EXTREMELY Violent 4 year old...I'm out of ideas - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 02-27-2013, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I did go back and read some posts from other people on this topic. There seems to be one thing different about my situation. I can't make my son do anything. Some people suggested time out. I would love to see you try to get my son into time out, much less stay there. Some people suggested distraction....there is no distraction. If my son is hitting me or his father, that is what he is going to do, no matter what other options are given to him. Every single thing that was said, does not work for my son. I'm hoping that by explaining my situation (be prepared for a lengthy read) someone will have an idea that actually works for our situation.

 

My son is currently 6 weeks away from turning 4. Over the last two years he has gone through phases of violence. Most of the violence was sporadic. He might hit once or twice a day for a few days, then stop. The last several weeks though, he has gotten beyond violent and there seems to be no stopping it. In the 4 hours this morning before his nap, he grabbed my skin and squeezed as hard as he could twice, he hit me 5 times, he grabbed my fingers and pulled them apart as hard as he could twice. He hit his dad at least 10 times, grabbed his dad's private area and squeezed as hard as he could and hurt the dogs twice. That was an easy morning. It was double that last night.

 

He will hurt anyone or anything that he can, by any means that he can. If someone isn't close enough to abuse, he with throw or kick something, usually several things, before making his way to a person to hurt. 

 

It is not just physical hurting either. He is very hurtful verbally. He will scream, call names and talk back to you as meanly as possible, no matter what you say.

 

Another difference I see from other posts is that he does not calm down. We may get him to calm down for a few seconds, but it will not last. These "tantrums" last for an hour or more most of the time. Even if we pick him up and put him in his room to calm down for a few minutes (usually 2-3) he will talk nicely to us until we let him out, but once he is out,  he goes straight to someone to hit them and yell at them.

 

Now I know there are going to be some questions, so I will try to answer them before they are asked.

 

First, what is he like when he isn't throwing a tantrum. Well he is an extremely bright child. He has full conversations with us and his vocabulary is extremely advanced for his age. He can count to 20 on his own with no help. He recognizes all numbers up to 100 by sight. He recognizes 90% of his letters by sight (he makes the usual mistakes, M,W, lowercase b & d) He can recognize, name and continue a pattern. He knows every color, and is great at abstract thinking. He can add and subtract any numbers 10 and under. Basically he is very,very bright when it comes to school type knowledge. With that being said, he is also extremely behind in other areas. He pretty much refuses to eat with silverware. If it something he has to use silverware for, like soup for example, he still spills stuff all over the place and can't seem to learn how to put the front of the spoon in his mouth first, no matter how many times I show him.  Part of that may be that he usually tries to eat left handed and I am right handed. Maybe I am not teaching him right. He will not play independently for more than a few minutes and even if he does, he is asking you to join in by telling him things to do or watching him play, literally non stop. He can't dress himself. He knows the basics, but can't/won't concentrate to put his clothes on right. He still uses a binky for sleeping and it is a constant battle to keep it just for sleeping...he would use it all day if we let him, which we don't. Anyway, my point is that he is quite advanced in some aspects and quite behind in others. Some of the things he is behind on are my fault, he is an only child and I am disabled, so I am a stay at home Mom. I probably do not encourage independence in some levels. He is never out of my sight, unless I am going to the bathroom. There are some things he could do, but I don't let him for fear of getting hurt. For example, he could climb into the tub at bath time by himself, but I won't let him because I don't want him to slip and fall. So, he is held back a little by me being too cautious, however, i do not think it is the main cause.

 

As for his temperment, when he is not throwing a tantrum, he is a happy child. He is very active. He can concentrate on playing cars for hours at a time, assuming that one of us watches, listens and says the things he asks. However, cars is about all he will concentrate on. He will not color, build with blocks, or do just about anything other than play cars. He can concentrate enough to watch TV (I only let him watch about 2 hours a day) and play cars, but with everything else, he is hard pressed to pay attention or stay still. Only when he is doing exactly what he wants, when he wants, will he concentrate or pay attention.  Other than that though he is happy and cheerful. He is active and fun. Until you so much as hint at the fact that something has to be done other than what he wants.

 

Next, what brings on his tantrums. Well, just about anything. 99% of his tantrums come from either being told "no" or something similar. When it is time to stop playing and clean up for any reason at all, whether it be lunch, for us to go somewhere, whatever, it is a guaranteed tantrum. If he wants something and we won't give it to him, tantrum. I don't care if it is a toy that was taken away for bad behavior or something he has never been allowed to have, it's a tantrum. If I give him cereal for breakfast and he doesn't want it, tantrum. If he eats half of the cereal then decides he wants pancakes and I refuse (which I do) tantrum. If you correct him at all, even in the most positive manner, tantrum. If the dog is laying on the floor in a spot that he wants to play, tantrum. Basically unless you do and say everything that he wants,at the very moment he wants, there will be a tantrum. Even if you did do and say everything, he would still have a tantrum, because there would be something he never verbalized, yet he would still expect you to know. If he "thinks" you should be sitting in one spot and you are sitting in another, there will be a tantrum.

 

I would also like to point out that he is bright enough that he knows that we can't make him do anything. If he doesn't want to eat, we can't make him. If we want him to sit in time out, he knows we can't make him. If we want him to clean up, he knows we can't make him.  We can try, but we can't physically make him do something. He knows that and uses that regularly. It's not a matter of him not getting consequences. If he doesn't listen, there is a consequence. It's just that he doesn't care about the consequences, no matter what they are. We have tried everything. We have tried taking away his favorite items and activities. We have tried time out in his room (it's the only time out that we can manage as we can physically pick him up and put him in his room and lock the door, any other time out he will just get up). We have tried talking to him nicely, we have tried showing that we were angry or hurt. We have tried spanking. None of it matters.  When he is mad, he is mad, end of story. Nothing you can do or say that and even though he knows a consequence will come from not listening, he will not care until well after the fact. That of course then causes another tantrum.

 

Now, on to our family make-up as I am sure that will be another question.  There is our son, my husband and I and several pets. I am disabled and do not work. My husband works from home 90% of the time. We do not fight or argue in front of him. I think maybe a few times a year we may snap at each other quickly in front of him. There is no violence. Our house is very small, so in the winter months, he probably does not get enough physical activity, as I am physically disabled an not able to take him many places or do just about anything physical with him. In the summer he and I go outside and play at least half of the day.  So, I realize that having too much energy may be a small part of it all.  He is active though.  He plays and is moving around a good portion of the day.  Anyway, we try to engage him in learning activities. We take him on regular trips out of the house (usually for some sort of shopping, which he loves). For about 12 hours of the week, he is visiting with his grandparents. So, he does get out of the house.

