new here... so happy I found this forum...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by idk, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. idk

    idk New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I just happened to stumble upon this forum after doing various searches regarding my 6.5 year old step son. Reading some of the stories has brought me to tears thinking "someone else gets it!"

    My step son is a sweet kid. He has a good heart and I love him so much. My husband and I have him about 50% of the time and generally get along well with his mother. It's as good a situation as it could be; my husband and SS's mother were never really a couple so thankfully there isn't the "love lost" issue at play. SS's mother had SS diagnosed with ADHD at an early age- I think 2. He's been medicated since I don't know when (I think 3 or 3.5). The medications don't seem to do much. He is a challenge at school and nearly got expelled from his kindergarten for a sexual encounter he tried to force upon another student (we were all horrified & mystified, CPS was called, it was an overall humiliating experience but nothing was found to be amiss at either home).

    He's at a new school now and has a lot more hands-on help to keep him focused. He's highly distracted and will stop doing his tasks the second someone stops hovering over him. When you ask him to do anything, half the time it's like he doesn't even hear you (his hearing has been checked and is fine). He can't complete simple tasks. It took him over 45 minutes to do one page of homework the other day (writing each day of the week one time each). He flails about constantly, often hitting my 2 year old son to the ground and doesn't even notice he's hurt him. He's just very unaware of his actions and most of the time doesn't seem to care unless it affects him (losing a privilege or treat). If he isn't the center of attention doing whatever he wants, making the MOST NOISE POSSIBLE, he's sulking in the corner or wailing & throwing a tantrum on the floor. My husband and I are much more strict at our house and we don't put up with that ****, so he limits his tantrums with us. We hear the "meltdowns" (as his teacher calls it) happen frequently at school. His modified work plan is 6 tasks a day while the other children have 9 or more. On a good day, he will complete just TWO.

    He sees a psychologist who does "play therapy" which really means us parents all sit in the same room with him and talk to the doctor. while SS plays on the floor in earshot. It bothers me. I have asked about solo therapy with him and the doctor made it seem like that wouldn't be effective for his age. It just seems weird that he wouldn't want to talk to him one on one... I don't know, maybe slowly earn the trust and get to the root of some of the acting out? His mother's mother is diagnosed Bi-polar and a few other disorders so that's always lingered in the back of our minds but the doctor has dismissed us saying he's just an active little boy.

    I feel like he is misdiagnosed, like the medications aren't working... I constantly wonder if he should be on medications but everyone -everyone- including the CPS lady that came and interviewed him said he definitely needs to be on something.

    It just breaks my heart. He's a sweet kid but it's like he can't help but be bad. Misbehave. Hurt people physically. We've had three separate "inappropriate touching" incidences which scares the living hell out of me. We've talked about bodies, private areas, keeping hands to ourselves, it's ok to tell us if someone touches you, etc. I don't know if that's a normal kid thing or not- it wasn't a part of my childhood so it's hard to gauge.

    My husband is so fed up with him and has a hard time not resorting to yelling. He is so **** frustrating sometimes. My husband tries really hard and is doing his best. I do what I can to buffer situations but I don't always have the strongest sense of patience with him myself, either.

    I don't know what I'm here for- advice, or someone to understand & hear me... I just feel so lost sometimes. I just want to cry a lot! Being a step mother is so hard already- but add these personality/behavioral issues to the mix and it's **** near impossible sometimes. Thanks for listening
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't know,

    You have found a great place in your search to find some answers, get some support and perhaps some suggestions! It's wonderful to see how much you love your little ss/difficult child.

    I, like you, believe there is much more going on than adhd. What worries me most is the inappropriate sexual touching. Were all three incidents reporting or just that first one? You must make sure that your ss is never left alone with youngest. That would be my first and foremost recommendation.

    There are a myriad of issues that could be at play with ss, all of which will need further testing. Some of our members who have dealt with these same issues will be along shortly to lend their advice. In the meantime, hand in there!

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I agree. More is going on than ADHD in my opinion. Can you please tell us more about this child's very early years? Was his mother wreckless, lots of boyfriends around? Maybe somebody who abused him that you or even Mom doesn't know about? Drugs or alcohol use in her house? Strangers coming and going? Anyone could have sexually abused him, even a babysitter. He may have even forgotten it, but something isn't right, although not sure what. My first thought is a form of autism, but that would not explain the sexuality so, even if he's on the spectrum, seems like more than that is going on than that too. Are there psychiatric problems on either side of his DNA, as they are hereditary?

    A suggestion: In case he is being spanked, I wouldn't do that. He is already too wild and that won't help him. You're right...sounds like he can't control himself and should not be punished in a heavy handed way. On the other hand, I would agree again that you can NEVER leave him alone with any other child, not just your youngest. We lived with an adopted child who sexually acted out on my two youngest kids and they were so afraid of him that they didn't tell us. We had no idea it was going on and I still feel very guilty about that. You don't want him doing that even at night. I'd put an alarm on his door at night or else have your son sleep with you in your room and lock door. If he touches your son, they could both be in danger of removal by CPS.

    If you have a pet, be careful as well.

