Introducing myself

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SiriusHertz, May 7, 2013.

  1. SiriusHertz

    SiriusHertz New Member

    I've been lurking on the forum for a week or so now, reading and learning. I thought it was time to introduce myself; the forum has already proved to be a huge help in our ongoing struggle to find effective treatment for our difficult child.

    I'm a divorced and re-married (not officially yet, lol) single dad. The son I am here about is currently 8 years old, and is/has been exhibiting a variety of behaviors which cause significant concern to his teachers and parents - by parents, I mean myself, his step-mom (my SO), his bio-mom, and bio-mom's boyfriend. Our family is difficult child and his bio-sister, plus two step sisters at my house and two step-sibs (one of each gender) at his mom's, all within a few years of the same age (14 years to 7 years old, I think.)

    Problem behaviors include: not listening to teachers, not completing class or homework, non-compliance with various requests, violent emotional and physical outbursts in social situations with his peers (including hitting, kicking, throwing things, choking, biting - even throwing things at techers, rarely), running and hiding from teachers (thankfully he's stayed in the school building so far), lying... I could go on. All of this has resulted, so far, in being kicked out of the school's after-school care program, lots and lots of teacher concern, counselling and a tentative diagnosis of ODD, a recent write-up for sexual misconduct with the school district, and child abuse cases against both step-parents.

    We're currently getting a formal evaluation from a psychologist with the goal of getting a 504 plan in place so that if he does something that results in another write-up he has a chance of not being expelled from school. We have another difficult child, my SO's daughter, with a formal diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)/Anorexia Nervosa, so we're familiar with that.

    Personally, I'm not worried about exactly WHAT we're calling difficult child's behavior - I am much more concerned with finding effective ways to help him cope with his demons, so that he can continue leading what we laughingly call a "normal" life - but I understand that a formal diagnosis is helpful for the school system, etc. We've recently picked up a copy of The Explosive Child (thank you recommended reading list), which I have to say fits difficult child to a T, and are beginning to socilize the concepts recommended therein to difficult child's team. Does anyone have any other resources or ideas that we may not have considered?

    I should add, we live in a small city, not a major urban area, which makes quilified people harder to find that I like.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Um, hi and welcome.

    I'm confused by your post. Has this child been sexual abused or abused at all? Has he had a very inconsistent past, especially in the early years? Any sort of sexually inappropriate behavior in a child his age can be extremely serious and mean a lot of things. Can you tell us about his past? Seems like he's had a lot of moving around and new moms and dads. This can cause chaos in of itself in a child. We would need to know a lot more to help that much. We have no idea why he may be acting out or what symptoms he really has. Has he acted out on any children? Have stepparents abused him? Are you sure? There is a reason this boy and the girl are acting out in a disturbed way. How long have you and ex been divorced? How fast did you two both find new SOs with kids? How long has everyone been together? There is a lot to this story and frankly it doesn't sound too good. Can you clarify please?

    It's not just about the behavior. To stop it, you have to know why and get the appropriate help.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Second welcome...

    Please... give us more history. It helps you and helps us as we work through the "possibilities".
    What was he like as a baby and toddler?
    When did the problems start?
    Is the girl with problems his bio-sister?
    How stable has his homelife been... super-especially the first three years, but the ones after that too?
    Any dxes in the bio family history that might be part of the picture? (formal or not)

    I'm with MWM... in that getting the right LABEL is actually vital. Until you have that (or, in our case, a whole list of them... and the list needs to be complete...), you really don't know what you are dealing with, so it's hard to find what works or doesn't ... or does more damage.

    For example - the same behavior from a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kid is handled very differently from an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspie kid which is handled very differently from a kid who's been recently sexually abused which is totally different again from a tween/teen druggie... just for examples.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, SiriusHertz.
    You seem to be doing all the right things; getting a 504, looking for a working label in order to secure accommodations at school.
    I,too, am wondering if he was sexually abused. Even if you don't know for sure, it's good to check around, and to figure who was with him back-when.
    Can you see any particulars triggers for his rages? Like transitions? IOW, if you say, "Time to go to school," and he's in the middle of something, does he explode? Or is it something that ramps up over a period of hrs or days and then he explodes?
    What are his sleep patterns like?
    Is he on any medication? At a young age, the only thing I can say worked for us was clonidine, which really took the edge off of our difficult child's anger. And Adderall helped a lot, to make him more verbal and less wild.
    Tell us more about his early development.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    504 plans don't have any teeth. You want an IEP. Check out the SpEd forum and archives for help with that. To get it started, send a letter certified mail with return receipt to the appropriate person at school requesting an evaluation. (sample letter linked) It is not the same as a psychiatric evaluation - it's an evaluation to see if he qualifies for special education and an Individualized Education Plan. You may or may not want to wait on the psychiatric evaluation to be completed before doing so.
  6. SiriusHertz

