Should I Hospitalize My Son?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by xlagirl, May 8, 2010.

  1. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    My 8 yr old son has been having violent rages, self-injury, and injuring others on and off since he was 4 years old. Each year as his illness progresses, new symptoms, and psycosis appears. He was diagnosed at age 5 with Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder (SPD). Now at age 8... things are changing drastically. For one, he is now over 100 lbs and almost 5 foot tall which is really big for his age. He is so strong now that during his (30-60 min) Rages, my teen daughter and I are hardly able to restrain him. We always get kicked, punched, spit on, bit, and scratched. He threatens to kill us, and threatens to kill himself. He has always done this (for at least the last 4-5 years), and his doctors never seem concered when he tells them he wants to die, or says he wants to kill his sister or me. I even took him to the E.R. one night when he was 7 yrs old as he was out of control and so violent. When the E.R. doctor asked my son what's going on? My son said "I want to kill myself" and the doctor still just sent us home with nothing, and said follow up with his pediatrician or therapist the next day.
    His medication does not work at all, and I have been pushing his psychiatrist to add a mood stabilizer or something. I am not convinced that we even have the correct diaognosis at this point. I think he may also be Bi Polar?
    He has these violent rages at school, and at home several times a week (4-6 days). He was already pulled from public school, and now goes to a school for the emotionally disturbed. He continues to kick, punch, destroy property, and spit on staff and children.

    I don't know how much longer I can restrain him at home without serious injury to myself, him, or his sister.

    My questions is, WHEN do I give in and take him to a inpatient hospital?
    It has been suggested over the past few years that I take him..... but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

    I know now that I will have to do it soon.
    When is the best time to go? When he is in the middle of the rage? If so, how do you safely transport him?
    Or do I take him when he is calm? If so, will they turn him away because he looks so calm and sweet like nothing is wrong with him?

    WHEN should he go??

    Please help.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, before I gave up, I'd take him to a neuropsychologist for testing, which they won't do in a hospital. In fact a hospital is to stabilize a situation and rarely turns a corner. I have a mood disorder and other stuff and I've been an inpatient three times. It's not a fix and with how fast the insurance companies take you in and throw you out, there isn't much time for a correct diagnosis. Curiously, is your 17 year old similar to him in mood? A father isn't listed. Does your son's biological father, whether he sees him or not, have any psychiatric problems, possible neurological disorders (such as Aspergers) or does he substance abuse? Even if he isn't in your son's life...he actually is, because your son has half of his genes. Anything on your side of the family, other than your Borderline (BPD)? Actually the math genuis and videogame addict part DOES remind me of son is on the spectrum and these are common signs.

    If your son is a threat to you, you may have to consider a residential treatment center, however he is so young I'd try to see if a neuropsychologist can nail the real problem for you and finally get him help. Although I'm a layperson, I don't like the medications he's on at all. Focalin is a stimulant and Trazadone is an antidepressant. Both are activating and can make a violent child even worse. Abilify sometimes has a paradoxical affect and can also cause hyperness. At any rate, whatever you do please do it soon. It sounds dangerous.
  3. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    Hi Midwest Mom!

    That is a good idea to take him to neuropsychologist.
    I have also been in inpatient a few times for my depression, and it did help me by getting my medications adjusted and got me on the right track.
    I just don't know about leaving my little boy in a hospital and them testing different drugs on him to see what works. It's pretty scary! He has never been away from home overnight before. He also has really bad seperation anxiety. He hates to be more than a few miles from home also. It is his safe haven I guess.

    His father is not in the picture, and we are divorced. His father and fathers brother, both have Asperger's, but they were undiagnosed as children back in the 70's. Now they are in treatment as adults. His father is currently on anti-depressants, and a mood stablizer.
    There is no substanse abuse, or physical abuse in the family.
    His father is also a math genius, and addicted to video games. Funny how both my son and his father are excellent at math and video games when they have spent no real time together.

    My son was first put on Zoloft and Concerta (age 6). Which he had a horrible reaction from those two. Then at age 7 they switched him to Abilify, Focolin, and Trazodone for sleep. I can tell you first hand that the Abilify works much better than the Zoloft for his depression, but Focolin does not work for him at all and Trazodone does work to get him to sleep. Without a sleep aid, he will not fall asleep for days. He has racing thoughts and very bad insomnia.....even prior to an medications.

