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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>joensally</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15103767"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This. The more you share, the more he sounds like he may be on the spectrum. In young kids, a lot of the behaviours can look like early onset bipolar - diagnosing young kids is hard.</div>
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Hi Joensally:<br><br>
Thanks so much for all this info!!! I have copied all the links and will be looking into this.<br><br>
Man, when I am done, I will have an entire library of books about parenting, discipline, and special needs!<br><br>
I already feel embarrassed when anyone comes over because, geez, it looks like I have some major problems!<br><br>
Here's just a small glimpse at my bookshelf:<br><ul><li>Transforming the Difficult Child</li>
<li>The Explosive Child</li>
<li>The Challenging Child</li>
<li>The Discipline Book</li>
<li>Playful Parenting</li>
<li>The Out of Sync Child</li>
<li>The Kadzin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child</li>
<li>The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers</li>
<li>Raising the Spirited Child</li>
</ul><br>
I won't even list the 100 books on MY personal self-help list!!!<br><br>
Basically, if you were in my house and didn't know me, you'd think I had some serious problems!<br><br>
Well, to be fair, maybe I do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Have you tried melatonin for sleep? A lot of this may be exacerbated by lack of sleep. Melatonin is natural (well, the supplement is a synthetic version of what our bodies naturally produce) and is widely used and regarded as safe in children. It comes in many forms, including a very mild tasting liquid - my kids take .5 mL, which represents a dosage of 1.5 mg, every night diluted in a tiny bit of water and my son has SPD and is VERY particular about what he'll put in his mouth.<br><br>
As for spectrum. First, I'm not saying he's on the spectrum, but he does demonstrate some characteristics and a counsellor is not qualified to rule it in or out. Also, it's a spectrum so he could have PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified), where there's defininely PDD but it's more subtle and hard to tease out as spectrum vs something else. Spectrum also frequently co-occurs with other things a lot of the time - so, say, spectrum plus ADHD. Most kids on the spectrum also have SPD.<br><br>
As for the intelligence piece, many individuals with asperger's are highly intelligent, but you can have asperger's and average IQ. You can also be physically adept, funny, empathetic and a bunch of other things that the stereotype says you can't be.<br><br>
Spectrum is a tough one - my son is not on the spectrum, but is often mistaken as such. He has many spectrum-like behaviours and proclivities, but just doesn't meet the criteria. I have read extensively on the topic at this point, and each individual is so different.<br><br>
Someone here recommended the Oasis Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, and it's a great book.<br><br>
I am glad you're finding strategies that work. Discipline really does mean to teach, and doesn't mean compliance or quick fixes. Have faith that he always means to do his best. If you look at it this way, and you look at misbehaviour as a child being overwhelmed and unable to control himself, sitting down to help him re-centre is actually discipline - you are coaching him on behaviours that calm him and allow him to make better choices in the future.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bisou</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15111434"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hi Joensally:<br><br>
Thanks so much for all this info!!! I have copied all the links and will be looking into this.<br><br>
Man, when I am done, I will have an entire library of books about parenting, discipline, and special needs!<br><br>
I already feel embarrassed when anyone comes over because, geez, it looks like I have some major problems!<br><br>
Here's just a small glimpse at my bookshelf:<br><ul><li>Transforming the Difficult Child</li>
<li>The Explosive Child</li>
<li>The Challenging Child</li>
<li>The Discipline Book</li>
<li>Playful Parenting</li>
<li>The Out of Sync Child</li>
<li>The Kadzin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child</li>
<li>The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers</li>
<li>Raising the Spirited Child</li>
</ul><br>
I won't even list the 100 books on MY personal self-help list!!!<br><br>
Basically, if you were in my house and didn't know me, you'd think I had some serious problems!<br><br>
Well, to be fair, maybe I do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I keep those kinds of books in my bedroom <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">.<br><br>
I'm pretty sure all of my links included extensive previews of the books so you may end up not needing to buy them. Kids with SNs are expensive, so any cost savings is a good thing!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>joensally</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15111855"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Have faith that he always means to do his best.</div>
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Thank you for this. I lose sight of this idea so often, and fall back on yelling, and we all know how well that works! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
Bisou, one good day is a start. Even if it is followed by two weeks of not so good, you had those hours of calm and happiness. I really like how your son can focus on himself and really articulate his needs. The timer comment is classic, he sounds like an interesting kid. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bisou</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14392838"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
As far as discipline goes, I began with attachment parenting and was very committed to the idea. I breastfed him for two years and didn't put him in childcare until he was two years old. We co-slept and still do. I didn't circumcise him because I felt it was unnecessary and violent. I felt like I was doing everything "right" and that he would be a happy, healthy, loving child. I wanted to show him nothing but love and kindness, which is very different from what I got as a child.</div>
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Going back to your original post, it sounds like you did everything "right" but yet you haven't mentioned his vaccination status. Having researched for several years now on the issue of neurological damage caused by vaccines, was just wondering if this was even a possibility in your sons case or not. Are you able to elaborate on his vaccination status: vaxed on schedule? non-vaxed? partially or selectively? delayed? etc. (any vaccines for you during pregnancy or breastfeeding?)<br><br>
Read a great book about a year ago called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FDoctor-Wrong-Hepatitis-Vaccine-Autism%2Fdp%2F1401029736%2Fref%3Dsr_1_fkmr2_2%3Fie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1267078749%26sr%3D8-2-fkmr2" target="_blank">When Your Doctor is Wrong, Hepatitis B Vaccine and Autism</a><br><br>
Described her sons struggles with sensory processing disorder in great detail (and why she believes it began with the Hep B shot at birth and was exacerbated with subsequent shots)<br><br>
Just another angle to consider in your long journey towards finding healing for your son. I'm also a fan of <a href="http://brainguardmd.com/" target="_blank">Dr Moulden</a> as well.
 

