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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I am hoping some of you mama's can help me out.
My ds, who is 6.5 and in public school (in one of the best school districts in the country-I love his school!) is having a lot of issues. He has ADHD and we think he may be bipolar as well. Please dont start blasting me here-we have tried alternative treatments and nothing has helped-so he is on Adderall XR, which does help his ADHD a lot. However, he has a huge problem with hitting-not typical little kid hitting either. I am talking about things like slapping another little kid, punching, kicking, he even tried to strangle another child last week. Everyone is very concerned about his behavior. He is also like this at home with his sister, though he isnt as bad. I think that is more typical sibling stuff.
Anyway, we are going to be trying a mood stabilizer next month, after his appt with this neurologist-it will be serving two purposes, since it is an anti-convulsant as well and ds has epilepsy. However, I am trying to figure out what to do if this doesnt help his behavior. I dont want him hurting other kids, nor can the school allow that to go on, but at the same time, I dont want him put into special ed or something. He is extremely smart, but he already has self esteem issues, talking about how he is stupid and cant do this or that because of it.
I am debating whether or not to pull him from school if this behavior continues after trying the new medication. Although I dont think I would do all that great with a self-directed program, our state has an online school available to all children k-12 for free. (I also have ADD, which doesnt help!! lol) I think this program would be perfect for my son. It is very interactive and since he loves the computer, thats great too. They spend around 20-40% of the school day on the computer and the rest of the time doing interactive activities, like science experiments and arts and crafts, that sort of thing.
However, I am also wondering if this would be the right thing to do. I mean, he needs to learn HOW to interact with others, without hitting and things like that. And he needs to learn to listen to adults other than myself and my dh. I just dont know that he would be learning this in a home environment. He doesnt have any friends outside of school-or inside of school for that matter. I would obviously seek out other homeschooling families, but I am afraid that the same thing that has always happened with him will happen again-he will go over to play and smack their kid or break their toys or something and no longer be welcome to play with their chilren anymore. I just dont know what to do....
 

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I've met you and your ds. He's absolutely adorable! Just wanted to let you know.

I have no real advice though ((hugs))
Lisa
 

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I wonder if the lower stress environment of homeschooling might give him the peace to behave more calmly when he is around other kids. My son had different but similar issues with school. Now that he is at home, he has no problems at all in a once a week class he takes. If he wants, we will increase to 2 or 3 classes (through a homeschool group) next term. I think some kids thrive when all pressure is lifted. My boy's interactions with others have been steadily improving. I don't know if home schooled kids necessarily need to "learn to listen to other adults". I don't ever want my boy to be rude, but there is no situation I can imagine that he needs to obey without questioning. We are starting a tutoring situation for his dyslexia, and he does whatever the tutor asks, not because she is an adult and therefore the authority, but because he trusts that she can help him learn to read.

The way I look at human interactions, if I don't use a skill as an adult, there is no reason my kids need to learn it as children. I do almost anything my boss at work asks me to, because I know she has more experience than I. But if she asked me to do something I didn't agree with, I would say no. I do not expect mindless obedience from myself; my children have the same right.

I'm sorry - I must be in a soapbox mood. It sounds from your description that your son might thrive in a low pressure, loving homeschool environment. I might want to try it BEFORE more meds, if I were you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, like I said, the medication will be started regardless. He is on another siezure med already, we are just going to change to one that is similar and may have the added benefit of helping his mood.
I do agree that I dont want my son blindly following everything adults tell him to do, BUT he does not listen to any adults, period. He likes his teacher a lot, but if she asks him to sit down he will tell her no and run away. Or if he is told to sit in time out or told to stop grabbing someone elses paper, etc, he just either ignores her or tells her no. Its kind of like have a 6.5 year old 2 year old, lol. He is like this with most of the other adults in his life. I think he only listens to us because he knows that we can punish him in ways he really doesnt like-you know, loosing privledges and the like. We all make to praise him whenever he does listen, so I dont think thats what has been making the difference. I know that his teacher has said that if he looses recess for really bad behavior (they try to not take that away, since he needs that running around time), then his behavior just gets even worse because the one thing they can take away that really matters to him, has already been taken away. Anyway....I guess we will just try this out, see what happens, and try homeschooling if it doesnt help. I know he loves school too, which is part of the reason that I am so hesitant to take him out. Argh
And TY! I think my son is quite cute too
 

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FWIW, I knew a hsed bipolar child, and it was helpful to him to be able to work on his social skills in smaller doses instead of all day everyday. It let him have more successes and fewer "failures".

