No improvement...

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by AnnieO, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Pat is still refusing to do ANY chores. He's also begun doing things like not flushing the toilet after a bowel movement (eww... But ROSE uses this same toilet - SUPER EWWW)... leaving nasty socks/underwear on the floor of his room, where the dog drags them out into the living room (again, eww)... Ignoring house rules even though they have been explained to him by the intervention coordinator, such as not coming home from school on time and disappearing on us. The coordinator let Bill know she went to the school Tuesday and talked to him, and he didn't seem to care. *sigh*

    He goes to his room, where he eats dry Ramen and drinks pop. He does eat lunch at school - we agreed at the beginning of the year that we'd put enough money in the account for half the month and he'd take his lunch for the rest. He went 2 meals into the hole for February... How can they allow the kids to charge when money isn't there? Ugh.

    I'm baffled... WHY does this kid, who CAN do these things, REFUSE to do them? Why does he choose to eat food that he KNOWS is bad for him, rather than at least have leftovers? Just gross, in my humble opinion.

    ...And then there's the SMELL. It was confined to his room, then crept out and down the hall... Rose complained (her bedroom is right next to his), so I bought some Febreze air stuff and gave it a good spray down last night (after a heavy Lysolling on Wednesday... Which did NOT kill the odor). I also have a movement-activated air freshener sprayer near the front door (when the door moves it senses that so it's not constant)... I need to mount it in the hall. It's a placebo, but it helps.

    I remember the locker-room smell of teenage boys from my time as the wrestling team statistician, and when Pat played football. This is not the same. This is just RANK. I can't describe it. I would prefer to be downwind from a Dumpster in the summer and that's not a joke.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Annie... It's a reflection of how he feels about himself. Likely ties into mental illness and/or developmental issues. He "doesn't deserve better" - a classical depression line. Self-destructive behavior.

    Will give this more thought and try to log on later.
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have a lot of that with my own son. I will not go into it. You already did a good job. My son is 27. So, definitely old enough to know better. And he was never like this before. As a teen he was very interested in his appearance. His habits were within normal limits. Messy, but within the appropriate range.

    In my son's case I think it is because he has been living near the streets, going from living situation to living situation. He does not have the structure in his life to maintain good habits. And more and more he seems to not care. It is a new normal for him. When I am sad and frightened like I am now, I feel he is living borderline human. I mean, animals, know to seek out clean space and to not dirty their own.

    So, what do I make of it: Structure and habits. And resistance to authority and indifference about complying. And like you say, acting out.

    Probably the same thing for my own son.

    I think you need to find a way to tighten up with some kind of behavioral modification regimen. There is a program of which I cannot remember the name which is very effective.

    It is good to see you posting, Annie. I am so glad for you, the good things that are happening for you.

  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Is he seeing a therapist? I don't remember if you said he is. This does not seem to be just willful behavior.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I agree with Pasa.
    If it was strictly willful behavior, then things like rewards would have some impact. Punishment doesn't always have an impact, especially with non-neurotypical kids; most high-functioning non-neurotypical people have some level of reward response.

    I'm wondering if some of these "awful" behaviors are part of "shutting down". The future is so scary, that he ends up not even coping with the minor daily tasks of living... such as flushing the toilet.

    Black-and-white thinking may be at play, too - if he doesn't believe he can do ALL of it, then why do ANY of it?
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    He was seeing a counselor, but then started disappearing at pick-up time. Swearing Bill wasn't in the parking lot. (Which is true for one time... ***I*** was there. I searched all over the school with the resource officer.)

    Coordinator ordered him back into counseling, he has another session in a week. We will see if he shows.

    If he's shutting down, then why does he feed the cats every morning? Why does he do his laundry every Sunday? (FWIW, getting him to do his laundry weekly used to be a real problem.)

    I do think there is more to it than just deliberately being a snot. Rewards have NO impact at all and never have. The only thing that has ever actually worked (short term) was screaming at him like biomom used to do. That's no way to treat him. And I won't.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The cats, I can rationalize a bit - not guaranteed to be right, this is just based on my own experience. The feeding the cats may be the sliver of the real, caring person who is "inside" Pat. In some ways, the cats are a knot at the end of his rope. If he stops caring for them, it would be a major red flag. For now, it's a sign that he still genuinely cares about another living being, which is a good thing.