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I didn't have time to read all the responses to see if you got this information or not, but I couldn't read your post and not reply. I have a friend who's son at 4 years old was a milder version of your son. I found some resources for her and wanted to share them with you. First is THINK: KIDS <a href="http://www.thinkkids.org/" target="_blank">http://www.thinkkids.org/</a> these guys have tons of experience with agressive kids at the time I found it I believe they were advocating no drugs, but I'm not positive... anyway... they are experts in this so better than a local doc who only sees a few cases of this ever in his life... the other is Alfie Kohn <a href="http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.php" target="_blank">http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.php</a> he offers books and talks and is probly avail for consultation for a fee.<br><br>
Hope one of these is helpful.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bisou</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15111362"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks for the local resources! I will definitely check that out.<br><br>
How old is your son? You can PM me if you'd like. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"></div>
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He is 5. I will say that very much around his birthday he took a bit of a step up in maturity- but that it doesn't erase many other issues. It's very tiring, his mind is SO ACTIVE and he hates that I can't/don't want to always keep up with him. One thing that has been good for him (cause I'm sure you don't have enough ideas!) is yoga- Believe Movement Studio up here in NoPo has family yoga on wknds for $5 adult, $2 child. I know we need all the positive activities we can, otherwise it turns into the 'beat up the parents' party.
 

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Discussion Starter #208
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sfreed4575</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15118835"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I didn't have time to read all the responses to see if you got this information or not, but I couldn't read your post and not reply. I have a friend who's son at 4 years old was a milder version of your son. I found some resources for her and wanted to share them with you. First is THINK: KIDS <a href="http://www.thinkkids.org/" target="_blank">http://www.thinkkids.org/</a> these guys have tons of experience with agressive kids at the time I found it I believe they were advocating no drugs, but I'm not positive... anyway... they are experts in this so better than a local doc who only sees a few cases of this ever in his life... the other is Alfie Kohn <a href="http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.php" target="_blank">http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.php</a> he offers books and talks and is probly avail for consultation for a fee.<br><br>
Hope one of these is helpful.</div>
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Hi Sfreed:<br><br>
Thanks for the info. I will definitely look into this! Though sometimes all the information seems overwhelming, I am of the school of "the more I know, the better," and I just try to take one suggestion/idea at a time (except when it comes to books, and then I buy all 5-6 suggested and read them all at once! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)<br><br>
It's always good to hear something I haven't heard of before.<br><br>
Thanks again! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
~Bisou
 

