Need School Advise

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by my2cats, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. my2cats

    my2cats New Member

    Help I need some advise from parents who have been there. My son J is in Kindergarten and is being violent towards adults and is destroying school property in his classroom.

    When J started school in November (after his discharge from the phospital) we had a behavior plan in place and outside support set up, after being in school for 4 weeks J started ripping up school work that he did not want to do, throwing things in his classroom including pencils, papers, books and well anything that he could get his hands on. When J has been removed form the class room he hits, kicks, spits, bites, and bangs his head on who ever is lucky enough to be involved with him (usually the school psychologist and the principle). The school then calls me to come pick J up and bring him home. The behavior plan at school is not working and does not seem to even phase J. I have talked to J's therapist about school but she does not seem to have any ideas, the psychiatrist put J on Adderall 5mg for suspected ADHD, when I called the psychiatrist today he said he wants me to give J a few more days on the Addreall but I don't see how that is going to make a difference because the psychiatric said that the effects of the drug wear off in 4 to 6 hours so I don't see how giving it a few days will change a thing.

    I am out of ideas, we take away fun things from J when he acts up at school, we have sat down and tried to come up with ways to help J not explode, we have read "The Explosive Child" and are trying to use plan B, when I have to pick J up from school early (what seem to be most day's) he does not get any fun activities at all meaning no play dates that day, no going out and sledding and things of that sort. The school psychologist wants me to have neuro development testing done but I have not done that yet because I am waiting to get a copy of all of the testing that was done at the phospital because I think he already had the testing done.

    So I am stuck, J is falling further and further behind, I don't know how to help him make it at school, I am frustrated and angry at this whole thing and I feel like a failure, the school is looking at me for answers that I just don't have. The one thing that I can think of is not a possibility, I think part of J's behavior is because he wants to go home and he knows that if he acts out violently he gets to go home. There is no way that the school can keep J if he is being violent (I brought up him using it as a way to get home) so I am stuck. :confused:
  2. jal

    jal Member

    Did the behaviors start after the Adderall was introduced?

    The first time my son destroyed a classroom was after he was put on Metadate (a stimulant for ADHD).

    You mention having a BIP in place. Does your child have a full IEP? Any one on one support in the classroom?

    My child was a lot like this in that he learned at a very early age if he behaved badly enough he'd get to go home from daycare. We took away things too, or had him spend the rest of the day in his room, not doing fun stuff.

    My difficult child made it through kindergarten which is only a 1/2 day where we live. He had an IEP, a para and BIP. When he got to 1st grade it was obvious he couldn't handle it, he became very explosive. We made the move to place him out of district in a small therapeutic program which the SD pays for, including to and from private transportation. My difficult child doesn't have any Learning Disability (LD)'s, but the smaller environment coupled with a para and the support with in the program have helped him quite a bit. He is rarely explosive at school now, it's more impulse based, but he is on track if not ahead of his grade level. He is the youngest in his class. It was a heartbreaking decision for us to make, but I am glad that we did and one that has proven to be very good for him. We keep him involved in local sports so that he sees the kids he used to go to school with throughout the year.

    Are you sure the psychiatric hospital did testing? When our difficult child was in the psychiatric hospital we were told they really don't do testing when they are in there anymore, because the kids aren't stable enough to test accurately. If the school is pushing you for neuro testing (if it hasn't been done by the psychiatric hospital), I would definately take them up on it, but they should be footing the bill, not you.

    I am sorry you are going through this. I have been right there.
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    What is triggering his destructiveness? A FBA (functional behavior analysis) needs to be done. Perhaps school staff is triggering him. I have spent many years being told my difficult child does the same things you describe to get out of school...but that is absolutely not true. First of all he doesn't have the foresight to 'plan' these behaviors-they are truly a reaction to stressors. Second, he wants to be at school, he only wants to leave when it becomes intolerable (due to people not understanding his needs). Lastly, I have found my difficult child's most upsetting behaviors have been triggered by staff.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would see the neuropsychologist. It's different than psychiatric testing and I doubt he had it done in the hospital. It's much more intensive.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Poor kid! My heart goes out to him. Along with EVERYTHING else you are working with, I would like to point out one more thing. Socialization. My difficult child was in 5th grade when he was hospitalized for 2 weeks the end of October. Before that, he struggled with his anxiety on an every second basis. It was very hard for him to attend school even with me taking him and sitting in the classroom. All the kids in our very small school were thinking just like me, "What is wrong with difficult child?" They were concerned but because of his actions, he was not bonding with his classmates as the year progressed.

