opinions please


New Member
a little background... My 12 difficult child has ASP, ADD and Epilepsy... takes concerta, abilify and was on trileptal... recent swith to depakote.

this school year has been really tough... difficult child developes incontinence problems..possibly due to abilify... school was very rude about the problem... his aide and the school nurse would call me to come get him. and then act like it was my fault he was wetting... when i asked to be notified when he ran out of clothes to change into it was not done... then they were like i should know cause he's my kid... how i am supposed to know without being told i still haven't figured out.. the principal makes the nurse apologize for being rude to me.. and i told him i would just maqke sure there are clothes in the book bag every morning, this will make it so i don't have to be notified. decreased abilify to try to correct problem
in the mean time had to change neurologist for insurance reasons, ask the new one about changing the abilify, due to incontinence... after routine EEG she feels it is more important to change seizure medications.. abnormal spikes now in a different area. His mood are all over the place, his anger is horrible.
Almost gets suspended for showing aggression to his aide... he did not actually physically touch her. When his aide reports thing to me, it always feels like she is being judgmental... i try to let it go, maybe it's just how she is. But my son has on numerous occasions told me that she has said things that are judgmental and inappropriate... like your mom should quit smoking...cause your bookbag stinks. Also, even though it is in his iep that i can scribe his homework if he dictates, she tells him that she doesn't like it.

OK so this brings us to Friday.. i am so upset about this.. my daughter came home from school and told me that someone is going to come talk to us... My difficult child son is like it's ok it's just his Vice principals friend...come to find out... His school called DYFUS... my son had a slight black eye.. the aide questions him about it, he tells her it must have happened when my husband flipped him on the bed to spank him.... the night before he did get 1 spank for throwing food at our 3 yo, lying about it and slamming the door when sent to his room. My husbnd turnd him over to spank his bottom, and my son put his hand in the way... 2 days earlier, my difficult child threw his science textbook at the 3 yo and his notebooks at me. I tossed his notebook back to him, and told him to put his HW away, the corner of the notebook hit his cheek under his eye. this is how his eye got a mark... but not remembering that he told the school it must have happened when he got spanked. So now dyfus thinks my husband gave him a black eye. totally not. I have to wait the weekend out to see if they are going to open a case against us, and my nerves our shot. I so dont believe this. I get kicked and hit by my difficult child on a daily basis and now they are implying i abuse him. Anyway from whay i have been told if a case were open it would mean parenting classes woohoo.
some things i have decided... in the meantime, i will no longer do hw with him... if he fails so be it, even though his iep says hw is not to be counted against him, they never follow that anyway. but trying to get him to do any of it just ain't worth it anymore.. also I don't want him having this aide anymore, i am so sick of her judgments and inaccuracies. " she actually had the gaul to tell me she thinks he is over medicated"... great now she is a dr. Thurs.. before this all happened his psychiatrist suggested i call an iep meeting for him to attend.... now i fear it will look like i am reacting to this new situation... Do i have the right to tell the school to keep her away from my son? what should i do about iep meeting? and is my decision not to do hw with him abuse? will that come back to haunt me? please any advice is much appreciated.


Active Member
OK, you have some situations that need you to react, I do understand you don't want to seem to be reacting as a response to recently expressed concerns though.

Ask for the IEP, but do it in writing and make it clear - "In response to strong request from difficult child's psychiatrist at the last appointment on [name the date, preceding this current stuff], I want an IEP meeting as soon as possible to discuss a number of issues. psychiatrist is to attend so a time and date needs to be chosen in liason with him."

The aide - she shouldn't be making critical remarks, even in passing, because it undermines your authority with your own child and makes everybody's task with him harder. It is unprofessional and definitely unhelpful. A BIG question I would ask her, publicly -
"You apparently are resenting being difficult child's aide and finding it tedious. I only want people who WANT to help, to be with my son, not those who resent it. Do you wish to be reassigned?"
As for her saying she feels he is overmedicated - she should definitely not have said this in his hearing. Too much seems to be said in the hearing of our kids as it is. But if she said it to you, privately - isn't this what you think, also, when it comes to his abilify? It is OK to agree with her in this, at least. You could say, "I also want to query his medications, especially the abilify, but I have to defer in the end to specialists who are trained in this." Make it clear that you're not handing out medications like Minties purely on your own whim, but you are following clear directions from health professionals.
It may be possible for you to clearly set out the rules and insist they be adhered to, but still work with the current staff (providing they do what you ask). You have rights and so does your son. You shouldn't be having to be a teacher as well as a parent, so leave schoolwork and homework entirely at school. Make THAT clear to the school as well.

