New here...introduction and such (long)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by FinallySeekingPeace, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. FinallySeekingPeace

    FinallySeekingPeace New Member

    Hi, I'm new to the forum, but have been here a few times to read, but never found the courage to join or post anything.

    I'm not sure where to begin.. I guess I will start with stating the fact that my difficult child was the only good thing (sometimes I have to convince myself it is a good thing) to come from a horrible relationship. His biofather was very abusive both physically and mentally and was a pathological liar. I spent 9 years with him.. always telling myself that tomarrow would be better.. it never was, and I finally left him after a horrible beating that difficult child witnessed just before he turned 4. I had gotten ex to go for counseling, but that was about the most he went for.. and even there he lied and said what the counseler wanted to hear. (We were never married by the way). Anyway.. I embarked on the journey of being a single mom. I didn't plan for what happened next in my life.. but am very very thankful it did.

    I was "single" for 2 weeks when I started dating husband, we had been friends for 11 years and he accepted me with all my baggage, and even more importantly he accepted difficult child.. even paid for all of my costs for my custody case.. including my lawyer! I knew he was a keeper.. we were married rather quickly, but difficult child seemed to like the crazy whirlwind we were in. husband and I have added 2 more little ones into our home.. both so far are very different than how difficult child acted at their ages, so for now I see them as easy child kinda kiddos. husband has also lovingly adopted difficult child, after a long battle to get ex to give up his rights.

    Now on to difficult child, he has always been active. We sent him off to school at 5 for Kindergarten and he was quickly labeled a trouble maker. By mid year I was getting calls weekly about things he did.. usually stupid things like "he refused to sit in the circle today and wanted to sit just outside of it" "he calls out all the time" "he can't sit still in class" "he keeps dropping his pencil, eating his eraser, or breaking his pencil". We knew he was board. He is a very bright child.. could read quite well on his own before he even started K, he also knew how to add and subtract.. all because we took a few minutes each night at dinner to do silly things like write in his mashed potatoes or count and add/subtract his peas. We began requesting that the school allow us to send a book to read with him, or some extra work be given to him or we be allowed to send him in some extra workbooks. All of these reqests were shot down.. the reason we were given... No Child Left Behind. This struggle continued through all of K and then 1st grade. We asked to have him tested for gifted, hoping it would give him enough work to keep him occupied.. we learned quickly that the school didn't like to be asked/told to do something. We noticed things at home too.. like never being able to sit still, always having to be making noise, etc. We tried to deal with it all the best we could. We asked his dr (or well because we live in the town of a learning hospital.. his doctors, because you never saw the same one, and 99% of the time you saw a resident) to have him tested for ADHD, they brushed it off.. basically telling us we were just not being consistant as parents, he was just an active child.. blah blah blah! So we sat by with our hands in our laps for a while and tried to pretend everything was fine. It wasn't and has continued to get worse and worse.

    I pulled difficult child out of school and began homeschooling before he started 2nd grade.. he flew through his 2nd grade level work. We moved on to 3rd grade work. He is now in 3rd grade and working on a spread level of 3rd-5th grades. He still is very bright, but it is becoming more and more difficult with each passing day to get our work done. A math page usually takes him a few hours to finish these days. He can't sit still, if he is sitting there he is lost in lala land. He gets up and wonders off, every noise his sister and brother make he has to know what is going on etc.

    He is also becoming more and more "violent" when he is told to do somehting. After reading up on things over the past few months I'm certain he is ODD as well as the ADHD. He is becoming increasingly worse. It breaks my heart.. I feel like I have failed as a parent, and even find myself considering leaving and letting husband raise the kids because "obviosly I'm not a good parent and don't deserve these kids"... I do come back to reality and truely know it's not my fault, but it's hard to accept that sometimes.. I'm sure each of you have felt the same way.

    husband and I have an amazing relationship... In the almost 5 years that we have been together we have only had one fight.. as hard as that is to believe it's true (We actually had a dr argue with us telling us that every couple fights when we were having a hard time conceiving easy child 1). Sadly though, the stress from trying to deal with difficult child on our own has started taking it's toll on us as a family.. even affecting the little ones.. they suddenly think it's ok to not pick up their toys when we tell them to, and they feel it's ok to whine and mouth off to husband and myself. We have come to our breaking point, and know that if we want to keep control of the little ones we have to get difficult child in control.

