Just looking for answers.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ovrwhlmd, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. Ovrwhlmd

    Ovrwhlmd New Member

    I just discovered this website yesturday and I'm hoping to get some support and answers. I'm not quite sure what the protocol is on this site yet, so please forgive me if I don't use the right acronyms. My DS is 4 years old and I have been struggling with defiance and massive temper tantrums since he was 16 months old. He will lose his temper over things that in my opinion are totally illogical and get upset about things that are opposite what they should be. For instance, I have warned him about getting a spank for something and he would say no I don't want one and apologize, then when I said "ok, thank you for your apology" he will scream at me "I want a spank!" My other DS is 2 and I have had absolutely no challenges with him. I am not "comparing" either of them, but I do know that something is not right about my oldest. We recently (year and a half) moved to GA from Calif. In a round about way I also discovered that any of the Red Dyes set him off, so I have eliminated that from his diet. However, that has not eliminated the behavior. I just recently heard about ODD and am not even sure if I should have him seen. It is a moderate case, not slight enough to say that it's infrequent, but certainly not all day every day occurances. I'm hoping to find some clarity on this site and I'm very weary as you all say of not having any answers. I do have to comment on the fact though, that any of the classes (Sunday School, or weekly Mommy meetings) the teachers never complain about his behavior. So I'm trying to untangle the thoughts in my head.

    Please feel free to ask all and any questions...I will be honest and I just want some certainty as to what this could possibly be.

    Thanks for being here.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member


    Have you noticed anything unusual about his speech? Things like speaking very early or very late, adult sounding speech, articulation problems, not answering questions properly as if confused by the question, echoing a question back instead of answering, etc?

    Anything else unusual about his development?

    Spanking (and often consequences) almost never work for young very difficult children, especially if there is an underlying neurological problem behind the behavior. I'd encourage you to look for alternative methods to accomplish your goals. Many of us have had good success with Ross Greene's The Explosive Child approach. His book is available in most large bookstores or online.
  3. Ovrwhlmd

    Ovrwhlmd New Member

    As far as his speach, well we started baby signs when he was 6 months and he did not start using words (not sure if he was just lazy) until he was about 2-2 1/2. He has had problems saying certain words such as his "L"s and R"s but I thought that might be normal for his age. He gets upset easily if there is hair on him and he can not go anywhere with-o his blankie (still thought that was normal for his age) we just got rid of the paci about 6 months ago, but he has now reverted to sucking his thumb when he's upset or tired.
    I just used the spanking as an example of how he gets upset when he's not getting disciplined as if he wants to be in control of the good or the bad. He has always intagonized his brother since he was a baby. Now they fight all the time. It is very rare that they play nicely together. He does ok with older kids and kids that are constantly in his classes. He fights with his cousin who is 7 whenever they visit. My husband is a twin, and him and his brother (especially my brother in law) have always had challenges with-authority figures. I am wondering if this is definitely genetic.

    Thank you for the book referral. I was looking at the book Dance of Defiance and wondering if anyone had read it. I'm not sure I should read it if I'm not sure if that's what he has.

    Thanks again,
  4. Dara

    Dara New Member

    We are going through similar things with my 3 year old. He is defiant and the smallest things set him into a violent rage. He soometimes will be perfectly happy and suddenly start raging over who knows what. And like your son, Sammy is perfect for the rest of the population. No issues whatsoever. Sammy does have develpmtl delays and did have siezures at 11 days old. We just had him evaluated by a developmental pediatrician. They are calling it Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) because they dont know where he fits. We have been working with therapists for 2 years and have improved on some levels.
    I would start with your pediatrician and see what they have to say and go from there. Maybe ask if you need to look into behavioral therapy and maybe a neuro evaluation.
    Hope this helps a bit. In the meantime Hugs from us!
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Very often when parents start doing their homework they recognize genetic tendencies.

    About getting upset if there's a hair on him, does he also seem overly sensitive to changes in clothing, foods, or very bothered by things like bright light or loud sounds?

    How does he do with transitions and changes in routines?

