New Here, could use direction...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bagtaggies, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Bagtaggies

    Bagtaggies New Member

    Just wanted to say hello, first. I found this site by searching "What to do with a teen with conduct disorder." Need I say more? :faint:

    My stepson is 16, almost 17. We've had troubles with him since he was 11-ish years old, but the big picture wasn't really put together until 2009. He's been officially diagnosed with a mood disorder, but his cooperation has prevented additional diagnosis. We find ourselves in a vicious pattern: We take him to his psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist and he tells them he has nothing to say and sits silently. And when he's tired of playing that game, he says what he knows he "should" (not the truth) so that he gets a clean bill of health with no need to make another appointment. Rinse, repeat. We have yet to find a mental health professional who doesn't see right through his act. <sigh>

    Most recently (yesterday), we called the crisis intake line to our local mental health hospital out of pure desperation for help. The psychologist on call was very helpful, and asked about what we'd observed in him over the last year. After I was done talking, he said that he obviously couldn't diagnose, but if it'd help me focus my efforts.... the area I should be looking for information in is in the realm of an "Antisocial Personality Disorder" or a Conduct Disorder. A quick tour on the Mayo Clinic's website... and I think we are onto something. I'd say DSS has 80% (if not more, assuming he's done stuff we don't know about) of the presenting symptoms of Antisocial Personality.

    I don't know where to start, now. We want to put him in an inpatient program for the safety of our family (we found under 18 porn on his iPod, and we have a 9yr old daughter in the house). Calling around is getting me nowhere. Everyone points fingers as to who should be able to help... and I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and wasting precious time.

    Can someone help me? Guide me to resources, and websites that will help..?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us. Sorry you needed to.

    You've found a very supportive group of parents who sometimes agree and sometimes don't, lol. One thing you can count on is caring and honesty. Makes life interesting as we are all influenced by out experiences in parenting difficult kids.

    I'm not too sharp this evening so I won't give a lengthly reply; however, there are alot of differences between the two identifiers you have provided. Conduct disorder is rather unique in it's bredth. Have you read about high functioning autism? Aspergers Syndrome? From your post it doesn't seem as though he is defying authority as much as distancing himself from others. You might find it helpful to put AS in your search.

    How does he do in school? With peers? Does he have mood swings like in BiPolar (BP)? I have an AS kid who has been fascinated by porn from late elementary school. He is very "self active". It's difficult to diagnosis our kids even with good professional help. We'll try to help you out. Hugs. DDD
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    How far under 18 was the porn? How bad was it? Was it 'sexting' pics of girls he knows? Or was it really nasty stuff he had downloaded?

    Something that might work for you - videotape him. It is worth the expense and shouldn't cost too much, to set up a hidden camera. I was pricing these out for a neighbour whose house regularly gets vandalised by neighbourhood kids. For a couple of hundred dollars (Aussie dollars) he could get a thumbnail-sized wide angle lens camera including remote transmission to another storage device (also small, could be hidden in a book on the shelf) which can ten be downloaded about every 36 hours or so, if you want to keep everything. Or you just let it run and it will over-write the last 36 hours, so you have 36 hours to get to the files you want, save the bits you want and let the rest keep recording and over-writing. The amount of time is directly related to the size of the storage device (not physical size, but capacity). If you want to spend a few more hundred, you can have multiple channel recording with multiple cameras.

    If you have clear evidence, then he can't just sit there and pretend you're all nuts. It's "answer the question, or we'll assume the worst."

    Have you made appointments ABOUT him, and discussed your problems with him, just between you and a therapist? Before the therapist gets to see him? The tdocs may be right, if he is being so uncooperative there might not be much they can do. But you could ask them for advice - "If I am telling you the truth and it is not me who is the problem, what do you think we would need to do in order to help you help him?"

    Welcome to the site. Sorry you need us, but help is here.

