How much to say? kind of personal

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mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537
How much to say? kind of personal

Here is a situation that I am just not sure how to handle. My really good friend had a son that is 8 and is going into 3rd grade. He has some behavioral issues that are scarey. He goes into rages and has kicked, punched, and yelled at adults and has totally trashed several rooms (including my classroom when the school put him in there to try to calm down one day) He is a huge child, already over 100lbs and is close to 5 foot, so he is pretty scarey to deal with. She has taken him to a doctor who diagnosed him with ADHD and my friend has accepted this as a valid reason for his rages.
Up until this point I have just been a listening ear, as I am sure seeing him like that is awful for her and her DH. My Dh thinks I should encourage to seek an opinion of a child psychologist. He thinks it would be easier for me to say it to her now, before he really hurts someone or himself. I just dont know, I have zero knowledge of ADHD other then articles I have read. I dont want to overstep my bounds, as I hate giving parenting advise. What do you guys think? What would you do?

Joined: 05/13/02
Posts: 414

I honestly don't know what I'd do, but that sounds like more than ADHD. I know mood swings and stronger emotions can be part of it, but that just sounds like there is more going on than just that diagnosis.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"mommydearest" wrote:

I honestly don't know what I'd do, but that sounds like more than ADHD. I know mood swings and stronger emotions can be part of it, but that just sounds like there is more going on than just that diagnosis.

I agree.

Since she is a really good friend, you should be able to talk to her. Think about how you'd want her to talk to you about such a thing. You have to approach it with great compassion and care, with love for her and her child, and focus on his happiness and their family's instead of how his behavior affects others, just so you can focus on the issue instead of making her feel guilty or defensive.

In those situations I always switch places in my mind and think "would I want someone to say something?" and "how could they say it in a way that I could hear without feeling judged?" Whatever the topic is, this has worked for me in the past.

Just keep in mind this is about helping him and helping them, and your heart will do the rest. You can say that you have been thinking about this and frustrated with your inability to help, but now you think maybe you can help with the suggestion that she take him to a better/another doctor. Maybe even offer to go along and support her if you can.

Good luck.

If this were my situation I would want my close friends to say something and help.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

How did they get a diagnosis of ADHD without seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist? And just knowing that ADHD is what might be causing the behavior isn't helpful because that doesn't resolve the problems. There should be regular follow-ups with the psychiatrist or psychologist, parenting classes, cognitive behavioral therapy for their son, and perhaps medication. And honestly, if his behavior is what you're describing, I would suspect that there is something much more than ADHD going on. You'll need to weigh whether you value the friendship enough to either say something you think she needs to hear but might not want to hear (a really good friend, IMHO) or be willing to lose it because you say something she doesn't want to hear. Definitely consider asking something like what are they doing now that they have a diagnosis, do they think it's helping, etc. more than saying your kid is an uncontrollable brat, LOL!

And I'll be honest, as a parent, I would not want that child in my child's school and I would want him relocated if he's that dangerous & disruptive. I would absolutely discuss this with the administration, the district, and the school counselor. My child has the right to her own education without such behavior wasting everyone's time & energy, and the precious resources of our school. Since you are a teacher at that school, I think you should address this with the school administration and the school counselor. Those people can ask the parents what measures are being taken the address this child's issues, they can help arrange for testing if it's not been done properly, they can discuss alternate placement options, etc. They can also keep a watchful eye on him from the start to address any behavior problems ASAP and talk with him about what else might be going on that might require attention, such as abuse, neglect, suicidal thoughts, etc. And if I were a teacher, I would not want that child in my classroom, at least not without a full-time attendant, and I would probably talk with my union about my safety concerns and about my classroom being trashed, too. Good luck, what a sad situation!

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Stacey's, it's her FRIEND. Would you seriously go to administrators and the union before you would go to your friend????

lisa, has your friend asked you for your advice along with asking you to listen? If so I'd do exactly as Laurie said.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

If this were my situation I would want my close friends to say something and help.

This is what I needed to hear. I would want to hear is also, and I would hope that my close friends would feel comfortable to say something. I just need to find a time to approach it with her, and a way to approach it with her that wont make her feel I am attacking in anyway. I am really concerned about him and know he needs some additional therapy and not just meds.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

"Spacers" wrote:

How did they get a diagnosis of ADHD without seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist? And just knowing that ADHD is what might be causing the behavior isn't helpful because that doesn't resolve the problems. There should be regular follow-ups with the psychiatrist or psychologist, parenting classes, cognitive behavioral therapy for their son, and perhaps medication. And honestly, if his behavior is what you're describing, I would suspect that there is something much more than ADHD going on.