    SiriusHertz New Member

    Lol OK, I was trying to summarize a little bit - I'm on a keyboard/computer right now which doesn't like me, so there's a lot more typo's than I like. I'll try to answer these questions, and give a more detailed history. Let me copy in from the Parent Report we've all been working on.

    difficult child 1 has a very, very strong mathematical ability. He is working a full year above his grade level with apparent ease, and can often add multiple-digit numbers mentally. He can also be very eager to please, and enjoys one-on-one adult attention.
    He is very inventive, designing and building his own toys, disassembling broken electronics, and playing with electrical components and circuit boards. He comes up with plausible, if inaccurate or fanciful, explanations for the things he builds from the pieces of the devices he disassembles.
    difficult child 1 has a very strong grasp of spatial relationships in two and three dimensions; his ability to complete puzzles in two and three dimensions is very advanced. He can complete advanced jigsaw and construction puzzles easily, and enjoys this type of play. He often does 100-300 piece jigsaws in an hour or less without any outside help. difficult child 1 also enjoys drawing, and can free-hand a drawing from another image with great accuracy. He enjoys building with Legos and blocks, and sculpting with clay.
    difficult child 1, along with two of his sisters, is active in Maker Scouts through the online website In this program, children complete projects which are uploaded and reviewed by staff members. After verification of three related projects, the participants earn a skill badge. difficult child 1 is also active in Cub Scouts, recently attaining the rank of Wolf Scout.

    Family Background
    difficult child 1 lives in a split family. Both parents live in the same town, and have been divorced since early 2008 (separated in 2007). The divorce was amicable, and both parents remain an ongoing part of difficult child 1’s life. Parents share custody, with difficult child 1 and his sister spending 3 days in each household per week, and alternating Saturdays. The separated co-parents communicate about the needs of their children often – at least 2-3 times per week, more often as the situation requires it.
    Unusually for a split family, all 4 adults are able to cooperatively and effectively co-parent. All adults are active in and concerned with the day-to-day life of their children, both biological and step. They will attend meetings together, pro-actively share information, and independently meet together as required (and as schedules permit) to discuss problems, issues, and change parenting styles and plans as required.

    Family Mental/Emotional History
    Father was diagnosed with mild Seasonal Depression / Seasonal Affective Disorder in high school and college, but is not taking medication for it since moving to the southwest. Sun exposure seems to effectively control the condition. In college, one of father's professors noted inattention to detail and a tendency to rush and requested an evaluation for attention deficit disorder. The evaluation was completed through the university mental health center, and did not reveal any problem.
    Step-mother suffers from depression and anxiety, and is taking Welbutrin and Xanex.
    Step-sister difficult child 2 was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and pre-morbid obsessive-compulsive disorder in October 2012, and spent 3 months in residental treatment (Dec 2012 – Feb 2013). Step-mother stayed in Denver during treatment. The separation put a lot of stress on the family. difficult child 2 is currently in treatment locally. Medications: Transitioning away from Zyprexa to Latuda (both atypical anti-psychotics), and Zoloft.
    Paternal grandfather is diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder, and is on and off various medications for it. He has previously been hospitalized for this condition. He is also using insulin to control his type-II diabetes. Also suspect ODD or some varient.
    Paternal grandmother is diagnosed with and taking medication for severe seasonal affective disorder and depression, although her condition is also lessened by a sunny environment. She also suffered from and was hospitalized for severe post-natal psychosis after the births of both her children, as did her mother.
    Maternal grandmother, deceased, was diabetic and morbidly obese before death, with a family history of obesity. She also had problems with depression.

