Just need to talk it out...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by kaliko, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. kaliko

    kaliko New Member

    Very glad I found this group. So here's our story. My husband and I have just committed our 7 yr old son. "Difficult Child" is an incredible kid, very full of life, energy and questions. We describe him as curiosity with legs, lol. He was diagnosed at 5 with ADHD and at 6 with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), he also struggles with an unspecified mood disorder and anxiety. We've struggled hard with schools (2) since 4K and we made the recent decision to pull him from school completely and homeschool as the public school was not following his IEP and using his accommodations to help him. Homeschooling was going well, but his moods were continuing to get wilder and his focus and ability to control his body when frustated or angry were nonexistent. On Tuesday he ran from the yard when it was time to come inside and actually forced his way into a neighbors home and ran upstairs to hide. Thankfully we got him safely back home, but everyone was upset and the situation was highly charged. The next morning was rough from the get go examples: defiance, oppositional behavior, not listening and becoming more and more angry. "Difficult Child" escalated to ripping up his assignments and breaking pencils, then making verbal threats and telling me he hated me etc... We've heard about threats from school, but this was beyond. He wanted to kill all adults, specifically me. He described how and with what. Then he started scratching, pinching, hitting, kicking and punching where ever he could reach. The last straw was when he restated his intention to stab me and burn me up with a lighter then made a lunge to get past me to where he thought those things would be. (We've been cautious to NOT have those items in easy reach for awhile now, by the way) Never has he ever tried to act on his threats before. I managed to wrestle him to his room and the decision was made for everyones safety to admit him. It's been 2 days now, both drastically different in terms of behavior according to the staff. It's been nerve-wracking for his father and I. I range from guilt that we put him there to determination that we are doing the right thing. I keep wondering what's going to happen? Will we finally have answers and a plan? I constantly feel guilty for everytime I lost my patience with him, snapped, yelled or had to restrain him or even give swats. I keep on thinking about what we may have done wrong that made him into this angry, violent child. My heart breaks daily when I have to tell him 'I don't know when you can come home.' We just keep telling him we love him so much and we all want to help him learn to help himself, but we need his help to do that. The house is too quiet, too calm, too empty without his personality and life filling it up.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    First off, my heart breaks for all of you. Secondly i have a son on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrun. He is 23, doing great. I understand autism from reading a literal library about it and living with it and walking with my son every step of his way until he no longer needed that.

    You did nothing wrong as parents. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are intristically very emotional, sensitive and some do get quite wild and even violent.

    Most calm down as they get older and learn how to express themselves better. This is how he is AT THIS TIME, but because his brain is wired differently and not becsuse of anything you did. Trust that. He is different. He is reacting to an overwhelming environment where a dropped pencil can to him sound like a bomb. Autism is a spectrum. Your son obviously gets frustrated and angry easily. And I bet he is so sensitive to loud noise, touch, textures, crowds, certaon foods, angervin others etc. My son used to cover his ears for normal noise. He would throw up lumpy food. He couldnt tolerate tags on the backs of his shirys and wr cut them out. He liked doing one thing over and over again, like tossing a ball and watching it drop. He did not speak until he was five. He did not give otjers personal space and did not know how to interact rifht with his little peers. He had to get interventions, moat from school, and he im0roved dramatically. He was smart but needed a small, calm classroom and got one. But I would have homeschooled if necessary.

    Autism is a developmental delay. Most improve with age and intervention. I think you were smart to homeschool him because some Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids can not handle loud bells, too many kids.and the destraction of rustling paper inschool. Putting him in a safe place when he had his meltdown was kind of you. Yes, kind.He will get 24/7 help. Hopefully staff understands Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Get to know them.

    Please know you are doing right by a differently wired child who is struggling, and that is a good parent. Keep an eye on Staff and be sure he is getting help and making progress. And that they understand he is not able to control himself yet.

    My 23 year old became very calm and stable, lives in an apartment on his own dime, gets some social security but not much as he works two part time jobs. He is 90% independent after a slow start in life. He learned how to be friendly, and everyone tells me what a great, polite, nice young man he is. Quite a difference from when he didnt sleep and hung from the rafters!

    I will be thinking of all of you. Feel peaceful that you are doing what good parents do when their little ones need extra help. And post again anytime.
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Kaliko

    I want to say hi. For some reason my keyboard is not working so I will make this short. I am so sorry for your pain and your fear.
    When my son was this age we were at a school wide introduction to the new school. My son was anxious. I saw him from about 25 feet back, with a running start go from the tip of the hood of a car (on top) to the top and come down on the trunk. all the while running.

    With the threats and the attempt to act on them, what was your choice? You did the only thing you could do. There was another mother here in the last 2 weeks with a very similar problem with her 5 year almost 6 year old. You will find good information if you do a search. The thread is: How do you survive?
    I do not understand? Each day was different or his behavior has been different there?

    I would not feel so guilty. There are many, many children who of necessity go to the hospital, for all kinds of things. This is no different from any other hospitalization. On some level he knows he needs help. You are not rejecting him. You are seeing he gets necessary treatment. There was no other choice that I can see. At least no other responsible choice.

