I am new, sad and feel very alone

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ifeelbad, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. ifeelbad

    ifeelbad Guest

    Hi all of you parents of difficult children. I am really feeling overwhelmed right now. My son who is 17 was convicted of assault a few months ago. He hit his 14 year old sister and she called the police. He has to report to a youth worker and also see a psychologist every 2 weeks. B has been difficult since he started school. He would bother other children at school. He did have friends and seemed to really enjoy being with them. That stopped once he hit high school. Unfortunately his 1 friend from grade 8 moved away and the other became involved with a larger group of friends so B felt left out. B is in grade 12 this coming school year, he now goes to an alternative high school. His marks are quite good but he does need a lot of pushing to get his work done. He is now in the block program where he does a class for 6 hours everyday for 3 weeks and then he is done.

    This morning we have an appointment with his psychologist. I talked to him yesterday on the phone. I feel so bad about what he said. He told me B does not belong or fit with any group of kids. He says he does not even sit like regular kids that I don't quite understand. He says he has difficulties with connecting to other kids. He didn't used to in elementary school but now he has no friends. This is heartbreaking to me. The psychologist said we must take it one step at a time. He said B is very rare. I guess he has never seen anyone like him before and he specializes in working with teens.

    B has always been somewhat difficult to live with. He likes to bug and act somewhat goofy. I know he is immature. What can I do to help him? So far I take him and his sister (and any friends she brings) to the swimming pool, lake, walks by the river, lunch, shopping, you get the idea. He loves playing runescape whiich I only allow him to do in the evenings after we do stuff in the real world. He also attens tae kwon do and almost has his black belt after 5 years. He has sparred in competetions and won medals. But he has been very anxious before the competitions.

    I am worried what his future will be like when he finishes school. The psychologist seems to think he needs a psychiatrist and probably medication of some sort. He is not sure exactly what is going on. I am afraid B will not ever work. He seems to be afraid to. Although he is working for the 3rd year in a row with his sister (except different shifts) at the fair.

    I guess there are positives here but hearing the psychologist talk sounds like B is in trouble. I am very scared. He has seen a psychiatrist in the past and she ruled out Aspbergers and diagnosed him with ODD which seems meaningless to me. Can anyone offer me any words of wisdom or tell me what might be going on? Thank you for reading this!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not a doctor and don't profess to be one, but his kid sounds like he could be on the autism spectrum/Aspergers which many MANY psychiatrists/pschologists miss because it is not their field. It is actually a neurological difference that masks as a psychiatric problem so often the kids never get the right help or diagnosis.

    Aspie kids DO act different than other kids, even their mannerisms can be quite different. They have trouble with eye contact with strangers (sometimes even with us) and are unsure of how to hold a give-and-take conversation. Often they have one or two extreme, obsessive interests, such as computers, videogames, a certain TV show, math or some even memorize bus schedules. They are loners who are uncomfortable with people, especially in new situations and with people t hey don't know. Often they relate to adults and the very young kids rather than their peers (because there are less social expectations from adults and very young kids). Most are confused in a world that they don't understand.

    Aspie/autistic interventions can be extremely helpful even to adults who were never diagnosed. His quirkiness reminds me very much of my own seventeen yaer old son who doesn't really share the interests of his peers and only has friends from school (he doesn't see them outside of school). We are going to get him adult services when he turns eighteen. I think he will mostly be independent, but may need a little help and special job placement, even though he is book smart. He is clueless about social skills and life skills and THAT is the autism spectrum, higher functioning.

    I would take him to a neuropsychologist, if he is willing to go, for a complete assessment and not listen right now to the psychiatrist. A psychiatrist delayed our correct diagnosis for years and most just don't recognize it when they see it.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do. I'm going to connect a link for you...remember NO Aspies have ALL the Aspie traits. Many also do very well after treatment. Although he hit your daughter, I feel it is somewhat regretful she called the police, although I get why she did it. If he IS on the spectrum, it will probably scare him a lot and may not teach him not to do it again. Aspies, until they are either medicated or understand their disorder, have a much harder time with impulse control.

