needing help understanding

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
needing help understanding
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 11:48pm
Hello my name is Stacey I have a 5 yr. old son who is just out of control. He started kindergarden in Aug. And everyday I have had phone calls to come and get him. He has been kicked out of gym class and they are thinking of suspending him from school already. My son refuses to do school work, refuses to listen to anyone, kicks kids and teachers, calls them names, this is not just at school it is @ home also. He could have a really good day and be so sweet and lovable he will tell everyone that he loves them and them something triggers him and he could tell you he hates you the next moment. It is to the point to where if he is mad he will try to jump out of the moving car.He sticks his toungue out, spits, blows snot everywhere. I took him to the Dr. and we started ritalin 10 mg 2 times a day that is not working so today they gave him 3 meds. adderall (sp) and 2 others one is for blood pressure and unsure of the other. I have read the other post about some of the meds. and I heard alot about weight loss. He is a big boy so a few pounds to loose couldn't hurt but it will be hard to see him not wanting to eat. I have recently been diagnosed with lupus and the stress of all of the behavior problems is really affecting my lupus. I am just needing to vent and asking for any advice that anyone could share so that I know that I am not alone here. Does anyone else have a child who acts out like this? Is this caused by something that We as parents caused? The school system has promised that they will get us some help but I am scared that they will put him in a special class or put him somewhere I do not approve of. I do not want to loose him I just want my sweet baby back. Don't know what to do! thanks for listening! stacey
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 6:05am
Stacey, you are not alone. I do want to ask if physical problems were ruled out ... did the doctor determine, for example, that he didn't have sleep apnea or any food allergies. Often there are physical problems that mimic symptoms of ADD/ADHD ... and often docs are quick to prescribe Ritalin or other stimulants when parents come in about behavioral problems in kids before they really 'diagnose.' I would suggest that you have a full evaluation conducted if you haven't already ... first, a child psychologist should do the testing. Second, he should be evaluation by a neurologist. I think you want a neurologist prescribing (and monitoring) any stimulant medication rather than a pediatrician. Just my opinion.

Would like to point you to a few sites that might help. First, here's an article about sleep apnea:

Next is my website which is about ODD. Not suggesting that he has this, but often ODD goes along with ADHD, and some of what you've said 'fits' ...

Last, is Mel Levine's info on All Kinds of Minds which talks about how different kids have different learning styles, and some just don't do well in traditional classroom environments, and often get mislabeled as having behavioral problems:

But, I would definitely start at #1 - rule out medical problems first, #2 - have the right doc evaluate and test before having him on any type of meds. I'm not anti-meds, don't get me wrong ... I do know that there are many children who really do NEED to be medicated ... my DS was one of them. (Right now, he's off, but that's another long story.) They have their place, but I also think that often docs are too quick to prescribe. And, personally, I feel 3 meds for a 5 y.o. is excessive.

I'm also in the process of reading a book called "Raising Cain" which is about protecting the emotional lives of boys ... and if I could get every parent of a boy to read this book, I would. It is such an eye-opener, and it talks about how many 'boy traits' are mislabeled 'ADHD' and it just really makes you think. SO, if you get the chance, read this book.

You are not alone ... and having some health issues yourself must make all of this much harder to deal with. Heck, I know that when I'm tired or have had a stressful day, I can barely deal with my DS sometimes, I can't imagine doing this with lupus. But, God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and I truly believe that ... so He must believe that you are strong enough to deal with all of this, and you will. But, before you medicate and make yourself nuts over this, rule out physical problems and get an accurate diagnosis (if there's even one to get) ... only when you really KNOW what you're dealing with will you best be able to help your child.

(((HUGS))) and Welcome.



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Avatar for littleroses
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 1:28pm
Hang on! You made a good first step by coming here. I can't believe the school would consider suspending a 5 year old. Here is my belief: Even a brat can do good at school. So if your son was simply a brat, then he could still enjoy school and learn. That must mean, there is something more. He needs help.

I don't think the school can do much to him without your permission. Believe me, I have had to sign paperwork up the wazoo to give them permission for this and that. I have had to approve everything and sign it off.

Third, get an evaluation. My health insurance got my daughter in with a psychologist. That was a huge help. I had gone to the school district and her pediatrician without much help. It may or may not be ADHD. It could be aspergers syndrome, or sleep apnea like the other post mentioned. It could be food allergies.

Now, don't blame yourself. Don't hang onto guilt. It's hard not to look at yourself and say what did I do to make this happen? Was it me? Well, there are probably things you could change to help his behavior...we all can. But, don't waste any time or energy feeling guilty. It's useless and you need that energy to find solutions.

I would also read as much as you can. You are going to have to become an expert. In the meantime, you might want to think about breaking up things you want him to do differently into smaller goals. Remember, it's easier to learn to walk in babysteps than it is to start sprinting. Erase everything that you take for granted that you think he should know by now. He may truly not. You're going to have to be a master observer of his behavior to help him.

Does he have trouble with transitioning from one activity to another. If he has it in his mind that he is comfortable with circle time and then they say, "Oh, it's time for PE, now." That literally can be as tragic to them as Sept 11, 2001 was for the U.S.(I borrowed this analogy) We are shocked and appalled and want to react. My daughter would flip out aggressively if there was anything different in a routine. If someone didn't get the same color carpet squares, it didn't take much of something to be different for her to become confused and upset. I didn't pick up on these behaviors. Find out if he is behaving this way because he has a rigid need for routine. Oftentimes, these kids have trouble applying things to new situations as well. Does he take things literally? Do you have to tell him to do things in every step? Does he seem to be able to filter out other stimuli? Do you think that a car driving by or a dog barking outside receives the same kind of priority as any task he is working on? Or does he seem able to filter out background? Being 5, it won't be as honed as a 25 year old, of course so keep that in mind.

So, you are going to have to spend your energy on becoming an expert on your son's subtleties so don't waste it on any negative thoughts that will bring you down. With your help, he WILL improve. Don't lose heart, stay strong, this too shall pass. And we'll always be here to help you if you do need help.