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Need help with my 7 yr old son

lcl0706lcl0706 Posts: 959Registered Users
He is a ... handful (to put it nicely). He doesn't listen to anything or anyone, has a total meltdown if you look at him wrong, he can't focus in class... he got sent to the counselor last week for losing every assignment he was given in class, interrupting, talking thru class, and coloring on his desk. Once he gets upset over something, he's pretty much beyond help. We’ve tried to teach him coping mechanisms like taking deep breaths to calm down, but he's so hard on himself and extremely sensitive and emotional. I don’t know some days what to do with him. He lies about his behavior at school constantly. He doesn't seem to have extreme anger outbursts, but he will push you or hit if he gets mad enough. He'll say he didn't get in trouble at school when we find out later he did. You can't punish the kid because it does no good. He cares and feels bad when he gets caught in a lie, but it doesn't change his behavior. He seems to only regret what he’s done when he gets caught and is held accountable for his actions.

He briefly went to a babysitter with several other kids when he was 4 and even then, he had massive meltdowns. She’d report back to us that if the other kids were playing he'd put his hands over his ears and scream that they were giving him a headache and throw world class temper tantrums. He'd yell at the sitter that he hated her. He still tells me that the other kids in class “give him a headache” and he can’t focus on what he’s doing. He complains all the time about his sister, even when she’s playing by herself when he’s trying to do something else, because she apparently gives him a headache too.

I can't seem to get thru to the kid. He learns everything the hard way.... like when I told him at least 15 times not to aim his Nerf gun at his face and he only learned after he shot a foam dart into his eye. He doesn't seem to respond to questions and directions like I’d expect him to at age 7. He can’t keep track of his own possessions – he doesn’t know where he put his coat (on the floor in front of him), doesn’t know where he shoes are, or his backpack/school books/folder/whatever it is he's missing, and can’t focus long enough to actually conduct a useful search for it. If I ask him what he did in school that day, most of the time he “can’t remember.” I suspect he continues to lie daily about his behavior. We're really pushing his teacher to email us at the end of every day he gets in trouble and tell us what it was for and how bad it was so we can tell when he's lying. She says he'd be a super student in a one-on-one classroom, which is obviously not possible. He's so demanding of everyone. He pesters my SO's daughter constantly, and she's a real introvert and gets annoyed easily by him and I'm afraid will start resenting him. He rarely can play by himself. He’s always wanting attention from me, SO, whoever. The only time he successfully plays independently is if it’s an activity that absolutely requires constant, undivided hand eye coordination – like video games, his favorite thing in the world. I say that, but he’s been without his video game privileges for 3 months and still has not improved his behavior. In fact, he snuck his DS system to school without my knowledge, was caught playing games in class, was repeatedly asked to put it away and when he failed to, he got it taken away. His teacher told him to come home and tell his parents he will get it back at conferences, but instead he came home and when I couldn’t find it later, he helped me search the entire house for 2 hours. Knowing the entire time where it actually was.

Communication from the school has been spotty at best. I think his teacher means well but fails to follow through. They're on the green-red-yellow-blue card discipline system at school and teachers are supposed to send home a pink note if he pulls both his yellow and red card, and a discipline sheet if he pulls his blue card and gets sent to the office. We found out at recent parent teacher conferences that the kid's been saying yellow when he was on red because he figured out he gets in less trouble for that, and she hasn't been sending home pink notes. Now when he says "green day" it makes me wonder if she just failed to tell us otherwise.

He does have a few friends at school that he talks about - mostly when they've talked him into doing something he shouldn't have, which isn't hard - but he also tells me he gets made fun of a lot. He's in youth league soccer this year and he can make it through an actual game and come out okay on the other side, but I pulled up to practice last week to find him sitting in the middle of the field, having a massive meltdown, tears and snot and all, because the other kids "weren't playing fair" and took the ball from him. I took him to the car and he was uncontrollable. There was no calming him down. He can be a very good kid and he has a big heart. Some days he surprises me and I feel like I have a different child. For example, Sunday when SO and I were painting a bedroom, he was really well behaved all day. He played well with the other two children and was very sweet to me – he made me a present out of a shoebox. I don’t expect to be able to ignore him at home and I don’t feel I do – I am just one person and have to divide my attention and he sucks up a lot of my attention and energy. I know he is capable of very good days both at home and school but those days seem to be few and far between, and I’m not sure where to go with him from here.
:wave: fine, thin, normal/(low?) porosity. Mod-CG. Usually I can't co-wash more than 1x a week, & sometimes I have to use T-Gel in rotation due to scalp issues.

