A concerned grandma needs your help!

jadDecember 6, 2001

Hi to all you moms! I am very concerned about one of my grandsons. He will be 2 yrs. in a couple of weeks and his parents are about to pull their hair out! He is their third child (youngest) and he is wild! It sounds funny, but believe me, it isn't!

He runs constantly, is very destructive with things (toys, household items, etc.) and will slug you in the face with no warning. Another thing is his lack of language skills. He says a few words, but most of his talking is his own language. He was a perfect baby, happy, content and very smiley...now he has turned into Dennis the Menace!

His family is very loving. The other two children are very sweet and well behaved. This child has been terrorizing the entire family and my poor daughter-in-law is about ready for a collapse. The other day my grandson put a Christmas tree glass ball in his mouth and bit down. Of course he cut his mouth and cried. Instead of learning from it...he ran right back to the tree to try it again.

He does not seem to learn the consequences of his actions. My son & DIL are at the end of their rope and I was hoping some of you moms could offer some insight or suggestions.


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Its apparent this child has some serious problems, they should talk to his doctor, ask for a referral to someone who can do an evaluation and determine what the problems are with the little guy.

This does not appear to be a behavior problem, and the sooner a diagnosis is reach, treatment started, the better his chances of overcoming this will be.

Good luck to them all.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2001 at 11:42AM
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If there Dr doesn't seem to think this is anything unusual maybe they should get a second opinion. It sounds like a neurological problem. He may be helped be ocupational therapy and perhaps speach therapy. It must very frustrating for him not to be able to comunicate.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2001 at 3:31PM
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He could be Adhd. He should definately be evaluated. Sometimes medication could be the difference between night and day.
I am surprised that she let it go on this long. Usually, when they go to the pediatrician, and discuss behavior, this type of behavior would send out a flag to the Dr. He should have been having reg. visits (recently 18 mos. and 2 years).
I have seen things like this and my heart goes out to her and your family. Good luck and take care.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2001 at 4:08PM
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My DIL & son have had him to the pediatrician on a regular basis. He says he thinks the child is normal just very strong willed! I was wondering if he is simply a "strong willed" child or if something else is going on here. He can be very loving and sweet at times and then, boom, he is off on a tangent.
He has had a number of ear infections & I was afraid his hearing was damaged (because of the lack of normal speech development).He does say some words, but not a lot. However, when I observe him, he seems to react well to sounds (music, etc.). The doctor recently looked in his ears and said they looked normal. Have any of you had similar situations?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2001 at 5:45PM
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I would definitely get a second opinion from a specialist--pediatricians can only do so much. A medical assessment for a chemical imbalance is definitely in order. If something isn't done soon he will continue down this path!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2001 at 2:03AM
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Hi, jad. You and your family must be very frustrated, not knowing what to do or who to believe.

Of course, the whole could be nothing. But I think you are right in being concerned, in case there is a problem.

Some of the things you say make me feel that your grandson is having some real difficulties.

He strikes others with no provocation.
He is destructive.
He doesn't learn from his mistakes.
His language abilitiy is not up to par.
He speaks his own language.

And most important, his parents are at a loss as to what to do.

As ktzmom recommends, this child needs to be seen by a specialist. Maybe at a university hospital if you live near one.

And I have some doubts about your family doctor. Looking into a child's ears to determine hearing loss is not sufficient. A complete hearing test should be performed. Remember the test?? There's a little beep in one of your ears, and you raise either your right or left hand.

My kids were both what they call strong-willed, lol. And I never experienced anything like what you're describing, which seems to me to be outside the bounds of normal or expected two-year-old behavior.

I wish you and your family the best.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2001 at 5:13AM
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I agree with the other posters. Just wanted to add: maybe there's a food or additive he's allergic to. Sometimes this causes behavioral problems. Weird, I know!

Seeing a specialist is a must!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2001 at 9:09AM
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There might be an allergy link to his behavior. He does have allergies to certain things...especially nuts.
Also, regarding a hearing test...they were told that he is too young to have a hearing test. He would be incapable of raising his hands to sounds, etc.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2001 at 10:16AM
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There are hearing tests that measure frequencies in the ear drum. My DS had one when he was only a week or two old, and many hospitals now offer them at birth. Some states mandate it.

So there should be no reason not to test his hearing. In the meantime, you can do some tests of your own; does he turn when you say his name? Startle at noises? Can he hear a dog bark, train whistle -- any of those things 2 yr olds can't resist?

