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(111 Posts)
HoneyCupcakes Fri 17-Jan-14 09:50:50

I am at the end of the line with my 7oy I don’t know what to do, I am just hoping that someone else here is going through the same situation with their son/daughter

My DS has been diagnosed with OCD and ADHD he attends a specialist school for children with behavioural problems, I don’t believe that he has any behavioural problems he is just behaving the way he does because he can.

Today when I went to collect him I was held back by his teacher for her to tell me that him and a few other boys in his class have been bullying a boy so badly that he doesn’t want to attend school anymore, I am disgusted but it is no shock to me, when I asked him why he had been bullying the child in question, he looked at me like I was crazy and as if he didn’t know what I was speaking about, every time he does something wrong that is what he does, he will act like he doesn’t know what I am talking about and carry on as if he hasn’t done anything wrong.

He is just making my whole life a misery, I don't like going out during the day whilst he is at school, because I can’t go far incase I get a phone call from his school telling me to come and collect him, just before he broke up for the Christmas holiday he attacked one of his teaching assistants with a pair of scissors it wasn’t too serious but she did need medical attention, and in the past he has pulled out knifes on me, and he frequently does and does try to attack me, I also have a 2 year old from my current partner, he has never ever been violent towards him or tried to hurt him but he has injured my partner many of times.

I don’t even like taking him out in public, it always resorts to him running away or hiding, me having to buy him something to keep him quiet, if I don’t it will just resort into him sulking or embarrassing me. This has been going on for too long I have tried everything but nothing seems to work, it feels like I am going through a nervous break down due to him and it is not fair on my 2 year old as I can't take him out during the day. There is so much more that I want to write but it is just going to anger me more.

OneInEight Fri 17-Jan-14 10:16:26

To be honest my first thought is that the school seems absolutely hopeless - is it a state school or a independent? They are obviously not meeting his needs if he is still behaving like this.

I assume he is statemented if he is in a specialist setting but perhaps this needs a review. Are there any sensory problems that you know of that might trigger incidents. Has he been seen by an OT. Has an ASD ben investigated as well as the ADHD - we have similar problems with ds2 who is diagnosed AS.

I know lots of people hate the thought of SS involvement but we have had a positive experience & they are currently giving us some respite by supporting the boys with a 'buddy' which is helping.

HoneyCupcakes Fri 17-Jan-14 10:22:52

The school he attends is a state school and is hopeless, anything he does wrong they will call me to come and collect him. I don't know what triggers him off he has been seen by an OT it didn't go well he sat in silence and neither of the two have been investigated. I am currently sitting here waiting for the school to ring to tell me to go and collect him.

ouryve Fri 17-Jan-14 10:26:56

Can I just ask why you don't believe he has any behavioural problems? Whatever the triggers, you're describing a boy who exhibits very severe behavioural difficulties. Are you assuming that he's doing this wilfully?

OneInEight Fri 17-Jan-14 10:33:03

Ok - well the calling up to collect him is 'illegal exclusion' unless they are giving you a formal exclusion letter. Are you documenting how often it happens - this is evidence to the LA that the school is not meeting his needs,.

We went through the waiting for the phone call when the ds's were in mainstream so I know how incredibly stressful it is so you have my sympathies. ds1's BESD school have a policy where they will not ring up. ds1 had a couple of big meltdowns until he fully understood this but his behaviour has dramatically improved since.

ds2 will not cooperate with EPs etc either but we have had some surreptitious observations when he has not known they are looking at
which although not ideal is better than nothing.

HoneyCupcakes Fri 17-Jan-14 10:35:58

Ouryve, he knows how to behave, he is only like this at home and at school with friends and family he is very well behaved, I am not assuming I am certain he is doing it wilfully.

