New here...desperate.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 4cooper, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. 4cooper

    4cooper New Member

    I have a five year old son who is completely out of control. I hate to admit this but there are times I seriously either want to send him away forever or just run away myself. I'm exhausted. So is my husband. We feel like we've tried everything and nothing is working. Just a little background about Cooper. He was a very good baby. He never fussed, never had colic, nothing of that nature. When he was a toddler he was sweet and loving. He was very well behaved. He was an angel. He went to preschool and he turned into a horrible behaving child. We thought just mild ADD or something. We seen the school psychologist who said that he had a behavioral issue due to immaturity. He got better for a while. Then he turned 5 and literally all craziness broke loose. There has been a few things that has happened..the worst being he decided one morning not to wake us and leave our home. He got into his toy jeep and started going down the road (a main road). We have alarms on all of our door inside and outside doors. He constantly hits or throws things at us. He thinks that is funny. He steals food (anything with sugar he steals). He wont go to bed at night, he kicks us, aruges with us, refuses to do what he's asked to, he's lately been obsessed with things like transformers, power rangers, things of that nature. He also has a rough time in school. I have since taken him back to the therapists office. She says he has anger issues. Spanking (which I totally disagree with but was willing to try) doesn't work, timeout doesn't work, taking toys away doesn't work, taking tv away doesn't work...NOTHING works. He's very sensetive about being called a baby, or people yelling at him. So I'm careful with that. I'm seriously lost. Sometimes i think there is not any hope.

    I also wanted to add C is extremely smart. He is working on reading, he knows everything practically about dinosaurs, he is also working on learning other languages.
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Hi, and welcome to the board.

    My first thought is that if he's stealing food that has sugar in it, take it away and lock it up where he can't get at it. If that means putting it in your room and locking your bedroom door, then you might have to do that. If the sugar intake is making thing worse then you need to do what you need to do to take as much of it out of his diet as you can.

    You said he's seen a psycologist. Has he seen a psychiatrist? One that specializes in children? Alot of people here swear by the neuro-psychiatrist. They do alot of testing over a long period of time and they do the best that they can to get to the bottom of thngs if they can.

    Were there any major changes in his life around the time that he starte having behavioral difficulties? Any deaths, a move, major stress in the home?

    What does the teacher say about his behavor in the classroom? A good psychiatrist will ask for teacher input so that he or she can get a complete picture of what is going on.

    Others will be along. It's the weekend and sometimes that's a quiet time on the board. Take a deep breath and know that you are among friends here.
  3. 4cooper

    4cooper New Member

    We have tried to put sugary foods up where he can't get them. However, he gets up on a chair and climbs to get it. We've tried putting it in our laundry room because theres a super super high shelf and he still gets to it. I've actually stopped buying it all together lately, but these pesky candy holidays get us.

    He does see a psychologist. She strictly deals with adolecents. She goes to his school to observe, sees C's parents (us) on a regular basis, speaks to his teachers etc. There has been no testing done. The pediatrician is pushing us to medicate and I just don't want to.
    Major changes...we did move but that was in 2010 when the first behavior issue started. Then in Dec 2010 his grandpa died. He talks about him still very often. My husband is a vet...and he has medical issues. So there has been stress in our lives, but nothing thats different than normal. Usually Cooper is well behaved in school. Usually the issues come up at lunch/nap time. Then after nap he's good again.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hello and welcome! Do not feel badly about your feelings, we know you would not really leave him alone but I bet if most of us were honest, we would all say we fantasize about placing our difficult to parent kids out of the home or running away ourselves.

    You will find that we all here have a perspective that comes from our own experiences so the things that jump out in your post will hit me in one way and others will share how it strikes them. We can't diagnose anything of course so you can sort through our responses and see what fits or at least see what would be worth checking through your own evaluations.

    I am parent to a child on the autism spectrum. Many do not see it until they really know him, people who know autism see it right away of course, lol. I am also an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and (God plays funny tricks) I worked with kids with autism long before my son came along. Continued to do so (along with many other disabilities) for many years.