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Discussion Starter #209
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>joensally</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15111845"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you tried melatonin for sleep? A lot of this may be exacerbated by lack of sleep. Melatonin is natural (well, the supplement is a synthetic version of what our bodies naturally produce) and is widely used and regarded as safe in children. It comes in many forms, including a very mild tasting liquid - my kids take .5 mL, which represents a dosage of 1.5 mg, every night diluted in a tiny bit of water and my son has SPD and is VERY particular about what he'll put in his mouth.<br><br>
As for spectrum. First, I'm not saying he's on the spectrum, but he does demonstrate some characteristics and a counsellor is not qualified to rule it in or out. Also, it's a spectrum so he could have PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified), where there's defininely PDD but it's more subtle and hard to tease out as spectrum vs something else. Spectrum also frequently co-occurs with other things a lot of the time - so, say, spectrum plus ADHD. Most kids on the spectrum also have SPD.<br><br>
As for the intelligence piece, many individuals with asperger's are highly intelligent, but you can have asperger's and average IQ. You can also be physically adept, funny, empathetic and a bunch of other things that the stereotype says you can't be.<br><br>
Spectrum is a tough one - my son is not on the spectrum, but is often mistaken as such. He has many spectrum-like behaviours and proclivities, but just doesn't meet the criteria. I have read extensively on the topic at this point, and each individual is so different.<br><br>
Someone here recommended the Oasis Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, and it's a great book.<br><br>
I am glad you're finding strategies that work. Discipline really does mean to teach, and doesn't mean compliance or quick fixes. Have faith that he always means to do his best. If you look at it this way, and you look at misbehaviour as a child being overwhelmed and unable to control himself, sitting down to help him re-centre is actually discipline - you are coaching him on behaviours that calm him and allow him to make better choices in the future.</div>
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Thanks for your great post! I never cease to be amazed at how knowledgeable MDC moms are. Really! It's just amazing how well read and researched everyone is--and so articulate too. As a college teacher (and one who teaches writing and research), it's really a breath of fresh air. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Discussion Starter #210
Hello all my MDC pals:<br><br>
So, my son and I have been having a few good days! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/jumpers.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="jumpers"> I am not much of a religious person, but the word HALLELUJAH seems to fit.<br><br>
It hasn't been perfect, of course, but I have been trying a lot more negotiation and we've been using the more gentle time out approach.<br><br>
When he starts raging and screaming or if he does something he's not supposed to do (injure or try to injure me in some way, break things, throw things, etc), he has to go to the room and get on the bed and have a time out. He is still resisting this a lot of the time, but he's starting to like it, I think. He lies on the bed and I even let him look at books because this seems to calm him. I always have these conflicted feelings, like "I shouldn't let him look at books. That's like playing! This is supposed to be a punishment!" but then I keep trying to go back to the idea that <b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">the most important thing is getting him to calm down and not continue this behavior.</span></b> I keep trying to hold on to that.<br><br>
The nice thing about this new method is that it is removing me from having to deal with his rage, hitting, etc. The other day he was in the bedroom with the door closed and I was quietly and calmly cooking dinner. It was so nice! It gave me some breathing room and allowed me to calm down.<br><br>
I always wanted to approach my parenting/discipline with a gentle touch, but when my son's behavior only got worse and worse and more and more aggressive, I was told by friends and professionals (therapists) that it was my gentle approach that caused his aggressive behavior. I thought, "Well, what I am doing obviously isn't working, so they must be right!" I went with the hardcore time out approach, time out at ALL costs. I was told that if I didn't make him stay in time out and hold him there, and that if I ever gave up, my son would surely be in the criminal justice system by the time he was 12, or even younger!<br><br>
Now I know the improvement of the last few days isn't perfection or permanent, and I am sure we will have bad days ahead of us. But I do have to say that I feel, somehow, like we might be moving in a better direction.<br><br>
The other day he got extremely angry because I turned off a TV show that he wasn't supposed to watch. He absolutely exploded. But, then I watched him go into the bedroom and SLAM the door so hard it shook the walls. I had to go into the bedroom a few minutes later, and he was lying on the bed, quietly reading a book. When I entered the room (I had to get something from out of there; we share a bedroom), he blew again and absolutely screamed at the top of his lungs, "GET OUT RIGHT NOW! I HATE YOU!" etc etc etc. I said, "Ok, I just needed to get this, but you don't need to scream at me." <b>I have to admit that the screaming and slamming the door did anger me and seem inappropriate. I really wanted to crack down and put him in a time out the way we used to do it because I was angry and thought his behavior was so disrespectful and over the top. It really took every cell of my being to say, "Ok, so it's not good that he slammed the door and screamed at me in a disrespectful way, but he is basically putting himself in a time out and trying to calm down. That is a GOOD thing." So I just let him be, and he emerged a bit later calmed down!</b><br><br>
It's so hard trying to find the balance between working with your child and being a wishy-washy pushover. I constantly worry about that. Am I being strict enough? Am I teaching him that it's ok to scream at me and say awful things to me and there will be no consequences?<br><br>
But then I go back to the thought that <b>it's better for him to scream and yell and then go into his bedroom to calm down than for him to hit me, bite me, spit on me, and for me to then lose it and scream at him, or even worse, yank him around or even hit him.</b> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I was raised in a family where even an inappropriate facial expression (rolling the eyes, for example, or one that conveyed sarcasm or a lack of respect) could result in a massive beating. We were "spanked" (e.g. beaten until bruised, often from the backs of the knees to mid-back) for any transgression. If, after the "spanking," we walked too loudly ("stomped" in a rebellious fashion, according to dear old dad, showing defiance) when going to our rooms in tears, we would be brought out again for another round of spankings. It's hard to come from that background and try to be reasonable, especially with the explosive/aggressive/stubborn son that I have.<br><br>
It's also hard when I have to try to reconcile my feelings/experiences with the opinions of friends, family, therapists, doctors, and the million books I've read, all of whom/which offer different ideas and approaches. It's so incredibly difficult!<br><br>
But I am not giving up yet.<br><br>
Unfortunately, I just found out my son and I will have to move again, for the second time in a year, because the person who owns our apartment is getting foreclosed. (Not exactly sure how to word that!) We moved in May/June 2009 because someone who lived across the street from us (but someone I'd never talked to) decided to break into our home to rape me and assault me with a box cutter. Thankfully he was unable to get in, but my son and I endured 30 minutes of complete fear and terror waiting for the police to arrive as he tried to break the door down.<br><br>
Having to move again has definitely triggered me, making me feel unsafe again. Right now we live on the 11th floor of a high rise, which feels very safe and secure. I know the move will be very hard for both of us, and I am upset to know my poor boy will be living in his FOURTH home in about 3 years or so. We need some security. My son really has a hard time with changes, and I hate moving too, so this is hard. But I need to just accept that this is what it is and just move forward and try to be positive!<br><br>
Anyway, overall, things are improving right now. Yesterday we had our first day in about five days that he didn't need a time out. In the previous three-four days, he had a time out on his bed, but stayed in there and maybe only had one or two in a day (as opposed to our usual HOURS and HOURS of time outs!), so this is a big improvement. I have to think about that and focus on that!<br><br>
Thanks to all of my MDC angels for being there for me and my son! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">
 

