Author Topic: Behavioral problems in children  (Read 1767 times)

Chesleygirl

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Behavioral problems in children
« on: November 04, 2017, 02:13:46 PM »
Does anyone else had a child with behavior difficulties or ADHD? Mine has ADHD and problems with behavior. She's had two behavior reports from school in one week. One, where she yelled at a teacher. She tends to be impulsive. She's also obsessed with having a social life and constant play dates with other kids, even on school nights. I decided not to medicate her, as she had horrible side effects from some ADHD drugs we tried her on. Are there any tactics you use to improve behavior, such as withholding privileges or positive reinforcement.

GizmoTX

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 02:27:30 PM »
Check out Love and Logic, the program & numerous books. www.loveandlogic.com

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 03:06:27 PM »
My kid has autism and some other diagnoses, so I deal with a lot of behaviour.

The best thing I ever did was hire an occupational therapist to come evaluate my home. She looked at eating, sleeping, playing, hygeine, etc etc etc and found triggers that were making things worse and had a huge number of really useful, practical suggestions to make things better. It made a huge difference.
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TrMama

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 04:41:50 PM »
My 11yo has ADHD inattentive type, dyslexia and anxiety. I'll have more to say when I can get to a proper keyboard, but in general we don't do negative correction at all. Some natural consequences, lots of positive reinforcement and reminders, but she's practically never punished.

How old is she? What meds did you try and what kind of doctor was prescribing? I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this, but I'm pretty sure meds saved my daughter's life. They certainly saved her samity.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 07:11:50 PM »
My 11yo has ADHD inattentive type, dyslexia and anxiety. I'll have more to say when I can get to a proper keyboard, but in general we don't do negative correction at all. Some natural consequences, lots of positive reinforcement and reminders, but she's practically never punished.

How old is she? What meds did you try and what kind of doctor was prescribing? I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this, but I'm pretty sure meds saved my daughter's life. They certainly saved her samity.

I can't remember the names of the medications. There was a drug to give her and then a drug to wean her off later in the day. I didn't like the idea of giving two separate drugs at different time intervals. She exhibited some psychotic behavior on the drug and I took her off.  I'll have to look it up as I don't remember the name.

I think she can take a different type of ADHD med when she reaches a certain age. I'm going to look into that.

She's very hyperactive and takes melatonin to wind down to sleep at night. Otherwise, she'd stay up until 4 a.m.

She runs and climbs and jumps around on furniture even though she's nine years old. She doesn't even realize she's doing it, and seems to lack awareness of it.

C-note

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 07:40:39 PM »
You may want to contact an OT and/or BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst).  Either could provide interventions for sensory and behavior.

Laura33

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 09:17:39 PM »
Yes.  My observations:

1.  ADHD often comes along with depression and anxiety, because kids want to behave but can't control themselves in the moment.  You really, really have to set them up to succeed -- e.g., look for distractions before they lose it, find ways for them to be helpful that, conveniently, keep them busy (even if it's sweeping the floor), help them find ways to feel like they are contributing.  And be gentle when they fail -- jumping on them just triggers the anxiety and sense of helplessness.  Catching them doing something right is infinitely more effective then negative consequences.  They are not being bad on purpose -- they really, truly can't help themselves.  The best parents/teachers figure out ways to convert that boundless energy into helping (one of my daughter's teachers, for ex., had her take the attendance list to the office every day -- it helped my kid get the wiggles out, and puffed her up and made her feel like she was trusted with this important job, which then helped her attitude for the rest of the day).

2.  Read "Your Spirited Child" and "1-2-3 Magic."  The former got me through ages 2-5, the latter helped me navigate 5-on.  The key takeaway is they desperately need you to be their unshakable rock when they are flying off into outer space -- they need to know you love them and will be there for them and will not be moved, period.  The image of the horsefly and the horse in 1-2-3 Magic still sticks with me -- the point is that if the kid sees that she is getting you mad, that makes her feel insecure, because she is this tiny little thing, and so if you are so week as to be shaken by her, she has nothing solid to cling to.  You need to be calm and loving but absolutely implacable; she needs to know what the consequences of her actions will be with complete certainly, and she needs to face those consequences every single time, and you need to be calm and loving through the whole thing, and when it's done, it's done.

