Newbie quest for further answers...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Blissful_Betty, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Blissful_Betty

    Blissful_Betty New Member

    Hi, I am mom to 4, wife to one and utterly overwhelmed at this point. It feels as if the system and society is failing my son... and I am running out of time and answers.

    My main question at this time is how to stop an ODD/CD = Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) 13yo from defiantly walking out of the house for hours on end with no contact, no real idea where or what he is doing.

    My DS, 13 has been diagnosed as ODD/CD, ADHD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder (COBP) with anxiety and depression issues. Since 9 months old we knew something was not quite right. Since 3 years old, he's been suspended and expelled from childcare and almost every school he's been to so far. Up until January he was taking Abilify 20 mg, Buspar 20 mg and Concerta 54mg. These seemed to work when first started, though not ever as much as we hoped. We've still seen the "seeing red" rage, where if you happen to be in his way when he goes into one of these gutteral screaming, absolute destroying tyrants, be prepared to be hurt. Unfortunately, this rage has caused a little girl in one of the classes at school to be bruised with his fingerprints on her arms, from where he basically picked her up and tossed her out of the way (she wasn't interferring or a target, just wrong place, wrong time), the elementary school had to be placed in lockdown as he ran the halls in one of these rages, he once broke away from staff that had stopped a fairly vicious fight with my son pinning another child on the ground and pummeling him... he broke away,ran and proceeded to slug the child in the back of the neck, this resulted in an emergency expulsion, new behavioral intervention class at a new school and the threat of assault charges as the child had to be closely monitored by a doctor for a bit after the trauma to the neck. Needless to say, we are a bit confused, hurt and SCARED.

    Right around Thanksgiving 2010, he ran away from school during the day, his most recent M.O. and when he got home, he was told he needed to go back to the school and deal with the counselor or he was in contempt of his At risk youth petition court order... (had I been home, I would have attempted to escort him, or made an appointment for the next day and let the consequence of the contempt for leaving stand, but my husband was home and thought he was doing what was best for DS). DS decided he was going to get even angrier and with the threat of harming the student he was having issues with, he ran the 4 blocks back to the school. I called the school after my hubby called me and let them know that although I hoped the 4 blocks would be enough for some sense to come back to my DS they needed to be aware that he left with the intention of harming the other student. Sure enough, my less than clear thinking DS walked into the office (the 2 students, my DS and the other had been sent to the office for their altercations in the classroom) and proceeded to demand to have access to this other child. The vice principal, not a meek body or soul by any means, advised him to leave and DS proceeded to attempt to pummel the V.P. He was expelled and missed a month 1/2 of school due to the holiday timing and application to an intense behavioral intervention school, funded by the public sd.

    Over Christmas break, he started leaving the house for hours and sometimes overnight without permission or contact. On one of these MIA sprees he Burglarized and stole 2 laptops and other tech equip. from a local private school and spent 4 days in Juvy until court. Then he was placed on 4 days of Electronic monitoring, which went well and then almost a full month of house arrest without the benefit of electronic monitoring. Toward the end of the month of house arrest, he started sneaking out of the backyard and defiantly walking out of the house... he'd be gone for hours without contact. After a week of this, he was placed back on Electronic monitoring Thursday. Friday, I had plans (which I rarely ever do) to go with a friend to a play and to dinner. He barricaded himself in my vehicle just prior to me leaving and when I said, I was leaving whether I had to take the city bus or the car, he jumped out. I left and got a text message 10 minutes later that he had cut his anklet and was on the run. I let my mom deal with the police reports and whatnot (I knew his mission was to sabotage my plans) and he wasn't seen again until the next late morning. I contacted all of his friends (a fairly short list due to his inept social skills) and made them aware that he was in violation of his probation and that the police would be sent to whatever address he was last known to be at to be escorted to juvenile. The friends families didn't want to become involved and so sent DS packing. DS came home and I gave him the option to have the police escort or me to the juvenile. The escape charge is an automatic felony (though they dropped it entirely in his overall criminal case) and an automatic 28 days in juvenile (4 served for this... Where's the consistency in the system?) He turned himself in and 12 days later attended his court date for sentencing of his criminal charges.

