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#1 of 135 Old 10-19-2004, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3 y/o . . . . .where to start . . . . . .

He is a terror. A complete terror. I am not exaggerating in anyway and I am about to loose my cool with him.

He is definately spirited! We are having him evaluated by a behavioral pediatrician but that's going to be a while before it happens. They have quite a wait list.

My 3 y/o is constantly bouncing off walls, jumping on furniture, playing rough with his toys and his baby brother, constantly doing things I ask or tell him not to do (hit his brother, playing in the sink, pooping on the floor, throwing toys . . . the list could go on), yelling and screaming, won't nap . . . . I don't think there is a single minute of the day that I am stopping him from doing something he shouldn't or that I am not upset with him for something he has done.

Now, that said . . . this goes way beyond a typical 3 y/o's behavior. I'm done. I can't do it anymore. I need help!!!! I really am starting to think I hate this child.

Does anyone have any encouraging words, suggestions, info on why he acts this way??

HELP ME!!!!!!!
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#2 of 135 Old 10-19-2004, 08:23 PM
 
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Im no expert but heres the things that pop into my head
-Does he watch TV? -does he get lots of outside time?
-does he get lots of whole foods-especially veggies to eat?
-Have you tried eliminating dairy, wheat, sugar, preservatives, flavourings,colourings,ect..blah blah from his diet?
Umm, what else? -does he get some one-on-one time with his parents?
-Maybe his life is too hectic, or not busy enough
-does he get to make choices?
-Any possible allergies to pets in the house?

I hope you get the advice you are looking for-and by the sounds of it a much needed break/rest.
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#3 of 135 Old 10-19-2004, 09:35 PM
 
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Hi,

I'm also not an expert, but what I was thinking, maybe you're after him too much? It looks indeed like he has enough energy for two or even three, but has he the opportunity to free that energy?

Okay, hitting his brother is not a good idea, but perhaps you could refocus that energy to hitting something else. Have a go on the walls, hit the walls. Do you have carpets? Hang them outside, let him hit on that.

Playing in the sing? What is wrong with that? I agree it can become a mess, but if he's got so much energy, then perhaps he'll be helping with the cleaning too.

Throwing toys. Again, is it really wrong to throw toys? To me it seems that sometimes that is what toys are for ;-) If it's getting dangerous, make a game out of it. Throw toys into the toysbasket. And have a good laugh each time it's a succes?

You write:
Quote:
I don't think there is a single minute of the day that I am stopping him from doing something he shouldn't or that I am not upset with him for something he has done.
I would get really nervous if someone was there constantly behind me telling me I shouldn't do this and that. So what can I do?

It is very possible that your child is highly sensitive, but to me it still sounds like a normal child that tries to vent its energy.

Fiikske

Belgian mom, Polish blood, 2 little girls running around (2003/2005), and a little boy (nov 2009).
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#4 of 135 Old 10-19-2004, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Fiiske but I can assure you that it is not just a normal child behavior. He was tested for sensory integration disorder but it seems no one really wants to label him that. They just say he has sensory issue.

I'd respond more to what you have said but my brain is fried at the time and I couldn't possibly put together a good rebutle.
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#5 of 135 Old 10-19-2004, 10:00 PM
 
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Why a rebuttle?

When did these behaviours begin?

I know there are legitimate behaviour disorders such as autism, that benefit from a diagnosis, but what you described sounds within normal, assuming your son can make eye contact, show affection, and speak.

I would eliminate all preservatives, dyes, television, and spend most of the day outdoors for 6 months before even considering a "diagnosis" for this. You need to find ways to center yourself, and this will help him to center.

Hugs to you both.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#6 of 135 Old 10-19-2004, 10:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
I would eliminate all preservatives, dyes, television, and spend most of the day outdoors for 6 months before even considering a "diagnosis" for this.

That's what I would do, too (right after I beat my head against the wall). I'd focus on diet - it's such a HUGE part of behavior. I'd go totally whole foods, no sugar. It's more stressful initially, but gets to be old hat pretty darned quick.

I'd keep the little one out of his reach as much as possible and then focus on showing him the "can" for all of the "can't"s. It's not okay to throw toys at little brother, but you can throw toys through this hoop. Make it a game - how many can he get in the basket? Or set some toys up and give him a ball to let him roll at the toys like a bowling ball. There are sharp things in the sink, so let's put water in the tub and play or in a bucket and take it outside. It's not okay to jump on the furniture - maybe have a spare mattress that he can jump on? Or see if you can find a little trampoline secondhand. Playing rough with his toys? Honestly, I've had to let this one go. My son is SO rough with his toys. I remind him that if he's too rough, he's going to break them and then he won't have them to play with anymore. (I don't nag, I just say it very matter of factly, "Babes, just so you know, what you're doing to that toy might break it.") And that's all I say about it. He inevitably breaks it and it either goes in the trash (and he gets upset) or he finds a new way to play with the broken part.

