Homeschooling with Conduct Disorder

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Monica R, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Monica R

    Monica R New Member

    I'm not sure if I'm posting to the right place but this is the only place I found which would allow me to post.

    I have a 7 year old boy (we also have other kiddos) who was recently diagnosed with Conduct Disorder. He is currently on his first stay at a treatment center to get some help. He made some very alarming threats and statements which led to him being placed in a treatment center. He threatened to kill family members and even went as far as planning to kill them in their sleep.. he took a large butcher type knife and climbed into their beds to see if they were awake.. one was so he changed his mind and put the knife back and went back to bed.

    His biological mother has schizophrenia and bipolar disorders but that's all we really know. She drank and did drugs during her pregnancy and he was born with tremors.

    We are homeschooling all of our children this year in order to better get a handle on his condition. (Doctors' appointments and therapies are so frequent that there's no way they could all be in a traditional school setting at this time).

    With homeschooling comes the task of making him do things he would rather not do. For example, he will need to sometimes read. Sometimes he will need to write neatly and do his studies (just as you might expect from any other student). Well, when he is faced with something he would rather not do or that does not please him- he apparently jumps to homicidal thoughts. He likes to fantasize in his mind and has gone as far as what I stated above as well as just going and grabbing a knife and squeezing the handle as if he's actually going to do it but instead choosing to put the knife back.

    I'm not sure how to properly homeschool him without worrying that he will do something to myself or his brothers (out of jealousy or paranoia). I am really trying to do some research online but there really isn't much out there for conduct disorder and homeschooling/teaching children wired this way. I'm hoping to find some insight within this threat/website.

    Thank you so much to anyone who has taken the time to read my post and an especially large thank you to anyone who comments. I really appreciate any insight or help or being pointed in the right direction that I can get. I'm going into this pretty blindly and very lost.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have adopted a child like your son. He was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder which is common in adopted kids who did not have nurturing in infant and toddler years. Also there is his genetic hisory and substance abuse in utero...not a good deck of cards. Attachment disorder has a different cause but the symptoms and lack of remirse and empathy are the same as conduct disorder.

    Forcing him to do things he doesnt want to do could be extremely dangerous and he may act out on others later on. I wouldnt try it. He is not going to listen or put up with you "winning."

    We had to dissolve this adoption (we have three other adopted kids who are thriving). This child killed two dogs, set little fires, stole, lied and held a knife to younger kids and made them allow him to molest them. He was 13 when he was caught and far too dangerous to live in a family. We havent seen him since he was taken away. Our family survived due to close husband/wife bond and resiliency of abused young kids who received much good therapy for free from our county. Thank God!

    My advice is to not homeschool him and to consider out of home placement. This is a seven year old but right now he is dangerous to you and your other kids and any pets you have. Our child pretended to love our pets (until he killed them). After he left, we learned all else from traumatized younger kids. He had been six years older than them so the county charged him with first degree assault of a minor, even at age 13, and he was on the sexual registry site for a long time. He went to a sort of jsil for young sexual predators and tried to perp even there. I hope he got better because he is now over 20 and on the streets per his Facebook, which we still check.

    My advice is to not be us...this kid is not going to improve with his genetics and the substance abuse in utero. He is a tragedy waiting to happen. I learned that we cant save the world and that some kids were so traumatized early on that love scares them and makes them worse.

    If you do want to keep him at home, and you have younger or vulnerable kids, lock their doors at night to keep him out and put an alarm on his bedroom door to alert you when he leaves his room at night. That way you can also get up and monitor him and the others. Much of the damage happens while everyone is asleep. Never let him play with a kid or pet out of your direct sight.

    I also had a friend who did foster care. An eight year old boy set fire to their home on purpose ( he admitted it) "because I was mad." They lived in a hotel for months.

    Both of us stopped doing foster care and adopting after these incidents.

    Please....residential care may help more than you can. It is 24/7 with cameras and therapy. His threats to kill and the knives are not appropriate in a family with other children. He may never be okay. Yes, we also felt that loving our child enough would cure him. It didnt do a thing.

    Please be safe. Lock up all your sharp objects and use plastic dinner wear and paper cups and plates. Nothing that can break or be used as a weapon.
    He should NEVER have access to anything potentially sharp. This kid is young but young with a butcher knife makes him pretty tall and strong. Take precautions.

    I would also have him evaluated for potential brain damage from the alcohol and other substances pre birth. A neuro psychologist (psychologisf with extra training in the brain) is an excellent source for extensive testing for this. You find them in university and childrens hospitals and clinics. You need to know.
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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  3. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Hi and welcome,

    I agree with SOT. The child is too sick and dangerous to live normally, I am sorry to say. You cannot control him, the disease in his mind is stronger than you are. He will irrevocably harm you, your other kids, your pets and countless others unless he is placed in a locked setting where he is monitored 24/7. The severity of his behavior is utterly shocking and I have seen quite a bit of behavior from my own stepsons as well as working with troubled teens. It is so very difficult to accept such a dire prognosis with such a small child. I am sure he is very cute and adorable and you love him very much. Looks in this case are deceiving. Do not put yourself at risk let alone innocent children and pets living in your home. I would ask the treatment center for help finding a long term residential placement for him. He needs daily therapy but in these cases therapy often does not take, the patient believes nothing is wrong with them and will not buy in. Really he needs to be kept away from vulnerable individuals, people and animals, to protect them from his homicidal ideation. He has a lot more wrong than conduct disorder, my stepson likely has it and he has been violent but never has he done what this little boy has done. He has already taken the knife in hand and would have acted if one little plot line in his fantasy murder movie had not been askew. Please protect yourself. You and yours are in grave danger as long as he is in your home.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I know you asked a question and this is not what you wanted to hear. I could not tell you anything else after my own experience with a violent child. the rest of your family. This boy is unable to function in a family. Your son has every red flag there is...probably horrible younger years, alcohol and drugs before birth and many many illnesses in his DNA. Plus he is thinking anout murdering others. This is dangerous.
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  5. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Monica.

