Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Stef, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Stef

    Stef Dazed and Confused


    My wife and I are new members. We have a 16 year old son who was originally diagnosed as ADHD about 12 years ago. He's been somewhat controllable until he hit around 15, now he's out of control. His mouth toward us would shock a drunken sailor, he's been in trouble with the law, doesn't give a damn about school, been in a behavioral hospital- you name it. He's receiving all the professional help available- see's a social worker, a psychiatrist, a probation officer, attends classes directed at making better choices, but he usually doesn't apply any of it. That is especially true if he doesn't get his way. He just can't get it under control, and goes off ranting at everyone. Were totally frustrated, and could use whatever advice anyone might have. We have two other kids who are older and turned out fine. They had some rocky moments, but nothing like what's happening here.

  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello and welcome to both you and your wife.

    You know, puberty is a particularly trying time for all of us who parent difficult children. Their hormones can not only magnify their "gfgness", but it can also require swift and numerous medication changes.

    Sounds like your guy is dealing with a lot more than adhd. Do you suspect any drug use? Is he taking any medication?

    You know, it's a spin of the roulette wheel once these difficult children become mid-teenagers. No amount of therapy, or special classes, or consequences are going to work if they are not tuned in and willing. Sounds like that's the case with your difficult child.

    Are there any motivations in place for him to do better? Things he really enjoys doing, places he likes going etc., that you can use for carrots. Sometimes those things work and sometimes they don't.

    My difficult child is really motiviated by his gaming. When the behaviors are out there or the disrespect is spoken, everything requiring electrical or battery power is taken away. It's a big motivator for mine.

    Finding their motivation works for some difficult children. Other difficult children really don't care. Not sure where you son falls in.

    There are tons of members here with teenage boys who can offer you understanding, support, and perhaps a few good ideas.

  3. Stef

    Stef Dazed and Confused

    We pretty sure he's not using drugs, as he gets tested regularly as part of his court supervision. He doesn't act or look spacey in any way. He just has this anger problem that he can't control, and tends to make bad choices. The bad choices come back at him, and exacerbate the anger. And so it goes. Most of the issues are school related- not turning in (doing) homework, misbehaving in class, getting in school suspensions. Of course it's ALWAYS the teacher doesn't like me, or she's a *****, or it was someone else, but she picked on me instead. You've probably heard all this from others who have this sort of problem. What do ya do? We've tried the game takeawy, bike takeaway- he gets verbally aggressive. We've addressed the behavior with his therapists. They say what you did- you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. We thought him getting in trouble would have scared him straight, and it did for awhile. He got off pretty easy- community service, etc. Now he's reverting back to the old way's. The shock is over for the most part. Now he can act a fool again. We tell him, if there's a next time, the court isn't going to be so understanding. You'd better get with the program. He does stop and think, but what happens at school's another story. At school all that talk is forgotten and we get calls from the principal regarding his behavior- i.e. mouth. He just can't shut it.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Frustrated, nice to meet you.

    Sounds like your son has way more than ADHD. I would have him re-evaluated. You're seeing all these specialists and all you have is an ADHD diagnosis? That's a symptom, in my book, not a whole diagnosis.

    Does your son blow up when things don't go his way because he sees that someone has broken his rules? Does he blow up if his clothes don't fit right? When he has to transition from watching TV to dinner? Those could be clues as to what's going on with him.

    What motivates him? Does he like video games? Those are a powerful motivator for my son. I am d*D of the Video Games, LOL! I can get him to do the dishes, brush the dogs, and vacuum the whole house, on the promise of 1 hr of PS2 football.

    Do not take away things from your son while he is standing there. You'll end up in a fistfight. I make things go away while my son is at school, and then talk to him about it when he gets home. He still gets mad but it's much more manageable.

    Is your son on any medications?
  5. Stef

    Stef Dazed and Confused

    Forgot to mention- he's on risperdal for the aggression. He was on Clonidine and Depokote (for a while). We haven't noticed any difference since they took him off the Depakote and Clonidine, so the psychiatric may increase the risperdal dosage. That'll go over big- he doesn't think he needs anything. And so it goes...
  6. Stef

    Stef Dazed and Confused

    Hi Terry:

    He definetly has more than ADHD. It was ADHD to start with when he was around 5 y.o. His most recent diagnosis is ADHD with agressive behavior disorder. We're on his 4th psychiatrist. The doctor before this thought he had bipolar disorder, but looking at it over the years, it just didn't add up. His behavior can switch from one extreme to the other in literally seconds. You can see it happen- it's not gradual and it doesn't usually linger for days or weeks as in bipolar disorder. It can be hours or days in a different mood- it's actually a different person. I think he has borderline personality disorder. He is on a medication, Rispedine x 2 (1M-1E), which he thinks cause's his problem. Some times I think he skips the medications as well. We try to watch him take the medication, but it's hard to tell if he actually swallows it or not. If you watch him, he gets angry and accusses you of not trusting him. Gee, really? He's was re-evaluated last June, when all hell broke loose and he ended up in a Teen Behavioral Health Unit for a week. Since then he's been up and down, made some bad choices, got in trouble with the law, and is having problems in school. I try to talk to him, think I get through, but I think he just gives me lip service. I can (usually) talk to him. He does have goals, but has trouble ( a lot) staying focused. When thinks get tough in school, he gives up. Doesn't turn work in, and things of course get worse. Then he brings that home, accusses the teachers of picking on him, it's all bull. I talk to the teachers, so I know what's up. I really don't know what to do. I'm afraid for his future if he doesn't get with it.

    Me/WD: Occupation PCB Designer

    wife/WM: Married 33 years

    difficult child 1 (aka M): 15 yo son HS Sophomore (wise fool), ODD, ADHD, 1 Residential Treatment Center (RTC) admit
    medication: Risperdal .5mg x2 (1M, 1E)

    easy child (aka K): 21 yo daughter

    easy child (aka C): 23 yo son (7 mo. premie)

    Zoo: Cats x 2 (M-Wrigley adopted outdoor feral, F-Zowie), Dog (F-Haley aka Bopo), Hamster, Fish- 2 tanks (livebearer's, tiger barbs), neighborhood cats who visit for freebies, squirrels, racoons, birds, and an occassional deer.

    Sports: Chicago Cubs - Go Cubs Go!
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you and your wife found us.

    There is some thinking that pediatric bipolar disorder presents differently from adult bipolar disorder. Some kids with BiPolar (BP) are described to have rapid cycling with frequent mood shifts throughout the day. You should read up on the disorder as well as in the book The Bipolar Child by Demitri and Janice Papolos before you convince yourself it's not BiPolar (BP). Better yet, you should take your son for thorough evaluations with both a child/adolescent psychiatrist who specializes in childhood mood disorders and a neuropsychologist, who can do lots of testing to figure out exactly what's going on with your son.

    Some teens who are not progressing academically and therapeutically need a residential placement (either a wilderness program, an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or a therapeutic boarding school) to get them stabilized on medications and then break down the barriers so they will access therapy. You might want to talk to an educational consultant about consdering this option.

    Hang in there. We're here for you.