hoarding help it's really not good

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Matty's Mummy, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Matty's Mummy

    Matty's Mummy Member

    I how do I help him with this?

    my son has been playing a game called Mindcraft on the computer, he is in tears and a mess because he cant delete parts of he game because he "will never see them again" it's so detressing for him. he has hoarding as part of his Aspergers and has attachments to almost everything.
    he says he wants to remember everything and crys so hard at the thought of having to delete anything rom computer games to mistakes in school work. he would rather have something incorrect then have to delete or rub out mistakes, which is hard as he doens't like to make mistakes.
    this week he has been so upset over this game and he's so confussed over what to do. I cant really understand the game though I'm trying. all I know is, he wants to delete a part so he an move on in the game and he cant bring himself to.
    he's crying and really depressed saying his life is horrible he doesnt' want to live.... I'm sure he is depressed, we talked with our Pead last visit and she said some kids are just sensitive and they dont medicate sensitive children.... we wern't sure at the time but after this week I'm thinking for sure he is depressed.
    I need help with how to help him move passed needing to remember everthing, some idea's for hoarding. I will be calling the Pead first thing in the morning to go back for another visit.
    thanks for any help to get us through in the mean times.
  2. Matty's Mummy

    Matty's Mummy Member

    is anyone stil here? he cry's at the thought of forgetting a memory. te game I post abotu above is because he knows he will forget what it looked like the parts he built.... , I'm just so worried and not sure where to get help. this is extream the constant crying...
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Offer to delete for him, have him take a break from the game, have him draw a picture of the scene he wants to remember, have him pick three of his favorite scenes and then take a screen shot on the computer and print the picture for him. Put them in a binder if he likes to look at them. Talk to the pediatrician about medication and remind him/her that when a disorder is impacting functioning in other areas of life it is a problem worth finding solutions for-including medication.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MM, I read your post, I don't have any experience with what you're dealing with to offer you any advice, I just wanted you to know I'm here and I'm sorry you are going through this. I hope you find some answers............sending you gentle hugs and prayers to find solutions to help your boy and soothe your heart.

    It slows down here on weekends, so there may be less people checking in, hang in there and follow your mom instincts...............
  5. Matty's Mommy - I'm so sorry your son is dealing with this. I really don't have any experience in dealing with hoarding either. I do understand that it is a very difficult thing to deal with. I think Whatamess had some good options for you to try with your son.

    I sure hope the peaddoc has some thoughts or can refer you to someone that specializes in this sort of thing. I also think you should push for the possibility of medication for depression and/or anxiety for him. That may relieve some of the difficulty he has in parting with things.

    Big hugs to you. I hope that more people check in here for you this weekend. There are so many knowledgable parents here.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was also thinking of taking screen shots. Now the hoarding is part of anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). To work on that a medication for anxiety and good therapy are what is needed there. Im not sure which child is having this issue, Im assuming the older one because I think that game is too difficult for the younger one.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have several shots, some you may not like. I personally felt that when a game became so important to my child that they would lie, cheat, steal, or the game interfered with life then a time out from the game was imperative. My son HATED this, and the first week was HORRIBLE. but each and EVERY single time, by about day 6 he was enjoying other things and by the end of the second week he was excited over several new interests and several old ones that he had dropped so that he could focus on the object of his obsession. He is an adult now and while he doesn't completely stop a game that he is obsessing over, he does give himself time outs from the games when he sees his grades dropping or the other facets of his life are suffering. He has admitted that if we had not forced his hand when he was younger he would not have the skills to take these time-outs.

    I don't know if this is a game you should call a hiatus over. We usually had to stop ALL electronic screen related things and not just one game because he would do really crazy things to get to the game or whatever. I got a LOT of grief from my parents over this, at one point one family member threatened me with child abuse charges because my son could not play computer games' Of course that didn't get them anywhere, except I did bust out laughing when they threatened me, lol! (Totally NOT the reaction I was supposed to give, I guess.)

