Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by josie76, May 29, 2012.

  1. josie76

    josie76 New Member

    Hi i am completely new to this but hopefully have managed this post ok!

    Just looking for some advice on how to deal with disrespect in my 14 year old son (hoping my signature has shown up at the bottom!)
    I have had an ongoing battle with his disrespectful behaviour and often instead of dealing with it effectively i am spending all my time trying to work out why he is doing it, ie is it down to autism, tourettes, his compulsive behaviours, puberty, a combination of everything or is it just plain rudeness because he can get away with it.. Thought it might be better to list a few of the main problems:

    He continuously tells me to 'shut it', challenges me to a fight, calls me names or pulls my hair when i ask him to do general day to day things like pick up his clothes or get ready for bed. I reprimand him constantly but he will only reply, 'i was only kidding on!' and with it he really seems to enjoy seeing me become upset.

    He also tickles me around the waist which i have told him repeatedly that i dont like as i find it quite stressful, but he seems to find this reaction in me quite funny and does it several times a day.

    He walks into a room and shouts a swear word at the top of his voice (then laughs a lot when i tell him to stop and he says 'it is a tic' which im not sure that it is as he has other tics and this one seems extremely voluntary)

    He also refuses to go anywhere with us together as a family and wants to spend the whole time in the house on his easy child (World of Warcraft). If i do take him - for example, to the local theme park which i bought a season pass for - he will constantly shout at me and make things difficult for everyone until i take him home.

    He also spends a lot of time being rude about his sisters appearance or invading her personal space (both of which i have explained endlessly that this is not fair or appropriate). As well as this he seems to enjoy embarrassing her when we are in public by hitting her or making very loud noises and finds it hilarious when she gets stressed which i also find very difficult as a lot of the time when we are out there will be some kind of scene and people will stare, which is difficult when i am trying my best to stay calm and not become emotional.

    The main problem here is the repetitive quality of his negative behaviours and the way he seems to really enjoy the provocation. I am finding that these days i am at the end of the road with my ability to cope and spend a lot of time with him trying not to cry with the stress, as it really is relentless and he is only truly at peace when he is on his game. I have tried to speak to him in his calmer moments to ask why he behaves in this way as it really upsets me and his sister but he says that he finds it a good way of getting his stress out. He also told his psychologist that he enjoys watching my reactions. I am finding it increasingly difficult not to get upset as i am feeling so tired and stressed a lot of the time so not sure where to get the energy from to ignore it all, especially when he starts physically provoking his sister.

    Im not sure if something like this has already been posted here somewhere but any advice at all would be so welcome, i have tried the usual things like rewarding him when he behaves or restricting his easy child time when he is very rude but nothing seems to be working effectively. I have also tried talking things through with him when he is calm but it is almost like there is 2 different boys in him - one who is very rational and calm and quite obviously autistic but the other where he is jsut plain rude and enjoying every minute of it, when he is like this, there seems to be no getting through to him and the behaviour is so controlling.

    Sorry for the long post but any ideas on what to do would be fantastic.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Welcome to the board Josie. It sounds like you have your hands full. To me (this is just an opinion), it sounds like a little of everything ..... autism-not understanding other's perspective and lack of boundaries, or respect for others' ...... puberty ...... and enough knowledge to get away with it. You might need to come up with a VERY concrete "plan" of consequences for his behavior. If he's smart enough to use his disabilities as an excuse for bad behavior, he will learn and understand that he can, say, lose computer privileges for doing the things you have on a list. Make sure it's in writing and make sure to stick to it. Make it reasonable but very clearcut.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there, hon. You did gave us a GREAT first post :) If you'd like, it would help to do a signature like I did below and give us some background on his early development. Is he actually diagnosed with tourettes and autism? Also, what country do you live in because all countries seem to handle these disabilities differently and probably somebody here lives in the country that you do.

    Ok. My .02. I have so far raised five kids to at least age ALMOST 16 (my youngest will be 16 in a few weeks).

    Your son's behavior is definitely out of the ordinary and, like Tae Do, is probably a combination of everything you mentioned. And don't rule out that the swearing may be a vocal tic...a way of releasing anxiety. What kind of help is your son currently receiving, medically and therapeutically?

    While the teens seem to turn everything up a notch, especially with difficult child's, I can say that I never had that sort of level of disrespect from my kids, difficult child or not. However, sounds like medical issues are in there along with typical teen issues. Is he on medication? How does he do in school? Does he have friends?

