At the end of my rope

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by deerfieldAR, May 24, 2011.

  1. deerfieldAR

    deerfieldAR New Member

    I am at the end of my rope...
    I have a 12 yo son with ADHD and a mood disorder. He was diagnosed early and has been on various medications and in therapy since he was about 8. He has been hospitalized twice for depression, the last time being in October. Since October, things have been going relatively well...for us. His agression has been decreased a lot and his oppositional behaviors have as well. School continues to be a bit of a struggle, but he has an IEP and much support. Sounds good, right? The problem is that he has absolutely no friends, is sometimes bullied has very low self esteem and is depressed quite often. Therapy does not help. Having him join youth groups gives him a once a week activity, but little else. Because he developed a reputation quite young, he is shunned by much of the community and I am merely judged as a "bad parent" --Yesterday, I pulled up in my driveway after work and behind me was a police car. They told me that 2 boys had reported that they saw my son take a rock and scratch a car. I went and got my son and he admitted that he had done it. He said that these 2 boys who were "his friends" told him that they would give him $50.00, let him sit at the lunch table with them and be his friends if he did he did. Immediately after he did it, the boys rang the bell and told the people inside what he had done...they set him up. Please understand, my son has to take responsibility I am not solely blaming the other boys, however it is a pitiful thing. My son said he knew he was doing the wrong thing and did it anyway because he wanted friends. The police officer was very supportive, said he would be talking to the other kids parents and that I should talk to the school to separate these boys, which I did. This is like a slap in the face to me because I thought things were so much better and now I see how much he is suffering. After reading many of the articles on this site, his future looks bleak...drug abuse, and trouble with the law seem inevitable. We have done everything we knwo for him, but what good is that if the results are so bad...there is no A for effort here. Have I mentioned my husband? These "acts" put him in a depression and he starts overreacting and getting moody himself...he refuses to be on medications. Otherwise, he is great...takes him on weekend trips, very attentive. Not even sure what I am asking here...I am just sitting at work paralyzed with depression and unsure what else to do. I am so worried about him and how to help him. Thanks for reading.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi. Welcome. Sorry you had to find us... but glad you did.

    ADHD is characterized by uneven development. These kids are anything BUT "their age". Some parts of them will be way ahead of their peers, and other parts will be way behind. This is "normal" for ADHD.

    Our experience is that the biggest problem is the definition of "peers". Schools force the kids to associate with those who are their same AGE. The reality is - these kids should really be doing NOTHING with kids their own age, or at least not with a whole group of them. But school makes them stick together, "because its good for them socially". (I'm not the swearing type, but its tempting). Team sports are the same problem.

    These kids need multi-age groups - where they can hang out with kids who are their emotional age at that point - and sometimes it will be with kids 2+ years younger, and sometimes it will be with kids 2+ years older... but it won'd be with kids their own age.

    Does he have any skills or interests that would tie into multi-age groups? community band, art classes, swimming clubs, cadets, etc... He needs activities where he can be himself in a positive way, and be accepted for his accomplishments. Do you have Big Brothers around? That might provide a mentor...

    He will be so desperate to be "accepted" that he will pay the price - any price - to be accepted by ANY group - and you don't want to go there. THIS is what will take him down the negative path you painted... but it does NOT have to go that way.

    It will help others here if you create a signature (see site resources).
    It will also help to know...
    - who did the diagnoses and when
    - whether the depression is considered "primary" or "secondary" (is it caused by other problems?)
    - medications
    - what supports does he have at school
    - etc.

    Others will join in later, I'm sure.
  3. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Don't be overly scared about the stories on this post. I read that about 2/3 of the ODD kids grow up to live normal lives, and 1/3 don't. It is the 1/3 that you read about in this site. The parents of the 2/3 no longer need the support, so you won't read about them. Now ODD is not really a diagnoses, just a generalization, and a 33% chance that your child could get involved with drugs and issues with the law is very scarey, but not a set thing. It is worth the fight.

    My youngest son also has troubles finding and keeping friends, he also does better outside of the school setting and usually with kids that are much younger then he is, with small one on one settings working the best. Find an outside of school interest that you might focus on. (karate, art class, sports game, Pokemon trading cards ect) and see if they provide an opportunity for friendship.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Who diagnosed him and has he ever seen a neuropsychologist.

    How was his early development (speech, eye contact with strangers, any sensory sensitivities, motor skill delays)...

    Are you seeing an improvement?
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome... And LOTS of hugs.

    I have an almost-13-y/o stepson. I love him to bits. He has some severe problems, though. And he's nowhere near his chronological age, developmentally.

