Need to know I did the right thing

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ceolgirl, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. ceolgirl

    ceolgirl Guest

    I haven't posted on here in sometime, but felt the need to today. This weekend, my 10 year old difficult child had one of her worst meltdowns yet. She ended up throwing a chair at me and I called 911. We ended up in the ER, where the psychiatric there did nothing other than tell us to follow-up with her regular psychiatric. She has been on Abilify for nearly 10 months, and on Lexapro for the past two months, which we discontinued yesterday.

    I'm feeling such guilt for having put her through the turmoil of having EMS and the police come and physically remove her from the house. I need to know from someone else here who has dealt with a high functioning Asperger's child and can help point me in the direction of the right kind of behavioral therapist to look for? I don't know the right things to ask, and I desperately need to know that I did the right thing. My whole family are furious with me, thinking that I'm not accepting that my interaction with her is part of the problem and they think that I have needlessly traumatized her by what I have done.

    Any and all suggestions, comments, support is most welcome!
  2. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    You did the right thing. Plain and simple.,....


    When it gets to a point where you cannot control the safety of a situation at hand and must call for help. YOU DID THE RIGHT THING!!!
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    She threw a chair at you. This put you in danger of physical harm and right into a domestic violence situation.

    The ER will rarely do anything, but a visit *might* make your child think twice before doing it again.

    You did right. And may have to do it again. Was the Lexapro discontinued before, or after, the incident?
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont care what the rest of your family think, when another person is that out of control, getting them help is the right thing. Im sorry that the ER staff wasnt able to do anything for you, that was wrong on their part. So many times our kids can snow ER docs.

    I am not able to tell you what help to access for an Asperger's child with violent rages. I didnt have one. I believe I would contact the local autism society to see if they have any good referrals.
  5. Frazzledmom

    Frazzledmom Guest

    We had our son transported to the ER at about that age because he was violent. I think it made the difference. He has not been violent since. He does not have Asperger's although I do think he has some symptoms. You did the right thing. It was only when I made the decision that I would not live in a violent home that I was able to make my home non-violent. Good luck. It is not fair that your family is not supporting you.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You did the right thing!!!!!!! And if she throws a chair at you again tonight, do it again.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    You absolutely did the right thing.
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Someone threw a chair at you. If it was a husband or boyfriend (I don't know your situation) who did that to you would they be upset that you called the police to have a violent man removed from your home in order to protect yourself? Abuse is abuse, no matter who it comes from.

    Yes, you did the right thing.

  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    As the others have said, you did *absolutely* the right thing. My son was extremely violent for years, and I called 911 for transport to hospital rather frequently. You really have no other choice - it is a matter of safety, both yours and your child's.

    As far as your family being furious with you, well.... ok. Were they there to help you out? At what point would it not anger them - do you have to wait until blood is drawn? Sometimes our interactions with- our kids can provoke them, but sometimes just my mere existence was enough to send my son completely over the edge.

    Don't you feel guilty for protecting yourself, please. How much more traumatic would it have been for her if she had seriously injured you? I don't think our raging kids every really intend to hurt us, but... when they are that out of control, it's really easy to get hurt. You are allowed to be safe in your own home.

    Sorry ER staff was less than helpful - hopefully you and psychiatrist/therapist can brainstorm and come up with a crisis plan, but I honestly don't believe you should ever take calling 911 out of the plan if you have no way to safely contain your kiddo.

  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    When it gets to that stage, there is not much else you can do.

    However - there are strategies you can begin to put in place, to prevent.

    One a rage escalates to this point, there is not much you can do except duck and cover, until it passes.

    Whether to take a child to the ER - we do things a little differently here in Australia, we don't call the police as often, we don't take an out of control child to the ER as often. We actually have never taken a kid to the ER for out of control behaviour.

