Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tab346, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. tab346

    tab346 New Member

    Hi, I'm Paula and I am new here. Glad that I found you all. My son is 4. Will be 5 in April. He is diagnosed with PDDNOS and Disruptive Behavior Disorder. He is in an IU preschool three days a week and in a regular daycare 2 days a week. He used to play all by himself with puzzles or spinning wheels on a car or memorizing every character in a tv show. Now, all he wants to do is play on his computer. He already knows how to download stuff, reboot it and so much more. The problem comes when we try to limit him, we get nothing but tantrums for a long....long....long time period. And now he's learned to throw this at me...."well, I don't like you". I just smile and say, "well, that's too bad because I really like you". He's getting so much better with his socialization skills since we put him in the regular daycare setting. It's amazing. But, we are having NO LUCK at all with potty training. He cries when he sees the "big boy underwear" come out. He tantrums and says, "NO, I WANT MY PULL-UPS". I put the underwear on him and he'll hold it all day while he's away and as soon as he walks in the house, I put him on the potty and he'll sit there and hold it in and when he puts his pants back on...he pees in them. NOTE...the banging my head avatar. That's me.

    Now...on to my princess difficult child. She is 6 and has anxiety disorder. When she's in her tantrums, she's like the exorcist. Her eyes are huge, her face is blood red with veins sticking out. She sweats and shakes and you'd swear her head is going to start spinning. When she's like that, she doesn't hear anything that we say. If we were upset with her for talking back, she will obsess about that over and over and then make things up until she obsessively crying about things like how will she see me when she gets married, and so on and so on. It's so frustrating. She says stuff like, "you hate me, you're always so mean to me, you don't want to be my friend, I don't want to go to school, the kids hate me, I hate the lunch there, you won't be there to pick me up today, you won't give me any dinner, you hate me (again and again), I don't know how to tie my shoes, I don't know what I'm going to do next Thursday, you were mean to me two years ago when you didn't let me go to Katie's birthday party, where will I go to college, when I get married how will I find you, do you promise, do you promise, do you promise".

    I don't know how to calm her down when she's like this. She gets so exhaused that she usually falls asleep afterward.

    She cannot stop talking. She will ask me the same questions over and over again during the day, just so that she can talk. I love her so much and I feel like such a horrible mother when I say that she drives me nuts sometimes. (ok...most of the time)I'll even ask her to try to stop talking for 10 minutes and maybe read a book or color a page or practice her writing, and she'll get that exorcist look and try so hard not to talk or whine or cry. It's terrible.

    She has had a history of medical problems since birth and now all she's having all of these emotional problems.

    They will be starting their wraparound services in a couple of weeks. I sure hope that helps because at this point, I'm about as stretched as I can get.

    Anyone have any ideas of how to calm her down when she's like that? And any potty training ideas for my son? I'll take whatever you've got.

    Thanks for listenting to my "book". No one else would even understand what I'm writing about. They just think they need a good spanking and they will be fine. They don't get it and never will until it happens within their family.

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Hi Paula and welcome to our little corner of the world! You are not alone anymore. Let's take the kids one at a time.
    Adam... It sounds like he has a lot of difficulty transitioning. I imagine this is adding to his potty training troubles. It's also important to note that many kids on the autistic spectrum have difficulty toileting at an early age. In addition, forcing the issue and his holding can cause additional problems like fissures. My daughter suffered greatly and held back her stool because having a bm was so painful. She ended up being on lactulose for quite some time so that her stool would be soft enough that she could pass it without major difficulty. In addition, you may want to try bribery: he gets to play on the computer for XX number of minutes a day for sitting on the potty for XX number of minutes. Or, try substituting wearing underwear from for increasing longer periods of time when he is home. The big thing is, if you push this too hard he is going to push back.
    Trina... she sounds a bit like my daughter as well. The biggest thing we can do for her when she goes to her bad place is work on her sensory issues. We work her body to calm her down: deep breathing, stretching, massage. Letting her cuddle in a big fluffy blanket, having a tickle war, a long soak in the tub, a cup of decaf tea. In addition, you may want to make sure she receives some sort of appropriate individual therapy as it's not unheard of that adopted kids and those with early medical issues have attachment issues. It may be something you might want to explore. I think you will need to strike a rather delicate balance between a consistent schedule where things are predictable for her and keeping demands on Trina to a minimum at least until you get a handle on what triggers her episodes. Other questions:
    Is she on any medications?
    How is she doing academically?
    Does she have any friendships?
  3. tab346

    tab346 New Member

    Thanks tiredmommy!

