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<p>Hello folks,</p>
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<p>My 7 yo ds has ADHD, SPD and scored high on some autism assessment characteristics but was not found to be "on the spectrum". He has above average IQ but is not "meeting expectations" in terms of reading and writing stuff. We are homeschooling with the support of a government program. My 4.5 yo dd is apparently neurotypical.</p>
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<p>Their father abruptly left us in January and moved into his own apartment...we will be getting divorced. He is a wonderful, attached father who continues to be very involved in their lives, but of course it is a huge emotional thing for my children to process, and they are having difficulty naming and expressing their feelings. I do my best to help them with that, but I haven't had much luck with communicating verbally about this. Ds' art therapist, who he's been seeing for a year and loves, also finds it quite hard to get ds to communicate about his feelings, moreso than ever.</p>
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<p>I really need support with setting firm boundaries with my children. They seem to be feeling "out of control" and needing a stronger "container" for their emotional distress.</p>
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<p>The behaviours are very disturbing: hitting, punching, kicking, scratching, throwing large objects, threatening to break expensive items, swearing, roaring, shouting. This is not constant, but regularly small frustrations, sibling fights, etc. lead to out of control behaviours. There is often a "tag-teaming" element to things, when one child is a "victim" and screaming and the other is continuing the aggressive behaviours leaving me without the option of focusing on one child and helping them to calm down.</p>
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<p>I know from experience that parents have lots of wonderful ideas about being proactive about behaviour problems and preventing them. I prefer to avoid that as a focus of this thread because their father and I have invested SO much energy in the proactive stuff (attachment parenting, Gordon Neufeld stuff, lots of outdoor exercise, circus classes, homeschooling, strong routines, coaching, talking it through, etc. etc.).</p>
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<p>At this point I have a strong feeling that I need to assert my authority when aggression and extremely hostile behaviour is in progress and I am looking for guidance from parents who know what I am dealing with.</p>
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<p>I have avoided timeouts because I'm concerned that they are not connecting, and because I have read all the arguments against them. I also frankly did not know how I would actually enforce them because I know that both of my children would fight me tooth and nail. I can't really do "time-ins" because of the two children -- it's rare that one is able to occupy themselves while I deal with the other one. I did read an ADHD book that basically spelled out that enforcing a timeout would require possibly 25 tries of getting the child to stay in the timeout place until they "gave up". It sounds like a huge physical power struggle. OTOH, I am starting to feel terrorized by my children, and often feel shell-shocked by 8 AM. I know from growing up with a troubled brother that this can get worse and worse. I am barely strong enough to control my 7 yo at this point. As the single mother who is the primary caregiver, I feel I am an emotional scapegoat for them. I want to provide consistent, loving boundaries that show them who's in charge and support their presently quite weak self-regulatory skills.</p>
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<p>A pediatrician suggested that my son might benefit from Risperidal (sp?) to treat his aggressive tendencies. That is a last resort for me, but things are simply unworkable right now. My children are very attached to me and their father and I know they feel loved and cared for. But they also need to be able to count on me to handle situations where they have lost impulse control and cannot be reasoned with verbally. My children also need my support in setting physical boundaries with one another.</p>
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<p>I didn't post in the Gentle Discipline section because I just don't have the energy to read and reply to posters who have all sorts of strategies that work for their intact family with neurotypical children. My kids' intensity is great enough that it's not an exaggeration to say that they contributed to the failure of our marriage.</p>
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<p>Thank you for reading this super long post.</p>
 
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