that didn't work :-(

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by forkeeps251, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    Just had another one of those moments this morning that confirmed for me that difficult child just isn't like other kids. This time I even got it on video, which just makes me kind of sad.

    The kids school has a parade the Friday before Halloween. It isn't for Halloween costumes, it is actually a "hat" parade and educational based. It is really pretty cool... they have kids from the middle school come in with drums and the kids do amazing things with the hats they have designed. I know it is overwhelming for most kindergarteners... the drums, plus walking in line through halls lined with everyone in the school (the walk past the other grades), and all their parents.

    I had kind of thought it might be hard for difficult child because I know he doesn't like loud noises, unfamiliar situations, or being the center of attention. I was right. By the time he had gotten to me, he had his hat off and was almost in tears. He saw me and ran to me, latched on, and didn't let go. The rest of his class, and the rest of kindergarten passed, and there were NO other kids having issues with the parade. I ended up putting the hat back on him and walking him through the "parade route" so we could catch back up with his class, him clinging to me the whole time. He wouldn't look at the other kids (other classes) or give them high fives like the other kids were. In fact he accused one little boy of hitting him in the face (which the kid was just trying to give him a high five). We finally caught up with his class, and he sat down to watch the rest of the parade, but he just put his head down and refused to look up.

    Before the parade started a piece of his hat fell off (not a very important piece), and from then on, everyting was "ruined" he said. I think he was already upset before the parade even started.

    It made me sad for so many reasons... and it made me feel like for most kids, this is fun and a memory they will have of elementary... but not for him, for him it was just another bad experience.

    Also, it was a bad end to a bad week... he has been the the principals office twice already, once for hitting students and once for knocking over two chairs when he was angry.

    Just a little back groud: we have not had much in the way of formal evaluations, just school observations. We are in the process of going through play therapy to steer us in the right direction.

    Also, I have a question... how often is it that a child is having these types of problems when there just isn't anything wrong? Part of my fear is that he will be evaluated and they will say no, he doesn't have ADHD, or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or sensory issues or anything like that... this is just the way he is? He is just a bad kid? I'm not saying I want an excuse for the way he is acting, but I do want to know WHY, if only for the reason that if I know WHY he is acting that way, I can get him some help. What if they just say, "he has aggression issues".

    I think more than anything, I am scared for the future.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    No matter what, any child with these types of problems has some significant challenge(s) to deal with.
    As they get older, there's a grey line in the sand somewhere... where the problem is a warp in the child's (tween/teen) thinking, a learned thing rather than the challenges that come with a diagnosis. So, there might not ALWAYS be a diagnosis... but there will always be a "problem"... Know what I mean??

    You don't have a sig and I don't remember... but is this K or pre-K? and is he an early-starter? (like, Nov or Dec baby and one of the youngest in the class?) Sometimes, simple maturity is a factor. Not the only factor - but one factor.

    When you consider the proportion of the population that has issues in general... its amazing that any of us are sane and/or "normal"! (everything from pervasive disorders like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), to anxiety or depression... !)
  3. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    I tried adding a sig... let's see if it worked!

    To answer the question though, he is almost 6 (december), so he would be right about in the middle, age wise. He is in kindergarten, just started this year. He has been in daycare before though, and we didn't have MAJOR problems like we are now.
  4. keista

    keista New Member


    A child who is upset and in tears about a "supposed to be" fun experience, and who clings for dear life to his mother does not have "aggression issues" I suspect that whatever "aggression issues" they are observing are the way he copes when his Mom is not around, when he doesn't feel safe, when he feels vulnerable.

    in my opinion never. Unfortunately school evaluations won't necessarily identify what is wrong.

    Are you seeking any independent evaluations?
  5. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    ForKeeps, my difficult child NEVER liked Halloween !! He was the ONLY kid not even dressed for the Halloween parade in preschool.

    He to this day will not dress up.

    The only time he ever wore a costume is when he was too young to realize and may a year or two in between.

    I also was sad over him not experiencing or enjoying special things all the OTHER kids did.

    Sometimes I still could burst into tears watching him with his peers.

    You will rest a little easier after an evaluation.

    difficult child and I will give out candy this halloween and have some 1:1 time while husband and easy child going trick or treating ...
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello forkeeps. It is hard to see your child unable to join in freely with all the others and have fun. You must feel sad for him and sad for you; your feelings are so understandable. Which doesn't mean to say that he will never enjoy himself, or never fit in...
    To answer your question, there is, I believe, no such thing as an inherently bad child. There are reasons for what is going on... always reasons. You just have to find them, which is the challenging part, of course.
    Things will get easier as you find answers firstly to what is behind the behaviour and secondly to how to deal with it. Sounds like a cliche... but I think it really is so. The unchartered beginning is really the hardest part. Hugs.
  7. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    Oh yes. The play therapy we are starting is through the behavior specialists at the local children's hospital. My understanding of that is that it is sort of a "gateway". I've already had the initial appointment, and then he goes twice to the play therapy, and then one more appointment for the therapist to tell me what she thinks, and what would be a good idea in the future... like should he see a doctor, a psychologist, will therapy help, etc. And then we go from there.

    There are a few other options I have avaliable too... I live in a big metropolitan area so I've got lots of resources! There is a child study center, and many many idependant places that I can take him to to have Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluations done and the like. Before I do any of that, I'm waiting to see how the play therapy plays out (hehe). I'm hesitant to start too much at once and have him seeing five different people at the same time... I don't want things to get muddled and I don't want him to be too overwhelmed (not to mention myself!), so we are going to go through this one step at a time. Still, it is hard for me to be patient.

