Disaster after disaster

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by strongmanslady, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. strongmanslady

    strongmanslady New Member

    I posted a while back about my 12 yr. old son's behavior. It seemed to have started "overnight". He was throwing tantrums, screaming, yelling, breaking things, etc. He just overall became an angry, not happy boy. It has carried on into school. At least once a week he is getting detention. He just came off of 3 days in school suspension this week (Monday) and now today, I get a call from the principal about ANOTHER incident. My son seems to think he doesn't need to listen to not only his parents, but now his teachers. He will not stop talking when asked, he will not sit in his seat when told to sit down, he talks back to them, etc. Today he called a teacher a "fag". I am so depressed and upset right now. He started therapy last week; he has only had 2 sessions so far. I don't know what to do. I think he needs to have a neurological evaluation and he's therapist did mention this but again, she has only seen him twice so far. I am so sick of the roller coaster of taking away his Xbox, Ipod, laptop, etc. when he acts out, then returning them when he seems better, then taking them away again when he acts out again, returning them, etc, etc. What am I doing wrong??? Should I take everything away AGAIN??? His therapist is not in today and does not take emails. My son is sarcastic, rude, and just overall thinks he can do, say, and act the way HE wants to. I cannot get over the constant changes in his mood and behavior. There is no happiness in our home; we feel like we are walking on egg shells waiting for the next eruption. He does not want to go ANYWHERE with us - i.e. movies, mall, visit relatives, etc.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I would say a neuropsychologist evaluation is definitely called for. Unfortunately, they can take some time to get. Is he on any medications? Did this behavior stat suddenly or has he always been challenging?
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Ugh. been there done that with my son, I know it's not fun. I think you've got the right idea with wanting furthing examinations/testing. Are you in an area with a good children's hospital? They can be a big help. I would start calling around (after checking your insurance) and see if you can find a good neuropsychologist (that specializes in children) and either get an appointment set up or see what you need to do to start the process.

    I'm sure this has been suggested before but have you read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene? It doesn't do anything to treat behaviors but it goes a long way to changing how you deal as a parent and can help cut back some of the tension and negativity.

    Until you can get more testing done, I would just pick your battles. That's not saying give in, just decide what your "biggies" are with the rules and focus on those for now. Decide ahead of time on consequences and stick with them. It probably won't help with the attitude but it will give you and your wife a set way of responding so to speak. Ex: If son does X, then the constant consequence is A. You won't second guess yourselves or be caught searching for an appropriate consequence. Reinforce them with difficult child. If he's throwing a fit because he has homework, "Sorry son, you know that homework is done before Tv. That's the rule."

    Whatever you decide on for the rules/consequences, stick with them. Also, if you decide that homework is to be done at the kitchen table, remove all distractions. No electronics, tv, etc. Although, with my difficult child, there have been times he's been allowed his mp3 player because it helps him block out distracting noises and he's able to focus more on his work. If there is something that helps yours like that, then yes, allow it. Otherwise, nothing else is happening until homework/chores/whatever is done. Basically, make your expectations known and stick with them. If he doesn't want to play along, then his world gets very, very limited.

    Try to get through the weekend but put a call in to the therapist ASAP, today if you have to. Let the office know that you need her to call you back IMMEDIATELY as soon as she gets in.

    I would also advise locking things up or removing from them from the house if possible, whenever you take things away from difficult child. In our case, we've had things taken away but difficult child found them and it didnt' do any good until we literally locked stuff up.

    I know this is hard, I've been there. Hang in there and go for more testing.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    On a previous post, you mentioned your son was being checked for Lyme Disease. I will guess that it was negative since you aren't mentioning it now.

    You should know that there are two standards of treatment for Lyme. The predominant view, from the IDSA, is that the testing is accurate and Lyme is easily treated. They look for symptoms such as a bullseye rash and knee swelling. The other group, ILADS doctors, believe there isn't an accurate test and that Lyme should be clinically diagnosed. They do use labs that specialize in tickborne illness for confirmation but I'm pretty sure you didn't get that unless you already know about the whole controversy in Lyme treatment. Anyway, the ILADS doctors believe that sudden psychiatric symptoms could be caused by Lyme.

    Your son's leg pains that you mentioned in another post make me concerned that the psychiatric symptoms could be part of a medical problem, especially if the leg pains happened around the same time.

    My daughter has Lyme Disease and we believe her psychiatric symptoms are from that. She had a bullseyse rash, developed some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms, and 2-3 months later had her first rage. Treating for Lyme quickly resolved her raging issues but they have returned at times. She is far from a success story with Lyme but the treatment has seemed to eliminate the worst of her psychiatric symptoms. ETA: We didn't know at the time of her bullseyse rash about this controversy and so when we were told "there is no Lyme in TX", we believed it and didn't connect her psychiatric symptoms or her headaches to the rash. She didn't get treated for 3 1/2 years. Earlier treatment would probably have a better outcome.

