I wish I knew what to do

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by family mum, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. family mum

    family mum New Member

    I'm s. tired of living this way! During one of recent large scale meltdowns I removed all the remotes to the PS2 . I told difficult child that access to this would be completely removed until his displays of violence are under control. ( The games he plays on it are all war games, Call of Duty, Modern Warfare etc.) This morning he started off ok. he was reading on my tablet and a little later we sat down together and played a couple of games of backgammon. Every so often he was asking if he could play video games. I answered, "yes, on the Wii." Of course, that is not what he was looking for. All the kids have chores on the week-end and we were trying to get them going on them. Naturally it's not too popular with any of them. difficult child started squawking that he was't going to do them, although he did go down and bring up his clean clothes to his room eventually, even if he didn't put them away.
    I got into some head butting with my oldest. It was a stupid, typical loud power struggle with a 16yr old (Jo) but naturally given difficult child already being in a rumbling stage, he drew himself into it and started swearing. My eldest started yelling at difficult child and I'm sure you can all imagine how it deteriorated from there! difficult child knew that the remotes were in Jo's room and was determine to search it, Jo naturally didn't want him in there. They got physical, we intervened. difficult child started on his path to destruction (OMG u should see his room now!). These days I don't cope very well so I went off to shower leaving husband to handle things., when I came back out difficult child had gone off rip-sticking in the rain. When he arrived back I greeted him and explained that we were heading to an electronics store to replace his sis's cell phone and did he want to come. He agreed.

    Off we went. it took forever!!! There was only 1 person working in the dept. and we decided to update mine at the same time by taking a family phone. (GHG was also offered a phone but insisted he did not want one.) difficult child was bored within 15 minutes. still he did pretty well because I kept suggesting that he head to various spots in the strip mall, first to run an errand for me, next to go look for new runners, next to go get sandwiches at Subways, and finally by offering to head over to the mall next to find the runners ( excuse me, Skate Shoes) that he wanted... you get the picture.

    Any ways, I thought we had managed pretty well, but..

    As soon as we were home he started in again about the video games. I gave him exactly same answer as earlier which of course he still didn't like. he started complaining, alternately about wanting to play videos and being hungry ( get a snack, the ribs will take a while). fast forward, Sis was heading to her room and difficult child decided to block her way, she screeched, he slapped her 3 times, we intervened, things got ugly. ( I think he did something to my bedroom door, but I refuse to go look right now. Things have calmed down again, I don,t know why, but if anyone speaks, he tells them to shut up.

    So, now we are 5 family members, each plugged into various electronic, husband and I are into the wine and I'm afraid to call everyone to the table because then there will be interaction and I don,t think I can stand it!

    Whew! I need to get all that off my chest. Ok, I'm going to be a brave lady and announce, dinner. Wish me luck, Lynne
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    ((((HUGS)))) Have some more wine :wine:

    I can totally relate to the "shut up" syndrome. When son is irritated, he can't even handle anyone speaking in a normal tone about normal things. When his nerves are frayed, normal talk becomes like nails on a chalkboard. When it's really bad or lasting for too long, I send him to his room. Otherwise his sisters and I do our best to be quiet until he calms down. Knowing it's more of a sensory thing, makes it easier to work around and reduces the obnoxiousness of the behavior/comment.

    Yeah, sounds like he's stuck big time on those war games. I had let son play them with the caveat that if he started using that language or started violently posturing I would take them away. Even the ones he's paid for. Unfortunately, that doesn't help you any, does it? Have you tried redirecting him to a different activity? Have him write a story about those video games (it's called fan fiction) of maybe design his own video game. Doesn't have to do the software part, but write the story of what happens in the game. I know it doesn't necessarily get him away from the violence, but it taps a different part of the thinking brain. When's the last time you heard of a study saying that kids are more aggressive from reading violent books? It may reduce the angst from separating from his games.
  3. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Okay, we got through dinner and it was even pretty pleasant, Yeah!