    Then, after the psychiatric hospital and working very hard using his tools to overcome his anxiety, he tried to become part of the classroom again. It wasn't working well. His behaviour up to that point was so horrid that the kids did not trust him. He did not feel like he belonged and the unwanted behaviours grew. These were kids he grew up with but he missed out of over 2 months of regular school interactions and it was like he was a new kid.

    I bring this up just as something to look at. Maybe the other kids are not "bonding" with him and he feels left out on the socialization level?

    I would also tend to ease up on the discipline of no fun things when he behaves as such. I think he is feeling trapped. Kindergartners usually love to do their work - it is fun to them. They are proud to show Mom what they can do. I think that your difficult child is not happy with what he can do. I know that you are feeling he may be doing this on purpose and when it gets to the point where you are now, that is very common. I trust your instincts because you are his mom and are the one that can truely "read" him. Right now, this is feeling like a power struggle and you have to let go of that rope or learn to pull from a different angle.

    It is so hard to see a kindergartener who is not enjoying school. That is the one year that most people really do enjoy school. Your job is to try to show your son the joy in Kindergarten. That will be very difficult if not near impossible as your top priority is figuring out what is medically going on. Until you find that right combination of medical and therapy (some people go through oodles of different medications until they find the right fit for their child and then redo as the child outgrows that medication), you are living through difficult days.

    So, I am not the right person to ask about the medical side of things (no experience or knowledge), but I do like to try to help with the day to day life living. My advise is: 1. Does your child have a friend that he can play with a few times a month? Someone to look forward to spending time with? 2. Kindergarten often provides opportunities for parental involvement such as snacks on special days. Can you work with the teacher to provide a special snack or a fun day end activity. The other kids may start looking at your difficult child in a more positive light - he has a "cool" mom. 3. Try a sympathetic approach when you pick him up. "Oh, another bad day! I feel sad that you are sad/mad/angry. Let's go home. We can sit together and you can tell me what is wrong. Maybe we can figure out a plan so it will not happen tomorrow." 4. Make some very short term goals - daily goals for him to focus on. May have to be one goal each day (can be same goal until it is conquered). Something that he can achieve and feel good about such as "no throwing anything", "no banging your head", "no biting". Give a small reward each day for achieving the goal (choose a show to watch, go for a walk with mom, play a game with mom). 5. Ask the teacher for work he can do at home. As you help him with it, you may be able to pick up some of what is going on. What are the areas he is struggling most with? 6. Point out as much positive as you can, "Wow, you sure got ready for school fast this morning", "Thank you for putting away your toys", "I enjoyed watching t.v. with you last night".

    It does seem like he is not comfortable with the school psychologist and principal. I would say whatever they are doing is definitly not working. They may have more of a judgemental approach "You stop that right now" rather than a "I see you are upset what do you need to help calm down" approach. Atleast your difficult child may feel that way (my difficult child thinks anyone in authority that states anything negativly is mean). Some of difficult child's teachers who I respect to the max, difficult child thinks are mean and I just don't see it. Is it possible for you to spend a day at school out of sight from your difficult child as possible and watch the process of going from classroom to calling you? You may see a trigger.

    Continue with testings (many people have to fight to get the testings needed to diagnosis - it is a blessing that you have the school's referral) - your difficult child is screaming for help. He really is having a hard time doing school work and there is a reason. Keep looking, you will find it.
  6. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    My son was having similar behaviors in K last year. Do you ever volunteer in the classroom? Have you had a chance to see what leads to these behaviors? My son, for better or worse, behaves the same whether I'm in the room or not, so I was able to see the cause and effect for myself. It was awful to witness, but was helpful. I do think you need a Functional Behavioral Analysis.