    Ok..Adam. That was my own question. To push or not to push. When he's in his undies, he holds his urine all day until he can get home. I know that can't be good for him. As far as BM, he will hold that every day until he can get somewhere alone. I will try the bribery! I'll try anything.

    On to Trina. We did start Melatonin before bedtime. It does help some. But she still gets up and wanders at night. We all hear her talking to herself and wandering around. We have to tell her to get back into bed because it's still night time. She has an appointment for a medication evaluation on the 31st.

    Academically, she is repeating kindergarten this year because she just wasn't ready to move on last year. She is doing awesome this year. She gets it and will be fine.

    She is a very friendly little girls. She does have friends and family that she interacts with. We are in Daisy Scouts now and that is wonderful for her. She and my foster-daughter are very close. We are working on having friends come for sleep overs, but I am fearful of that because I'm afraid she'll get into one of these episodes and embarras herself in front of her friends. I would hate that for her.

    What do I do for disciplining her? When I try time outs, she can't do it. She can't be quiet long enough and she can't stop escalating. If I put her in her room, she won't stay. She keeps coming out with more thought up things.

    She will be getting 9 hours of TSS therapy a week and then 3 hours of Mobile Therapy as well. I sure hope it helps. But, she is just an angel when they are here and they can't understand what the problem is. I've been taping her lately so that they can see what she does. How can they help her if they don't see what she does.

    Thank you so much. I feel so relieved to have people who understand. Finally, tears of joy instead of tears of frustration.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    We had to put wind chimes on Duckie's bedroom door because of her nocturnal wanderings. Does she have any physical outlets like dance, a sport or family exercise time? It may help her to feel a little more relaxed come bedtime. Another thought: a sleep study to confirm she has no other issues interrupting her sleep. by the way, sleep deprivation can make a child more hyper and anxious.
    I love what scouting has done for my Duckie, she's a first year Brownie. But joining Daisies right after her fifth birthday really helped her build some social successes, which she desperately needed. As for sleepovers, I would hold off until she's ready and comfortable. Maybe a "pretend sleepover" where friends come for dinner, a movie, get ready for bed... then head home. FWIW, I don't think most kids are ready for sleepovers in kindergarten.
    We did away with timeouts for Duckie when she was nearly five because they just didn't work. She focused on fighting with me or how naughty she was. We finally started sending her to her room so she could pull herself together. She also would do vocal stims around this time, so we talked about how we knew it made her feel better to stimulant but it drove her parents bonkers. So we asked her to go into her room so she could stimulant until she felt better. We made sure she understood it was the stimming, not her, that we wanted in her room. The net sum of all this is that she finally has begun to self sooth and calm herself a little. She's begun to excuse herself briefly to pull herself together before the meltdown. It took changing it away from being a punishment to having her be responsible for how she reacts. So, punishment isn't our objective as much anymore but rather learning to do better. Any punishments now follow natural consequences: no dessert if she hasn't eaten a healthy dinner. No tv or computer until she does her homework. No play dates or after school activities if she hasn't gotten a decent night's sleep.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hi there.

    My daughter has mega anxiety, too. Like TM, her room is her place to let it out. We don't call it stimming, because it's only been within the last 18 months that I've known about the sensory issues. It was always just her safe place to let it out. It was never a punishment. She resisted strongly at first, but eventually she had no problem with it. When she would calm down from the 'rage' part of it (the part of her anxiety attack that looked like rage - hitting and kicking walls, etc), I'd come in and rub her back and her hair, sing to her, etc. If I tried to talk to her or touch her while in the rage part, it just intensified.

    Like you mentioned with your daughter, when mine is in that state the rational part of her brain isn't working. The therapist says that her feeling side and thinking side don't work at the same time. So, when she's in thinking mode she's not feeling and when she's in feeling mode, she's not thinking. There was no way whatsoever to talk her down. It just had to run it's course. She has since learned some coping skills, but it took a long time to get to where we are.

