Newbie! Help need advice!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wmh4bama, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. wmh4bama

    wmh4bama Guest

    Hi, I'm a newbie! Not sure where to start. difficult child is 9yo, ADHD / ODD diagnosis via psychiatrist ADHD 4yrs ago, ODD in Sept. 2010. After he wrote on my car "Die W*** Die" the morning I was going out of town for Labor Day, it was DEX's weekend. I didn't find it till Sunday. I was so upset that my child well say that he wanted me dead. The morning this happen, he was a total turd. Screaming, yelling, refusing to do anything so he was not late for the bus and I was not late for work. He is like ticking time bomb most days.

    If I take something away from him he hates me and wants to live with his Dad. I've told more thane once that I have sole legal & physical custody so therefore that was not ever happening. I've asked why he hates me and wants to go live over there, he states it's cause I won't let him do "fun" things....LOL The only "fun" things he can come up with is Boy Scouts, Football, Baseball, Basketball...etc. DEX promises the world to him, then never follows through, difficult child thinks I should to do it, if DEX doesn't. Of course working full time, taking care of him and trying to NOT lose my mind, I don't have the energy or funds to be able to do it.

    He thinks that DEX will not be as "mean" as I am. That he never gets in trouble over there. I have talked to DEX about this and states that is not true, but will not go into detail so I can see if he is doing the same things over there. DEX is against difficult child being on medications, and that it is all in my head. He will not accept that his son has issues. He other than normal boys stuff for 9yo. The SM does not help on this issue either. She rules the family and tells him what to do say and how to do!

    If I try to get help from him on things at school or try to explain to him what difficult child is diagnosis with, it always backfires. He will ask difficult child stuff then difficult child lies. He then turns it back on me, that it's my fault because he lives with me. That I need to learn to take care of it myself. (I know he a real peace of work!)

    This morning was the last straw! We was almost late for the bus, he just plain out refused to eat breakfast, get dressed, lunch and backpack ready. I can't get dressed cause he is causing throwing a tantrum in the kitchen (banging head on tile floor). I son's get breakfast anymore, if he sees I'm eating it goes in to a full blown meltdown. He knows I have to be at work by 7:30, the bus runs around 7:15, if he's last I have to take him to school then of course I'm late to work. (Boss can only accept difficult child missed the bus so many times, ya know?)

    I have tried everything I can think of to discipline him. Time-out (we all knows that one doesn't work, ever) Taking everything away, computer, WII, Play station, Bike, pool time etc for a certain amount of time. Then I tried the earning them back, instead of a certain amount of time. The awards charts. I can go on and on.
    Sorry this is so long.....
    I am partly venting and asking for advice! Help!!
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome wmh4bama,
    Glad you found us but sorry you needed to. You have truly found a soft place to land. Sounds like things are very rough right now. Others will be along with more ideas, just wanted to welcome you for now (I'd write more but a huge headache is getting in the way).
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    *hugs* We understand.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board. :D

    If you haven't read The Defiant Child by Ross Greene you might want to. Many parents here have found it very helpful. And I believe he has other books out as well.

    ODD is not a real is more like labeling a bunch of symptoms. You might want to look into neuropsychological testing for a better idea of what may be going on with your son.

    Consistency is key with difficult children. Clear rules. Clear punishments (that don't change) for breaking rules. With lots of love and praise when warranted to balance it out. Natural consequences also can work wonders and I used them as much as possible as it reduced the amount of times I was the bad guy. School issues stayed at school. (homework punishments are great) It reduced too the amount of correcting behavior I had to do which reduced the tension in the house.

    It doesn't help that his dad wants to be the fun guy simply because he no longer has to be a full time parent. And it stinks he can't be on the same page as much of this behavior might vanish if he was, it certainly is not helping.

    Saying he wants to live with dad and dad is fun and all that junk is pretty typical of a kid trying to bully to get his own way. Don't let it get to you. I know it isn't easy, but the kid is suffering from the grass is greener syndrome. Keeping that in mind may help to keep his behavior in perspective. I am wondering if he thinks he's bad enough you'll send him to his dad's.

    Tie a knot in your rope and hold on. You're not alone anymore and you've landed in a great place full of parents who care and who understand.

  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome...I remember those days all too well. Consistency is key, say what you mean and be willing to follow through. When I'd had enough of the morning fiddling, messing, and tantrums, I started waking Miss KT up incredibly early, since she "didn't seem to have enough time to get ready in the mornings," and boy did she hate that, especially since it meant she had to go to bed earlier as well. Logical consequences are the ONLY thing she understood. Painful ones were the best.