    I recommend the book "Lost at School," by Ross Greene. I really do believe his central argument: Children do well if they can. I don't think any child "chooses" to be out of control at school.

    It seems that the school should be able to do more. My son's school has an Autism Inclusion program and various people are trained to deal with the behaviors you have described in a caring and calming way. This has been very important for my son (who receives autism services, though this is not his official diagnosis). His 1:1 aide is trained to see when he is starting to lose control and provides appropriate intervention (eg, removing him from the room to calm down, taking him to exercise, finding a quiet corner in the classroom to chat and draw). The head of the program also is available to help out when a child completely disregulates in the classroom. I have never heard of a child in the program being sent home from school for a behavioral issue. The behavior is dealt with in the school setting by people with approriate training.

    That said...What services are available at your son's school or elsewhere in the district? I think it is important to know what is available so you can try to get some help temporarily while you are waiting for test results. Early on, I found myself saying to our principal, "Let's talk about what is possible, not what isn't possible." Find out what they CAN do, and ask them to do it NOW. Has anyone mentioned the possibility of a 1:1 aide? And, when your son is removed from the room, who does it?

    Also, if the psychiatric hospital didn't do testing, start finding someone to do it asap. Has the school done any testing? We did difficult child's testing privately and the school then did its own cursory evaluation. Still, the process was very long.

    Good luck.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You need to get into his head, to really understand him and I suspect at the moment that is difficult because the school first, and you second, are looking at his behaviour from a point of view of "what a disturbed child this is! He is very dangerous, very destructive."

    You are the parent but I feel you are following the lead of the school because after all, THEY are the experts.

    The truth is - YOU are the expert on your son. You may not feel like much of an expert, but you know him best of all. What you need to do is listen to your own thoughts on him, objectively.

    Your post begins, "[he] is being violent towards adults and is destroying school property in his classroom."

    Then you go on to actually describe this, and the picture I get is very different.

    Your first statement conjurs up for me a picture of a kid deliberately destructive, who seeks an opportunity to attack, to destroy, to injure. I think the truth is very different.

    He doesn't want to do some worksheets, so he tears the up. Fair enough, I can understand that. It's not acceptable, but it makes sense. It is reactive, it is not openly a matter of planning to be destructive.

    Then he breaks pencils and crayons. OK< that's taking the "I don't want to do this" one step further. Again, it makes sense. Again, it isn't acceptable, but it is logical.

    Then he's removed. Fair enough, they want to keep some pencils intact for the other kids. I believe at this point they are going badly astray - a much more effective management (and I suggest you ask them to try this) is to give him the pencils he has broken and get him to use those. You can sharpen a broken pencil to make two, half-length pencils. Ever tried to break a short pencil? Every time he breaks a pencil, make him use it at the new length. This is hwat used to happen to me (and my classmates) in Kindergarten. It is logical consequences, because tey also couldn't afford to always give us new pencils. As a matter of fact, we had to bring our own pencils and my parents couldn't afford much. Any rich kids who threw away a broken pencil would often provide kids like me with new stock. I would rummage through the waste paper basket for the stubs of a broken pencil and sharpen it up myself. Small hands can manage a small stub better than large hands, but it is still more difficult.

    Natural consequences are logical consequences which directly follow on from the behaviour that has caused them. Conversely, punishment too often looks like vengeance, to a small angry child. And when he experiences vengeance, he will also dish it out.

    Then he gets removed from the scene and lashes out physically. He doesn't care about teir rank - to him, they are obstacles standing between him and what he wants.

    Now I hear you ask, WHY does he want stuff so badly that he has to attack other people? Surely we taught him to behave better than that! It's like we have raised a little monster, a wild thing.

    No, you haven't. It's OK. But somewhere in there, despite your best efforts, the child-raising messages have not got through. Plus the "I want" part of him is stronger than most.

    There will be good reasons for this. You need help i finding out what they are.

    In the meantime, normal discipline methods are clearly NOT working, and the more you (and the school) try them, the worse this is going to get.


    First - I would stop punishing him at home, for problems at school.