    So that is my perspective. Your mentioning the obsessions with the toys, being an expert in dinosaurs, being very smart--already reading and working on other languages all can be signs of high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome.

    The other red flags that are common for kids on the autism spectrum are difficulty sleeping, hyperactivity/executive function issues (adhd-like), anger/rages??, and true, typical parenting methods do not work well. His being hypersensitive also fits.

    (again, other things can account for this but I am sharing this perspective because I have seen it so much)

    If a therapist or doctor does not work with kids who have the wide spectrum of abilities with autism they tend to not suggest it because they stick to the diagnosis only if they see lack of eye contact, NO imaginative play, no desire to be social, rocking, toe walking, hand flapping etc.... none of which, on their own, rules in or rules out autism.... but are symptoms that people most identify with autism.

    Does your son play with those toys in a creative way, inventing new stories and creating new things for them to say to eachother? IF he plays with other kids with them could he create new play themes with his friends being able to contribute? Is he rigid in his play? OR does he tend to just share the same toys but play along side of others? Does he pick up on clues like facial expression and tone of voice the correct way or does he over react or under react???

    how is his eating?? Is he restrictive in what he eats in any way? How does he do with sensory things, does he have clothing issues (tags, tight clothes, sock issues, certain color issues, etc...) Do sounds or smells bother him? OR does he maybe seek out activity, touching, smelling, tasting things?? How are his boundaries? Does he get in your space too much or does he not like anyone near him? Can he walk in a line at school (they have to be so close and stay in place)...

    If these things hit close to home you may want a specific evaluation for autism at a child development center... if there are other possibilities (like a family history of any genetic conditions or mental health conditions etc...that can affect kids at any age) then this kind of center could still be good but a neuropsychological evaluation at a university clinic or a hospital based neuropsychologist center could really be a great idea.

    Many of us also get Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluations (and since neuropsychologist takes a while, it is good to get these first and bring the results with you so that the neuropsychologist can consider these results along with the extensive testing they do).... Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) will look at social communication, expressive and receptive abilities including processing and can suggest if there are possible auditory processing problems. That is where his hearing is fine, but his brain may have trouble interpreting sound in the face of background noise or if two or more things are happening at one time, etc...there are many different kinds of auditory processing problems. You can imagine that if you had this problem, attention and judgement would look much like a child with ADHD. An Occupational Therapist (OT) can help you see if the symptoms are related to sensory integration disorder, motor problems (can be very subtle) and again can account for some of the hyperactive looking symptoms you are seeing. It changes how treatment is delivered, there are some specific therapies that can really help these conditions so it is great to rule them in or out.

    Some books that many of us like are The Explosive Child by Ross Greene and What your Explosive Child is trying to Tell You by Doug Riley. For school issues Lost in School is also by Ross Greene and is wonderful.

    Does he have an IEP in school? (special education plan that is individualized for his behavioral and learning needs). Even if a child is able to do well academically, especially at a young age.... he may need support so that he does not eventually be labeled inappropriately as a trouble maker, rude, etc.... It is better to have programs developed that allow for teaching of positive behaviors to replace the negative ones. The methods used too should be positive (mandated by federal law to be taught that way by the way....) so rather than missing recess or being suspended, he gets rewards and privileges for doing more and more of the skills they are teaching. Most importantly, an IEP gives you specific rights for him to have accommodations and adaptations if needed, like being able to take a break when stressed, having individual direct teaching if needed, having sensory accommodations like ear phones or plugs if things are too noisy, using visuals to support his learning (task boards, check lists, cues to help avoid misunderstandings). It all depends on what they find are his strengths and weaknesses in the school evaluation.

    Let us know if this sounds like something you want to pursue, many of us have done it and can support you in your efforts.

    Sounds like he is a great kid but really overwhelmed....something is interfering with his getting along right now. Hope you can find sources to do complete evaluations and that you can find some answers for his sake and for yours!
  5. keista

    keista New Member


    What is the pediatrician pushing to medicate for? What does the pediatrician think it is? I would definitely seek the advice of a psychiatrist and not follow pediatrician's advice on this one.