I totally agree with this part. With getting Robbie's Aspergers diagnosis there was lots of testing, appointments with both psychologists and psychiatrists, and now classes for him and us. We have worked closely with Robbie's school in order to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help him have a great school experience and secondly so that when things happen there are no questions on how to proceed.

One day I received a call from his principal that I am sure most parents would hate. In his frustration Robbie picked up his desk and threw it across the room. While I was happy to hear that no one was injured I was horrified that my son would do this. I went in and talked with his principal about what we could do to help. I know as a parent I would want someone to tell me as I really don't feel that it is the school's job to be dealing with this.

I do question who made the diagnosis and what followup was done. It took us 10 months to get a tentative diagnosis and we have ongoing testing/appointments once school returns in a month. One of the things they were looking at was ADD/ADHD but Robbie did not fit the profile.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

"mom3girls" wrote:

This is what I needed to hear. I would want to hear is also, and I would hope that my close friends would feel comfortable to say something. I just need to find a time to approach it with her, and a way to approach it with her that wont make her feel I am attacking in anyway. I am really concerned about him and know he needs some additional therapy and not just meds.

Could you maybe see what kinds of programs/services are available in your area, then treat it as "I heard about this program and thought you would be interested.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

"Potter75" wrote:

Stacey's, it's her FRIEND. Would you seriously go to administrators and the union before you would go to your friend????

lisa, has your friend asked you for your advice along with asking you to listen? If so I'd do exactly as Laurie said.

If I didn't think my so-called friend would listen to what I was saying, then yes, absolutely. My child's education is more important than anyone else's feelings. There are people who won't listen to the closest people in their lives, or who won't hear the message, but who will listen to an employer or teacher or neighbor saying exactly the same thing. That's why interventions involve pretty much everyone you know, because you don't know who is going to get through to that person.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

She has asked before what I think she should do. But that was a long time ago, when all of this first started, at the time I had not witnessed what he was actually capable of. I have been kind of waiting to see if she asked again. I have also just been really trying to take care of her so that she has the reserves to deal with him, I take the kids for her, have helped her start running, brought them dinner that kind of thing.

The diagnoses thing is what bothers me the most, if he got the diagnoses from a team of doctors then it would be easier to understand. But he got it from his pediatrician who has offered no other testing, cognitive therapy or any additional support. But like I said, I no very little about ADHD so I am not sure what other testing they do

Stacie, I am not even going to go there. She is my friend, and he even with all his issues, is still a boy. I want him to get help, not be kicked out a school where all the employees are supportive of him and willing to help the parents in whatever way they can.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I do not have any experience or advice, but :bigarmhug:

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

"Spacers" wrote:

If I didn't think my so-called friend would listen to what I was saying, then yes, absolutely. My child's education is more important than anyone else's feelings. There are people who won't listen to the closest people in their lives, or who won't hear the message, but who will listen to an employer or teacher or neighbor saying exactly the same thing. That's why interventions involve pretty much everyone you know, because you don't know who is going to get through to that person.

This is not a matter at all if my friend would not listen at all or not, I know she would listen. She trusts me, and I do not want to hurt her. I know she is experiencing the worst kind of pain right now. She is blaming herself and she is worried about what her child's future will hold. She is getting told by everybody what she should and shouldnt be doing (beating him, putting him in military school, etc) and I dont want to pile more on. I Just want to be a friend to her, and to love on her boy because right now they need that. I have been the trigger for her boy once and I know that he was not in control at that time. When it was over he was crying and climbing on my lap, he knew he was wrong and he doesnt like it

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I don't think a pediatrician should be making a diagnosis of ADHD. ADHD is at least as much ruling out a lot of other things as much as it is its own diagnosis. In my HMO if you or your ped suspects ADHD, then you are first asked a ton of questions about sleep, diet, activity level, screen time, and family environment. Those things are addressed first. If all of those are in the normal range, then you are referred to child psychiatry. The parents fill out about 10 pages of screening forms which help identify about a dozen disorders. The child's teacher also fills out a screening form, and so does anyone else who spends a good deal of time with the child. ADHD is not something that only occurs at home, or at school, or at soccer practice. The diagnosis requires that it must occur in every situation the child is in on a regular basis. Then the psychiatrist meets with the parents, and then with the child, and does a series of tests with the child, both with the parents and with them out of the room. After all of that, you might get a diagnosis, which may be ADHD or which might be something you never thought about. Or, you might be in a category where the child appears to have ADHD at home and at soccer, but not at school, which indicates that he might need some coping tools or the parents might need some parenting tools and you re-assess things in a few months. Violent rages are NOT an indicator of ADHD, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have ADHD, it just means he has something else going on with it.

