4yo's Tantrums so bad I fear someone will call the police.. - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-14-2012, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to preface this by saying that my 4yoDD has been seen by a developmental ped, that was over a year ago.  At that point, an Asperger's diagnosis was too early to give, but he said it was probable.  He did say she has sensory issues and motor planning issues.  We've been on a waiting list for group playgroup therapy.  I'm waiting for our Medicaid to kick back in so we can go back to our doctor and ask for another referral.  

 

Right now, she is in her room for a time out.  She has been there for half an hour.  She's in there because she was getting physical with her 2yo sister (hitting, pushing, kicking) and I felt the need to protect my 2yo, who just wanted to play.  

 

Now I'm worried about how to protect my 4yo from herself- she's throwing herself all over the place, hitting things, throwing things, and screaming like no tomorrow.  She jumps and picks up her feet to land on her butt on the floor.. or her knees... point being, she's hurting herself, and she's being so loud I fear one of the neighbors will call the police.

 

I know that I can hear her from the basement- we're in an old 2-flat on the second floor, with very thick old walls.  And I can hear her thumping and screaming from down there.  Her screaming is normal freaking-out crying, but she lets out these high pitched screams frequently- If I was a neighbor, I'd think she was getting the heck beat out of her.

 

I'm so scared someone will call the police.  We live a lot of the "weird AP lifestyle choices" and I don't want to get into it with DCFS- I don't want my life intruded- I just want help for my DD.

 

I don't know what to do!  I don't yell, I'm calm, I talk to her about why she is in a time out, she doesn't get it.  She's flipping out. 

 

I've made posts about this in the past, but never in the Special Needs forum... now I'm really needing help.  Are there any other diagnosis options I should explore and think about and discuss with a developmental ped or her usual doctor?

 

Neither child has been there for well-kid checkups for over a year- I'm worried about getting a lashing, but I'm in need of help.

 

 

 

If anyone is interested in trying to figure her out, her other symptoms are  extreme social anxiety, motor planning issues, and sensory issues (aversions).  


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Old 01-14-2012, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hasn't anyone been through this?  I feel so lost.


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Old 01-14-2012, 01:34 PM
 
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Hugs, first of all. I have not had to worry about someone siccing CPS on me in my own home, but have had the horrible embarassment of having my child emit these high pitched screams that you are talking about in public, and seemingly forever. Four was the worst age for us, it's getting better (so far ASD has not been confirmed for us, but wasn't completely ruled out at the time, and our child is definitely explosive, still occasionally violent, with sensory issues).

 

i am sure you have done so now, but I'd stop timeouts if they make both your child and yourself freak out, for different reasons. What's the point? They are not teaching her anything, and you can protect your little one by separating them physically in the same room. I think I'd rather yell, or take something away for violence, and reward self-regulation. For a time, we have needed to resort to very un-AP rewards and punishments, simply because nothing worked, and this did, and DS needed to stop hurting himself and others (he wasn't physically hurting himself, but getting in trouble in preschool more and more frequently, and in danger of acquiring a reputation as "that child".)

I am sure moms of children with confirmed ASD have more tips and strategies to offer.


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Old 01-14-2012, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks- there really is no physically separating them- she's in her rage when I put her in her room.  I'm sure it gets worse because she's confined, but I'd rather have her exploding by herself in her room than exploding out here where she physically attacks myself and her sister :(  It's easier when my husband is here- but when it's me by myself I can't really separate them.

 

I do agree- I would like to find another solution that works- I would like to award her for self control- she does have self control issues, moreso than a child her age would have.  It's like she can NOT stop herself from hitting- I don't know if she lacks the desire to, or lacks the self control, or both...

It's like normal 4yo stuff times a million.  She has the usual whiny "I'm not getting my way so I'll fling myself to the floor and act like the world might end" tantrums, and then she has the fits of roaring violent rage tantrums.

I'm okay with the first of the two- but once she gets violent, that's when she gets put in her room.  And I hate to have to do that.. but I don't know what else to do.


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Old 01-15-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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I'd put the two year old in her crib or playpen, and restrain the 4 year old.

 

When DS1 was this age, he had tantrums. If he hit, he had to go to his room. Sometimes, this turned into a bigger fit where he kicked the walls and the doors and threw things in the floor.  We restrained him when he did this. 

 

I would sit in the floor with him between my legs, facing out. I put my legs over his legs and my arms around his arms. If he headbutted, I'd put my hand on his head and put it against my shoulder. I'd talk to him calmly and tell him that if he could not control himself, I would control him, because he was going to hurt himself or break something. I'd sing to him sometimes.  I'd periodically ask if he was done. When he said "Yes, I'm done," I would let him go.  We would then have a calm talk about why the time out happened.  When he did a time out without tantrumming, we praised him and rewarded him. When he solved a problem without hitting or losing his temper, we praised him and rewarded him. We worked very hard to see what the triggers were and teach behaviors to head it off. We handled it the same way every time. He knew that a tantrum would result in a hold every time. 

 

He eventually outgrew the tantrums. It took about 18 months of the restraint thing and he quit doing that.

 

And yes, someone threatened to call the police re. his tantrums. He launched into one at our YMCA and his father sat down on the floor with him. An employee told us to leave or she would call the police and CPS.  I love ignorant people. They make my life so much better. /sarcasm

 

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Old 01-15-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post

 

 

When DS1 was this age, he had tantrums. If he hit, he had to go to his room. Sometimes, this turned into a bigger fit where he kicked the walls and the doors and threw things in the floor.  We restrained him when he did this. 

 

I would sit in the floor with him between my legs, facing out. I put my legs over his legs and my arms around his arms. If he headbutted, I'd put my hand on his head and put it against my shoulder. I'd talk to him calmly and tell him that if he could not control himself, I would control him, because he was going to hurt himself or break something. I'd sing to him sometimes.  I'd periodically ask if he was done. When he said "Yes, I'm done," I would let him go.  We would then have a calm talk about why the time out happened.  When he did a time out without tantrumming, we praised him and rewarded him. When he solved a problem without hitting or losing his temper, we praised him and rewarded him. We worked very hard to see what the triggers were and teach behaviors to head it off. We handled it the same way every time. He knew that a tantrum would result in a hold every time. 

 

He eventually outgrew the tantrums. It took about 18 months of the restraint thing and he quit doing that.

 

 

 

THis is what we did for our DD as well (PDD-NOS). She actually calmed with mild restraint....I think it was comforting for her to know we would help her not to hurt herself & that we were in control and would help her until she got hersefl under control.

 

DD did not ever get violent with us or her sister, but would bang her head or bite her wrist. It was more sensory overload meltdowns at times and the resulting tantrum.

 

I have not dealt with anger related ones-just sensory overload.

 

Have you tried a weighted blanket-- DD finds one VERY soothing. Also a specific place to calm down (in DDs case a large open topped box or laundry basket). Now at 6, she will ask or take her self into a small space of some sort to calm down or ask for a squeeze or her heavy blanket.

 

It is tough. Maybe a trip to the develpmental ped again may be in order now that a year has passed?? Local schools may also be a good resource now that your DD is 4---- we got a GREAT Occupational Therapist through the schools (free) to work on sensory play and a sensory diet for DD. She also did listening therapy to help with audio sensitivities. It was great. DD also participated in a play group and 'at risk' preschool.
 

 

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Old 01-15-2012, 10:52 PM
 
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Best thing we've found that helps our DD is a resistance tunnel. It's long and has different fabrics that she crawls through. Often when she's worked up she just stops in the middle and wraps herself up in it got get the full body feeling of being squeezed. She likes that better than us restraining her. She needs to be in control of that. After consulting with her OT, we started a sensory diet for her and it's really helped a lot with her ability to self-regulate.

http://www.sensoryuniversity.com/RESISTANCE-TUNNEL-RESISTANCE-TUNNEL.htm?categoryId=-1

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Old 01-15-2012, 11:03 PM
 
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My 6 yo dd doesn't have an ASD diagnosis but she has quite the temper and was hard to manage when she was younger. She would get into such a rage that would go on for long periods of time. What I found that really worked to calm her down was to hold her and rock her in the rocking chair. It worked wonders!

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Old 01-16-2012, 05:55 AM
 
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Sounds like my son's rages.  His wonderful teacher noticed that he didn't have them all the time and they seemed to be right after he would eat something.  His developmental pediatrician had recommended the Feingold Diet so we decided to stop the food dyes first and see what happened.  Magic.  Pure, unadulterated magic.  No more rages.  Gone.  He still has melt downs but now they are "normal" 6 year old "I'm not getting my way" meltdowns.  

 

Also, you need to start an ABC chart.  It's the only way to get a handle on behavior.

 

A = antecedent - what preceded the behavior (maybe it's sensory related - my son doesn't handle overload well).

B = behavior - what behavior was exhibited

C = consequence - what consequence did you issue and what were the results.

