New here - 8yo son's anxiety exhausting

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by YoyoMama, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. YoyoMama

    YoyoMama New Member

    My son is quite hyper but very distractable. Both of these are frustrating to parent (e.g. I send him to get his shoes on so we can leave for school and he forgets why he is upstairs and forgets to come back.) But the issues that are more difficult are the ODD tendencies and the MOST difficult is the anxiety.

    He goes from happy to frustrated to explosive in seconds.

    He has just changed schools - as in today is his 2nd day. At the other school we were frequently late. I let it go for a number of reasons but now he is in a public school and it becomes a totally different issue. He changed schools because his teacher was abusive and the atmosphere at the school was toxic. Neither of us could take it anymore. But his anxiety level rose to a point that is controlled both of our lives.

    Last Friday, when I woke him for school he began raging and pounding the bed, screaming, "I don't want to go to school, I don't want to go to school!!!" So I decided he would never go back to that school again.

    One of the issues we have been dealing with for one year, (since he switched medications to Vyvanse) is a struggle with falling asleep. Last week, when the message of how destructive his school was finally cut through the fog, I realized that this sleep issue was related to the anxiety.

    Last night, we had gone to a wrestling match and on the way home he fell asleep. As soon as we got home at 7:45 he asked to go to bed. He has NEVER done that. But he fell asleep immediately! And he slept until almost 7am. I think the months of anxiety has taken a toll. It will be interesting to see how much this anxiety eases as the days go by.

    One of the things that is a problem for us is that even though we were at the breakfast table with plenty of time to get to school early we ended up getting there with no 60 seconds to spare. Getting the last couple of things done ignites the oppositional tendencies and the anxiety and we inevitably end up yelling at each other until we get into the car by which time he is screaming and crying. Not a great way to start the day (it will often end in a similar way.)

    I have finally decided to find information and support online. I don't know any other parents dealing with similar issues. I am a widow. My husband died when our son was 7 months old. The fighting about every single issue is so exhausting but the thing that I stumbled across yesterday that was the most helpful was a list of questions that included one that asked, "is your home destroyed?" YES!!! That above all things has been a nightmare for 5 years. That above everything else has taken a toll on me and controlled my life. Because - when my son is not in school I will do anything (not even consciously for several years) to figure out someplace to go rather than be at home - because if we are at home and my son is out of my sight he will destroy the room he is in. Only in the past 9 months have I gotten any portion of our house back in a manageable shape. That is the upstairs. You would not call it that today. But it is within 2 to 3 hours of being acceptable.

    My room has been a huge domping ground for so long. Because if I am cooking dinner or working on anything and he is not engaged or observed then he will turn every single vessel, drawer, closet upside down and inside out. And when faced with that on top of what is already insanely chaotic - it is simply more than I can deal with. I am exhausted and lonely and until I found this place I have had NOONE to talk to who might understand.

    I didn't come here so much to get advice as I did come to find people who understand and who have been through anything similar and who understand how exhausting and frustrating and personally draining it all is. One of the MOST draining parts is that others DONT understand and see it all as a discipline issue. Because they don't understand I don't even bother trying. I just save myself the possibilty of being judged. I bet that is familiar to many of you.

    Thanks for letting me vent. It is a great relief to find this forum.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I am sorry to hear of your troubles...

    Feel free to vent away--any time.

  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm late getting to this one.

    Welcome to the site. Help is here. At some stage it would help to do a sig for yourself, like mine at the end. That way you don't have to keep reminding us how old he is, what the diagnosis is, etc.

    We've been there done that with the anxiety, the hyperactivity, the ODD and the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). For ous kids, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in various forms (primarily autism) turned out to be the underlying cause. And that isn't necessarily bad new - there are a lot of really positive qualities that these kids have; once you find better ways to work with these kids, they do better.

    Has your son been evaluated for ADHD or ODD? Sometimes the asnwer can be very simple.

