They called CPS on us! (Long… please bear with me)

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    • #54201

      I am a longtime reader of articles here, but new to the community. My son (now 9) was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in kindergarten, and he had minor relationship issues with other kids when younger, but it has gotten worse.

      We moved to this new house in June of 2016, shortly after his sister was born, and we thought that having 3 other boys nearby of the same age would be great for him. Over the course of the school year, he had some struggles, many of the kids and moms just not really understanding his eccentricities, and texting me with issues he had caused, or actions that led them to believe he was having trouble in school (which he never has, he is one of the top in his class, has always been). Nothing was ever very bad, or so I was led to believe.

      This summer, the fit has hit the Shan. Near the end of the school year, I started getting texts from other mothers saying that Logan was being aggressive, mean, bullying their kids (mostly a younger boy – age 5). We had conversations with our son and stepped up his appointments with his therapist.
      3 weeks ago, there was an incident on a Friday night, when he had been at his friend’s house after dark, apparently playing on their trampoline (which we would not have allowed in the dark), with their boys and another boy (ages 9, 10 and 5). Logan came home with his shorts inside-out and we immediately went into protective parent mode. We pressed him for information, finally, after 30 minutes or so, being told that he was playing a “pantsing” game (which he knew was wrong, let’s he would have told us from the start). I contacted the other mother to have her tell me her sons had said they were playing it as an innocent game and that no one touched anyone, everyone had on underwear, and it was all in fun and that she explained why it should not have been done. So we had the same talk with Logan and let it go. The next day my son was allegedly a bit aggressively bully-like toward the 5 year old, and disrespectful toward the mother, causing another text to be sent to me. Later that night, there was a birthday party at a pool, and my husband made the mistake of arriving drunk… leading to some parents wanting their kids away from him, and the lifeguards calling the police to escort him out. My husband apologized the next day to everyone he had numbers for, and immediately started to try to make amends.

      The rest of that week, my son pretty much wasn’t able to get anyone to play with him, suddenly, and decided to stay home. Then, we left for vacation. Our 2nd day of vacation, we received a text from the same mother, who said her 5 year old had been “trying to tickle everyone’s private parts” and when asked where he learned that, he told her he learned it from Logan, that Logan had tickled him “there (pointing)” that night on the trampoline.

      We immediately flipped out and told her we would have a talk with Logan and figure out what to do, making sure to tell his therapist. Our entire trip was pretty somber after that, as we struggled to figure out what he had done and if it were true, etc. By the time we arrived home, we had decided to keep him from playing with any children without supervision and not allow any sleepovers until we had figured things out, because if this were true… where did OUR son learn it?!?!?!

      Tuesday morning, we awoke to find that CPS had stopped by and we had been reported for neglect and possible abuse!!!!
      That afternoon, the caseworker stopped by and told us everything that was in the report.
      Some of it we were aware of, and explained to her about the ADHD (her son has it too and is 10, so she understood). But… things were brought up that we had never even heard of!! An example being that she had claimed our son choked another neighborhood child!!! Why would that child’s mother never have told us?! I’m sorry but if my child is choked by your child, you damn straight will be hearing about it!!!
      Anyway… she not only brought up things that I had explained to her before (like the only reason I don’t always know where he is, is because he tells me he is going to friend’s house and forgets to come tell me if he goes to another house – and we had been working on that, to the point of possibly getting him one of those phone watch devices), as well as the things we had never heard of (including that he trick or treated alone on last Halloween – which… he left with a kid and came back with a kid, so, to our knowledge he was with that boy the whole time – and our neighborhood is small and safe, it’s why we chose to live here), and eve using my medical struggles against me (fibro and spinal stenosis, degenerative disk disease and chondromalacia patella)!!

      Now, due to her chatter and this action, our family is basically ostracized in the group of neighbors we were friends with.

      I will add that the caseworker told us that she feels the case is unfounded and that it will be dismissed.

      How can we explain to the ignorant, that it is not a parenting fail that causes the actions? That we just need to get our child more help?! That we are really TRYING and not neglecting?