    I am thinking that he needs a mood stabalizer such as Lithium to help control his violent rages.

    We have had to remove all the knives from the house, and we have been documenting his episodes with video tape to help the doctors better understand what is going on at home.

    I still can't help but wonder if he should go to a residential treatment facility/inpatient hospital.

    I don't think I am giving up, I am just trying to do what's best for him.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I would call your local hospital or mental health clinic and ask for a list of area hospitals with child psychiatric inpatient units. Then call your insurance and find out which ones they cover. Take your child directly there the next time he says he is going to kill himself. The next time he rages, call 911 and ask for an ambulance for "emergency transport for a mentally ill, suicidal child".

    It sounds like he needs some intense intervention soon before someone gets hurt. A psychiatric hospital can be a Godsend - both for the respite and the testing and medication management they can do.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi xlagirl, welcome.

    I personally don't like Zoloft, not only because my son is Aspie and it caused headaches and stomachaches, but also because Zoloft and Prozac work better on women because the drug works better with-an estrogen boost, which men don't have a lot of. (There was a recent article in Scientific American Mind on that topic.)
    I've never tried Abilify but I'm wondering why you say it works when your son still rages? Just wondering what changes you've seen from the medication ...
    Also, when you try to restrain him during a rage, you are just making things worse. He is too old for that now (as you have noticed from his height and weight). Plus, it can enrage him further.
    I would create a safe place for him to go during a rage, typically his bedroom. When he is not home (so he doesn't go after you) remove all breakable items (my son used to have a snowglobe collection ... he's got 6 left :(). I also removed a lot of books, even though my son loves books, because when he was younger, he used to love to rip the pages out of things. I gave him phonebooks but of course, he went for the expensive books ... I realized much, much later that they were smaller and easier to handle. Shredding things was a great way for him to let off steam.
    What are your son's triggers? If he's Aspie, he won't be raging for no good reason. He's probably not transitioning well. For ex, to go from TV to the dinner table takes several alerts/warnings. To go to school takes a lot of prep time and routine.
    Sometimes you can induce a rage just by saying the wrong thing. One night, my son asked what was for dinner. I told him stir fry. Turned out I didn't have any chicken or shrimp, so I thawed ground turkey and made spaghetti or chili or something. He saw me making it, screamed that I was a liar, and fell into a full blown rage.
    I learned a lot that night!

    Yes, it is possible that he is both bipolar and Aspie. I agree with-others here that he needs neuropsychologist evaluation/testing. Has he had it b4? Or did you just assume he was Aspie because his father is?
    It's great that you know that his father is Aspie. That helps a lot.

    Stay in touch!
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. Are you in regular therapy with him? A behaviorist can help with-some of his rages. He can observe your son with-you and you can deliberately trigger him if you need to. Sounds awful but it may work. Sometimes, just discussing touchy subjects is bad enough to agitate Aspies with-o a full blown rage, IOW, he'll get nasty but not physically violent, and it gives the therapist a good snapshot of what you're up against.
    Anyway, I'd recommend once a wk or once every two wks. I hope you have good insurance!
  7. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    Hi TerryJ2,

    First I want to thank you for the good advise. I can tell you know a lot about Asperger's.
    Regarding the Abilify, when I said it works, I was only refering to his depression. Since he has been on Abilify he has not been as sad and he doesn't try to kill himself all the time.
    Prior to this medicine, he use to hit himself hard, and smash his head in to the wall over and over, and he use to wrap belts and things around his neck. He also use to talk about jumping off buildings, and hanging himself. He no longer does that.... but he still says he wants to die and says he will kill himself. He just doesn't do the self-injury as much anymore. Abilify does nothing for his Rages.

