its been awhile

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Liahona, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    Hi everyone, its been awhile since I was on here, so I'm going to tell you what we're up to. difficult child 1 still isn't on medications that work for him. He is defiant and aggressive and sneaky. School started this week and the teacher is already seeing defiant behavior from him. It used to be that he'd have a really long honeymoon period. The medications make it so he isn't hallucinating or out and out attacking people. We put an alarm on his bedroom door, so we know everytime it opens. We also put one on the front door, because difficult child 2 has learned how to take off the baby locks. He starts a great autism pre-school next month. They will even help potty train him!!! We're trying to do a program called the play project, but I don't think we're doing it right. The autism specialist that comes to our house is just learning how to do it too. We've started taking difficult child 2 to an Occupational Therapist (OT) to try to stop the mouthing everything. A few months ago he was eating paint. He is getting sick alot. easy child 1 has a speach delay and I think he is hyposensitive to everything. After some rough and tumble play all of a sudden he starts talking and moving around. easy child 2 is learning to scoot and put things in her mouth. She might be having seizures. She goes rigid for about 2 sec. about 1 - 3 times a day. We're still checking into it. Plus, she will probably need surgery in about 3 months to unclog a tear duct. husband and I are as normal as we can get; still only half-way crazy.;)
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Good to hear from you, Emilyislost. You said, "easy child 1 has a speach delay and I think he is hyposensitive to everything."

    Do you mean "hyposensitive" as in LESS sensitive, or is it a typo? We usually have our kids as hyPERsensitive, meaning oversensitive. But I can see how hyposensitive could also be a problem. difficult child 3 was/is hyposensitive to pain. He fell out of a tree headfirst onto rocks two metres down and concussed himself - but was not reacting to the head pain at all. Doctors were often dismissive of his sore throats etc because he didn't seem to be in pain so I had to ask, every time difficult child 3 had a fever, to get his throat and ears checked out for infection. At least half the time he had a raging bacterial infection but didn't seem to notice.

    But then - he is hyper sensitive to some textures (especially creamy textures in food and drink) and would chew at his clothes all the time. The chewing thing was terrible. Not so bad these days - he's much better now. But he chewed the lounge suite (worse than a teething puppy) and would ALWAYS chew the neckline of his shirts. Often the hem of his shirts too. His pencils were in shocking condition, he would ruin a set of pencils in a day. And we couldn't stop him - discipline did nothing. I would be constantly changing his shirts (because he would stretch the neckline and/or leave teethmarks) and I stopped buying new clothes - I began to buy up big from op-shops.

    I found I had to be at the ready to repair clothes immediately. The slightest hole or tear would be fiddled with until it quickly became a large rip. I remember a Michael Jackson video clip where he was wearing a shirt which was in various stages of being ripped down the front. That was what difficult child 3's clothes were like. It could be really bad - I would dress him in a clean, whole shirt and if he cut a small hole with his teeth (not deliberately) then the shirt could be totally ruined within hours. Compulsive. Utterly.

    Trousers - same problem. He would wear through the knees quickly, often on the first day of wearing them. If I was fast enough and could get them off him (I travelled with spare clothing and STILL often had to stop for emergency supplies when I saw an op-shop) then I could quickly patch the clothing.

    To patch holes/tears in trousers - I would generally try to match the fabric by colour and texture, although jeans matter far less since rips are in fashion. I would pin a swatch of fabric to the back of the tear and then using the sewing machine and matching thread, use three-step zigzag stitch to go over and over the patch and the original fabric. If you do it right, you often can't see the repair. Also, sewn on firmly enough and difficult child 3 could fiddle with it constantly and nothing would ever come unstitched.

    I finally bought difficult child 3 a teething ring and hung it round his neck. "Chew this," I said. "Whenever you feel you MUST chew something." He did try to control the urge after that. He chose to carry the teething ring in his pocket, but he did realise the problem he was causing. He STILL will 'worry' at a hole until it quickly becomes huge, but he will also let me know if something needs repairing.

    difficult child 1 was almost as bad. He didn't chew his clothes at all, but he would wear them out fast and worry at holes or tears. He still does!

    I'm concerned at you seeing your autistic son as defiant and sneaky - generally in autism they can SEEM like this superficially, but it's not what they intend. They ARE strong-willed and will follow their own rules rather than yours, but the defiance and aggression - it's often their response to how they are treated. Not that you're being aggressive or sneaky to him, but to HIS mind, people aren't being fair or playing by the rules. WE see the world of adults and children very differently. Autistic kids do not - to them, everybody is equal. Completely. That means that you can tell your kid, "Go clean your room," and have certain expectations, but if the kid says to you, "Go get my dinner," we get angry with them and see it as rude and defiant. It's not - it's simply them using the same communication approach to us that we use on them.

    difficult child 3 still does this. I also see in his friends (also autistic) and their interactions with adults. I'm talking about teens here, who are still learning to not be inappropriate.
    Example: difficult child 3 burst into the room while husband & I were talking. "Hey, mum, did you..."
    "You interrupted son, please wait," husband said, holding up a hand as well to indicate STOP.

    These days, difficult child 3 mostly can stop, but often will still keep talking anyway (this isn't defiance - he really can't stop sometimes).

    Later - difficult child 3 & I are talking, husband calls out, "Can someone bring me a towel? I just spilled a vase!" and difficult child 3 will shout back, "You interrupted, Dad!"

    Again, he's not being rude or defiant or aggressive. He's being EQUITABLE. difficult child 3 was trying to apply the same standards to others that he is expected to apply. To him, everybody lives by the same rules. The difference here is NOT that difficult child 3 is the child and we are the adults - we long ago had to give up on that one. No, the difference here is that husband was calling out in an emergency.
    Determining if it's an emergency requires a judgement call that even a teenage high-functioning autistic kid can't always follow.

    We found that Explosive Child opened our eyes as to WHY our autistic kid was doing/saying the things he did, and once we understood it made it easier for us to work on and help him learn what is the appropriate way to behave. Until we understood - it was beating our heads against a brick wall.

    Good luck with what you're working on - but if he simply doesn't have the brain maturity yet to modify his behaviour, be prepared for it to not work as well as you hope. YET. It WILL get better. I hope it will get better now. But you may have to wait a bit longer.

    Every kid is different. I see big differences between difficult child 1 and difficult child 3, even though both are on the spectrum. They each can do things the other one can't.

  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Emily, welcome back.

    Has difficult child 1 ever been on a true mood stabilizer (Lithium, Lamictal, Depakote, Trileptal and Tegretol)? Most kids with BiPolar (BP) don't truly stabilize until they're on a good therapeutic dose of a mood stabilizer. That might be something to ask the psychiatrist about.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Hi emilyislost. You do have your hands full. I hope the testing helps explain some things. Nice to see you again.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Emily! Welcome back!

    Sounds like you have good supports in place to help your family. I bet that took a lot of work on your part. Hope you get a break now and then! 3 little ones must keep you pretty tired. Add in 2 difficult children - WOW!