      I am so lost right now and my heart hurts.
      My son may never be seen the same in school, and we all feel out of place in a home we once felt was perfect for us.
      Aside from wanting to know if anyone else has dealt with anything like this… how do you address something like this with your child?
      Should I be worried about this?
      He swears up and down to me that he never touched the boy that way, that the tickling didn’t even happen on the same night as the pantsing game, and that they were having a tickle fight that may have caused him to accidentally miss where he was aiming but if he did, he was not aware.

      What should I do?
      Are there resources for this sort of thing?
      Thank you for reading, in any event.

    • #54202

      Kids with ADHD typically have horrible impulse control. My experience with my son is that most often when he demonstrates “aggressive” behavior it’s either out of frustration or because other kids have pushed his buttons too many times and he doesn’t have the maturity to handle the situation without lashing out. They also tend to be several years behind in maturity which contributes to impulsivity and poor decision making. To be honest, I don’t let my son go to other homes for play dates unless it’s with parents I know extremely well, and who I know understand his challenges. I prefer to have him play in our home with friends so I can monitor (on the sly of course) what’s happening and intervene if I hear play that could potentially escalate or cause an issue. Should an average 9yr old be able to play more independently, of course. But I think the situation is different for kids with ADHD. I also know the triggers for my son that have the potential to cause behavior problems such as being hungry, overtired, overstimulated, etc. Those triggers are different for every kid, but when you recognize it, then you can plan/decine playtime with other kids accordingly. I am not by any means judging or saying you don’t monitor your son, I am just suggesting that in my experience kids effected by ADHD need a bit of “helicopter parenting” because they don’t have the social/emotional skills yet to help them navigate friendships the way another child their age would. For my son, structure is a pretty important factor and limiting the amount of time he stays at a friend’s house helps as well – his ability to remain calm and relaxed has an expiration so I know for us play dates shorter than 60-90min are going to be the most successful for him. I realize this all makes me sound very controlling, but I’m honestly not that way with most things and I am much more relaxed with his younger brother. Thru trial and error I’ve just found this makes life easier for all those involved, including my son. The more successful he is with friendships, the greater his confidence. If your son is seeing a therapist who knows everything that is going on and is not continually offering you tips and possible solutions then I would look for a new therapist who can offer you more. It also sounds like you have a lot going on with your own health, and parenting a child with ADHD is exponentially more stressful than parenting the average child so I would suggest you seek out a support group for yourself that will help you manage your own stress which will in turn help you cope better with the challenges you face with your son and his peers. It’s not an easy road but continuing to make changes and take baby steps in new directions can make it more manageable. Best wishes to you and your family.

      • #54203

        Thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate all of the advice, and I see everything you are saying. My daughter is so much more “mellow” than my son was at her age, so I completely get what you mean about the differences with your younger son. We have been considering a closer therapist as well, so perhaps now is the time to try, to see if the new one may have better suggestions for us.

        I will also look for a support group for myself, though a “Spoonie parents of kids with ADHD” group would be amazing! 🙂
        Thank you again!

      • #54452

        I am taking my 6 yr old kiddo for a psych eval next week. Thanks for saying all you said above, BRLK. It mimics what I have found true, excruciatingly. Though dysregulation has mostly revolved around being over tired, I am seeing a lot more dysregulation over frustration of social events these days; It is so overwhelming I teared up just reading your response and others. The big feelings, the extra need for structure, the immaturity being so significant that it impairs behavior and social relationships AND then not feeling successful in those areas double impacts kids and their coping behavior. And I would give my left arm for calm because everything feels always in motion or imploding.

        And I feel like a helicopter parent, not really wanting to be. Near everything requires follow up, external motivation, etc. I think it is the mood fluctuations that I am most exhausted by. Never knowing when or what may be coming.

    • #54284
      Penny Williams

      I’m so sorry you are going through this. The good news is that the case worker is open-minded and very understanding of ADHD.

      I think you’re on the right track with seeking counseling. Unfortunately, you cannot trust kids with ADHD to tell the whole truth — they seem more prone to saying anything to try not to get into trouble. At least that’s very true for my son. So, I wouldn’t question him any more about the events of that night, but start counseling and let the therapist get to the bottom of it and work on it (of course, they’ll let you know what parents should be doing too). And, I agree that more supervision during play is warranted, at least for the time being.

