Maybe you can help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by M0mmyMayI, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. M0mmyMayI

    M0mmyMayI New Member

    Hi I am new here. I just "found" this site and I am hoping I can find some answers and help!

    I have been having a lot of trouble with my 9 year old son.

    He has been diagnosis with ADHD and Trichotillomania. He currently takes Concerta and Clonidine. He's been on them for years. We recently had him on Strattera and things were going much better but we had to stop immediately after he began having suicidal thoughts. He also tried Adderall but was taken off of it after complains from his school. (Fighting, falling out of his seat, not listening, no consequences, etc)

    My main problem (that I can not tolerate no more) is him peeing in his room. But he also lies, steals, destruction, food hoarding, peeing in his room, putting holes in his wall, etc

    He has control issues. He don't have a care in the world about any of the punishments we try. He has no consequences for any of the things he does. He often acts like he should be treated like an adult and it's unacceptable how we are treating him.

    He has made up lies about being abuse. He often will tell my mother things just so she will come back and "yell" at me. Which I will not tolerate from my mother but that is a different story)

    Often (mostly in the morning) he will act very goofy while destroying things. Much like a puppy would do. When he see that it bothers us or we tell him to stop, he smiles or giggles and continues to do it. Recently, he started covering his mouth or look away still making it clear that he is laughing. It feels like he is laughing at his authority and pretty much saying I don't have to listen to you, I will not listen to you, and there is nothing you can do to change that.

    He hoards food (he has NOT been neglected ever and he is allowed to eat but we limit his junk food like most parents do)
    He Sneaks/steals candy and junk food. Takes and Eats entire box of cereal & poptarts at a time. Then hides the wrappers & packaging.

    I've even caught him taking weapons or potential weapons into his room such as kitchen knifes, scissors, metal emery boards & fingernail clippers.

    He Pees in his room, down the vent, or out of the window.
    When asked why he replies with MANY different excuses.
    - I had to go and couldn't make it to the bathroom in time.
    - I didn't think you would let me go. (He's aloud to go when ever he wants)
    - The famous "I don't know"
    - Or just will deny he did so.

    He will start a hole on his wall and pick at it until an entire section of the wall is missing. He throws the wall remains on the wall along with spit wads.

    We do do make him spend much time in his room. It's for sleeping purposes only. He just don't sleep much and will either stay awake at night or wake up at the crack of dawn.

    He does have a doorbell chime on his door. A counselor had us put in on his door after he was roaming (sneaking) around the house freely while we were sleeping in the middle of the night and after several close calls of him hurting his little sister. It's been on there for about 4 years. Though we have taken in down several times on trail bases.

    He will pee on things such as toys, covers, the bed (while awake), electronics, down the vent, out windows.

    He will destroy other peoples things (such as his little sisters) He will either take or talk her into letting him borrow stuff. Then he destroys it. Examples: Pulls heads off dolls, cuts there hair off, Rips holes in things, Pees on stuff.

    9 out of 10 times this stuff happens at home. Outside of the home he appears to be a well behaved, well mannered child. I often get complements on how well behaved my children are. He will however, do these things occasionally at other "home" like places such as his Grandmothers house.

    He had some "abuse" while he was in child care when he was 4 years old. This was a short term (less than 2 weeks) before I discovered what was going on and removed him from the center immediately.

    I have had him in counseling and seeing doctors for along time. I've tried several different parenting techniques. I am now at my whits end with my son and don't know what else to do! :confused:
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    There's something besides or in addition to ADHD and Trichotillomania going on in my opinion.

    Neurological disorders tend to be genetic. Anything else in the family such as depression, mood disorder, bipolar, etc?

    When did you first notice he began having problems?

    Welcome to the site!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has he ever seen a neuropsychologist? I recommend one. I agree that there is more going on than was diagnosed, which may be why he isn't getting better. How was his early development (speech, eye contact, relating to same-age peers, sensitivites to certain things, can he transition?) Are there any psychiatric or substance abuse problems on either side of his family tree?
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Unfortunately, I can't offer any advice on the Trichotillomania. However, since it's classified as a compulsive disorder, that could shed some light on the repetitive impulses you are seeing (repeated peeing and hoarding).