    After 4 felonies (2 visa fraud, 1 escape and 1 burglary) an assault, theft and disorderly conduct were dropped to 2 Gross misdemeanors resulting in 60 hours of community service and 9 months probation, he promptly took up walking out of the house without contact, again. Criminal probation cancels the at risk youth petition probation which was assisting in making him accountable for household and societal norms for a 13 year old. Now he has a 6pm curfew which he hasn't followed with exception to 2 nights in almost 2 weeks and he feels that no one can touch him. I am at a loss. I feel the system is failing him. He is a child that MUST feel the consequences or he will feel he has pulled the wool over their eyes and can get away with it, and consistently he will raise the ante of his behavior.

    I'm lost and it's affecting my DS 5. He sees Big Bro walking out, refusing simple directions and requests and has been told STRAIGHT OUT, by big bro, "You don't have to listen to mom, she's just being a big meanie". This scares us, we do not want to have our otherwise fairly normal 5yo picking up these self/family/society destructive behaviors. Any ideas? Let me mention that reward systems of any kind do not work and he's assaultive and destructive so physically getting in his way of any kind is dangerous. Thank you in Advance for any response.
    Lasted edited by : Feb 28, 2011
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Was your son adopted?

    Why did the medications stop?

    What does the school do for him besides suspend him? Does he have an IEP - is he in a behavioral class? Or wait, I think you said he is in a special school for the behavior, right? Do they give you any supports? have suggestions?
  3. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Welcome - boy am I sorry you are in that situation. It is about as ugly as it can get.

    I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose anything but it sure sounds like he is heading for a sociopath diagnosis. You must feel very sad about how things have turned out.

    I imagine you know about your options for getting him out of your home and abandoning him to foster care. It's a tough step to take but we were faced with that with our difficult child 1. He went to a therapeutic foster care placement and SED school placement. Eventually he was returned home and within a couple months the nightmare started again. But we could not get the help then (he was 16) that we had been able to get when he was 13 because of his age. We could not legally throw him out. But we couldn't abandon him either because here in CA at that time we would have had to pay all his medical and dental expenses as well as a stipend for food, etc. At least that was what we were told. We could not afford to do that so we lived a 2 year nightmare. Not the same as yours but a nightmare still.

    Anyway, I found this website that has what looks like a comprehensive set of links to info about services available to you in WA. Perhaps something there will be helpful.

    Have you filed a CHINS petition yet? If not, then it sounds like that is your next step. That and talking with your local social services dept about placing him in foster care or residential treatment facility like an out-of-state boot camp.

    I agree you need him out of your house. I think you have done everything possible and have a lot to teach some of us about holding the line with our abusive children.

    Many, many hugs.

  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello Betty--

    Welcome to our group!

    I think you are correct when you say that "the system is failing him". In my area, there used to be a lot more services and programs for at-risk youth...and these days everyone is passing the buck and the kids slide through. I assume you are experiencing the same nightmare.

    I wish I had some advice to offer...
  5. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    WOW - you have a LOT on your plate.

    I'm sorry I have no advice or wise words to offer - just a ((hug))
  6. Blissful_Betty

    Blissful_Betty New Member

    Thank you all for the welcomes... I previously had been blogging, but felt that it was too public for such personal information so have abandoned my 2 blogs. I am glad to find such a seemingly fitting group for venting and researching further answers.

    No, my son was not adopted. The Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) diagnosis comes from, (what I can pinpoint anyhow) major trauma before the age of 3. He was an unexpected, unplanned pregnancy. I was in the process of filing for divorce from his father, when my younger brother (16) committed suicide. I found out I was pregnant a month later. I left his father when DS was 9 mos. I began working at the same time and attending school 2 nights a week. DS responded with severe separation anxiety which in turn caused friends and centers to not want to care for him as he was "not a good fit". The separation anxiety lasted till he was around 3, when he then became abusive to any/all caregivers, family or not and destroying things/places and animal cruelty. I unfortunately was lucky enough to find the quack pediatrician that first dismissed my fears and stories and then when he validated them gave AWFUL advice that this overwhelmed, confused, scared single mother followed. It was quickly abandoned and in hindsight caused more trauma than good.

    medications stopped because he ran out, was in juvenile and his previous psychiatrist wanted to do a medication vacation so that we could restart them and hopefully his tolerance to the abilify would be removed and it would be more effective. His new psychiatrist (due to changing medical coverage and lack of psychiatrist input-he was actually being seen by a private practice psychologist that had a visiting psychiatrist on her staff-he actually saw psychiatrist 2X throughout 1.5 years) is taking his history seriously, has validated our concerns for our as well as DS safety and has been having weekly appointments with us for the last 3 weeks trying to decipher son, his diagnoses and the proper medications as the abilify wasn't nearly effective enough, the buspar was at such a low dosage that it wasn't doing anything and the concerta we restarted but without the others, the ds is having horrible side effects and refuses to take (since restarting last Thursday, took them Thursday, that's it)

    He has been on an IEP since 1st grade. The school suspends, expels with re-entry(sometimes) after a conference with the "team", myself, ds, school counselor, teachers and usually sd official. He started the behavioral school January 5th and he has done well for the most part. A couple trips to the quiet "carrol" and one "almost" trip to the safety room... but he pulled himself out. Beyond that, the school seems to be acting almost as helpless as I.

