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Old 06-19-2007, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel completely defeated by ds2 and I'm not sure where to go to get help

and I thought you wise mamas might be able to nudge me in the right direction.

He is 4 years old. I've spent a lot of time around 4 year olds--in care settings and one on one--and while I would hesitate to say there is anything normal about a 4 year old ds2 is definitely not what most would say is normal-ish.

We spend every minute of our days working around him--just trying to get through the day.
Every interaction with him is an encounter.

Every day is just survival with him
I know kids have to test limits--but he doesn't test them, he makes life hell for everyone else in the family.
Everyone.
and it just isn't fair to the other kids
and I am just so overwhelmed by it
I don't know what to do or where to start....
or how to even talk to anyone about it.

Everyone else just says oh he's just being 2...3...4...

No....he was born like this.
It isn't changing, it is just getting worse now that he is 50 lbs and can do some serious damage to us.

Every toy that enters the house...we have to ask first--do i want to get hit with that?

Everything we do in the house, to make it more livable for the rest of us, we have to question--is it worth the turmoil it will cause when ds2 undoes it?

We walk around on eggshells
and I'm too stressed with work, school, ds1 and ds3 to keep tiptoeing

I have way too many moments right now thinking about how our quality of life would be if ds2 were just....normal.

help? Where do I start?

We don't even have a ped. since we just moved

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:08 PM
 
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Do you have any idea whether your son has a diagnosable condition (ie autism spectrum or ADHD or ODD) Often those of us with spectrum kids for example walk on egg shells so to speak to avoid melt downs when things don't happen as the child expected/needed--not saying your kiddo is spectrum based on what you describe--just that in some of these things once you know what you are dealing with you can have interventions that make things more manageable. So it isn't (to me) the label that matters but rather the information this gives you to be able to help your child and family.

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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Has he been diagnosed with anything? When did these behavioral problems begin. I wanted to offer you (((HUGS))). I know partially how you are feeling. I have a 4 yr old, too, that I have to plan my day around and it is very hard with 2 other kids in the house. I hope someone has some suggestions for you.
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:30 PM
 
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You sound like me before we really figured out our ds.

I echo what the others have said. Has he been diagnosed with anything? Do you think there may be something he should be diagnosed with?

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unreal View Post

We walk around on eggshells
and I'm too stressed with work, school, ds1 and ds3 to keep tiptoeing

I have way too many moments right now thinking about how our quality of life would be if ds2 were just....normal.

help? Where do I start?

We don't even have a ped. since we just moved
As I was reading I kept thinking that it sounded so familiar. The intensity of it, the never letting up, the fact that EVERYTHING is an issue. Then I got to the part about "Walking on Eggshells" and it sent shivers up my spine.

See, my ex husband is like that. He's in his late 30s and is still like this. He is diagnosed with a very serious personality disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder. It's so difficult to deal with that very few doctors will touch it.

My Doctor tells me that children should never be diagnosed with personality disorders. But my reading says that some of these disorders are organic and do show themselves from early on, but 4 seems awfully young. Often I know these things develop after puberty.

Still, the book I was thinking to recommend for you is called "Stop Walking On Eggshells" hence the shivers. It's for the person dealing with a Borderline person in their lives. It's an easy read. Even if this isn't your son's problem, it did have a lot of good advice for dealing with very intense unfair situations.

HUGS, HUGS and more HUGS!
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's never been diagnosed--or even evaluated for anything other than lead...

He did come up with high lead, arsenic, antimony, and thallium on the hair analysis...and he's been taking his chleating stuff, which has amazingly helped some
but good grief...I would just love to know that there *is* a reason we can't live like normal people.

He's been like this since birth. I kid you not.
He was MISERABLE from food issues--and cutting those from my diet helped, but that is when we started the tiptoeing
We call him Jekyll and Hyde--he goes from almost normal to trying to hurt you (seriously--not just a "I'm mad at you" fit, but actively trying to hurt you) in the drop of a hat.

I know he *can* process limits--when his life is in danger he listens to things like STOP! You know...in that OMG BABY! mama voice

but that is about the only time he won't turn, look at you, and turn back around to keep doing what he was about to do.

He is also the only kiddo, of the 3, who won't let you touch him when he is hurt. Won't let you look at him or anything.

