I have my oldest grandson and my sister has my middle grandson. The reason being due to severe neglect, physical, emotional and verbal abuse. The grandson my sister has custody of is a bedwetter. At least four times a week, sometimes more. He used to horde food and still has a fear of not having enough food to the point he will get nervous if he thinks there isn't going to be enough for him to have two plates full of food at dinner. He eats huge amounts of food and has started gaining weight. He is six and wears a size 10 in pants. My sister doesn't want to tell him he can't have as much because he was starved while with his parents. He is also very shy and untrusting of people he doesn't know. He has recently started vomiting when he gets nervous, for example, we signed up both boys for swimming lessons and he became so nervous he vomited. His aunt took him to a small play park for kids and when she asked him if he would like to get on a very small ride made for children even younger than him, he vomited. He gets upset very easy if he thinks he has to do anything new. He can become very angry and agitated. On occasion, when he poops, he will play in it and then says he doesn't know why he does it. He has been living away from his parents for over two years and has had the food issue and bedwetting, but all the other things going on with him have just recently started. He has been to a psychologist, but it didn't seem to do anything for him, according to my sister. I am very worried about him. I have read sexual abuse can be a factor when children binge and find security in food. We are not aware he went through that type of abuse, however. I would appreciate any input on this. Thank you.
first, let me say that it is not uncommon for 6 year olds to wet the bed whether they've been through a traumatic event or not. 12 percent of all kids wet the bed up until age 9! It has to do with the signal being strong enough to wake a child which matures over time. While it is frustrating, please know that it is again, not uncommon. Put him the underjammer night time pants for big kids and if he begins to have more dry nights, you can work on eliminating those.
But it absolutely sounds like this poor boy has had a horrible start in life. He wasn't given what every child deserves from the start--- a peaceful home, to be cared for properly, etc. This can do lasting damage. you say he has been to a psychologist. I would absolutely continue that therapy. Kids --- all kids but ESPECIALLY a child who has had this kind of start are evolving and works in progress and while therapy may not seem like it is 'doing anything' right away---- it helps mold a child over time and gives them coping tools. He really needs to continue regular psychological treatment to help him 'deal'.
I also wonder if the mother was on drugs or drank or anything like that. Could he have fetal alcohol syndrome? Some of what you mention--- the fear of unknown things and refusal to do it, for example could be related to that. My son has sensory integration disorder which has similar characteristics as FAS was like this.
He needs lots of encouragement and just acceptance with gentle pushing.
I would not take his food away. But do have healthy choices for him. Don't buy junk but keep it healthy so that he can have as much as he wants but it is okay to have. And stress the physical activity. This is good in many ways for a child including helping with weight control. It's summer-- as much outdoor running around and play, the better. even if his caregivers have to run around with him.
Your grand kids need to be in mental health counseling especially if they are dealing with issues of abuse, neglect, and separation/loss. All the behaviors you described can be definitely attributed to these issues. Your grand kids would be best served with individual, family, and group therapy. If you don't feel that the current psychologist is effective, shop around or get a referral from the pediatrician. My recommendation would be to take the kids to a mental health clinic or center where several therapy modalities take place and where a team approach is used. Private clinicians are very limited in the type of therapy they can provide, especially when intensive therapy is needed as in the case of your grand kids.
I agree with both of the above. One thing to think about is that a 6 year old going to a psychologist for one session and then expecting something to happen - is not going to happen. This is something that your sister needs to be involved in - as in she and the child need to seek help together. She is the one who is with him the most. She is the one who needs to understand what he needs. For that to happen, the psyc needs to figure out what is going on with him and then tell her how to help him.
How long has your sister been taking care of him? In other words has this been going on for many months or is a pretty recent development?
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