Sons violence is getting out of hand

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by shiggins91, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. shiggins91

    shiggins91 New Member

    Hi there everyone,
    I’m new to the group so I will give you some info before I get into what I’m posting about. My son is 4 and has been violent since before 12 months old. He has months at a time where he is violent, angry, agitated. This has been going on for years but no one will listen to me.
    All medical professionals say he’s “normal” but his behaviour is not typical and I need someone to help me :( I have been copping years of violent abuse, I have scars, had bruises, cried myself to sleep, my daughter has suffered bruises, scratched, clumps of hair pulled out, my husband the same as me. We had 2 solid glorious months this year when he started taking melatonin and became the beautiful sweet boy that I know he’s supposed to be. Now his bad behaviour is back with a vengeance. I have had a knife pulled on me twice last Monday, my husband has had scissors pulled on him last week and tonight I had my hairdressing scissors pulled on me as well as being completely beaten up by my poor 4 year old. His sister sees this and it’s horrible for her, she’s only 6 and has had to see so much :( how is this behaviour normal! Why won’t anyone help me! The “professionals” admit he has social issues but since he only attacks the people he loves then they think it’s not an issue! Please can I have some insight from someone who has gone through similar? I’m laying in bed struggling to breathe as I type because I feel so sick over it :(
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome Shiggins.

    I had a couple of suggestions off the bat. But first I want to tell you how sorry I am that you are going through something so difficult, and unable to find (so far) professional help that is making a difference.

    First, I would remove all sharp and dangerous items from the house, no matter how inconvenient. All knives, scissors, tools, etc. should be where he cannot have access to them.

    Second, I would immediately research where there is a Regional Children's Hospital near you. They will have a Child Development Department. This is a team of neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, etc. who will evaluate your child. I would go to your pediatrician and get a referral to a child neuropsychologist, and even if I had to travel several hours I would go. I would try to see a child neurologist, too, at the Children's Hospital. In other words, I would throw the book at trying to get an accurate sense of what is going on. We don't know now what it is. Is it sensory? Is he on the autism spectrum? What is it? That is what these qualified professionals will consider. I think it is a very positive thing that he responded to the melatonin and became a normal, loving child for that period. To me that suggests that that could well be him, underneath all this other behavior.

    It sounds like something is distressing him.

    Finally, there is another mother posting right now. Her name is B'smom. Her situation is very, very like your own. Her son is very aggressive and is targeting her. There are a lot of suggestions on her threads. I might go back and start with her initial posts.

    I will close with this: Nothing could ever be as hard as what you are going through. Do you have support? Do you have respite? Do you have a therapist? Have you been able to go to work? Do you have time for yourself, to be with friends, and to have fun? Finding a way to give yourself space to breathe, to take a walk, to garden, whatever, is imperative.

    What are your plans for school for your son? In the US he can be evaluated for inclusion in Special Education Services at his age (before he starts school) and he can have an IEP. This will qualify him for services. Your best shot would be to get an advocate. We can talk about that later. My own son at age 4 went to a behavioral nursery school for emotionally disturbed children. It was wonderful and it was free.

    I have a question. Were there any irregularities in your pre-natal period, son's birth or early months? I have become involved with a program that works with parents and children centered on this sensitive period and they work with babies and children, their parents and families.

    Take care. I hope you keep posting. I am glad you are here.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I suggest taking him to see a neuro psychologist. I wish we had done this with my daughter.I knew something was off, but we told ourselves that she would outgrow it. We didn't really want to know.
  4. shiggins91

    shiggins91 New Member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I do
    Apologise if I am responding wrong,
    I am new to online threads!

    I removed all knives and sharp objects from his reach this afternoon after the hairdressing scissors incident, and it broke my heart that I even had to do that :(

    Thank you, I will research the best neuropsychologist, I am In rural Australia but distance and cost is not an issue, I just need help and will do what ever I need to. He certainly has some sensory issues but these outbursts are generally set off over something not going his way, whether it be realistic or not. He has not been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), though one specialist did say she would be shocked if it wasn’t Aspergers (I know it’s high functions Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but that’s just I think how she found it easier at the time to describe).
    It’s just so heartbreaking to
    See him so out of control and his poor little body must get so
    Exhausted :( he really is such a beautiful soul when this isn’t happening!

    Thank you for the tip, I will check out her post :)

    Yes I suppose there were some irregularities both pre and postnatal, brief history- threatened pre term labour at 29 weeks and again at 30 weeks, born at 37 weeks.
    Had to learn how to breast feed. Mild jaundice. Had to learn to chew and swallow. Was born with a kink in his neck so required psysiotherapy. Then a bit older at 12 months bilateral inguinal hernia repair, 14 months adenoidectomy, 2 years 4 months tonsillectomy and grommets. Probably a bit more info than you needed!

