It's been a while. Need help, please!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Autismkids, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Autismkids

    Autismkids Member

    We moved since my last update and things were looking a bit better. However, DS basically crashed again. I ordered the Total Transformation Program (TTP), and as expected, it isn't what it's made out to be (for us anyway!). It's geared for much older kids and the examples given are not much help to me.

    I'm assuming someone here has tried this program, right?

    One of the biggest rules is that there's No Excuse for Abuse. Well that's all fine and dandy, but what do I do about it? He's insanely verbally abusive, and the physical is starting again, too. How do I "not allow" verbal abuse, without letting him escape the chore or limit placed on him (which is his goal)?

    An example- Tonight I was "the worst f****** b**** mother ever!" because he wasn't allowed to have ice cream. Ice cream was dependent on leaving the park without a tantrum. When I say it's time to leave after giving ample warning, a string of verbal abuse is not tantrum-free! I have been consistent with this since before TTP.

    How did I handle it? Stayed calm, got him ready for bed, tucked him and went outside to cry (out of frustration). While getting him ready for bed he did apologize and say he was wrong for being abusive. He also brushed and flossed his own teeth after being told to. He has no ideas about changing the behavior, and will not accept my ideas. My 2 ideas were for him to walk away for a few minutes until he's calm, or take a deep breath before talking. He doesn't like those ideas, and they are dependent on him learning self-control. I don't know how to teach him self-control, and TTP is not giving those wonderful tools either.

    All I can get out of TTP is not to allow the abuse, but not HOW to not allow it. This is where our cycle starts. It happens with behavior therapists, books, programs, etc. I think I need a scripted parenting program!

    TTP examples seem to revolve around curfew, driving, lawn mowing, and other teen things that do not apply in the slightest way.

    I'm off to read how everyone else has been. Thanks for any advice.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Have you tried asking HIM what he could do and see what he comes up with. Your ideas sound reasonable to me but if he's anything like my difficult child, his ideas have to fail first. He has gotten much better at accepting my ideas once his have failed (he's one of those that has to learn the hard way). I realize your son is only 6 but it might be worth a shot. I am glad you are sticking to the pre-stated consequences/rewards. Consistency with that will help a lot.

    As for the TTP, it is a huge waste of money for most of our difficult child's. The guy that developed it had the typical teen's in mind when he developed the program, not difficult child's. Don't they have a "money-back guarantee" promotion going on right now. I thought I'd heard it advertised many times lately that you get your money back if it doesn't work. Worth checking out.

    Wonder what he (the TTP guy) would do if we "loaned" him one of our difficult child's to "fix". HMMMMMM.
  3. Autismkids

    Autismkids Member

    They have a survey offer. So the way I did it is that as long as I send the survey back before x time, I'll never be charged. I did pay $20 shipping, which is fine. I have plenty of parenting books.

    When I ask him for ideas, he has nothing. This is where his age and language problems come in to play.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What's he on for medications?
  5. Autismkids

    Autismkids Member

    Advair for asthma. Melatonin for sleep until the sleep team figures him out. Should there be more?
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Does he fall into the autism spectrum disorders? I see by your board name that he may but it is not in his diagnosis list.
    He is delayed in his emotional maturity. It's not unusual for a 3 or 4 yr old to throw a tantrum. It's difficult and I wonder sometimes if it changes but never goes away. My difficult child has a good dose or righteous indignation. LOL.
    Some suggestions about setting out to do something fun is to give him the plan. How long he is going to stay and what would cause you to leave.
    Ex) We will go to the park for 1 hr(use visuals if time is problem) We must leave at such and such a time. Does he understand? If he throws a tantrum then we can't return to the park another day(be very specific). If he hits, talks nasty or in any other way acts inappropriate for a child of his emotional maturity then we leave. It may require a scene the first time or two but it helps if they know what is expected, what the plan is and what would be the consequence of a particular behavior.

    There is a book called "Social Stories" by Carol Gray that helped me and my child to understand in a step by step way what is expected.
    I also did a lot of role playing before an event. Ex) what to do when mom calls me to go home. I would act out being difficult child while letting difficult child be mom. Role playing and role reversal while in a calm state helps to alleviate the sort of anxiety and acting out that kids on the spectrum seem to specialize in.
    Good luck.
  7. Autismkids

    Autismkids Member

    Thank you.

    DS just went through a complex evaluation and is not on the spectrum. He was diagnosis Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified when he was 3, but it doesn't fit.