  4. Bagtaggies

    Bagtaggies New Member

    We were told that the main difference between conduct disorder (his version) and Antisocial Personality is the fact that Antisocial is not diagnosed in children... only those over the age of 18.. and they have to have conduct disorder first. But again, it's all "hypothetical" because he's uncooperative.

    I don't even agree with the mood disorder, and think it was just something the psychiatrist jotted down to justify writing a prescription. He shows no swing in emotion or moods what so ever. You could tell him his grandmother died - his emotion wouldn't change. And while everyone else is crying, mourning... he'd walk up and say, "So, dad... can I go to the movies?" or ask what's for dinner.

    One of the symptoms is assuming aliases... and he's all over that one. In 9th grade, there was a girl he liked in the Special Education classes. So.. he went to the guidance counselor and gave some lame story about struggling and asked to be tested so that he could be in the same classes as she was. His tests were normal. I actually work with preschool children with Autism and Aspergers... and I just don't see any similarities. And he absolutely defys authority - every chance he gets. You tell him to be home at 9, he strolls in at 9:15, and doesn't care about what consequence you give him for it.

    He is a junior in high school, with a 3.0 GPA. He's an JROTC drill cadet, and on the tennis team. To people on the outside, he's the all-American Boy. It's when you start peeling back the layers and have to deal with him that you see what's really underneath.

    As for the porn... the first time we caught him accessing a website he wasn't supposed to he was 11. Now, at 16.5, porn is to him as crack is to the street junkie. He will access it at all costs. He made a profile online of himself using the photos of his dead uncle... friended girls, lead them to believe he was having an exclusive long distance relationship with them (when it reality it was about 10 or more at a time)... conned them into sending nude photos of themselves... and once he got the picture, he'd quit talking to them. We had to take away every wifi device he had (cell phone, PSP, iPod Touch, Xbox Live) and then had to put keylogger parental controls on our home computer.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I agree with you, I don't see any autism or Asperger's either. He sounds too willing to tell complex lies as a routine. Also, Aspies and autistics DO feel emotion very keenly, they just don't always express it in ways we recognise.

    Defying authority - you do get something that resembles that in autism and Asperger's, but if you dig in a bit, there is always a reason that makes sense to the child, and at some level the child is always consistent. Your boy sounds more chaotic.

    The porn - I'm not so sure that isn;t typical teen. Even starting to access it at 11 - it's a peer thing, sadly. I used to have an after-hours class at the local school, we met in the 11 year old's classroom. The age range of the kids in my group was about 8 to 11, and the 10-11 year olds used to use the computers in my group. Until I caught them showing each other the latest porn clips they'd downloaded. Because I was not a teacher, they showed me too. Proudly. I did say I didn't think it was appropriate, and also commented that the school was alleged to have protective software to block the porn. The kids scoffed and said, "That stuff! We can beat it easily!"
    Clearly they could.

    The stuff they were downloading onto the classroom computer (and why didn't the teacher know or check? I was horrified) was mostly immature stuff, but it was a mix. Certainly it would have been used by pedophiles trying to recruit. It was a mix of immature poo and wee stuff, migled with animated graphic sex and some very rough stuff indeed.

    I hauled the kids off the computers for the day (since they weren't doing what I had set them to do anyway) and engaged them in something different. Then next day - I reported the major breach in school security.

    difficult child 3's best friend is 12 years old. He has high-functioning autism. He friended me on FB and I am horrified at some of the film clips he puts up on his page. Again - a lot of poo and wee stuff, but the shock value of the sex is a major attraction for him. One clip he posted, saying, "Watch this and not laugh - I dare you!" was a looped clip of a Star Wars storm trooper standing there making pelvic thrust movements, for several minutes. As in - several minutes of a three second loop. NOT funny. But certainly, sadly, typical of boys on the cusp of puberty.

    I didn't bother telling his mother. She probably finds the clip funny. We have less and less in common these days, sadly.

  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome--

    First of all, none of us are mental health professionals and cannot diagnose - nor can you based on your own research. in my humble opinion - it was wrong of the person at the hospital to give you a "diagnostic direction" over the phone. It's got you going in circles trying to read up and make educated guesses as to what to do....

