Concerned about 5 year old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by heather34576, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. heather34576

    heather34576 New Member

    Hello, this is my first post and I'm not sure if I'm in the right place. Kind of hope I'm not. My son is 5 years old and lives with me and my husband, has a stable home life, no drugs, drinking, abuse etc but I do have a history of mental illness which is being well treated. Dad does not have mental illness himself but there is family history.

    My son was moderately preterm and had delays from birth, was in early intervention, then diagnosed with autism when he was 3. He does struggle socially but is very outgoing and socially motivated and can be very charming. People generally like him as long as they don't have to ask him to do anything.

    Now to why I'm here ... he has been aggressive since toddlerhood, would randomly smack me in the face while sitting on my lap, etc. Over the years his aggression has increased, especially towards me but also towards Dad, therapists, and other children at school. He started kindergarten a few months ago and I have gotten numerous reports of hitting, punching, and stomping on other kids. In one case he sent a kid to the nurse's office with a bleeding lip. At home, I have been punched, kicked, bitten, choked a couple of times, head-butted many times, objects thrown at me, stabbed with a pencil, and so on. The triggers are small things like saying he can't have more of his favorite snack.

    He has no sense of authority, at all. If we discipline him we are being "mean" to him no matter what he did that brought about the discipline (eg. he hit me with a toy so I took the toy away). He says his teacher "talks back" to him. He is very noncooperative and defiant. He loves villains, like Disney villains or superhero villains, and always identifies with them and pretends to be them. He says he doesn't like doing nice things.

    On several occasions at parties or play dates he has talked about "making everyone die." He often says he wants to hurt his teacher or destroy the whole school. Earlier today we went shopping and he made up a song about how he was going to "destroy" me and sang it the whole time we were there, because I didn't buy him a toy. In the past when he has done things that hurt me I have asked if he wanted to hurt me and he said yes.

    All this being said, he can be very sweet and has many good qualities. I don't want to reduce him to these problematic behaviors but I'm trying to show why I'm concerned. He does have a therapist/counselor, who we started seeing a few months ago.

    I have been concerned for a while and feel that my concerns have generally been dismissed as me worrying too much. Now that he's hurting other kids people are starting to take it more seriously. I still feel very alone as if no one else sees what I'm seeing. But does any of this sound like we are headed for conduct disorder? And if so, what can be done to help him?
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Is he engaged in autistic interventions in school and the community? His behavior can improve but not with punishment. Autistic kids need specific interventions specifically for. autism They need to learn to understand other people, the world and learn how to cope in a puzzling world. They have to learn to handle frustration but not through punishment. All this is a part of the disorder, not willful bad behavior and not helping autism specifically can make the kids a trainwreck.

    They can also get MUCH better and live good lives. Pretty normal lives. With autistic help.

    God bless you!
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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  3. heather34576

    heather34576 New Member

    Yes, he has had plenty of autism-specific intervention at home and school. He has an IEP for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).. I don't buy that this is all due to autism.
  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member could be. Just a thought. Autism affects everything about you. Autism can cause meltdowns and violence due to sensory overload, frustration and lack of social skills and intolerance to change.. But you must do what you do. I hope something kicks in. Perhaps he would do better in a special classroom with less kids and more one on one help. Hitting other kids for any reason is dangerous. But he may not be in control of himself.

    Autistic kids do have social deficits and many do not understand that authority figures are in charge. So they don't feel as if they need to obey them. And they don't respond to traditional child discipline methods. I have an autistic grandson. He seems charming too until he doesn't get his way. He doesn't seem to grasp that not everyone is equal in authority. And he will throw things at people too. He is very difficult. We have a long road and are willing to do what we must. It is not going to be easy.

    Having said that, your son does sound as if he may have other issues too. This is common. I recommend a neuropsychological evaluation. My grandson just had one. They are very intensive evaluations. They cover all areas.

    This is not a neurologist. It is a psychologist with extra training in the brain.

    Many blessings and good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  5. heather34576

    heather34576 New Member

    He was diagnosed by a neuropsychologist. We could conceivably go back, not sure what insurance would cover.