    I never thought about the writing thing. he loves to read and lately he's been claiming that he would like to an English teacher someday. I really don't see it, but who am I to discourage him? It (fan fiction) might be some thing I could suggest some time when he isn't so stuck. If I tried it now he would see right through me, guessing that I had ulterior motives and then, even if he thought the idea was cool. he would reject it. I'll keep it in my back pocket though for future use. Thanks.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Ok I have tried to reply three times...ARRRGGGGG....

    First time Q was in his third rage of the day and I had to close the computer.

    second time teh computer just froze.

    I was much more sympathetic before that all happened, suffice it to say I can totally relate and am hating my life right now. I just told a HUGE lie to get him to stop coming at me...that I WAS planning on a go cart trip but since he is being such a jerk to me we are not going anywhere. He is now obsessed with it and trying to be good. Not going to work which I am sure will bite me in the butt unless I can convince him that if he really wants it then he has to earn it with no more awful behavior like he has done all day.

    I lost it on a jogger today.... I was driving and didn't notice a stop sign till the last minute but did see it and stopped. It is raining here so I slid a tiny bit and he was not even to the sign where he would need to cross the street, he was over 20 feet away but I waited for him (and his chick) to come and as they crossed the street he starts yelling at me. I rolled down my window and said, really, you have never stopped short and almost missed a stop sign. He just kept yelling and so ALL of the RAGE I was feeling toward my son but have to control all of the time came out.... I screamed that he was a f-ing this and that and so glad he never makes mistakes...it was all very immature and something I have NEVER done to anyone in my life ever....known or unknown. Q did not make a sound. NOT ONE PEEP. By then I had had my hair pulled been bumped into over and over in a store, been called ever word in the book and had tried to drive home and forget the trip. Then he went nuts so I couldn't go home because the neighbors would see and it would be a bigger problem...uggg he finally calmed so that is why I was going to my dad's and that is when the jogger incident hit. I think that guy wont yell at a middle aged mom ever again. LOL.

    Yeah, I think it is time to learn to drink.
  5. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Hi Buddy, I've moved on to tea now.

    Isn't it funny how we are trying to get our kids to control their reactions to the world but sometimes we can't? I know what it is like to reach your end so you just explode at the nest person, more often than not, it's not our difficult child but some other unsuspecting fool who crosses our path at the wrong time. After the fact, it sometimes ( not always, LOL, I'm not always so self aware) gives me a glimmer into what difficult child must be feeling when they react, it's just their fuses burn so much quicker than ours!

    Don't beat yourself up over the jogger. To quote my son's favourite phrase - he deserved it! As you said, next time he might think twice before displaying his version of road rage.

    ( Little aside here, I'm typing on a French keyboard so I regularly replace an apostrophe with a comma. I keep going back trying to catch and correct them all, but when I miss, pardon my French, as they say.)
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    "Shut up!" seems to be a favorite phrase for my difficult child, too. He also says it when his nerves are frayed and he's right on the cusp of melting. I'm glad to hear that dinner went better than you thought it would. I hope the rest of the night went well.
  7. family mum

    family mum New Member

    We rented an old movie, Back to the Future, with the kids so last night continued ok, But this morning he is back asking me to play videos on PS2 again. He has asked at least 30 times in a 10 minute span. I went on the phone for a bit, be stopped and started right back up after I hung up. he keeps saying that I should loose something too and that he's going to take my laptop. It,s going to be another long day! And unfortunately there is no school tomorrow and 3 h psychiatric. appointments on tues. and wed. morning, so there won,t be any respite for a while.
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    That's funny that your difficult child says that he's going to take your lap top away (not funny, ha ha, but funny ironic) because my difficult child says that, too. "Why don't YOU lose anything when you're bad?!" Because, my dear CHILD, I am the PARENT and I don't have to lose anything since I am the one that makes the rules.

