At the end of our rope

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tayana, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. tayana

    tayana Guest

    We have a 13 year old son who is diagnosed ADHD, Asperger's, and ODD. He has been to three therapists and three psychiatrists, but still has problems with lying, stealing, following rules, and just generally being considerate of others. He is often thoughtless and rude towards us, and never seems sorry for his actions. My partner has basically given up on him, and has decided he is a sociopath. She is just waiting for him to really hurt someone. He has had episodes of aggression in the past where he has attacked one of us or tried to beat his dog, but these tend to happen after a lot of stress. He does not talk about his feelings, and if he does, it's usually lies. We never know if he is telling the truth or not. He probably functions at a 9/10 year level socially/emotionally, but intellectually, he has a genius IQ and is way too smart for his own good. He has great book smarts, but lacks common sense.

    We are no longer certain what behaviors he can control and what he can't. My partner has reached the end of her rope and doesn't want to deal with him anymore. She is tired of his disrespect. We have tried every form of discipline we can think of, natural consequences, loss of privilege, grounding, extra chores, etc. He does not learn from his mistakes. He seems to have no motivation to improve his behavior, even when offered rewards. When things are hard for him he just gives up. He is not motivated by offers of money, free time, extra privileges, etc. At this point we have started considering some sort of residential placement or military school for him because we don't know what else to do. Can anyone give us some other ideas?
  2. zba189

    zba189 Guest

    My difficult child is much younger (he's six) but a lot of what you're saying rings true with our situation as well. My difficult child is currently at the end of his first Residential Treatment Center (RTC) stay. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a parent and it still is. Couple that with becoming the topic of neighborhood gossip, questioning of my fitness as a parent by my mother in law, and self doubt and you have the running commentary in my mind. I have no idea how to raise a teenager, I'm not an expert on any of the issues that our difficult children. I have come to the conclusion that you can't go wrong with trying every avenue to get your difficult child help. My motto has become, come what be, I want to be able to look at the past and not wonder if I should have done this or if that would have made a difference. It's not like typical medicine where you go in and say, I hurt this leg and they put a cast on it and it's healed and gone in a certain amount of time. Nothing is going to be totally fixed but there are ways to maybe improve the situation. Looking at different avenues and weighing all your options is just going to give you more information about making the best decision for your difficult child and your family. Good luck.
  3. I have a child that is 7. We have been dealing with the same issues since he was 3. We are currently at the point of choosing a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I am not sure if this a step in the right direction, or if it will cause another issue all together (abandonment). I am new to this website, but I am glad I found it. It is nice to see there others out there and I am not alone. Any advice that anyone has would be greatly appreciated!
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Kids with Aspergers don't understand the social world the way you and I do. So what looks "rude" to you is really a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the world as we see it. Kids with AS need to be taught social interaction; they don't pick it up naturally. I don't think punishment and military school will help. I do think understanding and teaching will make a difference.

    Some resources to help:
    The Explosive Child by Ross Greene

    Hang in there and good luck.
  5. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Is he currently taking any medications?
  6. tayana

    tayana Guest

    He currently takes Vyvanse which helps him concentrate, and at night he takes Remeron. He's been on several other medications which did not help him much at all.

    He is currently involved in several activities to teach social interaction and we work on these at home as well, and have been for several years. He's gotten better. What doesn't get any better is the lying, stealing, and general defiance.
  7. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    snipped above and bbm (bolded by me)

    That is the Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder (CD) part. Some have said there is no medication for ODD or CD, but that by treating the ADHD it curbs some of those behaviors. I don't have any answers for you - I am having similar issues with my 8 year old and I can totally see myself in your shoes in 5 years. For me, I feel like it is only going to get worse because nothing is really working now. It's a kind of hopeless feeling - but there's got to be something that can be done to help these kids.
  8. tayana

    tayana Guest

    What's bad is that his therapist looked at us the last time and said, "don't bring him back here. I can't do anything for until he decides to change." So now we end up living like we are in a prison ward with everything so strict you can hardly breathe. It has to be this way because that's the only situation where his behavior is under control. He'll do fine for a few days then go right back to where he was. It's like he loves to be in trouble.
  9. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I would definitely find a new therapist! So far, no behavior modifications, discipline, rewards, etc. have worked for our difficult child. I was not at all comfortable with the medication route (still am not), but it is the ONLY thing so far that has given difficult child a bit of improvement. It's exhausting and never ending but I can't imagine giving up on him - hang in there!
  10. tayana