    We were told by his therapist and his Psychiatrist to do the restraint on him. His school also does similar physical restraint on him almost daily at school. His school is for the emotionally disturbed and for Autistic children.
    I think I would have to agree with you that the restraint makes things worse. They escalate from really bad, to a full-blown rage. At our previous residence, we did have a safe room for him. We had to take out all the toys, the dresser, the mini-blinds, and hangers. He will destroy a room in seconds!
    At our current home, we share a room, and there is no safe room here.We have made the living room as safe as possible and that is where he rages. There are no toys, no artwork, nothing to throw at all. He tries to destroy the furniture, he kicks the doors over and over again, he punches the window (which I always have to jump in and stop), he cuses profanities like a sailor, he screams like he is being murdered, and he says "I'll kill you, I'll kill you".

    He also tries to hurt his 17 yr old sister too. She plays defense with him, dodging, and blocking his blows.

    He was diagnosed when he was 5 yrs old with Asperger's, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder (SPD).
    I have no doubt that he is an Aspie but I know there is even more going on with him now.

    I can relate to what you said about when you were making the dinner for your son.
    Little things like that really set him off in to a rage, and he takes his food really seriously! Yesterday I sent my daughter to the corner to buy us all some Tacos for dinner, and right after she left he started saying that he wants Pizza. Well, I tried to explain to him that we already ordered Tacos, and that we can have Pizza the next night. He proceeded to cry, scream, kick doors, yelling, throwing things, spitting all over the house, etc.

    Today a similar thing happened when he wanted my daughter to hook up the Playstation, and she said not right now (she was eating)....well he went in to a full blown rage over that too.

    It's not a pretty scene at all. I am doing the best that I can to keep him safe but I just don't know what else to do that will work better.
  8. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Welcome Xlagirl! I think you have gotten GREAT advice here! That neuro test sounds like a terrific idea!

    What does his current psychiatrist think about the next step of treatment? Have you given trial/error to Behavior Modification systems?

    I agree, he is young for Residential/PMIC, in my opinion. Have you tried Day Treatment Programs? Those are not as intensive as Residential, so he'd be home daily - but they can work wonders!
  9. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    Hi erbaledge,

    Thanks for your input.
    My son's current Phyciatrist does not have a "next step" of care for him. He tells me that we are just trying to manage his symptoms right now.
    I am currently looking for a new therapist for him, as we moved and need a new one in our area. He has been in therapy for a couple years now, and I don't see where it has helped him much at all. They worked on Behavior Modification with him, but I really don't think that any of it worked for him. He is very rebelious, and doesn't seem to follow directions well.

    I have not tried any day treatment facilities, but that is a good idea. I will try to find some in our area, and see if they take our insurance.

    So far, every helpline that I have contacted and his school, and his doctor all say to get him in to the hospital because of his rages. This also includes my whole family and support system. My mother says "Don't wait until something really bad happens, because then it's too late".

    I am the only one who doesn't want to do it, unless it is my last resort.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have not read all the responses, so if I repeat something or contradict someone I am sorry.

    My difficult child, Wiz, also has Aspergers, ADHD and sensory integration disorder. One hospital added Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) simply because his interests were so overwhelming at the time. Not sure if it is still considered one of his diagnosis's or not. He is 18 but has not lived with us for over 4 years.

    I know your situation and your fears so very well. We went and tried the mood stabilizers thinking Wiz might be bipolar but they never worked at all. Wiz eventually ended up on luvox, strattera, and trazodone. They are each a different kind of antidepressant. Luvox is a SSRI, our pharmacist calls it supercharged prozac. Strattera works well for his ADHD and is a SNRI medication similar to the luvox. The trazodone helps him sleep and is a tricyclic a/d.

    Our kids need the right medications, and the hospital may be the best way to get him stabilized. However, unless he is willing to work on changing his behavior none of the medications of any kind will help him. They may change how he feels enough to let him WANT to change, enough to make him ABLE to change. But that is about all they can do. With my son, removing any of these medications results in a slip back into depression and not caring. IF they are removed for more than a few days he becomes suicidal again. Luckily he LIKES how he feels when he is on his medications. He doesn't fight taking them or cheek them. He also does not drink alcohol or try illegal drugs as I impressed that these would likely kill him when he was little. For some reason that lesson stuck. LOTS of things didn't, and for a long time I was scared he would end up on drugs or an alcoholic like my gfgbro. Wiz saw enough of the awful side of my bro and how he changed when he became sober to want to skip all of that (My bro abused him when he was about 8 and it left a huge impression.)