    As for giving up rights. I have told DEX that he needs to step in, but he has 2 more children with his new wife. His wife is sickly and weak, his 6yo daughter has rheumatoid arthritis and his 5yo daughter has autism... DS would pose an even bigger threat to them. In December I stood in court and pleaded that I didn't know what else to do, but that I can't keep living like this, in fear and watching my younger boy imitate his bigbro... DS steals anything that isn't bolted or locked down (2 visa frauds since Thanksgiving, even though purse is hidden or locked in office) and I can't control his behavior so I can't be held responsible for his actions outside the home. They basically said there was nothing they could do. I circumvented some of the red tape and contacted a director in the CHINS program, she sent me the application, but I HAVE to go through the steps to get the application approved and even in some ways truely started. We have a program called Home builders in our home right now (10 hours a week for 4 weeks) that are one of the necessary steps to getting him placed out of home. We have to go through Homebuilders to get into the correct regional support network. The good thing about the time with Homebuilders is that the MH counselor that is working with our family has seen the older two in their tyrants (oldest daughter is now in d/a inpatient) and has seen multiple attempts to redirect, talk with, counsel, command and comingle with DS to no avail. AND he has taken to walking out on her in our home as well. The good news about this is that finally he's not being his usual charmer and someone gets to see inside the facade. I don't want to give up on him, he's my son, in some ways I lent circumstances (working ft, going to school and divorce) to the enviroment necessary to cause Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), it's my problem I feel I need to solve it... but he's testing the limits of my sanity, my fight or flight response and recently the constant increasing stress is straining my marriage. I may have no choice but to officially give him up, or suffer the consequences of more casualties of marriage, sanity and motherhood of my other children. However, giving him up to the system doesn't offer much in the way of consolace either, as we are DEATHLY afraid that he will stew about it for the next however many years and will avenge that decision with bodily harm when he is a young adult.

    And yes, We/I am very saddened that things have turned out this way. I believe my son, will in the end, hurt someone before anyone really takes notice and then will say... "we never saw this coming"... but then, I am told that I will have a self fulfilling prophesy if I think like that. Hard to think anything else when you know the complete history and have seen his evolution... Sociopathic/Psychopathic is where I think the diagnosis is headed. But then, I'm not a professional, just a well educated, observant mother.

    Thanks for your responses!
  7. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I think it's really good that you have a psychiatrist who is taking an active role in diagnosing and treating your son. It may make a big difference if part of this is bipolar mixed mood and/or agitated depression for example - things that may remit to some extent with medication.

    However, in our experience it can take a long time to find the right combo of medications - as in a year or longer - and there may be a need for frequent adjustments.

    I'm assuming that by behavioral school you are talking about a school that has a therapeutic component to the program. Do you feel confident that they can manage your son safely? They may not be "doing" much because they are waiting for any honeymoon period to end and for him to show his "true" stripes.

    If he has a counselor or therapist at the school I would check in regularly with that person and see what he can tell you about their process and what they are seeing at school.

    It's also really good that you have people coming to your home to work you and son. I suspect their recommendations/observations will carry a lot of weight as you move through the process of trying to find an appropriate placement for your son.

    I understand your fears about the future. But all you can really do is keep your family and him safe right now. You must let the future take care of itself in this respect. Cold comfort but it really is impossible to say what will happen as he grows up.


  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I've no experience with behaviors that have the degree of intensity your son is displaying. While my son, when at his worse, was an "extreme rager", he was quite young. I cannot imagine, now that he is 15, going through that. I believe I would be very afraid.

    I hope the home service and the start of the CHINS application begin the process of getting help for your son and relief for your family. Given that you have two young ones at home who are exposed to this violent and insolent behavior, time is of the essence. Has he ever displayed in harmful behaviors towards his younger sibs or you and husband? If so, that could be a way to move this process along quicker......

    Glad you found your way here. Sorry that you had to.