My son is a monster

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Lost in parenthood, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Lost in parenthood

    Lost in parenthood New Member

    He Is!

    I don’t know what else to do anymore. Everything I put him in, he gets kicked out of. And he is only six years old. Recently he has been kicked out of camp. I feel like I can’t even work. When he is in school, I am called multiple times a day for his behavior. I take him to therapy, and a psychiatrist. He is on medication. It works good for a short while and the he goes back to the behavior problems.

    My husband and I are drained. Wiped out. We have two other children as well. His twin brother is diagnosed with adhd also but does not have as bad as the behavior as the other twin. My girl, my only daughter is an angel. Thank God. However, my child that I struggle the most with rubs off on the others.

    I don’t know where he gets this stuff. He hasn’t been abused, neglected, in poverty, or traumatized in anyway. Yet he talks about killing people, he hits other children for no reason at all, he is extremely defiant to all adults and he is manipulative like I’ve never seen. And he curses like a sailor! Which I have never done nor my husband.

    Everywhere we go we are the talk of the town. The circus act. People look at me like I am a bad mother because they think I accept this behavior.

    I’m at my whits end here.

    Life has been a constant struggle. I don’t know how to deal with him anymore. I try to be understanding and kind to him, give him unconditional love. Deep down he is the sweetest boy a mom can ask for. I cry just seeing how people treat him because they do not know he is disabled by this behavior problem. However, I times I feel like I love him too much and I am enabling him. Once he is in his mood, he is very disrespectful towards me and if he doesn’t get his way, he interrupts anything in his path. Like a hurricane.

    I do not know what to do. ANY advise is welcomed.

    Thanks for reading.

    Lost mom
  2. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Is he mainly getting kicked out of the programs because of the hitting?
  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    You might get more responses if this was posted in General Oarenting Forum. Parent Emeritus is mainly for parents of adult children.

    But' many of us parents saw the writing in the wall when our kids were younger.

    You might talk to your local mental health clinic and see if he might qualify for case management. In our state it is called the SED Waiver. (Severely emotionally disturbed). This would qualify him for state insurance, a case manager who would also be checking between the child, school, and psychologist and coordinating care. And possibly respite care so the family could have a quiet weekend while he is at a respite home for an occasional day or weekend,

  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I will move this thread to General Parenting.
  5. Lost in parenthood

    Lost in parenthood New Member

    Thanks! I will look into that.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you are concerned, one, that his behavior may be your fault, and two, how his behavior is affecting him in the world, by how people respond to him, and then, how difficult it is for you when he is "in his mood."

    First, the silver lining:
    To me, this here is crucial and worth everything. This shows that he is bonded with you, and you with him. How is it that a small child, who deep down "is the sweetest boy a mom can ask for" is a monster?

    I will respond based upon my own experience. All of us on this forum are united in our distress about how we suffer because of our kids and how they suffer due to their maladaptive, foolish or self-destructive choices. All of us at one point or another feel responsible and wonder if we caused it all. And we feel responsible almost all of us, to fix it all. It takes everybody a very long time to accept that this is not our fault and we cannot even if our kids are very young, such as is your child, fix it.

    I have come to see that my own reactions, emotions almost always get into the way. There is an objective situation that is hard enough. But when I begin to make up stories about this, how it is my fault, or why did this happen, or what's going to happen in the future...(for example), these stories always make my distress greater, and they do not help to diminish or resolve the problem.

    From what you write, you are doing everything that a responsible parent can and should do.

    You describe a child who is sweet and loving, who is greatly loved. In certain circumstances and sometimes, he becomes willful or over-stimulated, and he acts out at home and in school. The most concerning part is his hitting other children and threats to kill. Probably he does not fully understand what he is saying. He is getting a reaction so he keeps saying it. A child his age does not understand what it means to kill, and is not capable of formulating that kind of intent, as far as I know.

    Is he watching violent TV or viewing or playing violent video games? Has he been exposed to an older child or adult that could have exposed him to something that he cannot handle?

    Has he been fully checked out by a pediatrician to rule out medical problems? What about auditory testing?

    Has he seen a child neurologist to rule out any seizure activity or other neurological condition? For example, sometimes, children can be experiencing tiny seizures and this can give rise to these kinds of behaviors.

