I give up

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by GB_42_XYZ, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. GB_42_XYZ

    GB_42_XYZ Member

    Hello all,

    I am married with 2 boys. Boy One is 17 and is ready to head off to college. He is just about what every parent would wish for, well behaved, honor roll, respectful, trustworthy, etc. Boy Two is 15 and just the opposite. He was diagnosed in elementary school with ADHD. He has always been a difficult child. Now he is getting worse. He's a freshman in high school and has been into just about everything. We have been to school 3 or 4 times already this year to deal with him. Thus far it's been fighting and stealing. He denies everything and takes no blame or responsibilty for anything. He steals money from us and Boy One. He uses it to buy pot, which he smokes pretty regularly. He has the ability to easily get addicted to something. He has seen the inside of a police station at least twice.
    Last night we had a major incident. Boy One accuses Two of stealing money out of his car (which I'm sure he did). Of course he denies it. My wife spent the next few hours trying to reason with him and figure things out(in other words, just talking a lot, while getting cursed at a lot). It gets to the point where he decides to just leave and go over to a friends house. My wife comes up with the idea of taking him to his grandmothers house for a few days. By the end of the 40 minute car ride he decides he's not going to stay at grandma's and my wife realizes it's not the best idea. So we try to reason with him again. Bad idea, his ability to talk reasonably has been long gone. It ends with us parked in a gas station parking lot, me considering walking away from everything. We somehow made it back home alive.
    You would think a nights sleep he would be a little cooler, but no. I heard him on the phone talking to one of his "friends". He was asking him to go snowboarding. "I got to check with my rents" he says. Meaning I'm going to ask them and if they say no I'm going to be a total @%@$ all day. We haven't talked to him yet. I don't plan on it. He walked into the bathroom and I heard him mumble "You f'n bit@h". He hasn't even seen either one of us so far this morning.

    I want to send him away. He is on a bad path right now and will probably end up in jail or dead if he doesn't change. I don't know what to do. We don't have anyone that can help. I'm looking for advice. We have tried a couple of different psychologists with no success.

    Anyone tried boarding schools? Wilderness camps? Anything?

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Welcome, and I'm sorry you have to be here.

    I personally never tried boarding schools or wilderness camps. in my opinion the wilderness camps sound like just a short-term thing, and not a fix. I know NOTHING about boarding schools. It sounds like he needs therapy, not discipline. I'd go the residential treatment route before trying a boarding school. The way he is now, he will probably just get thrown out and it sounds like he needs a lot of high supervision. I have a few questions that can help us give you better suggestions.

    First of all, throughout your Boy 2's life has he had any neuropsychologist evaluations to see if more is going on than ADHD? Are there are psychiatric problems on either side of the family tree OR substance abuse? Sad to say, he may be doing more than pot. I had a druggie daughter who has since quit--but she is very honest about the drug times with me. Most kids say, "I'm just smoking pot" and hope their parents believe it and they usually do, but it is often just the tip of the ice berg. Scarilyl, ADHD medications are highly abused. My daughter abused them. THey are crushed in pillcrushers and snorted either alone or with other stuff, then they need downers for sleep. Also, are you his biological father? Is he willing to be in any therapy?

    You may want to post a signature like I have below.
  3. GB_42_XYZ

    GB_42_XYZ Member

    Thank you for your reply.

    No, he has never been evaluated for anything over than ADHD. You are probably right about the therapy.
    Yes, I am his biological father.
    As far as substance abuse, neither myself or my wife as ever done anything like that. From what I can remember MY biological father died from something related to substance abuse. He died when I was a baby. Not sure if that matters.

    #2 has been fairly okay up until high school, where he has gained more freedom. He doesn't make good choices. His biggest problem is he doesn't accept any responsibilty for anything he does (unless you have videotape proof).
  4. GB_42_XYZ

    GB_42_XYZ Member

    "You may want to post a signature like I have below."

    What do all the acronyms mean? difficult child, daughter, DS, etc.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi again. There is a genetic predisposition toward addiction. That's why we asked. Also, mood disorders tend to run in families with addiction, whether or not the person was diagnosed. Some kids get out of hand in high school. Sometimes it is due to substance abuse. I'd be carefully watching that. Unfortunately, it can slip up on you--it did us.

    difficult child= Gift from God (or our difficult child)
    daughter (dear daughter)
    DS (dear son)
    wife/husband (dear wife/dear hub)
    easy child (child who is on the right path or Precious Child)
  6. compassion

    compassion Member

    Welcome!!!! I laughed about trying to reason, this comes up all the tiem with my difficult child, also 15. She is currently in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). (resisential tratment center). I reccomend adolscent psychiatrisyt, someone that understands mood disorders. I am also getting lots of help from NAMI. Al-anon is a huge help too. I identify with your concerns about criminal justice system or dead. That is why difficult child is in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Look at yur insurance coverage for psychiatric hospital. Compassion
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It is very, very rare for an ADHDer not to have at least one co-existing condition. Psychologists know this; why they don't tell parents is beyond me.

