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Avatar universal

7 year old boy, divorce, tantrums, depression?

First I will give a little background for anyone who can offer any advice to me.
I was married in 2001, had a son in 2003(he is now 7) and divorced from his father in 2010. The post-divorce relationship is amicable as we aren't natural fighters and both made the decision that we are adults and must behave as such. We had our childhoods and now it is our son's turn to have his.

My child is well above normal in height and weight. He was born just under 10lbs and at age 7 is 80lbs/4'8". He is frequently mistaken for a 10-12 year old. He is an only child. Maternal grandparents and family live 600 miles away, paternal family and grandparents live in Europe. We are alone in the Midwest with no physical family support network available.

At age 2 1/2, my son had delayed speech and some motor skill delay. His pediatrician signed him up for a program designed to support and bring children up to speed with their counterparts.

By age 4, his speech had drastically improved and he no longer qualified to stay in the program. His fine motor skills were still delayed and a behavioral issue became somewhat noticeable to teachers and the various therapists (occupational/speech).
That same year, we first heard rumblings in the Autism vein, specifically Aspergers.
Aspergers Syndrome was repeated so often that we allowed the school system to do tests with the results coming back with "could be autistic, but also could be personality quirk".
There was continuous pressure that my son was autistic and it began to follow him into Kindergarten with the label "possibly autistic".
I decided that an outside source was needed to confirm or invalidate the label as I noticed that once a teacher saw "possibly autistic" they tended to treat my son as "definitely autistic".

At age 5 and 6, The school recommended Neuropsychologist found that my child did not fit well in the autism spectrum, but had some characteristics. She also felt that ADHD was a possibility, but never actually gave a diagnosis because my son "didn't really fit well in the ADHD box either".

Steadily, my son had worsening tantrums, sometimes up to 3 or 4 a day. His large size and tantrums scared the other children. He didn't(and still doesn't) like writing or any fine motor skills.

I decided that a child psychologist may be needed and that the problems at school and extra-curricular activities may be emotionally based because of the divorce. We set up and still maintain the weekly schedule the doctor set up as she believed that there was confusion for my son- he thought mom and dad were going to get back together and we needed to set boundaries.
I began re-dating a man that I had dated 12 years previous, we drifted apart due to school and job distance, but never forgot each other and reconnected. We maintained a 280mile apart relationship for 1 1/2 years until this past December, when a job opportunity brought him closer.
I asked my son if he wanted me to call this new guy my boyfriend( child psychologist recommended that all relationships be out in the open) and my boy emphatically wanted this to my relief.
Ex-husband tried to keep girlfriend hidden and only recently admitted to his 2 year relationship after my son caught them stealing kisses and could no longer deny it.

I took all paperwork to my pediatrician, she believes that there is no autism or adhd at work. She is backing a diagnosis of depression and recommends psychiatrist and medication.

I am primary caregiver. I ensure food is healthy, homework is done, chores are completed and sports activities are attended and practiced. I also worry endlessly as if I am not being the disciplinarian, he has none omitting school.
He comes home from his dad's with a new toy each time, no chores or homework done, no physical activity. He plays video games and watches tv. He does eat very healthy now that I had pediatrician call ex up and ban fast-food. Unfortunately, my son inherited my metabolism...

I know that was alot of background, and I hope I wasn't over-informing, but I really do need help and I would rather give too much info than leave out something I think is minor but turns out to be the key to all of these problems.

In the last 6 months, my child has:
said no one loves him,
said he is too fat and ugly,
has at least 2 tantrums per week at school to the point he shuts down and won't do anything,
begged to talk to someone (ex says no more money for doctors),
become increasingly obsessed with video games and characters,
forgetful of daily activities unless they interest him, i.e.can't remember to brush teeth, but can tell you verbatim an episode of star wars or johnny test,
has no energy,
no motivation,
no ambition,
he has given up on life it seems.

