What do you do when your difficult child doesn't want help?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whatamess, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    My difficult child will rip social stories to shreds, takes suggestions for social interactions and ignores them~says he 'doesn't care'~or completely (and rudely) rebuffs the teacher/parent. I do think people (including me) have been trying to 'fix' his deficits for so long, he just can't stand to hear it anymore. ......and yet, he is so socially out of it most of the time, he will stick his tongue out at the principal when greeted, spit at the teacher who asks him how his day was or responds to the comment "have a nice weekend" with "have a terrible weekend". This cannot be punished away...if it could, believe me, it would be gone. It cannot be reasoned away either (he will stick his fingers in his ears and close his eyes and make nonsense noises if you try to talk to him about it). How do you help someone who doesn't seem to want to be helped??
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    I have been dealing with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) for sixteen years and I will give you my honest opinion. I do not think it is what everyone would do, nor do I think it's the only solution, but it is how I would handle it, based on my beliefs about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

    To me, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is being wired differently. Many parents, and this is ok, feel it is mandatory to make the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) child "pass" as "typical" to do well in life. And I feel that many Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids WANT to know how to be "typical" at least on the surface as I don't feel they really are underneath. Some are more motivated and try very hared. My son is clearly different at home, but maintains well in public and saves his most quirky behavior for us at home. I think it is very hard for him to be "typical" 24/7. It is a stress, and he is NOT particularly comfortable with people and social situations.

    My son is totally disinterested in certain "typical" behaviors. In certain areas he has learned a lot. Other social norms he finds "stupid." I can't change that. I can't make him care about what clothes he wears or if he listens to the latest "in" music. I can't force him to learn how to easily have a give-and-take conversation. That is never going to happen. He will be quiet unless he is talking about his obsessive interest.

    My son has learned how greet people, to say "please" and "thank you", to be helpful in school, to be quiet in school, and to control his temper. He wanted to learn these things or nothing on earth could have made him. But when he thinks a social norm is "stupid" or he's not interested, nothing changes that. And we accept his difference.

    Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is a difference and not all Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids can turn into adults who can navigate easily in a typical world. My son is doing well, but we still can see that he may need some help as an adult, although we don't know for sure (Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids mature very late). In a rare t herapy session we took son to last year with an autism specialist who explained his disability to my son, he asked if he is upset by the way he is. His answer was, "No. I like how I am. No, I don't want to change. I don't care if I'm different." Not all Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids WANT to change and many get irritated when people try to change them. Many adult Aspies are angry that parents tried to change them.There is a site called "Wrong Planet" that may be under construction, but it's very good and for adult PDDers. Reading their take on things is eye-opening and fascinating.

    I would not, if this were my child, push anything that he doesn't want to learn or is hostile toward. When/if he is ready he will seek this out on his own or ask for help from you. Many Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids think social stories are "stupid."

    The unacceptable behaviors that may hurt others are what I'd be most concerned about, if this were my child. However, often Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids outgrow these behaviors. My son was a toddler hellion and he is the sweetest boy in the world now, if a bit different.

    This is an area you have to decide for yourself. How important is it to you? Is there another way to teach him certain things? Is he simply frustrated because social skills are so hard for him? Does he understand he is being rude? Has he EVER had a neuropsychologist evaluation to see where his deficits lie and how "out of it" he is, as far as social skills? I would do that...it helped us a lot.

    I wish you lots and lots of luck whatever you decide.And here's something to keep in mind: The average Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) child does not really mature to his highest level until he is 25-30 :tongue:. They have a developmental delay, even if they are brilliant, but many come around later rather than sooner.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM gave some good ideas. I wish I had some advice. My difficult child who is not Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) (he is bipolar) is a lot like this. He doesn't want to be helped and worse yet he thinks he does fit in socially. It's very difficult; just want you to know you are not alone.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Around that age and even now, my son responded much more to natural coonsequences than anything I, as his mom, could tell him or do as a punishment. My son is not classified as Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) though so I'm not sure how much that makes a difference. Peer pressure, teachers and school personnel not giving him approval (I don't mean acting like they didn't like him), kids not wanting to play with him, etc, went a LONG way.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A lot of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids don't give a rat's about peer pressure as they'd rather be alone anyway, don't care about teacher approval, etc...you get the difference. A Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid at my daughter's last school ate lunch alone. It was a very small school so everyone was bonded and some nice kids would always try to get him to sit with them. He's always smile and say, "No thanks. I'd rather eat alone." Puzzled the kids, but he never did join in and never seemed lonely about it...lol.

