I'm new here...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by canthandleitanymore, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. canthandleitanymore

    canthandleitanymore New Member

    Hi all, I’m new to this forum. New and desperate. My SO has a 10 ¾ y.o. son who is out of control and intolerable to be around. I am so ashamed to say that I really think I hate this kid. His dad even says that. I don’t know all the acronyms and don’t want to use his name, so I’ll call the child “Johnny.” I don’t even know why I’m writing this but maybe hearing that we’re not alone will help. And maybe somewhere in this forum there is some advice for help, because his dad and I are ready to give up. We don’t know what to do anymore.

    His father and I are 37 and 38, respectively, so we’re not kids ourselves. We're both average, responsible, working adults and have been together 2 ½ years. We want to get married, but I’m not sure I can commit to spending the rest of my life dealing with Johnny. There is a lot of history with this kid. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4 and has been taking Straterra since. (Apparently the stimulants cause tics and he cannot take them.) His mother essentially abandoned him and Johnny has lived with his dad full-time since 5 months. The mother lives in the same town as us, but never makes an effort to see Johnny anymore. His dad thinks it’s not an issue because Johnny has never had a real relationship with her, but I think it bothers him more than he ever admits. I’m convinced there are abandonment issues.

    Part of the problem is that Dad has dealt with this alone for years, and in doing so, just let Johnny have his way. The kid knows no rules, limits or boundaries. He has no respect for authority whatsoever. To add to it, Grampa and Grandma live 2 blocks away. When Johnny doesn’t like how things are at home, he runs to Grampa and Grandma, sometimes for days on end. They feel sorry for him and let him stay, and Dad doesn’t argue because he’s relieved to have some respite. Meanwhile, it just reinforces for Johnny that he runs his own life – he even gets to pick where he lives!

    When I came into the picture, I immediately saw the problems. I told Dad that his son is troubled and needs help. We split over the summer because of Johnny’s issues; I just couldn’t handle how miserable this child made our lives. Dad and I got back together in August and I put my foot down – I told Dad he needed to get his kid into counseling and start dealing with the behaviors and underlying issues. This was when he got worse. Dramatic changes in his life started happening – he was expected to listen, be respectful, behave in school, follow rules, help around the house. He goes to counseling once a week. And of course, who’s the bad guy? Me, because this all came about because of me.

    I did this all in the nicest, most loving way I could. I really WANT a good relationship with Johnny! I got him into band, signed him up at the Y (he loves to workout with me), got him on a basketball team, taken him on weekend getaways, got him involved with my nephews (who are great kids and I thought would be a good influence). I don’t have children of my own. I will never be his mother, but I can be a really good, positive, fun influence in his life. Deep down I really do care. But he makes it so difficult. It’s not even that he “hates” me or resents me, he likes being around me – as long as he’s getting his way. When he’s not, he doesn’t care who you are, he will make your life hell until he gets his way.

    At first we tried behavior charts and they worked for a couple weeks. Johnny was motivated to earn “money” (fake money toward a reward) when he was “good,” but didn’t care about losing it when he was “bad.” The behavior charts quickly lost any effectiveness. When he doesn’t get his way, it’s no-holds-barred. He doesn’t care about anything, only getting his way. He argues about EVERYTHING – I mean EVERYTHING! Literally, every single thing he is asked to do he argues or talks back. “No” is his favorite word, it’s his response to every request. He is defiant and just flat-out refuses to do as he’s asked. No amount of rewards or punishments or threats matter at all. He is miserable all the time, he just complains about everything. Nothing seems to really make him happy (except basketball and swimming). Think of a happy-go-lucky, baseball-playing, smiling 10 y.o. – the way kids that age are supposed to be. Carefree and having fun. Johnny has none of that.

    Johnny has reading and writing learning disabilities and hates reading. I have bought him so many books to encourage him to read (books at his level) and he refuses. All he wants to do is watch T.V. and play computer games. He has no friends. He started off the first couple weeks of school pretty good, but now it’s right back to business as usual. He talks back to teachers, tells them “whatever,” refuses to do school work he doesn’t want to do, and is a general disruption to the classroom. He has anger management issues and no ability to resolve conflict. Last week, he cried in school over a conflict with a school mate. It can’t be “normal” for an almost 11-y.o. kid to cry in school!

