Searching for discipline ideas

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by helpangel, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Hi everyone I'm new here but have been on other sites similar to this one. Over the years I have tried several different methods of discipline and with my other 2 kids they have been successful. The problem is with my 14yo she doesn't seem to be willing to go along with anything I've tried so far. She absolutely refuses to "own" any behavior she does, and there have been lots of them - she frequently steals or lies and has tendency to rage often with no obvious triggers. Her retaliation to consequences is often worse then what she was being punished for; example if tell her no tv she will throw the tv at you then follow up with everything she can get her hands on - tell her she can't go out and SMASH goes the window and it will probably be about 6 hours before you see her again. Many people have informed me that I named the wrong kid Angel.

    Explosive Child method - because she shifts gears so fast that there isn't time to do any collaberate problem solving, its like everything is basket A or C with her and A basket stuff often turns into me just keeping her busy waiting for the police & ambulance to arrive.

    Reward programs often fail as she will rip charts down, steal her sisters tokens or let her sister earn the reward then take it from her (usually by force)

    Blanket method helps some but when needed most she won't use it - when she feels that fight or flight thing coming to throw a blanket down and sit on it - if she's on her blanket no one comes anywhere near her, speaks or makes eye contact

    The most success I've had is using a method that exotic animal trainers use - reward the behaviors I like and ignore the ones I don't (but it's impossible to ignore a child who's swinging a bat at sister's head) & incompatible behavior - example kid is getting under foot while trying to cook so set a bowl of chips across the kitchen, she then gets out of my way because she wants the chips

    I've only been here a couple days but from what I've read, I believe you all know more about this stuff then any behavior expert does so if have anything in your ammo pile you think will help - PLEASE SHARE! About the child behavior expert we tried one of those; the 2nd time we met - Angel whooped her and she refused to come back.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do you think it could be because of all her disorders?

    Even more important, are you satisfied that she has been diagnosed correctly?
  3. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Thank you for your response. I'm sure this is because of her disorders, I make complying much more attractive then rebelling that's for sure.

    As far as that alphabet soup of diagnoses that are going on I have mixed feelings about them. The bipolar & Asperger's I believe to be true after all the years and the testing and the psychiatric hospital stays. The hypothyroidism I believe whole heartedly because blood test results don't lie for 5+ years consistently.

    I've suspected for a long time that the ODD and adHd were just symptoms of the bipolar that for some reason psychiatrist felt needed their own diagnosis's - it's kind of hard to shoot down the ODD diagnosis when a kid will look a police officer in the eye spit in his face and kick him in the groin (but note she had active psychosis at that moment in time).

    When I researched Schizoaffective disorder everything I read - "with psychosis when no mood symptoms are present" and I had reported mood symptoms for 3 months leading up to that psychiatric hospital stay when they added that diagnosis (about a month ago); also they didn't do any bloodwork to find out what her thyroid was doing - so I don't believe the schizoaffective diagnosis at this time I think it should be bipolar mixed type with psychosis.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Before I give any ideas I need to state that at times nothing works with my difficult child, some of these work some of the time for him. When nothing is working for my difficult child it is usually a sign that he is unstable and needs to have his medications looked at.

    Right now, anytime difficult child is violent (even the least little shove because it has to be black and white with him) he gets "Stop the World". This means for the remainder of the day he has no electronic games, tv, snacks, etc... He can play solitaire, shoot baskets, things that don't involve anyone else. If he doesn't stop at that point, he gets a stop the world for the next day as well. If he is really escalated and still doesn't stop, he goes to crisis respite which he really doesn't like. We will soon be losing crisis respite and at that time will have to start calling the police. Since we have implemented this (last August) he has only been to crisis respite a few times.

    The other thing we are doing is a chip system. For every half hour that difficult child is respectful he receives a poker chip. He can use then use those chips to do things like watch t.v. for 30 minutes (1 chip), play computer games for 30 minutes (2 chips), play on the computer for 30 minutes (3 chips). I have to say I really didn't think this would work with my difficult child and it isn't perfect but it is really helping.

    Also if he swears, I have been making him write 100 times, "I will not swear." He argues and complains and I just say no problem, but no tv or anything until it is done. In some ways it has been very calming for him. He has cut back on swearing, at least for now.

    Again, I'm not sure how helpful these ideas are but they have been helpful for us.
  5. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Thank you Sharon,
    I think you hit it right with the crisis respite idea and when I talk to the case manager tomorrow (see her before support group) I am going to tell her again the urgent need for some respite, if respite not available to look for a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement (the rest of the family can't live like this anymore). I've been asking for months - currently they are trying to arrange for a home health aide to take Angel out 3 times a week for 3 hours (so she can work on social skills in the community and give me and Ms.12 a couple hours off); I thought we found a good one but she didn't show up for her orientation so it disqualified her. I don't know if I can hold it together while waiting for them to find another candidate for me to interview.