    Second - I would want another look at that behaviour plan and ask for a sit-down meeting with the school to formulate a new approach. Aim for logical consequences rather than punishment. Also a very high priority - find out what it is he wants and why he wants it. OBSERVE. The school needs to make observations too. a really effective strategy for us was the Communication Book. This was before schools were regularly using emails to and from the parents, a Book may not be the way to go now, but perhaps emails may be better. But if the school still isn't using email a lot, then bring on The Book.

    Communication Book is simple. It's any old plain exercise book, with the label on the front and a plastic cover (for some level of preservation - you don't want it falling apart too readily). Give it a bright colour so it looks cheerful (you all will need it) plus is easy to find on a desk cluttered with ripped up worksheets and broken pencils.

    The aim of the book - you write in it anything of interest tat he has done or how he seems. Your choice. The purposes it for you to use it to communicate with the school. You COULD simply talk to them but it can get tedious and time-consuming. Plus what you say can get lost, you're not the only parent. The Book keeps it there for posterity. The teacher can go back and re-read it. So can you. and it is this re-reading that can help things 'click'.

    You write in the book. The teacher writes in the book. The book travels in the child's bag between home and school, then back again. NEVER make the Book the child's responsibility in any way. Make sure teachers also understand this. It must not be a focus of the child's attention; plus, the child's level of personal responsibility should never extend to the Book, because it is too important.

    Children like yours and ours cannot be held responsible for notes to and from school. If the school says to the child, "Make sure this note gets home to Mummy - the note is asking her permission for us to give you ice cream for lunch," then the child has a vested interest in making sure the note reaches home. But if the teacher hands a note to the child and says, "make sure this note gets home to Mummy - it's asking her if she would like to join our lunchtime bridge club," then the child has no vested interest and therefore the note has less chance of success in getting home.

    Do your utmost to think from your son's point of view. What is happening, from his perspective?

    It would be really valuable to know what kind of worksheets he is tearing up, and what he has been doing right before he is given those worksheets. If this is happening on a general basis (ie all the time with every worksheet no matter what he is doing at the time) then the problem could be task-changing in general. But lets say it happens with writing practice worksheets when given while he is playing in the sandpit - then the problems could be that his hands hurt when he is trying to hold a pencil (check his hands for over-loose joints, see if his finger joints bend back at all, look to see if his fingernails go pale when he tries to hold a pencil, what kind of grip does he use) or it could be that he finds writing practice a bit confronting especially if he has any dyslexia. Or it could be that he doesn't want to leave the sandpit, he is enjoying some activity there - maybe the feel of the sand, or the look of sand pouring through a funnel, or maybe the way sand takes up other shapes when you force it into a mould. Observe. Watch. Make notes.
    Because tis information can signpost to a diagnosis.

    I am concerned that the school isn't doing this. I could be selling them short, but your description seems to indicate to me that t heir main concern is his disruptive behaviour overall, and no thought has yet gone into when this happens and therefore why.

    There are a number of possible reasons for this, a number of conditions your son could have. he is currently going backwards because nothing is being done to find out why, and therefore with underlying problems persisting, trying to discipline this is having a detrimental effect.

    I've said this before - it is like punishing the blind child for failing to copy accurately from the blackboard.

    Your son could well be a bright, loving, wonderful kid with a lot of value for the world. But right now he is angry, frustrated, immature and feeling overwhelmed because he has nowhere to turn, no refuge from what is going on, he doesn't understand and he wants to understand. In the meantime, everyone else has to be made to feel as bad as he does. He is not doing this because he wants to. He is responding this way because he knows no other way to express how frustrated and angry he feels.

    Somewhere in there is your son. He is worth helping. He deserves a fair go. So do you.

    Welcome to this site. We are parents like you who have been where you are. Your son's problems could be aggravated by the medications - I don't know. Nobody here can diagnose; even a world-class specialist on this site would not be able to diagnose without having the patient there in front of hi to meet, to talk to, to test. However, we can and do make educated guesses, to give you a range of ideas to consider and ask doctors about.

    So welcome aboard, keep us posted on how you're all getting on.

