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he is 6 years old and has always been a challenge and very high needs. We are going through a particularly bad patch. He has been in trouble at school every day this week and we even had a phone call from the headmaster yesterday. He runs around the yard aimlessly, stopping every so often to say a few words to other children - then he will run over to someone and hit them for no apparent reason and without any provocation. At the park yesterday, he pushed a smaller child who was standing at the top of the slide, and it was only by the grace of God that the child didn't fall off the slide to the ground. And yet it was so out-of-the-blue, impulsive, always un-pre-meditated, no one could have predicted it. He is lying a lot and being defensive. By nature he is very impulsive and prone to angry outbursts and rages / tantrums and stamping if he doesn't get his own way. He seems to have no self-control - he continues to misbehave despite (or perhaps oblivious to) the consequences. Rewards, consequences, threats, punishments don't work. This morning I went into the kitchen to find he had picked bits of the top of a cake we made together yesterday (not taken a slice, but picked at it all over - I would have thought that a 6 year old might have had some subtly about this, instead it is blatantly obvious). He takes toys away from his sister and hides them, then denies it (even when I find them under his bed), he wastes water, he puts far too much paper in the toilet. This week he has a couple of times raced ahead on the way home and crossed a number of quite busy roads without me, even though he knows this is against our rules and not safe. And yet when I talked to him about this (and I was in tears when I finally caught up with him, I was so worried he might have got run over) he didn't appear to understand why it was a problem, why he shouldn't be crossing on his own and how dangerous it is. He is having difficulty hearing properly at the moment (we think). At school he has broken another child's property and then tried to blame another child even though the teacher saw it all happen. At home he doesn't play with toys much unless there is another child around (i.e. competition). He often just runs around wildly, making strange noises and occasionally flapping his arms. He is not afraid of anyone (adults in particular), and will strike up conversation with complete strangers, the headmaster, builders etc. without fear. He seems to have his own agenda - he isn't so interested in others ideas - when he is talking about something he is so roundabout and detailed and takes forever to get to the point. He has been taking longer to get to sleep at night and it quite restless, and he has started shouting out at night in his sleep again. We are (and have been for a while) waiting for referral to the educational psychologist. But in the meantime we could do with some help as to how to deal with all of this. The school have no ideas and no suggestions. Someone watches him at playtimes. Apparently he is fine in the classroom. Academically he is doing really well. He goes to a Welsh-medium school and his Welsh is fluent and unlike many of the other children from English-speaking homes he chooses to speak Welsh to the other children. Help!!!
 

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Some kids will behave much better when their diets are changed. Have you considered trying eliminating some foods from his diet and seeing if that makes a difference?<br><br>
I think that since you know your son is having these impulse control problems, for now you can make his life much more restricted - like for walking home from school he holds your hand the whole way because he is not trustworthy to walk on his own.<br><br>
HTH<br><br>
Tjej
 

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My son has some of these behaviours...he's 5.<br>
-at the park, my DS, has done things like tossing sand at a woman (embaressing) and flipping out about a teetertotter...I think the main reason for his meltdowns is simply he's ready to go home (tired or hungry) but can't verbalize how he's feeling. So, I'd suggest returning home as soon as the first problem arises. You can warn him before hand of the consequences of misbehaving.<br><br>
Bathroom time has been a problem for us too. We know if he's taking too long it's time to go up and check on him. I mean, walking in, no questions asked because you know from past experiences he could be causing trouble.<br><br>
As for the cake, we know to keep things out of reach--what kid could resist cake!!! Our problem was DS coming down a bit before us and getting into pudding, leaving all the evidence (duh!). For a while, we gated the stairs so he had to come down with one of us in the morning and we just started letting him down alone again.<br><br>
The racing ahead is a problem for me too. I want DS to have a little independence but sometimes you just have to still hold there hand to get your point across. Ya, hard when you have more than one kiddo!<br><br>
Lastly, my DS also sometimes calls out at night. I think it's part of being overtired? Alot of our problems come around bedtime. I feel strange putting my DS to bed at 6:30pm some nights (usually closer to 7pm) at age five, but it has to be done. He's always needed lots of sleep.<br><br>
I hope some of this helps you, or at least you know your not alone in this parenting adventure!
 