    But we nearly did. Perhaps we should have. The incident which had us wondering - difficult child 3 had been on Strattera for three days, a new psychiatrist thought it would be better than stimulant medications for a kid with anxiety issues. But difficult child 3 got physically violent with me, he was out of control. We were at a friend's place, thankfully in a separate room because I'd already sent difficult child 3 out of the room for inappropriate behaviour. Poor kid - there was so much anger in him, not for any valid reason but purely a medication reaction. It was after midnight when we left the place, difficult child 3 was talking non-stop, aggressively, not making a lot of sense. We should have taken him to the ER but chose instead to get some sleep. it worked out for us - next morning we had a calmer, contrite and non-Strattera'd kid.

    We chose to not take him to the ER, and we lucked out. With hindsight, we should have taken him if only to be sure he was OK - the Strattera was the culprit.

    Another time - difficult child 3 was at school, a new school for him (which meant staff didn't know how to handle him, only his class teacher and aide understood). Class teacher gave difficult child 3 his Communication Book and said, "Put it on my desk." Then left. At that point another teacher took charge of the class and said, "We are now going to the school hall to watch a movie."
    Two problems right away - strange teacher. Going to watch a movie - always a problem for difficult child 3. On top of this, we had the conflicting instruction. difficult child 3 said to the new teacher, "Class teacher said I have to put this book on his desk."
    Teacher said, "Do it later."
    BIG problem. difficult child 3 took an instruction from class teacher as more important and as now being prevented form doing what he had been told to do. As they got closer to the school hall and further away from the classroom desk, difficult child 3's agitation and distress grew, until by the time they got to the hall he became violent and began throwing chairs. They kept all the other kids out of the hall and summoned the class teacher. difficult child 3 as calmed down enough to be escorted out, he missed the film and I was told about it later. No ambulance called, no police called. The class teacher was able to work out what triggered it, and with triggers removed, difficult child 3 calmed down.

    With Asperger's, if you can work out the trigger and de-fuse it, that can often be a more effective outcome. But that's a big IF. Also, there need to be consequences if the behaviour really is uncontrollable and you can't find that trigger, or can't defuse things for one reason or another. Really, what you're dealing with is no different to the tantrum a toddler will throw when their ice cream is knocked to the ground. We forgive a lot in toddlers because they don't know any better or don't have the social understanding. The thing is - Aspies, especially younger ones, are working at the toddler level, in some social respects. They have a shorter fuse, they have less capability to deflect themselves. But they are capable of learning these skills. They just can't learn them the way other people do. These kids need help, not punishment.

    I want to be clear here - I am not blaming you in any way. You are trying to be the best parent you can be. But FOR THIS CHILD, chances are you are doing it wrong. Not your fault - it's just that what is right for these children, is sometimes the opposite of what you would expect.

    So when others accuse you of being the problem - in a way you are, but because you are trying to be a GOOD parent.

    When a kid misbehaves, the tendency is for us to clamp down on them and control them more firmly. The trouble with this in Asperger's, is it makes them a lot worse. You also may notice that they have a different attitude to cause and effect. We found that if difficult child 3 got to full-blown rage, he just could not get, even later when he calmed down, that he was wrong. Once he was angry, he felt justified in his anger. However, if we could deflect before it got that bad, he often would come and apologise of his own volition, once he calmed down.

    Read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It should help you better understand what I'm trying to say. It also helps give you alternative techniques for managing such a child. I find these methods more painless and a lot more effective. Also a lot easier for me.

    When a child rages to the level of violence against others, transport to the ER is the way to go, because we don't know why this is happening and if there is an underlying serious condition, this needs to be assessed and treated. However, in Asperger's, that alone is enough to explain such a rage. You don't need to worry they're having a psychotic break, for example. You do need to be sure you are safe and the child is safe. Other than that, it's a waiting game. If the child cannot regain self-control even when left alone, or if the child is posing an imminent danger to self and others, then again - transport to ER. But they will send the child home once he is calm.

