Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I think I am over it

I will not be the least bit upset when you choose to skip this post. Do not feel bad! Come back for sewing or crafting or my usual blah blah tomorrow. I have to post this for myself, to get on with life.
Well, things have been quiet around here lately, eh? It isn't because there is nothing going on, that's for sure. There has been swimming and peach picking and movies and trips to the zoo and a computer infected with some sort of virus and plenty of summer fun.

But also trips to the doctor and plenty of tears and internal turmoil.

It's really a long bloody story, and I think it has taken me almost an entire month of tears and sleepless nights to get over it, but here we are, and I think I am over it.
You see about a month ago we took Jack to the ped because his tantrums were becoming increasingly horrific, he was not listening to a single thing anymore, he was cursing constantly and I started to have serious concerns about his social, emotional and behavioral development.

Our ped said, and I quote, "while this is not abnormal, it is definitely extreme." He suggested we take Jack to a psychologist who does play therapy with small children and reassured me that this was only going to offer us ways to cope with this behavior and that he was sure that she would find that "Jack is just a strong willed kid."

So, off we trot to the first appointment with this counselor, who immediately starts throwing about a million scary words about my kid: aspergers, PDD-NOS, bipolar, etc.

Now, I am a biologist and a mother of a child in 2008, when autism is rampant. The doctor and I have had the autism talk more than once. I have read all the checklists, I know the signs. I have been afraid of it. (I am not sure why it seems scary, but it does.) Hyper aware of it.

And even scarier, my mother is bipolar. My totally useless, completely dysfunctional mother.

As you can imagine, I leave there beyond upset. Hysterical is probably more accurate.

I call our ped again, who again reassures me that this is not an autistic child, and he tells me she will make a "differential diagnosis" and that she is just throwing out all the possibilities right now.

In the meantime I go to Jack's school and talk to every teacher and the director, who all reassure me that there is nothing wrong with Jack. (And our ped has said several times that there has never been an autistic child in his office who didn't have a school report some sort of difficulty.)

So, two weeks later I go back to her office with Jack.

And she spends 30 minutes alone with Jack, while he plays trains and I read a book.

And she comes out and declares that he is most definitely PDD-NOS or bipolar.

Why? Because he lined up the trains when he was playing. (Except that he does not line up toys at home unless he is SORTING. And they were new trains to him, and he was seeing which trains were there. If you had a big pile of embroidery floss that was new to you, wouldn't you line it up somehow to sort it out?)

And because he didn't invite her to play with him. A grown woman who he does not know. And furthermore, she told us on the first visit that Jack needed to be forced into playing by himself. She told me I do way too much for him and that he does not need constant guidance. (And I am pretty damn sure that most 3 year olds, if left to their own devices, will get in a shitload of trouble.)

Anyway. Then she starts in on me about the bill. Even though she has not even bothered to bill my insurance company. And I start to freak out again. In fact, I am pretty sure that if I had had the chance I might have thrown something at her.

So. I come home and read more and more and more about PDD-NOS and bipolar children and I am telling you HE IS NOT EITHER OF THOSE THINGS.

I am not just sticking my head in the sand here.

Life keeps rolling on as I fret more and more and more about all of this. And one day I happen to catch an episode of Nanny 911.

And there, on the damn television, is my child. Rolling on the floor screaming, refusing to dress himself, refusing to clean up his toys, refusing to ride in the car seat, throwing things, cursing you name it.

I watch at least another 20 episodes and I can see Jack on every single one.

So I actually take notes while watching television. We get together, we make a plan and we start it.

It isn't perfect. Jack is still Jack. But he is sitting in time out. The tantrums are down to 5 minutes or less. He is dressing himself.

And I can breathe. A little.

In the midst of all this my nephew arrives in town for a week. We have not seen him in more than 2 years, and he and Jack are strangers to each other. They are only about 10 weeks apart in age, and we get them together to go swimming.

They are instant friends. Holding amazing conversations. Holding hands. Playing TOGETHER. Asking to see each other again.

We went to the zoo together yesterday.