    Thank you once again for your lovely response :) oh and I have an incredible mother in law who has seen it all first hand so she helps me out when she can and is great to talk to :)
  5. shiggins91

    shiggins91 New Member

    Thank you, i definitely will get a referral for one as soon as I can! Are you in Australia? I have no idea who any good ones are!
  6. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    No. This is pretty much what we do in the U.S. Each country handles different kids in their own ways.

    God bless!
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am in the United States so I don't know of resources in Australia.

    The field of prenatal, perinatal, birth psychology it is an emerging field. I myself was born 3 months early, and my son had a compromised birth, too. This is a special interest for me.

    I recommend a book called Son Rise, by Barry Neil Kaufman. His son was diagnosed with profound autism (which it is by no means clear that your son has). I only suggest it because he and his wife took on a radically different approach, which for them worked. Another book that parents here recommend is called The Explosive Child, by Ross McDonald, I think. I have not read it, but you can do a search here on this forum and you will find that book discussed.

    As far as finding a good neuropsychologist, are their Children's Hospitals in Australia? What about excellent University Medical Schools. They should have a pediatric child development clinic. My experience has taught me that I will feel most confident seeking help in these kinds of facilities.

    There should also be national neuropsychological associations. I would do a google search and I would see who does research in the kind of issues your child is having. And I might consider these people.

    I would also consider consulting people who work with babies and children who may not be psychologists or physicians, like occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, acupuncturists, even chiropractors, etc. I have found that cutting edge understanding and treatment is coming outside of the mainstream medical and psychological communities.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for the information about his birth and early issues. As you post here you will begin (or continue, if you have already started) to begin a comprehensive record OF EVERY SINGLE event and aspect of his history that may have a bearing on what's happening and what can address it. Qualified professionals will need all of this information and all of it is pertinent. I would NOT deal with anybody who thinks they know anything without taking all of it into consideration.
    This is NOT heartbreaking. It is reality. Almost all of us here have a problem with reality. We can't believe what we are dealing with these sad and horrible things and DON'T want to face it. (I am the shining star of DENIAL). We have to. What you did was a brave, loving thing. To help your son to manage himself. Every single thing you do to help him contain himself is a good thing. I applaud you.

    Another resource is a behavioral analysis where a professional trained in behavior modification comes into the home and looks at what's going on and helps train you to handle it. This is not a diagnosis or a solution, but it is a support. Because it's not in your or his interest that he act out in a way that you can't control or manage. Especially his hurting or aggressing against you either physically or verbally. I have never sought this out, a behavior analysis, and I am not sure I would. But some people do.

    I am glad you are here with us. We love that you are here, and we hope so very much that you stay. The mothers here are a great support and resource. We come from all over the world and almost all of us have been in your shoes (or still are.)

    How great that your mother in law is such a support.

    Honestly. As far as a diagnosis, I don't think you have enough information yet. There are lots of other things that could or could not be besides the spectrum. What seems to me to be clear is there is some sort of internal distress he is feeling. I would try to not get attached to one single idea, until you have a panoply of information, including from a child neurologist, child neuropsychologist, possibly from people like Ray Castellino (maybe there are people in Australia, who knows?), ruling out sensory processing issues, speech, language and hearing evaluation, all of it. If you have the resources, I would do it.

    But don't forget YOU. For many of us there is not one single diagnosis that answers the questions, and this becomes a lifestyle ongoing. And it becomes the thing that challenges us to grow as people. Many of us turn to spirituality and other things, as a consequence. We change as people too. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. But hard, yes, it is.

    What about his play? Does he draw and paint? Is he interesting in sounds and music? Does he like to dance? Does he play outside? Do you have animals? Is he drawn to them? How is he with them? What kinds of play does he like? How is his language? How are his relationships with family members? What soothes him? Does he like physical activity? How does he behave away from home? Can he get along with other children his age?

    Any activity he likes can be one part of the answer.

    What are your plans about school?
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  9. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    You've got a lot of good advice.

    Some questions to think about...are there any history of mental health issues on either side of his family? Were there any problems during pregnancy or delivery? Has there been any chance of problems with any caregivers/babysitters? Do you have pets that he could hurt? His sister isn't that much older, so. It's important not to leave them un attended, even for short times. Do your children have separate bedrooms?

    I hope you find help soon. Ksm
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  10. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Another poster by the name of B's Mom is going through this. You might want to search for her name to look at what she's written.
  11. B’smom

    B’smom Member

    Hi Shiggins,
    I’m S. my son B is 11 and has had more violent outbursts then I can count. It’s been a very exhausting summer (I’m in Canada). My heart breaks reading your post because I can relate to so much of what you’re going through. I’m sorry, I know how much it sucks (for a lack of a better word) to deal with this.