And definately follow up on the allergy. My understanding is that a lot of what is being diagnosed as adhd is actually food allergies.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2001 at 11:14AM
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Yes, I have observed him reacting to sounds of all kinds. Sudden sounds, music, the phone ringing, etc. I too, am wondering about food additives, or allergies.
I babysat with him this afternoon and for the most part, he was pretty good. He was very loving most of the time, however, a few times he tried to bite me or pinch me. He was saying a few words, but most of his speech was not understandable.
I also wonder if some of his behaviors stem from the fact that he is a third (and youngest) child. He has older siblings who tend to run the show and do most of the talking.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2001 at 10:33PM
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They can definatly do hearing tests on little guys. My son had one after his first birthday because of his slow speach development. You need to go to a pediatric ENT and they have he equiptment (his pediatrician should be able to recommend one). My sons hearing was fine but he did eventually get tubes in his ears b/c of cronic ear infections.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2001 at 3:13PM
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please suggest they get his hearing tested. Although he might be able to hear loud startling noises he might not be able to pick up voices from background noise etc. DS started having behavoiral problems around 4 and they were all linked to a cronic ear infection. The fluid on the ears casues pain and diaainess in addition ot hearing problems. the pain and dizziness and the inability to hear voices correwctly can cause a lot of behavior problems.
I can not believe someone here actually suggested ADD medications for an almost 2 yr old. Sure lets give narcotics to a baby. Oh good greif

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 12:00AM
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I learned a lesson the other day with my little guy 2 1/2. My home is anything but sugar free but the only 'sweets my son has gotten is chocolate and ice cream. He thinks club soda is pop. I bought honeycomb cereal a couple of weeks ago because he had been sick and I was at the end of my rope trying to get him to eat he wouldn't eat it then but started snacking on it a couple of days ago. If I didn't know he was my child I would not have recognized him. He was violent, uncooperative, mean and inconsolable. He screamed on and off for two days, threw things and had increadible tantrums. I threw the cereal out and things are back to normal I can only wonder how many kids are diagnosed with ADhd when sugar could be the problem.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 9:34PM
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I'd say it was not just the sugar, but maybe even the additives, flavorings and colorings that are in foods like that breakfast cereal. The foods targeted to kids are often the worst offenders and in my not-humble opinion, are the absolute worst things you can give a small, developing child.

I'm not saying you were wrong to give him the cereal, I mean, honeycomb seems innocent enough. Who hasn't eaten it as a kid?? But a trip to the grocery store is such a gamble now, is there any REAL food in there anymore? I worry about the kids who live wholly off of processed foods, all those additives and sugar has got to take a toll on their health and behavior.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2001 at 11:32AM
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My nephew has some of these symptoms. He's 6 now and in special classes at school. He's doing alot better now. He was very wild. He would hit, pinch, spit, etc. He would run and hide when we would walk in the door. He has speech problems. When you go near him he says aahh to you and screams in your face. He throws things all the time. His doctor said he was just hyper active, but when he started school they said it was more than that so he goes to special classes. But my nephew was always cranky, even when he was a baby. If your grandson is very much like my nephew, let me know and I'll ask my sister for more info.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 12:07PM
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Okay, please be warned I will ramble here because this subject is close to my heart.

Please don't automatically assume or let someone declare your grandson is ADHD and put him on Ritalin. There is no doubt that some kids suffer from the symptoms described as ADHD, and improve when given Ritalin, and the families who need to cope with such a child have a HUGE challenge.

But the fact is, there are at least 100 problems/diseases, from food additives to depression to brain tumours, which produce the same symptoms as ADHD. ADHD is not even a clarifable disease like cancer or AIDS--it is simply a set of symptoms under which to diagnose kids who doctors can't classify under any other disease. Ritalin drugs kids and "may" solve the problem, or it may simply mask the symptoms of a more serious problem.

The diagnosis of ADHD, especially among boys, has skyrocketed during the same time that health care costs were cut and class sizes rose. Think about that. It's a lot easier to say a kid has ADD or ADHD (which is usually "diagnosed" by teachers, not doctors) than to go through expensive testing to find the real root of the problem or change teaching methods.

I was once advised by both teachers and neighbours to put my son on Ritalin--in a neighbourhood where 7 of 9 boys and 1 of 4 girls was already taking it. I held out and discovered my son was in fact gifted and bored at school.

I am not saying ADHD symptoms don't exist, but before giving your child a drug, please read "The Hyperactivity Hoax" and have your child thouroughly tested to ensure there is not an underlying cause that needs medical attention or can be solved without drugs. Thank you.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 12:55AM
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Yeah, don't assume it's ADHD or whatever they are calling it these days. The thing is the kid isn't even 2 yet, right? Okay, he's hitting people for no reason. . .have you heard of the terrible two's and tantrums and things? He's trying things and testing his parents. The hitting will stop if you punish him and get it across to him

Most kids don't really start talking until after 2. The closer to 2 1/2 my son got, the more words popped out. Your GS is using his own language because he's still a little child and can't say everything. It's like my Gram saying during the summer that she sure wished Shane could talk better so she could understand him~he was about 27 months old. He could say some things very clearly but he was 2! No kid can speak when the come out and it takes a while for them to be understood and some sounds and words take a lot longer than others.