    Individual Medical History
    Pregnancy and delivery were normal; a possible abnormal heart calcification was noted in the second-trimester ultrasound. difficult child 1 was 22” long and weighed 7 lbs 9 oz at birth. A minor hypospadia was corrected surgically at a few days old.
    Early development was normal until the age of 12-14 months, when a lack of language development was noticed. At age 18 months, pediatrician referred to ENT specialist and a mild-to-moderate hearing loss was diagnosed. Hearing was re-screened at 24 months preparatory to fitting hearing aids, and found his hearing had begun to improve. Within a few months his hearing was normal. Cause of hearing loss remains unknown.
    Immunizations followed the state-mandated schedule until age 4. difficult child 1 received his kindergarten immunizations shortly after his 4[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday, so that he could return to developmentally-delayed preschool. There were no unusual reactions to any immunizations.

    Developmental Delays
    Developmentally Delayed Skills
    Poor sense of time
    Difficulty considering the likely outcomes or consequences of actions. Impulsive.
    Difficulty considering a range of solutions to a problem. Acts of the first potential solution which comes to mind, without considering the possible negative outcomes.
    Difficulty expressing concerns, needs, or thoughts in words – this is improving
    Difficulty managing emotional response to frustration. Difficulty overcoming his emotional response in order to think rationally.
    Inflexible, inaccurate interpretations/cognitive distortions or biases (e.g., “Everyone’s out to get me,” “Nobody likes me,” “You always blame me, “It’s not fair,” “I’m stupid”). These are often coupled with a strong illusion of central position.
    Difficulty attending to or accurately interpreting social cues/poor perception of social nuances
    Difficulty starting conversations, entering groups, connecting with people/lacking other basic social skills
    Difficulty seeking attention in appropriate ways
    Difficulty appreciating how his behavior is affecting other people
    Difficulty empathizing with others, appreciating another person’s perspective or point of view
    Difficulty appreciating how he is coming across or being perceived by others
    Difficult Situations for difficult child 1
    Waking up and getting out of bed in the morning. This is slowly improving.
    Starting and completing classwork and homework, especially assignments which involve lots of writing. His handwriting is improving, but his teachers have expressed concern over it in the past. He’s very self-conscious both of neatness and of how slowly he writes. He tends to wiggle and fidget when confronted with an assignment he does not want to do. He will complete homework with constant supervision, but if the supervising adult leaves his side even for a very short time – to get a drink of water – difficult child 1 is off-task immediately. He also often comes up with inventive ways to avoid writing in his class- and homework, such as drawing lines from the answer list to the blank entry for each question to avoid re-writing the right answer on the line.
    Leaving or diverting attention from the television. Often, the television has to be turned off to get him to even acknowledge that there’s another person in the room
    Keeping bedroom clean, and completing other household chores. difficult child 1 will clean his room when asked, but left alone to do so he often reverts to playing with his toys rather than putting them away. Likewise, he is able to complete short-duration tasks easily, like taking out the trash or emptying the dishwasher, but anything which is complex or takes a long time he remains unable to complete without nearly-constant supervision.
    Getting ready for bed at night. This is also improving recently.
    difficult child 1 does not cope with boredom well. He tends to wander away, fidget, or make inappropriate choices (like acting out just to break the monotony) when confronted with even a few minutes of unoccupied time.

    Interacting with peers in an unstructured format, such as recess at school or free play at home. difficult child 1 tends to change the rules of games to suit himself, without necessarily letting his peers know about the change, and then to become irritated when they don’t know about the change in rules, or when they object because the new rules give difficult child 1 an unfair advantage. difficult child 1 becomes very angry and often acts out by hitting, throwing things, or other forms of physical violence against others or himself in these situations.
    Often, the difficulty with these situations takes the form of simple non-compliance: difficult child 1 does not get upset about what he’s being asked to do; he simply does not do it, and does not seem to understand why he should do it. Getting him to accept the idea that he needs to do what is asked of him, even when he does not want to, is extremely difficult. Repeated or escalating requests for compliance often frustrate him.
  7. SiriusHertz

    SiriusHertz New Member

    Scholastic History
    IEP in place for language delay from enrollment in daughter Preschool until end of first grade school year, when difficult child 1 reached peer-level competency with spoken language.
    IEP in place for AES Math placement from end of first grade school year.
    Behavioral Plan in place from Jan 2013. Behavioral plan is currently based on precision command training recommended by therapist.