    His new neurologist thinks he may have ADHD, but we're not sure until we see the sleep team. He's got a handful of sleep disorders. He's been sleeping in my room due to the heat and what he does at night shouldn't even be called sleep!

    Time limits at the park are hard because of the revolving kids. We plan to go for 45 minutes, but then someone that he knows will come and he wants to play. If he wasn't doing anything inappropriate, I'll let him stay with a new time frame.

    The leaving tantrum happens because either time is up and we have to go, or someone "made him mad" and now we have to leave because he's cursing. We moved here just shy of a year ago and he has left the park without a tantrum 3 times. Those times happened just because he was in a good mood.

    I think he does understand because he will give me back the rules, and state the time frame. Sometimes he'll give me the rules on his own.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Have you taken him to see a neurologist? The sleep issues could be related to nocturnal seizures. It took several sleep-deprived EEGs before they 'caught' the seizures on the EEG for my son and he is doing much better once we got the seizures under control.
  9. Autismkids

    Autismkids Member

    The last Neurologist he saw addressed everything but sleep. His prior sleep studies are too complex, so she wants him to see the pediatric sleep team.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Looks like you're on the right track with making sleep issues the priority right now.
    Its strange, but sleep is a bit of a catch-22... all sorts of issues can cause sleep disturbances; BUT, sleep disturbances can cause all sorts of issues, too.

    Even with the park and the tantrums... anyone who isn't getting good sleep is much more "edgy", and will have trouble with transitions, holding it together, self control, etc.
    We've noticed that making quality sleep an issue pays off in big benefits - and then, whatever is left over for issues is NOT due to sleep, which makes these more obvious.

    I didn't even know there was such a thing as a pediatric sleep team!
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    There were a few things that helped with Wiz in the situation at the park. One, they knew the rules. Could recite them. But Wiz was hyperlexic which meant he read early, could recite the spelling and definition of almost any word by first grade (at 3 asked me what decapitation meant - think OJ trial headlines - last time we had a paper delivered while he lived at home) but actually understanding what teh definition meant was a whole other ball game. It took eight more years to meet a teacher who understood that and worked with him.

    I would give them the rules at home. Then, right after we entered the park I told them again. I didn't just tell them, I got down to their level and made SURE that they were looking at me. If Wiz wasn't paying attention or was too distracted, I put my hands over his ears and got his attention and said them again. Then, about halfway through the playing time I called htem over, told them how much time was left, what the rules were, and let them go. This reminder made a substantial difference.

    Another tool was to realize that often Wiz could be looking at me and not have a clue what I was saying because he was busy in his head. I would first make sure I had his attention. I used the chocolate pudding method - my own invention. Wiz and Jess and thank you are all major sweet-tooths. Want their attention? call out "chocolate pudding" or "chocolate chip cookies" or "cheesecake" and BOOM - all eyes and ears were on ME and what would come out of my mouth. I didn't just SAY it. The first two or three times I actually gave it to them and they did NOT expect it. The unexpected timing was part of the conditioning process. I wanted them to give me attention when I said it, so I made sure that I got their attention with those words. Then they didn't get it -that first time Wiz had a COW and a HALF! TOTAL fit, which I ignored until he got abusive. Then I restrained him which he hated but needed. After that he didn't get that out of control ever again over this issue. I did explain that I was saying choc pudding to get their attention and they would NEVER know if this was a time they would get the pudding or not, and that it might be other sweets. For husband I used salsa or some other spicy food because it is what HE likes.

    After about 2 weeks Wiz didn't have fits over not getting the dessert or being called away from tv to pay attention to me. Largely, in my opinion, because if tv was the issue he darn well KNEW I had NO problem taking the tv away for a couple of weeks. If tv is the most important thing in his life then I am not doing my job and tv is too important and has to go away until appropriate priorities are restored. We had been going through that for several years with decent success (First week was awful and then the kids re-learned how to amuse themselves and didn't miss it a whole lot.)