    Here is a link to a brochure about neuropsychiatric Lyme. http://www.lymeinducedautism.com/images/PsychiatristBrochure.pdf

    If you think Lyme is a possibility, unfortunately, you will need to do a lot of research to learn about both sides of the controversy in order to decide which way to go.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The others have given good advice, which I totally agree with. I have one other piece, that I feel is a MUST.

    Get him tested/evaluated for drug and alcohol use. Sudden behavior changes can be a huge red flag for these. My own brother had some very sudden changes in behavior that sound like your son. My parents never checked for this, not for years. He had started to drink at a "trusted" neighbors house. Their sons were older and the dad was an alcoholic. The basement was off-limits to all females, except for the mom and daughter to go do the laundry there. They had a fridge that was always full of beer. Nothing else. The boys and their friends were down there playing pool all the time. My bro had an enormous stash of porn and brought some over as part of his "ticket" to join them. Once he started that first beer he was hooked. Many years later, in his mid thirties, he hit bottom and started to walk that road called recovery.

    If my parents had even gone into the basement of the neighbors (just across the street, they spent many hours talking and having coffee at our house or theirs) they would have had their eyes open, but they didn't.

    Go and search his room. Not just once. OFTEN. With his actions does he really need privacy? Or will that be just another way to hide whatever is the problem, IF it is a substance abuse problem?

    I totally agree with doing what the others say, but you also need to look into how his friends act, does he have new friends, where is he spending his time, esp when he is not with you, what exactly is he hiding, and where? All of these and more need to be investigated.

    I hope that you can figure out what is going on and get whatever help he needs.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I was going to echo what Susie said about drug testing, especially if this is new and sudden behavior. I'd also want to rule out sexual abuse (ie someone may have molested him and his acting out is a way of coping with the emotions he might be feeling).

    If you create a signature for yourself that details what medications (if any) your son is on and what tests he's had (like the one for Lyme), it will help us remember from post to post what your situation's history is. (See the User Control Panel (CP) at the top of the page here to access your signature area).
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If this happened overnight, and he is 12 or older, I would be thinking it is drug use and drinking. At rare times mental illness can come on with a bang...one day you're ok with no symptoms, the next day you are horrible. But the biggest thing to look for before everything else with a kid who suddenly flips a switch is drugs and alcohol. My daughter is 13 and doesn't do it, but my oldest one did at twelve, and my 13 year old knows kids who already use drugs. And I don't mean just weed as weed causes apathy, not destruction. ADHD drugs, crushed in pillcrushers and snorted, are big abused drugs. My daughter tells me Adderrall used to go for $10 pill and this was over ten years ago. Stimulants, abused, cause this kind of tantrumming and behavior. So do other, more advanced drugs...not trying to scare you, but if it's drug abuse finding out right away is better than having it go on and being in denial (like we were).

    I would spring surprise drug tests on him. They don't show all the drugs, but the idea of a test may scare him straight if this is part of the problem.

    It would be helpful if you would do a signature like I did below. I am really sorry you have to be here. Been there/done it all. I hope you find your answers. Good luck, regardless of what you decide to do, but please don't ever think, "Not my kid. It's impossible." That's what I thought too. It's what most parents think at first. (((Hugs)))
  8. strongmanslady

    strongmanslady New Member

    I went to the school and walked into the principals office and immediately started to cry. They were very understanding and compassionate. The Social Worker came in and we started discussing what happened in class and what needs to be done. They suggested a behavioral treatment center here in town but when we checked, we found out he was too young to attend. They then suggested another center in a town about 50 min. from me - meaning I would have to drive him in mornings and pick him up at end of day. After thinking more, The S.W. found a mental health center here in my town where he would see both a therapist and phychiatrist. I took him there imediately for a evaluation. They will call me Monday to give me the name of the therapist he will be seeing, along with a date, and they made an appointment for my son with the physchiatrist on the 29th. I feel alittle better now that I know he will be getting treatment. Thank you all for all your suggestions. I truly appreciate them. I will keep you all posted. I will also do the "siggy" thing that someone recommend. Right now, I am so tired and drained. :(
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Nice to meet you.
    I am sorry I missed your previous post.
    I agree with-the others who suggested more followup with-Lyme disease and drug testing.
    I am so sorry!
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Are you sure there was nothing that happened that might be perceived as traumatic to him? Along with drug/alcohol abuse, or a predisposition for mental illness that was triggered by puberty, it is not uncommon for kids to experience things that cause this too. It's not always the obvious traumas like abuse or divorce of parents either.
  11. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hi, I went back and read your first post. You said that 5 weeks before you first posted in early November, you discovered your H had an affair and your son may have heard you fighting about it. What is going on with that situation? Are you and H still together? Or have you resolved your difficulties? Do you think your son is reacting to your marital difficulties?

    I hope the professionals will be able to sort things out and help get your son on track. In the meantime, you might want to get your hands on a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It's an approach that has helped a lot of us here parent our extra-challenging children.