    The laundry. Having fought for so long to get him to do it, it's kind of ironic that it's now part of the "puzzle". A couple of takes on this. Maybe it's one area where everything you did to teach him this skill... stuck. In which case, how to transfer it to other skills? (I'll give that a 5% likelihood... based on the fact that you have likely already tried to do that!) Or... clean laundry has become the new normal, and he no longer likes the feel of dirty clothes. And yes, I know - how can clean clothes be so important, and all sorts of other dirty, smelly stuff, not even register.
  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I understand about the reward thing not working and consequences did not work at all. my son would do some of the things he was supposed to do, but still regress in other areas. The psychiatric described what he was going through by describing it as electrical overstimulation resulting in the brain malfunctioning in various areas at various times.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK... So why does he only do *some* of his laundry? Trust me, I can tell... Because he just keeps getting towels out of the cabinet, not ever washing any. Because whose towels are they? Yep. Ours. Not his.

    I cannot get behind the belief that he is not doing this deliberately. Forgetting chores here and there, yeah, OK. But REFUSING them? No. I realize that of course I know him (and the situation) better living with him and everyone else is going by their own experiences and what they have seen me post.

    His court-ordered anger management class? Mondays? Bill picks him up from school, etc. Well, Bill called the school today to have them remind Pat. He then "rode the bus" instead of meeting Bill. So Bill hotfooted it back home to catch him as soon as he walked through the door (bus stop one house down), to fly back to the class with him. Late better than not. Guess who did not come home? Yup.

    I just don't understand. I know when we take him back to counseling we won't get anywhere, because before I made sure the counselor agreed with Pat sitting there that he wouldn't tell us anything. But now, the coordinator gets full disclosure and Pat knows that.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ok, there's two sides to this "deliberately" thing.
    In one sense, there is some conscious choice involved. Some of it is avoidant - like "forgetting" that he is getting picked up for his appointment with the counselor. That's almost passive-aggressive. And yes, It's frustrating.

    The towels. That one, I live with and totally get. They are not HIS towels. So why should he wash them. If he had a choice, he wouldn't even be having a bath or shower and wouldn't need them. So he gives you a choice. If you want him clean, YOU have to do the towels. A bit passive-aggressive. Maybe.

    But the other side of this. I'm still pretty sure that on some level there is disordered attachment. There pretty much HAS to be, given all that went on in his life before you came on the scene. And you didn't get there until he was five - and attachment problems generally come from the first three years of life. If this is a factor, then none of the traditional approaches really work - and what he needed 10 years ago, nobody would have thought about. I see him as having major trust issues. That includes issues with you knowing what goes on in counseling. But he has issues trusting the counselor as well. Basically, he really doesn't trust anybody. Not even himself.

    Counselors who have even a hint of an idea about disordered attachment are rare. I seem to remember that Bunny had problems finding professionals with half a clue - her son has some level of attachment issues, and she's had him since the age of 2 or so.
  11. My son did this and his adult Aspie friends still do. It is a constant reminding. He ask but hates me for it.
  12. That makes perfect sense to me. That's how it seems with my son
  14. I meant to say, he knows he needs help but hates me for it. It's my fault his life is broken somehow.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You're not kidding!
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    As I was getting pajamas for Rose last night, Pat said he was never told he had an appointment.

    I pointed out that he signed the contract, and that was on the contract. Every Monday. We did not have to call the school to leave a reminder, but we did. He said he never saw the contract, so I went into his room and picked it up off his desk. "This one?" He had marked through most of the items with a red pen. *insert eye roll*

    I also reminded him that if he had come straight home on the bus like he was supposed to - and agreed to in the contract - that we could have gotten him there.

    I told him to write it down in his date book, which he got for Christmas to replace the school agenda he "lost".
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yup. Never saw YOUR version of the contract - and HIS version doesn't include that.
  18. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Here is a thought. When things were so out of control in my son's brain, due to his mental illness, the more he tried to control his environment. It could and did take on some behaviors that left everyone shaking their head.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I hadn't thought of it specifically that way, but looking back, I see that in my son too.
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    His grades went way up... Now they're on their way back down.

    I dunno. I keep trying and it doesn't seem to matter.