Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by onmyown, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. onmyown

    onmyown New Member

    Hi all....I am new here and I am at my wits end so I am searching for some hellp and suggestions and support. I am the divorced mom of 3 boys. My 15 year old has some issues with controlling his anger but for the most part does a good job. My 12 year old has been diagnosed ADD/ADHD, PTSD, ASPERGERS, ODD. And my 9 year old is for the most part the angel. My 12 year old is in therapy for the issues he has, he was placed as a child in need of care a few years ago for 9 months. He did well came home and did well for about 6 months. He then started on his previous behaviors of stealing, eating me out of house and home, not listening and doing as he pleased. I am in a relationship with a man who does not get along with my 12 year old. I have lived in the country for the past 2 years limiting the opportunities of my 12 year old stealing from others. He had a problem with this in school which led him to a court case and probation. I recently moved back to town and my son has shown up at my house with cell phones, ipods, and other things. Of course when questioned i get lies. The other night he became very angry and kicked me. He had a total blow up cussing at my boyfriend, telling everyone that until he got his way we would all suffer and he would make everyones life miserable. He has and continues to pick the skin from his feet, he picks at sores not allowing them to heal. I spoke with his therapist and had her evaluate him, she did not st that time find it necessary to have him placed for inpatient treatment. His attitude towards me and his brothers has not changed, last night he was angry with me because i would not let him have my cell phone to call people. He procedded to kick and hit the wall and bang his head, when we ignored that he started to throw things at his brothers. when my oldest one took the things he was throwing, my 12 year old locked himself in my oldest ones room and started to go through his things. He says that because he has had his phone taken away that is why he has been taking others things. I am at my wits end with him. I am at the point I am about to have a nervous breakdown and dont know what to do....his medications are concerta, depakote, trazadone and abilify, we were going to take him off the depakota and try topamax but that made things worse. He is a big boy ...he just turned 12 last month is 6 foot tall and weighs 232 pounds so i physically cannot control him. Suggestions?
  2. llamafarm

    llamafarm Member

    Wow. Welcome. I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time. You must keep yourself and your family safe. Call in the police if you must in order to keep everyone safe. That is the most important thing. Have the police take him to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. He is a very big boy and you need all the help you can get. We are thinking of you.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree with llama. Call the police every time he gets physical. Tell them that he has mental health issues and that you fear for your safety and that of your other children. When he gets like that, you need to worry about yourself and the other kids.

    I am sorry you are having to go through all this. Who diagnosed him and when? Has he ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation? If not, I would find a reputable one, usually at a children's or university hospital, and get him evaluated by them. They look at the relationship between behavior and how the brain works. They are MUCH more thorough. What about their biodad? Is he in the picture at all? Are there any mental health issues on either side of your son's family tree, diagnosed or suspected?

    You have so much on your plate and I can totally relate to that level of violence and illogical thinking only in our case the violence was caused by medications. With some kids some medications do the opposite of what they are intended to do. Have there been any medication changes (medications or dosages) lately?

    {{{{HUGS}}}} Welcome to our little corner of the world. I am very glad you found us but am oh so sorry you needed to.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome :) Sorry you have to be here though.

    I am curious about his PSTD. This seems to indicate that this child has had a rather chaotic, difficult life. How were his early years? Did he have one consistent caregiver or was he kind of given from Dad to Mom to Grandma to Auntie and back...was he neglected or abused? Adopted? I think he is acting like a child who has an attachment disorder and if I'm right (not sure I am) then his early life must have been very unpredictable for him so that he has decided that he trusts nobody except himself. This would explain his behaviors and seemingly lack of a conscience. It won't make them easier and if he does have a form of reactive attachment disorder, it is a biotch to treat, but it IS an explanation. Was he sexually abused? Beaten? What caused his PTSD? This is never a good sign or diagnosis for a young child.

    secondly, are you sure you have the right man for dealing with your children? in my opinion it's not a good idea to make a long term commitment to somebody who dislikes your c hild. At some point, you will probably have to choose and who will you choose? Probably your son. If he hits your child or yells at him and makes no attempt to understand him at all (and this is just a guess) or considers him born a bad seed...well, I'd think twice.

    I would call the police if he got violent, but, depending on his issue, it may not do any good at all.

    Has your son ever been in intensive counseling? Has he ever had a complete neuropsychologist evaluation? Is his father in the picture? Are there an y psychiatric problems on either side of your sons GENETIC family tree (yes, this includes father even if your son never met him...your son has 50% of his DNA). I'm guessing there is a story here. The more we k now, the more we can help.