    In the meantime I suggested te following:

    1) In getting ready in the morning, have a chart with the written list of tasks. It can be a whiteboard, or it can be a made-up poster with velcro dots and 'reward' badges to velcro on when the task is done. All he has to do is check his list to see what he has done. If you can put a "completed by..." time next to it, that can help. It depends on what he is capable of. Frankly, some kids just can't do it (no matter how smart they afre( until a lot older than you would think. Therefore yelling at them accomplishes nothing except to push the anxiety higher.

    When we yell at a kid to hurry up, we're trying to use panic constructively. For "normal" kids (PCs) this might work, but for an anxiety-plagued difficult child (Gift From God) this can be disastrous and freeze them into immobility.

    Getting as much done the night before can also help. For example, having lunches made and bags packed the night before. Clothes already laid out. A routine of putting dirty clothes in the laundry, putting clean clothes away in the cupboard.

    Ideally, you want the child to keep tabs on the time and move himself towards being ready to go. In practice, this just isn't happening nor is it likely to. Therefore, YOU need to be his 'brain' in this and say to him, "Where are you up to on your chart? What do you have to do next?" and help him along. Try to avoid letting panic creep in or you will slow him further (very frustrating!)

    The more he associates panic and anxiety with leaving for school, the more oppositional he will be over it. He needs to be ready much earlier, maybe break the routine and leave much earlier one day to go to McDonalds for breakfast instead. Or go for a walk in the park before school, or something, anything, that breaks the current pattern.

    YOu need to go through his day and identify the sources of anxiety. The mornings can't be the only problem areas. But they are under YOUR control much more.

    We finally got to a point where difficult child 3 works from home. It's much better for him in so many ways, including socially (which is a surprise for a lot of people who keep trotting out the old argument, "But how can he learn social interaction when he's not at school?" to which I answer, "He was never going to learn to mix, purely by osmosis. All school taught him socially was how to be a victim.").

    There are other wayas to reduce his anxiety at school. I suspect he needs an evaluation to try to find where it's all coming from, so it's easier to find answers for him that deal with the underlying problems.

    But for now, this should help. Keep us posted on how he's going.

  4. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    Just wanted to say welcome (and I love your screen name :)).

    You're not alone! The people on this site are fabulous, helpful, and best of all, non-judgmental. I hope you'll find some great ideas here, and maybe even share some of your own when it feels right.


  5. YoyoMama

    YoyoMama New Member

    Marguerite - thank you for the reply. The chart and list will not work for us in the mornings but could certainly work in the afternoons and evenings. I hope that the new school will provide enough of a relief from anxiety that he will sleep better (first 2 days he is getting in bed and falling asleep in contrast to staying awake for 2-3 hours) and get up early enough to get some things done. Right now, I am waking him, getting him dressed and down to breakfast. Sitting with him while he eats, monitoring his eating and taking medicine (3 times this past year he did not take his medicine and it created a HUGE disastor for himself at school) and then overseeing his tooth and hair brushing plus coat, backpack and lunch box. If I am not dressed before I get him up a disaster ensues.

    In fact one of the biggest difficulties in raising him has been that if he is left alone, unsupervised, even for a moment then he creates such a huge mess that it will take me 30-60 minutes to clean up.

    While I do know that angry responses make matters worse it is none-the-less very difficult at times to not respond when a huge mess is created in the brief 90 seconds it took me to go to the bathroom while he finished his breakfast.

    Anyway. I like the idea of giving him a list to follow but I don't think we are there yet. He has a job list from karate and we are not getting that done at all ever since I turned the responsibility over to him. When I had the responsibility of doing filling it out it got done. Even though he likes karate and the encouragement he gets when these weekly job sheets are turned in yet he hasn't turned one in for 3 months and will not be eligible to test until he starts turning them in. My point is that he doesn't seem capable of doing this on his own - ie even when I remind him daily that he needs to check off his actions daily.

    Do other parents here find that they are doing "too much" for their difficult children or need to be present to guide their difficult children step by step? It is quite an odd issue, especially as I have noone else to help with his oversight.
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Yoyo and welcome.

