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Hi All,

Hope we are all taking time to look on the joys of the season and our blessings in spite of our struggles. I am trying, but I really need some advice and guidance on how to handle some issues with my son, as I am feeling my son's "other" issues aside from tics are the ones that are really becoming more of a problem.

 

By the other issues, I mean that I am seeing that the things like OCD and ADD are starting to come to the forefront and really slowing him down with schoolwork and just about everything. I am at my wits end when it comes to homework around here. I am seeing more and more that my child just cannot attend, he starts and stops and starts and stops and fiddles and fools, etc. until I start losing my cool and must start yelling, then we fight and I am trying so hard to grit my teeth and not blow, but he pushes my buttons like no one else can. I know he has some problems here, like the ocd thing with erasing. Man, he erases every 5th or 6th letter he writes. I have been asking him why he had to re-write it and he says "because it was slanted" or "there wasn't the right amount of space between the words", and if I tell him to just move on and try to re-direct him toward the work, he just giggles silly and will keep trying to do it anyway, it really bothers him. I am seeing that this is a real problem. I have tried to explain that he writes beautiful and it doesn't matter, but its in his head that it must be right. He doesn't get upset, somehow he thinks its normal. I don't know what to do here. I'm betting he fiddles with writing his heading on his papers and tests at school for five minutes before he begins, and as a result much time is being lost and he is always not finishing. As a reminder, he does have the 504, so these things are in place and the teacher is fine and laid back about it all. But it is really getting out of hand, I cannot get anything done with him at home, and we are getting to sleep later and later.

 

Well, that said, can I get any last ditch advice on what has worked for some of you with the OCD and attention problems? I'm asking for anything, like what supplements to try and what doseages, or how to begin with some cognitive behavioral, if there is such thing for this. I am always afraid to experiment with the supps that help attention because of the tics, but I may just forge ahead and go all out now, because I am afraid of what my next step might be. I really want to do this naturally, I feel so sure that these issues we all have are biomedically related.

 

I have also contacted his teacher from last year to ask for advice as she was really good with him. last year. How do I start discussing with my son about these problems? Up till now, he does not like to talk about the tics that much, if I bring it up, he gets upset. But we gotta start working on these things, because school will eat him up as time goes by.

 

I have begun working with a NAET practitioner but are still in the early stages, so I have a ways to go. I'll certainly let you all know how this goes. So far we treated for B-complex, which I find interesting, as I know I have reported here before that I never felt my son fared well on high b vits. Perhaps now, I hope.

 

For now, any insight at all would be appreciated. Has anyone had some real success in beating ocd's and attention problems before it beat them? :mellow:

 

Thanks

Faith

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Hi Faith-

I can totally sympathize with the situation with your ds. My dd also has (had?) periods of time when she does nothing but erase perfectly good letters/numbers. This drove us crazy but she could NOT seem to stop it. since IVig she's gotten better with it (times one thousand) but still has the tendency to want her work perfect. But it's odd, the work is NOT perfect, by far...yet she only would get fixated on certain aspects of it being perfect and didn't even see the glaring errors on other parts of the work. She can be such a perfectionist that it is hard to even tell her when she has made an error, however so small. That's when things really got so out of hand at my dd school (she had bad rages too sometimes related to this and sometimes not) anyway, she had to leave school temporarily and we're hoping she can go back in January since she's had such an improvement after IVIg (she has pandas).

 

I don't know what could help it, otherwise. I just know our experience. She didn't get help from that with antibiotics. I didn't really think of it as an attention thing with my dd. Your child might be different. My dd just had such clear case of OCD that I knew that was part of it, for her. Good luck with everything. Sometimes my dd would seem to do better than other times, for no reason that I knew of. Sometimes I would threaten to take away the erasers, but that didn't help matters. I remember that used to drive me so crazy. It takes 10 times longer to do school work/homework like that. Have a nice holiday and hope you find the answers you need.

regards,

amy s

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Hi Faith

I sure sympathize as my son's OCD etc has always bothered him (and me) more than the tics

 

he got an alphasmart assigned to him by the school as part of his 504 because of the writing OCD and tic effect. (his tics would cause writing to be messed up as well as the OCD writing over letters and erasing them till "just right")

the alphasmart was a real blessing as not only could he take notes in class, it also stores stuff and then hook into printer to print out homework instead of having to write it out.