Co-wash: VO5 Volumizing
Poo: Giovanni 50:50
RO:TN, Nexxus Youth Renewal, Alba Coconut
LI: KCKT
PT: gelatin PT, ION EC
Stylers: Giovanni mousse, TIGI Curls Rock amplifier (a-cone), Curls Rock Strong Hold Mousse
Gels: SCC spray gel

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Comments

  • irociroc Posts: 7,890Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm sorry, I skimmed over some parts, but I got most of it.

    Reminds me of my now 7 year old when she was 2 and 3.

    At the moment I'm not going to go in depth with detail. But I was so frustrated I would sit down and cry at least once a day. Her meltdowns were so frequent and so long lasting that I was always exhausted and at the end of my rope. There seemed to be a miss fire in her brain. She knew right from wrong, it was almost like she couldn't focus on the result or effect of what she was doing. But she could play on the computer for hours, and I let her because she could focus on it.

    She learns much in the way you describe your son does too.

    Long story short, I spent weeks upon weeks googling and reading information. What I came up with told me she had autistic behavior characteristics, although she wasn't diagnosed as such. I changed her diet, removed dairy completely (sometimes gluten is to blame too) and started giving her psyllium fiber a couple times a week to keep her regular. Started giving her probiotics (acidophilus), and vitamin D. And we continued focusing on calming activities (I would have her sit and close her eyes and picture a rainbow on the center of her forehead and try to look at it. Then I would tell her to look at her rainbow when she needed to calm down.)

    I'm sharing this because she is the most well behaved, fantastic kid. She does well in school, her teachers love her. I still remember what a hard time I had when she was a toddler, and her doctor wouldn't listen to me. I know what it feels like to think you've done everything wrong and somehow caused this. I felt like it was my fault at the time, and now I'm proud to say I've fixed it.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using CurlTalk App
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Random list of thoughts, very poorly organized:

    Is he in public school and has he had any kind of evaluation? What does his pediatrician say? If he can have an evaluation and get some kind of plan in place, you can make one of the "rules" that the teacher reports about his behavior every day - this relieves him of the need to lie and you of having to depend on his iffy interpretation of the day. My daughter is six. She comes home with a folder every day. There's a calendar stapled to one side. Her "color" is marked every day. I'm told if there are a lot of yellows or a red, there will be a note as to why so you don't have to ask and the kid doesn't feel backed into a corner to lie. They have the same system through third grade, I think. It helps a lot. I know what happened and I can send a note back in the folder to get more info if I need it (or I can email, her teacher is fantastic about responding to email).

    As for keeping up with his stuff, does all his stuff have a place? We have found things much easier now that my daughter has an "after school" spot - coat, shoes, school bag, lunch box, library books all go in the same place. It's right inside the door. We don't have to hunt things because those things live there. Same with clothes - there's a hamper in her room. We don't have to track down pajama bottoms or uniform shirts because they all go in HER hamper. She seems to really LIKE knowing where everything goes and having very simple systems/habits for things. VERY simple but they make our lives so much easier.

    If I think she's going to be tempted to lie about something, I don't ask "did you forget to blah blah blah" - I tell her what I know (I see you didn't put away your toys last night) and tell her what to do about it (you need to put them all in the yellow basket in your room now). It seems to eliminate a whole lot of lying to save face or avoid punishment. At the end of it, what I want is for her to put her stuff away. "Catching her in a lie" on top of it isn't going to do anything except create another situation I have to punish for.

    Does he do well with simple routines and habits? I find that eliminates a lot of chaos and fighting.

    Does he get plenty of time outside to be wild and get rid of pent up energy? What is his diet like?

    I would really try to figure out what the core of the issue is. It sounds like he is easily over loaded with input and chaos. Soccer may not be his sport. Something individual like running or swimming might be better. He may really be dealing with things he can't help and forcing him into provoking situations won't help him get better about dealing, they'll just continue to over load his already maxed out system.

    If he does well with video games - maybe it's because they require total attention and problem solving. Does he also like things like Lego and building/strategy toys and games? He may need that quiet concentration to sort of calm down from the day.

    I hope you find something that helps. Talk to his pediatrician and if you think he needs an eval, put it in writing. There may be things they can do for him in the classroom so that he's not SO over stimulated and maxed out on input but the system is not fast. A good teacher will start to work with you BEFORE you have an IEP or 504 (different districts seem to weight one or the other more heavily) in place.

    Good luck!
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    My about to turn 5 yr. old has some difficulties as well. I do identify with your "he has to learn the hard way" statement.

    Have you looked at books about sensory integration issues in children? Maybe an evaluation by an Occupational Therapist may help. Also, consider a Montessori-based environment and/or homeschooling to provide the structure he needs.

    We're also eliminating dairy. Because we're combining that with other behavioral modifications, I can't say that it's helped, but I do notice that his asthma has been triggered much less.
    hello.world.
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    ((hugs)) sounds like your little guy has got a lot going on!

