Help with 11 y/o ADHD - PTSD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by worth249, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. worth249

    worth249 Grandma

    Hi All,
    I am new here and desperate. Our 11 y/o grandson moved to our home a year ago when he played out sexually with his step brother who was 5 years younger. Our grandson was 10 at the time.

    It would take WAY too much time to explain everything so the short of it is that this child was abused (physically and mentally) by both step-parents and our home is the first SECURE home he has known. His Dad now lives here too since he is divorcing the abusive step-mom. Problem: Grandson's mother has be diagnosed with PTSD and is capable to convince anyone that black is red. She is a master manipulator. We now see this in our grandson who has been in counseling for years. We are all worn out with his constant arguing and twisting conversations so that they work in his favor.

    We have read the Love and Logic book but the arguing and twisting the truth does not seem to be addressed much in the book. Anyone have a clue on how to handle this child? He is an A student but talks non-stop at school and at home. He wants to stand while eating, interrupts conversations and just pushes us to the limit. He is on medications which have recently been increased because he is growing. Most of the time he is a very good kid but once this behavior begins, it goes on for hours at a time and he WILL NOT lose the argument.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A few questions. Since you didn't give us a back story it's a little hard to know. Any other siblings? How are they doing? in my opinion it sounds like a heck of a lot more than ADHD to me.

    1/If he had sloppy or negligent parenting when he was young, he could have attachment issues. Has he ever been checked for attachment disorder?

    2/Has he had appropriate help for sexual abuse and also for acting out sexually? That's potentially very dangerous. We adopted a child who was abused and kept on acting out on other kids. This has to be addressed intensively with somebody who is a specialist in this area. If he does it again, he isn't so young now--this child of ours was tried in a court of law and found guilty as an adult of sexual assault of a minor (even though HE was a minor). A five or six year age difference is the key here. He won't stop offending without serious help. PLEASE GET IT.

    3/Are there are psychiatric problems or substance abuse on EITHER side of his biological family tree. You say nothing about birthmother. Did she take good care of herself while pregnant? How many stepparents abused him? Was this sexuallyl?

    I think he truly needs very intensive help. It's not just making a home for him. That is not enough if he is displaying sexual acting out and bold-face lying. I really believe he needs a whole slew of help for his various issues. It sounds like his life until now was takes an awful lot of outside help to get these kids on track and a regular therapist probably wont' do the trick.

    Glad you posted. Welcome to the board.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, worth249.

    I see two things here. One is that in order to argue, he has to have someone to argue with. That means you have to stop talking. Stop replying. Just be silent. When he pushes the envelope, dole out immediate consequences.

    Sit down with-him and tell him that the next time he argues, he will get one warning. You have to allow a warning so he can see this in action. He's going to say, "That's not fair. I didn't think that counted!" and you're going to say that it does count. After he uses up his warning and argues again, you take away his PS2 or whatever he loves to do, or you send him to his room, or whatever you deem a sufficient deterrent.

    I would suggest Doug Riley and John Rosemond books for arguing and defiance. You can find them both on Amazon. (And you can enter through this website, which helps us.)
    More than that, you need in-person therapy. Intensive therapy.

    Which leads me to the other issue--the sexual abuse. He's going to need a specialist for that. Not all doctors handle it. It's not something you can go in for once and say, "Done!" It's a long term issue with-long term therapy.

    The five-yr-old is in therapy too, right?

    And the mother with-PTSD is the birth mom, right? Is there a way you can get custody? Can the birth dad (your son?) get full custody?
    (I'm thinking way ahead here, but it sounds like the potential for abuse is still there.)
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a master manipulator, too. And it is hard to just not argue. People told me that for years - 'just don't argue with her. you are the boss., etc'
    It frustrated me, because there was no getting out of it with her.

    But, silence is truly the 2nd best thing to do. Even if it means he claims that silence as his victory.

    The first best thing to do is to pick your battles. You really have to detach from a ton of subjects - just do not care anymore. It is funny, because for some reason my difficult child accepted a few topics as non-arguable. For example, going to school. I did all the usual things and then threatened to call the truancy office if she did not go to school. She never forgot that. I even heard her tell her friends once that she had to go to school or her mom would call truancy.
    Now there had been a myriad of threats through the years, why did that one work? I have no idea. But, I took a stand for school attendance, meeting the adults of any house she went to, and all safety related issues.
    Brushing her teeth? Stopped arguing about it. Taking a shower? Stopped arguing about it. Getting homework done every night? Stopped arguing about it.
    I had to - my house had become a war zone.
    Yesterday she turned 18. I think she has taken more showers in the last 6 months than she has in the last 6 years. Seriously.

    Figure out what you are willing to turn your house into a battle zone for and leave the rest.
  5. therese005us

    therese005us New Member

    Hi and welcome

    I agree with the 'choose your battles' advice. it works well with my DS19, and now and again, I use it with my DD11. I find myself responding to something trivial, or to a manipulation, and I pull up and think? "hey, I'm supposed to be in charge here and I'm negotiating?" Then calmly say, that's my decision, you have to live iwth it. No further discussion" and tune out!

    When DS was younger, he would follow me and keep arguing.... that was annoying. I don't remember how i dealt with it now, though one time , I actually went into another room and closed the door (it was probably the bathroom!)

    You do need to look at other counselling avenues too, even if you made enquiries for yourself on how to handle these situations. You are a brave woman to take this on... and I'm sure that with love and consistency, you will turn out a fine young man. But you can't do it alone, so come back and let us know how you're getting on. There are many wonderful ladies (and gentlemen) here with a host of experiences. WE're not experts, but sometimes,just talking it over helps, and we glean little ideas from each other. That's what support is all about.
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Welcome to the crowd! Sounds like your hands are truly full!

