My husband is deployed and my aspie son is on a rampage. HELP!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Renea, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Renea

    Renea Member

    Hello all. I hate that it's been a while since I've been on here and now I pop in asking for advice. :( I'm at my wits end and I don't know what to do. I'm hoping someone on here will have suggestions. I'm currently waiting for a return call from my son's psychiatrist and in the meantime I'm just sitting here wondering what to do next.

    My son is 10 years old. He has been diagnosed with Asperger's and possibly Adhd. His current counselor believes he has adhd, mostly because his behavior can be extremely impulsive, but we don't have anything official with that diagnosis yet. My husband deployed a week ago. My 10 year old currently takes 20 mg Prozac, down from 30 mg about 6 months ago. My husband and I both knew this deployment was going to be a challenge for our son but the first few days after husband left were really good days and so I was hopeful that everything would be ok. The last three days have been a totally different story though. He has been mouthy, really impatient, super sensitive and disrespectful. When I gave him consequences for his behavior (loss of certain privileges) he has turned physical. He has called me names, pushed me, tried to hit me in the face several times. He has screamed, yelled, told me he is running away and today he told me he is going to kill me. Once he calmed down, he told me that he didn't mean he was going to kill me, he was just really mad. While he was saying he was going to kill me, he was trying to turn over the living room couch and just about succeeded. His behavior right now is so unpredictable. :( We don't have any family nearby. My mom has offered to drive the 4 hours to come stay with us for a few days until he calms down. I've called his psychiatric doctor, even though we just saw him a few days ago and everything had been ok at that point so I don't know what he will offer to do. Maybe change medications? Different dose on current medication?

    He wants to blame me for everything right now. He tells me that everything that he does is my fault. He refuses to accept any responsibility. He has been like this to a certain extent before my husband left, especially leading up to the day husband left, but not as severe as this. We knew this was going to be a big transition for him and we all know how transitions go with these kids but I need some peace in my home asap! This is the kind of behavior we saw 2-3 years ago, daily, before he was diagnosed and before medication and therapy. I feel we have taken a HUGE step back. I've even been looking into residential treatment facilities in case this kind of behavior continues. There is only so much I can take/tolerate in my home. I've found one that seems really good that is about 45 minutes away and it is on my "back up plan" list but I really want to get a hold on this myself if possible.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated!!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Who diagnosed him? Did he have a day of testing maybe with a neuropsychologist? I personally have a spectrum child and to me it sounds like if he is on the spectrum or has ADHD or both, he also has something else too. Normal parenting for consesquences or expected an Aspie to understand that a parent is an authority figure is a challenge and these kids require special parenting. Typical methods don't work, as you've seen. What medications is he on? medications can make kids better or worse, depending. Does he get any help from school interventions?

    Your psychiatrist sounds like he isn't that sure what is going on. I'd take kiddo to a neuropsychologist for a comprehensive evaluation. Psychiatrists don't do them.
  3. Renea

    Renea Member

    He was diagnosed with Asperger's and General Anxiety Disorder by a pediatric neurologist almost three years ago. His current psychiatrist didn't diagnose him, that's just who we see currently for medications. He takes 20 mg of Prozac. He has been taking Prozac for two years now and it has helped him tremendously. His dose was lowered from 30 mg to 20mg back in jan/feb and he was doing ok on the lower dose. His counselor is the one who has said ADHD and that is based on the fact that he has told us he will run away. She says she is worried about his impulsive behavior. His pediatric neurologist never diagnosed him with Adhd. Just aspergers and anxiety. This is definitely not a new road for us. We have been through countless therapist, psychologist, doctors,etc. since he was 4 years old. He is homeschooled. We live in a small town and the special education department out here us a joke. I'm sorry for any typos. I'm having to send this from my phone.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    ADD/ADHD can't be formally diagnosed in addition to Asperger's. It is, however, frequently part of Asperger's, and some doctors will add that diagnosis so that school etc. has more idea about how to handle this child (maybe... my experience with schools "getting it" is not positive...).

    You have an Aspie who has just been handed a major, life-changing transition... and because husband is deployed, that comes with the risk that he might not make it back. Your Aspie high-anxiety son is... going crazy. It's not about punishments, it's not about rewards. They won't work in this situation.