    Social History
    difficult child 1 and easy child 1 were, at times, left un-observed before early 2007. They were frequently left in front of the television without adults present, when they woke up before adults in the house.
    difficult child 1's day care teachers noticed a tendency to prefer solitary play, similar to how Deaf children act in a hearing classroom " consistent with his early hearing loss. There were multiple behavioral reports from the day care teachers during difficult child 1's enrollment there, including reports of chasing other children, pulling down his pants on the playground and showing other children his genitalia, urinating on the playground, and throwing objects at other children.
    difficult child 1 has been lying about his behavior " both the cause and what he did " since this time. He will often twist facts to suit his interpretation of events; his parents suspect this is an unintentional cognitive distortion, but are not sure.
    When father and step-mother moved into a house together in 2007, difficult child 1 and his sister easy child 1 shared one bedroom, and easy child 2 and difficult child 2 shared the other. At first, some inappropriate sexual play was observed between easy child 1 and difficult child 1, but it was quickly corrected and not observed again until much later " shortly before Father and step-mother moved into a new house (with 4 bedrooms for the children) in 2012. easy child 1 seems to have been the instigator of this play, with difficult child 1 simply not knowing to stop it.
    During the 2010-2011 (kindergarten) school year, difficult child 1 received multiple reports, both verbal and written, of poor behavior from the after-school care program teacher. All reports were of poor responses to challenging social situations " such as hitting other students, throwing rocks at them, etc. Once, difficult child 1 threw rocks at other students " and then threw rocks at the feet of the teacher who tried to get him to stop. Teacher said that if the behavior did not stop, he would not be able to continue in the program. difficult child 1 was pro-actively removed from the program for the remainder of the year, and grandmother took over after-school care.
    In May 2011, difficult child 1 was at home with step-mother on a Saturday, while Father was at work. easy child 1 and difficult child 1 were playing with two neighbor children at the neighbor's house. difficult child 1 and easy child 1 came running home; easy child 1 had violently-red marks around her neck. easy child 1 told step-mother that difficult child 1 had choked her. After things had calmed down, we learned that the children had been playing video games when one of the neighbor kids put his feet in difficult child 1's face. After some teasing, which easy child 1 got involved in, difficult child 1 lost his temper and choked easy child 1.
    As punishment for this behavior, after calling Father and Morher, step-mother spanked difficult child 1 and put him in time-out. On Sunday, when the children arrived at Morher's house, she observed bruising on difficult child 1's buttocks and reported Step-mother for child abuse. This resulted in an on-going court case, and a court order prohibiting step-mother from spending any time with difficult child 1. The court order was revised in January 2012 to allow step-mother to be around difficult child 1 so long as either Father, grandmother, or grandfather was also present. This restriction impacted visitation for several months, and has made step-mother very hesitant to interact with difficult child 1, although there have been no further incidents.
    Reports of poor behavior at school continued throughout difficult child 1's first-grade year. difficult child 1 had problems interacting with his first-grade teacher. difficult child 1 did not respond well to teacher's disciplinary methods, and was able to visibly frustrate her when she attempted to correct his behavior in the classroom. This had the net result of undermining her authority with her students, and led to severe frustration for both parties. AES coordinator stepped in to help, often removing difficult child 1 from teacher's classroom as a mitigation.
    Father, Morher, and step-mother all noticed that difficult child 1 had begun trying to self-harm when punished around this age. He would often call himself stupid, hit himself in the head, or bite himself on the hands or arms when he was put in time-out or otherwise called to task for his behavior. All three adults immediately told him that this was not appropriate or correct, with varying results.
    difficult child 1 often reacted inappropriately while playing with friends at Father and step-mother's house during this period. Responses observed including verbal outbursts, teasing/bullying, hitting and kicking others. When asked, difficult child 1 justified these behaviors with skewed understanding of the situation, including cognitive distortions and a strong illusion of central position. Often, the other child/ren simply did not want to do things difficult child 1's way, and he could not respond appropriately to this.
    AES coordinator picked difficult child 1's second grade teacher due to conflicts with first-grade teacher. Reports of misbehavior at recess tapered off during the second grade year, replaced by reports that difficult child 1 was refusing to do his work in class at least once a week. Reports of difficulties in after-school care continued until we took difficult child 1 and easy child 1 out of the program in September, placing them with their grandmother for supervision from 2:30pm until Father or Mother got home. Early this school year, difficult child 1 began running from the classroom, starting with hiding in the bathroom and in late April, standing on a toilet to avoid being found.
    difficult child 1 regularly fails to report trouble at school to his parents. He seems to think that if he does not report the incident or the write-up, he will be able to delay or avoid punishment, despite repeated increases in punishment for the deceptions.
    In March 2013, difficult child 1 told one of his teachers at school that step-father had hit him in the face, resulting in a small mark on his cheek. The teacher reported the incident and it was investigated by CPS, but was found to be unsubstantiated. difficult child 1 later admitted to therapist that he was lying, and that he had gotten the mark on his face from a ball at soccer practice.
    During a trip to Tucson, Mother observed difficult child 1 playing on a playground with other children. difficult child 1, without apparent escalation, calmly and deliberately kicked another child in the face while on the slide. Inappropriate behavior with peers is also observed or reported at Father's house, including throwing his shoes at other children.
    In April 2013, difficult child 1 received a formal written complaint from the school, resulting in a sexual harassment report being filed at the district level. difficult child 1 was standing in line behind another (female) student, and was spanking her. He refused to stop when asked by the girl, and the teacher became involved.
    difficult child 1 is and has been aware that he has few (in his words, no) friends, and often complains of social isolation. He does not seem to connect his behavior with this condition. difficult child 1's interactions with his siblings range from strained to non-existent. easy child 2 largely avoids him whenever possible. difficult child 2 has avoided him in the past but is currently trying to connect with him; she has increased empathy for him after her recent treatment for anorexia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). easy child 1 is frequently annoyed with him, and often answers for him and tries to mother him despite having this behavior discouraged in both households.

