Introduction-So happy to find you all.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by buddy, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Reading some of the posts here at the very least sure makes life with a challenging child feel less lonely. Sometimes I watch Dr. Phil and think, DONT have a clue. I am a single mom to a great kid who has multiple challenges and the most difficult of them is his verbal and physical aggression. He is adopted (age 2.10) after having brain surgery while in foster care at the age of 2.3. He has an Autism diagnosis (which would be likely even without the brain injury given other bio siblings also are on the spectrum). He is very verbal but not conversational. He keeps conversations going by asking constant questions even if they are pure nonsense. He is 14 now but small for his age, but as most of you probably know, size doesn't mean he can't do a lot of damage to me and our house/possessions. He is so desperate to be a typical kid who can go and play with the other kids but he doesn't have a clue. I have been trying to help him join an especially accepting group of kids in our town home complex, but last Saturday was so sad. A game started to include tackling eachother which was too arousing for him (he is not even in group sp. ed. gym class...) so I tried to be proactive and get him to come home at which point he kicked and hit me. I went to get another parent to help me and by the time we returned he was fighting in a panic with several of the kids...swearing and falling apart. He ran into the woods and we talked to the other kids to calm things down. Kids who didn't know of his issues felt badly (so at least they were trying to make it better) and two went into the wooded area he had run to hide in. He nearly never cries but he was so upset. It took 45 minutes of kids talking to him...his asking the kids he hurt to come in so he could say sorry, etc...before he came out. I hurt for him but also get naturally frustrated with being hit and hurt over and over. We have amazing doctors and they found he is having seizures that contribute to the outbursts and medications for that are helping with other medications. He has an enzyme issue and can't process many drugs that might otherwise have been helpful. For the past few years we have worked hard with his school and they have been willing to learn (they are good at the autism piece but not great with brain injury symptoms. I bring in our private home support folks who have done a great job educating them and now even school administrators advocate for him (recently told the bus company they basically had to suck it up and drive him, he is not a rude child he is a brain injured chlid...I was impressed). All of the teams talk to eachother and really have been good about using the same methods and language with him. HE HATES that in a way...haha. He will say "even my doctor tells me I am in the yellow zone and have to be in the green zone!" In the end he always does better with that consistency.

    I have had to stop working in Special Education. settings (any setting actually) as a speech language pathologist because of the frequent need to attend to him throughout the weeks. We are lucky he has a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) waiver and I can receive a small salary to be a paid parent provider. It is a huge life style change but gotta do what we gotta do, right? It is very scary sometimes. I worry often for him and wonder where he will be in the future. He could do so much if he can mature and learn enough to control his verbal and physical outbursts. Not to mention, if he is as oppositional with a boss as he is with his teachers and me then he will have a rough time of it.
    Lately he has started horseback riding (therapeutic) and a huge shift in his ability to connect with other kids has happened. Still obviously not ready for larger groups and games with rules, but riding bikes and swimming with friends has happened for the first time in 14 years! No matter how good his team is though, of course there is no rest when it comes to monitoring and advocating when things are not going well. The difference with this team is they respond quickly and we have an amazing relationship. He IS a hard kid but he is a deserving kid.

    a procedural question? I can't seem to save my signature. I also do not understand how in some sections you can't start a new my computer glitchy?

    Thank you kindly,
    Buddy- age 47, single adoptive mom to son (home at age 2 adopted at age 3). Speech Lang. Path. taking time off to parent difficult child.
    difficult child-age 14, Autism, Temporal Lobe seizures, Acquired Brain Injury, Attachment Issues (not unattached but insecure). Symptoms: extreme anxiety, adhd-like, impulsive, verbal and physical outbursts, rages at times, developmentallydelayed (borderline IQ but socially very delayed), becomming a little depressed over identity/self esteem issues....hates having special needs and not being able to do all the things other kids can do.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi there and welcome!!!

    Your team sounds awesome. I wish all of us could have a team like that.