Obviously you're frustrated (who wouldn't be?!). He's probably equally (if not more) so. Unless there's much left out of your post, though, it sounds as though you've come to see his energy as something totally negative - spiteful, almost - and, so, he's in a "place" where he can't do anything right. Energy is a GREAT thing. Try to keep in mind that it's going to serve him very well someday to be so energetic, determined, perseverant (that's what gets me through the days, anyway :LOL). Then try to channel it for good.

If you want to go over specific scenarios, I'm sure the ladies on this board can help out.

Beyond that, I just want to offer a . I know how hard it can be.
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#7 of 135 Old 10-19-2004, 11:07 PM
 
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Intensity Momma
- BTDT. I don't really think any of these suggestions, although well intended, are very helpful. You do need to find other mommas who know that this is a kid whose brain is different than other kids. I had/have one of these. We went through years of hell together. I got a bunch of diagnoses- ADD, Tourettes, Bipolar, just a brat, bad mommy. The things I found most helpful- keep him safe and focus on loving as many minutes of the day that you can. Get support. Don't beat yourself up. Get more help. Pass him around to other people so he can't wear you out. If you are getting an assessment, what do you think it will say and if it does, what would you do? I mean if they say he has a serious neurological problem are you willing to consider medications? If you are- maybe you just need to give them a try. You need something soon. Kids like this can destroy perfectly healthy parents. Try and see it like a storm, or a fit instead of a behavior. Just hold him until it passes. I don't know how I did it but he is a beautiful (underemployed) adult today who appreciates me so much for hanging in there. And that is really all I could do- hang on and live through it. Bless you. My heart hurts for you.

Maureen
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#8 of 135 Old 10-19-2004, 11:38 PM
 
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After reading your posts, I felt like you needed a . Many of the mamas here have already given you some excellent advice re: diet and re-direction, and MsMoMpls was right on the money! This sounds alot like my son, and she is so right when she says behavior like this can destroy parents.
It's so hard when people around you say "oh ~ my child does the same things". If they could spend just 1 day, morning to night, in your shoes, they would see that this is not normal childhood behavior, I assure you.

Lots of s and prayers being sent your way, mama. Take things one day at a time, and most of all, DON'T BLAME YOURSELF. This is the way your son is programmed, not a result of something you've done or failed to do. Tell yourself this everyday.

I hope you find a solution soon.
Feel free to PM me ~ I'm right there with you.
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#9 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 12:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
I don't really think any of these suggestions, although well intended, are very helpful.
Out of curiosity, what do you find not helpful? What I see are suggestions for refocusing on the positive as opposed to the negative. No one is saying it should be easy - just that it's necessary. How is that not helpful?

Quote:
The things I found most helpful- keep him safe and focus on loving as many minutes of the day that you can.
Oddly enough, I think this is the implied message of most of the posts above.
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#10 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 12:22 AM
 
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I also have a child that is high needs, high energy, exahusting, super smart, etc...he is also sid, adhd, oppisional defient disorder, and posibly bi-polar. lots of hugs to you.

my approach to managing him is to get him past this moment/behavior. I ask for help from others who can handle him often. I work really hard to give him reconition for good moments/behaviors.

I forgive myself my mistakes. I forgive him his.

keep trying.

mom to four lively children. birth and postpartum doula. midwifery student. choosing to enjoy life. :
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#11 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 03:29 AM
 
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I wanted to come back and add that my child is twelve now. each year it has gotten a tiny bit easier. I have continued to learn new parenting skills. he has learned to control it a bit better.

I really like him at twelve. I often hated him at three. the guilt was incredable and it slowed down my growth as a parent for several years. Once I accepted that this was just who he was not what he was doing to me , I was much more able to love him for the wonderful child he could be. It also helped to realize that while my reactions to him contributed to his issues...I was not the cause of them.

there are things that you can try to work on his issues...homeopathy, providing lots of structured active outlets, working on diet (elimating milk was a big one for us), therapy (to work on new parenting skills for you and to give him another outlet to vent some of his energy in), etc.

do things for you too. find someone who can give you a break from him...and use them. journaling is helpful to some people. do something active yourself. pick one behavior of his that you have a hard time with and work for three days to respond differantly each time he does it.