    The best way to go, is to learn what triggers a rage, and work to head them off. Even if you feel like you're giving way. So you need to plan ahead. First, avoid triggers. If you know your child hates mashed potato, don't feed the child mashed potato. if you do put some on his plate and he yells at you for it, DO NOT make him eat it as punishment for his rudeness. Deal with the rudensss entirely separately - YOU made the mistake, apologise for it. It teaches the child how to admit a mistake and apologise. These kids learn to behave, by following your example. So if you are a strict disciplinarian focussed on punishing bad behaviour, you are producing a child who will be trying to punish YOU for what they perceive to be your own "bad behaviour".

    The rudeness angle - you do not have to become a doormat, but you have to accept that your child does not know how to behave and you cannot punish it into her. Instead, keep your tone quiet and calm, but say, "That was not the way to handle that. I made a mistake putting mashed potato on your plate. I am sorry, accidents happen. I apologised - you need to now accept my apology gracefully, and work with me to find a solution. Now, what is it you want out of this? Let's discuss it."

    Every interaction is a teaching opportunity. People will look at you like you have two heads, when you let some really rude behaviour apparently pass without "Go to your room!" But you have to do what WORKS. And punishment for hat a kid can barely control, does not work. Instead you use modelling, encouragement, support and praise. It is amazing how fast it can bring improvement on so many levels.

    I think your family picked up on your trying to maintain some firm control in the face of apparent chaos, and could see that this was aggravating things. But they can't see what else you could do, that would work. But they still felt the ER as not warranted. In a way they are right, but only in a way. Overall, looking at the whole problem AFTER thins got to tat point - you did the right thing. But if you had realised or had the chance, there was a much better right thing you probably could have done. But I bet you, they will be even more critical of you to begin with. The payoff for you - these methods work, and also any family members NOT on board with these methods, will find themselves the focus of her remaining hostility! Poetic justice!

    So in summary - as far as possible, learn how to prevent such rages. It can be done, it's in the book. But if ever things get this bad - do what you did.

    Stick around, let us know how you get on. Pick brains. I was talking to a new friend yesterday, I mentioned my autistic son. Then I mentioned that his older brother has a different set of problems, and their sister is different again. I saw the look of shock on her face and came out with my line, "Aspergers and autism doesn't just run in our family, it gallops."

    I'm not the only one here with a strong 'feel' for Asperger's. Not many of us have a daughter with it too - girls are very different in how it manifests. easy child 2/difficult child 2 doesn't actually have a diagnosis, although that may change soon. Girls are very difficult to diagnose because they are often so atypical. In a way this can be to her advantage - she has more potential to be able to learn how to adapt and "pretend to be normal" as difficult child 3 calls it.

  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add in my support-you definitely did the right thing!
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    IF your family ----anyone of them........were out on the street, and a person standing across from them threw a chair at them trying to cause bodily harm to them?

    Ask them what their reaction be?

    1.) Call the police and EMS to subdue and calm that person?
    2.) Simply do nothing and walk away.
    3.) Try to reason with the person and hopefully not get knocked out so that the person out of control who is a danger to herself and others would not maybe throw that chair through a window breaking glass and possibly injuring herself worse where she needed 1000 stitches or worse?

    Yeah - see it is VERY easy to stand outside a situation and say " Well, I would have done.......". When in truth? Given the same situation, none of us may have reacted the same, because we haven't the same life experiences or had to deal with the same things. Even you and I could be in a room with a child throwing a chair, and not reacted the same way. But fact remains - She is your child, YOU have had to live with her, YOU know when she is out of control, YOU know when it's too much, and YOU know when it's too much for YOU. Nuf sed.

    Don't place too much salt in the "I WOULD HAVE, YOU SHOULD'NT HAVE's" because they don't have to live your life. No two people will ever handle things the same way. If we did? Well then reality TV would be very boring wouldn't it? We'd all be sitting at home watching Housewives of Atlanta going 'I would have done the exact same thing, I would have done the exact same thing, I would have done the EXACT same thing, and so on and so on and no one would ever disagree." See? lol. They have every right to disagree with your decision, but in the end? They don't have to live day in and day out with a child with Aspergers.......and at any time? I would invite them to. (SMILES LIKE A CHESHIRE CAT) --

    Because ------at that point? Housewives of Atlanta would seem like Gilligans Island. Get my point!?