    I would suggest that you get a full neuropsychologist done on him. A lot of times arguing, acting out, manipulation etc. (not the sexual abuse - the others are right - he needs to be seeing someone who specializes in that with kids) are actually coping mechanisms for kids that have underlying issues. The arguing & manipulation (as well as anger, obnoxious, annoying, anxiety ridden behaviors) could draw you a picture of my difficult child 1 who's an aspie.

    Again, welcome to the crowd - we're here to help!

  7. worth249

    worth249 Grandma

    Yes . . . he has seen a therapist for a very long time. He has come HIGHLY recommended and has dealt with him on the sexual thing as well as other issues that have cropped up. In addition, he sees a pediatric MD therapist. The MD feels he suffers from PTSD in addition to the ADHD.

    Mom comes from a long line of manipulators. Her mother controls all of her adult children (ages 20 - 30) and they all live with her. She kicks them out now and again and then cries and asks them back. They are all screamers. This is something that has troubled our grandson. His mom and step-dad would fight at night keeping him awake and he would fall asleep at school. He did not feel he could tell the teachers why he did not get sleep because he would be called a liar by his mom and step-dad.

    SRS was called because our son found bruses on him which were obvious hand prints. SRS showed up days later and mom and step-dad denied everything . . . said AS (i will use our grandson's initials) was lying. AS told me he could not believe his Mom did that. Mom has told AS her husband was a jerk and then that he was a changed man and really nice. This went on and on while AS continued to be abused.

    In our son's home, the step-mom had children of her own. AS was ALWAYS wrong when there were disagreements among the kids. He was constantly sent to his room and basically lived there. Our son worked out of town and while he was gone family witnessed even worse treatment of AS.

    When he came to our home, he had to have his bedroom door open and a light on. After one year he now asks that the door be closed and no longer has a night light. He has made friends at school. It is a new school for him so it is like "starting over." Previously, he would bite himself often. He has not done that for a very long time.

    I see such progress in AS but it is difficult to know when he is being a normal 11y/o boy and when it is a sympton of a deeper problem.

    You are correct about the arguing. I usually tell him I refuse to debate the issue and leave the area or tell him to leave and return when he can speak without arguing. It works most of the time but Grandpa can not seem to stop . . . he continues to argue. It is driving me crazy.
  8. worth249

    worth249 Grandma

    I forgot to add that AS is on diversion for the sexual thing. The step-mom pressed it with SRS and the DAs office to have him admitted to a juvenile center. The judge opted for diversion for 18 months. AS has a 2 y/o half-brother and step-mom only allows AS to see him for one hour a week at MacDonalds. She sits at the window and watches them though our son is always with them.

    The therapist says he sees NO SIGN that AS would offend again. His belief is that AS acted out because of the isolation and abuse. AS was never allowed to have an opinion of his own. No matter what anyone told him, he would respond with a very soft “OK.”
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I strongly hope that grandson is in therapy with a good psychologist and that he sees a psychiatrist (one board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry). At some point he may need therapy for attachment issues and specifically for the sexual abuse.

    As for the arguing,etc... Love and Logic was the first book that had useful techniques for that. The Broken Record technique where you have a stock phrase or three and just repeat them every time , well, it managed to get through to my manipulative child. It wasn't easy, esp at first, but it DID work.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Having raised grandsons (still have one) I know it is more difficult the second time around. We also had a single instance of sexual misconduct which, thankfully, turned out to be "normal curiousity" according to the best expert we could find within four hours of our home. Please note that I am not naysaying the importance of inappropriate sexual conduct because in the majority of cases that I am familiar with it is an important issue that must be addressed by a highly trained professional...not just a regular therapist. There are, however, exceptions.

    I know this sounds strange :redface: but does your grandson have a dog? I recently learned about the therapeutic value of a canine companion and it just popped in my head as I was typing. There is considerable evidence that a difficult child (particularly with PTSD) can greatly benefit from the love of a dog that is HIS friend.

    From experience (please don't be offended!) I have found that the biological parent who is YOUR child can also trigger anxiety unnecessarily. If your son is not on the same page you are on......and my daughter has never shared a page with us, sad to and your husband may be giving up your heart for naught. Try to analyze your son's core values
    before you sacrafice too many of your years to saving his child. He is apt to find a new girlfriend and abandon your ship for the one with companionship for himself.

    Sorry.........this sounds awfully negative. My husband and I have learned alot about life from the past 22 years with the second family. I DO wish you well but feel compelled to flash the warning...make sure your eyes are really open. Hugs. DDD
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    And I'm on the opposite end due to my experiences. If the therapist is not an expert on sexual predators, I would not believe it's an isolated incident that will never happen again--there is simply NO way to predict or know that or to even know how often he has donr it. I don't blame stepmom for her caution. I would do the same. You can not assume that it only happened once or that it will never happen again. in my opinion that is the most important issue to work on. I know you love him to pieces and want everything to be all right, but please be careful when he is with younger children. Experimentation and curiosity is with kids the child's own age. Five years younger than him and it is definitely abuse, and, if this child gets straight A's in school, I believe he knew that. I hope I"m wrong and all turns out well. Pleases don't drop the abuse issue though. If it happens again, he could end up found guilty in a court of law, like our adopted son was. And he was then sent to a detention center for young sexual predators, which was like a jail. I"m sure you don't want it to come to that, but it was out of our hands. Even if we had not agreed with it, CPS did not ask us--they told us. They also threatened to remove the other kids if he didn't leave. Good luck, whatever you decide. You're in a tough spot.