Tired of crying

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DeAnna, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. DeAnna

    DeAnna Guest

    I just found this site. I am 29 years old and have 3 wonderful little boys. Cayden is 7, Korbin is 4, and Camdyn is 6 months.

    Cayden is in 1st grade. He has not been diagnosed with anything, but my husband and I have had many meetings with the school "team". They are really pushing me to put him on medication, they feel that he has adhd and possibly some type of oppositional/conduct disorder.

    I have been a stay at home mom off and on since starting my family. When I did have an outside job I worked at a local high school working with mentally handicapped kids, managing a group home for behaviorally difficult teenagers, and working at a local hospital on the delivery floor.

    Today I got a phone call from the school saying that my son tried to choke another student so he was being placed on in-school suspension. I cried for 2 hours, I don't understand. My son is very loving and considerate at home. With two younger sibling, he is a great help. When Cayden is in trouble he is fast to tear up and say that it "breaks his heart" when he gets into trouble. This aggressive behavior has never happened at home. But it seems like he just can't contain himself at school.

    He is doing very well scholastically. I work with him daily on spelling words or reading. He has some of the top math skills in his grade level at his school. I know that he is trying really hard, he just can't seem to get it together. I am completely at a loss and don't know where to turn.
  2. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Guest

    Awww, Sweetie, take heart. It's gonna be OK.
    I have no ability to diagnosis anyone, but I do have some ideas. Maybe your son gets overstimulated at school, or maybe someone is picking on him? It seems surprising to me that they think he has adhd, yet he is having no trouble at all doing the work and staying at grade level or better. Also, I have read that ODD is traditionally worse at home. I'm just repeating what I read, but it still wouldn't fit with what you describe.
    I think if you look at the situation more closely you will learn more of what is causing this. What does your son say happened?
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Welcome!! There might very well be an issue your son needs to deal with, but honestly, the people at school aren't always the best ones to diagnose it and shouldn't be pushing for ADHD medications when there hasn't even been a real evaluation done. I would suggest neuropsychological testing done by a private licensed psychologist with a PhD. Some states have licenses for neuropsychologist, others don't have that specified title but still the psychologist would tell you if they are licensed to do this type of testing and if they have experience in testing children. Then, you can request the school to start the evaluation process for an IEP. I'd start the private testing first though because it can takes months to get that completed and you want it completed prior to the school completing their evaluation for an IEP. Tell the school though that you are getting testing done privately.

    Try not to cry- I know it's hard but chances are he will be able to stay in a mainstream school and if he needs medications, you can have the assurance that qualified people (a psychologist and psychiatrist) feel he needs them and have given him a qualified evaluation prior to determining what medications he needs. The IEP will allow him both accommodations and protection from excessive suspensions and so forth at school.

    Most of us here have had to go thru this and there is a grieving process when we realize that raising "this particular child" is not going to go as smoothly as we had hoped and there will be bigger bumps in the road than we foresaw. People here have tons of various experiences and can offer support for you as you go thru this.
  4. I also can not diagnosis but I agree with the other response... overstimulated maybe?bullied? I have a 4 yr old step-son recently diagnosis'd with adhd/odd and I must say it is most definetly worse at home, but I know the feeling of not knowing what to do. Last yr at school he only had a few issues, again most were at home, but this year SO MUCH WORSE. This year I have got phone calls home for fighting, not listening, aggressiveness and on and on and on. I too have sat for hours just crying (even just today) not sure why this is happening or what to do. Sometimes they (school) pushes medications too much, but in some cases it help. My first stop would be with the little ones doctor, explain whats happening..... and see from there...... but this site is great and there will always be a listening ear.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PS The psychiatric testing can also document if there is no problem other than adjusting to school life or whatever so this could work in your favor if the teachers just are not handling things in a good way.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi and welcome. you have found a great place with-alot of great parents who are really insightful and smart. alot will follow in time.