    Ever have him evaluated by a neuropsychologist? That would be my first suggestion. It's a good start as opposed to just play therapy which isn't helping him. Have you heard of attachment disorder, which happens to some kids with very chaotic beginnings?
  4. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Please consider that he may have a developmentally-based listening problem. Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) (auditory processing disorder) comes in multiple "flavors", and each presents differently. Most of the non-classic types are not normally screened for, and do not affect language development. Two in particular that can cause behavior issues are auditory discrimination, and auditory figure ground. The first is where the child hears well but has trouble distinguishing sounds that are similar - which makes comprehension difficult. The second is where the child hears everything and can't figure out what to focus on... so it looks like he's not listening or not paying attention, but in reality, the child CAN'T figure out what to listen to.

    Screening for the full suite of APDs is normally not done until at least age 7 or 8. But you can start looking for signs and patterns. Does he do better with one-on-one instruction in a quiet setting, for example? Does he look to other kids to see what they are doing, to figure out the instructions he missed?

    I'd also be wondering about sensory and motor skills problems. These can be subtle, easily missed... and have a huge impact. Usually, an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment is easier/faster to get than a full comprehensive evaluation, and the Occupational Therapist (OT) report is good in put into that comprehensive evaluation. Meanwhile, the Occupational Therapist (OT) will have interventions, accommodations and therapies that help either/both sets of issues.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Autistic spectrum kids also seem We tested my son's hearing five times because he would tune us out. I am expecting that this issue due to the other issues the OP sited is more than one thing. And he has some red flags for dangerous behaviors. She needs to attack this at every level.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That is the best advice I can think of... attack at every level and on every front. Each piece that becomes clear, will help, but it's not likely to be a simple "one-diagnosis" kind of a difficult child. The more irons in the fire at once, the better. Wait lists aren't getting any shorter!
  7. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    I just wanted to chime in with a huge AMEN to that one - you are not alone, and we're glad you're here.

  8. idk

    idk New Member

    Oh my gosh, I can't thank you all enough. I have never felt so not alone before! To answer a couple of questions that were asked...

    I came into SS's life when he was 3.5 years old so I wasn't around when he was very young, but I do know his history. His mother (who again, I like, but has made some unfortunate decisions with her kids) had him at a relatively young age and bounced around to different households a lot. I think my husband said there has been a different boyfriend at every single one of SS's birthday parties. She has lived with multiple boyfriends, been engaged to one, married and divorced from another. I know she tries really hard but she's always with a new guy. In the three years (almost exactly) I have known her she is now living in the 6th place she's lived. Third relationship she's lived with a man. I know that SS has lived in at least a dozen different homes with I don't know how many different guys. I do feel it has caused a lot of the issues. My husband and I also wonder if there's a possibility of some past abuse maybe from one of the random boyfriends- but there is no way for us to tell. One more reason I wish his therapist would do some more proactive forms of therapy. I am so frustrated by it.

    SS's mom's mom is bi-polar. SS's mom's sister is also bi-polar and has been committed in a hospital. I've never met her. I don't know what other issues may run in the family. SS's mom is only crazy in the sense that every once in awhile I can't stand her and she makes ridiculously awful decisions. ;)

    The sexual incidents really, really scared us. The first time was a long time ago (maybe 2 years ago?) He asked his best friend to take his pants off. The second time was the incident earlier this school year before he got transferred to the new school. He locked a kindergarten kid in a bathroom stall and told him he wanted to do something inappropriate. That's when we had the CPS report filed. The most recent incident was 2 weeks ago at a friends' house. He was playing with a group of other kids and when a parent went to check on them, she found SS in the closet with a girl in the dark. According to the girl, SS asked her to get under a blanket with him on the bed, but SHE suggested going in the closet. And it was there that he told her to take her pants off. (just typing that makes me sick to my stomach). So far nothing has actually transpired but the fact that he seems to be seeking those situations out has us on high alert.

    In school he's a whiz with math but he is terrible with language. I will look into some of those disorders mentioned (Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) sounds like a real posibility) and I will bring up some of these ideas at our next session. And I will also strongly encourage his mother to look into a new doctor if his isn't responsive.

    His mom is also very concerned, but I think she's lost and doesn't know what to do. It's her baby! I get it. She also has a 2 year old (girl) and I always worry if SS might do something to her. I really don't think he would, but it is always in the back of my mind :(

    Anyway, thank you all again so much. I will further into some of the suggestions you've made!
  9. idk

    idk New Member

    also, can someone please tell me what difficult child means? I see it all over here and I'm totally clueless.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Gift from God (sort of ironic name for our kids).

    Really, the sexual incidents, because of the amount of them, may be worrisome, but they are with kids his age and he is very young. What kind of help is he receiving now? Of course, if this were my kid, I would worry about the sexual acting out, but I would have hope that this could be arrested early and helped. Sounds like his mother had a bunch of unhealthy men come and go in this child's life, which may have lead to sexual abuse. Kids usually feel ashamed of sexual abuse and don't tell. Some truly don't remember consciously, but it is there in his unconscious. On the other hand, be vigilant.

    Some bipolar kids are hyper-sexual as well. I would just keep looking for the right help and try to stay calm.