    Miss KT's father (aka Useless Boy) was NO help, and he and his mother insisted I "was poisoning the child" when she first went on Ritalin. I understand about you having to deal with the fallout from his father's promises; my standard line was, "I have no idea why your father does/says what he does, you'll need to ask him that question."

    Many hugs!
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Morning routine - have you tried writing up the list of steps he has to do, on a blackboard? If he can tick off each thing (get dressed, put on shoes, pack bag, eat breakfast, feed dog) it might help him feel more in control. A lot of the tantrums can be about control. Also abut task-changing. The list helps without you feeling like you need to nag. If you have next to each step, the time it should be done by, it also makes it easier for him to stay on task. Then you can bring in a reward for getting ready within the time limit. For example, he earns a mini-chocolate bar in his lunch box if he is ready for the bus more than five minutes before it is due. Define "ready" carefully.

    Consistency is important. Also, giving the kids control, especially where it really makes no difference to you, is also very important for a lot of difficult children.

  7. wmh4bama

    wmh4bama Guest

    Thank you for all the advice.

    Not sure what are "Natural consequences". Yesterday morning, it was because I told him NO, he was not taking candy to school (Halloween candy). So he decided not to finish fixing his lunch. I told him that was fine, he of course threw his normal tantrum. I told him he could go to school with no lunch or snack, if he wanted, that I was not bringing it to him! I told him to gather his lunch box and could take what he had already packed, I was leaving. When I picked him up from daycare he said he was starving, went into a tantrum that I was starving him, screaming yelling, telling me he hated me on and on because I was not getting supper fix fast enough for him. Even after I explain it takes time for stuff to cook. I sent him to his room. He finally calmed down enough right as I got finished to eat at the table. As soon as he seen what we was having (pork chops & potatoes) he started up again. He was not going to eat it, it was awful, nasty etc.. I want to live with my Daddy, he doesn't feed me like you do! I told him that was fine if he didn't want to eat it right now. BUT he was going to sit there until it was ate even if it was till morning. He finally started eating.

    I do have a list on the fridge, had him write it out himself so he knew what was on there and how I expected it to be done and what time etc. He still will not follow it, unless I stand there reminding him what's on it and when it needs to be done. Seriously I don't have time for that, I already get up at 5am and have to be at the bus at 7:10am. This morning it was because I didn't help him comb his hair right, that he now hates his haircut that he BEGGED for, screamed yelled etc. I had to finish getting ready & eat, told him to get clothes on and if he was not ready I was leaving without him. It worked sorta.

    Last night it was because he wanted a snack at bedtime. I told him NO, he should have thought about that before bedtime. Sent him to bed, he proceeded to kick his door, scream yell, throw things at it etc. I was so exhausted I just let him do it, he held on for an hour and half! Not one time did I response, it took all my will power not too. I was so tired I just wanted to fall in the bed.

    Also, I pick up another little boy daycare for a friend of mine. Everyday that turns in to a fight/argument. Neither one of them can get along with one another. I do have to say at least the other boy has a small excuse, he had spinal meningitis, which he had a stroke from and was in a coma. he lost alot of functions. Most have come back, he still has some issues with emotions though. difficult child knows this so he will literally push the boy to his breaking point on most days. He’s only there for about an hour.

    I do not have many friends if I try to have friends over with their kids he is so mean and hateful. Most leave and end up dropping the friendship difficult child tries to tell me I can not talk to anyone, see anyone I tell him I am the adult and I will decide who I talk to and who I don't! He just don't get it. If I run into anyone he makes an A** of himself, and I have to make a quick exit.

    Clear rules, Clear punishments Together we make a poster to hang up, he was good with that for a while, then it went to I don't care, take it away I could careless. It's no big deal with him. He gets use to the rules and punishments. So I have to change it up ALOT. I always have to watch what is done. His Daddy doesn't want to be daddy, he just wants to tell me how to raise our difficult child. I have started the choice idea you have one of two choices, it seem to work some of the time.

