New Here -- Son With Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) diagnosis

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HeadlightsMom, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    I'm new here (just joined minutes ago). Happened onto this website and it looks like a God-send! Our son has an Antisocial Personality Disorder (Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)) diagnosis and it sounds like many of you clearly relate. Looking for a place where I can give and receive support and ideas amid the chaos that is Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Following years of criminal, educational, financial, drug, social, and medical issues, we are weary. Our son is currently 24 (we adopted him at age 6 through the foster system). He came with several diagnosis's. But the number of diagnosis's has multiplied like rabbits over the years. After this last round of jail, he is left with what appears a complete lack of empathy. Flat, barren affect. No attempt at manipulative charm, even. We have set sizable limits to stay safe and sane (he does not live here, we give him no cash or anything that can be pawned, house alarm enabled, we tend to meet only in public due to his explosive temper problems, and we usually keep our visits to 2 hours or less -- usually over a meal -- at least we can feed him). Questions: 1) Is my son older than most in this forum? 2) Has anyone in here experienced any lasting success in their child's treatment of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)?
  2. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member


    Since your son is 24 I'm going to move your thread to our Parent Emeritus forum where parents of kids over 18 will be more likely to read it and say hello.
  3. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Thank you! Also, trying to figure out how to post my "signature" on profile/threads.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I would take this post over to Parent Emeritus. This particular forum is for younger minor children. PE is for adult children. We understand and are in various stages of detachment from our adult children (depending on how bad it is). We adopted three kids and if you don't get them as infants, they can already be so damaged that they can have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and have no conscience and never learn to care for anyone but themselves. The cause is not their faults, but they are impossible to live with. We adopted an 11 year old boy and he did it all, including the final straw...we found out he'd been messing around with our two young children (also adopted, so we have nothing against adoption). We did not feel capable of dealing with him after that and called CPS. Later, at age 13, the county charged him with First Degree Sexual Assault of a Minor Child, although he was only 13. But she was six years younger than him and that was the reason. We ddin't initiate it, but were relieved when he was found guilty and we never saw him again....the county was very kind to us and gave our family lots of help and the two other kids are doing really well. I shudder to think of how it would have been if we had not made him leave. To this day, I have no regrets about letting him go.

    Reactive attachment disorder leads to antisocial personality disorder, in fact it is the same, only it is a minor child. I am guessing you adopted him not as a newborn and that he was possibly exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero and perhaps had antisocial birthparents. After adopting four kids, I am positive that nature trumps nurture in most cases. Three of my adopted kids are top notch. I can only assume their birthparents were good people. We knew my youngest ones birthmother. She was stellar and sensible and so is our daughter. Her birthfather was a nightmare, but, except for his athletic ability, she is not like him. She lucked out in the genes department. Not all kids are so lucky.A social worker who is in the trenches of foster care told us 99% of all foster kids have been sexually abused at some point in time, although many don't remember, but they often act out on others. Has your son ever done this when younger?

    This is not your fault. I hope your son is not still at home with you. Antisocials have no qualms about stealing, lying, or even violence if nothing else works. And they are, at this point in time, impossible to treat partly because they are fine with themselves. Post another thread in PE and tell us more about him and what you have done so far to cope. If he is a drug addict, I'd go to Al-Anon or Narc-Anon or at least a private therapist. I'd go to a private therapist even if he is not a drug abuser. You need to learn how to deal with him in a way that is healthy for you.

    Hugs and welcome, although sorry you have to be here.
  5. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

  6. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Hi Midwest Mom. Nice to "virtually" meet you. Pardon my flubs in trying to learn how to use this forum's format. Yes, I have been moved to PE Forum now and appreciate that.

    Yes, I agree with you on Nature over Nurture. And there's also Free Will. While all 3 play a role, I believe Nature's "hard-wiring" is the foundation (it came first), so it plays the most significant role.

    Yes, we adopted our son at age 6 (through foster care). And I also agree that adoption is a wonderful thing (in general) -- as I, myself, am adopted!