    I do know that some of these things can be autism related, but ... making up songs about killing family and friends? I don't know. Some of this stuff sets off alarm bells in my head but people tell me I'm reading things into it that aren't there. I hope they're right!

    Thank you for your input and well-wishes, I appreciate it.
  6. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Ok. I agree the violent stuff does not sound like autism! Okay so you say he had a traumatic birth, which is NOT your fault! But if he had to spend time in a hospital away from you, for medical reasons, and again this is NOT your fault, maybe he has attachment issues of nobody's doing. I believe totally that you are a loving family. Things can happen out of our control!

    Maybe take him now, if you are covered, to a psychologist and talk about the violence. With the right help, all can end up well

    I trust Mom Gut. I can also read how smart and caring you are. So with a clear conscience, move forward and see if he can get help to calm down. I do think maybe a smaller class would be easier for him AND you.more teachers to watch him and less phone calls.

    You matter too. Find the best way to help both your son and yourself. Many blessings. Kee.p us updated.
  7. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    There is another mom on this forum in a similar situation. You might want to look at posts by B.'s mom. It seems impossible to get proper help for these children.
  8. heather34576

    heather34576 New Member

    Thank you. I looked up some of her posts. I guess I'm glad we only have one child, it has to be so heartbreaking to see one of your children hurting the other.

    I just picked up my son from school and he punched me, spat in my face and scratched me for no apparent reason. The worst part is I'm so used to it I don't even bat an eye. After the holidays I plan on taking him back to the doctor.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  9. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I’m sorry for all you’re going through. I don’t have experience or knowledge of your son’s condition but I might suggest you start journaling daily these events. Maybe if you were to provide the specific details of his behaviors combined with the additional testing you plan on, it may lead to some answers.
    I do feel bad that these behaviors he exhibits towards you have become your “normal” to the degree you hardly if at all react.

    I’ve dealt with that with a different scenario and I get how you become numb to it all. It’s as if we don’t allow ourselves to process what’s happening as a preventative measure of trying to cope. Because we can’t cope so we don’t want to feel anything.

    I pray you get some answers.
  10. heather34576

    heather34576 New Member

    Writing it down for the doctors is a good idea. Thank you.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My autistic son (Asperger's) was also obsessed with violence. He would hurt his little sister if left alone in a room with her. For years I had to take her into the bathroom with me or she ended up bruised/battered. Try not being able to pee alone for 4 or 5 years! My son had so many problems that I ended up not being able to work. I kept having to leave to go get my son because he did something to someone. He NEVER recognized his teachers as authority figures. He would do what they said if he liked them but if he didn't? Or if he thought they were stupid? OMG those were hard times.

    We did all of the therapy and intervention we could and nothing seemed to help for long. When he was 14, I made the difficult choice that he had to live somewhere else. If he stayed with us, we were going to have a major tragedy on our hands. Either he would kill or maim me, and then his sister, or I would end up hurting him seriously to get him to stop hurting his sister. Oddly enough, he used to feel incredible guilt over hurting us, but when he got upset, he couldn't control himself. If he ended up causing serious harm, he would probably kill himself. I just couldn't live with those things happening. He went to live with my parents. I have no idea what they did, but he managed to get himself together in his late teens or early 20's. He worked very hard to rebuild his relationship with the entire family (both as individuals and as a family). He is now 28 and working full time. He is completely independent and his coworkers truly enjoy working with him.

    One thing I wish we had done was Occupational Therapy for sensory issues. We didn't even know this existed until he was about 12 or 13. It can make a huge difference. I know it did with my younger son (also autistic but much milder than his older brother). If you can get into this sort of therapy, do it. One thing I LOVED about this therapy was that my kids enjoyed it. My younger son used to spend hours sitting upside down on his head while he watched TV or read books. Once we started Occupational Therapist (OT), we learned that deep pressure on the head is something that some kids need. The therapist had a table full of the types of toys that would fit my son's needs. Thanks to a Grandma that couldn't stop buying toys, we had at least 3/4 of the toys she said would help my son. And he liked them. The Occupational Therapist (OT) that he needed wasn't something we had to force him to do. it was something he WANTED to do. How often is a therapy something that the kid actually wants to do? Kids are drawn to the type of therapy that helps them.