    One big question for you - who diagnosed your child with adhd and Trichotillomania? Sounds like a whole lot more going on with your son, in my unprofessional opinion. Has he had a multidisciplinary evaluation or a complete evaluation with a neuropdoc?

    I've not a child with bipolar, but your sons seems to exhibit some of the classic signs - peeing, hoarding, destruction of property, laughing when doing wrong or being disciplined (almost a mania type this I would imagine).

    I think, were I you, I would do some research on the web by googling some of his major symptoms. It might also be worth going to your local library and taking a look at the book, The Bipolar Child or checking out that website.

    We (I) can totally understand your frustration. Many times our difficult children act out only at home. It is the enviornment where they feel the safest. Many also have real trouble with interpersonal relationships - like with siblings or parents.

    I'm sure others will be along shortly with suggestions or advice.

    In the meantime, welcome to the site.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Kids pee when they've been sexually abused too though (unfortunately, I had to learn that this is a symptom). It also can be a sensory issue--picking at stuff and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behavior can be autistic spectrum disorder. in my opinion he needs a neuropsychologist to sort it all out. A lot is going on.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi and welcome - So how would you like your insanity served up? With a slice of humble pie? Here's the good news - it DOES get better. Here's the hard news - It's a LIFETIME committment. This isn't going to go away with a pill or combination of pills - it's always going to be there. The pills can help him manage his impulses - but ultimately he has to learn to control his own person. You are going to be more educated about behavior disorders, genetic disorders, disorders of disorders than you ever imagined. In trying to help I will tell you that consistancy (a word YOU will come to hate for years and then LOVE later on in life) is one key to having a child you can somewhat manage.

    I see you have many questions - so I'll try to help and put my answers to you in another color. Also - understand this before you get your quills up about any of the answers - I HAVE BEEN THERE with a child that did this and more and so have a lot of others. Doesn't mean your situation is any harder or any less - just means - we understand. So with that in mind - here I go.

    My main problem (that I can not tolerate no more) is him peeing in his room. It's his room. But he also lies, steals, destruction, food hoarding, peeing in his room, putting holes in his wall, etc

    If you have a liar - you have a liar. For whatever reason they seem to feel that a fabricated answer is much more attractive than the real one. My son is 18 and I'm not saying he never lies but this was a really hard behavior to correct. It's annoying. What didn't help? Calling him a liar, yelling, raising my voice when he lied and embarrassing him (although ya want to just scream - don't).

    What did help? Sitting him down and telling him that he lies. Telling him that from this point in time forward - WE as his parents will assume EVERYTHING he tells us is a lie. "I'm going outside." he said - "Okay - I'm coming to check and see." WE would physically get up and did the "coming to check and see "- EVERYTHING for nearly two months solid. Bathroom, Going to bed, getting a snack, watching tv - ANYTHING that he said he was going to do - WE CHECKED. OMG that was one of the hardest exercises we ever did.

    The result? = Him getting annoyed with US and saying things like - "I'm using toilet paper to wipe my poop too - want to check." and the answer was ...."Sure." - if he was going to be sarcastic - we needed to follow up with a "check and see" BECAUSE HE IS A LIAR and LIARS NEED TO BE WATCHED LIKE A HAWK NEVER KNOW WHEN THEY ARE TELLING THE TRUTH. But if you watch? YOU KNOW they are telling the truth. I dont' know who was going to crack first but it was one of the first exercises we worked on with our new therapist and when he got annoyed and said "YOu dont' have to follow me EVERYWHERE I'm not lying about EVERYTHING!!!" in an angry tone? We had made a break through. So then one check and see, by one check and see - you reduce the number of things you check on - like he says "I'm going outside". Okay after two months of getting up to follow him outside you say "I'm going to trust you to do what you say." and then don't check and see. ONLY ONE THING - the rest you follow him around like a hawk.