    Is the pediatrician the only doctor your son sees? If this is the adult child, he needs a psychiatrist (psychiatrist) and psychologist (therapist) to help him with coping skills to handle his anxiety. If this is the 7yo, then you need the pediatric version of psychiatrist and therapist to help him. Medication SHOULD be at least discussed seriously because this inability to erase/get rid of things is hampering his ability to lead a normal life. If you get help NOW, by the time he is a teen he will have some coping skills and puberty/adolescence won't be a total trainwreck. As it is, he needs tools NOW.

    Have you ever discussed how you handle things you are afraid you will forget? How you handle deciding what you need to erase/remove/throw away? One thing that can help with hoarding items is to donate them so they go to people who will enjoy and appreciate them. You can use freecycle.org to find people in your area to donate to and he can meet the people and give them the item himself. Or at least he will know it is going to Adam in Atlanta or whomever, and he knows that it is not lost/forgotten but is loved just like he loved it. We met a family with this problem in a young child a couple of years ago. I thought using freecycle was genius, because the child picked from several responses from people hwo wanted the item. The parents let us know via email what was going on with the boy, and we were able to be very careful to let him know that we would love the item and that it would never be tossed into the trash. It seemed to be helpful to him.

    As for the computer game, is there any way to save it to an sd card or flash drive, then delete it? You might have to do some googling or go to an online forum for the game to ask how to do it, but it could be possible. He could save the disk on an sd card or flash drive and then delete it from the computer and do the other things, but he would still have the part in question.

    That won't be a good permanent solution, but until he has coping tools to use to handle this anxiety, it might take care of things. I would hesitate to use this as a permanent strategy, but for a while, hey, sd cards are cheap. I got five 2GB cards online for about ten bucks shipped. I am sure that anyone of them would hold a lot of the game, wouldn't it?

    He NEEDS therapy for anxiety and panic. If you don't start that NOW, life will be pretty awful for him. There are experts who deal with anxiety in children, and there are tools that work very well. medications are one of them, but not the only one. Until you can get into someone for medications discussion, look for breathing exercises and meditations for kids. You can google search for these and you should get some good free results or some not so expensive guided meditations you can buy.

    One strategy that sometimes help with anxiety is talking about what is the worst thing that will happen if the game is replace/item is lost. I would wait and find a good therapist to do this with him, because that is one way they work with someone to help relieve obsession/anxiety/hoarding. I would start looking for books on anxiety and panic disorders. I used to have one that I think was called the anxiety and panic disorder workbook that was quite helpful. He isn't too young to learn to help himself through anxiety and panic, but he likely will need some professional help.

    I don't know where you live, but I would be upset with a doctor who brushed off my concerns about my child's anxiety and just said that we don't medicate sensitive kids. Go to whomever is treating your son's Aspergers and enlist their help. they have to know how debilitating the hoarding and anxiety can be in a person with Asperger's, and if they won't help wtih medication monitoring, push them to do whatever is needed to get therapy covered. medications actually have the best results when combined with therapy, and vice versai, but if I could only choose one of them I don't know which I would choose for my child. for myself I would choose therapy, but for my child? I don't know. Some kids can participate in therapy at age 7, some cannot at age 17. It really varies from child to child. I know taht Wiz, my oldest, therapized rings around 2 different tdocs when he was 5 and 7.

    Yes, therapized isn't really a word. What I mean is that we had gone to get help because we didn't have a clue why he was suddenly so angry and why he had such trouble at school. He managed to get both of the tdocs talked into all sorts of treats and rewards and he would use their own methods to convince them that up was down and in was out. It was a definite harbinger of things to come, and it was frustrating because both of these were tdocs with great credentials who worked with kids. They just hadn't run into a kid like him I guess.

    If you run into a therapist who isn't good, or your radar says something isn't right, find another. But find someone who will work to find a way to help him learn to cope. ANd keep pushing the dr for whatever referrals. If you have not had an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory issues, get that done as soon as possible. Most kids with Asperger's have sensory issues. They contribute to anxiety in HUGE ways, and the therapies to help can be amazing. You can learn more about sensory issues by reading "the out of sync child" by kranowitz. You can get ideas to help your child by providing a sensory diet that will help the sensory issues with that book and with the same author's "The Out of sync Child Has Fun" which is a book crammed with activities to provide all sorts of sensory stimulation and wtih ways to do it for less money. Think about activities, sensations, flavors, etc... that your child seeks and that he avoids. Provide more of what he seeks, and realize that the ones he avoids will easily overwhelm him.