    Sounds like you do need a comprehensive evaluation for him. "Anger issues" is just as helpful a diagnosis as ODD. I'm guessing the therapist didn't do any formal evaluations. neuropsychologist is the best for this, but you can also find some regular psychologists who are just as good. The important thing is to make sure they are using standardized evaluations some include observation, but none are observation only.

    It also sounds as if C is what we call *scary smart* That alone can have it's issues. Smart kids have a technical understanding of the world, but don't have the experience to deal with it all. Generally they don't realize they don't have such experience. That's how you get kids just leaving home and wandering around. they know they won't get lost and think it's all OK. He didn't think through to any other possible dangers.
  6. 4cooper

    4cooper New Member

    We go back to the pediatrician tomorrow so i'll have more info on what and why the medication tomorrow. They also have mentioned a sleep study. They said it could be that he has some form of insomnia. I also have set up a meeting with the psyc to discuss what we are going to do. I'm pretty demanding at this point that testing be done. C is super scarey smart. By the time he was 3 he was doing puzzled with 40-60 pieces, knew his abc's and how to count to 10 and various other things by this point too. The one thing that kept hitting me in the face when he ran away is we kept saying c you could get hit by a car and get seriously injured and he would say no i can run fast and then proceed to show us.

    Buddy- your words mean so much. I feel like the worlds worst parent at this point and I feel like i've let my child down. Before C I also did work with children. I was a one on one with a autistic child. He was pretty severe, so it sort of clouds my judgement on the levels of autism. I can say C is super polite, 98% of the time he uses his manners. He's sensetive about if someone gets hurt he'll be the first one to give loveys. For the most part he does play well with other children. However, my opinion is he's a bully. He's super imaginative. In fact one of our favorite hobbies is to staple paper together and he'll draw pictures and actually write the story. He does play with other children and not side by side...but he usually tries to dominate the play time. Not always but sometimes. Everyday when I pick him up he MUST hug as many friends as he possibly can before he leaves. He does eat fairly well. For a long time we could not get him to eat but very little meat, but as hes grown older he does eat more of it. There are some things he just wont eat. I think his eating habits are pretty typical 5 yr old habits. In school as long as it's not that period between lunch and nap he's helpful, plays well, listens, falls in line when the go somewhere, etc.

    Just to be honest...I feel guilty because I do tend to not punish the behaviors because quiet frankly...i dont know how. I babied him, shame on me, because he was a preemie and sick a lot (RSV, allergies, asthma, etc)...I've tried conventional forms of punishment which don't work. I've explored non conventional forms of punishment, but I dont know what else to do. I probably do not stick to my punishments as I should, but he just seems so I figure whats the point?? I never wanted to be that mom to the class bully. Unfortunately, my husband shows way more attention to his negative behavior so hes the one who gets the majority of the abuse. I.e c throwing shoes at him, spitting in his direction, etc. When it's C and I at home alone he's decently behaved. When the husband comes home it's like WWIII. My husband has PTSD from war and he does tend to overreact at maybe there's some kind of trigger I haven't figured out yet..all I can say at this point is I miss my sweet, cuddly, loving, caring baby boy...and i'll do anything to get him back.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    So funny, my son (who is not scary smart, in fact has significant delays in some areas but is classic in that he has high skills and lower skills)....was genius at puzzles, still is. When very small someone gave him an really inappropriately large jig saw puzzle so I kept saying no when he wanted to open it then I thought...why am I saying NO?? so I let him and this WILD CHILD, sat for hours and put a 200+ puzzle together at age 3. Them word got out and he got a bunch of them. The pieces never made it into boxes so I put all of the pieces in one of those plastic drawer things....all mixed up. He could take the whole drawer and put together the different puzzles digging thru thousands of pieces. (and lol, I was working at a child dev. center which specialized in all things but primarily autism and no, I did not call it at that time...haha)...

    There are many kids here on this board who play pretty well, especially when younger, but have some rigid rules like things kind of have to go their way sometimes so they seem to be "bullies" and the rule about hugging everyone ...yeah that was my son too...still is for his aunts and cousins.

