Violent 9 year old boy

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by givemesleep, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. givemesleep

    givemesleep New Member

    Just wondering if anyone else out there has experience with a violent child that has any advice? On Friday he got so mad at me because he didn't want to go back to school after his speech therapy appointment, that he scratched me with a pen that someone made its way into the backseat, he grabbed hold of my hair while i was driving and pulled as hard as he could. And the icing on the cake...he stabbed me in the back with the pen. When we got to his appointment I went into the vestibule to call his therapist and he came out and smacked the phone out of my hand. I bent down to pick up all the pieces of my phone and he slapped me. A few minutes later when i was holding him to restrain him from kicking me, he knocked his head into my face and I know have a black eye.

    I'm so heartbroken, we had a crisis evaluation and at the end the lady said, I didn't seem happy. Really lady?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, and... 9, you say?

    Please hear me out, because this is counter-intuitive.
    He did NOT want to go back to school.
    To the point that he is prepared to be violent about it.

    Any idea WHY he doesn't want to be at school?

    That does NOT mean him being violent is the right thing for him to be doing.
    That has to be dealt with as well... with emphasis on "as well".

    You need to figure out WHY he's being driven to such insanity.
    My kid, at that age... wasn't quite as violent, but school was literally a living nightmare for him, every single day, all day... the kids, the teachers, the admins, the curriculum, every doggone thing about it worked against him... and we had no dxes and no accommodations and no interventions and minimal medications...
    Most kids who have those kinds of school issues either become "violent/angry" or they turn inward to self-harm.
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I have a 14 year old who has been violent with me, so I know exactly how heartbreaking this is for you.

    I would speak to the teacher and find out what is going on in the classroom. Is he struggling with the material? Is he being teased by the other kids? Does have an IEP or anything like that? Kids don't just react with violence like that for no reason.
  4. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    All I can say is I'm sorry. My difficult child is so much like that at 5 years old. Everything makes him mad, and he pulls my hair, hits, bites, head buts, etc. Its so tiring. I keep hoping that he'll mature out of it, but maybe he won't. Who knows. I just want to express my empathy and that I know its so very hard in that situation.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Kids with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified have a lot of trouble expressing themselves. It's a moderate form of autism. He may just have not wanted to transition from speech to school. Do you know how to do restraints when he gets that way? Is he like this often? His brain is wired differently. I would definitely take him to see a specialist who has special knowledge of and experience with autism. He may also need to see a psychiatrist for medication.
  6. givemesleep

    givemesleep New Member

    Thanks for all the replies. This is the first time that the school thing came up. As far as I know there aren't any issues at school. He does have an IEP. He is in "regular" therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. He has been seeing a psychiatrist and therapist since he was four years old. The lady who did the crisis evaluation said that if he put his hands on me again that I needed to remove everything from his room except his mattress on the floor. He tried to choke me Saturday morning while yelling he was going to kill me. I removed everything from his room except his mattress and bedding. He has to earn his things back, everyday that he has a good day he gets something back of my choosing. So far he has gotten back his books and crossword puzzles. Today I'm going to give him back his bed frame. My husband is very against this, I'm to the point where I'll try whatever to stop this type of behavior. The first day was rough, he earned nothing back because he tried to put his hands on me again.
  7. Hello there,

    First, i am so sorry that you are going through this.
    I am also a parent of a violent 9 year old. he bites, kicks, punches, throws things, breaks things, all with a smile on his face.
    My son was dianosed with conduct disorder. Im sorry i have no idea what the short forms of most these disorders are so i dont know exactly what you are dealing with, but please know that you arent alone. i know first hand its not easy to have to restain your child.

    I dont know if you have read the book "the exposive child" but if you havent i would recommend it, it can help to help you understand the why's a little, and give you a idea of how to help. its not an easy fix, it takes a lot of effort, but it could be a way to open the door as to why your son behaves like this.

    anyhow, I hope things get better.
  8. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    I don't know if this "violence" has always been there, or if it's more a "new" thing or an "escalating" thing... but I'm going to assume it's one of the latter two.

    Have you had him tested for ALL of the typically co-morbid dxes that go with spectrum kids?
    sensory processing disorder (SPD), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), LDs, etc.?

    If not... I can tell you first hand that there are three sub-dxes that can drive a kid who is in school, totally insane.
    1) sensory processing disorder (SPD) - school may provide sensory inputs that the kid can't handle (too noisy, smells, etc.), or may not provide sensory inputs that the kid needs to cope.