    At age 7 (grade 1?), its not uncommon for kids to start being diagnosed for things like ADHD and sensory processing disorder. They've managed up to this point, but the additional stress of a structured classroom setting and full day school just kind of puts them over the edge. Like someone said above, have a chat with the school regarding an evaluation or take him to your family doctor.

    I have more to add but will come back later to post.
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    A few thoughts:

    It sounds like his teacher should help him to develop an organization system so that he is capable of being responsible for his work. As for the lying, it is possible that he is not sure what else to do- you stated that he is sensitive and emotional and hard on himself so phrasing a question so that he has to answer in a way that implicates himself for getting in trouble is very stressful. Can you talk to the teacher about receiving more consistent communication? Incidentally, I hate those card systems, they are punitive and there is a large body of research to support positive behavior supports.

    I would recommend an eval, probably both a psycho-educational eval and an occupational therapy eval. They should be able to do both at school. It sounds like he is having lots of trouble in noisy environments which could be an indicator of sensory processing issues or attention issues. Actually, reading your next paragraph, I would ask for a speech/ language eval as well- the following directions, answering questions are receptive language skills. A good speech pathologist will also report the interrupting; a child his age should have the social language skills to refrain from that much of the time.

    He may actually need the video game time to recharge himself. I'm not big on lots of screen time, but some kids really need it and benefit from it. Wearing my professional (rather than my parental) hat, I would not try to 'catch him lying'. Rather, i would try and help him learn to be honest. make it a learning experience. If you know he is being dishonest about something that happened in school and you know what actually happened through teacher communication, you can tell him, "No, you should tell me what actually happened. You can say [insert event here]".

    This is an excellent reference for positive behavior support. The model was developed at Vanderbilt University.
  • lcl0706lcl0706 Posts: 959Registered Users
    CGNYC wrote: »
    Random list of thoughts, very poorly organized:

    Is he in public school and has he had any kind of evaluation? What does his pediatrician say? If he can have an evaluation and get some kind of plan in place, you can make one of the "rules" that the teacher reports about his behavior every day - this relieves him of the need to lie and you of having to depend on his iffy interpretation of the day. My daughter is six. She comes home with a folder every day. There's a calendar stapled to one side. Her "color" is marked every day. I'm told if there are a lot of yellows or a red, there will be a note as to why so you don't have to ask and the kid doesn't feel backed into a corner to lie. They have the same system through third grade, I think. It helps a lot. I know what happened and I can send a note back in the folder to get more info if I need it (or I can email, her teacher is fantastic about responding to email).

    As for keeping up with his stuff, does all his stuff have a place? We have found things much easier now that my daughter has an "after school" spot - coat, shoes, school bag, lunch box, library books all go in the same place. It's right inside the door. We don't have to hunt things because those things live there. Same with clothes - there's a hamper in her room. We don't have to track down pajama bottoms or uniform shirts because they all go in HER hamper. She seems to really LIKE knowing where everything goes and having very simple systems/habits for things. VERY simple but they make our lives so much easier.

    If I think she's going to be tempted to lie about something, I don't ask "did you forget to blah blah blah" - I tell her what I know (I see you didn't put away your toys last night) and tell her what to do about it (you need to put them all in the yellow basket in your room now). It seems to eliminate a whole lot of lying to save face or avoid punishment. At the end of it, what I want is for her to put her stuff away. "Catching her in a lie" on top of it isn't going to do anything except create another situation I have to punish for.

    Does he do well with simple routines and habits? I find that eliminates a lot of chaos and fighting.

    Does he get plenty of time outside to be wild and get rid of pent up energy? What is his diet like?

    I would really try to figure out what the core of the issue is. It sounds like he is easily over loaded with input and chaos. Soccer may not be his sport. Something individual like running or swimming might be better. He may really be dealing with things he can't help and forcing him into provoking situations won't help him get better about dealing, they'll just continue to over load his already maxed out system.

    If he does well with video games - maybe it's because they require total attention and problem solving. Does he also like things like Lego and building/strategy toys and games? He may need that quiet concentration to sort of calm down from the day.

    I hope you find something that helps. Talk to his pediatrician and if you think he needs an eval, put it in writing. There may be things they can do for him in the classroom so that he's not SO over stimulated and maxed out on input but the system is not fast. A good teacher will start to work with you BEFORE you have an IEP or 504 (different districts seem to weight one or the other more heavily) in place.

    Good luck!

    Trying to answer as many questions here -

    Yes he's in public school. In Kindergarten he was evaluated by the ACES program and was observed in class and had one on one time with a counselor thru that program weekly, that seemed to help - but funding was dramatically cut to that program and it is full this year with kids that "are worse than he is" as they put it. Nice, huh.

    I haven't addressed this yet with his pediatrician - that is next week and I will be asking for an evaluation with a child psychologist that may be able to identify ADHD or some other type of processing disorder.

