Major meltdown ... I knew this would happen

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    difficult child had his first meltdown since going off wheat. Sorry to say, it was identical to the meltdowns he had while still on wheat.

    He was given a lower dose of Adderal yesterday a.m., (we had extras and were trying to use them up) and it wore off very early, plus, he borrowed a neighbor's hand-held Game Boy and stayed up half the night 2 nights in a row playing it, (which we didn't figure out until after we put the pieces together--I checked on him at 11 one night and he was asleep in an odd mummy position, and easy child saw him an hr later, playing with-the GameBoy, which explains the faux sleep pose. Aaargh!) so between the lack of sleep, the low dose, and the excess frontal lobe activity with-that game, he was ready to blow.
    (It was all my fault, by the way, because I had the nerve to turn off the TV and make him eat dinner at the table, like I'm the mom or something.:laugh: Yes, I warned, or "transitioned" him.)

    As usual, he threatened to kill me, said he wanted to live with-his bmom, and even argued with-husband, splintered 2 huge closet dowels from his closets, and trashed his room. Most of the heavy duty stuff he did alone with-husband, thank heaven, (while I listened) because husband is still bigger and stronger and can use physical force if necessary and was considering calling the police. He didn't have to do either one, but gosh, this was the closest we've gotten.

    He calmed down in about 1/2 hr--record time!-- and was an angel this a.m.

    This afternoon, I met with-easy child, her marine bio teacher, and the dean of students, because easy child got a D on her final exam, and was totally shocked. She had thought it was very easy. Turns out she knew the material but did not test well, because she wasn't specific enough in her essay questions. The teacher acted like we were in court and she was arguing her case, on top of which, she got on easy child's case for talking too much in class, and had easy child in tears to the point where she couldn't even talk.
    The good news is, easy child found an error in adding up the essay Q score, which brought her grade up to a C.
    The teacher was all about how much work she put into the lesson plan-"rewriting it from Jan.-May for your entertainment" and writing the test from scratch and how the students didn't appreciate it. Very intimidating. Very strange.
    I expected the mtg to go 20 min. It went almost 2 hrs!

    Between last night and tonight, I am exhausted.
    Oh, and there's no way difficult child will make it at that school. I'm not even going to attempt it after 5th gr.

    Oh, $*@^, I forgot to call the child psychiatric and make an appointment. today. I need to go in with-difficult child if they have a last min. cancellation. :mad:
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm so sorry Terry. It is so disappointing when we think we've found a solution. Maybe the diet has helped a lot, but you just need to find the other triggers.

    HUGS!! You've had a long day- try to get some rest- you are doing all you can...
  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    So, I have to ask, is it possible he had anything with even traces of gluten? If not gluten, could he have had milk?

    My daughter was greatly improved while just gluten free but had some episodes I attributed to accidental gluten. After a few weeks, I realized they were all milk related.

    Now, when she gets accidental gluten, her rage episodes are sometimes even worse than before. She has actually kicked a hole in the wall where she never did anything close to that before. I think the lack of gluten/casein makes the traces or cheats so much harder to handle. I know this sounds incredible and my husband doesn't believe this but I have felt it in myself so I know it is possible.

    At least he calmed down quickly! I think (hope) that the longer they feel good and can control themselves, the more they will realize that something isn't right when they act that way.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, believe it or not this is actually good news.

    First, you now have some fairly strong evidence for a number of things that can contribute to difficult child's behaviour breakdowns. Have you talked to him about it since he calmed down? Asked him about how he felt during the rage, how he felt afterwards, what he felt contributed and how a rage can be avoided? If he gets accusing during this, it's Basket B stuff; but sometimes particularly over time, the message gets through to him and HE begins to take responsibility for the rage triggers, especially if he really doesn't like either the rage, or how he feels afterwards (common descriptions of after-feelings are drained, depressed, remorseful). And for every success, or period of time without raging, it swings him the other way towards continued success. The contrast between a period of success and a brief rage, then back into control - THAT is very effective as a tool to teach them self-control. All you need to do is talk about it with him and let HIM discover the connection for himself.

    He will rage again. He's just a kid. Or he will eat something he shouldn't because especially in mid-teen years, they are certain they know best and have grown out of that kid stuff. But again, if you set in place (by talking) his self-awareness, he will find out for himself.

    A suggestion on the Asperger's front - maybe in a year or so, after he is stable for a while, you could get him assessed again. it's possible the gluten problems were getting in the way before so whoever assessed him couldn't see the wood for the trees.

    easy child's teacher sounds like a big problem, sounds like she's blaming easy child inappropriately for her own frustrations. A teacher doesn't rewrite a curriculum for the student's entertainment and then get huffy because students fail to chuckle at all the right places; that is just plain wrong. To express it in that way is pure sarcasm, which is a very bad thing to use in a classroom especially if there is a chance of any difficult child, especially a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or ADHD kid being in there.

