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Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by debi, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. debi

    debi New Member

    Hi everyone!
    I am a new member and have already been touched by all the wonderful support that is given on this forum.

    I am the mother of a just about 16 year old. diagnosis with ADHD at age 5, behavior patterns of ADHD go back to his toddler years. Difficulty with traditional school environments. Through the elementary years we dealt with simple defiance (never listening), stealing (pencils at school, our neighbors bird that they had outside, small toys, etc.), and lying. Even more than lying it has been embellishing the truth. He was always better at some sport or had some item that others coveted, told his 4th grade class his uncle perished in the 9/11 attacks, that he was "sponsored" in skateboarding, went to certain concerts, etc. You get the picture. Always has had a BIG problem with impulse control.

    Medications stopped at age 12 due to absolute refusal to take any medications regardless of the cost to him. 8th grade stole our car to go joyriding, put HCL acid on a girl in science lab, ran away, etc. Was being put in alternative program and decided he was going to live with his dad. Tired of the threats I let him go.

    Put in alternative program after 6 weeks in new school. Socialized to drugs, alcohol, violence, etc. at this school. Ran away 4 times in less than 2 years, states he was selling drugs in 9th grade, got caught with alcohol and marijuana multiple times, continuous issues with behavior and grades at school.

    Ran away for 2 weeks, begged me to get him and let him live with us. I was weak and gave in. Started 10th grade here. Have called 911 4 times on him for physical intimidation, smoking marijuana with friends in vehicle parked in our front yard, etc. Has had charges stemming from calling the suicide hotline as a joke with his friends, 2 charges for grafiti, right now an investigation is going on that shows he probably damaged a vehicle at school by keying an expletive on the car. Was jumped by 5 men on Sat night and spent the night in the ER with him. Is smoking marijuana frequently, binge drinking, and is SUPER verbally abusive to me.

    I have a behavior contract but needs revision. I have decided that I can not control what he does at school. He has all F's, skips all the time, and is disrespectful to the staff. He will now have a behavior contract at school, I told the principle to enfore the most severe consequences he had.

    He wants to drop out, I refuse to sign (here you need parent auth to take a GED/drop out before age 18). He must deal with consequences of his legal mistakes and mistakes at school. Absolutely no drivers license while he is acting like this.

    At home I am trying to perserve my mental health and keep my family together. So, everything is dependent on his behavior at home. Right now he has his rooms stripped of everything even the curtains. He did get his TV back for behaving the last 2 days. Computer time is earned for good behavior on a day to day basis.

    I take him to a drug counseling center for teens 2x week, has drug testing but admits to use so now just random to make sure no other drugs test positive. Has had evaluations by a psychologist that has multiple books on defiant kids. He does not have any other co-morbid psychiatric disorder. Shows he is very immature, impulsive, prone to alcohol abuse, and super defiant. So...everything I already knew!

    I am on the verge of petitioning the court for a Child in need of supervision order, but will wait and see what the judge orders for his offenses first. His behavior and issues consume my day. Every time I hear a siren, every time the phone rings my stomach turns. I can't sleep well, I have lost weight, and I am withdrawing from friends and family. I am not sure if I can make it through this.

    I have him convinced to at least TRY strattera one more time. If he will take it I hope to begin the process for an IEP. Have no clue what that will entail but I think I need to pursue it.

    WOW, this is sooo long. If you actually got all the way through this jumbled mess, Thanks! I am sure we all could write a book on our experiences and I hope to find some hope and encouragement here. I feel hopeless and my heart is so broken that many times I feel I have no where to turn.
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi and welcome :)

    Yes, I got to the bottom of your thread!! LOL It wasn't that long.

    It is difficult when a child's behaviors and/or actions strip of us our own physical health/mental ability to continue coping for even their sake.

    It sounds as though you have taken alot of very positive and very good steps to try to help him. Although at this age it is very difficult as you have learned to "make" him take the medications that he needs.

    I'm sorry to hear that you feel so hopeless, yet this forum is filled with alot of great people with whom are incredibly smart, and intuitive and can be a great source of support and even laughter at times.

    If you were to petition the courts, what type of remedy would be offered?