 

Now on to a few odd things that I have noticed. First, as I said before, playing cars is about all he will concentrate on. However, at least 60% of the time, he isn't actually playing with them, he just lines them up and "parks" them.  Sometimes he groups them by color, or vehicle type, sometimes by size.  He really enjoys "arranging" them. He also gets very upset when we do something in a different way, or out of order. He is very particular about quite a few things. He will not make or keep eye contact with us when we are talking to him. He hates loud noises and thinks things are loud that we don't. He walks on his tip toes almost all the time. He is slightly delayed physically....he cant stand or jump one leg or do much that requires any balance. He isn't around other children much, but when he is, he won't play with them. He will be excited to see them at first, but within a minute, he goes off and does his own thing. He occasionally will watch another child, but otherwise shows no interest in them at all. So, in some ways it seems he may have some sort of autism spectrum disorder.  However, there are many other things that counter that.  He is not delayed in his speech in any way. He will communicate with us, so long as he isn't angry. There are times that he won't respond to his name or us talking to him, but other times he does it just fine. I don't know.  I ave called his PCP and have an appointment to have him looked at because I know the tantrums that last hours at a time and take up 5-6 hours of his day can't be good.

 

So, I have two questions.  First, how on earth do we continue to deal with the tantrums until he is able to be seen and hopefully helped? I am extremely disabled and have numerous conditions that cause me a lot of pain.  I have severe issues with bone death and more things than I care to mention.  To put it simply, I am very fragile. I can't keep getting punched, hit, kicked, pushed, bit, scratched and more.  He will automatically go for what hurts the most.  For example, I have a lot of trouble with the bones and joints in my hands, so he will grab my fingers and pull them apart as hard as he can....or he will grab my breasts and squeeze them as hard as he can.  He hurts my husband, the pets and even himself.  Not to mention the emotional toll it is taking on all of us.  So, please does anyone have any ideas on how to lessen these tantrums at least?

 

My next question is do any of you feel that maybe I am looking into it too much?  Is this normal behavior and maybe my parenting is to blame.  I am open to any criticism, I just want things to be better for my son, so if that is how you feel, please tell me.

 

Okay, I think that is it.  Feel free to ask any questions, I will answer them honestly, no matter what they are. I just need some help at this point. I'm already physically and emotionally run down because of all of my health problems and still trying to be a mother and wife with them.  I can't take much more of being beat up by my son and watching him make himself sick from being so upset.

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#2 of 29 Old 02-27-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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I would go to your pediatrician with this and get a referral to a child psychologist or other type of therapist for further evaluation. This sounds outside the bounds of normal to me and too much for one family to deal with alone. Good luck mama! hugs.
 


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#3 of 29 Old 02-27-2013, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ty Katielady. It is comforting to know that someone else thinks that this is not normal behavior. It's easy to question ourselves and our thinking, so thanks for at least affirming that I am not the only one who sees this as being outside of normal 4 year old behavior.

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#4 of 29 Old 02-27-2013, 01:30 PM
 
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Hi PB, I would definitely, immediately get a referral to a good developmental pediatrician for an evaluation.  Skip the child psychologist and the therapists and go right to the person able to look at everything (developmental and medical) and help you figure out what is going on.  That is definitely not what I would consider "typical" behavior and it really seems like there is something going on well beyond what you can handle alone.

 

You mention a lot of red flags for autism and the fact that his language is advanced would suggest aspergers - a type of autism often accompanied by high functioning verbal skills.  However, with the intensity of his tantrums and aggression, I would very much also want to make sure there isn't something medical going on (which is why I would rec a developmental ped). 

 

To be honest, I think you need professional help - a behavioral therapists and perhaps a physical or occupational therapist - both of which can be recommended to you by any good dev ped once they've seen you son.  A professional can help you come up with a plan for reducing tantrums and violence.  It also sounds like he might need some kind of group therapy to work on social skills.  The professionals can help you come up with the things that might help him. 

 

In the mean time, I think I would try the kinds of things used for children with Autism:

1. develop a clear, consistent routine for your daily life

2. create a visual schedule for him (with little pictures) that let him know what will happen over the day and he can see what is coming up next

3. give him verbal warnings of changes about to happen (for example, "in five minutes we are going to put the cars away and go to the store") then follow through

 

Otherwise I'm afraid I don't have any advice though you might want to post on the Special Needs forum here and ask for further advice.   

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#5 of 29 Old 02-27-2013, 02:05 PM
 
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I reread the OP and it looks like you have an appointment with your PCP. How long til then? Can you get it moved up? Meanwhile, as a PP suggested, I would start looking for a dev. ped. now and get an appointment w/o waiting for the PCP appt.
 


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#6 of 29 Old 02-28-2013, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both. I tried calling some psychologist yesterday and they basically said that they would not be able to help, that I had to have him evaluated. Since he is not in pre-school, the only way to do that with our medical is to go to his PCP. Luckily, his appointment is now set for tomorrow morning.  From what I have been told it is a long process just to get him evaluated. I just hope we can all make it through. He was a little better yesterday, his tantrums only took up about 3 hours of the day.  We basically catered to him all day and went out of our way not to do anything that would upset him.  Of course there were still times he got upset that we couldn't avoid, like bedtime. Today, since he is not able to come up with a reason to take his aggression out on us, he is taking it out on his toys. They have been thrown against walls and the floor. Many of them have been broken. All I'm trying to do now is keep him as calm as possible, even though that means I have to give in on almost everything, just for the sake of his safety. I would rather give in then watch him cry and make himself sick, hurting us and himself for 5-6 hours. The PCP appointment is tomorrow and though I doubt anything will come directly from that appointment, at least it is the gateway to something that will hopefully help.

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#7 of 29 Old 02-28-2013, 01:38 PM
 
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Not that it's terribly helpful but all of the things you listed that your son can do (count to 20, colors, alphabet, etc) my 2.5 year old has been doing since she turned 2. I dont feel like my DD is anything special, so I believe that those things he can do are probably more like a 2 year old than a 4 year old.