    It is really hard to imagine our children being on the spectrum when what we have seen is that severe end of the spectrum. But really, the nice thing about it being that IF it is....there is a ton of support and very different and effective methods for helping the kids. I really pushed the diagnosis away and went for a second opinion when I got it. Didn't want it to be so. But it is the best thing that happened because teaching and accommodations are so much better for his style of thinking and learning and THAT is the important thing...that the world around them matches how they process information, how they learn, etc. There are TONS of kids on the spectrum who get nothing more than some check in time or a little support at times and some accommodations like ability to take a break if overloaded...and no one would know that they are on the spectrum in school at all.

    My son can be very cuddly too....but mostly on his terms.

    Please dont beat yourself up. First for ANY child there is no one way to parent, but for these kids who are wired differently whether adhd, odd, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), bi-polar, whatever....there are definitely no rule books and why would you keep doing something that is ineffective?

    Those books I listed DO give you another perspective that can help really lower the overall stress and give you steps to take. For me it helped take some of the guilt away for not doing it the way others thought I should (the strict punish every single thing...duh of course I tried that first! made things much worse).

    This is simply hard. yes, consistency is important but I dare anyone to parent your child knowing what you know in a traditional manner, I bet you are just a great mom who has a very challenging kid.

    I hope you can find a good neuropsychologist and or child development clinic to help sort through this better. Check out those books too! You have a lot on your plate with your hubby's issues as well and I would say dont stress over trying to find THE trigger. Likely it is a complex thing and you will need to tick away at issues from the perspective of the diagnoses you receive.

    We are here for you, and we have all felt guilt and that wishing we could make it better or return to easier times feeling. It is honestly a waste though, for us and for them. You are here searching for answers, THAT says a lot. You are not a mom who gives up at all!!! He is a great kid who is wired differently and you are working on finding the issue or issues that can be worked on.

    Keep checking in, we will be happy to listen and chat!
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Buddy has given you some great ideas. I have to second every one of them. My son was also a preemie with health issues and my entire family has been CONVINCED for years that difficult child 1 is the way he is because I babied him. It wasn't until we got the diagnosis of Asperger's and I realized how to deal with it (through the books Buddy told you about) that things started improving.

    If he doesn't have an IEP at school, request an evaluation for Special Education services now. The request needs to be in writing and we highly suggest you send it Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested. Ask that they do thorough evaluations including academic, psychological, behavioral, sensory, fine & gross motor, language processing, expressive speech, and receptive speech evaluations.

    In the meantime, look for a neuropsychologist, Child Psychiatrist, and/or Developmental Pediatrician as well as an Occupational Therapist and speech-Language Pathologist. The school will do evaluations ONLY as things pertain to his education where the various specialists will look at everything as it pertains to his life.

    ((((HUGS)))) to you. You've come to the right place. Pretty much all of us have been where you are now and I, for one, am happy to report that this "family" has helped me keep my sanity and helped me help my difficult child's more than any professional. Welcome to our little corner of the world.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If his issues are after lunch and seem to have food as an issue, you might want to try a restrictive diet (just certain fruits, veggies, meats, rice milk) and see if he improves. At 5, you can totally control his diet. It'd be hard and a pain but you can try it for two weeks and see if he improves.

    We got ALL non-approved foods out of our house for the first 6 months or so. Now, Tigger wouldn't eat a forbidden food if you paid him but Eeyore will if he thinks he can get away with it so we have a locked room that has a fridge and shelves and has all forbidden or limited foods. (Not just put up high -- behind a solid door with an outside quality lock.
  10. 4cooper

    4cooper New Member

    I'm just curious about the diet. What kinds of food did you start removing?
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    It was more drastic than that. We cleaned all food out of our house. Then we stocked only:

    organic, gluten free cereal
    all natural chicken and beef
    fruit (NO apples or pears)
    organic soy milk (plain or vanilla)
    McCormick pure spices

    It made for a very limited diet and after two weeks, we added in some limited "treats": plain potato chips (potatos/oil/salt), very limited dairy (all natural cheese, unsalted butter).

    You have to read the packages and make sure there are no extra ingredients. It is hard but it was SO WORTH IT for our boys.

