A Wild Ride: A Website and Blog for Parents of Challenging Children

Elizabeth - posted on 02/17/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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http://www.awildride.net

Are you a struggling parent?

Do you often feel afraid, isolated and confused?

Are your parenting days unpredictable and full of frustration?



You are not alone!



Mary Scribner and I created A Wild Ride to help and support moms (and dads) by:

Sharing Stories

Offering Strategies

Providing Resources

Answering Questions

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Marina - posted on 05/20/2010

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my son liam has recently been diagnosed with autism and i worry constantly about him he can be a very loving child at times but often has violent outbursts or wants things continous , if he does not get it he will not take no for an answer and will wear me down till he gets what he wants. It is very tiring and i am usually physically and mentally worn out by the time he finally goes to sleep. all i can suggest to parents of children with either adhd / autism is that they like alot of praise , rewards and feel they have something to work towards. children with adhd do not have alot of concentration spam except for when it is something they like doing ie water play , sensory things. I haver found a distracting box with some of my sons favourite toys help , when he is having an outburst this takes his mind of whats upset him and then we get to play which makes him so happy. consistent parenting is the key by this i mean if you say something like im going to have to take a toy then you have to follow it through , try avoid using the word no as it can be a trigger to some children with either adhd/autism try rewording it ie maybe we can do that later , thats not nice when you hurt somebody that makes them upset, or sad. It has to be clear instructions and clear explanation of why. This not only helps describe feelings for them but it also makes them feel they have something to work towards . I hope this helps for someone out there i am a mother of four children one of whom has adhd/autism , i have been through feeling like a bad mum , isolated and scared to take my child out , sometimes i still get days like this. I am also a preschool assistant and try to help out parents / carers with their little ones. I have had training in adhd/autism and i just want to help other mums/dads out there who have or going through the same things i did , it helps to know we are not alone.

Beth - posted on 08/02/2009

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Hi, all. Just discovered this. Good stuff. Thanks from a truly struggling mom--but then again, aren't we all? Beth

Elizabeth - posted on 03/05/2009

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First of all, Jennifer, you are not alone! I have walked in your shoes until the soles of my feet rub through! I worked with my first son so when my second one came along five years later I quit work to be a stay-at-home mom. And that's EXACTLY what I became because we could not go anywhere without breakdowns. I even organized my grocery list by priority items so that if I had to leave at a moments notice due to a meltdown, I would at least have one or more of the had-to-have items.



I will forward send your message to my A Wild Ride partner Mary Scribner. She always has great suggestions and tips. I'll let you know what she says. In the meantime, breathe (as difficult as that may sound some days). Elizabeth

Jennifer - posted on 02/28/2009

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Hi! It is great to know there is somewhere I can go to talk and know that someone understands. My son, Carter is 4. He is speech and play delayed, but what I struggle with most is his behavior. I know that he is feeling just as frustrated as I am, because we are not "getting" each other, but he reacts by hitting when he is upset. I do time outs but they just don't really seem to be effective. It doesn't change the behavior. He has a lot of meltdowns as well, especially in public. I get a lot of harsh looks from strangers who don't know what is going on. Last week my sister and I took the kids to a farm to see cows and how they make milk and cheese. It should have been fun, but he had several meltdowns and it turned out to not be fun at all. I couldn't get him to calm down. We ended up leaving before the tour was even over. Everyone was looking. I get embarressed and don't want to take my kids anywhere fun like that because I never know how it will go. I'm pretty much going it alone because my husband is in the army and is currently deployed to Korea for the next 12 months. Family members are not much help. Full of advice but nothing at all helpful. He does go to a special ed preschool and that is helpful, but I would like more. I don't really know what I'm looking for, just more solid advice maybe. I would be grateful for any tips I can get.

