Another vent! I cannot stand him sometimes...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by agee, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. agee

    agee Guest

    Sooooooo....we are still waiting for our neuropsychologist appointment and difficult child is still off the stims - for 2 1/2 weeks now.
    In some ways things are good - in general his mood is much elevated - but he has days (like today) when he is 'wide-open' - will not stop talking, moving, dancing, making noise, etc. then whammo - hateful, hateful, hateful.
    He was invited to a b-day party today, which was wonderful and surprising to me since I didn't think he had any friends and he spent all morning making noise, bugging me, dancing, instigating, etc.etc. then got to the party and wouldn't talk to anyone or participate in any games. He just hung on his brother (who is 10 and wasn't invited but was there because I had an emergency) and then, once I picked him up, called his brother and me names the entire 25 minute ride home. So foul. When we got home I said he needed to go to his room and he screamed and screamed at me, called me names, and glared at me so I grabbed him and marched him up there and locked the door.
    Meanwhile I am furious! My heart is pounding and I'm so so so mad! I hate that he gets to me so badly. Hate it. Hate that I lose control and yell and manhandle him and have such awful thoughts.
    And then, when room time is up I go up and he's all sunny and light. Not apologetic, but calm and happy and ready to play.
    I really don't get it. He is so not-normal.
    And reading this board has been helpful but it also scares the **** out of me because I read stories from people with older kids and I know what's ahead.
    Carry on...
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Sounds like his anxiety got out of control at the party and you bore the brunt of it on the way home. I'm sorry you're having to wait so long with him unmedicated before the neuropsychologist evaluation. Do you have an appointment already on the books? Things are obviously hard right now, but keep in mind that once you get through the evaluation process and start down the treatment road, it's going to get better! Hang in there and try to carve out breaks for yourself so your stress level does not get so high. You're going to have to think very creatively to keep one step ahead of his meltdowns.
  3. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I know how you feel...We are having the same type of behavior at our house today. And, waiting for the appointment is very hard.

    Here is one thought: When my difficult child is 'wild,' as we call it at our house, we find that exercise is very helpful. We try to run him as hard as we can. Not sure where you are or if playing outside is possible right now, but do whatever you can to provide opportunities for movement. My husband even takes difficult child swimming at the gym several evenings a week. It is an outdoor, heated pool and difficult child wears a wetsuit (It helps that it rarely freezes where we live). That tends to be very calming for difficult child.

    The book "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun" by Carol Stock Kranowitz is great for exercise ideas that can be done inside. It is designed for kids with sensory issues, but even if your son does not have sensory issues you probably would find some good activities for him. We get a lot of use from a a $12 package of exercise bands.

    Take care.
  4. agee

    agee Guest

    You are right about the anxiety, I'm sure. I wonder if, in the future, we should just avoid parties.
    It's also giving me flashbacks to the beginning of this school year when he came home and raged every day after school for 3 weeks. Can't wait 'til school starts up again :anxious:
    I am just feeling so frustrated because it's SO MUCH WORK being his mom.
    And I already have a lot of other commitments. I'm trying to get out of some of them but honestly, I enjoy the other things I do a lot better than being his mom. So it's hard to give up my two tiny businesses and my part-time job because I am personally fulfilled doing them. And my husband needs help so he won't have to work so much. Although I'm sure he works so much partially because our home is less than joyful and happy...
    I know I'm being hateful. I guess I just need to be hateful.
    The thing about him being less medicated than usual is that he's not a whole lot different than he was when he was on more medications. I'm just hoping that this appointment. sheds some light. And yes, we do have an appointment. now.
    Thanks for reading.
  5. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Just wanted to add...Parties are very hard. We gave have stopped going to parties, unless they are for very close friends.
  6. agee