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That is just a horrible story. What happened to your son at daycare is horrific. I want to cry just reading what you and your son have been through.<br><br>
I know how you feel about the meds. After I was on meds (anti-depressants) as a teenager, I said, OK for an adult, but not a kid. But you are in an extremely difficult situation. What I would suggest is getting several opinions from different psychiatrists. If you can find a psycho-pharmacologist, I would try one of them as well. They specifically deal with meds and will have more experience with different ones. I wouldn't want my kid to become a science experiment. I know I've been one and so has my father and so have many of my relatives.<br><br>
Have you read the Spirited Child book? That might give you some everyday tools. Also, how much have you looked into schools? I think so often with a case like yours, finding the perfect school, or the perfect therapist, or the perfect babysitter makes a world of difference.<br><br>
I'm sure you've already tried some of this, but I would think finding outlets for his aggression is so important. He's old enough to be in sports. That might help. My husband has somewhat of a temper and violent computer games (I know not the normal advice) help him. It gives him an outlet. Also, having a man around might help him. Have you tried one of those "big brother" programs? A guy might be able to understand the rage and redirect it in a positive way.<br><br>
My daughter (17 mo.) is only high-needs, but another thing is that the rage she has comes from not being able to control her environment. I try to teach her how to do everything herself and give her tasks and responsibilities (yes, even as young as she is). You might have to start really really small, but I bet responsibilities like feeding the cat (?) might make him feel more in control.<br><br>
I'm a little worried about your relationship with your parents. I know you need the help, but at what cost? Being around them probably makes you angry and your son might pick up on that. And do you leave him alone with them? Also, do you see any of your son's father in your son? Does that in any way make you feel differently about him? That's another thing your son could pick up on. I'm not a shrink and I'm probably talking a lot of nonsense, but you might ask yourself if you think anything environmental is having an impact.<br><br>
Also, these things are so genetic. It sounds like your son's got stuff coming from both sides. The more you can find out about the boy's father's problems, that will probabably help. Maybe you have already, but I wanted to check.
 