    it's not easy when we don't get our kids and what's going on with-them I speak from experience in that! i'm glad to hear that things at home are great with-him and that he is presently these behaviors only in a classroom setting. i'm guessing you have never had any formalized testing done being he is so young. i didn't begin testing my daughter until end of first grade. she presented odd behaviors in pre k and than first grade.

    i think if i were you I would start with putting a plan in school together for when these things occur, and i'd probably get him a therapist to do play therapy with him. maybe a therapist would be able to get to the heart of what's setting him off at school more than someone close to him. meanwhile maybe the therapist could refer you to a pyschiatrist if you chose to have an evaluation done to see if they think it's add or adhd. or if there is something in school setting him off or the overall atmosphere.

    what is the school offering at this point, are they offering to do testing on him in school?? it's hard when kids are so young to start diagnosis'ing yet i know alot of parents here have seen those types of behaviors very early on also. usually when their older they go for neuropysch testing, and evaluations with-pyschiatrists.

    did anything in the last year or two major happen at home at all? I know with my kids when we've had major things usually it takes about a year or so sometimes for them to actually react to it. strange i know yet it does happen.

    sorry that's alot of questions. vent away also

    welcome again
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome. Sorry you have to be here though.
    There is no way to know how to help your dear son until he is evaluated and you know what you are dealing with. Teachers can't diagnose...often they think they can. I would take him to a private neuropsychologist for a complete evaluation. Are there any psychiatric problems on either side of this child's genetic family tree (even if Dad is no longer around, he still contributed 50% of his genes). He still matters. Any substance abuse? How was your child's early development and does he understand how to get along with his same-age peers? Any quirks? Any obsessive interests? Can he transition from one activity to another without freaking out? Does he tend to speak like a Little Professor and have more of a monologue conversation rather than give-and-take? Does he have any sensitivities to foods, noises, crowds, textures, etc?

    I would take it a step further or you won't be able to help him. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
  8. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Hi DeAnna and welcome to the board ! I have to agree with the other posts that your son's school is not in anyway qualified to diagnose him with ADHD or ODD. Also, you say academically he is doing well so where does the ADHD come into play? ADHD kids have a very difficult focusing and getting tasks done. The impulsiveness pary of ADHD I can see from your post. My son was diagnosed by a neuropysch with ADHD/ODD. He displays no ODD behaviors and school only at home. I would also ask your son "his side of the story". I always tell my difficult child a pancake has two sides (just to make the issue less dramatic) Good Luck and let us know what happens. Keep your chin up!
  9. ShanDiann

    ShanDiann Guest

    I am new here myself. My 7 year old has very similar issues. He is wonderful at home but has major meltdowns at school. His trigger is the need to be perfect, and not being able to deal with things not going his way. He is also very smart, but unable to focus on a task to complete it. We have a diagnosis of ADHD but recently got a referral to a doctor specializing in ODD. We have not seen him yet.
    I have decided it is OK to cry as much as you need to. These are our babies, regardless of any issue that may arise. I would definitely set up a meeting with the school to put a plan into place, should these behaviors continue
    On a final note, as a teacher I would never dream of giving a medical diagnosis to a parent. I am not a doctor. I have recommended to parents however, that they talk with their family doctors about certain problems such as the inability to complete work or remain focuses
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome. The others all said it well.

    One point I must make - I hope you have not used your kids' real names. You need to have anonymity here, because whatever you post online can be tracked. And you need to feel free to say what yo need to, without fear of being victimised by anybody in your lives.
    For example, I know that while difficult child 3 was at the local school, if I had posted anything using our real names, his class teacher would have found it, read it and held it over my head. SHe would have shown it to other colleagues and anything I wrote which could be misconstrued in any way, she would have used to get people angry with me.

    By staying anonymous, I can vent about school, about neighbours (and bullies), about family and about doctors without worrying that someone will take it personally and get angry with me.