      Remember, your 9-year-old is really 6 or 7 developmentally.

      The Truth Will Set Parents Free

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #54394

      Thank you so much. I appreciate all the help we can get. Right now, he has been staying home and periodically spending time with a friend in structured/supervised play dates only. We are looking into a new therapist too, and making sure he stays on his medication (which I hate having to do, but someday maybe he will learn to channel his ADHD positively and be able to drop it).

      I feel betrayed by the other moms, but I am trying to focus on the fact that they have no idea what ADHD is like, so they just couldn’t have known.

      I am lucky to have ADDitude to utilize in this rough time!! 💖

    • #54451

      It sounds to in addition to his ADHD he might have PTSD. Which can be dealt with in therapy. Honestly, this is hard for them to deal with. My eldest child has Bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD and PTSD (due to a sexual assualt introduced to her as a game at the age of 10). Its up and down, neighbors never understand and honestly they have their own parenting struggles to tens too. Going to therapy yourself will help. Being open and honest with otherswill always have mixed reactions. Just remember its your family and not theirs, do what is best for them and you.

    • #54456

      You sing the song of my people!! You are NOT alone in having CPS called on you It has happened to us multiple times and the school has been the WORST offender! Our son has an IEP and we are in constant contact, but we still get turned in for the things he says, bruises he has, etc…its crazy.

      You are on track with getting a psychologist for him. We did that. Honestly? the psychologist is more for us! However, if even a little sinks in and helps him then thats a bonus. He is 12 now, and CBT is just now beginning to have an effect. The ADHD kiddo takes a looooooong time to mature. He will get there and so will yours. We also have an ODD diagnosis and high functioning autism, but even the psych says that ADHD is ‘driving the boat’ when it comes to behavior. I would also suggest a social skills group for him to help him learn how to read body language and signals from other kids. Kids will always take instruction from a teacher/therapist more readily than their parents!

      And as for the ignorant, get used to it and learn to ignore them. I’ve adopted the attitude that anyone else looking in on our situation and judges can just go jump. I honestly don’t care what anyone else thinks. you are doing the best you can for your child and you are obviously a good mom! Don’t let anyone ever make you feel any different. Parenting these kids is exhausting.

      And having a psychologist on board helps keep CPS off your back to. Once the realize the depth of our issues and the lengths we go to to help our son, the case gets closed. However, we did get a newbie case worker once and I wanted to throttle her. She actually demanded to see that we had running water and food in the fridge. Now, keep in mind, we live in a nice house, the electricity was obviously on, etc…Just keep your cool when they want to come in and if you ever have to deal with CPS again, NEVER let them interview your child alone. Its too risky with the ADHD kiddo. They can try and make up something they think will help but could end up opening an whole new can of worms. They may tell you they have to interview alone, but this is a minor child and you are entitled legally to be there. IF they claim it can’t be you then tell them they will have to wait until you have legal representation. Don’t mess with these people. They make HUGE mistakes all. the. time……

      • #54576

        CPS is (generally) required by the state to follow-up on every report. So while it is beneficial to have professionals involved, it doesn’t always “keep CPS off your back.” CPS doesn’t go trolling for work – someone reports concern to them. Many reports come in due behavioral concerns and their role is to see if any additional supports can be offered or utilized. Many families need assistance with navigating the confusing mental health system and referral process for supports. Some already have services in place, but a home visit is still required per the law. It’s best practice, and often regulatory, to check for food, utility service, child health insurance, beds, d&a use, health hazards in the home, and Safe Sleep for newborns. If not, they can help families get what they need.

        School staff, medical providers, therapists, etc. in most states are mandated to report to CPS and it’s a criminal offense not to in some states. Sometimes they are overzealous. Which is frustrating for the parents and caseworkers. It’s not a perfect system by any stretch, but it’s not the fault of the CPS worker sent to your home. They have no idea what or who they’re dealing with when they get a report. But (most) social workers join the field to help people – they understand the struggle and just want to make sure kids are safe everyone has what they need to navigate the crazy parenting journey.