    I have often wondered what these kids will be like when they are the parents trying to deal with their own difficult children.
  9. family mum

    family mum New Member

    I'm still in the stage where I'm trying to find help/solutions in books. I just walked up to my room and pretended to take a shower by turning on the fan and and cold water. No audience so he disappeared downstairs to watch TV. Having reminded myself with the strategies of bouncing/distracting and to go "low and slow" I came back out. Of course, peace did not reign downstairs because he started annoying his sister. So off I went, saying that I was going to make some banana bread so he bit the bait and asked to help. Problem averted right? Nope. I don't have enough flour. So, plan B. I get him interested in a cake mix. Currently he is filling the muffin tins for cup cakes. I'm trying to leave him to do it independently but I'm still close and I'm running back and forth between writing this and overseeing him.
    The thing is, I can probably (might, maybe) keep him from hitting a meltdown today if I'm prepared to be super vigilant and be his constant source of entertainment. Oops scratch that. Cup cakes are in the over for the nest 12 minutes and he is back insisting about the video games. I stayed seated (low) I kept my voice soft and slow. I offered a measurable way for him to earn back his privilege ( 7 days no violence = 30 minutes access, any future incident of violence looses him the next 30 minutes of access). he started arguing still that I should loose the lap top as well. I ignored the comment, he threw a pillow in my face. I said that is an act of violence. He said that since he already lost to day that there was no point in stopping and kicked me repeatedly ( no force, more like poking a bear). husband came up and said if I won't stop him will. ( very helpful, meet confrontation with more confrontation). I picked up lap top and new cell and headed up to my room.
    Of course, timer is beeping, he has retaliated by spilling my coffee on my desk and living room rug.

    I can here crashing, yelling, crying and I'm afraid to go down
  10. family mum

    family mum New Member

    OMG I'm shaking. I did go down difficult child and husband were really going at it! difficult child was kicking over chairs, end tables, throwing trays. husband went off the deep end, holding, difficult child to try to control him and screaming at top of his lungs. difficult child kicking and biting and hitting in return. I tried again low and slow, difficult child went at me, spit at me, husband went again at difficult child... I finally got husband to be quiet and told difficult child that he could go to him room or go out but ANY damage to anything and I was calling for transport to the hospital. he went outside, pretend to go rip sticking but instead stomped all on new grass and knocked over our fire pit.

    Now back in, made sure he let us know about the damage he,s done. Agreed to watch TV promising no damage. he's been up, digging the cupcakes out of the oven, icing one and eating it.

    husband id tellinh me that he is at point that difficult child goes or he goes. What do I do with that?
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    Sorry sweetie, I can't write what's going through my head.

    You said you're in "the book phase"? Does that mean you don't have anyone in therapy? No counseling? No services of any kind? If that's the situation, you need to get everyone into therapy ASAP. He's got a recent AS diagnosis? you all need to learn how to deal with this. Books are fine, but nothing beats hands on training. You could be missing just one tiny seemingly insignificant thing which should make a world of difference, but you won't know it unless someone points it out to you.

    A perfect example just happened recently to buddy. She very casually in conversation stated that "life was short" This sent her son into a fit of anxiety for two days while she figured out that it was this statement that triggered him. Once she identified the trigger she was able to talk to Q and calm his anxieties. This is one of those things that "normal" ppl don't think twice about, but difficult children think differently, and you (and the whole family) need help learning how difficult child thinks. Once you get into his world, you can bring him into your world.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sweetie, someone is going to end up HURT if this continues any longer. I totally understand your husband's position. It is hard for him to see his wife treated so horribly and then to have her get upset when he tries to stop the abuse of her. I think many men would react the way your husband did.

    Right this very second you need to decide something. in my opinion it should be that ANY violence or property damage results in a call to the police for charges to be pressed. He simply isn't learning that he can't do this garbage from what you and husband can do at home. I don't think it is all due to the AS either. I think he probably believes there isn't a dang thing you can do to stop him. I would go to the police station and speak to someone there about what they will do if you call them. different areas handle things differently. But ANY violence should be the END of the good things/fun things for him. You may want the cops to take him to the ER or psychiatric hospital for emergency admit, though often they are calm and fine by the time they are seen at a hospital and they get sent home. You may want the cops to just talk to him, or you may choose to press charges. Or they may have otehr ideas. You could do a Child in Need of Services petition (CHINS petition) through the court which would mean he gets a probation officer who can do a lot of different things with him when he acts out.

