Very productive and stern psychiatric mtng

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I just got back a bit ago from my visit to the child psychologist. We were on a waiting list because of what happened Mon. In a nutshell, the dr. read difficult child the Riot Act.

    Now I'm hoping that husband can stick with-the program. He's too much of a softie--even worse than I am--like the post here where husband or boyfriend bought the doll difficult child wanted? ack!--but we're doing much better.

    difficult child had a lot of "buts" and was upset because I yelled at him for not getting out of bed. "I said I had a headache, but Mom said that unless I got out bed, got dressed, and went downstairs that I couldn't go to the game, and she yelled at me."
    (It was so obvious... he's dying of a headache, and the min. I say "game" he was up in a flash and the dr picked up on that right away.)
    The dr. said, "I don't know what planet you're from, but I'm from Planet Earth, and where I'm from, parents who are upset with-their kids yell at them if they're angry. Where do you get the idea that parents never yell?"

    Then difficult child complained that I was mean and tried to get him up another time when he had a stiff neck. The dr. burst out laughing and said, "If anyone knows anything about stiff necks it's your parents (husband is a chiro), and if they tell you to get up, even if it hurts, you've got to get up and move around and ice it. I guarantee you they will not move you if there's any risk you will be paralyzed."

    For anyone who is wondering, the dr and I can schedule another session alone to talk about how I can avoid escalating situations, but during this session, he focused completely on difficult child's behavior. Basically, the idea is, so what if I escalate it? I've got phonebooks in his room to tear up if he gets frustrated, or he can go in his room and yell... dr. told difficult child in no uncertain terms that everyone gets mad at their parents, but you don't block them into a room and threaten them. Period. There are other ways to deal with-anger.

    He said to difficult child, "NO MORE DRAMA."

    He basically said that the measures we've taken so far with-difficult child have not been stern enough or consistent enough. For instance, difficult child was upset because he was going to a birthday party sleepover Fri. night and I took away the sleepover, but said he could go to the party and leave early, simply because it's not fair to punish his friend on his birthday. The dr. said, "I'm surprised that your mom let you go at all, after you locked her in the bedroom and threatened her." Then he stared at me to let that sink in. Gulp. Okay, I'm a patsy.

    Dr. repeated several times that we are difficult child's parents and he is the kid. He spoke a bit about the pediatric hospital where he used to work (this was for my benefit as much as difficult child's... sometimes you have to speak in code in front of the kids) and that it's much more fun to sit in his ofc and talk about earning rewards.

    I'm going to make an appointment. with-Juv Intake and give difficult child a tour, too. I want husband to go with-us.

    I took notes.

    difficult child was upset, hurt, angry and yes, respectful. Amen.

    I am still looking forward to his Aspberger's testing... among other things I noticed that when the dr and I were coming up with-ideas for what difficult child could do to entertain himself now that he is with-o a computer and MP3 player, aside from following me around and harping on me, is to draw pictures of cars & bldgs. I said, "Oh, yes, like those neat pictures on your bedroom door--Happy Town and Sad Town. You did such a good job and it looks like fun."
    difficult child didn't like that at all and argued that he had done them with-a friend and that they collaborated... after much confusing discussion, it turned out that difficult child drew ON the pics with-his friend, and he thought I meant that he should ALTER the pics in some way, BY HIMSELF. Dr. figured it out and told difficult child that he can draw anything he wants in his own room, with- or with-o a friend and it's okay. He can start new pics from scratch.
    It was so literal... and so MUCH of difficult child's views are like that.
    Still, Asperger's kids can't corner their moms in a room with-the door shut so we've got to work on the discipline and respect... expecially since he's so close to being a teenager.

     
  2. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    Sounds like a great start!!!!

    And I *so* know what you mean about the LITERAL stuff! Oh my gosh is my difficult child 1 so literal! It drives me bonkers! Not so literal in the sense that he doesn't understand puns or figures of speak, but GOSH!