    Gosh, I'm wracking my brains on this one. I'm thinking with thank you at that age, you're describing my every morning. ;) I do know that absolutely I had to keep him on eyes-on supervision or who knews what fresh disaster would be waiting for me. I think the last time I didn't supervise him, we ended up with red and blue wall stencil paint on a cream carpet, LOL. The good news is that someday you will be able to laugh about it too.

    I think the list thing is an excellent idea - or if not a list then maybe a simple chart using pictures? A bowl, clothes, a toothbrush, hair brush, shoes, book bag, etc. I did this with- my youngest son when he was in 2nd and 3rd grade because he was just a disorganized mess in the mornings. Kept the chart on his bedroom door and I would give him the right # of stickers to put next to the picture of the task he got done (no extra stickers 'cuz those would end up on the windows, walls, cats, etc). If he got thru a week with stickers by everything and I hadn't had to prompt him too much, he'd get a reward. In the beginning I gave a lot of cues - "go look at the list".

    Another thought might be to set aside a place every night where he gets all his stuff together (I know, can be hard with a kid whose mission in life is search and destroy). Maybe have him put shirt, shoes, pants, socks in the bathroom (hanging on a towel rack?) so it's all ready in the morning?

    It's really hard to balance teaching your kid to be self-sufficient with making sure that he gets everything done. I probably err on the side of excess supervision, but I'm a bit of a control freak. ;)

    Do you have him help clean up the messes? I know, that might just provoke a meltdown but logical consequences... you make a mess you clean it up. There's also the whole boundary issue because it sounds like he's getting into stuff that he shouldn't be. Sigh... it's always a balancing act.

    Have you read The Explosive Child? I'm not big on self-help books with the exception of this one. It *really* is helpful in terms of giving us insight into how our kids think and how to prioritize which behaviors to address first. I highly recommend it.

    Anyway - it's late, I'm rambling. Welcome and I'm glad you found us!
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Often with our kids, we have to throw out the rule book. THings they SHOULD be able to do, often we have to accept that they can't do it without help. Anybody insisting otherwise needs to learn this or get left behind.

    We had difficult child 1 enrolled in karate for a time, but despite seeming to take my concerns on board, the teacher turned out to not only ignore my advice/information, he seemed to think it was just a matter of discipline; therefore difficult child 1, instead of actually learning anything useful, would spend his entire karate lessons being punished for inattention by being made to do pushups or similar rote exercises. Added in to this was a culture of silence and secrecy, difficult child 1 was told that what happened at karate could never be told to anyone outside karate, especially not your mother. It was a Code. Finally another class member, an adult with a fragment of commonsense, told us to pull him out of karate. It took years before difficult child 1 would tell us what really went on.

    The way your son will cause a mess when you're not around - is it your absence that sets this off, or is your constant vigilance necessary even when you're in the room?

    A woman we knew whose son was profoundly autistic (although maybe not as much as she led us to believe) just let him do what he wanted when it came to making a mess. The boy had a model train set that he would set up on the dining table, he would then landscape it with whatever he could find in the kitchen - flour, dessicated coconut, sugar, salt - it all went to make mountains. She said she would often get up int he morning to find he'd been landscaping in the middle of the night again. In my observation she never tried to do anything with him, she just let him wander around and do what he wanted. Then when she was burnt out, she would try to dump him wherever she could for respite. While I sympathised, I felt she could have at least directed him a little more. The boy did find a better niche later on and, I believe, began to show a lot of improvement.

    Yes, we need to adapt to our kids needs a lot when they're like this, but tat doesn't mean we just sit back and let the kid take over. We lead, but we BEGIN from where the child is first, then work from there. But you do need to work... important to remember this.

  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Oh, yea. A lot of us can relate. Parts of your posts sounds like you are well acquainted with-my son.

    My son has a number of dxs, but without a doubt it's his anxiety that is the most difficult to deal with. In our case, it's primarily school related.

