Help - Hugely defiant 6 yr old - advice greatly appreciated!(2 Posts)
Sorry for the huge long epistle but I have to get this off my chest. I'm not a regular poster but I would really appreciate any advice as I am running out of ideas and I suppose I am slightly buring my head in the sand.
We have a DS who is 6 yand extremely defiant. He has been assessed for ADHD and it came back negative. We had some brief contact with the local mental health NHS service but this has now ceased.
He is doing OK at school and is bright and when he applies himself he does do OK. However there are things about his personality that appear abnormal, which has been made even more apparent since the birth of his now 2 year old younger brother.
The things that are of concern stem mainly from his continued lack of respect for authority. He is better at school but at home can be a complete nightmare and we wonder whether it is us or him. It can be very depressing. We have tried everything from marble reward jars to stickers to taking his toys away / not having TV.
I feel that I am on egg shells contstantly and sometimes he can be fantastic and do what you ask him to do but on other days he deliberately will not do anything you ask - or if he does it is very reluctantly. He is liable to temper tantrums with no apparent warning and if things don't go his way he can have a complete meltdown. This tends to be more at home than at school although there has been one occasion at school a couple of years ago when he was literally rolling on the floor with his eyes popping out practically having a fit of rage. His teacher was a bit shocked but sat with him until he snapped out of it. Once he had it was as if it had never happened.
His development was always untoward in so far that he walked reasonably early, he talked fair early and was always very active and actually a really happy baby. His definace started at around 13 months and from there he has become more wilful. He really does not care and will often when you are telling him off just deflect the situation and say - can we go to the park, or am I allowed a biscuit or something esle completely random which just is very odd. Another thing that can be odd is when he is introduced to a neighbour or acquaintance, you wuld normally expect a 6 year old to be polite as we are not rude people but he will not say hello but will say someting rude like "hurry up I want to go in" and he will stand there tapping his feet.
Recently his behaviour seems to be getting worse, with episodes of definance pretty much the whole day (at home) although fortunately at school there have been no reports of him being that bad, but he still has problems socially and sometimes with his concentration. His peers find him annoying and he can be overbearing, and they only like him in small doses. It's actually quite sad as the children that he latches on to at school will play with him but for example will never even think of inviting him to their house to play or to their party because they find him too much. There was a birthday recently and I found out he was not invited even though the boy who had the party DS would consider as one of his mates. As they all get older I think that it will become even more so given the apparent differences in maturity that are occurring and it is very upsetting. He is still not potty trained at night - another thing that I am worried about. No matter how hard we try we just can't seem to persuade him.
When we discuss with him his behaviour and the fact that he does not listen to us, he does not seem to care. The only thing that makes me feel better so far is that he is still happy and extremely thick skinned. the crosser you get (and I have to admit my patience is wearing thin after all this time and I can end up shouting) the more it seems to egg him on and he thinks it is hilarious.
I am really concerned that there may be an underlying condition. As he gets older and with a comparison to his brother the differences are becoming more stark. For example his younger brother only has to be put on the step for a minute and behaves immediately - ie he does not like being told off - a novelty I can tell you.
Despite his problems he can be such a lovely and loving boy but this can be outweighed by the negatives. I am worried that he does actually have an underlying disorder such as Oppositional defiant disorder or Pathalogical Demand Avoidance Syndrome as there are certain traits that I can identify with.
Does anyone have any advice at all or have similar experiences? It's such a worrying time and I want to make sure that if he does have a medical problem that we deal with it to allow him to have the best chance of recovery. I am absoultely terrified that if we leave it he will end up in prison when he is older or something bad will happen to him which would be heartbreaking.
Thank you for reading!
Aspergers is the thing that leapt to mind reading your post (my DS3 is a very bright, fairly social Aspie and your description rings a lot of bells).
Things you describe, like not talking to the neighbour, but saying I want to go in now, the melt downs when things don't go his own way, his friends find him overbearing and odd, etc, all sound like social impairment rather than deliberate defiance..... but as with ADHD "checklists", there's a lot of overlap between defiance and ASD "signs and symptoms".
I'm wondering is his behaviour is actually getting worse, or if it's just that his behaviour sticks out more now he's older (we very much found that was the case with our DS3), behaviour that can appear clever or cute in a 4 year old (speaking in an adult way for example), can appear rude and odd in an older child.
Having no respect for authority (respect needs to be earned, it is not just given!) is a common ASD trait.......
ASD dx may initially be dismissed if favour of "behaviour problems" in the case Bright, verbal, fairly sociable people like your DS, as behaviour is the most obvious symptom..... check out some of the Asperger/Autism signs/symptoms lists online. Speak to your GP about a referral if you think it is a possibility that he may have ASD.
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