I "spoke" too soon....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JKF, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Earlier I posted that we were having better days and I hoped it continued. Well, I spoke too soon! Way too soon!!! I picked difficult child #2 up from school earlier and his teacher came out and told me what a horrible day he had. AGAIN! He's rude, talks back, refuses to do work, etc. I just sat with him and calmly asked him why he's not behaving. He told me "because I want to do what I want to do and they won't let me". He's 11 years old and knows right from wrong. He was doing really well for a while and he's regressed right back to where he was in the beginning.

    We have tried rewarding him for positive behavior. That doesn't work. We have tried punishing for negative behavior. That doesn't work. We've yelled. Doesn't work. We've tried talking calmly. Nope. Doesn't work! Nothing seems to work with him! Not one single thing!

    He has a behaviorist and aide at school and even both of them are out of ideas! Nothing is working and it sucks!!!! Uggggh! I'm so frustrated!
  2. rdland

    rdland New Member

    Does he maybe need a medication change or adding another medication? It sounds like his medications are not doing too much for him right now.
  3. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    I'm going to sound like a broken record. But...
    If the behavior interventions are having no impact, then maybe it doesn't start with a behavior problem.
    Maybe... there's something else going on.

    We've had years where difficult child was totally burned out... four days into the school year - and went downhill from there.
    And it wasn't a behavior problem - although the school sure treated it like one.

    Please consider whether hidden disabilities may be at play here.
    If they are, your difficult child will not necessarily have any clue that these are the problem. (for a whole range of reasons, including being told he is lazy, or lieing, or worse, for trying to self-advocate...)

    Example: Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) - especially auditory figure ground. Kid has to put so much effort into trying to figure out what the teacher is saying that... either they don't catch the meaning, or only get part of it, or end up so burned out that they can't handle anything...

    Somehow, you have to figure out WHAT is sending him off the deep end.
    And yes, it WILL be something to do with his school day.
    And no, school will have NO idea what that is.
  4. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    We just talked. I wouldn't let him leave the table until he explained to me why he was misbehaving. He finally broke down and told me it's because he's mad and angry inside about his bio dad. His bio dad was abusive and he's now in prison and both difficult child's have been greatly affected by the whole thing.

    I don't think he has anything like Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). I think it's more emotional and anger based behavioral problems. We are going to see our neurologist again next Tuesday and I will ask if he thinks he has anything other than ADHD but I've asked before and have been assured that he does not. I think what I need to do now is find a good therapist for him and get him there weekly to talk! He said he feels better now that he got it out about his dad so I think it will only help if he can do it more often!
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sweetie, first of all, (((((hugs))))). raising a difficult child is so dang HARD!!!!!

    Seeing the neuro is a good idea, but they are NOT the ones to tell you if difficult child has anything but a problem with seizures or other neurological problems. They simply are not trained to do the testing to see what else is going on. They sure cannot rule out auditory problems - way way out of their field of expertise. they may understand hwo the problems work, but they just can't test for it.

    Your son needs complete testing. This means up to 12 HOURS of testing with a neuropsychologist (therapist with special training in how the brain impacts behavior), sensory testing with an occupational therapist, testing for speech and auditory issues, and more as indicated by what they find. He also need to see a therapist to work through his feelings. He needs YOU to work with a therapist to learn to help him and to handle your feelings about what he is doing, how he is treating you and everyone else, and your feelings for/about his father.

    He also needs a psychiatrist to treat any mental illness like bipolar, etc.... that is going on. there is a HUGE genetic component to mental illness and we just do not get it.

    In the meantime, read "The explosive child" (if you have not) and also explore Love and Logic. I would normally suggest "Parenting your Teen with Love and Logic" but they may have other books that also are super helpful. You can learn more about L&L at Love and Logic - Helping Parents and Teachers Raise Responsible Kids. in my opinion this book is a MUST and every parent on the planet needs to read it. I also think teachers need to read their stuff for teachers. This is the ONLY parenting book that my husband got anything out of and that we could be on the same page with. It is just incredible because it stresses logical consequences while strengthening the loving bond between parent and child. in my opinion that is HUGE.

    I went to a love and logic seminar a few years back. It seemed mostly geared to teachers which was a bit of a disappointment, but I still learned a LOT from it. Dr. Charlie Sr told us about a technique where we give the child a chore to be responsible for. If the teen doesn't do it, we hire somoene to do it. We tell the teen that Mr. A will be here to do this at this time and you will need to pay him Y amt. If teen (of course) does NOT pay Mr. A, then the parent pays and takes something of the teen's to the pawnshop. Teen is then given the pawn ticket and told that they can have their xbox or whatever back as soon as they pay the pawnbroker. Parent is matter of fact, as if they are discussing scrubbing a sink or other routine matter. Of course teen will be furious. If teen damages something of parents or tries to pawn something of parents, parent calls the police because that is vandalism or theft.