    He's 10? Might be worth exploring some other medications options, if he's that out of control. Also keep in mind that for some kids, the hormone changes can start his young... and while those have their own challenges, the hormone changes also affect how medications work.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    Your son is currently in a "crisis" - and if he becomes a danger to himself or others you can certainly call 911 and have him transported to the ER or psychiatric hospital. They can hold him a short while and prescribe or adjust his medications.

    In addition to your Mom - what kinds of support services are in your area?
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    What I would do if this were one of mine is everything calming as I could. Try to keep his stress level down for awhile while we process what the new routine is going to be. If that doesn't work then send him somewhere to have his meltdown (timeout room, bedroom). If that doesn't work (he won't go) I would call for help. This could mean calling 911 OR it could mean calling a neighbor over (if having a new person would calm him down) or it could mean him going with someone to calm down. Write down what you are going to do before hand. He does x behavior I do y. Write down who you are going to call and have their numbers in your phone. Are there other home school families around you can ask for support? Or other military families? You might want to call the police when everything is calm and explain the situation. Ask them what would happen if you called 911 and asked for transport of a mentally ill, out of control child who is saying he will kill you to a hospital.

    When he is not raging try to talk to him about what is happening. When is husband maybe coming home? Is he coming home? What does husband do during the day? Where does husband sleep? When will difficult child get to talk to him again? How will this affect difficult child? How is difficult child feeling about it? What can he do with those feelings?
  7. Renea

    Renea Member

    Thanks for the replies. DaisyFace, he goes to art and play therapy once a week and he sees his counselor every other week. He is supposed to restart a social skills class once the school year starts back up. As far as support services for me?? I don't really much. Our family is fairly supportive and I can always pack some bags and head home for a few days. My mother in law has also said she plans to come visit us every other month while husband is gone.

    Liahona, I like your suggestions and I will call the pd and just see what they say.

    I finally heard back from his psychiatrist this evening and he is prescribing a low dose of Atarax for him for the next two weeks. Anyone have any thoughts on that medication? I'd never heard of it before.
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    First, want to thank your husband for his service, and you for your sacrifice. And I mean that sincerely.

    Changes, especially really big changes like your son is experiencing right now, throw these kids way out of whack and it can take a very long time for them to adjust to the new "normal". You might go through something similar when your husband returns.

    The others are right when they say your son is in crisis mode. I'm glad that them psychiatrist prescribed something to help him, but why only for two weeks? Is it just to get him over the hump? If your mom comes to stay for a few days how will he react when she leaves?

    I have a son who says the most awful things to me when he's raging. After he's calm he tells me that he didn't mean them, but my concern is what happens if he chooses to act on those words in the middle of his meltdown? If your son gets physical and threatens you, you must protect yourself, and if that includes calling the police, do it! It's not an easy thing to do, but you have to be safe.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Honestly, I was hoping you had a few kinds of support services that you could call in the event of a crisis. Maybe a therapist who could come out and work with your child in your home? Can your psychiatrist or therapist put you in touch with any other resources?
  10. Renea

    Renea Member

    He goes to see his counselor tomorrow and I will see what she suggests. We have only lived here for a year and I don't know too many people. My neighbors are nice enough. We have a couple of friends about 20 minutes away. Honestly though? It would take a whole heck of a lot for me to call on any of them in a crisis because I am so embarrassed when he is like that! I can't even stand the thought of my neighbors knowing that my 10 year old tries to beat me up. :( They have no idea of any of that because usually when they see him, he is acting nice. We even get compliments from them about how well behaved our boys are! Boy, if they only knew. Don't get me wrong, "I" know that he has issues and that's why he is in various therapies and sees a handful of dr's but the neighbors and friends don't even know the half of any of that. They know he has Asperger's but not our whole story. I'm just so afraid of them judging us and I have just got to the point where I don't make friends easily anymore because I really don't want to take the chance of being judged or losing friends over my son. Of course, if things get really bad and a police car pulls into my driveway, I guess they will know something is up. <sigh>

    His dr prescribed the Atarax for two weeks in hopes that he would calm down by then and fall into a routine and the worst of dad leaving would be behind him. I have my doubts that the medication will help but we shall see.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is he counselor a specialist in Aspergers? These kids are tricky when it comes to counseling. It often just does not work.
    Has your son had any Occupational Therapist (OT) or PT? He sounds more mood disorderish than spectrumish to me. I would get a second opinion and go to a neuropsychologist. I never heard of a neurologist making these sorts of diagnoses. For the most part, they stick to epilepsy and things like that, not disorders that require extensive testing.
  12. Renea