    I am going to post a link about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) here so you can see if it applies in any way. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is reactive attachment disorder: Keep us posted and tell us more!
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board :)

    You've already gotten some great advice.

    I'm going to ditto what MWM suggested about your boyfriend. If he already dislikes difficult child (your son)'s only going to get worse, much worse, unless your son can make a complete turnaround.......and that is unlikely to happen in the near future, such things take time and much effort. If he isn't getting that your son has dxes and issues that cause him to act out the way he does, and educating him is not helping.......I'd seriously take a very hard look at your situation and rethink it. You love him, he loves you......doesn't have an issue (I'm guessing) with the other kids.....but difficult child is a no go. To me, you and all your kids are a package deal, it's all or nothing. (not that I don't understand that difficult children in full blown difficult child mode are difficult at best to like, even if you're the biological parent) Because the odds are high that if your boyfriend can't get with the program, he's going to make the situation worse by not helping you to handle it properly, and eventually testosterone will rule and they'll be facing each other down one day. Not a good thing.

    I totally agree to call the police each and every time he gets violent. Even if they don't do something each time, you need to establish a pattern of behavior, a record so to speak. And honestly, difficult child, regardless of his dxes, needs to learn there are consequences for his behaviors. He's not getting any younger, or smaller.

    I'd not only call the police, but I'd see about an ER visit (even with police escort if needed) when he gets violent. Danger to self and others is grounds to admit to psychiatric hospital.

    If he's not had a good neuropsychologist evaluation, I highly recommend having it done to be certain his dxes are accurate.

  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there, I agree with what the others have said so I am going to focus more on another issue, it may not apply to you but I'll share my experience. I too have a child who can be very aggressive and say things that are obviously egocentric and mine too is on the spectrum. My son does not steal and he sounds lower functioning cognitively than yours, but he also has attachment challenges and it was thought when he was young, ptsd.

    Have you ever read the books by Ross Greene? He wrote The Explosive Child and it might be a help to you. Also many like What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You by Doug Riley.

    We all naturally try consequences, taking away things, restricting privileges and/or earning things with appropriate behaviors. For my son if a consequence or reward is very powerful (such as his high interest or obsessive subjects...for him missing a NASCAR race on TV or swimming in our pool or use of his samsung galaxy player) they can't be used as rewards or punishments. Kids with autism and other conditions obsess and focus on these things and they can't make a brain shift to saying...oh if I'd just act better I could earn it back. They are overwhelmed with focus on getting it back, life is ruined and over without the item. It is fight of flight for them over things that for us are more minor. They do not have the underlying skills to work it through and make a better decision.

    Last night my son started focusing on the pool, I negotiated that if he could show me he was in control of his blurting (saying in appropriate things) we could go, so first we were going to two places and he needed to show me. It would have taken no more than twenty minutes. We didn't get two blocks away when he was swearing at me because he was so worried about the pool. You will never let me go, you should never have adopted me, you are the problem! he was banging on the back of the car seats and kicking the floor of the car. Then woudl scream at the top of his lungs YOU SHUT UP and then just a piercing scream. OK, clearly not in a place where we can go to the pool, have to allow his brain to calm (when I talk or try to calm him in those moments he starts all is like a storm that needs to pass, anger makes it much worse, and it is HARD not to be angry when they are saying and doing things that are so mean sounding). I kept driving went to a parking lot of a thrift store. He needed some new shorts (not a reward he NEEDED them ...growth spurt! and school starts MON, but it happens he loves to get new clothes) so I was working to shift his thinking. He refused to go in and blocked me but I just waited him out. I finally saw he was calmer, i told him he could come in if he wanted but I was going in. He joined me minutes later and asked where the mens section was (heck he is only 140 and at age 15 I have a hard time, can't imagine your son!). ..... and it was like nothing happened. That makes me crazy but I am grateful for it. He really needed to focus on something else. We found two pair of shorts thank heaven or he would be wearing the same one pair he has every day, lol...I will get more next week but cut things off on a good note. No way we could do the pool but not as a consequence, he clearly was not in control of his impulses/tics/whatever he goes through and safety issues are not negotiable. He had a race starting on TV and I said if he could show me for ten minutes he had continued to turn it around we could get dinner and have a "race party" at our house. (a party to him is just calling it a party, not what we call a party). He was thrilled. He has a great night after that. I was spent of course, it ended up to be two hours of intense behavior management (and we have had whole days)...but no aggression. I have learned I can't say, well if you do that then we wont go to the pool for a week! He woudl have ended up with a 911 call. It just doesn't work for him. I have had to say we can't do X until I can see your medications are working etc. if it is a safety issue, and I know it will cause him stress and probably more behaviors but again, if it is a safety thing, it is not a choice so those are the only times.

