This might sound bad, but: other kids

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by safetyfirst, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. safetyfirst

    safetyfirst New Member

    My three kids all have sensory issues. We have worked really hard with them, the two older ones did "How Does Your Engine Run?" (the ALERT program), and all three have been in social skills groups. They all will occasionally do things that seem really inappropriate for their ages, but it is not everpresent and they seem to be better, usually, in school and out in public than at home. Stuff they did includes hitting "for no reason", talking loudly and out of turn, ignoring teachers, acting very immature (baby talk even in middle school).

    My dilemma is this: my oldest is 16, and recently got a sleep disorder diagnosis. He is like a new kid, or rather, like the old kid before behavior and conduct issues pushed him into a different realm, when he is medicated. He cannot be medicated year-round according to his sleep doctor, so he struggles greatly when not medicated. Anyway, he plays soccer on a club team and likes it a lot. Trouble is, one of the kids is really worrisome to me and him. I know if the boy were my kid, I'd be worried about him being around others. And I am worried about my son regressing being around him, let alone being in danger.

    I saw a thread about shirt biting, and someone said "even up to 8th grade". This boy will be in 11th grade soon, and he violently bites his uniform shirt frequently, both when he is on the field and when he is off the field. He needs significant management by the coach, he will not participate in team warmups, he will act inappropriately in ways that most 10 year olds would know better (one of mine didn't, but he never could have participated in team sports). His mother says he is medicated for ADD, but his behavior is nothing like any ADD I've ever seen, or any side effects from ADD medication. He has been violent on the field and has had to be taken off due to swearing and talking to himself. He does not talk to the other boys and constantly has earphones in. If I met him randomly, I would say he showed all the signs of a drug addiction :(

    This all sounds horrible and judgemental, I know, but right now I have to decide if this one boy is enough of a bad influence or even a threat to my son, who has had conduct and behavior issues in the past, to take my son off the team. We have already decided that he not get involved with a club team where many players were smoking pot. Now we have to deal with this. It is not a special needs team, it is a competitive team where most players want to end up playing soccer in college. The coach and club have no training in dealing with these issues, and I am afraid for my son when he has to spend time with the team and parents are not allowed.

    The only thing I can do about it is take my son off the team. He has played soccer since age 3, and we have never seen anything like this. I teach and I have never seen any child like this who wasn't classified and in 100% special education. The only aspect that bothers me is that the boy may become violent, and my son may get involved, on one side or the other. He is actually afraid of what the boy might do, although the boy has not threatened anyone except on the field against opponents or referees.

    How far do you go to protect your child from what you think is a bad influence? How far can your charity for people who are different extend? I am thinking about Adam Lanza and similar cases, when I see this boy's behavior.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    First of all... To me, no, you don't sound judgmental - because you are AWARE you might sound that way and are concerned about it. No, really, as your name suggests you are looking at your son's safety. And that, to me, is really important.

    Frankly... I don't think this kid is an addict... I think he has more going on than ADD. A lot of our kids are mis-classified as ADD... My son Jett was on Concerta that made my sweet, loving little boy a monster. Back off it he is fine, if immature (baby talk... Hmm.) I think he may have some developmental issues... Perhaps the earphones are a way to cope. However, I am not a doctor and I don't know him. Still...

    Your son is 16... He does need to learn to deal with "oppositional" people (some with issues, some who are just ornery). If he is worried this kid may act out, perhaps you and he could role play what he might do 1) to prevent it and 2) if it happens, what to do. The coach and club may have no training - but if they are going to take responsibility for a group of minors when parents are not allowed, they'd better figure it out...

    I have a lot of empathy for people with "different" kids (or I wouldn't be here). Still, sometimes I find myself weighing the good, bad, and ugly.

    For instance... My daughter Onyxx... Is an addict, bipolar, violent, and suffers from paranoia and psychosis. Some of this is genetic, some is situational and some are horribly bad choices. Her father and I had to make a choice not long ago... When she turned 18... Whether to allow her to live with us, and her younger brother and sister, or... As it turned out, she made the choice for us. I worry about her constantly - but I am also relieved that Jett and Inky are safe now. Am I a bad parent that I am relieved? I don't think so... And this is similar to "passing judgment".

    :hugs: I hope I've helped...
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I had an addict kid and that isn't addict behavior. Sounds a lot like high functioning autism to me. I think you have to worry about your kid, but so far this kid hasn't hurt your child. Not sure you'll get to far trying to have that child removed. Acting quirky, like biting uniform sounds very spectrumish, and while odd isn't unusual if he IS on the spectrum.

    At 16 your son should be able to take care of himself. My daughter is 16 and she could. Are you sure your own child doesn't have more than ADD going on?

    Is this a school team? Have you seen him get violent? If not, why worry about it? You can't go around thinking all differently-wired kids are Adam Lanza.
  4. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    The kid you are worried about sounds like my difficult child 2. So, I'm not sure but he might be autistic. The chewing the shirt, earbuds, talking to himself could all be self calming techniques. Being on a team is very stressful for someone who doesn't understand the social rules.

    At school he might be in all sp ed classes.

    I do understand your concern. Just yesterday difficult child 1 told me of how another boy in his activity group was doing really bad stuff on the drive to an activity. After a few questions I determined that the leaders were dealing with it, but difficult child 1 couldn't let it go and didn't know how to deal with the other boys behavior. We talked about what the leaders were doing and what difficult child 1 should do.
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry too much. Yes, he sounds spectrumish also to me. Violent talk is of course disturbing, but for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) people it can easily be just talk, way to convey their anxiety.

    Anyway, while I'm usually very big for peer influence, to me it seems very unlikely you son would start to copycat this kid. His behaviour is odd enough that most likely he is ostracised by others and certainly not copied and admired by others. In best case others are tolerating him and being nice to him and that of course would be admirable behaviour to copy by your son. What you need to worry about is behaviour of the 'top dogs' of the team, not a quirky one. Quirky one doesn't have any pull normally.