New here plz help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by maeree, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. maeree

    maeree Guest

    Hi all! I was excited to see this website and glad I'm not the only one at my wits end. I'm so frustrated, stressed, annoyed, aggravated, sad, mad, you name it. I'll begin with a little history:

    My difficult child is now 4 and has always been independent and willful. From very early on he was content to play by himself for 30 minutes at a time (< 1 yr). Up till he was 2 1/2 yrs old, he was the easy child in public. I put him in daycare instead of a babysitter so he could have the social interaction from 10 months old till he was almost 4. Before that he was with babysitters that maybe had 3 more kids at a time. Since starting daycare, he's displayed the usual bad habits like hitting, biting, kicking, etc that other kids at daycare are seen doing. The ladies at daycare used to joke around and say he was the alpha male of his class. He was always the taller, more aggressive and more assertive boy and tended to lead the pack. He got better about not being as aggressive towards others in daycare and I rarely heard from the daycare ladies about his behavior. It could be they were used to it. At home he would occasionally have an outburst if he didn't get his way or he was told 'no' too many times. I tried diverting his attention from what I knew would cause an outburst and tell him things like "instead of going outside because it's raining, let's build a house with your Legos". My husband on the other hand, tells him no all the time and it's a trigger point for difficult child to start acting defiant sometimes escalating to a screaming match. I feel like my husband antagonizes difficult child and is constantly pushing his buttons. From this point, he is typical 90% of the time.

    In August I enrolled him in a private school. It's an all day pre-k program and I had heard good things about the pre-k teacher. From day one she would call me to come talk to difficult child or send home nastygrams (as I call them) detailing what he did wrong that day from hitting a kid at recess to not participating in class. We had PT conf. and she was wanting to know what we do at home to discipline him. We mentioned time outs, taking away privileges, etc. I also contacted a child psychologist and he started going there once a week with me. The psychiatric mainly talked to me the whole time and gave me suggestions to deal with his behavior such as time outs (restraining him if need be till he will sit in time out on his own), setting up a token reward system (for home and school), and asking the teacher to rate his behavior from 1-3 for each main activity at school on a daily basis. The teacher tried it over a series of three weeks, only sending home the tokens he earned and rating scale three separate times. Last week she sent home all the tokens I had given her to give him for good behavior with no note or explanation why. The next morning she called me and said from now on my husband or I would have to come up to the school to talk to difficult child anytime he misbehaves. She also said she sent home the tokens because she can't do it anymore since it's not fair to the other kids. Needless to say with her lack of cooperation, that was my difficult child's last day at that school.

    He's now in another private school that said they wanted him there and had experience with ODD/ADHD and the aide in the class has Special Education credentials (don't know yet what specifically her credentials are). Started this week on Monday. First two days were great, today they called my husband to come pick him up because he was having a meltdown. Found out later from the teacher that she was out of the classroom when the incident happened and came around the corner to find the aide restraining him on the floor with all the other kids surrounding them watching. The teacher immediately had the aide release him and the teacher tried calming him down, but he was so upset at that point he was beyond reason. Even when I picked him up later from his GG's house, he wasn't acting like himself at all. He kept hiding his face in the pillows, wouldn't listen or do what I said, wouldn't talk to me. I felt so bad for him and knew he must have felt humiliated by having all his classmates watch him being restrained. I'm supposed to find out tomorrow what led to him being restrained because the teacher didn't know at the time I talked to her.

    I'm so frustrated at not knowing how to handle him when he doesn't listen to me and only reacts to me if I yell. Of course, he's learned it's ok to yell back and I know I'm going about this all wrong. The psychiatric hasn't diagnosis'ed him yet and has only been monitoring how the time outs have been working.

    After reading the posts on here, I'm tempted to have him see a neuropsychologist. His aggression towards others seems to be lessening, but his lack of participation in the classroom worries me. His outbursts have increased in intensity since starting pre-k. I forgot to mention he was in a state funded pre-k program for half a day back in April and May. I'm trying to get him back into the same program, but he's on the top of the waiting list. The teacher in that program didn't have problems with him at the time.

    The psychiatric said it sounded as if he needs to be stimulated and challenged more. He's a bright kid but has a fascination with scissors and cutting things which we hide in the house. His main obsession is playing with trucks, tractors, any kind of vehicle and loves to be outside playing in the dirt and riding in his gator. I don't know what's typical for his age since he's my first.

