Tag Archives: ODD

Friday with the Child Psychologist

Today both boys had an appointment with the child psychologist.

She asked me what we should be working on today, and I reminded her of the current issues. I asked my middle child what he should be working on, in case I missed something, and he said he is about ready to graduate. Not the answer I expected.

After session, she told me she thought he might be ready to cease his sessions with her. She told me she remembers how they were when they first started with her, middle son at two years ago and oldest child at a year ago.

She said they were bouncing off of things. Had no focus. Became upset every minute. Did not share. Argued with everyone and each other.

Middle child did not talk about his father and did not want to discuss his feelings AT ALL for a year.

I was surprised she felt he might be done with therapy. He is doing remarkably well right now, true, but I just did not know if it were due to his medication or due to his emotional growth.

She walked us to the door and turned to me and looked me in the eyes and said “good job”.

Last week a social worker visited us in our home and attributed my kid’s good behaviour to good parenting.

After years of criticisms from their father, my father, the shelter staff- I can scarcely believe it.

I hope the children do. They worked really hard to get here.

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Friday Night

I managed to pick the kids up early from daycare. They got on the computer and did their video game thing and discussed it at length with each other. Our sweet neighbor made funnel cakes (I know, you are SO JEALOUS) and brought them over to share, right as we were finishing snack. Triple snack makes for a very easy dinner, and late. It was a great excuse to go outside. You cannot eat funnel cakes over a table, you know. They won’t taste right.

We played Kick the Can five times, one game of Kickball, and went for a bike ride around the block. There was some time on the swings, in the sandbox, that light dinner I had mentioned, you know how it goes.

I get them inside, covered with sweat, powdered sugar, and sand-all melted together. I wash them and get them ready for bed.

Middle child asks me, after I tell him to park himself in bed “What day is tomorrow?”

I tell him Saturday. He falls on the floor and begins whining about how daycare is five days a week and weekends are only two days a week and how weekends ought to be five days, as it is only fair. There was a lot more whining about numbers five and two, but I couldn’t catch it all. Whining makes my ears shut down.

So I ask him, “Why don’t you whine like this on Sunday night, when you have daycare the next day? Instead of tonight- when we have a day at home tomorrow?”

He stops whining and looks up at me. He asks me “Isn’t Saturday a daycare day?” I tell him no. He laughs a little, and tells me he thought he had to go to daycare tomorrow. I tell him when he starts whining on Sunday night I am going to tell him I heard it already on Friday, so he can’t even start. He laughs all the way to bed.

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Feeling Awful

Our favorite neighbor, a boy the same age as my oldest, became upset with me tonight.
He is underweight. The doctor wants to get more calories in him. His mother has been trying to get him to eat more, plying him with sweets.
Tonight he was at my house for dinner time and he did not like what we were having. He ate nothing. When his own dinnertime was underway, I sent him home to get a bite, telling him to come back when he was done.
He was a bit miffed with me, but I told him again just to eat and come back to play. That we would wait for him.
He went home and threw an unholy fit. His mother was already exhausted. I felt awful. I went over there after it and I sat on the front step and I apologized and talked to him about his feelings and we cried a bit.
My son was sad that we could not have our usual time to play together with our neighbor.
I feel so responsible. I knew he was an EBD kid, like mine. I wish I had done something different so that this had never happened.

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New Home

Middle son has had fewer fits and less anger this past week. I think he is becoming used to his new house.
He did have a few fits at the beginning of the week (Sunday, Monday) where I wrapped him up tight and hugged him and parked him in front of a cartoon. I picked which one, but I chose ones that he liked and had not yet seen that particular episode of. Thank you, Netflix. Thank you, Aunt and Uncle, for the Netflix and the Chromecast at Christmas.
It worked like a charm. Big son was very good about getting out of the way so I could get Middle Son set up on the couch and cast over his show. Today I was waiting for a fit, and none came. Saturdays are his worst days, we did not even go outside (too cold), so to have a fit-free day was a real Valentine’s treat. Tomorrow I will point it out to him, and his siblings, since none of them argued with each other at all today. Best Valentine’s Day, ever!

