between you and the teacher. Alternatively, daily emails updating one another. It would make it easier for you to tag-team with whatever your son needs, to feel better about himself, to cope better with his anger and anxiety and to begin to value himself as a worthwhile person.

  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I've found that many Russian words sound like you're cussing even when you're not. Just try "hello" in Russian! iTunes has some free language lessons available as podcasts, wide variety of languages to choose from.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    HaoZi, great minds think alike!

  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Is the swearing impulsive? When you say you have him go to his room to swear, is it just that he is blurting out swear words? Like Tourettes?

    Or is he legitimately angry and has something to swear about? not that it is acceptable.
  15. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Guest

    Busywend, it's both. Unmedicated it seems to be more a impulsive, stream-of-consciousness thing. He can't help himself no matter what I say or do. Medicated, I think anger plays into it. Sometimes. Or anxiety. Not sure though what the deal is in school. I wish I could be a fly on the wall- I feel the teachers are overwhelmed with 30 kids in their classrooms and just don't notice the details I really NEED.

    You are so insightful! I am definitely going to take these thoughts to the therapist tomorrow!
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Could be Tourettes - or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    Does he have any repetitive turning a light switch 4 times before he can leave it on, or touching the banister 3 times before going upstairs - sometimes they are so minor you do not notice them without looking.

    What about tics - does he clear his throat or sniffle his nose alot. Blink quickly too often.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Repetetive patterns for whatever reason could certainly add to these problems. Perhaps the most important lesson to take on board in all this - it is futile to try to change what the child himself cannot change. It is hurtful and damaging to punish what he cannot change, or to offer a reward for what he cannot change. Above all else, you and the teacher both need to take this on board (I think you already have) and find another way. Because while alone he cannot change, especially if he has any Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) aspects, perhaps with help and coaching he may be able to make some progress. I suspect the reward needed will simply be his own, even partial, success. Very sad, when tat is all he needs to feel better about himself, because it shows just how little they are capable of doing this alone.

    It does not sound to me like he is doing this deliberately to shock and offend.

  18. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Guest

    Nothing ritualistic, repetitive, or tic-like....but he does bite his nails (including toenails!!) until they bleed, picks at scabs and refuses to let them heal, picks at a birthmark until it bleeds....isn't that a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yes, that sounds like it could fit Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I really think he needs to be checked out for Asperger's. Also do your best to just observe him, especially when he is quiet and concentrating on something. Observe him when stressed, and when calm. Make notes. Keep records. Share your findings with docs and teachers, see if they recognise anything.

    To have a sneak preview of Asperger's and how well or not he might fit, there is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on You can't use it as a diagnostic test, not officially, but you can print out the results (even if he scores normal - simply having your own notes on what he is like now, is useful) and show it to a neuropsychologist or even your doctor when trying to get a referral.

    It's a useful tool, to help give a sense of direction. Or to help exclude.

  20. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    It might help to keep a journal - time consuming so be ready - of his entire day (that you observe) and notes from school. Everything to what he eats to when he goes to the bathroom. Sometimes the things you do not think of as a signal actually are signals for a psychiatrist.

    Does he become obsessed with a particular topic ever? Like he saw the stars one night and had to learn everything he could about stars - it becomes almost annoying.

    Why has the teacher never heard the swear words? Does he whisper them? If the kids hear them, she should have caught it by now - at least once.