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#8 of 29 Old 02-28-2013, 03:05 PM
 
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I don't know where you're located or your thoughts on medication vs natural alternatives, but if it were my kiddo I'd do everything possible to avoid going down the road of medication which is where most docs will lead.  I'm in CT and the Naturopath I take my DD to for food issues works in an office that specializes in kids with severe behavioral issues.  You name it, they see kids with it and the process is incredibly in depth to determine what works for each kid.  I'd say primary focus is food - what to eliminate that causes severe or even subtle reactions that often lead to aggressive outbursts.  They look into things like detoxing from any vaccines, supplements to correct deficiencies, really everything from the ground up to address all behaviors from the inside out.  We're kind of the odd ones when we show up for appts as DD is normal/advanced in many things and it almost throws the ND off to see her doing what she calls "on schedule" behaviors since most of her patients are behind in one thing or another, BUT, they have a great success rate with these kids and by keeping the meds to a minimum, you don't have to worry about side effects - depression, ticks, and more aggression to name a few.  Not all behaviors are strictly mental - quite often there are underlying isses that many traditional docs overlook bc they are super focused on putting a bandaid on it rather than addressing the sorce of the probelem.  Hope your visit with the PCP gets you going in the right direction.

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#9 of 29 Old 02-28-2013, 03:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by graciegal View Post

Not that it's terribly helpful but all of the things you listed that your son can do (count to 20, colors, alphabet, etc) my 2.5 year old has been doing since she turned 2. I dont feel like my DD is anything special, so I believe that those things he can do are probably more like a 2 year old than a 4 year old.

 

I don't think this is necessarily true.  It sounds to me like your daughter is quite bright and well ahead of the curve.  My son is 22 months, and most of his age-mates don't know a thing about colors, letters, or numbers yet.  I think even some 3 year olds only typically know a few, and that's still considered "normal."

 

For comparison, here's the CDC milestone list...

 

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/


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#10 of 29 Old 03-01-2013, 01:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pickle18 View Post

 

I don't think this is necessarily true.  It sounds to me like your daughter is quite bright and well ahead of the curve.  My son is 22 months, and most of his age-mates don't know a thing about colors, letters, or numbers yet.  I think even some 3 year olds only typically know a few, and that's still considered "normal."

 

For comparison, here's the CDC milestone list...

 

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/

I agree.  Subtracting numbers is pretty advanced - kids get addition much sooner.  Also, recognizing numbers up to 100 is quite advanced.  At my son's 4 year checkup, the nurse was quite surprised that he could do the eye chart with letters...to me that would indicate that most kids cannot.  Now he's 5, is reading, but subtraction is still something that is difficult for him.  

 

FWIW, my son did not like dressing himself at that age either...I think boys in general are not as interested in that.  My son also wasn't interested in playing with other kids until 4 something.  And even now, he often declares that he doesn't want to play with someone, although when the friend comes over he does decide he'd like to play with them.  I think it stems from being an introvert and fearing that your space is taken over.  Very often he won't respond to being called by name, but that's because he's deep in thought.  My husband and I are both the same way, and I'm pretty sure we're not autistic.  

I think the concern may be the length of the tantrum OP's son is having and type of play - being focused on one thing and playing with it a certain way (organizing the cars vs. actually pretending the car is driving).  

OP, can your husband step in so that you can remove yourself when your son is having a tantrum?  You mentioned that he works from home?  Also, can you hire someone to help you take him for vigorous activity - someone like an older boy cousin that would really play with him and couldn't get hurt physically or emotionally easily?  My nephews are tremendous with my son and he adores them and is much more willing to play with them than other boys.  It does sound like your son could use more physical activity, especially where you aren't watching him and worrying that he may get hurt.  I sometimes just have to turn away and not watch my boys do things (as long as my dh is watching), because it's too stressful to me to think that they're doing something dangerous (in my eyes).

I really sympathize with you...my sons would never stay in timeout, not that we really tried, except a few times when they did something really outrageous.  

Would your son hurt someone he doesn't know very well?  Or does he limit hitting etc to close family?

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#11 of 29 Old 03-01-2013, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you to everyone for the help. joy.gif Just talking about it makes me feel a little less stressed out.  Do me one favor though, I have NO IDEA what some of the abbreviations mean. lol. I can't for the life of me figure out what a DD is.  I'm planning on being on here regularly from now on (you guys are a great support system that I desperately need) so I may want to know what all the slang means. nod.gif

 

Okay, first to the woman who stated that she thinks he is more at a 2 year old level.  I would say that your girl is extremely bright if she can do all those things that young.  My son could do about 50% of them that you and has been doing the rest since he was a little over 3, with gradual increases, like counting another 10 number higher. I spoke to his doctor today and he said that they don't even require subtraction to graduate kindergarten and that most of what he is doing is at least a year advanced, if not two. So, if your child is doing that stuff at 2 1/2, then she is extremely advanced.

 

Sassy, my doctor did bring up some alternative treatment. First he wants us to try some changes at the house, which I will go into shortly. If those things do not work, then he gave me two referrals to see an allergy specialist and a child psychologist. He prefers not to give kids medicine unless they have a severe problems, because he also feels like it is just a band aid.  So, I may be looking to you for some advice in that department if our home changes don't work.

 

Pikle18, thanks for the milestone chart.  I kept trying to find one and the ones I got were way basic in comparrison to the one you put up.  Thanks for that and for sharing your thoughts on where your child is vs others.