    Interventions - Past and Present
    Precision Command Training was recommended by therapist in August 2012. She felt that difficult child 1 was beginning to show signs of Oppositional Defiance Disorder, but did not formally diagnose him. This did not seem to have any effect on difficult child 1's behavior. Therapist also provided individual counseling from August 2012 to March 2013, without apparent effect.
    Father found an online support forum at and the book The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross W. Greene in April 2013. We have not yet implemented this technique. The approach seems to resonate with some of what we are doing with difficult child 1 that does work.
    Grounding, taking away toys or electronics, physical punishment such as doing exercises or standing in a corner, and corporal punishment do not seem to be effective for difficult child 1. Charts and other visual messages are also ineffective. Step-mother did make him a chart that listed the steps he needed to take in order to maintain basic hygiene, and prepare for school each day, and bed each night. This helped to some degree, but none of the incentives provided " game or TV time, rewards, etc " proved sufficient to motivate him to comply once the initial impact had worn off.
    The approach that seems to provide the best response from difficult child 1 is a combination of a punishment which makes him think through what he did wrong, such as writing a paragraph or sentences about the situation, with talking to him about it and helping him through the thought process he should have gone through before he made the choice.
    Reducing unsupervised trouble situations also seems to help difficult child 1. When an adult is observing him playing with a peer, he is not as likely to lose control " and the adult is often able to intervene before he reacts physically and resolve the situation.
    Father and step-mother have given difficult child 1 How to Take the Grrr Out of Anger by Elizabeth Verdick and Marjorie Lisovskis. He reads it and says the anger management techniques help him. difficult child 1 reports that sometimes he is angry, but is not sure why he is angry.
    difficult child 1 is now able to recite what he should have done in most situations, including appropriate coping skills taught by therapist and his parents. This is true even when he is not able to use these skills in the heat of the moment.
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  8. SiriusHertz

    SiriusHertz New Member

    Concerns - Present and Future
    difficult child 1's behavior at home is beginning to improve under intensive social coaching, especially from step-mother. His behavior at school unfortunately is not improving. We are worried that difficult child 1 will be expelled from school for his continued behavior, both with his peers and with his teachers. His teachers seem to be reaching their wit's end with him, and often say things like, 'difficult child 1 will not complete his work. We have followed the behavior plan. Ball's in your court.' (SMS message from AES Coordinator)
    difficult child 1 would like to be able to interact with other children appropriately and effectively. He would like to have friends.
    We worry that difficult child 1's behavior will land him in criminal trouble at some point if not corrected.

    Ok, there are three posts there quoting from his Parent Report - looks like the first needs to be approved by the mods before it will be visible, but the second and this post seem to be showing up.

    To answer the one question that you all ask: I am certainly not aware of any sexual abuse. He has never mentioned or even hinted at anything in that vein, nor has his sister, to any of the various adults in their lives. It is certainly possible: none of us is a full-time stay-at-home parent so he does have a lot of adults in his life, but all of them are either family or professional care-givers, so I hope it's unlikely.

