One of those Neverending Irrational Conversations with a difficult child......

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by welcometowitsend, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Let me start by saying that aside from the suicidal thoughts a few weeks ago - which seem to have subsided and have not been an issue since I took him to the hospital - things have been going pretty well with difficult child.

    He went to work with husband last week and did well. Got along with the guys on the job, followed instructions, thought ahead so husband wasn't always telling him what to do and was generally very 'on the ball'. He was not perfect - annoying to his sister, didn't put his clean clothes away despite me asking him every day for a week, had food in his room - small stuff that I didn't harp about. Mostly because things have been calm and pleasant and I'd like to keep them that way so I don't want to irritate or annoy him by making too many demands - ie. I'm walking on eggshells.

    He decided he wanted Nickelback concert tickets with the money he made. So, every time he said he wanted the tickets I said "Ok, go online, pick out your seats and I will purchase them on my credit card and then you can give me the cash." Didn't do it, didn't do it - for about 3/4 days. Finally, I went online, picked out tickets, asked them if they were ok and ordered them. No problem - he gave me the money but I was at my mom's on my iPad so I couldn't print them. Told difficult child to write down the reference number and bring it home to print them at home.

    He was in a bit of a mood yesterday so to try and get him out of it my mom took him and easy child out for ice cream. After he came home he said he wanted his concert tickets printed NOW. I was busy doing something on the computer and said I'll do it later - and besides the internet is not turned on right now. It went downhill from there because there was no immediate gratification for difficult child. He informed me that he was going to turn the wifi on whether I liked it or not and print off his tickets. So, I said fine, print your tickets but the wifi goes back off in 15 minutes.

    Then he realized he left the ref# at grandma's and starts yelling at me that if she threw the paper out and he couldn't print his tickets that I would have to give him his money back. He hadn't even called gma yet and he's already freaking out on me and demanding his money. So, I finally get him to call gma and he gets the number. Spends another 10 minutes arguing with me about irrational nonsense until I finally tell him he has about 5 minutes left to print his tickets and does he want to waste them arguing? The wifi is going back off when I said I was going to turn it off.

    Well, apparently he needed my account name and password to print the tickets and I wasn't prepared to tell him that information although he certainly felt entitled to it. Now, this is a kid who has a lock on the cell phone that I pay for so I can't check it and a lock on his laptop that I pay for so I can't check on that either. And he can't understand why I won't give him my password? And he was dead serious - he was entitled to this information because he paid for the tickets but that was completely different than his phone or laptop.

    He then calls me a b#@$%^ and an f'n piece of work.

    Anyway, I wasn't prepared to print the tickets at that moment and he was really aggravating me so I said "Well, it will have to wait until later because I'm busy right now and there is no rush for the tickets - the concert isn't for another 3 days."

    From this he assumes that I'm refusing to print his tickets - EVER and that I'm screwing him over and he wants his money back, even if he has to steal it (he's stolen from us and easy child before). Long story short he continued to badger, badger, argue, argue and not let up for 4+ hours at which time he left on his bicycle because husband had finally had enough and told him he could find his own ride to the concert. By this time he'd lost his wifi and cell phone privileges as well so the only way he could talk to his friend was to go to her house because using the house phone was not an option as far as he was concerned.

    We ended up going out for ice cream because difficult child messed up our plans to go on a family bike ride and we wanted to me it up to easy child. After ice cream we stopped at difficult child's friends place to pick him up. I didn't want him coming home so late at night on an 80km/hour road that is not lit. Based on something he said later that evening I believe he made the assumption that the reason we were all in the car to pick him up was because we were all very distraught that he'd left and we were prepared to 'beg' him to come home. He did this last time he left too. We told him that we wanted him to come home and follow the rules and work things out - so he did - but he took that to mean we 'begged' him to come home and that we'd do anything to keep him home, including letting him do whatever he wants.

    He did apologize a couple of times throughout the day but I think the apologies were only because he knew he was jeopardizing rides/phone privileges, etc.. I don't think he actually meant them because he would continue to argue right after apologizing.

    Later in the evening he apologized yet again but this time he seemed more rational so I decide to try and talk to him about improving his coping skills. I have purchased a couple of books and a journal for him but he won't read them. I tell him that in order to earn back his phone, wifi and rides that he will have to start reading these books, sharing his findings and making an effort at learning coping skills. OK he says but I'm 16 and I am the way I am and I can tweak a couple of things but this is basically what you're gonna get. Uh, NO. You can choose to make changes in your life and in your behaviour - people do it all the time.

