Every interaction escalates to a blow up fight..what do we do, not talk to difficult child ever?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by PlainJane, May 25, 2013.

  1. PlainJane

    PlainJane Every dog has his day....

    My difficult child is only 5, almost 6. Every interaction ends in a fight.

    Ask him nicely how his day went...he gets annoyed, asks inapproriate questions, contradicts himself, lies.

    Ask him to do something (please put on your shoes) and screaming, yelling, or maybe odd questions.

    He asks questions through out the say that he knows the answers to, say something (I want to watch tv) then respods with the opposite if he is answered (Ok what would you like to watch?...difficult child-->"I don't want to watch tv!)

    He makes rude comments frequesntly, and many other kids think he's mean, but in his head he's not. He lies and recalls events that just happened in warped ways, always editing out his actions that were negative.

    Its just like he's always angry and looking for a fight. This is not just stating fact, or aspie stuff, he is mean and mad and looking for a fight, his tone is angry and the more upset the other person gets, he laughs and enjoys it.

    Its to the point I don't want to talk to him. I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should do parent / child therapy? Our whole family basically cringes at his presence, which is so sad. When he goes to school that when me, husband, and little brother go out to lunch or shopping. We can not do that with difficult child around because he causes a scene everywhere. Everything is stressful with him.

    What seems to be the case is there is some kind of personality disorder or mental illness...his doctor and child study team agree there is more going on than high functioning autism, but don;t really know what to do this young, but wait to see what emerges..

    I just feel so guilty, I just get so frustrated. It seems like other moms with these kind of kids are so much more patient, more understanding of it being a disorder...I just keep thinking I can discipline this out of him or talk to him or do enough social stories ...like I can make it stop and it doesn't, and the older he gets the more obvious his behavoir is becoming compared to his peers, and he's not making friends...and he can't possibly feel loved at home. We all fight all the time. Even his little brother tells difficult child to go away. I don't blame him. difficult child is so mean to him and fights with him. The family is starting to shy away from him. I don't know what to do. Isolating him cannot do anything but make this worse, but really his personality is, god I feel awful saying this, so unpleasant 98% of the time.
    We try to do things with him like legos, not super interactive, but we are "playing" side by side, which he enjoys, or coloring...board games are out of the question. But things we can do seperately together. But even then, things end with insults and fights...

    Maybe he does have a personality disorder, i don't know yet, but what do we do??? We are his family, we should provide him love and support because lord knows he's going to have a hard time at school and in life, but he makes everyone so miserable....and I feel like his brother should not be subjected to difficult child verbal abuse (brother is only 3)

    Sorry just needed to vent.......
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wish I knew what to tell you. We went through years and years where there were times when it just was so difficult to want to spend time with difficult child. Between his manic behavior and his violence life was so difficult with him (not to mention his lack of sleep which meant lack of sleep for husband and me).

    What does his psychiatrist say? Is he on any medications to help?

    I think one thing that helped me when difficult child was that age was I tried to start each day out with a fresh start (sometimes it was a fresh start several times a day). I know that is much easier said than done (being a teacher I always had lots of practice-I make it a point to let students know every day is a new day).

    Sending gentle hugs your way.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    JMO... at that age, I'd be wary of trying to pin a kid with a "personality disorder" label. More likely... there can be other things going on. Many psychiatrists and tdocs take an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis as the "end of the line". Yes, there are a lot of other dxes that are part of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but ... some of them, it really helps to get specific testing for, and help with. With or without an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis, it sounds like it might be useful to get an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory and motor skills issues, and later (about age 7) testing for APDs including ones like auditory figure ground and auditory discrimination.

