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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: My 2 year old is extremely agressive toward his peers

 licdaalvarez - Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:34 pm

Hello. I´m the single mother of a 2 year 4 month old baby boy (my first and only child). I live in Guatemala, Central America. My son was born prematurely (31 weeks) due to preeclampsia, he weighed 4 pounds 6 ounces. Thankfully he was fine at birth, only needed oxygen the first night (lungs were fully developed), he was born through C-section on a Thursday and I had him home by Sunday the same week.

He has been a very healthy boy except for rinitis and sinus infections. He is a very active and intelligent boy.

He had been under MY care until in January he started preschool (at 1 year 8 months), the first week everything was fine, then after the first week his teacher informed me that he was biting the other children. After that it was daily that it happened and some serious injuries became of it (one little girl needed stitches on her cheek due to my sons biting). After a month of this the preschool principal called me in and said I couldn't bring my son back the next day.

I went looking for another preschool, letting them know what the problem was beforehand and they said they would take him in and give him a trial period before recommending professional help (to see if it was an adaptation period that he needed). That day came last Thursday. The principal called me in and explained to me that my sons behavior towards his peers had not changed and that he has had a "shadow teacher" with him to prevent any more biting or scratching and to give him more personal attention. They recommended that my child see both a child neurologist and a child psychologist.

I took him to a neurologist on Friday. The neurologist conducted (what I thought to be) a very short examination and handed me a prescription for RESPIREDONE. My son and I were in his office for 15 minutes max. I am by no means a health care professional, but really an antipsychotic drug for a 2 yeard old child? Also, he said "don't take him to therapy, try this drug and you will see the problem will disappear". Obviously Im getting a second opinion, NOT GIVING HIM THE DRUG, and I´m going to take my son to the child psychologist to be evaluated.

Needless to say I´m desperate, he is a very sweet boy, very active and yes sometimes its hard for him to pay attention for long periods of time and I have seen it with my own eyes, he does bite and scratch other kids repeatedely. I understand there is a problem and I´m in no way trying to make excuses for his behavior, I guess I´m just trying to understand whats really happening and trying to make the right decision for HIS sake, not mine. What is important to me is that he is happy and healthy and able to get along with other children.

PS: I forgot to tell you that before the preschool his contact with other children has been very limited. No other children were we live, so mostly in the park and some playgrounds, but not daily, except for school.

If anyone has any opinions, advice, information, anything that might be helpful in this difficult period both me and my son will be very grateful. Thank you in advance.

 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:39 pm

Hello Maria,

I applaud your judgement in getting a second opinion. It would be ideal to see a pediatric neurologist, as well as a child psychologist. At his age, a certain amount of aggression (usually over toys) and inattention would be normal; the excess is the issue. Does he do this at home? Does he dislike going to preschool? Have you sat in on several days of his school? I would suggest that you do so, so that you can see exactly what is happening. Something triggered his behavior, and seeing him in action may give you some helpful information.

Good luck to you both.

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