3.  ADHD is the classic "two steps forward, one step back" -- just when you think they are making progress, they do the same dumb-ass thing all over again, and you want to tear your hear out.  To maintain your own sanity, you need to look at things measured over years so you can see the progress.

4.  Please see specialists and therapists.  There are different meds, there are therapies like neurofeedback and the like, and there are just people with expertise who can help you develop routines and consistency and parenting skills that your kid needs you to have.  It is tremendously challenging, but you can get through this and end up with a wonderful, interesting kid.
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Chesleygirl

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 09:25:33 PM »
Yes, I believe they truly can't help themselves in most cases. It's neurological. That's what my family doesn't understand. My sister seems to think it's a disciplinary issue and that ADHD is simply a made-up disorder, an excuse for poor behavior. And this in spite of the fact that she has a hard-core science and medical background! She should know better.

MayDay

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 05:41:08 AM »
Yes.

Trying one med is not enough. See a psychiatrist and try more if you think she needs meds.

Try CBT.

It's tough.
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Lski'stash

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2017, 07:49:30 AM »
Teacher here- You have some really good advice on here. Love and Logic is a great system is you can be consistent with it. There are also a bunch of medications to try, even non-stimulant meds (Stratera) that don't have a lot of the side-effects that the others do.

Something that is not here- Your school (and you at home) can put into place what's called a Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBIS plan). Basically, the plan lays out what the bahviors are, what will be done to decrease them, and what consequences (both positive and negative) will happen. Here's an example of one. http://www.specialconnections.ku.edu/~specconn/page/behavior/pbs/pdf/example2.pdf

This is the website schools are supposed to use to make them. You can try a lot of the intervention ideas yourselves. http://www.pbisworld.com/

Chesleygirl

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2017, 08:48:16 AM »
Yes.

Trying one med is not enough. See a psychiatrist and try more if you think she needs meds.

Try CBT.

It's tough.

What is CBT?

TrMama

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2017, 09:13:52 AM »
Cognitive behavioral therapy. It's a type of talk therapy that's quite effective. You'll need a child psychologist.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2017, 09:50:11 AM »
Cognitive behavioral therapy. It's a type of talk therapy that's quite effective. You'll need a child psychologist.

OK.  She saw a child psychologist that did play therapy with her a few years ago. We don't have good health insurance now that would cover it, though. We'll have to wait until my spouse gets a better job. I do think it was somewhat effective, though.

C-note

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2017, 11:15:02 AM »
If she is in public school, you can request a consultation meeting with the OT and/or BCBA.

TrMama

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2017, 01:17:23 PM »
Your child's school should also have a counselor on staff who can work with your child. If she's having social struggles, ask the counselor if she can run a Friendship Group. I think in the US, you can also get a 504 or IEP for kids diagnosed with ADHD. That will force her teachers to interact with her positively, instead of just punishing her all the time.

You're correct that it's not always appropriate to punish her for her behaviours, because much of the time she really can't help it. It would be like punishing a color blind child for not being able to tell the difference between red and green. In that case, you'd give that child the tools and skills he/she needs to function with the deficit they were born with. Just like giving a near sighted child glasses, or a diabetic child insulin and education about blood sugar.

Frankly, I think the name Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a dumb name. Attention and activity are only a small part of the package. So when your relatives give you a hard time about her behaviour, tell them she has Executive Function Deficit of the frontal cortex. Executive functions include attention, impulse control, organization, emotional control and a couple other things I can't remember.

Some of my in-laws also gave me flak when we started DD on meds. I was quick to point out that she wasn't just having issues in a couple areas, it was affecting her whole life. I also hit back with lots of science speak that I knew was over their heads to make it clear that I knew exactly what I was doing and wasn't just medicating her because I was being a lazy disciplinarian. I also pointed out that DH and I were doing the best we could to help her with a problem she'd been born with.