And really it was a blessing. Because every last bit of worry I had about Jack's social development was gone in about 10 minutes.

Is every single one of my problems solved? Nope. Is there still a chance that down the road something will be wrong? Yeaup.

But for now, I am trusting my gut.

And those British nannies.

(The first photo is where Jack wrote his name on the couch cushion last week. It was hard to be mad when a 3 year old managed to so perfectly write his name on a squishy cushion.)

(And we will not even discuss what I want to do to that so called therapist. She told me that she knew her techniques "would work on my child because they work on dogs." Uh huh. Dogs. She compared my child, who I grew from a tiny little egg, to a dog.)

P.S. I take full responsibility for the crap parenting that got us here. Well, Dave and I both do. The harder it got, the more we gave in. The more we gave in, the more we taught Jack that acting like a wildebeast would get him his way. He even told that woman that he cried to get his way. He had absolutely mastered the game we were playing.


  1. My prayers are with you and Jack. I just know everything is going to be okay. Hang in there.

  2. My 4-year-old was having difficulty at Daycare. Daycare advised me to have him evaluated because he wasn't doing "normal" things. I lived 1200 miles away from my husband and our medical insurance was only covered in his place of employment. My desperation to make sure there was nothing wrong with my son prompted a cross country move without selling my house. I made an appointment with the pediatrician who stated there was nothing wrong with him--probably just bored at school. I chalked it up to the fact that Dh relocated before us and was gone for 8 months; I'd decided to go back to work full time during that time, and ds went to a new school when he had been home with me since he was 9 months old. Now, we are all together and ds is significantly better, but we did have to deal with some rage issues against his father. I am glad you've resolved what the matter could be and placed limits on him so he can have some structure to his behavior. I wish you continued success.

  3. Hey Sarah,

    None of our kiddos come to us with instruction manuals... We just do the best we can-and then sometimes we have to learn new bests. The important thing here is that you and Dave are doing the very best you can for Jack and I don't think it was coincidence that led you to the Nanny 911 episode! I don't
    "know" you or Jack but am so angry that a professional could make such a scary diagnosis based on so little. I'm so sorry that you had to go through that! I don't have any magic words or advice-but am here! Big hugs to you! xo-Mel

  4. Anonymous8:35 AM

    They said the same thing about my nephew. He was never formally diagnosed, but they throwing out diagnoses such as PPD-NOS. He goes to classes that use "peer modeling" --it is really just a glorified day care, but they have kids learn correct behavior by just being around their peers that are behaving correctly and by reinforcing proper social behavior. It seems to be working. He is 5 in October. My heart goes out to you, but trust your gut. Stacey in Arizona

  5. oh sarah, how stressful. Don't you wish parenting came with a manual and a free nanny for downtime??

    I hope things continue to get better. Isaiah starts school in the fall and I'm nervous how he'll be there. He has a thing for giving kids hugs which usually turn into tackles. yikes!

  6. Things are turning around for you all which is great! You have to trust your gut, if I had listened to our son's preschool teacher he may not be where he is today!
    Have a great day! Hurray for Super Nanny and Nanny 911!

  7. I can understand your frustration and anger and I would also be upset if someone suggested therapy that "works for a dog" for my child. I worry about similar issues with my son (mental illness on both sides of the family), but being around a diverse group of kids, I feel somewhat reassured that there is such a range of behavior. People keep suggesting "Raising a Spirited Child" to me, but I haven't read it yet.
    By the way, my son also would line up trains to look at them and would never ask a strange adult to play, let alone talk to a strange adult. Both normal behaviors.
    And refusing to dress, etc. - also pretty normal - just incredibly frustrating. I imagine that you have to find a parenting style that works for both you and the child, which is not easy. I try to stick to clear consequences and affirm his emotions, remain calm and quiet, but some days I just want to run in the other room and scream myself!
    Finding the right kids for Jack to play with might help (but that is a challenge in itself as well). Hang in there! Sounds like you are doing a great job in a difficult situation!