    But - don't give up on therapy! Honestly, you may need a different therapist/counselor/psychologist. We have a highly esteemed psychiatrist here - Dr. W - and Jett adores him. And until she hit puberty, so did Onyxx. Long story there. But Jett is still seeing Dr. W, and we're on yet another counselor for Onyxx.

    I agree with the martial arts, trading cards, etc. I always got along better with people slightly older or younger than I am - which makes no difference as an adult, but as a child it's huge. Jett's actually older than most of the kids in his class, so that helps - some.

    More hugs... It's not easy. Really hard. Oh yeah... My husband is similar... Onyxx acts up, his mood drops... Yeah. It's like that...
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    So sorry to hear about your pain. That was a cruel, despicable trick played by those boys and, yes, one feels your son's heartbreaking desperation to make friends.
    What is it, exactly, that stops him having any friends? Why is he shunned? All this must have a very damaging effect on his self-esteem, needless to say. Does he have interests outside of school? Is there anything he excels at?
    Drug abuse and crime are not the only future for ADHD kids. And plenty of kids who are "normal" get into drugs and crime... Nothing is written, nothing is determined at this stage. It is all up for grabs. But your son must "find himself" and his own worth. Sounds like you are a really good and supportive parent who is wanting to help him do this. Sorry I don't have more concrete suggestions not knowing much of the background. Can you tell us a bit more?
  7. deerfieldAR

    deerfieldAR New Member

    Thanks, everyone for all your comments. To answer a couple of questions, he has seen a Neurospsych, a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician, and had extensive testing at a center that specializes in all this fun other words, like many of you, we have practically bankrupted ourselves trying to deal with this. I would gladly giv eup everything and live in a straw hut if I thought it would, humor!! After I spoke with the school this morning and told them what happened, they told me they would talk to the boys and make sure that "they didn't bring this to school"--then, my son comes home today and tells me that at least a dozen people walked up to him and told him "he was going to Juvie." Obviously, this did not help the situation and I emailed the school...again. We have tried many groups and activities and he has not been successful at any of them...he either quits because they require commitment, or gets kicked out due to behaviors. I do have him in a special group for kids with ADHD that meets 2x a month and that has been going well...but it's not enough. He is making it academically at school, with support and his behavior has been better than expected...(only 5 detentions, all for swearing)--sad when you are happy with 5 detentions!! But, I wonder if his social and emotional needs at school are being met. He is in that "middle place" where he isn't quite cutting it here and is depressed but isn't "severe" enough for a therapeutic school. Not sure what to do. I seriously have thought of putting an ad on Craiglslist for a friend for him. The worst part is that I am slowly losing hope and I am so tired and depressed myself...(yes, I am on medications...) I have fantasies of getting in the car, checking into a hotel with a bottle of wine and reality TV, but I am just too damn tired to even get in the car. Sorry this post has jumped all over the place...guess I just need to vent.
  8. LookingForAnswers

    LookingForAnswers New Member

    WOW! What those boys did to your son was horrible and I am really sorry that it happened. My son also has a difficult time getting and keeping friends. He was bullied for years also...mainly teased for being small. His behaviors didn't help matters any either. I believe that he was "labeled" weird at an early age...labeled not just by his peers but also by his teachers at times...and this led to the bullying. When he was 12 we moved to a new school zone and held him back in the same grade. That is one of the best things we have ever done for him. The bulling stopped when he started at the new school. He still has a hard time making and keeping friends mainly because he is so demanding and bossy. It is so stressful for us when he has friends over...especially when they spend the night. He only wants to do what he wants to do (which is play video games!) and doesn't care what he friends want to do. He has made some friends in the neighborhood that don't seem to "mind" his behaviors and overlook a lot of what he does (Thanks goodness!).

    I really hope that these boy's parents can see that they are bullies and give them some consequences for what they did. Parents really need to step up and teach these kids how to treat other people! Your son will find friends that will accept him! (((HUGS)))
  9. deerfieldAR

    deerfieldAR New Member

    Thanks--your difficult child sounds just like mine!! I am sitting here thinking that maybe we need a drastic change..
  10. LookingForAnswers

    LookingForAnswers New Member

    Change my be exactly what ya'll need! I just read your other post and I totally get what you mean about getting in a car and going to a hotel and curling up with a bottle of wine! Wine is good! Maybe you should find some time to get away...even for just one night. You need a break!! Don't give up hope...there is always hope. I know it's hard as hell because I struggle with that too but I refuse to let these disorders ruin his life!
    I hope that tomorrow is better for him at school. Quick question....Does he have an IEP?
  11. keista

    keista New Member


    I always find myself at the end of my own rope, find ppl to vent to and lean on, and even though I didn't think it would happen, always find the strength to go on.............again. I hope venting here does that for you, but yes, try to find some real life time to give yourself a break. We all know it's easier said than done, but for parents like us it's a necessity - not a luxury.

