Just a Vent-getting ready for school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by fun fam, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    Does anyone else's kids fight getting ready for school? Its only week two and I'm already exhausted and SO SO tired of this fight. My difficult child doesn't seem to mind school itself, but hates the getting ready process. He fights eating breakfast, getting clothes on, putting shoes on, walking to the bus stop (its VERY close and I go with him) etc....I help him with all these things as much as I can, but he will still go into a rage and end up hitting or kicking me (and he won't just hit/kick once--he will keep being aggressive until I can get him to his room to calm down.) Some of his tantrums are brought on by sensory issues, but some of it is just plain defiance. I buy his shoes and clothes so that they are extra soft and comfortable--he will only wear one brand of shoes (its expensive) so that's what I buy. I try to make everything as easy on him as humanly possible. I make the routine the same everyday and there are no suprises. And still...its fighting every morning. The crazy thing is--he's in afternoon kindergarten, so he just has to be ready by noon. He gets up at 6:45ish, and it takes me all freakin' morning to get him ready. I have NO clue what I'm going to do next year, when he has to be ready by 8:30. Heaven help me.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can you put down a signature about your family so we know a little bit about your kid? Without his diagnosis, it's pretty hard to know why he acts this way. Any history on him you care to share? Any medication? Ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation? Who diagnosed him?

    He may well have sensory issues, although they very rarely exist by themselves. If in fact he is sensory sensitive which feels good to you may either bother him or even hurt him. You can't compare how it feels to you to how it feels to him.
  3. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    SOrry, I just added a signature. It was mostly a vent. I understand sensory processing disorder (SPD) and that things feel different to him. difficult child has had many diagnoses from ODD (which I understand is not that helpful) to mood disorder to ADHD to now a-typical aspergers. ASDs do run in the family and I am pretty familiar with them. Our son seems like he has aspergers in every way except he is very "in tune" socially. Very popular in the neighborhood, makes friends super easy, other kids LOVE him, knows how to compromise during play, and he has good theory of mind skills. Our current therapist, who is supposedly one of the best in the state for ODD-type kids says he "can't quite figure out" our son. Its like he has aspergers, but none of the social/language components. Its almost like a new disorder needs to be created for him. We've seen 4 different therapists and we keep getting told he is such a complicated case. We try different things but he stays the same. Great with friends and so far at school---but a defiant, aggressive child at home.

    He was born full-term, lots of love and good care. He had sleep apnea for 2 years and I think that created a strong anxiety in him. Other than that though, he has not had any hardship that I know of. oh and no medication so far. Several members of our family have tried medications for years, and no one has found relief, only weird side effects. So I'm hesistant to try.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    FF, my son was too when he was in kindergarten. He had high energy and liked to run and make jokes and he attended every birthday party. But it fell apart fast for him once friendship became more complicated and you had to have give-and-take conversations and heart-to-hearts and common interests to keep friends. And when it wasn't funny anymore if you got to close to somebody or thought it was funny to make a loud noise in their ear. It's really kind of early to know about your son's social skills because very young kids don't interact the same way older kids do.

    My son actually thought everyone was his friend and would go up to and talk to anyone.

    Often Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids do better with younger kids or adults as they get older because they are more forgiving of social errors.

    If your son has tantrums when he is older (and many of our kids do) he will sadly lose his popularity. His diagnosis may change with time. It already has. Time tells us a lot. They evolve, the treatment and diagnosis evolves too :)
  5. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    I realize it is early to asses his social skills and things may change with time---But, I don't think I have my head in the sand here either. I'm not trying to defend social-ness at all, because I'd be more than happy to discuss it if it seemed to be an issue. Its just that every professional we have met with says the same thing--that he is socially advanced if anything. And that's what I see too. And I've analyzed it a million times over. I know many in my family with ASDs. And I know that people on the spectrum can be outgoing, friendly, etc. My son does not have his tantrums in front of other kids (so far). He is much more easy going when friends are around. He is socially appropriate and doesn't do anything that other kids would find annoying, like talk too loud or stand too close or make noises. The other day, he was playing tag with 4 other boys his age. One boy moved to the edge, and started crying. The other kids didn't notice, but my son did. He ran over, put his arm around this kid and asked why he was sad. The crying kid said he felt left out of the game. My son said, "don't worry, I'll make sure you are included" and then told the other kids to play with him . Anyway, I could write about my son forever, and it would still be impossible for anyone else to see the whole picture. Cause you can't really tell what he's like unless you know him/live with him. He's one of those kids that almost seems like two different people, depending on what situation he is in. But anyway, I just needed to vent about our hard mornings is all.
  6. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Complex conundrum kid. been there done that.

