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MoMof2Boyz

Well My Son Got A Good Report Card...sort Of...

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Hi, his teacher wrote he is in the high average range...he's the highest in his class(special ed because they won't let him be in a regular class) so his report card was shown to a "regular" kindergarten teacher and she said he's the highest in academics in her class too!! His behavior is holding him back along with social and emotional issues. I have a really smart kid that is thrown into special ed because of behavior.

today he came home and wanted to play a game on the computer..it was already on here but he didn't get it??? so he purposely tried to go downstairs(I had told him no) he screamed, got time out, it's a constant screaming and getting off of the chair. I can't put him in time out in his room because he will pee his pants. I seriously don't know what to do when he acts like this because nothing has worked. he also purposely threw stuff on the floor, wouldn't pick up, so I took it all away. ugh. it's been a rough day. and then at the end of the school day, he refused to pack his backpack and yanked his lunch box off the hook and broke it!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh....oh yeah, all his tests for celiac are negative so dh refuses to try the gluten-free diet for him. complains it costs way too much. :*( sorry just had to vent.

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My son also had a neg. test but he had a frozen pizza one evening and suddenly vomited and got a tiny rash suddenly appear on his hand so I thought allergies so I bugged the doc for testing. Goodness knows those frozen pizzas contain most of the top allergens. Both blood and skin testing showed pos. for a wheat allergy and peanut. Later more thorough food testing at a different allergist showed a number of foods-10, uncluding corn, which is also in so many things. Long story short, the change was not so obvious to me but assessment at school showed a marked improvement around the time we eliminated all the food allergens and committed to allergy shots and managing his environmental load. He has ADHD dx. that plays aout a little differently with him than it does with your son.

gluten-free doesn't have to be expensive. Goodness knows previous generations lived without all the packaged stuff and simpler meals from whole foods-lots of rice, potatoes etc.

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You may want to consult with a therapist who deals with children. They can help you learn how to deal with the temper tantrums and other behavior issues. A few family visits may help Dad understand that a trial of the diet would also be a good idea and sure wouldn't hurt anything. Gluten intolerance and celiac can have negative effects on the brain which can lead to explosive temper blow ups. It can also lead to depression which children can present as anger issues.

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I'm so sorry you are having a rough time. My 6 year old started having behavior issues before he was diagnosed(positive blood work and no biopsy). He was increasingly more emotional, the slightest thing would set him off in an angry or crying fit, he would have temper tantrums, and became almost OCD like when it came to shoes and would throw daily tempertantrums over "any" of them. He was also having stomach aches, reflux and occasional fat in stool. All his behavior problems come back if he gets into gluten. Right now I think he is getting CC at school (1st grade teacher is giving us problems).

So did he only have the blood work? You could consider doing a scope to make sure that way. My 10 year old has had repeated negative blood work over the past three years. He has his own issues that I felt may resolve going gluten free. I toyed with the idea for 2 years and couldn't commit without "more" evidence. What really got both his dad and I moving forward with it this year was his lack/slow growth and falling on the growth curve. He hadn't grown a shoe size in a whole year and is falling really behind with his peers. Also since 6 year old went gluten free, younger brother has had a growth explosion and is not that far behind his big brother. We had older boy scoped in August. It was normal also. A week after I bit the bullet and put him gluten free with no positive anything and no diagnosis. My only regret is that I didn't do it two years ago! His daily stomach pains/gas/bloating are gone, his color has improved, has gained about three pounds and he is going to the bathroom at least every day/every other day as compared to every 3-4 days. I haven't noticed much difference in is mood/behavior, but he is pretty level anyway.

I would really try and convince your husband to trial him gluten free. It took awhile to convince my husband but he is so with me on it now. He has seen the improvement with both boys and admits that they are better off gluten. Don't give up! You have nothing to loose by trying him gluten free and have a lot to potentially gain!

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Your son's behavior is multi- faceted & therefore will need a multi-faceted approach.

1st--you & DH must be on same pg with everything. Make a few gluten-free meals--meats, veggies, rice/rice noodles (cheapest @ asian stores). potatoes w/o telling him. Stir fry is easy to make. Then in a week tell him about the meals you made that were gluten-free. He should then realize that gluten-free meals really aren't more expensive. The most expensive items that I've found are flours, or pre packed foods like bread, cookies, etc. DS can help you in the kitchen by mixing/tossing , setting the table, finding stuff in the pantry, etc

2nd, Your son needs a consistent behavior modification plan in place. school personnel, you & dad must implement the discipline w/o variation or giving in. Since he is in ESE there are usually free parent workshops available. You will find lots of support & ideas. counseling with a behavior specialist would be a great resource too. He is in ESE now but that doesn't mean he'll be in the resource room forever. He may be able to start mainstreaming a few hrs a day as time goes on.

3rd, make sure your son has enough physical activity to burn off all his energy. Karate is great. so is swimming. Can he ride 2 wheels yet? Right now until his behavior & social skills improve an activity that doesn't involve lots of other kids will build his self esteem as well.

A gluten-free diet may or may not help. I understand your desperation to help your son, but don't put all ur eggs in one basket. Even if the gluten-free diet helps there are others things you must do to help your DS. Also try to step back & assess your & husbands parenting skills in an objective way. Not easy I know. We all make mistakes. Do you or DH let DS get away with things sometimes & not others? ARe the rules of the house clearly understood? Maybe posting them on the fridge will help. Does son play dad against mom to get what he wants? He may be very bright but how is he expressive speech? Difficulty in communicating is often a catalyst for a temper tantrum. Has he had a speech/language evaluation? Do you tune him out or often ignore him when he' s trying to talk? Think about how ur & DH actions cause son's reactions. Quite often its due to parents inconsistency. if you want a different reaction-- you & DH must chg your actions. DS must learn what are acceptable way to express anger/disappointment. Its all overwhelming I know, and it takes a lot of insight. But you are a mom on a mission & you will do whatever it takes to give your son a good life just like every other mom /dad here. Do keep in mind that there are ppl who do have a genuine emotional disability--hopefully your son isn't one but if it turns out he does, accept it & get him the help he needs from the school board & private resources. It cannot be determined at age 5/6 whether he is truly emotionally challenged but please do realize that there is a possibility . The next few years will determine it. One last thing, Asperger's Syndrome is a type of autism & the affected ppl are very bright but have social difficulty, and are often misunderstood/mislabled. Gluten intolerance/celiac studies has shown some positive correlation with autism/Asperger's. A school psychologist can perform an assessment. Leave no stone unturned.

Best of Luck to you all! We are all in your corner!

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Have you considered that timeouts don't work because he doesn't understand the connection of the time out and what he did wrong. Let's look at the situation that occured with the computer.

today he came home and wanted to play a game on the computer..it was already on here but he didn't get it???Were you at the computer when he went over? In kindergarten they have a very literal sense of things being used. Having something on the screen would not get the same reaction of you sitting in front of the computer. As an adult we would think someone is using the computer because a program was running. But from a kindergarten point of veiw if no one is sitting there it is available for use so he purposely tried to go downstairs(I had told him no) he screamed, This would be a good time to try toredirect his behavior. He was just told he can't do his first two choices of activities using the computer or going downstairs. This is a great time to suggest an activity that he can do to prevent his behavior from escalating.got time out, it's a constant screaming and getting off of the chair.What was the timeout for? Screaming? trying to use the computer? trying to go down stairs? Because depending on what he was being punished for a more useful punishment could have been given. Time outs really don't work unless the time out is taking away from a WANTED activity. A time out when there is no current activity doesn't do anything. I can't put him in time out in his room because he will pee his pants. I seriously don't know what to do when he acts like this because nothing has worked. he also purposely threw stuff on the floor, wouldn't pick up, so I took it all away. Instead of taking away the objects could you have just waited with him until he was ready to pick up his things? That's a more useful punishment since he threw the objects he should be the one picking them up. By you doing it he won.ugh. it's been a rough day. and then at the end of the school day, he refused to pack his backpack and yanked his lunch box off the hook and broke it!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh....oh yeah, all his tests for celiac are negative so dh refuses to try the gluten-free diet for him. complains it costs way too much. :*( sorry just had to vent.

Maybe my point of view is skewed because as an educator I have been taught and seen how timeouts are an ineffective and outdated punishment for that age group. I learned that you try to prevent the need for time outs by using other tools first like redirecting behavior, waiting out a willful behavior, ignoring behavior all together, etc. Also learning to pick and choose your battles might help your frustration level. Is you being right and what you want to do worth the headache of what you will have to go through in order to do it? Like in teaching sometimes you don't correct a behavior that might bother you and be against the rules because it's not interrupting the lesson and allowing it won't cause a bigger problem. It's basically an unsaid compromise, and you are the only one who knows. Yes, sometimes it does mean that you don't get what you want, but being in charge doesn't always have it's perks. Have you tried working with a behavior therapist? They might be able to give you an insight into his behavior and give you tools to use. Communication with his teachers might help as well, what works at school? Does he have a behavior plan? Can you create one that is used both at home and at school? Consistency is key with kids with behavior problems.

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A dietary change may help, but it's also possible that he's just not ready for the school environment.

My daughter at 4 was very clingy and had amazingly out of control tantrums. She also had extreme social anxiety. She'd want to take a class/go to a preschool, but not be able to participate appropriately. She'd be reclusive, sitting out, refusing to participate, crying, non-sensical in her responses, get lots of tics, etc. Then at home she'd be a complete terror, both before and after the class for about a day on either side.

Doctors told me I'd have to medicate her. They said she needed anti-anxiety meds. Instead I opted to keep her out of school and take participation in activities at her pace.

Now my daughter is 12. She's still moody (though diet has helped with that). She participates in all sorts of classes, day camps, weeks away at camp, activities with friends, etc. But even still, if she has too many days in a row of school-like setting all day every day she turns into a terror.

It could be you'd find you have a different child, much easier to manage, if he's not having to cope with the school setting for such a large part of his days.

My son (also homeschooled, now 11) was comfortable in social situations all along, but for a while he would bite, scratch, pinch, fight, run around shaking his head, etc. He could be violent and think it was funny. He was extremely dyslexic and had the hyperfocus and complete lack of focus along with restlessness typical of ADHD, too. For him, the main thing was allergies and celiac.

Getting his allergies medicated when he was younger helped with his bahaviour problems, which were based in "sensory seeking" behaviour. Eventually the meds stopped working at all for him, but by then he was a bit older and fortunately a bit better about controlling himself. When we finally had the crisis that led us to discover celiac disease, we finally figured out how to fix his diet. His allergies almost completely went away, his other problems (joint pain, digestion, anxiety, etc) resolved, his dyslexia disappeared, and the ADHD stuff went away, too.

I can't say whether a gluten-free diet will help your child or not. But I don't see how trying would hurt. I will say that the changes we ended up making were way more than just gluten-free. Instead of going with gluten-free substitutes we went to a whole foods diet based on homemade stock, probiotic foods (like yogurt and sauerkraut), organic meats and vegetables. (You can read more about the GAPS diet on the site linked from my profile by clicking "blog") This diet was developed specifically to address psychological issues, with the idea that many of them are rooted in gut dysbiosis.

If you normally run the kitchen at your house, I'd advise you to start cooking whole foods that are naturally gluten-free and just don't tell your husband anything is different. If you aren't buying expensive "gluten-free" bread, cookies, crackers, etc, the price difference shouldn't be bad.

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I want to emphasize what maximoo and sariesue said about CONSISTENT, RELEVANT discipline. Could there be a food issue involved? Certainly. But even if you eliminate that issue, the discipline one remains. Sariesue gave a good breakdown of the especific example you gave us and how your approach could make his behavior worse.

It's NOT easy. I have a (nearly) 18mo old, and though she is not to the same stage as your little one, we've already had work with discipline. Being CONSISTENT, between both parents and AT ALL TIMES, is VITAL. It's really hard to watch our own behavior, as parents, closely enough that we can see we are that consistent, and to take input when we aren't! And there are times when it's just plain inconvenient to be super consistent (such as making them follow through with cleaning up after asking for their help even when it takes four times as long as you doing it alone and makes you late), but it is VITAL, VITAL, VITAL. I just don't know how to emphasize it enough.

Good luck, as you continue this journey!

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Have you considered that timeouts don't work because he doesn't understand the connection of the time out and what he did wrong.

Timeouts never worked with my son at that age.

For some reason the count to three worked a treat. I used it immediately rpt immediately after the bad behaviour - when mums hand went up with the first finger up he would stop and take notice, pause breath.. then "Liam, we don't hit people" (setting the standard) rather than "Don't hit" (implies "you are bad/wrong/naughty") Felt like training a puppy at first but I soon got over that concern when it worked.

I still watch my language carefully (Liam is 9y/o).

"Do you want that toy to be broken?" (stop and think about what you are doing) rather than "Stop throwing your toys" (why? we throw balls, sticks for the dog etc and when I'm mad/frustrated it makes me feel a bit better - sorta like when we adults swear/curse when we bump our toe)

I got very sick of Liam expecting I would get his lunchbox out of the schoolbag. Rolling eyes and hmphs and grumps (sometimes more annoying than screaming tantrums). So one day I didn't make his lunch - it got so close to school bus time, dressed/breakfast/teeth clean etc and then he asked

"Is my lunch in my schoolbag?"

"No"

"oh..." ((stop pause think))

He went to his bag, got out his lunchbox, cleared out scraps and put empty containers in the kitchen sink. ((while Mum tried to hide her shock and awe reaction))

He helped me pack lunch and he missed the bus.

School lunchbox is now of my problem/whinge list.

Teeth cleaning is next on my list to deal with ! It's been one of our trouble times forever, twice a day nearly every day. Any ideas????????

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Hi and thanks everyone for replying. We did try behavior therapy over the summer at Easter Seals but it didn't make a difference, we had to stop therapy because we can not afford the copays anymore. I don't think we'd qualify for free therapy or a reduced price ...we don't make a ton of money but Easter Seals and other places don't take bills into factor. :*(

The physical activity to burn off excess energy is a good idea! I had just told my dh that I"d like to get a mini trampoline cause ds likes to jump ~ he also just likes to ride his tricycle, not a two wheeler yet. Anything that costs money is out of the question right now...I"d love to get him into karate/tae kwan do but maybe next year when we can get a lot of our bills paid off. We've had a lot of medical bills this year.

Also, my ds was tested for autism right before he turned 3. The specialists said he didn't meet the criteria. He's been in school since he was 3..started in early childhood. He has speech apraxia(almost resolved) so he gets speech and ot at school. He also is in the social group but right now they are just working on feelings.

In regards to the computer fiasco, I was there at the computer with him, trying to explain that we didn't need to put the disc in, the game was already on the computer and we just had to click on the icon. I guess I could have just put the disc in to avoid the whole scene?? He is a little ocd about things and will go on and on and sometimes redirecting his behavior doesn't work. The time out was for screaming, I can see why it doesn't work now. but what am I supposed to do when he screams like that? ignore it? I don't know, that just seems like he would think he could scream whenever he doesn't get his way because I don't do anyting about it?? If he throws toys again, I will make him pick them up, even if I have to wait for him to pick them up.

I will ask his teacher about parent workshops...nothing has been said to me about this. as far as a behavior plan goes, there's a behavior chart at school and when he gets his star to the top of the chart he gets to pick out a toy. I guess I could do something like that here, but I don't always have the money to buy prizes...if you know of anything else that could help let me know.

I will look into the GAPS diet. thanks!

One last question..if he acts up at school, I know he gets recess taken away, or he might get play time taken away, but should I do anything about it here at home?

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Hi.

I think the all the other posters have great ideas. I just wanted to throw one more into the mix......

My son reacts horribly to artificial food dye, artificial preservatives (like TBHQ and Sodium Benzoate), and some artificial flavor (like cherry). He gets VERY hyper within 20 to 30 minutes of consuming it. It was leading to poor concentration, inability to sit still (literally), poor behavior, poor choices, etc. We figured it out the summer after kindergarten. The same day we removed all traces (even his toothpaste) he was a new child. Without it he's happy-go-lucky, funny, charming and sweet, and smart as a whip. He can sit and play Legos for 3 hours. With it he's an absolute moody wreck, yelling, fussing, snapping and running across the sofas.

He's in 3rd grade now. Doing awesome. BTW he's also gluten and dairy free. He was Gluten-free Casein-free for just under a year when we figured out the other stuff.

Good luck with everything.

Jillian

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I want to respond to the thing about school... you have an active child, and then they punish him for what is likely the result of not having enough activity by taking away the thing that he needs - active play time! Grrrrrr that makes me so mad.

I do think consequences are important to set and keep consistent, but I urge you to think of it not from a rewards and punishment perspective, but from a perspective of helping him learn to self-regulate.

"acting up" is a vague concept. Especially if he is on the spectrum, consequences for it are likely to seem arbitrary to him.

When my kids act out by yelling or whatever, I try to give them a dialogue for their feelings and a set of appropriate behaviors they can do instead. Use a calm, firm voice.

"It looks like you feel ____________ (frustrated, angry, sad, overwhelmed, annoyed, whatever you perceived)"

Wait for response. Nodding yes, screaming "no" telling you what he really feels, no change... those are all typical possibilities.

"Would you like to tell me why?" or "It seems like you feel that way because _____________________, is that true?"

Wait for a response, if you get one, listen, then ***validate by repeating what you heard.*** and get confirmation you understood before proceeding. You may be able to come up with a solution once you know what the problem is. Then continue.

"When you feel that way, ______________ (feeling from before), _______________ (screaming/crying/tantrum/whatever it is) is not the way to act. Instead ______________ (asking for help/drawing a picture/punching a pillow/jumping on the trampoline/whatever you've decided together are appropriate options) is the behaviour that will help.

"Would you like to ____________________ (appropriate behaviour) now?"

If the fit continues:

"Since you are not ready to _________________ (appropriate behaviour), I need to take a break from your behaviour. You can stay in __________________ (safe space, could be your room, play pen, a certain chair, basically someplace he won't get hurt or damage anything) until you are done ____________________ (whatever bad behaviour is continuing).

Then, just continue putting him back where he is supposed to be, in a neutral, kind way.

At a calm time, before this all happens, it may help you to create a story book for him. My friend who is a kindergarten-second grade teacher did this for her son who was acting out and hurting other children at preschool.

The book has simple illustrations, even stick figures. Each page has a scenario showing your child doing the behaviours you don't like and how it makes people feel, and then it goes on to show your child doing the behaviours you do like and how it makes people feel. For example:

Henry feels upset because someone else is using the toy he wants. He hits her and takes the toy. The girl is sad and mad. Henry is glad he has the toy he wanted. The teacher is sad. She takes the toy from Henry and gives him a time out. Henry is sad.

Henry feels upset because someone else is using the toy he wants. He says "may I have a turn with that toy?" the girl says "when I am done with it." Henry says "OK." Henry plays with another toy while he waits for his turn. When it is Henry's turn to play with the toy, he has fun! The girl feels happy that she shared with Henry. The teacher is proud of Henry for being patient and polite. Henry is happy.

Repeating these scenarios that show positive outcomes for positive behaviour, and then NOTICING and pointing out when your child is doing things right will go much further toward helping him establish appropriate behaviours than a reward and punishment cycle.

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Have you ever heard if "sensory defensiveness"? Many kids suffer from it but is is easily overlooked. Basically the child is extra sensitive to certain textures, clothing, etc. They know something is bothering them but can't find the words, and act out instead. It could be the tag on their shirt or underwear, or touching things like playdough, or they can't apply enough pressure when trying to write/color, or they won't eat certain textures like jello, soft ice cream or crunchy things, or they may be bothered by certain smells--perfumes, air fresheners, cleaners, etc An occupational therapist will do "sensory intergration therapy" to help child overcome the sensitivity. I just thought I mention it b/c like I said it is very easy to overlook.

I assume ur DS has a 504 plan & with that he shld be receiving free behavioral therapy @ school. Depending on what DS's dx is he may qualify or medicaid or SS which will help you afford private therapy. Do look into it.

Good Luck!

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