 

By keeping this chart, you will hopefully see a pattern and be able to avoid situations that set your daughter off.  So... using my son as an example.  He'd have melt downs after going to an indoor play area in the day care he attended.  He'd cry, become anti social and would sensory seek up a storm.  His teacher at the time realized that the play area was putting him into meltdowns.  He wasn't the only one in the class who didn't handle this area well so every time they were scheduled to play there, the aids would take most of the kids and a few would stay behind for some special Miss J time.  She had games she only took out during this period.  My son and his friends were all happy and no meltdowns.

 

It's all about setting your child up for success.  Figure out what works and what doesn't.


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Old 01-16-2012, 12:15 PM
 
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Sounds like my son's rages.  His wonderful teacher noticed that he didn't have them all the time and they seemed to be right after he would eat something.  His developmental pediatrician had recommended the Feingold Diet so we decided to stop the food dyes first and see what happened.  Magic.  Pure, unadulterated magic.  No more rages.  Gone.  He still has melt downs but now they are "normal" 6 year old "I'm not getting my way" meltdowns.  

 

Also, you need to start an ABC chart.  It's the only way to get a handle on behavior.

 

A = antecedent - what preceded the behavior (maybe it's sensory related - my son doesn't handle overload well).

B = behavior - what behavior was exhibited

C = consequence - what consequence did you issue and what were the results.

 

By keeping this chart, you will hopefully see a pattern and be able to avoid situations that set your daughter off.  So... using my son as an example.  He'd have melt downs after going to an indoor play area in the day care he attended.  He'd cry, become anti social and would sensory seek up a storm.  His teacher at the time realized that the play area was putting him into meltdowns.  He wasn't the only one in the class who didn't handle this area well so every time they were scheduled to play there, the aids would take most of the kids and a few would stay behind for some special Miss J time.  She had games she only took out during this period.  My son and his friends were all happy and no meltdowns.

 

It's all about setting your child up for success.  Figure out what works and what doesn't.


This is a great suggestion. DS1 improved greatly when we started identifying the problems and teaching him tools to resolve his problems without tantrums. He didn't want to be bad. He just could solve his problem(s) and was frustrated.

 

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Old 01-16-2012, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really like all of the suggestions, thank you guys so much.

 

I tried the holding her (sitting cross legged) and the headbutting was a little hard to handle without letting go of her arms, and it worked until she started screaming at the top of her lungs "MAMA YOU ARE HURTING ME!".  I reassessed and wasn't putting a ton of pressure on her, she was just fighting me.  So it's either she hurts herself thrashing around or someone thinks I'm hurting her because she's vocalizing it.  The buildings on either side of us are six feet away.  The one on the side where her room is is currently unoccupied, thankfully.  Still, I wonder what the other neighbors think- surely they can hear something.  I know that I can hear their music/tv when it's too loud!

 

So I'll work on it- I told her she had to calm down, relax, and control herself, and she flipped and said she will not control herself.  

Aside from the physical stuff- her thrashing and physical outbursts- what can I do about the screaming?  It can't be good for her, either.  I fear she's under an immense amount of stress because she somehow can't communicate or something- it's not verbal yelling- just the screaming, and whining "Mama, mama".  If I go in her room though, she'll attack me and demand I leave.  I feel so terrible- I tried to make our day as peaceful as could be and she's still having trouble.  I try to make our days predictable... I try to keep up a routine.  It's not working...

I wish our medicaid would kick in already... I need advice from someone who can make a diagnosis and maybe get her some therapy.  She has control issues and I think group therapy would be most helpful- she seems to need to control every situation- her sister is not free to play how she wants- if she pretends a block is a cell phone, DD1 will flip out at her and yell at her because she wants it to be a slice of pie... and then it turns physical, and... I'm just not sure what to do anymore.  Aren't these sibling squabbles supposed to end with me separating them at the most?  Explaining about imaginations?  Something?  But it just doesn't work.. it just doesn't.


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Old 01-18-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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I wish our medicaid would kick in already... I need advice from someone who can make a diagnosis and maybe get her some therapy.

 

You should contact your local school district and ask about Early Intervention. You shouldn't have to wait for anything to kick in. Your school district should have services for preschool age kids who need assessment for ASD and services for ASD.

 

I tried the holding her (sitting cross legged) and the headbutting was a little hard to handle without letting go of her arms, and it worked until she started screaming at the top of her lungs "MAMA YOU ARE HURTING ME!".  I reassessed and wasn't putting a ton of pressure on her, she was just fighting me. 

 

I put one arm around the waist and hold the arms down and one arm on the forehead. Head butting can end up with a parent with broken nose.

 

So it's either she hurts herself thrashing around or someone thinks I'm hurting her because she's vocalizing it.