    Any of those three can be enough to drive a kid crazy. And lots of kids have to deal with all three (sensory processing disorder (SPD)/Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)/Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)). The potential for 24/7 overload mode is very real. (been there done that)
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like my son at that age. Adderall really helped. Also, strong boundaries helped. Yes, things escalated, but after a week or two of fights, he knew where we stood. Our problem was also that we were inconsistent and he learned to play us against one another.
    I feel for you. It is holy h*ll trying to live like that.
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    What I have done with difficult child 1 is to have lots of positives. not questions but statements. "You look really nice today." "What nice eyes you have." "You've gone almost a min playing by me. That was fun!" At first he screamed and hated it, but after a few years of it he has accepted it. Our relationship is much better. And sometimes he is nice to be around.

    I also shielded his siblings from him as much as possible. I am trying to have their interactions be positive ones. When ever one of his siblings starts to exhibit fear of him first the sibling starts therapy, second I am brutally honest to difficult child 1 about what his actions are like for his siblings and the natural and non-natural consequences of his actions, third difficult child 1 and his therapist focus on difficult child 1's relationship with that sibling.

    We also have very clear boundaries and consequences.

    Good luck. I know it is exhausting and very hard to live with.
  6. PlainJane

    PlainJane Every dog has his day....

    Just to give another example, about 15 minutes ago, difficult child was watching a movie he's seen about 20 times. It went to commercial and I sat next to him and said I want to say hi while your movie is on commercial. I feel so guilt for always ignoring him all the time. He said to me "What movie?" I said "you know what movie. The one you are watching, Chicken Little." And I said to him, why are you asking questions you know the answer to? (fyi, we have been working on this with social stories and in everyday functioning, he must ask 50 questions a day that he knows the answer to)

    And he said to me, "Oh I thought that movie was over" which was a lie, because it was no where near over, and he knew that, he;s seen it plenty of times. So I said to him 'please stop lying." And he said "i'm not, I don't know what you are talking about."

    SO I just got up an walked away, and he freaked out screaming to come back, I can;t even talk to him or sit with im, he just tells lies and asks questions he knows. This is not a child that lacks to skills to hold a conversation. He can absolutely hold a conversation, but often just lies and asks questions that he knows the answers to. And so he screamed for 15 minutes, following me around the house, screaming...next time I will not even bother to start any interaction with him.

    I don;t know what we are supposed to do. He is on clonidine 0.15 mg every night.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, he is WAY too young to think personality disorder. That's not useful and probably not what is going on. Also, this is not about your parenting. It's easy to be calm and easygoing when your child acts like a normal child should act. Don't compare yourself to other moms. You aren't like them and he's not like other kids, but you DID NOT cause his problems. Now a few questions and comments:

    Has this child ever been evaluated to see if he has any sort of childhood disorder? I can't and won't try to diagnose, but he does have some red flags for high functioning autism. Maybe he has it, maybe not, b ut you need to find out. That would probably help you more than our spur-of-the-moment tips because unless you know WHY he is doing what he is, you can't change it. I suggest taking him to see a neuropsychologist which is usually a 6-8 hr. complete evaluation. While you are waiting to have that done, as there are waiting lists, I would take him to an audiologist to test his hearing and possible hearing disorders (which is not the same as poor hearing). He could have processing problems, which go along with many childhood disorders, although that is rarely the only issue going on. If you don't evaluate him, you will have no idea why he is acting like he does and, as your mommy heart knows, he is not like other kids (huggies!!!)

    You can not discipline or love him out of it. And it probably won't get better on it's own. And your family is in turmoil because a member is, and he is not well understood yet either. Things should improve once everyone understands why he can't behave. yes, I said "can't."

    You would also help us if you'd tell us about his early years, like if he had very chaotic early years or you had a difficult pregnancy or if he is adopted or if he saw abuse or if there are any psyschiatric or neurological issues on either side of his genetic (DNA) family tree.

    Most of our k ids do not respond to typical parenting and they all have different problems and different solutions so in my opinion the best thing you can do for your son (and for yourself) is to seek out an evaluation. He deserves it and so do you.