    Keep us posted on how the future visits go! Sounds like you've found a great psychiatrist!
     
  3. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Wow, TerryJ2, how interesting! These therapists know their stuff, but it doesn't always work. I'm so glad, though, that he read your difficult child the riot act. I'm sure it made you feel validated if nothing else. My difficult child is eleven and controlling and manipulative. Up until now I've tried so hard to go with the flow, but that's getting harder to do the older he gets. I would have done something like you did by letting him go to the party, but not sleep over. Sounds like your therapist didn't like that idea.....wasn't definitive enough. I, too, am starting to get more hard-nosed. 'Hope it works!
     
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Terry,

    I like this guy. The best therapist we had was the one that did the same thing to my difficult child. She read our difficult child the riot act several times and told her she didn't know parents anywhere that would put up with as much crap as our difficult child has given us over the years and it was about time it stopped.

    The worst therapist we ever had sided with difficult child and frequently called us in to try and negotiate things for difficult child with us. We wasted a lot of money on her until we finally quit her. She's in the same office as our psychiatrist and everytime I see her now I can't wait to tell her how much better difficult child is doing...without her.

    I'll be interested to see if your difficult child calms down a little after that chat.

    Nancy
     
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    nancy, LOL!
    Thank you all.
    Right now, difficult child is scrubbing the juice stains off my car ceiling and walls, and then scrubbing his urine stains off the toilet. It is gorgeous outside and he wants to play catch with-me. I told him that would be great... as soon as he finishes cleaning.
    So, he's in a good mood and willing to work.

    Do you think our psychiatrist would move in with-us if I pay him enough?

    Yrs ago, when we 1st met this guy, he suggested some hardnosed tactics and I got scared. "What if difficult child goes over the edge?" I asked. "I don't know how far to push him."
    Dr kind of chuckled and said, "I've worked in a pediatrician psychiatric hospital. Believe me, kids are resilient. He's not that far gone. I've had kids totally strung out, climbing the walls, talking to voices... He'll do fine. I've done this b4."

    We've been with-him ever since.

    Now that I look back on it, he knew the history and it helped him right away... difficult child was adopted by us at birth, had no traumas (ie. foster care bouncing back and forth, or abuse) but had a stubborn temperament and was argumentative and loud from birth. He also read us pretty well--we tend to be driven, definitely not laid back, and that probably increases tension. Also, we're both softies and have our own reasons for being so, but have to learn to toughen up.

    It's so tiring.
    I am so glad we have psychiatrist though, because I don't think I'd have the energy to keep going by myself, and you know how it feels to be alone.
     
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Terry you sound so much like us. We also adopted at birth, no trauma, and our difficult child is stubborn and defiant and argumentative as all getout. And we were told the same thing after she was evaluated, that she is not fragile and we are within out rights to make her responsible for her actions and not let her get away with crap and she would not fall apart or have a breakdown if we held our ground.

    It feels good to finally feel in control instead of being controlled by your child doesn't it. You were validated.

    LOL about having him move in, your difficult child better start scrubbing walls.

    Hang in there.

    Nancy
     
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, this doctor sounds fabulous. Can you arrange to have him cloned?

    You said, "difficult child was upset because he was going to a birthday party sleepover Fri. night and I took away the sleepover, but said he could go to the party and leave early, simply because it's not fair to punish his friend on his birthday."

    I can understand why you compromised. But with 20:20 hindsight plus what you've said about him being literal-minded, it sounds to me that he would have interpreted letting him go at all, as a complete cave-in by you. I agree with you, most kids would have responded to it as generous but still discipline, but difficult child probably didn't.

    Something to bear in mind - if difficult child is demonstrating such lack of control that he is obstructing your free movement, then he is not showing sufficient control to be permitted in other people's company. You didn't want to punish his friend, but maybe an out of control difficult child would not have been a good b'day present.