    Angel hit a crisis and ended up back in the psychiatric hospital about a month ago. They still don't have the medications right and if history repeats itself adjustments are going to come at a snails pace unless this kid is earning frequent flyer miles down at the crisis center. Guess I need to squeek a little louder if I want anyone to put some grease on this wheel.

    I pondered the idea of having her write sentences but sensibility tells me not to give Angel a dangerous weapon like a pencil when she is being difficult. Most people wouldn't think of a pencil as being dangerous but in light of the fact she burried one 2 inches into her brothers back once it is with her (he ate the last cookie).

    Obviously I've got to get control of Angel or her sister is going to start following in her footsteps then all hope will be lost. Ugh I'm so tired and burned out I kind of wish I could go away for a couple weeks of light sedation and R&R. Thanks again and if can you think of anything else while I'm looking for respite let me know because I really don't want Angel going to Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    When my difficult child was hurting people we tried everything. He just kept hurting his sister, making her hide the abuse from me by threatening to kill thank you, who was between 2 and 4 years old. she hid it for a LONG time, but I got up one night because I heard a noise and went in and found him choking her. He was 12 and it took ALL my strength and screaming to get him OFF. I even woke husband up and he could sleep through anything.

    At that time we were already not letting him be in a room with anyone else with-o one of us in that room. Otherwise Jessie or thank you got hurt. Not so much thank you as Wiz was protective of him.

    So we got alarms. One was put on the door to the room jess and thank you shared. Jess also had one she wore around her neck at all times when she and Wiz were both home. It didn't do anything to stop Wiz from attacking her, but it startled him and got an adult to the situation ASAP. It also got us up in the night if he attacked her - that was when most of the abuse happened. At night after we had gone to sleep.

    The alarms were only until I could get a bed in the psychiatric hospital for him. it was a long term facility and they kept him for 4 months. It made a big difference because the other kids made him own his behavior. One kid punched Wiz in the mouth for refusing to take responsibility for trying to kill Jessie. (Staff wanted me to press charges. The other kid was Wiz size, not a bigger kid, so I refused. I WANTED to by the kid a present, but I didn't do that either. This was what actually got through Wiz' head.)

    Anyway, I think you really need to push for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) if she is that violent and nothing gets through to her. If she is hurting her sister then the police need to be called to transport her to the hospital. Period.

    Physical violence just can NOT be tolerated. Hurting someone is Basket A and should be immediate 911 call. Here if you do not do that to protect the other children you can lose custody of the kids who are being abused. They won't take the violent child, they take the OTHER kids.

    I am sorry she is so ill. But hopefully enough psychiatric hospital visits and you can get an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) bed.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Has she been evaluated by a neurologist--MRI, EEG, sleep study, etc?
  8. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    EEG, MRI and the EEG where you have to keep them awake all night yep did it.

    Also thryroid doctor did wrist xray & bloodwork - for some reason she has bone age of an 11yo and no periods yet

    GI specialist has looked at the girlfriend/CF stuff to see if maybe food allergies, she also suffers from cronic constipation been medical hospital 3 times in past year for fecal impactions
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    My help is going to be fairly limited, I'm afraid. But a couple of points:

    1) The alphabet soup labels make me wonder if there is any chance one diagnosis can be cancelled out, at least partly, by another. For example as you commented, the ODD being a manifestation of the bipolar. And also in my experience, the more 'tough' you are as a parent, the more some kids will rebel violently on principle. Ease back on the dictatorial approach (which for some of us is where we feel we've been forced to) and the rebellion eases. But the combined Asperger's & bipolar & schizoaffective - I'd be thinking the Asperger's traits could be also explained by the other labels.

    2) The token reward system - I agree, under the circumstances you describe, it won't work. But you don't have to have a physical reward system. If you keep a record somewhere (even in your own head) of which kid has earned what, or if you have to have a physical record then have a piece of paper that you keep in your pocket which YOU initial when there is a change in reward status - then it shouldn't be able to be abused.

    3) Token system - tokens should never be taken away after they have been given. I know it's tempting, but once a reward has been earned, subsequent bad behaviour is merely a period during which rewards may nott be earned further. Oonce the bad behaviour stops, then you can re-start the clock on accruing more reward points. I know this seems an obvious point, but I have recently been surprised by people who I thought new better, who are doing exactly this at the local school here.

