Just found this forum and am sure I'll have dozens more questions, but the big thing my husband and I are struggling with right now is how to break the cycle when my brother is melting down. Background: I'm 29 and my brother is 12. My mother fostered and eventually, victoriously, adopted my brother in 2001. She has had custody of him since before his first birthday. During the process leading to adoption, he was diagnosed with fetal alcohol effects and resulting ADD, ODD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In 2006, my mother was diagnosed with a terminal disease, and my husband and I moved in with my mother and brother to support him and provide care for her. My mother died in January 2007; in one fell swoop, I lost the only parent I know and became a parent myself. My mother created many great support systems for my brother which I have attempted to maintain or improve upon. He has an IEP at his school, but I expect my relationship with them could be much better. Mostly, I feel like I'm flying under the radar with them. Current issue: Sometimes I just feel like my brother can't get out of his own way. That is, he gets into a spiral of bad choices and tries to engage my husband or I in non-stop power struggles. We both know that piling on punishment or trying to apply logic to these situations isn't successful, but we don't know what our actions/responses should be. Examples: My brother doesn't want to complete an assignment. He wants to argue about why it's stupid, why the teacher is unfair to him, ad nauseum. I ask him to focus on the immediate task at hand, but he just continues to throw up road blocks or lays his head on the table, nonresponsive. OR After nearly getting into a fight with a younger neighborhood kid, my brother is brought inside, where he continues to yell and make threats. We can't talk about the fight, his behavior, or his choices when he's like this. If sent to his room, he continues to act disruptive, throwing things, slamming doors, generally acting out. He'll repeatedly ask if he can come out of his room or just sit right on the threshhold as a way to try to engage us in some sort of argument. The first example has happened repeatedly this school year, but the second example has only happened once--but it was definitely stressful enough to get my husband and I to the library and led me to these boards. We absolutely want to do right by my brother and give him a positive environment, but we don't feel like we have a lot of resources (ie, my in-laws live in other states, no grandparents involved in raising him, all of our friends are just now starting to have kids so their struggles are more of the diaper variety). So, you can imagine my joy when I found these boards and not only other parents working toward solutions, but people who knew what all these acronyms mean! Anyway, any suggestions of things that have worked with your family or even things that failed disastrously (so I know what not to do!) would be appreciated.