    Like you said, you really weren't asking for anything, but I'll give you my 2 cents on bullying. Go to the principal and ask specifically what the school policy is. It is the school's job to not only educate your child, but also to keep him SAFE. Make sure you let your son know what the policy is, who to report to, what information will be needed. It is REALLY hard for our kids to self advocate, so he might need help. Since he has an IEP, does he have a "go to" person someone who oversees the IEPs someone who helps them out with day to day issues, someone who he hopefully is comfortable with. If there are incidences, he can go to this person for assistance to do the official reporting. My son had such issues in middle school. At the beginning of his first year there, the VP essentially told me that "maybe my son did not belong in a normal school" Lordy, I almost jumped over his desk! The first few times we went in to report bullying, he'd be rolling his eyes, and it wasn't subtle either. By the end of the year, this man finally got to know my son - I mean REALLY know him - I couldn't believe the way he turned his attitude around. The following year when there were issues he was bending over backwards to help out my son. There is hope.

    I just read your signature, and sorry, I gotta do it, no, I shouldn't, yes, I do : EDUCATE YOUR DAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, I'm really really sorry I yelled, because I'm sure you have tried. And she's now a teen, and she knows EVERYTHING. And I know it's been rough on her too because she was never allowed to get away with that, do that etc, but we all know it's just not that simple. He looks normal, so there's nothing wrong with him. OY! I think EVERY member here has heard that at least once. Well, the reason I yelled it so loud is that when I read your signature, my heart just broke for your son. Here he is struggling to fit into a world the he is just not wired for. He gets enough negativity from the outside world, and BAM! He's getting it from his family too. The ppl that are supposed to make him feel safe and loved and ACCEPTED.

    I'm laughing at myself because I want to say "try harder" to educate her, but we all know that is useless advice because it's what all those "experts" at school tell our kids. So think out of the box to get her to show at least a bit of compassion. He did not choose any of his ailments any more than those Down's kids did. The "normals" in my extended family have a very difficult time with this, and I tell them that they don't have to fully understand my kids, but they have to accept them and their different reality, and not belittle their issues. Charity begins at HOME

    Stick around. You'll find more help and support here than you've dreamed possible.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Is there any chance that you can get your son into an alternative school such as a Waldorf-Steiner school? They have a lot of "different" children and take very different approaches to education. If someone is stuck in a very negative school situation it is a little hard to see how it can change - because presumably "taking action" against bullying just marginalises the child even more among his peers. Can you get to the bottom of why he has such a hard time making friends?
    One of the posts talked about the boy being "demanding and bossy" and always wanting to do what he wants to do. I have never put my finger on it but I think this is one of my son's "issues". It does seem to vary somewhat, because sometimes I see him being amenable to the suggestions of others, but I think a lot of the time he too is demanding and bossy - at his age, this also manifests as being insufficiently sensitive of other children's property. He will just walk into another child's room, for example, and take whatever toys he wants to play with without asking the other child... Is it this sort of thing with your son? Did he ever have any help with these issues? Has he always had difficulty with friendships?
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Deerfield.
    That is SO SAD about your son! My heart is breaking for his vulnerability and naivete'. The closest we ever got to that was with both of our kids--easy child and difficult child--who when they were about 6, were bribed by older kids to change a $20 dollar bill for 5 ones, for example (because ones look like so much more money to little kids) or older kids who would convince them to bring in a huge bag of candy and only pay them 5 cents. (It took me a cpl wks to figure out where everything was going ...)

    I hope that you explained to the police what was going on with-your son, and got this biz cards. This would be a good time to make them allies and to have them on your side, because it's possible that your son could be talked into other things. If you didn't get their biz cards, call the station and leave a msg to have them stop by the house again just to chat. It will be well worth your time.

    In regard to Craigslist, is there a Big Brother group in your area? What about the YMCA?

    I have to side with-Keista in regard to your daughter. Amazing that she can't see what's going on in her own home. Sigh.
  14. deerfieldAR

    deerfieldAR New Member

    Wow--just when I thought it couldn't get worse. My friend told me that her son came home and told her that the entire school is talking about how my difficult child got arrested, taken away in handcuffs and spent the night in a juvenile detention home. None of this is true. Once I calm down, I am getting on the phone with the principal, if this isn't bullying and harassment, I don't know what is. This should do wonders for his stellar is he ever, ever, going to have friends? I wish I could move. I just feel like crawling in a hole and dying.
  15. keista

    keista New Member

    I'd start hunting for an attorney. If the principal cannot control his school and keep your son safe, he'll (school board) have to pay for another appropriate school setting.