More threads by Sabrina


This seems to be just the forum I have been looking for.

My name is Sabrina. I'm 25 years old with a full time job. My 5 year old son just started kindergarten this year. Here's a brief breakdown of what has been going on since he started school:

8/15/05-Level I Violation-refused to sit in time out after disrupting class.

8/16/05-Level I Violation-pinched a girl's cheek, he used his hand and clawed her cheek.

8/16/05-Level I Violation-slapped a child in the face

8/18/05-Level II Violation-had to pull him off a child

8/22/05-Level I Violation-hitting a child in the back

8/23/05-Level I Violation-kicked another child and was throwing lunchboxes at morning duty

9/6/2005-Level I Violation-hit a child in the eye

9/14/05-Level I Violation-scratched a boy in the face at lunch

9/15/05-Level II Violation-standing on table and in chairs. Telling the other children that he is going to beat them up and they are stupid (he received a paddling at school this day)

9/16/05-Level I Violation-continued to disrupt class at his table after given several chances

9/16/05-Level I Violation-hit a child in the chest

I have tried various methods of discipline to resolve this behavior. At first, I would spank him when he came home with a bad report. After a while, I realized that it just wasn't working. I asked him one evening, 'What do you think I should do?' His reply? 'I guess you should just spank me'. That night, I took away all of his toys and told him that when he started bringing home smiley faces, he could have some of his toys back.

It seemed to work, briefly. He brought home three smiley faces in a row. He was rewarded for this behavior. We took him to the beach that Saturday to play, then we went to his favorite restaurant for dinner, and then went to play go-karts. He had a blast.

The whole next week, his school was closed due to Hurricane Katrina. He started back to school on Tuesday, Sept. 6, the day after Labor Day, and it's been downhill from there.

I'm so lost as to what to do. He doesn't have a single toy left as his behavior has not allowed him to earn any back. We made a deal this past Thursday that if he brought home a smiley face, we would go to the football game...his cousin plays and his other cousin cheers. The one that cheers was having a birthday party today that we were going to go to as well. But as you can see, instead of a smiley face, he brought me two more violations.

Last night, after putting him to bed, I just cried. And it's affecting me physically. I find myself becoming down, depressed, irritable, and extremely tired. Last night I couldn't stay awake past 8pm, despite getting between 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. When he does this, I also notice that I am inundated with severe headaches.

I'm angry, I'm sad, I'm frustrated, overwhelmed......I feel resentment.........but most of all, my heart aches tremendously. I cry now as I write this.

I don't know where to turn, my mom is out of the question as she is brain-washed Jehovah's Witness who refuses to even speak to me. Nobody I know has dealt with this and really has no advice for me. I just want to help him, and I feel I've tried everything that I know of to no avail.

I know violence is said to be a learned behavior, I just don't know where he is learning it from. He is not allowed to watch TV on weeknights, and when he does watch it on the weekends, it is closely supervised. He lives in a very loving home. My husband and I have never even argued, if you can believe that, much less show violent behavior...we have a wonderful relationship. I'm also very careful in choosing my words when I speak with my son. I don't tell him he's been a bad boy. I tell him he's a good boy, but his behavior is not acceptable.

He receives lots of love and affection, he's told he's loved, but he's not spoiled. He receives discipline as he needs it.

It may be worth noting that his father was recent diagnosed with leukemia about a year ago, and I know it must affect him.

I'm thinking of taking him to a psychologist, but I don't know. I am taking so much time off of work as it is to go to his school, parent meetings, all that. I don't know how much more patient and understanding they are going to be. Not to mention the thought of someone seeing him one time, diagnosing him with ADD/ADHD and putting him on meds really scares me. I know ADHD is a real problem, but I also feel it's over diagnosed in children.

Any suggestions or ideas is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for listening.[/b]

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
First of all, even if he IS diagnosed with ADHD (or anything else), you are not obligated to put him on any medication, although it might be recommended. Second, ADHD should not be diagnosed until all other origins for the behavior problems are ruled out, so beware of anyone who goes to that diagnosis as a fist step.

That said, get your son to a child psychologist (not a social worker or other type of therapist and not any old psychologist unless they are specifically licensed as a child psychologist). You can spend the next several months guessing unsuccessfully at why this is happening and the longer it continues the more damage it will do in terms of stigmatization and other self-esteem issues aggravating what is already going on.


David, thank you for replying. If my son needs a psychologist, then that's what I'll have to do. The problem........his insurance doesn't cover mental health. I know it's expensive and we're not rich. My insurance, as far as I know, does cover mental health. But I can't very well go to a child psychologist. Does anyone know of any way around this?

Here's something else I thought about.........well, it actually just came to me.

I have been diagnosed, by three different doctors, with bi-polar disorder. Now, I never agreed with these doctors, I never accepted their diagnosis, I never took the meds. Even now, I don't feel I am bi-polar.......if I am, it's very mild and I'm able to control it.

However, my dad is manic depressive, and very severe. When he doesn't take his meds, which he often doesn't, it's a nightmare.

My half sister, on my dad's side, is also bi-polar.

Obviously it's hereditary and I can't help but wonder if my son may possibly be bi-polar as well. I know that a lot of bi-polar children are misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD because of similar symptoms.

Either way, I will not allow a Dr. to see him for 15 minutes and give him meds. I will want a second opinion from another Dr. (possibly even a 3rd) before I allow something like that to happen.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Depending on your location, you may be able to see a pediatrician or child psychiatrist as a second choice, with child psychiatrist as perhaps preferable given your family history.

In Canada, for example, private psychologists are not covered by national medicare but psychiatrists are, although they have longer waiting lists. Your own family doctor may be a good source of information in this regard.

Daniel E.
Does anyone know of any way around this?

You may want to check out:
Home |

However, since your child is already insured (albeit not for mental health), I doubt the child would qualify for a state-funded insurance program. Your family income may be too high, as well.

If you do have to pay out-of-pocket, at least there is a tax deduction for all medical expenses.

When I paid out-of-pocket, it wasn't too bad once I overcame the sticker shock. (Also, for perspective, office visits are almost a bargain compared to residential treatment programs.)
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