    4) What kind of rewards can the kids collect? And I hope you don't allow negotiation on value? It's difficult especially with the sort of extreme controlling behaviour you can get with difficult children. And the sort of reward where possible needs to be non-material. For example, difficult child 3 is obsessed with computer games, so for him a really good reward is having me play a game with him (usually Mario Party, which I learned to actually quite enjoy). While we do have material rewards in our house now, it's nothing very big unless it's something difficult child 3 has really saved up for. He generally uses pocket money to buy games though, and for us pocket money is something that each kid gets anyway, plus can earn extra for doing other tasks above and beyond. WHen we have more kids at home the kids used to use pocket money to negotiate with each other to do various chores. "I don't want to wash up tonight, I'll pay you X amount to do it for me." We did allow this because it IS negotiation and is IS fair, but all such transactions needed to be independently witnessed by us as parents in order to avoid kids welching on deals, etc.

    Trying to get a handle on why our kids are so out of control - it is so difficult. As for the various things you have on the list of diagnoses, a lot of these are diagnosed subjectively, with people observing, considering, making up their own minds based on this. Unfortunately we can't stick in a probe and actively measure this or that and compare the readings on a chart, to say "Yes, she has this for sure."

    And treatment is often the same - for some, medications can help. But tey're not acure, they're a management. Sometimes just a partial management. The problem is that the individual is so complex, a blend of nature, nurture and their response to it all.

    This means it's really important to recognise your own value as an expert, in the input into your child's condition. This can be scary, but it can also be empowering.

    Ther ewill be others along with more specific info. One final point - your daughter, whatever is the problem(s), is also hitting puberty and teen hormones do add to the problems.

    oh joy...

  10. Stella

    Stella New Member

    a difficult child called Angel :D - oh the irony of it lol!!

    I'm sorry you are going through all of this, you really have your hands full and difficult child doesn't seem open to anything, sounds like you've tried everything. I don't know much about medications but I have heard others on here saying that once their difficult child's medications were changed that their behaviours changed drastically. So all I can suggest is to push for an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and change of medications as her behaviour really sounds extreme and constant. There doesn't seem to be any let up at all! You can't live like that.

  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Have you tried the gluten free-casien free diet yet? There's research being done in this area right now because spectrum kids so frequently have digestive system problems. Some parents (not all) report marked improvements from a girlfriend and /or cf diet so if you're not making forward ground with medications this may be something to look into.

    We've also had someone in the child behavioral field on the board recently and he's reporting that he's seeing the same improvements in some kids with the removal of dairy in his practice.

    Google gluten-free, casein-free diet and Autism and you'll find a lot of info.
  12. compassion

    compassion Member

    Welcome helpangel. Your daughter sounds simialr to mine. She has beenin Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 8 weeks now She complies there but not with me.
    I try to be very , very clear and concrete (the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) side), I acknowledge feelings, but keep the boundaries very, very clear. I do utilize the Ross Greene idea of chosing battles. Yes, the behaviorist stuff works best with her. So does lots and lots of pistives. Ilike the idea of 12 pistives for every negative she says, and say pistives every 15 minutes.
    We are in the process of nerupsych testing, auidoloical testing.
    I agree about the supports. I will ask her casmanager to get us on the list for inhome therapy, in home respite,etc. It does nto look realistc that she will get a diagnois of straight autism,that is when more suports seem to be offered. Iwent to a great otienttion at autism center Saturday. I am loking for aide, mentor for her when she is discharged.
    I also plan to tape the behavior she seems to diaplay most with me.
    My goal is as prosocial as possible, not an automonatan. She is very creative; gifted in music, photogaphy , art,a nd very active physically. I want to keep fousing on the strnths and dealaign wiht the medical aspeicts which do have a bearing on behavior: her SL (speech language) evaluation came out she is about 4 years delayed in communication.
  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Welcome to our little corner of cyberspace helpangel.

    I remember those days with my tweedles (still have them with kt on a more infrequent basis). It's still ugly & it's still beyond frustrating to find the "magic" treatment plan.

    in my humble opinion, while diagnosis's are important, you are in need of a crisis plan (including respite) & behavior management/intervention. I've found by the time the tweedles were finally diagnosis'd with what I believe is true, the behaviors were ingrained. Almost hardwired into their little brains.

    It's taken years to come up with crisis intervention plans, self calming ideas, the right school placement (both are in day treatment), the right medications, etc.

    Before anything can be accomplished you need a more stable difficult child. Nothing will sink in for your difficult child until she can process what she's being asked or told. In the midst of a meltdown nothing will be heard. A Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is a good idea. My tweedles have both been in for a period of time (wm twice; kt soon to enter treatment again). The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) worked on the correct medications while teaching all the things they needed to live in the community.