    To learn more about this, read "The Out of Sync Child" by Kranowitz. To find activities that will help, get a copy of "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun" by the same author. The "Has Fun" book is amazing. We wore out several copies. The activities were things we did with the entire family because they were so much fun. I used to have to get large amounts of the supplies needed because if we started to do an activity in our backyard, every kid in the neighborhood showed up! It was amazing to have kids just appear and want to join in. We had a blast with that book. And it made a real difference for my kids. I just wish we had known about this years before we did.
  12. Deni D

    Deni D Active Member

    I'm so glad you replied Susiestar!
    Heather, I also know of a young man with Aspergers who was violent when he was younger. He was not in my family or in my life until he was 15.

    He was placed in a residential treatment center when he was 7 years old and then continued to have major problems when he came out at 9, back in again for a year when he was 16. His father has described him as "flipping out" with his father having to tackle him and hold on to him those times to keep him from hurting himself, his younger sibling, and destroying things in the house.

    The mom and dad are polar opposites in disposition (dad calm, mom not) and involvement (mom involved, dad not) none of which I knew when things got real when he entered our lives(my son and mine), so that made things so off the wall I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on when this young man became a friend of my son's and I got sucked in.

    The dad had custody of the three children but seemed to be totally clueless about his responsibility towards a "differently acting" child. The mom, I know, loved and cared for all of her children very much but had/has emotional issues of her own, hence why the father was able to gain custody during a 6 year divorce(him starting at 4 years old)/custody battle. I know now neither parent was capable of sorting out what he needed. Child protective services (CPS) were a very strong staple in their lives until he turned 18.

    So anyway the point is I don't know what should have been done for this young man (child at the time) but I know he didn't get what he needed. He also had and does now have a very developed conscience (unlike my own child). When he has done anything he remotely shouldn't do with me or his father he has been obviously very remorseful, after the fact. He is such a kind soul who so wants to do right. With authority figures I think he gets it more now that he's an adult but doesn't actually quite see authority, as in bosses, or the police as people quite yet, like a concept he has a hard time grasping.

    He does okay now, works part time but is not working up to his potential. I do think that will come in time, or I so hope so. He also does not seem have enough people in his life right now, not enough of a life, he's pretty isolated which I also hope will change going forward for him.

    The thing is with all of this is I think Susiestars examples are of a great success, a much better success and so much better examples of inclusion, and less pain, for someone dealing with the same challenges.

    My particular Asperger's guy has my heart, all of my heart, forever. I miss him and look forward to visiting with him soon. He is living down south a few states from me and is much more light and sunshine than the weather down there is. I can't wait to spend some time with him.
  13. heather34576

    heather34576 New Member

    Thank you both for your comments. In the past week he has started talking about how "his brain makes him do bad things and gets him in trouble". I feel that this insight is promising, that he is beginning to be aware of and frustrated with his own behavior. I just wish I knew how to help his "brain."

    We have done Occupational Therapist (OT) in the past and I know how to do compressions. He has a weighted blanket, trampoline and lots of other sensory things. I will look for those books, as he probably does need more activities to regulate, he is very sensory seeking. I know he gets Occupational Therapist (OT) and sensory breaks at school.
  14. Deni D

    Deni D Active Member

    Heather, I'm just catching up, sorry I'm so late here.
    This is great insight for such a young person. He's at a young tender age where "doing right" is so very important to him. I so hope you are able to find the right combinations of support for him. It's wonderful, invaluable, you have a household with two parents, it means so much to a child like him and to both of you parents. There is so much more available these days to help children to connect socially and to emotionally regulate themselves.
    A book both myself and my son loved when he was young is "Cool cats, calm kids", my son would ask me to read it to him often , especially when he was looking to calm down after a difficult day. I bet he could recite all of it to this day.
  15. JMom

    JMom Active Member

    I don't have anything to add, as my children do not have autism. I am glad you posted and am saying a prayer for you to have peace and that your son find his center.

    I hope you get some time to take care of yourself. It sounds like you have put a ton of effort into your Special boy.

    From an outsider looking in, you are doing great. I'm proud of you for your perserverence.