Advice needed on 11 year old boy who is behaving criminally

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wakijaki, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. wakijaki

    wakijaki Guest

    I'm a 30 year old mum with an 11 year old son. He is like me, hard of hearing, and wear hearing aids also his teacher thinks he has autism and we are waiting to see a doctor about this.
    My sons dad left when he was 1 year old and I have no contact with him. My son stays with his paternal grand parents every weekend so he can also see his dad.
    He is normally a well behaved boy but during the past month he has been starting fires in the bathroom at home, sprayed silly string all over his bedrooms walls which still won't come off, and now he has been vandalizing public toilets with marker pens, even at his school.
    Last night he also managed to block the sewage drains for my entire street, resulting in everyone being disturbed at 11.30 at night by the men trying to clear the blockage.
    I have confiscated his tv and xbox, I have tried talking to him heart to heart, we were both crying, tried shouting and explaining what he has done. Also went for a meeting with his teacher in school and explained this all to her. Nothing seems to get through to him and I'm exhausted and stressed out and worrying about what he might do next.
    I was in a violent relationship for 4 years on and off up until 2 years ago when I finally managed to get free and actually took my ex to court and had him convicted of assault. My son was witness to the violence on some occasions. Since then I spent 6 months on my own and then met my current partner who is everything my ex wasn't, he is kind, caring , gentle and him and my son get on great.
    One of my friends suggested getting the police to come and talk to him but I'm scared he will get in very serious trouble if they know what he has done.
    please help!
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First of all, I would like to welcome you to the site!

    I believe a lot in a mother's intuition. Do you truly believe that these issues have only surfaced the past month? It is very unusual that a child would begin acting out at 11 with fire setting and general property destruction just "all of a sudden". Sounds like he has had quite a few things to deal with in his young life.

    I'm not familiar with the healthcare system in Wales (which is my number one dream place to visit by the way!), but here in the states a child with these issues would be seeing a team of docs through a multidisciplinary evaluation, visiting a neuropsychologist for testing or a pediatric psychologist/therapist. You mentioned at the opening that one of his teachers believes he has autism.....this property destruction/fire setting is not typical of autism. Why did she mention that diagnosis to you? Had you wondering about that in the past? How were his developmental milestones like sitting up, walking and talking? What kind of doctor are you visiting?

    Sorry, but we usually have more questions than suggestions/answers when a new member posts for the first time!

    When you get a chance, please do a profile signature like you see at the bottom of our posts - just click on "settings" in the upper right corner an go from there!

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome!! It is nice to "meet" you, though I am sorry you needed to find us.

    I agree that it would be highly unlikely for symptoms of autism to suddenly start at your son's age. What has changed or happened right around the time your son started to do these things? Chances are that there is some trigger.

    I always hate to bring this up, but sudden onset of symptoms this severe can be a sign of sexual abuse. If he never behaved this way it would take something serious and major to cause these behaviors. Do NOT NOT NOT just go and ask your son if someone touched him or hurt him. Children will usually try to figure out what you want to hear. Just asking the question several times can change the answers from no to yes. Here in the US there have been some really HUGE cases of supposed sexual abuse that turned out to not have happened. The only reason accusations were made was because someone NOT trained in how to handle these things has asked the question over and over (can be different people asking it). The child says no but adults keep asking so the child figures that no is the wrong answer and says yes so that they will please the adult. Of course the child doesn't realize what is going on, they are just trying to please the adults.

    To figure out if there is sexual abuse of some kind you will need to have someone trained evaluate your child. First I would sit and go through all the adults and older kids in your child's life. If there is a therapist you are working with you can ask them if your child should be evaluated for this.

    Many kids go through a phase where they are very curious about fire. Not all, by any means, but it is not uncommon. You can ask your local fire dept if they have any safety programs for kids your son's age and if they will speak to your son. Here the fire stations have programs that help the kids learn fire safety. They even have a trailer that they pull up for kids to go through to experience what it would be like if there was a fire. Our local fire dept brings it to the schools and many other events around town to make sure every child has a chance to learn about it. One member here was told to give her child a metal garbage can and 500 matches and to make her child sit and light every single match, one after another. It was to help her child get bored with playing with fire. Not sure if this would be the advice of your fire dept, but you may want to consider it.

    As for asking the police to talk to your son, it may be a good idea. They will NOT treat a child who is doing these things the way they would treat an adult. Here is often seems they give our kids too many chances to change so the kids end up thinking the police won't do anything to them no matter what. But often they will at least talk to children and try to scare them. It may be worth a try. You could at least call a non-emergency number and ask them what they would do.

    I hope these give you some ideas.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. My first thoughts are exactly as the first two "CD family" members posted. I had seven years experience as a single Mom and you have my sympathy. It is so so hard to be the sole parent of a difficult child because it is downright scarey. Do you have anyone you can really trust to help you sort the options in your community? Every locale is different, has different servicesand avenues for help. You do need help. You'll find emotional support (and differing ideas all given with caring intentions) here. Many of us have felt this site to be a lifesaver as we can post our true feelings and worries with-o fear of community repercussions.Like others I have a zillion questions about the first eleven years of your son's life. Who has been his health care provider? Did he just begin to show problems at school? Has he ever been fully evaluated? Does he behave differently after his visits away from home? What role might his hearing problem play in his social adjustment? Does he have a new friend who might be influencing him? The questions would go on and on and on. My first suggestion is not to accept a school based diagnosis...even if apparently heartfelt.Get on the phone and in the telephone book and on the internet and find Centers that focus on childdren needing assistance. See if you have a Child Psychiatrist in your town or near your town. Check with your insurance company and find out what facilities or Physicians are covered if money is a concern. Seek out a list of quality options. You can bounce ideas off us and get some feedback. It is hard to find the right answers but obviously you love your son very much. By reaching outon his behalf you are beginning to assume the role of "Warrior Mom". That's what we call ourselves when we hone in on a problem, advocate for our child and seek answers. You cando it! DDD