  8. my2cats

    my2cats New Member

    jal the behaviors started happening this past September, and J just started the Adderall this weekend. J does have an IEP but it is only for speech services (he has an expressive speech delay).

    J is in half day Kindergarten and has a staff member assigned to him but it does not seem to help. Once J becomes frustrated he explodes. J is really behind in his English (reading and writing) and it is very difficult to work on those with him because of his frustration he just shuts down. Today I truly believe he just did not want to be in school so he did what he knows will get him home. I did contact the phospital I am going to get a copy of his records, I know they did do testing because I saw some of the educational pages that they had done with him or I should say tried to do with him. As for the neuro development testing that would all be on my husband and I to cover the costs that insurance did not cover, this is part of the reason I want to make sure that it was not already done, not to mention if it was done there is no reason to do it again.

    whatamess, what is a FBA??? While I don't feel that all of J's explosions are planned I do fully believe this morning's was.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I just went back and read through some of your earliest posts on your son. I also read your description of family history on both sides. As I said above, we cannot diagnose here. I also note that the hospital said that autism has been ruled out.

    I don't believe it is correct to rule out autism so readily, in such a young child. I suspect what may have ruled it out in his case is the good eye contact plus the lack of other obvious signs such as toe walking, hand flapping etc. But these signs are also absent in my younger son. He was doing the equivalent of hand-flapping but it was so subtle we didn't see it until afterwards - he was always fascinated with the flicker of light through the leaves on the trees. It calmed him down.

    I noted you mentioned language delay and speech problems. It's good that he's getting speech therapy - very valuable. That was something we had a lot of trouble getting access to. Again, this fits. But whatever the underlying cause, if your son is not as capable as other kids of expressing his distress verbally, he WILL lash out physically. It's all they have left.

    Going through the list of problem in your family, up to and including the suicidal tendencies and the anxiety - it all fits with autism also. I'm not saying that is what the problem is, only that it is not inconsistent with it.

    So even if doctors rule it out, keep an open mind. it still could be. And it can make a useful working hypothesis (ie let's carry on as if it is, until we have something more appropriate to replace it) because you're already doing the right things here (the speech therapy; the behaviour plan; the IEP).

    You mentioned using Plan B (Explosive Child) with him - in what way are you using it? How many things are you working on with him? And if his language problems are getting in the ay of good communication, how well is he understanding you when you try to set things up in advance? And if he has impulse control problems, are you still handling those in the same way as task-changing problems?

    If it's not working, find another way. It doesn't mean that what you're doing is bad, just that it's nor right for him, now. Sometimes the best child-rearing methods in the world can backfire with some kids at some times.

    We find what works and discard what doesn't. It's OK.

    Have confidence in yourself as a parent.

  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, I seem to be posting in series here! Sorry about that.

    Your most recent post, you mentioned that you feel he may have, today, thrown a wobbly in order to get out of school (that's great use of parental instinct, by the way).

    Something you can do, and it's NOT punishment, is ensure that coming home from school does not get him out of schoolwork. This is going to mean that even if he is home with a fever, you need to keep him focussed on schoolwork and it will seem cruel. But you need to find ways that will fit in with what he can do. In our family, the only way out of schoolwork at home (during school hours) is if he is sleeping. He generally will only sleep during the day if he is ill. And even when he was little and would still sometimes have a daytime nap, he worked a lot better when he was well rested.

    But what can you give him at home?
    First, try the worksheets he has been issued. But you sit with him and try to help him. Get him to TELL you the answers, see if you can at first compromise and you write them down for him. This will help you determine if it's an expressive language problem in general, or an expressive speech problem. There is a difference. Or it will help determine if he is having difficulty understanding what he reads, or even difficulty reading.

    So - if he is having difficulty reading, lay in a stock of computer-based books such as "Grandma & Me". I saw some really good "Arthur" ones too. They are interactive, a lot of fun and can really help. Letting him loose on those at home during school hours may seem like a reward, but hey, it's still education, it's got value. And it can boost his confidence with reading.