 

I know it is mega hard, but I learned that my son truly could not help the OCD/tic effects on his writing

 

 

re the focus/ attention....we found upping his omega 3 and adding Ginko biloba really helped. Also, if your child tolerates Borage oil trying adding those supps too (excellent studies done in England showed remarkable results on borage helping ADD)

Soy lecithin is another good supp for focus as is Royal Bee Jelly

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Hi Faith

I sure sympathize as my son's OCD etc has always bothered him (and me) more than the tics

 

he got an alphasmart assigned to him by the school as part of his 504 because of the writing OCD and tic effect. (his tics would cause writing to be messed up as well as the OCD writing over letters and erasing them till "just right")

the alphasmart was a real blessing as not only could he take notes in class, it also stores stuff and then hook into printer to print out homework instead of having to write it out.

 

I know it is mega hard, but I learned that my son truly could not help the OCD/tic effects on his writing

 

 

re the focus/ attention....we found upping his omega 3 and adding Ginko biloba really helped. Also, if your child tolerates Borage oil trying adding those supps too (excellent studies done in England showed remarkable results on borage helping ADD)

Soy lecithin is another good supp for focus as is Royal Bee Jelly

Thanks for the suggestions of supplements, Char, b/c attention is one of our problems here. As the schoolwork becomes more demanding of him, I find he needs breaks here and there to help him along. Since we homeschool, I make him do one subject for 20 mins and then give him a 10 minute break. It seems to work for him so maybe, Faith, you can try this at home while going over homework, etc. I'm probably going to add in either the Royal jelly or the Gingko in the spring to see if that helps. The spring is when everything seems to flare up on him!

 

I'm sorry you're struggling Faith. I know your son is about the same age as mine and it's a tough age. Praying you find a supplement or a behavior modification that works for you. By the way, there is cognitive behavior therapy for kids with ADD/ADHD and the school may be able to recommend someone for you. I also know some parents who have done neurofeedback and claim it works, for a time. I know the neurofeedback is expensive, though. Hope you'll be getting a much needed break with the holidays coming up.

Bonnie

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you guys for the advice. I am posting an update to let you all know where I'm at, and also wanted to give some insight to Lynnie, as we were discussing on another thread about her child's behaviors and the possibility of meds.

When I wrote this, I guess I was hoping to figure out what route I should go and what best supplement to give or what type therapy anyone has been successful at. Now I am still on that quest, but what I have since figured out about my son's behaviors has been somewhat interesting, and in a way, relieving, because now I understand what and where all this was coming from. What I mean is this.....

 

As I mentioned in the above post, is that I was having a very, very difficult time getting work, and just about anything done with my son. Homework was taking hours a night, not because he doesn't know what to do, but because of the time he was consuming. I mentioned he erases alot. But he also fools around, would not stay on task, and then I would get mad, yell, we'd fight, it got ugly sometimes. I could not for the life of me understand how I could tell him time after time, every 10 minutes, to start working, keep working, stop doing that, why are you doing that when you have to do this, get to work, get to work, ....!!! almost all the time, I had to wind up threatening to call dad, and I would, and he'd talk to him, and then I'd get another 20 minutes out of him but this was exhausting me. I'm not going to tell you it is not a problem anymore, it still is, but I am now knowing what I have to do to remedy this situation.