    Anyway, I asked him if he had any insight into why he has a temper tantrum like a toddler when he doesn't get exactly what he wants, when he wants it. That turned into a huge rant and freak out on me because "I called him a toddler." Not sure if he missed the point on purpose or by accident but he goes off on these tangents ALL the time and you can't get him back on track at all. Discussions with difficult child always turn into this kind of thing no matter how he is approached. It is so frustrating.

    Just wondering if this sounds Aspie to any of you? I just don't know. In some ways he is not Aspie at all and in other ways conversations like this really make me wonder if someone can be that irrational and not be something?
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Sounds a LOT like arguments I have with difficult child 1......frequently. Yes, the being stuck is Aspie thinking and the lack of alternative (what was meant vs what I said) thoughts and the taking the word "toddler" out of the whole sentence and focusing on that is also Aspie. I spend a lot of time rephrasing things like that and trying hard not to phrase them that way in the first place. Apparently it is a fine art and I haven't perfected it yet. I shouldn't have to explain a phrase like that because in everyday life others won't so I try to do a combination when I do mess up and use the "wrong" wording.
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Definitely Aspie thinking and panic when he isn't able to get what he 'needs' at the moment. When I put time constraints on my difficult child that sends him into further panic. I suspect that the obstacles your difficult child faced (confirmation number at Grandma's, not having the password AND no adjustment made for the time) probably pushed him further than he could cope with.
  4. Yep, sounds like J, who has recently finally been diagnosis as being Aspie. Guess I need to update my signature... going off to do that now.
  5. Thank you for your replies.

    TeDo- I wish I could always find the right words and phrasing for difficult child. I am obviously not very good at it. Although, sometimes it seems as though no matter how you word something they take it the wrong way. A couple of weeks ago difficult child befriended a girl at a car show (he was with my dad) and it turns out she has just turned 13! Ack! So, husband and I told him it would be best to stop communicating with her. He decides he wants to be friends and is not going to pursue the girlfriend thing with her. I tried to encourage him to not even pursue a friendship - after all he is 3.5 years older than her and it just isn't appropriate but he doesn't get that. Anyway, I had a conversation with him about statutory rape and age of consent - that kind of thing. Just warning him to be careful and protect himself and he took that as me calling him a rapist. Ugh. I really approached it in a gentle, we are trying to look out for you and protect you from these girls who sometimes lie about their age way but he still took it wrong. Sigh.

    Whatamess - You are probably right. He was already on the verge of a meltdown without any help from me. I'm sure I could have handled it differently and possibly avoided 9+ hours of off and on arguing (mostly on).

    Indeeptrouble - I'm glad you finally got a diagnosis. Now you can start looking for appropriate help for your difficult child. We are waiting on a psychiatric appointment. and a paediatrician appointment as well - both mid-August. Hoping for some answers then.

    The thing I have trouble reconciling with Aspie is that this behaviour only started within the last year. difficult child was never like this before. I could talk to him about issues and he understood the meaning and intent behind our conversations. He didn't take things out of context - at all.

    That and he is very social - he always has a friend to hang out with. Every day it is someone new. Girls are falling all over themselves to be with him because he can be quite charming and his smile would just about melt anyone's heart. I'm embarrassed to admit this but he has 6 girls that are 'sharing' him right now. Ugh! I don't know if he is having sex with all of them but I suspect he is having sex with some of them. I found condoms in his wallet and another bag of condoms (from the public health department - thank God for them!) in his room last week. He must have replenished them or put them in his backpack because all of the condoms are now gone! He has actually been scheduling visits with different girls almost daily lately.

    This is what confuses me about the possibility of him being an Aspie - it just doesn't jive, you know? He can come across as lacking emotion sometimes and his emotions tend to be flatter than most (Ie. he is never really happy or joyous) unless the emotions are anger related or sadness and then he can be very extreme in his emotions.

    I am at a loss as to what to do. He seems to be one of the most irrational, self-indulgent people I've ever met. I can't ground him or try to force him to stay home. He will just leave and the police will do nothing because he is 16 and legally allowed to move out on his own if he wants to. I feel like I just need to try and have as much positive influence over him as possible, try to get him help and keep him as safe as possible as long as I can.