PolterGoose Fri 17-Jan-14 10:44:30

Honey it is extremely common for children with neuro-developmental disabilities to hold it together 'in public' and especially at school, but fall apart at home. It doesn't mean he is in control, it means he is bottling up everything and trying really really hard to 'behave' at school and with family, but it's impossible to hold it in forever. It's a mistake a lot of professionals (and laypeople) make, they assume the fact a child is 'fine' at school but a nightmare at home means it's the parents fault, but it is extremely rare for this to be the case.

Is he on medication?

ouryve Fri 17-Jan-14 11:05:40

DS1 "knows" how to behave but still has violent meltdowns.

I'm going to make some assumptions, since I've never met him, but given that he has ADHD, he will be immature, compared with typically developing peers and he probably has poor impulse control. If he has OCD, then it is safe to say that he suffers from extreme anxiety - ie far more than the typical nervousness about new situations. If he feels out of control, he will panic and his fight or flight response will kick in.

Is he in a SS or SEBD school? Again, I'm going to assume the first, because a SEBD school should have a plan to manage these outburst which doesn't involve sending him home, and they should be working with you, on this, if you need the support, too, as a consistent approach is essential. The school he is in sounds useless and, yes, they are acting illegally by sending him home, every time it escalates.

Before you can begin to tackle his behaviours, you're going to need to very honestly analyse them. What situations trigger them? Are there any signs that he's building up to an explosion, or is it really, truly out of the blue. If you observe him, carefully, you might notice that he's a lot more obsessive and nitpicky before it happens, or that he might be rather withdrawn. Or you might notice that it happens mostly before mealtimes, or when he seems a bit hot. Be honest about what you do before and when he explodes. Does it happen when you ask him to do things, or move from one activity to another? Do you find yourself shouting at him? (I admit that i do shout, sometimes - I certainly did when DS1 launched himself at DS2 in a rage, yesterday. I'd only just got up and was not at my best and I'll admit that i was furious with him). What do you do when he does it? Do you punish him? How do you punish him? Does it even work (I'm guessing it doesn't, or you wouldn't be here). How do you help him to calm down? And what state is he in, afterwards? Still angry, or remorseful? Or does he act like it never happened? (all a clue to his level of self awareness).

Preventing these behaviours is going to be a matter of being pro-active, rather than reactive, in the long run. He's going to need to learn to develop strategies for reacting more appropriately to frustrations and you're going to need to learn with him how to help him to do this. Ross Greene's book, The Explosive Child is often recommended, here. The book acknowledges that, for many children, consequences aren't enough to prevent undesirable behaviour because they lack the skills needed to not "do" the behaviour.

popgoestheweezel Fri 17-Jan-14 11:06:52

My ds is also 7 with ADHD and ASD/PDA, I know how challenging it can be.
Firstly, is your ds on meds for his adhd? If not, get him on them right away, if he is, maybe you want to experiment with brand or dosage as it can't be very effective with behaviour like this.
Secondly, it sounds like he is at a totally and utterly useless school. They are letting you, your ds, and the other children at school down. You all deserve better and are entitled to it in law. They should not be excluding him regularly, they should be helping him.
Also, don't waste your energy blaming your ds, all children will to do well if they can. Your ds isn't behaving like this out of choice. His behaviour is communication, and he is saying he can't cope. Channel your energy into getting the help you need.
It sounds like you're in a very difficult situation right now but there is loads you can do to make your lives better. There are lots of us on here with very similar experiences, you are not alone.

popgoestheweezel Fri 17-Jan-14 11:13:09

As far as behaving differently in different environments, I think that all dc do that. Your ds is behaving badly both at home and at school where he spends 95% of his time- he can just hold it together for the 5% of time he is with friends and family.
My ds used to be able to hold it all in at school, they had no major problems with him for the first few years. Yet every single day before and after school he would have a violent meltdown; screaming shouting, biting, kicking. It was horrendous, but he wasn't doing it on purpose- it was the only way he knew how to deal with his feelings.

Faverolles Fri 17-Jan-14 11:15:50

We're waiting for an assessment for ds (8).
He is perfectly behaved at school but loses it at home.
We spent nearly two years believing he was just a naughty boy, and life was hell, as we blamed ourselves totally for his terrible behaviour.