    Do any of you have suggestions for course of action to take? I'm currently reading The Strong-Willed Child which was recommended by the psychiatric but haven't gotten into the meat of the book yet but will read the one recommended on this site (What your explosive child is trying to tell you).

    Oh, and the funny thing is...I work for a special education cooperative. lol I've talked to several of our psychs and some of the administrators here. I'm scared to start the IEP process on him.

    Sorry for the long intro. If you got this far, thank you!
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi and welcome.

    Since your little guy has had problems holding it together in multiple settings and school is on the horizon, I seriously think you should have him evaluated by a developmental pediatrician or neuropsychologist (depending on what your insurance should cover). You'll want to get on it right away, because waiting lists are typically around 3months out for first time appointments and longer in some areas of the country. Make an appointment with your pediatrician. Most like to send you to a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist first. Push for the two specialty areas I mentioned.

    Personally I'd stop with all the advice for handling strong willed kids until you have a handle on what could be going on behind these behaviors. Take a look at the thread at the top of this board on adapting The Explosive Child for younger kids. Can you pull him out of school for now, or is it needed for childcare purposes? Restarting school when you have a handle on what's going on and when there are teachers in place who are equipped to deal with his issues often makes a huge difference.

    Do be sure and check out What Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions by Dr. Douglas Riley.
  3. maeree

    maeree Guest

    Thanks for the advice! I looked up neuropsychs in the area and there aren't any within 300 miles of me. I did find one developmental behavior pediatrician and am waiting on a call back from a nurse for a new patient screening.

    I would take him out of school if I could, but I work full time and so does my husband. There isn't anyone else in the family that could watch him during the days and the daycare center he was at no longer has an opening. I did look around at some babysitters but there isn't a good selection in the town I live in.

    The school he's at now has a teacher that wants to work with him, so I'm encouraged by this compared to the last teacher at the other school. She was able to calm him down on Tuesday when it started to escalate to a meltdown, but yesterday it was already too late when she walked in the room and found the aide restraining him on the floor.

    I'm looking into getting a copy of the book you suggested.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    The other thing that I would suggest is that you start keeping a log of daily routines and behaviors. Make sure to include any blow ups and what the trigger was. Record foods, amount of sleep, etc.--anything that would help you see patterns.

    I have a feeling that your guy may respond better to the parenting style outlined in the The Explosive Child and our thread at the top of this board, but it will take getting both parents on board to make it work. Kids who have a knee jerk reaction to authority often will show improved behavior when using this strategy. Even if they do you still want to move forward with the evaluation but it may ease things for you a bit.
  5. maeree

    maeree Guest

    The book is on its way now, but until home he doesn't have much explosive behavior, but seems to occur more at school. He's fine when he's 1:1 with us or his teacher. Often times he didn't do his work in school and was told he would have to sit in at recess and do it. When that happened, he would do his work and do it really well when it was just him and the teacher. Could it be an attention grabbing ploy? Or could it just be that he's still not used to the school structure compared to daycare where he could run around and do what he wanted.

    My mother in law saw him at school in the classroom and observed him just getting up to do what he wanted and wouldn't listen to the teacher and sit back down to do his work. She said it was like he had all this pent up energy to get rid of.
  6. maeree

    maeree Guest


    He's apparently a flight risk and keeps running away from his classroom. I have a feeling the school is going to tell me this afternoon that he can't come back. They were just trying to see how he would do this week and except for the first two days, he's been hard for them to maintain. :sad-very: I'm so frustrated. I've been in contact with the special education coordinator and she's going to try to circumvent the system and will get back to me.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    It's very common for kids to act very differently in one setting than another. Some kids hold it together at school but vent it all at home, some act up only at school and some are equal opportunity exploders.;) It makes sense if you think about how different the setting, the stimuli, and the people are.

    Does he tend to react strongly to sensory stimuli such as noises, lights, sounds, clothing textures or foods?

    Is the special education coordinator trying to circumvent the system in a way that might be helpful, or make it more difficult?

    When you set up an appointment with the developmental pediatrician's office, tell them you'd like to be placed on their cancellation list. Then if they call be ready to drop everything and go.
  8. maeree

    maeree Guest

    The coordinator means that she's trying to get him into the ECH class sooner and skip over some steps to get him there. But, for right now, I signed the level 2 screening to have the ECH teacher come to the private school and observe him in the class. It seems to be more of a problem with him running around during class and not participating.