    What does your doctor say when you tell him how violent your son is and how scared you are of him? How scared your daughter is of him? If he is not responsive then you may need another doctor. I would call to see what your insurance covers and if your doctor will put your son in the hospital to find medications that work. If doctor won't? Do as was suggested re: calling 911 for transport to the hospital. It may help your doctor to really "see" the problems if you take video of your son while he is raging. Many cell phones can do this - I would try that if you can.

    Most of our kids do pretty well in the hospital. They seem to like the structure and order of the hospital. My son says it was rather reassuring to know that he would not be able to hurt anyone no matter how out of control he got with a rage. At the time he could not communicate this but he did say it a couple of years ago.

    FWIW, after I made him leave home and my parents had him live with them, somehow something got through and he is now a good big brother that both of my kids feel safe with, and he is a very loving son to us. He still lives with my parents and seems to be doing very well. I hope this gives you some hope. When he was 8 I wasn't sure we would all survive until he was 19, much less grow to like each other!
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Xlagirl!

    I agree with the restraining not working; when my difficult child was young it was very difficult to restrain him and he was not as big. When we could we would get him into his room so he could rage there. The not sleeping at night thing without the medications reminds me so much of my difficult child (he is bipolar); he absolutely won't sleep without them. If you do end up having to hospitalize it may not be as difficult for him as you are thinking. We had to hospitalize my difficult child for the first time when he was 7. I was really scared and worried. He actually ended up doing very well there; the structure for him was terrific and he enjoyed all of the things they did during the day (especially a lot of the Occupational Therapist (OT) things).

    Things sound very difficult right now; I'm glad you found us but sorry you needed to. Hugs.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I want to 2nd and 3rd the motion to find a new dr. ;)

    What sorts of rewards do you use for your difficult child? Sometimes you have to over-reward just to get him back on your side, if that makes sense. TV? Computers?
    My son loves kicking doors. Funny, the house we live in has boot marks on the doors from the previous owner. I wondered if that had something to do with-why they divorced. Every house has a story to tell ... anyway, why change the doors now? ;)

    One thing our therapist did when difficult child was little that helped with-difficult child's rages and transitioning was to have me run errands with-difficult child and deliberately change the order of things and deliberately cause a rage. Sounds strange, but it worked. Now that he's older, he can use words (although he still rages occasionally, he at least can verbalize afterward) and he can tell me that I promised to do xyz and it didn't happen (such as your tacos and pizza scene).
    Do you think you could try something like that with-your son? I would suggest that if you do, you do it for an hr a day, with-a friend, preferably a big, military type guy. I live in a military area so I've got a few guys to choose from. ;)
    Now, when difficult child just complains like a regular teenager when we have to run errands (or more likely, when he has to sit in the car during an appointment for P, my 81-yr-old cousin who cannot drive) I will reward him and specifically say, "Thank you for being so patient when we were with P." Don't get me wrong--he's not always patient. Last wk I got on his case for being a jerk, and even P told him off. No rewards that day. But you do have to follow through, and no matter how inconsistent his behavior is, your response has to be consistent.
    I hope that makes sense!
  13. helpme

    helpme New Member

    I agree with all the help here.
    The best way to get it all done is when the child is "willing",
    because it permits you to have time to make better decisions.

    When he is a danger to himself and others.
    Again, its easier to deal with searching for medical help than it is in the middle of a rage.

    Whenever you have a plan for the rest of the family to be cared for and safe.

    if you need law enforcement assistance, try to have a witness to the child's
    behavior, possibly a neighbor or a semi-unbiased opinion of the situation.

    Law enforcement will assist if you are ADAMENT about him being unsafe
    to himself and others.
    Again, it is far better to have appointments scheduled and search for a
    diagnosis than to find yourself in this position.

    DEFinately, if at all possible.

    Possibly, better to search out medical care and not land in the urgency mode.

    When your heart says he should go. When you have eliminated all other possible means to keep everyone safe.

