Dealing with Children that have emotional issues

 I am a mom to 5 children ages range from 5-12, I have 3 boys and 2 girls, I had my first son when I was only 17 years old. Not knowing how to be a parent of a child when I was a child myself  I look back and see a lot of mistakes I made. But without beating myself up about the mistakes I made I came to realize quickly that I was capable of fixing most of the mistakes I made the more mature I got. I matured fairly quickly because I was now a mom but it took a lot of help. I didn't realize until my son's first year of school that he needed extra help. My son is now 12 years old and had his ups and down at home and in school because he has ADHD. I really dislike labeling him and my other children because I feel like the school system and doctors like to label kids more and more, he is my son not a label!. I do though realize that  in order for them to get the extra help they need to conquer their issue(s) they will have to be "labeled". I am the type of parent that
likes to use medication as a "last resort". With my son we tried a few medications because his grades and socialization were affected by the ADHD, some with success and other without. Ultimately I ended up changing the program and school he was in and that was enough to see lots of improvement at home and at school. Right now he is medication free but in a smaller classroom setting and getting extra help at school for him to be able to focus better.
   Now I will say that I have 3 boys and 2 girls, my girls have no learning problems or emotional issues at all and are in a regular class setting, but my boys are all "labeled" and are in special class settings at school because they struggle academically and emotionally. For the first few years of my second sons life I noticed right away something didn't seem right, He is my second son but my 3rd child. He cried a lot, I thought at first he was just a colicky baby but little did I know he had a lot more going on than I realized. I remember those nights where my husband and I took turns staying up with him because he cried so much. We went to the doctor who then thought the same thing, he was colicky so he switched is formula. It worked a little bit and fast forward to today at 9 years old, he is severely lactose intolerant. But that is and was not just "it", he started preschool at 3 years old when I got tons of phone calls and the school bus driver knocking on my door daily. They said my son would not cooperate with them, would not follow rules and was having tantrums where he would "explode" and destroy the classroom. He would try to hurt me by biting, kicking and hitting when he was home. I wasn't sure if it was due to his articulation delay, it is and was severe. Maybe he was having a hard time expressing himself? It reached a level where the teachers could not teach and we could not function at home normally. What were we to do? I was referred to a physiologist, again I felt like a "failure", like I had to go to a professional to help me with another one of my children again.He was "labeled" as having Emotional disorder, hence Bipolar disorder, they just don't use that term with young children. I should have been happy knowing "why" but still I wasn't, all I kept thinking is WHY MY CHILDREN? He went to counseling 2 times a week, did medication for a couple years to control his mood(oh how much I dislike using medication) and last but not least he is in a classroom with extra support and only 8 other children. I will say that has helped tremendously. He is doing great I have gotten a few phone calls to "talk" to him to calm him down at school but not as much as  like in the past where I had to physically stop what I was doing to go to his school and help him calm down in person. I am proud of him for using his coping strategies to get through whatever it is he is going through at the time. 
  Now I have my 5 almost 6 year old who was born prematurely at 29 weeks, because I was severely pre-eclamptic.  Being a preemie he received services through Early Intervention,  He got PT,OT, Speech, Special education services since he was 6 months old. He was not hitting the milestones that babies his corrected age were hitting, so he needed these services.  I thought wow I am on top of my game, my son will receive these services and when he is school age he will be right up there with kids his own age. So now he is kindergarten and he just got tested for speech and is severely delayed again. HE has been showing signs like my 9 year old son where he does not want to listen, he is having tantrums and showing signs at school that he has ADD. We just had a doctors consult this week and she recommends he gets evaluated at a children's center that does behavior and ADD evaluations. A few years back we had genetic counseling because my children's doctor and myself thought it was strange that the boys are having a hard time but not the girls.  All 3 boys? Okay maybe my last sons issues are due to being premature, but still I find it a little odd that my boys are struggling.We ended up getting no answers from the genetic couceling because everything came up okay from all they could test for but I was told it still could be genetic just nothing they can test for.
    I hope that these boys and my girls too grow up successful and all of this is put behind them when they get older. I just want what is best for my children and hope I will continue to see improvement with the emotional issues.

Do you or have you known a child with similar problems? I would love to hear what has and has not worked for you. I am always welcome to trying different strategies to help them cope, I know its about trial and error, hopefully I can find a great strategy for my 5 year old.,so far so good with my two oldest.

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