    The big problem with his behavior is that it is really at the point where someone is going to get HURT. This is likely going to result in someone getting criminal charges. Either difficult child will get them and you or husband or a sibling will be in bad shape or your husband will meet force wtih force and end up in legal trouble - and difficult child will NEVER let it go and iwll use it for the rest of your life to flogyou and try to make you do what he wants. I have been there done that with a 14yo and I had to have the cops remove him from our home for good. He ended up at my parents and did turn everything around wonderfully, but it took a loooooooong time.

    I think you need to talk with a therapist and with the police in your area (with-O difficult child KNOWING!!), and that your husband insisting that one of them goes may actually not be a bad thing. It might keep everyone SAFE. Right now no one in the house is safe when difficult child rages.

    Wish could be more help.
  13. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    family mum I'm not sure I'm much help other then to tell you I'm in your situation times 3/4! I have 3 difficult children (13, 14 almost 15, and a 20 yo) with a SO who is not bio to the kids who gets into it with the 13 and 14 yo at times. All 3 difficult children instigate the other and it can seem like WWIII in this house. It really can get down right bad and scary like you have. I have spoken with people around here as well as the support people who are handling my difficult children. Unfortunately I'm not having the best of luck as I'm not in a great area where they will do much of anything unless or until someone is actually in the moment they are here harming themselves or another! Gee great, not much help as the damage is usually done by then or will erupt again after.

    After many years of experience I try to stay as calm as possible, intervene when I can, work with the ones I can at the moment to separate them as best as possible. If one of them is trying to instigate me (like you had happen) I do my best to ignore even when they will up the anty, and they surely do to the highest level. I am not perfect as I can be pushed as much as the next person when it's gone on far too long to often. My nerves get raw.

    Here's hoping you can find some help/services and support for the difficult children. Maybe husband can find the help useful for himself too. Sometimes they do and start to understand and sometimes they don't.
  14. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Agh....it's so bad in moments like this!!!!!!
    While thinking of your situation.....what else is happening in his life right now? Is there any other stressors that might be triggering this anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thought patterns?.....for my son, if he gets like this it helps to go through his lifestressors and try to identify the problem....it really could be something that you might think is insignificant.....one of my sons biggest triggers is if something happened that makes him feel unloved, rejected or unwanted.....
    I see your son is on Risperdone....my son got htese terrible aggressive meltdowns on that medications.....when we stopped it....he got much better......
    Regarding the ps2.....do you want to use it as a priveledge or do you want to cut back on the violent games....if its the latter.......then allow him to play it....but only allow the games with age restriction that you feel is ok....because with my son the play station is almost like stimming.....he plays skateboarding, his special interest.....it helps with bordem.....keeps him out of trouble....and the obsession will be over......

    Regarding your husband....we had very much the same situation......what we had to start doing is to get like a special code where if we see one is losing control and the other feels more in control to give the signal, like putting your hand on his shoulder or saying something like....hubby, can you get me a glass of water....just to make each other feel less lonely in the battle and give the other one an escape rout!

    Please also consider Occupational Therapist (OT) and ST assessments....this also helped alot.....

  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree with the others, a huge difference for you is just catching up on what is going on with him and even with years of experience there are days like this so your job is exponentially harder. It is true they are often calmer once to the hospital or when the police even show up. One thing that can help if you are in an area where they dont listen to you....take video. I haven't had that experience, even when Q was calm he can't stop admitting what he did or saying what he would like to do so they all believe me. But for us, the justice system would be a waste of time, he is too low functioning to really learn much and actually would just pick up behaviors from being around others...has no clue how to navigate normal things socially so this would not work. Still if unsafe I have to do what I have to do.

