27 answers

I Lost My Patience:(

I am so depressed. I'm 7 months pregnant with my first daughter. I have three boys ages 9, 6, & 2. My two older boys are autistic. My 2yr old was born with a congenital defect where his bowels were in his chest. He is extremely lucky to be alive today. He spent 2 months in the nicu and has been physically healthy ever since. Well at about 1yr of age the behaviors started. He turned 2 in October and the behaviors have only gotten worse. He throws things, hits, kicks, pulls hair, breaks things (when he doesn't get his way). Whenever he eats he throws it on the floor or across the room when he's done. He fights when it's time to get dressed, or change his diaper. He is receiving speech therapy because his speech is very limited, and his speech therapist is attempting to get more services because his behaviors at times are disturbing. He slams his head off the floor and walls. He has given himself bruises, pulled his hair out, cuts on his forehead, and bloody noses. He has broken several rails in his crib with his head. He also smears feces everywhere if he goes while he's in his crib. He smears it all over himself, on the walls, on the rails of his crib, and has recently started throwing it around his room. This has happened 9x in the last week! He is constantly having destructive, explosive behaviors, and the bigger I get, the more difficult they are to deal with. Tonight I screamed at him and felt like I was going to lose it. I've dealt with behaviors before and NEVER been so helpless. I cry a lot because I need help and it's just not coming fast enough. No one understands it until they are around him. My husband is very patient, and even he is at a loss for ideas. Neither of our mothers will take him because he is so violent, and unpredictable. He has an evaluation coming up in June, and everyone is pretty confident he is also autistic, but these are behaviors I've never seen in my other two boys. ANY advice, or tips would be so greatly appreciated. If nothing else It felt much better to vent.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

This will be our last child. I will be getting my tubes tied after I have this baby. I wanted a daughter to be honest. My oldest son was just diagnosed aspergers about 3 months ago. I love all of my children and I love raising them. I would have 10 children if I could afford it. I didn't post this for criticism. My children are all very smart, and well taken care of. I have never been frustrated with a child like I have been with my 2yr old son. I came from a big family and all I ever wanted was a big family. I was posting for opinions on how to deal with his behaviors, not whether or not you think I should have more children. Plz keep your negative comments to yourself. I became sick after I had my first son, and was told I would not have any more children. That only made me want children more. I had my oldest son when I was 18, finished school, finished college, and take care of my children on my own! So maybe you should know the whole story before you comment. Thank you so much to everyone else for your helpful comments. I don't usually post on here, but his behaviors are sometimes hard to control.

Featured Answers

Dear Sweet Mama,

I am of the old school and know that my choices do not adversely affect my children in any way, shape or form.

I humbly believe it is time for a serious spanking. Warn first. Count to 3. Swat only on the bum. Make it swift. Look him directly in the eye and tell him from now on he will be getting a spanking anytime he chooses to be destructive and mean and throw things, etc. And don't back down ever again. Be the boss. He needs serious boundaries. You can do it. And if his behavior continues to escalate after a couple or 3 spankings then I would isolate him. Alone. By himself. In a corner. Set the timer for 2 minutes (1 minute per year).

Then you must reconnect with him and always tell him that you love him and you want for everyone to get along and be happy.

And you must get these age boys out to the park EVERY DAY for fresh air and exercise and exploring. Boys have got to have lots of outdoor time.

3 moms found this helpful

Hi- I'm sorry you're going through this. You probably know this better than anyone but I think you're doing the right thing by having him evaluated. Something is going on and it's good to have EI evaluate him. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Have the children been tested for Lead? Similar behaviors have been linked to Lead poisoning. Just a suggestion to get them tested.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I want to say that there are many books out there that would help you. I never thought I'd read a parenting book and long-and-behold I've read a few and they have helped. I agree that sometimes time-outs aren't enough, but spanking is a hell no to me. ESPECIALLY a handicapped child. They don't have the mental capacity or normal range to even understand why your spanking them... all it would do is tell them hitting is okay. Have you talked to the pediatrician? or I believe they are called play therapists or something... they help figure out behavioral problems in children, solutions to the behavior problem.

Kendall was pretty harsh, the only time I would seriously want to put someone down and slap them for having a child is if it's relatives married and having kids. That is a guarantee of handicapped children and I don't think that's fair to the children.

As far as you yelling at him, babe, everyone loses their patience and yells at least once. I would commend you on not losing it so much that you hit him because like you said you felt like you were going to lose it. So good for you for stopping yourself and not hitting him or spanking him just because you were angry. That is a lot to deal with.