        – A CPS caseworker, ADHD adult, mom of a super strong-willed, sparkly ADHD kiddo

    • #55091

      So sorry to hear you are having such a struggle with folks in your new community. I’m not sure I agree with the poster who said your son might have PTSD and don’t want you to be alarmed thinking he does. You don’t mention any trauma he has experienced that would lead to a PTSD diagnosis. Also, the tickling games are developmentally normal childhood behavior, rough play, etc. Not so much for a 5 year old, but for the older kids. Our son is 13 and going into high school this year and has gotten into trouble over the years for things due to a lack of impulse control. Most recently was getting excited when a group of friends were rough housing and throwing a backpack at his friend, hitting his front tooth and breaking it. Our son felt horrible to have injured his friend and it was a sobering lesson in just how much he needs to watch his behavior.

      What has worked best for us is mindfulness training for him – similar to CBT or DBT, it is a behavioral therapy that helps him interrupt impulsive behavior before something goes amiss. Talk therapy has helped him somewhat in dealing with his emotions and he went for a year and a half when he was about your son’s age but the mindfulness gives him simple tools he can use to help him in a range of situations.

      And I most agree with the poster who said to remember your son is actually around 6 years old in terms of his social skills. I’ve told my ex-husband this many times and it helps him cope with our son’s behavior. Having supervised play dates at your house only and at homes where you know and trust the parents is key.

      Lastly, having a child with ADHD is incredibly stressful as a parent. We also have a daughter with ADHD who is 9 so rarely get a break. What kinds of things are you doing for your own self care? Can you take a bit of time out each day in the morning and or evening to do something relaxing? I practice mindfulness myself, knit, and take time out away from the family with the door closed and a good book. Do you have close friends who can support you, hobbies, things you do apart from your family like hobbies, music or sports? Taking care of yourself is key when more is required of you as a parent.

      Good luck and let us know how it is going!

    • #55092

      Dear Lyssara, first of all I want to say that my thoughts are with you as this all sounds like so so much to deal with. One thing you said caught my attention – that was about your husband showing up drunk and being escorted out of the pool party. Having a parent who drinks a lot can be difficult for the whole family. Of course it adds to your stress and afffects children’s emotional state as well. I’m not sure if others might have mentioned this to you but even if your husband is not willing to get help for his drinking, you might find a lot of support in the Al Anon program which is for friends and family of alcoholics (or people concerned about someone’s drinking). I know it can be hard to get out of the house when you have two children… you might consider an online meeting which you can find on the Al-Anon website. Even if you just find a couple of helpful tips in a meeting, it just might be worth it. Again, I am thinking of you and sending supportive energy your way.

    • #55095

      OK….I’m going to stick my neck out here. Because I was born in a family with rampant alcohol abuse (not even mentioning the sexual abuse), I believe both my parents had undiagnosed ADD. Who knew in the l950’s? So they self-medicated with alcohol. (Common, truly!). Please consider reading: You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy.
      That was what helped me figure this out. Also read the books on ADD by Dr. Amen. Consider putting your whole family on a sugar free, healthy ADD diet. (IT will help!).
      If your husband is going out “drunk”, it appears there is more than one problem here. You might consider going to AL-Anon. (All of these behaviors can be undiagnosed ADD in the adults first) and needing better treatment for everyone.
      There is a website I’d encourage you to check out as well:
      They have sounds you listen to with headphones for adults with ADHD/ADD. Also alcoholism, etc. I have been using them for about 30 days
      and my whole life has improved dramatically! I can organize and clean now, executive choice making function has shown up for the first time in an easy way…it is mind
      blowing in this situation. POSITIVE to the MAX. The sample is FREE. The pro level is only about $10. They were being offered on both IPhone and Android until yesterday.
      Unfortunately they are temporarily off IPhone in the APP download. They will get reinstated soon I believe. Check back.
      There is a protocol you use with daily use, then gradual weaning. It takes about 22 minutes a session.

      I am concerned about the “inappropriate touching”. It is quite likely that someone has inappropriately touched your son. This “acting out behavioris a way kids often
      behave to “scream for help symbolically”. Does he also wet the bed? Many children who wet the bed have been sexually abused as well. I strongly encourage counseling for this child, beyond the simple “doctor gives him drugs” type.

      Most folks really think long and hard before calling CPS. It is possible your situation is more “out of balance” than you are able to see? We care about you and your family. This is a wake up call dear. Listen to it! Let the help in. Blessings. I agree about the Al-anon meeting mentioned by Zaza. You need the support. I’ve been
      going to 12-step meetings for years. Went to Codependents Anonymous last night. (Codependents are always trying to rescue others. I am in my disease right now, reaching out to you! YEP…that’s me!). At least I own it. Smile. Please keep us in the loop as things progress.

    • #55105

      Keep up with the therapy, but for now, don’t allow him around other children without direct supervision. He’s got the “bad kid” label, and it will be a while before he can shake that. If someone is always monitoring him, things he doesn’t do can’t be blamed on him. I am sorry to say, your relationship with the neighbors may never be the same. It’s hard when your child is out of control by no fault of your own. I suggest you keep up with therapy and medication, and he may relent with time.

    • #55120

      Sorry for your trouble. I’m sure it could happen to any of us with ADHD children. I want to address your comment about why the parents didn’t tell you that your son choked theirs. I was in a similar type situation where my non-ADHD child’s hair was pulled by a little girl from his kindergarten class while in our home. He called out, I ran in and saw him crying; he whispered in my ear that she had just pulled his hair. When I returned to the kitchen, next to where they were playing, I didn’t tell her mother. I’m not sure why but I felt it was best left unmentioned. Months later when something related came up, and she said she knew for sure her daughter would never act that way, I said, “Kids can surprise us sometimes. I know you would never suspect it but SO&SO pulled my son’s hair once.” Well, she vehemently denied it (as if I would make that up) but decided it might be because her husband was so strict about having the very shortest hair cuts on their son–she must have been projecting. She hasn’t spoken to me since.

      As for arriving to a party drunk. I think there may be more things than just ADHD on your plate to deal with. In my opinion, it is never ok to arrive or get drunk in public–especially if parents were felt they had to keep their kids away and had to call the police. I wish you the best and hope you get the help you need to address any unresolved issues. Our behaviors affect our children in many ways both positively and negatively. Careful what you model.

    • #55127

      I feel your pain. We had a truly EVIL former principal (they kicked my son out of their school for being dyslexic-their “SPED” program couldn’t figure that out in 5 yrs!) call CPS and report things that had happened over a period of three years as though they had happened in 3 months. Thankfully I was also a mandatory reporter at the time and was able to tell the case worker that I was sorry that we were taking her time away from her cases that truly needed her help. One thing I have learned is that there are some people you just cannot trust. Always watch your kiddo with others, keep up with the therapist and stay away from toxic people who “Don’t get it” or who simply refuse to educate themselves. Are there support groups for families with ADHD kiddos in your area? If so, go there and associate with other parents who are walking a similar path. We had a new family move in two years ago and when we invited them over for a welcome dinner their eldest and my son were clearly on the same wavelength. He started to apologize for his son and explain that he is on the spectrum and has ADHD I had to stop him and tell him to look at those boys-who were totally on the same wavelength! I explained to him that our guy has ADHD and sensory issues and he was so happy! And thus a great friendship was born. They walked the darkest part of our path with us (through the school kicking kiddo out and the aftermath) and have proven to be amazing friends. I truly wish that you are able to find folks like them to walk your path with you. Take care of your husband too-sounds like he could be self-medicating for something as others have stated. Wishing you all luck and healing in the aftermath of your horrid experience.

    • #55141

      First of all, I think it’s great that you have put yourself out here. I hope you have gotten some good advice. I personally appreciate where the mom really sets the limits for her child, such as playdate time limits and the like. As far as your husband goes, I am certainly not gonna judge him based on that one drunken scene. I don’t think it’s fair to add to your burden by assuming he is a drunk and that your son was molested!! My 10 yr old is inappropriate ALL OF THE TIME. It is unfortunately part of the mental immaturity and impulsivity that comes with ADHD. As far as CPS is concerned, I am sure the neglect will be unfounded. How can they say that when you are vigilantly taking him to therapy. People are EXTREMELY judgmental!! I am lucky to have found a group of women in my town who don’t judge my son or me. We accept our crazy kids just as they are. I hope you can find the same. It’s not your neighbors fault that your son is out of control sometimes. She certainly doesn’t have to deal with him. That being said, you can’t lose sleep over these people that just don’t understand. Don’t give up on finding the right people to surround yourself and your son with!! Unfortunately anyone call CPS on anyone. I am sorry that happened to you and I wish you the very best!! Hang in there!

