Teenage meltdowns, homework and gaming

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sunshineaftertherain, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. Hi all...sorry I havent been active for a long while...was just crazy in my life!!!
    So my son is now turning 16!
    Currently his diagnosis is: Asoergers ( psychologist feels strongly about this, psychiatrist says he has some simptoms), ADD, possible Bipolar.
    I am really wery owerwhelmed by his terrible meltdowns...he is n VERY big boy, with a LOUD voice!
    Often when we ask him to do his homework, he doesnt want to, dont see the reason why ( we had him tested, he has high IQ,no learning disabillities, poor executive functioning and gives up easily)...we are willing to sit with him and help him, but he gets terribly anoid...
    When he doesnt get his way ( like wanting a new game, or playing on computer or wifi), he starts escalating, screaming, being verbally abusive, threatening us, shrowing things, and so on. We are all being hold captive by his behaviour....we have strong structure in place, with consequences for this behavior, he looses screan time....after this meltdowns, he says he is sorry, he loves us , but he then doesnt understand how bad this effects our relationships....but when he gets like this it doesnt help to try and reason with him.....My question is...how can we prevent this uitbursts....what can we do differently, because he needs to do his homework.....and cant and sit and play games the whole day...
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    What does the psychiatrist say about this behavior? This is really concerning. Is he on medication? Does he have hobbies? What does he like to do? Any physical activities like sports or martial arts? Art? Friendships? How is his behavior at school?
    Or is he home-schooled? Does he have an IEP? If he is at school and has an IEP can you request an emergency meeting and work out something where he can do his homework at school, while supervised there?

    It sounds like your best shot is to avoid the escalating behavior in the first place, through strong routine and expectations. An unvarying sequence for when he comes home, snack, quiet time in a specific place, at a specific time. Is computer and game time strictly limited? Do you have control of these items?

    There are trained professionals that do behavioral analysis. They come to your home. They observe. They train the child and the family to deal with problematic behaviors and routines.

    It seems to me the problem is with the electronics. They trigger him. It's like they are toxic to him.

    The other thing that seems to trigger him is the homework. Maybe you can lay off. Let him take responsibility for it. I did not push my son on homework. It made me too anxious. I was told by his psychiatrist that this was a smart move. Your son gets anxious. Why create battles? But that doesn't mean he gets to play games or be on the computer his whole life through. I would try to seriously limit these activities. Maybe online you can find suggestions on how to take control of electronics. They are not good for any of us, particularly for children with these kinds of disorders.

    I believe that change comes more from encouraging positive behaviors rather than trying to limit undesirable ones. That is building on strengths. What are his strengths? What are his strongest, easiest relationships in the family? What does he love to do? (Besides games and online.)
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    My nephew is maybe on the spectrum. Does your son get any help for autism? Do you understand it? I know my sister got lots of help and so did my nephew. He is doing well. I don't think traditional rewards and consequences worked for him. He needed to understand the world better. Some professional really helped, but not a mental health worker.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  4. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I just wanted to say that I see many similarities between my oldest stepson DS, and your description of your son. I have no answers, just empathy. I agree with the suggestions you've received above. I hope that you find them useful. I would definitely consider family therapy if you are not already doing that.

    If my family's experience is any guide, I would urge you to do whatever is necessary NOT to give in to him when he tantrums, even if it involves calling the authorities. My DS - also a very physically large and intimidating young man - is now facing felony charges because he was trained from a young age to use his size and his temper to get his way. In our case this has escalated from refusing to do homework, and refusing to attend school, at age 16, to now as a young adult facing possible prison time. In my opinion had his biological parents been willing to set a firm limit around his behavior - to the point of sending him to a therapeutic placement if necessary - this sad outcome may have been preventable. Not to mention the damage done to siblings. We have suffered this as well.

    So find whatever works for your family, but don't teach him that he can bully you into submission. While it may "work" in the context of your family it will not fly in the real world where the consequences will be much harsher.
  5. Deni D

    Deni D Member

    Sorry you are going through this. Very quickly because I have to run:
    1. maybe a tutor for the homework, to get you out of the mix.
    2. Is he on medication, maybe an adjustment would be in order, you'd be surprised how a very small one makes a big difference.
    3. Poor executive functioning, meaning slow right? That would cause problems with learning, and frustration.
    4. Very strongly suggest getting therapy, in home if available, for him to learn how to deal with frustrations without bullying. From my experience this only gets worse if not specifically worked on.
    Best wishes, hang in there.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  6. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Sunshine,

    Would you consider asking for a modification to your son’s IEP? Maybe talk with your son’s therapist and see if less homework requirements would help the situation?