    I do hope you get some answers soon, on the Asperger's front. The stubbornness you mentioned - it sounds very familiar. Only I've not seen it as stubbornness, so much as a determination to control things exactly as HE wants them. For example, difficult child 3 as a very young baby (newborn) quickly settled into a pattern of a full feed, then awake and looking around at things for an hour, then ANOTHER full feed, then a sleep for six hours. So he was getting his six feeds a day, but in pairs, an hour apart, with a six hour sleep three times a day. If I tried to change this pattern it was horrible. But when I gave in to it, he was a happy baby and doing well. So was I. So I let him, even when nursing sisters were very critical.
    Similarly - when difficult child 3 INSISTED on watching game shows and screamed if he was taken out of the room while a game show was on, we let him watch them. OK, we thought it was cute because he was only six months old, but it soon became clear that this wasn't coincidence, this really was happening. It made no difference to us to let him watch.

    The problems come when it DOES make a difference - when the game show is stopping him going to school, for example, or stopping him from going to bed when he should. THAT'S when you get rages and attacks. The other thing we learned to do, was allow difficult child 3 time to change tasks. If a 'task' or activity was watching a game show, we would often use the ad break to talk to difficult child 3, to warn him that when his game show was over he would have to have his bath and clean his teeth. By waiting those few minutes, we got further down the bath/teeth cleaned track than if we had forced this issue. Forcing it and saying, "Do it NOW!" only triggered raging meltdowns which meant he was too busy raging to have his bath then anyway, so we ended up being even later.
    If the game show finished and then difficult child 3 still refused to cooperate, after previously agreeing to bath as soon as his show finished, we made it clear that next time his game show was on he would not be permitted to watch it because we couldn't trust him to keep his word. Usually, the warning was enough provided we always have allowed time to make the changes he seems to need. And now he's learn that WE keep our word, he's much more cooperative.
    We constantly do deals, but now we can trust him because he's accepted that he can trust us. OK, he always COULD trust us, but he didn't always KNOW it.

    I'm not saying that you should do things our way and then you'll have the perfect child; I'm only saying, think about how things work for us and see if there is any resemblance to how your difficult child seems to think. Can you see a possible similarity? because a lot of how difficult child 3 copes now, is because of his autism and how we've worked within the framework it sets for him. Trying to work outside it causes us immense problems. And sometimes it's not always obvious, where the boundaries lie. The smarter the kid, the harder it is to see the boundaries because these kids WANT to seem normal and so hide their problems and symptoms more than is realised.

    The drawings sound cool, though. difficult child 3 can't draw for nuts - he's got poor coordination. But he's got a good eye for photography. Maybe you could use art supplies as a reward - change what he uses sometimes. If he uses a lot of pencils, maybe give him a set of different hardnesses of pencil, or introduce him to charcoal and pastels. But your doctor - his blood's worth bottling.

    Marg
     
  8. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Terry,

    I'm so glad your visit went well!!! What an excellent psychologist!!! I'm so happy that after the HE** you've been going through, things are finally turning around...

    It's good you're getting a handle on this now. Once difficult children become teenagers, they put a whole new spin on what it means to be a difficult child!!!

    I'm looking forward to hearing more good news... WFEN :flower:

    P.S. Do you think you could get your difficult child's psychologist to do a bit of traveling??? I don't know how happy my difficult children would be about meeting him, but I would be thrilled!!!
     
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like a great doctor! :bravo:
     
  10. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> when jarrod first went into therapy it was with-a highly recommended therapist. his tactic was to try & rationalize with-my son...contracts...all that junk. we finally dumped him when he failed to notify me that he felt jarrod was headed for another round of suicide threats.

    the next therapist was a woman who came to our home once a week. she was the take no prisoners type. on her first visit jarrod went into a major meltdown. she cancelled her next two appts & stayed until he was back in control. her mantra to him was, "you're not gonna drive me off, buddy." SHE was the one who helped get him through. there was never another hospitalization after we found her (there had been several with-the other guy). while we haven't seen her in years we both still remember her & are so thankful for how much she helped us.

    i think more therapist shoudl be like this guy you've found.

    kris
    </span> </span> </span>
     
  11. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I like the doctor you have. I used to worry too about ant being more fragile, that he would harm himself, that he would not be able to handle the rules and would cry or cave.

    balderdash!

    his own choices and stuff he caused were a zillion times more scarey that the rules and he survived.

    this last time he called all blubbering and saying he was going to kill himself I said "ok goodbye"
    I did have his brother call him to see what was up but I did not get in the car, call the cops and run for help.

    dont be afraid to be a good parent as it is our job and right!
     