    agee Guest

    Thanks for the advice re: exercise. We can and do try to get a lot of movement in but it can be quite the screaming battle. THat was part of what the name-calling on the ride home was about actually - his brother suggested we go on a walk/bikeride scooter ride and difficult child was completely opposed.
    We did go, eventually, which was good for ME if for no one else.
    We also got a trampoline for Xmas, which I'm hoping will be a good tool. And Thursday is gymnastics, which he sometimes participates in. Our big issue around sports/activities is that he will refuse to do them. Just refuse. And unless the coach/teacher/leader takes the bull by the horns and orders him to participate, he won't. Lots of teachers/coaches/leaders will just say "ok - your choice" and then he'll just do nothing. This is very frustrating for us since we're a)paying and b) driving him to all these things. We are in a rural area and everything is 25 - 45 minutes away.
    Ok. Rambling and complaining now.
    I'll stop.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He sounds just like my Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son when he was younger, but especially the silly noises and hyperactivity, but the fear and discomfort around other children. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids hate crowds and do not know how to interact with others. My son is sixteen and can interact with those he knows from school, but still puts his head down and sits in a corner around kids or adults he doesn't know. He's much better than he was however and he's no longer hyper nor does he have meltdowns.

    I'd look into high functioning autism. He sounds classic to me. And, if he has it, he needs school interventions.

    I'd check it out.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  8. jal

    jal Member

    Is your difficult child competitive? When mine ramps up like that I usually tell him to get his shoes on and run around the house (outside) 5 or 6 times. He loves to be timed and likes to beat his times. Sometimes just those few minutes of hard running are enough to bring him down quite a few pegs.

    We too had issues @ certain parties @ certain times. He did pretty well at classmate b-day parties, but struggles when its a large family affair. It's hard to make the decision not to go, but there have been times that we have opted out knowing it is better than going and dealing with-the fallout.

    My difficult child is also 7.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    ABSOLUTELY! been there done that -- it's the hallmark of parenting a difficult child. ;)
  10. agee

    agee Guest

    I had to laugh about the 'running around the house' trick. He would rather eat dirt than fall for that. The other night I was with a friend watching our kids play tennis (not difficult child, of course) and difficult child was harrassing me, badgering me, launching himself at me, acting ridiculous and she said 'I bet I can get him to stop! Hey, difficult child, I bet you can't run all the way around the tennis court in 2 minutes! I bet you can't beat so-and-so (her daughter, 4).
    difficult child said NO. I don't want to beat so-and-so. That's stupid.
    So-and-so took off running. A random little boy who was playing on the playground next to us took off running. Not my difficult child. He picked up a rock and threw it at my car.
    The funny thing was I'd tried the exact same tactic the week before when I was watching her kid and my difficult child during the tennis. And got the same result.
    When I have mentioned high functioning autism to my son's doctors they laugh. Apparently he is way too engaged. Overly so. But I guess I'll keep an open mind before seeing the neuropsychologist.
    I am suspected childhood bipolar or something to do with his birthmom's alcoholism. Or both.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Agee, they laughed at me too because Lucas wasn't withdrawn. Pediatricians don't know much about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified or Aspergers. But my son is definitely is on the spectrum and it became a lot more apparent as he got older. Before the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis, he was misdiagnosed with ADHD/ODD then bipolar. He was on some nasty medications that he didn't need too, so be careful.

    I'm glad you're seeing a neuropsychologist. Good luck :tongue:
  12. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    I hear you. All the way out here in the boonies.

    He sounds so much like my younger. I suspect that you are dealing with Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) and maybe Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) too.

    What have I learned? One that is very diffcult to medicate these kids. So good luck on that front.

    Two, that they suffer a great deal from an inability to regulate their emotions. Which is similar to, but not the same as, bipolar type disorder.

    And three, Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) kids typically exhibit what is called dysmaturity--in many respects they are years behind their peers in certain respects--usually having to do with capacity to regulate their behavior.

