you sound really overwhelmed! Its very frustrating to get to the point where you're out of ideas, but there are other ways of managing behavior that can and do work, even with children who are challenging. You sound like you are in a common situation where you have started to use more frequent and harsher punishments without seeing results. The bad news is that too much punishment, and especially using physical punishments do not work for more than a few minutes (which you have already observed for yourself). Over time they actually lead to increased aggression, more defiance and put your child at higher risk for hitting both other children and you.
I strongly recommend you seek some psychotherapy to get help with this. A psychologist would be a good first choice, but many licensed counselors and some social workers have special training in psychotherapy. Ask for a therapist who can provide you with parent guidance and training in behavior modification (parent management training, parent effectiveness training, parent guidance are all approaches that will teach you effective techniques). If therapy is not realistic for you right now, here's some good books: The Kazdin Method by Alan Kazdin, Your Defiant Child by Russell Barkley and How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk. Hang in there, and remember if you feel that you are actually going to lose control, then get away from your kid and call someone who can talk you down.
Hello, Thanks for answering me. I had one questin though, I guess I should have included it originally.
My family (mother, grandmother, aunts and uncle) all worked in a Level 5 handicapped school. All the kids had some kind of problem, but all were severe. Some were Autistic, so I am very familiar with it. My mother brought up her opinion a while ago and said that he shows some signs of mild autism. Is this possible or even realistic? Josh is extremly smart, He will carry on full blown conversations with you, knows everything a typcial 3 year old does. When asked how many brothers he has, he says two...and there names and ages. But I know that if a child with the tiniest bit of Autism can look and act completely normal, even go to regular schools, just with special classes.
Do you think my mom was at all right when she said he might have a little atutism in him and thats why he is so defiant? He is slowly getting better, but he is still bad more than he is good. And its slowly driving me bonkers because I am a stay at home mom and have to deal with it day in and day out. I only leave my house about once a month without the kid, if Im lucky. I will never hurt my kids. When they are too much to handle I just cry. But thanks for the advice and I will look into all these options.
its hard to say without observing and testing your son, but keep in mind that defiance is common. Defiance is not one of the criteria in making a diagnosis of autism, and children with autistic spectrum disorders by definition behave in atypical ways. If you believe your son could have an autistic spectrum disorder, then consult your pediatrician. If the pediatrician agrees that he is demonstrating language delays (or atypical language use) and atypical behaviors characteristic of autism, he/she will make a referral for a psychological or neuropsychological assessment. The psychologist will conduct a battery of tests, interview you, and spend time interacting with your child to determine if he meets diagnostic criteria. Whether he does have an autistic spectrum disorder or not, I do hope you find a professional who can help you improve the situation at home.
My experience with our now 6 yr. old and in first grade has included:
4/08 ADHD diagnosis with excellent results with Adderal (distractability, focus, listening). However it has become apparent that he is either challenged internally (Asperger's or other form of Autism) or externally, speech/language issues. He also has strong genetics ties that could present within his lifetime, including Bi-polar disorders, anxiety disorder, and depression. The pediatrician added a small dose of a prescription called Guafacine (blood pressure med) to help control his temporary rages from becoming truly explosive. While these meds help, he also has to take Melatonin to prompt sleep.
We are working with a child psychologist to structure a schedule with rewards attached as well as learning new parenting strategies (including 1. clearly stating expectation, 2. clearly stating reward -- and then repercusions that we could impose (e.g. stop doing that or I'm going to kill you), and 3. following through with the edict.
We are also waiting for an appointment with a child psychiatrist to ensure that the pediatrician is prescribing the appropropriate meds (especially since he lost 12% body weight in the first 6 months of Adderall).
I'm working with the local school district to tap all resources available for speech and language evaluation, interventions, and testing but bureaucracy is as slow as a snail...I'm just staying on top of them and documenting everything. Also there is a university here and there are resources available there for screening -- perhaps there's something close to where you live too!
I've found that a Mommy time out works best for me when I'm at my wits end. That or just break down in from of both boys asking God for guidance and for the right words to get through to my boys. He always help me calm down and look for ways to fix what I'm going through.
Godspeed in your search for answers and help.