    Other computer-based educational software is worth considering. Zoombini in its various forms is great logic training. Again, it seems like fun but requires serious brain-work at times.

    Next - do these yourself. That way you will understand how hard (or not) his brain is working.

    When all else fails, find a DVD documentary and sit him down to watch it.

    What you don't do during school hours - is let him play with his toys, unless they can qualify as educational.

    What you can do when he's been sent home -

    1) read him a book. Read a book together (it can be one he knows intimately) and take turns reading paragraphs, or reading dialogue (so you each read a different character - in which case, act it out).

    2) Talk to him about books he knows and likes. Ask him to talk to you about what the book is about. See how well he can do this (or not) - this is valuable information. If he has autism, this will be difficult for him. If he has Asperger's he may be more able to do this. But if he has either - it's one of the best language development exercises. And if he hasn't got either - it's still very good development of expressive language.

    3) Get him onto educational computer software.

    4) Watch documentaries or science shows for kids. Watch anything educational even if it's way above age-equivalence for him. It lets him see that education is a spectrum, it is for all ages and abilities. It is also lifelong.

    5) If he has language issues, let him watch (if they are available) shows designed to teach ESL (English as a Second Language). They are pitched at an adult level (do the person doesn't feel patronised) but still tend to speak slowly, carefully and often with other visual aids to support meaning. If he is well beyond this - great!

    6) Get him to help you with cooking, shopping, tidying. Work as a team. Emphasise working as a team. "I need you to help me." Thank him for his help even if he did very little - focus on what he did and show him how even that was helpful. "Thank you for holding that door open for me, it allowed me to get more out of the cupboard and that saved me time. Thank you."

    On the cooking front - have you ever made gnocchi? It's really good for kids to learn and it was recommended to us by difficult child 3's Occupational Therapist (OT) because it helped work his hands, which helped his fingers learn how to move in a more adult way when it came to holding a pencil. We also found that piano lessons helped strengthen his fingers and teach them to move independently of one another.

    difficult child 3 used to be sent home a lot from school. The problems increasingly were connected to his extreme anxiety which was becoming worse and worse. Being sent home was reinforcing the anxiety of school and 'rewarding' the anxiety with a quieter, non-school environment. difficult child 3 also was refusing to do work at school. I was amazed at how much he got done (and done well) at home. I avoided any atmosphere of "this is punishment" and this helped get a lot more work done. I let him do the work wherever in the house he wanted. If he chose to do his work on the floor under the dining table, I let him. Of course I encouraged him to sit at the table, but often he found he did better, especially with trickier worksheets, if he could choose where.

    I also used to poke food at him while he was working - my aim was to set up some positive reinforcement for when he as working well, to help him feel good about working and to feel confident and comfortable.

    There are many ways to learn. One of my favourite tricks was to take him shopping and get him to find the items on the list. "Quick - I need baked beans. Go find me the most economical baked beans." These days with unit pricing, that is fairly easy. The child needs to learn to read labels, to read price tags and to read the fine print. It is like a treasure hunt.

    Education should never be used as punishment. It should always be as enjoyable as possible. So even if your child has been sent home as being too out of control, home is not a punishment. But it shouldn't be a reward, either. It is simply respite, although it should also be an alternative location for education and not simply a place to kick back and enjoy life.

    Also - what happens at school stays at school. If your child misbehaves at home (say, breaks into the pantry and eats an entire pot of jam) you do not ask the school to punish your child. Neither should you have to punish at home for things that happen at school You can support the school, that is different. But if your child hits his teacher, you do not give your child a time-out at home. The best thing you can do at home is sit your child down and make him write an apology. If he can't do it by hand, get him to do it on the computer. Dictate it if necessary, letter by letter. it will help him with any dyslexia!


  11. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sorry I haven't had time to look at all the responses. I would definitely be calling an IEP meeting and requesting more out of the IEP than speech services. Also ask that an FBA can be done so he can have a BIP in place.

    I would definitely have him see a neuro-psychiatric who can help determine more of what might be going on. It sounds like more than just ADHD to me.
  13. my2cats

    my2cats New Member

    One of my fears about J getting sent home is that he will have too much fun being home and then just want to keep being sent home. J does enjoy school but at the same time he also says that he wants to be home with me.