 

The problem is this. My son has ocd. true ocd. I knew he had some ocd's, I knew he erases alot. I know he gets obsessed with stuff, and likes things to be "his way", "the right way", "the way he wants it done",...all red flags, right Cheri? I was so focused on the tics, that I did not really look at this particular issue and how it was way more the problem than the tics. I started looking at it a different way. I watched him erase, and tried to talk to him about it, and tried to push him along so he wouldn't erase the letter again. What I found was that he COULD NOT. I did not really know how much of a real problem this was, and how it was sort of the cause of all that was occuring with it. I calmly one day asked him what would happen if he just didn't erase that, what would happen? he said, "I just have to", and I said, "but the teacher doesn't care, she knows you write beautifully, why can't you just leave it like that?", he said "something in my head is telling me I have to do it". I asked him if it made him uncomfortable, and did it bother him to feel like this, and he sheepishly admitted to me "yea". . :D:(;) It made me feel so bad for him. At that moment, I don't think I ever really understood how much of a problem this was for him. I just saw a kid erasing and being a perfectionist, and I was focusing on what he was "doing", and not really understanding or giving a thought to what he was "feeling".

 

This is where the poor behavior comes in. He was taking forever to sit down and start, when he did start, he fooled around, or i would come back in the room and catch him sitting there playing idly with something on the table, .. then I would yell at him to start working, and he'd yell back "OKAAAY", and this scenerio would play out several times after that, with me getting hotter and hotter. All this was his way of "avoiding" and "delaying" the anxiety and stress that he knows will start once he had to sit down and get that pencil in his hand and start writing. He may not have fully understood it, and certainly did not want to admit to it. The fooling around was his way of "masking" the problem, making it look as though he had something else to do that was normal, getting up to sharpen the pencil, saying he was hungry and wanted something to eat when it was only 15 minutes after he last ate something. It is like he is in denial himself. I'm telling you the fooling around and distraction was out of control, and beleive me, this child is not hyperactive, he does not do this in school, just with me because he can (and basically has to, because there is no other child here to goof with during homework). In school, his way of avoiding is by doing other stuff, like get up and sharpen pencil, lets himself look up and be distracted by anybody else that talks to him, or whatever else. There, it may seem he is not attending or has an inattention problem, but in reality, it is him allowing himself any other outlet in order not to have to deal with the distress of his particular ocd problem. Now I know that all kids who have ocd do not have an erasing problem, but you may be able to relate this to their particular problems.

 

Once I realized how stressful the writing is for him, I began by getting in touch with his last year teacher to ask for help, and if she wouldn't mind speaking to his new teacher and letting her know of some of the strategies she used with him, namely for him to write in pen as this seemed to help a little after a while. I also spoke to the school psychologiest and I am realizing that he does need some therapy for this, so I am looking into that right now. After I explained to the teacher some of what I have come to realize, she is very understanding and has told me not to get frustrated with homework and just to let him do whatever he can. I also suggested that when he has to do questions and answers, I would let him look up the answers and we'll discuss it and then he will dictate the answer to me as "I" write it down for him. In other words, whatever we can do to take the stress off of him about writing for now until we can get this under some control.

 

Does this make sense to anybody? is this ringing a bell for those of you who have behavioral problems with their kids? When i hear people say "rages", I'm not sure exactly what that means, I don't think my son does that, but he does react in that manner to ME, when I push and push and get exasperated at him to do things (that I was obviously unaware) that really bothered him in the true sense of ocd or sensory problems. Of course he is going to get upset and indignant at being forced to change his feelings at the drop of a dime, when in his own mind it is an obsession/compulsion. This could be anything else, and some of the things we deal with are taking way too long to do things like brushing teeth, me combing his hair, tying shoes, what he's going to wear that day, him having to have the last word, he is bothered in some way in all of these things and so cannot just "do it" and get out .. all these things cause distress for him, so more often than not ends up in yelling and me getting hot under the collar, mostly because we are under time constraints and must get out of the house or we'll be late. (my husband tells me to get up earlier, but this is not going to stop what he feels, only my frustrations at the time, and I'm not sure it's a good idea to sort of "enable" him). I remember Caryn here , once saying that her son's behaviors were better, because after all the changes and healing that has taken place in her son's body, he now "feels better", so "he acts better". It resonated with me.

