Hello! New here and I desperetely need help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sandmama, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. sandmama

    sandmama New Member

    I cannot handle this anymore. I am at the bottom of the barrel and don't know if I can pick myself out of it.

    DS - 13 is making everyone in our house miserable and has for years.

    Quick background - In preschool he was very aggressive, hitting, biting, kicking multiple times a week - huge fits - and this continued until he was about 8ish.

    In Kindergarten Phsych put him on ADHD medications. After counseling in 1st grade they put him on BiPolar (BP) medications and Risperdal which he was on for about 1.5 years. He has continued to take ADHD medications this whole time but I also know he suffers from depression.

    When all this was going on they diagnosed him with ADHD, BiPolar (BP) and ODD and had many Asperger symptoms. I really wasn't so sure about the BiPolar (BP) but knew for a fact he needed ADHD medications to get through his school day.

    He is a straight A student, all his friends, teachers, coaches love him because he can be so caring and sweet, but when school started this year his ODD has gotten very bad ONLY at home. I have a daughter, 8 , at home and am 2.5 months pregnant with another baby and am worried about them now.

    My husband is his step-dad, but we have been married for 10 years now.

    Austin is explosive, definiant, rude, and just down right mean. We have rules in our house and he feels that we don't even have the right to ask him to do his homework or take a shower. He is VERY angry at us for not letting him hang out at girls' houses, all his friends are girls, so we only let him go to activities in group situations due to our dating rules.

    I am calling dr today and a psychologist, but I just can't take this anymore. My husband now wants to keep out of his way due to the hurt feelings and daughter is afraid of him.

    Last night when my husband and I went to bed, he asked me if I thought we were in danger of being hurt by Austin. I couldn't sleep because I am more worried about him hurting himself.

    I don't know where to turn. We have been the dr route before and I have taken classes, read books, and just feel hopeless. I don't know if this can ever be fixed, if we can ever have a normal family.

    Please help.
     
  2. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Time to start calling the police in my humble opinion. If he threatens to hurt anyone, especially with a weapon, if he actually physically hurts anyone or any animals, if he damages property, if he steals, if he leaves without permission, if lets people into your home without your permission who are a danger to you or your other child - I would call the police. The rules about physically hurting people or animals, damaging property and stealing are absolutes in my opinion. They should not be tolerated and the police should be called and charges pressed.

    Call your local police and ask to speak to someone about your situation. Tell them you are afraid he will hurt one of you or himself and that you may be calling them if he gets violent.

    State clear rules about the circumstances under which the police will be called and then do it. Carry a cell phone in your pocket so you can call for help at any time. Post the rules and post a crisis plan in plain site. A crisis plan spells out in advance what your family will do under specific circumstances like him being threatening or breaking things.

    Find after school care for your 8 year old to minimize the exposure to your 13 yr old and reduce the possibility that she will get hurt.

    Tell your pediatrician and your obstetrician about your situation so it is documented in the medical records and they are aware of the situation. They may have additional resources or suggestions for you.

    Lock up all medications today. Everything down to tylenol. If he's depressed he could attempt suicide on you and drugs are the easiest thing to use. Also easy to steal and sell for money to finance bad habits.

    Make sure the psychiatrist knows you are afraid that he is going to hurt a family member or himself. Document that you have notified him/her of your fears. Ask for specific guidance on what to do if he gets violent and you fear he is a danger to self or others. If he is in fact bipolar he needs to be on medications and if he's on medications and it's not reducing the severity of his symptoms (depression and aggression) then perhaps there should be a change in medications if only to increase the dosing. If you can't get this from the current psychiatrist then you need a 2nd opinion ASAP.

    Get a therapist for yourself and your husband to go to for support and guidance. Find someone who has lots of experience working with troubled, mentally ill adolescents if you can.

    Hugs and strength for your journey.
     
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there, and welcome to the board. Sorry you have to be here. My very first suggestion is to take him to a neuropsychologist. in my opinion they do the very best diagnosing and test in every area, usually 6-10 hours. You simply need to know what is really going on. Calling him ADHD/BiPolar (BP)/Aspergers/ODD is about covering all the bases, but it doesn't really define what he has or why he is defiant. To me, it sounds like the psychiatrist doesn't know what he is dealing with so he has mentioned just about everything it could possibly be. I have a few questions to ask you that will help us help you the best way we know how.


    But first we need to know more.