    We have switched to a new Dr, and while there yesterday for the little ones checkups I asked about seeing a neuropsychologist for difficult child.. told him what was going on and he agreed that there was something "wrong" and set us up with the local hospital.. who since it is a learning hospital does have some of the best doctors there is (just not for routine

    Sorry this was so long.. but it honestly feels good to get it out. I have spent so much time trying to convince myself it will get better, we just have to stick with it. Well, yes now at least we know it will get better.. but not on our own... we need help!
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Just wanted to say welcome.

    Sounds like you're working in the right direction by trying to get difficult child evaluated. Hopefully it won't take too long.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi and welcome,

    I have a very similar life to yours without the 2 added children. I got out, went back and rescued my son and figured once we were out - things would be able to be normal in a certain amount of time.

    Of course I was willing to give it the first even the second year of acting out. Because well - Daddy was God. I even wondered how many times difficult child went to sleep and that sicko said it in his ears - because he used to say it out loud to everyone. It would get a chuckle - (not from me) Would have made more sense if the kid would have belted out Daddy is Satan - truer words.

    So I got both of us into counseling. The first counselor I saw suggested that my son was molested. I left vowing never to come back, trying to pry into a 6 year old's brain as to did someone touch you in a bad place conversations. Nothing. Nothing but the most absurd behavior and I hate you's ever. I figured he was angry and missed his Dad. I knew he was better off.

    That was 11 years ago. My son is still tremendously angry despite more interventions, doctors and therapy than I could list in a single post. If there was a book? I read it. If there was a parenting class? I signed up. If mental health had a speaker I was there listening for some clue that may help. Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s, psychiatric hospital stays, nearly dying myself and I'm not amused. My health has taken a dive, I've packed on weight due to stress (about 100 lbs), my hair falls out, I can't think, - and difficult child is still difficult child.

    The last pscyh we saw told me more in 5 years than I ever knew the rest of the years. That difficult child is who he is. He may be genetically predisposed to behave like his bio father despite me praying. Bio father is a sociopath and possible BiPolar (BP). Grandma was a BiPolar (BP) too. So there is a really good chance there is wiring I will never FIX = but, I can give him good skills and put tools in front of him to excel. You can't change the spots on a leopard. He is what he is. Bright or not - you could have a genius on your hands, but if he can't get his emotions in check - he's just an outrageous genius no one can live with.

    As far as any recommendations? The best one I ever read in 11 years to explain why my kid is like he is - Maping by Wilton Helams, Ph.d. Altering the way a child of 5 thinks is a lot harder than you think. But if you work at it with a behavior therapist - and you and DF continue to attend family therapy to gain skills so you can cope - you have a chance. He is different - he had to adapt and adjust to things you thought he NEVER heard or saw - my son was never witness to the abuse on myself - I would take a beating like a man and never make a sound if difficult child was in the house which would make x more angrier and he'd step up the abuse. When difficult child went in to EMDR therapy - he told the psychologist ALL about how he felt when Mommy was being hit by Daddy. It was nothing short of the sickest feeling I've ever had and amazing at the same time. It changed my son - for life. And for all of his life - I've been trying to help him find "normal" and know what is and isn't a healthy relationship.

    Whether he gets it at this point? Hard to say. I've done the ground work, laid a foundation for healthy thinking - and now we just have to sit back and hope that after he's done being a teenager we've replaced the bad way of thinking with positive thoughts and behaviors enough for them to STICK...into his adulthood.

    Therapy will also help the other 2 little ones understand and come to terms with why you have to parent your oldest a little differently than you do them and will give them a chance to sound off about what they feel is fair. Resentment bottled up for long periods of time isn't healthy. Learning how to live with a brother that is different? Helps everyone.

    Hugs for the days ahead. Good that you and hubby are on the same page = my DF and I have been together almost 8 years, and while we agree to disagree we've never had a fight either. It's a huge change after 13 years the other way.