    Is there a good regional Children's Hospital near you? You would find a child neurologist there. You will also find a Child Development Department. There you can have him see a Developmental Psychology team. You could request a comprehensive neuropsychiatric exam by a neuropsychologist. He would receive a battery of tests that would evaluate him for any sensory, neurological, intellectual, emotional, developmental factors that could be affecting his functioning or adjustment. He would see a psychiatrist and social worker too. If anybody could get to the root of this, it would be them. An alternative, if there's no Children's Hospital near you would be a University Medical School, if they have a child development department. That's what I did and where I went. To both places. I also found a nursery school program for children with emotional/behavioral issues.

    Your child is older. He should have an IEP. If this continues, you might consider requesting a non-public school placement where he will be in a smaller classroom, possibly with an aide. School will have to pay for this and transport him. My son had this, too. But you will need to get an advocate to help you. The school districts are compelled to provide what your child needs, but they resist, because this is expensive.

    What kinds of diagnoses have you gotten so far? I would not necessarily trust them. I would trust more, the diagnoses I got from the Child Development Center. Many parents here have dealt with similar issues with their child. There is no guarantee these behaviors will persist. It is just impossible to know at this point.

    But the thing you have control over is how you react. This is not your fault. You have not enabled him. You did not cause this. You are a good Mom of a child who is atypical, for reasons that are not yet fully known or fully clear. You are doing everything in your power to find answers. Welcome. We, all of us, know how hard this is. Be kind to yourself.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  7. Lost in parenthood

    Lost in parenthood New Member

    Wow! Thank you so much for your kind words and direction.

    I have been trying to get a neuropsychologist evaluation for months but because of our insurance Aetna, I haven’t been able to find a doctor that is willing. I realize from your message that I should try to find a hospital or medical school. He sees a therapist and a psychiatrist. He and the therapist haven’t really formed a connection so sometimes it feels pointless. The psychiatrist prescribed vivance and guanfacin. It’s a low dose and it has helped some. But we are still challenged with his episodes.

    You are so right on with the school district! They are very difficult to work with. Last year they evaluated him to see if he needed an IEP and said he did not. This year I had them evaluation him again and they determined that yes he is eligible under EBD emotional behavior disorder. It was hard. I had to get a lawyer and if it were not for her I would not have been able to get as far as we have. Now he has accommodations for example a paraprofessional to work with him.

    It’s a struggle but my love for him is infinite. For a parent with an atypical child, knowledge means everything. It is very difficult to get help and direction for our kids. Thank you again for your guidance.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The medical school where we have gone (for different things) does not require insurance, but goes by a sliding scale. When we went to the Children's Hospital Child Development Center my son had government benefits, but I believe Childrens' Hospitals have as flexible payment arrangements, as is possible. And I think the social workers might help you with the insurance. The other possibility I am thinking of is if you are near a major metropolitan area. There are agencies called "Jewish Family Service." You don't have to be Jewish. They will help anybody. They have social workers on staff.

    I wish I'd done this. A social worker would work with you, to provide support, problem solving, and to help you access services. They might even be able to find funding or to send you somewhere where you would get low fee services.

    When my son was a toddler he needed significant work for a language delay with a language therapist. I got a scholarship for us, through Daughters of the Golden West. (I'd never heard of them.) But I wrote up our situation and they presented it to their regional meeting and I got a grant of a couple of thousand dollars to pay. That was 30 years ago almost so it was a lot of money!
    There are all sorts of groups that are willing to help. It's just a question of connecting with them.
    You say here your child has not connected with the therapist. Is there the possibility of changing therapists until you find one with whom he makes a connection?
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome! This is absolutely the best place for you to get support and ideas from parents who are going through it or have already gone through it!!! Please, do NOT ever feel that you cannot express something to us, or that the problem of the day (hour?) is too extreme. Someone here has probably been there done that. We KNOW the war you are fighting and we understand. We may ask specific questions or for more information, but it is always to attempt to fully understand the problem/situation.

    I didn't have twin boys with special needs, but I truly get it to want your sweet little boy back. I will hope and pray that your situation has the happy success that my family has had. It took many years, and so much else, but around the time he turned about 21 he started to try to work on relationships with the family. He is a grown, self supporting man, but he is also my sweet little boy.

    Warning - -I tend to write a LOT! There are specific things that I would recommend. Use what works for you. Think about the rest of it if it feels appropriate.

    Funding for our kids can be a real issue. You can be swamped by all of the bills. There is zero shame if you need help for your child. No matter what. Jewish Charities are wonderful. My state only has a couple of synagogues, but they help people all over our state regardless of beliefs.