    1/Who originally diagnosed him and what medications is he on currently?

    2/Is he getting worse?

    3/Although his biological father is no longer parenting him and possibly not even in the picture, your child DOES still carry 50% of his genes. Lovely, I know. Does your ex have any psychiatric problems, diagnosed or undiagnosed? Does he abuse substances, which is a big red flag for undiagnosed mood disorders? Unfortunately, his stepfather is not the one who gave him his genetic makeup. What is his attitude toward your son? Does he believe he is mentally ill or neurologically impaired or both?

    4/How was your son's early development? Did he make strong eye contact with you and others, even strangers? Was he interactive? Did he speak on time and appropriately? Play with toys appropriately? Any strange quirks such as making high pitch throat noises, repeating things, flapping arms, lining up toys, freaking out when he had to transition from one activity to another, cover his ears or eyes when things were too loud or bright or stimulating? Does he have any obsessive interests? Does he know how to make friends and have a give-and-take conversation?

    Once you answer the questions, we'll have more info and can give you our best shots. You may want to do a signature like I did below. Glad you're here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  4. sandmama

    sandmama New Member

    1/Who originally diagnosed him and what medications is he on currently? A child pshychiatrist gave him an official diagnosis of ADHD which is the only thing he has a current prescription for. It is for Vyvanse 50mg, but has refused to take it for the last 1.5 weeks. He told me he would like a lower dose so when he is at school he doesnt feel as zoned out when he is in a group of friends talking. We have an appointment next wed for that prescription.

    2/Is he getting worse? His behavior is getting worse. His outbursts, his attitude, his negativity, basically his whole personality. He is defiant at any request we ask of him, calls us names (not cussing usually, but "pea-sized brain big fat hippo kind of stuff) This morning I touched his oatmeal packet and he refused to eat it after that. He complained about the way I washed his clothes, the way I made his lunch...

    3/Although his biological father is no longer parenting him and possibly not even in the picture, your child DOES still carry 50% of his genes. Lovely, I know. Does your ex have any psychiatric problems, diagnosed or undiagnosed? Does he abuse substances, which is a big red flag for undiagnosed mood disorders? Unfortunately, his stepfather is not the one who gave him his genetic makeup. What is his attitude toward your son? Does he believe he is mentally ill or neurologically impaired or both?

    There aren't any conditions I know of on his bio-dad's side. They are all a little off and we don't have contact with any of those relatives. He sees his Dad a few times a year and will usually come and spend holidays with us. It is a very cordial relationship that husband and I have built with him for the sake of Austin. husband's attitude toward him has always been very loving and kind, but strict and expects our children to behave and work with the family. husband really doesn't know what to think at this point. He works very long hours and spent many years working out of town these last few years. I am the one who deals with all of this.

    4/How was your son's early development? Did he make strong eye contact with you and others, even strangers? Was he interactive? Did he speak on time and appropriately? Play with toys appropriately? Any strange quirks such as making high pitch throat noises, repeating things, flapping arms, lining up toys, freaking out when he had to transition from one activity to another, cover his ears or eyes when things were too loud or bright or stimulating? Does he have any obsessive interests? Does he know how to make friends and have a give-and-take conversation?

    That's the thing. Austin is amazing. He did everything early, is smart enough to be taking high school math and science (he is an 8th grader) classes, he socializes well though thinks all the boys at school are nerds and refused to hang out with any of them, and is great about not wanting to be around people who cuss or make bad choices. This behavior is ONLY at home. When he was younger 1-3 grade and I would take him to a behavioral therapist, we didn't get ANY help because he would charm them and they really couldn't see what I was ever talking about.

    I tried to put a signature in, but it didn't work. I will try again :)

    Thanks for any help or suggestions. I guess I need a system to know exactly how to handle each situation. For instance, if he refuses to take a shower when I ask him, or he turns and demands for me to get to get his towel for him, how do I respond? What I am doing is not working. I have gone the whole lavish him with positive behavior support or take away all privledges and nothing seems to work.

    It has been a long time since he has threatened to hurt anyone or himself, at least a year, but that thought still lingers in my mind. He doesn't hang out with people who are not good influences, at least outside of school. We are very active in our church an he has a good support of good kids there. It's just his attitude toward the three of us in our family. I don't understand. I am not worried about any kind of substance abuse, I just don't know what to do, and because of my past experiences with mental health professionals I don't have very much faith in that route. UGH!
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi again and thanks for answering.