    Somehow I feel like having a name or some letters will give me some understanding into who he is and why he acts the way he does. Maybe they won't. I'm pinning my hope on these doctors appointments because I am a very pro-active person and I want to DO something for him to help him (or for him to help himself) but I don't know which way to go. Once I have some answers I'm hoping to move in the right direction. The waiting is so hard.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    It took a lot of concentration and practice to do it right even half the time. I'm no where near "great" at it yet but I do the best I can. And you're right, some days and some situations, there is NO way to phrase it the correct way. We can only do what we can do.

    As for "questioning" the Aspie diagnosis, difficult child 1 also always has a friend to hang out with. His symptoms also became VERY apparent and more pronounced in the last year. He has always been an Aspie but puberty put the symptoms front and center. Know what I mean?? difficult child 1 does well with friends that share his interests. If his interest changes, he hangs around different friends. Which friend he hangs around depends on what his interest is at that particular day. He has also dropped friendships if they don't agree with HIM about something. He isn't able to see their point of view and if they don't agree with him they are wrong and he won't talk to them anymore. To him, friendships are just people to do things with. There is no "bond". He's also VERY gullible to "friends". He's paid for things for "friends" because they promise they will pay him back and he believes them and then he's broke and absolutely refuses to believe he'll never get that money back. One of them has been over 5 years and not a dime. He just doesn't get the whole friend concept at all. Sorry I got off on a tangent.

    Puberty does some very strange things but, in our case, Aspie became much more apparent and there was no denying that's what it was. When he was younger, the signs were there but in milder form.
  7. TeDo - Thank you for sharing your experience with your difficult child. My difficult child had some symptoms when he was younger but nothing significant enough for me to consider Aspergers (at least I didn't think so - was probably wrong). But when he got the diagnosis of Tourette's and ADHD I figured that was where the overlapping symptoms came from.

    There is a big difference between our difficult child's in that my difficult child's friends are so very important to him. He is very emotionally invested in his friends and spends huge amounts of time texting, talking on the phone and FBing his friends (as well as visiting). This is probably just a different form of Aspieness. He does have a couple of different groups of friends that he hangs out with and flits between them.

    He was upset the other day because his friends said he is the "***** of their group" and he didn't want them to think of him like that. But he also didn't want to change his behaviour to change his reputation. He just thinks they should change the way they think. This is an example of the self indulgent (I want to do whatever I want) attitude that he doesn't think needs to change.

    I used to be able to check his cell phone, computer and FB. He has changed all of his passwords and won't allow me access. If I try to take his computer away he goes ballistic because it is 'his property' and I don't have any right to it. I can take his cell phone because I pay the bill and he grasps that. And he 'owns' his FB account too so I shouldn't have any right to check that either. Very aspie thinking, I think.

    He also seems to think he is my equal. When I told him we were going to remove access to the wifi he informed me that I should rethink that because he figured that our business would go bankrupt if there wasn't internet access available in our home. Then proceeded to try and tell me how to run my company. Off on another tangent and odd. Another thing he did the other night was trying to analyze what would make me happy - doing things for him or not doing things for him. He figured that I'm unhappy both ways and so there was a problem there. Quite obviously thinking that my happiness revolved around him. I tried to explain to him that I choose to be happy and that doing things or not doing things for him had nothing to do with my happiness. Just didn't get it and kept carrying on and on, talking a mile a minute about it. Frustrating to say the least.
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Yup, that sounds VERY familiar. What are the symptoms of Tourettes that he displays? Just curious because kids on the spectrum have a tendency to blurt out whatever pops into their heads when it pops into their heads. I am wondering if the Tourettes/ADHD diagnosis is correct or if it's actually Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) stuff.
  9. TeDo - I've wondered that too lately. But I do think he has Tourette's in addition to maybe having Aspergers.

    When he was about 7 he started with head tics - jerking his head to his right, then he developed this tic that involved arching his back, as well as a tic with his hand that looks like the spock symbol from Star Trek. He's never had the 'blurting' tic. He also has a tic with his eyebrows. I have facial tics and a tic involving my back as well. My dad has facial tics and a tic with his hand that could almost be stimming - it's like a hand flap that only comes out when he is really nervous - like when he made a speech at my wedding. I also 'air-type things (conversations, song lyrics on the radio, house numbers that I'm driving by) - it's kind of odd and I don't usually tell people. I guess the good thing about that is that I'm an extremely fast typist from all the practice. LOL.

