8 yr old difficult child with many issues...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nana3, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. nana3

    nana3 Guest

    My difficult child 2 is our 8 yr 4 mo grandson. When difficult child 2 was 3 years old, his mom (ex-daughter in law) met someone on the internet and a couple of months later moved difficult child and herself to Minn to live. Since we all live in Texas, we have not been able to see difficult child 2 for the last 4 years. In October, ex-daughter in law decided to move back to this area and by Christmas had announced she intended to go back to Minn at the end of March and leave difficult child 2 with my son. She signed him over to ds and now is his non-custodial parent, is going to pay child support, couldn't wait to get away from here and was gone back to Minn by the first of March. Our ds lives on our property in a small travel trailer so right now, difficult child 2 stays in the house with us. Currently, we are raising our 11 year old autistic grandson, and just was awarded sole custody of ds's youngest, difficult child 3 so this makes 3 grandsons living with me and husband.

    Now we have a 8 year old that we have limited knowledge of living with us. He was diagnosis'ed by the school :)choir:) with ADHD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and his family doctor has been treating him with Adderal XR 20 mg in the morning and 5 mg after school. When we saw difficult child 2 for the first time in years, we were appalled.... he weighs 35 lbs soaking wet! He looks like a child from a 3rd world country - you can see every bone, I was afraid to hug him for fear of hurting him when we first saw him. We have learned from reading medication records from his fam doctor that "mom" was the one requested the additional 5 mg in afternoon because difficult child 2 was out of control. The first thing we did as soon as mom was out of state was discontinue the Adderall. We are waiting for appointment with new pediatrician in this area and will see him soon.

    difficult child 2 has a big problem with authority figures, back talks, mimics and absolutely refuses to do anything he does not want to do such as school work. He can read, he's articulate, has a sense of humor, but when the very second someone asks him to do something - some switch turns on and he just can not/will not do it. He will do absolutely anything to distract you, avoid doing whatever, it is unbelievable. He tells lies upon lies for absolutely no reason. He is manipulative and believes he is or should be the center of attention. One of the concerns is that he does not "comprehend" the way we talk - we are Texans lol and he's been raised in Minn - no offense to anyone - just totally different ways of talking. So he does not "get" the very basic stuff we talk about every day. I don't know if he is plain stubborn or maybe has traits of Aspergers'. Does he sound familiar to anyone?
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Hi and welcome! Given the very chaotic early life of your grandsons have you looked into Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)? It sounds like you have many diagnosis in the family history. Could you take him to get tested by a neuropsychologist for a more firm diagnosis? If he is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) did anyone tell you what he is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) about and what routines/rituals he does?
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I'd say the same as Lia, he has such a strong genetic history plus the early history, a neuropsychologist can help you sort through it. He may have both neurologic and mental health concerns.

    You are very special grandparents to take in so many of your grand kids. They are lucky.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    Do you know what his life was like in MN? I'm wondering if he has any form of attachment disorder due to negligent early parenting and beyond the early years. I agree you should take him to a neuropsychologist and that you are very special grandparents :)
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking a combo of Asperger's and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). He sounds quite a bit like my son. My husband used to tell me that he had no problems at all with-difficult child, so why did I?
    "Because I tell him to do things. Homework. Chores. All you do is watch a movie with him."
    And we live together in the same house!
    You've got a lot working against you in regard to his history. I would focus most of my efforts on bonding, frankly, and setting parameters and house rules. If you have to, use the other autistic grandchild as your "excuse" for why things are they way they are. Of course, that could come back to bite you, if difficult child yells, "I hate having to do everything just because of difficult child 1!" and then difficult child 1 hears it.
    I'm just throwing out ideas.
    You have really got your hands full. I am glad that you took him off of Adderall because you need to see his real personality. There is plenty of time to start new medications, and it seems like that will happen soon enough.
    Sigh. I am so sorry about the biomom. What a mess she made of his life. Poor kid.
    You are a rock! He is lucky to have you and he will understand how lucky some day. Maybe in 50 yrs. :)
  6. nana3

    nana3 Guest

    Ever since he's been very young he has to have things in "his order", he rearranges furniture, moves everything on cabinets and shelves, lines toys up in line according to size, things like that.