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I think he needs an evaluation by a developmental specialist. The running around aimlessly, flapping arms, very low impulse control are pointing to something. Once you get a handle on what is going on with him (sensory, ODD, neurological, or behavioral) then you can craft strategies to help him learn the skills he needs and to feel more comfortable in his own skin.
 

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I'm sorry you are going through this. I think you got some good advice so far.<br><br>
Until you figure out the root of the problem, focus on one thing at a time. I would focus on the hitting.<br><br>
Hold hands anywhere near roads or parking lots. Provide supervision for the toilet. Don't sweat the small stuff that isn't hurting anyone...like wasting water? I might not have understood that one. good luck
 

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Try homeopathy for both of you (go to a homeopath). Also read "Playful Parenting"....it touches on this exact behavior pattern!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your inputs so far. So far as the hitting goes - it is mainly at school, so we can't do much about that. And he goes to and from school on his scooter: I told him that if he can't / won't wait for me before crossing roads, then he can leave the scooter at home and walk holding hands or holding onto the pushchair - so far so good, he hasn't gone on far ahead without me since. His hearing is definetly dodgy at the moment, which probably isn't helping things. We don't like him wasting water is because we are on a water meter and recently had a really expensive bill, that's why it's a concern here!
 

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I, too, would do a strict elimination diet, regimented daily schedule, and limit opportunities for problems.<br><br>
The elimination diet (free of wheat, dairy, corn, soy, yeast, and all artificial colorings and flavorings, I might even add in some of the Feingold diet) to clear his mind and heal his body. I would give it at least two weeks before I looked for a change. Some things can take much, much longer to clear their systems.<br><br>
The regimented daily schedule because some children really, really need that. Especially the ones who are the most out of control, from my limited experience and much reading. It's almost as if the options overwhelm them. My dd is not dx with any form of ASD, however, I've found that she has so many little quirks that do not fit the realm of "normal" and I can't teach her in the same way as you can relate to a "normal" child. I have 3 dc now, and if she had not been my first, I would have been very, very worried about her. As it is, I just thought my perceptions about how children are were just wrong. Now I know that she is quite different, and needs a much different approach. In short, many, many things are very confusing to her, but rather than ask questions, she just shuts down. Or she asks one that has a very obvious answer, but to her is the crux of the matter. Her processing is totally off, as are her logic skills. So, for her, the way to be sure she "gets it" is to take her through everything step by step in enormous and great detail. It is often helpful to hear what she thinks first so that I can debunk her long-held theory. Because to her, once she believes something, it is law and there are no exceptions. If she does actually listen to me and my explaination, she is only trying to fit it into what she already thinks. That means she misses my explaination and only winds up knowing that what I said didn't fit with what she thought, and she still holds to her original opinion. If I can figure out what she already knows/thinks about something, I can address those things specifically when I discuss it with her.<br><br>
I know it seems strange that I am speaking from her view of what she thinks, but my husband was very much like her as a child, only perhaps worse. He and I have had many, many conversations about what he was thinking in various situations, and when I ask him about situations with her, he can often offer clarity for me. (He, BTW, has learned to manage as an adult, or something, because he processes just fine now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">)<br><br>
You mentioned that his violence and crazy behavior seem to come out of the blue, but yet, you know they *could* happen, so I would, for a time, prevent the opportunity entirely. I would also start trying to define "triggers". Are there sounds, foods, times of day, etc that make it more likely for him to do something? Another benefit of a very regimented day (I do mean by the clock, too) means that he will be getting consistent rest. Sometimes children can be chronically over-tired.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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You just described a lot of what my son was like at that age (minus the running around "aimlessly" and arm flapping). I had forgotten until I read your post about the time he was at a friend's house and pushed a younger kid off the slide just like you described! I was mortified.<br><br>
I would second the poster who suggested an evaluation. I think you are dealing with something beyond the usual 6-year-old behaviors. For what it's worth, my son has been diagnosed with ADHD. You can try all kinds of discipline with these kids but often they don't respond the same way as others because they can't think before they act. Therefore they don't think "If I do this X will happen and I will lose Y privelege." They just do it. And often when you then turn around and take Y away, they will feel it is not fair and not always get why they are in trouble in the first place!
 