 

To me, it's more important to protect  and teach my child than to worry about what people think. See previous story about the Y. 

 

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:28 PM
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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Sorry to forum crash. I saw this in new posts. Am I correct in remembering that your daughter is gluten intolerant/ borderline celiac? If so, could she have other food sensitivities or could she be getting small amounts of gluten somewhere? I don't know about all the other stuff but I know my son can have terrible tantrums if he has some gluten by mistake. I'm sure that's not the whole picture but I thought it was worth mentioning. If I'm thinking of the wrong person then you might like to consider food sensitivities. Again, not saying that's the whole picture but they can often go hand in hand with ASD. Good luck. 

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Old 01-18-2012, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Boot- Yep, you're remembering us correctly, but the food stuff was ruled out. 

 

And about the school thing, we are planning on homeschooling but it is something to consider.


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Old 01-18-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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How does she respond to deep pressure? Do you think making her something like a weighted vest may help? Have you tried putting her on probiotics/magnesium supplements? What are her sensory issues? We see a OT regularly for DD's hypotonia, auditory/tactile sensory avoidance, all of these are in line with her dx of High Functioning Aspergers.... but I may be able to give you some suggestions of things that have worked for us.


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Old 01-18-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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Quote:
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And about the school thing, we are planning on homeschooling but it is something to consider.



I know several homeschooling families who still use services through the preschool intervention program like speech and OT.  At least for now, my son receives in office services and isn't in a classroom.  If nothing else, the evaluation process might prove very useful for you.  They aren't going to make you do anything you don't want to do. You could get the eval and decline services if you wanted.  I'm not trying to be pushy smile.gif, but I've just found the program to be incredibly helpful...and it's free! 

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Old 01-18-2012, 07:16 PM
 
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Forum crashing, sorry, but I just wanted to say that if it really bothers you about the neighbors, perhaps you could take a little preventative action on that front. If you feel comfortable doing it, maybe you could contact your neighbors to let them know a little of what your family is going through. Type up a basic handout that talks about sensory disorders (in general) and explains some of that behavior they may see or hear. Bring it to the people on each side of you and tell them that you know they must hear your DD tantruming sometimes, so you just wanted to let them know what's going on. Make sure to mention that you've already been taking her to specialists and are still learning how to deal with these challenges. I know that as a neighbor, if I heard your DD screaming like that I might consider calling the police, but if I knew what was going on and the parents had told me what was going on, I would feel far more sympathetic. Instead of approaching it from the thought "I don't want them to call CPS" maybe let them know you are concerned that DD making so much noise when she's upset might be disturbing them, so you want to reassure them you're trying to make the situation better for everyone.

Then save the pamphlet. I don't know how a neighbor could call after you explain all that to them, but if CPS were to ever show up, you would have the pamphlet to show them and proof that you really did try to explain it to the neighbors, knowing they might not understand your DD's behavior. You sound very anxious about someone calling, and sometimes taking action can help relieve some of our anxiety. You have enough to handle, without that kind of fear. Best of luck. smile.gif
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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Spring Lily: While the pamphlet may be a good idea I'm not sure if it would matter at all to CPS, especially if the child does not have a diagnosis.


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Old 01-19-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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Well it's not going to be proof of anything to CPS, but it would show them that she is indeed trying to do her best and is aware of the special needs.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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You definitely want to do whatever it takes to get some occupational therapy. I'd also take her to the dev ped AND the ped and discuss your concerns about her behavior. If it does come down to a CPS investigation (and sadly, it does more often than you might think), you want to be on record with as many professionals as possible as the first person to bring it up. Not to scare you, and it probably won't happen, but my son's service providers have saved my butt a couple of times. 

 

If your daughter has a diagnosable condition (ASD, MI, some other developmental/social/emotional something), then traditional discipline methods won't work, which may be what you're bumping up against right now. For my three eldest children (all NT), I let them have their tantrums. With my youngest (definitely NOT NT), I couldn't do that because he actually hurt himself. Sibling conflict in that case is more about your older daughter's inability to process stimuli appropriately than about just being bugged by her sister. 


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Old 01-19-2012, 03:03 PM
 
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Even if you are home schooling, you are eligible for therapeutic services through your school district.

 

It's not either/or. You can do both.

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Old 01-21-2012, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for the support and ideas.  I wanted to check in and say that I've been using massage with her before bed and it's strange- she's almost a different kid.  Sure she still has her blowups- but they aren't several times a day.  I'm still going to contact someone from the schools and see what they think.  I've already addressed the situation with the downstairs neighbor, so that's good.  