    I have two psychologists who work with us, one at home one in counseling at a brain injury/developmental disorder clinic...they both specialize in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and I have to tell you we have fired or had disasters with any other psychologist or therapist. I hope you can find someone who actually works with people who have AS. His day needs to be very structured with very consistent rules.

    I am living this hyper-vigilant life you are living too...and it is very very stressful. I have no others in my house to get in the mix though, and so you have the added challenge of all of you learning about his issues (and of course he has things to learn too, but for now your learning curve will be steeper of course, this is new to him too).

    I could totally relate to this:
    Really, I can relate to the whole thing from earlier. Here is what I have learned and what now my son's new school even mentioned right away after one week of knowing him. Our kids need to learn consequences to some degree, yes, that is true. But the thing is they get devastated and can't think of any rational way to get out of things ...very rigid, very black and white and what can happen for some kids is a consequence where things are taken away or prevented totally, they fall apart and can't move on. They can only obsess about what they want and their world is over because they will NEVER get it back........ So, the teachers said to me just last Fri, we have noticed if we say "if you do x you will not be able to do y and then we have lost him for the entire day"

    YUP, that is what happens for me too. How I have to manage it is to do things like.... you have lost five minutes of NASCAR ...or 15 minutes...or we have to wait 20 minutes to see if you can stay calm before going outside (our current issue/obsession). It is enough to change his mind set. That is really the goal for now. When things are not in a crisis time, that is when the teaching for other skills happens--when we work on how to be calm, bio feedback, deep breathing, follow rules...etc.

    Same for earning things....he needs to be able to earn something in a foreseeable future, not so far away that they have a "whats the point, my world is over for today anyway". There are just some really rigid things that with some other disabilities you can talk kids out of, but kids on the spectrum that can be a symptom that just will not go away, we have to help them learn but it wont happen easily and may not happen at all.

    Once in crisis it is time to just get your way out of it, as you are doing...but our goal of course is to prevent this and that means a whole new way of operating. In your case with other family members and it already being to a point where other kids could be seriously (not to mention you and husband ....and in the end difficult child too if husband and you have to restrain etc.) hurt. So I am not saying this will work for you too (shortening times, etc...) I am just sharing how I can relate and that when I end in a huge battle I can often look back and see that I have not followed the rule of it can't be "forever" or an undefined or a too long amount of time.

    Of course there are other things, medications, illness, seizures etc. that can cause issues too and it is a constant dance. But for that one issue, I can count on a meltdown....repeated meltdowns.

    In the end......"there aint no easy answers to nothin'......" and you may have to be thinking of an out of home placement at this point, or intensive PCA services for him in home or Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) or........???? whatever you decide we are here for you.
  16. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Okay, I'm back.
    Yes, we are in books and part of our diagnosis. We live in Quebec so our system is quite different as almost everything is covered by the provincial health plan but there are waits, sometimes very long ones. We have seen a 1st psychiatrist in mar and may 2011, who wrote a recommendation of AS put in his file, didn't call us just left us hanging because he doesn't treat AS/autism. We already have a Neurologist because of epilepsy who pushed us through the hospital to see another psychiatrist who works closely with neurology. Went to the meeting in oct 2011 but she was sick so we only met with her resident. ( complete waste of time). Dec 22 2011 we finally met with her. She said she agreed with 1st dr. but wanted difficult child to have autism test (min 2yr wait) and a neuro-psychiatric. evaluation - 3 or 4 month wait. next appoint was last week of feb. she upped the medications, but that it. i asked about doing the autism testing privately ( ie. pay for it ourselves) and she gave me a name of a psychologist that she had confidence in. We did that in march 2012, I literally went and picked up her report this afternoon. ( that's why I'm saying that I'm back.)