 

Lmkl, I mean this as a complete positive, so please don't take it otherwise, but I am sooooo happy that your son wouldn't dress himself either and that he showed some of the same behaviors as my son. It's always nice to know that someone else went through or is going through some of the same trials as you.  Not that you want someone else to suffer too, but it is nice to know that you are not alone. Now to the difficult stuff......No, my husband can't/won't come help often when a tantrum is going on. If it gets out of control and my son has taken to doing things that could break my bones, dislocate my hips (they have both been replaced and the left replacement is not in good shape) then he will step in.  The problem is that like most men, my husband is not the stronger of us emotionally. Where I can deal with the tantrum for as long as I have to, my husband can deal with it 2-3 minutes. He actually broke down and cried the other day and had to leave the house for over an hour to calm down.  He helps when he can, but other than  getting the physical anger directed at him instead of me, it usually isn't much of a help.  It's not hsi fault, but my husband does tend to make things worse most of the time. As for the physical activity, well we have a complicated situation. My family moved out west so I have no family up here to help out, nor do I have any friends....they all left when I got sick.  The only family up here is my husbands.  My son was going to my husbands parents 2 days a week from 10am-4pm, so that I could have a little bit of a physical break. Granted I usually spent that time cleaning, so it wasn't much of a break. lol. Anyway, the problem is that his grandparents cater to him non stop. If my son wants someone to sit on the floor and play cars for 4 hours, that's what they will do. It is ridiculous. After many talks, trying to get them to understand that they have to have rules for him, and them not listening, we gave up. He now goes one day every other week. They will take him on walks, to the park and many other things, but now it is only two days a month.  Otherwise, there are no relatives to help get him to be a little more active. It'snot bad in the summer as I can go outside with him. I usually sit in a chair and play catch with him or things like that.  I try to have a "dance party" with him once a day inside during the winter, where I put on music and he dances like crazy for 30 minutes while I use flashlights and blink them or make a spotlight for him.  So, there are some ways that he is active in the winter and in the summer I make sure he is outside several hours a day. I do the best that I can, given my health. However, there is no one to help unfortunately.  As for him hitting other people, I have no idea. With us not being able to afford daycare or anything like that, he is rarely around people outside of the family. 

 

Okay, hopefully I responded to everyone.  If not, I apologize. My son is napping and I'm trying to get this done quickly before he gets up.

 

We did go to the doctor today. His PCP said that physically (other than the ear & sinus infections we've both been fighting for 2 weeks) he is fine. He said that tantrums that last that long are not normal past around the age of 3 when the child can communicate their anger verbally. He said even then though, they should not be lasting as long as they do.  He said that there are 3 options.  First, my son got rewarded for something by acting like that (which he did at his grandparents...he threw a fit over taking a nap and hit them, cried and made himself throw up so they allowed him to not nap) and he is taking advantage of that and taking it to an extreme.  He said the extremeness of it is concerning, but that my son may just be very stubborn and having a battle of wills.  He said another option is a severe allergy that manifests in more emotional ways than physical, or that there is a small chance he may have something like Aspergers. So, here is what he said to do.

 

For a week, he wants us to be very firm with our son and not give in to him for anything he throws a tantrum over, no matter how long the tantrum lasts.  He told us to put 2 books in our sons room and make sure there are no other toys. If he throws a tantrum and starts getting violent, he gets put in his room until he is calm, no matter how long that takes.  He said that if he starts hitting his head off the wall, that the chances of him getting seriously injured are slim to none, so as hard as it may be, just ignore it. He said that if it takes an hour for him to calm down, it takes an hour.  He said it will be hard, but it's the best thing to try first.  So, we do that for a week and if in a week things haven't gotten better at all, then we try the psychologist. 

 

So, basically he said to give him some tough love.  Personally, I don't know whether I agree or not.  I will try it all the same, but I don't quite agree.  I have no problem putting my foot down. I have never believed that a child should run the household.  Once I say no, that is the answer, end of story. So, I'm not really changing anything in that aspect. I don't make deals with him or anything, what I say goes. Other than the last few days where I backed off just because I was worried his tantrums were dangerous for him. I don't mind putting him in his room until he calms down, though picking him up and putting him there when my husband isn't home is really tough.  What I do mind is that if there is a more serious problem, if it is more than just an extreme battle of wills, then help is getting put off for another week at least.  Part of me can see that perhaps it is just a battle, he is a bright child who comes from two very stubborn parents, but in my opinion, if that was the case why would he continue with the behavior when there was no one telling him no?  Granted, his tantrums weren't as bad the last few days where we avoided anything that would upset him, but they were still there. He would get mad at his precious cars instead, throwing them, kicking them and breaking them. I don't know.  I guess in the whole scheme of things a week isn't going to make much of a difference, except perhaps to my sanity.  So, I'll give it a try, but I am still concerned that there is more going on here than just a stubborn child wanting his way at all costs.

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#12 of 29 Old 03-01-2013, 12:29 PM
 
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I think you should listen to your intuition, and don't do anything that you feel uncomfortable with. From what you have said, you do not sound like someone who gives in to your son just because he is having a tantrum, and your son knows that. I think you are right, something else is going on... please don't just follow what your doctor said if you think it is going to have a negative effect, just to be able to say that you did it. Doctors aren't really trained in discipline issues in med school, they don't know more than a well-informed parent, though they are (or at least should be) skilled in diagnosing medical disorders.

 

I haven't been on mothering.com in a long time.. I'm here today because I'm going to ask for advice about dealing with my very difficult 2 year old daughter. Somewhat similar issues to your son, but I wouldn't call her violent exactly. She hits and kicks and pulls hair for fun (for no apparent reason), but also when she's not getting her way. She is extremely intense and bright, she just turned 2 and speaks in mostly grammatically correct full sentences (though she doesn't always know what she is saying, which can be amusing). She counts to 50 in 3 languages and is starting to recognize punctuation marks (oddly, she's more interested in punctuation than letters- don't ask me why). Her older sister is 4 and has fewer pre-literacy skills. But my 2 year old can amuse herself for long periods, is very social with adults and other kids, and often accepts 'no' for an answer. It just depends on her mood. When she accepts 'no' she just says "Ok" in a happy voice and does whatever we're asking her to do, like a light switch. But when she doesn't want to accept no.... watch out. She's in preschool 2 days per week and I haven't heard about any issues with violence.. so it might just be a problem in our home. I don't know... she's driving me crazy, but I think she migth be within the bounds of normal.

 

Anyway, I understand how difficult it must be for you.. it sounds lke your son is a bit higher on the difficulty scale from my daughter, and well he's 4 and that's when things are supposed to be turning around for the better. He even sounds a bit like my cousin's child- he was initially diagnosed with ADHD and later with Asbergers, I think he has both. Very bright, very intense boy, always had trouble getting along with his family and peers. My mother spent a lot of time with him, because she's the only one who could really control him- she's a retired inner city high school teacher who has always been great with the problem kids. Anyway my cousin got her son a lot of therapy and services, and he has improved vastly but it took a long time and she has continued to have trouble with him, getting him to do his homework and stuff. Now he's a college freshman and apparently he has found his calling- he's making dean's list and doing well in school, he's in a tech-focused school.