    When difficult child goes to DEX house for the weekend, he tells him lies, when I try to confront difficult child in front of DEX, he lies again and again. I get so **** off and upset, cause DEX always blames it on me. If we get into it, he or his monster calls DHR (child protection), I've been turned into them 3x for theirs lies. The first time was in the middle of the night, difficult child and I was both asleep, when DHR came and took him out of bed. Got him back 5 days later. Now that DHR has caught on to them, they call the cops instead telling them that I slapped my difficult child when I should have beaten him with a belt. DEX needs them to check it out. The cops have laughed in my face saying we have to atleast check it out make sure the child is ok, but they always say corporal punishment is legal in this state. We actually have to meet at the police department because of these things. I will not allow them at my house nor will I go to theirs. The last time I did go to theirs, monster’s brother picked me up, threw me out of yard almost broke my wrist. They decided not give difficult child back. This goes on and on....YES, difficult child is watching, listening etc to all of this which is not good. However, DEX could put a stop to it, work together with me, instead he refuses and keeps adding to it.

    Also, right now I'm not only dealing with difficult child, DEX, the school, working full-time, my father is on his death bed. They have sent him home from the hospital to basically wait on his to pass. My siblings have left it to me to hold my mom up, be the strong one. Cause I am the only child here in the state as parents. It's one of the hardest things I have ever faced, no one to hold me up, that's hard. Adding my difficult children issues to it is not helping right now. If my difficult child knows I have to go do something for my parents. He will throw the biggest tantrum. I literally have to pick him up and physically put him in the car. Then pray that I can get what needs to be done, done. I am about to lose it!!

    Extra info: Never married to DEX , only lived together for about the first 6 mos after difficult child was born. He has been in and out of difficult child's life. Going as much as a year at a time with out seeing talking to him. DEX tells difficult child that he pays me Child Support (I get it when he keeps a job) and that is difficult child's money, he needs to get it from me every month.

    I hope it’s ok that this is so long, but I thought maybe a little more back ground would help.
  8. ShanDiann

    ShanDiann Guest

    Welcome!! I have found a wealth of information here in only a few short months. Our solution to the morning meltdowns has been to race the clock. I set a timer for 10 min and he must have his clothes on ( he gets a treat in the lunchbox) Then I set it for five min to brush his teeth (earns him 30 min of TV after school) Then I set for another 10 min to get shoes, socks, bookbag and standing by the door ready to go (he gets to play DS in the car on the way to school) It works for us, keeps me from nagging, and gets everyone to school and work on time.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Wow sweetie you've got one heck of a full plate.

    Natural consequences are like this : You don't eat supper, you go to bed hungry. Don't do homework, you deal with the punishment the teacher gives you. You fail out of school, you repeat the grade. I did see where you're using it to some degree already.

    difficult child telling you he doesn't care about what you take away is, trust me on this you'll see my kids are all grown, an act pure and simple. Total power play. Keep whatever it is from him long enough......he'll respond. Mine tried that on me, most of the time they never saw it again. Two to three times they stopped saying it. lol When they had a fit because I got rid of the item.........I simply reminded them that they didnt care about it to begin with so I found someone who did. lol If he doesn't say respond to being grounded from tv for a week, make it 2 wks and so on. Sometimes you have to get creative a bit. Typical punishments that work for normal kids usually have to be tweaked for difficult children. I had Cinderella and Cinderfella duty in which the child suddenly found themselves with extra chores......usually quite disgusting......for a certain period of time. During a particularly bad time with my son, his toys stayed locked in his closet for about 3 months.

    You're right, it is exhausting, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad. I'll keep him and your family in my prayers.