ETA: it took me so long to write this, with everything else going on at home this evening, that you posted above me. I'm glad that you feel she would listen to you, and really hear what you're saying. You are a good friend for wanting to do something. It really does sound like this boy has something else going on. Kids with OCD often have rage episodes, and so do kids with certain forms of autism.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I dont think that Stacie is suggesting you get her kicked out, more that if she wont listen to you, she might be more willing to listen to professionals at the school. Also, most schools have a lot of resources that are available if you ask. If she isnt asking and no one is complaining, they might be missing out on extra testing, special programs etc.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

Little more history, my friend and I are both teachers at a small christian school. We do have some resources available to us, but we are a little limited in our scope as far what we can do as a school. We also have some resources available that public schools do not. I really feel one of best things she could do is send him to a larger school, I have expressed that. But he is also very far behind academically, so the mom is afraid that in a bigger class he would fall even farther behind

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I would discuss the behaviors with her as they come up..protect myself and children if need be. I wouldn't tell her what to do about the behaviors but let her know you have information if she would like to try something or check something out. If she does nothing I would discuss it with my husband and have my husband talk to her husband.

If she is truely not doing anything about his issues there might be some denial or guilt going on that you as a friend can help her with.. another idea is setting up a friendly meeting with other parents of children with similar issues that have dealt with them successfully.. like a few moms over coffee.

Take the confronting your brother scripture I think in Matthew.. first go to her one on one.. then go with one other.. then go with a group.. etc.

I will be praying for wisdom Lisa. Smile

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

"Rivergallery" wrote:

I would discuss the behaviors with her as they come up..protect myself and children if need be. I wouldn't tell her what to do about the behaviors but let her know you have information if she would like to try something or check something out. If she does nothing I would discuss it with my husband and have my husband talk to her husband.

If she is truely not doing anything about his issues there might be some denial or guilt going on that you as a friend can help her with.. another idea is setting up a friendly meeting with other parents of children with similar issues that have dealt with them successfully.. like a few moms over coffee.

Take the confronting your brother scripture I think in Matthew.. first go to her one on one.. then go with one other.. then go with a group.. etc.

I will be praying for wisdom Lisa. Smile

RG. I will read through that scripture tonight. We use is as a basis for conflict resolution within our school, but it has been a couple years since I have really delved into it

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Not sure where you are located? But here you need a medical diagnosis to get an aid in school. ADHD can be a medical diagnosis, or not. It can be very complicated and very difficult to get the right help for your child. I think what you are doing is right (being a friend and support), but for this child to thrive, it sounds like he needs more, so I think for his sake it would be good to talk to her about doing more. If you can find out what would be needed to get him an aid in your school (often additional tests, etc), that might be somewhere to start, if she is worried he is behind.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I am taking my friend to lunch tomorrow, hoping to have some time to talk to her

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"mom3girls" wrote:

I am taking my friend to lunch tomorrow, hoping to have some time to talk to her

Good luck!

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

"mom3girls" wrote:

I am taking my friend to lunch tomorrow, hoping to have some time to talk to her

Hope all goes well. Having a special needs kid (no matter what the special needs are) can be so draining and confusing for the parents. You are a good friend to be so supportive of her. Hugs for you both.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I took my friend to lunch yesterday without any kids and we had a great talk. She was very receptive to hear what I had to say. Her and her Dh have been researching some doctors to seek out for a 2nd opinion already and they are talking about going out of our area because there is not very many doctors to choose from. They are also taking him to an allergy doctor next week as well as a nutritionist to see if they are missin something in his diet that could cause the behavior issues. She is still really distraught, but trying to do more has helped her feel better

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I'm so glad it went well. It is good to hear she is already looking in to other options and was receptive to what you `had to say.