  8. Oh Sara,
    You guys will be in my thoughts. No one ever said it was easy to raise children, but I certainly never expected it to be this hard! You can email me anytime ~ I know how hard it is when Daddy comes and goes so much and you're on your own. Its just easier to give in to the tantrums. I totally get it. We're having to undue some of our mistakes right now as well with our 5 year old.

    BTW, our 3 year old has been lining toys up since he was old enough to hold them! :) Big Big Hugs to you and email me anytime you want!!!

  9. Anonymous9:04 AM

    i can not believe doctors today! they don't seem to care about the patient it's how much money they're going to make.

    everything you described about jack was how jerrett was at that age except his tantrums were not as extreme. i think it does have a lot to do with the hubby and i giving in to a lot of things and jerrett getting his way too much (i.e. we're still giving him the same chicken nuggets and fries) because it was just easier.

    i worry a lot about jerrett's socialization because he's never around children and has never been in school but he's like jack, once he's with another kid the worry melts away.

    btw, jerrett used to line everything up...there's no way bi-polar or that other diagnosis fits anything jack is doing.

    i've used a lot of the advice from the nanny 911. you should watch the tiny tantrums (i don't know if that's the right title). it was a TLC show where the nanny brought families to live in a house and helped them together. there was a lot of good advice on there. praying for you!

  10. Anonymous9:08 AM

    forgot to say...no parent would want their kid to voluntarily play with someone they don't know, especially an adult. that's like telling them it's ok to take the candy from the stranger!

    i would file a complaint against this therpist for saying the things she did. i wouldn't be surprised if you weren't alone.

  11. Good for you for following your gut.

    When my ds was Jack's age I thought he had something wrong too, turns out he was just a rotten little 3 yr. old. He has improved greatly, but is now a rotten little teenager. HA HA.

    Have you thought about reporting that "therapist"? Sounds like she got her degree from a cracker jack box. Comparing a child to a dog? WTF?????

  12. HOLY COW. Two visits to the Dog Wisperer and that's what she comes up with. Weird. I recognize some of that all as that only-child thing.. having an only child myself. How I would give in to avoid the hassle. My husband worked long hours and it was just me and her for HOURS AND HOURS ON END. Good luck with your trials and tribulations. And with that crayon on the sofa.

  13. I would be so made at that therapist and I would send her a letter or an email telling her exactly what I thought of her. And her DOG therapy!!! So sorry you had to go through that. Parenting is the toughest job in the world and there is no training for it, no manual! I was told when my daughter was in 2nd grade that she must have ADD, by a teacher who gave her a pile of papers and let her do her own thing....I ran to the Dr and was scared to death of the diagnosis and in the end he said she had none of the symptoms, must be a lazy teacher. It is very hard... keep your head up and let your heart lead you. Good luck! Hugs!~

  14. Oh man, anyone who tells you that raising a child isn't the hardest thing in the world is lying! Honestly, it's exhausting to be a good parent, to fight the constant battles of doing what's 'right' instead of doing what's easy. Sometimes, we are just too darn tired to keep up the fight all the time. I think that's completely normal.

    I hope for your own peace of mind that things are improving and that you now feel like you have some tools to make changes. Having some measure of control has to make you feel better. Big hugs!

  15. Wow Sarah. Good for you that you have a good head on your shoulders. Everything is so over-damn-analyzed these days that it just makes me Ca-razy! There are labels for EVERYthing and it's unbelievable. Kids are kids. Man, the kids in our day were really awful and would have been over-diagnosed to death these days. And you know what? They all grew up JUST FINE. You're the mom. Go with your instincts. You're doing a great job!

  16. If there's one thing I've learned since we brought up Peter's speech delay to our ped and he threw out the "A" word, as we like to call it, before he had even spent five minutes with Peter is that you know your kid best! Especially as a stay home mom, you see your kid's behavior on a consistent daily basis - you know what he does, how he'll react, etc. As far as I'm concerned, I should be the one diagnosing Peter with anything if we ever get to that point. It's a ton of headache in the meantime and I'm sorry that all of this happened, but I hope your current plan will get things looking up and Jack listening and behaving better. Best of everything to you!