We were advised here on MN that he probably had ASD, which we looked into and he ticked some of the boxes, but having looked into different ways to help him, although things are still difficult at home, we can predict his outburst better and are managing them far better because we are coming from a point of trying to help him rather than punish him.

PolterGoose is right, and extremely helpful.

RightRoyalPainInTheArse Fri 17-Jan-14 11:24:59

I'd get on to CAMHs for help and definitely consider medication even if just to get some breathing space and come up with a plan. Do you get DLA, any respite help? School does not sound good, but you're going to have to break this down and tackle one thing at a time.

It's very easy to look at DS1 and think his behaviour is wilful and deliberate but he really has no clue half the time, he really doesn't get why he cannot do the things he does. It is a long old road and things progress a lot slower than for other DC but you just have to keep on keeping on trying to teach him.

Get a break, however you can, everything looks better after a break. This will all be an entrenched pattern, you only need one thing to shift and hopefully things will look a bit brighter.

I feel for you, it's stressful and hard work. Have a look at PDA strategies too, they often help whatever is underpinning the behaviour. He will not be behaving like this for fun.

HoneyCupcakes Fri 17-Jan-14 11:33:09

Ouryve thanks for answering me again, he is not immature for his age he does act a little older, he is in a SS school. Most of the time he does things out of the blue for example this morning he went into the cupboard and switched the electricity off. As for mealtimes it is a struggle to get him to eat at least a quarter of what he has got on his plate, he will ask questions such as 'did you wash your hands before you made this? What did you use? How long did you wash them for? Did you dry them on a clean towel?' Then it usually ends in him saying he is not eating it because he doesn't trust me. If I ask him to move from one thing from another he just won't do it, he will ask why or tell me that he doesn't have to listen to me. I can admitt I do shout at him a lot, and when he does attack me I can control him by holding his arms, his arms I do not help him calm down he will run of to his room and appear hours later as if nothing has happened. I have given up on trying to punish him as nothing works and it only makes matters worst.

PolterGoose Fri 17-Jan-14 11:38:52

Can I second ouryve's recommendation of 'The Explosive Child' book, there's a summary of his approach here in a PDF

Can I ask again, what medications is he on? Also, what interventions are you getting from CAMHS? especially for the OCD.

ouryve Fri 17-Jan-14 11:59:30

DS1 would turn the electricity off, if he could reach it. He just goes around and turns all the sockets off, instead. It's something he can control - and it does as it's told.

The mealtimes issue would definitely be easier if you have a look at the book we suggested. It will give you a technique to establish a way of interacting with your DS that helps him to feel he can trust you because you can put the ball in his court, somewhat, without it becoming a battle of wills.

And the questions about medications are because, while they don't cure ADHD or OCD, they can make it easier to learn new strategies and break entrenched patterns.

mummytime Fri 17-Jan-14 12:21:40

I would also look around for and ask people locally about alternative schools. Not all special schools are the same.
Make sure any exclusions (or "sendings home") are recorded. Keep records.

Finally do look after yourself, I know far too many parents of children with SN who have health issues.

HoneyCupcakes Fri 17-Jan-14 12:32:00

PolterGoose Sorry I forgot to answer that question, he is not on any medication and we are not getting any support from CAMHS or any other services. I am going to search that book on Amazon and buy it if they have it in stock. Mummytime I think we are at the stage where I need to find another suitable school for him, a few weeks before he broke up for the Christmas holidays he came home with a busted lip which one of the teaching assistants did by 'accident' with her nail, accident or no accident I took it to the head and she was given a disciplinary I don't feel as the school want to help my DS

ouryve Fri 17-Jan-14 12:44:50

I'd question whether they have training in safe handling techniques such as teamteach, honey. They should do, and if they do, they should also have training in de-escalation.