    His teacher emails us sometimes and sometimes doesn't. We've stressed the importance of communication with her so I truly hope she isn't just dropping the ball here.

    His stuff has a place and always has. He has a bucket in his room for shoes, his own hamper, and he knows his stuff goes to his room. It just doesn't always make it there without me taking it myself because he is all over the place. He doesn't seem to care that his stuff has it's own spot.

    I wish I could identify when he's "tempted to lie" but he has lied to me straight faced when I already knew the truth and if I didn't know it already, I would've believed him. So I can't tell when he's lying or not. He's an excellent liar.

    He seems to work better on structure - like bedtime is bedtime, period, it's always been 8 to 8:30 and he sleeps like a rock at the end of each day, like it just exhausts him to live. He does get to run around - he has soccer practice once a week, he has a big yard at his dad's house, but at mine I feel like he gets shorted a bit because we live in a crappy neighborhood in a trailer park with 15 feet between us and the next trailer and not a lot of room to move. Our evenings seem so hurried sometimes when I don't get him picked up till 5:30 then it's dinner-shower-review schoolwork-bedtime all so fast. Weekends are more relaxed and fun. His diet is like that of an average 7 year old picky eater. Not horribly unhealthy but not vegan or fruits and veggies 24/7 either.

    He LOVES soccer and begged to play it so I think he enjoys it, just doesn't know how to/doesn't have the capacity to play well with others yet. It's ironic to me because I've never seen him have a meltdown in an actual game - maybe because he has a goal he's working towards? Not sure.

    He does do well with Legos - he got a racecar lego set for Easter and sat down and flipped through the booklet and built the car all by himself by reading the instructions. His mind just works that way, I guess. He was also uninterrupted while building it.

    webjockey wrote: »
    My about to turn 5 yr. old has some difficulties as well. I do identify with your "he has to learn the hard way" statement.

    Have you looked at books about sensory integration issues in children? Maybe an evaluation by an Occupational Therapist may help. Also, consider a Montessori-based environment and/or homeschooling to provide the structure he needs.

    We're also eliminating dairy. Because we're combining that with other behavioral modifications, I can't say that it's helped, but I do notice that his asthma has been triggered much less.


    I have read up on symptoms of ADHD and grew up with an ADHD younger brother and it all seems to fit my son. I know less about sensory integration but his thing about hearing and noise and "headaches" while distracted bugs me. We have no Montessori based schools around here (SMALL town 50 minutes away from a Target even) and homeschooling is not an option as both of us parents work full time, his stepmom works full time, my SO works full time and none of us can afford to give that up. Nor do I have the patience it requires to be an effective teacher. I wish I could afford to put him in our private catholic school here just to see if it's structured differently and would make a difference but I barely crack the poverty limits and unfortunately cannot.

    I'm interested in what his pedi has to say next week.
    :wave: fine, thin, normal/(low?) porosity. Mod-CG. Usually I can't co-wash more than 1x a week, & sometimes I have to use T-Gel in rotation due to scalp issues.

    Co-wash: VO5 Volumizing
    Poo: Giovanni 50:50
    RO:TN, Nexxus Youth Renewal, Alba Coconut
    LI: KCKT
    PT: gelatin PT, ION EC
    Stylers: Giovanni mousse, TIGI Curls Rock amplifier (a-cone), Curls Rock Strong Hold Mousse
    Gels: SCC spray gel

    hairsiggy-4-1.jpg
  • irociroc Posts: 7,890Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    My daughter had a sensory issue as a toddler as well. If we walked into a crowded, noisy room, a store with bright lighting, a family function, etc, she would melt down.
    She also is a go-goer, and is out cold at bedtime, but she is an early riser.

    She often did well with puzzles or blocks that she could focus on.

    A busy schedule like that would probably be a lot for her too. When she started school, I limited her time at her fathers on the weekend to every other because it was too unstructured.

    Good luck with the doctor. I hope it's a helpful appointment.


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using CurlTalk App
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  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    I agree with the previous suggestions. Is the ACES program part of the school district, or is it a separate system? If not, I would investigate again about getting him evaluated through the school district. The pediatrician will hopefully be helpful also.

    A couple other thoughts: Perhaps you could use video games as a reward for having a good day at school and putting shoes/backpack/etc in the right place, or something along those lines.

    I think the teacher is dropping the ball here. Teachers are very busy and have way too many demands on their time, so I am sympathetic to her, but she's not following through like she should. Is there any way you can volunteer in the classroom an hour or two per week? You could keep closer tabs on how he's doing and maintain good lines of communication with the teacher.
    ehLB.jpg
  • Carpool CurlyCarpool Curly Posts: 68Registered Users
    Kudos to you for being proactive while your son is still young. You're describing many of the behaviors my son demonstrated. Unfortunately, we waited until our son was 14 to get him evaluated because he wasn't a huge behavior problem, just had focus issues and we perceived him as lazy, impulsive, forgetful, dishonest and unmotivated. As you can guess, he has ADD (no H) and now that he's being treated, life is way better. I wish we'd done something years earlier.