    Remember, it is best to have plans. Plan A, then B, then C.
    No one can really make these Plans for you, they come from your heart.

    Please, search for another opinion and strive to complete the neuropsychologist,
    and make that Plan A. Plan B might be working with the school since it seems
    your difficult child is struggling there as well. And make transporting to a hospital as
    Plan C (and have all medical paperwork ready and within reach in case you
    do land on Plan C.

    Hugs and best of luck to you.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi again. I had a thought while I was reading the other great responses.

    Is your son getting any interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? Or is he just taking medications? If he is just taking medications that alone will not help him if he has Aspergers Syndrome. There are a bunch of interventions that can greatly help him relieve his anger and frustration and help his function. Is he in any way getting autistic supports in this school? If not, he should be. They are as important as psychiatric supports.
  15. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    Thank you all for your insight and support.
    I am learning so much here.

    I have realized now that I have either not pushed his doctor enough, or maybe it's time for a new doctor as many of you suggested.

    At school, he does have Occupational Therapist (OT) and counseling but it's not enough. I am looking for a new therapist right now to help address his anger and rage and to help give him some tools.
    I agree with what Susiestar said that once we get him on the right medications, then at least he should be more willing to work on the behavior. Right now, he just doesn't care about anything.

    Midwestmom, I would say No, he's not getting any interventions for his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    HelpMe, I like that idea about a Plan A, B, and C. I'm going to work on that.

    TerryJ2, Yes...I do the rewards system too. We use video games, candy, and toys for rewards. I am also happy to hear that mine is not the only door-kicker out there! :)

    I will write more later when I get a chance. Thank you again for all your response.
    I was feeling very alone with this struggle until I came to this site.

  16. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Hi xka! I just wanted to let you know that I agree with what some others said. Restraints always made my difficult children escalate far worse and then they grew so much it was not possible to contain them any longer. We also had to remove all things because they could be used for destruction or be destroyed (although we've had walls, doors, etc...broken that you can't always remove). If doctor isn't listening, definitely I'd seek out someone who would listen. Sometimes therapists also aren't the right match (we've had that happen a few times) for either you (they don't listen) or your child as the child needs to be able to work with them too. Medications are always an issue too because, as you know it's like a **** shoot in finding ones that work. We've had many that were really bad and made things far worse or did absolutely nothing (focalin was one of them). The suggestion was made to check into what hospitals were around you and also your insurance situation, that's a good idea as well as what day programs as you will and should use that for follow up program once out of the hospital.

    What I wanted to offer in addition from my perspective is this:

    My oldest difficult child (who is now 18 and more easy child like then anything) was 6 years old when I first had to place her inpatient for the first time. I knew NOTHING of what I know now. In fact I knew nothing period really and was just beginning to learn the ropes via this board. It was THE hardest thing I have EVER EVER had to do! I didn't want to and couldn't face putting her in the hospital with so many fears and reasoning why NOT to do it. But the simple fact came down to, in the end, she was homicidal and suicidal and the day I did it, she was running away in a rage and gave my father a heart attack because he chased after her because she was running down a highway not thinking where cars were. I should have made the decision sooner I know now but I hesitated out of fear and being scared for her. I can honestly tell you it was the BEST decision in the end I ever did because after that things started moving along in a positive direction. We got a proper diagnosis for her (unlike what we had before) because they could evaluate her better then just in an office and do all the testing that was needed. They could do a medwash safely (take her off all medications) and begin trialing something that we could at least start out with (of course over time that would change a bit as she grew).

    She was not raging when we did it (and I know it may not occur for you like this). We waited for the next day when she was calm and took her on a ride and brought her to the place. She waited in their special room while we did paperwork. When the time came the transporters told her she had to go with them. Of course she did not like that, was afraid (didn't like to be away from us). She cried, kicked, screamed, etc.. I heard things I wished I hadn't but knew I had to endure. They ended up carrying her with her arms and legs flailing (4 of them to properly hold her). I cried for 48 hours and couldn't function it hurt so badly. I still hurt to this day but now know that I did the right thing. We did have to hospitalize her again but it never was like that either. I'm not telling you this to scare you, although it might. I'm telling you this so that you might see the reality of what "could" be so you have a heads up and can be prepared and know that it WILL be alright and that there are others out there that have felt what you are feeling and have gone through it.