    I think for starters you need to remove all the sharp knives, box cutters, tools, etc. from your home. Think smart. Anything that could be used as a weapon needs to go away. My kids received bowling pins from a birthday party. Those things were heavy and I didn't trust my son not to conk his sister on the head with one, so they were in the attic for years. I think in your case, you should take anything of that nature out of the home entirely.

    Please focus your efforts on keeping all the children safe. It sounds as if this boy could be much more than any one person can be expected to handle. Your other children deserve to feel safe in their own home, so do you.

    Monica, I know the above posts must seem very harsh to you. I assure you that the people here understand and care about your situation. Please try to understand that the majority of 7 year old children do not have homicidal tendencies. This child, the child in your home, is a dangerous person.
  6. Coralchet1

    Coralchet1 Member

    I can relate hugely to this post and for that I feel for both of us. My son at an early age also would grab knives and run at me and his siblings because he wanted us dead... he threatened to cut my throat and put me in the ground and no one would find me. He also came out of his room once with a belt around his neck..I'm just sick with remembering all this...I struggle with ptsd because of these things and many other things that have taken place over the years. I attended Every parent class there is in this town. I called our local children's aid society and reported myself because I wanted to hurt him to Stop him. How awful, eh, That I too almost got to that point! He was just a little kid then, and I had No control! Life unfolded from there...he got older and drugs entered his body around the age of 13 and well he's 16 now....when he was 5.. I was told wait till he's 10...he'll grow out of it...when he was 10, I was told wait till he's a teen 13, at 15 I was told by his Doctor he fears for my safety, Really.? He's now 16 and doesn't have a care in the world unless he comes home high on what ever drugs in his system where he sits down and talks to me how he wants to be known by the world...not sure what that means..
    so, I don't know, I had the option at one point in time to keep him in foster care, but my thoughts at that time were if they can do it by what ever means you've taught them on how to handle my child..then dammit Teach me! He's my son, I love him and want the best possible life for him however, it's looking pretty bleak now that Street drugs are involved too..
  7. Coralchet1

    Coralchet1 Member

    And for heaven sakes hide hockey sticks too...I had one in the van once and he cracked me over the head while I was driving. I never thought of the things in the vehicle...
  8. I think he may do best with the support that a quality IEP delivered by quality special educators. In addition, you may need the break that his school days will afford you. I know it won't be problematic (as far as the school is concerned) to pull him out early for the various appointments.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome! I know this has to be scary for you. I would put alarms on his door so that you are awakened if he leaves his room at night. Put the alarm on the outside of the door so that if it opens, the alarm goes off and wakes you up. It will be annoying because he will play with it, but it is a safety thing.

    I question the validity of a conduct disorder diagnosis in a child of 7. I don't know enough to know if this is or isn't true. Given the DSM5 criteria, my son would have been given this label. It certainly doesn't fit him. It at least doesn't truly describe what was going on in any way that will help him. In many ways it seems like the ODD label to me - over used and under-helpful. From all the doctors, therapists, specialists and other '-ists we saw, I think at least 95% of the children, and all of the boys, had the ODD label. It never gave a single one of us parents even one idea about how to help our boys. It just told us that they didn't like to be told what to do or to be told "no" or anything else. Other than that, it didn't give us any information. I think the conduct disorder label is very much like that only even less hopeful.

    I also think there are diagnostic trends, and this may be a current trend. Back when my son was 12-16, the trend was bipolar disorder. Every time we changed doctors due to insurance changes or my son going into the hospital, the doctor tried to say he was bipolar. He was about as far from bipolar as string is from a brick. It just does not fit. It never did, but many docs tried to make it fit, and then they wanted to take shortcuts to medicate him for it. I ended up studying bipolar to figure out if he was or not (my instinct said he wasn't, and so did 2 docs I trusted) and I learned how to stop the docs from changing the medications in the shortcut way.

    I think you need to study all you can about CD and everything else this might possibly be, and then trust your instincts to lead you to the correct conclusions.

    Did your other children do well in school? Did they like it? Why did they have to be homeschooled just because your 7yo needed to be homeschooled? Would it be best to homeschool him and have them in school so he had 1:1 attention? And he could be taken to therapy and doctor appointments etc... easily? Maybe it would be best to homeschool the other children and have the 7yo in school where he would have an IEP and all the supports that the school can give him at no cost to you?

    I homeschooled each of my children at one time or another. Sometimes I homeschooled all 3 of them, but not often. Every semester my husband and I evaluated what was best for each child, what each child needed and how we could best provide that for each child. It meant sometimes I had one kid at home, and the other 2 were each in different schools. That was a hectic PITA, but it was worth it because it was what was right for each child. Children are individual and what works for one may or may not work for another. Being home with a violent sibling may be fine for one of your children and may absolutely terrify another of your children. I don't know how he interacts with them when you are not there, neither do you. But if he truly has CD, then he likely scares them and you cannot supervise them all the time. I would be very worried about how he was with them when my eyes were not on them. I mean when I was not actually in the room with them. Or when my back was to them. This may be something to think about.

    Whatever you decide, I hope it works well for your family. You can only do the best you can with the information and tools you have. When you have better tools and information, you do better. That is truly all anyone can ask of you!
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