Tuesday, August 11, 2015

99 Problems

 A small portion of our journey with our son from ages 2-5.

    My 5-year-old son is nothing short of defiant. He's a boy, he's 5, and like all kids, he is wild, loud and all over the place. However, this child is a bit different. When he was two, he refused to talk. My husband and I would teach him over and over again how to say words, but they just came out as yelling nonsense. When he didn't get his way he would yell as loud as he could, an eardrum piercing yell that would send shivers down your spine.
     As he got older, we noticed that he wasn't learning his colors, ABC's, how to count, etc. He was having the most difficult time learning things and he couldn't remember the things he was taught the day before. On top of this difficulty, he was being defiant. We would tell him to help us clean up toys but, he would run off screaming. We would grab him, bring him back to his room, and try to get him to clean up his toys. Fits of rage, more screaming, crying, arms whaling, and kicking followed. We tried time outs, early bedtime, taking away toys, no TV, a reward system for cleaning up, etc. But nothing seemed to work with him.

    It came down to us calling for help through our school district that offered services for play therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral issues. We went through play therapy with him for a good 4 months before realizing that it just wasn't working. He would be great in front of the therapist most of the time but, once in a while he would show the defiant side. Everything the therapist suggested in play therapy we did at home.
    Here's what we did: When he misbehaved and didn't listen, he got a time out. (This was in a designated timeout chair.) His timeouts were 3 minutes in length. If he got up, talked, or screamed while in time out, he would get a second chance to start his time out over. If he misbehaved in timeout again, he would go to a "time out room". (The timeout room was a designated room that was quiet and away from any distractions.) In the timeout room, he would have to remain quiet for 5 minutes. If he didn't, the time started over. This repeated until he was quiet for 5 minutes. Once he could do that, he went back to his normal time out chair to sit for 1 minute to prove that he could listen and behave in time out. Once he was able to get out of time out we talked about why he was in time out, how to avoid timeout again, and to apologize for the wrong behavior. We tried this routine day in and day out for the full 4 months while he was going through play therapy.
    Fast forward to age 5. We have put him through family therapy to figure out if we were doing something wrong as parents. Maybe there was something else out there that could show us a discipline that our son would respond positively to and learn from. Maybe there was a way we could get him to learn his colors, how to count, and his ABC's. Going through this family therapy has been great for us. He is finally getting tested to see what kind of learning disability he has (if he has one) and if he has a behavior disorder. Our son finally knows how to count to ten, recognizes the color blue and most of the time he recognizes the color red, and he also knows the letters A and X. We're also practicing letter tracing with him so he can learn to write his name.
    Thankfully we are homeschooling him this year because he definitely isn't ready for Kindergarten (in the districts eyes). Back when I was in kindergarten that's when we learned the ABC's, how to count, our colors, shapes, etc. Now they want children to know all of that in preschool before they get to kindergarten.  

    We have been through a lot with our son but, I hope we can get it all figured out in the next month with his tests. It will help us know what type of learner he is, what will work with discipline, and help us know what kind of behavior disability (if any) he has so we can correct it.

    Do (Did) you have a defiant child? What have you done to correct the behavior?