....and they all lived happily ever after.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by GinAndTonic, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. GinAndTonic

    GinAndTonic New Member

    What does the future hold for my difficult child? I know you don't have a crystal ball, but I'd love to hear some success stories for kids with conduct disorders. I had an IEP meeting yesterday, and my son's teachers kept going on about how worried they are about my son, and about my family. They meant well, but it was awful to hear. I can worry enough on my own.

    Any stories of kids overcoming their early emotional problems and doing well as adults?
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello G&T,

    I have ADHD, several Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits (Aspie-lite, you could say), and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) tendencies. In addition, both of my parents were (are) major difficult children who were far to absorbed in their own misguided lives to pay any attention to their forlorn youngest child.

    Despite an inauspicious start, I have managed to create a good life for myself. I have found a job that works really well for ADHD/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) so rather than having to fight my brain's wiring, I am able to put it to use. My beloved husband is wonderful and supportive, and 2 out of 3 children are easy child.

    I had struggles and made several mis-steps in my late teens and early twenties, but I found my way.

    I think a lot of our difficult children just take a lot longer to be "fully cooked", but with the right supports they can overcome a lot and be happy adults.

    Please feel free to PM if you want more information.

  3. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Yes, my dtr was on an IEP for emotional problems and she was very oppositional. She was drinking, smoking cigarettes, smoking pot, skipping school, stealing from family members, going out and staying out without us knowing where she was, etc. This all started in middle school and continued into high school. We sent her to residential treatment when she was finishing 9th grade--she wasn't even attending school by then, would just go on the bus and hang out downtown. She did very well at her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but when she returned home she was up to the same old tricks and ended up being court ordered to a rehab (she was 17 by this time). She left the rehab early, after doing well there and getting her GED, and then she moved out of our home to live with her new boyfriend (by now she was about 18). She still continued her wild lifestyle and we got drawn in a few times and tried to help her to no avail. I told her "no more", we would not help at all, and how disappointed I was in her. By now she was nearly 19 years old and for some reason she decided to take responsibility for her life. She got a job and no longer tried to get money from us and became a very nice person to be around. She recently moved across the country and is trying to act like a responsible adult--the toxic boyfriend is out of the picture now and she truly seems to want to live like a "normal" adult.

    I'm sure others will be along with their stories. I felt pretty hopeless about her many times, especially after spending tons of money for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and having her relapse and be worse than ever! I had to keep reminding myself that at least she had the tools and that since she was able to be successful in her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) she could be successful in life too if she chose to be. That is the whole key here--she had to want it for herself and in our case she had to be living away from us so we weren't there for her to rebel against.

    Hang in there!

  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I wish I had the answer for you, but I don't. All we can do is the best we can with-getting treatments, providing a stable home, etc., but worrying won't change the outcome.

    I'd tell you how not to worry, but I haven't conquered that problem myself. lol
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    we don't have any guarantees in this life. Frankly, I would be offended to have teacher and staff feeling sorry for my family! I could just be reading this wrong, but I don't like anyone assuming what my life is like and what my future will be, let alone my child's future.

    Your son is very young. You are doing all the right things by interveining early. Making sure the supports are in place at school, at home (especially with consistancy in consequences and expectations), therapist, psychiatrist, medication, behavior mods, etc., you can really make a difference in this youngster's life.

    Sure, there are many sad, disturbing, and down right scary stores here. But there are also stories to give you hope. There are stories that will bring you to your knees and ones that will bring tears to your eyes.

    Hope springs eternal. I know that sounds corny, but I live my life that way. Sure I'm an optimist, but living with hope keeps me constantly fighting for the future.

    Don't get bogged down with what tomorrow holds. Work on making today the best for you and your family.

    Being the parent of a difficult child is tough stuff. Shine up that armour :warrior: and continue fighting the fight. Don't let the words, predictions, and actions of others affect her heart and, most importantly, your gut.

  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Let's see. At five, my daughter was basically considered incorrigible. At 12, almost everyone I knew told me to give her back to the State, that she'd never amount to anything good. At 16, she was in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). At 18, she dropped out of high school.

    At 21, she's working, she's smiling, she's gradually making friends of her choosing rather than taking whatever comes her way. She's still living at home. She's still trying to find her way but the "incorrigible" child has become a remarkable young woman.

    So, don't take everything said to heart. If any concrete advice is given that makes sense to you, feels right to your mommy heart, take that advice and put it to good use. For the negative comments, a simple, "I'm sorry you feel that way." frequently says it all. Other times, it pays to get on your high horse and make them fight for your son. I once turned the tables on the teachers who were telling me what a rotten child my daughter was by agreeing with every word they said and adding to the list. All of a sudden, they were defending her. Towards the end, the principal caught that I was smiling and told me and the three teachers there that I had made my point -- she was a little girl who needed help, not all the negative comments.