I hope things are better (I've read your earlier posts)

8 moms found this helpful

Coveralls may help avoid the messes. I wouldn't wait until June to get him help-you will be having your baby then. I would find a specialist who will start helping him right away-that way you may be able to get some of his behaviors under control before the baby comes. God bless you all, Sweetheart.

5 moms found this helpful

My heart goes out to you! The only advice I can give is to help with the diaper issue. One of my 2-year-old sons loves to play with the contents of his diaper. We leave him in zip-up pajamas turned inside out all day long. This keeps him from stripping naked and getting into his diaper. Duct tape worked for awhile, as another person suggested, but he would go in through the legs of the diaper. The inside out pjs keep the mess contained.

Good luck to you!

5 moms found this helpful

You surely don't need to apologize for losing your patience! Is there any where else you can go for help? The evaluation in June will most likely give you more information, but it sounds like you need help now, in dealing with the day to day difficulties of caring for your children. I'm afraid I have not had to deal with autism, or other disorders, but wonder if you've exhausted all your options for getting help. Could you find or hire someone qualified to come into your home to give you a break?

4 moms found this helpful

Congratulations on the upcoming new baby! Something to look forward to.
The only suggestion I really have is about the diaper and poop situation. Have you considered using duct tape around the waste to make it so that he cannot get his hands in there?

Once he is diapered, start at the back with the duct tape and bring it all the way around the waist band (not on the skin of course) and meet it at the back.. This will make the waist band hard to stick his hands inside.

4 moms found this helpful

I have worked with severly autistic children and have seen many of the violent behaviors you are describing. In your situation, I can understand how you have lost your patience!! Its amazing that you haven't lost your mind!

I cannot offer you specific advice on how to deal with the behaviors...but you absolutely need help. There is no way you can bring a newborn baby into a home environment like this.

Is there anyway you can get the evaluation sooner?

Can you older boys stay with the grandparents after school until your husband is home?

Have you heard of ABA therapy?

As you know children with autism can do well with a very specific schedule. Do you have a schedule with him?

Do you have access to any of the services your other sons may have used that can help guide you?

Take a breath. One step at a time...

4 moms found this helpful

Dear Sweet Mama,

I am of the old school and know that my choices do not adversely affect my children in any way, shape or form.

I humbly believe it is time for a serious spanking. Warn first. Count to 3. Swat only on the bum. Make it swift. Look him directly in the eye and tell him from now on he will be getting a spanking anytime he chooses to be destructive and mean and throw things, etc. And don't back down ever again. Be the boss. He needs serious boundaries. You can do it. And if his behavior continues to escalate after a couple or 3 spankings then I would isolate him. Alone. By himself. In a corner. Set the timer for 2 minutes (1 minute per year).

Then you must reconnect with him and always tell him that you love him and you want for everyone to get along and be happy.

And you must get these age boys out to the park EVERY DAY for fresh air and exercise and exploring. Boys have got to have lots of outdoor time.

3 moms found this helpful

Wow, I'm really surprised by the lack of empathy some moms have shown here!!!!!!!!! This mom is going through a very difficult time right now, and all some of you can do is make harsh, judgemental comments!! Didn't your moms ever tell you "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."? Why the need to chime in only to be critical? You are in no position to judge this mom! Sorry, but I'm absolutely fuming right now! WTH?!

Now that I've gotten that off my chest....
I am so so sorry you are going through such a difficult time! You are a really good mom, but you are only human, and you need to forgive yourself for losing your patience. God knows I've lost mine over much less! I only wish I lived closer- I'd gladly help however I could.

I wish I had some fabulous advice to give, but the only things I can think to suggest are to keep calling those you're waiting on, make sure they understand how desperate you are. Ask if there's some way they can speed up the process. My husband is a nurse, and he always says the squeeky wheel gets the oil. You've got to keep speaking up until you get help.

I don't know if this is an avenue to explore, but has he been seen by a pediatric neurologist? Ask your son's pediatrician to recommend every/ any specialist that might be any help.

Also ask if there are any support groups for parents going through these types of problems. You really could use the support of people who understand what you are going through.

I hope you get some answers soon. You and your family will definately be in my prayers, and I know of 2 separate prayer lines I can add you to, so
you will have dozens of people praying for you!

Congratulations on the baby girl you are carrying! I also had my 1st girl after having 3 boys. We'll also be praying for her :)

3 moms found this helpful

Wow.....well, I think ALL moms have lost their patience at one point or another, and you have more reasons than most to lose yours. I wish I had advice, other than just to hang in there. You are dealing with a magnitude of issues, I hope you can cut yourself some slack here and there.

