DH and BM finally agree to take SS to see a child psychologist.
I haven’t been on here much lately because I’m so busy these days at work. But today I had to take a minute out to vent and get advice on our situation with my SS4. Since I’ve known him, I’ve thought he was “off”. I’ve blogged here before about it…but of course coming from a stepparent/outsider it just looks like I’m being overly critical of someone else’s kid. 1.5 years ago I finally convinced DH to get his hearing tested – it was fine. But the issue has been and still remains the same: he doesn’t seem to comprehend simple directions or conversation. The logic behind his conversation and how he follows things is just really "off". The advice I’ve gotten on here and from others is basically that he’s a little boy, that boys develop slower, etc. Basically, give him time.
Well not much has changed over the past year. We’ve worked on giving him more physical affection, giving him more one-on-one time, changing the ways we give directions, etc. None of it seems to matter.
In the past week there have been three things that have happened that greatly alarm us about his behavior.
1) We were at a pool/hotel swimming and he went to the bathroom on his own (the restrooms were in the hallway right outside the pool area). We couldn’t find him for 20 minutes. We were in and out of all the bathrooms and everywhere in the vincinity, calling his name, asking “are you in here?” and stuff. When we finally found him he was in a bathroom stall sitting on the toilet all the way back (which is why we didn’t see him, his feet didn’t’ hang down) and was just going potty. He never responded to any of us that he was in there. When we asked him he didn’t know why. He didn’t seem to think he was in trouble or anything, so that’s not why. He had no explanation.
2) One day this week, I was nagging and nagging him to get ready in the morning. Finally it was time to leave and he still had no pants on (he’d been up for a half hour already, getting dressed in the clothes I picked out), so I told DH he’s going to have to bring him to daycare. DH was still kind of lounging in bed because he had the day off. I told SS4, “You aren’t ready yet and it’s time for me to go, so Daddy’s gonna bring you to daycare.” Then I left. Well…awhile later DH heard crying and thought SS was in his room crying. But nope…he was outside. SS had walked past DH’s car in the driveway and down the block to “chase” me. By the time DH realized it and got outside to go after him, he was 8 blocks away and someone had picked him up on the side of the road. DH walked up to the car (there were like 4 cars pulled over talking about what to do with him – apparently he was standing in the middle of the road crying) and then saw SS in the car. He walked up to him and SS didn’t say ANYTHING. He didn’t even acknowledge that he knew DH. The people were ilke “uhh…do you know him?” because he literally had no reaction. And SS is the type of boy who gets nervous and smiles and can’t stop laughing when he’s in trouble….so I have a hard time believing he was just nervous that he was in trouble. It’s alarming that he wouldn’t say “That’s my daddy” or ANYTHING.
3) Over the past year, our dog occasionally has accidents in the house. It’s usually in the same area. But when I found some pee spots in the kids room, I of course thought it was our dog. There have been a few occasions where SS is playing in his room and we’ll go in there and there’s a wet spot on the floor. SS says he had an accident. SS doesn’t make it to the bathroom and pees a little on the floor. This weekend, it all clicked. We found a wet spot and some toys that were wet in his room this weekend. When DH investigated a little more, it was VERY apparent that it wasn’t just a little puddle. It was designs on the floor made with pee. GROSS. After a talk with SS, we discovered that this was indeed on purpose, and that it was indeed not the first time. When DH called to tell BM about it, she said he’s been doing that at her house too!! WTF!!! She said he peed inside of a toy once too.
4) Yesterday we start cleaning his room and prepping it to wash everything and the carpets and stuff. I tell him we need to throw some toys away that were peed on. I grab a garbage bag…waiting for him to get sad about it. Nope. He started thinking it was fun!! He was finding all kinds of toys to throw away!! And didn’t care at all! I explained very clearly to him so he understood that they would never come back – that they were gone forever – that kind of thing. He just said “Ok” with absolutely no emotion.
Among these things, he’s the most inaffectionate boy you’ve ever seen. I have to prompt him to give his mom hugs hello when he hasn’t seen her for a week. We have to purposely sit on the couch next to HIM because he won’t sit next to US if he has the choice. He’s also devoid of empathy for anyone else…he shows no emotion for anyone when they are hurt, or on movies when someone or an animal dies, he doesn’t say “Aww” or anything – he laughs. And directions? I say “Play in the back yard. NOT the front yard. Stay inside the fence.” And he’ll look at me, nod, repeat what I said, etc. Then 2 minutes later he’s in the front yard. I ask him what the rule was…he can’t remember.
I talked to my sister who teaches kindergarten and she suggested that we get him to a child psychologist, because rather than a doctor who will just try a prescription, we’ll get parenting advice from someone with a specialty in child behavior. DH called BM and asked if she’d be okay with it, and she was totally on-board, which surprised us. But I guess even she has to start seeing there’s something wrong with her kid too, instead of constantly saying he’s just a little boy and that he’s normal. However, BM also added “Well there’s nothing wrong with US – it’s all HIM!” So she refuses to take any part in this.
My fears with taking SS to the psych is that a lot of stuff is going to come up and we’re afraid that BM is going to go right on the defense. Does anyone have any experiences with taking their skid to a therapist? Do you all go in there and discuss, or will the therapist separate me and DH from BM and do our own talks to get both sides of the issue?