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#1 of 12 Old 01-30-2003, 03:03 AM - Thread Starter
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O.k Here is my situation. I have a 3 yr old son who is shall I say very hard to please. My ds has some very distinguished behavioral problems, sensory issues and assertiveness issues as well. My ds just turned 3 on Nov.6. He is very difficult to discipline. No matter what we have tried, he continues to do what he should not X amount of times a day. These things stream from hitting himself in the head with sever anger when things do not go his way to a full screaming fit in public. I feel that I do not know what to with him anymore. He is "so-called" behind in speech/language skills he is at a 18 mo old level, and is 3. This is all very difficult. I feel that I am constantly disciplining him ALL the time and that it does not faze him. Every 5 min. of the day he is yelling or hitting his little 21mo old brother, I am so FRUSTATED. So we are trying to decide if a Kindercare type preschool environment would be good for him to be aroung other kids his age. To see how other children his age deal with frustration and anger. Maybe he will see that there are other ways to see things. I don't know? I am so tired and worn out by all of this. My doctors tell me to take him off this food and that food, and maybe he needs drugs and this and that. AWW. Well I would not ever give my children drugs no matter what!! We have tried the food elimination thing, and it worked for a while. But to no end we do not have the money to eat the way we would have to to keep my son on the diet. He has to be off of all wheat,dairy,soy,citrus,corn products of all kinds, and refined sugar and flour. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. Thanks for listening.
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#2 of 12 Old 01-30-2003, 03:34 AM
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First off, HUGS to you and your litle ones.

The first two things you mentioned, hitting himself, and the tantrums, IMO, aren't really punishable offenses. The first, he is pretty much punishing himself, and the second, it really is impossible to force someone not to scream. The best advicec I can give you for the above are as follows:

If he is hitting himself, walk away. Don't acknowledge the behavior- just make sure he is in a safe place. As for tantrums, using a soft voice remind him where he is, and tell him it would be easier for you to help him, if he used his big boy inside voice. Try telling him it hurts your ears when he screams, have you tried distraction? Super markets are full of interesting things for toddlers to look at.

As far as preschool, I do think interaction with other children his age would be aplus, but in the long run I think it only puts a bandaid on the issue for a few hours a day. You'll still have to interact with him at home.

It seems he needs to be supervised ata ll times, especially when near his brother. I'd say, if he can't use his gentle hands while with brother, then he can't be with him, and leave the room, or at least separate them to out of touching distance.

What is the cost issue with elimination? It seems that it would be more cost effective to illiminate certain foods. But, I could be wrong, I have been before

I guess my final bit of advice would be...patience. Stop disciplining him, and beginning teaching him with behavior he can copy(not saying you don't I promise ) When he hits or is out of control, stop him and demonstrate appropriate behavior.

Ex: when he hits, stop him and use his hand on the object and say" let's use our soft touches" demonstrate using your hand on him and his hand on object.

I hope I have been of some help, ,and I really hope you find peacec in your situation. It does sound frustrating.
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#3 of 12 Old 01-30-2003, 04:02 AM
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This sounds really tough. I would absolutely be focusing on his diet if it helped. It must be hard for the poor little guy to feel so out of control, and for you and his brother to deal with it all the time.

At the library, see if they have the book "Cooking the Whole Foods Way." If they don't have that one, see what other "whole foods' or 'allergy/elimination diet' books they have. This will at least give you some ideas of things you can buy and prepare for him, and the rest of the family to eat. It doesn't have to be more expensive - you might actually find that it ends up costing less not buying processed foods. A lot of grains, beans, nuts, etc. can be bought in bulk. In season fruits and veggies can be very inexpensive at farmer's markets.

If you know that the diet works, I would really give that another shot.

Edited to add: I just saw an article about this diet and how it affects behavior on's home page. You should check it out!
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#4 of 12 Old 01-30-2003, 05:43 PM
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Well, my opinion is that if he has trouble controlling himself at home, hits his sibling often, etc. I would think that same behavior would occur at preschool. My thought when reading your post was "could he be successful at preschool?" By that I mean, could he handle it? Could he be up to speed with other three year olds if developmentally, he is at 18 months? All kids have to learn the social skills of how to handle frustration without hitting, sitting in circle, taking turns, etc. but is it fair to him (or the other kids in the class) to put him in a situation where he is likely to fail?

When our dd1 was in a 3s class (her first year of preschool), there was a little girl who had some developmental issues. Very sweet girl. More an issue of her being painfully shy (couldn't look or talk to you much of the time) so it wasn't an issue of her disrupting class or hurting other kids - it was just hard for her. The next year (4s class) her mom moved her to a preschool that was set up for kids with developmental issues. I believe she did very well there.

Good luck deciding what will be best for him. I am a big proponent of preschool for 3 and 4 year olds but maybe keeping him home this year and going when he is four may give him a higher liklihood of success? Maybe that one more year of maturation will help him learn to handle his emotions? IMO the main focus of early schooling (preschool, kindergarten, etc.) is for the child to love school - to wake up and ask if they "get" to go to school today, not if they "have" to.
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#5 of 12 Old 01-30-2003, 07:20 PM
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Do you have access to a special needs or early intervention type of program through your school district or county health department? Talk to your pediatrician, school district, and county health dep't to find out. Really push hard on the issue. If your child is developmentally delayed, he will need you as his strong advocate throughout his entire education, starting now. Whatever the case- you deserve some help with your child. He has special needs and deserves the help.