    Back to your son - ask him why he did this. Also ask him what happened. When you question him, avoid questions that prompt. You need questions where "yes" or "no" are insufficient. For example, do not ask him, "Did you attack Billy because he had been teasing you?"
    Instead, you ask him, "What happened? And then what?" and just let him talk. Take notes and record it all so you can go back over it. If you need more information, ask him for it. Don't react at any time. After he has told you, then you can say things like, "There is never any excuse for physically attacking someone else. We have laws against it, this is so serious. Do you understand this?"

    You say he is not like this - but at school our kids are in a different environment. They are subject to different pressures and different problems. You need to find out what has been happening, and why.

  11. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Marg, I agree with you 100% about anonymity .... This is one of the few places you can bear your soul and it remains private. I hope you find the help you need Deanna !
  12. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Has he ever had any issues like this in Kindergarten or preschool/daycare? Is this something totally out of the blue? Have you ever suspected him having problems - like ADHD, or anything else? I would guess there is something that triggered his behavior at school and you need to find out what that was. If he is acting out or having a hard time at school regularly then like someone else said -maybe he is being bullied. He could also for whatever reason not have bonded with his teacher, or he could have a learning disability in one area that is causing his frustration. I remember when I used to get calls from the school when my difficult child was in Kindergarten. They would always tell me what he did, but not what preceded his behavior. "Oh you mean he choked so-and-so because that child just punched him and called him stupid" - Know what I mean?? Somehow you need to find out what is going on. What does your son say?
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome DeAnna.

    I hate it when teachers diagnosis kids and say they need medication.
    Even if they are right.

    Something is different about school than it is at home. Some kind of stressor ... competition, noise level, personality clashes ... I would set up a meeting with-the teachers and make them tell you very specifically what happened to provoke the choking incident. Something preceded it. If your son had a serious mental health issue like schizophrenia or something, you would have seen it by now.

    It is possible that your son has anxiety issues, perfectionism issues, sensory issues, you name it. But I would set up a dr appointment with-a pediatric psychologist first, b4 you put him on medications, to get a good idea of what's going on. It sounds like he's easily angered and filled with-anxiety but he can still pull off the academic work, which shows that whatever is going on is contained, if you Know what I mean?. If he's medicated too quickly, the doctors can't tell what is going on.

    You may end up going through a long series of tests, but you will figure out something. In the meantime, get the teachers on your side. Tell them that you have a background with-spec needs kids and you want to be a team. Don't act like you're a know-it-all (even if you're way smarter than they are, which you probably are, LOL!) because they will team up against you. You want them to work with you, to benefit your son. (IOW, it can be personal and political.)

    I don't know what provoked the strangling incident, but at the risk of being Pollyanna, I can tell you one story about my son. When he was in kindergarten, he was constantly harassing another kid. The kid was very noodley (no muscle tone, wobbly, flimsy joints) and always seemed to have a cast on one body part or another. One day he tackled the other kid and it was a miracle that no bones were broken. The kid's mom stopped me in the pkng lot one day and introduced herself. She told me that her son had a disease where his bones were very brittle (I already figured that out but it was nice of her to tell me) and that my son was way too rough. She couldn't tell if he was being mean or just being a boy. I asked difficult child and he said, "No, we were playing."
    I took him at his word and had him stand there and listen while we talked. She said that difficult child was welcome to play with-her son, but that he had a physical problem and they could not play roughly. difficult child understood.
    Turned out that because this kid had so many problems, he also had no friends. Kids, even at that young age, thought he was a nerd. difficult child was his only friend. They turned out to be great friends that yr and it was wonderful.

    Maybe ...

    Just saying ...
  14. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    You know, when school personnel (and my occupation is education) say that a student needs "medication" (I hear this stuff in the staff lounge all the time), I ask them, "Well, what kind do you think they need, exactly?" That usually quiets them because most have no idea what they are talking about. Of course, most mean stims, but then I counter "What if that makes them worse, like in the case of my son? What do you suggest next?? Who do you suggest they see because such medication is out of the area of expertise of a pediatrician. Where should they go?" None have a clue, of course.