My toddler has chosen to sleep in a full size bed instead of her cozy little toddler bed, which she still fits in with room to spare. She looks swallowed up in the big bed, even though she has a dozen stuffed animal friends in there with her. In a few weeks I will go through her clothes and get rid of her current size, as she is on her way out of it. I have a little girl now, and not a baby any longer.

I gave the children each their first box of grown up chocolate. Small ones, but they just loved them. Far more than kid candy. I would agree. I made them a trifle and the boys ate it all, I only had to help a little, which I will probably kick myself for later, because I used real cream.

The house is more a home now, the boxes are all unpacked and today we found the missing Pokemon cards in a mislabeled box. The poor kid was relieved. I would say we are now officially moved in, despite work, appointments, school functions, and my current bout with the flu. Somehow we did it.

Now I have to get them to help with chores. Middle son thinks shoveling is fun, he makes mazelike paths from the front door, complete with alternate routes. The corn maze last fall might have made more of an impression than I thought. I want them to help with chores that are not fun, too. So far the offer of monetary reward has not motivated them on a regular basis.
How to get ODD types to help with chores? I am working on it. It will have to be weekends only. We haven’t enough time during weeknights, due to my work schedule. My goal is weekly chores without complaint by the end of the school year. A generous amount of time.

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Middle Son’s Medication

Middle son has been very active. I mean like overactive, hyperactive, attention deficit active. But not hitting anyone, thank goodness. He is still bursting into tears each day over every real and imagined slight.
I thought I must have put on his patch wrong. I thought I must have it in the wrong place. I thought he must be so rattled by the move that it has stopped being effective.
I talked to three nurses, a pharmacist, and his doctor (by proxy) today. The doc thinks he is just accustomed to the dose. We have to wait until a shipment gets into our small town tomorrow to get him the new dose on his patch. His patches have been leaving red marks that take a week to fade, and the doc wants me to try rubbing the spot with lotion three times a day to see if it will go away, as there is no blistering.
I had emails from Middle Son’s teacher each of the last two days, telling me she can barely teach him because of his busy behaviour and she had him show her that his patch was on, because he was acting like he had none. Luckily it was a lot of computer testing, common core crap, so he got into minimal trouble. Though something has happened that has gotten him banned from the boy’s bathroom… no one has explained, other than to reassure me it was an accident and not intentional on his part. If I can get a minute alone with him, I will ask him.
Poor kid. Tomorrow is show and tell and he cannot find what he wants to show. His auntie must have packed it for him. I hope he can manage the compromise we worked out.
I hope he does not acclimate to his new dose in four weeks, like he did with this one.

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Checkers and the Beach, But Not In That Order

Yesterday at daycare my children were each coloring Mario and Luigi when I arrived to pick them up. They wanted to finish, and I let them, because finishing a task is important, and a good habit. Also because my autistic child NEVER colors. He seems to be unable to handle the drag sensation of a crayon or pencil on paper. But he was doing it, and I want him to, so I waited for them.

Middle child finished first. I secured his paper. He began asking for games. He always wants something, and for that minute it was a new Mario DS game. I told him if he could refrain from throwing a fit on Saturday I would buy it for him. I do not like to use large rewards, they smack of bribes, but I am intensely curious to see if he can manage any self control at all on any Saturday.

We started off the day with breakfast, a little bit of media time while I did some chores and had coffee, and then we went off to the beach.

The tantrum started at the beach. Middle child started bullying his brother and sister, I think due to jealousy over sea gull feathers, and I would not allow it.

So he threw himself down and had a nice fit. He threw sand at me and I explained he was not to do that. He began to throw a rock at me and I told him he may not. He threw it, to the side. He threw the sand at my feet. I ignored him and pretended to eat his sister’s sand ¨cookies¨ that she had prepared for me. He cried and cried about not being able to dig a pit in the sand. I offered to teach him, he refused my help.