  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I have a few ideas for you to consider.

    A lot of this sounds familiar. The ADHD - yep, maybe. But also look up and read up on hyperlexia as well as maybe Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). You can get a mix of these. The ODD things you observe - if there is an underlying, treatable (or manageable) disorder, this could reduce what you see in the ODD category.

    The early obsession with letters and numbers (drawing in the mashed potato) does sound like a pointer for possible hyperlexia. the question then becomes - did he understand the meaning of what he was reading, at the same level he was reading it? For example, difficult child 3 could read aloud, fluently, from a newspaper or anything but not be able to discuss what he read because he didn't understand it.
    Early reading and numeracy skills do not necessarily indicate hyperlexia, but in the light of other things you describe, I would check it out. And it's not necessarily a problem, just a signpost to a possible problem as well as at least partly a solution.

    In difficult child 3's case, the hyperlexia is part of his autism. Which comes under the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Check out the unofficial Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on and see if anything feels familiar. You can print the results and take them to a specialist, sometimes this can help 'gel' ideas.

    There are also other possibilities which I am less familiar with but you are heading down the right path to finding out.

    For the behaviour issues - get hold of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It's not a cure, but in my opinion it's definitely a much more workable management/discipline system that really helps the child learn self-control and independence, often a lot faster than would otherwise happen. There are reasons for this. It also works with easy child kids, they appreciate it as a rule.

    Welcome, we can help.

  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Peace and welcome to the crowd.

    I have a few questions (if you don't mind! :smile: )

    Does he seem "super smart" in one or two subjects (math science, etc)?

    A gifted speaker, negotiator, but handwriting bites the biggee?

    Itchy tags on clothes?

    Gets overstimulated/panicky with loud noises?

    Bangs into things to "feel" the impact?

    My boys were like that and it turned out that they had Aspergers Syndrome.

    Have you tried reading "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene? He gives you invaluable insight as to how our kids are wired (no matter what the diagnosis!).

    Again, welcome to the crowd!

  6. FinallySeekingPeace

    FinallySeekingPeace New Member

    Thanks for all the awesome responses.. I will start with any specific responses at the bottom and work my way up.

    <span style="color: #FF0000">He does do well when he has to speak in front of groups if that is what you mean, and the other day he did a project where husband took him to a car dealer to "buy a car" and he did great with that.. asking all kinds of questions and stuff about the car that would fit his needs. Yes his handwriting :censored2: horribly.. lucky for him, mom isn't a fan of writing either so I don't stress it too much other than I have to be able to read it..</span>

    This used to be a big problem. He never had tags in his clothes.. now most clothes have that printed tag right on the fabric so it
    He doesn't really seem to get over stimulated.. he runs on full steam all the time.. but come to think of it.. if someone "bangs" something he does jump up and look around wide eyed saying "What??? What was that???"

    I never thought anything of it but yes.. and to get the attention, we thought it was just an attention getting thing.

    Not yet.. haven't gotten my hands on a copy.. money is very tight for us right now.. This week we have Christmas and 3 Birthdays.. all 3 kids are Christmas babies!

    Thanks.. it's nice to know I'm not the only one in this position. I spend lots of time on a homeschooling board and get so tired of everyone claiming to have these fairly tale children.
  7. FinallySeekingPeace

    FinallySeekingPeace New Member

    I will look these up!

    The writing in his mashed potatoes was more a thing husband and I did to teach him. We didn't send him to preschool, we taught him that stuff at home.. and instead of making him work in workbooks we would use all kinds of "creative" ideas for teaching him. I will definately check it out!

    I will definately check that site.. I'm open to anything right now.. just so we find some peace in our family.

    I will get my hands on it as soon as I can.. money is tight right now.. I did just order "Back in Control by Gregory Bodenhamer because I was lucky enough to have a credit on paperbackswap. "The Explosive Child" wasn't available there.

    Thanks.. just knowing I am not alone in this helps alot!
  8. FinallySeekingPeace

    FinallySeekingPeace New Member

    Well it looks like husband wants the computer.. so I will finish responding later or in the morning.