  17. My child was diagnosed with autism in 2004.Trust me I've heard every little thing he does isn't normal.Lining things up etc,etc. He was diagnosed as moderate to severly autistic.Which even then I refused to believe.The preschool had no interest in teaching him anything only managing behavior that he only had there. So finally trusting my gut I withdrew him(and me ) from it all. I homeschool him and he goes to speech therapy once a week. He taught himself to read and use the internet. at his own pace he has learned everything-he is not anti social at all. He is talking more everyday.
    My point? Trust yourself-only you know your son.

  18. Aw hang in there. My mother used to tell me my daughter had a stronger will than i did, and she was right. I won't lie, her early years were tough, because she wanted her way...but now shes a sr in high school and the sweetest girl i could ask for. It will get better, i promise!! That stubborness will serve him well someday :)

  19. Anonymous11:54 AM

    He's 3. The absolute most frustrating age.
    Hang in there.

    I found a book at our local library "Your Three year old: Friend or Foe". I highly recommend it because it made me realize, it was our daughter, not us, and she was 3 and an absolutely perfect one at that, tantrums and all. It's just how they are.
    Wait until 4, now that's some fun!

  20. I applaud you for going with your gut and realizing what changes need to be made. God gave us mama's instinct to truly know our children no matter what these quacks tell us. Further more, having been an elementary teacher, I see that children are too quickly diagnosed, labeled and medicated when many of these kids just need some behavior modifications. Sounds like you're stepping in the right direction and remember that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. These things don't change overnight, but at least you already see a difference. Oh, and I second or third the motion that that quack of a doctor should have her butt reported. Shame on her comparing a child to a dog!

  21. Wow, wow, wow. Holy shit is more like it. What a horrible, horrible therapist. Nobody makes a diagnosis like that in 30 minutes. Nobody worth their salt that is. Seriously, why would you label a child with a lifetime illness without doing a longer evaluation? Or a second evaluation? That woman should be flogged with a wet noodle.

    Another one here who hearts super nanny. And another one here who is going through a rough time. It amazes me how much kids pick up on and how quickly they learn to try to be top dog in a relationship. It is something that they push every.single.day.

    I'm glad that you've got some things under your belt to try with Jack and glad that he is responding.

    I'm still livid over your therapist!

  22. thank you for sharing that story! he sounds like he is extraordinarily smart. he figured you out. wow. you are a great mom. keep your head up!

  23. All I can say is THANK GOD for Super Nanny ( I watch her instead of Nanny 911 but pretty much the same concepts). Well actually she scared the crap out of me when I was pregnant but now as I have a 2 year old biter time outs have been a life saver. Parenting is tough stuff you have to dig down and keep your feet planted. Just keep rewarding the good behavior and discipline the bad.

    As for the therapist I think you should keep voicing your concerns scare tactics (throwing all kind of diagnoses out there) and comparing your son to a dog. That is wrong in every way.

  24. * hugs * for you.

    * slap * for the therapist.

    and jack, well... he's just giving you a run for your money! I'm so glad you stuck with your gut. Moms know...

  25. Anonymous1:36 PM

    I am so right there with you. That sounds like exactly like Jake two years ago. Part of it is the age, I swear. Kate is, to an extent in a similar place. I think the one thing that saved all of us was Jake being in Head Start for his speech. Being in a structured school setting all day, 5 days a week really made a difference. He is one of those kids who thrive in structure.

    I could go on and on. But I just wanted to let you know, you are not alone. (I had a Speech Therapist who tried to tell me that Jake was bipolar and I wanted to throw her RIGHT out the window!) If you ever need to commiserate, you know how to find me :)

  26. Sarah, you know Jack the best. Trust your instinct and good luck.

  27. not that you probably need one more comment but I was so glad to keep reading and finding, if not a happy ending, one that was reassuring. it sure sounds like you are on the right track. the scary thing about therapists is that there seem to be so many opportunities to get bad ones, which you sure did. I'm glad you're doing better.

  28. I believe strongly in trusting your instincts as a parent, glad you trusted yours. I watch nanny 911 and see my kids too, not so extreme, but portions of their behaviors and think yikes, I need to try that.
    I think boys are harder than girls during the young years, Graham is WAY more difficult than either of my girls ever were. Hang in there, being a parent is HARD work!