    Just thought I'd mention to you that it may be the Vyanese causing the sleeping problem. Trouble getting to sleep is one of the side affects for the majority of ADHD medications. Check into Melatonin. It's a natural treatment that has been quite effective for our son on nights he needs it.

    One thing I get irritated at school about is the lack of exercise my son gets. He and (others) need time to run that energy off. But in this part of the country they keep cutting back on recess and PE time.

    Welcome to the site!:D
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there, and welcome to our corner of the world. We do understand. Perhaps you can do a signature like I did below and give us more information on your child. You may also want to tell us if there are psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of his genetic family tree--and include his early development, if he had any delays, or wouldn't cuddle, and if he can playl approppriately with his same age peers or if he just seems "clueless." How is school? Does he have any strange quirks? Who has diagnosed him? Has he seen a neuropsychologist (strong recommendation in advance that he see a neuropsychologist for their intensive evaluation). Until you know what is driving his behavior, it will very hard to help him and your family. He isn't just a "bad" kid--there is more and in my opinion it's not only ADHD or ODD. (((Hugs))) and good to have you.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I really believe that to help a child move forward, you have to meet them where they're at, so if he needs constant supervision at this time to get ready for school, that's what needs to happen. I would encourage you to look into the neurological reasons behind that difficulty which can be caused by reasons such as auditory processing problems which make it difficult/impossible to follow multistep instructions or executive function issues. The better handle you have on the "why" behind the actions, the better off you will be to help him.

    Have you had him evaluated by the public school and put together an IEP? You are right in that they won't be tolerant of tardies and absences due to anxiety, should that continue. Given the behaviors you are seeing at home, it would probably be a good idea if you haven't already.

    Some practical helps:
    One of my best strategies for dealing with the morning was to sit everyone down for a hot breakfast together and reading to them while they're eating. It infuses some calm in most mornings.

    If your room has become a dumping ground, it's time to put a lock on the outside. Boys who trash rooms aren't welcome inside.

    When in a rush in the morning, sometimes the simplest distraction--such as offering a TicTac or Tootsie Roll while you tie shoes--can be a huge help.

    Take a close look at the items he has to use daily--shoes, socks, clothing, backpack, coat. If any of these are giving him problems on a routine basis, change them so they work better. ie If the winter coat is a daily battle ground, go to layers of sweatshirts/fleece coat

    I also recommend The Explosive Child to help you to learn how to deal with him in ways that might help reduce the ongoing defiance.
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If karate is something that is positive in his life, then I would give him all the support with the paper part that he needs. Clearly your son has some issue going on here and giving him the support at this point in his life might yield more benefits than giving him responsibility he doesn't seem ready for and/or capable of.

    Most of us would think nothing of giving someone with a health problem the medication support they need, someone with a learning disability the assistance they need, and so on. It should be the same way with adaptations for life skills--give them the help they need until they are ready to move to the next level.

    What kinds of assessments have been done on your son and by what specialists?
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Yoyomama!

    You have definitely found the right place to be. I am fortunate enough not to have to deal with the school issue in the morning too much because easy child and I leave earlier but poor husband does. For him it isn't that he doesn't want to go to school as much as he just is oppositional, either way it makes for some unpleasant mornings for husband.

    I can totally relate to having to supervise him 100% of the time. When my difficult child was that age it was the same way. We always knew when it was quiet that some disaster was happening. You must be drained, husband and I are and we tag team a lot.

    The 100% of the time does get better. Now when it's quiet most of the time it means he is watching tv or playing Wii. He still needs lots of supervision but it's not 100% of the time.

    Glad you found us, as you can see you are not alone. Do you get any time for yourself? Is there any way to get some respite so you can recharge?

  13. ML

    ML Guest

    Welcome! Yes, I understand perfectly. My son "manster" has similar issues. Some things that have helped are: sructure, routine and flexibility. I tend to be a neat nick and when my environment is out of order it goes against my serenity. I have learned to allow chaos in certain parts of the home that I can shut out of my area of vision to be dealt with when I have time. husband is also one who is a destroyer of homes lol.