    Calling 911 for a suicidal child is your best answer if your doctor isn't responsive to your pleas for help as it does sound like your difficult child needs that level of help.

    My thoughts are with you. I know how extremely difficult this situation is for you.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you son has Aspergers and is only getting treatment for his possible psychiatric issues, that's like treating pneumonia by just getting rid of the stuffy nose. If he doesn't learn to deal with life as an Aspie in my opinion he's not going to be able to handle life at all. medications are not an adequate treatment for Aspergers nor is just regular talk therapy. The kids really need social skills classes and they also need to learn how to hold a give-and-take conversation and to share their emotions. If not, they rage out of sheer frustration. You need a specialist on the autism spectrum as part of the team because that's the one diagnosis everyone agrees on. And he does sound like an Aspie, in my opinion.
  18. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    Hi Tiapet,

    Thank you for sharing your story with me. Your right about it being very scary and I am so worried about doing the wrong thing.
    My son raged again today, today of all days when I had my new boyfriend come over to meet the kids. Ugh! I had already told my boyfriend about my son and his illness and he said that he was prepared and ready for anything. Well, he got the full treatment today! My son hit me, scratched me, kicked me, punched me, kicked doors, threw everything in sight and said every nasty thing out of his mouth that he could think of.
    The boyfriend didn't run! After it was all over, he was very understanding and he shared with me that one of his grown sons (26 now) is Bi-Polar. He says that he has seen it all, and for me not to worry.
    I'm glad that he got to see both sides of my son today.... cause this is reality, this is our life.

    Your exactly right about the restraints, they used to work good when he was a little younger, but no he is too strong and it really does just escalate things much worse!

    After reading all the responses from everyone, I have finally made a decision to put him in inpatient care. I have known for awhile that he really needs to go, but I have been resisting due to fear, and thoughts of being a faliure to him.
    I know I just have to be strong and do it! It's going to be soooooo, sooooo hard to check him in the hosptial and then just walk away and leave him in their care. It will be a very sad day I'm sure.

    I know it has to be done before something even worse happens.
    And honestly, I am looking forward to him finally getting on better medications. I know it will make him a happier little guy once he is stabalized.

    You right also about Focalin not working! In my opinion, it has made things a lot worse for him.

    MidwestMom, you are so right! He does need someone to help him with his social skills and having a two way give and take conversation. I agree that he will have no life skills if someone doesn't help him. He has NO friends, and never has had any. Kids at his school just tease him and make him angry, and he gets in lot's of fights. I always feel so sad for him because he doesn't know what it's like to even have a friend.
    I will try and find someone that can help with his social skills. We had a specialist once before (while we lived in Oklahoma) that was working on some manners, social skills, and learning right from wrong. I need that again.

    Thank you all so much! :D
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You seem to feel that this indicates it has to be a lot more than "just" Asperger's, but nothing you've described tells me it has to be anything more.

    That doesn't mean you haven't got problems - not at all. But the degree of raging, even mood swings, suicidal comments - it all fits under the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) umbrella because this is far more than just a medical condition; it is also the person's reaction to having that medical condition. Add in everyone else's reaction to the person trying to cope and not succeeding, and you have a very complex picture that needs a lot more than merely medication.

    Not even hospitalisation will help fix this. All it can do, is help you over a short-term crisis. The suicidal feelings will still be there, if the reason for them is still there. And merely growing up and trying to cope with the world when you have Asperger's, is enough reason for a kid to feel suicidal and to rage, often.

    If you fear for your immediate safety, then call an ambulance or call the cops. Otherwise - it won't fix a thing.