I really like tantrums at the beach. The risk is the running off, which he has not tried lately. I weighed the option to take everyone home, but this sort of thing throws a wrench in plans too often. What I like about tantrums there is the space. The crying sounds far away, there are no walls for it to bounce off of. It bothers me much less, I have water to look at while I wait, it’s soothing. I decided to let it pan out.

When he had slowed down a bit I asked him if he wanted to go look for fish. He did. We went. We all had a nice time. The baby let us go out deep without panicking this time. Everyone insisted we do it together. We pretended to be sea creatures.

After two trips to two parks to get his energy out and keep him sane, we played checkers at home. His first time. He grasped the rules more quickly than his brother ever did. He lost. Of course. He cried, a lot, and started kicking. He asked me to let him win. I explained that if I did that, he would never learn to play well, and his friends would beat him, and he would come home and ask me how his friends got to be geniuses at checkers while I was so stupid at it. He laughed(the word stupid is like swearing at our house), and I unwrapped him when he said he was ready.

I don’t know why each game he learns we have to start over with the sensitivity to losing. I would have thought it would be just when he started playing games at all, but it is every time he learns a new game. He is starting to understand it is part of a process. Kindergarten is in two weeks, I hope he is ready.

He also figured out for himself that he would have to try again next Saturday for a Mario game, that this Saturday was lost. He took it well, it helped a great deal that he was the one putting two and two together, and not having it spelled out for him. That is the best way to give him bad news, it keeps the blame off of myself, and normally translates into zero tantrums.

Much better than last weekend.

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Special Needs Kickball

Today we had special needs kickball. Before I signed up the boys for it, I spoke with the community education coordinator, to explain that my kids had very different needs. So far every kid there has been able to kick, but today a child came who needs someone to kick his foot for him, and then run on his behalf. He seems a friendly boy, he gave my boys high fives and was introduced. All differently abled children.

The other children listen better than my boys do. The therapists are very patient with my children, even when they are pushing limits and intentionally giving them a hard time. It is so nice to see people work with them, rather than throw up their hands or insist that I beat them. So far the people who are the best with my kids are the professionals, or very young daycare workers with oodles of patience and smiles.

Somehow I still haven’t met anyone here for my kids to play with, though I have invited a few families over. I don’t know if we don’t know anyone else because I am wary, if we don’t know anyone because they are wary, if we don’t know anyone because I am too busy with my kids and don’t socialize, I don’t know if it is because I don’t get the culture (surely I must, by now)… and it all seems a Catch 22. Yesterday we ran into a family I like from our daycare at the park, and the mother offered to get me the card for her church. I am sure she meant well. But it felt suspiciously as if she could not socialize outside of her church. It’s a very Christian area, that I live in. They couldn’t possibly know how I felt about religion, and if they did, they would probably fail to see how my experiences could apply to theirs.

I thought this kickball would be a nice way to get to know some of the other parents who understand children who are a bit different, but unlike other community sports, the parents drop the children off and leave. Last year we did T-ball, and the parents brought chairs and hung out until all their kids were done. I was trying to do the same, but I had kids on the playground and kids on the field and I could hardly sit still. 

Sometimes I get tired. Today I was relieved. People were helping my kids learn how to behave appropriately, with patience. Not judging them or myself.

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Making the Day Work

Today at bedtime the final recipe for taming middle child was:
3 trips to parks
1 donut
1 timeout with small, short tantrum
2 beginning tantrums that were defused by piggyback rides or tickling
4 tantrum prone moments that were met with tickling and never developed
3 meals + 2 snacks
2 showers, 1 bath
2 books
 
I never lost my temper, though I did have to physically carry him to his timeout for pushing his sister in the face during a debate by the children on which park to attend. Which, compared to last week, is a huge improvement in his impulses towards violence. 
 