    Thanks again everyone!
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just want to add my welcome-glad you found us!
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard. DDD
  11. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    By the way for all of the books people keep recommending, try the used books on Amazon. Some times you luck out and save a fortune!

  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If your husband wants to use the computer, get him to scan the thread as well. having him on the same page is a good thing and he certainly won't be the only bloke on the site, nor the only partner either.

    Replies - you don't have to write a separate reply to each person, although I must admit, I'm still trying to get the hang of using quotes more efficiently also! One post, with any need to answer someone dealt with by just mentioning their name at the beginning of your sentence, should save you some time and energy (we need every bit we can scavenge!)

    About "The Explosive Child" - check it out, there is a website as well as discussion and extracts in various places. If you can, see if you can borrow a copy if you can't afford to just rush out an buy it. Reading a borrowed copy can give you an idea of whether you like it enough to buy a copy, or will keep looking. I ended up borrowing a copy and using that, it took me a long time to buy my own copy because we had a supply problem at the time in Australia. Fixed now!

    I was interested to read your answers to Beth's questions. It does sound interesting and at least hints at Asperger's as a possibility. It still might not be, but it could make a good working hypothesis for you.

    It also makes me wonder about any genetic component to this. If his bio-dad was affected in similar way but never had any help, it could explain his nature as well as these tendencies in his son. The sensory issues are interesting - if we're right, he will need a bit of understanding in this, he's not doing it to be difficult. But it sounds like you're already on the ball here.

    Be good to yourself, you're on the right track.

  13. Grinchy

    Grinchy New Member


    and I thought I had problems.

    47 yr old stay at home mom/g and college student

    50 yr old big buy ------married for 11 yrs now...

    bio1 25 f --- sweetheart
    bio2 23 f --- my twin, married with her own bio 1 b 15 months
    bio3 21 m --- funny, bright, engaged has bio 1 g 15 months
    (2 kids pregnant at same time is bad on nerves)
    stpkd1 28 f --- BBO, ODD, plus.....
    has bio 1 6 m adhd, cd, plus 3 other psycho problems
    lives with his bio grammy
    bio 2 4 f ---smart, witty, joy.... lives with big guy
    bio 3 2 f ---withdrawn, quiet, defiant.
    stpkd2 26 f --- expecting her bio1 end of jan 08. sp greased, two-faced.

    our problem is dealing with stpkd1... violent, causes trouble, lies, cheats, steals, etc....... bigguy and his ex has had problems since she was 8 yrs old... puts everyone through pure HE**. It is at point where I just want to walk out of this marriage to not have to deal with stpkd1. I divorced my 1st hub due to his abuse and drinking.. stpkd1 is always trying to pin us against each other and against her biomom, of which her biomom believes everything stpkd1 says. always worse at holiday time. I just do not know what to do, and neither does big guy. I have for the last 3 yrs been on anti-depressants from dealing with stpdk1. stpkd1 is using her BBO to get disability so she does not have to work so she can have her free housing, foodstamps, medical, etc....

    IF anyone has any suggestions, I will gladly accept any and all.

    I am about to call this marriage quits, for stpkd1 is putting a very big strain on the marriage.
  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Just popping in to offer you my welcome - I hope we can help you find answers. Know we can give you lots of support. :flower:
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome, Grinchy. You need replies and support, but you will probably not get enough feedback here because it's someone else's thread. If you go back to the "General" window, scroll to the top and click on "New Topic", you can begin your own thread exclusively for your situation, and get the more individual attention you need, instead of possibly being overlooked here on someone else's topic.

  16. OneDayataTime

    OneDayataTime New Member

    Hi! I'm a newbie to the site too, but joined a few days ago because of my difficult child who demonstrates much of the same behaviors you're describing. His doctor just changed his diagnosis from bi-polar to ODD/ADHD. I feel your pain!

    I just wanted to let you know, the school BY LAW has to hear your requests. If you ask (IN WRITING) to have him tested, they are REQUIRED to do it. We've been battling the schools here to get him tested for two reasons. 1--to get him into the gifted program. 2--to give us a more clear picture of what's going on with him.