    He's too young to test for APDs, especially auditory figure ground. But ask him (when he's calm, cool and collected) what he likes and doesn't like about school. If he says "it's too noisy"... that might be partly sensory processing disorder (SPD), but it could also be a problem with auditory figure ground...

    Has he ever been assessed by the Occupational Therapist (OT) for motor skills issues?

    Is he a good sleeper - off to sleep in about 10 minutes, sleeps "quietly", wakes rested? or... is he asleep before he hits the pillow, OR takes forever to get to sleep, OR thrashes around half the night? If so, there may be sleep issues... or major fatigue issues from other problems (such as motor skills, Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), sensory processing disorder (SPD)...)

    Has he always been violent? or... did it get a lot worse when he started school?
  7. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    He says he loves school, and I believe he does. He loved preschool last year and was very well behaved for the teacher. He just doesn't like the process of getting ready. When we are finally ready, and at the bus stop, he runs onto the bus as soon as it gets there. He always comes home in a good mood and says, "school is great!" He just doesn't like to be "forced" into doing things like getting his clothes on (sensory), eating breakfast (sensory) but he also gets mad at random stuff along the way. He has had explosive meltdowns (screaming, hitting walls) since 18 months old, and its escalated into hitting, kicking, biting, etc as he's gotten older.
    He had sleep apnea as a baby--snored like a bear, thrashed, kicked in his sleep. Had a sleep study done at 3 years old which revealed it officially. Had his tonsils removed, which were huge, and he has been a wonderful sleeper since. Goes to bed at 8 and sleeps very calmly, not snoring, etc. Wakes up around 6:45ish.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    transitions. always a problem for spectrum kids.
    Mine doesn't like getting ANYTHING "going", and then... doesn't want that same thing to END.

    Dress him in t-shirts and sweats and let him sleep in those so he's already dressed in the morning? (works to about grade 2 or so).
    Set up a specific routine that is absolutely identical every morning.
    If he isn't pre-dressing, at least pre-choose clothes. Provide less choices in clothes. Mine had 2 pairs of pants and 3 tops... and the tops were all the same color.

    School right now may be providing structure... can you do the same at home? and yes, take it to an extreme... sometimes it's the only thing that helps.
  9. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    My son also has a hard time getting going but then often does not want to stop something either....We do have a written schedule of what we do in the mornings and he always knows what to expect. Once reason he loves school so much is because all his little buddies go there so he's excited to see them. We have a playdates 3 times a week that he loves and doesn't complain about and that helps him be cooperative. yes, I think you are right, its the transition that is hard. I don't think he'd go for wearing sweatpants and t-shirts to bed--he has certain pajamas he has to wear and I don't think he would waver from that. he does wear sweatpants and t-shirts to school--I would not dare jeans!
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He has a lot of spectrum traits, but there are things that mimic spectrum. What were his early years like? He doesn't really sound like he fits into anything completely. He may be one of those kids who is hard to figure out at least until he gets older.

    There are people with LOTS of spectrum traits (like me) who do not exactly fit on the spectrum, but who have other serious issues. I don't know about this little one. Can't figure him out by what OP has said. Something's up and I think sensory processing disorder (SPD) is there for sure. But sensory processing disorder (SPD) doesn't stand alone...

    Reading "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene would probably help a lot, at least for making peace in the house.
  11. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    For sure sensory processing disorder (SPD). Definitely. Can sensory processing disorder (SPD) not stand alone? I don't know. At first I heard its always comorbid with ADHD or autism, etc. But some other expert tells me it can definitely stand alone. So I have no idea. Early years were pretty normal--born healthy and full term. Lots of love and attention always. Neither husband nor I have bad tempers so we've been able to withstand his behavior without much yelling or anything like that.