    Renea Member

    Maybe you are right MidwestMom. Maybe he needs another evaluation. He has a lot of traits that have always pointed to something on the autism spectrum that I haven't talked about in this post. He has a ton of sensory issues: loud noises, clothes are always bothering him, has to be clean all the time, can't even stand a drop of water on his clothes, can't stand to get dirty, foods have weird textures to him. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head right now. He has always felt the need to be perfect and win all of the time. He gets so mad at himself when he messes up on anything and hits himself repeatedly. He is very socially ackward. Kids tell him he is weird. He kinda talks at kids and not really with them. Thankfully, he doesn't seem to even notice when kids are giving him the cold shoulder. Well, maybe not so thankfully since sometimes he will think these kids are his friends when they are very obviously NOT his friends and he will keep coming around them until one of them tells him off. He has horrible eye contact. He is always asking me if something he has said is rude or sarcastic. He says he can't tell.

    When I first addressed my concerns to his pediatrician many moons ago, I was told he could be referred to either a developmental pediatrician or a pediatric neurologist. We have seen both. We saw the developmental pediatrician first (when he was 4) and she said his problems were neurologically based but that she couldn't provide a diagnosis at the time and with age a diagnosis may become more apparent. What a waste of time. We saw the pediatric neurologist when he was 8 and she is the one who diagnosed him with Asperger's. I'm not sure if that isn't who usually diagnosis that kind of disorder but we were referred to her and we definitely weren't the first in her office for that type of evaluation. I looked up neuropsychologist testing last night and I will see what my insurance says about it but it sure sounds like something they won't want to cover. Either way, his pediatrician would have to put in a referral for it and we see her soon for him well child exam.

    His counselor specializes in Aspergers children. She is an art and play therapist. We have not been seeing her for a long time so I don't know what will or won't be accomplished in his meeting with her.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Renea, I'm glad you made it through that crisis with-the couch almost being overturned. been there done that.
    Yes, with-the sensory issues you describe, that really sounds like spectrum to me.
    And that he can't tell about rudeness or sarcasm.
    I've never heard of that medication before. I'll look it up. We use clonidine. It helps a lot.
    Once your husband comes home, you two will have to sit down and discuss the new way of parenting you will have. It is very different having a kid on the spectrum.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He does sound like he has Aspergers. Classically so. He could have a mood disorder too.
  15. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    I occasionally take attarax for ptsd/anxiety and while its hard to explain, its sort of like a giant reset my case it turns the constant loop in my head off and allows me to tune out....and when it wears off, my head is still reasonably quiet (nothing comes rushing back immediately!) for me, its definitely helpful.

    I will let you know that sometimes by the next day I get quietly b*tchy--life irritates me. I don't feel like raging, its just like major pms. i'm not positive why it happens, but that aftereffect is usually gone by that evening. I only use it as I need it, usually at night since it makes me tired, so I cant say if this would still happen if someone was on a consistent dose.

    i'd just keep an eye on him and consider you may want to give it at night if he gets tired from it...

    and be empathetic if he gets a little aftershock of pms ;-)

    hope it give both of you the relief you need!
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'll have to look that up. I wonder if it's related to Ativan? My cousin takes it and yes, it does have a rebound effect. But she (and I! being with her) couldn't live with-o it.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Interesting "inactive" ingredients. If you've got allergies, you don't want to take most medications out there: anhydrous lactose, colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, FD&C Yellow No. 6, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80 and titanium dioxide.

    Lactose and yellow dye? I know it's a tiny amt but if you've got that kind of system ... Why can't pharma companies make things with-o dyes? Isn't it enough that the number printed on the side is a dye? Sorry. Off my soapbox now.

    Here's the gist of it:


    (hye-DROX-i-zeen HYE-droe-KLOR-ide)

    USES: Hydroxyzine is used to treat itching caused by allergies. It is an antihistamine and works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Hydroxyzine may also be used short-term to treat anxiety or to help you feel sleepy/relaxed before and after surgery.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Atarax is basically benedryl on steroids. Very strong benedryl. It is also known as something starting with a V but I cant remember it right now. My medications are always generic.

    It may help somewhat but it never did for me. It did do well at stopping any itching.