    2) Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - not all areas of the world use the formal classification, but it covers a range of coordination disorders, in fine or gross skills or both, that are not explained by other dxes (such as cerebral palsy, for example). Nothing wrong with limbs, muscles or nerves... but the brain can't quite get the pieces together. School success is 100% dependent on functional motor skills at BOTH the gross and fine levels. PE and recess are all about sports. The rest of school is about writing, drawing, sketching, playing an instrument... AND the ability to change clothes fast (including tying shoes...) For the kid with even a minor dysfunction in these areas... school is a nightmare, and the other kids play on this and bully or exclude.

    3) Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) - especially auditory figure ground and auditory discrimination. These get missed WAY too often. Many so-called specialists don't even screen for them. But while these two don't make LIFE impossible, they sure make SCHOOL impossible. Auditory discrimination is the ability to distinguish between subtle verbal differences in sound. Auditory figure ground is the ability to hear and pull "forward" those sounds that are important, separate from the "background noise". Classrooms - the best-run ones are simply better than the worst ones - are always full of background noise. Chalk on board, pencil on paper, someone blowing their noise, the hum of the radiator, the teacher who plays background music... but if the poor kid doesn't get the verbal-only instructions right the FIRST time... he's not paying attention, or he's not trying, but either way, it's the KID's fault... NOT. But try and get school to believe you without a diagnosis... (been there done that)

    The more you understand the kid, the more you can advocate for the pieces he needs in his IEP, and the more you can figure out can help at home, etc.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, like my son, he most likely will not be able to change his behavior because you took his things. He may not even care that much. You really can't use normal parenting methods on a child with autism. Again, I recommend somebody extremely schooled in working with autistic children. They do not express or understand emotions unless they are taught them.

    Of course the choke is unacceptable, but I don't know if anyone here knows how to deal with violent behavior from an autistic child, thus the specialist I recommended. Not all autistic kids get this crazy when they are frustrated, but some do.

    Hugs and hoping to see an updated post with better news.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, Givemesleep, been there done that, unfortunately.
    I still remember--will always remember--the time my difficult child yanked my head back by my hair through the headrest, as I was turned left through an intersection. I was terrified and then madder than h*ll.
    We started difficult child on Adderal and Concerta just around that time I think and it really helped. Also, the therapist helped me with ideas, such as when difficult child kicks the back of the driver's seat, you pull over at a safe place, get out, and make difficult child sit there and kick the seat for 1/2 hr or so. He'll eventually tire of it. It takes a lot of patience but it really works. Then the next time he kicks, you pull over and say, okay, time to kick! And he'll immediately stop.
    Many hugs.
  11. givemesleep

    givemesleep New Member

    We had another episode yesterday in the car. He knows I'm vulnerable in the car. This time he pulled my hair twice and unbeknownst to me, I somehow pulled the brake switch out that is under the brake pedal in the car and I had absolutely no brake lights today in the car (a special thanks to the lady that honked at me and let me know). We were in the car after school and he had colored pencils in his back pack and he again tried to stab me. I have a 2 inch scratch and a bruise on my arm. I am so worn down. I looked into a harness that can retro fit into the back seat, I'm going to see what the therapist thinks. It's too dangerous to have this continue. I was on a main road that encircles the city I live in and the speed limit is 55, so we were going pretty fast when he attacked.

    We see the psychiatrist and the therapist today.
  12. fun fam

    fun fam New Member

    I can so relate though my son is only five. Last year, I was driving on a small highway while snow was falling, trying to get my older boys to school. The road was slick and it was dangerous conditions. difficult child unbuckles himself and starts throwing things at my head. There was no where to pull over. Snow was piled everywhere. I had to continue to drive him with him out of his seat like that. I was so upset. I hope you figure something out.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    What happened with the therapist and psychiatrist?
  14. Confused

    Confused Guest


    Sorry about all your going through and I can understand what your going through. Your situation is worse - I wish I could help with great advice but I need the same miracle for mine. My son does hit, threaten, spit, kick, damage doors,walls, our stuff. his stuff, bite himself, us if if feels like it. I used to have bruises up and down my legs when he would kick,sometimes on my arms. Luckily its been a long time. etc. ( never pulled hair while driving tho, but kicked the seats and screamed..( opened door while car moving when smaller)

    ***I do try to sit behind him when he is hurting himself( biting or extremely violent period) holding him like a firm but soft bear hug but for 7 hes strong. So with your son being 9, of course hes taller and stronger. His Dr.s office said do that, but in the same breath said hes fine :/ Anyway, yes they can knock their head back in that situation, and in your later post u were taking everything outa his room except his mattress, I second that!!! Hes got to earn each item back or if you feel like you can do it by piles like books.