    Welcome to the board, although very sorry you have to be here.
  8. Jamieh

    Jamieh New Member

    ((hugs)) That has to be hard. My son will ask questions that he knows the answer to a lot too. I don't have a lot of advice. I'm still learning how to deal with- my kiddo. But I sympathize with you. Parenting these kids can be so hard.
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Mine used to do asking questions he did know (or should had known) the answer a lot too, when he was little. I always thought it was about one of the two. Either it was anxiety and he needed to make sure those things were still the same. That A was A was A was A no matter what. Or maybe he actually didn't know the answers. His thought processes were different. Maybe he actually wasn't sure if A was still the A, if it was pink. Or if it was raining outside. Or if he was feeling different than when A still was an A last time. (And if my difficult child ever happens to read this: Yes, sun still is due south at (solar) noon in northern hemisphere. And yes solar noon and noon are different things and I do know you think it is stupid. Some think it is practical. And no, I can't absolutely guarantee sun will be due south at (solar) noon also tomorrow, but it is highly likely. And now: please don't ask again any time soon!)

    As difficult as it is, I found that best way was simply give an aswer. Again and again. I imagined myself as a record player at times. Same, short, simple answer with unemotional voice after few times. Not getting angry or frustrated, not engaging, just giving that short answer.

    PlainJane, my advice to the situation you told would be not engaging also. Make picking a fight difficult for him. When you want to give him positive attention, just do so. Go there and say hi. If you ask questions, ask ones that are open and don't have right answer. For example when he asked 'what movie?' instead of 'accusing' him of lying/asking questions he knows an answer; "oh, I thought you were watching Chicken Little", would make it more difficult for him to pick fight. And after he would have told he wasn't, you could had asked, what he was doing then and if he would have answered he was not doing anything, you could have told him that it sometimes nice to just chill. And so on. There are enough real reasons you have fight with the kid, him denying watching Chicken Little while watching it isn't the reason to engage into the argument for.
  10. PlainJane

    PlainJane Every dog has his day....

    Thank you. He is officially diagnosis as high functioning autism. I guess giving the answer over and over never occured to me as an option. It feels like to my husband and I he is playing games. ALthough I did recently do a social story with him about asking questions, what they are for, and asking them when we know the answers (I've been doing them myself to fit his needs) And he coudl not answer why the boy in the story asked questions he knew the answer to. He just had no idea. I was trying to find out why HE did it, I thought maybe it would give some insight...difficult child was fully aware of the consequences of asking known questions, he was able to explain to me *after the story that people stop answering questions you don't know because they think you do know. difficult child is very bringht, which is why I was so surprised he could not give any reason why the character would do this...

    So i wouldnt if he doesnt know why he does it, that there's no malicious purpose like playing games or looknig for a fight...

    I do try not to engage with him in ways that would cause a fight, but I have to admit that after while talking to him is just one gaint "fight avoidance" strategy and it gets exhausting.

    It is so hard not to blame myself even with his little brother being completely typical. My parents blame me, and they have from the beginning, husband doesn't blame me at all.

    There's hard days and less hard days, lol, I'v just been having several hard days this past week.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids need to be parented differently. Forget what the rest of the world tells you... it doesn't work. For most of us, we also had to forget about how we were raised, for the same reasons.

    Structure. Consistency. A billion tons of patience. Simplify your life and his... and then do it again, and again, until life gets to the point where he (and therefore you) can cope. Find out what his limits are. Accept them. Then pick ONE that has a reason for being more important, and slowly find ways to improve that. If you don't get medium-term results... pick a different one to work on.

    Sensory and motor skills issues do tend to go with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Has he had an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation? Occupational Therapist (OT) has therapies and interventions that really help... and getting help for sensory and motor skills issues tends to reduce overall overload on the kid, which tends to reduce things like meltdowns...
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Amen, amen, amen, IC!!!!