You can not make him change but he may respond differantly to you if you change the way you act.

just offering some of the things I've learned over the years...

mom to four lively children. birth and postpartum doula. midwifery student. choosing to enjoy life. :
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#12 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 09:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
Out of curiosity, what do you find not helpful? What I see are suggestions for refocusing on the positive as opposed to the negative. No one is saying it should be easy - just that it's necessary. How is that not helpful?

\
I don't mean to sound snarly- it is just I don't think parents whose children are "normal" understand that when you get to your last nerve, have tried everything and nothing has worked- hearing "focus on the positive, be patient, be kinder, etc." ends up feeling like- "you haven't really tried everything, you aren't really at wits end." I heard her despair because it has been my own and reacted from there. I apologize.

Maureen
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#13 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 01:06 PM
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You've gotten some good suggestions about the dietary possibilities. My suggestion would be to organize your house (baby-proof) it so that there are as few "no's" as possible. If throwing toys is a problem, only have soft toys in reach. Save the hard toys for when you know he's in a mood to handle them. If climbing furniture is a problem, make sure it is all anchored first, so you know he'll at least be safe from the furniture falling on him. Maybe put couch cushions on the floor so he can have something to jump on, if that is the reason for his climbing. Keep the baby out of his reach at all times.

I wonder if switching your attitude from seeing him as a child capable of controlling himself who is just disobeying you to a child that isn't capable of controlling himself and is trying desperately to make sense of why mama is always upset might help. While 3 year olds are at a stage of boundary testing, they really aren't out to get you. So, maybe he is developing differently, and not able to control himself. From his perspective, that must be very frightening.

s to you both. I hope you get some answers and relief soon.


Bec

Mama to: Katie, Emily , and Abby
Not perfect, Just amazing!
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#14 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China white
After reading your posts, I felt like you needed a . Many of the mamas here have already given you some excellent advice re: diet and re-direction, and MsMoMpls was right on the money! This sounds alot like my son, and she is so right when she says behavior like this can destroy parents.
It's so hard when people around you say "oh ~ my child does the same things". If they could spend just 1 day, morning to night, in your shoes, they would see that this is not normal childhood behavior, I assure you.

Lots of s and prayers being sent your way, mama. Take things one day at a time, and most of all, DON'T BLAME YOURSELF. This is the way your son is programmed, not a result of something you've done or failed to do. Tell yourself this everyday.

I hope you find a solution soon.
Feel free to PM me ~ I'm right there with you.
Thank you China White. Your kindness is much appreciated!
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#15 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
I don't mean to sound snarly- it is just I don't think parents whose children are "normal" understand that when you get to your last nerve, have tried everything and nothing has worked- hearing "focus on the positive, be patient, be kinder, etc." ends up feeling like- "you haven't really tried everything, you aren't really at wits end." I heard her despair because it has been my own and reacted from there. I apologize.

Yes, yes, yes! I know I did not convey my son's actual behaviors very well in my first post. I was at my wits end and just needed to gets something out and it didn't come out that well. So that is my fault. Now, MsMoMpls is exactly right in that I often tell people about my son's behavior and I get the "oh he's just a normal 3 y/o" but I know that is not true and if they spent a day with him, they would know that too.

I also want to clarify that I do not ALWAYS look negativly at my son's behavior. He is incredibly smart and advanced in most of his skills, which I think makes things a little harder when dealing with him. His sense of consequences and impulse control are not advanced (maybe he is "normal" on these for his age) and I think this is what causes some of the problems. My son is a very bright, loving, friendly and playful kid. But . . . there are days when those wonderful traits are no where to be seen and he just keeps pushing and pushing ubtil I start to loose it. That being said, I never yell at him and tell him he is awful or anything. I just tell him to stop. Usually I only tell him that after he has done the exact same thing I have tried to redirect him from several times in a row. He is the kind of child that you can redirect until you fall down from exhaustion and once you let him go he's right back in the sink, hitting his brother, jumping on furniture . . . . . It is a major frustration.

One last thing . . . he does drink milk, although it is raw, organic milk. He eats mostly whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, a little meat . . . . the only real proccessed food he eats are fruit snacks. Everything else is organic.

As far as a place or activity to use his excess energy . . . . he does need that. We are looking into a tumbling class.

Okay, well, I just put out a fire that the 3 y/o started on the stove. I need to open some windows and get the smoke out. No, I am not a bad parent!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is just a quick, sly, smart little boy.
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#16 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:02 PM
 
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I’m sorry but I don't have any help and I'm not sure my words will even be all that encouraging but I can try.