Rescue remedy helps--more than anything else we've tried.
But you have to catch him before he freaks out--which goes back to that whole Jekyll/Hyde thing.

Essential oils don't seem to do much..

I haven't tried the stuff our homeopath recommended yet--it is for people with the urge to kill everyone, since he regularly goes around saying he wants to kill everyone--everyone in the whole world.

Nice, eh?

I swear I didn't drop him on his head.
I did whack his head getting him into the car a few times
but I did that to ds1 too and he's not like this

I know each kid is unique...I really do...but... can't he be a little less unique?

I don't know where to start looking at things....
He doesn't seem to fit anything I've looked at so far.

DS1 has obvious sensory integration issues...ds2 doesn't seem to have anything like that--no textile, auditory, motor, etc things

There is the food issue--we are already dairy, soy, and corn free.
We had VEGA testing done on him and he came back fine for gluten....
and I don't know what we would eat if we had to cut gluten--we are vegetarian and seitan is a huge source of our protein.

The only times he gets sick, which is about once a year, maybe?, he gets a REALLY high fever for one day and then is fine the next. The other kids have lower fevers for a few days, etc.

He's not vax'd....
but I think my insane diet change when he was itty bitty--going veggie, and dropping soy and dairy, and losing about 50 lbs must have been a big detox for my body, and I imagine he got a lot of crappy stuff via mamamilk...

Of everything I've read, Oppositional Defiance Disorder seems like the best description of life with ds2
but that just seems like a cover up diagnosis of other things
Like calling all wheezing asthma.
Great--treat the wheezing, but lets find out what causes it in the first place.
I'm all for finding a way to get through the now with ds2...but I need to know how to get him through the rest of his life, kwim?

*sigh*

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Old 06-19-2007, 08:37 PM
 
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If you're thinking ODD, then you need to find a good pediatrician/FCP who will advocate for you with the specialists your son needs. That's your first step. Have you started looking for one in your new area yet?

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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I'd suggest getting him seen by a developmental pediatrician. At least you'd have somehting to go by. You'd know why, you'd have ideas on where to go so you could figure out how to deal, how to help him, how to help yourselves.

My cousin is dx'd Asperger's and when he was young it was also Pervasive Thought disorder (I think?) and a variety of other things. When he was 9 his mom finally put him on meds because it just got way too difficult. (Threatening the lives of family members type of thing.) He even spent a short time in the State Psychiatric Facility for kids. His medication was discontinued after a few years and he's been fine ever since. It seemed to help get him over the hump, I guess. He's now 17 yrs old and doing GREAT. But he was very very difficult to deal with when he was small. I can't imagine how hard his mom must have had it living with him.

I strongly recommend getting a diagnosis as soon as you can because the sooner you know the sooner you can get help.

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Old 06-19-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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Two books that might help just a bit are:

The Explosive Child (forget the author)

and

The Difficult Child* by Turecki

We do not have a diagnosis for my dd, but I post here because I think we are going to see a developmental ped for her. She is very.... difficult. For her, I think it is largely personality/temperament, but also that she may have some sensory issues, and I have thought before about the possibility of her being somewhere on the spectrum (Asperger's maybe?). We are in the process of getting an appointment with a developmental ped.





* I am aware that using words with obvious negative connotations, like "difficult," can be counterproductive, but this book is really good.

Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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Old 06-19-2007, 10:16 PM
 
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I'd look into a developmental pediatrician as well. The wait may be incredibly long, but they really know their stuff when it comes to diagnosing.

Also, look on the Floortime site http://floortime.org and see if there is anyone close to you who does assessments from that viewpoint. I know there's someone in Rochester but I bet that's a hike, huh?
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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Of everything I've read, Oppositional Defiance Disorder seems like the best description of life with ds2
but that just seems like a cover up diagnosis of other things
Like calling all wheezing asthma.
*sigh*
ODD can morph into a lot of more serious things in adulthood. It's very common for people with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) to have been ODD as a child. With BPD there is a very large organic component. It's something they are born with. There are other things like that. The sooner you get treatment the better the chances are for your family and yourself. At least that's what I believe.

ODD is kinda like Asthema in that lots of things can cause it, and it can be a part of other disorders. I have allergies that bring on asthema. When my allergies aren't tripped I don't have asthema. Some people have it all the time and it's caused by something totally different.