    Welcome again
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he's doing drugs, there's not a whole lot you can do. Straterra won't do any good if he's taking recreational drugs and drinking.
    If he was younger, I'd recommend another evaluation because it's hard to believe he only has ADHD, but he's 16, non-compliant and using substances. I have a daughter who did this--trust me, you don't know what he is really using. I never guessed. It wasn't until after she cleaned up that she told us the whole ugly story. Under no conditions would I get him a driver's license. I let my daughter get one. Three car accidents later, in which it was fortunate she hadn't killed anyone or herself, she learned the healthy benefits of walking. That was after we had to throw her out of the house for her sake as well as our own as she was not motivated to get clean while she had our roof over her head (even though she got no money from us). I think you're doing about as much as you can for a kid his age. We did the same. Daughter still found ways to be non-compliant, including climbing out of her window at night to run around town. As he gets older, you should maybe alert him that he either needs to shape up or get ready to move out, even if he has no diploma, no job, or nowhere to go. Tough Love worked for us. Nothing else did. (((Hugs)))
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    Welcome! I'm sorry you have so much to deal with. This is a wonderful group and the support is beyond amazing. Hug, ML
  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Just a hug from someone whose been there done that and bears the scars. My difficult child is now 20. I did not think I would survive from 14-18. I lived the nightmare you are living. But, I detached. I let him face consequences. He now thanks me for what I did for him. Hold on, hold out, and get ready for a few more rough years.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Debi,
    You are handling a difficult age. Plus, he's already into drugs and alcohol. If you can get him away from his friends that would be the first thing. Is there a way you could sign him up for sports, or send him to a camp this summer, far away?
    You've got to keep your car keys locked up, or on your body at all times.
    If he wants to learn to drive, he's got to earn it. Have him get a month of all B's and then sign him up for Driver's Ed. He needs a carrot.

    Tonight my husband just put our TV in the garage. None of us can watch it. difficult child's fave show is Fri night wrestling. He thinks husband will give in and put the TV back. I hope not!

    You've got to be consistent in whatever you do. Stay strong.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Welcome - You certainly have your hands full and then some. It sounds like an extended in-patient chemical dependency program is needed for your son.
    You are so right to not allow him a drivers liscense. He has not earned that right. Don't let him out of school either (even though he is skipping or getting F's). If he is placed in an adolescent in-patient chemical dependency program, he may be required to attend school while there. (I work for a state facility and our adolescents do go to school while receiving treatment).

    I am sorry that he has made such bad choices. When our kids make poor decisions, it hurts us so bad. We find it near impossible to find peace when our kids are hurting. However, you do need to take care of yourself. You need to find some peace for yourself. Do you have an "out"? A time/place to de-stress? A hobby? Anything so that this does not consume you?

    You state that you can not sleep and feel that you are withdrawing from friends and family. We all understand that it is very important to determine who you can trust (us :) ) and who may make things worse if you share this info. Please use this board to vent - we do understand. I think you should get a doctor appointment for yourself. You doctor may have options to help you get through this. Keep your connections with your family and friends. You will be surprised as to who of these people will be the most supportive. Your true friends will shine through this.

    I am sending strength and hugs. Stay safe.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is so important to ensure physical safety. ANY violence or threatening should be met with a call to 911. It just CAN'T be tolerated, not for your safety or anyone else's around him. He could seriously injure one of your younger children, and you simply MUST ensure their safety. They have no one else, and are not big enough to go and get help. If he can't be safe at home you should talk to his doctor about finding an inpatient program where he can learn to get clean and sober as well as deal with any mental illness issues behind the anger. This kind of program is usually called a dual diagnosis program, meaning mental health and substance abuse.

    ODD and CD just don't tell you what is behind teh behavior. They just describe behavior. They don't help, and they rarely stand alone. Usually there is another illness. When the underlying illness is treated, the ODD/CD behaviors go away or become very manageable.

    DO NOT give permission for driving. A car is a deadly weapon. Until a person can keep a lid on their anger, they don't have any business behind the wheel. It is just to dangerous for everyone concerned.

    As for medicine, it might help. But if he is drinking and drugging, until that is cleared up you won't know really what to treat. ANY inpatient program that is more than a couple of days will have to provide schooling. It is part of the law.

    If you feel he is dangerous, it is better to call the police and have them transport him to a psychiatric hospital than to transport him yourself. He could easily cause an accident, hurting you, any passengers and anyone else on the road. Usually the police will help, or they will call an ambulance to help.

    Remember, safety MUST come first.

    I am sorry you are going through all of this. I know it hurts.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Debi!