    Others would disagree probably, and I know for sure traditional behavior people would disagree. But taking the neurobehavioral approach of teaching skills, responding to how their brains function, helping with sensory issues, working to distract them, etc...really does make a huge difference. It takes consistency and NOT losing your cool which if your boyfriend can't get on board with may mean you need to see him when your son is not around if at all. I have no dating life right now, it is too complex to try to get someone to understand this kind of condition. I only have ONE chance to do the mommy thing right. I am not saying I dont count or that I dont deserve it, if you can work it out to keep it separate that might work!

    I also have in home (well they take him out a lot because that is his goal) Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) workers three times weekly which could be increased if needed. Do you have any support still from the county? Can you go through the disability people or mental health people instead of the courts for support? That is what we do but I know every community is a little different.

    Anyway, those books can help you think of different ways to work on this stuff, and it is a big relief when it works I can't do it exactly as the books say, with all the cognitive issues and we have seizures that change his mood suddenly too. BUT it made the difference in my coping and our being able to live in a home.

    I wish you well, not sure I made sense here, but feel free to ask questions....HUGS, you are not alone by any means! This is a hard road.
  7. onmyown

    onmyown New Member

    let me see if i can fill in some far as the bio dad, he is not in the picture, he was very abusive to myself as well as my children, hence the reason he is no longer in the picture. He is a crack addict. As far as mental illness i had an aunt on my fathers side that was slow. Their father always claimed he had mental issues but nothing that ever came out of his mouth was the truth. As far as the abuse to my children the worse abused was the one I have issues with. As far as a neuropsychologist evaluation, no he has not had one. Definantly something i will look into. When i took my son for an evaluation last week due to his outburst, he went into the office and was a totally different child, he is very manipulative. As far as the SO....they do seem to get along at times, sometimes get along great. His diagnosis came from the mental health office. We live in a small community and resources are limited as far as getting him the help i feel that he needs. Growing up my childrens biological father was the primary caregiver, due to the fact that he could not hold down a job I had to be the breadwinner in the household. Caregiver is the wrong word, he was the older person in the home while i was working. I have tried every form of rules and consequences for him...standing in the corner, time out, sentences, having him make the punishment, taking things away from him, which seems to make him even angrier, he feels that if its his I have no right to take it away. As far time....I do not allow that for myself because i cannot trust him unless I am with him, I want him to get the help he needs even if it is inhospital treatment. Ive made him aware that if he continues thats where he will have to go, he stated, "I won't go, you cant make me and they better not put their hands on me, and if you do that I will let them know what a bad mother you are". I have made my mistakes with my children by not being as tough as I should have been, but i took them away from their father to give them a better life and dont feel that militant type of punishment would be beneficial.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree with Buddy's method, as it is something I found that worked best with Travis...........I tired to avoid using things he was super obsessed with as reward/punishment items. He had to behave well to get to do it, but using them as motivation usually just backfired. Actually, using anything as motivation backfired. It just simply did not work. Not even for rewards. Rules had to be firm (yet take into account his limits), consequences had to be the same every time and now, not later, if at all possible. Creating a daily routine and sticking to it (in order, not necessarily time wise) was a huge help with his behavior as those who are autistic thrive on routine........and heck, even kids who aren't do better with it.

    Speaking as a child who had been abused, you're dealing with some very intense anger issues. Which is expected due to his history, anger can be acted out in so many many different ways. Is he working with a therapist who is skilled helping abused children? If not, then you may want to look for one. If he was the target child, and it sounds as if that was the case, it makes sense his issues are over the top more than his brothers........he has more to be angry about, his experience was more severe than theirs.

    Taking things that don't belong to him can be for 2 reasons. 1. he may have issues recognizing personal space, which would explain why he believes it's ok for him to take everyone else's things, yet goes ballistic when they take his. (it's an autistic thing) It can take quite some time, creativity to teach them.......and it's not such a fun area. It was a huge issue in our home for many years. Travis was in his mid-late teens before it started to sink in, I mean really sink in. And 2. it makes him feel poweful, in control, not a victim.

