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Need advice about my 4yo, long......

Posted by on Jul. 11, 2014 at 12:51 PM
  • 17 Replies
So, you guys know me best, hence why I post here.

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!
by on Jul. 11, 2014 at 12:51 PM
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Replies (1-10):
bluelace777
by Member on Jul. 11, 2014 at 7:08 PM

I think you should go with 1. If your son is diagnosed with a "label" then you can find the appropriate ways to get him the help he needs. It seems like an ongoing problem so waiting it out a year might not make much of a difference.

You said you weren't impressed with the previous counseling. How did your son react to it?

Marti123
by Platinum Member on Jul. 11, 2014 at 8:31 PM
Thank you for your response. My experience, Therapy at that young age focused on prevention, teaching him coping, basic problem solving skills, of course lots of play therapy. My DS would be interested the first 15-30 minutes, he would then be darting for the door looking or looking for different activities. And even become oppositional to the therapist.

And it was all about prevention, which I totally understand is essential, but I never did learn effective discipline techniques for horrible behavior. It is just frustrating, to be attacked by your child and after hours of counseling, sit there calmly, and say "I know you are angry, very angry, you need to calm down."

Quoting bluelace777:

I think you should go with 1. If your son is diagnosed with a "label" then you can find the appropriate ways to get him the help he needs. It seems like an ongoing problem so waiting it out a year might not make much of a difference.

You said you weren't impressed with the previous counseling. How did your son react to it?

calsmom62
by Silver Member on Jul. 11, 2014 at 8:50 PM
Marti, we have been through the neuro psych testing 2x ... I will share with you later tonight when my battery isnt dying
calsmom62
by Silver Member on Jul. 11, 2014 at 11:21 PM
I believe you should go for the testing but you have choices about that You could advocate for the testing through your school districts early intervention prigram but it has drawbacks...and limitations.. they own it they designate who what and they arent easy to convince about thorough evals sometimes( they don't want to spend the $$$$ which I get..... You could see what if any your health care plan coverage for such testing includes which means its readily available to future providers and insurers or you could just be a cash customer at the neuropsych's evaluation. if you can afford the latter I recommend it because you own the results, and the dx is seen only by whom you give it to .. you are in control of who tests and how .
if you dont have a formal full blown eval look into programs in your area which combine social pragmatic skills with physical play look up " academy of physical and social development" in Newton MA for information a very successful established model which has been replicated in other areas. We were very happy with our child's experience with play groups there and it made a marked difference in his ability to interact with peers parents and school... its an amazing model
Marti123
by Platinum Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 12:04 AM
Thanks, our early intervention through the school is really aimed at children much worse off than Malac. We went through that last summer and they said, "come back next in 6 months, "he's borderline" and part of that was the speech eval, which they blatantly just evaluated him wrong, OR every single peer his age is way above average, two other therapists lied and his teachers, his dad and I all need hearing aids. *note the sarcasm of that last part*

I looked into paying privately for evaluation, the one that looked the best, actually shadowed the child at home, in school and other environments in addition to the battery of tests at their facility. I felt it would be the best experience to capture his true self & behaviors. But it was over $1300.

So if I proceed, I will most likely go the formal insurance route, which does label to providers in the future. Although my gut tells me, this isn 't going to stay in any closed file, it will be a life long challenge. I have evolved---I used to feel so guilty and would cry because I had failed this child, me, the parenting failure! 3 years later, I cried because it's not all my fault, I so wish it was all me, that I was the one to blame, that anyone else could take him and make him happy and successful, that I could get therapy and he would turn into this typical child *sigh* but nope, that's not the way it is, so now I just take each new day and focus on the little boy I was given, and continue looking for ways to nurture this busy, intense blessing!

Anyway sorry i ramble, I will have to look into that model, is it an entire private school curriculum or just therapy sessions?

