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Parenting rant



Everyone knows Matthew has ADHD and is medicated for it. He sees a psychiatrist. At age 6. I was at LEAST 11 before I started seeing one *laugh*

We've had doctors and teachers who think he was high functioning autistic. We've had others who think he's just 'bad'. We've had some who think there's nothing wrong with him.

Me? I think Matthew is REALLY bright. The things he can do with puzzles or building toys have always amazed me. He does have ADHD and, despite medication, we still have trouble with him paying attention.

What has become more of an issue are things we don't understand and can't figure out the cause for. They aren't 'typical' behaviors. I've actually spent more time at the school this week than I have with my husband.

It all started on Monday night, and this is a 'normal' way for things to progress. I am at wits end and ready to just SCREAM right now. I don't know what to do.

Monday night, he had a nosebleed.

Tuesday at school, in the morning, he said his stomach hurt. Throughout the day, he had four nosebleeds. At one point, he his in his classroom so well that the teacher couldn't find him. Later, when the class was at an assembly in the lunchroom, Matthew left and hid in a coat closet. I had to come get him early.

Tuesday night, at Tae Kwon Do, Matthew went with everyone to get his sparring gear on while I was still out on the mat. I usually help, but I think it is time they started doing those things on their own. Michael came out with everyone else, but Matthew was the last one out on the mat. Since we only had a few minutes and could only get in one round of sparring for everyone, the rest of the class was leaving the mat as Matthew was coming on. I think he got frustrated when the instructor told him to go take his gear off and come back. The rest of the class got their gear off. No Matthew. The instructor yells for him to hurry up. No Matthew. The instructor calls again. No Matthew. The instructor gives up and bows out the class without him.

When we went off the mat, Matthew was laying down on the floor, still in full gear, in one of his 'shut-down' modes. He wouldn't look at me, respond, let you touch him, or anything. The instructor said to wait until everyone left (stepping over him) and he would go talk to Matthew. After a few minutes, he had him talking again and we left.

When we got home, he told me that nobody thought he was a good martial artist and that he would always be at purple belt while Michael and I kept going up. Of course I told him that wasn't true, that everyone performs at different levels and advances at different rates, but that he was a really good martial artist.

Wednesday at school, within 30 minutes of getting there, he said his stomach hurt and I had to come get him. He was FINE at home.

Today, the vice-principal called because Matthew had hidden in class again and then at recess laid down in his 'shut-down' mode. They had to actually CLOSE him into the principal's office with her because he kept trying to run out. Eventually, the vice-principal got him into his office by tempting him with a Lego helicopter. When asked why he hides, Matthew simply said that he was afraid of getting in trouble because he didn't do something right.

I don't understand this! This isn't ADHD behavior. They are telling me it isn't just normal 6-year-old behavior. He has NEVER gotten in trouble for not doing something right or not understanding something. He DOES get into trouble sometimes for the way he handles it. His punishment is either sitting does for a while without toys, or losing video games, TV or a toy. He's been spanked before, but I could probably count the times on one hand and they were never hard. He shouldn't have anything to fear.

I think that he gets frustrated and he has built this up in his head. I don't know how to handle it!

I signed the paperwork today for the CARE program at school, where the principal, VP, school counselor, special ed teachers and a district psychologist will observe him, test him and try to come up with solutions to help him. I hope they can do something.

A six-year-old should not tell you he has no friends. He shouldn't be saying people hate him and call him stupid. Self-esteem issues at that age scare me. I want him to be proud of who he is. We don't compare him to Michael or anyone else. We praise him when he does good or at least tries hard.

Now, I have to go pick him up from school and tell him that he CAN'T test for his green belt tonight because he couldn't get signoff from the school that he has been doing well with schoolwork and behavior. He has to watch Michael and me go off to get OUR new belts.

He has to have consequences for his actions, and he KNEW this was a possibility. You have to behave to test. I just hurt watching someone who thinks he can't do anything right and that will never get to green belt be told that GUESS WHAT??? You do NOT get to have your green belt tonight because of your behavior this week. I know he'll just shut down and feel that much worse about himself.

This is making me crazy. Gotta go pick up the kids now. *sigh*

Comments

( 10 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
morzsa
Oct. 25th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
***HUGS***
semantique
Oct. 25th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
That whole thing makes me want to cry. Surely, something is going on socially at school which has made him retreat?
trshtwns01
Oct. 25th, 2007 11:06 pm (UTC)
I don't know. He's always had his 'states', but he seems to have more control over himself now so they manifest differently. Up until some time last year, he was very in his own world and not very outgoing. You had to work to break through to him. When he would have one of these cycles, it usually meant a screaming fit where you physically had to TAKE him out into the car and push him in the middle to get it to where you could strap him in.

Now, we have a much more 'normal' child during the good times, and very rarely the crying fits. Instead, during his bad cycles (usually 1-2 weeks at a time), he will knowingly shut himself off from the world. He seems to deal with any kind of frustration with a total shut-down whenever WHATEVER it is that is happening in his head is happening.

He seemed to understand why he couldn't go to TKD tonight, and told me he still enjoys it so wants to continue. I'm about to get Michael and myself ready to go in for our test, so I'll find out later tonight if it finally hit him after we left.
semantique
Oct. 25th, 2007 11:20 pm (UTC)
Just because you mentioned it earlier - has he been evaluated for Aspergers?
desertmommy
Oct. 25th, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
big hugs
I wish I knew something to help.

:o)
(truce)
oddharmonic
Oct. 26th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Has he been evaluated for giftedness? I've known a lot of gifted kids that withdraw and become difficult to deal with after exceeding their frustration tolerance. There is an overlap between the accepted features that indicate HFA or Asperger's in someone and the expression of too much frustration.

I have a bunch of resources on giftedness and child psychology (particularly the emotional needs of children with learning differences) that you're welcome to borrow anytime. Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted has a bunch of free articles at http://www.sengifted.org/articles_counseling/index.shtml .

(Seriously, this is one of my few non-hobby areas of expertise. Please feel free to pick my brain.)
natf
Oct. 26th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I was what would now be called gifted although there was no such thing in the UK in the 70s. I was so bored that I would withdraw into daydreaming a lot and devour anything with words written on it...
natf
Oct. 26th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
A six-year-old should not tell you he has no friends. He shouldn't be saying people hate him and call him stupid. Self-esteem issues at that age scare me. I want him to be proud of who he is.

I was seven when it started for me but then I had a dysfunctional abusive home life and that does not sound like the case for you guys.

I must admit that it sounds like autistic/aspergers spectrum stuff from what I am seeing with my nephew and what I have read but then I am not a doctor...
natf
Oct. 26th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
I think that he gets frustrated and he has built this up in his head.

That rings bells with me as well. The more that I was told how clever I was as a child (rather than how hard I tried), the more I worried about failing myself and others (my post about it)...
natf
Oct. 26th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
( 10 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )