Help - sibling abuse

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ctrlfreak, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. ctrlfreak

    ctrlfreak New Member

    Hi, I'm new here and I hope someone can help me. I have a thirteen year old boy, who has a diagnosis of...well...almost everything: ODD, Biploar, Asperger's, ADHD. The major problem I'm concerned with right now is that we also have a three year old, who is more and more frequently the target of the thirteen year old's temper... before, he would occasionally push him away or down if he got mad and the toddler was in the vicinity. But today, he actually put his hand in a "claw" position and smacked the three year old's face, digging his fingernails into his skin a little bit. Needless to say, I'm frankly not willing to allow this to happen to the three year old again - he is innocent and didn't ask to be born into this situation.

    I'm asking for advice from you all. How should I begin to deal with this situation? The thirteen year old is under a psychiatrist's care and on medication...has been hospitalized a couple of times, but not since he was nine or ten...before the toddler was born. We are scared to leave them in the same room alone for even a second. But even when we're in the room as well, we cannot always be fast enough to prevent this large child from striking. He also frequently targets his grandmother as well - today he punched her on her shoulder as hard as he could, causing tears and pain.

    We're all tired of this. We've tried to help him his whole life. And if my husband and I were the only victims of his violence, that might be manageable...but I cannot allow the three year old to be abused like this. I'm nearly ready to turn him over to the state. I mentioned the tendency to push/pinch the toddler to his PCP and his counselor before. The PCP thought he should be committed to a residential facility for awhile; the counselor was more hesitant. We've even had a counselor from such a facility come into our home before, three days a week for three no avail.

    Anyone have any advice??
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome--

    Unfortunately, you really have to act to protect the little one--almost as if the older child was a "dangerous dog" or something. If you cannot trust them alone together--then DO NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE TOEGTHER!

    If you have a doctor that is recommending Residential Treatment Center (RTC)--that is probably a good option...for everyone's sake. The child will get the help he so desperately needs and the rest of the family will not have to live with nor be subject to his abuse. No one should have to live in fear.

    Meanwhile, please protect that little toddler. You will never forgive yourself if something happens.

    And I know that at times, you will feel like the worst parent in the world for acting that way. I know because we have the same situation in my home. My difficult child cannot be trsuted around young children. Her little brother has finally reached an age and size where he can stick up for himself--but I still do not feel 100% confident about leaving them alone together...not even for a short period of time.

    So again, welcome....know that you are not alone.

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    I agree with-Daisyface. Not only will you not forgive yourself if something happens, but your son won't forgive himself when he grows up and realizes what he's done. And someday, he will be able to navigate the world around him, right?
    I would suggest checking on his medications and working very, very hard in therapy to curb the impulsive, angry hitting, which, untreated, he will eventually do to anyone, not just the old and defenseless, as you have seen.
    You're in therapy, right? Doesn't the therapist help with-anger issues? I imagine that the triggers can be more frequent with-a todder-preschooler around, who is full of energy and loud noises.
    I'd suggest a psyc hospital again, and then transition to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), if you can pull it off.
    Best of luck.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wish you would do a profile signature next time you are going to post. I think it would be good to know a little more history with your son. What his full diagnosis is and what medications he is currently on. To do your signature, click on User CP (top left of the page) and follow the prompts.

    Not only do you need to protect your younger son, but his grandmother needs to be protected as well. Certainly you should never leave him alone with either of them. What are your reactions to his violence? What are the consequences and his attitude toward them? What about at school - any history of violence against others there, or does he just abuse those who don't fight back?

    I would certainly consider placement out of the home to be a viable option. What if he had clawed your younger son's eye? What if he had broken a bone on grandma? Have any of his medical providers suggested calling 911?

  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Sibling abuse is one of the hardest things to see out of our difficult children. My son wm no longer lives in our home because of his anger/abuse targeted toward his twin sister.

    Saying that, is county mental health involved? Do you have crisis team in your area?

    A Residential Treatment Center (RTC) sounds like a good start. In the meantime please keep your little one safe - that with his grandmother. No one deserves this kind of physical aggression.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    There are things you MUST do. I have been in your position. My daughter hid the abuse her older brother heaped upon her -- for years. I found out in the middle of the night when I caught him trying to kill her. Literally. She was 6 nd he was 10. She kept it quiet because he threatened their little bro if she told.

    Do not leave them alone together, not even long enough to use the restroom. Take her with you. Dad can have her stand behind the shower curtain while he uses the restroom if he is alone with the kids.

    Get an alarm to put on his door so that you know if he is out of his room at night. Use it.

    Write up a plan to keep both your daughter and Grandmother safe. It should include provisions for night time. Keep this handy. If child protection ever gets involved this could keep them from taking your daughter. They will want to take the child who is not violent cause that child is easier and cheaper to place. They wanted to take both of my younger children and my son was in a long term psychiatric hospital at the time! Needless to say they didn't, but they threatened it!

    You NEED to report the punch to Grandmother. It is assault and may even be elder abuse. If you don't report it then you and husband could end up in trouble at some point if it happens often. with-o some history you will have a hard time getting the courts to do anything, including let you turn son over to the state (NOT that you are at that point).

    Residential treatment sounds like an excellent idea. PUSH the doctor to arrange it. It will not only let difficult child get help, it will give the rest of you some respite.

    From now on if difficult child assaults someone you need to call the police and at least make a report, even if they don't do anything else.

    A couple of years after the 4 month psychiatric hospital stay my son started to beat me. He couldn't get past me to his siblings. Eventually I had to have the Sheriff come and remove him. I would not let him back into the house because he was too dangerous. My parents ended up taking him. We allowed it as a step before Residential Treatment Center (RTC). My dad made him do lots and lots of yard work every time he got aggressive with them. Dad had just retired from teaching jr high and was uniquely qualified to handle my difficult child. So we were blessed and now son is a great young man. The yard work was a hard, physical chore that wore him out and burned off his aggression. (As a bonus my parents got their 1 acre yard back under control for the first time in over 20 years!) I think it was one of the keys to turning Wiz around.

    I really hope you can get a handle on this. You just cannot tolerate violence. Esp not to a young child or elderly woman.

    many hugs.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sometimes it's helpful to arrange either a conference call or meeting of all providers (PCP, counselor, psychiatrist) to lay out the problem and brainstorm solutions. It gets everyone on the same page and working together in your son's best interests. Clearly something has to change -- whether it's a hospitalization to straighten out medications or a longer-term residential placement -- to protect the lives of the more vulnerable members of your household.

    I hope you are able to get some resolution soon.