 

Now I don't know if this helps anybody, but I think that at least if you understand why your child is acting a certain way, it may clarify things a bit better before we feel we have no other choices. Maybe the behavior is in response to something else the child is feeling either in his body or in his head, but either way, they are not equipped to communicate this to you, and probably don't even realize this themselves. I want to get to the root of the problem and help him that way hopefully. Having said all this, believe me, I am still making some mistakes, like blowing up last night when I realized he moved some of the stuff around in his room back to "his way" after I cleaned up and put things the way I thought it should look. But I am also talking to him now with an understanding, and asking him if he did okay on his ELA reading testing today, and when he told me he took a long time, I said "was there alot of essay questions?", "is that why?" and "did you feel like you erased alot?", and he was comfortable saying yes, because now he knows I am on his page and understand what he goes through.

 

I hope and pray I find someone who can work with him, as I, for the first time, fully know that he needs some help, and that if I don't get it now, this ocd has the potential of spiraling out of control and becoming more and more troubling. He has to learn the tools of dealing with the fears and anxiety that is going on in his mind, in order to apply it to other things as he gets older.

 

Gosh, I could go on, but I'd be interested to hear what you all have to say. Does this clarify anything for any of you as far as your child's behaviors go?

 

Faith

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Thank you Faith,

 

That post was very helpful. I've noticed these things with him for a long time really, his "ways". When he was much younger I put it down to how some people are just a certain way. Homework here is always a struggle, if he can't understand the question and asks me for help... well my answer is very rarely right as far as he's concerned. "That's not right.!!" Then he gets very upset like the world has just caved in. There were so many nights he just never did homework because it got too much.

 

He LOVES sports... watches it all the time. He feels he has to tell me everything he hears, who's been knocked out who's winning etc. He just keeps on telling us... to the point of making us all very frustrated. He focusses on his likings to a point where it becomes all there is. I've explained to him that people have different interests and that not everyone wants to hear this stuff all the time. He doesn't care, he'll either get cranky or smile and keep telling you anyway.

 

I'm not sure what he goes through at school but the teacher has said she has no problems with him. She told me he sets high standards for himself and does his very best to achieve that. He is a bright child, however the need to be GOOD at everything is going to lead to failure sooner or later. He gets so upset if he doesn't achieve "the best".

 

He's like that in soccer also. He's very talented in that area, but if he lets a goal through he loses confidence and feels he's let everyone down. Personally I think he feels he's let himself down.

 

Y'day afternoon we walked down to the fish shop to get dinner, and he just ran around like someone had wound him up a thousand times... not in the shop, at least he went outside to do it. He started doing that stupid deep laugh because he knows it annoys his sister, so he just kept doing it... and doing it, and laughing when she got angry.

 

I'll write more later, my older girl has come for a visit, thanks again for your help.

 

Lyn.

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Geez, Faith, it's amazing how our kids can all have certain things in common yet be so different in the behaviors they exhibit. Take my ds: I know he has OCD but his is all intrusive thoughts and needing to be ON time for everything. But, since I HATE being late I figured that I taught him that behavior(which I probably did). Anyway, we don't have the erasing problem but we deal with the spaced out issue all the time. Although we homeschool I still expect him to finish his schooling in a certain period of time, etc. I don't like dawdling or staring out the window when he's supposed to be working on his math page. I have to stay on top of him constantly. The funny thing is: he is really great when I ask him to do something around the house. If I tell him to do something, he does it. NO backtalking, no attitude(well, a little bit...he is 10), and it gets done in a timely manner. I just don't understand how he can't do his schoolwork in the same manner as cleaning my sliding glass doors, etc. I guess it's all in the thought processes!

 

Also, I wanted to add that lately my ds is getting into a silly phase. Just tossing his body about all crazy and giggling and making up weird voices, etc. He drives me crazy with these but I know it's an age thing. I remember my sister being like this around this age(we're 8 years apart) and I would hide in my room from her or my mom would send her into the basement to go roller skate around the pool table to 'work it out'. And, when I ask ds to stop and tell him that's enough, he is able to stop and control himself, thank goodness!