    He doesn't seem to react strongly to any of the sensory stimuli you mentioned. I have to get a copy of his records from his child psychiatric to send to the pediatrician before the pediatrician will make an appointment. But, I will tell them about being on the cancellation list.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why don't you get him evaluated? I like NeuroPsychs. This little guy sounds like he may have some childhood disorder that needs interventions.
  10. maeree

    maeree Guest

    I got the report from his psychologist and his appointment with the development behavior pediatrician is on Thursday, Nov. 11. I think there is a staffing sometime this upcoming week at the Special Education office, but haven't had that confirmed yet. The ecse teacher did observe him on Tuesday, but didn't say much yet.

    I started reading The Explosive Child you all recommended and it's good! I can see how he has some transition issues such as turning off the tv to clean up. He will blow up when I do that and I've started talking to him about being a big kid vs. little kid. He says he's a big kid, but the role playing didn't go as well. So, we'll keep trying that. Right now I'm in the food allergy section and starting to think maybe he does have some food allergies. He was tested when he was little for outside allergens, but everything came back negative. They never did test him for food allergies.
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm glad the book is helping you. And great job getting him into the appointments so soon.

    Well done, Mom. I hope you get some answers that will help you better understand what's going on inside his little mind and body. It really is a starting place to come alongside them and help address those issues first, so that you're better able to make forward progress from there.
  12. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Wow! Sorry I've been away from the board - chaos and bedlam in our little "perfect world" here! :tongue:

    Just wanted to welcome you to the board - WOW you really hit the ground running as far as getting appts. books, etc.!

    Oooops! Another screaming match! Gotta go!

    You really have found a soft place to land - keep plugging away!

  13. maeree

    maeree Guest

    My difficult child now has an IEP with developmental delays (instead of ED) and is now attending the public prek program in the mornings where he has an individual care aide to work with him. So far he loves it and says his aide is his best friend. lol He says that about anyone he likes. The bus drops him off in the later morning (which he LOVES) and my mother in law takes care of him in the afternoon till I get home. My coworkers laugh that I got preferential treatment getting him an IEP so soon but it helps to work in a special education coop.

    I'm still reading the Explosive Child and wondering more and more about the food allergies. I could check off most of the symptoms listed in the chapter. I'm looking to try the food elimination diet and getting him into the allergist he used to see when he was younger. He's had the environmental allergy testing and all tests showed negative results. I also want to get him tested for diabetes only because it runs my husband's family and my difficult child does drink a lot and pee a lot more than normal.

    The developmental behavior pediatrician turned out to be a regular pediatrician that has more of a specialty in ADHD, but he quickly pointed out he wasn't a behavioral pediatrician and didn't understand why the insurance company classifies him as that. He did send us home with some ADHD questionnaires to fill out and we go back 12/2. He's also still seeing his child psychiatric.

    So, we're moving along. The prek teacher is in the same class with the ecse teacher and they're both working on developing a reward chart for him which the parochial teacher gave up on.
  14. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am so glad things are starting to look up for you and difficult child. Doesn't it feel wonderful when things go your way and your way works? Kudos to you! Keep us posted as things progress and you get more infro from the docs.
  15. Angie83

    Angie83 Guest

    As I was reading your thread I felt that you were talking about how my kid´s behavior when he was a toddler. First of all I want you to breathe and relax and to know that it does get better. We had a hard time with my for a year and a half but with a lot of effor at home and working with his teachers and psychologist we managed to overcome those problems, and now he es literally the best behaved of his class. It is important that you are patient and that you read a lot, and mostly that you are in continuous contact with his teachers and therapists. If you do so it will get better, it may take some time but you will eventually see that your kid is doing much better.

    Try not yelling at him, even if his not listening because if you keep yelling hell become more agressive and the cycle wont stop. Talk to him, play with him and always pay attention to the good things and lesser attention to the bad ones. If you´re happy your boy will be happy, and make sure to find out how much can the teachers help you, because with out their help things wont improve. My story is quite similar to yours but I know there is a solution because I see it in my kid. My blessing to you and your family, and just be strong, sometimes we are allowed to break down but always bounce back.