3 moms found this helpful

Oh, honey. You need a break! You have a lot on your plate.

I wanted to say that when my younger daughter was 2, there were people in my family who thought she had some kind of major developmental issue. She really didn't talk, and would have HUGE tantrums (knock-down, drag-out, scream until she threw up tantrums up to 8 times per day). I was so exhausted. We had a nanny with the patience of a saint who had raised 7 of her own children, plus many other people's, and she had never seen anything like it. We knew she was smart because from a young age she could do jigsaw puzzles, draw elaborate pictures, etc. Anyway, just when I was thinking of selling her to the next troupe of gypsies that happened by, she began to get a little bit better. The tantrums started to go away at around age 3, and by 3.5, she was speaking a lot more and was much more reasonable. Now, at age 5, she is a delightful little girl. People are shocked when they hear what she was like at 2 (I am not exaggerating to say that certain people in our own family referred to her as "demon spawn." Yes, really.) My parents will babysit her now (they flat out refused when she was 2 because she was such a handful that they couldn't control her). Her teachers now love her. It was a total about-face that was mostly brought on by learning to talk.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you to give you hope that your son may be just a total handful like my daughter was. He is 2. They're like little animals when they're 2. Because your two older sons are autistic, you may not have experienced this type of behavior before. (And, of course, each child is different.) If I had been pregnant when my younger daughter was 2, I don't even know what I would have done! I'm getting an eye twitch thinking about it!

As some moms suggested, backward pajamas may work to contain the poop, as well as, maybe he is trying to tell you he wants to be potty trained? My older daughter smeared poop a couple of times, so I potty trained her and the issues went away. She was just trying to tell me she didn't like having poop on her! Who can blame them, right?

Hang in there, mama. You sound like you are usually extraordinarily patient. You are doing a great job. Try to see if you can get some help every now and then. Maybe hire a high school girl to help you out a few days a week after school? She could help your older ones get through their homework, or play with your little guy and tire him out a little for you. Just a thought.

Hang in there, things will get better!!

3 moms found this helpful

My heart goes out to you - this is a very difficult situation. Please don't feel that you have done something wrong to get here. Raising kids is a high calling, and you're doing a great job. We ALL lose it with our kids once in a while - don't beat yourself up about screaming. It's surprising you haven't something worse to report, lol!
I haven't experienced a difficult child like this. But I have learned that God has some important lessons for us in our troubles. The key is to keep seeking Him through it all. He understands what you're going through. It's serious trials like this that accomplish a ton of growth.
That may not seem very helpful when you're cleaning up *oop for the 10th time today, though! Can you find a support group with moms who are going through this? Maybe you and your husband can come up with a plan for finding the support you need. It might not happen overnight, though; so take one day at a time and don't give up.
God's best to you! My blog might encourage you:
http://susannasapron.blogspot.com/

2 moms found this helpful

I personally believe that every child is a gift from God. Congrats to you and your husband on the impending arrival of your little girl. I am sorry that you are having to go through so much right now. A friend of mine has a son who is autistic. She has had great results with a nutritional supplement, and has seen his behaviors improve dramatically. Let me know if you'd like some information about it.
You have a lot on your plate. If nothing else, perhaps you could consider some additional help from another adult who could help you at home, etc.
Saying a prayer for you that you have the strength and grace you need to get through each day... God bless you.

2 moms found this helpful

I can't really give any advice seeing as I my kids aren't autistic. Most times when a couple has a child with autism they don't have anymore because your chances of having another is over 50% I am surprised you had more. That's just my opinion. I would just keep getting him help and try and be patient with him. I am hoping that your daughter isn't autistic either. The best of luck to you and your husband.

2 moms found this helpful

You are in a rough situation. If there is a parenting pages magazine look to see if there is an autism support group in your area. You can try asking the people who come in to provide services for your son as well. Also look online for support. I only have 2 kids and I really struggled with my 2 year old son at the end of my pregnancy so I can imagine it is much harder with 3 that are special needs. Can you get any type of respite care or help at home in the meantime? If you can't find anything closer, try Binghamton University Psychology Dept. When I was a student there (early 90's) there was a school on campus for children with special needs (including many children with autism). Students were trained on how to handle special needs children and worked as teacher aids for credit. You may be able to find a student or former student from that program who would be more prepared to handle you son(s). It may cost you more that the going rate for childcare but if you can afford it and need it in the short term it may be worth it. If that program is too far perhaps you can ask around at you older sons' school. Maybe there is a teacher aid or someone who also has training who babysits after school hours.