    The other thing that can help is his diet. Make sure he is getting enough protein. Hunger is your enemy, and your son may not be able to tell you wehn he is hungry until it is so bad he melts down. Make sure that whatever he eats has a fair amt of protein and that the carbs/fat/protein ratio is roughly 403030. Balance and Zone brand bars follow this ratio. My kids all like the taste of them and they have saved us from a meltdown many times. I used to keep them in my purse at all times so that if we had to go do something we wouldn't be doing it with a kid without enough fuel to behave well. When kids are hungry it is much easier to be overwhelmed by sensory stimuli.

    I hope some of this is helpful. I wrote a lot, and I hope that you can both get help with this immediate issue and figure out how to get help so this isn't a lifelong problem for him.
  8. Matty's Mummy

    Matty's Mummy Member

    sorry this is for the 7 now 8 year old, we are in Australia 3 hours inland from the city , we see a Occupational Therapist (OT) my son has resisted all her efforts so I have asked her to not give up an djust spend the hour letting him talk about whatever he wants.
    there is no other Occupational Therapist (OT) we drive 3 hours in and out for her. as soon as she meantions feelings or anything he melts down and runs away. this has happened with another Occupational Therapist (OT) who ended up after 6 visits saying she cant work with him and a Psychology has told us the same that she cant help him after he ran out the door, she had said to him that 'if he needs to talk about his dreams he could talk to her" this was after I had said he cant talk to anyone about his dreams becaus ehe was so scared. she really damaged my sons trust with me.

    whatamess thank you, I have no idea why i didnt' think of that, we have had to take photo's of other things in the past, like broken TV's and that has worked.
    off to do that now.

    recoveringenabler, Janet and wecometowitsend, thanks for your message, I forgot abotu weekends I used to know this.
    susiestar thanks so much for all of that. we have seen that happen with our son in the past when we took all
    electronic games away. he started to enjoy life again.

    this is the plan for today, to get rid of all the electronics and start the weening. it was hard last time we kept them away for 6mths and had a totally different child. and why we ever pull them out again I dont know. I know the pressure from family thing all to well, they do think it's cruel and dont see this in their children or children they are around so they cant understand the intense level of anxiety the game have on our son, also how it takes overhis life so much that he cant do normal everyday things.

    we are so isolated there is no help out here and moving should happen by the ed of the year, I have to make sure it happens.
    I've read all your post thank so much a lot has helped an we will get done what we can today. I brought a chemistry set for him for Christmas so might pull that out to elp him transistion

  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Problems with kids like ours can be complex. The hoarding is an attempt to fill a need. Finding out what that need is and determining healthier ways to deal with it, can take us years. Things we're still discovering with the younger two involve memory and how it is laid down. We've begun getting more effective help from psychologists - cognitive behaviour therapy is good, we also have found a vocational psychologist who has been very helpful. At 7 your son is perhaps still too young for CBT, but it is something to look towards as he gets older. He does need strategies to use, to help him cope and move on.

    I'm wondering if a different game might be good. We had to ban difficult child 3 from some computer games when he was younger, because he couldn't handle them.

    I also explained to my kids what nightmares and dreams really are - they're the mind trying to sort through the filing cabinet of the day's combined experiences, while we sleep. The more we have packed in to our day, the more stressed we have been, the more jumbled will be the images. But our mind will keep trying to help us make sense and organise it all. Sometimes talking about it can help us understand what our mind is trying to tell us. But if talking about it is too difficult, then trying to understand it for ourselves, or at least understanding the purpose of dreaming and why sometimes dreams can be vivid and distressing, can also help.

    A trick I taught my kids for when they have nightmares - if you get woken in the night from a nightmare, roll over onto your other side. I told my kids that the nightmare would trickle out of their other ear when they rolled over. When they went back to sleep the nightmare would have stopped.

    It is so difficult when they are young, especially, because they have so much to deal with and so little to help them manage.