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Amie - posted on 07/08/2010

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my child is 20 the behavior impeded his learning he spent his grade and middle school years in and out of traditional classrooms. the good news is with ab therapy the behavior does improve. he has asperger syn., but, this is his life now. he has 2 jobs,drives a car,plays in a band, has a girlfrirnd and a baby on the way. if you didnt know you would not be able to pick him out in a croud. now i am a srat at home mom, i learned the ABA tech.,yes iy was hard, yes it is isolating. but this is your childs life and as the parents we must do what we can to ensure their quality of life is optimal. so parents hang in there get educated about social stories, applied behevior anlyisis, the TEACH method, and above all know the IDEA reform an educated parent gets the support and services due to their child, keep smiling

Jennifer - posted on 05/07/2010

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My son Jon is 5. He has ADHD and PDD. He is starting Kindergarten next year and I am real worried. He is a wonderful sweet boy most of the time. Then sometimes he has outburst's when he does not get his own way. He also has learning difficultys and has to be in special ed. classes. Any Advice?

Tara - posted on 01/11/2010

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My son has had issues since he was born 2 month premature; because of our medical insurance, he does not get the therapy that could help him. I learn what I can and apply that- either it works or it doesn't. My biggest and hardest decision was to put him on Adderall. I'm uncomfortable having him on this, but the school (1st grade) has noticed an improvement, so we continue. Unfortunately there are side effects, and I notice that his little personality has changed some. I don't know what else to do. The medication does not help all his symptoms; he also has a form of Autism, and our insurance covers very little therapy, ect. I am very frusterated and don't know what else to do. He is such precious and loving little 6 1/2 year old and he tries so hard most of the time. It's just my son and I (I have a 24 yr old daughter who is normal, and 2 very young granddaughters.) myself and things get so very difficult at times. I wish I had someone to share and talk to/with, and find some sort of therapy for him (and me?) and learn more how and what to do for my son. Any help would be appreciated. My email address is blondylox3@hotmail.com. Thank you. And good luck to you all. -Tara B.

Lisa - posted on 09/22/2009

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thank god i came across your site...i am at wits ends with everything, single parent my family doesnt want to support me in this crises...my daughter kicks holes in the walls kicks glass out with her feet, self harms her self, locks me out of the house, defiant, swears, doesnt want to follow simple directions, hits me, and the latest she is on bail she tried to stab with a knife in front of child safety..and now she is on bail, and not in my care....i feel so helpless not knowing what to do... at the same time i want to go to the media, been asking for help for 9months and a crises has esculated to not wanting to gop to school and wanting to kill me... will there state of mind change..i feel my daughter hates me...

Elizabeth - posted on 08/08/2009

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Glad you found some solace in our comments. You are right. We are all struggling. Some days we just seem to be struggling more than others!

Cheers, Elizabeth

Dawn - posted on 07/06/2009

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Quoting Elizabeth:

These are wonderful suggestions. May I quote you on our website?



Sorry, I have been MIA from this section. If you were referring to me, then 'Yes, you can quote me."

Dawn - posted on 03/11/2009

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I can relate to what you're saying with the need to just get some space. My hubby teases and complains that I've become obsessed with the PC.  I try to explain as best as I can that I need some type of release and that the Internet or social networking sites does it for me. It's very difficult being home all day with kids and no family or friends for support while he works. I've joined a mom's group that meets twice a month and have some weekend social events. However, meetings do not occur often enough as we are all so busy and then gets get sick, have doctor's appointments, other play dates, and the usual list of schedule conflicts. I'm just grateful to get to talk some high school classmates or old coworkers. My hubby is usually burned out from my need to just talk all the time once he gets home, but he keeps listening regardless. I try to give him a break by getting on the Internet, writing, reading, or some self-absorbed activity after caring for everyone else. We can use all of the help we can get .  I'm grateful to pass on anything that has worked for me and that may work for someone else.

Jennifer - posted on 03/06/2009

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Well, I have both my parents and my husbands parents close by, but honestly they are not that much help. The kind of help I'm looking for in them is to maybe sometimes take my younger 2 sons every now and then so I can have some one on one time with Carter to work on things. I had 2 years before I had my next son to spend with Carter, and we seemed to be off to a good start playing and reading books and all those things, and he absorbs information like a sponge. He has an amazing memory. But once I had the next one and then the next one, it kind of stopped because then I'm tending to baby things as well. I try to give them all my time but I just can't seem to spread myself 3 ways like I would like to. Both grandparents still work full time and so we don't see them as much as we would like. And when they are around, it just doesn't seem as helpful as it should. I love them all and I know they mean well! And they all vary in their approach with Carter. And no, I don't get any time to myself. Not even at night, because at some point they all end up in bed with me. I actually steal my time by being right here on the computer, and to be honest with you, it's kind of becoming an obsession for me because I kind of check myself out while I'm here. I'm sure that's not healthy for any of us. I just need some space and this is where I get it. Thanks for the info and help!!!

