15 year old with conduct disorder needs to leave our home

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by sail24, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. sail24

    sail24 New Member

    Two weeks ago our son was asked to leave the non traditional boarding school he was in. While he was away, I found myself again. I was no longer the mom of a difficult child that caused me to feel isolated. I was the woman that could go and do anything I wanted. I no longer had to reply no to the invitations. My husband and I could relax, we could breath again. We took advantage of the freedom we so needed and we traveled. We did the things we always wanted to do all those times we'd say, "If only he was different". He's only 15, almost 16 and our youngest. We're in our early 50"s and full of life and we found our smiles again. Being empty nesters after all the years of living in chaos was such a gift.

    Now he's back and I cry every day. My smile is gone and I'm desperate to find another place for him. We have hope that there's something out there. We hope we can find the place that can help him. It's only a matter of time before he gets in trouble with the police for stealing. It's only a matter of time before he starts using drugs and alcohol. We have a chance because of his age, his brain is still developing.

    I need to hear something positive from those of you that have older kids with conduct disorder. What are their futures like? Right now I just don't see one.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Have you thought of residential treatment? They take the worst cases and don't expell for bad behavior. They deal with it. You can call CPS and explain to get a foot in the door or ask his old school to help refer him.

    My kids don't have Conduct Disorder so can't help you there, but nobody should be held hostage in her own home by crazy behavior.
  3. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    What happened to cause his expulsion from his boarding school?

    Did he ever have an IEP as a public school student?

    This information can help us be more helpful to you.
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  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    My son was also diagnosed with CD at age 15. I was told by the folks here that the diagnosis of CD is more of a placeholder.

    Actually the research I did brought me here which was a Godsend. However I also found that CD is not so bad and that many do fine and move on so I was hopeful - at that time.

    However....our son continued to go off the rails (see my signature) for 7 years no matter how I spun my wheels doing everything under the sun and moon to reroute him and assist. Yes 7 years. Ugh. He is also our youngest and we have been empty nesters (and loving it!) since we sent him to Florida for sober living in March of 2016.

    Fast forward to today and he is now 22 and in a long term faith based program and doing well and finally starting to see the light.

    I hope and pray that your journey does not mimic mine but wanted to share what we've done which is everything. More will be along to offer their advice.

    I suggest you find a therapist that deals with substance abuse (if that is another issue) and take their advice to help you build boundaries for you and hubby and for your son. He needs them as much as you do.

    Keep posting here and reading. It helps!! Good luck.
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  5. sail24

    sail24 New Member

    We’ve been researching therapeutic schools for 2 weeks. We’ve talked to many and still haven’t found the right one. This is a mental health issue with my son. We’ve been dealing with this from the moment we adopted him at birth. Looking at him you’d think he’s adorable, smiley, happy, easygoing kid. If only. Yes he’s adorable but so manipulative. He has a pattern. He walks into a new situation, immediately wraps the girls around his fingers then plays the roll of the victim. They just want to protect him and nurture him. He loves the attention and realizes that girls are much easier to be friends with. He doesn’t like to be competitive. Then he starts lying, they see him differently and they start to pull away. Then he gets mad and verbally abusive towards them.

    The therapeutic settings work when a child can see themselves. He doesn’t see himself, he doesn’t take responsibility at all. He blames everyone. The cladding school he was in finally had enough. He was lying and stealing and nothing they tried could get him to take responsibility. The last straw happened when he stole money from another student’s room and it was caught on video. Even seeing the video, my son refused to own it. That’s when they told us they just couldn’t help him. It was a great school with many chances for kids to make mistakes and be accepted anyway. My kid just couldn’t fit in, the other kids were also working on themselves were tired of being blamed for his actions. Example: The head master’s wife died of cancer while my son was there causing the head master to be absent a lot over the last few months. Others were in charge, plenty of supervision. My child decides it’s the wife’s fault that she was dying causing her husband to not be on campus to keep him in line. Really, he blamed a woman for dying causing him to make really bad choices.
  6. sail24

    sail24 New Member

    There’s no pill or cure for conduct disorder.
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  7. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Unfortunately, it may be time to call Social Services (if you have not already done so) and explain the situation very frankly.

    Others here have had the terrible experience of needing to sign custody of their uncontrollable, incorrigible children over to the state so the child could receive residential placement. This is obviously a nuclear option but it is an option if things get to that point.

    The other choice might be to enroll him in public school and once his issues become evident, request that he be evaluated for an IEP, assuming he does not already have one. If he DOES have one, this may open the door to help for him and potentially for the family. If he does not, it is worth it to see if he is eligible.