As for the discipline issues - if difficult child is getting info wrong, and accidents are happening because you are reacting physically to his physical inappropriateness, then maybe you need to rethink how you handle him. He's getting too old to be spanked. And this is coming from someone who spanked her own kids. They get to a point where you have to find an alternative, because spanking no longer works effectively; spanking is teaching them that hitting someone else is an acceptable way of expressing your displeasure with someone (and then they start hitting you a lot more, as well as other kids who cross them); you get awkward questions from educators, doctors and other people who witness either the spanking or the signs of physical punishment; and, biggest reason of all for us - it creates an atmosphere which is loud, physical and ineffective.

He's getting older and bigger. To successfully spank him (especially when he tries to deflect, as he is doing now) it is becoming increasingly hazardous to people and property in the same room.
I remember my brothers wrestling with each other on the back veranda when we were growing up. When they were ten, there was a fair bit of room for them to push each other around, but when they were 18 or older they broke furniture and crashed into walls. You could feel the house shaking. And they were too big for my mother to grab them and throw them outside.

That's not to say that you are bad parents who are abusing your child physically and who deserve to be punished - accidents like this do happen. because you're still spanking him, it leaves you open to the risks of accusations of abuse, simply because as he gets bigger he gets harder to handle physically and he's getting more successful at avoiding the smack and causing damage to other things and people.

You need to fight this one (if it comes to that) the best you can. A medical exam of him probably would not find old bone breaks not seen by any doctor; old bruises of varying age and horrendous size; other signs of long-term persistent physical abuse. As a result, your claim that this was a one-off accident should be accepted. But the flag has fallen, the eyes will now be on you, so you should begin to change your discipline tactics to something more likely to work. And I know that's not easy to think about, at first. Fiddling with his medications isn't helping his mood, either, and that is one of those things you're stuck with for now.

Have you tried "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene? You would need to get your husband on board with it too. There is a good summary of it on Early Childhood forum. One important thing in it - you teach respect by showing respect. By changing how you treat him and work with him, your change your status in his eyes and become a helper, not an obstacle (his point of view). You would have to be in complete accord with husband in what you do, but if you get him to read it as well and you both discuss it then it should help a lot.

I hope you can sort out the accusations without any further problems. I know how it is - I was being accused of being a pushy mother, as well as being abusive, because I wanted easy child 2/difficult child 2 accelerated into school at the age of 4. I achieved a miracle and got her into school (it took almost an Act of Parliament to do it) and then, two nights before she started school, she slipped while standing on the edge of the bathtub and hit the corner of the bathroom bench right between the eyes - she started school with two black eyes! And I was already being accused of abuse! Thankfully, nobody came knocking on our door to make nasty accusations, but I was worried for a while...



Well-Known Member

the absolute first thing I would have you do is to complete a profile signature. It's really hard for us to remember all the back stories with members when we don't have that family snapshot at the bottom of your post. And, I'm sorry that I don't remember how old your difficult child is but I do have a few thoughts.

First, if his iep says homework is not to be counted against him, then don't do it. It's not worth the battle and stress in your home. Can you proove that they don't count it against him? Can you ask to see how they arrive at nine-week grades (grade book)? In regards to the aide - is this someone you fought for in his IEP or someone the school said he has to have? Is this a school employee or a contract employee? The bottom line - if this personis causing triggers and you both don't like her, it is totally acceptable for you to request another one (not saying you will get one because I don't know the system you are working within).

I would absolutely call an IEP meeting.

Another question, in regards to the aide, the nurse, the DYFUS = have you documented your son's behavior all along like keeping a diary or updating a parent's report? Documenting his violence towards you, husband and siblings, recording how his reacts at homework time, etc., is a good idea.

It may also be time for the family to attend a couple therapy sessions together. The violence seems pretty high at home - I don't mean abuse - but the throwing of objects at each other and dad spanking difficult child. I'm not saying the all of this it wrong all the time. But throwing stuff back to difficult child is tit for tat stuff and should be beyond an adult who is not at their wits end. In regards to the spanking, I'm not antispanking but spanking a kid who has serious acting out issues is rarely effective and usually counter productive. Perhaps you all husband would find help detaching from the behaviors and difficult child can be taught some anger management stuff. My difficult child benefiting from some calming techniques taught to him by his therapist.