 

And FYI it's not you or your parenting- if you had 2 children you would see how different they are, even though you treat them mostly the same. My older daughter is very mellow and good natured, has always been that way. She has her moments- whines, doesn't always do what she is supposed to, etc, but rarely has ever thrown a tantrum, has never been into hitting or hurting people, went through a very short-lived biting phase when she was nearly 2 but it was always predictable and you could see why she was doing it (always in a territorial battle over a toy with another kid, never random). My cousin has two children older than the son with asbergers, and they have their issues but they are normal and have always been so much easier.

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#13 of 29 Old 03-01-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mokey4, Thank you for the support. I do kind of feel like the doctor is trying to take the easy way out. On the other hand though, maybe I am just looking into things too much. I may be so scared of him having a problem, that I can't see the potential for it to just be a crazy, wild phase, brought on by grandparents who allow him to control everything when he is with them. That is why I am willing to try the doctors way for a week.  

 

As for your daughter, my PCP did tell me today that those more "extreme" tantrums are pretty common for ages 2-3. I do know that when my son was 2, he went through a few phases of hurting people for fun.  I did a lot of research on it back then and basically it seems that in most cases, it is a matter of the child learning to test boundaries and learning new emotions and how to deal with them. He would randomly pinch us or pull our hair, just for the sake of doing it.  Sometimes he would do it several times a day for a week, then he wouldn't do it at all for a month.  I found that the best thing to do was not to give it much attention.  A simple "No, we don't hurt people" and then walking away sufficed in my case, most of the time. Making a big deal out of it will make it worse, because negative attention is still attention and will cause them to do it more, just for the attention. She does sound very bright.  I know that as my son started learning, he would go through random fits.  I thought it might be because he was bored, so I signed up for abcmouse.com and started doing that with him daily.  We had to skip ahead (he was way too far ahead of what they put for his age group) but once we figured that out, he really enjoyed it and seemed less apt to throw fits.  So, she may just need mental stimulation.  That's about all the advice I can give and of course that is purely what I did.  Other may know more or may have done things different.

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The only two theories that popped out at me was the autism spectrum, as you already mentioned, and an allergy, as your PCP gave you referrals for. When my fiance was little he couldn't have chemicals because it made him bite people. Someone also brought up here that tantrums can be brought on by a food allergy. Make sure your son is tested for Celiac's disease.

 

http://www.celiaccentral.org/mental-health/

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#15 of 29 Old 03-01-2013, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Echo, That was most assuredly not something I knew about, the celiac disease that is.  I have heard of it before, but never that it could be linked to emotion problems.  Thank you for the info!

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#16 of 29 Old 03-01-2013, 05:46 PM
 
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I highly recommend reading the book, "The Explosive Child" by Dr. Ross Greene.  (Read the reviews on Amazon - seriously!)  My son has mild autism, Celiac disease, dyslexia, and a normal IQ with a slow processing speed.  He wasn't as violent as your little guy sounds, but this book was life changing for my son and my family.

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#17 of 29 Old 03-01-2013, 06:08 PM
 
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My son had many of the same behaviors at that age. His behavior became so alarming that we were referred to a psychologist. She tested him and said he was borderline autistic. We were asked to leave the pre-k we were in, even after we had people from a local university autism center come out and evaluate him in the classroom, and give the school tips on how to help kids on the spectrum. Luckily, we were approved for benefits due to his developmental delays around the same time, so he began public school pre-k. Once he got into a more structured environment at public school, and he began to talk a bit ( he was 3), he calmed down a bit.

 

Don't believe you have to have every criteria to be on the spectrum. I met moms with Asperger's kids who told me their kids were speech delayed at one point (they always rule out Asperger's if a kid has speech delays).

 

Only that one doctor felt that my son was borderline autistic. He was not even three, and not talking, so of course he wouldn't be able to answer her questions! He never tested on or near the spectrum again after that. Over the years we have had diagnosis of developmentally delayed, dyspraxia and ADD. At one point he had tics so bad, they were thinking Tourettes or PANDAS. He has also scored high on sensory profiles and asperger's questionnaires.

 

Now my son is 10, and he is not in any therapy. At school he has an IEP for "other health impaired". His accommodations are similar to those with ADD. I never put an official label on him because I didn't really have to in order to get help and services. At school he was "developmentally delayed" and now he's "other health impaired".

 

My son seemed to calm down a lot once he could talk (3). He still had some tantrums during transition times (turning off TV, leaving the park, etc). The last bad tantrum he had where he got physical with me was when he was around age 5. Now he only loses it once in a while, and when he does, he just throws stuff around in his room or slams things and will yell and scream. Still not acceptable, but much better than where we came from!! I am hoping to get him into some counseling again to sort out some of these issues. 

 

I think getting your son into some therapies will help a lot. He may need OT and some sort of play therapy or mental health counseling. I would see a developmental pediatrician and maybe a psychologist or psychiatrist. You can also have him evaluated through the state you are in. You may be eligible for free services.

 

Talk to parents in the community with kids who have similar issues. You may find out about some great resources. 

 

BTW....with all his issues, we have managed his symptoms without drugs! I know that's not for everyone, but it can be done. 

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#18 of 29 Old 03-01-2013, 06:21 PM
 
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Echo, That was most assuredly not something I knew about, the celiac disease that is.  I have heard of it before, but never that it could be linked to emotion problems.  Thank you for the info!

 

Dairy is another big culprit.  My kids seem to be able to process one or two servings of dairy a week, but more than that and look out, emotional lability! If you have a lot of dairy, you might try eliminating as much of it as possible as quickly as possible, and see if that helps at all.  We don't look for hidden dairy as they don't seem that sensitive to it, we just only let them have a couple servings of milk/yogurt/cheese/cream-based sauce/dressing a week.  The difference really is astounding if they have a couple servings a day for a few days in a row - DD becomes all ragey and explosive, and DS gets angsty/anxious and weepy.  And then we do a facepalm and realize we weren't paying attention to what they were eating. 

 

I would still absolutely pursue other things as well, but reducing/eliminating dairy and wheat are good starting places.  


Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#19 of 29 Old 03-02-2013, 08:29 AM
 
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Dairy is another big culprit.  My kids seem to be able to process one or two servings of dairy a week, but more than that and look out, emotional lability! If you have a lot of dairy, you might try eliminating as much of it as possible as quickly as possible, and see if that helps at all.  We don't look for hidden dairy as they don't seem that sensitive to it, we just only let them have a couple servings of milk/yogurt/cheese/cream-based sauce/dressing a week.  The difference really is astounding if they have a couple servings a day for a few days in a row - DD becomes all ragey and explosive, and DS gets angsty/anxious and weepy.  And then we do a facepalm and realize we weren't paying attention to what they were eating. 