    He may very well eventually become involved in the juvenile justice system. This too can offer help and resources to both your son and your family.

    You made a very wise statement when you said that even at his relatively young age, your son has free will and can choose to help himself (or not). No matter how wonderful and evidence-based a program or facility might be, if the child does not buy in and participate then the chances of rehabilitation are slim.
  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Correct but many do age out of bad behaviors OR they escalate their bad behaviors.
  9. Helpless29

    Helpless29 Member

    Reading this I feel your pain, I am new to this site, desperately looking for help, my son is 15 has ODD bipolar, is also dealing with substance abuse, been to so many therapist,mental/ behavoral hospitals, kicked out of 2 residential treatments centers for fighting, Im about to give up, I have 3 other children that I fear there safety when he gets angry.I wish I could give you good advice but me myself feel helpless, just know you are not alone :(
  10. sail24

    sail24 New Member

    It's so very lonely. I've stopped taking calls from friends and family because they all want to know what I'm going to do. I don't have any answers and talking to them doesn't help me at all. I so appreciate their love for me, I just don't have any energy to give to them. I'm unable to comfort them when I know they just want desperately to help us.

    Unfortunately our children sound so similar. My son has caused many fights at every school he's been to. Started in the public school, then private then an alternative boarding school. Our therapist (and of course us) hoped that removing him from our home and giving him a new environment could help him have start fresh. It was a great school that fit him perfectly or so we thought. In the end, he had too much free time to make very bad choices.

    I'm sorry your other children have to witness the chaos he creates. I have two sons. My older one left for college last year. I cried when we left him far from home like most parents do. My reason wasn't because I was sad to leave him, I cried because I was so jealous and so happy for him. He was finally free of his younger brother. I've had terrible guilt knowing how much of my older son's childhood was stolen, changed, taken away by all the madness his brother has caused over his lifetime.

    This isn't childhood angst. This has been who my son is from the moment we adopted him at 18 hours old.
  11. sail24

    sail24 New Member

    To be clinically diagnosed with conduct disorder, a person needs to check off 3 or more boxes. My child checks off every box except for, hurts animals. Pretty sure this is a mental health issue. I'd give anything for it to just be bad behavior.
  12. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    It sounds like your son has something organically wrong with his brain, and/or a mental illness. I am sorry.

    If he has an IEP from his time in public school it is possible you may be able to have a meeting at the school district offices, despite the fact that he does not attend public school at present, he is still their legal responsibility since you reside within that district. You can request that his IEP state that he requires a residential placement. This will be a long shot but given his history you may have luck on your side. I was astonished when my stepson's district immediately placed him in a therapeutic school at his first IEP meeting. But it was what he needed.

    Failing that or if it isn't an option, then I suggest you contact a family law attorney, explain your situation and see if you cannot transfer his custody to the state. He will be placed appropriately and given the help he needs.

    Keep us posted.
  13. sail24

    sail24 New Member

  14. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Wow, you have been through the wringer and you deserve to live in peace. I am so sorry!

    It sounds like you already have a plan in place. This is a very supportive community and we're all here for you.

    An attorney may be able to assist you in achieving a residential placement for your son via the IEP process. You may be surprised and the district could indeed pony up for therapeutic. This happened in our case although my stepson is not out of district. Still your son's needs sound very significant and beyond the ability of a traditional public school to handle.

    You may also want to ask for a special education advocate, usually their services are free to families. You can obtain names of possible advocates from the state department of education.

    Keep us posted.
  15. sail24

    sail24 New Member

    Thank you. I'm going to research how to find a special education advocate right now.
  16. Helpless29

    Helpless29 Member

    I cried reading this, my marriage is almost falling apart because of my son , his stepson. All the drama, tension, fights , I myself feel like Im mentally/ emotionally falling apart & I feel terrible wanting to just give up on son but I havent yet:(
  17. sail24

    sail24 New Member

    I absolutely understand. My husband and I have been through a lot. We lost a biological son that was born 3 months early. He lived for only 2 days. We got through that tragedy stronger. We adopted after the loss. This son is the challenge of a lifetime. He is the only thing we argue about. We’re both so frustrated because we can’t fix him. We can only try our best and remember we’re in this together. We make sure to have alone time every week. So all I can say is when you get those moments alone, make them count and do your best not to talk about your son. So hard to do, I understand. Even if it’s just taking walks around the neighborhood at night, that’s time away from the “noise”. Also, when you say you don’t want to give up on him, don’t feel guilty. This is a safe space to say it. I say it to my therapist and to myself a lot. I’ve haven’t said it to my son and I work very hard at making sure I never do. Hugs to you.