I wonder if the lead did something to him.

Hugs!

Kiley
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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I think the common thread for all of us is that we felt just like you before we knew what was wrong with our DS or DD. Keep in mind that your DS cannot control the dangerous/impulsive actions and this is the area that you need to get him help with. Do you have a center like a Children's Hospital that has a neurodevelopmentalist or developmental pediatriican near you. The centers are great because they also have psychologist, occupational therapists, sensory and auditory testing.. You can even call your health insurance and just ask them what neurodevelopmentalists are in your area and are any located in a center with other professionals.

I agree with an above mom that you want to see a pediatirician or even a child psychologist if you cannot get into a developmentalist right away. Also, if any of your children or relatives are in school or pre-school, ask for help from the directors/principals on how to get intervention started. There is intervention for kids at age 3 and they do alot of the testing for you.

Call as many professionals in you area that you have to. Call your State Department for information on Early intervention for special needs.

It will get better!

Marie
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:14 AM
 
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I would like to hit on one point. I would try to cut out the gluten. We are vegetarian and it is not the easiest but we did it for 2 years. We are back at it again with ds1. It really can cause behavior problems to have an unresolved allergies.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:17 AM
 
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I also suggest a developmental pediatrician. It sucks to have to search a new specialist out just when you've moved, but it sounds like the stress of this move is affecting your son in a lot of ways.

Is there any chance that your son is sensory seeking? Some sensory seeking kids are 'explosive' too because they don't feel things right away and then when they do, it surprises the heck out of them. Sort of like biting into a chocolate you thought had a nut in it and finding out instead that it has cherry liquor.

The Explosive Child and Parenting the Explosive Child - these books have been a lifesaver for a friend of mine who has a child with sensory issues, severe ADHD and borderline bipolar (quite a combo, let me tell you!)

Another book I like is called "The Challenging Child" - there's a chapter in there about defiant children that's good. It's by the same doctor who's done a lot of work with Floortime.

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Old 06-20-2007, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Rochester is 3+ hours :-/

The closest developmental pediatrician on our insurance is over an hour....

but--I'm can't believe we wouldn't be able to find someone here that would be able to help.

I just don't even know what to say

How do you say Help Me Fix My Child, when he looks just fine?

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If we were to cut gluten......
I don't know what we would eat.
Seriously

And, unfortunately, the move has actually helped some, I think. He is getting a lot more outside time and is doing a lot more positive things...but when he is at home.....

Quote:
Keep in mind that your DS cannot control the dangerous/impulsive actions and this is the area that you need to get him help with.
lately it is all I can do to not set up antennas on the roof and pray the mothership will come back and take him away

I know this is placing blame on him, for something that isn't his fault, and I know how unfair that is, but his behavior is turning everyone in the house toxic.
We try to find ways to be away from him, instead of doing thing with him.
Because Every Single Time you try to do something fun with him, give him some positive attention, it gets turned around


I know--believe me, the mama guilt over that is overwhelming
and it sure isn't going to help the situation

Like I said though, he has been like this since birth.
He used to spend at least 4 hours a day in the tub or pool or sink....water was the only thing that would calm him down.

I long to homeschool him...he is SO creative and loves to DO stuff
but I can't fathom it right now...boarding school sounds like a much better options

And this week has been pretty good so far! Bad weeks I can't even make it over here to post, for fear of calling him UAV and things like that

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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we really are in survival mode

I don't even know how we got here.
I've posted about ds a few times. And we keep trying new things...hoping for a magical cure

Dh and I don't want to subdue him into someone else's version of normalicy--did I mention how amazingly creative he is?--
but at the same time our other kids should have the right to live their lives in safety.
ds2 is 4....and is a lean 50 lbs. He is a BIG kid.
ds1 is 11 and is a less lean 100 lbs. ds3 is 14 months and 22lbs
ds2 beats on ds1 endlessly. To the point where I really want to tell ds1 to just hit ds2 back. Just knock him on his butt and put him in his place!

and poor ds3, he doesn't get beaten on, but ds2 climbs all over him and is in his face and pinning him places to keep him from doing normal baby things.

Normal behavior in a 4 year old, except that he doesn't stop when you ask him...or tell him...he doesn't stop until you either physically remove him and/or he throws a fit and it turns into something even bigger.