    Stealing? Ugh - I have NO real good suggestion for that one - beacause my son is a convicted felon and was at 15 - then charged 6 months later when he turned 16 as an adult. We didn't bail him out like the moms of the other two that were with him - we left him go to jail, we visited. We allowed the judicial process to move forward - he is now on probation for 3 years, with HUGE ridiculous fines, and supervision fees, and community service. Has it been an inconvenince? Ugh - understatement of the year. But he's REALLY done what he could to make a 180 in his life and does NOT want to go back to jail - no matter HOW tough the "talk" was - that he could do 3 months there standing on his head. So it's helped in a sense that he HATES to give his money up. (haha really? nice). We also point out our faith and that one commandment - but don't beat it into him with a rod. Know what I mean??

    Destruction? WOW what an angry young man. Mine has NEVER had a single toy he's kept in one piece. NOTHING - and I mean NOTHING has remained whole. He's beaten things with ballbats...and as long as it was his things? Whatever. But....eventually there has got to be a connection made in his brain that destruction, and destructive behaviors equate to people perceiving him as an out of control person. He needs someone to teach him that it is OKAY to be angry....really it is. I hate when I hear parents say "Don't you get angry' or 'QUIT being angry." because well, everyone gets angry...but you need to learn how to display your anger in an appropriate manner. THAT is a huge step. Those steps are learned by teaching him coping skills. Coping skills take a LOT of time, a LOT of repetition and a LOT of patience. They also involve teaching him about choices. AND it involves YOU and your husband learning a WHOLE new language called effective communication. - IF you're angry and I say to you "Gosh you shouldn't be angry about that." I'm not validating YOUR feelings. I'm basically saying you're feelings don't count. But if you get angry and I say "Must be hard to not get picked for dodgeball." it opens up a communication dialog that IS a coping skill - you are essentially learning HOW to talk to this kid - and in the process - HEAR and Validate HIS feelings. He's angry - YOU sympathize, HE says I DON"T care - you say -"OH YES YOU DO." - WRONG - saying YES YOU DO - you're telling him his feelings are WRONG...and he shuts down. Instead you say "Well I sure would be." again - agreeing and empathy abound.

    Coping skills are pretty easy to learn, but it takes a long time. Also - he needs an outlet when he's angry - something that is OKAY to do. It could be a heavy bag hung outside that he can hit with his hands, or a ballbat for now - or it could be that you say - I am going for a walk and I'm going to stomp my feet so hard I'll put holes in the sidewalk - want to try it? He'll more than likely say no - and "This" time - is just for him. If your other kids say "I'll try it" then say "Let's you and me do that another time this time is for me and X to stomp holes in the sidewalk." (and yes if you are wondering my neighbors think my family has bugs in the yard or that we're just plain gone) I don't care - I get to go back in with a kid that is learning to control his temper and act out in an appropriate manner. My sons fav. coping skill when he's angry is to say "I NEED A MOMENT" and then he'll walk out. It was one of the choices he had been given as he progressed through learning how to cope with rage and anger. Mine? Mine is to close my eyes, and imagine a box in space and turn it with my mind and then go scream into a pillow AND (since I am the Mom of a difficult child I get a few more) Learn and recite the alphabet in many languages. I can also count to 10 - in many MANY languages. lol.

    Food hoarding? Well - sorry to tell you this but you're going to have to start to lock stuff up. This can also go under the category of lying. Because you have said "Don't take food" and he said "I don't" and he's lying. But if you lock it up - it's a NO PROBLEM - problem. And you'll deal with this in counseling too. There are lots of hoarders on the board. Some with food, some with articles of clothing, some with varies, but you're not alone. We had a problem with Dude HIDING food -but not hoarding. Also - if there are few things in his room - it makes finding hidden things easier. And from my own sons mouth - every time we pulled a full Riley - Removing EVERYTHING but the bed, blankets and pillow and one comfort item? He would ask us NOT to put stuff back. He said the clutter of a stuffed room made him irritated. So go figure. To this day - even in his own room now - it has a bed, the essentials a few clothes folded in a basket - and a couple photos of his friends - I'd like to see a clock in there so he had to get up for work...(lol ) but besides a lamp? That's it - and that's TOTALLY his choice. He was actually proud to show me his room at his buddies house.