    I also have two other children, children who have witnessed and been victims of B’s meltdowns. My youngest and B cannot be left alone because B is very unpredictable, it’s hard to do get anything done. I think I miss showering with a closed door the most.

    He has had a lot of surgeries and health issues, has he had a recent MRI? Is it possible he’s in pain? History of step throat? Do the behaviours seem to go in waves or are they constant? Is he the same in all situations (home, school etc) or just at home?

    Sorry, I know the group has asked a lot of questions already and now I’m adding to them

    If you ever need someone to talk too, I’m here.

    I don’t know what you’re healthcare system is like in Australia but everything is slow moving in Canada (thank you free health care system). We waited 2.5 years for in depth genetic testing only to be turned down. We did get basic testing done though, and it did show an abnormality. Might be another avenue to look into. Sometimes you can get answers that way as to what’s going on.

    Most important and the hardest part, taking care of you! As parents, we give, give and give you until we have nothing left and then we give some more. It’s worse when you have a child with special needs. Especially ones that are aggressive. I’m sorry you and your family are going through this.
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  12. shiggins91

    shiggins91 New Member

    Thank you for your response and those book recommendations, I will be sure to check them out :)
    We do have many great children’s hospitals here, my favourite is about 4 hours away and the others 5 and 6 hours which isn’t too bad really! My mother in law has an Aunty who is a nurse but has also gone through years and years with the mental health system here to try and get help for her husband who was quite ill and she is giving my mother in law details of a great hospital for mental health, fingers crossed they can help! He actually has his 3rd appointment with an Occupational Therapist (OT) tomorrow :) but I didn’t think Of the others so thank you I will check them out!
  13. shiggins91

    shiggins91 New Member

    You are a real gem :) he used to love to
    Colour and would sit there for hours colouring but he has lost interest in it sadly! I purchased a tonne of puzzles for him yesterday and he’s enjoying them so far :) and he has just started gymnastics so fingers crossed it’s something for him to get excited for each week. It’s quote hard to get him outside and he doesn’t really last long out there which is a shame because it’s so great to get outdoors! I do have animals but at the moment no he isn’t particularly interested with them At all- we have 2 dogs and a rabbit. If he is having an “episode” as I call them when he’s in a bad mood swing that lasts several weeks, then in public he can be quite violent toward me and himself, he can be defiant and naughty but is fantastic when he is “normal” (I hate that word but can’t think of a better one). He certainly isn’t violent to any children but as far as getting along with them goes, well he doesn’t really because he won’t interact unless he knows them very well, like a cousin. He plays with his sister but he is also violent toward her too.
    I am hoping the puzzles can replace his love of colouring in as his preffeeed activity :)
  14. shiggins91

    shiggins91 New Member

    Hi there! Yes for sure, I have been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety, and depression runs a lot in his dads side of the family.
    Threatened pre term labour at 29 and 30 weeks, born at 37 weeks, got stuck and came out not breathing and then had mild jaundice.
    He goes to family daycare and loves his career, she has been fantastic for him :) she’s a mum of 2 ADHD boys (who are now young men) so she handles him well, though he is actually very very well behaved with her.
    Yes we have 2 dogs and a rabbit and he has threatened one dog with a metal pole before, thank goodness not actually doing anything though.
    Yes they do have seperate rooms :)
  15. shiggins91

    shiggins91 New Member

    Hi! Isn’t it horrible that the other kids have to witness or even be a victim of the violence :( I feel so sorry for his sister and I really worry about her mental health having been witnessing this basically his whole life.
    No he has never had an MRI, is that something I should ask for? No strep throat. They come in waves which can last months to weeks. For example we had 4 weeks in July of his aggression and violence followed by two weeks back to normal but then started another episode 13th August which is still happening. Sometimes he has had some that last 6+months at a time and sometimes he has only a few days. He won’t do it at daycare but if I am with him then it doesn’t really matter where we are he will just do it whether it be in a waiting room, shopping, his sisters school, his grandmothers house etc.
    I think Australia is very similar to Canada’s health care system :) public is basically free and private health care is generally faster but costs money. It took me from when he was 2.5-4.5 to actually when hear from the Occupational Therapist (OT)! He has 3 referrals in those two years and they didn’t answer any of my calls or phone back, and then finally in the last week of July this year they called me!
    Might be a silly question but what will the genetic testing pick up?
    I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this too :( I am just glad we all have each other on this great platform to talk to :)
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention expressive arts therapies, like art therapy, music and dance therapy, drama therapy. And he is not too young for martial arts. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a gentle martial art. If you have it near you. I have done a little of it and I am old. (I love it.) If your son has any interest, I would pay for private lessons, if I could. That is what I did. I loved it. But really, who I loved was the instructor.