    One thought about the "headache" when there are distractions. If he does have ADHD, the word headache may be what he uses to describe brain overload since he's not able to tune out everything that's going on around him.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more. Good luck!
  • lcl0706lcl0706 Posts: 959Registered Users
    Sarah - ACES is part of the school district. I agree with the teacher dropping the ball here a bit...its not that hard to fire off an email at the end of the day or attach a note in his folder just simply saying what color he was on, even.

    Carpool - thank you. He has a pediatrician appt on friday the 4th & i will ask that he be evaluated by someone. That is a good point about the headache being brain overload.

    SO was with us Saturday morning & just couldnt get over how "on the move" he is constantly. Just all over the place! Granted, his daughter is an introvert & quieter than most kids their age (she's 8) but still...he's a ball of constant motion & noise!

    Sent from my PG06100 using CurlTalk App
    :wave: fine, thin, normal/(low?) porosity. Mod-CG. Usually I can't co-wash more than 1x a week, & sometimes I have to use T-Gel in rotation due to scalp issues.

    Co-wash: VO5 Volumizing
    Poo: Giovanni 50:50
    RO:TN, Nexxus Youth Renewal, Alba Coconut
    LI: KCKT
    PT: gelatin PT, ION EC
    Stylers: Giovanni mousse, TIGI Curls Rock amplifier (a-cone), Curls Rock Strong Hold Mousse
    Gels: SCC spray gel

    hairsiggy-4-1.jpg
  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users

    One thought about the "headache" when there are distractions. If he does have ADHD, the word headache may be what he uses to describe brain overload since he's not able to tune out everything that's going on around him.

    That's very interesting, I've never heard that before! My almost 5 yr old was just diagnosed with ADHD last week and she often complains of headaches.



    Blame it on the cell phone...
  • Carpool CurlyCarpool Curly Posts: 68Registered Users
    subbrock wrote: »

    One thought about the "headache" when there are distractions. If he does have ADHD, the word headache may be what he uses to describe brain overload since he's not able to tune out everything that's going on around him.

    That's very interesting, I've never heard that before! My almost 5 yr old was just diagnosed with ADHD last week and she often complains of headaches.



    Please take my comment as coming from a complete non-medical person and still explore the headaches further with your doctors. I just know that when I'm doing super mentally challenging things like taxes or in a chaotic environment (like Chuck E Cheese) I would say it's hurting my head, but it's not really. KWIM?
  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    I've explored the headache issue with her doctor and her therapists and none of them have come up with an explanation/cause.

    Blame it on the cell phone...
  • Carpool CurlyCarpool Curly Posts: 68Registered Users
    @subbrock, hmmm, maybe one of my hair brained ideas might have some validity if there's no other explanation.
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    Bump.

    Just wanted to see how things were going.
    hello.world.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    Yes, I'd like to hear how things are going too!

    A few words about us: my older DS is 6 and in kindergarten. He's advanced in terms of reading, writing, math, etc, but he has struggled since he started kindergarten with the routines and behavior expectations.

    He has trouble managing his folders, backpack, etc. at school. We recently met with the teacher and talked about some ways to support him. We're going to focus on one routine when he has trouble, the end of the day, and he'll have his tasks to do--put papers in folder, put folder and lunch box in backpack, get coat, line up. If he accomplishes everything, he gets a sticker on a chart. His teacher said she can't give us a daily note or email, but she will on a weekly basis.

    DS also has very low frustration threshold and he is a perfectionist, meaning he gets upset if he can't do something perfectly (e.g. writing, cutting, drawing, etc) he overreacts and gets mad or sad. We're trying to figure out how to help him deal with frustration without having a meltdown. He has been evaluated for developmental and behavioral disorders at school and in a private clinic, and the only area of concern is speech and language. He does have speech/language therapy twice a week. I think this is just his temperament, and he (and we!) will have to learn how to react in appropriate ways.
    ehLB.jpg
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    I probably should update as well.

    No firm ADHD diagnosis as yet, but it seems like we're headed that way. Most folks I've talked to said that he would benefit from Montessori education, but guess what. The Montessori school doesn't want him.

    It's like that all over. Their websites claim that this type of instruction is best for kids that need to learn at their own pace, kids with ADHD, Sensory yadda yadda but when the rubber hits the road, they only want kids without these challenges.

    The public schools just push really hard to have them 'evaluated'. All ready dealing with talks to have him repeat Kindergarten.

    I never knew it was such an uphill battle. Texas' education system makes things worse.