    Holes in the wall ? I have to laugh because Dude moved out and there were so many patches on the wall it looked like bumpy wallpaper. I now have a Masters Degree in plaster patching. So do many other Mom's here. You can - leave them. You get cheap posters to put over them - find free posters on the web....its' a nice treat for a kid to get something int he can use magazine cut outs and tacky dough (NO THUMBTACKS - they become weapons later) or you can go through the expense of patching the holes to keep up with the maintenance. At first? I'd patch - patch patch...OMG what if someone saw them? UGh....then I realized that it was HIS room - and he could look at what he did....ugly holes. He actually did this until one day I couldn't take it any longer and punched though the wall of his room and into my closet and simultaneously kicked my foot through his bedroom wall, broke the 2x4 in the wall and nearly broke my foot off in the wall of my other bedroom. After that display of stupidity and desperation? Dude didn't really hit or make any holes in the wall. Later he said joking - "Please dont' ever use that Southern phrase 'if you' and the follow it up with "I'll break my foot off up in your ### because I think you could do it Mom." What started as a really poor show of my own coping skills actually wasn't a bad thing because at some point even when you think your kids dont' know - they do. That day was sort of a turning point for the walls and our family - Mom had had enough.

    Peeing? Yeahhhhh lovely. Have one that poops and decorates with it and you'll think peeing is a dream come true. have one that does BOTH? And you'll just remove the carpet, cover his bed and mattress in plastic and clean his room to a fresh start where you both inspect the room and see - NO pee anywhere. Put the covers on everything. Learn to make THEM clean it up - no matter HOW long it takes. And again - anytime he goes in his room? Watch him like a hawk. I'm sure you'll get better advice from others on this - but once you start to learn that you're either going to put a child in your line of sight 9 hours a day weekdays and 24/7 on weekends you are ALWAYS going to live with the Whizzer. Dont' make fun of him - but get a special little pail, gloves and a brush and some non-toxic cleaner and supervise him while he cleans up his own pee with his own pee bucket, pee brush and pee cleaner. Make a designated place for him to clean out this pee bucket, pee brush and pee cleaner and supervise him as he does that - then supervise him as he puts it away.

    Also - I know this is lame - but find on line - Potty targets - paper targets that he can come get from you - BECAUSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOSUE AND ALL YOUR ROOMS ARE NOW LOCKED UP and you are WATCHING HIM LIKE A HAWK....and tell him for every target he gets a bullseye - he can have (then give a reward) say a quarter to save for a big prize on the weekend from the dollar store, or McDonalds. Or use clippy clothes pins on a string that he has NO access to and everytime he pees in the toilet on a target and gets a bullseye (of course he will tell you I HIT IT everytime - that's fine) he gets a clothespin. Each clothespin is worth a dime....and every time he pees somewhere? He looses TWO and cleans his own pee. If he likes to pee outside? (shrug) I have ones that still do this - and well I hate it - BUT - again - they like to have something to aim at. My mother decopauged her toilet when my Dad was alive - apparently he had poor aim. She put leaves in the toilet - towards the bottom flushy thing and voila - better aim. men like to aim.....not kidding. Even in Japan they've started putting flys in the porcelain urinals to help men aim.

    Clonodine - was supposed to help Dude sleep at night. It helped him pee the bed. It made him so cold and breath so shallow - They had him on SO much - I finally said no more. WE tried over 65 medications over the years and nothing worked, and little even helped () much. Watching what he ate and helping him get plenty of WEAR YOU OUT FLAT exercise was helpful the most.

    Trying not to overwhelm - but hope this helps....and (lol) yeah I know this is just in answer to your first line of questions. Seriously - talk to your therapist about learning EFFECTIVE communication and ask him about starting the CHECK AND SEE - you really can't do it without feedback and since it will frustrate your child - neither can he - he'll need to vent about it. But it helped us.