    If you want to go more gradual. I'd suggest eliminating gluten first. That has become almost easy with all the gluten free options. Watch for 'hidden gluten' in things like bbq chips, etc. Some of the gluten free stuff tastes great (Cinnamon Chex, Betty Crocker girlfriend Cake Mixes, Udi bread)
  12. 4cooper

    4cooper New Member

    Forgive me for sounding kind of dumb here, but by removing these foods, what does it do? Rather, why remove these foods?
  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Not dumb at all! If you google "Feingold diet" you can find out lots more. Basically, the protein in wheat/barely/rye (gluten) and/or the protein in dairy (caesin) can cause a negative behavioral and/or gastrointestinal reaction in people with an intolerance for them. There is something in apples (and I think pears) as well as aspirin that can cause neurological issues in people with sensitivities. Same with ALL of the artifical ingredients (dyes, flavors, preservatives) -- some to a greater degree than others.

    These aren't "true" allergies so allergy testing doesn't help in this area.

    There are lots of theories about WHY these things impact some kids so negatively and don't seem to affect others, but they don't know for sure yet.

    My logic in trying it was that (1) chance of side-effects is zero (2) safer treatment than drugs (3) my child needed something to help -- they were missing their own childhood!!!
  14. 4cooper

    4cooper New Member

    Interesting. I think i'm going to go and research it. Thank you!
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi, sorry so late, and I had a response typed but accidentally deleted it ... anyway, welcome!
    And my life is chaos right now so I can only send hugs.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You've already received good advice... so just a couple of tidbits.

    I was going to say "sleep study"... and that looks like it's going to happen. Sleep problem alone can cause major issues... and if there is anything else going on, sleep problems make them worse. If the don't find anything, it is still a really good thing to know either way.

    Diagnosis has to come before medications, in my opinion.

    But it takes time to get dxes! Especially to get a comprehensive evaluation.
    Meanwhile, you could start looking for some of the things that often get missed, and that can either stand alone as problems, or are often part of a more complex diagnosis such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    Have you thought about an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory and motor skills issues. Not that I think your son has any gross motor skills issues, but because a kid can be over-the-top with gross skills, and still have trouble with fine skills like tieing shoes, writing, drawing, using utensils to eat, etc. And sensory issues are a huge problem if they exist, but there are lots of things that can be done to help. Results of an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation are of use to the person/team doing the comprehensive evaluation.
  17. 4cooper

    4cooper New Member

    Today I took him to the dr and the pediatrician says he does believe he has ADD. He did also say that he wanted to try a few things first. He put C on clonidine 0.1mg. I'm terrified, but i'm willing to try it to help him sleep at night. He also said let's stop xyzal for a few weeks and see if his behavior changes any at all. He says that studies show that xyzal does cause behavioral/aggression issues. We go back in two weeks. I really doing the right thing? I feel so discouraged and so upset and i'm afraid of making mistakes that I can't take back.
  18. buddy

    buddy New Member

    My son has been on clonidine for many years, even before I adopted him he was on it when very small... it works wonders for him. Every person is different. It is a commonly used blood pressure medication that has a calming effect for some people/kids. So, just know he might get that light headed feeling if he stands up too fast, and of course just like any medication watch for anything negative but for us, I am just sharing it has been a wonderful medication.

    You can only do what you can do... keep notes, keep track and let the dr know if you have concerns. Once you find a medication that works, if needed, then that is great. I will say one thing I always do is just one change at a time so I know what may be influencing things. So If you are going to change his diet now, maybe wait till the weekend to start. Just to let this medication change be the one and only thing for a little bit. Just a suggestion.
  19. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You ARE doing the right things. I am glad you have a doctor that is willing to listen to you and work with you to get to the bottom of what might be going on. As we have all said, keep detailed notes. Our memories aren't always 100% so writing it down helps a ton.

    You're doing the best you can with what you know so far. That's all anyone can do. You're doing just fine. ((((HUGS))))
  20. 4cooper

    4cooper New Member

    I hope he doesnt have any side effects. My mom who works at a dr's office said that if he does it'll only last until it's in his here's hoping. Luckily we are starting it on spring break.