    another good tool is to have a treat or enjoyable thing to do after the park - IF they are able to leave without a tantrum. NOT without complaint, but without bad language or a tantrum. I often left the park earlier than needed so we could stop for a candy bar or a video at home before an errand. Or a game if that was what they liked at the time. Just some positive thing to help ease the transition from playing with others to getting dinner ready or running an errand or an appointment. Was it bribery? Maybe. But it set a precedent and got Wiz into the habit of leaving the park or a playdate with-o a tantrum. Lots of times it was NOT food or some new thing, but it got us to the point that we could leave for an errand with-o that treat/fun thing from the park with-o a fit. And that was worth the treat/fun thing. Heck, LOTS of the times it was food it was applesauce with cinnamon (the unsweetened kind) frozen into popsicles. My kids adored them so I kept them a treat used to get them to do things. Healthy for them, and yummy. You can also put cold bananas into an ice cream maker and freeze them into small portions - it is amazingly creamy and sweet and wonderful and I have yet to meet someone who likes bananas who doesn't think this is incredible and isn't SHOCKED that it is just bananas and NOTHING unhealthy like heavy cream and/or sugar. Just don't tell the kids!

    I think getting to the bottom of the sleep issues will be HUGE. It may even solve most of the problems. I don't get the right kind of sleep and apparently haven't in decades. medications help sometimes but not always. The docs think this is a MAJOR reason I am disabled from the fibro. But no one really knows why. I do know that when any of my kids got into a pattern where they didn't sleep well the behavior problems were incredible. There were times when for a few nights I gave them benadryl to exhaust them and make them sleep. It would seem to break the cycle they were in and then things got better.

    Just remember that you can say anything you want to a kid, but if they are not paying attention when you say it you might as well have screamed it into an abyss. Try the "chocolate pudding method" and make sure you have their attention when you give them the warnings that you must go in fifteen minutes, ten min, five min, time to go now. It can really make a difference.

    Also remmeber that difficult child can likely LOOK at you and not be hearing you. Covering his ears gently can help cut out outside stimuli and help him pay attention to you. It also keeps him looking you in the eye, which also increases the likelihood he is paying attention.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    One other thought. How do you get a kid to stop doing something? make it not fun or shocking. I wanted my kids to stop jumping on the beds. I got a stopwatch or timer and made them jump for two minutes, then upped it by a minute each time after until they HATED jumping on the beds. One of the kids who went to daycare with the kids eons ago was a spitter. Each time he spit the director gave him a dixie cup with a line drawn on it partway up and he couldn't play until he had filled it with spit up to that line. Mom and Dad spent four YEARS trying to stop it and Mrs. S stopped it in a week.

    So how do you get him to stop cussing? Get a voice recorder and an area with NO ONE around - clean out the bottom of a closet if needed or put him in his room. Stay close so you can see that he is not doing anything else and make him cuss for two min. Then three, then four, - each time he gets verbally abusive adds one minute to his time and he has to cuss that long, nonstop, into the recorder until he does not want to cuss again. They thought I was CRAZY at the psychiatric hospital my difficult child spent 4 months in (except one nurse who thought it was brilliant and hilarious) until a therapist started trying it. It is easy to say a few cuss words and shock people. Or jump on a bed, or spit, or stomp your foot. It is HARD to do it for a minute or six or twelve. Cussing was tough with Wiz, we got up to seventeen minutes before it worked, but each time he had to stay in one area for as long as it took for him to do that many minutes non-stop. To this day he does NOT cuss at or around me, lol. The staff at the psychiatric hospital (more of an Residential Treatment Center (RTC)) was amazed because it worked with every single child as long as they had the patience to stick with it. Some of these kids had been there with these habits for years.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Are the times of his tantrums ever related to being hungry? Wiz used to get really nasty when his protein levels were low. I started keeping either zone bars or balance bars with me and before we left or in other situations I would give him one before the fussing started. Those two brands keep the nutrients in a 40-30-30 ration of carbs-proteins-fats. It gave his system the protein he needed in an easy way and in a way he really liked. It was MORE than worth the investment.
  14. Autismkids

    Autismkids Member

    Recording and making him curse sounds like a plan!

    The peds sleep team consists of resp. therapists, 2 neurologists, 2 pulmonologists, and a psychologist. We do not need the psychiatric because his problems start after he's sleeping. He has a ton of spontaneous arousals, and it takes him hours to switch sleep stages (average person is only 90 minutes). He only had a handful of obstructive apneas, and is no where near the range needed for CPAP therapy.

    I do agree that it would be beyond difficult to function with the sleep that he gets, but at the same time, he has to learn to pull away. He plays wonderfully when alone. He's quiet, peaceful, and calm. It's only when other are around that he gets worked up. He was wonderful the 2 days we spent with the diagnostic team; the drive was 3 hours in, and 4 hours home (traffic), and he loved it!