    In fact, many Aspies think everyone is equal and never understand why teachers are "above" them in authority and don't accept that they are. It's different from bipolar issues. And you kind of have to try to think like the child because he doesn't think like your regular kid and peer pressure is usually unimportant. So the natural consequences may not bother him at all. Depends on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid. They're all in different functional levels and have unique personalities, BUT they are all differently-wired and "quirky" (not a bad thing to me) in their thinking. :peaceful:
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Understanding how your child thinks and what his deficits and gifts are is pretty crucial, in my opinion.

    He probably has a horrible time figuring out why he has to listen to teachers/principals/etc especially if they seem ignorant to him (or stupid, as our kids are more likely to phrase it). Wiz had some real problems with this. My mom finally got through to him by telling him it was a game. If you can figure out who is making and enforcing the rules and do enough to stay off their radar then you can get away with a LOT more.

    It isn't a "nice" way to put it, but it made sense to my Aspie. Esp because he loves to put one over on an adult.

    You are likely going to have to prioritize what circumstances you really want to battle on. Bear in mind that all the shirts and notebooks etc.... with the rude sayings do NOT help Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids at all. If it is OK to wear a shirt that says "You made me throw up a little" then why isn't it OK to tell Grandma that?

    For a LONG time I would tell Wiz that he had to be "Grandma Polite" when we were at X or Y function/dr visit/whatever. My mom is a total manners nut. He is extremely close to my parents and often would do things for them that he would not for us. I had a short list of what "Gma Polite" meant. We talked about it before we left, on the way if it was a longish drive, and then again just before we got out of the car to walk in.

    I did not use it often, probably not more than 3-5 times a month. It didn't work perfectly. If he was riled up or overtired or hungry then we would go home if he just wasn't capable of doing what we needed him to do. Or if one of us had to show up, the other parent would take Wiz (and other kids after they were born) and go to a park or somewhere to pass the time with-o bothering people.

    If he did a great job I would often call my parents to brag.

    This helped. He never really seemed to process/understand praise we told him. If we told it to someone else it seemed to matter. If we just told him then it didn't even exist. So I made excuses to call and brag every time I could.

    I chose to look at outings as training. I would make sure I had $5-$10 in singles for tips and off we went. It might be a museum, grocery shopping, the farmer's market, almost anything. I let him know what I expected every time. If he was reasonable polite we did or bought some special thing. Never more than a dollar or two, often just an activity, but it trained us ALL. husband, Jessie and I were trained in how to not escalate him, to ignore other people, and to tip VERY well. Not just servers - I tipped cashiers, stock people, anyone who helped us. Wiz learned more socially correct behavior.

    Once he was more motivated by $$$ I used the tip money to help motivate him. If he was polite to people then I didn't have to tip them (or me for having to deal with the situation). This meant he could have the $$ I set aside for tips. It was never more than $5 that he got, usually more like $1. I didn't tell him a number ahead of times. If I did, he would calculate how much he needed to buy whatever and then he would act poorly up to the point it would cut into his $$. This calculation is a major part of why I tipped myself and the rest of the family. If he could be that calculating then so could I. He also needed to learn we are people, not just extras in the movie of his life.

    I hoep some of this helps. It is mostly stuff I figured out by trial and error, or my mom suggested, or I saw in a magazine or learned from other parents here on the board.

    Most important is to develop that rhino skin armor. It really helps keep YOUR anger and frustration in check.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This is exactly what we are working on with Eeyore!