    Signatures are under settings - edit signature. :wink:

    I don't have much experience with TBIs, but there are others here that do. I wanted to drop in & say hi... And send lots of :hugs:!

    As for your signature - go up to the top right of the page and click Settings, scroll down about 2/3 of the way on the left is Edit Signature. Put in what you want - there's a character limit,
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    thanks, maybe that 's it....maybe I went over the character limit? I followed the instructions and hit did that three times now have resorted to cutting and pasting from word..tee hee. I will try tomorrow in case my computer or the site is just glitchy today....
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I just updated mine and it saved. If you still have problems tomorrow, send an error report to runawaybunny... She's the CD site goddess!
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board Buddy! I'm so glad you found us. :)

    Sounds like you have an amazing school district, and if I were you I'd plan on never moving away. (seriously) You boy sounds very much like my Travis, and no schools just seem to have a much tougher time grasping the whole brain injury thing. Ours never did, it didn't so hot with the autism either. Actually, ours were so bad they came to hate the sight of me. But from changes I've seen made due to my grandson being very similar to his uncle, well, I hope my constant nagging and pushing helped get them on the ball.

    I stopped pushing Travis into social situations at around age 8. At the time I didn't realize I was "pushing", I thought I was encouraging. Somewhere along the line it occurred to me he has to do the social thing at his own pace and in whatever way is most comfortable for him. I still encourage, but I don't push anymore. Travis has other issues that make sports ect difficult, and they were far too stimulating so after one year of soccer, sports were dropped.

    I used to worry over the job thing, the adult version thing terribly. Travis was so far behind his peers, and as they all grew older, the distance became greater. His brain injury only complicates everything else. And it's harder for people to grasp, unlike the vision, because you can't look at him and see it.

    Routine and consistency were a vital must in his life. The other kids benefited greatly from it as well. As adults, 2 of my girls use the same routine/consistency with their kids.

    The teen years in some respects were very hard. High school was a nightmare, changing classes, different teachers expecting different things ect....until we got him into a technical school in his junior year that did both the high school classes and taught him his passion, computers. That was the first time his IEPs were actually followed correctly, where they actually practiced with all the kids social skills once a week, doing job interviews ect. Great school. He did a ton of growing there, made his first real friends.

    We worried Travis wouldn't graduate, yet he managed it on the honor roll. We really never saw him going to college. He was late getting there but he's in his 3rd year. Managed to go off to a 4 yr college the first year and live in the handicap dorm with 4 other students. (they pair them 2 able bodied with 2 disabled) and managed himself just fine. Since it was too expensive, he's returned home and is now attending community college. He's worked 2 full time jobs, much to our amazement. Yet that is more difficult for him, to the point where we're now doing the disability in case he can't manage to maintain a job for a long period of time. He's still behind his peers. At age 16 he was still hovering between 8-11 yrs old, some behaviors much younger. At 25, I'd say he's nearer 18-19.

    It was a long hard road. I'd spent his whole life working to make him independent. We still don't know if that will happen. But at this point, it's ok. He has long since exceeded anyone's expectations. And he is who he is, and we like him that way. So you have every reason to hope for a bright future for your difficult child. :)

