New and don't know how to handle teenager

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredofdoingthis3, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. tiredofdoingthis3

    tiredofdoingthis3 New Member

    Hi everyone,
    I have been lurking and now ready to ask my question. We have a 16 year old son (diagnosis with atypical high functioning autism and I think oppositional disorder). He is a twin and a younger brother. Both of which want nothing to do with him. We have problems since he was three with temper tantums. Some that would last for hours. We didn't get a proper diagnosis until he was 11 years. So a lot of time was lost with doctors telling us he was depressed or bipolar and he wasn't in control of himself. Anyway, speed forward to today. One big thing is that he has NO interests other than his "friends" and money. He doesn't care about anything - school, cell phone, xbox - just his friends. He gets $10 at the end of the week if he completes his homework and gets to school on time. $2 a day. But the big thing is that he won't do pretty much anything we ask. No cleaning room, no showering. We aren't asking him to clean the whole house or anything big. Just regular things that we all have to do. And when you speak to him about anything (How was your day?) He yells at you and won't carry on any type of civilized conversation. Everything is a fight. If we try and use his friends as a "reward" for better behavior he just walks out of the house to them. We have called the police several times - makes NO impact on him at all. He took himself off all medications and wont even take vitamins now. My husband's psychiatric said we just have to wait it out until he is 18 and then tell him get a job, shape up or you're suitcase is on the front porch. I am not sure we will make it until then. We are so sad and angry about the way things have turned out. Also, we have been psychiatric for YEARS and have read tons of books. Every morning I wake up and say today will be better and it never is. Any ideas on how to just make it livable?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to say welcome. I don't have the answers for you. Wish I did. "How do you handle a teenager?" Like a porcupine! Those years are hard for most kids regardless of their personalities.
    The only thing I can suggest is that you and your husband get on the same page and stay together thru the difficulties. That is hard to do. Secondly, once you have a game plan, stick to it. Trying different courses causes confusion. I've experienced "some" of the issues you mentioned and I had to learn to take one day at a time, scream or cry into my pillow when it became too stressful, and do my best. I'm sorry you are having such a hard time and hope others can give better support. DDD
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't have any good advice other than do what you have to to keep yourself sane.

    But I wanted to welcome you, anyway.
  4. tiredofdoingthis3

    tiredofdoingthis3 New Member

    I guess I was wondering how people talk to their kids that are like this. Is there a way not to argue? Also, my husband thinks that he should go back on some medications to try and help with the anxiety (School thinks he is extremly anxious). Is there a way to get a person to take it when they don't want to? Thanks for the support.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I guess its my day to be confused.

    I have a son on the autism spectrum and have seen some hundred kids with the same diagnosis. They tend to have narrow, intense interests that they obsess over, but not friends. Autistic kids tend to be very quiet and socially clueless. Are you sure he has the right diagnosis? Did his medications help him?
  6. tiredofdoingthis3

    tiredofdoingthis3 New Member

    He is diagnosis as atypical austic. He has many autistic traits and not some of others. As the doctor's say - He has social intent. He wants friends but doesn't always know how to keep friendships going, worries a lot about what he is saying if its right, will anyone notice that he's not just like them.
  7. cgottshall2

    cgottshall2 New Member

    Welcome Tired. I am new to this site as well. Everything that you described about your son is my 14yr old daughter to a 'T'! Except she was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (oppositional defiance). Everything I've read about on the ODD spectrum, she is. Our daughter doesn't care about school so much that once she gets off the bus, she goes directly to the de-escalation room as they call it. We have taken EVERYTHING away. TV, cell phone, radio, iPod, etc. She doesn't care.

    One option we have which has not been used yet is hospitalization. Does your son become violent? What is your local crisis center? If he were put in a residential treatment, he could be required to take his medications. Plus they could help with the ODD behavior. We have been trying to get her into a residential treatment center, but they keep telling us we have to have her hospitalized so many times. It is extremely frustrating.

    Other than that, I have no ideas to help. I'm hoping for some on this site also! Good luck to you!

  8. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Does your son have an IEP? If so, is he getting any help with social skills? Is he in a special school placement to help him with the anxiety? If not, why not?

    Have you tried any family therapy?

    Sometimes I write notes to my kids instead of talking to them when things are really tense. I have found that that can be really helpful in defusing the relationships and it makes things very concrete. Plus my kids can read what I wrote over again and there's less chance for mis-interpretation.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, thanks for explaining. Yes, it's very sad. Autism makes one "mind blind." You can't read faces or interpret situations correctly. I feel for him. His obession on something (friends) to the point of blocking out all else is also typical in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Has he ever received social skills services? They REALLY helped my son. He can act very appropriate if he is motivated, which is usually at school and around his group of friends he sits with at lunch. He has learned to make good eye contact. Recently he was tested and the neuropsychologist asked about his eye contact. He said, "Well, I know I'm supposed to look at people's eyes so I do, but it makes me feel uncomfortable."
    Maybe seeking autism treatment would help him more than psychiatric treatment.

    A lot of his behavior may be due to that rather than mental health issues. His eruptions may be due to frustration that he is different and that people don't understand him. The obsessing, anxiety, low threshold for frustration and poor social skills are all very typical of autistic spectrum disorder. My son also had the atypical label. He is going to be eighteen now. He is the happiest young adult I ever met, BUT he is going to need services after high school because he is still life clueless and social skills challenged and, with strangers, shy to the point of it being a serious issue. But at least he is able to calm himself and is content even with his differences. He displayed NO mood disorders or sadness when he was intensively tested and we don't see him as unhappy either...he DID start out an angry toddler, but the help he got really settled him down.

    Hugs and prayers sent in your direction :) I believe strongly that there is hope for a better life for your son and for you. Have you called your state's autism society to find help?
  10. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    in my humble opinion we need to find him an older brother, buddy , buddy-tutor or the best a personal ' coach' who he trusts , admires etc.
    I think you just have to lower the rope and focus on the relationship , conversations, perspective taking etc and start trying to solve problems in a collaborative way - see