 

I would still absolutely pursue other things as well, but reducing/eliminating dairy and wheat are good starting places.  


Agreed. My son can only digest whole milk and its ingredients, but even so.. I don't offer him dairy very often.

 

Also, to the OP, even if you find your son doesn't have Celiac, you might want to consider trying a gluten-free elimination diet anyway to see if there's SOMETHING causing his aggressive behaviors. Make sure you avoid wheat, and oats. Oats themselves are gluten-free, but are often processed with wheat, and get contaminated by its gluten.

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#20 of 29 Old 03-02-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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I urge you, strongly, very very strongly, to order a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Cmapbell-McBride.  I would bet good money that you will find answers to both the issues you're having with your son and your own health issues.  You didn't mention it specifically, but since you mentioned your hands I assumed you're dealing with some kind of autoimmunity/rheumatoid arthritis.  Mothers of children with ASD (if that is what your son has) often have autoimmunity or some kind of chronic health issue, because they both have the same root cause - compromised gut health.  I know it's a leap to make the association from your intestines to your joints or your brain, but there is actually a very clear, very direct relationship between the health of your gut (both the balance of bacterial flora and the integrity of the gut wall itself) and your overall health.  

 

As an example, the reason gluten-free/casein-free diets are so popular for ASD patients is that those two proteins create neurotoxins when they are only partially broken down.  When your gut isn't functioning well, it is not able to fully digest gluten and casein, and it ends up with gluteomorphin and casomorphin, which would normally continue to be digested.  But when you lack the enzymes to complete digestion, it stops there, with these two neurotoxins.  Many/most ASD patients have leaky gut syndrome, which is exactly what it sounds like.  Partially digested food particles are able to pass directly through your intestinal wall and into the blood stream where they don't belong.  Understandably, this can wreak havoc on your body and immune system.  Lectins can pass through and attach to your joints and organs, causing an autoimmune response that attacks the joint or organ (as happened to me).  Food particles can pass through and cause a histamine response (food allergies).  Neurotoxins can pass through and affect the brain.  So the GF/CF diet removes those two toxins, and there is usually some degree of symptom relief seen.  But it doesn't do much of anything to address the actual underlying problem - a compromised gut.

 

Anyhow, the book does a much better job of explaining it, and it is very well supported.  The dietary protocol is pretty intense, but at least worth exploring.

 

Here is a talk the author did at a conference a few years ago:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_0NvcJZwa8

 

Best of luck!




Living and loving in ATX with DH (of 7 years) and DS (3.5)
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#21 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 07:34 AM
 
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I don’t have a lot of experience in this (my son just turned 3), but I wanted to chime in as you obviously are dealing with so much, and doing a wonderful job with a very challenging situation.

 

I second (third?) the suggestions to see a developmental pediatrician asap. Regular pediatricians sometimes – with good intentions – choose more of a wait and see approach, while dev ped’s will look at the whole picture and help identify a course of action to address your concerns.

 

Whether or not your son is on the spectrum, it sounds like he may be dealing with some sensory challenges, so I’d also encourage you to find a pediatric OT familiar with sensory processing issues. Physical activity is great, but the OT can help you develop a “sensory diet” – a set of activities designed to give your son the specific sensory input he needs, which hopefully will help him learn greater self-regulation.

 

On a related note, one possibility is that your son’s tantrums are not intentional (behavioral) on his part, but a reaction to sensory elements that he hasn’t learned to manage. There is a page on Facebook that has some incredibly useful suggestions in terms of understanding behavior through a new lens: https://www.facebook.com/autismdiscussionpage?fref=ts One of his main premises is that we melt down when we are overwhelmed, or afraid, or feel in some way unable to cope with a situation. So the main approach becomes to help the child feel safe, and he offers some specific suggestions.

 

Finally, I have found this book incredibly helpful:

http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Eating-Your-Child-Connection/dp/0761161198 She really gives you a totally different perspective on the connection between what our kids eat and how they behave, learn, grow, etc. Basically she teaches you to be a detective based on your child’s behavior to figure out what foods he may be sensitive to, or what nutrients he may need more of. It can make an enormous difference.

 

Take care of yourself, good luck, and keep us posted.

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#22 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 12:13 PM
 
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First of all, my heart goes out to you and your husband and your son. You are amazing to be giving and giving and giving in the midst of so much. Medically, I would recommend seeing a homeopath. They are good at figuring out these kind of mystery behaviors. I would also suggest eliminating common allergens (gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nuts) in case he has allergy. Start with one at a time (I'd start with gluten personally), but before you take it away, have gluten free breads in the house so it doesn't seem like a punishment. Emotionally, I have a different take on it. When children aren't able to get their point across with words, when their wants and needs are respected and honored, that is when they get physical. It sounds like your son has tantrums when he feels powerless, which is normal, and he lashes out as a way to try and feel more powerful, which is also normal. It sounds like he is trying really hard to let you know that he wants his voice heard, too, and that he wants the same amount of respect as adults get. Trying to get him to be compliant and listen and follow a schedule isn't going to work because it is not his schedule, it is yours, and it might not be what works for him. He needs you to be on his side, but of course set some clear boundaries. He needs to feel like he is loved--and I'm not saying that you don't love him--it is clear to ME that you do, but I'm not so sure it's clear to him. You say it's ridiculous for grandparents to play with him and cars for 4 hours, but I think that is the most amazing gift they are giving him. And they might be loving every second of it. I would get the house really clean, get some help cooking meals that will last for 2 or 3 days (or get take out if you can) and literally give him all of your attention in that time. Give him love in the way he asks for it and respect his needs as much as possible. He might be really sensitive and every time you say "no," he might get really embarrassed and feel really rejected. Then he lashes out. Tough love won't work--it will make him more rejected, and maybe if he gets scared enough he won't lash out to you, he'll hurt animals or other kids, but he'll learn to do it secretly so he wont be punished. I would spend some time on some conscious parenting sites like Janet Lansbury (http://www.janetlansbury.com/) or Naomi Aldort (http://www.naomialdort.com/) I would book a session with Naomi Aldort or another therapist who can help you and also help give some ideas for your family.