    The two main reasons for this with my daughter were 1) her anxiety was always sky-high for a while so she was never in a place where she could even learn the skills, let alone incorporate them and 2) she didn't recognize the symptoms of anxiety so she didn't know when it was coming on until it was already full-blown. So the precursors - shortness of breath, racing heart, upset stomach - were all just separate, physical complaints. At almost 13, she's still unsure and will ask me...this is what I'm feeling, do you think it could be anxiety?

    I'll defer to others regarding your son because I don't have any experience there.

    Welcome to the board. It's so nice to know you're not alone. :flower:
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I meant to add...I'm hypoglycemic and when my blood sugar drops, I'm extremely crabby. My kids know when I say that I need to eat that nothing - and I mean nothing - else happens until I eat. They also know to pretty much leave me alone.

    Have you noticed any correlation between her blood sugar and her anxiety?
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I've got a kid who has had Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits, severe anxiety, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), and ODD so I hear you. If it encourages you at all, we talk about most of us as past tense these days.

    My first advice to you would be to get a copy of the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. You will need to adopt a whole different approach to parenting than most parents and when I read that I realized that even though I thought I was being flexible, I had a long way to go to get to the point to really help him instead of adding to the struggles. It will help you sort out the discipline issue--honestly we mostly quit doing time outs, etc because it made him worse and didn't accomplish anything.

    My husband's trick on the computer is to stealthily reach behind it and unplug the connection to the internet. If you aren't already, try using a visual schedule. Are they using PECS at school?

    It's very common for boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to not potty train until age 5. I tried and tried but I didn't get anywhere until age 5, a surgery to correct a minor urinary tract problem, and incentives that really made him work for it. The little stuff didn't do squat. When I offered Magic School Bus computer games and was flexible in doling them out, we were on our way. It wasn't cheap, but neither were those huge Pampers.

    Anxiety--what do you have set up at home in terms of addressing Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)? My difficult child's thing is swinging/spinning and we have a mini gym with therapy swing in the basement. During those rough times swinging was a major outlet right after activities and the last thing he'd do before going off to school or other anxiety filled event. We also started a routine of when he started into meltdown, going for a snack and show in his room (portable tv). I made it very sensory rich: bean bag, weighted blanket, saltines with peanut butter, Sprite or juice through a straw, hot water bottle if he wanted it, etc. It didn't take long until he was asking for this when he felt himself heating up.

    What supports have been put into place for anxiety--schedule, calendar, etc? You won't be able to get through when she's perservating but you may be able to cover a lot of bases. Progress in this area is often slow, and frustrating to the parent but it's critical to view these fears as very, very real fears because to her they are. I have to tell you that this week my difficult child who could hardly leave the house in 1st grade had his first full band practice and concert. He was nervous about the practice (high school, different director, etc) but mostly centered on whether his dad not come and pick him up. In the past one of us would have had to stay for the entire practice--this time around I fixed him up with a written schedule with copy for dad, a cell phone with numbers listed, and a back up plan for which parent to see if dad didn't show up. When I told him goodbye he made me promise to step out of my meeting and call dad to remind him (this wouldn't have happened if I was the pick up person--for some reason he was nervous about his dad doing it). Afterwards I was prepared to give him downtime alone and had a snack, drink, and handheld system ready to go. Yup, it took some extra steps to get him there and get him there comfortably, but the supports enable him to get over the hurdles and often to face the same situation the next time without the anxiety. Even if you opt for medications, you will want to explore these types of supports.

    FWIW, I'd also delay sleep overs. 6 is very young to begin with, and she has lot of other issues going on.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. He was actually #1 trained around 3 1/2, but would still have #2 accidents until FIVE. I agree that Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is a pervasive developmental delay and that these kids tend to potty train later. I personally wouldn't force the issue. More stress for him and you and possibly NO results.
    I'd also test daughter to see if she's on the spectrum. I'm on the "better to be safe than sorry" bandwagon. I'd take her to a neuropsychologist to see if it's just high anxiety or more. And I agree with letting her know ahead of time EXACTLY what will happen. We do this with my son.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi Paula, welcome.

    You are the only other person besides my mom that I have ever met who has Chiari! She had 2 surgeries. And here you are, MY age, raising all these little ones. Bless your heart.