    So sorry you're dealing with all this. Please try to find some time to take care of you, even though it's so hard to do sometimes. Sending hugs.
  10. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    HI I am new here to and I have a 16 year old adhd son and I think for your peace of mind you definitly go forward on all the paths that lead to Rome.
    My son did not like the first medications offered but did eventually decide to take them as he felt so isolated and out of sinc with others.
    Also we have changed psyciatrists and do not EVER let the fact that the folks treating your child are so busy and over worked to ask every question you have.
    Just do everything call everyone and get what is available to help your special needs child.
    Self medication is a classic symtom of an inappropriately treated mental condition.
    At this age impulse control is probably at its worst...not only is the sex drive and male aggression switched on high for the first time for real...but the brain is not well developed in this age in the best of behavoral shapes for reasoning well...
    IT IS A MENTAL HEALTH CRISSIS...the legal matters are a net for him on one hand, and juvinal system is less harsh for youth exactly because of this type of behavor from the best of future adults...and the services that he has had and his need for more are what tools are available to shape his future and he is not old enough to decide otherwise.
    Maybe go over the evaluation you have with the district psycologist and definitely get the paper work in order for the IEP services: ADHD with Fs it is correct to provide the full spectrum of his needs.
    also intensive home therapy for where ever he is living.
    Structor structor structor. Has he had MRI how well is his frontal lobe working?
    HE definitely needs the education piece and to get out of the dopers circle.
    The thing is his ADHD is interfering with basic parts of life: home,school, ability to learn,and now he is at risk:driving without a liscence, drugging...
    I think I would revisit the suicide call insident with a differant mind set...joke or
    was that ultimately a call for help?
    He needs help. Alot of it. IF you wait for him to decide that he wants help it will be after he has no options...and at 16 he has NO OPTIONS. Sieze the day, MOM.
    He is your gift from god and clearly you have some strength to show this world with that challenge.
    My ADHD is getting As...and if it is any comfort as all his friends started getting drivers lisences he started doing all sorts of things that we so not ok. And I had to call the police myself....and look up the kids I saw with him in the yearbook and
    start calling parents to figure our where and who was safe...they are out there...and the family that does smoke pot according to some of their freinds I did
    have the police go to their house and find out was my child there...yeah. let them think wether they want MY KID in their dopey circle.
    Anyway...we have intensive home therapy and the way I got it...because they said kids who do well in school and have trouble at home they do not worry I called the superintendent and then the head of Special Education for the state..I called the district psycologists and I called ALL OF after another with my MRS. Executive voice slow, clear, socially apppropriate...have to get there attention and have a list of the points that support your emergency and then the steps you have taken...(what failed) and what steps you want NOW and what do they think:)take notes)
    In fact if you have not already get a binder or a notebook and keep it close and put the date time who you call who calls you note from the calls. Use it to reflect who refered you to whom and when..
    Lucky you loose cortisol is so high I am just an exspanding shell of protection onto myself.
    Drink plenty of water and you about how you DO NEED this child in protection so you sleep some.
    You are in my prayers...that boys future is important. TAke comfort as well that with this he has survived to teen years..if he was anything like my own son that right there is a mirical and a sign.
    Rest when you can. Big hug...hanky for the tears and just remember women are know it....this is a huge challenge and one more proff possitive of who has the power worth the obligations of the perpetuation of life. Be strong...let us know how it works out to not leave me hanging. I am in that boat too...
  11. debi

    debi New Member

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I will not lie...I am sitting here with tears running down my face. Having ANYONE who understands at all what life is like with my child has been missing in my life. Friends and family just do not understand why I don't "MAKE" him do what is right. I totally feel that I am on an island alone with no one who can understand.

    From what I understand this would involve the state of VA in the care of my child. He would be given curfews,behavior contracts, etc. that they enforce. If he misses curfew I call and they can then arrest him. There is a progressive stay in the juvenile detention center with every incident up to a specific number of days per year. They can also do an ankle bracelet to ensure he goes to school and stays home. From my research and speaking with mental health professionals this is a last resort option. The state can take custody of your child and ban your involvement in their life. One other parent told me it was a bad decision on their part since it really did not improve anything for their family. NOt sure if I will do this, I want to hit rock bottom before I do. Most days I feel that way but other days I see a glimmer of hope that things can get better.

    Can anyone tell me what the state has to provide you in evaluating your child? I am so clueless and need to get up to speed. I know that we will deal with expulsion at some point. It is just a matter of time.

    Today at our appointment I am going to ask his doctor to give us a referral for neuropsychologist. Do you think this is appropriate? From what I have read so far on the board it seems it might be helpful to distinguish what is truly going on with him??

    Thank you!!