i have been searching for a forum to talk about parenting issues and from reading here i think this may be somewhere i can fit in. i am having alot of problems dealing with my step-son who is going to be 6 next week. i also have 2 sons and a daughter. my boys are 2 and 4, then my step-son and my oldest is 12 from a previous relationship. out of the 4 kids, my 12yo and my step-son are both diagnosed on the autism spectrum. i also beleive my 4yo has possible ADHD or is starting to show signs of Aspergers and my baby is also showing symptoms of autism.......now that alone stresses me out because i feel like i'm to blame for this although i know i have no control over it. i have shared custody of my daughter with my parent because i was very young when i had her and her father passed away when she was a baby so i needed the help and to finish school. about a year after i had my first son we found out that husband had another son who had been in foster care for 2 years at that point and they were going to adopt him out so they finally were forced to contact him. this was a surprise for both of us. we discussed it and decided to have him come live with us. when we got him we were told he was 'difficult'. now, that was the understatement of the year. i contacted his birth mother to get as much information as i could and talked to some of the foster parents he was with. i found out he was born prematurely and was exposed to alcohol and drugs prenatally, born addicted to oxycotin. right from the get-go when he came to live with us he was just so miserable to have around. i had hoped in the beginning it was because he wasn't used to us and it would straighten out. we got evicted because the neighbours couldn't stand all his screaming and crying. i had to leave my job and my apprenticeship to stay home with him because i could not find any childcare willing to take him. it has been almost four years now that he has been with us and nothing seems to be getting better. well, some things get better but are replaced with other things. i have gone to millions of appointments with him and many people have told me nothing is wrong with him but i am finally being heard now that he has been in school this year and last. so far he has been diagnosed with ODD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, ADHD and we are currently waiting on some genetics testing to verify or rule out FADS, Fragile-x and some other cromisone disorder which i can't recall the name of. He is on risperidone and has been for the last year. this is because he was hurting himself all the time and people were calling CAS on us because he had obvious injuries on a regular basis from scratching himself, punching himself, banging his head on the wall and generally throwing himself around with no care of if he got hurt. he also cried and screamed all the time to the point where i could never understand anything he was saying because of it. he never sleeps if he isn't medicated so for 2 1/2 years i didn't really sleep either because it was pretty much impossible. he was getting 3 hours a night, max. now with the medication these things have calmed down, but not been completely eliminated. but for every behaviour improvement we make, something else comes in to take it's place. now, i am the one who deals with him and does all his appointments and meetings because his dad has no patience for him, which is totally understandable but frustrates me at the same time because i am also running low on patience here and i feel angry like "it's not my kid!!" although really, he is just as much mine because of how he came to be with us it was more like an adoption than a step-child if that makes sense. here are some of the behaviours we are dealing with on a regular basis with him. he destroys everything. if he can reach it and it can break it will get broken, so everything has to be locked up and hidden. he is currently on his third bed and now it is torn a bit so it won't be long before he has that unusable too(luckily i receive $600/year to replace things he breaks although that only covers a small percent). he still hits himself both out of frustration and to get what he wants from people(doesn't work on me), he cries at everything and any little thing can set him off. he will never give an answer to a direct question about his behaviour, if you ask again he will either fall to the ground screaming or start yelling at you. he doesn't listen to anything he is asked to do or follow the rules. i know he understands them because he is the first to tell on anyone else who breaks rules but seems to think for some reason he is above them. he steals all the time and lies about it. at school he has been deemed a danger to himself and others and he is no different at home. he needs to be constantly supervised and he is sneaky so even if you turn around for two seconds he will do something like kick the baby or run off. he pulls apart walls and breaks windows and peels the paint off, takes the heating grates apart to hide the things he steals inside. heaven forbid anyone forget to lock the washroom after they use it because he will be right in there and in 5 minutes he has the place destroyed. he tries to get his brothers to do things he knows are dangerous just to test them out and sometimes it works. he has started manipulating the 4yo into doing things for him by threatening him. i could go on forever. i mean, he has his good points too. i'm not trying to say there are no good things about him. he's good at math for one. and when he is in the mood to co-operate he will help me pick up toys if i give him very specific directions. he eats his veggies at dinner and occasionally comes over and lets me pat his back which is the closest thing to a hug he'll allow. like i said, the other kids are also special needs and yet they seem to be able to behave for the most part and try not to get into trouble. this child does not care about the consequences one bit. he does not care about the rules. time outs don't work. yelling doesn't work. talking to him doesn't work. taking away privilages doesn't work. awarding good behaviour works for about 2 seconds and may help get him to co-operate a bit easier the next time but it does not in any way shape or form cut down on the other negative stuff. i am at my witts end dealing with this child. he does not even seem to care about myself or his father the slightest bit or anyone else for that matter, other than himself. he actually thinks it's funny when he sees someone hurt/sick or upset. i don't know what to do. i was suggested on another forum to reward him all the time regardless of his behaviour in order to prevent the meltdowns from occuring but i don't see how that would help anything. there is no way i'm going to let him off time out because he hits himself and give him a treat instead as they suggested. in my opinion that would only reinforce what he's doing and lead to a total unraveling of the slow, slow progress we have made so far. i know it sounds horrible but i wish i could rewind time and go back to the day CAS called and told us about him and re-do that whole conversation so he would have been adopted out to someone who would maybe be able to deal with him better or at least be away from my other kids because he really is effecting them in ways that are not good.