    Welcome to the board, but sorry you had to come here.
  4. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Hi Josie, welcome to the forum glad you found us but sorry you needed to. I logged on today feeling very similar to what you posted. You found a great bunch of people here, please know you never have to feel alone again as long as can find an internet connection.
  5. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Hi there, and sorry you are going through all of this. It looks to me like your son is enjoying the power he has to control the family. Remember he only has this power as long as you permit it. You will likely need outside help and intervention to regain control of your child. Some possible sources of this help might include: therapist, school counselor, IEP team (how is he doing in school, particularly with his behaviors?), and his medical doctor. We wish you the best of luck!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well...except that a lot of our k ids REFUSE to listen to us no matter what we do. It's amazing what a child, especially a teenager can do, to control US. I had a teen difficult child who listened to nothing and nobody and there was very little we could do. Even the police couldn't control her. It was a total nightmare.
  7. josie76

    josie76 New Member

    Hey again, thanks for the replies!

    Son got diagnosed at age 12 after a lengthy process where noone seemed to take me seriously about how i knew there was something not right with my sons behaviour. He has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Tic Disorder which all got particularly out of control when he started high school and the pressure became unbearable for him along with him being bullied and the school not monitoring his asthma correctly as he couldnt do this himself. I had to take him out of school after a severe asthma attack (he literally couldnt breathe when he reached home) as a teacher had held him back to shout at him for not paying attention in class then he had to run for his bus. This teacher had already been told that due to his asthma he had to get out early to make the bus. He is now attending a Communication Support Unit within a mainstream school but gets a taxi and escort there and back and support in all of his classes and this unit is a fantastic support for him and is great to send him out to be looked after by people that i really trust!

    I stay in Scotland and he attends a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service where he sees a psychiatrist regularly but CBT with the psychologist did not work out as he did not engage well so we have little other input at the moment, hence my feeling a little overwhelmed at the minute.

    TeDo - i really like the idea of a very concrete plan but i am not sure how to apply this in practice - i find myself starting things but then becoming too stressed to continue them or the plan is too complicated or i continually second guess myself as to whether what i am doing is the right thing to do! I am constantly aware of his conditions - and i always worry about punishing him for something that is stemming from his Autism or Tourettes but at the same time he does have to find ways of managing this disrespectful behaviour - he does it also in school a lot and has actually been attacked twice over the last year by 2 different pupils he has has wound up - so it is a problem, especially as he is in a unit with other kids who have their own problems to be dealing with and can do without someone provoking them!

    Midwestmom - i think that my son is showing a really elevated level of disrespectful behaviour that may not be tolerated in other families generally - i feel like i am pretty soft with him sometimes and like i said before, i am always second guessing his behaviour and why he is behaving that way. He does listen to me when i talk to him about it when he is calm but these conversations have absolutely no bearing on his behaviour when he is in one of his annoying moods - its like he is zoned out almost, completely hyperactive and full of carry on or anger and all i seem able to do is put him in a time out or take some space away from him. He doesnt really have any friends and doesnt seek them, being on his easy child is enough for him and all he ever wants to do. He is smart and can be manipulative - like when we are out and he wants to go home, he will shout out that i hit him at home etc ( i never hit him, dont believe in it but get so angry sometimes that horribly i feel like it and then the guilt comes etc etc). Despite being smart, he can also be very niaive, and thinks that i shouldnt take him out, he doesnt have to go out and staying on his game endlessly will do him no harm. His asthma restricts his activity level as it is quite severe so it is not even an option to get him to the gym or a run to get all of his negative energy out if that is what is wrong. Not sure if my signature is showing - he is on Sertraline 50mg once a day - he has been taking this for a year and although it was intially prescribed for his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), it has done wonders for his communication - he was practically mute at school before taking this, it has been nothing short of miraculous for his anxiety level in terms of social communication. However, the tics and the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) remain and his reluctance to leave the house is as bad as ever, as is this rude behaivour.

    Have sat here all day thinking of a strategy to deal with all of his problematic behaviours as it is really making me feel so depressed and stressed out but i cannot come up with anything practical at all. If anyone has anything that works with them and is quite simple to apply consistently i would love to hear your approach as i think my mind has completely shut down! It is hard to do things differently to what you do naturally - but clearly my approach is not working!

    Thanks again!
  8. josie76

    josie76 New Member

    Just noticed the other replies since whilst i was busy writing that post - feel so much better not to be completely alone with this!!
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    This is the one thing that reached out and grabbed me more than anything else. You're right it is SO SO SO hard to ignore everything... And some things you just cannot ignore like him hitting his sister.

    I've tried - and this is super hard but it seemed to work when I could manage it - putting on a blank face and speaking in a monotone. "You know we don't talk that way." (over and over and over). "Language." As far as the physical goes - hitting his sister and tickling you, which by the way is a form of TORTURE not AFFECTION - there must be an immediate and logical consequence. NO ONE should be abused even if it seems like "such a little thing". Water torture is only one drop. Repeatedly. It will wear you down (as you know).

