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End of our tether (A bit long, please be patient)

JJthetoymanJJthetoyman
posted 9 years 1 month ago
Hi all, I'm really hoping someone out there can help. I have 2 Sons, David, who will be 8 in December and Harley, who will be 2 in December. They are from different relationships, my oldest being the product of my first marriage, which ended back in 2002, he lives with me and my current partner. We've been together since 2005, and we have a Son together. David absolutely dotes on his baby brother, and is very affectionate normally. However, in more recent months, more and more drastic changes to David's behaviour have become apparent. At school, we have been called in because he has kicked another boy in the head (no serious harm was done thankfully) he is constantly making silly noises in class, which is disrupting everyone else, he rarely goes a day without burping in another child's face (which I have told him many times is a disgusting habit anyway) My partner is a psychology student and she noticed traits that David was exhibiting not lomg after we got together. We both believe that David is on the Autistic Spectrum, and he also shows signs of Aspergers Syndrome. We have taken him to our GP, he has seen a paediatrician and a child psychologist, and they both deny that there is anything wrong, putting David's behaviour down to "Attachment Issues" from when me and his biological Mother split, the psychologist also suggested that we attend a parenting class, making us both feel that we are bad parents. David hasn't had any contact with his biological Mother for the last 5 years and barely remembers her. He still has contact with his Maternal Grandmother, staying with her once a month for a weekend. His behaviour is becoming more and more erratic, and we're both concerned that he's going to wind up doing another child some serious harm, neither of us is sure how much longer we can cope with him, and it is putting a very great strain on our relationship, so much so that several times we have come close to splitting up because my partner can't cope with David's behaviour, he doesn't seem to have any comprehension of right and wrong, nor does he have any respect for other people's belongings, he doesn't care if he gets punished for something he's done, we've tried lord knows how many things to encourage him to behave, reward charts, sticker charts, even offering to pay him to be good!! We're both getting very close to our wit's, and our tether's end, and I'm praying that someone who reads this can at least point us in the right direction as we are out of ideas and sinking fast!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and please respond if you think you can help.


GTTkelGTTkel
posted 9 years 1 month ago
Firstly I would like to say that having family seperation issues doesn't mean a child should act like this. I myself was literally left by my mum when I was 3, I don't mean my parents seperated and decided on custody I mean she just left! Then my Dad's second wife was an alcoholic who did not treat me well atall to the point where I was fored to live with my grand parents on my mum's side (although my mum and her dad did not speak or have contact and there were other issues there too). My point is I was let down and insecure because of BOTH my parents and I never did any of the things you are describing your son as doing. I know everyone is different but it does sound as though there are other issues. Whether those issues are down to Autism or another 'syndrome'; or down to your parenting(no offence meant) I can't really say but if it has been going on for a long time there is obviously something that needs addressing.

My first thought is that whatever method of discipline and reward you decide on you need to stick to it because changing your mind will show that you are flaky- I know because swapping things about myself didn't help discipline my children.
What does his teacher think of his behaviour? Do they argree there is an undiagnosed behavioural problem? as I'm sure they must have some experience with previous pupils.

Sorry I can't be of any help but I do feel for you and hope that you can get the support that is needed if there really is a problem.

mum2popsnjakmum2popsnjak
posted 9 years 1 month ago
I'm so sorry you are having problems with your son at the moment. I am not a psychiatrist or anything close but from what you have described it does sound as though this may go beyond normal childhood behaviour? My friends son also behaves in this manner, it doesn't matter how many times you tell him not to do something, if he wants to he will. He walked out of school lots if he was asked to do something he didn't want to. He beat other children up constantly, he even started stealing. By the time he left primary school(last year) he had been in 4 diferent primary schools and none of the local secondary schools would take him. He now gets picked up on a monday morning and take to a boarding school for 'difficult children'. He is dropped back on a fri evening for the weekend. So far he seems to be getting on much better, as the teachers have much more one to one time to spend with the children (it is a smallish school) and all the children that go there are in the same boat so he doesn't feel like he is being singled out! The doctors have also washed their hands of him really. They labelled him with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and basically said get on with it. He was put on ritalin, but this didn't help him, he was just drugged to the eyeballs. It annoys me how the medical profession seem to feel once they have given you a 'label' for your child, you should just take them away and deal with it and not question anything. I'm sorry i can't suggest anything else for you to try, except to keep taking your don to different GP's hoping you eventually find one who is willing to take you seriously, listen and help? Maybe Tammy (hapydazy) will be able to help you some when she reads this on monday (her pc is away being fixed at the mo, so she won't be online again until mon) Her nephew was diagnosed with Aspergers (at least i think it was this?) I'm sure she will fill you in on her experiences when she can.
Is it possible his maternal grandmother could be causing some problems for him? Saying things you don't know about? All i can say, is don't give up on him, keep fighting to get a diagnosis for him, and trust your judgements after all you know your child best and obviously know this isn't right. This is a great site, so feel free to vent any problems you are having. There is normally someone on here who has been there and can help. I hope someone can give you some better advice than me. Good luck, i'm sure we will speak again Hug Xx