    My honest opinion would be that without mental health professionals and NeuroPsychs he really can't be treated. I thought he had a psychiatrist. One bad apple doesn't make them all bad.

    At any rate, others should come along. I think he needs an evaluation and follow up treatment. And I also think he may have some really bad peer contacts at school and could be doing things you don't know about. I could be wrong, but kids that age are very clever and sneaky. My daughter fooled us for a long time. Your son sounds manipulative (charming professionals while acting like a hellion at home) and there has to be a reason beyond ADHD for his behavior.

    Even smart kids have disorders. Aspergers comes to mind...not saying he has that, but Aspies tend to be very intelligent, but they do have issues.

    We can't be with them all the time.

    Good luck, whatever you decide.
     
  6. helpme

    helpme New Member

    Phew.

    rlsnights- You are a gem. I can't tell you how much I wish that
    someone had given me the advice you had years ago.

    Here's a few more tips:

    >>On Call your local police and ask to speak to someone about your situation.

    If they don't understand, ask to speak to someone "high up". If you get
    the old "kids will be kids" attitude, ask if they have a position for mental
    health services and let them know you also want to speak to anyone
    with those qualifications.

    If you are in a small town or city and repeated police reports are not
    helping, start calling your local county police department. If you
    are unsatisfied with their assistance, contact your local state police.

    Record all incidents in a notebook with dates and times. This will
    establish a habit for you to late use for educational, medical, and
    possibly criminal charges. Add any names, badge numbers, positions,
    and phone numbers to your incident book. Keep this book under
    lock and key.

    <additional note: I am now able to see difficult child's facebook as he has it
    unlocked. I also add these entries into my incident logbook. This
    helps during "no contact" situations and assists in the ever determined
    sleuthing many of us most perform daily>

    As far a medical care, I unfortunately pray you identify the problem
    before the teenage years, or 18+.

    Furthermore,
    >>Tell them you are afraid he will hurt one of you or himself and that you may be calling them if he gets violent.

    Insist if they are not complying. They must assist you. Be fully prepared
    for situations like this at all time. Me, I wasn't prepared. I ended up
    with one kid bleeding, one kid scared to death, as I stood strong about
    forcing an evaluation. Also, I forgot to get gas and had to stop along the
    way. Be prepared with a plan for all children, all situations. True, the
    ambulance ride barely got there before me, but I would have had more time
    to work with the staff. In my situation, the Police officer did not take
    away my difficult child's phone who he had used to call his father with along the ride. My STBX then denied drug testing and psychiatric evaluation. The only
    thing I got done was that they handed me his clothes and I took the
    FOID card (firearms card) and his DL.

    By the way, don't get me started on DL's. My state has a policy
    that without a court order the only person who can "revoke" a DL
    is the parent/person who signed for the test to be taken. Custody
    does not matter.

    And finally,
    In regards to the physical abuse. Find a solution for the other children.
    Drill, and I do mean drill, a plan into them. For me, I was so busy fighting
    STBX to help difficult child, that I didn't realize that not only myself, but my daughters as well, were sleeping with knives (taken away from him),
    purses, cell phones, and important paper, and even homework, under our pillows every night. See, I though the darn kid was just mad at ME, like everyone was saying. "X you are a great mom, its just a problem between you and difficult child". NOPE. Its a problem unrecognized, undiagnosed, and
    UN remedied of the difficult child.

    I saw the signs. I knew better. And now I know better I'll do better.
    It's a lot easier to teach the other children about the situation, that
    to deal with the after math of domestic violence. I shudder when
    I remember how scared we all really were. Personally, no man has
    ever raised a hand to me, included STBX. But for children, it is a fear
    that is never forgotten.

    I also worried about difficult child god hurting himself, and STBX's family
    played the "you are gonna make him kill himself" card. Trust me,
    they might not admit it our loud, but they truely know difficult child's behavior
    (now under his father's care for 2 years) is going to get himself killed by someone if something doesn't change.

    I wish you the best, stay strong. Take advice from everyone. And
    don't be ashamed of what is happening. People do understand.
     
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sandmama, you might want to look up Sensory Integrative Disorder and/or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

    I mention this due to the oatmeal packet and the clothes and lunch issues. Perhaps if you can not do it the way he needs it done, he can do it himself. It is OK to offer that up as a solution for him.
     
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