Elizabeth - posted on 03/05/2009

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Jennifer: Here's a response from my partner Mary Scribner, an RN and Certified Parent Coach:



This does sound very frustrating indeed! It sounds like Carter (being a typical, impulsive 4 year old boy) is striking out because he does not have the language skills to tell you what he needs. Can you try and guess what his needs are (think from a 4 year old's perspective) when he is beginning to get frustrated? Perhaps he is overstimulated by crowds or noise. Step back and begin to observe his behavior in all of his environments and see where he has the most trouble. Identify what his initial stress responses are (does he begin to get really wiggly, or whinny? Then remove him so he's not so stimulated. Next time he may be able to stay just a little bit longer. Being understanding and proactive is the best way to prevent and deal with meltdowns once they begin. I'm wondering if you feel like you have adequate support? Being a "single mom" can be very draining and stressful. Do you get a chance to take breaks so you can do something you enjoy and not always have to be "on?" You'll have more resiliency if you are taking care of your needs as well.

Dawn - posted on 03/04/2009

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My daughter is turning 5 next month. She has Asperger's and attends public school where they mainstream the autistic children (if they are able to do so).  For the most part she functions well, but her behavior can be very difficult some days. I'm still struggling to adjust despite it being almost 2 years now. Structure is something they need, but for us it has been difficult with no family or support system nearby. However, I have I've met military families who speak highly of the benefits provided through some military health benefits (e.g. in-home therapists for speech, AB training for behavior, and a variety of other programs.) Presently, I do time-outs which don't always work either. I did buy a stop sign from Kaplan.com that has 4 colors and words that used to work when used consistently. Green-side has the word Go which I used to let her know it was okay to leave time out or communicate something. The yellow side-Calm Down  was what we used most to signal that she needed to calm down and stop screaming. It took some practice of showing her what calm down meant. Sometimes, I would do like breathing exercises with her or just relaxation techniques that were calming. Then, go to the blue side-Quiet, which I used to use when she was in a good mood to teach her what quiet meant. I'd play a game where I'd show her the green side/GO and we'd yell something funny and loud. Then, I'd flip the to the blue side and put my finger to my lips and say "SHHH!" and stopped speaking. We made this a game on good days that I could later use during upset times. And of course, there was the Red side---STOP. We used that again on good days to teach what stop and go meant. I'd do an activity or make noise when showing the green side, then flip to the red sign and stop making noise. Again, it was all about having fun and teaching the skill so I could use it later during outbursts. My daughter seemed to love the calm down side the most though. Some days it worked very well and of course there were just days when she was just too upset and wanted to be held or just needed to vent via screaming I guess. Each day it's a trial and error approach, but I never give up.



What I love most  is using puppets. There is actually a dvd out for this technique (although I never knew about it until after my own trials in toy stores). I was just looking for a way to entertain my kids and maybe speak to them in a voice that was like a little kid and not a parent.  She responded well to the puppets. I asked her questions or  have her play with the puppet to communicate with me. Again, I do this things during the good times so that they have a greater chance of working during the stressful times. Just keep trying.



Her speech is much better these days after speech therapy and socializing through preschool.  Behavior is just always a challenge and takes more time. But, I do hear that the more we stick to structure and minimize changes or make transisitions gradually, then the behavior is better. Knowing what to expect to eases the anxiety and minimizes stress that can lead to bad tantrums.



Also, study him to see what he likes because most time there will be something entertaining. Our kids despite their challenges are very gifted/intelligent individuals. See what his passion or gift may be. I know many of these kids that love music, computers, drawing, dancing, and countless other things. Ever heard of Stephen Wilshire BBC America's documentary? He's a rare cause and the odds of this happeing is well too great, but it can inspire hope.  It was art/drawing that allow hime to connect and open. For my daughter, I see that it's music/dancing/drawing/computers...anything that holds her interest presents an opportunity for connection. I just keep trying and never giving up despite frustration at the behavior. We just have to find a way to understand them. 

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