    You've gotten great advice here. We've got some pretty awesome warrior moms on the board. Glad you could join us, but sorry you had to.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Hi and wanted to add my welcome as well!!!
    We have a late potty trainer K was 4+ and she has mega anxiety... N is trying to crawl back into her diapers... last night she asked me to put a diaper back on her!!! She would be my Spectrumish child... she has been wetting the bed A LOT lately.. and also is blessed with anxiety...
    Lots of good advice.

    I push my girls when I feel it will not cause them to regress... or to become too violent. I am pretty strict, which has resulted in pretty well behaved and structured girls. SO far!!! Yikes...
    Yet K with her mental illness can only control so much and N is a work in progress!!!
    Welcome and read up!!!!
  11. bzymomto4

    bzymomto4 New Member

    Hi, I can very much realate to your story with your daughter. She sounds just like mine all the way through 1st grade ( even now 2 yrs later if there is enough stress). I don't have any ideas that you can use that make things easy, but I wanted to share with you what we did, and I feel in the long run was beneficial to both of us. I can't remember a time I felt like my dughter needed to be punished because she wasn't following rules, but I can very clearly recall many momonts ( I don't think a day went by) when her behavior was out of control, for her and for myself. The worst was when it would happen in public and you more or less need a way to restrain her (for the saftey of herself, others and the stores merchandise). I can remeber having her strapped in a stroler around the age of 4, screeming fit, waiting in line just pay for shoes - being chastised by a women who thought I could fix it all if only I had been prepared enough to bring a banana with me. If only a banana could fix it all...... At home when she became distraught she always interferred with the rights of others and because of that I didn't feel it was appropriate to let her carry on per her will. Especially as she became older the one hard and fast thing was that when you are not feeling well enough or in control enough to be downstairs with everyone, then you must do all of your screeming and crying in your room. No easy task - she was in no way reasonable enough to stay put out of conciensious obiedience. I would generally have to carry her, prying her fingers off of the banister the whole way. The first 5 minutes in her room I would generally need to use full force to hold the door closed, after that she would find another part of her room to tantrum in, and it generally ended with sleep. I think an important part of handleing it this was that when she came out of her room she was quiet and looking for acceptence. I would ask her if she was feeling better, if she wanted a hug, and would offer to read her book. If there was a specific rule broken that needs to be talked about then that could be talked about a little later. Now at 9 she is very good, 90% better at handleing the anxiety, but when it gets the best of she still behaves like that and we handle it the same way. not easy though.

    As far as potty training there are probable 100 ways for 100 kids, but I had acouple ideas for what it's worth. Perhaps you could allow your son to put his big boy underware on over his pullup. Have a marble jar, button jar whatever kind of jar, and when he needs to go potty he needs to sit on the potty, even if that means peeing in the pull up. If you get a small enough jar or glass, you can tell him when it's full he can get a treat, then the next jar you fill up by wearing underware and a pullup, but this time you pee on the potty. Full jar = treat. For the 3rd jar (hopefully week 3) it's big boy underware only and again full jar = treat. I guess how long you need to bribe him with the jar would depend on your son. Hope this helps.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Wanted to say Hi and Welcome! Sounds like you have your hands full.

    As to your son, I would wait. I had the big kid underwear at what I thought was early (age 2) because Grandma bought them. At about age 3 I showed them to the child and said that MAYBE he would be able to wear them by his next birthday. He would have to prove he could wear them by using the potty regularly. Somehow I managed to make big kid undies a treat?(still have no idea how that came about!) and they earned them. My difficult child only got them when he wanted to go to a preschool program his cousin was in. By with holding them until after he asked AND showed us he could do it, we managed to get most of the work done in about 10 days.

    Has anyone suggested you take your kids to a pediatric neurologist for testing? I think it might be wise to rule out seizure disorders, esp in your daughter. A sleep-deprived EEG won't be fun for you, but it might tell you a whole lot about what is going on. The only type of EEG worth doing is the sleep deprived one, the others just don't show things well. Or so our pediatrician neuro says.

    It really sounds like you have your hands full!


  13. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    Hi! I am new too. I don't have any advice or experience to add, but just wanted to offer my support. Our 4.5yo was very difficult to PT, but he eventually got his **** together and figured it out. LOL We tried every trick in the book, and some worked for a few weeks, but then ceased to be effective. Which sounds par for the course for these defiant kids we love so much. ;)
  14. tab346

    tab346 New Member

    Thank you all so much. I'm going to try all of this. Who knows, maybe I'll get somewhere.