  10. wmh4bama

    wmh4bama Guest

    Last night topped it all. He has never been this bad! I was scared he was going to hit me or do something to himself. When we got home, he asked what's for supper, Chicken & Okra....that set him off. He said I don't want Chicken, you fix chicken every night. I said we have not had chicken since last week. That's when it all started, the mouth I don't chicken, I want pizza, on and on. Sent him to his room to finish supper. He calmed down quickly until we went to sit down. He doesn't like chicken and he was not eating the nasty okra. That I was mean for "forcing" him to eat gross stuff! (LOL---I'm just horrible ain't I?) Not eating it, I said that's fine you can sit there till morning if you choose, I will not argue with you over chicken. HE finally stated eating but complaining, of course that sat him off again. I told him if he opened his mouth one more time complaining, he was getting his TV taken away for the night. He sit quietly for a few minutes, decided he would only pick the chicken apart and I wouldn't notice. Of course I did and told him he had to eat it all. (he's 9 at 51lbs trying to get him gain weight) He kept complaining, I took TV away, he said that's not fair. Asked me every bite if he had eaten enough. FINALLY he finish. He tries to sneak by me to the den to watch TV. Told him he could go in there to play with his toys but the TV was going off for the night. That's where it got exploded! I sent him to his room to calm down. He then went into a mode I've never seen before to this extent. Throwing things in his room, slammed his door, kicking it, knocking pictures off the wall I open the door so I could see what was going on and told him to calm down and he could come out, that set him off again. Started throwing the shoes at me in the hallway, kicking the wall...he destroyed his room, this went on for over an hour. He I sat in the living and cried. It was like seeing "fire" in his eyes. I was so scared to even go back in there, what was he going to do to me. I ended up calling a guy friend of mine over to help me, he did eventually get him to calm down to a point that you could talk to him. The friend brought him in the living and asked him why he insisted on doing these things to get me upset to the point I cried. He said I don't know. The friend had to leave, he got in the shower, when he got out ate his snack was just as nice as a little boy should be, when done and sat with me on the couch. Supernanny happen to be on and he started talking about the little boy on TV and that he was not like him. (LOL) I said that was you but worse. Anyways by this time it was bedtime and that went very smooth. I waited till he was asleep and went and fell in the bed. I am so emotionally drained today, it's hard to function at work.

  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had flashbacks of the daily battles with my difficult child when she was younger. I shuddered! Yuck!

    OK - first what is working? Anything? Thought so.

    So, you have to try something new. Think outside the box. Maybe something that does not even seem right to you - not traditional. For example, to eliminate the nightly food argument. Tell him you are going to cook what you plan for dinner each night. If he does not want it he is free to have PB&J. But, that is his only other option (or whatever sandwich or easy 'meal' you can do quickly - or even better let him pick the one thing). Problems solved. He ate, there is no arguing and you have a peaceful meal.
    Ya, it might not feel right or be the traditional response - but nothing is working, remember????

    Believe me. I know how uncomfortable the non-traditional parenting is. It was totally out of my element and I was uncomfortable doing it for a long time. Until I realized my house was less of a battle zone.

    difficult children sometimes thrive on non-traditional approaches.
  12. idohope

    idohope Member

    HI and Welcome. You do have so much on your plate right now. (((hugs)))) to you. You sound like you need some.

    It is exhausting battling with a difficult child and their staying power is great. I know what you mean about being emotionally drained and finding it hard to work. So really evaluate what are your top priorities now. Sounds like getting on the bus in the morning as it impacts your work. So focus on that and try to let other things slide for now. If you have read "Explosive Child" by Ross Greene he talks about 3 baskets or 3 plans. Plan C is that you let it go. Letting it go does not mean that the issue is not important to you or that you will never set that expectation for your child. It just means that right now you are letting it go. Sometimes it feels like giving in or giving up but it is not. It is making a different choice, right now for your child and your situation until you can figure out a way to have him sit down to a dinner of chicken and okra (sounds good to me!) without a 1 hour battle ensuing. Some non-traditional parenting as a previous post said.

    Hang in there. You will get a lot of support from this board.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "Explosive Child" is a book that should especially work for you, with the divided households thing. I suspect things are 'working' for his dad, because dad is letting the boy do whatever he wants. I'm suspecting there is a lot more going on than ADD. The ODD - definitely meets the criteria, but it's not a helpful diagnosis because it is merely descriptive, with no assistance from the tag (except maybe some support at school).

    I think this lad has sensory issues (hence the weight problems - sensory issues mingled with food issues) plus control issues. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) also thee in a big way. That combination, plus poor impulse control and a short fuse (high frustration level) make him a classic for explosive behaviour.

    Actually, from your description of his behaviour after your friend talked him down - I do think this lad wants to behave, but just can't cope. Despite writing mean stuff and physical attacks, he did try to hold it together later and was pleasant in how he sat with you. He accepted his punishment, he certainly seemed to realise, at some level and at some point, that his behaviour had been unacceptable. That to me says there is a lot of hope. But what you are doing now, while it may well be seen by people as good parenting in other circumstances, is not working here. In other words - you are doing the right things, for any other kid. But they are not right for this kid.

    If you give him some control, or at least involvement in choices, it might ease things off a lot. Now, this does NOT mean letting him rule the roost. Not at all. He needs to understand that the choices you make for food are based on a lot of factors that YOU don't have control over - family economics, for a start. If okra is in season, and chicken was available to you inexpensively, then of course you plan on it for dinner.