I think I would send a certified letter to school tomorrow requesting an IEP meeting.

Good luck Barbara, I hope todays is a better calm day.



New Member
thanks for your comments, just to be clear i understand spanking is not affective, we typically don't use this as a form of discipline, normally it's time outs. not that they have lasting affects with difficult child either.. I do the whole give him time, and then talk about what happened.. in his mind he never does anything wrong. and things are always someone else's fault. Even when he finally realizes that his behavior was not acceptable, it doesn't change... he doesn't learn from anything. rewards don't work, praise doesn't work. He lives in the moment and is very egocentric. behavior mod doesn't work with him, as he lives in the moment. he doesn't care about consequences.he believes that anyone correcting him for anything is being unfair... believe me I do detatch often.. I let things slide and pick carefully the things he is corrected for... the funny thing is family members who know... think i am too soft on him... i think that's why i find this so upsetting.. i could never physically hurt my kids. My whole life is revolved around doing for him, and this just makes me feel hopeless


Well-Known Member
Hi. First of all, what is ASP? Aspergers? If so, is he getting autism supports and interventions? If not, I strongly suggest getting them. My son is on the spectrum and, if he hadn't gotten them, he would have been a mess-he started out very violent; he is very mellow today and doing well. Psychiatrists aren't the best people for Aspergers. It's not a psychiatric problem, although it can turn into one if it isn't understood. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are intristically different, and I higly recommend reading books on Aspergers.Tony Atwood has great books (www.tonyatwood.com) The second thing I advise is NOT TO GET DEFENSIVE WITH CYS!!!! I advise, from experience, explaining calmly and doing whatever they ask or they could cause you further trouble. I have a few suggestions. First of all, post a signature, like I did below, so we know what kind of diagnosis the child has and what his medications are. Certain medications can make kids even worse and wrong diagnoses happen all the time. If he isn't seeing a Child Psychiatrist (not psycologist) in my opinion he needs to see one for an evaluation. On top of that, I'd add a neuropsychologist, which is a psycologist with training in the brain. They do extensive testing that even Psychiatrists don't do and are good at figuring out why a child is acting out. There is a reason--it's not that he wakes up every day to cause you grief, although it can seem that way. Until you really know what's going on, it's hard to know if he can or can't control his behavior, but, from experience, I'm guessing that it looks like he can, but he can't. I would NOT do the homework wars with this child. It simply isn't worth it. I would demand an IEP meeting with psychiatrist attending and, if the school stalls you, call your state Dept. of Public Education and ask for help. They WILL help you. For discipline, I'd do "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. This child is not stable and, as you've said, nothing is going to work for him until he IS stable. It's best to let a lot of the stuff just slide until you get him on track or your house will be a constant war zone. Is your husband the child's father? If not, he could be in deep trouble for laying a hand on him. Even if he is, he could. Although he didn't give him a black eye, some bad stuff is going on--the throwing stuff and spanking is counterproductive and can get you both into trouble. Plus it won't help, so why even bother? It will only fuel him. I think the child needs to be stabilized and maybe re-evaluated by another Psychiatrist or neuropsychologist--clearly whoever he sees isn't helping him. Since he's not getting help, I'd look for another opinion; ask for referrals from reliable sources. To help in diagnosing, look at your family tree. Are there mood disorders, substance abuse, or any neurological problems on either side of the family tree? Any undiagnosed, but obviously sick relatives? I'd want that aide changed YESTERDAY! In fact, I'd put it in writing. I wish you luck, it's not easy, but don't give up.

Sara PA

New Member
Much to the annoyance of a number of people around here, I post a lot of infomation about seizure disorders and how they can cause behavior issues. Particularly temporal lobe epilepsy can cause emotional and behavioral problems, forms of partial seizure activity. Both the antipsychotics (Abilify) and the stimulants (Concerta) have cautions against being used by people with seizure disorders because they can lower the seizure threshold and allow (or cause) more seizure activity. A number of things that you mention could be related to partial seizure activity including the incontinence.


New Member
sara, I am very much aware that the behavior could be seizure related, that is the reason for the change to depakote, I am doing everything i can to ensure he is getting adequate medical treatment. however a neuropsychologist evaluation is not possible. There is no way i can afford it. they won't take his insurance and want the money upfront. I have looked into it. He has been evaluated by a few psychiatric, a couple neurologist, lcd's speech pathologists etc.
his behavior was much better before reducing the abilify. he was stab;e for a few year.
I will try in the future to do a signature...i used to have one, but every time i try to do it, the puter tells me it is too long. thanks all for your thoughts


Well-Known Member
So sorry Barbara!