    Here is a small part of the link at the bottom of the page, explaining why Aspies seem to act "strange."
    Not Understanding How the World Works
    Your Asperger child has a neurocognitive disorder that affects many areas of functioning. This includes a difficulty with the basic understanding of the rules of society, especially if they are not obvious. Life has many of these rules. Some are written, some are spoken, and some are learned through observation and intuition. Your child only knows what has been directly taught to him through books, movies, TV shows, the Internet, and explicit instructions. He is not able to sit in a room, observe what is happening, and understand social cues, implied directions, or how to "read between the lines," and as he is growing up, he does not learn how to do this. Instead, he learns facts. He does not "take in" what is happening around him that involves the rest of the world, only what directly impacts him.
    Many of the conversations he has had have generally been about knowledge and facts, not about feelings, opinions, and interactions. As a result, he does not really know how the world works and what one is supposed to do in various situations. This can apply to even the smallest situations you might take for granted. Not knowing the unspoken rules of situations causes anxiety and upset. This leads to many of the behavioral issues that appear as the Asperger child tries to impose his own sense of order on a world he doesn't understand.
    The Asperger child creates his own set of rules for everyday functioning to keep things from changing and thereby minimize his anxiety. Sometimes, he just makes up the rules when it is convenient. Other times, he attempts to make them up by looking for patterns, rules, or the logic of a situation to make it less chaotic for him and more predictable and understandable. If there are no rules for an event or situation, he will create them from his own experiences based on what he has read, seen, or heard. He will often have a great deal of information to use in reaching his conclusions and forming his opinions and feelings. As a result, some of his conclusions are correct and some are wrong.
    He will rarely consider someone else's point of view if he does not consider them to be an "expert." The fewer people he sees as experts, the more behavioral difficulty you will see. He might consider teachers and others to be experts, but his parents will rarely be seen as such. Therefore, he will argue with you about your opinions if different from his own. He thinks that his opinion is as good as yours, so he chooses his. This represents his rigid thinking. He finds it difficult to be flexible and consider alternate views, especially if he has already reached a conclusion. New ideas can be difficult to accept ("I'd rather do it the way I've always done it"). Being forced to think differently can cause a lot of anxiety.
    You must never overestimate your Asperger child's understanding of a situation because of his high intellectual ability or his other strengths. He is a boy who needs to figure out how the world works. He needs a road map and the set of instructions, one example at a time.


    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    IFB - welcome to our home!

    First things first, I'd like to send you LOTS of hugs. All of us have, at one time or another, felt like we are the only one in this situation. And ya know - all of our situations differ, but we all have something in common. Our "Gifts from God"... aka problem children.

    From what I have managed to pick up in the last 18 months, ODD seems to be a catchall/cop-out diagnosis. It's what a lot of kids get labeled with when the psychiatrists just don't know what is going on. (in my opinion, every teen is oppositional and defiant, just ours seem to be more so). That said, there may - or may not - be more to it.

    What's his history with psychiatrists like? Intermittent, or fairly steady? As for hitting his sister - how bad was it, and is this something that has happened a lot in the past?

    OK, I'll be the first to admit, I'm no expert. I'm still learning, myself. And lots of the other people here know a LOT more than I do. So I'll stop now - and let the ones with more knowledge ask/answer. In the meantime, as I mentioned before - WELCOME!
  4. ifeelbad

    ifeelbad Guest

    Thank you so much for both of your replies. Stepto2 he has not seen too many doctors or for long periods of time. This psychologist is the longest about 3 months every 2 weeks. No, he didn't hurt his sister very badly in fact they very quickly got over it. If police weren't involved then he wouldn't be going to see the therapist now so maybe it was ok although I often feel so ashamed about the whole court thing.

    I did go check out the Asperger's link too. Thank you for suggesting it.

    Most of all I wish I didn't feel so scared about this and overwhelmed. I will continue to be very supportive and loving towards him. A good idea I picked up from that site was to go through what is likely to occur in a situation before you do it. I'll see how it goes.
  5. Seandmc