    Since dec. we have pushed to have a social worker assigned to us ( this is also under provincial health services) we had a 1st one as emergency measure for Dec and Jan then we switched to another one who works with children with mental deficiencies and will stay with us permanently. we have met her monthly, her job is to coordinate services but she needed the report in order to move forward to get them for us. She managed to have us meet the accessment team even before we got the report so that is done, but now we are just waiting.
    This week on thurs, and fri. I called at least 7 different people, incl. the 2 social workers ( both on vacation), the psychologist, the psychiatrist's office, 2 local mental health organizations and some woman who runs a social skills course in our area. I saw my GP, my psychologist, the boys' neurologist and spoke to the office of another psychologist because the neuro- psychiatric testing will finally get done nest tues. and wed.( And found this online group.)

    Went I went today to pick up the report I asked to meet with the 1st psychologist and asked if she could recommend a course of action if we would go privately. So I booked an appointment with her to meet with difficult child for counselling starting next sun. She will meet with husband and I independently from difficult child to offer some parenting techniques for someone with AS. And She suggested that we meet with a colleague for family counselling. (She doesn't want difficult child to feel that her loyalty are divided so she prefers not to do this herself.) This will run us around 500$/600 a week, before medications. Oh, she also said we should try to find a male psychology student to act as a kind of intervention aid/ babysitter so that husband and I can actually both leave the house at the same time.

    I am doing the best I know how, and in a lot of ways I think that I am doing a pretty good job pushing through the system and trying to adjust my behaviour as much as I can. yes, I know that I cannot make the goals to get privileges to be too big or to far away. While I mention the one for PS2 before, he did have other incentives to behave today that were much more immediate. ( He wanted green laces to go with the new shoes from yesterday.)

    Removing the PS2 was primarily due to the violent nature of the games he likes to play on it, yet it is what all the teens are playing and completely removing them will mean loosing a shared interest with his friends. (Yes, he has As, but he has 3 or 4 pretty good friends.) However, I did leave him access to both the games on the computer and the Wii which we have several games for, including some that he had just asked for at x-mas' because as Lovelyboy said, they help with boredom and are a means of self stimming.

    Oh, and we have called the police twice in the last month, including last sat. (details are on another thread somewhere), but I'm afraid to overuse it and it loose the effectiveness. Likewise the trips to the ER, we have done twice before as well.

    Thanks to everyone for the words of support, I really need it, and appreciate it, even if some I've already tried. Lynne
  17. keista

    keista New Member

    ((((HUGS)))) So sorry. in my opinion you are now in "holding pattern" phase. that's where all the appointments are lined up, you're just waiting to start getting to them.

    Have faith that you are doing everything you can, and some days sill just be lousy.
  18. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Family Mum, take a deep breath. In...out...again...in...out.

    Okay, if he continues to cause damage to the house and you told him that if he did it you would arrange transport to the hospital, then I would take him there. He needs to know that if you tell him something like that, then you are going to do it. It's not a step that I have taken yet, but I'm at the point that I will if I need to keep others safe from difficult child and difficult child safe from himself.

    Is there any way that you can contact the social worker on a Sunday to let her know what is going on? She needs to be aprised of what happened today. If not, she would be my first call Monday morning after the kids have gone to school.

    ((((hugs)))). Hang in there. We are all here for you.
  19. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Social worker is on vacation all of next week, I called on thurs. The boys are off school tomorrow.
    by the way, we had a pretty nice dinner by concentrating discussion around easy child 1's upcoming graduation plans ( HS finishes in gr.11 here) but noe difficult child is back telling me he is bored and want to play his video games ever 3 minutes.
  20. buddy

    buddy New Member

    LOL here I am again calming q at a park. It's pretty nice though. You have done a mountain of work!! It is hard to wait though ....esp when injury, damage, or rages are going on. I wish we could rapid transport our kids to eachother for little respites. Mine does pretty for others when they understand ...I'd take yours for a while. Our longest time Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) worker is a psychiatric /family counseling student. We have had times where students in relates fields thought they knew it all and tried to parent ME and I had to laugh it off. Hang in there. We are here for u .....