    We have experienced many of same things you mentioned in your post. We have had to call 911 on our son, also. His criminal background, so far, has all been drugs, assault, theft. But we know what what other difficulties he poses.

    by the way, we do know his birth family. It's hit-and-miss there. The women are not generally with diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), but all 3 of his uncles are Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). One of them appears to be having some success at growing past it. The other 2 are not. All are in their 40's.

    I wish I could go back and re-read your post. I'm sure there's a way to, but, as I said, I'm very new to this forum.....still figuring it out.

    Speaking of which.... How do I post a "signature"? Do you know? Thank you for your input!
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My post is still there. Just scroll up.

    Some APDs mellow out when they are older, but they don't develop empathy. They just learn not to get into legal trouble, but you still can't trust them. They really are resistant to getting help because they are not unhappy with themselves. Everyone else is unhappy with They don't feel empathy for others. When they cry it is for themselves. They are always somebody you have to keep your eye on and not trust, very sadly.

    Do you have other children? A spouse? Because sometimes these trouble adult kids suck all the air out of our world and we end up neglecting other loved ones who can love us back, including ourselves. That isn't fair to us or others who care about us. Most of us on this site are in various stages of learning how to detach from the drama our adult children bring on themselves. Sounds like you are already on the right track.

    One thing great about us is, we ARE a support system and we are available and on call 24/7, even on Christmas so if a crisis comes up you can always post and likely somebody will be around shortly after. I have a son with antisocial traits. However, he is not antisocial all the way and does have a job, a house, and has never been in jail. I think he is sneaky about breaking the law and I'm not sure he still is. It has been hard raising him from Day One. He is my only biological child and our family is full of personality disorders. The adopted adult children I still have (minus the one we had to toss out) are much better adjusted than bio. son. And much nicer. I see my father in my son and my father is a classic Narcissist. It is scary how much they are alike.
  8. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    Signatures are set up in your account settings.
  9. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Ha! Bouncing around all over the place as a newbie in this forum! LOL! Still haven't figured out how to get my "signature" on here. So.........I'll just post here.

    I'm 53, married 25 yrs to a GREAT guy. We had miscarriages. As I'm adopted, myself (as an infant in 1961), we both felt strongly about adoption and were wanting to open our home to a child less likely to be adopted. Hence, we intentionally chose an older child (age 6 -- adopted in 1996). He was so beautiful. He's now 24. His beautiful moments have been largely replaced by his raging and/or manipulative moments. We hope, but........well, we've been down this road for many years now. We know the drill, unfortunately. And as arrests increase, drug use escalates, etc, we are drained.

    You asked about support. I am fortunate. When we adopted our son in 1996, my husband and I made a deal that if 1 of us (me, him or our son) had to go, it would be our son. We did not think it would actually come to that, but we stuck to it. And our son was "escorted" out of our home with police (and probation officer permission). We have tried to have him back half-dozen times or so, but it just never works. We made it clear when he was 19 that that would remain the case. We have stuck to that.

    When our son was expelled (from every school he ever attended except the self-contained, lock-down school), we usually could not get respite for us. I wound up using continual Intermittent LOA at my workplace, so I opted to quit and try staying home with him full-time (ages 10 - 13) to see if that would help. It did not.

    My husband and I have grown closer and closer through it all (we declared from the start we would not let it tear us apart -- something we saw OFTEN in parent/rehab sessions -- Our son did 105 days dual diagnosis polysubstance abuse and mental health rehab in 1996 at age 16). My husband is a solid man and my best friend. I am thankful for him beyond measure....could not have come this far in parenting without him. We are a tag-team and work together well! And now that we're empty-nesters, we take much time to do our favorite thing -- travel! Just got back from CA, ID, UT. Headed to OR for the big Oregon Ducks vs Wyoming football game (oh, did I mention we're rabid football fans? LOL!). Anyway, my husband and I do play well together. Laughter is a requirement. :)

    Some of our family members didn't understand for a long time (of course, they didn't understand why we wanted to adopt through foster care, either). But in the following years, they have come around and that makes a difference as well. Best of all, we have had some STELLAR friends stand by us through ALL things! We are blessed in friendships!