    I am looking forward to having him out of school in the summer. He does so much better then.
    hello.world.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    Webjockey, is he in kindergarten right now? Yes, I hear you on the Montessori schools. I posted on here a while back about how we had issues with DS when he was three and attended a Montessori preschool. I feel like some private schools in general don't want to accept "difficult" children.

    If your son has ADHD, are you going to try medication? I have such mixed feeling about that. No one has suggested that our DS has ADHD, but I've thought about what we'd do if that were an issue. I don't like the idea of medicating for behavior that I think is normal in kids, but when I was a teacher, I had one student who was so much more focused and behaved when he was taking medication.

    I was very very hesitant to get DS evaluated a couple months ago at his public kindergarten. We had an evaluation about 1.5 years ago at a clinic that I trust completely, which found that he has expressive and receptive speech/language delays. I feared the school would come up with a long ridiculous list of what was "wrong" with him. But the only area that was outside the normal range was speech articulation--the expressive and receptive language were now normal. I still feel like he's not quite caught up in those areas, though.
    ehLB.jpg
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    Yes, he's in Kindergarten and not doing very well. As for drugs. Hells no. Frankly, even if he was diagnosed with ADHD, I still probably wouldn't put him on meds. There is way too much that is unknown about this, and the fact that children do outgrow it.

    A lot of this is due to parenting and can be fixed with better techniques. I know I don't spend enough time with him and have provided him with the consistent parenting that he needs. I noticed that he started exhibiting these behaviors when we started building the house. Having 3 kids + full time work + no real external support system (without paying someone) has exasperated things.

    I just gotta raise my game. I've never been around children before having my own. It's a steep learning curve but I'm getting there.

    With the school, we also did not go through their evaluators etc. and payed out of pocket to get an independent evaluation. Franlky I don't trust them to put our kid's best interest first, and I don't want a paper trail in their system. The school he goes to is rated #2 best in town, but it also has no faculty of color, he's one of maybe 3 black children in the school, the didn't qualify for preK because the majority of the families are very well off. Their standards are crazy high compared to the rest of the public school system. For example, they expect him to be writing three sentences with upper case/lower case, punctuation etc. and keep a journal and have 200 sight words down pact. At first, I was ok with "fake it till you make it" but it may not be enough.

    In the meantime, we're looking at other schooling options. Ones with a more diverse staff and standards more in line with what's reasonable.

    Times like this I wish we lived in Europe.
    hello.world.
  • lcl0706lcl0706 Posts: 959Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    Yes, I'd like to hear how things are going too!

    A few words about us: my older DS is 6 and in kindergarten. He's advanced in terms of reading, writing, math, etc, but he has struggled since he started kindergarten with the routines and behavior expectations.

    He has trouble managing his folders, backpack, etc. at school. We recently met with the teacher and talked about some ways to support him. We're going to focus on one routine when he has trouble, the end of the day, and he'll have his tasks to do--put papers in folder, put folder and lunch box in backpack, get coat, line up. If he accomplishes everything, he gets a sticker on a chart. His teacher said she can't give us a daily note or email, but she will on a weekly basis.

    DS also has very low frustration threshold and he is a perfectionist, meaning he gets upset if he can't do something perfectly (e.g. writing, cutting, drawing, etc) he overreacts and gets mad or sad. We're trying to figure out how to help him deal with frustration without having a meltdown. He has been evaluated for developmental and behavioral disorders at school and in a private clinic, and the only area of concern is speech and language. He does have speech/language therapy twice a week. I think this is just his temperament, and he (and we!) will have to learn how to react in appropriate ways.

    This is my kid all over and over, especially the frustration & meltdowns. He has been diagnosed with ADHD but is not on an ADHD med, although we did consider it. He is on a very low dose of abilify, 2mg. He is very skinny so doesn't need anything stronger & I don't think I'd increase it, not at this point. It has taken the edge off his extreme emotional reactions & his behavior in school this year is vastly improved. He still seems to struggle with low self esteem & will often make comments that he's a "bad kid" & i don't know where that comes from, as I've never given him a reason to think that. He has an appt with an independent counselor this Friday, I'm hoping she can give us some insight into those thought processes. He much prefers to disappear into movies or video games, despite the fact that he's a strong reader & artist. When he does draw or paint, he tends to draw kids that are sad or mad.

    Academically he is smart, when we can get him to focus on it & not be overly critical of himself. He does not handle pressure or timed exams well at all. Lately he has absolutely bounced off the walls at home. Some of his attributes (being sensitive & easily upset) we are trying to accept as just his personality, but I am glad he is seeing someone this week, just so we have another professional opinion.
    :wave: fine, thin, normal/(low?) porosity. Mod-CG. Usually I can't co-wash more than 1x a week, & sometimes I have to use T-Gel in rotation due to scalp issues.