    So, fight for him the best way you can. Ignore the schmucks as much as you can. There is tremendous hope for him. If my incorrigible child could overcome being labelled a liar, thief, good-for-nothing girl who was violent, never took responsibility for anything, felt (and still does) that the world owes her for a rotten start and so on, could turn into the charming young woman (albeit a total slob) she is today has to give all of us and our kids hope.
  7. Irene_J

    Irene_J New Member

    I usually post on the PE forum, but I saw you name and had to read your post. Although teachers can be valuable allies, they can also be some of the most uninformed people around. I was a strong advocate for my child since grade school (I had to fight to keep her from being expelled from pre-school!) and have seen the full range of teacher abilities.

    My difficult child took me through the wringer. I was counting the days until she reached 18 so I could throw her out (and I was fully convinced that I was going to have to do this). But, she turned it around in her junior year of high school. Although I like to think that I was influential, I feel that most of it was due to her. She decided she didn't like the future that awaited her. She's now in community college, works part time and lives at home.

    Yours is still so young, you have time to take some action. I looked up your signature and see that your child is only 5. I don't really think that teacher's comments are appropriate for one so young.
  8. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    I know you from the Early Childhood board--I'll share my husband's story, since my boy seems to be a carbon copy of him. My husband was a stubborn but smart kid, wouldn't listen to anyone exc his different drummer. Really hit the skids about third grade.

    Got worse, behavior-wise, every year, drinking every day in high school and drugging frequently. His parents (and I--we started dating in 10th grade) never gave up on him. He graduated h.s. despite frequent detention and several suspensions, always defying whatever authority was at odds with him at the time, including cops. He held steady part time jobs and was serious about saving money to afford college and his girlfriend.

    Somehow, with some string pulling by local clergy, went to a prestigous private liberal arts college where he came out middling --some stellar performances, some abysmal. More drinking and drugging and defiance. Through this, he was devoted to art, music, and literature. We were married after we graduated, and thankfully he grew up more and more each year. Hit some bumps in the road and had a bottoming out in his early thirties and we had to divorce. He got his **** together, though, and we remarried. Held some great jobs, now in his best job yet, and eventually we were ready to have kids (started in our late 30s, but we were slow to mature--LOL). He seems to have Aspergers tendencies, as do his dad and his brothers, and is definitely a defiant one for the books. I know how to wear the kid gloves and do the eggshell walk. LOL

    The happy ending: he is a wonderful husband and father, good provider, just an all around amazing guy at 42. He drinks one or two beers a week, enjoys a glass of wine now and again, never drugs, still can become obsessed with his computer programming projects or music endeavors, but I can certainly live with that. He is a perfectionist at work--they love him but work him to death. We have lived a great life together, but I have to be the brains of the operation [eta: this is scary] because he has no ability to organize/comprehend things like travel plans, finances, calenders, cooking an entire meal, etc. We just respect each others' strengths and weaknesses. He is brilliant and funny and creative. Such a special man.

    He now has very positive relationships with his entire family (he was the third of four boys, each having his own particular set of "issues").

    The second part of the story is that we are starting all over with little versions of him...and me... oye.

    and to make a long story longer but to add some more positives, my severely ADHD/ADD brilliant, physically and learning disabled 24yo nephew is living his dream of being a rock and roll guitar hero, and supporting himself by bartending at a hotel, and has a long-term girlfriend, is driving a car AND is living on his own. All of these things, none of us thought would EVER happen. Warms the heart.
  9. GinAndTonic

    GinAndTonic New Member

    Thanks to all of you. This was exactly what I needed to hear today.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Thanks for sharing this: it's always encouraging to us all to hear of good outcomes for difficult little people.

    I had to chuckle a little when I got to this part about you being the brains of the operation. What you're describing sounds like Executive Function Disorder--the "CEO" located in the frontal lobe of the brain operates differently. I've read that persons with EFD can be highly successful provided someone else in their life (spouse, secretary, boss, co-worker, roommate, etc) takes on the role of CEO for them.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My difficult child is far from done, but from age ??? we had problems. Somewhere around 6 things got pretty bad, and we sought out various docs. By then we couldn't leave his little sister in the same room with him for a trip to the bathroom or she got hurt.

    School was a problem from day 1 as he was so very far ahead of the curve in many ways, and saw NO value in any group activity, compliance of any kind that did not involve him reading alone, and he just thought very differently than the teachers.

    We went through the IEPs, assignments done and not turned in, assignments just not done, chore refusal, so many more things including physcial violence and 3 hospital stays (one was 4 months!). At age 13 1/2 we had the Sheriff's Deputies take him out of our home due to violence.

    Now, at age 16 1/2, a junior in high school, he is getting good grades, has almost finished a college correspondence class in English, will be done with all of his college prep classes by the end of this year, plans to go to the VoTech next year to learn metalworking (and the State will pay for his 2nd year there!).

    More importantly, he sees that the violence was wrong, he is a good big brother (though he still lives with my parents), he is a loving son and grandson, and even has a girlfriend that my parents have MET!!! I haven't, but they are new together. He is smart, works hard (and is looking for a job), and while still a bit strange, is a joy to be around.

    There is HOPE, and there are things that will help. This board is a great place to find direction, care, and support.