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After reading your list of traits, I wonder if you ever read the Fussy Baby book by Dr Sears. It's like your son is high-needs but to an extreme. You know it is so strange. My daughter (17 mo) has always hated putting clothes on (along with a host of other things), and now that she can talk she says "ow" when I put clothes on her. It makes me feel so awful. I always got the sense when she was an infant that she was more sensitive to pain.<br><br>
Also, the head butting, my brother used to do that to my mother after watching Ram Man on TV. My mother was an only child and she had no idea what to do. There is some level violence in boys, I think (much worse in your case), and finding an outlet for it is important. That's why I'm just wondering if having a male play therapist might be helpful. My son used to throw pretty bad tantrums (not like your son), but he is perfectly normal now.<br><br>
Another thought, I read a magazine article awhile ago, that they are studying whether a component in dirt acts as an anti-depressent which would explain why your son loves playing outdoors at your grandparents. I've heard other high needs babies love being outdoors. Outdoor exercise I think would be great. In Portland, there's tons of that, climbing, kayaking, hiking, etc. If your son could get into a program for one of those activities he might really thrive. Outward Bound for a four year old <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. The suggestions about nature therapy also sound great. I now my father, lifetime of depression, spent a lot of time in his childhood, hanging out in the woods, getting lost and finding his way back. He's a tree trimmer part of the year and he always does much better during that time.<br><br>
I know how you feel about the meds, completely. And although, after being on anti-depressants as a teen (when all of your emotions are all over the place), I felt that it was a mistake, I also feel like I might have had a lot more positive experiences in my childhood if my parents had accepted and treated my depression earlier on and not lived in denial about it. It's such a hard decision.<br><br>
The social responses to other kids may be a kind of social anxiety. He sounds afraid of other kids, so finding ways for him to have positive, non-threatening experiences is probably going to be key.<br><br>
I think UptownZoo has one of the best responses. When you find someone or a group of people in your same situation it will give you the strength you need.<br><br>
Also, check out <a href="http://www.bringchange2mind.org/" target="_blank">http://www.bringchange2mind.org/</a>, and the facebook group.<br><br>
I totally get you on the exhaustion from being entertaining and redirecting all of the time. No one talks about how much that takes out of you.
 

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I've followed this a little bit and I think it is *awesome* that you have come across something that is working for you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
I wanted to say that a lot of the things I read in college (EC/SPED major, unfinished, long story) advocate exactly what you are doing, for children in general, but *especially* for those who are more agressive/expressive with their anger than most. Setting up an area where they can go to 'cool down' WITH ACTIVITIES THAT HELP THEM DO THAT. And beginning by taking them there when you see they need it.<br><br>
I think it's a HUGE sign you are on the right track if he is taking *himself* there! And I am going to 'steal' this idea for dd, age 3, who is starting to throw things and slam doors. Like you said, it is much better for me to find a way to help both of us calm down than it is for me to get angry and end up yelling and/or hitting. (And it DOES DOES DOES address the behavior in the fact that you are not allowing the behavior to continue. That's the mantra I'm using on myself "I am NOT allowing the behavior to continue. I AM doing my job.")
 