    I'm still ticked at difficult child's 1st psychologist about this. He diagnosed ADHD, prescribed Adderall and told us if difficult child continued to have behavior problems to come back, "we can turn him around in six months." He was full of bull. difficult child was 6 yrs old at the time.

    I favor multidisciplinary evaluations. There's a thread on the FAQ board regarding MDEs. I believe the General Archives has a thread on neuropsychological evaluations.

    Not one professional told me about multimodal treatment plans either.

    http://www.greatschools.net/pdfs/2200_7-barktran.pdf?date=4-12-05 is a transcribed lecture from Barkley on ADHD. It has some very good information and also addresses co-existing conditions in ADHDers.

    I learned a long time ago that I couldn't reason with-difficult child when he was 5 yrs old. You'd think after all these years, I stop trying to reason with-him as a 15 yr old. lol But I keep hoping that the planted seeds will take root and grow at some point in time. Common sense is not consistently my difficult child's strong suit.

    Welcome aboard!
  8. dadside

    dadside New Member

    Hi! You've found an excellent place.

    ADHD often is only part of the story, and as already noted "I'm just smoking pot" is the tip of the iceberg. My daughter was just smoking pot -- at the beginning. I guess she didn't smoke the pills - just swallowed them! At any rate, you see clearly where your son is headed.

    We tried all we could find locallly. Interestingly, many people you'd expect to be knowledgable about the issues and options for addressing them weren't familiar with what was available. And some of those who did know something were reluctant to act -- to look like controlling costs, perhaps. So, doing your own probing is the right move.

    I am familiar with wilderness programs and therapeutic boarding schools (TBS), the latter also called emotional growth boarding schools (EGBS) or residential treatment centers. Note however that not all RTCs are boarding schools! There is a considerable range of styles in each type of program. Wilderness programs are usually expensive on a per-week basis, although the good ones are worth it. Some TBSs require wilderness first -- sort of to "break" or "break in" the kids. Some others find it unnecessary. My daughter graduated high school from an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). That particular place had 24/7 supervision, and exterior access was locked.

    There are a great many options, so you need to consider your son's needs, existing or potential other interests, and a list of other factors. You also need to consider costs, and possible third-party funding. Where you live could well affect the possibility of getting your local school to fund part of the cost (so long as they don't see drug use as the issue). I've heard most insurance companies won't pay for most of these programs, although some do.

    None of these programs "fix" anything. All decent ones provide therapy in different forms; it's not just a strict discipline environment. And you should look for two-way family involvement, as family is important to him even if it doesn't show now, and he'll come home sometime and need support.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi GB_42. Welcome.
    I am so sorry about what you are going through.
    I have to agree with-the others, that your difficult child has only a minimal diagnosis and needs more exams, more tests, etc.
    I sent my son to a very expensive wilderness camp last summer. They alternated 3 days in wilderness, 4 days at base camp for school work, for an entire month. It was excellent! But we can't afford to do it again this yr. :(
    I agree with-dadside that these programs don't fix anything. They provide your difficult child with-structure, learning situations, new environments, supervised physical activities, and ways to challenge himself. Typcally they have ropes courses and rock climbing, which help build self esteem. In fact, they did virtually all the same things that my husband did at a corporate retreat for team building.
    But once your difficult child comes home, he's still a difficult child. The camp should give you an exit interview, with-difficult child sitting there, to discuss high poiints and low points, and programs they used that you can put in place at home.
    You've got to continue with-the new programs (or therapy, if you will) or you'll slide back to square one.
    The issues your son has deal with-his basic personality and underlying issues, as well as drug use.
    Sending him to a wilderness camp should help with-the drug use. They typically do clothing checks, and do not allow pants with-8 millions pockets. :)
    Also, do not send your son away by telling him that he is "bad." He is being sent to a very special place to help him learn new skills, make new friends and develop new behavior strategies.
    There is no way any kid would believe he's being sent away if he is bad when he gets to go caving, rock climbing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting and camping!!!!