    Seandmc Guest

    Wow, my heart goes out to you. I had many of these days and many recently. He sounds so much like my adopted kid, who after 11 years was diagnosed correctly with PTSD from the abuse he took with his bio dad. Mine was so into Runescape to that we had to nix it, he is no longer allowed to play. But of course he finds other things with which to escape from his past, Xbox, facebook, you tube, it always has to be a screen of some sort. Good doctor's and therapists are few and far between, and if I've learned anything from our long ordeal it is to locate and engage only the good ones. There is someone out there that can look at him and correctly diagnose him and provide good treatment. I wouldn't stick with anyone who is perplexed by him because there is someone who will no what is going on. Though he may specialize in teens, he may not have any experience with what is going on with your kid. That is just my two cents for what it is worth. But I can totally sympathize with you, there have been many a day in the past 11 years where I felt total despair. Keep your chin up.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Ifeelbad, welcome.
    I agree, your son sounds like he is on the autism spectrum, especially with-the comments from the psychiatric that your son sits differently and doesn't relate well to people.
    I would get a 2nd opinion from a dr who deals with-spectrum disorders. Once you know what's going on, you will feel so much better. You can get medications for your son's anxiety, but the rest is going to have to be hands-on social training.
    All the best,
    These kids can be brilliant. They just learn differently. He will find a job; just don't set your sites in a CEO position. :)
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I agree with Terry. Get a second opinion and meanwhile read about the high end of Autism Spectrum. I have an
    Aspergers 19 year old and he is a bit more than "quirky". He has never had a true friend but considers former classmates and new acquaintances as "friends". It's a bit of a telltale sign. Hugs. DDD
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Stick around, let us know how things are going. You're trying to carry this load alone and it is not helping you or your family. Here, we aren't doctors either and even if we were (or for those secret few who may be) we wouldn't be able to practice via tis site anyway. You need a patient in front of you for a formal consultation, or some way of properly assessing and testing them. Here, advice has to be more general. We can help with the more practical stuff, the parental hands on stuff, because collectively, there is a lot of experience here. Individually - we're you.

    So again, welcome.

  9. ifeelbad

    ifeelbad Guest

    Thanks everyone for responding to me. I woke up this morning feeling totally overwhelmed. I am feeling a bit better right now and I will clean up my kitchen.

    When I took B to a psychiatrist a couple of years ago she told us he does not have Aspbergers, she was certain of it. Now this psychologist well to be honest he did not say Aspbergers but he did say he has trouble connecting socially with his peers (true). He is still looking and observing B. He also is trying to provoke him, I presume to see his anger? (Because he is treating him for anger management as per court orders). By provoking him I mean he is telling B that he is not like other 17 year olds at all, and that some of the stuff he (B) is asking are stupid questions.

    How do I cope with this? I am worried for Bs's future and feeling like I may not be able to handle this. I am divorced and unfortunately we are fighting over the house right now. I want to be able to live in this house with the kids for just 3 more years.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ifb... Just curious about something. How long have you been divorced? If you are fighting over the house - that may have a bearing on B's problems.

    You see - and this is a major shot in the dark - but - husband and BM (kids BioMom) have an ongoing, raging battle over the kids and anything related to them. So many things have happened, so much has been said, that I know it has had an adverse impact on the kids. husband has full custody now, but until he got that far I watched him struggle NOT to say anything negative about BM, to NOT involve the kids, while she told them all sorts of things about him and I, threatened both of us and witnesses, has refused to pay ordered support, and has alienated Onyxx to the point where she refuses to visit and I am SURE that has a lot of bearing on Onyxx's behavior toward ME.

    SO, what I am trying to say through all of that, is - if your divorce is particularly nasty, the conflict may exacerbate B's already existing issues. Honestly? I consider myself a pretty "normal" person, good kid, easy child. But I can turn into a raging difficult child when things around me are stressful. ...And just because I know it, doesn't help me STOP it - but the coping mechanisms I've learned do.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm a little confused about your psychiatric trying to provoke B to see his anger. Telling him he is not like other 17-yr-olds is NOT a good way to provoke his anger. That should be told to him in a safe, low-key, logical tone. Very matter-of-fact. If you want to provoke your son to see his anger, it makes more sense to tell him he can have something or do something, and then tell him you changed your mind. That will set him off the track between constancy and change, which is a typical trigger, and also puts the blame on you rather than on him.
    Do NOT put the blame on him for being different. There is nothing he can do about it. He was born that way. There ARE things he can do to cope with-being different, and in some cases, to rise above it.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I missed how this psychologist is trying to provoke B. To be honest, he sounds like a big quack. Truly, I'd get a Neuropysch evaluation. I'm guessing, from the fact that he is seventeen and never tested, that somebody is or was sort of in denial or hoping nothing was/is really wrong with him or that he'd just outgrow it. Although this is a common mindset, it doesn't help the child and it's not too late to make it right. I would lose this therapist, who isn't helping, and see a neuropsychologist. Your son isn't being this way on purpose to get you angry. He isn't immature just because...there is a reason. He isn't socially clueless and friendless and different because he just isn't trying. He is really different and he needs a special kind of help which he won't get without a diagnosis. As it is, he is only going to think "I'm a loser" and this is exaggerated by the fact that he's now in the juvy system. And THEY will treat him like he is bad rather than as if he is a young adult with a disorder and that won't help one bit. Please...hurry...before he refuses all help, can't be reached, and acts like the loser he thinks he is.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm also unimpressed by this psychologist. "Anger management" should not require te patient to be made angry first. From my own experience with Asperger's & autistic kids, once they get angry they lose control (or have less control - may still have some, especially as they get older and more skilled). They do better when being shown ways to stay calm.