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As a mom of a girl who does NOT accept change well, I am always torn about how and when to let her know about changes. I'll be checking back to see how you put the idea of a new place to your son. Great news to hear that he is responding to your approach! As for other people, the heck with them!
 

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Hi Bisou,<br><br>
I've followed your thread from the beginning. I guess I haven't posted yet because I felt like I have no real advice or insight. But I certainly have been thinking of you guys, even to the point of lying awake in bed the other night trying to brainstorm ideas for you to help your son calm down (this after reading one of your posts when he was basically saying "please help me find a way to calm down - I don't know how to do it myself"). I have to say that your new approach to time outs seems like it just might be exactly what he needs. I know you're feeling some doubt about it so I wanted to (finally!) post to support you in what you're doing. You are a fantastic, amazing, awe-inspiring mama. This will certainly sound banal, but: keep up the good work!
 

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Just a couple notes: 1. If you read Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson, and some other books, time out is not supposed to be punishment. In fact positive discipline is supposed to be about getting away from rewards and punishment. Time out is supposed to be about the child learning to calm down, and hopefully, as your son is doing, calming himself down. So, really, whatever calms him down is how it is supposed to be. The other thing those books talk about is making the kid feel capable and that helps with frustration tolerance. The more often he can calm down himself, the better he'll feel about himself. Maybe far down the road he could actually meditate or do some breathing exercises. I'm already starting those with my daughter, in hopes that she will be better able to deal with her temper than her father. 2. You might also try doing things in stages. Maybe right now you can only discipline him for major transgressions, but later on you might be able to work up to something bigger. You're doing great, especially considering the horrible background you came from. One thing I noticed about my husband (who has a temper), from day one of my high needs baby, was that he heard all of my dd's screams as anger, but I didn't. I always remember that my daughter, no matter what she is doing or saying, is only an innocent child and has little idea of what she is doing or saying. Maybe some kind of mantra like that could help you when you're really feeling angry. Also, underneath most anger is fear, so it might sound like anger, but really he's afraid. One last thing. I come from a negative environment and find it really hard to say positive things, so you may as well. I've learned both with kids and dogs that you have to always praise all that good behavior, no matter how minor. That's hard for me to do, but it goes a long way.
 

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I agree with what fbsurvivor has written about the reward/punishment thing- it goes along with the Alfie Kohn recommendation mentioned earlier. I would also like to add John Holt in there. I know it may seem slightly off topic as he is most known to unschooling folks, but it seems that being an intelligent person makes it sometimes to really hard to fit in and to figure out ones space/place/dynamic in places that feel so insensitive. Maybe some activities as could be found on a blog for unschooling- like Sandra Dodd. <a href="http://sandradodd.com/unschooling" target="_blank">http://sandradodd.com/unschooling</a> -There is tons of stuff here. I go there and always find something i did not see that seems to be pertinent to the situation at hand. This is a specific section I find useful: <a href="http://sandradodd.com/life" target="_blank">http://sandradodd.com/life</a><br><br>
And this opinion that I have is likely no help: I feel that your situation illustrates quite well the lack of real respect and support that mothers and children receive in North America.<br>
I find myself - especially of late being a single mom of a 3 year old with all that that implies- that most of our problems with aggression and anger and tantrums, etc. would be rather successfully managed if I could just be mom- I mean not have to rely on daycare- not have to do everything to some schedule rather than take the time needed to work out a fear or a clingy response- not have to worry about losing my employment or my home-I do not know if I am being clear, but mom work is so hard sometimes- well all of the time but sometimes it is so very challenging- even without the added stress that you have experienced so much of lately. I really wish you were able to take a few years just to be a mom- Yeah i know it is fantasy - but I do wish there was a safety net for mothers and children---<br>
I do wish you a contentedly successful end to your 'series of unfortunate events'.
 