    We had three sensory kids in the house at the same time. The two worst for food were easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 3. easy child 2/difficult child 2 only likes smooth textures; nothing with "bits" in it, as she says, while difficult child 3 will not eat anything with a creamy texture. It was Jack Spratt and his wife... ("Jack Spratt would eat no fat, his wife would eat no lean...") and to make sure both would eat, I often had to prepare a number of meal options. Not to a huge extent, but modern conveniences make this possible. For example, I would make a chicken risotto (making it fairly dry, a lot dryer than TV chefs says is right) then put easy child 2/difficult child 2's serve aside, before stirring in some peas and other pre-cooked chopped vegetables for the others. easy child 2/difficult child 2 would then have a small individual salad or a separate serve of vegetables. But the food was not allowed to be all mixed in or she wouldn't eat it; she was tiny, badly underweight. So was difficult child 3.

    I would often cook a casserole of some kind in bulk and leave it available in the fridge for either child. The vegetables in it were in big chunks so they could be removed for the child who wouldn't eat them. The occasional it not removed (plus cooking them in) meant the child got used to the flavour and over time was more accepting of them.

    I would get tantrums x 2 until I allowed choice. It actually was a lot easier. I also dealt with a tantrum over food, by handing the choice completely over to the child. "You don't like what I made - you do the job. Plan the meal, buy the food, stay within budget, cook the meal and then clean up the kitchen. Until you can do all this, at least give me recognition that I am doing the best I can."
    But I had to be prepared to follow through and support the child in their first attempt at preparing a family meal. For the family, not just for themselves. They do recognise how difficult it is, when they have a go. But they also value having choice, when they begin to have a go.

    I was a fussy eater as a kid. My mother was also a fairly ordinary cook, and I know it can't have been easy for her, with ten mouths to feed on very little money. We grew most of our own food and has to eat what was in season. I was helping with meal preparation from very early on and we all pitched in to help harvest vegetables. I also had to learn how to pluck chickens and butcher meat. Maybe that was why I refused most meat, for years!

    Another factor I think you're dealing with, is the early hormonal problems peculiar to teen boys. They get ravenous and unreasonable. "Feed me NOW!" comes from the otherwise most mild of kids. I handled this by cooking sausages in bulk and keeping cold cooked sausages in the fridge. A fast meal can be served by microwaving a couple of sausages and serving with a quick salad. Or you butter a slice of bread, apply a lettuce leaf and some tomato slices, then put on a microwaved pre-cooked sausage for a healthy snack in a minute. Our kids learned that if they were hungry, they could raid the fridge for such food. If they did not eat their dinner afterwards, it did not matter because the snack had been made from dinner-type components anyway.

    Another possible issue - task-changing. It may seem weird, but pat of this problem can be the "unpleasant surprise" effect when what the child has been hoping for, for dinner, is not on the menu. Read "Explosive CHild" opening chapter for a glimpse into this kind of mind-set in the child, and what it can do. So again, knowing ahead of time what is on the menu can really help. And when I say "ahead of time" I mean days ahead. Or at best, hours.

    I cook a lot of roast dinners, because cooking a separate tray of roast vegetables is really easy and makes it easy to give each person the choice of vegetables they like. difficult child 3 is the most limited in what he will eat. Also, our kids who don't like their carrots cooked are permitted to eat a whole raw carrot instead. difficult child 3 likes to eat the carrot peel so I set it aside for him in a bowl. He loves it, and it is actually really good for him. He will also eat apple peel. So if I want to have fun with him, I can make him a ribbon salad by using a potato peeler on carrot, cucumber and apple. Shred a lettuce leaf into strips, toss it all together with a couple of drops of salad vinegar (stops the apple from browning) and he has a very happy meal. It's even easier if I get him to whittle away with the peeler himself.
    Praise works well. Avoid judgement and blame - he is getting the message sooner than you think, I suspect. Praise needs to be unconditional. Do NOT say, "I am so glad you're sitting here with me quietly and just talking. It's a lot better than your tantrum earlier," because you just undercut the praise with a reminder of the earlier bad behaviour. Of course you need to address the bad behaviour, but do it in ways that allow him to face it and perhaps try to understand himself and his own responses. He needs to be able to identify what it is that really is upsetting him. "I know I like chicken, and I don't really mind okra, but I had been hoping for tacos tonight. I didn't realise how much I had been thinking about tacos, until I realised we were having chicken instead." Often the child's hopes and beliefs are not reasonable. But communication between you both, such as saying in the morning "We're having okra and chicken tonight," can help him get his mind ready.