    The school just did an observation... said his problems were physical aggression, verbal aggression, and non compliance. They didn't at this time offer any further recomendations, just set up a BIP.... that worked at first but now doesn't seem to be doing much good.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    boy did that sound like an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) moment.

    change of routine
    didn't go the way it was planned (hat falling off)
    cant be in the crowds
    poor eye contact
    misread social cues (high five incident)

    Your little scenario says alot. I would not despair, he is not a "bad" kid. he is processing his world differently. When the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids go to assemblies, special parades etc. my sons class, and any kid I have worked with is prepped with a social story first of what is going to happen step by step. Then if needed they get ear plugs. They get to walk in back or sit in back so they can leave early. If something goes wrong they can have a special word or person to cue so they can get help.

    I hope you find answers soon so his style of learning and being in the world can be supported.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Do you mind sharing the BIP? maybe we can give you other ideas to suggest...???
  10. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    Not at all... I can't remember all the details, but it was pretty much to "catch him" in the act of doing something correct (sharing a toy, playing without any fights, etc), and he earns a sticker for that. As my husband put it, "treating the good behavior just like the bad behavior", meaning recognizing it right away and giving him a consequence (if he is good, a reward) right away. He was also to have a place to go to remove himself from the crowd**... this is something that he has actually been doing on his own since the beginning of school (hiding under a desk, behind a chair, etc). This is supposed to be an 8 week plan and then we see how it is going. The first week, it went great, he actually got stickers every day and had a perfect week. I got a package of those "squinky" (sp?) toys and let him pick a few of those each day he was good. The typical sticker chart deal.

    Since then, things have been back to normal. He still earns a few stickers every day, but is still getting sent the the principals office...

    **I need to call the school counselor... yesterday when he was sent to the office she told him that hiding under a table was not appropriate when he was mad, and that he needed to count to ten. I didn't find out about this till yesterday afternoon, but it seems contradictory to the BIP that says he is to have a "safe place" to go when things get overwhelming where he can calm down.

    Also Buddy, thanks for your other post... your list of stuff was very helpful... I KNEW it was going to be bad, but if anyone had asked me why I knew, I couldn't tell them... but you summed it up pretty well!
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think for most kindergartners that parade would be a handful.

    I dont like the schools assessment to be honest. It sounds like they are preparing to say he only has a defiant disorder. I dont think that is it. Im not going to say he is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) either because that seems like the flavor of the year or decade right now too. He could be extremely anxious with some sort of depressive disorder going on. Boys and depression show as aggression. I think you are dead on to continue with independent evaluations to see what shows up. Oh, lots of little kids will run to mommy if she is there during school events so dont let that get you down.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Now I remember when you first started that plan...
    It is actually good in my humble opinion that it is NOT working, and this is why I say that.... I think if he was a neurotypical kid it would work pretty well. But most kids with challenges like this can make temporary changes when something is really novel but they really can't sustain it. I think it is actually more evidence to say he needs support BEFORE a behavior happens. The idea is to identify triggers, stresses, etc. arrange the environment (yes, including under his desk ANd they can even use that large paper on rolls and wrap it around his desk to make a cave!) dont force pressured situations. And when they write the Positive behavior plan, they need to remember that just because they write it and maybe include things like breathing, or using a fidgit to squeeze or whatever, that he need to be trained to do it WHEN HE IS NOT having a behavior challenge. He doesn't know how to do those things yet. He needs to be given a pass on some things while his learning curve is going up. There is a program called "how does your engine run?" (I am pretty sure that is the name) that is like another called the five point scale...both of which is very common in schools and can be easily taught to him to help him learn to modulate his responses and feelings. Many times Occupational Therapist (OT)'s (and ebd and autism teachers too but you dont have those yet, could ask to pull in an Occupational Therapist (OT) though, just to consult with them) have these programs at hand.

    Again, just sharing...of course you do what works for you.... It is painfully long to work thru this but in my opinion you are doing things in a nice step by step process so you can show them the effects and lack of effects from interventions. Start your journal now because if this turns out to be a life long issue not just a transitional one, then even when in highschool you are going to be able to say...LOOK this has ALWAYS been an issue and here is what works and here is what does not work.

    for sure remind them that he needs that place and should be REINFORCED for making such a good choice to stay calm and go to a safe place. That skill will do him well in the futue.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I seem not to have my thoughts together when I type to you...sorry also please ignore my typos...My keyboard is delayed and I am just sick of going slow to make sure everything is written correctly, sorry for that too.

    Anyway....the principal saying to count to ten???? Another training issue...and more importantly, not really developmentally appropriate at this time. An easy modification you can ask them to do (say you want to be "consistent with home and school" so they know you are on their team, smile) is to hold up his whole hand and pretend his fingers are candles. Blow each one out slowly and put the fingers down as he blows. It doesn't have to be his hand...lots of kids LOVE it when they can blow out the teachers fingers! Then a soft high five and deal with the situation.

    OK, I will throw out another (sorry folks, you are making me miss my job now!) Make small square cards with 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Stop and Go on them. on stiff paper, and then laminated. You can use these for activities to help transition. So for example if they are doing free play in the gym, toward the end you can show the 3 card and say 3 minutes and then we go, then 2 minutes and then we go, then 1, then the go card. For the child who really needs it , the cards should be shown near them so they actually see it...not just yell across the room and hold it up....It really does help. (doesn't have to be actual minutes, they dont know time yet....just gives them a count down to prepare). You can use the amount or words that fit your situaton ....I punch a hole in a corner of each card and put it on a ring, on a string, around my neck. so easy for teachers who wear ID's anyway. Would probably help ALL of their kids so not a big deal to use in the class setting. (many teachers have reported that)

    These are not specific Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) things, these are for any kid who has transition, impulse control, or anger issues...etc. There are tons more but I am just thinking of things for a child who is not in Special Education or diagnosis with anyhing and admin/teachers are just trying to "control" behaviors.

    ok I'll stop