Hi, new here :)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sunxstone, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    Things are a bit complicated, but here goes!

    I'm 34, mom of two.

    difficult child is 12 1/2 diagnosis'd with High-Functioning Autism (HFA)/Bipolar/ODD/ADHD/Encopresis
    easy child is 9.

    I am married but separated from my husband of 9 years. We still live together, but I'm moving to California in December with difficult child (and hopefully easy child) to live with my boyfriend, who is very understanding and supportive of both myself and difficult child.

    My husband and my difficult child do not get along. At all. It's constant fighting back and forth. It's like i have two of them most days. husband is difficult child's step father since difficult child was 2 years old. husband has one parenting method - authoritarian - and he is pretty much the entire reason my difficult child has ODD. I talked to other parents, read books, researched online, found out everything I could about difficult child's disorders, but husband seemed to counter every move I made with difficult child..we've moved past the hate part, and decided we can be friends, but we can't be together, and he really cannot handle difficult child.

    I used to be very active on parenting forums up until about 2 years ago, when I became so overwhelmed with everything, not having support, etc that I just withdrew into myself completely. Shut down. Medicated myself into oblivion with anti depressants, sleep medications.. Boyfriend helped pull me out of that, gradually, and now I'm almost medication free and back in the game.

    I am exhausted from the constant micro managing of difficult child. I have to be on him with every step of every task it seems or it doesn't get done, or he gets in to trouble. He seems to break everything he touches, he smears feces in his room, pees on the floor/ in the tub / in the trash can.. seemingly everywhere but where he is supposed to. difficult child will do or say anything to get a rise out of husband, and most of the time easy child gets caught in the middle.

    It's a mess. I need help. Support from other parents who are in the same trenches. I'm ready to crawl out of my hole and get back in this fight!

    We're currently looking at a day program for difficult child in California, with the idea that if it doesn't seem to gain him any progress in 6 months we'll move him to full inpatient care for at least a year.

    So.. that's us, in a nutshell. I hope I can be of some help to other parents as well!
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us, but sorry you needed to.

    Is there anything specific we can help you with?
    Has your difficult child had a recent evaluation?
    Is he on any medications?
    Does he have an IEP?
    How does he do in school, both academically and with peers?

    You might want to pick up a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us here parent our extra-challenging children.

    Again, welcome.
  3. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Welcome to the board here!!!
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi and welcome! Glad you found us.

    It's extremely difficult to parent a child when your partner isn't on the same page. It's unfortunate your husband has given difficult child the power to push his buttons - that's a no-win situation, in my humble opinion.

    I would also highly recommend "The Explosive Child" - excellent book, really helped me get my priorities straightened out when it came to dealing with- behaviors.

    I hope that the upcoming move will be a positive step for you all. ;) Again, welcome and glad you found us!
  5. lizanne2

    lizanne2 New Member

    Hello and welcome. I hope the move goes well and that new surroundings bring good things. x
  6. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    Hi all!

    Sorry it took me so long to reply, it's been a hectic week.

    difficult child's school called CPS on us again because difficult child refuses to shower. I don't know what they want me to do. I can't force my 90 pound 12 year old into the shower and hose him down myself. They'd probably consider that "abuse" too. I can't stand this 'behavior modification" campus. They don't know *anything* about kids with issues. And instead of talking to me about difficult child's issues they call CPS any time something comes up. So glad to be moving out of this hellhole!

    Does anyone else's difficult child urinate where they shouldn't out of anger / spite? We cannot get difficult child to understand he cannot do that! It's fairly new behavior, as of 3 months ago or so. His room smells horrible and I cannot get it clean. :( It's like he doesn't even notice the smell.

    difficult child says he did it to keep us out of his room (he likes to hoard things and when things go missing we check his room.) And part of it I think is just laziness because the bathroom is literally right next door to his room. Out his bedroom door directly to the left is the bathroom door.

    He started by urinating in the play room where we had the kids computer so I moved the computer into my room. It was a matter of "I don't wanna get up from my game right now, so I'll just go in this corner". After I moved the computer he started going in his room all the time. We send him for time out / calm down time and he urinates on the carpet.

    I don't know how to address this behavior, and so far, neither does anyone else. We're moving to a new house in 8 weeks and I don't want to take this behavior with us!

  7. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    Hi Smallworld!

