Need info for sister


New Member
Hi. I haven't posted on here in a while. My difficult child is 5 (6 in January), in preschool and doing pretty well. He gets speech therapy and extra tutoring since he has some auditory processing problems but I'm proud to say that he can now count to 100, recognizes the majority of his letters and is putting them together with the right sounds. He's on risperdal now, which has really helped. He was put in a 'behavioral treatment center' back in Sept but it didn't do much. His behavior was getting violent,but not as bad as it had been. We had a nosy, know it all neighbor who thought we were just bad parents and called Family Advocacy twice. It was strange though, because her ds was seeing the same therapist my difficult child had been seeing at our last base! She was always undermining our parenting, telling him he was a good sweet boy, even after he threw his shoe and hit 2 yo daughter in the head with it! We were hoping that they would do really intense therapy there, but it seemed like they mostly just colored and watched movies. They didn't do any family therapy, took him off his medications to do psychological testing, gave him psychological testing the determined no emotional disturbances but probable adhd. They wanted to give him a stimulant but we were unhappy with the care (or lack thereof)as was our insurance company who stopped payment, so we had him discharged. He was wetting his bed every night but they didn't know, didn't change the sheets, he got choked by another child when they were left unsupervised, he was wearing the same pullup for 18+ hrs the day we picked him up. We've filed complaints with the state licensing board and our insurance company because the "care" he received there was absolutely appalling. He's doing better on the risperdal now, although if he doesn't take it before school they definitely notice he is much more hyper.

Anyway, the reason for my post is my sister's 3 yo ds. She has an almost 6 yo daughter and her ds is 3.5 (born Feb 03). She separated from her husband in August, moved on the university campus she is attending. They are on good terms, he watches the kids at night when she works and is still involved almost daily, although they live with her. She is in school full time and also works quite a bit as a waitress. Her daughter is in kindergarten and ds is in preschool/daycare. She called me today a little upset about her ds's behavior lately. She said he gets very angry, won't interact with others as much as he used to, defiant. He wouldn't put his coat on at school, then stood outside the door crying, trying to hit her. She doesn't know what to do because he usually is a good child. She says his behavior has been getting worse, he's very angry, but he gets over it in 5 or 10 mins. He is NOT like my difficult child, who will rage for hrs. She said after the tantrum he wants love and cuddles.

difficult child's issues became very pronounced after he turned 3. My middle child is 3 and I've noticed in the last few mos he is not as sweet as he used to be, he gets angry and easily frustrated, many more tantrums than he had at 2. Is 3 just a rough year for kids developmentally, a phase where they are learning to deal internally with thoughts/emotions? I told sis that with the divorce and all maybe she should take him to someone, but she said that lately he won't talk at all to strangers so she doesn't think it would be very helpful. Plus she's pretty hands off in regards to medical intervention (not neglectful, just wait and see, whereas they think of me as a hypochondriac). I could tell that this was really upsetting her though so I thought I would ask on here. He does not have any developmental problems at all, no obvious sensory issues, plays well with others, has literally about 20 cousins that he is with almost daily. I'm thinking it's probably just mommy and daddy getting divorced, moving to a new home, new school, etc. Any advice or info you think might help her? She is really worried about him.


Well-Known Member
Hi. To me the regression and short, but intense meltdowns reek of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified or some sort of spectrum problem. Of course, I'm not the doctor. I'd have her take him for a multi-disciplinary evaluation at a major university center or a children's hospital with a darn good reputation because PDDs are hard to catch in young kids and are often misdiagnosed, especially as ADHD. These kids have a lot of trouble with sensory stuff, transitions, life changes, you name it, and they need interventions and a lot of support to be the best they can be. I don't know if he has it, but I'd want him checked out for ALL disorders--sounds as if something runs in the family, or maybe a few things. Even mild Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)'s can really play havoc with one's life, and the child needs Early Intervention Education. I'd try to get the child in to see the experts. There is usually a waiting list, but anyone who is good has a waiting list and in my opinion, since the symptoms are so iffy, a Psychiatrist isn't enough and a regular psycologist or therapist would not know what to look for, since they have no medical background. I hope it works out!


Active Member
Mine has a hard time in therapy. I've found that a good therapist can slowly ease into the child's confidence; especially with play therapy. It might take a little longer and it might take a little research on who is a good child therapist in your area. I'm not saying that there isn't anything else going on. I'm just telling my experience with therapist and a kid who does want to talk.