    • #55151

      I totally understand your story. I would swear on my eyeballs we have the same neighbors! From my own experience and thus opinion of your neighbors behavior, their saber rattling is more a symptom of their own insecurity. Their fear is the same. Fear of feeling ostracized from the neighborhood as you mentioned you feel sometimes. It’s been my fear, too. My kids are young adults now. My last just left for college. But, if I could go back in time, or offer advice from what I learned, i would:
      1. NOT MY PERSONAL JESUS – Never allow anyone to get away with attempting under any circumstance position themselves as some kind of self-appointed moral authority airing their uninvited personal baggage in the company of my children subsequently undermining me.

      2. WELL HI Y’ALL (NOT)
      Neighborhoods will always have the same dynamic somewhere. One insecure person kicking up more than normal dust, enlisting a couple loyal side kicks in the hood by their side. They are called Broom Hilda’s. Unfriendliness is hurtful at any age. By accident I figured out a way that worked for me to alleviate this nuisance.
      Still hurt inside, I still managed though to display a big ass smile along with a Pagent wave (of which I was never in) every time driving past the Hilda’s in neighborhood.

      I’m age 54, clinically diagnosed ADHD in 1971 at age 6 in First Grade. My parent were told to try Ritalin which turned out working well for me. Only one out of my three kids are ADHD, son. Although the older I get, not so much. My husband and I have three young adult children now. My last just left for college – officially empty nester’s – not a fan – another topic in a different time.
      to be a kid.

      I’m stating the obvious, but again, of most importance is first the emotional well being of your children.

      . It’s not a crime kid or make a mistake.

      • #55983

        This is a great blog and great advice. I can completely relate to allot of this. My son is 11, ADHD and also on the autism spectrum. We live in a neighborhood that grew very quickly over the past few years, and there has been allot of bullying and some very difficult challenges and issues with neighbors and kids. It is so important to know who your friends are and aren’t, and not to care when someone don’t like you because you are standing up for what is right. It is also very important to make sure that your kid is protected from allot that might come his way, some of which he will be part of, and some of which he will simply get blamed for. I also had to make peace with the fact that my kid is going to kick up some dust, and he can be a real challenge to people who do not get high functioning autism or ADHD. My job is to protect him whenever I can from being bullied or singled out. And the rule is keep your hands to yourself, always, no exceptions, ever. I try to get all the kids to agree to this simple rule, and when they do, it is peaceful. When they don’t all hell breaks loose. The most important thing that I learned to do was to be extremely pro-active in protecting my kid from neighbors getting the wrong idea. I was advised to call the Sherrifs department and let them know my kid is on the spectrum, throws tantrums, and that at some point, they might get a phone call because he can bring the house down. This was the most challenging thing because I was mortified to have the police come to my house! I don’t wish getting the diagnosis of being on the autism spectrum on anyone’s child, but I have to say, for 5 years I was looking at any help for my son when he was diagnosed with ADHD, and very little was available in ways of protecting our kids in school, neighborhoods, from other adults etc. For some reason, allot more resources are available in this diagnosis and there are some very, very kind and brilliant people working in the field including some of the strongest, most dedicated moms and dads I have ever met. I will suggest looking into some of the agencies and info that is put out by some of them. CARD, Autism speaks, TACA, AIM, and also in your neighborhood for support groups (life saver). You will be surprised as to how much you can learn from these resources and the friendships you will build with other parents and kids that are like minded. It has been a life saver for us, and I have been able to bring things back into balance when it was really difficult with very mean people around me in the neighborhood. Now my kid has a few select friends, and the others know to not try and bully or intimidate him (especially the adults who can be some of the biggest bullies). You can do this, if you have your kids best interest in mind and you can work on mistakes, and not get lost in the sorrow or anything else that simply gets in the way, (like alcohol). You will be surprised at your strength and where the road leads you when you focus on what works and what is right and trust yourself and put your family and your child first. It is a proven fact that kids with ADHD does best when loved and supported. Blessings.