    My feeling here - this psychiatric doesn't understand or recognise Asperger's (and therefore is a bit noncommittal about whether he has it) and is compounding his lack of knowledge, with mishandling the anger management. I frankly don't see how triggering a rage can help someone learn how to control it, but since my only experience pretty much is with the Aspie side of thing, my situation is a mirror image of the psychiatric's.

    Aspie kids learn a different way. They often work very hard to find their own ways to learn. If the psychiatric is having a difficult time provoking a rage, then chances are, your son is a lot better at anger management (at least with the general public) than a lot of people. These kid tend to explode more with the people they feel safest with. "I know you love me unconditionally, even when I'm being hateful; and right now, I HAVE to explode because I've had enough."

    My boys have both learned ways to stay calm. Most of these ways are self-taught. M input into this has been to help them identify when their behaviour has been inappropriate.

    I know it took the court ordering, to get this help. Is there any way you can go back to the court and explain to them that this psychiatric seems to be making things worse? That perhaps trying to provoke someone with an anger problem, insulting them and putting them down, is perhaps bad therapy?

    In the meantime, work on things from your own angle. You also are a therapist, because you are a parent. A great book for parents who want to help their children, is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It made our lives so much easier and gave us tools to better teach difficult child 3 how to get on with people and keep his cool. The diagnosis doesn't matter, this book can help anyone ho has problems with this sort of behaviour.

  14. ifeelbad

    ifeelbad Guest

    Hmmm a lot to think about . I am not quite certain how I will handle it probably talk to the jerk, I mean psychologist? I am sure I can switch. Let him finish the anger management and then maybe talk about being finished???

    I'll have to give this some thought. I know B was upset by the things he said to him

    Divorce has been for 4 years now. The house thing has got both my kids upset. Of course. I will try to get that handled in some way as soon as possible.

    I have to say that on a positive note B is starting to show an interest in getting his driver's license. I have been taking him around driving and he is talking about buying a car. Early days yet but another carrot to be put in front of him to motivate him. I told him to drive himself to school everyday starting in the fall and he will get really good and get lots of experience. He also got the job he applied for at the fair again this year. There are positives and things to strive for, it is not all bad. I wish the therapist would understand that.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    One last time.
    Your son needs an evaluation. He isn't a normal young adult and he needs help.
    It's sad that you are not willing to find out what's wrong and get him the APPROPRIATE help he needs. Dangling a carrot in front of him, even getting him to drive, isn't going to make him understand the world or people. One day I am sure you will regret the decision to pretend that he is just a little behind. And this behavior is not because of a divorce since 50% of all kids live through divorce and are still able to make friends and socialize and work.
    I had to face it too, but it really paid off.
    I sure feel helpless trying to give advice, as if you aren't listening, so I won't anymore. Good luck. For your son's sake I hope you do look into a neuropsychologist evaluation and stop relying on therapists. They can not help him.
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Please rest assured that most of us have had to seek out better qualified experts in order to find help for our difficult child's
    and our families. Sometimes loving parents trust Pediatricians, General Practice MDs, school psychologists, teachers etc. etc. etc. and receive advise that is not on target. The Warrior Parent keeps seeking a true expert.
    It doesn't assure that your child will "get all better" but it does assure that you will know exactly what issues you have to deal with. Neuropsychologists and especially Psychiatrists who specialize in adolescents usually provide the proper guidance. I'm sorry you are in pain. Just make notes in a journal of each effort to find help (noting the time and person consulted)....chances are there will be a "lightbulb" moment when you will know in your own
    gut that you've found the right professional. Hugs. DDD
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    MidWestMom, it's early days for IFB, please be gentle. Remember the first stage in grieving is denial.

    If people looked at all We've done for our kids, especially for easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 1 (who wasn't diagnosed as Asperger's until he was about 14) they would be disgusted with me. There are some marvellous schools in Sydney, some great therapies. All we had to do to access it, was move across Sydney and hope for a place...
    We got told about Special Olympics, we got told about other Saturday morning opportunities (such as Rainbow Club swim classes for kids with disabilities) and I just couldn't keep up the pace.

    We left easy child 2/difficult child 2 to manage her own schooling while we poured all our energies into both boys. Our girls was cutting, but we didn't confront her with it. We just congratulated ourselves on having a kid who was doing OK in school and keeping her head down.