    After his mother and I divorced, I formed a fairly stable and lasting relationship with his step-mother, who has two kids form a pervious relationship, in a very short time (a few months later). His mother dated for a few years and has only recently - 4-5 years on - found a fairly-stable relationship with a man who has two children of his own.

    difficult child 1 is not and has not been on any psychiatric medication, although with the family history I detailed above, I suspect it's only a matter of time.
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just a gut feel? You're either dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspie, or with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) - or both.
    Either way, I doubt "Precision Command Training" is going to help - and may in fact harm.
    ODD... is an "odd" diagnosis. I'm on the same page as many parents on this board... it comes in handy sometimes as a "placeholder diagnosis" - at least validates that the kid has problems, and it isn't just the parents. But... ODD is not a working diagnosis. There is almost nothing you can do for ODD. What we HAVE found? ODD is usually caused by other missing dxes.

    Those early hearing problems? maybe there's some Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) in there, too... and fixing the "language" issue won't solve APDs like auditory figure ground or auditory discrimination.
    The inappropriate touching... could be either something on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum or Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).
    Knowing what to do and not doing it... could be either. For a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kid, it's choosing not to - for a spectrum kid, they don't know how to apply theory in real life situations.

    The kind of evaluator he needs... really depends on what the issues are. If there's any hint of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), it would probably be my first round... but you need somebody who really knows Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) inside and out... and most tdocs and psychiatrists do not have a clue AT ALL.
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    MWM, I think perhaps you are confusing with another poster, CoolDrew?
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did you read the posts further down? No, there was sexual acting out. There was more.

    When father and step-mother moved into a house together in 2007, difficult child 1 and his sister easy child 1 shared one bedroom, and easy child 2 and difficult child 2 shared the other. At first, some inappropriate sexual play was observed between easy child 1 and difficult child 1, but it was quickly corrected and not observed again until much later " shortly before Father and step-mother moved into a new house (with 4 bedrooms for the children) in 2012. easy child 1 seems to have been the instigator of this play, with difficult child 1 simply not knowing to stop it.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It's buried in the longest post on this thread... the one with the details.
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I don't think this poster called the child concerned a brat; that was what I was referring to.
  14. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I think so too. The original poster in this thread is the Bio dad.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That's a crock of odorous agricultural output.
    Ball is in "your" court? because the BIP isn't working?
    All this means is... the BIP isn't working.

    Change the BIP. Try other interventions. School is NOT working with you on this... not with this kind of reaction.

    You really REALLY need to know what drives this kid.
    Comprehensive evaluation is a good place to start.
    While you're waiting - Occupational Therapist (OT) and possibly Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluations - the first for sensory and motor issues, the second for subtle ADPs like auditory figure ground or auditory discrimination.

    And any kid with 'lots of adults in their lives'... is at risk of being abused. And no the child will NOT tell you. And no, you asking just makes it worse. This is a question to bring up with a therapist who specializes in child sexual abuse - see if you can get in on that kind of therapist for a "rule-out" of child sexual abuse.

    And... to me, it sounds like not much stability for this kid... which really tends to mess with attachment on some level. It doesn't take horrific abuse - just inconsistent care due to neglect can bring on insecure attachment.

    When I first responded (after the really long post), the next post hadn't shown up yet - and it sounds like there is one more out there somewhere.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member


    Malika, I think you are right. Jules too. I think I mistook this poor guy for the other one. I'm going to re-read the entire post and then, if I have anything to add beyond that the sexual abuse/acting out is serious, I will. Thanks for telling me.

    IC, good post.

    Ok, after re-reading I think this kid is probably somewhere on the spectrum with possible insecure attachment since he's been through so many caregivers and changes, but the sexual stuff bothers me the most. That almost always means kids were sexually abused themselves. They often don't remember the incident(s) as thier minds protect them (disassociation), but it lingers in their sub-coscience often compelling them to act out sexually on other kids. I feel this HAS to be addressed by a professional who is knowledgeable in the area of sexuality in kids. He will know what is and isn't normal and can usually figure out if a child was abused. A run-of-the-mill therapist/psychologist without special education in this area could miss this very important matter.

    Secondly, I'd go to a neuropsychologist, not a regular psychologist. You need to see if this kid has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The diagnosis is very important in the US, if you want to get the treatment that can give your son (and daughter) normal lives. It doesn't just go away and therapy does not change Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) behavior or thinking. These kids are differently wired in their brains and need special types of help.

