Thursday, September 18, 2014

Something's Disordered

When HB was two, I noticed something.  His behavior was getting beyond the normal.  He was kicking, screaming, scratching, biting, and head butting.  It was the head butting that was getting my attention.  Once he realized just how much damage he was doing, he started using it as a weapon.  Instead of soliciting empathy for those he was hurting, he was cheerfully inflicting pain.  But he was two. 

His teachers, at the time, were child psychologists.  They expressed that empathy was something that didn't happen until 4.  They said his behavior, while not good, was not unusual.  They gave us tools and simply told us to do our best until he was older.

When he was three, we moved.  HB was getting more and more violent.  He'd erupt kicking his brother viciously and gleefully.  I'd put him in his room where he'd get even more angry/upset and take his fan (and any other objects) and throw it down the stairs.  When CAS came knocking on our door, we asked for help.  She referred us to another agency who said it was normal behavior particularly after a move.  She said to keep what we were doing but not isolate him.  After a fashion his outbursts were less.  But they were still there.

After his first week of school, HB was having tantrums.  "Is this normal?" his teacher would ask perplexed.  I shrugged my shoulders.  I wrote her a letter detailing as many things I could to help deal with his emotional outbursts.  We ended up having a meeting.  I asked them "Is he fighting with the other children?"  They told me he wasn't.  I warned them that he would.  "Right now he doesn't know them so he'll be fine.  The longer he's around them though the more likely he will."  I said.

Today I was at the library with Knee.  During a quiet moment, I heard the tail end of the phone ring.  The secretary had a left a message saying that there was an incident and that we needed to pick up HB.  When we got to school, he was still fuming and scratching at me.  Apparently, he had scratched another child's face and drew blood.  He's also been kicking and scratching at his teachers.  Nobody witnessed him scratching the boy.  HB said that he had done it.  I warned them, but they weren't really watching him closely enough.

There's something wrong.  And I feel utterly helpless to fix it.  Everyone wants to say it's behavioral as though we're not doing enough as parents or that he's young.  But my gut tells me while I'm not the most perfect parent, this is not normal.  I can see it in his eyes.  He can't seem to illicit empathy when he does something wrong.  And I can't get him to face the situation. 

Perhaps we're doing something wrong.  I'm sure there are tons of areas for improvement, but I've done what people have told me to do.  This includes getting him to eat better, and we know his diet is terrible and he doesn't eat enough.

Maybe he has an allergy that's showing up behaviorally.  Maybe he has some underlying physical condition.  Maybe it's psychological.  His brain isn't able to process his emotions well.  So he struggles and lashes out.  I just want answers and I don't think the ones that people are giving me so far have improved things.

We're waiting phone calls.  I self-referred to a behavioral center.  I also called the principal.  I'm hoping he knows what channels I would need to go through to have some sort of evaluation.  I want to rule out the possibility that he has a psychological disorder.  Considering my husband's family suffer from suicidal depression and my family from anxiety than it's highly likely that he has something going on.  It's better to rule that out now than to keep hammering away at behavioral modifications that thus far are just band-aids.

At this point I'm just so frustrated.  I want to help him.  I don't want this to keep happening, but I wouldn't be surprised if I have to pick him up from school again.  Something is really wrong and I don't want to hear that it's all in my head.

Having your 3-4 year old hit you so hard with his head that you're lip swells up to twice it's size, is not normal.  He was actually appearing quite calm when that happened.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe ask his pediatrician where he or she thinks you should start? It feels like there's so many different directions you could start looking in...

    I do know that when something sensory is overwhelming Mae she has a tendency to pinch/pull hair/bite and it's almost always directed at her big sister and if her sister isn't in arms reach she'll start pinching/biting herself. It's like if there's a sound that's painful to her (which could be a soft cough or someone sneezing in another room) she'll instantly go into that mode or collapse on the ground crying. She's also way more volatile with it if she's had wheat, I think because it makes her feels sick (when she's had it the banging her head against things starts too).

    I'm not sure if that helps and I know it's probably one among many options, but that was the little bit that sounded like it could possibly overlap with what we've experienced.

    Praying you get some answers.

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