  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    :Grouphug:Welcome, Buddy!
    You are doing a great job with-your son, and the school district sounds good, too.
    I am so sorry about the issue in regard to "playing" with-the other kids. Unfortunately, it's pretty typical.
    I have no words of wisdom for you but lots of hugs. :)
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Wow thanks everyone. Lisa that is encouraging. I think I have been doing the opposite for my son, just learned to avoid letting him do t hings with peers because it always ended in an incident. Even his cousins tattle on him constantly and they know his issues. It is hard for them not to take his comments personally especaially when they can be so mean sounding at times. So, with more kids moving into our complex this year he just begged and we met a family who had special needs children and really helped him while at our pool. That grew into more kids playing with him. For the first time, I actually told several of them and a couple just came and asked me (it is pretty obvious once they talk to him, or rather he constantly talks to them) that he has autism/special needs. This actually made a huge difference and though I was torn for his sake (he doesn't like his labels lately) they are continuuing to ask him to play with him, even after the horrible weekend. The first kid who asked to play with him was the one who got a fat lip from him. He has to be supervised 24/7 but I can do it by being close by and sometimes it is not me, it is the Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) workers. He doesn't listen as well to them though. Rules and strategies are just too hard for him and physical games make it so he doesn't have access to the little self control he does have. He wants to be with the other kids so very badly. I am trying to stick to pacing him for his sake, but it is so hard when I see he has a chance at friends which had never happened before. I also risk the wrath of difficult child if I say no...THAT is something he has never liked to hear, so this sometimes saying okay just doesn't work well. It is the first time I can't make a can't play with any of them or you can play with all of them. I am trying to say we have to limit to 2-3 (but additional kids join in after they start) and only specific activities...bikes, swimming, etc. Things that dont involve his making strategy errors that make other kids mad. I am happy he wants to try but am so sad at how frequently it does not work out. And when kids end up hurt we face the chance that parents will involve the law etc. which is very scary since we have a good program with many agencies involved and dont need anything like that mucking it up. I love that your son is in school and doing well. I know mine will find a place and if not we will create one.
    ps got the signature to work!
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I actually told several of them and a couple just came and asked me (it is pretty obvious once they talk to him, or rather he constantly talks to them) that he has autism/special needs. This actually made a huge difference and though I was torn for his sake (he doesn't like his labels lately) they are continuuing to ask him to play with him, even after the horrible weekend.

    Excellent! Kids are amazingly resilient.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the board :)

    I have a kid on the autism spectrum. He gets confused about complicated rules, but likes sports and needs exercise. Have you ever looked into the Special Olympics? My son loves it, but...he is not concerned about being "different." He will interact with typical kids who are nice to him, but is just as comfortable with other kids who have special needs, as long as they are at his level. My son was adopted at age 2.3 months. Was your son's birthmother a drug abuser or did she drink while pregnant? My son's birthmother did.

    My son participates in bowling (he is quite good) and cross country skiing.
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome! you sound like you have an amazing team on your hands.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Midwestern mom: Yes, his birthmom did do drugs but he was the last one she had and she really wanted him. She checked into treament as soon as she knew she was pregnant and for over 8 months she tested clean and he tested clean at birth. She got to take him for 7 month when they got back into drugs and got into a police chase when they crashed their car. He was on her lap. No one was hurt but they then lost him too. It was a small town...same social workers in child protection did adoption so they really knew her and she lost all of her kids but none of them was ever physically abused. But they did experience neglect and obviously that is terrible too. All except my son and one other were taken by family members. Those two had medical and behavioral issues. His brother who was adopted through foster care also has autism. I am looking into special olympics. Our community had great adapted sports which he did until age 13 at which time they are supposed to go to school adapted sports which just got cut. He does do therapeutic horseback riding and also loves swimming, bowling, etc...things he can do with others but not have to deal with all the strategy and rules. He did do track/field one season with neurotypical kids and they were kind to him. He couldn't do the jumping things due to his coordination issues but he was a pretty good runner. He also loves to ride bikes. I had understood he couldn't do special olympics because of his IQ but now I have read that he can because of his adaptive scoes (he is functionally lower than his IQ would suggest). thanks for the imput and it is so nice to hear from people who understand. I have good teams and loving family but in the depths of things and with the weight of being ultimately responsible for his future, I can feel very alone. I would never give it up but it is wonderful to have this forum...why my search engine never found it before I do not know....sigh.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add in my welcome, really glad you found us but sorry you needed to. Your team really does sound amazing. He sounds like a very sweet kiddo, I can tell from the way you talk about him.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    thanks everyone, so needed you all today
  14. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Wow, I'm impressed with the team you've got and mostly with the kids in your complex. They sound like a great group of kids!

    It is so exhausting watching a child 24/7. Right now I have to watch difficult child 1 that much. It is very wearing.