    • #55180

      Boy, can I relate to your story! My son has ADHD to the max. When he was in pre-K, he was accused of being “sexually inappropriate” because he was goofing around and pushed one of the boys standing in front of him in the lunch line. As the other boy started to fall, Bradley reached out to grab him by the waistband to catch him, and his fingers touched the top of the boy’s butt. The school made a big deal of it requiring him to be evaluated by a mental health professional before they would let him back in school. In a way, it was a mixed blessing because that’s when we discovered he had ADHD. Then he was playing at a water park and reached out to tag a girl who was running from him and ended up pulling her bathing suit bottoms down just enough to expose her private parts. It was totally an accident but he was accused of being a “sexual deviant” by the time he was six. His reputation preceded him everywhere he went, and it seemed like everybody…parents, his teachers, even our friends began seeing every quirky thing he did as some sort of sociopathic condition and we, as his parents, were to blame for it. Eventually, we moved to a new neighborhood to escape the scrutiny and get a fresh start. I debated whether to tell the neighbors that Bradley had ADHD, but I decided to tell them so that they might see his impulsive behavior for what it was…a manifestation of ADHD. I don’t think we were in the neighborhood for a week when he was playing in our neighbor’s swimming pool and jumped in on a foam boogie board which shot up in the air and hit the neighbor’s son in the head. The mom then went all over the neighborhood spreading the word that Bradley hit her son in the head with a board. You can just imagine the image that conjured up with our neighbors. It was an innocent accident that could have happened to anyone, but because my son had ADHD, our neighbors all viewed it as “bad boy behavior” caused by “bad parenting”. It’s too bad that people couldn’t see his impulsive behavior for what it was. But I have to admit, before I had a kid with ADHD, I used to see other people’s ADHD kids in the same light and thought the parents just weren’t disciplining their kids enough. ADHD is probably harder on parents, particularly us moms, than our kids because we want to insulate our kids from the bad rap they get. But kids are more resilient than we think, and they tend to work things out amongst themselves. It’s tough to educate others about your kid’s ADHD because they sometimes view ADHD as an excuse…like it’s not real. But I got this book, “All Dogs Have ADHD”, that sits on my coffee table as a conversation starter. It’s a collection of captioned images of dogs doing some of the quirky things my son does. When I invite my neighbors over for a visit, and invariably they pick up the book and start sifting through the pages. Eventually, they began to see Bradley in a different light as his true personality came shining through. He’s still impulsive at times, but now he’s one of the most respected teenagers in our neighborhood. When he runs through the house and knocks things over, I smile and think to myself, “that’s my little puppy dog wagging his tail because he’s so happy his exuberance can’t be contained”. Lamps are just material things that can be replaced, but nothing can replace my energetic, smart, terrific, loving son whom I adore. He’s my little “puppy dog” and I wouldn’t want him to be any other way. My advice to you is to relax…things will work out. Don’t worry about what the neighbor’s think…they’ll come around eventually. Get the book…maybe it will help you adopt a puppy dog mentally towards your son too. If nothing else, it will make you laugh!

    • #55182

      I only read your reply and a little bit of a few others, I apologize… I’m at work and really shouldn’t be on here, but this story caught my eye. If someone hasn’t given this perspective, allow me to give another idea of what may be going on. Kids with ADHD are EASY targets of bullying. My son has had bullies in every grade K through 3rd. He has an IEP and when he was younger he even had a Functional Behavioral Plan. In 1st grade kids started noticing he was different. They knew the teacher didn’t trust him (he would try to sneak candy) so they started to say he did things that he was NOT doing. At first the teacher would believe them and it wasn’t until I had a sit down meeting and put my foot down with what ADHD is and isn’t, because she had no more than a stereotypical knowledge of ADHD. Kids with this disorder are targets of bullying on a regular basis. Not saying that is the case here, but it may be a possibility. Don’t automatically assume your kid touched anyone in their privates.