    Any sleep problems?
  6. Ovrwhlmd

    Ovrwhlmd New Member

    Sensitivity to changes in clothing would be he has an issue if a certain blanket is not with the rest of them, his "duckie blankie" feels different than the others and he's partial to that particular one. Foods, we have discovered his behavior excellerates if has anything with-Red Dye in it. No problems with-bright light or sounds. As far as changes in routine - he doesn't do well at all on a routine because in the middle of something that i would consider part of a routine he could have a neuclear meltdown - so there has not been much room for routines. Transitions is another story. When we moved here from California he did fine, but my mom moved here last June to live with us and for about 6-8 months he would scream at her, things such as "don't come down the stairs, go back to your room, don't come in my car" He does similar things to me now, but not as often. He will tell me to go away and that he wants a new mommie or just scream as loud as he can at me.

    As far as sleep problems....well that's a monster in itself. He has probably slept thru the night only a dozen times in his short little 4 year old life. He gets up every night and either wants to sleep with-us or he wants me or husband to sleep with him. If the word "no" comes out there's a major meltdown and I've just been too tired and exhausted to fight, so maybe I've created a habbit, I have no idea.

    Our family history is hard to evaluate because my husband has no idea what his background is, they (his twin bother and him) were adopted at 5 and their parents had them evaluated by many doctors who never gave a clear diagnosis. My family has a history of depression, anxiety and possibly bi-polar. Not for sure though.

    You are all so helpful, I'd love more possiblities or questions.

  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If your child has grown up in a stable loving environment with consistent (not perfect) parenting then I think there's enough here to warrant talking to your pediatrician about getting a referral for an evaluation. Emphasize that he was delayed in speech, doesn't handle transitions well, has problems with authority, has some red flags for possible sensory issues, and detail the family mental health history. I will warn you in advance that pediatricians tend to hesitate on this and will refer to a psychologist or behavioral therapist with the intent to give the family help with the behavioral aspects but it's not the same as a full multidisciplinary evaluation.

    It would be good to start keeping a log including number of meltdowns a day, times, triggers (or lack of triggers) etc. Give specific examples such as what he screams at you.

    I've been there, done that with sleep issues with two kids and both turned out to have legitimate reasons. For now until you have a grasp on what's going on I'd recommend getting sleep whereever and however. You also might experiment around to find out what it is that he is seeking by coming in with you. Anxious kids simply need assurance of a parent nearby so a little bed or sleeping bag on the floor beside yours could be a solution. My daughter was very tactile sensitive and craved the feel of a warm body next to her--didn't start sleeping well until we stumbled upon giving her a high loft mummy sleeping bag and surrounding her with pillows. Sleep problems can be a result of many things including seeking a comfortable sensory situation, health problems, etc.

    dig around here and see if anything rings a bell--not sure that it will but just in case.
  8. Ovrwhlmd

    Ovrwhlmd New Member

    Thank you so very much for your input. It's comforting to know that there are people out there going thru what I am, and I know you hear that all the time. My mother said that she had the same issues with my brother 40 something years ago and no one had answers other than he was a brat and she needed to be consistent with her parenting. I have already tried to discuss discipline issues with psychiatrist and he said what I suspected "Be consistent and have a routine, that should help". But now I feel equipped with certain words you gave me like sensory issues and delayed speach and transitional challenges. That is very helpful and gives me the confidence to at least sound like I know what I'm talking about. Doctors can be so intimidating. We work very hard here in our home to be as loving and understanding and well balanced as a family can be (including Mimi - my mother). in my opinion if there weren't these red flags I've been struggling with all these years I'd feel safe to say we were a perfectly normal family with normal day to day challenges, but that is very much not the case here.

    So, with that said - and support in the right direction, I will make an appointment to see the psychiatrist and just pray for the right solutions.

  9. herra

    herra New Member

    Just an FYI...A lot of peds these days are quick to jump to the autism diagnosis. Autism is almost an epidemic now because the spectrum is so large that it covers just about all the behaviors, speech, sensory issues, ect... You need to have an MRI done and an EEG to rule out neurological problems and/or seizure-type abnormalities that could have completely different consequences. Insurance is a big issue when it comes to this one. Most insurance companies consider "autism" to be a learning disorder and do not cover, or only cover a portion of the expenses for the child. If there is a true neurological problem, it's a different story, and the treatment will be different. My son went through speech therapy for a long time with a highly reputable company and he made close to no progress (this is when he had his autism diagnosis) and we paid alot of money out of pocket for this. We finally had an MRI and EEG done and realized that we were on the wrong path and where to go from there. It's exhausting, but if you explore all your options and rule things out, it's very helpful. Just a suggestion from someone who's been there. Seemed as though you were speaking from my mind about two years ago. Good luck!
  10. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Since you've noticed he reacts to red dye, you might try eliminating other common allergens in his food and see if you notice any other improvement. My difficult child's ODD is mostly gone after eliminating gluten and dairy. Other common food allergies are soy, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and peanuts. Maybe corn, too.
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Getting an accurate diagnosis is very important but most of the time that does happen in steps with most children. Rarely will a parent get the full picture in the initial evaluation, even when what is discovered is accurate. Frequently they'll make additional discoveries and/or find that a "course correction" is needed somewhere along the way.