    Catholic Charities are also incredible. They don't care if you are Catholic, Muslim, Baptist or Druid (or whatever else). Most Catholic Churches/Parishes have several regular programs to help the community. I know that a church near my in-laws runs a program that opens the doors on Saturday every week. They give out free food, clothing, and if you ask for help with a bill (with proof of the bill in hand), they will write a check to that organization. Not a loan, just a boost given without a sermon. The Catholic priest should also be able to help you contact any and all of the community resources available through the church. Some will be based in a local church only, and others will be statewide or regional or even nationwide. To get more info, find a Catholic Church and ask to talk to the priest. You might want to go to another Catholic Church if that priest doesn't seem helpful or willing to give you info. I would start with either a church that serves your immediate area, or one of the larger churches you can find in your area.

    You also may be able to talk to the billing office at the medical center where the neuropsychologist is located. Sometimes they can help by discounting rates. Sometimes they can help by connecting you to community programs (local or state) that help people with hospital bills. Thorough testing is critically important because if you don't know what it is, you cannot help fix it. Oh, if your insurance is through your employer (or your spouse's), and they are a fairly large organization, ask the Human Resources person to help you figure out why insurance won't pay. Years ago an insurance company just refused to pay the bills for my pregnancy. I worked in a restaurant and I contacted a manager above me. He sent me to HR and they worked magic. I spent months fighting and the company fixed it in 2 weeks. If you can get the HR person to help, it might expedite things. Or the HR person can explain the process in a more understandable way.

    What testing did the school do? Do you have copies of EVERYTHING in his file? It can save money to have the school test results so that tests don't get repeated. Schools are sometimes strange about giving parents a copy of the file. Those copies may be with your lawyer. Make sure that you have a copy at home, also.

    One of the hardest things about having a special needs child is with communication. Telling a doctor or therapist or teacher, etc... about what is going on with your son, what you have done, what you want to accomplish, etc.... in a short appointment is incredibly difficult (especially if you try to cram in as much info as my very long post suggests, :rolleyes:). I am frightfully disorganized, which is a handicap of itself when dealing with all of this. Years before I joined the site, parents created an outline to help you convey ALL of the information about your child. The good, the bad, the scary, the sweet, the serious and the silly. ALL of it in one place that you can take to appointments, meetings, school, wherever needed. This is called the Parent Report and it can be found near the top of the General Parenting Forum page. When I was actively using this, I had to lug it around in a binder. Now you can write it on your computer and pull it up during an appointment as needed. I do recommend having copies of some sections to give to your doctor/whomever as needed. I kept extra copies of the medication section, the summarized overview, and any other section I felt might be easier for a doctor to read at his leisure. I never did give copies of the entire report to anyone but the main doctor that I paid for. The Parent Report is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to protect your child. Knowledge is power.

    On a different topic, have you heard of Sensory Integration (Processing) Disorder? This disorder occurs when the brain cannot handle input from the senses in the right way. Someone with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) would seek out certain sensations and avoid other sensations. Having this disorder quite literally can make you feel that the world is attacking you on every front. I very clearly have some degree of this disorder. All of my children have this also. My youngest has the most severe case of the family. When he was little, he could not cope with loud noises unless he was making them, any type of flickering light, MANY odors, itching, sticky things, especially on his hands, and MANY other things. He could not handle going to school 5 days a week.

    Why am I telling you this? It is fairly common for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) to be present in people with ADHD, autism etc... One autism doctor told me that all kids with autism have some level of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and most kids with ADHD do too. Is that true? I am not sure. I do know that the treatment for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) is NOT hard, doesn't have to be expensive, and that your son will WANT to do this. For a diagnosis, you need to see an Occupational Therapist. School Occupational Therapist (OT)'s can do this. If you can afford it, a private Occupational Therapist (OT) will give you more complete results, in my opinion. Why do I say this? School Occupational Therapist (OT)'s (and other professionals who do testing for schools) are only looking at what will have an impact on his day at school. Private Occupational Therapist (OT)'s are looking at what will impact his entire life. To me that is a big difference in this situation. Especially because my kids worked super hard to hold it together during the school day and came home to let all the stress out and fall apart.

    Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) is very interesting. The treatments for it do NOT involve medication, as far as I know. Even a very short session of treatment can alter not only how the child does something, but also how the child FEELS about himself. Treatment starts with brushing therapy followed by gentle joint compression. An unsoaped, dry surgical scrub brush is rubbed over the child's body in a certain order. Then the joints are firmly but gently squeezed together. It can be done on bare skin or over clothing. Sessions last under 5 minutes. Most children think treatments feel good or at least don't object to them. Brushing MUST MUST MUST be taught to you by a professional. Why? Brushing the wrong area can cause very real physical problems. The belly/abdomen is NEVER brushed. It wreaks havoc on the digestive processes. One incredible thing about this treatment is that research has shown that new pathways in the brain are created using this. This therapy rewires the brain to use sensory input in a more appropriate way!! It truly can make a big and immediate change. When my son was tested, one thing he was asked to do was to cut out a shape from paper using scissors. The Occupational Therapist (OT) was talking with him as he cut a very messy shape out. He didn't seem to have good control of the scissors or the piece of paper that he was holding. He told the Occupational Therapist (OT) that he didn't do a very good job because he wasn't good at anything. He was 5, and he was NOT saying it for sympathy. Then the Occupational Therapist (OT) did the joint compressions on the joints she could reach while he was still sitting at the table. He was asked to cut out another shape. The change was truly shocking. He had control over the scissors in a way I had never seen. He cut on the outline very well. He said something like "Wow! I really am good at something!!" He was so happy with his improvement. I will never ever forget that moment. It was truly astounding. Of course it takes way more than one partial session to create those pathways, but with improvement like that, who can be upset about doing the treatments with their child?

    The other treatment (given with, not instead of brushing) is called a sensory diet. This means providing the child with the sensations he seeks out at various times during the day. It can be things he likes to smell, textures he likes to touch, squish, etc... Even movement is part of this. I never thought that sitting on his head on the couch, with his feet in the air, as he watched tv would be therapy. But it was. The activities needed in a child's sensory diet are the activities the child is drawn to. This is a therapy that doesn't taste bad, you don't have to force them to do it, and even better, it can be a fun family activity too. Our Occupational Therapist (OT) showed me a whole table full of toys and games and crafts that would be good for my son's sensory diet. We had all of them but maybe 3. It was wonderful. The Occupational Therapist (OT) said that many parents are surprised that they already have quite a few of the types of things their child will benefit from.

    I am not sure what grade your son is in. Our school put sensory stations in the kdg and 1st grade classrooms when Youngest was in 2nd grade. Letting a child who is starting to melt down go to the sensory stations stopped or prevented the problem most of the time. It dropped the number of times a child had a meltdown very significantly. The district only allowed it as part of one of the teacher's masters thesis. We are in a university town and experiments like this happen sometimes. At the end of the experiment, the teachers all chose to keep the sensory stations. Use of sensory items can be wonderful in keeping a child functioning in a classroom. Oldest has always been a couple of grade levels ahead and bored in school. He got into a TON of trouble. Giving him little things to fidget with seemed like an unearned reward to his teachers in jr high. I put it in his IEP so they had to accept it. I also enforced it by not allowing teachers to get away with confiscating them unless he threw them or hurt someone with them. I got most of his fidget items at a party store. The number of times he got in trouble in class was cut by over half. Fidget items are just little balls and toys you can squeeze, roll, and fidget with.

    To learn more about Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), read The Out of Sync Child by Kranowitz. It is very informative and explains what is going on very well. To help provide a sensory diet, read The Out of Sync Child Has Fun by Kranowitz. If you can only buy 1, get the Has Fun. Borrow the first one from the library. Why? The activities in Has Fun truly are FUN. It was a great reward for my kids. We used Has Fun so often we wore out 2 copies!

    Diet was something we found crucial in managing our kids' challenges. I learned that at the end of the day, they could maybe handle a 3-5 minute stop before we NEEDED to be at home. If I got a snack with a lot of protein in it for them (especially the boys), we could go do about an hour of errands. Watching their diets, if any of the kids ate a LOT of sugar (a lot = sneaking a whole box of something instead of just a serving), they were going into meltdown mode in 15-30 minutes. Oldest was super bad with this. I learned to keep protein bars with me everywhere. If we had to go to anything after school, we got a snack of something like a burger or popcorn chicken, etc....). Reading the labels on the protein bars was crucial. Some brands advertise the amount of protein but don't tell you that they have twice that many grahams of sugar in them! I looked for roughly 1/3 protein, 1/3 fat and 1/3 or a little more of carbs but NOT more sugar than protein. Sounds complicated, but it isn't. Each of those things is clearly labelled on the nutrition box.

    This novel has the big things that made a difference to us when we were dealing with difficult kids. I didn't mention my daughter much, mostly because she is my easier child. Not inclined to rage at others, does what she needs to, played mother hen to her little brother. I have been known to remark that she is my reward for not strangling my older child when he was younger. I hope something I wrote here helped in some way (even if it is just a laugh).