    IFB, your son does need a thorough evaluation by a neuropsychologist. He needs a GOOD evaluation (not the sot done by a school psychologist, they only do a quick skim job, a rough approximation then average out the scores regardless). A thorough evaluation takes all day, pretty much. If you really go over his problems, look at apparent physical issues too, such as whether he gets pain in his hands or wrists when trying to do long handwriting tasks. Yes, it can be relevant although it can take a senior specialist to see the connection.

    A thorough evaluation will test in every area of brain function. It is highly likely tat your son will do well in some areas but badly in other, subtle areas. For example, my kids did badly in an area called Coding, which simply involves transferring information from one point to another. And yet in other areas such as Logic and Expressive Vocabulary, they scored off the scale.
    When kids get such wide-ranging scores, there is obviously a defect there which needs to be identified. There are other subtle tests in each area when can then be done; for example, with the low Coding score, there were other tests that were then administered for difficult child 1 by a neuropsychologist, even though his initial assessment results were only from the school counsellor's assessment of him. From that, we were referred to a developmental optometrist who was able to get some improvement for difficult child 1 with specs.
    From what we have been able to determine, the low Coding score in our kid comes back to attention and memory. You use your short-term memory when transferring information form one place to another (such as writing down a phone number). For difficult child 1, this is almost non-existent, which has been a big problem for him all his life, he has hadn't find other ways to do these tasks. But for easy child 2/difficult child 2 to get a low Coding score - we could never understand why. And it is to our shame that we never went digging, we were too preoccupied with the boys.

    IFB, this needs to be done. Urgently. But I recognise that you also have this current psychologist locked in to some extent, until your son completes this anger management crud. Yes, he needs help with anger management, but he will probably do best if you can get him into something that has worked for us - cognitive behaviour therapy. It is very positive, it works towards positive goals rather than trying to break him down, as this guy seems to be trying to do.

    Something else that is really important - your son needs to know that he is NOT a bad person at heart, just someone who has a condition that has not been fully recognised before now. I remember the look of delighted amazement on difficult child 1's face when, aged 6, his doctor told him it was not his fault that he couldn't concentrate in class.

    If your son has Asperger's, it will be a blessing for him and for you to get the diagnosis. At his age is it good news. There are so many wonderful characteristics of someone with Asperger's or any other form of high-functioning autism. He ill need your help and it won't be easy at times, but there are some problems you will probably never have.

    People on the spectrum tend to be bad at lying. If you are vigilant and catch them out trying to lie, they soon learn not to lie especially if you keep encouraging and supporting the truth. This then leads to a total faith in honesty.
    Example from yesterday - difficult child 3 has been playing Mah Jong on the computer and wanted to play with me, with husband's Mah Jong set he bought when younger. So difficult child 3 set it all out, drew all the tiles out (without looking at them, he told me - I believe him) and asked, "Let's see who goes first. OK, I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10. Is it odd or even?"

    Now with most people, you can't play that fairly because it is too easy to mentally change the number you're thinking of and declare that the other person guessed wrong. But difficult child 3 is so honest, that not only would he not do that, he doesn't stop to think that other people might.

    It's not going to be easy getting your 17 yo son properly assessed, because at his age he has already adapted a great deal to his own way of coping with the world. But it is never too late. When you are trying to find some good help for him, you might actually need to look for someone who specialises in adolescents and young adults. Besides, he's going to age out of a specialist who deals mostly with pre-teens and teens, so look ahead and plan.

    Something also to consider - getting your daughter assessed. If Asperger's is looking possible, then chances are there are some high IQ issues in there in other family members. High IQ is a lot more subtle tan a single number; it is very much about what areas of achievement the person has. The same goes for your son - if he happens to be very bright, even if it's just in a couple of areas, life is going to be very frustrating for him if he has to put up with being treated like an idiot, or not allowed to fully develop where he craves more knowledge. Where there is Asperger's or autism in the family, there is also often high IQ also running in the family. But it can be hidden, especially by splinter skills. And in my book, any psychologist who averages out splinter skills (aka gifted but learning disabled) to the point where both the gift is hidden, as well as the disability - should be struck off. That phrase from the baptism ceremony, "Should anyone here put a stumbling block in the way of one of these little ones..." comes to mind.