You say he doesn't learn from mistakes . . .another part of being two. They're curious and trying to explore things around them. Kids that age don't always just accept that they aren't allowed to do something just because Mommy and Daddy said so. They want to know why they can't touch the hot stove or why they can't throw the glass dish, why can't the tear the papers Mommy and Daddy have on the table, etc. They think you're just being a big meanie and not that you are trying to protect them and teach them.

I think the case is here that they just have a trying child on their hands. Ask anyone with a few kids and in most cases, there is one that was more trouble than the others. Like my brother and I were raised with the same rules and regulations but my brother was one who liked to take things apart, he took many many many glass ornaments off the tree and crushed them in his hand at 2 years of age (I remember trying to "help" my Mom by picking them up myself and getting cut), he climbed the huge fence we had around our yard to keep us in and would get out, he even once walked this 6 inch wide ledge along our sun porch about 4 feet off the ground and climbed on the roof by the summer kitchen while my Mom was hanging out clothes (he was supposed to be napping and she finds him on top of a roof!). I on the other hand didn't do any of that stuff. Mom just said the other day that if she needed to get something done all she had to do was turn on Sesame Street or something and I would sit there. My brother would rip the register out of the floor and stand in the hole and try to rip down curtains and trash the bedroom. He ripped wall paper off the walls when he was a baby in his crib! Now he's a perfectly mild well behaved college student with a very good brain about computers and mechanical things. His problem was he wanted to test his limits and see how thinsg worked, he didn't have anything medically or physically wrong with him.

The other problem seems to be that you guys expect too much out of a child that is under 24 months. Are you guys like my one friend who said she wasn't holding her son anymore because she carried him around enough and he was big enough to walk now that he's 13 months old? Are they telling him at 15 months they're tired of changing diapers and he's going to potty train now? Or that he should know what no means by 15 months and he's just doing stuff to P*ss her off? How old are the other two kids and are they girls? Boys are different to raise than boys and sometimes there are harder to raise girls than boys. We're not all the same.

So what's wrong with your gs? He's a 2 year old toddler.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 9:00AM
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Thanks to all of you! Leslie, a lot of what you say makes sense. However, I do believe there are some children that have problems that can't just be attributed to being "2". However, in my grandson's case, I have been watching him very closly the past weeks. He does seem to react & understand what we say to him most of the time. He is still full of endless energy, stubborness & many times will do the opposite of what you say, etc. One example of this is one day he refused to eat his breakfast, but when we told him he couldn't eat it (testing him)...he grabbed his food and started to eat. I have also been reading a lot about the Birth Order (Dr. Kevin Lehman) and he fits a lot of the profile of the youngest child.
We are still going to have some hearing tests done and make sure that his hearing is what it should be.
I am hoping and praying that all these issues are nothing but the "terrible two's"!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 10:13AM
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I have to agree with Leslie. From reading your posts, he really doesn't seem to far out of the normal range for a 2 year old. I can't believe some people here are suggesting things like getting him tested for ADHD. HE'S TWO. I can't imagine any doctor in his/her right mind testing a 2 year old for ADHD. How on earth would you differentiate between ADHD behavior and normal toddler behavior (as they seem to be very similiar). My son didn't talk until he was 2, and now at almost 3 he talks just as well as any other child his age. Nothing wrong with his hearing. Now, I'm not saying that there isn't a problem, or that there is one, but from the information you gave, I just don't think he sounds too much out of the ordinary.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 12:22PM
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Your grandson may just not talk a lot. My fiance was the youngest of three boys and didn't talk a lot. He had his brother, the middle one, speak for him a lot. Jer is perfectly fine but he's still often the quiet one. He'll talk up a storm some days and be perfectly quiet the next. I used to think I made him mad but he says some days he just isn't in the mood to talk. I have read that this is often part of being the youngest child. You learn to listen more and speak less because you have the two older siblings who often over bear you. Now, Jer was very mild mannered and good when he was little but the oldest acted like your grandson in the other ways you described. I guess he's got a lot of things all rolled into one package or something.

If he's acting out and getting a lot of attention from it, he may continue with that to get more attention. The thing with kids is that they're almost always trying to compete for attention in some way and the more you have, the harder it may be. So that may be why he does the opposites. Of course that's also another thing that two year old's do. Reverse psyhcology often works with them because they want to test to see why you say they can or can't do what you said. I mentioned the testing in my first post, too.

I still don't really think there is anything wrong. When he goes to the doctor's for his 2 year check up ask about the talking, though. I forget how many words they suggest but we were told when our son was about 9 months and had a hearing test (his was follow up as a result of him being a premie and everything is fine~he can hear you whisper from far away!) The Audiologist said that many kids don't fit the requirements because they can't say the word clearly enough for others to understand or it takes a while to figure out what they mean. At almost 3, my son says new words that we sometimes think are words he's been saying for a long time. He gets all upset and they we realize he's saying something new but we didn't listen closely enough and sort of assumed it was the old word.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 1:13PM
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