    I agree w everyone else here. How did his appointment go? Lots of hugs and you are not alone, we r here- even tho its online.
  15. AutismEDorwhat

    AutismEDorwhat New Member

    Guanfacine made our son much worse (very irritable). You might track when these episodes occur during the day to see if they fall during a weak point between one of the medications. We are upping Haloperidol to see if it will help with the explosions / tantrums. I believe this is the 8th or 9th medication we tried (in order to address problems Risperdal doesn't cover) since he was 4. His allergic reaction or unfavorable reaction to others has reduced the pool of medications which can be used.

    He has autism as the primary diagnosis however he can be malicious and explosive. He is now 10. He will explode and yell at wife or myself (and raise his fist or hit) regardless of the setting. He exhibited aggression at age two by sitting on a parent or sibling, raising his hands and slamming them down on the person. He would hit other children at McDonalds play areas or parks. For the most part, we ended up not going out to eat or visit friends.

    If your difficult child is regional center eligible then you could ask for a personal assistant (respite hours) to be used to accompany you and respond to these behaviors. In Calif by applying for Medi-CAL / IHSS it can make you eligible for up to 188 hours per month if the difficult child is deemed a risk to his/herself or others. We just applied and it appears to be a 2 month process.

    We are trying the above to see if it will help keep his younger sister safe and allow us to keep from placing him in a residential facility though much of the time that sounds like a really good idea.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your husband works in a job where he has to be fairly physically fit. Is your son not afraid of what he might do to him if he acts like that? My boys would have been terrified to ever hit one of us. One day the youngest said something about when he was all grown up we couldnt tell him what to do and if we did he could beat us up. His father told him flat out that he would never beat us up because he would die trying. If his father couldnt whip him with his own hands, he would take a 2 x 4 to him. Hitting parents was just something that they would dare to do. Thats simply the way their father was raised. His father was a little man but if those boys had ever laid a hand on him or their mom, well they probably wouldnt be alive today.
  17. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I don't quite get this, either. I was a difficult child in spades growing up. I raged horribly in my teens due to the bipolar. I NEVER would've thought of striking either of my parents. It wasn't physical fear, either.

    I was NEVER in any way struck by my parents. They did not believe in spanking or any other sort of physical discipline beyond restraining or carrying to a room for "time out".
  18. gwend1

    gwend1 New Member

    My daughter is 8 and her rages were becoming increasingly violent. She had gone from throwing things randomly when she was angry (at least 3 times a week and I don't think there was a day that was happy from morning to night) to intentionally throwing things at me and hitting me. Three months ago we began the Feingold diet. It removes all food dyes, preservatives and natural chemicals called salicylates. It has been nothing less than miraculous for her. We've had about 2.5 months of much better behavior and we have just experienced three full weeks with no rages (and we would have gone longer but the second stage of the diet you reintroduce healthy foods to see if your child reacts and our first food trial prompted an enormous reaction) Not only is she rage-free (and that would have been enough - you know?) but she is happy, easy and I am getting comments from her teacher and principal about how well she is doing in school (It felt so good and I realized it had never happened before :( ) The idea of the diet is hard, it means no eating out, looking up every brand you buy - until you get used to it, but it has been a dream come true for us.
    I don't think it will work for everyone, because I don't think every child has the same biochemical challenges behind their behavior - but given our results I have to encourage everyone to think about it. Interestingly, the science behind it is really just starting to become clear even though the diet has been around since the 70's. The research is supporting a deficient or overloaded phenol sulfotranferase enzyme system that can't process additives and phenols/salicylates. In addition to leaving toxins, the system is also involved in the production on neurotransmitters.
    I know how scary and hard it is...and how tired you are.
    I do wish you the best.
  19. Confused

    Confused Guest


    Good point! I just mentioned u ( well said another member) about bringing this diet up :) Congrats on her improvement!!!!! Im just starting out again the last couple weeks for the diet...
  20. givemesleep

    givemesleep New Member

    Thanks everyone for the kind words and encouragement. The psychiatrist increased his Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) to 300mg 2xday. As we all know it can take weeks before any improvements are seen. I spent most of the hour with the therapist while he was in the waiting room with his Dad. She is going to find a class for restraining him. We did talk about a possible hospitalization, I didn't feel like it would be helpful since the behavior is very "in the moment".

    If I could only use one word to describe how I'm feeling right now, I would say numb. Last night he got upset because I would not let the dog sleep in his room (he knows she is not allowed to sleep in his room). He went into his room and made a colorful drawing of a cemetery with my name and his dad's on tombstones and a picture of himself with a smile and a comment of, "Yes, their dead forever". I thought I got all the knives locked away. He found a collectible pocket knife and tried to lunge at me with it. Then he threw it at me. Numb, just numb.