    He did have sleep apnea as a baby/toddler, that was diagnosed at 3 years old. So his sleep those early years was TERRIBLE. Our twins weren't the best sleepers either (didn't sleep through the night till 2 years old) so we thought it just ran in the family. But difficult child's sleep kept getting worse and worse as he got older, not better. He would snore, thrash, scream and sleep walk. At age 2, he was waking up more at night than our newborn. Every single night. He was crazy tired but could not take a decent nap. We talked to the pediatrician numerous times and he thought difficult child would outgrow it. Finally, at age 3, I was crying in the dr office saying its just not normal, please help! finally, a sleep study was done and found he was not breathing well at night, which is why he could never sleep. We took out his tonsils, and he slept calmly through the night right away. It felt like a miracle...but now he have these behavioral issues.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Never heard of sensory processing disorder (SPD) standing alone. But as far as I know (from having sensory issues of my own and my son having them...so it's strictly personal stuff, not professional) having a bad reaction to sensory stuff doesn't cause that degree of anger. It's more like revulsion and "get me out of here!" I can't see that it would cause violence if it stood by itself.

    The experts I talked to, and of course they all have their own ideas, told me the sensory issues are secondary to other things, but who knows who is right? You tend to learn to handle sensory overload as you get older. My son used to be unable to go to a movie threatre without covering his ears the entire time. He liked to go to movies...lol...but never ever went without covering his ears. And we couldn't go to the Fourth of July fireworks for many years beause he couldn't take it. The loudness made him cry. He didn't get angry, he got frantic. "Mommy, take me home! Take me home! Please! I'm scared! It hurts my ears!" So I did and hubby and daughter would stay (shrug). We had to cut off all the tags in his clothes or he'd jump around saying, "It's itchy. Take it out! Take it out!" He still cuts out his tags, at 20, but he does not react out loud.

    What used to anger him were:
    1/Changes in his environment
    2/If I took him to a familiar place, say school, and drove a different route, even if I had to do it because of rode construction. He would cry and yell and insist I shouldn't go that way, even though it took us to the same place and he knew it.
    3/If he was in a crowded place and there was too much noise, he'd fall apart. I learned to wait until husband got home to go shopping.
    4/The furniture in his room was rearranged even a little bit.
    5/This will seem silly, but if we told him we were leaving at 6:00 and we said, "Ok, time to go" and he saw that it was 5:59, he'd refuse to go. "It's not 6:00 yet.. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah"

    Stuff like that angered him. But that was the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), not the sensory issues. He has grown into an easygoing young man who can handle imperfections, but he couldn't when he was younger. Change disturbed him tremendously as did lots of chaos.
  13. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    I have read the explosive child. The problem is, my son doesn't want to talk about making a plan or putting two concerns on the table to come up with a solution. When you bring stuff up, he shuts down and either throws things, or just sits there mute. I have never been successful at making a plan with him. My son has the same types of meltdowns as yours, Midwest mom. Number 1, 2, 3 and 5 all sound familiar. However, he takes it a step further and decides every issue is husband or my "fault" and he needs to hit/kick us to get his frusteration out. Like, for example, he will ask "When is Grandma coming?" If we say "around 8 pm" he will expect her to be there right at 8 pm. When 8 pm hits, he gets very upset, says we lied to him, and is immediately hitting and kicking us. Or...we are at the park and he trips and falls. He will say that I "made" him fall--even if I am standing far away from him--and will run to me to hit/kick me. Or--I go a different way home because of traffic. He says I am going the wrong way--like your son--but then he unbuckles himself and is throwing things at my head because I am making him so angry by going a different way and I need to pay for it. (that's how he would explain it)
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What type of doctors have you seen? Has he ever seen a neuropsychologist? They actually do the best testing with the most intensity. Pediatricians, talk therapists, counselors and even regular psychologists do not do the same type of testing. He is so complicated that he probably needs the Top Dog to get a handle on him. He sounds very spectrumish to me, but you say he has great social skills. That makes him a complicated puzzle and he will be hard to pin down. And pinning it down is important so that you know which types of interventions will work for him. Are there any issues on his DNA family tree on either side?
  15. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    Our therapist tried to get us in with a couple of good neuropsychs. They have long waiting lists. She gave them all of our paperwork to look over. They came back and said not to bother making an appointment because they didn't think they could help us and it would be a waste of time and money. Seriously. I guess I just need to find another clinic, but there aren't very many options. On my side there are several people with either general anxiety or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). On husband's side, lots of aspies and High-Functioning Autism (HFA). husband is not an aspie though--but has a "spectrumy" brother (not diagnosed,) and a High-Functioning Autism (HFA) nephew, an aspie uncle, and aspie newphew.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes you need a new primary care physician... one who will fight FOR you to get the evaluation
    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) runs in husband's side of the family... your difficult child needs to be screened for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  17. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    sensory processing disorder (SPD) can stand alone. And it causes also behavioural issues on its own. When my difficult child was young, sensory processing disorder (SPD) was a newish thing and they thought it would not be a stand-alone diagnosis. So when difficult child was young, it was something they identified first and always told us, that it was too eraly to tell, but difficult child would likely end up aspie or at least ADHD later. He didn't. He does have some aspie-type things and his social skills are weak, but he lacks some core aspie-characteristics and even those he does have, are not clear and serious enough to warrant a diagnosis. And he is not an only one. There are lots of kids with clear sensory processing disorder (SPD) from early on, but who do not develop any other clear neurological syndrome, some are many ways very neuro-typical, some, like my kid, just; "people are different, some are little more so."
  18. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    Maybe its just sensory processing disorder (SPD) then...I don't know. He is a HUGE tip-toe walker, which I know is common with sensory processing disorder (SPD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  19. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    I feel like I wrote a bunch of "bad" stuff about my son detailing his difficulties. Here are his strengths for a more well-rounded picture:

    --he is awesome with animals and loves them so much. He took care of a stray cat for awhile till it disappeared. It turned out my neighbor had called animal control. We have three pets rats and he plays with them all the time. He will take them to his room and play with them. I know he's not hurting them because if you scare them in any way, or accidentally step on their tail (I've done this), they squeak LOUD! They never squeak when he is playing with them. Plus I pop my head in to check and he is always just sitting there, gently playing with the rat. He is their best friend.

    --he is really nice to his little brother. He has occasionally hit him, but not hard and its mostly just normal sibling stuff and aggression towards his 3 year old brother is rare. For the most part, he is kind and protective and nice to his little brother. They can be playing in the room next to and I don't worry that difficult child will do something bad to his little bro.

    --he is a really fast learner, as long as he is interested in the subject, and has a great imagination too. He taught himself some of the multiplication tables this summer.

    --he get intensely angry, but he is also intensely loving. When he's in a good mood, he will often yell out LOVE YOU MOM and a give me big hug, several times a day. He loves to cuddle on my lap.

    --he is remorseful for his violence. sometimes he will give me one of his favorite toys to say he is sorry and make me feel better.

    I don't know if this helps you understand him anymore, but it felt good to write about some of his better traits!
  20. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    So his biggest problems seem to be sensory stuff and impulse control during meltdowns. And being intensive and feeling big.

    We had a lot of all that too, but also lots of social awkwardness and lack of skills (and getting badly bullied made that worse.) Mine also has tendencies for untypical attention management but he can manage also typical, if motivated/has to/to do to get. Mine is now young adult and despite two broad evaluations (both in well respected children's hospital under neurology and psychiatric department and taking several days) several years apart, they never really came up with what is wrong with him. He is talented in some ways (mainly high IQ and being very talented in one sport, also some artistic flares) and very good at compensating. He has not escaped his issues without scars. He has PTSD with rather disturbing dissociation symkptoms as testament of peer issues and he is recovering gambling addict (and has ruined his reputation because of that before he even turned 18) due to both psychological and neurological issues. So I can't talk about any shiny success story. But things could be worse. So even without any big, real diagnosis, just going with symptoms and dealing with them, you are not totally lost. Treat what you see. If there are sensory issues, they need to be treated despite the cause. Impulse control issues - try to find help for those. Try different approaches, something may stick.

    Of course also go after broad evaluations and trying to get that big diagnose. But if that is not in the cards, just deal with matters as they come. Your kid seems to have lots of strengths too. Those are more important than struggles.