My child completely lacks all impulse control
I hear ya. My little guy is 8 and he has always been hands-on. All. The. Time. Hands on when he's happy, hands on when he's mad, hands on when he's feeling lovey and affectionate, hands on when he's feeling silly. Even just now, he went to express affection and squished his face into my breast. This is ongoing. I don't believe he can stop himself...or should I say it is VERY hard. But he's making progress. Like today when my husband and I were lying atop the bed just chatting about events of the day and our son was climbing on us, making a racket, jumping around, and we had to speak to him about 3 or 4 times JUST to be able to hear ourselves! We finally did kick him out of the room, but before that happened, he did say (as he bounced around) See Daddy? I just restrained myself then...I wanted to tickle your feet but didn't. So we get restraint about 10% of the time. But that's up from zero, you know?
We are also homeschoolers. Thank goodness. If he were in a regular school he'd be diagnosed and medicated by now. No thanks!
Peter Gray has some interesting things to say about boys, ADHD and school in this interview which is in a local paper's web site:
Anyway, the point of all this is to say I hear you and hang in there. It's hard to express acceptance of them as people while still treating this as a behavior issue. Maybe it is for you, I don't know, but with us I really have come to believe that my son doesn't have it in him to hold back right now. It's improving and I am very optimistic. Some kids just take longer. Best of luck!
I am positive there is something funky about him...maybe even something that could possibly be diagnosed. I am not interested in diagnosing him with anything and I want to home school him (which the idea of being with him all the time terrifies me, but I really feel that I have to)I don't know what to do.
Why don't you want to get a diagnosis? Why would you deny him services? If you don't diagnose him then society will. But I'd rather a child be diagnosed with ADHD (or whatever) and get the appropriate treatment then get the societal diagnosis of 'brat' or whatever. Don't sell your son short! There is a lot of help available and really it pains me when parents refuse to get it for their children. How can he thrive without the right support?
Hey, can you explain this more to me? I read a little online and it looks like it is just avoiding dyes and artificial additives. We already do that. Is there anything else to avoid in this diet?
Your son sounds VERY similar to mine. Like you, we are homeschooling him--for many reasons, but a major reason is that we think he will have a rough time in school, socially as well as in interactions with teachers. And also like you, he has a younger sister who is often the target of his, um, attention. :-) For a long time, we suspected ADD since it runs in DH's family. But it turns out he has sensory processing delays, which manifest in sensory-seeking behavior (the pushing, pulling, always touching stuff and/or people behavior) and visual processing difficulties. He has good muscle-tone, but low core stability/strength so he literally CAN'T sit still.
We haven't made a ton of changes (his diet was already very clean) except taking him to weekly occupational therapy sessions, and being aware of his high need for sensory input. It does help to know that a) it's not just our imagination, or parenting style; and b) it's not because he's a "bad" kid. His therapist described it this way: if each child has a cup to be filled with sensory input, some kids have a cup that's already quite full and if you add too much they will be overwhelmed and have a meltdown. Some kids' cups can hold a reasonable amount of input so they can function well in most situations. And some kids, like my DS, have a hole in their cup. No matter how much sensory input you add, it will never be enough for my DS, because he's not processing it properly.
I don't know if any of this is ringing home for you, but I thought I'd put it out there. Our home life is much less stressful since we've discovered what his needs truly are and how we can help him meet them without hurting himself or others.
I don't know all the specifics of the Feingold diet--we didn't look into it very far since our family already doesn't eat processed or artificial ingredients, but I can tell you that our DS gets a double or triple (depending on how the previous day went) dose of Nordic Naturals Children's DHA each morning, and when we skip it, the day is generally much harder.
it made such a HUGE difference in Nathan. Dyes and some artificial flavors trigger ADHD type behaviors in Nathan. Its like you give him a super stimulant and he COULDNT be good impulse control was NON existant.
Its has a 2 week induction period with a super strict diet. Lots of fruits are limited the first 2 weeks ( like oranges ) all artifical dyes and preservatives and things like vanillin ( fake vaanilla flavor). I do suggest you go ahead and buy the feingold package comes with the books and shopping guide. I LIVED by that guide for 6 months after than I kind of new what to buy and we went majorly organic in our diet esp the boys. Its crazy how many things have dyes. liquid antibiotics drive me NUTS they are all PINK ... WHY???
I saw a difference in about a 4 or 5 days. But it took a while to unlearn some behaviors. His preschool teacher commented after a week. 3 weeks into our diet she asked me what happened the previous day. I told her he had some snapple by accident she said she hadnt seen his behavior change ( for the worse) since we started. It took about 48hrs to "detox" him.
I would give it a try before doing anything "medical"
We have learned what Nathan can have he still will get very hyper with oranges/ juice.
What do you do when something is this constant, no form of discipline works, you feel angry and stressed ALL THE TIME (very unhealthy) and you feel it is hard to enjoy the kid>>>>>
If you are feeling angry and stressed all the time I suggest you work on that. Make sure you are well rested, eat well, exercise, etc and perhaps even talk to a counselor/therapist if necessary. Only when you are taken care of can you properly focus on your son. What do you mean by no discipline works? Are you talking about punishments and consequences?
I agree with the sensory idea. Don't know much about the Feingold diet but it's on my list of things to research. The fact that your son can sit still and be engrossed in something kinda rules out ADD/ADHD in my mind (I could be wrong...). If you are opposed to occupational therapy (which worked WONDERS for my 5 yo and consequently the whole family), I'd suggest giving him lots of tactile experiences. A bucket of sand with little toys in it that he could fish around for, bucket of water with some cups and pouring containers, fabrics and other objects all with different textures mounted to a board, massage, bear hugs, pillow fights, dog pile with couch cushions, etc. There are lots of online resources for tactile sensory ideas. Try it for a week or two and see what you notice.
With my son, we tried and tried to get him to STOP hitting things with sticks, jumping on things, crashing into people and objects, to be more careful so he didn't fall ALL THE TIME. Nothing worked. When we stumbled upon sensory processing stuff, we learned that he NEEDED those things to feel regulated and we just had to provide appropriate outlets for him. Then his behavior got much better and I stopped feeling like a crazy person and I started enjoying my son again.
My ds isn't like this, but I can see how it could have gotten to this point without a better understanding of sensory stuff. He will, still, run across the room and throw himself into the wall if he is feeling "off". (Like, if there is a lot of business around him and we've not done a good job of explaining what's going on to him).
When he starts doing some more minor things, we take it as our cue to really rough him up. He needs to play hit daddy in the arm back and forth, be rolled across the floor, be "sandwiched" in the couch cushions, etc. He needs that hard physical contact.
Before we got that worked out, it seemed like I just couldn't get him to consistently do anything. Mostly...to stop screaming. Afterwards? Totally night and day.
(He had issues with wheat until he was 2.5 or so, and he still seems to have effects if he has too much processed anything, including wheat.)
Have you tried the GFCF diet? Eliminating gluten made a huge difference with dd's(6) sensory issues, and switching to raw dairy has helped her bm wise quite a bit. We're homeschoolers as well, and I totally understand the not wanting to get diagnosed issue, but have you considered a private evaluation? We're getting one for dd and will keep the papers on hand at all times, you know for those "just in case moments" like if CPS shows up, or really bad test scores(we're in a state where we must to the yearly testing/evals). We're finding almost no-one that will do a private eval. and accept insurance so we have to pay out of pocket, but we hope it will be worth it.