    Anyway, what I found most helpful was evaluation and testing done by a neuropsychologist. It's grueling, but thorough. I was referred to several of them by a pediatric neurologist at a university teaching hospital. I think that would be a good starting point. School is obviously stressing your son.

    I agree about removing your kid's names from your post.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I still have concerns about this problem. DeAnna, you seem stuck (to me) on "How could my child be such a monster to choke another kid - what have I raised?" when I think you also should consider, "How could my child, who does not do this sort of thing at home, behave in such an uncharacteristic way? First, was he provoked and if so how, and second, how can we use this experience to sort out the problems that contributed to this incident?"

    A child who normally won't do this, is a child who I believe was provoked. Of course it is not appropriate to lay hands on another person, but kids in general can be anarchic little monsters, and that includes your own children. We need to recognise that kids are still very much in development and WILL attack one another, verbally as well as physically. We teach them not to, but they are very much works in progress. I remember when I was 7 years old and at a new school, I was trying to make friends but was a bit clumsy at it. One girl I wanted to be friends with, she was wearing the sports uniform which back then also included a silk cord as a belt. The silk cord had tassels, and when these were new the tassels were perfect - smooth, soft, pretty. I had never see one before and asked her if I could have a closer look. She refused, but was letting other girls have a look and I felt humiliated by the mean way she refused. She publicly and deliberately turned her back on me, shutting me out of her conversation with the other girls. I did something I had never done before or since - I bit. Her shoulder was a nice target, I acted impulsively.

    As I got to know this girl over the next few years, I realised she wasn't a bad kid but she had a mean streak and was a snob. I wasn't yet accepted by the 'in' crowd and so she was trying to avoid being accused of associating with riff-raff.

    If the teachers had reacted the way they probably would these days, with a phone call home or a letter home, with me being suspended, my mother would have been in hysterics. "She never has bitten anybody before." I would have been in therapy so fast my head would have been spinning. But all I got was a scolding, and told to go sit "over there" where I was promptly forgotten for the remainder of the afternoon. When everyone else was leaving to go home, I figured I may as well go, too. Of course, that girl and her friends totally ignored me for the next few months which, frankly, was fine with me.

    What I'm trying to say here - school is NOT the same environment a home. School generally is far less controlled and allows much more opportunity for a kid to get really frustrated, but not necessarily have the tools to deal with that frustration. Use this experience as a teaching tool; help your son understand a better way he could have handled his anger and frustration.

    He's a kid. He may benefit from medications, bit it requires an expert in this to make the assessment. A teacher is not an expert, but the teacher may well have enough rough knowledge on board, to be worth listening to. At least consider that the teacher may have identified some issues that a specialist could help with. Impulse control, for a start.

    In my case when I look back, I know I would have benefited greatly from anti-anxiety medications. But I didn't have any, and I realise now I probably would have had problems with them. But I have always had anxiety issues. I handle it better these days because I have adapted. We do adapt, as we get older.

    I hated childhood. Looking back, I don't think I really had one. Socially, I was set up for a rough time and school did little or nothing to help with the social problems, the bullying, the physical assaults. When I was bullied badly (including getting beaten up regularly) I was the one put into counselling while they tried to figure out why my self-esteem was so bad. Well, perhaps the daily beatings with lack of teacher interference to prevent, was giving me the message that I was not worth protecting.

    Your child always needs to know that you care about how they feel. The first step is to listen to the child without jumping in to judge. After they have talked, then discuss - how better could they have handled that? Workshop with your child, some better strategies. Then you do this regularly, touching base on progress. DId you use the new techniques today? Did it work? Or if it did not work, why do you think this was the case? How better could you have handled this, honey? Can you think of something we could do, to make this work better for you?
    And so on.
    Keep this up - it empowers your child to learn the right way to resolve difficulties.

    But a kid who has never attacked another child, suddenly choking a kid - something went badly wrong, and to blame the kids as a first response, is badly flawed.

    On the subject of modifying your post to remove identifiers - if you're stuck, ask a moderator for help. It's OK.