      I do agree it’s a proven fact that kids with ADHD are typically 3 years behind their peers with maturity, that’s the average I believe. I have ADHD and I didn’t mature until I was probably 23 years old. My son is a very intelligent kid, he’s 9… he’s up there with 11 and 12 year olds. However, his maturity level is that of a six year old when it comes to a lot of stuff. It is something that cannot be disciplined out of them, it comes with age.

    • #55192
      ADHD Mom

      I think all of the advice about dealing with your son’s ADD and your husband’s drinking is good. I would add that your neighbors are NOT.YOUR.FRIENDS. I don’t think you are out of line cutting them out of your life. As hard as it is to do, I would not socialize with them, or let them back into my good graces. It sounds like some of their kids have problems, too-your kid doesn’t need that! You’ll have to drive your kid to play dates instead of letting him roam the neighborhood, but that’s how it is these days any ways. If they are judging your kids, they are not your friends-they are sad little people who aren’t worth your time, because they will never be able to walk in your shoes. I don’t believe being ostracized by self-centered women wrapped up in their own dramas is a loss. There are some groups I don’t want to belong to! Good luck!

      • #55215

        Gone are the days when kids could roam the neighboorhood… if you allow them to go off your street, out of your yard…pin note to them advising that they are allowed per parental consent (a natural right) to be free ranged…look up free range kids…a couple had investigation on them because their son and daughter were together at the neighborhood park…Sounds crazy, but it is a potential dependency case…and you need to tell your children that they dk not have to talk to anyone, by saying I want my parents here (at school, daycare, etc) because they do not and wl not inform ylu prilr to speaking with your child and schools and daycares are regulated by DCF, so they will not have the best interest of your child paramount, they will comply to anything that gets DCF away from potential opportunities for them to be investigated…Sad, but True! The struggle is real. Again, not to make you hypervigilante, but isn’t that how attentive parents should be…not on a court mandated Psychological exam (MMPI)… your words will likely be taken out of context, so you need someone, not a lay person to help you get through this with your family and sanity intact. Stay strong, be focused on tbe best interest of the child.

    • #55211

      What state do you live in?

    • #55212

      On the topic of bullying: It may be helpful to know that Southern Poverty Law Center (they have a website), offers free materials to schools to teach them to stop bullying. Just ask for it.

    • #55214

      WRT you statement:”I will add that the caseworker told us that she feels the case is unfounded and that it will be dismissed.”

      Unfounded is not good enough…case closed due to no indicators substanting what appears to be false report. Case closed as False report, there is no such thing as CPS cases being dismissed. They are closed…no, some indicators…

      Insist on caseworker closing as false report…and not closed with no indicators in their synopsis…that means nothing…in the unfortunate situation of having any future issues, any case closed wrt indicators of abuse will immediately put your family in that “habitual” category…if anything neighbor who trampoline incident occurred at should be alleged to have failed to protect every child present, including her own. It is a felony to make a false report, and they can prosecute anonymous callers…there is no such thing as anonymous and souds like you have grounds for claiming said report was retaliatory or reported in bad faith…look up statues regarding mandatory reporting of abuse…there abouts will be the exact verbage regarding false reports…if you have access to legal counsel or free consultation for legal advice…

      Do not expect that conversations or undocumented exchanges mean anything! Get everything in writing…send emails documenting understanding of verbal references regarding you, your husband, and keep your extended family in the loop…do not allow feelings of inadequacy, shame, etc keep you from “the “best interest of the child”…VERY IMPORTANT PHRASE…regarding your son at center of this investigation or any of your children…


      If alcohol is issue…address it…bit if this was random, do not allow others into your bedsheets…not enough room and it is no secret that united you stand, divided makes for an easy way to pit you and your spouse apart.
      No manual came with my daughter, yet 20 somethings that just graduatdd, probably stl live at home and maybe have a dog..
      In all their wisdom put case.plan together based on services the state can get reimbursed for… I never had 2nd child because of the BS that a report appeared to be false as no indicators found morphed into something bigger than I could ever have imagined. Families in need of service are job security for DCF. You should look into seeing a psychologist…if you do not already feel like you need to second guess youdself or always be on alert, it usdally will happen…have support system in place for your own wellness…cause if we are not in the right headspace, how can we be acting in the best interest of the child…

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