Good luck--it is a hard time and you have a lot on your plate right now!

One more tip, I read in a parenting book to do time outs for your 2 year old in a seat with a seat belt. With my son I used a pack and play until he could climb out then the high chair (he still fights time outs at 5). Another book suggested an expired car seat. Surprisingly my daughter is 2 and will sit in a chair for her time out with little or no fighting. I hope you have an easy going daughter as well with the one on the way.

1 mom found this helpful

Hugs to you for reaching out when you feel at your wits end! I wish there was a filter so that icky negativity couldn't try to kick you when you are down, so to speak. Of course you are a great mom who loves her children. They are who they are which is a blessing. That they will challenge your patience is a given. In this situation I don't know what will work, but I know that eventually something will work. Either the upcoming evaluation that seems way to far off, or he will mature, or you will not be pregnant anymore...change is around the corner. So try to hang in there! Hugs!

1 mom found this helpful

Oh Honey, you have A LOT to deal with. Don't beat yourself up. I yell at my kids, and then feel bad about it, and I don't have the challenges you do. It sounds like you are doing great for them. I find venting to other mothers very helpful. Best of luck with everything.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh my gosh! I have ONE ASD son and a one year old and I lose my patience all the time. You must have the patience of a saint to have not lost it up until now.

Unfortunately I have no advice for you, just admiration. One bad day doesn't make you a bad mother, it seems like you are doing far better than I could do, or anyone else I know. I'm so sorry you got some nasty responses. Those other moms should know better than to criticize when they do not have 3 special needs kids to raise while pregnant with #4.

Sorry I couldn't be any help, good luck to you.

R.

1 mom found this helpful

Have the children been tested for Lead? Similar behaviors have been linked to Lead poisoning. Just a suggestion to get them tested.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi- I'm sorry you're going through this. You probably know this better than anyone but I think you're doing the right thing by having him evaluated. Something is going on and it's good to have EI evaluate him. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Two words... Respite Care. You undoubtedly qualify, so please contact your county and find out how to access it!

You are in Elmira, which means you have a fantastic college in your community with an outstanding "teachers college"... do NOT hesitate to email the head of the department and ask about students who would be interested in babysitting or working with you. Both of my parents are EC grads (grandparents still live there) and they have PHENOMENAL speech therapy programs. Call and ask... they may have students looking for experience and a little extra cash.

You have the unfortunate "gene" somewhere in your family and what some people don't realize is that by the time your children started manifesting signs and symptoms, another was on the way! Really, ladies, do the math for a minute!

Take a class in safe restraint- I have worked with children on the spectrum for many years and the feedback of appropriate restraint does calm them if done correctly.

In addition to speech, you need to request the following evaluations:
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Behavioral Therapy
and you need to go to your EI meeting with full intentions of leaving with a full-day program for your child that is designed for children on the spectrum.

1 mom found this helpful

Although learning disabilities are more my specialty, I have worked with children with behavior problems as well. It appears that many times these stem from a nutritional issue, and a sensitivity to certain foods. Food feeds not only our bodies but also our brains. Certain foods, like B vitamins in combination with certain amino acids found in protein, create neurotransmitters in our brains that control mood.

My suggestion is to find a clinical nutritionist nearby who can test for food sensitivities and allergies, ehlp you start an elimination diet that is OK for a toddler, and hopefully in a short time you will see some results.

Good luck!