 

My husband is another story- he really doesn't understand it all.  He's never witnessed a non-NT kid be this way- he just doesn't know what to do.  He's having a hard time struggling.. I think taking her to a specialist with him present could be beneficial to them both.  I think he's been a bit in denial, but right now the poop is hitting the fan and I think it's becoming more apparent to him that something is up with DD.  

 

Anyone have any advice as far as her control/always be "right" issues go?  She always confronts me about whatever her sister is doing/not doing "Mama, Moo isn't letting me make a tent.  Mama, moo says I'm 2.  Mama, Moo wants to use the block as a phone but it's my piece of pie. Mama, Moo says your keys are daddys keys but they're not"  And this isn't calm- it's her on the verge of hyperventilating.  I'm not sure about how to address that.


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Old 01-22-2012, 08:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
My husband is another story- he really doesn't understand it all.  He's never witnessed a non-NT kid be this way- he just doesn't know what to do.  He's having a hard time struggling.. I think taking her to a specialist with him present could be beneficial to them both.  I think he's been a bit in denial, but right now the poop is hitting the fan and I think it's becoming more apparent to him that something is up with DD.  

 

Dads usually take longer to come around. It can be really helpful if a provider says they understand your concerns, in front of dad.

Quote:

Anyone have any advice as far as her control/always be "right" issues go?  She always confronts me about whatever her sister is doing/not doing "Mama, Moo isn't letting me make a tent.  Mama, moo says I'm 2.  Mama, Moo wants to use the block as a phone but it's my piece of pie. Mama, Moo says your keys are daddys keys but they're not"  And this isn't calm- it's her on the verge of hyperventilating.  I'm not sure about how to address that.

 

With ds I would say "would you come sit with me a minute" and/or "can I give you a hug" and say that dd was still little and didn't know as much as he did/doesn't know how to share like he does/doesn't understand that breaking the tent makes him sad/can you find her another block to be her phone? 2 & 4 was a really difficult age spread; that didn't often resolve things but it might calm ds down for a little while--ds' 4th year has been the most difficult so far.

 

When dd was 3 it was a little better better because she was more willing to play ds' way, though she would sometimes tease/provoke ds duh.gif. It's gotten better as they've gotten older and now at 7.5 and 5.5 they play for an hour in the morning (on the weekends) before we get up without fighting. Though ds' had a really difficult year in Kindergarten behaviorally, he did absorb some things about getting along with others.

 

Has your 4yo been evaluated by your school district? I think it was mentioned upthread that homeschooling shouldn't prevent her from receiving services, though you could also have her in school for pre-k and/or K and later homeschool grade school. Though this past summer was good for ds in regards to his behavior, previously he did not do well without the structure of school. He really appreciates having a schedule (he actually needed [still does] to have a copy of the schedule posted for him and any schedule changes need to be explained to him in advance), and the school rules. And when there are people at school who work well with your child it can be nice to have the support smile.gif.

 

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Old 01-23-2012, 08:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post


 

 

If anyone is interested in trying to figure her out, her other symptoms are  extreme social anxiety, motor planning issues, and sensory issues (aversions).  


 

This sound familiar?

 

"I thought I might write a little something about children here, for all you parents who are wondering what the pyrrole symptoms are like in kids.
Kids are really not little adults in this case, and the symptoms depend on their age.
Infants of less than 6 months can present as refluxy babies, highly irritable babies and babies with extreme food sensitivities (reacting to mum's diet through the breast milk). They often have dry, almost scratchy skin.
Babies around the 12 month mark present with no interest in food - or very very inflexible with food range. They can be smaller than expected - very fine, delicate children, often resembling a "china doll". Sleep can be a real big problem.
Once they hit toddler age - you may be experiencing the HELL that is a Pyrole tantrum. It may not take much to set them off, and once the tantrum is up and running it seems to go on forever. It is about this time that eczema kicks in, gut problems and food intolerance's are a big issue."

 

If it rings a bell check out the Pyroluria group on Facebook, soooo easy to treat and you get a brand new kid any where from a few days to a few weeks but its hell until you figure it out and get it dx'd.

 

 


Seriously?
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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Hijacking, but that sounds like my DD1, that was her as a baby/toddler. She is 9 now, better but she still has her days. This morning she spend 30 minutes before school this morning, outside, in a snowbank wearing nothing but her school dress, screaming her head off at 7am. I would not be surprised if a neighbor reported us for throwing a kid outside. OMG that child. I am completely wiped out all before the day ever began. I will have to check that out. 


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