    And just to let you know where my kids are now - difficult child 1, although his averaged IQ scores are about 120, but his splinter skills indicate he's closer to 140, has chosen to be a carpenter. He wants to work with his hands and not his brain, he said. I think because he feels he has to use his brain power so much just to cope with each day. But he is such a stickler for perfection and so obsessive, he is using these as tools to do a good job. He was looking for an apprenticeship for 7 years and finally got one. One place he was working at, put difficult child 1 in charge of the sanding booth because he could run his fingers over a piece of furniture and quickly find the areas needing attention.
    easy child 2/difficult child 2 is having more troubles now, trying to get teaching qualifications via college while working part-time as a grocery checkout girl. But her till always balances, because she keeps a running tally in her head, of all transactions. She thought everybody's brain works this way.
    And difficult child 3 - still at school, by correspondence. He has a slower pace because he needs it, but is greatly improving how he manages with writing tasks. His ultimate aim is to work with computers. And he's good with technology. He's just not good at it where schoolwork is concerned. He's very much a work in progress. I guess the ohters are too, although they're adults now.

    IFB, stick around, keep us posted on how things are going. We've given you a lot to take in, a lot for you to get your head around. You can do it. And as you do it, you will feel better.

  18. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    When I took B to a psychiatrist a couple of years ago she told us he does not have Aspbergers, she was certain of it

    sounds like appropriate action was taken over the years. there are several people here who's children had autism spectrum diagnosis's ruled out, over and over again.
    its not unusual--diagnosis in kids can be fluid and ever changing, and in my opinion, often depend on the diagnostician. there are many parents (if not a gigantic chunk of them) who
    actually think that a qualified doctor has the ability to make an accurate diagnosis. not everyone questions everything to death.

    i think i'd be concerned more about the statement that "B is very rare"....that, to me, speaks to professionals that arent used to dealing with difficult child's.

    you may need a change in B's team...people that have expertise in dealing with children. it may help to call some local autism support group to see who they reccommend. maybe he's on the spectrum, maybe not. neuropsychologist testing can help pinpoint areas of difficulty, but to my knowledge there is no "profile" of autism....there can be red flags that may point you in that direction, but not definitely diagnose.

    i'm sorry for you-its all so very overwhelming.

    but he is 17, so personally, i wouldnt wait a second longer to get to the heart of the issue.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I can relate to there being no "profile" of autism. difficult child 3 had a different teacher for each year of elementary school. His Grade 1 teacher was new to the school and I asked the principal to please arrange for us to meet her, or at least talk to her, before she first taught difficult child 3.
    The teacher told me that she "really understands autism, because one of my twin boys has high-functioning autism."
    I said, "difficult child 3 is different..."

    The teacher was supremely confident when we arrived for the first day. But when I arrived later to collect him, the first thing she said to me was, "He IS different, isn't he?"

    I later met her son. He was shy, withdrawn, needing to be in constant physical contact with either his mother or an assigned aide. difficult child 3 was outgoing, gregarious, talkative (even though he was very echolalic and not always making sense) and would happily hug someone if asked, if he chose to, but wouldn't seek out physical contact.

    difficult child 1 is Aspie, and was a lot more like the teacher's son at that age, plus he was animal-phobic to the point of screaming hysteria if there was a chance of even the cutest puppy or kitten coming into physical contact with him (or even looking at him). Now he loves animals, at one point was studying to be a zookeeper.

    They're all different.

  20. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi ifeelbad, welcome. I like your username. ifeelbad too! But we want to change to wefeelfab.

    That will take time though. You've already got some great advice.

    I read that you are on overwhelm -- I hate overwhelm. I don't operate well from that state (which I'm in fairly often). It's overwhelming! (LOL)

    Maybe take a step back and take a day or two off. Let things sink in. Get your head and heart together and prioritize a little. Make a sketchy plan. Make a few phone calls. Once you do this, things will start happening. I recommend getting a little journal and keep track of the things (like phone calls) you do every day for your son. Who you called, what they said. Any thoughts or insights you've had about your son from what he said or did. A pattern will form and you can get important clues.

    I keep a journal for myself too, of how I am feeling. Not every day, and sometimes just a word or two. Keep yourself in the picture. You don't want to look in the mirror one day and not see anything. It can happen!

    I also think family dynamics is worth keeping in mind, as they sure can cause anger, agitation.

    HTH some.

    by the way what's B's family history in the psychiatric or neurodevelopmental realm? That should give you a lot of clues. Grandma, great-grandma, aunts, you and his dad etc. That's always one of the first places to start -- genetics. Also any significant history from B's early development -- birth trauma, hit his head etc. You can probably diagnose B better than the therapist at this point.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010