    I will check back when my keyboard is working. Welcome. Take care.
  4. kaliko

    kaliko New Member

    Thank you for your kind words Somewhere! The staff has been very good so far and communication has been solid on all ends. We are planning on in home therapies for sure. Time will tell on the rest.
    I think we made a good choice in homeschooling too. His school was trying to push him into the regular class day too much and he just can't focus and function with 19 other students moving, making noise etc... He couldn't focus, but they insisted that he should stay in class and ignored us when we tried to let them know how he was feeling. They just began punishing his behavior, refusing to do work or just not being able to complete his work by taking away recess time. Not having an outlet for his energy made him frustated faster and it just turned into a huge downward spiral. He couldn't even tell when he had "earned their trust back" becaue they didn't seem to have a concrete visual or tactile way for him to chart his progress. I would have given up too if I was in his shoes!!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do not feel guilty AT ALL. Not at all. Please. Autism is a disorder that can be helped. It is not on you.
  6. kaliko

    kaliko New Member

    His behavior was very angry and defiant with threats on the first day and today was sunshine and bubbles with great participation. I guess it's a good thing they are seeing all the highs and lows. The more they can see and work with the better the outcome. But they agreed with me when I said it's like being in a constant state of emotional whiplash.
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  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yes. I was in a group of parents who had autistic kids. It could be that your son was overstimulated one day and not so much the next day. My son used to have meltdowns more in public than at home. We adopted him and he is a different race from us. One day he took off in a mall and started screaming bloody murder and he didnt scream like a normal kid; it sounded like a wild animal. When i caught him he screamed louder and I had to carry him as he kicked and bit me and screamed,"No! Help!"

    Everyone was staring and I bet many wondered if this white woman was kidnapping this poor little black kid. If there had been cell phones back then, i am sure somebody would have called the police. Neefless to say, he didnt go shopping with me after that!

    He could be happy one minute and screaming the next. Transitions were a huge trigger. But with interventions he progressively improved. He had speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy and social skills. Boy, they made a huge difference. He improved immediately.

    I wont lie. My son was not normally violent like yours and was never verbally scary. But he was hyper and moody and frustrated and he grew up to be unrecognizable to that frustrated little boy. He never loses his temper now!

    Take a rest. Be kind to yourself. He will be much better when he gets older. I recommend Occupational Therapist (OT), physical therapy, social skills and speech. Even if autistic kids can pronounce words well, they often need to learn how to converse with others. They monologue and dont listen to others or shut down. Give him time. He is being helped now.

    You rock as parents!
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You have a huge lawsuit here. He should not be put back in this school. There was an organization that helped us called: Disability Rights, In Berkeley CA. They sent a free lawyer with us to the IEP. My son was being punished and put in the corner for his anxiety. He was bullied by other children without any protection by staff. We got non-public school where he was taken back and forth by taxi every day through 3 counties, 45 minutes each way-I loved the school.. We could have sued. I did not have it in me. Every single thing you are doing is correct. You are doing what you do for love and responsibility. Remember that. My computer still does not work.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You are doing ALL the right things! I have a 25 yo child with Aspergers (high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)) who was VERY violent. When my third child was about a year old, the child psychiatrist and psychologists treating my oldest (the now 25 yo) told me that my oldest needed to be an only child. He was the oldest of 3!!!! How the heck was I to make that happen????? My husband and I did the best we could, but I couldn't put his sister and brother back where they came from, no matter what the doctors suggested!!

    My oldest got incredibly violent before all was said and done. When he was 12 he spent 3 months in a state run psychiatric hospital and it was one of the best things we did for him. He hated it, but he learned a TON. Eventually we ended up having my son live with my parents a few miles from us. My father was a retired junior high teacher and dealt with the school stuff while my mother did the civilizing stuff like manners etcetera. It worked out well, I think. My son went from raging and attacking and trying to kill his sister and I to the point that we had to have him removed by the cops to graduating high school and working full time on a career path and supporting himself and saving up to buy a pet. He has worked hard to rebuild his relationship with his little sister, to have a good relationship with his father, little brother and myself. He is the full time pet sitter any time my parents are out of town and there is NEVER anything missing or a problem with the animals (NOT what happened when my brother would pet sit!).

    Kids with autism can be violent. The sensory issues they experience can be totally overwhelming. If you are not addressing the sensory part of his issues, you are missing a huge component of his problems. Read THe Out of Sync Child and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun, both by Kranowitz. Get your child in to a private Occupational Therapist (OT) for an evaluation. Understand that your child has NO say in sensory issues and is not doing them to annoy you, his brain simply doesn't work the way so called normal people's brains work. But normal people are mostly boring and I bet your son has never been boring a day in his life, so even when it is annoying, the sensory stuff is a small price to pay. Or that was generally my opinion. But I have my own autistic traits and major sensory problems, so I have my own perspective. ;)
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Susie, sensory problems here too and some red flags for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I get it too.
  11. kaliko