    I could go on and on. This kid is a psychological, behavioral, emotional, social and academic train wreck. He has no skills, no strengths, no friends – nothing on which to build him up. I did enroll him in a YMCA basketball program and so far that’s going well. He has never played sports and I was nervous how he’d be on a team. But so far, so good. I’m thrilled that at least he has one good thing in his life; one positive he can be praised for and be proud of. I want to get him into swimming lessons, but I’m so sick of being stepped on by this kid. I’m tired of putting effort and money into a kid who shows no appreciation in return and treats me like dirt. He is not physically violent – yet. But I see it coming. He used to cry or just sit and refuse to move, now he gets in your face. When puberty hits, God help us all. I’m actually scared of what will happen with him.

    Has anyone ever dealt with a child this severely disturbed? What do we do? The counseling is not working. She deals with him as just another ADHD child. We demanded a psychiatric evaluation and got a 30-minute paper test out of it. We meet with the psychiatrist to get the results next week, so we’ll see what comes of that. I’m not hopeful. They scheduled us for a 15-minute appointment. How can they possibly diagnose and get to know what’s really going on with this kid in 15 minutes?! Dad and I are miserable, Johnny is miserable, and we can’t go on like this. I am ready to give up on the love of my life because I can’t stand his kid. I’m not a quitter, I don’t want to give up!

    PLEASE, if anyone has suggestions, I will listen to anything!
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, can't!

    In our case, my Hubby was/is the bad guy. It is very difficult to live with all the way around. This truly is a soft place to land. You'll get lots of good info here.
  3. Mandy

    Mandy Parent In Training

    Welcome and HUGS!! It is commendable that you are willing to help this child in anyway you can and he's not even yours. I have to say that first because I am constantly telling my husband "Thank You" for sticking with us because he is Cole's step-dad. I mean somedays I want to run, but I am his mother so I don't:DI would see what the psychiatrists recommendations are, but Dad and Grandparents definitly has to be on the same page with you for anything to work. It sounds like you have made some great efforts to help with his behavior, and I would suggest a "family meeting" where you, his Dad, and grandparents sit down and get a game plan together. Lots of Luck!!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. You're in a hard spot and you're going to have to ask yourself if you want this for the longterm. You marry this man, you marry his son too. He isn't going to abandon his child for you. I am wondering why this child has not had a more recent evaluation. It sounds like way more than ADHD to me, and Straterra can make things worse if it turns out to be, say a mood disorder or a form of high functioning autism that has been missed. I would want this child taken to a neuropsychologist before I got any deeper into this relationship. I have a few questions you may want to check with your SO. They will help us help you. Do NOT think this is a bad child who just had no discipline. Although it may have contributed, he is obviously not your normal child and something is wrong beyond his life experiences.

    1/Are there any psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of the family tree (this includes his mother). I am guessing "yes." Has she ever tried to commit suicide? Mental illnesses are inherited. If she is, say, bipolar or is a substance abuser (a strong indicator of a mood disorder) she could have passed it along to the child. He would then need a different sort of medication plus therapy in order to be helped.

    2/How was his early development: Speech, eye contact with strangers, peer interaction, did he play normally with toys, did he ever seem "out of it?" How about now? Does he ever stare or seem "out of it?" Does he "get" social cues? Does he have obsessions or quirks? Does he have trouble with transitions? This kid sounds like he could have Aspergers. Aspergers is a form of high functioning autism only there is no speech delay, but the kids are socially clueless and have no idea how to deal with life unless they get the proper interventions. Medication isn't enough. I'd see the neuropsychologist. This kid sounds so much like my son at 10 that it's spooky and my son is on the spectrum. These kids don't have a wide variety of interests...my son can play videogames and watch TV all day, but he's had a lot of help at at 15 now he is really doing well. I think Johnny may need the kind of help my guy needed. Don't give up. Don't let his father give up. Here's an article on Aspergers teens. although this child is 10, I think you may see some commonalities. At any rate, this little guy needs a good evaluation and help...not the mindset that he is "bad."
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi! I just wanted to add my welcome! You have come to a very useful place and you clearly are making every effort to help the Dad, the child, and make the relationship work. You are to be commended for this. Don't give up just yet- I think you mmight find some valuable information here. Having him tested as MWM suggests would probably reveal a lot. Also, I would suggest reading "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene- both you and Dad. It has helped a lot of us- just tweak the method for the individual child and age. I thought the biggest help was getting a better understanding of what I'm mdealing with and when I tried a slightly different approach with my son, things improved a great deal immediately. Of course, there is no magic cure, but big improvements go a long way and helping us keep our sanity and to keep fighting for the child!!