    What SHOULD be happening for easy child, is a calm discussion of exactly where she went wrong in the exam and a plan to help her learn to get it right next time. The fact that you are there to talk about it should tell the school that easy child cares about doing well and is prepared to work at it. To attack like that - I wonder if this teacher has a chip on her shoulder and has got other parents' backs up. It's a pity, but for the teacher it's a self-fulfilling prophecy - "All the students are lazy, they won't put in the effort that I do, they are a waste of my effort and my time; their parents are only interested in bullying me into giving higher grades and I've had enough, I will stand my ground."
    A teacher with this attitude will then see all students as lazy; will perceive every parental enquiry to be a parent wanting to arrange for higher grades regardless, will not see reason at all because she's had enough and has already made up her mind; any attempt to make her see reason and to at least discuss things unemotionally is often seen as you trying to control her; and so on. I suspect when easy child found that error (there were probably others, she may well have marked it harder in her zeal) the teacher felt annoyed at being shown up by a student, rather than genuinely apologetic for judging easy child so harshly.
    I hope I'm wrong - it is possible that the teacher had just had three or four sessions with parents of kids who really are lazy and uncaring, and the parents were trying unfair tactics. But she still shouldn't have been so judgemental when it lost the chance to really help a student genuinely lift her game.

    easy child needs to work on her essay skills by the sound of it. Tell easy child that the best revenge is success - find someone you know who understands the jargon of essay questions and who can help easy child with skills to answer more effectively. difficult child 1 was a shocker when it came to writing essays. He knew the work but couldn't sequence his thoughts into a coherent argument, let alone stay on topic or discriminate between questions asking him to "Discuss" or to "Compare and contrast".
    What helped difficult child 1 was drill. His English teacher and his Ancient History teacher both drilled him in essay-writing, with sample questions over and over. He spent hours sitting with them one-on-one getting this help and discussing it all. As a result - he passed both subjects, two months after we'd been told at his previous school that he would fail. They were right - he would have failed, without that help.

    If you can find a friend who is also an English teacher, or a teacher of a subject that deals with essay writing, and get them to help easy child with this either as drill or a crib sheet of the essay code words and what they mean, and to then vet sample questions easy child writes to see if she HAS answered the question - it would be one in the eye for this teacher.

    Technically, easy child's teacher should be the one to do this. Would easy child be comfortable asking for this help? Or would she rather crawl over broken glass to get away from her?

  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm sorry, Terry. What an exhausting day.

  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.

    Fairlyodd, I was thinking the same thing, and even asked him. The neighbors did say he'd had yogurt, so that may have been part of it. I was wondering if he would react even more strongly to gluten and milk products after he's been off of them for awhile. Sigh.

    I think a lot of it was lack of sleep. But we still need to go back to the child psychiatric and make sure difficult child understands that WE are the parents. He truly thinks he's in charge.

    Yes, Marg, LOL, I think the teacher and my daughter would rather crawl over broken glass to get away from one another! You had the teacher pegged perfectly. She gave up on the class because so many of them were seniors, and they gave up on her. It was a vicious circle. easy child realized she'd been roped into the slacker group, so she changed her seat to the front, changed the clothes she wore, and made it a point to not talk at all during class unless it was to answer a question. But the damage was already done. I can only hope that the dean of students paid attention to the sarcasm and attacks and will do something about it (like pass the word on to the dean of teachers).

    I think you're right about having difficult child tested for Asperger's again when he's older. He still sticks to concretes, to the point where he will halt an entire conversation and become fixated on one thing someone said, when it is only minor and has nothing much to do with-the final outcome. He still doesn't get, "For example." He thinks you're changing the subject.

    He's even worse on essays than easy child, so I may have to hire a tutor in the fall, because 5th gr is where they really get hit hard with-those. He thinks one sentence is a paragraph. If the teacher says he should write more, he'll ask how many, and she'll say, "Oh, maybe three sentences." So difficult child will write exactly three sentences in ea graph, no more and no less, and will explode if you try to explain to him that it's just a guideline. He just doesn't get it.

    Yesterday I completed an entire painting. I was so happy!
    But last night and today all h*ll broke loose. I just never know from one min. to the next what's going to happen, ya know? Sometimes I feel like a pack mule.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry you had a rough night.

  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, you said about your difficult child, "He thinks one sentence is a paragraph. If the teacher says he should write more, he'll ask how many, and she'll say, "Oh, maybe three sentences." So difficult child will write exactly three sentences in ea graph, no more and no less, and will explode if you try to explain to him that it's just a guideline. He just doesn't get it."

    Yep. Sounds exactly like difficult child 1 in his essay-writing days, and now difficult child 3.

    Regarding easy child, I would go to a senior teaching staffer who was present at that meeting and ask what you need to do to organise some essay-writing support for easy child, and preferably NOT with the current teacher who made her feelings so plain and who so upset easy child that they wouldn't be able to work together effectively. I might even ask, if you feel the vibes are right, on a second opinion on the quality of easy child's essay, at least to make sure exactly what her shortcomings in essay-writing really are.

    The ultimate aim of the exercise, for both easy child and the school, is for easy child to do well and to be able to do as well especially if she's already put in a lot of work and tried hard. Her marks should match her ability, knowledge and effort.

