developmentally delayed


New Member
I am new here and I am at my wits end. My 20 yr old son, who we adopted when he was 6 yrs of age, has been getting more and more angry over every little thing.

He is starting to get more helpless with every day. His demands are so over the top and if you say no, you are in for a major fight, which includes slamming doors, cursing at me, putting holes in the wall, spitting on the floor, etc. He has not hit me, but I dont know how long he will refrain from that.

If he wasnt developmentally delayed, I would have no problem calling the police and getting him out of the house, but due to his 'special needs', I am at a loss on what to do.

I feel his medication is not working anymore, but his DR. said that she is not sure what else to try.

Anyone else out here dealing with these type of issues?


Well-Known Member
Hi, and welcome.

Does he have any specific diagnosis? And how long since that has been evaluated?

Sometimes, either at puberty, or as they enter adulthood, other challenges can develop, such as mental illness. This is in addition to whatever he started with. If you don't know what you are dealing with, it is harder to know where to go for help, and harder to get help.


Well-Known Member
His demands are so over the top and if you say no, you are in for a major fight, which includes slamming doors, cursing at me, putting holes in the wall,
I adopted my son when he was 22 months. He had been through a lot. Plus he was drug exposed. There is not a door in my house, except the front door that has not been punched through. While my son never hit me he did kind of push me, and once blocked me with a martial arts move and broke my foot.

My son's and my relationship was harmonious and loving until he was about 15. He became resistant and oppositional but still nothing serious. At 18 the extreme moodiness started. At 21 he began to threaten suicide. When 23, he says he began making attempts *by then he was out of the house and he has been hospitalized for suicidality multiple times.

He has not worked pretty much for the last 4 years, and now he is on SSI for mental illness. So our experience is pretty much consistent with what Insane states:
either at puberty, or as they enter adulthood, other challenges can develop, such as mental illness.
This is in addition to whatever he started with

My son is now 27. Let me tell you how I see things looking back.'

I was never equipped to handle a mentally ill adult person in my home. I hung on way too long, until he was 23 before I asked him to leave. Forced him to leave.

My significant other feels guilt that he did not try harder, do more. I do not so much. These young men must find a way to live in the world as they can.
One member here *she may soon respond handled things differently than did I.
And I think she was right. As soon as her son was 18 or so, she applied on his behalf for SSI, applied for him for subsidized housing, and set him up independently. She is his payee, I think. This young man from the time he was a young person had the experience of being independent to the extent he was able.

She was spared the endless fighting that my son and I had, the extreme sadness and guilt and frustration I had. It did not serve my son, I think, that I had expectations of him on which he could not deliver. Still, I think, our relationship is dysfunctional.

I feel resentful and I personalize too much.

I would follow this other member's lead. Demand that your adult son be independent, and help him achieve independence to the extent he is able.

I think I cut off too much support with the expectation he would step in and do it. He did not.

This is all very hard. There is no way that is right. We have to keep trying and trying, and re-tuning our responses.

I am glad you found us. Take heart. You will find great support here, and a way to walk through this.

Let me restate: You are not equipped to take care of a developmentally disabled adult. There are residential set-ups, even shared apartments where young people can live "independently." Parents cannot do this. However much we love them.

Posting helps. Take care.



Well-Known Member
Many older kid adoptions, if not most, are children with attachment disorders, sometimes fetal alcohol spectrum and drug exposure in utero. All of these things mess with the frontal lobe, impulsivity and can cause developmental delays. I adopted a child with substances in him and he has autism, although he is fortunately attached and emotionally stable.
I also adopted a six year old from another country. He seemed fine until his 20s when he started rejecting us. Adoption at an older age causes unusual issues that sometimes come out later.
If your son was drug affected and has delays he could need adult supports such as disability, housing, and a caseworker. He may be disabled rather than just a "bad" young adult, but that does not mean he has to live with you and cause stress and your own illness. There are supports out of your house if he is disabled.
My heart goes outvto you. Its up to you to decide what you feel would help him the most plus be best for the rest of your family. There are no definitive answers. You know better than anyone if your son can be independent but even if he cant be 100 per cent there is help for him and he can reach his highest potential and leave the nest. Some adults need a group son with autism has an apartment and part time job and ssi. He rarely needs us, but I am his payee. Yes, he has his own money and is happy and loving and content. My other adoptee whe came at six is very finsbcially successful but very angry and we dont know why. We never see him...his choice.
Hugs for your hurting heart.
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pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
:welcomecat: Welcome, Sloane. If you think there needs to be a medication change and the doctor says, "I don't know what else to try," perhaps you need to see a second doctor. Did you describe all these intense behaviors to the doctor?

I know I've taken medications which made me super irritable. The reverse can also be true, that something which once worked well can become ineffective.