Why don't you just cut and paste the description you have in your very 1st note and use that for your Signature temporarily?

The aide is very inappropriate. I, too, hate smoking. In fact, my mom died 2yrs ago from squamous cell carcinoma and had half her tongue cut out. Still, I agree that comment was not appropriate. I'll bet you the aide didn't even know she was saying it... it's just an off-the-cuff remark to her and she has no idea how it affects the overall situation.

She is not dealing with-a normal child or normal school situation so her attitude and behavior must reflect that. I agree with-Marg that perhaps some of these people should be reassigned. Starting with-her!

I am SO sorry about the black eye issue. I feel badly that they're sending someone to your house for that. Our difficult child goes to a private school and they don't have to follow public school mandates as much. When something weird happens, I get an email and an immediate chance to explain myself.
However, they are still not allowed to use physical force of any kind on any kids. That means no spanking, no grabbing a wrist, etc.
The teachers and child psychiatric yrs ago explained that if we use physical tactics, that is what difficult child will learn to respond to. Then their tactics, such as Time Out and voice commands, will not work. It puts them in a bind. We had to come up with-alternatives.

Not to say we don't lose our tempers, because I understand about the book throwing thing, believe me! (Maybe that's where the expression, "throw the book at him" comes from. :grin:)

I totally agree that you have to stay out of the homework hassle. In fact, Avoiding the Homework Hassle is the title of a book I would recommend.

Other than that, working on the IEP and medications is paramount, but others here are more experienced in that.

Good luck!

Sara PA

New Member
I have never advocated for a neuropsychologist evaluation. I believe temporal lobe epilepsy should be treated as epilepsy not as bipolar, schizophrenia, ADHD or any other name given to a group of behaviors which can't be objectively diagnosed. Considering that the symptoms for all those disorders -- including the TLE -- can overlap but the medications used to treat some of them lower the seizure threshold, it seem counterintuitive to not treat the one disorder that has been objectively diagnosed, treatment which would involve avoiding medication which would make it worse.

Reducing or eliminating an antipsychotic can cause withdrawal-like problems which result in worsening behavior. However, the increased spiking would not be a result of lessening the Abilify but could be related to long term chronic use of a stimulant and an antipsychotic. Just like there is a cummulative effect on the brain from the long term use of psychotropics, the recovery by the brain from the changes made by those drugs will be long term.


New Member
<span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> on the one hand DYFS can be a royal pain in the patute. on the other hand they may be able to provide you with-some in~home assistance. yes, parenting classes, but maybe an aide for at home? in home therapy for the family? things like that.

spend the time preparing for them to pay you a visit. home clean, fridge stocked, etc. gather up any documentation of the issues at hand. have that ready.

i would request the IEP meeting & state in the request this is coming via psychiatrist.

that aide sounds like a nasty piece of work & i would request a new one. you might not get another this late in the year but make it plain you want someone else assigned for next year.

i would bag the homework wars.

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Active Member
Hi Barbara,

I know as hard all of this is so hard, and especially when our kids are so violent and out of control that we become their verbal and physical punching bags. In fact yesterday, I blew up, and verbally went over the line with my difficult child, saying things I really regretted. That was when I knew I had to make changes in my life, and decided to give myself a 24 hour cool down period, with him out of the house, to regroup and find my inner peace.

All judgement withheld, it is never productive to retailate in anger to our difficult children. They only see it as "the war is on", and they get out their big guns and go for the kill. They do not say, "oh wow, that hurt, is that how Mom felt too when I threw the book?" Several people mentioned the Explosive Child - and I also whole heartily recomment the book - but until you read that, try to make sure that you are always above his anger. At this point you cannot afford to stoop down to his level and start throwing the darts, whether that is physical or verbal, but rather you need to try to always be the one in calm control, stating boundaries and/or consequences as stern but calmly as possible. It is almost like going into a robotic mode, where nothing he says effects you emotionally. At first he will get even more angry, trying to hook you into his dysfucntional universe, but pretty quickly, not only will he calm down, but he will probably start to follow more directives without melting down.

These kids need to not have the power to lure us into their anger, because that is what fuels them. They also need to feel our love, because that is what connects them back to the sane world. When we are angry and retaliating, we are going against both of these principals.

Good luck - I know how hard it is...but know there are other parents out there just like you, struggling, but making it.