    But, the thing is........... While I know several parents (friends) who struggle with their children's mental health issues, drug issues or criminal issues, we do not have ONE friend who has a child (young or adult) who is diagnosed Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). I tried to resist that diagnosis for a long time because it seemed so hopeless. But I do not resist it any more. It's just so blatantly obvious. We agree with his psychiatrist.

    So...... I come here to find specific, Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)-related answers and camaraderie. Stumbled onto this site by accident today. Wish I'd found it 2-3 years ago!

    Well, thanks for letting me ramble on. Much appreciated. Sometimes it's just so heavenly to find we're not alone as Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) parents. It's a desolate road to travel alone.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    We adopted our 11 year old (he is also of color, all of our adopted kids are) because we wanted to love a child who would probably never get adopted. As he sexually acted out on my younger children for three years (also of color, I have no prejudice, but they tend to linger in the foster care system longer), I am really sorry that we made that decision. They bond when they are infants, not when they are eleven. My younger adopted children are the sun in my world and they love me too. We adopted one who was six and he grew up and left us all and never came back. We adopted one eleven year old and he was a nightmare. Molestation is just the worst of what he did...he stole, set little fires in his room that my kids had to watch (not in front of us), killed animals including two of our own dogs (we didn't think it was him the first time...the second one let us realize he was not a good kid. He acted like an angel in front of ALL adults. Even fooled his psychiatrist, which is why we felt comfy adopting him...his psychiatric loved him as did his foster parents of five years who had a daycare and, whom we learned later, he admitted he had molested those kids too and other kids "since I was five. I don't know why I did it." H e doesn't remember being molested himself. He obviously was.

    The shock for us was how sweet he always acted to adults so that not one adult thought anything was going on. Yet he was so terrifying to our younger children that they thought he'd kill us all if they told on him because he'd threatened to do that and they didn't say anything until he was gone.

    I think your son had reactive attachment disorder, which is childhood lack-of-conscience. It can sometimes be treated with specific therapy and sometimes not. It is hard to diagnose as most psychiatrists don't know about it, which is rather sad. Some think it is very rare. Amongst oklder adopted kids, it is not rare. Most have attachment issues. Some, like ours, had the whole disorder. It morphs into antisocial personality disorder in adulthood.

    This thirteen year old (when he left us) was on the sexual predator registry list at that young age. Not only had he perped on my kids, but he perped on a voiceless, disabled child in his classroom who had epilepsy. The teachers had no idea. They thought it was sweet that R. was so kind to him. (Shudder).

    I tell anyone who asks me about adoption to adopt as young a child as you can. I tell them that even at six months, if they have not been cuddled or loved the right way, they could already be damaged significantly...the brain changes. We used to call it "failure to thrive." Everyone knows babies needs love and nurturing and human touch to grow to their potential. If a child doesn't get this in infancy, there can be grave consequences.
  11. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Hello again, Midwest Mom. Thanks for sharing your story. I hear much overlap in our reasons for adopting. I relate to much of what you wrote. We, also, wanted to adopt other kids. We went to a "Kid Fest" (what it was really called) and wound up playing basketball with a really wonderful 11-yo girl. We met with a social worker about her. Our son was 9 then, so we'd had 3 full years with him. We were all set to bring home this 11-yo girl with us until.......... the social worker revealed that she'd been raised by a family that practiced satanic animal sacrifices. We're big dog lovers and always have a dog (at that time a border collie mix, right now a black lab mix). We opted to NOT adopt her for fear of our pet. I can thankfully say that I'm not aware of our son ever intentionally hurting (let alone killing) an animal. But, hey, I don't know every fact. He just largely found pets irrelevant.

    I CRINGED at re-reading how you lost 2 of your dogs. That breaks my heart on more levels than I can convey. So sorry to hear that.

    by the way, we relate on another level, also. Although we did not bring that 11-yo girl home with us, we did wind up having our son's bio half-sister (who is African American) move in with us as our foster daughter. Our adopted son is white. His sister was older (17 at the time), so her time with us was short. But we are still in fairly close touch with her. She is just terrific! None of the same difficulties as he has. To this day, she is a thriving 30-yo woman successfully raising 2 kids. She has tried, many times, to help her brother -- to no avail.