 

Of course, we have the anxiety issues here which are the biggest issue we deal with. So, back to how I started this post. We all have kids with 'similar' issues: tics, OCD, anxiety, ADD(or some variation of it), maybe even dyslexia, anger issues/exposive incidents, etc. Some kids represented here have only 1 issue while others have all of the above. I'm just glad we all have somewhere to come and ask our questions and discuss these things with parents who understand. They may not be experiencing the exact same thing as you are, but we can commiserate with eachother as we understand how exhausing it can be trying to find the answers, the supplements, the routines, the patience to assist our children and guide them into adulthood. Does that make any sense? My family is yelling at me as we're heading out the door so I apologize if this is jumbled thoughts!

 

Bonnie

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hi myrose,

no, not evaluated, but he definitely has that, no doubt. The things I described above about the brushing teeth and the hair combing thing, that's where that fits in, yes, I'm aware that it has to do with sensory. He gets irritated if I drop water from the brush on his neck, and you gotta hear him yell when I brush the hair, like he's dying. The clothing thing is he is only comfortable in certain things, like right now it can only be a sweatjacket or sweatshirt with a "hood", although I know some of it is because he thinks it looks "cool". ^_^ But he'll take to wearing the same few things all week because he's "used to them". Also alot of irritation about things I say that bother him, me and my husband can't sing, hum, or dance in front of him, he gets kooked out and let's us know it. I also find that if I use a big word that he doesn't know the meaning of, or let out a deep breath out of my mouth like when you stressed out, that irritates him too. He had a little fit this morning because I was counting something under my breath, and so he heard me sort of whispering the numbers and that bothered him, and he tells us to stop and then he'll imitate what we did in an exagerated way. Sometimes I find his reactions so comical and frustrating at the same time, and then the child in ME comes out and I walk away and do it AGAIN, just to piss him off. :ph34r: Life is very fun around here.

 

Faith

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Faith, my ds has the same issue about other people singing or humming. It's like he as an elevated hearing sensation. He also says stuff to me if I an deep in thought and I am breathing weird. I never knew I had a breathing thing until he brought it up. I only seem to do it when I'm deep in thought, like I would be while typing this email(hehe). Anyway, he just told me today that he has a new tic. A breathing tic, but he seems totally fine with it. He said you can't see it, but he knows it's there and I haven't pressed him for explanations about it yet, either! We don't have the issues about the clothing but we have issues about food. You should have seen him trying mushrooms for the first time! OI! You would have thought I was asking him to try worms! Anyway, some of it I chalk up to just being a kid. And, some of it I chalk up to the tics and OCD, it's a fine line, though!

 

Bonnie

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  • 4 weeks later...

Boy oh boy! All of your posts sound like my child. The only thing we don't have is the erasing thing...although we did at one time.

 

Guess I need to be on here more often, lol. The clothing issue is insane here. He never wants to change his underwear or pants and he'll only wear socks when we have to go out. The minute we get home, off go the shoes, followed right behind with the socks. He'll put them on again if he gets cold, but the minute he warms up, they're off again.

 

The homeschool/homework is a huge issue here. Now that I've read these posts, I think I need to rethink, yet again, how I'm working with him. We did a Valentine's project and made a paper chain that had math problems on it. He did great. But if I were to put a page of math problems in front of him, forget it. He shuts down and that's it for the day. Literally. If he shuts down during a lesson, there's no going back for the entire day, no matter how hard I try. It gets very ugly around here, of which I'm ashamed to say.

 

Do I expect too much from him? It's very difficult to realize and remember that he's only 10, but has a social age of 6-8. He is so intelligent and well spoken that it makes it very difficult for anyone around him to remember how 'young' he is in maturity.

 

This whole thing is so incredibly frustrating. I feel like I'm the one with the problem because I can't deal with my child.

 

DS has been in a ticcing phase since November and while it calms at times, it's been his most severe episode yet.