I'm not sure if I'm just noticing because I'm now the mother of a 3 year old but I see SO MANY posts about the challenges of having a 3 year old child. They seem to be everywhere ~ Gentle Discipline, Childhood Years...It's as if threes are the new twos!

I'm having a terrible time and I'm finding myself not liking my child nearly as much as I did before.

My child is 'normal' but I still feel this way so I can't imagine how much more difficult this stage is for a high needs child.

Would you be interested in starting a support group for parents of 3 year olds? I'm actually not joking!

I think I’m going to start one tonight. Would you mind if I linked your thread because I may go through some of the recent threads and put them up on the new support thread. I think it would be helpful to see the spectrum.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#17 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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IdentityCrisisMama-
I think this is a WONDERFUL idea. You can go a head and link my post. I think I need the support of mama's who have either been here or are here.

Thanks a bunch

Jaime
(who is in a smoke filled house but has calmed the 3 y/o with an organic hot dog)
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#18 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:18 PM
 
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Oh mama you need a day off to regroup for sure! Always remember the saying "this too shall pass" Make it your mantra! I definitely agree with the others about finding a way for him to burn up his excess energy. I hate to compare your son to a dog but I used to have a dog that would drive me completely nuts (tearing up everything, barking nonstop, scratching up the walls and doors, running in circles into things, etc) and then I finally came to my senses and started taking him to a nearby tenniscourt where he could run around fenced in and act as crazy as he wants. It helped immensely. Maybe he could participate in some kind of preschooler soccer.(my dh's suggestion) he said when he did soccer at 3-4 years old he basically ran back and forth through a field nonstop chasing the ball.
One of my playgroup friends suggests spraying lavendar and giving him lavendar scented baths.
Does he like puzzles? Try giving him some semi challenging puzzles.
I used to work at a preschool for children with assessed needs in developmental areas we had some boys who sound exactly like your son. What worked best was to structure the room with stations. Like in the beginning of the day he starts out in station 1-dress up after a certain amount of time he goes to station 2-puzzles, next station 3- books, station 4-food preparation, etc. Each time they finished a station they would have to take a picture we had laminated of them and stick it to a board listing the next station. This sort of discipline really help a lot. If you have any other questions let me know! I want to help!

Mother of 3, welcomed a new baby girl July 2011

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#19 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Let me just say that I was very hesitant to post this thread here . . . especially with the title I chose . . . which expresses my feelings and is not meant to be a "shock and awe" sort of thing.

I am very, very happy that I did post. The mama's who have responded have been very kind and have had great ideas.

Thanks again!
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#20 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:23 PM
 
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Has your son always been high-needs? Or is this something that has started since he was three? We were at a wedding this summer, and I looked over, and my three year old son was repeatedly kicking his baby sister in the stomach (she was in crawl position). We had our eyes off him for maybe 5 seconds. Everyone was looking on in horror.

He was the most mellow baby and two year old. When he gets like this, we just have to get out of the house.

I agree that your son definitely has extreme behavior, not to downplay or minimize it as a stage. My son generally does pretty well, but he now has these "Mr Hyde" times that we never had to deal with before.

I would agree with pulling stuff out of the environment if he's throwing. I'd also ask myself if there are any triggers, and if there is anyone that he behaves better with. My son is an angel at other people's houses and nicer when daddy's around. It doesn't mean I am doing something wrong, it just means that I am "mom", and that comes with added baggage for little ones. We are the safe ones to go ballistic around. Lucky us.

Hope things get better.

L.
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#21 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:27 PM
 
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Why do you say its not normal childhood behaviour? Everything you've described sounds exactly like my son and then some! I always get told there must be "something" wrong with him. You know what? I refuse to label my child. There is nothing wrong with your son or mine. They are who they are. Portraying the message that there is something wrong with him (which a child can pick up on) will make him even more stressed and acting out. I honestly am not understanding why you are dismissing all of these good people's advice. How do you KNOW that they don't have a child the same and don't know what you are going through? Nothing you've said has been something my son hasn't done.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#22 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:38 PM
 
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I have to agree with Heavenly. When my son was 3 he required, as Mad Eye Moony would have said in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"..."CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!!".

I am absolutely serious. I could never have trusted my son at 3 to control his impulses. I would never have left him alone near a baby, stove, sharp object, electronic object, unlocked door, water, you name it. He was also very bright and loving, there was nothing "wrong" with him. But he required constant and endless supervision.