TAMSTAMS
posted 9 years 1 month ago
Having worked for 4 years with behaviour issue pupils, I strongly believe that there are causes for this behaviour. How is his reading ability? As pupils who come to secondary who in juniors have behaved as you describe about 70% have dyslexia or poor literacy or occassionally aren't able to read the board so get frustfrated. But I am not an expert in what ways does he have autistic tendencies? Can he make eye contact? In my experience children not caring if they hurt others or take responsibility is a big part of today's society.

AlexAlex Moderator
posted 9 years 1 month ago
I would push for further assessments from your GP and school. Get an educational Psychologist involved if you have to. I would also recommend you work with your sons school and communicate with them as much as is possible so both sides know what is going on.

Try using a visual timetable at home so your son knows what is happening and when- they are really easy to make, use clip art of google images, get your son involved in taking pictures of the timetable when he has completed something.

And I would recommend that you pick a discipline/reward routine and stick to it so he knows what is happeneing and when.

Hope things improve for you

LucyLucy
posted 9 years 1 month ago

Alex said:
I would push for further assessments from your GP and school. Get an educational Psychologist involved if you have to. I would also recommend you work with your sons school and communicate with them as much as is possible so both sides know what is going on.

Try using a visual timetable at home so your son knows what is happening and when- they are really easy to make, use clip art of google images, get your son involved in taking pictures of the timetable when he has completed something.

And I would recommend that you pick a discipline/reward routine and stick to it so he knows what is happeneing and when.

Hope things improve for you


thats great advice Alex

JJthetoymanJJthetoyman
posted 9 years 1 month ago
Hi guys, thanks for so many replies! I'm making an appointment for him to see our GP again today, we've had some developments over the weekend, we've discovered that he has been secretly bingeingon chocolate and sweets, we've discovered wrappers stashed in all sorts of places, and when questioned about it (we told him he wasn't in trouble, we just wanted to help him) he spooled off a huge list of what he's taken and where he stashed the wrappings. To answer Tams question, David's reading and writing ability is far above normal, he's in year 3, but reads at a year 5 level, his comprehension is brilliant, academically he's doing very well, but his social and emotional development is below normal (whatever normal can be described as) I'm going to keep pushing and pushing for him to get assessed, and I will talk to him a little later today about his visits with Grandma, to see if she's been telling him things she really shouldn't. Thanks for all the support, I shall keep you posted!

HelenLouHelenLou
posted 8 years 4 months ago
Hi,
I just joined this site today and yours is the first post I read. I have a son who is 8 and has autism and ADHD. He is now at a special school and doing much better, but for the first three years of his schooling he was at our local mainstream school and his behaviour was very similar to that you are describing. In particular, he would constantly make silly noises (which he still does, all the time) and disrupt the other children. He is prone to giggling fits which seem to come out of nowhere and which are apparently uncontrollable.
I would keep pushing for help at the doctors. When I first took Brandon to the doctors I was actually told to 'give him a slap' (unbelievable, but sadly true) and the GP insinuated I was a bad parent and spoilt my child. Some time down the line when I had an official diagnosis of ASD, ADHD, hyperactivity and sensory processing difficulties, I had to resist the urge to go back to that doctor and show him the letter!
Anyway, even if David is not autistic, you still need help and support, and David is entitled to get this to give him the best chance at school etc. I think you are definitely on to something with the sweets etc. though. I have been reading 'They are What you Feed them' by Dr Alex Richardson and would strongly recommend it to all parents - it's a real eye-opener.
Anyway, sorry to ramble on. All the best with David
Helen

JJthetoymanJJthetoyman
posted 8 years 4 months ago
Hi everyone, thanks for the input, apologies for not giving a response sooner! Things recently have improved greatly. We've been in constant communication with David's school (we have set up a diary of sorts that details his behaviour throughout the day) and we also let David walk to and from school with a friend unaccompanied, and this has done wonders for his self-esteem and confidence. His behaviour at home has come on leaps and bounds, although he still has his moments! We have been working with Banardos, they have supplied us with a lot of information and resources to help David with a visual timetable. As David has previously had food issues, we've allowed him to pick his own lunches (from a selection) and these issues have apparently begun to be resolved, as he is no longer taking all lunchtime to eat, instead finishing relatively quickly and enjoying his playtime. I think his maternal Grandmother had issues relating to David calling my partner "Mum" (his choice, not ours) but she seems to have come around to the idea that this is the way it is, we are a loving family and want David and his younger brother to be happy. We are still fighting to get David reassessed, and we're making some progress, I'll do my best to keep you all posted on any developments!

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