    The lists tend to help us more at night as well. I tend to let son sleep as late as possible because he's often gotten to sleep too late and I want him to have those extra minutes. We're working on earlier bedtime. So we scurry to get to school on time. When the weather is bad like it was this week, forgetaboutiit.

    I understand the exhaustion. Do you have any supports, friends, family perhaps? If you can get even one night a week to yourself it can help. I know how hard it is when you have to supervise them 24/7 been there done that. Manster is a couple of years older than your difficult child and I will say that in those 2 years from 8-10 he has come a long way. Another thing that has helped, and I'm not proud of this and it isn't a good thing for difficult child, is that his computer games have given me some space, an hour here and there that he has no "need" for me. My goal is to decrease that need and encourage more independence.

    Does your son have friends? Mine would NEVER go over to a friend's house (too much anxiety) but was happy for them to come here. I just confine them to those areas of the house I can shut off (his room) and get stuff done.

    Also, I am married (not to difficult child dad) but husband isn't invovled with discipline, homework, making dinners, etc. so I often say I am a married single mother. It is hard.

    This board has helped so much. There are tons of suggestions, things that have worked for others and a spirit of friendship that I know you will find helpful.

    Glad you found us.

  14. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    My son exactly. Only he is now 14. I would definately suggest and IEP at the public school.
    Anxiety has my son out of control recently. ODD has us not speaking at the moment. And frustration keeps him from doing homework - as well as the ODD.

    Our days start and end same as yours. and in between feeling guilty for the arguing that has happened.

    IEP is really needed to help with anxiety in school, ODD, frustration.

    you will get lots of good advice here.
  15. YoyoMama

    YoyoMama New Member

    Wow, what a warm welcome! Thanks so much! What a relief to find a group of people who can understand that these issues are not discipline issues. That judgement has been one of the biggest drains. Let me try to answer some of the questions.

    slsh - at night my son often lays his clothes out on the floor. He calls it, "making me." This way we avoid the opposition to clothes selection. (Although by age 4 I quit buying any article of clothing unless he selected it. And he STILL will protest and claim to HATE some shirt or pair of pants.)

    I absolutely have him clean up the messes even if that means leaving it there a week. There are two scenarios for getting things cleaned up: 1) I give him one step at a time, i.e. put dirty clothes in the hamper and come back, now put shoes in closet and come back etc. (he cannot get two steps like brush teeth and wash hands). 2) I am present in the room while he cleans up. This works very well but is not always practical especially when he is not going to sleep until after 10pm because I can get absolutely nothing else done. (He was 5 or 6 before I got to go to the bathroom by myself. He still prefers me to go to the bathroom with him - home or public.)

    Clearly must read Explosive Child.

    Marguerite - thanks. Just reading the line about throwing out the rule book makes my burden feel 10lbs. lighter. That is what is so valuable about being with other parents who understand. Thank you so much.

    My son will create a mess whether I am there or not. For instance, he loves Lego and received several sets for Christmas. One is downstairs in the main room because he would prefer to be with me rather than alone in his playroom (a very comfortable snuggly room). Problem - he gets it out and then leaves 100s of Lego on the floor right where we must walk. No punishment is enough fear. If I turn my back he will "dump". Our best times are when I am participating with him or present as he plays but no amount of presence is enough. THEN when I am present he is SO controllling. If we are watching TV he will check often to see if I am looking rather than doing ANYTHING else or if we are playing he will direct HOW I am to play. Whew. It is much easier to go see a movie or go to the park or .... So if I have to cook dinner or clean dishes or iron clothes - MESS!

    Sheila - the vyvanse definitely started the sleep problem. Before that he was on a ritalin derivative which did not affect his sleep. I have used the epson salt baths to help with the sleep as getting him to take one more supplement is yet another oppositional opportunity but I will keep that in mind. Fortunately the new school has lots more recess and play opportunities than the last and wonderfully one of the discipline actions to to require running laps when so many "pins" are pulled. That will certainly help this little one.