  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Sorry you had to find us MMI but glad you did. This place is a total sanity saver! (and comedy central, strong absorbent shoulders.....anything you can imagine...we've pretty much got it) definately have your hands full. Before I go may want to check out the FAQ page if you haven't already. We have developed our own language here and that page will fill you in on the lingo and many more questions you may have.

    Ok, so.....some of the things your son does I have experience with and some I don't so take what you can from my response and pfffft the rest. LOL Actually I am considering just copying Star's response...she covered quite a lot of good ideas.

    The food issues? Yep....lock stuff up. It hoovers (this board self censors so some words like s u c k get ****'d out) to live that way, I know, but it is a necessity. When I come home from the grocery store, I put some stuff away in the kitchen and some away in my bedroom. Just as an example, all food stuffs that go in my room would include: cookies, chips, soda, cake, cereal, pop tarts, snacks of all non-refrigerated kinds....basically anything that would get eaten in a day or two. Even when I buy things that have to be refrigerated, I have to try to hide them or use/consume them almost immediately. Still other things.....well, we do what we can but there are items that we either do without or buy frequently. (I bought some cookie dough once and found half of it in the trash the next day. My son apparently thought I would buy the idea that the DOG opened the frig, got it out, knawed on it awhile and son discovered this and threw it away. Riiiiiiiiight. Nope...son decided that since it had been in the frig for 18 hours, I wasn't going to use it which made it fair game so he ate what he wanted, let the dog chew on it for teeth marks to cover his brilliant story and then tossed what was left.) So yeah, I've been there done that and still am. But, by locking it up, we mean REALLY locking it up. (Don't worry about CPS coming in and labeling you as neglectful parents either. It's not like you are locking up ALL the food, just the "junk" food.) Don't bother with a flimsy lockbox or even a key doorknob lock on your bedroom door. They are pointless.....easy to break into. We tried the doorknob route and our room was broken into TWICE before we broke down and installed a deadbolt on our bedroom door. It is locked at all times when we aren't in it or are out of sight of it and we even sleep with it locked. Also locked in our room are possessions that we want to keep from getting destroyed/used without permission/taken apart/etc. I have a little cady that I keep my bathroom stuff in (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc.) and carry it to the bathroom every morning and then take back to my room when I'm done. Otherwise, my son will play with it. (And did I mention that he's EIGHTEEN???) I don't buy things for my house that aren't useful because I know they will just get ruined in one way or another. Anything I buy that we actually need, I go relatively cheap because there is no point in getting the "good" stuff while difficult child is still here.

    As for the stealing....we do periodic "inspections" of difficult child's room. He's a big one for "finding" things around the house and confiscating them for his own use or amusement. We also have been known to have him turn his pockets out before we leave places and check his backpack. Kind of like Star said in relation to the lying....if you have a have a thief. I would love to tell you that we found a way to curtail it but we haven't. difficult child has been in court more than once for theft and even that hasn't stopped him.

    Seeing as how I've now written almost a book and I could go on and on and on...I think that pretty much covers most of my experience with what you're going through. Just know that you are not alone here, we don't judge and most importantly....WE GET IT!
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Just hoping you saw this advice and came back for more help! HOpe this are going well today!
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Star, mstang - you guys have really given me some stuff to think about too, both with difficult child and easy child/difficult child. MMI please don't feel alone because when I was reading your post I was seeing my two in pieces (mostly difficult child but some easy child/difficult child as well) so the responses are helping me out too.

    And about those locks, regular key locks ARE totally useless. It seems silly to have a deadbolt on a bedroom door but I found out it's necessary. Of course we never got to this point. I can't get husband to lock the doorknob in the first place so it's pointless to even have a locking door. Of course it's not HIS stuff difficult child wants anyway... She has no interest in that stuff... Jewelry and makeup are way more cool... Sigh.