    I have heard of kids whose IEP states that they are only required to do one hour of homework per day, or that they should only be given a small amount of homework, compared to the usual load.

    Maybe a study hall hour should be included in his school day, where he would get a tutor to help with the homework or studying?

    Is he in Special Education classes?
  7. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    How are his grades? If he's short changing himself, he's going to regret it when it's time to apply to college.
  8. Than you for all the support and constructive advice
    My son has been seing a psychologist and psychiatrist for the last 13 years, he has been on medications for many years....currently he is on Concerta, Cyngen ( antidepressant), Abilify and he recently started Epitec ( moodstabiliser) as well...
    We dont have any IEP in our country, there is also no special therapeutic placement facillities in our country. He is in mainstream, with pressure and external motivatiin he gets average to above average grades....his only interest is technology, doesnt want to partake in any other leisure or sport activities....he has friends, but not close ones, he prevers parrallell gaming online with friends he knows. He has a soft spot for animals and love to feel he can help some one. We have strict rules regarding gaming time....
    I have heard of a new therapy team close to us who specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)...but they are very expensive....his poor executive functioning doesnt make his school work slow but he struggles with planning and prepairing.
    This special therapy centre is going to have a workshop on Pathological Demand Avoidance, thouht this might be part of my sons issues, so I will maybe try and attend that and start building a relationship with the team....
    Our biggest challenge is to get him to realize he needs to partake in his schoolwork and take responsibility for it....and to know how to prevent escalation of meltdowns....
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is great! I will only write one person's opinion, my own.

    If you could help him build on this huge, huge strength, this would be a gift to him and to others. There is no downside to love and to compassion and to care. With the technology I believe there is a great downside for him and for the rest of us. Are there activities, outlets, to support him to give to others...whether animals or humans? Volunteering, friendships, raising or training animals, such as service dogs, etc.? Or spirituality.

    I know you can't and shouldn't take away what motivates him and what he loves, the technology, but thinking about supporting his real gifts...could be a win win.

    This sounds fantastic.
    To me, the latter is the important thing. This is where the most damage can come. To him and to others. I believe the schoolwork will take care of itself. In the USA there is always a do over possible academically, even until the end of life. I am aware that in other countries, (I know some about the British system with exams that make it impossible to progress past a certain point, for some.) But the thing is, the most important thing for him, I believe, is self-mastery. The sense that he works as a person. And that is based in part upon self-control and integration of impulses.

    I think you are headed down the right path, making connections with people who have the knowledge and the treatment. As you and he gain more support, skills and knowledge, if it were me, I would downplay that which puts pressure on all of you. I know that is hard. I know it with myself. It's hard for me to give myself the basics, when I am aware I will be losing opportunities. But, I believe are sustained by nourishing the deepest things within us, as well as achievements.

    I am not fishing here to know where you are from, but I remember a mother posted here with a young child, a 5 year old, from Canada. And how desperately she sought resources for her child. And what there were, were only in Toronto, I think, and she lived in the Prairies, I think. It was so, so hard. In Canada it seems it was impossible to get treatment at all, without the diagnosis of Autism. But the Canadian national medical system would not give the diagnosis out, because of the costs involved, of providing real treatment.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  10. B’smom

    B’smom Member

    What does his homework pages look like? Is it a full page or small amounts?

    B, my son with multiple special needs has very low executive functioning compared to his IQ. We found that having 3-4 questions on one page then a 10 min break then back to work really helped him complete the work (in school). In our area, the schools don’t give out homework.
    We had to get the school to break it down in small sections or else he got extremely overwhelmed and had outbursts. Perhaps that might help?

    There’s tons of funding for autism in Ontario (Canada) but it seems they’ve forgotten about every other diagnosis. Unfortunately I have to agree with this statement. It’s extremely hard to find help and support if you do not have the diagnosis of Autism.