    kaliko New Member

    So an update. Difficult Child is doing better over all. We've been discussing home based family inclusive therapy for both the emotional regulation and specifically for Autism support. They also want to try him on a different medication to help regulate his emotions and anxiety levels. Again they are stressing that they want to use the least amount of medication that can help to regulate him and focus on in home therapy to help him to learn how to self regulate. The medications will hopefully assist but not overwhelm. That is the current plan. He still tests the staff and me when I visit, but he is calming down a great deal. We are still looking a a long road I think, but the DR.s and staff have been great so far and all of your input here has bolstered us.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think that is awesome! I also think it is wonderful that he tests you and the staff when you visit. Why would that be awesome? The staff can only treat what they see. For several weeks my son was just the sweetest kid while he was in the hospital and no one could figure out why he was there. One nurse and his therapist could see that he was faking it to get out fast, and they worked with me to push all his triggers to make him explode one day in a therapy session. It was the most awful day for me, but it was a real breakthrough for him and it let the entire staff see what the real problems were and begin to really help him. So your son testing you and the staff is actually a very GOOD thing because it lets them see what they need to do to help him.

    I like that they want to use the least medications possible as that should always be the goal, in my opinion. One thing that helped us with having my son always be medication compliant and never abuse his medications was to let him know what the medications do, what they are supposed to look like, and we always told him to talk to us if they made him feel good, bad, strange, or off in any way. You might be surprised at some of the strange side effects some of the medications can have, and talking about the ways they make you feel can be difficult for our kids. I always showed any new medications to my son (even at age 7 when he started on medications, and for his little brother at age 4 when he started on them for his allergies) and discussed briefly what they were supposed to do, in an age appropriate way. That way if a medication error happened, it was another person checking to catch the error. It also gave my child some sense of control which was very important to my kids. I don't know if it is important for your kids, but to my oldest son, that was hugely important. He knew that adults make the medical decisions, period, but his input would be listened to and taken into account.

    I think this was a very important thing when it came to keeping him medication compliant in later years. He never refused medications even as a teen. It was one thing we really expected and braced for, but it never came. He did refuse one specific medication, but he asked to change it for something else and he didn't refuse his other medications. He refused it because it gave him strange side effects and they were ones that other people reported on many websites that he and I both found. I thought it was a reasonable request as it was a really painful side effect. So we changed it to a different medication. But that was really the only problem. He is now 25 and is still medication compliant. He has never used illegal drugs and only drinks in moderation. He says the reason he is medication compliant now is that he likes how his medications make him feel, that they let him stay in control of himself. He also says that by explaining what the medications were supposed to do from an early age, and showing him what they looked like, by giving him that sense of control, we helped him want to take his medications and work with the doctors. He felt like he had a role in the process, not like it was just happening to him.

    Sorry if that rambled, but medication compliance is a tough thing and refusal is often something that we struggle with. I was just talking with my son about this because he is one of the few that I know of who really never refused his medications and I wondered why. So this is the result of that conversation.
  13. Coffee Lover

    Coffee Lover New Member

    I have not experienced that nor can I imagine, but I just wanted to say you're doing a good job.
  14. kaliko

    kaliko New Member

    Thankfully he's home now. He showed them his worst and his best. And I'm grateful for that because it let them see all his moods and some of his triggers. Now if I can get the pharmacy, insurance and Dr.s to all play nice and work together, maybe we can get his new medications filled and started.
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  15. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Kaliko, I am glad you are making progress.

    I am nearly 57 years old, Autistic, and have bipolar disorder. (Yes. Both sides of the family peed in my gene pool.)

    For me, as a child, moving lights and shadows were not only horribly distracting, they made me violently nauseous. Tags? To this day I cut them out of my clothing.

    I still stimulant, but have trained myself to minimize the movements.

    I never was physically violent, though engaged in some light self-abuse as an infant and toddler out of feeling that i was "bad" because I couldn't do things "right". (I also have some physical issues). Instead of violence, I either shut down completely, or bolted and hid. (I had to be dug out of more clothing racks...)

    What I do want to tell you is that I had a successful career in Information Technology at the middle mgmt level (IT allows for some "quirkiness" if not downright "wierdity".), in several facets of the field.

    I did drop out of high school, am self educated. I do have the very high IQ that sometimes goes along with this, along with poor executive functioning and a doozy of a Learning Disability (LD) in math, also things that can go along with ASDs.

    I have, as you may have guessed from the above, pretty serious sensory disorders, aggravated because I am aging, fat, now diabetic, and starting to deal with neuropathy in one foot. I mean, seams in socks made me nuts when i was a kid, but now...?!?

    I married my HS sweetheart after dating him for 4 years and living with him for 2. Sadly, he died in '02, and we were unable to have children.

    However, had we had children, while they would likely have been a bit "difficult", I think my late husband and i would've done a good job of raising them.

    I just want to let you know that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) folks, with the proper interventions both at home and in the classroom environment, can live happy, productive lives.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, GN.
  17. kaliko

    kaliko New Member

    Thank you for your words. It helps to know that we will be ok. Through all of this I need to remember that.
    It. Will. Be. Okay. Breath....Repeat. :)