    We are in a sort of routine with meals. If we have roast chicken on Sunday night, I will use leftover chicken in a meal over the next couple of days - either chicken supreme or chicken risotto. Tuesday night we eat out. Wednesday night, grandma does a mixed grill. Thursday night could be another roast, or at least roast vegetables with a grill. Friday night - combined leftovers (which gives choice) and Saturday night is fish. husband does his best to buy varieties of fish he knows difficult child 3 has eaten before and likes. But along the way, he buys what is in season, and we give difficult child 3 a taste of ours.

    We also have rules for how to taste new foods. I'll share those another time, I am running late and have a big day ahead (it's just on 8 am and I should be leaving, not sitting here typing in my pyjamas!)

    Welcome, we can help.

  14. wmh4bama

    wmh4bama Guest

    I haven't had time to read the new post, since my last one. I will do in a little while, just want to get ya'll take on Clonidine. I called the dr this morning and they want me to stop the Risperdal and start him on Clonidine. I know very little about this medication. Has anyone had experience with it?

  15. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Using clonidine for insomnia and aggression is an off-label use, it's actually a blood pressure medication. Because it usually causes drowsiness it's a bedtime medication (or was for us). Kiddo isn't on it now, but it did good for her when she was on it.
  16. wmh4bama

    wmh4bama Guest

    Thanks everyone for the replies. I have download the 'Explosive Child' book to my kindle on my iphone. I have already read the first 2 chapters. It's like he is describing difficult child almost to a 'T'. I am glad it's not just in my head or me losing my mind. I have felt like I've been banging my head against the wall and getting no where. Atleast now there is an answer to WHY he is doing some of these things.

    I had sent an email to difficult child's teacher first part of the week because when his grade floder came home he had rec'd 'U' in conduct and almost all of his graded papers had a D' or F. That is really unusal for difficult child. He is a very bright and has never made even a 'C' on his report card The grades concerned me that they had dropped that much in 2 weeks. The 'U' wasn't so bad, he's had many of those but he's always kept his grades up through everything that has gone on. The teacher stated that she took it as a 'bad' week or two for the grades. And the conduct U was because he backtalking, coloring instead of doing his classwork and would not leave others alone at this table. I had also asked her about the anger and if she had seen any of this at school? Surprise Surprise….NOPE. She said he's is a very pleasnt student just a little sassy and rambuclous. When I got to the after school care to pick him of yesterday, his teacher happen to be in the office. She called me in to there make sure I had rec'd her email back. She asked if there was anything else that had happen he had done or was acting out at all? She no, why? Isaid well he acting out at home andI was just checking to see if he was doing at school as well. She said I think he is just pushing your buttons! That ticks me off on one hand then on the other it's a refielf he's not doing it at school. Know what I mean??

    The weight problem with difficult child is because he was only 4bls at birth and has never been in his % of weight for his age. However, I do believe he might have these sensory issues. Never heard of it before, but now that I have and you have explained to me. It's exactly what I have had my whole life, just have not been able to put a name to it. He is just like me on food. VERY VERY PICKY! I don't eat anything 'leafy' 'crunchy' etc. (Only okra, corn, green beans, and potatoes for myself) He doesn't either. This is a child that will NOT eat a hamburger or fries…not even from McD's…What kid don't like McD's? He will only eat chicken no matter where we go to eat unless it's pizza. I have not forced this issue out of the home. But I have tried to introduce a little more to him. However, I have always understood the 'texture' thing. I will take the advice on the food and let it go and leave him stuff in the fridge.

    When I spoke to the nurse yesterday and explained to them what difficult child had done and that it scared me. The dr said that it might be the combo of medications. He had only been on the Risperdal for about 2 weeks ('bad' weeks at school?) He's been on the Vyvanse for over a year, just been tweaking the doses. HE told me to stop the Risperdal for the weekend and to start him on Clonidine Sunday night to take with supper every night, start with a ½ and move up to whole if needed. We shall see how this goes. I am crossing my fingers!!
    He is gone to DEX this weekend so I am going to try and get 'unwind' and relax for a day or two.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Something to consider, at least to begin with - don't force any issue if it will make him rage. And don't force too many t one time. Work on what he is more ready to work with, and leave the rest for now. He's probably raging more at home, for several reasons:

    1) he can't hold it together in both places, and at home he knows he is loved unconditionally so he tends to let go more there. This is what a lot of us see.

    2) You could be asking more from him behaviourally than they are at school.