    Midwest Mom - whew - so many questions. Let me try a few. I, his mother and his late father have both been diagnosed with ADD. Early on my psychiatrist said that he was sure my son was ADHD (from observations at age 2). I prayed that he was wrong - not so. I realized a year and a half ago that my son also had problems with anxiety and discussed this with his psychiatrist. He prescribed an anti-anxiety, which at the time I used on Mondays. (It was summer - a new activity each week - very anxiety provoking on day one.) But my son is very, very, very resistant and oppositional to taking ANY kind of ANY thing whether it is oral or topical or whatever. For instance, right now his little nose and lips are raw from the dry air heat and lip-licking. We almost healed his bloody, crusty nose on Wed with a soothing nose spray but then he became resistant. He sometimes resists lipbalm even though he is in significant physical pain and clearly embarrassed by the way it looks. So the battle for the anti-anxiety medications was way too much.

    His psychiatric also prescribed Zoloft in Sept. I can't even remember why but I never filled it. The psychiatric reminded me of this prescription in Dec. I started to get it filled on Thursday when my son had a breakdown before going to his new school. We were outside the pharmacy when he said he felt better and was ready to go to school.

    In Dec. I was discussing his oppositional behavior with his psychiatric and said again that when my son was 4ish I thought he might be ODD and was told that diagnosis couldn't be made until age 7 or 8. His psychiatric laughed and said, "Oh he is oppositional alright" but he did not prescribe anything.

    My son is by nature very kind and compassionate. He has lots of friends and plays well with them though he is very sensitive. His biggest problem in school was talking too much and too loudly, his disorganization and forgetfulness. He makes friends easily and will talk to anyone and everyone. He can go into a room of strangers young and old and talk to them all and try to get them to talk to each other. If we go into a store or restaurant twice the staff remembers him. His personality is his strong suit. But his sensitivity can be a problem. He is very keenly aware when someone does not like him. In the sports programs, if he gets a coach who favours his son and his sons friends, my son is keenly aware that he is not favoured. His reaction to that is actually to be taciturn and keep it in for weeks and weeks. But in programs where the leaders are not "fathers" things work out well for him because he is so gregarious.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what other diagnosis you have in mind, but I am well versed with mental health issues and am very comfortable with the diagnoses of ADHD and anxiety with oppositional behaviors.

    SRL - I think you are right about giving him the support he needs. I will start doing the karate paper. I gave it to him for several reasons including the fact that I am completely overloaded and overwhelmed. I have more on my plate than I can handle and doing his things is just more than I can do. That gets to the shoe tieing issue. He would much prefer that I tie his shoe but he finally learned how in Sept and now it is his job. He complains everytime and says he is not good at it but my reply is that the more he does it the better he will get.

    Your suggestions of distractions is a great one. I have used it at times but definitely could plan some ahead of time and use distractions more often. We don't have an IEP. I have heard the term but don't know exactly what it means. I did meet with the school system's psychologist before he started and he told me about options for him and then I met with his schools counselor on his first day and we discussed his ADHD and anxiety and talked about ways to handle it. His former school did not have a counselor or anyone outside of the teacher to discuss behavioral issues. They simply did not want to deal with any issues associated with ADHD or anything else. You fit their concept or you don't survive. We didn't survive.

    Wiped out - thanks for the encouragement. It really helps. Santa brought a Wii for X-mas and I think that was a great move. The only real problem in his play room are the draws and buckets full of Lego which get dumped out regularly and take enormous amount of supervision getting picked up. The biggest problem for me is that I need to be able to get things done and I need some down time and if I take time that is when the mess gets done and then i feel completely worn down and overwhelmed all over again. It is exhausting. Did I mention that he is very, very selective on the foods he will eat? I have decided to try to go casein free. It will be a very difficult experience in our household but I suspect a rewarding one.
  16. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Hi and welcome