Best of luck to you!

ZM
 

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I'll tell you about my son and my feeling on PS regarding him and you can take it or leave it. K is ADHD, high functioning autistic with tendencies toward SID (SID has never been diagnosed) and tendencies toward Oppositional Defiant Disorder. We have tried several medictions for ADHD and mood. I firmly believe that if you have exhausted all other avenues of treatment (diet, supplements, etc.) and you can find a medication that helps then it is a valid course of treatment. If that medication is used to improve the CHILD'S life and not the life of the people around him then it is okay in my book. K was miserable and depressed before we found a treatment that worked for him. So no flames from me on that one!
He is currently not on any meds with the exception of Meletonin to help him sleep better. That has made the biggest difference in him than any other med. He really should still be on the Strattera but we have too many growth related issues with it so we manage without. I feel that if he were in school he would probably need FAR more medication to get him through the day. K is also very intellegent so sending him to PS to be placed in the special ed behavior class was an unacceptatble option. My husband raised a similar concern to yours regarding learning to listen to autority figures, etc. This was the anaology I used.

When your 16 year old learns to drive, you don't toss the keys at them and send them on their merry way. You start with the basics (park, drive, neutral, accelerating, braking), in a controlled environment (a deserted parking lot) with one on one attention (just you and him). You do this before letting him loose on the 6 lane highway. If you didn't the concequences would be disasterous. I think of homeschooling K the same way. He was not wired with the instinctual social skills that the majority of the rest of the world was. He has to learn them one by one. He is more likely to learn these well and not have disasterous concequences if we are able to start with the basics (being polite, helping around the house, not hitting), in a controlled environment (our house, his space) with one on one attention (just me and him...and his brother
). As he learns the basics we can increase the expectations of his social skills and involve him in more structure community activities and classes. A little at a time, bit by bit, and moving at his own pace. The thing I try to get through to my husband is that K is not normal, he will probably never be normal, we need to accept it and deal with it. That means trying to teach him in a normal way (structured classroom learning) and in a normal environment (a classroom of 25 students, led by one authority figure) is going to fail miserably. Once he has all the information he needs to interact in society I am confident he will be fine. However, he is going to have to get that information in a different manor than the majority of other children. This is where I think HSing shines the brightest. Allowing a child that is labeled as a problem or disabled to acheive the same level, if not higher level of social adeptness as a "normally" socialized child. (Yes that's right, the biggest benefit to HSing IMO is the exact opposite of the most common HS misconception
)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh yes, dont get me wrong, I do not think that HS kids are in the least socially neglected or something. Quite the opposite. My biggest concern is our being unable to find other kids for him to learn social skills with, since (understandibly) other parents dont want him playing with their kids. I mean, I know learning to be around other adults is important to some extent, but really I worry more about his interaction with his own peers. He LOVES being around other kids, he is VERY social, he just doesnt get it....I dont know. I know that he knows its not ok to be hitting and stuff, but he still does it. I think its just an impulsitivity thing.
Also, you are right on with the meds thing. He likes taking his medication. We had a med break last year because of weight issues and he asked to start again so that he could control himself. Even at 6, he knows the difference. We can totally relate to him as well since both myself and dh have add. Dh is on meds and I am not, since I am breastfeeding and trying to get preggo. I hate not being on the meds since I cant seem to focus on ANYTHING!! Plus, my house gets trashed because it is just so overwhelming for me. But I am not about to risk my babies over it
BTW-his little sisters dont seem to have the hyperactivity part of it...not sure about the ADD part yet, since they are so little.
 

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With K, I organize small playgroups. One or two other kids. That way I can be there with him and watch him very closely. I can watch for his cues that he is begining to lose the self control required for social interaction. At that point I can intervene. Sometimes just saying his name brings him back into focus. Sometimes I have to remind him to play nice or slow down, etc. If I see another child make him mad I am able to stop him from doing something negative and model appropriate behavior for him. As time passes and he learns more of these skills then I will be able to involve him in larger groups. My son also loves to be in a large social group but he does not know how to control himself in one so we avoid them right now. I look at social interaction from a quality over quantity perspective. I would prefer he have 2 or 3 positive playgroups a month then 30 disasters a month. I also feel that the interaction he gets when we are out running errands and such is a good experience. He is very friendly while out and starts up conversations with many people.
 
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