    A lot of the behaviours the teacher describes (the "sassiness", answering back, bothering other students) may not be insolence, merely social inappropriateness. Some kids simply cannot understand social rules as well as other kids, no matter how bright they are. They CAN learn these rules, but not so automatically as other kids. We then pressure them to behave as we "know they should, we've said it often enough" and we see them explode, because from the child's point of view, we are suddenly being unreasonable. They are doing the best they can. Really.

    Trying to discipline something that the child actually can't help and is already trying to do right, can cause more problems than it helps. You need to change from being the disciplinarian, to being the teacher. Think about the purpose of punishment - it is to help them learn the right way to do things. But there are other ways to teach this, often more effectively with a child like this. These kids learn by imitating you, and right now you are teaching him how to punish other people - notably you. They treat others the same way those people treat them.

    Has he been checked out for Asperger's? Or you been checked out? If it is Asperger's, it is not necessarily bad news. In fact, given what you are dealing with, it would probably be a relief because there is a lot of unexpected good stuff in such a diagnosis.

    With the food - I hear you on trying to get him to expand his repertoire. But we had little to no success for years, until we were o holidays and SIL1 found a way through. When yu visit a different place, especially another country, there are different foods to try. difficult child 3 was very resistant but since a lot of his preferred foods are home-cooked, I cook in bulk and have it available for him - this wasn't possible on holidays. So we would ask difficult child 3 to have a taste of a new food, a taste only. He didn't have to have any more if he didn't like it. But think of the tragedy if he chose not to taste, and it was as delicious as chocolate!
    To have a taste - difficult child 3 needs to feel in control of the situation. His preferred method is to have a glass of water handy, plus something he does like "to take the nasty taste away" if it IS nasty. difficult child 1 would use cordial concentrate instead of water (raspberry syrup, for example).
    Next rule of tasting - he needs to describe how it tastes. He has to say if he likes it or not. Even if he says he likes it, he doesn't have to have any more of it. But he then has to say what it is about it that he likes, or dislikes. He has to TRY to say what would improve it.

    I think SIL1 did as well with this, because he wasn't difficult child 3's parent and so was automatically more polite to him. This produced politeness in response. But by the end of the trip, difficult child 3 was eating everything on his plate as ordered in the restaurant. He was also learning to be confident that when he asked for his meal to be brought out with "no gravy, no onions," he would get what he wanted as ordered. He loved that! Again, he felt in control. And there is nothing wrong with a child having this kind of control, nothing at all. When they have control in areas that don't matter to us s parents, the child is more likely to accept parental control where it is still needed. But if this is Asperger's, you will find your child much more capable of SELF-control, once he is shown here it is needed and why. The short fuse will undermine this until he learns to control it, but these kids have a very strong capacity (and need) for control. Direct it towards self-control and engage their respect for this being needed, and you and the child will at last be working toward the same goal.

    Keep reading. The book helps show you how to do this.

  18. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You've just described me and my daughter in a lot of ways. She'll eat the fries and chicken nuggets, sometimes she'll eat a hamburger but not when it's on a bun/bread/etc. Veggies? Don't make me laugh, it's not happening. And no, hiding them in other foods doesn't work most of the time and on the rare times it does she always finds out later and is that much more leery of unknown foods later. We're "supertasters" which even though is a scientifically proven thing is scoffed at by many people, including otherwise educated adults (including some of her teachers) and they tell her "there's no such thing, eat it anyway." Seems to be linked to a supersensitive nervous system which I think is one of the underlying factors of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and shows up a lot in Aspies and gifteds (which also seem to have a lot in common anyway). I know better than to push foods on mine too hard, because I know how I was. As long as I can find other ways to get decent nutrition in her by other methods (shakes, dark chocolate, vitamins, etc) and her physical growth is fine (small for her age, but hey I'm short and I'm taller than my bio-mom), I don't worry it overmuch. I was more open to new foods when introduced to them by my friends as a teen and young adult. I wouldn't even eat bacon or sausage until my late 20s!

    Was he premature with that low weight, or was it full term very low rate? If he was a preemie, does his % fall in with where he would be if his age was gauged on his due date instead?
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    On the subject of hiding healthy food in the various meals - I did order the book written by Jessica Seinfeld, "Deceptively Delicious" but by the time it arrived I had re-thought the situation. The problems for us are textures. Her book is probably really good for 'normal' kids, but if the problem is sensory, it's not going to help as much. Also, the amount you can sneak in is really not enough to make much nutritional difference, unless your child is really extreme in vegetable avoidance. Hiding pureed zucchini in brownies is a good idea, it adds moisture; it also can be a useful tool afterwards to say, "You know tat delicious brownie you enjoyed? It had zucchini in it! So maybe zucchini isn't that bad after all."