    We are working on plan B with John for bedtime and school. We have not been able to actually put together a plan of action for school yet because we don't know yet what is or even how many different things are behind J's behavior. I don't think J even really understands it, so far J has told us that the anger just comes and it is floating around his school and that sometimes the work is hard.

    J does seem to get along well with the other children in his class at least before he was exploding all of the time, I drive J to school and in the afternoon when school gets out the kids would wave and tell J bye some of the kids would even hug him good bye. There are also two other boys who get picked up and the three of them would run around a field outside of the school and have a blast for about 20 minutes before us mom's got them moving into the cars. Since J has been exploding the kids in his class have become afraid of him (my mother witnessed one of his explosions in the class room so this is her observation). I have toyed with the idea of hanging out in the classroom so I could see J in the school setting, my only concern with me being there is when J was in preschool anytime I volunteered to do in the classroom stuff his behavior became much worse. I am at a loss.

    My life is full of adventure we were just getting J down, we started at 8:40 it is now 10:20 and he started jumping all around and then he laid down and started hitting him self in the head (this is brand new), I will be calling the psychiatrist again tomorrow, I wonder if this is an Adderall thing?
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Whether it's aggravated by medications or not, I would read the hitting himself in the head, as him expressing disapproval of his own behaviour. HE doesn't like raging (what kid does?) and wants to be able to control himself.

    Never underestimate the degree of self-loathing you can find in some of these kids.

    It is not good for home to be fun, but the ultimate aim is for him to get educated. So put that first when he is home, worry about the fun aspect second. Because if he learns that learning is fun, he may be able to translate that back to the school environment.

    Home after school hours IS allowed to be fun. It should be a happy place.

    With getting him to bed, be wary of stimulating him. We used to find we needed to begin the calm-down phase for difficult child 3, at about 4 pm. Certain computer games had to be banned because even though they were calming for others, they hyped up difficult child 3. So he was permitted to play them until 4 pm on weekdays and Sunday, 5 pm on Friday and Saturday.

    We also found that the chase and struggle to get him to go to bed could quickly become a diverting game, giving him our attention.

    What helped, was US getting ready for bed. When he saw he was about to lose his audience anyway, he became more cooperative about going to bed. It doesn't matter if it's hours before your bedtime; an early night won't hurt you for a change.

    Getting an evening routine happening can help. Draw up a bedtime routine but base it on what is already in place, even loosely. Begin it from getting home from school. I suspect having a strict routine may help settle him a bit more.

    A draft routine -

    3 pm - Arrive home from school. Have a snack. Take lunchbox out of bag and put it on the kitchen bench.

    3.30 pm - play games.

    4 pm - certain games must stop. Other games may continue until 5 pm.

    5 pm - any friends visiting, it's time to go home now.
    5 pm tp 5.30 pm - do chores.

    5.30 pm - have a bath.

    6 pm - have dinner.

    7 pm - clean teeth. Read a book with Daddy (snuggled in bed or on the couch).

    7.30 pm - get into bed. Reading is permitted for half an hour.

    8 pm - lights out.

    Clearly you need to modify this to your own lifestyle, but whatever you use, write it down, stick it up on the wall and stick to it. A version of this method is to laminate it and get him to tick the box when he is at each stage.

    You can also do this in reverse to get him ready in the mornings.

    They may seem to be coping, but something like this can help it lock in place.

  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It is a hard thing for adults to figure out, even harder for a kindergartner.

    He states that the anger just comes and is around the school. That may be a starting point. I am sure that "anger" scares him. Until triggers can be identified, you can work on the recognizing of the "anger".

    Ask him if he ever feels it before it makes him act out. Ask him if there is anything he can do to be boss over the anger so it doesn't make him do things he doesn't want to do. Would it help if he went to a quiet corner away from the other kids to regroup? Let him know that his teacher will help if she knows that is what he needs. This is a lot to ask of a kindergartener. I was fortunate that my difficult child was 11 years old and could understand the tools he was given.