    Again, welcome!!
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi there CTIAM,

    Welcome to the Board. Your description of Johnny was so very loving despite the behaviors you are enduring. My first thought has always been with kids like yours and mine - if he's behavior on the outside is this bad, how terrible must he feel on the inside? The answer is horrible....they feel horrible.

    My son also (now age 18) had abandonment issues. He is severe PTSD from abuse, ADD, and Conduct Disorder heading towards anti-social behaviors despite medicines, psychiatrists, and residential treatment facilities (known here as Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s). Then there was group homes, Department of Juvenile Justice, jail and it seems like it never ends, so the sooner you find a way to deal with getting EVERYONE in Johnny's life involved and on the same page - the better off it's going to be before someone gets hurt.

    A psychological and neurological evaluation would be a great place to start. 15 minutes is NOT enough time to get a correct and proper diagnoses and Strattera? It made my son a screaming meanie. It actually made him WORSE. Abilify helped some. Mine has been on over 64 medications and yet going for another this week. He lives currently in foster care, is a convicted felon at 16 and is out on bond for pending charges that are bogus - but tell that to the judge.

    I belive in a few things looking back. 1.) EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION. We all are taught how to talk to someone or so we think. With these children it's like their brains were put in backwards or upside down. So like learning math - some times convention methods of communication don't work. Usually this frustrates normal parents and we end up doing things and saying things we can't ever take back. So find a course in effective communication and LEARN how ---to speak to this child. It's nearly as much fun as learning a foreign language. 2.) Getting a proper diagnoses is very helpful, and KEEPING them in therapy and you and husband going to family therapy WITH him 2x a week I think helped us.

    Your son IS angry. He's so p.o'd at the world he doesn't know what to do and despite having a great dad and grandparents around - he's got to learn limits and personal boundaries, and keep in the back of your mind - how you feel inside/vs. outside plays on. I DO think his mother abandoning him is a large part of this. He coped - sure he coped but when you figure at 3, 4 he had to figure out how to COPE with this the best way he could - he only had the skills of a 3 or 4 year old to try to handle this and he has stuffed it.

    My son is like a storage unit in a gated community. I take it out of my house (problems) I put it (problem) in the storage facility (back of my mind) and I just keep stuffing, and stuffing and stuffing, and eventually one of three things will happen. The door will explode - You'll just "cope" and get another unit and continue the same depressive behaviors OR in some cases - the problems just get left there. The last option doesn't happen too much in real life. It can, but with limited coping skills it's really hard to rise above loosing your mother, not knowing WHY YOU weren't wanted - because you KNOW he's personalized this no matter WHAT he was told. And then there is a maybe someone told him his Mom was bad or worthless or he's overheard people putting her down. Maybe he hasn't, but if he has - that plays a HUGE part in how he views HIMSELF. We ALL wanted at one time to be loved or like our parents - or to know them if we were adopted or abandoned. We get left with HUGE holes that we fill with doubt, anger, self loathe, and loathe of others and eventually all that bad emotion gets stuffed in that hole or in that storage unit until it explodes....and with kids like ours - who have not been told "It's normal and okay to be angry - but expressing yourself in a proper manner is important, may have missed some key elements in functionality.

    Also the WORST thing you can do is MAKE EXCUSES or FEEL SORRY for them. They will USE this (like Gma and Gpa) and exploit the hades out of it. By NO means are these kids dumb - they are bright, intelligent and resourceful. My son on top of everything else is gifted as a writer but won't journal his emotions - and at 18 - it looks pretty awful to throw a temper tantrum. He's been in therapy for nearly 10 years. I dont' know of save few kids here that have been as difficult. He's been an ulcer, heartbreak and handfull and all before he got out of bed most days.