  29. Anonymous3:37 PM

    Kids are hard!!! I think I need to watch that show too! My kid throws tantrums about toys in every store he goes to. Like he doesn't already have a billion toys. Just think, one day when he's grown, you can tell him about his behavior and laugh. I'm glad things are getting better for you.

  30. I am so sorry you went through that with the therapist.
    It is sounding like you are on a path to more peace. My 5 year old will be entering kinder in the fall....and believe me the schedule we have been on this summer is driving she and I crazy! I can't believe I am thinking this... but wow all day kinder is EXACTLY what she needs.... I cannot be everything to her right now...and I continue to feel like I am failing her.Less than a month to get on a better schedule for us!

  31. Holy crap, lady, have you been dealing with a lot! First of all, hats off to your pediatrician for being SLOW to diagnose, and wise in his advice! Second, I would SERIOUSLY call your insurance company and complain about their lovely choice in therapist. And third, you have proof now that all the things that were bothering you don't have to happen, and you have a plan to make your lives easier - way to go. As a teacher, the fact that he is NOT having any trouble in school is significant, and definitely signals that all will be well. GOOD LUCK!! :) *hugs*

  32. Wow.

    I really feel for you.

    I'm not a parent myself - but one thing I know, I would absolutely, positively get a second and even a third professional opinion.

    No one knows your child better than you do.

    Stay strong. I'll be thinking of you & Jack.

  33. Oh honey, I'm so sorry! I am glad things are working out better for you though!

  34. Anonymous10:01 PM

    Sarah, I hope things continue to improve.

    What an awful therapist. {Comparing a child to a dog?! Seriously.} I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I can't imagine how difficult that was for you... Big HUGS!

    Not one of my kids would be comfortable enough to ask a strange adult to play with them, let alone carry on a conversation. That is so normal.

    I saw an episode of Super Nanny a long time ago that changed my life. The 'one warning' and 'naughty seat' thing totally got my kids to start listening to me. It's sticking to it that's the hard part! {I admit, I need to work on it.}

    We have a severe, temper-tantrum throwing 3 year old over here, I understand that frustration. I also understand how it's just easier to 'give in' sometimes, even though I know we really shouldn't. I hope you're feeling better with how things are going. Take care of yourself!

    ~ Jennifer

  35. Anonymous10:02 PM

    *almost* 3 year old! :)

  36. Parenting sure isn't for sissys!

    Anyone reading your blog would know that Jack is a happy, loving, in touch with people boy! And, your a great mom!

    In the days before we diagnosed every kid with something, I believe my grandmother used to call these things "phases" which is quite forgiving and hopeful for everyone.

    Lots of hugs.

  37. Anonymous4:36 AM

    Hang in there, Sarah. Trust yourself and Jack. Unfortunately, there are those who don't know how to react to the kids who don't neatly fit into the mold.

  38. Sarah- what an emotional ordeal you have been through!! You are in my thoughts. I want you to know that my daughter was very much like Jack- in the ways you describe. At about 4 years old we had to change our parenting too. Clear expectations and consequences. She is 16 now, Sarah and a sweet, well controlled child. Hang in there, you are on the right track!

  39. Oh Sarah. I'm sorry to hear that you have been dealing with this stuff. Go with your gut. Your gut is always right. And, good parenting is always the harder road but so worthwhile. Hang in there!!

  40. Oh SweetPea - it does sound like it's been a roller coaster for you this last little bit.... and for that I am sorry...

    However, I am so proud of you for not just rolling over and accepting a label from a therapist who has met Jack what? twice? You know your kid, and you knew that was wrong.

    I'm also proud of you for being able to see that perhaps the way in which you interact with Jack was maybe not the best way for either of you. That's not anything that I ever picked up on from your blog, btw - but if you say that you feel that y'all's parenting style was contributing to the issues, I'll trust you on that... It's hard to recognize things like that, and even harder to change them - so I am again impressed with you.