  10. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    MM I hace had similar experience with my difficult child was was 8 when I came here. She is now 20! Hers was with the psychiatrist and therapist. We tried many. She refused to speak. She couldn't tell anyone her secret. It wasn't anyone's business. She would sit for an entire 45 min and play geo mags. husband and I fretted about what this secret was. We talked gently to her about all sorts of alarming issues and she just said no nothing is wrong. Not long ago we discussed this with her. She has no memory of this terrible secret. Although she does remember us bringing her to countless psychiatrists trying to find the right one. She says now it is no ones business that is why she wouldn't talk. Her anxiety/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) manifested with me. She was so afraid that I would die while she was not with me. It was impossible to get her to leave my side. Like Janet said once we started a medication for anxiety/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) slowly she let go and started to feel normal again. Is there a dr that you can go to that specializes in anxiety disorder?
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad some of what I said was helpful. As to why you gave electronics back, they are part of life and at some point he will have to learn to moderate his use of them so that he can function in the world. He is only 7 almost 8 now so you have time. Many people cannot understand why we do things like this, and often I have just told them to be happy they don't have to. Then I change the subject and if they want to go back to that one they get some fire because I can often find something to harp on them about that I would otherwise NEVER mention. For those who truly keep insisting on allowing 'just' this or that with whatever isn't healthy for your son, tell them fine as long as EVERY SINGLE TIME that you have a problem related to that item you can call them and they will immediately drop everything and come to handle whatever the issue is for however long it takes.

    Trust me, NO ONE is going to offer that more than once. I had to use it with and aunt who couldn't seem to grasp that even though she is 10 yrs older than I am, and we have kids the same age, that I did not have to parent the way she did or obey her parenting whims.

    As far as Occupational Therapist (OT), why is the Occupational Therapist (OT) talking with him about his feelings? That would be a psychologists' job, not hers. The Occupational Therapist (OT) is to help with motor and sensory issues. Ask her to teach you the brushing protocol to help him. It is designed to help retrain his brain and it has been PROVEN to create new pathways for the brain to handle sensory input. You MUST be taught by a professional, but then you do the therapy at home with him. The Occupational Therapist (OT) should also be figuring out what his sensory needs are and helping you find ways to incorporate them into his daily life and ways for him to self calm with them.

    The books I mentioned describe this far better than I can. I would be very unhappy with someone who was not a psychologist who watned to discuss my child's feelings or dreams because they are not trained to do that therapeutically. As for him refusing to talk or being unable, that is textbook for anyone on the autism spectrum or with sensory issues. He is likely operating at a level of about a 4 to 5 yo, and that MUST be taken into account.

    The beauty of sensory issues is that after you figure out what types of sensory input calm him, he can use these to calm himself whne he is anxious. My youngest chewed. shirts, pencils, most anything he could put into his mouth. He is 12 and this is the first school year that he isn't destroying every shirt he gets in under a month by chewing on the neck. It is pretty awesome, in my opinion.

    I am sorry that I cannot give more helpful advice on where to get services, but our systems are very different than yours are. Oh, the Occupational Therapist (OT) might understand the brushing therapy if you call it the Wilbarger protocol. I am pretty sure that is the technical name for it, but here the Occupational Therapist (OT)'s call it brushing. You use a soft brush like a surgical scrub brush and brush the body in a certan pattern and follow that with gentle joint compressions. It helps the body better handle sensory stimulation, and it can be very amazing. It takes about 2 min to do this and at first you do it every couple of hours, then after a few weeks you space the therapy further apart. If you are not with him all day and can't have school do it, it takes longer but it will work if you do it when you are able to. While it is easy, and fairly quick to do this, you still MUST MUST MUST be trained by an Occupational Therapist (OT) because if you brush certain areas you can create real problems. Most kids don't object to the brushing and it can be done on bare skin or through clothing. I do know a little girl who hated it, and her mom wouldn't do it at home, but the school Occupational Therapist (OT) still did it with her and after a couple of weeks the little girl noticed it was helping and stopped having a fit when they did it.

    Stick to your plan and cut the electronics out of his life for a while. Then they can be introduced slowly, and after several (many?) cycles of this, hopefully he will be able to moderate his activity and involvement as an adult. That is always the hope, isn't it?