    There are so many things going on with difficult child I'm not really sure where to start.

    The most recent evaluation was from a hospital stay in February. He is currently on Lithium and Strattera, but so far any and all ADHD medications have made him more aggressive. He does have an IEP, but we're in Texas, so it's not worth much.

    His academic skills are all over the place - highest in reading, lowest in math. He's a few grade levels behind in some subjects. He reportedly gets along well with his peers - he's in a very small class, less than ten kids - at a transitional campus.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has he ever been evaluated by a neuropsychologist? If not, I highly recommend it. Anyone ever mention possible Aspergers?

    My son is on the high end of the autism spectrum and when he was too lazy to go to the john, he urinated in old bottles of pop, not as bad as a corner. He DOES understand it's wrong, but he doesn't like to break his concentration by going to the bathroom downstairs (his room is upstairs).

    Fortunately, that stopped when we threatened to take away his video systems. I suggest another evaluation. Doesn't sound like they know what is wrong with him yet and are just throwing medications at him. NeuroPsychs test the kids from 6-10 hours and in the opinion of many on the board are the best diagnosticians. If he has Aspergers, a psychiatrist could easily miss it. It's a neurological problem that results in very odd behaviors and extremely poor to clueless social skills. Often the kids blurt out in class or act out if told to transition from one activity to another. And they tend to have one or two obsessive interests, like videogames but WAY over-the-top or train schedules. Plus they are often bright. An early speech delay CAN be a symptom or lining toys. But the kids are all different.

    My son has really improved with help. But medications aren't the only answer for this disorder...they need more. I don't know if he has it, but he could. I'd check it out.
  9. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    Hi everyone.. life caught up with me and got hectic and my computer died in December (a few days after Christmas!) and I lost all my links.

    To catch up, we're still pretty much where we were last time I posted. The move got pushed back from December to the third week of April (we got an apartment, our house fell through).
    difficult child has his up days and down days..or up moments and down moments. The wetting behavior has continued, as well as the smearing. We lost our previous behavior therapist, who I loved, and gained another. Neither knew what to do about the wetting or smearing. Besides not making him angry, which is impossible not to do. Hoping a change of environment will help, as well as getting him back into intensive therapy. I've heard that California has amazing services for kids like difficult child, so I'm holding to hope that it's true.

    Just wanted to say I'm back, and I'm going to browse around the boards and see where I fit in. I've found I just don't fit with "normal" moms, who can be pretty vicious when it concerns what they don't understand and haven't experienced for themselves.
  10. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Good luck with your move...I live in CA and, yes, we do get amazing help from our school district and have found wonderful outside resources, as well. Since you haven't moved yet...Have you been able to research the school districts around your intended destination? Yes, there are some very good school districts in CA, but I have also heard some horror stories. So, do some research before you settle on any particular district. If you will be renting, it will be easier to pick up and move if your first try work out, but it would be great to land in a good place and stay there.

    Good luck!
  11. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    Thanks for replying, Tictoc! We'll be in San Marcos. I've talked with the Special Education director there and I was very happy with what she told me about difficult child's options. There is so much more there mental health wise than what is here in Texas. Is San Marcos a good district? She did say he would be bussed to Vista or another city close by as they don't have a placement for him in San Marcos atm.
  12. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Hi Sun,
    I don't know anything about San Marcos...Did the sp ed director have any specifics on what programs they will be able to offer him in another district? Good to hear that they are offering transportation.
  13. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    Just that they will start him in least restrictive environment, even though they know it won't work, and he'll have to transition into a more restrictive environment a few times until they get it right. She mentioned a day program where he would get education the first half of the day and counseling/therapy the second, then come home at night, and if we still needed more restrictive, a residential program.

    The way she said it made it sound as if the school district would pay for it, but I have to have heard that wrong. difficult child really needs one on one attention. He has a para/aide here but even that just isn't enough. Or the way Texas schools are isn't. He completely rules the school. I'm really looking forward to seeing if he thrives in California. There has been nothing for him here. The school lets him watch inappropriate movies, play on easy child unsupervised (I've documented him on yahoo messenger from school), watch youtube videos.

    The most inappropriate one was they let the class watch GI Joe. Weapons and violence. After having him physically removed from the campus a year before and taken to a psychiatric hospital due to threatening weapon violence. It's really just a what the heck environment! The Special Education director assured me there would be none of that there!