    Not to overwhelm with suggestions, etc. But if you're finding help in the British Nanny shows (and, God help me, I love 'em too!) I might suggest that you check out a John Rosemond book from your library, or see if you can find his columns online (he's syndicated in the AJC on Saturdays...) He's not popular with the intown, granola-eating, yoga-doing Mommies in my neck of the woods, but I think he makes lots of sense. Basically, he says our grandparents didn't have the same issues with their kids that we do b/c our grandparents knew their roles and made sure that the kids knew theirs. He makes a lot of sense. I don't take everything he says as gospel - sometimes he's a bit too Draconian even for me! - but there is a lot of common sense there that I find is missing from a lot of more "modern" parenting approaches...

    Big hugs to you and Jack... I'm proud of you....

  41. Ummm...aren't trains, of all things, meant to be lined up. It is how they work, yes?

    Three is a very hard age. They have the ability to do much more than they have the sense to not do.

    People only talk about the "terrible twos" because they figure if you get past two you love them too much to return them. But three is worse. You're not imagining it.

    Four is a joy though. :)

  42. Good grief, I bet you'd like to see that so-called therapist's license yanked so she can't inflict this trauma on anyone else. My oldest used to line trains up all the time at that age....and cars, and blocks. He's 16 now and as far as I can see he's pretty "normal." (if a 16 yo boy can be normal, ha!)
    Hang in there.

  43. Anonymous1:40 PM

    I'm glad to hear things are going better. I like Nanny 911 too.

  44. You are right. No two ways about it. You'll see.
    Kids get it right eventually. All you need to do is keep letting them know they are loved. They are remarkable.

  45. Wow--what a journey Sara (for everyone involved). I'm sorry about all the pain and worry you've gone through as well as all the stress. I think you did amazing under the circumstances. Sometimes all we can do is trust our instincts and go from there. None of us are perfect. I'm sure Jack will be fine with the new routines and rules you and your husband are implementing.

    I'll be thinking of you :)

  46. I would SO be giving that therapist a piece of my mind! HOW DARE HER!
    Stuff like that just gets under my skin.
    Parenting is hard. That's it, plain and simple. You know your child best and it sounds like you're on the right track. Discipline has been a hard thing for me to keep consistent at too. I have a big time whiny, tantrum throwing boy when he doesn't get his way also. I just think it's hard for a few years when you can't really reason with them.
    I know that I just need to try my hardest to set rule and stick to them with my kids. I'm human though and I understand that I can't be perfect.
    Don't beat yourself up for anything, just keep moving forward.

    I've also found that if Luke's throwing a tantrum that it normally starts because I don't use the right tone when I'm telling him no. He responds much better to me using a singsong-y tone and getting him interested in something else rather than being stern. I need to be stern with Hannah though or she doesn't listen.
    When he is throwing a tantrum, if I can get down and hold him and tell him I'm sorry for yelling (which I usually do because I lose my patience.) and tell him that I can't hear him or understand him unless he uses his big boy words then he will calm down. I upset him way more when he sees me upset with him. Not sure if that helps, but works here.
    Best of luck! BIG HUG!!!

  47. I raised 3 sons and let me tell you - the 3's were much, much more difficult than the 2's. 3 is where they really start to develop their personality and test the world around them to see how it works. The best part is you recognized what you needed to do to fix it. Your son sounds more brilliant than disturbed. I have one of those too. It was a constant struggle to stay ahead of him but he graduated cum laud from K College with a major in Economics and a minor in Chinese. Guess he gets to pick his world now. *hugs*

  48. Anonymous6:38 PM

    That's some darned nice handwriting for a 3 year old. I think unless it's a severe case of something, you treat the behavior, not the diagnosis anyway. It sounds like you're on the right track with limit setting and structure. It's amazing what those 2 things can cure. Easier said than done when it's 24/7 though isn't it? You can babysit the twins anytime!!!! Vicki at hollyhocks.typepad.com

  49. Believe me we've all been there to a certain extent...comparing behavior with other kids etc. From what I've learned about Jack he seems extremely bright. And I do know after having three kids, two VERY close together and one EIGHT YEARS LATER you just get frickin BURNED OUT and LAX in the dicipline department. I've seen some foaming at the mouth rolling around on the floor temper tantrums. That child that I cried over so many times and dragged to a therapist who told me to medicate her because she was ADHD is now 23 years old and simply my BEST FRIEND! Shes an amazing woman with a HEART OF GOLD It will get better! The only advice I have to give is TRY to be consistant with dicipline. no.matter.what.