*bleh*

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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First I want to offer your a big hug and acknowledge you for trusting your instincts in thh face of everyone wanting to minimize your concerns. I too have a child who was "intense" from the moment she was birthed into this world and am sick of hearing, "She's just 2, or 3, or 4..." No, she's just who she is.

Anyway, in addition to the suggestions offered, I also recommend the psych route and wanted to also toss out the possibility of an early onset bipolar disorder diagnosis (it's the "hot" new diagnosis of the day, it seems). It fits with the Jekyll/Hyde aspect, and in kids there is often a "ultra rapid cycling" between the manic and "depressed" cycles. EOBPD often co-morbid with ODD (which you're right, is sort of a catch-all Dx). I hope that another potential label doesn't overwhelm you too much. It can be terrible to try to figure out how to help your child while not being overwhelmed by all of the imagined horrible possibilities at the same time.

Some books on the EOBPD include Raising a Moody Child and The Bipolar Child
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all of the book recommendations.
I'm going to see what our library has--so if you think of any more, feel free to post away!

My brother is actually diagnosed as bipolar, but...he has a lot of other issues going on and I never really got the sense that that was an accurate diagnosis for him.
Lord knows the meds he is on aren't doing a thing to help him be a member of society and he won't go see a new dr...I've kind of washed my hands of that situation.... :

But hopefully I can get him in to someone sooner than later.
It is so easy to keep putting it off though!
Maybe tomorrow will be better....
Maybe whatever it is will click and he'll be okay next week...

:

oh yeah...and the fight to get him to the Dr.
Basically, we can't tell him we're going to the doctor
but then I feel like we're tricking him :

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Old 06-20-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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oh yeah...and the fight to get him to the Dr.
Basically, we can't tell him we're going to the doctor
but then I feel like we're tricking him :[/QUOTE]


I know the doctor's offices can set them off for days. When someone reccommends it to me I just want to say "are you joking?"

Don't beat yourself up so much. He cannot control himself, but has such a loving mommy who is going to do all it takes to help him. As he gets older and can be reasoned with more and can create some coping skills he won't be so scarey. My son is 7 and was horrible at 4. He got kicked out of preschool!!

I am finding that not giving attention to the bad things is working at 7. I have to say its not allowed and he gets put in his room (no major toys in there) and is allowed to get mad in there. He has holes in the door and has wripped and broken this. I just stay calm (not all the time.. I try my best.. I have lost it and not afraid to admit it), but at 7 he is starting to get that the anger and tanrums are not appropriate or acceptable. He needs to use words (so hard for a 4 year old). I also don't allow a favorite thing like a video game or computer time without doing his 5 chores. He get 10 minutes per chore and a bonus 10 for a chore I need done. You should see the angel come out in him to get what he wants! Yeah.. we call him Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde too.

I want to hug you becasue you are at a hard age. Consquences are hard to grasp.

Is there a support group in your area?

One just started in our local hospital every last thursday of the month. Its great to physcially get out and sit with other moms in the same boat.:
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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bipolar disorder was my first thought too. In kids the mania part tends to come out more as aggression. I hope you find some answers.
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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(!)

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Old 06-27-2007, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hollllllllllllllly cow

Let me start by saying we are on state insurance :
After getting the run around from social services
and the health department
and the school district
I have finally tracked down whoever it is who is in charge of doing evaluations on 4 year olds.

And she won't be in the office until July 9th

and most likely won't be able to do anything with ds until Sept.

Nothing like making a call for help and having it buried in the sand out in the middle of the desert!

yesterday was better....
and today started off well....

we're back to just putting him in the bathtub when he loses control


omg i just realized how that reads

He LOVES the water. Water soothes him.
If he is losing it and we can get him into the tub, he'll sit in there for HOURS (I kid you not!)

so.....as long as we are somewhere with a tub, we're okay

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Old 06-27-2007, 07:21 PM
 
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Max LOVES the water, too, and it is a SUREFIRE way to get him calmed down. Whatever does the job.

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Old 06-27-2007, 07:40 PM
 
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And she won't be in the office until July 9th

and most likely won't be able to do anything with ds until Sept.
Man, three months? It may seem like forever but that's a pretty short wait! We were looking at 9, got in on a cancellation after 2.5.

So, it could be worse!