 

We do deal with the rages and understand that it's more from frustration than anything else. What's scary about the rages is that if you look him in the eye, it's like he's not there. Someone else is inside those eyes. That's scarier than the rage itself.

 

I wake up in the morning hoping for a better day and go to bed praying for a better day. We have a lot of really bad days around here. Is this because of his age? Is this because I can't tolerate some of his behaviors?

 

My son also has a major obsession with guns/weapons. Mainly his NERF stuff, but if he doesn't have a NERF gun in his hands, he has a Bionicle. I'm concerned about the weapons obsession, although we have taught him the rights and wrongs of gun safety and responsibility. He doesn't shoot at people or animals and only uses targets but I feel that it's getting more obsessive. He's now starting to watch 'scary' movies because he thinks they're "cool".

 

Sigh...onto a new day.

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brink,

 

I did not know you homeschooled. Do you live in the US? I believe if you are a member of the Homeschool Legal Defense (HSLDA) you may call them and ask what accommodations you need for your child with a disability. This could help a lot with his work and stress.

 

I would encourage you to make sure as much as you can he not watch the scary movies or videos. I believe this will desensitize him and he will have a hard time knowing what is real, and what is entertainment. (if one could call some of those movies entertainment :angry: )

 

I can really understand how you must feel. I by the grace of God put my son in public school just before he exploded with TS and I thought real hard to remove him and bring him back home, but I thought I would cripple him by protecting him from public school. He really did need to know how to handle what life through at him, starting with kids at public school. I feel we made the right choice and I see how well my 15yo deals with high school. I think if we had brought him back home it would have been bad for both of us. I would have said and done things I would have regretted, just because my nerves would have been shot.

 

Good luck,

CP

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Thanks for the reply. Actually, he was in public school through 2nd grade, then homeschooled for 3rd and went back for the first part of 4th. We just brought him home at Christmas break and have been homeschooling since.

 

We do let him do keyboarding because writing is an issue for him. He spells phonetically but is getting much better about using the correct spellings. There are day shwen he cooperates completely and does all his work in 3 hours, but then other days it can take 6 hours to do one subject. There's just no telling which way it will go most days.

 

I agree with the desesitization in regards to the movies. My son is a tv/movie junkie. If he could, he'd spend most of the day in front of the Tv. There are days wehn we actually do let him watch way too much. We have many channels blocked so he's forced to watch more educationally based programs such as "How It's Made", "Myth Busters" and stuff like that.

 

Like the one woman said (can't remember if it was this post or another), he also vigorously rubs/pets the dogs when he's in high tic phase. We're at the point now where we will be getting rid of one of the dogs, but can't find anyone who will take her (the dog has her own problems from before we got her).

 

Life is a crazy roller coaster ride. Sometimes I wish I could get off...even if it's just for a minute or two, lol. (don't take that the wrong way, I'm smiling here)

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Faith,

 

I wanted to let you know that there is a brand called Nature's Remedy....I have not tried it....but they had several products out there that were very interesting.

 

I have written in lately about the inattention with my son. It is driving me CRAZY!!!! The HW routine you wrote about is identical in my household. It is a good 35 minutes for him to settle in and start HW....and then the minute he starts it is "I don't get it"...I say try harder and he says "I did".....when we go round and round I get the SAME "OKAYYYY"....only I have spent my day with struggling 14-17 year old math students and my patience is GONE....I have not found an answer to his inattention, as I am dragging my feet b/c they found a vision problem that I want to ID first....and I have yet another teacher meeting tomorrow to get him tested for learning disabilities.

 

Sometimes I just walk away from the HW routine and tell him that the sooner he gets done, the faster he gets to be outside playing. I can't read his writing and he refuses to erase because he can read it...so this method sometimes comes back to bite me! It might help on your end of erasing issues....I have no experience with OCD....

 

Does your child struggle in a particular subject? I was wondering about ESE vs. 504....I think you get a LOT more support with ESE.

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