    We just went to a talk on Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). What the presenter stressed was that if parents/teachers expect that these children can behave like their peers the will inevitably react negatively to the child. These children CAN'T behave any better than they are. So you have to deal with them as if they are two year olds or whatever. Which is very difficult because of course they are not. But if you can recognize and live with the immaturity and redirect rather than punish or react negatively, you won't get the secondary consequences that occur when one always reacts negatively to children who can't do any better than they are. Some of the problems that these kids have down the line are a result of low self esteem, the constant feeling of picked on, etc, rather than the initial disability itself. Hope that makes sense.

    It definitely stinks. It is as you said so much work, and so much unrewarding work. And it is so hard to disengage and not let your buttons be pushed. I would guess that maybe I am at about 50% success rate. And that's an improvement!

    I would urge you to maintain as many of your outside interests and committment as you can handle because they will help you maintain you sanity. One thing we have done is look for ways that my son can be successful and to hire outside help. For example, he is in band but has trouble organizing himself to practice. We hire a high school student to tutor him, it is a positive experience, good role model and my son tends to behave better with
    outsiders. I have an hour "free", and we both end up feeling good. The trick is to find good people to interact with your son in ways that are calming and validating.

    One thing we have found with my son is that we often absent ourselves if he is being abusive. As you describe, he often doesn't even realize after the fact what he has said. I have learned the very hard way that the angrier I get when he is angry the more things deteriorate.

    I guess my final thought is that if there is an element of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) to his behavior then there are some specialized therapeutic interventions I believe. I don't know anything about that. I would however press your psychiatrist--if they are not well versed in treating Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) kids or Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids I would try to get a referral to a university hospital or somewhere where they are used to dealing with such children. IF you are dealing with such issues, I think you may find that medications might help some of the worst of the symptoms but that you are probably not going to find as much help on the medication front as you would if you had a bipolar child. Just my experience.

    Good luck. Find someway to do something positive for yourself each day. We have gone through some very difficult years, but things are better in many ways than they were. In my darkest days, I considered running away, I was sure my marriage was not going to survive my children and that the stress was definitely reducing my longevity. We still have meltdowns on a daily basis, but there has been some maturity.

    Best of luck. Let us know what your docs say.

  13. agee

    agee Guest

    Oh, thank you all.
    Will you all come and be my mothers? I will be a easy child, promise.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Will you all come and be my mothers? I will be a easy child, promise.


    He does sound Aspie, but also Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Could be both. Getting all anxious and happy and hyper b4 the party is so much like my son! And getting angry afterward, too. One teeny, tiny little thing and KABOOM!
    Have you ever tried Clonidine with-him? We use it sparingly, but when he really acts up and gets anxious, it makes a huge difference. Just a thought.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You can be a easy child for me! It never ceases to amaze me the things I learn my difficult child has done in the past. My pcs still have many things they have not told me, esp Jess.

    I learned something new even this morning. Just floored me. Sigh.

    It really IS hard to handle a difficult child. The over-excited before always inspired total dread in me. I hated it because I am NOT the kind of person who has the entire day ruined by 5 minutes of unpleasantness. My husband would think a "whole day" was ruined, just ruined if difficult child had a crying jag over something after spending almost the whole day being well behaved. It drove me closer to divorce than any single thing ever did. If we did something as a family and then difficult child had a blowout at bedtime my husband would whinge and moan and fuss like we had spent the whole day with difficult child screaming. He was always at work when difficult child DID spend a whole day like that, so I used to get angry when he behaved like a short tantrum (less than 30 mins) made it not worth having the rest of teh day spent in family activities.

    I hope you have a better week.
  16. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I still tend to "shut down" at large gatherings, especially if I have to deal with strangers, let alone family members I am not used to dealing with.

    It is usually written off to my being "shy". I manage to cope these days, but I still try to avoid parties and stuff like the plague. It's very difficult to deal with the sensory overload when also trying to deal with the communications aspect of it.

    When I was a child, I used to literally run off and hide somewhere.