    Good luck in finding answers. Sometimes it takes years to find help.
  14. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Hmmm not sure what happened to my post from last night? No email from moderator telling me to tame it down a notch, who knows I'm new maybe I hit a wrong button somewhere along the line, could be I took 1/2 hour off mid-post to go to store to get ice cream (priorities! LOL). Anyway it was more a rant then actual information going into way too much detail of what I went thru for 9days last spring getting Angel admitted. I sometimes wish the crisis center would just tell me "lady we looked there isn't a bed open to put her in" instead of "its a tantrum take her home" (so tomorrow she can assault a police officer) when the child was clearly psychotic. (She was brought in by ambulance after assaulting 5 school staff.) Don't get me wrong she isn't always so aggresive; and when she is I'm in her face if she doesn't back it down we are going for an ambulance ride.

    She's in a sp ed school that is strictly for EI classified students, parents don't even find out this school exists until the "home" school is done (too many aggresive outbursts). She has done so well there that they are transitioning her back to her home school (currently 1 1/2 hours a day) and I'm glad she's going into a self contained cross categorical class instead of the EI class. She does so much better with staff who work with Autism rather then EI - the class she's going into has a couple of both kinds of kids along with a couple CI kids that don't fit in the CI class (good that's where Ms12 is and she gets enough aggresion at home)

    There is something to this diet thing that we are missing! The GI doctor said to avoid the girlfriend/CF diet for now because they often substitute corn or soy and we strongly suspect soy might be one of the problem foods. I totally don't get the thing with pop she can have sprite no problem, same for red pop but give her orange or blue and watch out it's like rocket fuel! When I asked GI about it he simply said "don't give her any pop". Easier said then done with a kid who is 14yo who can walk into a store and buy pop! When we go to our support group tonight the choice of beverage will be pop or tap water hmmmm which do you think she will choose?

    It is ironic I named this kid Angel! I hope the cop last August was wrong. I mentioned that I think I named the wrong kid Angel and his remark was "I think you got it right cause the way she's going this poor kid is going to get herself killed, one thing for sure she has that flying thing down" She was on a neighbors roof that day and it involved police coming in from 4 different directions and they finally caught her on the next street over.

    Anyway part of my rant last night was going into the way I have to go thru proper channels to get Angel into a psychiatric hospital or Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and it takes time and lots of red tape. I wish some times I could just pack a bag and show up saying "here she is" check her in like at a hotel; but it doesn't work that way the few adolescent beds they have are strictly for short term crisis intervention - they don't stabilize her they just break the psychosis and send her home.
  15. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Have you tried the Feingold diet? One of the biggies with it is no artifical food dye - this is why Angel goes manic with the orange soda. I allow my daughter an occasional sprite because if we're out, and the options are fountain drinks, it's the only one that is dye free and caffine free. It also takes out apple juice, low fat milk (but not whole milk) and some berries and other fruits and veggies.

    And what's the blanket method? It sounds like something I might need to use.
  16. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Feingold diet haven't heard of that one I'll have to look into it. There is a possibility milk could be a problem too - I have a cousin who would get horrible viscous when got milk, lots of milk would make Angel's brother mean too he also had a problem with red food coloring (wonder if I ate too many of those red m&m's back in the 60's?) UGH I just disclosed how old I am LOL

    The blanket method is pretty much what I described we have a red blanket that is only for this purpose and if Angel throws that blanket down and sits on it; it tells everyone around her to back off, leave her alone, don't speak to, at or around her, and don't make eye contact. Her blanket is like a force field that tells everyone she is on the verge of loosing control. She also deals with many sensory issues so when she feels like she's going to fly apart she will wrap up tight in her blanket, goes along with the idea of swaddling a baby - ever notice how tight the nurses in hospital wrap the newborns? its the same principle - there isn't a lot of room to move around inside the womb so wrapping them tight makes them feel secure.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That blanket sounds like a really useful strategy, the whole concept of it is good because it gives her control of letting others know she is not coping.

    Helpangel, we went through the food allergy/food sensitivity investigations with one of the best clinics around, they are mainstream medical and a multidisciplinary team studying this as meticulously as possible. Thay have good 'street cred" in the international medical world in this area.

    Of course they are a bit too far for you to commute! But I checked the website, they have some really useful fact sheets. Some years ago they published a book called "Friendly Food" which was very helpful for people with food sensitivity problems.

    I hope this can help.

  18. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Thanks Marg - yes even though I enjoy road trips that would be a little (LOL) out of range. Thanks for the link it looks like lots of good info there.