    Interestingly, I came up with something new to try with Onyxx that seems to work - I know it's a long shot but - let me give you an example. She did not zip her purse closed the other night then set it in the middle of the back seat. Well, she and Jett and Raven were to sit back there, so Jett (who got stuck in the middle) just pushed it onto the floor. He did not notice it wasn't zipped (he's 13, and a boy to boot). She started in on him. He said he was sorry, but she would not stop, just kept on and on and on. I finally said - monotone - "Enough. It's over." And... She shut her mouth. (She did mention that when I am quieter she worries about what I am thinking... LOL) Also, when my own Dad gets quieter and voice lower, I was in more trouble. So... It's a thought. At first he may push harder for a reaction.

    Now as to the other stuff, tell him ahead of time the next time he does X or Y the power cord to his easy child will go away. Then follow through. It won't always work... But it's something to try.

    With high-functioning autism, it's likely he gets "stuck" in the behaviors. So something has to be done to unstick him. Perhaps his psychologist can suggest something.

    Also... Teenagers are a PITA. I have 2. I love them both dearly and want to strangle them both regularly...
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    yup. I have tens of thousands of dollars in therapies and help and if a child is wired like this it takes much more. But we still try of course. Hoping it all comes together.

    Because, I too think this is a combination issue...probably driven by the fact that at his core, he really CANNOT relate to others feelings like neurotypical kids can. Not like sociopath or anything, he probably cares and loves etc.... but like a person with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who just can't relate and even if he knows... AND knows the consequences...just does not put it all together enough that it makes the rewards from the release he gets from this kind of behavior worth the reward most of us would feel from the intrinsic feeling of being connected to others and making others feel good.

    Your post is like several of us around here. I can think of three recent posts off the top of my head with similar issues and some of what you said is a lot like what happens in my house. My son's brain injury results in tic symptoms. He doesn't have the formal diagnosis of Tourette's because that is not used if the cause of Tics is a brain injury but his doctor says to just tell people he has it because it in effect is the same. (I struggled with that idea and people here helped me sort through it). My son clearly knows those words are not ok but he is compelled to say them and mainly say them to me or in situations where he can create a buzz....where people will look at him and it is becoming self rewarding because I have always said with him, Seeking attention never starts a behavior but it sure as heck increases it and makes it happen again and again.

    My son also does the tickling and will pull my hair. He will also rub my hair (and other peoples...therapists and teachers). Really poor boundaries that way. But again, if it gets a bunch of attention, it increases. It starts because he likes the feel of it. He is compelled to touch people and things. Very sensory based. But the attention it gets really adds to it.

    And your talking of his being provocative. I use that exact word. My son provokes others easily (even without knowing it most of the time, but is becoming very aware lately) and is also easily provoked. Makes for a stressful, always on edge life. I too feel like bursting into tears the other day he saw me start to tear up in Target and he panicked. Started saying, dont cry it is just too much for me in this high pitched loud voice. he started jumping up and down causing a scene. I put everything down and walked out of the store. He came at me and pulled my purse. Tried to drag me into teh store, blocked me from getting into the car, etc. I finally just waited him out and drove home. Just exhausting.
  11. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I used to feel bad about disciplining because of their autism. Then I talked with some of the autism specialist around here. They pointed out that autistic kids need very strict rules about what happens when they do a behavior. Its the only way my kids learn. difficult child 1 especially doesn't get other peoples feelings. He needs the if I hurt my sister then I get this consequence. If anyone waffles on the rules his behavior escalates very fast as he is trying to find out where the boundaries are.

    I've also had to been very dead pan as I've listened to some horrific things come out of difficult child 1's mouth.

    You sound like you need a break. What would happen if you took easy child, and the cord to his game system and left the house for a few hours every time he starts to be disrespectful? It is the natural consequence of his behavior. People aren't going to want to be around him. With difficult child 1 I send him to his room to cool off if I think he might be escalating.

    Until he wants to control his behavior I don't think you're going to find out how much of it is out of his control.

  12. josie76

    josie76 New Member

    Thanks for the replies! Have only just got a minute to sit down.

    Buddy - can certainly relate to everything you said there. Sounds like we have very similar problems to deal with. What you say about that inability with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to connect things and the reward they get from winding us up, its much more satisfying for them than our goals of just wanting to be calm and settled around them! Really get that. And your trip to the shops - that sounds exactly like my son and the being on edge - its easy to feel like noone goes through this and it is very comforting to know that its not just me and my son. I have had that experience so often where my son will create such a scene if things arent going his way, and at his age, it is so difficult for other people to understand as he looks perfectly normal so my parenting always feels under scrutiny. He also loves to touch my hair - often i like that but again he will take it too far and just grab it if hes over excited which simply hurts then he laughs which doesnt help!