    We've found since difficult child 3 switched to correspondence, just how good teachers should be. When we find a good teacher we tell them. When we find a bad teacher we try to resolve things but if we can't, we walk away and go elsewhere for help.

  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It is doubly frustrating when both kids are facing such intense issues.

    I am finding that my difficult child is worse when he is tired, hungry, thirsty, or hot. I think your difficult child's lack of sleep did play a major role in this along with the possible yogurt intake.

    I hear you about getting difficult child to see who the parents are. My difficult child also needs that lesson. He gets so demanding!

    easy child's teacher is not a good role model. How can teachers expect kids to ask for help when they are treated like that? Some teachers think that one method of teaching reaches all kids and are offended if some kids still don't understand 100% of what is expected. Teacher could have been a lot more positive in acknowledging that easy child seems to have a good understanding of the subject, however, it is not coming through on the essays. easy child needs to expand on each answer.

    I hope tommorrow is better for you.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Poor you and even difficult child. I am sure it can't be fun to have that kind of chaos going on, for all of you.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
    In an hr, difficult child goes in for his 2nd chicken pox shot (booster). The fun never ends ...
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    He got two shots and did fine! Yay!
    Some days are better than others ...
  13. Cardigangirl

    Cardigangirl New Member

    My difficult child and my easy child both are in Hawaiian schools and every single public school teacher she has had is actually mean to her. I explain to them that she has issues and what those issues are ADHD/ODD & permanent tics from medications tried out on her in the past. The teachers don't seem to listen. This is super frustrating for me...especially since my husband is constantly deployed and I am in a strange land, so to speak. Very hard for me. I do understand the frustrations over the school systems regarding our difficult child's.
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad difficult child did well with his shots. I'm sorry yesterday was so awful. Days like that just make me want to run away! Hugs.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry, Cardigangirl.
    I think this teacher's whole life is marine bio, and if you don't totally absorb yourself in it like she does, she writes you off. This was a difficult class--sassy and talkative--and she seemed to think my daughter was the mascot. Too late now. We're just going to avoid her and hope that the dean of students pd enough attention so that if other parents come in and complain, he will see a pattern with-this teacher.

    Thanks, Wiped Out.
    difficult child was a bit difficult tonight--I hired a sitter so I could go out, and she sat here for almost 1 hr and 20 min by herself while difficult child was at the neighbors' and wouldn't come home. He's supposed to get a reward at the end of ea wk for being "good," behaving, doing chores, etc. and he's going to be upset that he didn't earn it.
    Better that way than a huge fight every day. I warned him 3X and she called him twice.
  16. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sorry for the meldown but at least you can contribute it to some specific circumstances like the light nights and the lower dose of medication. Hopefully you can remedy things and the meltdowns will be few and far between. It's promosing that he was quicker to calm down than in the past and that you had husband available to help during the physical part of things.
  17. Holliewho

    Holliewho New Member

    Cardigan Girl, actually in the program *but you have to get in the program* they do have really good help. I have a friend who is a Navy spouse too there. Her second daughter has many issues because of a brain injury. She is in a regular class and has an IEP. She gets pull out time and is actually starting to thrive over there. They are fixing to move though and that will be bad. Her son also is autistic and has been in their Early intervention program since he was 3 and started Kinder with an aid last fall.

    You have to get them that IEP though. Without it you will be left with teachers who make excuses. We never had any type of IEP/plan 504 for our oldest until the end of this past school and this last year was unequivocally HORRID. Now though we hope that this coming year will be a much better cornerstone for her. With the plan developed at the end of the year maybe she will come out with all A's and B's next year.

    Also another question is how are you actually stationed in HI do you have your kids in the EFMP program? I know we were booted from Guam where we actually had 100 times better care than here BUT it also has helped some with our housing situation and other things since being here.
  18. Holliewho

    Holliewho New Member

    I am so sorry you went through that with the easy child's teacher. Honestly I wonder what the schools are thinking in hiring some of these teachers. Some are just plain rude and have no right being within a mile of these kids. We have had problems with my oldest daughters teachers at times. We had one teacher who REFUSED to make any exceptions for her because she was ADHD. I am not talking big exceptions but ones like IF YOU WANT her to make up exams missed you CANNOT tell her alone you have to let me know too! One of her teachers in 6th grade actually said that the reason she got a zero on her exam was because she was given 3 times to make up the exam and she didnt show up. Well TWO of them were during LUNCH she HAS to eat with her medications or she gets sick. The other was after school but she has to ride the bus and cant just use the phones on whim or a cell phone at all on campus. So of course she didnt show up.

    One of her most frightful teachers this past year though was actually one of the catalyst for getting her plan 504 into action. She stuck by it too. difficult child still hates her, but her grade went from an F to a C.

    Sometimes teachers are mean and gruff just because, other times they are that way but really want the child to succeed. So I am sorry you got the one who is a flake and just didnt care.

    I like the idea of a reward for a good week... maybe that would work here.