    Once I started family therapy (despite HOW lame it felt most weeks) I went. It's a lot like peeling back layers and more layers until you can get to the underlying cause of it. And that takes YEARS - you're starting with him at 10 almost 11? If he sticks with therapy and chooses to accept the help? It could be a s mooth transition into teens - but do get a handle on it NOW - OR abandon ship. I dont' think anyone here would say "No NO - YOU STAY and stick this out." You have to make a decision and I can and others here will tell you - THIS IS NOT NOT going to go away with therapy and/or a medication or camp or Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or anything else - it can be managed, but it's a lifetime of work to change them JUST to be civilized.

    I hope this does not scare you, but maybe pulls you more towards helping this boy find help that he needs and his family needs. I love the YMCA thing - our kids seem to do VERY good at athletic /working type activities but a lot of their block is in getting along with others or being ostracised by the other kids.

    Please know you are among those that understand - and you are NOT alone.

  7. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Can't! Welcome to the crowd (and it's a big, warm wonderful crowd, getting bigger every day!)!!!

    Ditto on "The Explosive Child".

    Have you guys had a full neuropsychologist done on him? It's done by a neuropsychologist that will test him every way possible. It's done over several days (over a period of time) and they check EVERYTHING!

    Your 10 year old sounds just like my 10 year old. You know, majorly possessed, just short of head doing a 360 on his neck kind of kid. But loving and wonderful to be around when things are going his way.

    Don't throw in the towel just yet. Get the neuro done (you can call your insurance company or even better, you can get them done sometimes through a teaching or childrens hospital if there's one nearby).

    He just sounds like mine and we're very slowly starting to see a few positive changes. (slower than Heinz ketchup, but still positive!).

    Keep checking in! Mine was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) and it turned out to be Asperger's Syndrome. Once we realized what was going on, it turned out that the stimulant that he was taking was actually fueling the fire!

  8. canthandleitanymore

    canthandleitanymore New Member

    Thanks to all of you! I could cry just knowing there are people who understand this and care, especially total strangers.

    MidwestMom -- Thank you for validating my fears and thoughts. I'm no psychiatrist, but I know that something is SEVERELY wrong with this child. Part of the problem is that Dad hasn't a clue how to deal with him. He doesn't know where to even begin getting help. I will keep your suggestion in mind not to write him off as simply a "bad kid." Some days it's so hard....

    1) Dad and I have talked about this. There's no substance abuse or psychiatric history on his side of the family. However, mom is a mess. I'm not in a position to call her an alcoholic or addict, but I do know that she abuses both drugs and alcohol. She was recently fired from her job of 13+ years and I suspect her alcohol/drug use played a part in that. Her boyfriend is an alcoholic. Dad isn't sure about mental illness, although he knows she has been in psychotherapy in the past. Does anyone know of a good way to get this out of her? She doesn't care about what's good for her son, she would never give Dad that information for Johnny's good. I thought about requesting a medical history form from Johnny's doctor and asking her to mail it back to the doctor instead of us. That way she could maintain confidentiality. She's just so unreliable, it's hard telling if she'd bother to fill it out.

    Also, Dad's mother told me recently that Mom drank alcohol throughout her pregnancy. Dad doesn't remember it that way, but more about his observations below...

    2) I'll talk to Dad about this. Problem with his is, he is very ADD himself. On top of that, he is a man! He is sometimes just plain oblivious -- doesn't see the forest for the trees. As an example, one time he was so into a TV show that he didn't even see his new puppy lifting his leg on the entertainment center right in front of him! So at any rate, dad's memory is poor at best. It's not that he didn't care, he just doesn't pay attention. But I'll see what I can muster up from the cobwebs of his memory.

    I can tell you from my observations that Johnny does not play with toys at all. Eye contact now is fine, but peer interaction is awful. He has no friends at all and is picked on at school. I watched him recently at a school Halloween party just to observe his interactions with other kids. There were none -- he darted around from activity to activity all on his own. He never approached another child or vice versa. I know kids from his class were there so it wasn't for lack of opportunity. He just doesn't have any friends.