For jumping on the furniture, consider getting a rebounder trampoline for your living room. These are the small ones adults use for fitness. We have one for our typical high energy child. It's really helped increase the lifespan of our couches ;-) Plus, now I can say, "Please jump on your trampoline if you need to get some wiggles out" instead of saying something negative about not jumping on the furniture.

Laura33

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 09:09:43 AM »
So the thing that I couldn't quite say earlier is that even though they can't help themselves, that doesn't mean you can let them get away with bad behavior.  Which means in the end it puts a lot more pressure on you to set them up for success, to create an environment in which they can succeed.

E.g., -- and I'm sure you'll be familiar with this since you've been dealing with this for a while -- when I had to take my kid on an airplane, I was basically ready to go into battle.  I would only take flights that worked with her schedule (learned early that she didn't nap on planes and the exhaustion really magnified the bad behaviors).  I always, ALWAYS bought her an extra seat so she had more places to be, and either got the bulkhead or went to the back of the plane and prayed no one wanted to sit with us so she could play on the floor.  I brought like 16 different snacks, because food was entertainment, but only for about 5-10 minutes.  I brought the DVD player (thank God for Elmo -- although, again, 15 minutes max) and every toy/book/etc. I could fit into the bag, and a lollipop to suck on for the ears during takeoff/landing.  Etc. etc. etc.  And we talked about the rules before we got on the plane, when we got on the plane, and repeated as needed on the plane -- and then I praised her when I saw her doing it right, and made a point of giving her praise and big hugs when we got off the plane and telling her what a good job she had done.

It was a metric shit-ton of work, and I was fucking exhausted every single flight.  And we still had the occasional flight from hell, because you control only so much.  But it not only (generally) kept her behavior under control on that particular flight, it also helped her learn how she was supposed to behave on flights.  So over time I had to work less and less at it, and she became quite the good little traveler.

For me, that was the real benefit of the books I mentioned: they helped me understand what set my kid off (lights, noises, tags, adults getting upset) and what helped calm her down, so I could figure out how to set things up so she could succeed -- they gave me ideas and insights I didn't have on my own. 

The real problem is that you can do this yourself at home and while out in public (no museums, breaking up errands with parks and running around -- all those coping skills).  But the school cannot put that amount of effort into building up each child like that.  The really good teachers already have their arsenal of skills ready to deploy, but they are unfortunately few and far-between.  So you may need to get backup from a therapist to get an IEP or 504 to lay some ground rules.
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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2017, 09:43:14 AM »
I'm deep in the psych meds and therapy trenches. Posting to commiserate.
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spookytaffy

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2017, 02:34:48 PM »
Ask to meet with the school social worker or school psychologist.  Your district should have one of each on staff or at least available that they share with another district.  Either of them (I'm a school psych) will have some ideas for you.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2017, 10:18:20 AM »
Ask to meet with the school social worker or school psychologist.  Your district should have one of each on staff or at least available that they share with another district.  Either of them (I'm a school psych) will have some ideas for you.

I contacted a school counselor last week, she didn't call me back, which I'm kind of perturbed about.

My daughter's hyperactivity is so bad that we are often afraid she'll hurt another child (by accident). She is nine years old and still jumps on tables and furniture. I just don't find that acceptable for a child her age and feel she should have outgrown it by now.

I was not hyperactive as a child - at all, so I don't understand it. She cannot seem to control it.

I've started giving her some vitamins recently. I wonder if that would help her.

C-note

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2017, 04:05:52 PM »
You might always want to have her tested for allergies.  Years ago, my middle child exhibited a lot of hyperactivity.  Turned out that he was allergic to a number of foods.  We eliminated the foods and he improved considerably. 

jeninco

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Re: Behavioral problems in children
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2017, 04:56:50 PM »
My first response to "hyperactivity" is "how much exercise is the kid getting?" Every single human in my house starts bouncing off the walls after about 24 hours of not running around (preferably outside).

I support most of the other suggestions here but my experience with kids is that they need LOTS of running around time. And morning is helpful, because it can take the edge off before school. People sometimes forget this about girls, who are expected to be able to "sit nicely." Can she run or bike in to school? Can you go play "chase" with her outside in the mornings?