    No matter if Mom criticizes you or you think you can talk to your Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son enough to make him typical or that it may FEEL like he is just trying to make you crazy, none of that matters. He needs interventions and help and he should improve, however having Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is not his fault and is a disability in which he really doesn't understand the world he lives in and he will not behave the way your very typical son behaves. And that son should be told in my opinion and warned not to be too hard on him for his differences. With my Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son we tried hard to avoid his triggers and that was helpful. When he acted autistic though we did not yell at him because we knew he couldn't help it. We did not overstimulate him. For years we didn't take him shopping because he couldn't handle all the stimuli. I shopped when hub was home to watch him. We made sure he got help early and often. At first it did not seem to help, but he really calmed down after a while. Now he is a laid back, very kind and loving young man of nineteen. He never loses his temper at all and, yes, he raged at age four. These Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids have the ability to REALLY change and do well.

    I hope he

    your son is getting a lot of interventions in school and the community. Aspergers is a form of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and needs to be treated as such. There is a lot of hope for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids, but it takes a lot of hard work and understanding and interventions.

    Good luck! :)
  13. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    "He asks questions he knows the answers to"

    I just came across this when looking into something else and remembered your post - it's about attachment disorders.

    " •being impulsive with actions. A child may have persistent non-stop chatter, nonsense questions or questions they know the answer to. The purpose is to engage the attention of the person they are talking to for as long as possible."

  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree, Insane.
    Good catch, Jules. I had never thought of that.
    These kids are different.
  15. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    When my difficult children ask questions they know the answer to ,because I've just told them the answer several times, it is because they get an idea stuck in their heads. They aren't doing it on purpose. They are having a very hard time letting go of one idea and transitioning to another idea. I draw their attention to this transitioning problem and tell them to let it go. Sometimes if I point it out it works sometimes it doesn't. It wouldn't ever have worked when they were 5 yrs old though. It is just starting to work now.
  16. PlainJane

    PlainJane Every dog has his day....

    This is him. Nonstop talking. One of the behavoirs that is less bothersome for us, but noticeablly annoying to his peers.
  17. PlainJane

    PlainJane Every dog has his day....

    It strange because I can see that some of difficult child's bevahoirs are Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) like and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), definitely. The behavoirs that appear to be complusions and or obviously out of him control are by far more easy to address, because its a disability as has been said.
    However I just posted a few minutes ago about his other behavoirs, the ones he controls very very well. The ones that do not seem to fit Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Plenty of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) children are not mean or manipulative. I kind of wonder about the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis because I would have thought an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child would lack the ability to read social cues to BE manipulative...difficult child can really read people well, and knows how to "work" them...its scary to see it done.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What makes you think he is being manipulative? He may just be being Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which can be annoying.

    in my opinion you do need to stop listening to whoever is making you think your son is just a mean, rude kid, whether it's your mom or other parents or yourself! He is different and he needs a different form of parenting. Have you ever joined a chapter for parents of autistic kids? We did and it taught us a lot! ALL of the kids were not mean...but socially inappropriate. Seems they either just hung by their parents and didn't talk much at all and would only play with their siblings or they were louder than life and bright and unknowingly in people's faces or too loud and unknowingly annoying (that is putting it mildly). A few pre-teens were shouting embarassing things to the lifeguards at a pool we went to once. They weren't being smart alecks either. They may have "known" they shouldn't do it, but they couldn't seem to figure out how to communicate better.

    Starting with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) supports, heavy on the social skills, can be helpful to some Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids. At least they can learn to mimic more typical behavior. A small percentage do tend to learn from their peers, to a point. But don't count on it. It doesn't always happen. So it's best to get therapy with a person who is used to and very understanding of how Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids think so that the child can learn from somebody who "gets it."

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a big part of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in many kids. So is repetition. It *can* be a stimulant to keep on talking and talking. It isn't just to drive you nuts :)
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Non-stop talking can be just poor social skills. That was ME... for most of my growing up. Combine spectrum-ish social skills with probable APDs and... it's a major mess.

    At his age, I'd be assuming he is NOT being manipulative, and looking for every possible alternative explanation.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IC, it could be. I did it too. Some would say I still do...lol. I am definitely spectrumish.