My 4 yo, soon to be 5yo is the middle child. I need guidance with him.
Here's his story: he was nearly stillborn, born by emergency c-section, nearly a month early due to being wrapped in the umbilical cord. I remember just being so happy he was alive and as a nurse practitioner, I knew I could handle any medical problems he would have. He was HIGH needs from the first day. Crying, screaming, feeding difficulties, poor motor tone, developmental delays, sensory aversions. I thrust all my energy into therapies. He did well, he caught up physically and lags a bit behind cognitively. His speech articulation is horrible but he processes ok, so he has tested. We are blessed, I know this.
But his behavior exhausts me. When he was an early 3, we had him evaluated, he had traits of a spectrum disorder, but ehhh, don't we all. He had some ODD, ADD traits, but once again, he was so young. I worked with a therapist, switched to another even, to learn parenting techniques. Last summer we took a break. I just was exhausted, I feel we were making little process and the cost and time wasn't worth it. And yes the unplanned pregnancy with #3, I just had enough on my plate. So baby was born, we just went into survival mode. And that is what we do with DS, we just survive, I feel he never prospers!
Example: this morning he was hitting his brother, laughing, screaming "poopy big butt" I separated them. I calmly asked him to sit with me on the bed for several minutes and speak in a normal voice. He absolutely refused, ran away from me, slammed the door in my face, grabbed some toys, which I calmly informed him, would be put away now, as that is the known rule for playing with toys instead of listening. His laughter and giddiness, now turn to pure temper tantrum and anger. He starts hitting me, hitting the baby, screaming how he hates me. I calmly tell him, this not acceptable, he is too angry, at which point, the only consequence which I have found to protect me and the baby, is to make him run laps. So I physically put him outside in his pajamas and tell him to run around the house until he no longer feels angry. He tests me by running towards the street, at which point I have to go physically run after him, he finally does start running, and runs and runs and runs around the house, he is calm now, he asks to come back in, I say yes, but to sit with me on the bed. We take some deep breaths to relax (therapy suggested this), although I can see the giddiness coming back, he starts giggling. I tell him it is time to get his clothes and get dressed, and it starts all over. I try to make it a game to see how fast he can go........He demands I go with him. I cannot, I have a crying baby, and my 6 yo has been waiting patiently for attention through all this fiasco. I calmly tell him I love you, but we will be leaving in 10 minutes and you will be wearing whatever clothes you gather from your room. So fast forward 10 minutes through his crying and screaming, I am physically putting my half naked DS in the car. He finally manages to muster a somewhat pleasant "mommy will you help me finish getting dressed please." In the daycare parking lot. At which point I say "yes, Malac, I will help you when I understand what you need. It sounds nice when you are polite" it was calm for 5 minutes, until he realized, it was swim day and we had forgot his swim gear. Then it was more whining and crying. I go home, bring back his swim stuff and see he is fitting to the teacher away from his classmates who were all in Spanish.
He hits and spits in the classroom at least once or twice a week. He comes home telling me the teachers hurt him, and I do not believe they abuse him, BUT I do believe they have to use force to get him to comply for classroom management.
Ok, if you have made it this far, here's the questions: my DH is against a formal children's hospital psychiatric behavioral evaluation because he does not want him to be labeled, and "live up to a label". So do I
1) become mama bear and ignore DH, since I make all medical appointments, just take him for evaluation NOW.
2) go back to counseling, without formal diagnoses, to keep working on management techniques even though I was not that impressed.
3) continue to survive, try to be consistent and see if one more year solves some of these woes, knowing that if he continues, the public school will step up and make recommendations that DH may not ignore
Other pieces, since it always comes up, spanking sends DS into a significant rage, it heightens our problems. I am going to have him evaluated by public school for speech again, but I am not sure about that, he did not qualify last year, and two private speech pathologists stated they felt he should have DEFINITELY qualified. I also think there is a piece of being opposite his brother, ODS is known for being the smart, well-behaved, very social, lots of friends and has far superior cognitive abilities, which we really try to NEVER highlight or discuss in front of YDS. In fact, I feel like I actually rob time and attention from ODS frequently to deal with YDS.
*sigh* thanks for listening, if nothing else at least I get it off my chest!