 

You need to care for you first and foremost, so please take a bath when you can, get time for you, and understand that you are doing your very best in what must be such an incredibly trying situation. Give yourself so much love and understanding for what you are dealing with and for having the courage to reach out. It is NOT easy being a parent when everything is going smoothly--in crisis it is the hardest job imaginable. I might be totally wrong in all my advice, this is just what works for me, and I have a highly sensitive child who is prone to violence when we are not hearing him and trying to figure out the underlying need behind his behaviors. My child also loves when we dress him (he frustrates easily and feels really nurtured when we cater to him in that way, and I know eventually he will dress himself, so I dont mind), and he also has the same sensitivity to noise (we carry earplugs with us wherever we go and shy away from loud places entirely, never set foot in bathrooms with loud hand dryers, etc). Emotionally, our child gets rejected really easily and lashes out as a result, and our child is also very sensitive to being corrected or denied anything (and of course we have to say no sometimes). One time I came to the car to get him out of the carseat (my husband called me to ask for help because he wouldn't let my husband get him out). When I approached my son, he screamed and started flailing his arms around, trying to hit me and telling me to get away from him. I was pissed for a minute and then I stopped and asked myself what was going on, what was behind it. I realized I had taken a while to come out to the car from the house, and I said to him, "Were you waiting a long time and wanting me to come out sooner?" He started crying and crying and reached for me, and said, "Mama, why wouldn't you come?" So if I just look at the behavior, I miss what is underneath. And I am no perfect parent, I get angry sometimes and snap and feel punitive, but this is what has really been working for me so I wanted to share.
 

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#23 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I type about 75 WPM when I am having a good day with my hands.  Even at that, it is going to take me like 2 hours to respond to everyone.  That's what I get for not getting on for a day!

 

Karmas, I will look into the book.  I'm open to trying just about anything right now.  Thank you!

 

Jmarroq, Thanks you for sharing your story with me. I am glad that things have calmed down with you son and that you have been able to manage everything without drugs. With my health, at one point I was taking 30 pills a day. I felt like I was poisoning myself with medicine. Now I take 4 pills a day and 2 of them are just temporary for the next month.  The only other medicine I take is an inhaler for my asthma when it is needed.  I can't say that I feel worlds better by cutting out that majority of the pills, but emotionally I do. Once I was off of them, I surely didn't feel any worse either, so they were pretty useless in the grand scheme of things.  All I take now are an anti-depressant and Morphine for my pain.  I only allow myself 1 Morphine a day, as for a short while I realized I was taking 5-6.  Granted, I wasn't abusing them, I was in pain and I am allowed one every 2 hours, so I could really take 6-8 a day. However, I did not like feeling chained to them, so I limited myself.  Otherwise, I am taking Chantix to quit smoking.  I was only smoking half a pack a day at the absolute most, but I decided that if I had gotten rid of my meds because they were poisons, it didn't make much sense to poison myself with cigarettes either.  Anyway, my extremely long point is that I commend you for not using drugs to treat your son.  I know that in some cases it is the only option, but I am glad that you guys were able to work with his symptoms and keep him off the meds.  I will surely look into any sort of state program to get him tested. I think that he shows enough signs that it is warranted and it isn't going to hurt anything.  The only thing I found for our state was an early intervention program, but it is for from birth to 36 months. There must be something else out there though and I will definitely look for it.  

 

The4ofus, I don't think dairy is the culprit.  He had a pretty nasty ear/sinus infection combo and had no dairy for several weeks, while we had to go through a few antibiotics to get him better.  He still isn't on any dairy right now. So, I don't think it is dairy.  However, it is something that I will keep in mind and look into if it seems like he gets worse when he starts dairy again. Thanks.

 

Echo, a lot of people are bringing up diet on here.  I understand that it could be a problem, but I am skeptical at the same time.  It seems like almost everyone has some sort of food sensitivity or allergy now to gluten, dairy, whatever.  This is a new thing. When I was growing up, you never heard of such a thing and I didn't know a single child (and I knew a lot as I was the town babysitter) who had any sort of emotional/mental problems because of a food allergy. I don't have a problem with people who do believe in it, but I myself have a hard time with it. I don't mind trying out dairy, as that has been a culprit of many problems for many years, though I still have a hard time with the emotional part.  I just can't believe that we all grew up just fine eating everything and now it's like 60% of kids can't eat gluten, or dairy or wheat, the list just keeps growing. I appreciate all the things that you and others have said in regards to diet and if nothing else works, then perhaps I will look to that, but I'm just not a believer at this point.

 

Luckiest,  I have heard a little about the gut health affecting some other health.  However, I do not have RA or an auto immune disease.  As a matter of fact, they have no idea what I have.  I have avascular necrosis (basically the bone dies from the inside out and eventually collapses) in multiple joints and have already had my hips replaced (at age 29) due to that, but they can't find a cause.  The only reason for bone death is loss of blood flow, but they have run a thousand tests on me and my blood is fine.  I have no clotting disorders or deficiencies of any kind.  I have many auto immune syptoms, strange rashes, swelling and painful joints and probably 50 more symptoms, but all my tests have come back negative.  I have even gone to the mayo clinic and been tested for diseases no one else has ever heard of.  I have none of them.  I also have things like my tendons will stiffen up and harden, making an arm, hand, foot or another body part unusable for a random amount of time.  It might be days, weeks or months and then it will be gone.  It always comes back, but there is no set pattern.  I get "lumps" that is the best word for them, under the skin.  They get very painful and swollen.  They biopsied one and found that it was necrotizing (the tissue was dying) that there was vasclitis and other things as well, but again, my bloodwork doesn't support any of that.  I may have had vasculitis in that bump, but no where else.  It is all quite crazy.  Basically I have a lot of things wrong with me, but there is no findable cause for them.  My blood is perfect. So, I don't think it can be linked to food in any way, or they would have found it by now.  Thank you for the info though.

 

Okay, I've been writing this over two days now...lol...I think its time to actually post it.

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#24 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Baltmom and kermit, I will respond as soon as I am able!

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#25 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 08:39 PM
 
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Thanks OP.. I think I needed to hear that what we are going through is likely to be normal. I've been hearing that a lot lately, and it really helps!