    The absolute worst were office parties where I had to deal with authority figures in a social setting as opposed to the usual slots in which I'd fitted them. It's really weird for someone who is your director and whom you usually deal with in that way, to suddenly offer to get you a drink or similar.

    I never drank at those sorts of parties even in the days were excesses were pretty normal and coke wasn't just the sort you mix with rum. I felt so close to losing it anyway that anything that impaired my control over my environment further freaked me out.

    I think this is the same sort of thing manifesting in a much younger child, and might be more common in boys who both more frequently suffer from ASDs, and who manifest them differently.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I do.

    And yes, he sounds very Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). High-functioning.

    MWM is right, a lot of doctors don't get it. They forget tat every Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid is different. As for being too engaged - they have got that wrong! easy child 2/difficult child 2's pediatrician says she's not Aspie because she makes good eye contact. But she only makes good eye contact with people she knows, she has to force herself to with strangers. Plus she's 23 now, she's adapted a great deal.

    difficult child 3 is fully on the spectrum and has always made good eye contact, even with strangers. He's outgoing, loves being around people, will approach total strangers.

    Your son - sounds like he anted to go to the party, wants to be around other kids, but when it comes down to it he finds it a bit overwhelming. Not just anxiety, but there are other issues as well.

    And as for him abusing you on the way home - it's "post-party let-down" and it's normal for a lot of kids, especially the highly strung ones. I used to be involved in various drama groups and would find what I called "post-performance hype" would stop me being able to wind down and get some sleep after a show. A lot of us would instead hit the town and crawl from club to club, or pub to pub.

    With the post-party letdown, it's a feeling of anticlimax and frustration. The party wasn't exactly as heexpected it to be and he's lashing out at everybody within range. It's not personal. That is why, once it's out of his system, he feels OK again and from his point of view, there is no problem. HE feels OK and so therefore everybody else does too.

    That fits with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Very egocentric. We still find, with difficult child 3, that he expects us to know what is in his head. He will be watching a show on TV, knowing that we're watching something different (that's why he's watching his show elsewhere) and will laugh out loud and say, "Wasn't that funny? What did you think when the dog bit the ball?"
    He will remember when we remind him, "We're not watching your show," but sometimes he will still say, "Did you like it when the dog then ran around in circles looking for the ball?"
    It's theory of mind - as they get older they do learn it intellectually, but in the moment they can still forget.

    What works when handling these kids - you get in their heads and think the way they are thinking. That makes it easier to understand them and know what will work and what will not.

    For future reference - when he's abusing you or shouting at you, stop. Stay calm but simply say, "I'm not shouting at you. Why are you shouting at me? Why are you calling me names? How are you feeling? Why do you think you feel this way? What has happened to make you angry?"

    Sometimes you need to wait until they are calm to try this, but we've found as we get further along the road with difficult child 3, we can begin to challenge the inappropriate behaviour as long as we stay calm and help him stay calm. He values our efforts to help him stay calm.

    In other words - don't react to his anger, don't take it personally in any way, it's actually not directed at you no matter what he says. Instead, treat his anger as if you are a bystander at a car accident and you're listening to the car driver (who has miraculously survived wrapping his car around a pole) swear and scream at the damage done to his car. What you are hearing there is shock, fear, anxiety and adrenalin overload. Too much adrenalin (which triggers fight or flight) is still zinging around his body and it needs to be used up somehow, in some way.
    Would you tell that car driver, "For heaven's sake, stop swearing at me! Calm down, you shouldn't use language like that!"
    Or would you understand because if that had been your Lamborghini, you'd be swearing too?

    It does get better with time. It gets better faster, the sooner you can find a way to handle him in a positive way. "Explosive Child" helps.