K. Johnson, MS Ed
Author, The Roadmap From Learning Disabilities to Success

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know what to say. I just wish I could give you a hug. You have so much to deal with. I am saying a prayer for you tonight.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! Sorry to hear you are going through such hard times. I want to suggest that you begin video recording his behaviors, all of them, so that when you go to the evaluation you can show his actual behaviors in the home, since most doctors will have difficulty, without visually see him. Normally, kids never show themselves in public, because we teach them to behave... If things are becoming so violent from you, and things are getting worse, you might STRONGLY consider calling your state, county, local emergency mental health intervention service for help. This sounds terrible, however, it might get into the services you need, now instead of later... The symptoms you are describing are quite serious, and need intervention, now! No two children are alike, and it seems your son is in need of IMMEDIATE intervention. Even caregivers can ask for help, if it is causing them, others, property and him to hurt or destroy the environment he resides in. His behaviors are becoming more dangerous, and upsetting to you, and your other children. It is OK to have emergency help, it is not throwing him away, but, getting the help he needs, now! The emergency help, allows for him to be assessed through the pediatric behavioral health portion of mental health. You can contact your local emergency room for how to assess this system; your local police for the number (non-emergency); your local/state mental health intervention 1800 number; your school psychologist for assistance. It is ok, to ask for help, because it seems he is escalating in the frequency, amount, extent, and increasing unpredictability. This is an emergency issue, not something to wait, because he needs therapy, before it remains engrained in him! do not hestitant, and though Dad is patient, you are the one home, the most without support or respite care, and it seems you are screaming out for help. My DD is autistic, so I understand, and we both know early intervention is the key, the ememrgency evaluation will get things moving faster, if you are honest, real and insistent to get him help, even for a 72 psychiatric hold, because without others seeing him in true form, you will be subjected to this behavior, and feeling of being overwhelmed and alone, without taking some serious steps. I also suggest you get some counseling too, because if you do not feed your spirit, soul, mind, you are no help to anyone... I go to counseling, because I need a safe place to vent, see my famial issues without ridicule or hurt feelings; allows you to strenghten yourself... It seems you are trying to be a "supermom," without support, and even superman needs the police! There is nothing wrong with asking for help, if I had not, I do not think, I would have survived; there are behavioral trainings that the specialists know that I could not do, because I was too close to the situation... They even teach me how to handle the behaviors, even Moms, need to learn new ways... Sometimes the guilt tends to slip in when you are battling the numerous fires that come, and do not have time to reassess the methods to gain the sanity in your home you and hubby craze. Even parent/marital counseling helps strengthen your union... There comes a time, when you, both have realized these behaviors are far more then the other boys, and it seems both of you need to sit, and be honest about what needs to occur for him, including emergency intervention... It is better to gain help now, before the police come, because he did something quite harmful and dangerous for all of you! Some people do not realize that though there are terrible stories about child protection services, people do not realize that they also, assist in obtaining services, you cannot assess for insurance reasons or system delay... I called child protective services, because the schools would not help, the doctors were not seeing she was autistic, and the medical system delays were putting her further behind and more violent. They gave me the assess I needed, because they saw she was in a good home, that supported her, but, the system was stopping her getting help. Today, she is striving, learned how to control her behaviors, attends college, and we can live with one another... Do what you need to do to gain some peace in your home... You already know, that maternal intuition is no a farce, follow your heart and mind, do not let others stop you, do what you know is right in your heart... Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would not worry about these behaviors in a 2 year old unless he is doing them DESPITE the the fact that he has ALWAYS had very firm discipline for them, and has not reacted. Such as, one warning for each thing, then a very firm consequence the next time he does it. For tantrums, throwing, beginning to smear poop, all the stuff you list.

If these things are escalating ON THEIR OWN, while you sit by patiently about it, or just yell-which is not a consequence-that is only normal behavior for difficult 2 year old kids. You list these behaviors like they are related to his past health issues. They are not. Obviously you suspect a disorder because your older ones are autistic, but even if he is autistic, you would see a difference with firm discipline.

Your older ones may not have needed it, but many kids do. You are saying he is very speech delayed. My son didn't talk at all at 2 1/2 and I refused to believe the hype and never had him evaluated because I knew many boys who didn't talk until 3.

I think before you worry yourself to death that this is all medical etc, you should relax. Don't sweat the talking. People are way out of line with that 2 yo milestone for boys. Make sure his environment is positive and orderly, and FIRM UP teaching him never to start these behaviors with firm discipline. If you need a great book let me know.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't really have any useful advice but I just wanted to chime in and say I don't know of any mom who hasn't lost their temper at some point. Kids are a test, some are a harder test than others. You have a larger burden than many to carry and the job you've done so far makes me humble. Moms (like me) with much easier situations have gotten impatient and yelled at the kids, so that fact that you've dealt with this difficult situation with any modicum of patience at all makes you deserving of all of our respect!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm sorry you have all these things to deal with, and I'm sorry some people on here posted negative things. Too bad there are such judgemental people who have to share their opinions...
Anyway, I just want to send warm feelings and tell you that you and your family are in my prayers.
Good luck to you:)

I'm so sorry to read that you are having a difficult time with your littel ones. I wold suggest visiting the Gary null site adn write into to him to see if any of these behaviors might be addressed using some of his natural rememdies. he may not have sugegstions for remedying the behaviors or the autism -- but he or his team may have suggestions that can be implemented to help all three boys. Good luck to you and your family.

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