not sure where to turn next - 5 yr old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Loralyn, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. Loralyn

    Loralyn New Member

    Hello -- I am new here and what a wonderful spot of such experienced parents. I could use your advice and thanks so much for any input!

    I have never met another parent who is experiencing the same thing as I am. For years, we have avoided play groups and birthday parties because it always ends with my son saying or doing something to hurt someone...not to mention the horrified looks from the other parents. Here, it looks like you guys have been though this and more.

    I have been looking for answers to what is going on with my son since he was born. Other adults can't believe how mean/rude/disrespectful he can be, teachers say "he started out so great but now he is unable to follow the rules," other kids seem to love him for awhile -- he is cool, confident and loud, struts around like he owns the place but once a friend doesn't want to play his game, or by his rules, my son hits or yells or name calls...then melts down and flips out.

    He is just in kindergarden now and I am already fearing 1st grade. I think it is time for us to at least talk to a child psychiatrist, but I haven't been ready to agree to medicate (now, I could be convinced...we are exhausted). How did you find the right doctor for your child...I am lost, looking at name after name but not knowing who is best in my area.

    Also, this poor teacher at many times can I tell her how sorry I am that he broke the puzzle, punched another kid, poured water on someone's work...?

    Here is my history of trying to figure out how to help our son:
    1. Parent-child interactive therapy with therapist in the home for 2 yrs (age 3 - 5)
    2. Play-based therapy
    3. Psychologist
    4. Testing for intelligence/disorders – both at the hospital and a second time on our own.
    5. Neurologist
    6. Two pediatricians
    7. Tactile sensitivity classes (he would only wear sweats)
    8. Working weekly with the school therapist to practice appropriate friendship skills
    9. Taekwondo - the one place he is a hero. He can kick/hit/show respect and will work like crazy to impress his master there.

    All said the same thing: “You clearly have your hands full with him, he is highly intelligent and wants to be the boss in every situation.”

    I have read the books…and 5 ½ years later I am still searching for ways to help him calm his body, just to be NICE and not have to control situations/friends, etc. He is smart and funny, makes a great first impression (wows every doctor) but things soon turn ugly. He loves to experience new places but once he figures them out (museums, school, friends houses) the situations all end the same - mean words, insults, grumpy, pouting, door slamming, spitting/hitting, time out/quiet time...then asking for treats again.

    I think, and have always thought, that he has ODD. But as I read posts here, It sounds like ODD doesn't usually present alone...and he doesn't have ADHD/Asberger's signs (we have 2 second cousins with aspergers it so I am pretty familiar)

    Have any of you had similar experiences...any advice on next steps for us?
    Thank you for any help!!!
  2. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Hi Loralyn,
    I can understand why you are exhausted. That pretty much sums up my life, too.

    Most people here recommend a neuropsychologist as the first stop. A neuropsychologist does comprehensive testing that can last 10 hours or so and spans over several days.

    If you are comfortable giving your location (roughly speaking), some members here might know of a neuropsychologist in your area. We can't list them in posts, but we can send them through the private message function.

    Good luck.
  3. Loralyn

    Loralyn New Member

    wow, thanks -- I have NEVER even heard of a nueropsych...I thought I was way ahead of things when I went to a pediactric neurologist...what a great tip. Thank you. I am in San Diego...would so appreciate any doctor referrals.

  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Loralyn, welcome! I'm glad you found us, but sorry you needed to.

    As tictoc mentioned, we do recommend a full neuropsychological evaluation (private, not school-based) before you go the route of psychiatrist and medication. That's because symptoms of childhood disorders overlap, especially in younger children, and some disorders don't need medication, but instead require intensive interventions. Neuropsychologists can be found at university teaching hospitals and children's hospitals.

    While you're waiting for the evaluation, you might want to pick up a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us here parent our extra-challenging children.

    Again, welcome.