    Clearly what you are doing now isn't working. So when something isn't working, toss it out. The same goes for the doctor - if he's not working, find another.
    A lot of Tourette's Syndrome usual parental discipline stuff often backfires on kids like this and can trigger the raging. I wouldn't try to deliberately trigger a rage, in my opinion. But I think I can see the point such suggestions are trying to make - we need to teach our Aspie kids to cope with being a bit off-balance. I don't think you need to trigger a rage to do this, you can instead push them towards a challenge but be prepared to let them back away if it is too confronting. For example, when we were travelling in NZ, difficult child 3 was still very fussy about his food, while we were in a foreign country where we like to try the foods in the region. So it was SIL1 who did the magic here - he said to difficult child 3. "Try this. YOu only have to have a taste. After you've had a taste, you don't have to have any more if you don't want to. But I want you to tell me if you like it and why; or if you don't like it and why not. Please tell me in your own words."
    difficult child 3 when he has a taste of something new, will need a glass of something to drink, to wash the taste away if he doesn't like it. We also know to avoid certain textures which we already know he hates (creamy textures; sauces).

    A lot of the reason for these kids raging, is they feel loss of control. That doesn't mean control as in "I have to be the boss of it", it means a need to be able to predict what is going to happen, in order to be ready for it. This is a part of the disability, and frankly giving way in this, especially if it's no skin off your nose, will go a long way with your Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) child.

    A book that works very well for a lot of us, is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It gives us a different way of looking at them and of disciplining them, that is workable and effective, as well as a great deal easier.

    if you want a quick preview, go to Early Childhood forum and read the stickies. Read other threads - we've written so much on this over the years! Then get a copy from the library and read it. ASAP. You're desperate now, your desperation will only increase. But tis could help and negate the need for hospital, ambulances and police. Or holding him down.

    This is a kid with determination, right? Well, the best controls applied to such a kid, are the controls he already has. A determined kid is a kid with the potential for a vast amount of SELF control. All you have to do is become his facilitator, stop being his disciplinarian and help him learn to manage himself. He will probably be better at it than most people, and learn it faster.

    This may seem ludicrous to you right now - but your son sounds so much like mine (apart from the physical size) that I'm sure this can help. ANd any help has got to be a bonus at the moment.

    Hang in there, let us know how you get on.

  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I did a Google search for Aspergers Syndrome Help in California and came up with this:

    Unfortunately, a lot of people go to psychiatrists for Aspergers and the psychiatrists mistake it for a psychiatric disorder, medicate (often Aspies do need medications, but also many are VERY sensitive to them and it needs to be watched carefully) and then t hey get psychiatric treatment such as talk therapy. Well, these kids don't even know how to converse well. My own son benefitted much more from the extreme interventions in school and no longer rages. These kids are frustrated, but they have a neurological difference (from mild to severe) rather than a psychiatric disorder. Or they can have co-morbid problems, but often the psychiatric problem is treated but not the Aspergers. Been there/done that/have the t-shirt!

    Your poor boy is getting teased at school? Aspie kids do not have good coping mechanisms. Perhaps he needs a different setting, not with emotionally disturbed kids, but with others who have Aspergers/autism. I feel really badly for your son.

    I'd be happy to talk to you if you like. PM me if you want to and I'll give you my phone number. It's sort of hard to tell you my son's entire frustrating story here. Suffice to say I couldn't get the professionals to get off the "he's bipolar" wagon. He gained almost one hundred pounds from all the medications and has not lost it even five years off of medications. However, he HAS stopped raging and understands himself and likes himself a lot more.

    Aspergers has only been recognized for about ten years. Many psychiatrists still do not understand it. When my well-renowned psychiatrist was asked (by hub and I) about possible autistic spectrum disorder, he would say, "No, no." At the end, when we told him we were taking him to a neuropsychologist for testing, he blurted out "He CAN'T have autism. You can leave him alone in a room and he won't rage." Hub and I were shocked at his ignorance at Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). That info is about thirty years old. If we had known how "behind" this man was in understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), my son would have been tested long before then. Professionals hear "rage" and they think bipolar, but that isn't the only reason for rages and violence and we had to learn that first hand. It was NOT fun. The BiPolar (BP) treatment was doing nothing but making my son a zombie.

    Curiously, did your son have a speech delay or did he mimic speech from television or use speech inappropriately? Can he make good eye contact with strangers? Does he have extreme problems transitioning from one activity to another? Does he have concrete thinking?
    Last edited: May 10, 2010