My trade off was no relaxation, a lot of vigilance, a much needed nap, too many conversations about card collecting, twenty dollars extra spent in the store on card devices that emit light and the required batteries, and having to listen to much grumbling over spending one’s allowance and having to work to make more money.
Oh, and I had to pay for some cheap toy filled with candy that he broke at checkout after being told to put it back. I paid for it, and I threw it away, in his sight. I will not be bullied into a purchase. I can be reasoned with, only. His frustration with me over that resulted in a waterbottle being thrown at my head. He missed. Maybe on purpose. He is paying me back the cash in chores, over half the amount already worked off.
 
He did not stop moving until after his last shower, shortly before bed, at which time he sat at the computer and then watched the Muppets until bedtime, about forty five minutes, and since he was still, I got him to brush his teeth and I clipped his nails. 
 
I feel like calling the pharmacy on Monday, just to confirm that his medicine will be ready for pickup before Friday. I hope that day brings some relief. The Tenex is definitely leaving his system, five days to go. 

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Back to Square One

Middle child has suddenly stopped reacting to his medication. We are back to a complete lack of impulse control. There is hitting, tantrums, a great deal of anger. This is the fourth day. I keep reminding myself that we had good results previously, the doctor has doubled his medication, maybe it will take. I hope.

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A Hat-trick, A Sandwich of Incidents

It began on Sunday night.

One son kicked another son in the face. Out of irritation, as the latter son was recording a movie of a movie. Which is so redundant that it irritates me, too. But I am not kicking out over it.

The kick dislodged a loose tooth in the director/producer. At first, I did not comprehend what had happened in the chaotic aftermath of blood and excited high pitched yelling. I just gathered that one son had helped another son with his phobia over losing a tooth. I was ecstatic. No more fretting and crying over losing teeth, no more waiting for the wiggly tooth to be easily and painlessly pulled, no more complaints over meals, requesting that soft food be served, instead, to cater literally to his afflicted tooth. It was over.

So I was jubilant. Until I calmed down and could take in what the victim was telling me. That he had been kicked. In the face. Perpetrator was sent to his room. Later we had a talk about irritation and anger and siblings. A replica of the talk I had with two other siblings that day, for other incidents. But the damage was done. I had celebrated that kick, and not been upset in any way by the sight of my child’s blood. In front of all.

Today my kicking son was found guilty of procuring and stashing a Nintendo DS game. One that did not belong to him. From a child who he had victimized in this way before. That time, I made him give the games back and apologize to the boy, his mother, and the director of the preschool. To compound the issue this time, he was directly questioned, and thus lied directly, to both his teacher and the boy’s mother. I am beyond angry and into that sort of emergency calm one enters after disaster. The one where you stop feeling and start combing through wreckage for what might be salvageable, for what could be used in building anew.

He is on work detail with me. He is working to earn restitution. Instead of working for money to buy a DS game, our usual circumstance since he was given a DS, he is working only to earn money to hand over to this other child. I told him restitution would be the case, should this ever happen again, and I meant it. I have to write a letter to the boy’s mother, and I hope she is receptive to receiving the restitution. Otherwise it will be put in an envelope for charity. He is also banned from all video games while earning restitution. He has to earn back those privileges with my trust.

He was sitting on the couch, in between tasks, and watching his brother play Wii, when he hit his brother in the face, again out of irritation, and popped out another tooth. One that was not loose, so there was a bit more blood this time. Victim has declared he does not want to sit or sleep in the same room as his brother. I don’t blame him. After half an hour the blood stopped and snacks were consumed. I can confiscate all his Pokemon cards, or I can do more to drive home that punching and kicking are not the way to express irritation. I reminded the instigator that his brother has SPD and can’t feel pain properly most of the time, so hitting him is not only useless, but more criminal, as it takes advantage of his handicap. I can’t think of another punishment right now, I am just worn out.

From Sunday night.

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