    I don't know where you are lcoated - but you say "Calling around is getting me nowhere. Everyone points fingers as to who should be able to help... "

    Who are you calling? Are you trying to stay within a medication insurance's parameters? Are you working with county or state resources? Are you trying to privately fund treatment? Sometimes funding or insurance issues throw up a lot a brick walls and that may be what you are running into - especially if you mention a possible diagnosis of "Conduct Disorder" or "Antisocial Personality Disorder"...for which there is not a lot of resources AND which hasn't even been officially determined!
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It's been awhile so I just rechecked the criteria for "conduct disorder" and it does not sounds like your son. Aggression, vandalism, consistent violations of rules, repeated violation of rules?? Nope, doesn't sound like a fit.

    I don't think AS fits either but when you shared the unfeeling comment under stress it did remind me of my AS teen who laughed when a soccer teammate was injured on the field. He wasn't and still isn't uncaring...he just can't match up situations worth a darn and speaks inappropriately.
    He also discovered porn at a young age and still is drawn to it almost daily...even when he had a livein girlfriend who was active. (He's 20 now, by the way.)

    Alot of our kids do well in school and peer situations and then get impossible at home. It's like they have "used up" their good side and then fall apart later. I hope you find the right answers.
    Sometimes it is very difficult. There are a bunch of diagnosis's out there and well qualified professionals can help. The person who tossed out "conduct disorder" ???.... I don't think they are qualified to help. Hugs and good luck. DDD
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Actually DDD, his behaviors do fit the criteria for conduct disorder and emerging ASPD. I know these disorders only too well. I have lived with my son who probably should have been diagnosed CD and is now dxd with personality disorder not otherwise specified which stands for "not otherwise stated" because he has a mix of several personality disorders in there. He isnt a true ASPD because he doesnt quite fit all the criteria but he does some. He also fits some of the borderline and the narcissistic. Not a fun diagnosis let me tell ya.

    Mine can feel some empathy and some degree of remorse though. He was quite upset when his grandfather died. The one thing he was so upset about was the bad things he had done to his grandfather. But he doesnt really learn well from his mistakes either. He doesnt get that you cant just do what you want to because you want to even though its wrong. Today he lost my trust again and that has really upset me. He doesnt get why either. I dont understand why he cant understand it.

    There are treatments for Conduct disorder. Look for something called MST. That is the best out there for this diagnosis. I will tell you that kids/people with this diagnosis arent in for an easy life. Prepare yourself for trouble. Most likely he will get in trouble with the law. Mentally be prepared for that. It isnt easy. Kids like this think they are above societies rules. Most often courts feed into this by only slapping them on the hand the first few times so they just get cockier.

    Im sorry. From a been there done that still doing it parent.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Honestly this is an example of why this group is so great. We can, as outsiders, help sort through issues and just like psychiatrists, lol, see signs of different disorders. As Daisy Face stated none of us are trying to diagnos...just help sort by experiences we have had. For example with the CD possible diagnosis in my expereience a teen who consistently makes good grades, doesn't get into trouble at school, accepts and flouishes with the discipline of ROTC and the challenges of competitive team sports is not as apt to have CD. in my humble opinion by his age he would be showing signs of defying authority, mouthing off at school, letting responsibilities go in deference to getting what he wants when he wants it. Usually CD kids have begun to hang out with others of like interest. None of that fits.

    the porn issue pops up accross the board with easy child males as well as difficult child's. The intensity and the motivation would determine whether that is a huge red flag or just one of those uncomfortable stages of adolescence. Geez, I hated that issue. It is evidently a lifelong interest for our AS difficult child.
    I'm not sure if it is part of BiPolar (BP) (not diagnosis. until recently by a less than top professional) or lonliness or what......just glad at 20 he's no longer in our home with that fixation.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm sorry there is another family in crisis. I strongly suggest finding the best diagnostic help available. Most of all....I hope that the problems get resolved soon. Hugs. DDD