  50. oh my what a journey, my heart goes out to you, its so tough being a Mom. Your little guy is dealing with a lot and I think he has the best person to stand along side him. YOUR DOING A GREAT JOB.

  51. Oh Sarah, Some times no matter what the doctor says you just have to trust yourself. My son was never supposed to walk, talk or for that matter live. Doctors don't know everything. You hang in there. I know tough love is hard. Hugs to you and Jack!

  52. Oh Sarah, I just read this & wanted to let you know I will be thinking about you & Jack. It sounds like it is going to get better. And good for you for going with your gut instead of listening to some lady who doesn't know Jack and just thinks she can diagnose him based on a tiny bit of time spent with him! (Don't get me wrong, I think therapist have their time & place, but sometimes you need to go with what you know and feel instead.) Anyways, I just wanted to say I will be thinking about both of you and hoping things get a bit better. (And while I don't have any kids yet or any experience with these kind of things, even though we live thousands of miles apart, if you ever need someone to vent or talk to totally feel free to email me!)

  53. How scary. But you are right to trust your gut. Sounds like your ped is good, though that therapist is worthless!

  54. I, too, would love to slap some of those so-called therapists!! My eldest son had a lisping problem and speech issues when he was little, and also blinked a lot. The speech therapist assessed him at his school, and casually declared that he might have Tourettes!! I was furious! I asked her what gave her the qualifications to diagnose my son with something requiring an M.D. after her name, after meeting him only once??!!

    Quacks abound everywhere! Oh, and my fourteen year old son has no speech impediments at all, nor does he have anything resembling Tourettes! He is perfectly "normal", with nary a blink in sight. In fact, he is the one to beat in our house in a staring competition...

    Dig in your heels for the bumpy ride, and do what you feel is best. Kids can be as hard as hell...but they do grow up! Don't settle for bad advice or crappy medical personnel. Things will unfold and the answers will be revealed over time. Basically, listen to your gut!

    Take care,

  55. Anonymous5:14 PM

    I couldn't tell if your pediatrician referred you to that person, but, if he did, do write him a letter. I have rarely gotten a bad referral from a trusted physician, but the one time I did, he agreed not to refer patients to that particular doctor again. At least he should know about the rush to judgment. Anyone who reads pop psychology or watches Dr. Phil could do at least as well. Maybe better. I hate to think of the possible harm he has done.
    Marty - mother of three, grandmother of four (so far)

  56. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Sarah, my eldest was like that. He's now eight, and he's now hella calmer. We got the same diagnosis, ADD, ADHD, Asperger's, etc. I changed a few things, and I refuse to put him on meds, but in the words of his second grade teacher, "he's like a different kid." How did we do it?

    • My son has a really fast metabolism, and we need to keep him eating protein, more than the average kid. This means powdered whey protein from Costco blended into his oatmeal, Ensures instead of juice boxes, cold cuts for lunch, apple slices with peanut butter for snack. You'll find he'll love herring, braunschweiger, cheddar cheese and beef jerky over chocolate as he gets older.

    • ADD/ADHD is tied to estrogen levels. Boys were never meant to sit still for hours at a time. On the evolutionary front, they were meant to sprint and hunt with their elder testosterone-enabled tribesmen. This is why boys are diagnosed by a female-centric school system as being a "problem." We play catch with our son in the morning before school. We asked that he could have recess outside. Bursts of play activity helps him sort his day.

    • We ALWAYS give our son some liquid magnesium, a fish oil capsule, and, when his insomnia kicks in, a squirt of melatonin under the tongue at night. The magnesium made a WORLD of difference.

    Try those things, I hope they help!
    Take care!


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