    We found other ways to get our kids to eat more vegetables. Firs, work out why they don't like it. If they hate zucchini because it's mushy, then use it either mushed in to something that is OK to be mushy, or cook it so it doesn't go mushy. husband & I were cooking for a lot of teens at camp for a week some years ago and had some leftover dips, plus ten kilos of zucchini to use up. The kids were not eating steamed sliced zucchini because it tastes bland. So I cooked it lightly (so it didn't go mushy) and then folded through the leftover dip to make a creamy sauce. They scoffed it down and wanted more. Now, I know that would never work for difficult child 3 because he hates anything creamy. But easy child 2/difficult child 2, who refuses zucchini in any other form, will happily eat it this way.

    You find what works. I do recommend you have a look at "Deceptively Delicious" in case there is something you can use; but don't expect it to give you balanced, healthy recipes. It takes the usual junk kids love to eat and makes them a little bit healthier than otherwise, and very tasty too. But I realised - I was already doing that.

    Different cultures too - I know I keep mentioning it, but there are cultural differences between us and the US and this also involves our food. We use Vegemite, for example - and a favourite after school snack that gets Aussie kids eating their vegetables, is vegetable sticks (celery or carrot) smeared with Vegemite. It mostly adds salt, plus a little soy-like flavour. The easiest way to describe Vegemite is, it tastes like soy sauce would, if it had the consistency of axle grease. But it doesn't taste greasy in any way. It IS salty, but we use it sparingly. Never spread it thick like jam or peanut butter. VERY sparing - so the salt content is not an issue, if you eat it the right way. But it is a reason why most Aussie kids are happy to eat raw vegetables. And for invalids, a Vegemite sandwich is brilliant, in recovery. I always knew I was getting better when I was given a Vegemite sandwich to eat... it always tasted wonderful, the first food permitted after a day's gastric attack. It is loaded with B vitamins too, a great stress-beater.

    With the low birth weight - if he was light to begin with, don't worry too much. If his position on the percentiles is stable then it doesn't matter if it is outside the normal range, as long as it is outside normal range the same amount all the time. The worry is when this changes - if he goes from 5th percentile to 25th, for example. Or if it goes the other way.

    Some kids are naturally lighter. We found this with our kids too. difficult child 3 had an outsized head but it did not increase in proportion to the rest of him, so we were told to not worry. His height and weight were always in the same ratio; the doctor only worried when difficult child 3 lost a few kilos in weight while at the same time growing taller.

    When you can get your kid to suck in their tummies so you can see their spine FROM THE FRONT and the doctor still is not concerned, then you know it's not too much of a problem.

  20. wmh4bama

    wmh4bama Guest

    difficult child was born at 37wks. I was only 5lbs and his dad was 6lbs He past all the newborn test, they only was concerned with getting his weight up. That has been a challenge his whole life. Right was the beginning, when he was old enough to take baby food. He would not eat certain things. The advice I kept getting was, keep giving the ones he doesn't like he might like them down the road. Nope, he didn't and still hasn't to this day. The doctors told me the same thing about his weight when he got about 2yrs. AS long as he stayed at the same % they were not worried.

    I understand about the food and letting him eat something else if he doesn't want what I fixed. However, with being Single, with not ever knowing if I'm gonna get child support that month or not. I am unable to make 2 different meals. I could understand if it's something new and he didn't like it. But when I fix something he has eaten a hundred times, there's not excuse.

    When I pick up difficult child from DEX, he was so hyper he was bouncing off the doors in the car. I mean talking 90 miles a minute, jumping up a down. I knew immediately he had not had his medications. Of course DEX gave RX bottle back empty. difficult child proceeded to tell me on the way that he had not had his medications all weekend. That DEX told him he didn't need anything anymore and I was just drugging him. When this happens, the next day I give it to difficult child, he has a headache most of the day. Grrr.

    Asperser's- Neither of us has been checked for that. I looked up the symptoms; I don't see where either of us would fall in that one. How would they check for it? From what I read it's just from symptoms.

    As I am reading the book, I keep saying to myself. That is exactly like difficult child, he does this or that. I feel so much better that it's not all in my head. I'm going to start the new week with a new attitude with difficult child.