    God didn't give you an Aspie because he thought you were made of Playdough.....He gave you a challenge because he knew you were up to it. Just like everyone else here - We didn't just luck out with our difficult child's....we were picked because we were the best of the best of the best.

    Got it?

    NOW -----stop second guessing yourself.....and get back in there.........(hands you my rhino skin suit....OH it's so pretty - ) and BE THAT MOM I KNOW YOU ARE!!!!!!!

  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    One only use of the "I would have done it this way" comments - evaluate, consider, if there is possible merit in the comment at any level, take it on board. But tell yourself - you made the call you did at that time and in that place, based on knowledge you had and choices you felt open to you. Never feel guilty for that. Even if, on consideration, you yourself feel you handled it badly - never accept any guilt. Because in the spur of the moment, you do what you have to do.

    I've done a couple of TV quiz shows over the years and I've been stunned by some of the idiotic comments. One game show in particular, a "beat the buzzer" general knowledge quiz, had people saying to me, "How come you only knew the difficult ones?"
    Well, idiot, because they were the only ones where I could get in ahead of my opponents... I knew the others questions, but was just not fast enough. And the really idiotic stuff, I have been guilty of myself - you watch a game show form the comfort of your living room, and you are yelling out the answers and wondering why the idiots are missing some really obvious stuff. But when you're actually there, in it - it is not as easy as it looks. I remember comparing notes with other contestants after our bit was filmed, the forehead-smacking going on was universal. "I can't believe I gave such a dumb answer - I KNEW I was wrong, but my tongue tripped." Even my mother smacked me over the back of the head (metaphorically) when I blew Final Jeopardy because I didn't know the answer and she felt I should have.

    My point it - when you're in that moment and adrenalin is screaming at you saying, "Do something NOW!" you will not necessarily make the same choice you would have if you had time to relax, consider, have a cup of tea and maybe sleep on it. And you can't let those who DO have the luxury of time and distance, to hold you to ransom for your choices.

    If they have advice, consider it as something to bear in mind for next time. Maybe. other than that - shrug it off. They are not you. They were not there.

  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This chair did not harm you, but what if the next one killed you? have to do whatever it takes to make sure she does not have to live with that the rest of her life.

    Outsiders can NOT understand this.
  15. ceolgirl

    ceolgirl Guest

    This has been the toughest week yet! difficult child had huge meltdown at school on Monday and turned over a desk and hurt her para. She also threw numerous items from her bag and her jewelry and they had to clear the room of all the other students from the room. She told the school psychologist/social worker that she was aware of her outbursts and able to control them, and only doing it because she doesn't want to be in the school anymore. I know this is not true, but the principal is now convinced that she is doing this all on purpose.

    She is being sent on a superintendent's suspension at another school starting tomorrow and I'm petrified of the reaction when I have to take her there tomorrow. Any suggestions on how to approach this with her, and how to dissipate the anxiety. We've switched her medications to the morning in the hopes that it will help level her out, however increasing the dose yesterday just made her jumpy. She is currently on 10mg of Abilify.

    Her behavioral therapist, whom we've been working with for a month now, saw her first fullblown meltdown last night and said this is something she sees every day, and worse, in the school where she teaches.

    Now I have to go to meeting tomorrow at school to find out their recommendations for new placement, and know that they are going to suggest a Special Education School placement and am going to have to fight for home services and proper IEP placement related to her elevated IQ.

    Right now I'm as scared for her as I've ever been, and totally overwhelmed as many of my support people have fallen by the wayside because she has become too much for them, or they don't agree with how I'm handling things.

    Taking the behavioral therapist with us to the Psychiatrist next week to discuss possibly changing the medication and seeing whether she can help us to get more services.

    Just hoping for some serenity for us both tonight, going to go swimming with her sitter at the gym and hope for a nice evening and that she will be okay tomorrow.