    With my difficult child, he had to learn how to recognize his anxiety before we could figure out the triggers.

    Being 5 years old is a big step towards being a big kid. That new found sense of abilities can be overwhelming. He may not feel ready for that yet. I am so glad you have a 1/2 day Kindergarten. I am a strong opposer of full day Kindergarten for this reason, not every kid is ready but unfortunately around here, parents look at the financial part of all day kindergarten (cheaper than day care) instead of their child's needs.

    My difficult child was enterring 5th grade - another large step to being a big kid. His fears did extend to not being able to do well in college to not getting a job to take care of a family. I had to explain to him that each year will prepare him for the responisibility of college and family.

    The Adderall may indeed be feeding into some of this. I am not familiar with it so I do not know. The reason it is hard for psychiatrists to treat is that each person reacts so differently to each medication. psychiatrists will make their best educational guess with the little they really know about their patient. They don't know how your son will react but they will listen and understand if you think the medication is creating side effects that are not beneficial. My difficult child was on a medication that appeared to be helping but as time went by, it became a disinhibitive. He was not afraid to talk back to teachers or stand his ground. Once we took him off of that, he became more respectful. It was a hard Winter/Spring as I made the choice of dealing with that behavior to get him through his class work. It was keeping his anxiety at bay.

    My difficult child was also on medications that cause major problems in many kids but was the miracle drug for him.

    Are you keeping a journal? I did during the nightmare year we had. I purchased a yearly planner and recorded things I was concerned about including the time it took place. As we were changing medications, I also recorded what medications I gave at what time. I recorded the unwanted behaviors at the time of day they occurred. I took this calendar to every therapist visit to remember to cover anything I may have forgotten.

    I have a daughter who is 6 years older than difficult child. That means she was 17 years old and I could focus on difficult child's issues more so it was much easier for me. You have a typical two year old and a soon-to-be newborn. Your days will be full of kids. Follow your instincts and continue doing the best you can. It will be a rollercoaster ride but you have found a site where other moms truely understand. You will even find yourself rejoicing over the smallest of victories but feel your friends will not understand your joy. Bring them here and we will help you celebrate.

    I hope you have found some helpful advise somewhere on this site. Remember, we only can go off what you write and we know it is very difficult to explain EVERYTHING. It is good to get all kinds of advise to give you various things to try IF they feel right to you. Follow your instincts. I think they are good.

    P.S. You are not a failure. You have recognized a lot of things going on and are willing to be the warrior mom it takes to figure it out.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  16. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Marg and others have given you great advice.

    I had a kid who would start breaking pencils and throwing books when he had to do homework in first grade. He hated school. I did not appreciate really his learning challenges back then. When we gave up on homework things got much better. It just was not worth the struggle.

    i would only underline that to punish him for what he is not able to control is probably not helping. I would worry less about whether you are inappropriately rewarding him. This is a kid with some serious challenges and it probably doesn't make him feel any better about himself to be punished.

    Also maintaining a positive relationship with your child is key. Make sure that if school is terrible that you do your best to have some quality time.

    I think the school lacks a real plan for dealing with him. They need to draw on some real expertise. Please please don't let them simply go with a behavioral strategy. I am sure that if your son could control his anger he would. I hope the school can create a more nuturing environment for him.
  17. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    How long has he been on Prozac? When my son started lexapro he actually started turning overdesks in his third grade classroom. Anti-depressants can be very destabilizing for some children.
  18. my2cats

    my2cats New Member

    J has been on Prozac for about 2 months. I am on the road to having a neuropsychologist evaluation done, I should be getting a bunch of paperwork with in the next day or two and then I will hand deliver it to the office. I called the Phospital where J spent 6 weeks at because I know that they did testing there but no one seems to have a copy of any testing that was done and the Phospital said it was going to take a couple of weeks to get a copy of J's record because there were other people ahead of me. Yes this upset me, I even told the lady on the phone how my son is in a crisis and that I needed the paperwork and I would drive there and pick it up but she would not budge so now I just have to wait. The place that I called for the neuropsychologist said that they would have me sign a release and that they would be able to get copies faster then me.