If you could access a special needs preschool or program, I'd say definitely take advantage of it. Then you might have the energy to pursue the food sensitivities a bit more. You might want to to do a search for that on the good eating forum. I know a lot of people here deal with food sensitivities for behavioral issues.
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#6 of 12 Old 01-30-2003, 08:52 PM
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you could put him in one and see how it goes. you can always cancel.


im not sure about diet issues. i am sure if you are in a big city it wouldn't be such a problem as they deal with lots of religious people's diets and might be accustom to it. smaller community, it might be harder.

you will never know until you ask.

call lots of different places and get info.

i think interaction with others might be good, it might be bad as well. im not sure you will know unless you try.
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#7 of 12 Old 01-31-2003, 03:25 AM
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you would be amazed at how easy it can be to make your own wheat free, dairy free breads...perhaps not"loaf" types, but more pita/fry bread types...perfect for sandwiches. Use a bean puree instead of cheese products on a sandwich, or a mix of pates (veggie) and tahini. Corn is easily avoided by cutting out processed foods, which will also eliminate much of the refied sugars and flours.
I KNOW it seems hard, but I have had to do a two week food elimination diet for my husband, which also eliminated eggs, nuts, etc etc...we managed, and we're pretty financially strapped. In retrospect, I see how much money I was spending on refined breads, cookies and crackers , and am disgusted! By making our own we have given my son a great sense of rhythm about the foods he eat and their preparation, and we're saving money, and it's got more nutritional value. PLEASE give the food elimination a shot.
My son was lactose intolerant and was also having problems with ALL GRAINS, and soy foods up until very recently. He lived off veggies and breastmilk.
Have you thought about taking your son to a chiropractor? The nervous system obviously has a lot to do with development...maybe he has some misalignments that could be corrected? I would hightly recomment an applied kinesiology-trained chiro. Chiropractice worked for my son, who was definitely not thriving. He has now recovered and can eat pretty much anything.
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#8 of 12 Old 01-31-2003, 10:53 AM
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Just want to second leafyleady's post; your son sounds like he would really benefit from early intevention services, for both behavioral issues and for sensory integration. Connecting to a special needs preschool will help get him the services he might need (occupational therapy, play therapy, speech therapy, etc) and also help you to feel not so alone in dealing with these issues and get you the support you need. Best of luck.
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#9 of 12 Old 02-01-2003, 02:33 PM
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expressive receptive language disorder -( and vax ppdnos)and like your ds
he was a certain age but developmentally quite far behind when he had his first eval
we did private speech and later occupational therapy and a lot of the behaviours that you are going through with your son began to disappear for our ds as he was better able to communicate and learn how to calm himself and redirect himself

We also did the diet and in that discovered Red Dye # 40 made him an absolute beast !!
which is how we got started on the now current more natural foods lifestyle

if you go the preschool route as someone who has been there with this I would say find one set up for kids with developmental disabilities. Putting him in a three year old room when he is more like an 18 month old will set him up for much more frustrations and difficulties.
Good luck with whatever you go with
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#10 of 12 Old 02-01-2003, 09:16 PM
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I just have to chime in about the diet. My son has had behavioral problems for some time. I always knew the diet would help, but his dad didn't want him on a special diet, he thought it was too restrictive.

But now that I myself am on the diet and dh saw how beneficial it has been for me, he allowed me to put ds on it. The difference in his behavior is like night and day. He used to get this wild, desperate look in his eyes when he was out of control that seemed to say "I don't like this any more than you, but I can't help it". Now he doesn't get out of control that way. But if he has anything he can't tolerate, the old symptoms come back.

The food we eat can build us up or destroy us, depending on the choices we make. It's really not fair to expect a child to behave normally when we persist in giving them foods that make that impossible for them. The diet has been worth it for us. And it is possible to do it economically if you learn to make most of your food from scratch.
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#11 of 12 Old 02-01-2003, 10:40 PM
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I second the idea of going to a chiropractor. The nervous sytem controls all the functions in the body and if there's any interference, you can have problems. There is some info about kids and chiropactic on our website (I put it at the end). I take care of a lot of children in our practice and see tremendous results in behavioral issues, although it sounds as if he does need some dietary intervention. I understand that the natural foods can be more expensive, but that's usually the prepared foods. If you buy more fresh foods and less boxed and/or frozen stuff, it may be cheaper.
Another thought...was he vaccinated? There are ways to reverse the ill effects of vaccines through the use of homepathics. I don't know a lot about it, but it may be something to investigate. A lot of behavioral things can be traced to neurological damage cause from vaccines, or even environmental allergies.
Good luck to you! Dawn
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#12 of 12 Old 02-02-2003, 06:18 PM
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I can so relate to that look of panic when the behaviours are escalating!! I second (third) (fourth) about the diet. If it helps him you must do this. I know it can be hard and time consuming, but if his health and well-being depends on it....
Hugs to you and your family. Hang in there, Read everything you can about taking care of your ds. I 'll bet he would like to be a happy boy and know how to please his mamma as much as you would like to enjoy him, instead of fighting all the time.
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