A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. --Forest E. Witcraft

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It Is Time

I have finally scheduled BB for a psychiatric evaluation.  His behavior is just not normal for a child of his any age.  Physically he is considered developmentally on target.  Even his speech falls within normal boundaries, although it was still on the low end when tested last spring when he turned three.  BB qualified for developmental preschool because of social behavioral skills outside the norm for a preschooler.  Apparently, they were quite outside the norm.  That was no surprise to me.

Well now he has been in developmental preschool three half days a week since August.  He seems to do fine there.  He also attends daycare those three afternoons a week and has done well there.  I think going to daycare also helped get him finally potty trained.  It has definitely helped him learn to "play" with toys on his own.  Unfortunately, it has also taught him some naughty words with which we are now dealing.  The structure of these environments is definitely to his advantage.

BB has an extreme temper.  Okay, that may not be totally abnormal.  Sweets had a temper that was off the charts as well.  With BB, however, it degrades from there.  Because he is very smart, and he is also very persistent, when he has a meltdown, it is like he throws a switch inside.  He gets a certain goal stuck in his head and that's all he can think about until he gets that result.  Usually, it is what caused the temper tantrum to start.

Yesterday, the behavioral specialist came out to see him.  He wanted an apple for a snack right at that time.  I told him that he needed to go play with her first, since she was here to visit him.  He threw a fit and went on over and over, "I want an apple!"  Finally she suggested we set a timer for a minute.  He could go play until the timer went off and then break for the apple.  I set it for two minutes, figuring it would take a minute to even sit down and attempt to interact with her.  When the timer went off he came over and insisted, "I want my apple!"  I finally got him to say please, and then I washed the apple and got out a knife to cut it.  He went ballistic.  He wanted to bite into it.  I told him I would cut some for him and he could share the apple with Buddy and Precious, because it would soon be dinner time.  He said "NO!"  I put the apple down and told him he needed to share if he wanted the apple.  Next thing I know, he grabs a different apple and throws it on the floor.  I then told him, "No apple.  If you throw the apple on the floor, you don't want it.  Go play."  The rest of the hour was not a pretty picture.  He consistently went back to "I want my apple."

This is just one minor example.  BB often slaps or pinches people as he walks by them, even those he doesn't know.  It doesn't matter their age or size.  He can't be left alone with either Precious or Miracle.  Although he can be genuinely sweet with them, he can also be mean for no reason.  The big kids are frustrated with his behavior and their tempers are often short.  I am beside myself with how to deal with him sometimes.  So, it's time for a professional opinion.  This was initiated by the behavioral specialist.  Yesterday wasn't the first time she witnessed this type of behavior.

I'm wondering now - What questions should I be asking?  I'm hesitant to slap a label on him and start giving him medication, but I also know we can't continue the way we are.  Medically, we've had two procedures and put him on allergy medication and melatonin to help him sleep better.  He gets minimal sugar, and when he does, I don't notice a significant difference in behavior.  Same is true for red dye.  How do you know what to do and when to get a second opinion?

1 comment:

  1. I can't really help you with your questions. I have a new foster child that I am VERY concerned about, too. He's 15 months. Crabbiest thing ever. We had about 5 major tantrums this morning between 6 and 7:15 this morning. He's like that all day. I don't call him Oscar to his face, but online I've named him Oscar the Grouch. Such powerful willfulness and I wonder... where do I even start. Do I take him off gluten/dye/sugar/dairy... and really I have no control what happens at visits, or do I deal with it strictly from a parenting perspective - lots of firm love? IS he FAS or drug affected? There's so little to go on.