Quoting calsmom62: I believe you should go for the testing but you have choices about that You could advocate for the testing through your school districts early intervention prigram but it has drawbacks...and limitations.. they own it they designate who what and they arent easy to convince about thorough evals sometimes( they don't want to spend the $$$$ which I get..... You could see what if any your health care plan coverage for such testing includes which means its readily available to future providers and insurers or you could just be a cash customer at the neuropsych's evaluation. if you can afford the latter I recommend it because you own the results, and the dx is seen only by whom you give it to .. you are in control of who tests and how .
if you dont have a formal full blown eval look into programs in your area which combine social pragmatic skills with physical play look up " academy of physical and social development" in Newton MA for information a very successful established model which has been replicated in other areas. We were very happy with our child's experience with play groups there and it made a marked difference in his ability to interact with peers parents and school... its an amazing model
calsmom62
by Silver Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 12:38 AM
That 1300 figure is pretty good to involve an at home and daycare component ---that piece is where I had difficulty with our younger ds he was engaging with adults but totally missed the mark with peers but the team couldnt get beyond his charm in the limited adult led session . older ds had a much better eval team ... The academy is not a school -- your child will attend one or more sessions a week which the kids think of as a play group.

Quoting Marti123: Thanks, our early intervention through the school is really aimed at children much worse off than Malac. We went through that last summer and they said, "come back next in 6 months, "he's borderline" and part of that was the speech eval, which they blatantly just evaluated him wrong, OR every single peer his age is way above average, two other therapists lied and his teachers, his dad and I all need hearing aids. *note the sarcasm of that last part*

I looked into paying privately for evaluation, the one that looked the best, actually shadowed the child at home, in school and other environments in addition to the battery of tests at their facility. I felt it would be the best experience to capture his true self & behaviors. But it was over $1300.

So if I proceed, I will most likely go the formal insurance route, which does label to providers in the future. Although my gut tells me, this isn 't going to stay in any closed file, it will be a life long challenge. I have evolved---I used to feel so guilty and would cry because I had failed this child, me, the parenting failure! 3 years later, I cried because it's not all my fault, I so wish it was all me, that I was the one to blame, that anyone else could take him and make him happy and successful, that I could get therapy and he would turn into this typical child *sigh* but nope, that's not the way it is, so now I just take each new day and focus on the little boy I was given, and continue looking for ways to nurture this busy, intense blessing!

Anyway sorry i ramble, I will have to look into that model, is it an entire private school curriculum or just therapy sessions?

Quoting calsmom62: I believe you should go for the testing but you have choices about that You could advocate for the testing through your school districts early intervention prigram but it has drawbacks...and limitations.. they own it they designate who what and they arent easy to convince about thorough evals sometimes( they don't want to spend the $$$$ which I get..... You could see what if any your health care plan coverage for such testing includes which means its readily available to future providers and insurers or you could just be a cash customer at the neuropsych's evaluation. if you can afford the latter I recommend it because you own the results, and the dx is seen only by whom you give it to .. you are in control of who tests and how .
if you dont have a formal full blown eval look into programs in your area which combine social pragmatic skills with physical play look up " academy of physical and social development" in Newton MA for information a very successful established model which has been replicated in other areas. We were very happy with our child's experience with play groups there and it made a marked difference in his ability to interact with peers parents and school... its an amazing model
PinkButterfly66
by on Jul. 12, 2014 at 12:47 AM

To me, labels help.  Labels help identify what you are dealing with and have the tools to help him.  If your child is sick, would you not want him tested to find out what the illness was and how it should be treated?  Suppose he needed antibiotics and didn't get them because you didn't want him labeled?

Marti123
by Platinum Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 1:17 AM
I understand what you are saying. I don't completely agree with the analogy, probably because of my profession *smiles* but appreciate your opinion all the same!

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

To me, labels help.  Labels help identify what you are dealing with and have the tools to help him.  If your child is sick, would you not want him tested to find out what the illness was and how it should be treated?  Suppose he needed antibiotics and didn't get them because you didn't want him labeled?

Marti123
by Platinum Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 1:20 AM
I giggle I do not have to worry about charm, not part of DSs temperament in any way :) so glad you have found something helpful.

Quoting calsmom62: That 1300 figure is pretty good to involve an at home and daycare component ---that piece is where I had difficulty with our younger ds he was engaging with adults but totally missed the mark with peers but the team couldnt get beyond his charm in the limited adult led session . older ds had a much better eval team ... The academy is not a school -- your child will attend one or more sessions a week which the kids think of as a play group.

Quoting Marti123: Thanks, our early intervention through the school is really aimed at children much worse off than Malac. We went through that last summer and they said, "come back next in 6 months, "he's borderline" and part of that was the speech eval, which they blatantly just evaluated him wrong, OR every single peer his age is way above average, two other therapists lied and his teachers, his dad and I all need hearing aids. *note the sarcasm of that last part*

I looked into paying privately for evaluation, the one that looked the best, actually shadowed the child at home, in school and other environments in addition to the battery of tests at their facility. I felt it would be the best experience to capture his true self & behaviors. But it was over $1300.