    MMI I have noticed that some of the moms who have been here for a while have a ton of insight and I would third - fourth? - their idea for the neuropsychologist... (by the way they are also right a lot. Wow.) I hope you have been able to come back and check their ideas!

    {{{HUGS}}} and prayers too.
  10. WSM

    WSM New Member

    We have one of those locks with a keypad on our door and on one of the other kids' door (he wanted one because he was more offended when difficult child went in). Everyone has the combo except the 8 year old and difficult child.

    We had keyed locks, but it was always a hassle carrying the key.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I love the keypad idea... Where did you get them? Are the buttons soft or hard - difficult child likes to pick out soft buttons (remote controls get hidden constantly)???
  12. Welcome, sorry you had to find us, but this place really truly is a soft place to land.

    I agree your son needs further evaluation. I almost wonder too about mood issues or something else. Some of what you are describing sounds like my son before he was diagnosed.

    Just try and remember as upset and frustrated as you get, this is still your son that you love. I have to remind myself sometimes on the really hard days that I really do love my son and would do anything for him.

    Like Star said, this is a lifetime commitment and just doesn't go away with a pill.

    It's a learning process too for everyone, as I go through this with both of my children, I am finding that I learn new ways of dealing with issues all the time. - And what works for my daughter may or may not work for my son.

    There will be good days or even good moments - cherish each and every one of them and remember them when the times get rough - because they will.

    Best of luck,

  13. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Echoing Star yet again. Hope you've seen this and got something useful and encouraging from it.
  14. M0mmyMayI

    M0mmyMayI New Member

    Just wanted to follow up. (Sorry, I know it's been a while!)

    I found out last year my son is on the spectrum. However this did not happen until after my own parents shared my childhood testing with me (that they disagreed with and chose to ignore) that I was (I guess still am) an Aspie (High-Functioning Autism (HFA)) & SpLD.

    This diagnosis opened the doors for myself and my son. For the first time in my life "it" makes sense. I always knew I was different. But I never could figure out why. I thought I was a pro and mimicking my peers so that I could fit in.... I guess that's weird itself! LOL

    The things I learned about myself where amazing and I'm still learning. I have bad habits and tend to shut out things and shut down when things are too much. It's not idea but it was a way of dealing and purely self taught coping skills.

    Having a diagnosis for my son has opened the doors for him to get the help he needs. He's now attending a school for kids on the spectrum only. We still have lots of problems and we live life strange behind these 4 walls!

    I need to work on helping myself now so I can better help him. And I need to find ways to parent him effectively because right now things are a chaos mess and I can't cope well like this!

    I'll start a new thread later and hopeful someone will have some tips that will improve our lifestyle some! :)

    Sorry its late, but thanks for the replies and helpful suggestions. (Poor social follow up then, see I'm learning!)
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Welcome back... this time, stick around a bit. I expect you'll discover that being an Aspie and a parent isn't totally strange on this board either!
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did your child have a very turbulant early years up to age three? Different caregivers? Lots of chaos, moving around, and abuse? Witnessing divorce? Divorces? New boyfriend/girlfriend? Was he adopted? He sounds severe enough to have some sort of attachment disorder, which is hard to treat. Has he ever seen a neuropsychologist?

    At this point, his behavior is so severe that I doubt any parenting style or behavioral therapy will help him. It won't be enough. Can you tell us more about his very early years? He has many, many symptoms of a child with very insecure attachment, something many professionals don't even think about.

    He needs higher level professionals...psychiatrists (with the MD) and a neuropsychologist for diagnosting.

    Is any of his behavior sexualized? Does he pull down his pants in front of other kids, for example?
  17. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    This seems to be an old thread from 2009, MWM!
    It would be good to know what happened to this child, though.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It WAS an old thread...
    The original poster came back, and updated.
    What we are responding to is the update.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was just about to say oops, old thread.

    Regardless of his being on the spectrum, his behavior is beyond the spectrum, unless it has stopped. I look forward to a new thread with a better explanation. And I hope his code red behaviors have diminished since his diagnosis. Lots of that really doesn't seem consistent with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), at least not by itself.