    Yes, they did discuss Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) for our son. Thing is, though, it wasn't very well known in the 1990's. We did do "rocking/holding" therapy with him at the counselor's suggestion. I spent hours with him from ages 6 - 10 or so on my lap in a rocking chair. He DRANK it up. It was probably a fairly comical sight as I'm only 4'11" and our son passed my height by age 12 or so (he's now 6'). There was formal discussion of a Tx Ctr for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) newly established in our area when he was 15. However, he was full-bloom difficult at that time. Without his consent, it was just too late.

    I just re-read your story about your 13-yo (when he left you) and the sexual predator story. That's rough. Yes, they do hide it well. Manipulative charm often goes a looooong way before it's "outed". I've been fooled before. Less so these days, but it still happens now and then.

    Was your 13-yo the same child whom you adopted at age 11? Am I reading your post correctly?

    Yes, we say similar things to others looking to adopt older kids. We also add that it's VERY helpful (if not critical) to know as much as you can about the bio family's hx and circumstances. And, lastly, in our state we found that Guardianship gets one many more options for assistance (and less legal liabilities) than Foster-Adopt.

    Live and learn....
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    The problem is, you never know the whole story. And you don't know what went on in the foster homes. Many are abusive. We had one foster boy who was lovely...not problem-free, but he was adopted locally and is doing great. He obviously had more resilience than the one we adopted. His foster mom had sexually had her way with him the entire time he was with her and put a gun to his head to force him when he resisted. He was seven and had never told anyone before me. When I called his case worker, she seemed unconcerned (honest!) and said , well, she wasn't a foster mother anymore. In fact, she was homeless, so she can't hurt any other kids. Far as I know, nothing happened to her.

    Back to 11 year old. He was 11 when he came and never showed his bad side to us. We found out about it only when he was 13 and had hung our puppy by a leash. It makes me cry every time I think about it as I LOVE animals. We got her because he'd strangled our other dog. But we thought the bad drug kids my oldest was hanging around with did it because he acted to perfect around us that we couldn't imagine him doing that. He cried a lot too (what a good actor he was) . The reason I found out about t he puppy being on him was because there were only two people home, him and me, and the puppy was inside the house, not in th e fields like our other dog had been with lots of neighbors around. Apparently many kids saw him strangle the dog, but every single child was so afraid of him none of them told about what he did to us or to their own parents. He was a monster. Right after the puppy died, my daughter had two urinary tract infections. She was only five. Then it all made sense and hub and I didn't even have to discuss it. He was gone.

    The "nice" eleven year old you met was probably so screwed up that you were blessed she never came home. They all act nice at first. Please don't adopt again unless you want an infant. All kids in foster care are there because of horrible birthparents and the older they are the more they'd been passed around foster home to foster home and they just don't learn how to bond. If you don't care about others, because you don't trust them, you don't really care if you steal from them, hurt them, burn their house down (I know a foster kid of nine who did this to an acquaintance of mine) or even sometimes if they kill you. That is the extreme. It would not shock me if I saw on television that this boy we adopted murdered somebody.

    There is no such thing as a well adjusted child who is even three years old and in foster care or from an orphanage. They are missing the essential caregiver love that all humans need and it just screws them up. The only exceptions would be if the child's family was loving, but the parents died in a car crash. That child, having learned that you can trust adults, would probably bond well to another family because the childl would know that humans can love them and that they are valuable and that their needs will be taken care of. Most kids in the foster care system were abused in many homes and on many levels and love is not enough. Yes, I thought it was too. Actually, many of these foster kids are so damaged they don't want to be loved.

    When our ex-son was interviewed in his lock down facility for young sexual predators, he had no idea why he did the things he did. When asked if he missed us, he said, "I liked the money and the toys." When asked specifically about us, he shrugged. "I dunno." We heard about this second hand. Since he left, we have not spoken to him again. When asked if he wanted to go back home he said, "I dunno."

    I knew a man who used to post here and he had adopted nine boys. All but one went bad and had attachment disorder. He helped us a lot. We knew him in real life. It was very sad and he was a very nice man.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014