    Co-wash: VO5 Volumizing
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  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    A couple books that have been helpful for us:
    Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic: Mary Sheedy Kurcinka: 9780060739669: Amazon.com: Books

    I think I've recommended this one on here before. It's geared more towards children with speech delays, but has valuable information about school evaluations and their pitfalls. The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late: Thomas Sowell: 9780465081417: Amazon.com: Books

    I don't have a great deal of trust in school developmental/behavioral evaluations, but we agreed to it (reluctantly) so it could be shown that the only real concern with DS is speech/language. I also wanted to be a "team player" and go along with the school to build a good relationship with them.

    The independent evaluation we got was the best money we've spent. I went into it worried of what they'd say--speech apraxia, ADHD, autism. They ruled out those and came to the diagnosis of mixed expressive/receptive language delay. They also had a great deal of helpful advice on how to help Connor make progress. One suggestion was to help him learn reading and math at home so he'll do well academically and that'll be one less thing that a school can nitpick about.

    WJ, those expectations sound ridiculous and not age-appropriate for kindergarten. The independent clinic that we visited recommended that a Montessori or Waldorf school would be good for our son. They also cautioned that not all so-called Montessori schools really follow the Montessori method, which allows for children to be very self-directed. Best of luck finding a more appropriate school!
    ehLB.jpg
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    sarah, our kids sound similar. He's in speech therapy now, although only 1x a week (can't afford 2x) Next up is MRI, ENT appt.

    Are you on pinterest? I've found it to be really helpful in finding creative ways to engage with him and try to get him up to speed with the school's obnoxious expectations.

    My latest experiment is trying to reinforce sight words & high numbers (in our case over 20) by writing them on ping-pong balls and making a game out of it.

    You can find me at: Lisa Goddard (webj0ckey) on Pinterest

    I appreciate you sharing your experiences. It's helpful.
    :happy7:
    hello.world.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    I'm not on Pinterest but have been thinking of joining for a while, so maybe I'll go ahead and sign up now. :happy10: I just looked at some of your posts and those ideas would be a big hit in our house too.

    You live in Texas, if I recall. What you are describing in that kindergarten class does not align with Texas's state standards in language arts. See /home/leaving?target=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.perma-bound.com%2Fstate-standards.do%3Fstate%3DTX%26amp%3Bsubject%3Dlanguage-arts%26amp%3BgradeLevel%3DK" class="Popup
    If the school wants him to repeat kindergarten and you want to fight it, I would bring that up.

    This blogger Life in the Pumpkin Shell has a 12-year-old son who has dealt with similar issues with speech, school, etc.

    LCL, best of luck with your son's visit to the counselor. I hope that goes well and gives you some better insight into how he's doing.
    ehLB.jpg
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I never saw the original post...but just wanted to say I saw a post from a mother recently that had a son that she pretty much described identical to yours. She decided instead of meds to try diet. I know some doctors...fight this saying it doesn't make a difference but her testimony was living proof. She removed dairy, gluten and I forget what else and noticed even after 4 days a change in her son. She goes on to say...after some time (can't remember how long) she had her son back. He is old enough ...that he can describe to her how he felt...tha the doesn't want to go back to feeling frusterated...etc. It was a very lovely testimony. I know diet or vitamin defficency can play a role in behavior.

    My son last fall was having attention problems, then behavior issues, etc. Nothing to the degree you described. We found out in November he was anemic...after bumping up our iron (red meats, more green veggies) and taking liquid iron in juice...it came back up. His behavior has gotten better and his attention is better in school. This was one little vitamin defficiency...I can't imagine what it would be if he was allergic or had issues with other things.

    I wish all of you lots of love, patience, and knowledge to know how to handle each of your unique situations.
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    I would love to do diet modifications but he is so damn picky and stubborn enough so that he would literally sneak food or not eat. He has asthma and we've been successful in weaning him off of dairy. Gluten will be a big challenge though. Won't eat rice but I'm still trying. Won't eat potato unless it is in cut in fry formation. food needs to be plain looking (like no flecks of seasoning or herbs) or he'll start flicking each one individually or not eat it at all. Luckily he will eat smoked salmon and on occasion chicken so I can get some protein in him. We put all sorts of probiotics, vitamins, minerals in his giant sippy for school, so I think he's ok for the most part. I never thought of iron though. I'll look into that.

    The ENT visit went well, and I think it may be a big source of some of the problems. He clearly inherited snotty ears from me.
    hello.world.
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    @webjockey...FYI. Chas' iron was barely low. I think 12.5 is considered...range for normal and he was 10.8. It made a big difference....

    If he is low...the liquid iron stuff tastes nasty...but grape juice hid the taste...
  • Carpool CurlyCarpool Curly Posts: 68Registered Users
    I'm so glad to see this thread revived. I have a bunch of thoughts so read on if you're interested. Sorry this is so freakin' long. It's all based on the reading I've done over the last two years. Please don't think I'm preaching at you.