    He does have trouble with transitions; I always attributed this to the ADHD. Maybe that's why he is SO difficult after an outing...because it's hard for him to go from fun to nothing? We can hardly even take him anywhere because it always ends with such a scene.

    He actually does stare sometimes, although I've never paid a ton of attention to it. One time, a year or so ago, he was very upset about something. I don't remember what. He was sitting on the couch in hysterics and then it evolved into a seizure-like state. His eyes were partially rolled back, his teeth were clenched, and he was almost foaming at the mouth. He was also trembling. I didn't know what to do and so I just rubbed his head and held his hand. I talked quietly and calmly to him and eventually he snapped out of it. Until that point, he just sat there staring straight ahead. I have no seen such a severe episode like that since, however.

    I will fill post more when I find out more. I cannot THANK you all enough for being such wonderful resources!! We are going to complete the Parent Report and Assessment, too -- for whom, I'm not sure, but at least it will all be in one place when we need it.
  9. canthandleitanymore

    canthandleitanymore New Member

    MidwestMom -- I just realized you are also in Wisconsin. Duh...guess I could've thought more about that given your name! At any rate, we are in the Madison/Janesville area. If you know of ANY good psychiatrists or resources and wish to share, I would be grateful. I tried a private message but it wouldn't work.

    If this public request completely violates all protocol of online forums, then please accept my sincere apology! That would be my sheer ignorance...I have never participated in one of these message boards before.

    Thanks again to everyone on this forum. I have been reading all afternoon and feel like I might have a chance to keep my sanity! I'm realistic, I know this is a long, hard road we're facing, but it's comforting knowing there's help and hope...and others out there who feel this pain.
    Lasted edited by : Nov 18, 2008
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I deleted your email address to protect your privacy. Perhaps MidwestMom will PM you with any information she might have.

    Welcome to the board.
  11. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Hi and welcome. I just found the forum a little while back and have gotten so much support and advice. It's a fantastic place!
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I"m late to this but just wanted to jump in and offer my support and welcome to you also :)
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, another cheeshead! Cool!
    Hon, this kid sounds like he was either exposed to alcohol while mom was pregnant or he has a form of autism. I don't know for sure, but kids with, say, mood disorders still approach other kids. If you want to talk to me, send me a private message and I'll give you my phone number. Frankly, I'd take him to the university neuropsychologist center in Madison. It will take a while, but you will get an AWESOME evaluation.
    I know of places up my way. I'm in the Wausau/Marshfield/Wisconsin Rapids area. If you can travel here, I can give you some really good recommendations where to take him. I'm not allowed to do it in the forum, so you again would have to send me a private message here. Otherwise, you can send me an e-mail: wordsmythe94@gmail.com
    I'd love to share what we've learned in our battle. It's not hopeless...I have a feeling that your SO's little guy has a treatable disorder.
  14. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    MWM! New members can't PM so you'll have to PM her and then I think (I'm not sure) she can reply.

    Beth ;)
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, I sent you a private message. Check it!!!!
    Thanks :)
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and wlcome to our forum! It is a great place for support, info, support, ideas and then general knowledge that you are not alone.

    I want to address a few things that stick in my mind. I may come back and address more in another post.

    First - is Dad WILLING to do the work that this family relationship will need if his son is to be helped? Not just support you, but take the lead in discipline? In step-families is really really really IS helpful if the bio parent does most of, if not all of the discipline.I KNOW that our kids being our kids, you will end up doing some of it. Can't be helped. But if your relationship with Dad is to succeed, Dad has to step up to the plate.

    I hope and pray Dad can see how miserable his son is, and how much he desperately NEEDS and is SCREAMING for help - much of his behaviors are a cry for help in the ONLY way he knows how. He sounds like he hasn't had limits. ALL kids need them.

    If Mom drank while preg, it may have been hidden from Dad. Or he may have been working so many hours that he didn't see it. PLEASE look into Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or Fetal Alcohol Effect. It takes only ONE time to cause damage to the baby's brain. ONE. Time. with just a couple of drinks. Or that is my understanding (my exSIL was not sober very long when she conceived my niece).

    Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) can cause lifelong learning disorders to the point that the child actually CANNOT learn, or has such blocks to learning as to have that overall effect.

    Johnny truly, honestly, deeply needs a champion. someone to make sure he gets the evaluations that will show what is going on, and what isn't, and will see him through the medication trials and adjustments and problems and school issues, and social issues, etc....

    Given his current situation, the school should be asked to evaluate for an IEP, or for an IEP update if he has one. The school should be working with him on these social issues. Literally teaching him how to make friends, join groups, etc in addition to the ohter things. They should also be teaching him and the other kids not to bully. I don't know how much schools in your area are doing that, but it makes a HUGE difference in our town from one school to the next - you can literally SEE what counsellors are touching on it generally and what ones use a real curriculum with all the kids.

    If you go to the Special Education 101 part of this forum and ask about how to request an IEP or evaluation through the school, someone over there will direct you to a form and tell you how best to send it in and why to send it that way. The ladies over there are amazing, truly and honestly amazing. They will help with school.

    Now, if there is a Children's Hospital in the area, or with-in a couple hours drive, try to get Johnny scheduled for a complete developmental workup. There are so many gaps that I honestly think this is necessary. They should include a psychiatric and neuropsychological and neurological workup in that, but you may need to ask for all of those things. You may have to push. HARD. And it will be several months before anyone can fit him in. Get on the schedule as soon as you can.

    If there isn't a Children's hospital, try a major teaching university. You may have to get a separate neurologist and psychiatrist - make SURE they are child and adolescent certified. It is VERY important.

    The overall KEY thing to remember - NONE of these professionals knows Johnny any better than you do. Certainly not better than his dad. It will take time for you to fully develop instincts about what is and isn't right with/for him, but if you do join into his family fully, you probably will develop this. The docs may be experts in whatever field, but parents are experts in "Johnny". The absolute BIGGEST mistakes I made were EVERY time I didn't follow my instincts regarding my kids.

    Sending hugs and support!
  17. ML

    ML Guest

    You sound like an amazing, loving woman and your SO and his son are very lucky to have you in their lives. I also encourage you to think about taking the next "forever" step because you marry the man, you marry the son. Thinking the best for you. ML
  18. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add in my welcome to another cheesehead-I too am in the Madison area. Not much to add to what the others have said-glad you found us.
  19. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I just wanted to add my welcome. :flowers:

    As you seem to be so patient and loving with kids that aren't technically yours, could I send my daughter your way? *looks innocent*

    Ha. I bet you think I'm kidding. :devil:

    She's really good for others. At least for a few days.

    Sorry. Can you tell I'm having a bad parenting day...or week...or so.

    Anyway, welcome!
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Can'tHandleIt, Welcome!

    I have cousins in Janesville. Small world. :)

    Your son has a lot of the same behaviors as mine, but I've had him since he was 2 days old.
    The hysteria you described certainly had seizure-like characteristics.
    I can't really add to the advice here, but I can agree with-it--I would get him some professional evaluations.
    And it does sound like you are devoted to him and feel obligated. If you marry this man, you will be taking on this child as your own. The problems you have now will NOT go away. You will all learn tools and coping skills but it will be a difficult relationship. You've got some hard thinking to do. I do not envy you.

    I was going to travel to Janesville a cpl yrs ago when one of my young cousins was killed in a car wreck, and I recall looking at a map and trying to decide whether to fly into Madison or Milwaukee. I don't think you're going to have a lot of luck in your small area finding a neuropsychiatrist, and you will have to drive to a bigger city. It will take time out of your schedule and your stepson-to-be's schedule so it's something to think long and hard about. If you make this committment, the tests will be worth it.
    If you don't, I hope his dad makes the commitment to get an evaluation and workup. This poor child needs support and help. He has been abandoned and given way too much freedom and doesn't know up from down, and has underlying issues, to boot.

    Despite the fact that you are the Meanie, is there a bond between the two of you? You are taking him to a sport he loves and excells at, so on some level, he must acknowledge that.
    Do you cook meals for him? Take him to school? ... again, that bond.

    Take care.