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We went through some very similar issues with our now 7yo- they started getting really bad at age 6 and we've been working through them ever since. We recently discovered that he has Sensory Processing Disorder, and have implemented some changes that have made all the difference- diet (gluten free, dairy free, low sugar, etc...), a more structured routine, and occupational therapy. He is making great strides, and I've found that understanding his problems has helped me a million times over from constantly asking myself what *I* was doing wrong.<br><br>
I think some of the previous posters made some key points that could be of great help to you- having an evaluation is a great idea, changing diet is a great idea, as well as some of the other things mentioned. I've also found that positive praise whenever possible has helped him him tenfold. It's sad to say this, but I think my son was so beat down by everyone at home and at school, that he was missing the "feel goods" he got from people saying nice things to him. My OT says this is not uncommon with kids who have behavioral challenges, and it really helped me turn around the way I was looking at him.<br><br>
My son is also very academically advanced, and does great in the classroom- our main issues come up in overstiumulating environments, such as when he's at recess, playgrounds, birthday parties, even just "new" places-so I try to prepare him for these scenarious in advance by explaining what we are doing and exactly what my expectations of him are (behaviorally). If he cannot maintain self control, there is always a consequence and this seems to be working well.<br><br>
I hope you can find a solution soon, I know how frustrating it can be when your child's actions seem so out of your control. Hugs to you mama!!
 