I am not sure who you are comparing your son too. So compare him to mine. He is now 8 and the most wonderful boy. Imagine all of the good things about your 3 year old, minus the impulsiveness and aggression, plus great verbal skills. That is the 8 year old version of these kinds of 3 year olds. I'd say things started to get easier at 5, and improved each year from there.

I agree with Heavenly that you are assuming no one understands you. I understand you, I just don't agree your son is sick and needs professional counseling or medication. I believe you are meeting his needs by providing a loving home, good food, plenty of exercise, and firm guidance as he learns boundaries. It will get better.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#23 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Read my previous post. I am not dissmissing everyone's advice. I know that my child has issues. He has been getting speech therapy since he was 14 months old, OT since he was 2 and is now getting some behavioral therapy.

As far as labeling him . . . . I have NEVER in is presence said there is anything wrong with him or said he has sensory integration disorder or has slow speech developement. Do you think I want there to be something wrong with my child?????????? I don't!!!!!!!!! But mama instinct tells me something is not right here. My mama instinct has never served me wrong so far.

And yes . . . he has always been this way . . . since birth he has been "high needs". It is just now showing in different ways because he is not an infant anymore.

I never said my child was sick . . . just different. Also, the last thing I want for him is medication or proffessional councelling. However, I don't think having him evaluated is a bad thing. If I do not, and there is actually a real problem, isn't that doing him a disservice?
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#24 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:42 PM
 
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We have talked before about how similar our sons are and I wanted to offer one thing that works well for us and might work even though your son is a tad older.

I know a lot of people here are totally against all tv, but I have to say that music videos have worked wonders for Zane. Music seems to focus him in a way nothing else can. I especially like Cedermont Kids videos and they have things like "action songs" that are pretty neat, but all of them that I have are good. I set him up with the video and a variety of "instruments", lots of percussive type things from drums, maracas, and some world instruments (the cabasa is the loudest biggest hit around here) or just coffee cans and bowls ad things to hit them with. When I have just had *enough* I set this up for him and pop in a video in a room I can hear him, but don't have to be in so he can loudly sing, dance and make lots of noise banging on things. He loves it, and when I calm down I can really enjoy it and sometimes even join him. It focuses him and allows him to get out all the angst and energy in a more positive way.

Mostly, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone.

eta: kazoos are also great since they don't require fingering and the little tykes piano type things...no batteries and pretty durable. The one I have can be played like a piano type thing or you can bang on the metal pieces with a stick to make the sound.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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#25 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 02:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by intensity_too
I am very, very happy that I did post. The mama's who have responded have been very kind and have had great ideas.

Thanks again!


PM me if you have any suggestions for the support thread, which I will work on tonight.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#26 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 04:09 PM
 
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I am curious what led you to starting speech therapy at 14 months?

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#27 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, wrong or right you can debate, we noticed that many other children my son's age could make sounds . . . . if not words. Joe was very much an "AHHHHHHHHHHHH" kind of guy. It seemed to be very much in frustration. He wanted to communicate with us but just didn't know how to do it. We had him evaluated and the therapist agreed. Now, I hate calling it SPEECH therapy. Or goal was not to have him speaking in words or anything but to find a way to help him communicate his needs. We did this with sign language to begin with and as he got older . . . . we began to teach him actual words. He still gets therapy for speech issues, mainly for intelligibilty because he has a lisp.
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#28 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 04:22 PM
 
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Oh you did get back to it fast...edited to say that

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#29 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 04:40 PM
 
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Intensity too, I only know what you are saying here. I don't know you or your son.

You titled your thread "I think I hate my child".

I would encourage you to examine your own attitudes towards interventions and therapy.

I am not judging those as right or wrong. I am saying that no amount of therapy will make you feel better about this child.

You have a bright, loving, energetic, healthy child. You said this yourself. It is up to you to decide to be joyful about that, while deciding how to handle his extra needs.

Maybe he does need all of this therapy, or maybe not, I can't answer that. I would encourage you to be very cautious however, in looking to therapies to improve your attitude towards him. That is just going to frustrate you both.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#30 of 135 Old 10-20-2004, 04:44 PM
 
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I wanted to ask have you changed how you were handling discipline? I know we've talked about this before but its been awhile. If you have taken a more positive approach I would give it time to work itself out. He sounds like a good kid. I know you love him and you are frustrated. How do you think he "should" act? I wonder if you maybe expect too much. I think he sounds like every 3 yo boy that I see at the park. I'm sorry this is short and to the point but I'm pretty sick and my hands ache.
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