And Bede is waterbaby too. Some days he takes 4 showers!
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not even sure what this will be when we get to talk to her....
its an eval through the school and then to write up an IEP for services through the district....

I'm not sure what to expect from them....we'll see....

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Old 07-09-2007, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wahhhhh

if they don't call soon I don't know what I am going to do

I am so at (past!) my limit for dealing with him making life hell for everyone else in the family

and then walking off with a smile on his face as if he were the greatest thing since sliced bread

I know a firm set of household rules is recommended...
but gawd I hate rules

Do you have a clear set in your house? What's on it?

I'd ideally just go with things like
Respect yourself
Respect each other and their belongings
Help when asked
Clean up when done
Gentle touches are okay

but....I don't think those would be effective 'rules' for him
He'd look at that and say "No. Never."
and so begins another battle......

mom to three boys:  reading.gif(18 bigeyes.giffencing.gif(10&7)
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:45 PM
 
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I sooooo hear ya! I'm on SSD, but just since March and I've been going through hell with switching insurances - no gap in care my a**! And taking him to see 6 different places all of them looking at me like I must be on crack or something because he usually behaves very subtley when he is in close contact to a strange adult, or if i am right there and we've had some warm up time, he will be over demonstrative with hugs and smooches. Both don't give a tiny clue what's on the other end!!! They just look at me like I am nuts for wanting a child examined psychologically at 5.

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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**sigh** I just wrote a long reply to the rules topic and i had 'timed out' any way to keep yourself validly logged in longer?

Anyway, my family uses time outs on a tiered system.

1. a consistent place that is just quiet and private, not to punish.
2. no talk, no emotion. Just assign the time out. If Crispin doesn't go on his own I help him, but I don't talk except if he is really struggling I tell him I love him and walk away.

The reactions:

1.Sometimes, ok or makes a mad face and goes. Great - 'I'll let you know when it's 5 minutes'

2.Screams bloody murder the whole way there, but still on his own - you can come out when you calm down - this is an unspoken understanding from calm times, if I tell him this while he's mad, it makes it worse.

3.Shrieking puddle full of flailing limbs - I pick him up and walk him or carry him to his room, I try going for the chair and if he doesn't fight harder, great see #2. If not, I put him in bed and tell him I love him. He carries on for anywhere from 5 minutes to a half hour. Usually he either falls asleep or comes out in 20 minutes and says he's calm now.

4.In bed/chair for a half hour, still crying - this is my limit for Crispin. If he's been going longer than 20-30 min, he needs my help. Usually I crawl in bed with him and hold him, no words still unless he says something first, and then I only talk if it is calming, if he revs up at all, I quit talking.

When he draws blood, strangles his sister or me or other kids, etc.
This is beyond rules. It's totally out of bounds.
I still follow the behavior rules above but I also isolate him for a day, starting right away. I allow him books, crayons, paper, quiet stuff. No TV, no games or toys with batteries or that make noises. He stays in his room except for meals, which he sometimes declines. If he is successful in being calm, he can come out to ask a question, get a hug, go potty, get a snack. If not, then I tell him he must stay in there. He can call for me if he needs to go potty, and I check in with him every half hour or so. If he is succeeding, I will tell him he can come and go potty etc with out asking again.

Keep in mind - we live in a small 1970 trailer and there is very little room to spread out. We are on top of each other. I can manage this plan from the living room because his bedroom door is 9 feet from where I sit, I can hear everything he does in the bathroom even though it's down the hall.

I know this sounds like it won't work with a really out of control kid, but Crispin was out of control before he was born, he didn't sleep more than 2 hours at a time until he was 3, and usually only 6 hours a day. It took a lot of trial and error and cooperation between me, my ex, and my boyfriend. You know it's bad and not a bad kid when a freshly divorced dad and new boyfriend can sit around the table and try to problem solve as parents!

{{{{Hugs!!!!}}}} This can be so hard. I'm glad I found this thread.

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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Old 07-14-2007, 12:38 PM
 
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The Child Bipolar Questionnaire, an automatically scored 65-item questionnaire for parents that helps to identify bipolar symptoms in children, is available on the Internet at the Web site of the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation, www.jbrf.org.Before consulting a mental health professional, parents may find it helpful to keep daily logs for a couple of weeks to track the child’s mood, energy, sleep, and behavior.

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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