Sunday, January 24, 2010

wondering when

My youngest, the Energizer Bunny, is once again having behavioral troubles at school.  Mind you, this is Kindergarten.  But for him, it follows a two year struggle with impulse control and aggressive behaviors in preschool that resulted in being kicked out of the school he'd attended since he was 5 months old.  And now, he's approaching age 6 and still exhibiting the aggressive behaviors that his teacher calls "very concerning."  Let me quote:  "I'm really concerned about his emotional health.........." 

So here's what I wonder, among other things:  when will the day arrive that I don't immediately break down in tears during these kind of conversations?  I went in last week to meet with his teacher, at her request, and got there about 30 minutes before meeting time.  I helped out with the kids in their "centers", as I've done before, and then the class left to go to art.  I was fine, absolutely fine, until the kids left and the teacher said those words, then the water works opened up. 

Energizer has an ADHD diagnosis, which is kind of a double-edged sword nowadays.  It's so commonplace now, it's almost as if the label has lost its impact in the minds of many people.  "Oh, ADHD...........yep, everybody's got it."  Ours is the severe variety, and I never could have imagined what severe ADHD was really like before living with it in my house.  Medication starting at age 4, and still he has impulse control issues so serious that he puts his hands on the necks of classmates and tries to choke them.  What brings on these outbursts?  Such life-and-death horrors as having one friend tell him that he can't be friends with another. 

So I cried, and I listened, and I talked, and we decided to get the guidance department involved in some counseling for him.  I have to do everything in my power to get past my own emotional hangups that will hold me back from getting Energizer the help he needs.  You know....the nagging worries of having done something wrong in raising him, or the guilt over his micropreemie 27-weeker birth and the long-term repercussions of that.  I mean, come on.......if your 5 year old needs emotional counseling, there's a problem, right?  You feel like everyone's judging, everyone's questioning.  If they only knew the battles we fight on a daily basis, the constant balancing act that's required just to keep him (and the family) functioning with our heads above water.  And the teacher is sweet, and caring, and great, but you know she's got to think "whose 5 year old explodes with so much anger that they choke another kid?  And HOW did it get to this point?" 

I wish I knew...........


  1. You also need to get social and behavioural programming put into his IEP. The same ABA programming - here it's Ont's PPM 140 - that they use for autism... the very same token programs and social stories (playground behaviour, how to work in groups, making friends etc etc etc). Then at home you have to do the same. One slip up and it'll be serious meltdown time but you have to do it... day in, day out... I have journals absolutely full of it....
    He's now 10, and we've gone from mild, non-verbal PDD to mild NLD (pretty much "normal" except for a few teachable LD's). It's now the 10yr old mouthies... and the Nintendo DS when it's taken away is gone for a full 24hrs instead of 2 extremely long minutes... that were even longer b/c I made him stop screaming before he got it back. Use a timer.
    I'm surprised... very surprised that instead of being told a few weeks ago "he's one of my best students"... we're not in a behavioural class...
    It became an issue a few weeks ago - since our behaviour world is black and white only - b/c the Teacher decided they could miss gym for bad behaviour of a few... a huge "No, NO" when the token system says "I behave, I get"... but the VP dealt with it, the Teacher appologized - I didn't appreciate the VERY long night and morning at home after it occurred....
    It can be done... it's hard, very, very, very, very, very.... HARD.... You can never, ever, ever, ever.... give in... not once.

  2. Hugs Jen...I know what you mean about the guilt. I have it, too.
    Wish I had some sage advice for you.
    Love from your fellow PE sister,

  3. First let me say I understand your feelings in ways that I wish I could say I didn't. My 12 yr old was diagnosed with ADHD Combined Type level moderate to severe when she was 5. Life has certainly been interesting ever since, to say the least.
    I also know that you have probably been reading, studying, sleeping and breathing information about ADHD since you found out. We <mostly> all do so. And then we search for those who understand and deal with it as well.
    When my daughter was 9 we ended up putting her in a pediatric pych ward for one week. At that time she was co-diagnosed with Pediatric Bipolar Disorder with Oppositional Defiance tendencies. That was when I found out that some children with more severe ADHD need the stimulant drugs to control the ADHD, but that the stimulants can cause other problems like aggression.
    All this to say in the midst of all of the battles you are waging, remember to keep the medication issue in the forefront. Really take the time to evaluate the medication your child is taking, and talk to your professionals about new medications on the market. Perhaps there is something in your medication that is working counter to what is helping.
    I pray for you and your child. The battles in my household are ongoing. Some days we win. Some days we lose. Most days we are at a standstill. But we keep moving. So will you. Blessings.

  4. Jen (another one...LOL!)January 27, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    Jen- OMG! I read and reread your post and had to pinch myself b/c I swore maybe I wrote it instead! You are NOT alone! My son sounds identical to your son. Diagnosed with severe AD/HD-combined type at the same age as Energizer...same probs with school (although my son is a bit older at 8 years old and in third grade). Many hugs go out to you. Keep up the good are doing everything in your power to get your son the help he needs NOW!