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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so first of all a little background. I am a single mom with two boys, my oldest will soon be 5, and my youngest will soon be 3. Their father was an abusive man, I suffered many years through this, when it started happening to my son was the end of it. My oldest has his own set of problems because of the man, such as hoarding food, night terrors, claustrophobia.

The problems I'm having are with my youngest, who has never spent any time alone with his father (I left just as I found out I was pregnant)

My Youngest, D, has a slew of behavioral problems that I dont know how to handle anymore. We were "encouraged" to leave daycare, there are very few people who can handle babysitting him for more than an hour or so.

D, on a good day is sweet and loving, curious and extremely adventurous. Unfortunately our good days are few and far between, and can turn into a bad day in an instant.

Because I am a single mom I have taken parenting courses and had a member of our local health unit coming in every week for a year to help me become the best mom I can be, as well as teaching me all about raising children.

With all of this information at my fingertips, I have exhausted my resources.

He has extreme emotional outbursts that result in him kicking, biting, pinching, hitting himself and others. These outbursts can last up to 40 mins and can be triggered by discipline(we use time outs in my house), change in schedule or routine, too many people, loud noises, separation anxiety, or at times seem to have no trigger at all(these times I assume he's just tired).

These outbursts have always been there, although his experience in daycare, as well as the extreme violence towards himself an others have really sparked questions considering he's at the age where he should be past most of these issues.

As well as these outbursts sleep is scarce. He can take an hour just to fall asleep, and wakes up every 3 hours... To which both his brother and I suffer as well.

Because of these problems, I have reached out to our nurse practitioner for help. She sent us to a behavioral specialist in Ottawa. I was told to give him melatonin at night (he will sleep for 3 hours and wake up, and cannot fall back asleep for hours). The doctor wanted to give him ritalin (I refused. He's barely 3!).

Out of this appointment the doctor confirmed he has a slight speech impediment, and major behavioral problems. He offered no insight or ideas. I was told that he cant help me because he only deals with medication, and if i choose not to medicate I should consider foster care if I can't handle him. His words were "figure out how to survive"

The thing is, I don't want to medicate my baby, and I don't want to just survive. I want to help him learn how to control himself. I'm afraid that he will be refused from school next September because of these problems, specifically that he is still not potty trained (not for lack of trying for the last 6 months) and his separation and social anxiety cause him to attack other people.

Other parents with autistic children have suggested to have him tested for autism(after observing him).



Things we have tried to avoid or calm meltdowns:

counting
reciting abc's
quiet place
distracting
deep breathing
music
baths

none of these help until he is naturally coming out of the fit.
 

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I wish I could offer some advice, but all I have to give is support. The only thing I can think of to suggest that you haven't already tried, (and maybe you have) is to really encourage him to listen to his feelings. I don't have much experience with 3 yr olds so I don't even know if they are capable of this sort of thing yet, but I know adults sometimes struggle to understand what they are feeling, and how to express these feelings in a healthy way.
I've heard it said that anger always comes from another feeling left unresolved (like fear or frustration) so perhaps he needs help recognizing his feelings before he loses control?
Again, I'm sorry I don't have more to offer, I just had to offer you some support while you go through such a challenging time.
It can be hard to listen to your instincts when doctors are pressuring you to medicate him; it sounds like you are trying to do the best for your son, which really makes a difference.
Hang in there!
:Hug
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much! I do my best to validate and explain his emotions to him, I know that i personally have to observe what i'm feeling to understand what I'm feeling, so I do my best to help my boys understand themselves. Thank you for the support! This is definitely a trying time, and I appreciate all of the support I've received in these forums!
 

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I recommend the book "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. It gives really concrete advice on helping kids who feel things more strongly than others do. Good luck, Mama! Keep looking for help until you find the person/book/resource that makes the difference that you need.
 

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For what it's worth, the simple fact that he's three makes it all harder--that's an age of extreme behavior--even without underlying issues. Oh and your behavioral specialist sounds worthless. Collaborative Problem Solving May be useful to you--if not now, definitely later. Do you live in an area where they have special needs parenting classes--those are great for learning how to manage/cope with extreme behavior. There's so much more I want to say but typing on this phone is tedious. Try cross-posting over in the special needs forum
 

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Oh man, it sounds like he is so exhausting! I agree with what people on here have said, and I agree with not wanting to medicate him now, as he's only 3. I don't know what state you live in, but have you considered having him tested by the school district? If he qualifies for services (which he might, with his speech and behavior problems) he will qualify for free preschool (usually 1/2 day). Again, it varies WIDELY state-by-state. In Kansas we have Count Your Kid In "screenings" where children are seen by a variety of therapists and then recommended for an evaluation by the school district. You might hesitate at a "special ed" label, but I would suggest at least getting him screened. As his mother, you are within your legal rights to deny services before they begin, or to withdraw him from services at any point. He will not be "forced" into special ed stuff at all. (I am currently working on my Masters in Early Childhood Special Ed, FYI). You can search online, or you can call your local school district administrators and see what their screening process is. The local health unit person would be a good resource too, if you still have their contact information.

Based on what you wrote, have you looked into sensory integration issues? That's what I thought when I read your post. There are lots of great resources online about it, and I recommend the book The Out-of-Sync Child by Karen Kranowitz. Her book gives good check lists and things that can help you say "yes, that's my kid!" or not. If you think he might fit that definition, and you don't have any luck with the school district, you could try going to see an Occupational Therapist. They are the only therapists who are trained in spotting and treating sensory integration difficulties.

I hope this helps! Let us know how things go for you. Sending you lots of hugs!
 

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This screams food chemical issues to me. Check out the info here and see if it rings a bell to you. My son also had some pretty severe behavior issues that ar basically non existent now with addressing diet. (There are underlying genetic issues that can compound these issues too, like MTHFR, and other methylation mutations, but starting here is likely a good place to learn).
http://www.myvmc.com/lifestyles/failsafe-diet-for-attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/
There is also this article that could have an impact for you guys as well:
http://www.anchoragepress.com/news/...-gluten-free-saved-my-daughters-mental-health

I know diet changes can be intimidating, especially if you have a picky eater.....but picky eaters are usually picky because they are in pain. Once you remove the triggers, they will eat a lot more variety, and usually they will be excited for it.
I hope you find some answers soon!
 
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