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I do not know if I was really very clear- I am not trying to say you should do anything- like stay home or homeschool or or whatever- I think rereading my post that it looks like I am suggesting that - I just mean to say that there is some really good information on theose sites- but they just happen to be a certain type of site---
 

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Apologies for not reading all the posts! If you haven't checked it out yet, I would suggest exploring <b>EFT</b> (Emotional Freedom Techniques) <a href="http://www.emofree.com" target="_blank">http://www.emofree.com</a> It's very effective for prenatal trauma, birth trauma, PTSD and depression (among other things!) If it appeals, I would suggest some sessions with a good practitioner experienced in your issues to start you off--and then you can do it yourself. PM me if you want more info.<br>
Blessings & Hugs on your journey...
 

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Discussion Starter #220
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fbsurvivor</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15141832"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That is just a horrible story. What happened to your son at daycare is horrific. I want to cry just reading what you and your son have been through.<br><br>
I know how you feel about the meds. After I was on meds (anti-depressants) as a teenager, I said, OK for an adult, but not a kid. But you are in an extremely difficult situation. What I would suggest is getting several opinions from different psychiatrists. If you can find a psycho-pharmacologist, I would try one of them as well. They specifically deal with meds and will have more experience with different ones. I wouldn't want my kid to become a science experiment. I know I've been one and so has my father and so have many of my relatives.<br><br>
Have you read the Spirited Child book? That might give you some everyday tools. Also, how much have you looked into schools? I think so often with a case like yours, finding the perfect school, or the perfect therapist, or the perfect babysitter makes a world of difference.<br><br>
I'm sure you've already tried some of this, but I would think finding outlets for his aggression is so important. He's old enough to be in sports. That might help. My husband has somewhat of a temper and violent computer games (I know not the normal advice) help him. It gives him an outlet. Also, having a man around might help him. Have you tried one of those "big brother" programs? A guy might be able to understand the rage and redirect it in a positive way.<br><br>
My daughter (17 mo.) is only high-needs, but another thing is that the rage she has comes from not being able to control her environment. I try to teach her how to do everything herself and give her tasks and responsibilities (yes, even as young as she is). You might have to start really really small, but I bet responsibilities like feeding the cat (?) might make him feel more in control.<br><br>
I'm a little worried about your relationship with your parents. I know you need the help, but at what cost? Being around them probably makes you angry and your son might pick up on that. And do you leave him alone with them? Also, do you see any of your son's father in your son? Does that in any way make you feel differently about him? That's another thing your son could pick up on. I'm not a shrink and I'm probably talking a lot of nonsense, but you might ask yourself if you think anything environmental is having an impact.<br><br>
Also, these things are so genetic. It sounds like your son's got stuff coming from both sides. The more you can find out about the boy's father's problems, that will probabably help. Maybe you have already, but I wanted to check.</div>
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My son's dad isn't involved in his life, so I don't have much access to finding out more about him, and he was always very resistant to seeking counseling of any sort since he was a macho Latin male. I wouldn't be surprised if he had some sort of diagnosable mental illness though.<br><br>
I definitely don't feel like I see my son's dad in him, at least not in a way that I'd resent. He has his dad's dimple in one cheek and even has some behaviors that his dad had, but I tend to find that more cute than distressing, though it does make me sad at times because I wish his dad could see him and appreciate the qualities they share. It definitely doesn't upset me though.<br><br>
I know he is definitely impacted by all the transitions he has in his daily life. He gets upset when I drop him off at daycare (no matter how I've tried to do the transition in a million different ways) and again when I pick him up. He gets upset going to stay with grandma and grandpa during the weekends, then again when they bring him home.<br><br>
Yes, he does stay at my parents' on the weekends, usually at least 24 hours, because I have so much work to do that I am unable to complete it all during my work week. I am a college teacher with a million papers to grade, so I will spend 15 hours or more on the weekend grading papers. Also, even though dealing with my parents really SUCKS big time, if I didn't have a break from my son, I think I would literally go insane. It's hard enough to have him six days a week, all by myself. It's also so great for me to have a morning when I can sleep in, at least one day a week, and get things done without him screaming at me and throwing tantrums. I often can't even clean the house or do any chores because he is so out of sorts, so I do most of that on the weekends. I'd prefer to spend my "me time" hanging out with friends or doing something fun, but right now it's work and housework, which isn't fun, but needs to be done.<br><br>
Thanks for your advice and thoughts!!!!
 
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