    We are learning quite a bit about his life in MN and I'm afraid it was not good at all. While mom and difficult child 2 were here, they were staying with her mom and after she left, I've had several long conversations with difficult child 2's other grandma. She said what she saw while they were staying with her was abuse but by the time she realized what all was happening, mom had decided to relinquish difficult child to my son so she kept quiet. She said she knew difficult child needed to get away from mom and that the best thing was for her to do was leave him with his dad. She has told of seeing mom's boyfriend making difficult child run in place for 10 minutes or more with his back against the wall, then dropping down to do pushups then back to running in place. The day he moved in with us I asked difficult child where he managed to get a bruise on the middle of his forehead - difficult child couldn't remember. His grandmother asked me if I had seen the bruise and I said yes but he didn't know where it came from. She says on one of those run in place and drop to do pushups difficult child was so tired he kept hitting his head on the floor. This punishment was just one of many we have found that was used because difficult child would make bad grades in school. Another one, as soon as difficult child came home from school, he was made to kneel down in front of a wall in the corner and read a book for over an hour at a time. If he said anything the time was extended. He was forced to eat what was put in front of him for supper and if not eaten, it was given to him cold out of the fridge for breakfast the next morning. I know, sometimes ppl may use something like that on their own kids, but we are talking about putting very large portions of food on the plate and if he could not get it all down, it became breakfast.

    *difficult child is absolutely fascinated with the kitchen and all that is in there. After a few times of answering a hundred questions while making supper I said to him, didn't you help your mom or her boyfriend cook? He said only once, then he was not allowed in the kitchen again. He is asking me questions about what a whisk is, wants to know what a mixer is, why do you have to wash your hands if you are cooking and touching food. I have made the remark to my husband more than once in the last few weeks, it is almost like he's been under a rock somewhere.

    I was so hoping that I was not looking at Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) but I'm really afraid that might be what we have. When mom took difficult child to MN, she took him away from everything he knew. Away from his family, friends, toys, house, everything. I think he resents the fire out of her for doing this and blames her. Then keeping him away from everyone for all of these years. Now that he is here, he acts like a kid on Christmas Eve all the time. He cannot touch enough stuff, ask enough questions it is really sad. Add into this mix I think he may have Aspie traits with or without Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). We are expecting his insurance information as we speak and one of the first appts will be with new pediatrician and to have a neuropsy evaluation.

    The first time we saw him when he was back, I wanted to cry. He was so medicated he could hardly hold his eyes open. He spoke very little, was so withdrawn. From past experience with Adderall, I know that's the last thing a child that is only in the 3rd % of his age growth chart thing needs. We tapered off and the child was like night and day. He is all over the place now, talks non stop, rearranges furniture if I don't tell him specifically every day not to touch it. He rearranges my silverware drawer, is into every closet and drawer.

    We have a meeting with the school teacher tomorrow, should be interesting. He constantly wants to clean her desk because it's messy.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Two factors to consider...
    1) what were the FIRST three years like? we know the last 5 were awful, but before that? Because... those first three years are when a child learns how to trust and develop relationships with people. If those were even "reasonable", the long-term prognosis is better.
    2) Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a spectrum. A child can have disordered attachment and not be at the far end of the spectrum.

    You're definitely dealing with a complex kid (like most of us here!). Don't be content with one diagnosis... it may take several. He may be Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) plus somewhere on the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) spectrum... and maybe some health issues thrown in to boot.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Honestly, the sort of punishments he got remind me of "A Boy Called It." Classic abuse. I would think that he has some form of attachment disorder and maybe some post traumatic too. I find his early years chilling. I'd like to give the boyfriend drugs and make him sit on his knees reading parenting books for a year with the same kind of meals he forced on your grandson. Is he in therapy? I think that, given all that happened, it is imperative to find out if this crazy boyfriend has done anything sexually to him. Sadly, most abused kids are afraid to say so. Your grandson's head injury may have been because this boyfriend punched him in the head, but he has probably told your grandson that he'll kill him if he ever tells anyone that he hurt him...so it may take a lot of therapy and time before you know what he's really been through and he can work on feeling safe. This doesn't mean he doesn't have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) too, but the abuse is very important to sort through in my opinion before you know what he is really like.

    Bless you for saving him from those monsters.