    The tourette's seemed to go into remission for a few years but has come back again recently. difficult child has the head-jerk tic back (but it looks like he's flipping his hair so no one really sees it for what it is - except me) and he has started with this leg bouncing thing as well as flicking his middle finger off of his palm (almost non-stop).

    He is also always twirling a pencil, clicking a pen, playing with his guitar picks, tapping his fingers or something. It can drive a person nuts when you're trying to talk to him.

    I've been sitting most of the afternoon and writing a history of difficult child and our family for the psychiatrist appointment in August. I have plenty of time but I want to be able to re-read it, have other family members read it and make sure everyone feels it is accurate and thorough. The more I write the more I see some Aspie things sticking out - I guess condensing 16 years into 8 pages will do that. I have always known that he had some Aspie traits but always thought it was because Tourette's and ADHD share traits with Aspergers. Guess that will have to be reconsidered.

    I noticed that your difficult child is on some medications. Do you find that they are working and in what ways? I looked them up and found that Strattera is an ADHD drug but all I could find on Tenex is that it's for high blood pressure.
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    It could bery well be Tourettes then. I was just curious. The big difference between that and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (besides the tics obviously) is the social aspect and thinking errors. Those are very definitely Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), at least in our case and puberty made thinks jump a few notches, Know what I mean?? As for the medications, the Strattera is for the ADHD symptoms. He's been on it since he was 5 and it works wonders for him. I have heard of others here that it was a nightmare or unhelpful for their difficult child's so it's a hit or miss type thing. The Tenex (a short-acting version of Intuniv) helps him calm enough to sleep. He was on a smaller dose during the day as well but it didn't do much and they couldn't up it at all because of the effects on his blood pressure. I was told that it helps with the impulsivity and it would have been nice to see if a higher dose during the day would have made a difference but we decided keeping the higher dose at night to help with sleep was more important.

    You may very well be looking at all three things overlapping. Is your difficult child on any ADHD medications? Do they help? difficult child 1 has ADHD as an additional diagnosis to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) because of his EXTREME hyperactivity without the medications. If it weren't for that, I would have agreed with others that the inattention was due entirely to his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Does your difficult child have an extremely high level of hyperactivity or is it more the inattention and inability to focus? Just curious. Except for the tics, he sounds a lot like my difficult child 1.
  11. Hi TeDo - They do seem a lot alike but for the Tics. difficult child has never been on any medications. He was home schooled until Grade 9 so it was easier to keep him off medications and because of the Tics we wanted to avoid ADHD medications because they have a tendency to make tics worse.

    His ADHD was more inattentive than hyper. I mean he was a very active boy but I don't think I'd have called him hyper.
    So maybe the inattention is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and not ADHD. Hopefully we will be able to figure that out with the docs next month.

    At this point I am definitely willing to try medications with him if it will help. I doubt Tenex would be a possibility for my difficult child at all. He has vaso-vagal syndrome as well. Basically he has a slow heart rate and low blood pressure so he gets dizzy and often faints if he stands up too fast. This happens quite a lot (at least once a day) so lowering his blood pressure even more would be a bad idea. The actual vaso-vagal syndrome isn't dangerous it's injuring himself from fainting that is the dangerous part.

    Thanks for letting me know what those medications were used for. I appreciate the information.

    He went to a friends on Tuesday for a sleepover and stayed at another friends last night after the NIckelback concert. We agreed to that. He was supposed to come home today but is refusing to come home now until Saturday. So frustrating. husband and I feel like our hands are tied because if we insist on him following the rules he will just leave and start couch surfing. He's 16 and where we live it's legal for him to leave and the police won't do anything. If I take away his cell phone then I have no way of contacting him when he is gone. It's such a tough spot to be in. And walking on eggshells is no fun.

    Anyway, thank you for lending your ear!
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    APDs such as auditory figure ground can look a LOT like ADHD-inattentive type... can be instead of, or in addition to.
    APDs do not respond to medications... but there are accommodations and interventions that work, and just knowing what you are dealing with is a big help... (it's part of my difficult child's alphabet soup... and was the single biggest-impact diagnosis)
  13. Thanks Insane - I'm going to continue to look into that as well.