    We all do the best we can with what we know at the time. You removed your children from an abusive situation and got them help, that says a lot. Not one of us here is perfect, we've all made our own mistakes along the way.

    As for his threats, ignore them. They're threats. You have police ect to back you up if necessary.

    The books buddy recommended may prove to be a huge help. Many parents have found it to be so.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    After reading the history, I'd really look into reactive attachment disorder. REALLY.
  10. onmyown

    onmyown New Member

    he is a clingy child, doesnt shy away from affection, i will def ask therapist about all of this
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If you're going to research Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), then also research insecure attachment. Attachment issues are a spectrum, as so many things are. Even if he doesn't have full-blown Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), I too suspect some form of insecure attachment for a minimum.

    And kids with these kinds of problems need a VERY different approach!
  12. onmyown

    onmyown New Member

    well I have had a good few days and then today, it was like a total 360 again. He was ****** because i refused to ask all of my friends for something that he wanted that i did not have. He shoved my youngest son off of a trailer we have in the back yard causing him to get a nasty scrape on his knee. I went out to find out why and the reason was that he kept running towards him. My oldest son came out to see what was happening and difficult child tryed to shove him out of the way, causing a bigger problem as I heard difficult child tell my 16 yr old to f off and pick up a stick, causing the 16 year old to pick up a cinder block. I managed to get that situation diffused, got all of them in the house. difficult child sat down and started to throw things at the 16 year old pissing him off. I decided to get my camera out to record the actions of difficult child, the battery dies after about 5 min, and i left the room to get more batteries which led to another war between difficult child and 16 yr old. I seperated them, asked oldest to go for a walk to calm down, to no avail. Finally difficult child calmed down after threatening to hurt and or annoy the other 2 and now acts like absolutly nothing is wrong....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  13. llamafarm

    llamafarm Member

    This is the kind of thing that we are referring to, encouraging you to call the police. More than one child was in danger and so were you. It was clever of you to think of the camera to record, five minutes is probably plenty to give someone an idea of what was going on. We always think we can handle these situations, but one mistake by a child and someone could have been hurt. Please for everyone's safety call for help. The police will take the child to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. I have had it done for my son. In my town they would rather that than have me try to get my difficult child there.

    Keep yourself safe!
  14. onmyown

    onmyown New Member

    problem with police here is they think if he is being disruptive he needs to be in lock up
  15. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Why wouldn't 16 yo leave for a walk to cool off? Is he possibly a minor difficult child also? That child needs to learn NOT to engage difficult child. If you were handling the situation outside, 16 yo should have let YOU handle it. He had no business getting involved. If he hadn't "butted in" (my difficult child 2 tries to do that all the time), things might not have escalaated as bad as they did. Since this scenario sounds quite familiar, you might want to get 16 yo on YOUR page. That alone could make a huge difference.

    Absolutely call for help when difficult child becomes physical. He needs to know that he's not king, that you will call in reinforcements.
  16. onmyown

    onmyown New Member

    the oldest feels like he needs to protect me and the youngest.....i have tried to explain to him that if he were to ignore difficult child then he would stop because he is seeking the attention. his words are not going to be his punching bag when he gets mad.....and i do understand that, difficult child has always had issues, they just seem to be manifesting themselves in more aggressive behaviors in the last 3 months.
  17. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    He doesn't have to be his punching bag and I completely understand the desire to protect you. In this case, however, there was no need for him to get involved since you were taking care of it. I know it's hard to explain things to some kids but the oldest needs to let you be the parent. Absolutely he should be allowed to defend himself and you but difficult child wasn't going after you or him from what you described this time. Oldest came out to see what was going on. I get the curiosity but at that point, he should have gone back in or at the very least he should have followed your direction to go for a walk to cool off. It sounds like the oldest is trying to handle things his way and that is only going to make things worse. I'm not trying to sound critical, really I'm not. It's just that I'm walking in your shoes with my twins and I can see how my difficult child 2 makes things worse. It's one of difficult child 1's biggest triggers because difficult child 2 "isn't the boss" which is how difficult child 1 sees him when he does the things you describe your oldest as doing.

    Any luck on the medication front? Having been there too, I really think you need to do some changing in that department. The medications either aren't working or they are causing the aggression as a couple medications did with difficult child 1. I had to DEMAND that things be changed because the psychiatrists didn't believe the medications were causing it. I proved them wrong.