    At this point in the audience a guy in his late 20s blurted out "So THAT is why she did it!" This was NOT a plant (it was a guy my father in law knows - father in law was a vice principal for a long time and knows a TON of people). The entire audience laughed, but we saw how POWERFUL that strategy is. The man's mother was a teacher and he was a difficult child. Mom went to a L&L seminar when he was a teen and she used the tools and they WORKED. Of course the kid blew up, was furious that mom pawned his stuff, that he couldn't steal her stuff to get his back, etc.... He also says that it was the day the tides turned and he started to change from teenage difficult child to successful educator working with at-risk teens, which is where he was when we were all at the seminar.

    I was sold long before that. I went to the seminar with the mom and gma of one of my daughter's bffs - who is a easy child and has a total difficult child sister. The sister is younger and just is challenging. But these methods gave her parents the tools and strength to stand up and insist on good behavior.

    THIS is a reason I suggest L&L.

    You have a long way to go with your sons. They are so young, and it may not seem like it but there is hope. When Wiz was 12 and 13 I really, deep down, thought the BEST my brilliant, amazing son would have in his future was jail instead of prison. He was so violent to us, and toward many females. Now? He is a college student with a 4.0 GPA, has had the same job for 4 yrs, plus at times has held a second job, and he is a great person who is fun to be around and is an amazing big brother!

    It doesn't get better than that, in my opinion.

    So get the other testing, read the books, find the right people to help, and stay part of this group of parents. I KNOW it is hard. I KNOW it tears your heart out and terrifies you. But there IS hope.
  6. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    THANK YOU so much susiestar!!! When we go to the pediatrician on Tuesday I will ask if she can give me a referral so he can get some testing done and also a referral to a psychiatrist. I need to know NOW if he has any other problems besides ADHD so we can help him! I know he's miserable too and I don't want this to affect his self-esteem! He's doing amazing academically....all A's except for a B in writing....but behaviorally he's a mess.

    I am definitely going to order that book. Right now as a matter of fact. It seems to be right along the ally of what we're looking for so I hope it helps!

    Just so you know, reading your reply gave me some much needed hope. It's wonderful to hear how great your son is doing! Right now things seem so hopeless here and it's nice to know that things can improve and are not necessarily set in stone! Thank you again! I appreciate it more than you'll ever know!
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi JKF... OH I so know that feeling of having the rug pulled out like that. WHen I first posted here, I joined because I could relate, but was not having one of those awful times and within a month, the roof caved in.

    I so agree with your plan to get a full evaluation. (by the way did you see my post that on amazon.com I got good used copy of the explosive child for under 3 bucks and even the new copies were cheap...I look for "good" condition books and have never had a problem. maybe a highlight on a page or so but nothing that has made the book yucky ever) Yes, there is definitely hope and I am really hopeful for you. You are open and searching and you listen to your son! THAT is huge. It sure seems like a complex problem crossing all domains and I can so relate to that.

    So what can we do??? It all seems like too much in the big picture. But if we go at it step by step and help every little possible thing that can contribute, that is in my humble opinion the way to go at it and to keep OUR sanity in the process. We are lucky that even without full evaluation of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) since I knew he had Language processing disorder and we had our law/school advocate... I would jump on the opportunity that they may want to cooperate on an intervention and it is paying off so far. ONly a few days but I have not had to go get him and have not had a call from school in three days.. you know how crazy that is. I know I will get a call but three days is the longest in a month. I have hope. He also has had less itchy issues due to the right cream. I also went to the ortho to have his retainer that was bugging him adjusted. Just every little detail. It is exhausting but it makes such a huge difference.

    There are also of course those big issues as with his feelings. It is great he coudl tell you that, but I will just caution, we have taught our kids that they need to answer Why? when they do things... they learn they need to come up with an answer. But the truth is they may not always know.... some of those hidden things and multiple little things may be hard for them to relate to why they are having tough days. So for sure address the obvious and listen to him, that will go a long way....but stick to your plan to rule out any other issues.

    You did great! It is awful to hear that from the teacher, heart sinking moments are just no fun. He is lucky to have you as his mom and best advocate.