    It is hard to predict what could touch your son's interest and help him find the strong parts in him to begin to learn to self-soothe. He reminds me of myself in that sense. What you are describing suggests to me, that he bumps into something very painful, distressing, empty within himself that he does not know how to deal with, and just dissolves. I wonder if his anger is expressive and a call for help. Who else would he turn to with the expectation of help?

    I have no experience with autism, but at one time a psychiatrist was considering a diagnosis of Aspergers for my son. I don't know if autism has these waves of functioning like you describe with your son. That he can be "normal" for weeks, and then this different functioning emerges. But I think you can try all kinds of things while you seek out a diagnosis, to see what could help him.

    I am an independent, successful woman. But when I am in a space with these feelings, I feel hopeless and despondent and helpless, too. If there was somebody to hit, that might help me, I would do it.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    When my son was about 9 we lived somewhere where there were large ponds filled with geese. I received an anonymous letter from a neighbor about my horrible son that he was threatening the geese. He may have been waving a stick. I don't remember.

    I am not letting my son off the hook, here. But my son was afraid of the geese. When geese get together they can get quite menacing and aggressive. My son has always loved animals and is gentle with them.

    I wonder if your son got afraid of the dog?
  18. B’smom

    B’smom Member

    Certain conditions are linked to certain genetic abnormalities. It never hurts to rule it out, especially if it’s free.

    My son has a duplication. I have recently found a few studies that has it linked it autism and ADHD. I emailed his neuropsychologist about it- trying to convince someone to give him the diagnosis of autism. It would make our lives much easier (access to funding and services he’s currently being denied).

    As far as an mri, who knows if it will help. It’s just something we have had done to help rule out any health issues my son might have. They checked to see if his brain looked the way it should look. Some conditions can be geared towards certain visible things that are “wrong” with the brain.

    My eldest had a severe reaction from red dye when he was little- we cut it out and things got better (he has ADHD). Sometimes the answer is so simple and other times, not so much. He also had consistent ear infections when he was a toddler. When he was sick, it caused some pretty crazy behaviours. We took him to the chiropractor and it helped, cutting out milk products helped as well. Diet might be something worth looking into. I doubt it will be a cure all, but it might help. An allergy to milk for example, can cause ADHD/ADD like behaviours.

    I don’t know, none of this might help you, you may have already tried it all. Just things we tried, some helped but most didn’t. I don’t know about you, but I feel like we’re constantly travelling down 20 paths at the same time trying to find answers, hoping at least one can help us.

    His behaviours towards you and his sibling is serious though. You’re going to have to advocate for yourself, for her and especially him. Don’t let the “professionals” tell you there’s nothing wrong. This behaviour is not typical (normal) and it’s not ok. You do not deserve this! Nobody deserves to feel unsafe in their own home. I’m not sure if I missed this in the post but are there agencies nearby that provide mental health services in the home?
    Children in Canada don’t typically go to the hospitals for mental health services. We have agencies in our communities, usually social workers or child and youth counsellors (or cyw). It might be beneficial, even for your daughter, if they can’t service him. Maybe they can help develop a behavioural plan to help you manage.

    Our community doesn’t know what to do with B, we’ve been 1.5 hours each way from our community to find help, and they don’t know what to do either. It can be a long journey.

    We did see a good amount of success using a behavioural mod called “conscious discipline” with B. It’s more about changing your wording when you talk. He responded better to CD than any other type of behavioural mod we tried. But what works for one, doesn’t work for all.
  19. shiggins91

    shiggins91 New Member

    Hmmm perhaps he is! he does seem to love the dog/s though on occasion and cuddle up to them so im not sure if he's afraid if he is willing to sometimes get close to them. I think it was more that he knows I love the dog and was threatening him to hurt me if that makes sense.
    I agree about Geese, they are frightening!
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The reason I asked about animals is this: Here in the US there are equine therapy programs (which are free) that are enormously effective with children with health and behavioral problems. I don't know if there's anything like that where you are, but you could google it. I am not a horse-expert but I understand that horses are exquisitely sensitive and responsive and they help children learn how to settle themselves. They also gain confidence. The other thing is they are using therapy/service dogs with children with the kinds of issues your son has. These programs train the dogs and the children and families. I think they are free or low cost too. I know I am grabbing at straws. But I feel confident something is going to work here.

    There are other mothers who have posted here, whose children have had these kinds of issues, and things over the course of years turned around. You sound like you have supportive family. This is a good thing!