While you're doing your own homework (ie the book) I think you need to do 3 things.
1) Visit your GP and ask to be put back in touch with CAMHS. His behaviour is dangerous, so don't be fobbed off on this one.
2) Research and visit some different schools. Other special schools, BESD schools, both state and Indy. Look outside of your own LA, if you have to. Nothing is going to change here, immediately, but it's good to know your options before you decide what on earth to do about school.

It's worth looking at the IPSEA and SOSSEN websites, too - lots of advice and case studies, there, which will help you to work out what you need to do.

Does your DS have a statement? If so, when is his annual review?

ouryve Fri 17-Jan-14 12:45:40

If forgot 3) It's worth.... Looks like I can't count blush

HoneyCupcakes Fri 17-Jan-14 12:50:01

RightRoyalPainInTheArse Sorry I am just getting back to you now, I didn't see your message, I am using my mobile to come on this site. I do not receive DLA for him I have been told to apply for it but I have no idea in what the procedure is and I don't see how extra money will help him in terms of his behavior.

HoneyCupcakes Fri 17-Jan-14 12:52:31

Ouryve his review is in April in which I doubt he will still be at the same school.

ouryve Fri 17-Jan-14 13:26:58

DLA won't fix his behaviour, but it can cover:
Replacing things that have been broken, in a rage
Laundry! (I suspect you have to do more than you would otherwise)
Practical things like a lockable safe for knives, scissors and drugs. And a separate keysafe for the key.
Fidget toys and things that help him with sensory regulation eg a weighted blanket or an assortment of snuggly textured cushions that he might find soothing when he's agitated (I have a wonderful picture up in SN chat of DS1 hiding under a huge pile of cushions when he was off on one. He was quite chilled and smiling by the time I pulled them off him!)

Actually, if you don't know anything about it, it'll be worth you adding something about sensory processing to your reading task list. That might be a revelation in itself.

HoneyCupcakes Fri 17-Jan-14 17:03:38

I was called to pick him up just before 2pm this afternoon, they wouldn't explain why, I asked them if they could just keep him there until home time another 1hr 15mins they said no, so I went and got him the reason they had called me in is because he needed to go to the toilet one of the teaching assistants said no, then his teacher said he could go but someone has to take him, he said he wants go to go alone, he then run out of the classroom doors leading to the playground, another one of the teaching assistant found him some minutes later doing it behind the bins (which I'm not happy about as I think it is totally unacceptable I rarely allow him to do that) the teacher took hold of him and went and filled up a bucket of water and got a mop and told him he has to clean it, he refused to and all he was interested in is getting his hand wash out of his bag to was his hand, when she wouldn't let him go back into the classroom to get it he punched her. This who situation could have been avoided it feels as if they are pushing him to do something wrong. I tried to speak to him and ask him why he did it on the way home, instead of acting like he did no wrong all he wanted to talk about is the snow globe such and such gave him today from their dead grandmother he has sat down quietly since I got him home, should I let the situation go or find a punishment for him? Ouryve I will apply for DLA as it would replace some of the expensive things he has destroyed

popgoestheweezel Fri 17-Jan-14 18:05:26

Definitely don't punish him. Any consequences should be immediate and proportionate. School caused that incident by dealing with him in the most ridiculous way possible- your poor ds!

PolterGoose Fri 17-Jan-14 18:14:37

Definitely don't punish, school caused that incident through their own incompetence. I would be asking them how they plan to manage similar incidents in the future. The school sounds absolutely awful, scary.

I've found with ds that school is so hard that he needs after school to be as calm and demand-free as possible, otherwise he cannot cope at all, I have to do my best to protect his mental health. So, whatever he has done at school we don't go over it except perhaps a chat about what he thinks he could have done differently (often days later when he's in the right frame of mind) and we carry on with our usual routine. I would be overjoyed if my ds could tell me good stuff that happened during the day, and would encourage a focus on this good stuff.

Remember, if you accept that your ds isn't fully in control of his behaviour, and you accept that it is rooted in anxiety, punishing just raises his anxiety because he cannot comply and then you'll get more 'bad behaviour'.

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