What can I do? Please help, I don't know how to help my baby.
3 Responses
535822 tn?1443980380
I am wondering if it would help your son if you listened  to the things he is telling you, and tried to focus on his positive side , I  may be wrong here but rereading your post you seem hard on him. Forget his size ,you are giving him healthy food so thats good , no talk about weight,why would he think no one loves him ?  no energy , no motivation, this has to come from you, children don't suddenly aquire motivation, and energy, get him enrolled in some activities,no ambition  at 7 year old ?.when he returns from his Dads focus on any enjoyable things he has done not the negative. I have to say it is my opinion hes getting his behavior from his parents , you mean well but need to focus on his positive side and praise him when you seeing him doing something right ..
Avatar universal
Thanks, I'll try harder to listen to him.  Its just a little hard, because all he wants to tell me is about how great Boba Fett is or what he did in the movie he saw once. Literally, this is all he talks about.
Lately, I have been harder on him because he seems to be getting lazy.
I don't know why he would think no one loves him. I know I tell him every day, not quite non stop, but I hug him and leave him little notes in his lunch. I do my best to praise him when he does things like focus on a task that he doesn't really want to do.
I had a limited time to write that message, but I should have  put that I have him in a couple extra-curriculars. I signed him up for a young scientist class that he really enjoys that is once a week, he goes to religious education with his good friend once a week, he does martial arts when possible (if he gets his homework done in time).
We go sledding when there is snow, play wii fit together, play board games. I have to convince him to do anything not involving sitting on the couch and lately he has begun saying "ok, what will you give me if I do that?"  The satisfaction of knowing you did something?
I guess I really thought I was doing alot for him.

As unhappy as I am with all the spoiling he gets at his dads, its still their quality time and I respect that.

I'll give you some examples with his lack of motivation. Other than playing video games and beating a level, he has no other interest. I practice his martial arts with him so he doesn't have to do it alone, but he only wants to do the bare minimum and that is after convincing him. I have tried making it a chore, didn't work. Tried reward system, nothing. Thought maybe he was lonely and practice with him, still no interest. And that is fine, it may be that martial arts isn't his thing, that's okay.

That said, he has been getting in trouble at school alot this week and for really things that I am not alone in thinking are odd. maybe I am the problem. I don't know what I'm doing that is affecting him to behave like this though.

His class was getting ready to go on a field trip, while putting on their coats, he had a hard time zipping his up and instead of asking for help(and I always tell him- its okay to ask for help, everyone needs help sometimes) he had a huge meltdown and the teacher wouldn't let him go on the trip. He had to stay in the principals office while the class went. Later that day, the teacher's son threw a snowball, no throwing allowed at school, and the kid blamed my kid. Other teachers witnessed it and told the kid to stop lying. Teachers son insisted it was my child who did it anyway, well, my boy had a meltdown because the kid kept trying to blame him.
I told my boy, nothing was achieved by freaking out and having a meltdown, no one thought he threw the snowball anyway. He agrees now, but it seems at the time he can't control his emotions.

Then the teacher told him that it took too long for him to get his snowpants and boots together and so he had to leave them at school. He was freaking out that he was gonna get in trouble about not coming home with them( that was well-founded, he lost 3 pairs of boots in 3 weeks- I was getting fed up with everything being lost, but mostly because he didn't care and said I could just buy more).
I decided that we could time each other to see who could get their stuff together the fastest when we were getting ready to leave.
Next day, he comes home with his snowgear, he told me that the teacher said since he didn't have a meltdown, he could bring them home.

She confirms all this. I don't know what to think about that.

Yesterday I got a phone call from the principal. After spending time at his dad's house(and apparently watching Johnny Test) he said to a teacher that he wished he had x-ray glasses so he could see her and everyones' underwear. They're calling in a middle school counselor to talk to him today. I really thought the whole appropriate vs inappropriate thing was covered by now. When he came home, I had a friend over and we all played monkey in the middle for awhile, twice my kid grabbed my butt after I said no, very inappropriate! he just didn't seem to get it.

I took him for a haircut the other day, I listened as he told stories, entire cartoon and video game plots to the hairdresser and what scare's me is that he talks about this stuff like its real. He can't tell you anything about the kids in his class or what happened in school, but he can tell you everything about say, Phineas and Ferb.

The thing is, you know how when we were kids we would do our acting up and out at home and be on our best behavior away from home? He is the exact opposite. He never acts like this at home or with people he's comfortable with.

I will try harder, but it seems like all the values and positive reinforcement I give at home doesn't stick with him throughout the day.

Idk, I was telling a neighbor and good friend about some of this stuff the other day, her response? She said that he's just not normal and to open my eyes already. ouch.

535822 tn?1443980380
well your neighbor isnt very nice to say that ..sounds like you are really working at this and I think you are doing well, we all know its not easy . What TV does his Dad let him watch or videos. I agree with you about that behavior he is copying maybe , had Dad a GF ?it may be a good idea to ask Dad whats going on in his house .The counseling you mention may help, I often feel getting expert help works and gives another perspective to the issue .keep going it's worth it ...
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