  18. ML

    ML Guest

    I agree - parties are hard. I was so set on believing manster needed the practice for socializing that I forced him to go when he didn't want to. Of course he almsot always had fun once he was there. But what miserable experience beforehand.
  19. agee

    agee Guest

    Thanks, y'all. The responses really mean a lot.
    I read the description of Aspergers on Wikipedia and there is practically nothing on it that sounds like my difficult child, except for this:
    He is actually very emotionally adept, which is part of our problem. If he sees an opening, he takes it. He can find a person's buttons and push them HARD faster than anyone I've seen.
    My biggest problem is that I KNOW that being calm helps the situation SO MUCH, but I can't seem to get there. I start out the day fine but by 10 a.m. I'm out of my head with stress. I think I probably need to see a therapist. And maybe get some medications of my own. My husband and I saw a therapist a while back but he said to make a sticker chart for my son and let him know how that works - I really need someone to talk to about the anger and grief I feel about the situation.
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    FWIW, I wouldn's use Wikipedia's definition. Believe it or not, I read a really good definition in, of all things, AARP a few mo's ago, LOL! There are lots of links here we can give you. Here's one:
    However, keep in mind that your difficult child may be more than one thing. It is so hard to tell the difference when kids are that young. There are so many parallels and similiarities.

    I wouldn't throw Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Asperger's completely out the window just because your son can find and push your buttons. In my son's mind, he was and is "telling the truth" when he pushes my buttons. For example, I'll tell him that his room is a mess and he needs to clean it. He'll counter, "So? Your room is a mess and you need to clean it."
    After I pick my jaw off of the floor for his insolence, I take a deep breath and say, You are absolutely right and very observant. However, right now, I am talking about you and we will stay on the subject. I will clean my room later. I will halp you carry dirty clothes downstairs if you like.
    It's amazing how well it works when I agree with-him. Sometimes I feel like I'm reading a manipulative script out of a book, but hey, it works! LOL!
    If your son says really mean things, like, "You are fat and ugly and smelly," out of the blue, that may be another issue. I recall that your son's meltdown in the car after the party had to do with the activity that followed, in which he did not want to participate. So again, that sounds like an overreactive Aspie or even Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) to me, in that it was overreactive but somewhat appropriate, if you look at it from his point of view.

    When he is quiet and calm, and you take him aside to talk to him, and tell him that what he said hurt your feelings, how does he react? My son is getting better, but typically, he'd say, "What difference does it make if I hurt your feelings? I was telling the truth."
    I had to explain to him WHY it mattered and WHAT the consequences would be. Yes, there ARE and SHOULD BE consequences for kids who consistently hurt their parents' feelings. Doesn't matter if the parent is as crazy as a loon or solid as a rock. Parents are in charge and you learn to follow their rules. If not hurting Mom's feelings for the umpteenth bazillion time is a rule, he'd better follow it.

    It has taken dozens, if not hundreds of conversations at the therapist's ofc and at home to get my son to see the light. It's exhausting. But not doing it, and seeing the results 10 yrs down the line is more exhausting.

    Does your son read facial expressions? Have you asked him what he thinks it means when you exhale loudly, or roll your eyes, or frown? Or even if you cry? I would be curious to hear his answers.

    One thing my son does is shout. That comes under the heading of pragmatic language. When I originally had him tested by a neuropsychologist, we were referred to a "pragmatic language specialist" because my son was not forthcoming with-answers when the dr asked him pointed questions. What a waste of time! The tester showed him pics of cats and spoons and difficult child had to say what they were. Aarrrgh. I hope you don't have to go through that.

    My son does not have hand-flapping or even walk awkwardly, at least, by definition. He has one foot turned inward and he occasionally trips when he runs. We asked the pediatrician if we could brace the leg when he was 3 (my son's leg, not the dr's leg!) and he said he'd had very poor results with-it. Sigh.

    Anyway, for your son to fit all the criteria for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), schizoaffective disorder, Asperger's, and/or bipolar would be amazing. Very few people fit all the criteria. They are guidelines.

    I would definitely agree, from your comments, that your son suffers from anxiety. And that can fit into any of the above categories ... or be in a category all by itself. See how difficult this is?

    I know you can't wait for your testing!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010