 

I can give anecdotal evidence to the connection Luckiest makes between arthritis and gluten.. my SMIL used to have major arthritis issues until she cut out gluten from her diet, and now she's a new woman. I keep thinking I should try to eliminate it just to see if it would help me, but my issues aren't that bad. I have osteo-arthritis in my knee (diagnosed and clearly hereditary), and also starting to get achey and creaky in my fingers and other places (I'm only 37!). I'm still able to do everything I need/want to do, but with some pain and I'm more prone to injury. If things get bad I'll try some dietary restrictions and see what happens... not sure if the gluten affects osteo-arthritis, but it's worth trying if it means I won't get knee replacement surgery like my dad did at 60 (i know that it will also help to stay active and not get overweight, so i'm working on that too :)).

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#26 of 29 Old 03-04-2013, 01:26 PM
 
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OP, forgive me for not getting much past your update after seeing your provider. We are headed out the door and I want to reply but I realize I may be missing some things further in the thread.

Your provider is wrong on the autism I believe. You have have huge flags for autism spectrum. I have a spectrum child and I see a lot in your post. Speech isn't delayed, can't be in fact, for an Aspie diagnosis. He has lots of flags. I didn't see anything in your post that made me think not in fact.

Can you ask around and see who evaluates autism and related developmental issues in your state? Your early intervention office may be able to give you leads on evaluators (he's too old to participate but they would be referring kids they serve likely), your Children's hospital, any autism societies or support groups in youar area, etc. You want someone who is experienced and able to evaluate a younger, higher functioning child.
He may be a child who needs medication actually. But I will say a few things about my son, who doesn't respond at all to consequences by the way/in fact it causes more negatives.

First, my son would have uncontrollable fits--including attacking people--when his blood sugar was lowish. We had to make sure we fed him every 2.5 hours--protein, complex carb, fat. I gave him a spoon of apple sauce as soon as he woke so I had time to get breakfast ready for him while he had a little boost.

Some kids really do respond extremely with food issues (gluten, dairy, etc.) so it's worth trying. But I think, I'm certain, you've got some underlying issues beyond that.

My son responds much better to a positive approach. Consequences weren't helpful, at least not the way they are typically done. Someone mentioned Green's the Explosive Child. Your library can probably get that and it's worth it. I can recommend a book that helped me the most but it has a religious tone (still usable if a person isn't offended by mention of Christian thoughts--it's really a behavioral approach--but he is clearly a Christian). Christlike Parenting I mention it because it has some ideas I've never seen anywhere else. Howard Glasser, though, is secular and takes a similar approach in his materials. Transforming The Difficult Child is not written as well as his newer book, All Children Flourishing. I prefer the All Children Flourishing but suspect Transforming the Difficult Child may have some additional things that might be helpful. Here is a page with his books. You can probably get at least the Transforming book at your library and certainly both of Glasser's through interlibrary loan. The other I couldn't get through the library but it had some ideas I didn't see in Glasser's work. I found all of them more effective than anything else with my son. Another thing to look into is sensory issues. I am sure you have some and addressing those may help. Hanen materials will help you address the play and relational things but save that until you get the behavior under control. Talkability might be great for him.

To start I'd find an evaluator (get recommendations as much as possible--you need someone good to evaluate high functioning preschoolers). Pay attention to food to see if there is a link to the behaviors (gluten first perhaps along with watching blood sugar). Request Green's book and one of Glasser's from your library. Is his room a safe place to take him (your hubby take him) when he's violent.

You really do need professional help. I feel for you. Oh, there is a special needs forum here too. You could ask there for thoughts. Those mamas often deal with this type of extreme.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#27 of 29 Old 03-05-2013, 08:54 AM
 
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I read your original post (but none of the follow ups, so someone may already have mentioned these same things).  None of this behavior sounds "normal", and I don't think it has anything whatsoever to do with what you're doing/not doing.  What you're looking at is outside of the realm of "normal", so the usual bag of tricks isn't going to cut it. 

 

It strikes me that he has some of the indicators for Aspergers (or maybe PPD-NOS), both autism spectrum disorders, particularly his interests, and his fine motor deficits.

Also, it sounds like you might be dealing with either a mood disorder or something behavioral like ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder).  Usually when I get kids with ODD they also have ADHD (a real fun combo, let me tell ya) but it's not unheard of for it to co-occur with Aspergers or Autism, and I've seen what that looks like--usually highly intelligent kids who are fine until you have to tell them no...then lookout! 

 

Get an evaluation regardless.  This is not normal stuff, and the more information you have on what is causing the issues, the better you'll be able to deal with them.  If you are dealing with something like an autism spectrum disorder, or a behavioral disorder, there aren't a lot of magic tricks that will work wonders, but there are some strategies that can be taught/implemented around learning how to self-manage, cope with frustration, deal with the sensory side of it, that will make things easier for all of you.  

 

The one encouraging thing I can say is that with things like autism spectrum disorders and other dramatic variations on what's normal, it usually does get better over time, and a lot of kids usually do grow out of some of the worst behaviors (especially the hitting/biting/tantrums)...not that they go away entirely, but they usually become less frequent/intense/violent as the child gets older (and learns more strategies for dealing with frustration).  I've noticed a pattern where a lot of kids with these kinds of issues do tend to mellow out a bit as they get older.

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#28 of 29 Old 03-05-2013, 11:15 AM
 
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For what it's worth, all of my bloodwork came back negative for autoimmunity, and while they finally decided to call my illness RA, it didn't fit the clinical description and was just mysterious joint degradation. As far as I'm aware there aren't blood tests to confirm leaky gut, so it's very possible to have clean bloodwork and major gut health problems.



Living and loving in ATX with DH (of 7 years) and DS (3.5)
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#29 of 29 Old 03-05-2013, 11:53 AM
 
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Couldn't read but not respond. One of my kids is very close in age to yours. I agree with others that your child sounds academically advanced. One of our older kids learned to count to 20 in preschool (real preschool, not a daycare for two year olds that calls itself 'school'). Being able to do addition and/or subtraction is, in our experience, kindergarten level work. Some kids play by sorting or lining up toys but if that is the only kind of play, no imaginative or creative play, then it might be cause for concern. The tantrums sounds really difficult. Not sure there is much to do besides keep at your doctor for referrals to specialists. If your doctor isn't being very helpful maybe bring in a written list of the number, type, and severity of tantrums that happened over several days along with a video of typical aggression and/or a tantrum.

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