    Herra, I suspect the reason that peds are quick to jump to an Autism diagnosis is overcorrection due to their dismal track record of recognizing it in the past. By their own survey of 1,300 families, the average age of Autism diagnosis was age 6 despite most parents felt something was wrong by 18 months and most sought medical assistance by age 2. The article below outlines statistics, including the fact that almost half the families found more assistance through the school districts and other parents than through the medical community. I believe the outcome of this journal article was a joint campaign by the peds assn and the CDC to educate the medical community. It's possible there's going to be some "overcorrection" before it settles down.

    YOU are your child's only advocate. Keep plugging away until it feels right and your child is on the path to making progress!
  12. Ovrwhlmd

    Ovrwhlmd New Member

    I remembered a few other things over the past couple of days and wanted to share. Sensitivity to materials - he does not like to wear clothing (only around the house). I know he is aware of his body and he's obviously comfortable at home but even when we're in the car he always at least takes his shoes and socks off. So I always have to allow more time to put those things back on before we go into a store. He also does not eat very many breads, for instance, he would rather eat just the meat in a sandwhich and a hot dog with-o a bun and a corndog with no batter.

    Anything else you can shed some light on would be great.
  13. looking4sanity

    looking4sanity New Member

    HI, I just started this whole Autism Spectrum Disorder road. My son is 2.5 y/o. I thought he was an active/difficult child. Around 18 months I had some concerns and contacted the state early intervention--they said he was above average intelligence not to worry about his speech. They were orifessionals so I was ok. I voiced my concerns again to my pediatrician a few months later when he was getting bitten at daycare and was not crying (an autism trait...high pain tolerance). P doctor told me verbatim "he talks, look at him, don't worry about autism." Well my beautiful boy has had severe febrile seizures and was sent to Vanderbilt neurology for the seizure activity. Preliminary EEG was normal was neurologist said activity could be in the deep brain so I started asking about the weird behavior..repeating things 10-15 times. No being flexible withhis routine. Not playing with other children. Refusing o let daddy do anything for him, etc etc. So in the meantime he was seen by a behavioral psychologist bc we thought these meltdowns were behavioral (maybe ADHD). After the EEG the doctor toldme the beahior was NOT normal and sounded like Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) not otherwise specified or possibly Aspergers. After I picked my jaw from the floor and fought back my tears like a champ I said ok what now. She said I will get in contact with some pplhere at Vanderbilt and we will get th ball rolling. They called today...they have no space for him!! My luck. However, I had to make somecoffee and suck it up and figure it out. We are military so I am alone 90% of the time. I had to get my head together or nothing would get done, ya know. I guss I am giving you some history to lead you to my question to your answer...wellmaybe I can answer it. Ok so I called several docs but they told me, "we do not see kids under 10." I thought f%$# what now. So I got smart and called thebehavioral psychologist my son had seen last weekend and told him the EEG results and told him what the neurologist told me and he gave me the name of a developmental pediatrician. Before this website I had never even heard that term before so I knew when he said it I needed to go there. He said this man came highly recommended so I felt very good about it. Healso told me not to use one person to give us a diagnosis which I have also read here on the site. He said he would be there with us all along the way. He also gave me a bit of info I was not aware of, he said that if you utilize the early intervention people they can pay for the evaluation if the facility requires you to do so. He was a wealth of info. Also, being a mother of 3 inmy heart I knew something was not right with this child. I knew somethingwas off. He is smart as a whip but something is not there. I would start journaling too. A friend of mine told me to video him too bc hedoes not always display the super quirly behaviors in front of other people. If you ever wanna chat feel free to im me on yahoo bc believe me I am looking for someone too. Good luck girl.