So if I proceed, I will most likely go the formal insurance route, which does label to providers in the future. Although my gut tells me, this isn 't going to stay in any closed file, it will be a life long challenge. I have evolved---I used to feel so guilty and would cry because I had failed this child, me, the parenting failure! 3 years later, I cried because it's not all my fault, I so wish it was all me, that I was the one to blame, that anyone else could take him and make him happy and successful, that I could get therapy and he would turn into this typical child *sigh* but nope, that's not the way it is, so now I just take each new day and focus on the little boy I was given, and continue looking for ways to nurture this busy, intense blessing!

Anyway sorry i ramble, I will have to look into that model, is it an entire private school curriculum or just therapy sessions?

Quoting calsmom62: I believe you should go for the testing but you have choices about that You could advocate for the testing through your school districts early intervention prigram but it has drawbacks...and limitations.. they own it they designate who what and they arent easy to convince about thorough evals sometimes( they don't want to spend the $$$$ which I get..... You could see what if any your health care plan coverage for such testing includes which means its readily available to future providers and insurers or you could just be a cash customer at the neuropsych's evaluation. if you can afford the latter I recommend it because you own the results, and the dx is seen only by whom you give it to .. you are in control of who tests and how .
if you dont have a formal full blown eval look into programs in your area which combine social pragmatic skills with physical play look up " academy of physical and social development" in Newton MA for information a very successful established model which has been replicated in other areas. We were very happy with our child's experience with play groups there and it made a marked difference in his ability to interact with peers parents and school... its an amazing model
calsmom62
by Silver Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 1:27 AM
I wish you luck, patience, strength and random hugs and dandelion bouquets offered by cute tiny fists... parenthood is a rollercoaster ...... take the great moments when you can

Quoting Marti123: I giggle I do not have to worry about charm, not part of DSs temperament in any way :) so glad you have found something helpful.

Quoting calsmom62: That 1300 figure is pretty good to involve an at home and daycare component ---that piece is where I had difficulty with our younger ds he was engaging with adults but totally missed the mark with peers but the team couldnt get beyond his charm in the limited adult led session . older ds had a much better eval team ... The academy is not a school -- your child will attend one or more sessions a week which the kids think of as a play group.

Quoting Marti123: Thanks, our early intervention through the school is really aimed at children much worse off than Malac. We went through that last summer and they said, "come back next in 6 months, "he's borderline" and part of that was the speech eval, which they blatantly just evaluated him wrong, OR every single peer his age is way above average, two other therapists lied and his teachers, his dad and I all need hearing aids. *note the sarcasm of that last part*

I looked into paying privately for evaluation, the one that looked the best, actually shadowed the child at home, in school and other environments in addition to the battery of tests at their facility. I felt it would be the best experience to capture his true self & behaviors. But it was over $1300.

So if I proceed, I will most likely go the formal insurance route, which does label to providers in the future. Although my gut tells me, this isn 't going to stay in any closed file, it will be a life long challenge. I have evolved---I used to feel so guilty and would cry because I had failed this child, me, the parenting failure! 3 years later, I cried because it's not all my fault, I so wish it was all me, that I was the one to blame, that anyone else could take him and make him happy and successful, that I could get therapy and he would turn into this typical child *sigh* but nope, that's not the way it is, so now I just take each new day and focus on the little boy I was given, and continue looking for ways to nurture this busy, intense blessing!

Anyway sorry i ramble, I will have to look into that model, is it an entire private school curriculum or just therapy sessions?

Quoting calsmom62: I believe you should go for the testing but you have choices about that You could advocate for the testing through your school districts early intervention prigram but it has drawbacks...and limitations.. they own it they designate who what and they arent easy to convince about thorough evals sometimes( they don't want to spend the $$$$ which I get..... You could see what if any your health care plan coverage for such testing includes which means its readily available to future providers and insurers or you could just be a cash customer at the neuropsych's evaluation. if you can afford the latter I recommend it because you own the results, and the dx is seen only by whom you give it to .. you are in control of who tests and how .
if you dont have a formal full blown eval look into programs in your area which combine social pragmatic skills with physical play look up " academy of physical and social development" in Newton MA for information a very successful established model which has been replicated in other areas. We were very happy with our child's experience with play groups there and it made a marked difference in his ability to interact with peers parents and school... its an amazing model
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