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He runs around the yard aimlessly, stopping every so often to say a few words to other children - then he will run over to someone and hit them for no apparent reason and without any provocation.<br><span>-My son does this, too when he's feeling silly especially. He doesn't hit other kids. His violence is usually with his little brother. And he also does a lot of rough "playing" with us and other kids (wrestling, getting on top of other people's body and not listening when they say get off etc)</span><br><br>
He is lying a lot and being defensive.<br><span>-He's been doing this as well, and I'm not really sure how to deal with it. I just say stuff like, "well, I'm not sure who did this, but I think it's very not nice thing to do," when I'm not sure who did it.<br></span><br><br>
By nature he is very impulsive and prone to angry outbursts and rages / tantrums and stamping if he doesn't get his own way.<br><span>-My son does this as well. I feel it's been getting better A LOT, but we had to work on it for couple years. He's 4.5 years by the way. What we have been doing is..."S, you are not telling me how I can help you. And your behavior is upsetting everyone. I need you to go in your room and calm down first until you are ready to talk to us, okay? (At which point, I have to lift him up and move him to his room) I do this very matter-of-factly. Firm, but very calm. He sometimes kicks the door, yells etc, but he's been coming out of his room in five minutes and tell us what he's mad about using words and offering solutions on his own etc, which is so so much better than an year ago.</span><br><br>
He seems to have no self-control - he continues to misbehave despite (or perhaps oblivious to) the consequences. Rewards, consequences, threats, punishments don't work.<br><span>-My son has moments like this. I usually figure he's either tired, bored, or hungry. I offer food, redirection, and sometimes movie to watch to calm down a little. Two boys together can get pretty wild. A misbehavior might not go away overnight. You may have to work on it over and over again in consistent manner. Just because a consequence did not work the first time, doesn't mean you shouldn't try it again. I'd try to be very consistent with consequences, every single time. If the behavior is something I don't tolerate at all, I don't even give warning. Because I've already explained the rules beforehand.</span><br><br>
This morning I went into the kitchen to find he had picked bits of the top of a cake we made together yesterday (not taken a slice, but picked at it all over - I would have thought that a 6 year old might have had some subtly about this, instead it is blatantly obvious).<br><span>-My DS has VERY VERY little self control with sweets. We have to put them up and portion it for him. We had to leave last years holiday party at his preschool, because he couldn't stop himself from eating cookies. I think he ate like 5 giant frosted cookies that night...huge ones. We just seldom buy them and keep them out of reach when we do buy them.</span><br><br>
He takes toys away from his sister and hides them, then denies it (even when I find them under his bed)<br><span>-I have trouble with this area as well. You are not alone.</span><br><br>
he wastes water,<br><span>-monitor him until he gets it.</span><br><br>
he puts far too much paper in the toilet.<br><span>-My son used to have problem as well. What I did was, I showed him step by step thing to do after he goes number two. (I assume that is when your son uses TP too much.) "okay, you take three piece of TP at a time. You fold them up in thirds..." You get the picture. He's doing a lot better with this. Nowadays I see him and his brother(2yo) putting three pieces of paper on the ground and folding them up so carefully like they are doing origami, before wiping their bottom!</span><br><br>
This week he has a couple of times raced ahead on the way home and crossed a number of quite busy roads without me, even though he knows this is against our rules and not safe. And yet when I talked to him about this (and I was in tears when I finally caught up with him, I was so worried he might have got run over) he didn't appear to understand why it was a problem, why he shouldn't be crossing on his own and how dangerous it is.<br><span>-good to hear he's listening to you about this. Safety is one area where I get hysterical and even mad at my children for even though I don't mean to.</span><br><br>
He often just runs around wildly, making strange noises and occasionally flapping his arms.<br>
-<span>I think this is okay...for me anyway, unless it's indoors. I try to read them books, and they tend to settle down. Outside, I think it's okay. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></span><br><br>
He is not afraid of anyone (adults in particular), and will strike up conversation with complete strangers, the headmaster, builders etc. without fear.<br><span>-My son as well. It's cute, but sometimes annoying when we have to get somewhere.</span><br><br>
He seems to have his own agenda - he isn't so interested in others ideas - when he is talking about something he is so roundabout and detailed and takes forever to get to the point.<br><span>-exactly my son, especially with roundabout and detailed and take forever talk. I find them really cute when I have time to listen to him. Other time I just tell him that I cannot listen to him right now.</span><br><br>
He has been taking longer to get to sleep at night and it quite restless, and he has started shouting out at night in his sleep again.<br><span>-shouting in sleep used to happen around here as well, actually, it was more like wailing and screaming in his sleep. It went away all of sudden. My speculation is that this happened due to the tension in our marriage at that time. Anything like that happening at your home? Any stressor?</span><br><br>
We are (and have been for a while) waiting for referral to the educational psychologist.<br><span>-I think he could be a really fun little boy to have around once he can work on some of his behavior. Good luck with therapy/counseling.</span><br><br>
But in the meantime we could do with some help as to how to deal with all of this. The school have no ideas and no suggestions.<br><span>-diet like many ppl mentioned<br>
-sleep schedule<br>
-homeopathy could work<br>
-vitamin supplement<br>
-consistency in consequences<br>
-very calm environment for him, especially from you.<br>
-and maybe accepting his quirkiness? I mean, obviously work on behaviors, but accept that he's kind of...different. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I mean it in a good way.</span><br><br>
Apparently he is fine in the classroom. Academically he is doing really well. He goes to a Welsh-medium school and his Welsh is fluent and unlike many of the other children from English-speaking homes he chooses to speak Welsh to the other children.<br><span>-That's cute!</span><br>
Help!!!
 
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