    I would try and get him into an Occupational Therapist (OT).
    Out Daughters both went to an Occupational Therapist (OT) and we are getting them back into one ASAP. His issues could be sensory based whatever the diagnosis. Which increases anxiety and everything else.
    Lip licking... this could be because of low tone in regards to his tongue and mouth. An Occupational Therapist (OT) could teach him and you how to build up these muscles.
    This is a big one for K. Aquaphor or Eucerin at night helps with the cracking.
    We give her things to chew on and svck on. I am not a big candy or gum person, but this is a *Basket C* (Explosive Child and Out of Sync Child Books).
    You give them something to keep their mouths occupied, straws, tic-tacs, littles candies etc.
    Both of my girls have things to svck on or chew on. They both have different issues but these tricks help them both. Low tone is a big one for a lot of our kids in regards to the mouth.
    Also taking a few extra minutes, like SRL said, let him maybe do something to relax in the morning. Burn off some of the anxiety.
    K, when she is unstable is very anxious. So she listens to music, we dance in the morning, or she reads, or she plays her DIDJ, anything to help her mind relax.

    Even if we are running late I try to never let her see or feel that. I never make her *feel* stressed or it makes her feel anxious.
    We need to help them keep calm. It is hard but until they can deal with their emotions we have to do this. Baby steps. :)
    They are like infants with some of their emotions.
    Some days I have to help K get dressed, I have to help her with her teeth.
    I have to walk her through each step.
    Yes I feel like screaming!!!
    medications need to be helpful, if you feel like they are not helping, let your psychiatrist know. He needs to be on the correct medications, or why bother? It is a guessing game, but they should be helping, even a tiny bit.

    Hang in there, you have comer to a great place and we will try to help!
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, YoYoMama.

    Your son sounds like mine used to be. We have come a long way. There is hope.

    I got up earlier and earlier and it just seemed like all it did was stretch out the agony b4 school. What helped was carpool, and having the other mom call when she was 5 min. away. Changing my son's diet and getting him on Adderall helped immensely.

    I occasionally have to follow my son around as he looks for things, but it's getting much better. He's 12 now. I still have to look over his chores. What he considers completed and what I consider completed are not the same thing. :)

    I know how exhausted and frazzled you are. Keep breathing.
  18. YoyoMama

    YoyoMama New Member

    Totoro - thanks for your post. I was not familiar with the term low-tone and so googled it. I don't think that is what is driving his lip-licking. He just started that about 1 year ago and it appears to clearly be an nervous tick of sorts driven by anxiety. It is clearly more pronounced in the winter.

    It may be a derivative of the Vyvanse but I don't know even one other parent whose child is on Vyvanse to talk with about side effects. But still the concept of using something to **** on is a great idea. I think I will look into that. He loves gum but I had to nix that as he often ends up with it in his hair or on his clothes.

    I really hear you about not adding to the anxiety about being late. I am GUILTY as charged - guilty, guilty, guilty. Now I have to find ways to avoid that. The last school definitely fueled my own anxiety as they were VERY judgemental and condemning. No help at all.

    TerryTJ - thanks so much for your encouragement. So glad to know that there is hope.
  19. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    You might want to check through this list of tics to see if there's anything else there. My nephew has a condition called Tourette's Syndrome, and while the tics became obvious later in childhood, in hindsight the parents realized they'd been there all along and just worsened at a particularly anxious point in his life. I'm not saying your child has Tourette's Syndrome but if tics are present you may want to consider having him evaluated by a pediatric neurologist.
  20. YoyoMama

    YoyoMama New Member

    I have had discussions with two psychiatrists concerning his tics. They both eliminated Tourettes at this time and both concluded that they are anxiety related. One psychiatric specialist suggested that his tics may be a result of the Vivanse which may induce a low level mania and push him toward Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). His primary psychiatrist believes this lip licking (which replaced the "eyebrow clicking, nose flicking" tic a year ago is simply a product of anxiety. I am aware that it may become something more and would like to work towards decreasing his anxiety or at least reduce anxiety provoking environments as much as possible.