    Lihaona - that is one method, really the only method i use at present effectively, is to take his keyboard and mouse away so he cant play but i often feel like despite this i am still letting him away with a lot of things as i fear that if i used a zero tolerance approach to try to eliminate the behaviour entirely then he would jsut never get on his easy child at all as he misbehaves so much. Not sure if he would learn with doing that kind of thing all the time but i am thinking of trying it to see. Feel like im too soft and maybe that would break this cycle, just like Stepto2 suggested. Feel totally stuck right now.

    I am so pleased to have found this forum, so so helpful to hear other peoples experience and advice, makes such a difference..
  13. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Have you read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene? He describes a basket system where behaviors are put in different baskets depending on what you are wanting to work on. If you divide up the disrespectful behaviors into these baskets then you are still consistent but you don't have to work on everything at once.

    The different baskets are A, B, and C. Basket A is something you will not ever tolerate. For us it is safety related. Basket B is what you are working on. Basket C is what you are willing to ignore/let go for right now. It really helps when there are so many behaviors you are overwhelmed.

    He also describes a collaborative problems solving approach that works for a lot of kids with issues, but doesn't work with my difficult child 1 very well.
  14. josie76

    josie76 New Member

    No i havent read that book and i have read so many parenting books! Have noticed it is mentioned a lot on this forum so will definitely check it out - i really like what you have just described about the Baskets, what a great idea, would be a fantastic place to start actually with my sons behaviours as like i said before, i feel like if i had to take a zero tolerance approach to the negative stuff he does then he would just never get on his computer so that wouldnt really be fair for him or work out for me. Im going to make a list and divide it up, might make things much more manageable. Thanks!
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    josie, you know for me, and I am sure a lot of folks here, we kind of naturally prioritize but that book and lost in school his other one helped legitimize and organize my thoughts. Mostly, I felt like I was doing a real parenting technique not just "not following through" or being inconsistent, etc. And the truth is what he says (though I could never pull it all off like the book), once the overall stress was reduced, the some of the other behaviors went down.
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us. Sorry you had to search us out. I'm not posting much this month but I am curious. Does your son behave in this same way at school or when out of the home? Is he a target for bullies? DDD
  17. josie76

    josie76 New Member

    Buddy - i have spent the last 3 hours reading up on Dr Ross Greene - what a refreshing new approach to dealing with challenging behaviour! I am so impressed. Have read through his idea of Collaborative Problem Solving and i have never heard something make so much sense in terms of how i want to approach my parenting - i have always been very hesitant to 'punish' my son for all of his behaviours as i really get the feeling that a lot of it is just not properly within his control - but due to him presenting as very high functioning it can be difficult to see it as a direct result of his conditions - this approach of teaching skills is definitely something i feel has never been properly presented in all of the self help literature ive read, and it really has been a lot!

    I love that his ideas make so much sense, arent a quick fix, and really attempt to develop that child as opposed to just punishing or rewarding - will definitely be buying both of his books and after this morning i now have pages of notes on how to apply the technique!

    DDD - my son behaves a little better at school than home and was a target for bullies in his last school where he had no support - now he is in a Communication Support Base so there are no opportunities for him to be bullied as he is always with an adult and gets to go to the canteen before the other kids arrive so he doesnt have that problem. In his previous school he was bullied a lot but at the time was unable to tell me - he would come home with black pen on his face, or covered in mud and wouldnt tell me what happened. Apparently he was being chased around the school and physically hurt and picked on. Back then i feel he was less aggressive though and now he seems more provocative towards me, not sure why that is yet.

    He acts the same way with my parents as he does with me and aside from that he isnt really anywhere else and i dont currently have any respite at all, i am at home with him every night so i guess im just getting all of the behaviours, good and bad.

    This forum has certainly been a bit of a God send for me right now - very supportive, lots of activity and information i have never came across before so for that alone i am very very grateful! Cant believe how much more positive i feel!

    Im not sure if there are any threads on applying Dr Greenes strategies but that would be something i think would be very useful - i can see how positive his approach is but would be so helpful to have support from other parents when carrying it out?
  18. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Disrespect is a behavior , lagging skills and unsolved problems are the things that need to be addressed - CPsolving is hard and messy , but at every stage learning is taking place - Put your relationship with your kid first , find a mentor or older buddy-tutor, young adults to be in his life , avoid saying no - rather have a discussion , lower the rope , focus on bonding , connecting - him talking , you listening

    The RDI approach for autism compliments cps

    It is not easy , maybe a third party can help with the cps process