    tayana Guest

    What's really sad is that I don't really know this child anymore. He used to care about school, but his grades have all fallen to c's and d's. We are fostering another child, but these problems have gone on a lot longer. He got into two honors classes this year, and was very proud of himself for doing so, but now that he's in them, he isn't even trying. He doesn't seem depressed, but nothing we try motivates him. I feel like the worst person in the world because every night is spent lecturing, double checking and going through his day step by step for answers. He doesn't talk about his feelings, and I know he's angry and jealous of the foster child, but he doesn't talk about it.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Tayana,



    Anyway, a lot of your son's behaviors sound familiar. My son is 13 and has issues with-lying, too, but he's much, much better. Frankly, it's easier for these kids to lie. It is less complicated. Ironically, it is more complicated because their lies are so totally stupid they make things worse, and then they have to lie to cover the lies. (Face covered with-chocolate--I didn't eat any chocolate. Why do you say that?) My son also lacks motivation. I just talked to a friend whose Aspie son is 21 and has already had 3 jobs. It's just part of what they've got. Or haven't got, actually.
    It's a neurological issue.

    One thing I would suggest is routine, routine, routine. The instant your son gives you or your spouse lip, you have to call him on it, and have an immediate consequence. For many yrs, I had my son write "I am sorry for swearing at you," 50X (or whatever number was appropriate for that issue) b4 he could have any other privileges. No TV, no computer, etc.

    Find something your son is interested in. Reading? Computers? That is your leverage.

    Also, since his emotional age is much younger (typical of Aspies) don't feel badly about a bit of carrot-and-stick and bribery. We still occasionally give our son Reese's peanut butter cups for rewards. If my parents had done that when I was 13 I would have thought they were nuts, but don't knock anything that works.

    I see you have said you have lectured him. Don't bother. He won't listen. Use shorter sentences and immediate, natural consequences. I know that Aspies can have some sociopathic attributes, but they are not sociopaths.

    You and your spouse should read LOOK ME IN THE EYE by Robinson and ASPERGER SPECTRUM DISORDERS by Chantal Sicile-Kira.

    Don't give up on him yet. I know how hard it is!!!!!!!
  12. tayana

    tayana Guest

    Yours too? We can't figure this out. He'll totally tell on himself for big thing and then, "did you take a packet of drink mix out of the cabinet?" No, but his lips are the color of drink mix. He does this ALL the time. We've been told that Aspies don't lie and like rules and all of that, but ours hates rules and lies all the time.

    He has major issues with changes in routine. Right now it's the switch from summer to school. He's struggling with school, and normally he doesn't at all. And since there's a new foster child at home, he has to deal with his home routine being interupted too. I know he's got a lot on his plate, but I don't understand why he can't follow the rules for just one day. He's convinced his way is right and everyone else is wrong even if he has a calculator telling him the correct answer. The calculator has to be wrong. I don't get it.

    Right now, there is nothing he is interested in enough to take away or use as leverage. Nothing. You can take away things he likes, but he just shrugs and finds something else.
  13. AlParedes

    AlParedes Guest

    This made me laugh is because the lying is ridiculous and transparent, They'd deny themselves watching it on video tape. My Aspie refused to follow rules and lies every word from her mouth and I dont believe im exaggerating. Maybe the ODD overtakes the Aspie characteristics because socially both fit her to a tee. There is nothing she cares about enough to do the right thing and Dont remember the last time I've heard an apology for something. She'll just come talk to me like she didn't call me the C-word an hour ago and be like " hey guess who just hit me up on Myspace. Some band guy he's totally cute and blah blah blah" "So anyways can I borrow your charger?" (Her charger was broken by her during a fit and she can stay nice to me sometimes long enough to use it..) If I say no she returns to doing the devils work.

    AH well, Tayana does anyone else in you family have Aspergers? The Dr said it usually runs in the family and my mother has social issues herself. Missing sensitivity chip, offends in every conversation...My father a tiny bit of a hoarder...Me the juries still out...bouts of depression..CHECK!