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you! I think so too.
    We've got our work cut out for us.
     
  13. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Oh! I am so glad the apt went well!!! I hope thimgs smooth out a bit after difficult child a talking to!!!
    I have such a hard time imagining my difficult child being that old one day!!! She is so unstable and basically like a 2-3 yo in some ways in some areas... I am trying to remember all of these stories for our future!!!

    I hope this is a start to a more positive future for all of you!
     
  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Terry,

    I'm glad that therapist has a grasp on your difficult child. Hard nosed tactics become necessary after a while. While we can have our more gentle, for lack of a better word, moments in therapy, our therapist's are no longer taking prisoners with kt & wm.

    They are beyond the age of tantrums & outright defiance.

    I hope that difficult child comprehends & internalizes what therapist told him. I expect it will take a great deal of repetition along with your assurance of love & continued commitment.
     
  15. cindygirl

    cindygirl New Member

    Terry

    Glad you finally have a therapist who is telling it like it is. The last two we've have allowed her to tell him what he wants to hear and then have the nerve to tell us she was a smart girl and was going to be all right. I guess this whole running away for days at a time, stealing cars and anything else that isn't nailed down and coming home to announce a pregnancy is just a little bump in the road. Good to know.

    Kudos for finally finding one that isn't buying it.
     
  16. SuzyfromTexas

    SuzyfromTexas New Member

    Terry,

    Wow....My 6 year old son is not adopted but after reading your post it could be my child you're talking about. I struggle with how much of an enforcer I should be on a daily basis. On one hand it's easier for me not to escalate a given situation, but he can be so argumentative and disprectful that I have to put my foot down. Like Marg mentioned, I give plenty of time for transitioning and that seems to help. I know it will get harder the older he gets as his responsibilities increase and people expect much more from him.

    We had a mini blow up yesterday and I waited for my husband to come home to enforce punishment. After school he was very disrespectful to me. You are not my boss, I don't have to do what you tell me to do, etc...We put him to bed an hour early and read no stories to him (our usual routine). Isn't it sad that I wait for my husband to come home to punish? I really am embarrassed about this. He's six for christsakes. Since my husband was here, he just yelled in bed and through a few stuffed animals in his room. If it were me alone he would be running around the house, possibly hitting me, throwing things and I just don't want to deal with it anymore. I'm also taking care of a 2 year old.

    Glad you found a psychologist who can help.
     
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, so far difficult child is semi-cooperative... he had an issue with-me Fri night about taking melatonin and brushing his teeth and I lost my temper, but husband intervened and things turned out fine. (He put difficult child to bed... I am just so frustrated that difficult child will listen to anyone but me.)
    difficult child has been in a good mood all weekend.
    He woke up with- hives yesterday and didn't want to go to school. I reminded him that there was a birthday party at 4 p.m. and boom--he got up! It was a struggle to get him to take antihistamines... he didn't believe they'd work, and then thought they'd work within 30 sec. and didn't want to go to school until every last hive was gone. I told him he could call me at lunchtime if he needed to... and gave him more medications for the school nurse to give to him. He never called and the hives were nearly gone at 3 p.m. Yaaaaay!
    They came back at bedtime... so whatever it is isn't going away immediately. He thinks it's grass and external and I think it's food and internal. I would love to know because I'm sure it's related to behavior... I'm always sleuthing.
    Still, he was a trooper.
     
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