    As I mentioned before, it's fantastic that you're all intervening now rather than in your kids' teen years or not at all. There's tons of evidence to show that people with undiagnosed ADHD are more likely to smoke, use stimulant drugs, etc -- they're unknowingly self-medicating. They also have many other emotional issues such as depression because they've been called lazy, bad kids, trouble makers, stupid... My son wasn't diagnosed until he was 14 and is now experiencing a lot of self-esteem issues -- more than the typical 16 year old -- because we were so critical for so many years, and still are sometimes.

    Parenting -- I have to admit that I was one of the people who thought many kids who were showing signs of ADHD were the result of bad parenting, poor diet or lack of exercise. Then my son was diagnosed...Anyone for "judge not lest ye be judged?" Based on the tons of research I've done since, ADHD is not caused by bad parenting. Yes, there are kids who misbehave because of bad parenting, but I don't think that's the case for any of you. Of course there's always more you could do, but it's a physiological, neurochemical cause. So, please forgive yourself if you feel that you're to blame. That being said, there are things parents can do to help the kids manage their ADHD such as helping them develop routines and providing strong boundaries.

    Hunter vs. Farmer -- Thom Hartmann says that people with ADHD are really just hunters living in a farmer society. For example, hunters are aware of everything that's going on around them while farmers are focused on the task at hand. Sound familiar? So, what many people consider weaknesses, could also be considered strengths. It's commonly believed that Ben Franklin, Tomas Edison and Mozart had ADHD and they obviously contributed a lot to the world. If you can help your kids see their strengths, it'll make a world of difference to their self-esteem.

    Diet-- There's substantial evidence that Omega-3's help a lot. Apparently there are the three components of omega-3: EPA, DHA and ALA. EPA and DHA are the ones that have the strongest impact on ADHD (and depression too) and can be found in oily fish such as salmon, albacore tuna (canned albacore tuna in water is great), and swordfish. The ALA type is a precursor to the EPA/DHA kind and it's harder for the body to use, but definitely helps. That's where flax seeds and oil, and walnuts come in to play. So, if you get an omega 3 supplement, it seems like you want one that's high in EPA. I just learned about all of this a couple weeks ago and have been trying to get more omegas into the kid, so I don't have any personal proof yet. Actually, I guess we all need it for heart health and kids also need it for their growing brains.

    Zinc has also been shown to help decrease impulsivity. Other minerals that may be linked are potassium and magnesium.

    Exercise - I just read a really interesting book called Spark by John Ratey that shows how exercise helps manage ADHD (and anxiety, depression, PMS). It's got a ton of scientific stuff in it, but the bottom line for ADHD is that kids with ADHD who are involved in athletics that are aerobic, highly structured and require a lot of focus show remarkable improvements in behavior and school. He gives the examples such as martial arts, gymnastics, and figure skating.

    Medication -- obviously a hot topic. We decided to medicate our son and it's been very effective. We've messed around with different ones because the stimulants were suppressing his appetite. We're not trying Strattera, which seems pretty good, but there are still focus issues. I know there are potential physical ramifications, but w/o the meds, there are guaranteed low grades, behavioral problems and continued low self-esteem, to say nothing about the stress that it causes us as parents to see our highly intelligent son doing poorly in school. Maybe if we'd caught it earlier, we'd be in a different place but it's working for us right now.

    Ok, enough of my novel. If you can believe it, I edited this down a lot.
  • crimsonshedemoncrimsonshedemon Posts: 2,098Registered Users
    @webjockey...FYI. Chas' iron was barely low. I think 12.5 is considered...range for normal and he was 10.8. It made a big difference....

    If he is low...the liquid iron stuff tastes nasty...but grape juice hid the taste...

    Keep in mind that normal and optimal are two different things and most drs are only concerned with normal.
  • crimsonshedemoncrimsonshedemon Posts: 2,098Registered Users
    I would definitely do an elimination diet and get him on an absorbable form of magnesium ( there are liquids and powders plus adding epsom salts or using mag oil will help), omega 3 fatty acids, b vitamins, zinc, probiotics and a quality multi vitamin.
    Gluten, dairy or other food intolerances can cause everything from behavior problems to autoimmune disease. Keep in mind that even after quitting these foods, it can take a year to heal the gut with the right supplements. Not a quick process.
    Also look at sleep patterns. Record his sleeping at night. He is most likely not getting quality sleep even if he's sleeping for many hours.
    Can you find an integrative medicine dr or functional medicine dr? There is an underlying cause just need to find it.
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    Just curious if anyone's doctor has recommended for your kid to see a neurologist or get an MRI.
    hello.world.
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