    It's good that all the parents are on the same page, but four parents and step-siblings to boot is still a load of people for a difficult child. They tend to like life predictable and calm.

    I do owe you a big apology. One poster called his child a brat many times and I thought it was you. Calling the child a brat started me and that poster off on a bad foot, but I took it out on you when you didn't even say it. I'm genuinely apologetic. It sounds like you want to help your son and love him.
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Aspergers? Somewhere on the spectrum. A neuro/psychiatric detailed examination is needed. I really admire the in depth information provided and hope the parents get a well qualified neuro/psychiatric to give them direction. Best of luck and do keep us up to is obvious that you are struggling and trying to provide the support needed. Hugs DDD
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ditto a possible Aspie diagnosis. GREAT write-up, SiriusHertz.
    Also, was his biomom a smoker? Just wondering, because the kids I know with-hypospadias and hearing issues had moms who smoked. It affected the flow of blood and the development. In fact, one fetus I observed on a color ultrasound 17 yrs ago ... and after the mom quit smoking, the baby healed, at least, in regard to the hypospadias. She was a potential birthmom I had met and the entire experience came rushing back at me as I read that part of your post.
    Sorry, quite tangential. :)
    I suspect that your difficult child is one of those kids you need to explain everything to, every single time. To him, ea situation is different. He cannot connect the dots until much later in life. I saw a lot of my son in your post, with-the exception that the math and handwriting would be reversed (mine has good writing and is bad at math). But the behaviors are very similar.
    At this age, it is soooo hard to tell whether you're dealing with-a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or mood disorder or both.
    But you seem to be doing the right things. Be aware that discipline in his case means consistency, not punishment. He doesn't "get it." My son would choose a spanking over Time Out because he could get it over with and go right back to doing what he was doing before (iow, what he was punished for). That was an awakening for me!
  19. SiriusHertz

    SiriusHertz New Member

    All three of my posts are showing up now - sorry they took a bit, and also for the length and complexity of the situation. Its not simple, which is why we've been having such a hard time getting tdocs of any stripe to understand it. The last one took 6 months to realize we were co-parenting effectively before she would even consider that the situation, while obviously not a traditional nuclear family, is not the only thing going on. I was never so happy to see a tool as I was to learn about the parent report - and we sat down and wrote one that runs to 10 pages! I'm sure it will help; it already is here.

    Thank you all for the insights. We initially thought Aspergers/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as well. It was ruled out by the first therapist on the grounds that he has entirely too much imagination to fit into the diagnosis. Terry, that sounds exactly right - no concept of taking a lesson learned in one social situation and applying it to a different situation. If the first situation reoccurs he can apply the instructions we gave him - unless he gets so over-emotional that he looses control. Then, who knows. His mom didn't and still doesn't smoke, nor do I - although his stepmom does (I'm still trying to get her to quit). Midwest, I am often frustrated with my various kids - but I know that the behaviors at this level are not things they can control (or they would be), and also that calling them names won't help anyone. No worries about confusing me with that other guy though :) He sounds like a very frustrated father. difficult child 1 has the first appointment with a psychologist for a more comprehensive assessment this morning; we're all anxiously awaiting the results.
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a multi-part evaluation, then... which is at least a step in the right direction.

    Too much imagination for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspie? (rofl...)
    Sorry, imagination isn't what defines kids on the spectrum.
    I know artists and musicians who are Aspie... and they are GOOD at what they do.
    (sticks tongue out at that therapist for you)

    Black and white thinking. Social skills problems. Challenges with transitions. Sensory and/or motor skills issues can be part of that picture. They are WIRED differently. They THINK differently.

    Try hunting done some bios of Aspie people (we found them in used book stores locally at under $3 each...)
    I found that the real-life examples told me way more than any official "Aspie" or "Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)" book ever did... at least, until we figured out what was going on (turns out I'm the Aspie... :) )
    Your kid won't necessarily have the same behaviours... but you may notice the thought patterns.
    One good one is "Look Me In The Eye" by John Elder Robinson.

    Side note... how is your home with routines? i.e.... is every day different, lots of flexibility? or is bedtime "always" at 8, supper "always" at 6... etc.? Is the bed-time routine identical every single night? Aspies don't necessarily WANT routine... but they thrive on it.