    So I wish you well and do hope things turn around once he is properly assessed and diagnosed. I know you're homeschooling now--but if he does return to public anytime, just know you have the RIGHT to have services provided for your child. Hope this helps.

  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    To Grinchy: Anytime violence is an issue you have two choices that will likely help you the most:

    1/A new evaluation by a neuropsychologist (they do the most intensive testing--everyone else is really just guessing).

    2/Look at the medications. Bad reactions to stims and antidepressants are red flags for mood disorders, although some kids act badly to those medications just because they are stimulating medications. I never understand why doctors put kids on both a stimulant and an antidepressant.

    When violence becomes an issue, in my opinion don't trust your kid to just a non-MD psychologist or other sort of therapist. I'd want the full nine yards of testing before I changed anything. Violence can be caused by many things--the wrong diagnosis or the wrong medication or a particular mental or neurological illness and it's really best not to have a doctor "guessing" with the medications. We had that experiment done to our son and it was terrible. So I sort of urge people to go straight to the Top Guns. They can be wrong, but are less likely to. And I like all the testing that the NeuroPsychs do. They are good at spotting trouble spots that other professionals never look into--the ones who diagnose based on what your say and what they see, but without extensive testing. That can help avoid the alphabet soup diagnosis. that aren't too helpful and all the guessing games. Good luck!
  18. FinallySeekingPeace

    FinallySeekingPeace New Member

    Hi Marguerite... I do have hubby read here.. and have since I found it... he's not much of a reader though so usually I just read and explain to him what I read.. he reads fine, but feels he doen' men go

    I figured the easiest way to respond and keep myself straight if nothing else was to quote I am very blonde at times.. and with t preschoolers I often can't even hear myself think to put the icing on the

    I did find The Explosive Child on half fo like .75 but till I add shipping it's still almost $5, which honestly I don't have this (I know how sad is that??)

    I did look at different levels of Autism last night and did that Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) test on His score was 31, and I'm not even sure it should have been quite that high.. some things I feel I exhaurated how bad it is. I'm not seeing alot of "clicks" with any of the Autism traits. He has a few here and there.. but not a whole lot.. like he has never regressed at all, just for my own "test" last night I gave him a test on his long division.. some stuff he insisted he didn't understand that we were doing was on a 5th grade level.. I created a test last night and he got all 24 problems right.. and in less than 1/2 hour! He hasn't worked on long division in 2 weeks because I got tired of the fight.. so I was surprised when he didn't get any wrong.

    Funny thing.. today is his birthday.. for school I figured we would have home Easy Child and bake his cake. I told him to put away a toy and he said "I'm not putting it away" so I said ok, I'll put my stuff away.. and I did... the cake mix went back in the cupboard, along with the oil, bowl, pan, mixer etc. A few minutes later he became as sweet as pie because he really wanted that NOw the cake is baked and he is back to Mr Hyde.
  19. FinallySeekingPeace

    FinallySeekingPeace New Member

    OneDay.. thanks..

    The school actually did offer to test him for Gifted.. after I turned in my affidavit to homeschool The superintendant had a meeting with us, he had difficult child read some from a book he had brought along (mind you this was right after 1st grade), the book was a 5th grade level book! After he read it he asked difficult child to tell him about what he read and his eyes got huge when he realized how much difficult child had actually taken from the reading.. more than just the words.. but the meanings behind them. He is an avid reader.. and loves Goosebumps and other "scarey" stories.

    As long as I'm able to homeschool him he will stay at home.. as well as the two little ones.. It really was what I had wanted to do from the beginning, but before our little ones came along I planned on going back to work when he started K, but before he started K (actaully right after I quit my job because husband wanted me home with difficult child to give him a smooth life for a while) I got pregnant with easy child 1 and easy child 2 came right after she was Needless to say for me to work now I would have to pay a few hundred dollars a week just for daycare. I really do enjoy schooling the kids, I just wish difficult child would show some interest in it and respect the fact that I put hours and hours into his education that I really don't need to, just so that he has fun and learns in his own way and he would be thankful for all my work at least a little bit.