What's with the biting thing?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, May 30, 2010.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Just when we get 1 or 2 behaviors under control, another one crops up.

    The other day, difficult child bit my hand. Hard. Drew blood. He was already ramped up and I made it worse by being sarcastic, and when he started in on me by screaming in my ear and making every sentence start with-"F" I lost it and spat my iced tea in his face.
    Rush hr traffic, no less.
    I behaved badly. So did he.

    So today, after he studied for his soc studies exam, he went to a friend's house. This friend has tons of Xbox games, computer games, you name it. So of course difficult child is going to want to go over there. Every time he goes over there, it's a fight to get him out.

    Except for today. difficult child called our cell ph and said, "Can you come and pick me up now?"
    "Now? What's wrong?"
    "We got in a fight."

    We pick up difficult child.
    "Nothing physical? No slugging? No fistfight?"
    "No." Doubtful, we slowly pull out of the driveway, wondering if we should go in and talk to the mom.
    difficult child says he bit his friend. "What's with-the biting thing?" I asked.

    husband pulled out his cell and called the mom. I hear him saying he understands that difficult child and her son got into a fight over the remote or something and asking if everything is okay. I hear her voice and then husband says, "They broke a mirror?"
    Then, "Well, we'll let them cool off for a wk or 2, then get them together for a movie or something on neutral territory."

    To me, shoving someone into a mirror would be physical. But I keep forgetting how literal difficult child is. No fistfight. But difficult child wouldn't release the controller, friend grabbed it, difficult child shoved him against the wall/mirror, glass shattered and cut both of them (difficult child showed us his elbow), friend shoved difficult child away, and difficult child bit his hand.

    Isn't biting a girl thing? A little kid thing? Obviously, with-difficult child, it's a frustration thing and an anger thing.

    So, tomorrow we call the mom back, when things have calmed down, and offer to replace the mirror.

    I am going to sit down with-difficult child and talk to him about how he can avoid scenes like this in the future.

    In the meantime, I have to say that in a strange way, I'm kind of pleased that the friend (ex-friend?) reacted so strongly. He is 15, very shy and agreeable and stays home 24/7 because he's allergic to the sun (porphyria). He's actually got spunk! You go, kid!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, Terry.
    Really strange. Did you change his medications? I'm thinking he's old to be biting anyone for any reason.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We switched from Adderall to Concerta about 3 wks ago. It seemed to help smooth the edges from 3 p.m., when the Adderall would wear off, until 6 p.m., when we give him Imiprimene.

    But now that I think about it, difficult child bit me in the car around 3:30.
    And he bit his friend around 3:45.
    So much for smoothing the edges when the medication wears off!

    He's been on Imiprimene for about 4 mo's.

    He knows that if he hits us we will call the police and/or take him straight to psychiatric hospital. So I wonder if this is his way of being physical when he is angry, with-o actually hitting us?

    This is the first time he has gotten into a physicial altercation with-a friend since he was little (the majority of the time, I'm the punching bag). Funny, I just read ML's thread on adolescent hormones ...

    We had his testosterone tested 2 wks ago and it came out normal, 300.

    Running out of ideas ...
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Maybe you should remind him that any physical aggression, including the biting, warrants a call to police/Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He's way too old for that.
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Terry, we told wm that ANY physical &/or verbal aggression or threats would be stepping over the line - a call into 911 along with another trip to ER.

    I remember the last time I took him to ER ~ it took 4 security guards to hold down a then 11 y/o; I kept yelling above the insanity to for heaven's sake use a chemical restraint. wm could wiggle out of any restraint imaginable ~ OMG, what a weird memory ~ it's actually making me tear up.

    Didn't mean to get off topic. As difficult child grows you & husband will have to decide your line in the sand. Being hit is too literal; difficult child will have to know the definition of physical aggression in your home. Break it down for him - keep a copy on the computer. husband & I had to take into account any little thing that may be viewed in the law's eyes & in ours that wm might do in an aggressive manner.

    Biting seems a simple answer to not hitting, however it's very invasive when he draws blood.

    Take care, lady. by the way, have you had a tetanus shot of late? :')
  6. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    its often a communication thing.
    (which begets anger and frustration)

    maybe ds is having a tough time knowing how to handle specific situations---and is having difficulty knowing what to do say or do to deal with it.
    i dont know what you could tell him to do differently, but you might want to consider approaching it from a communicative angle. seems like he's having a rough time lately picking up on social nuances.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, what you describe sounds a lot like rebound. What we have seen with rebound coming off ritalin (or concerta) is either an increase in aggression or an increase in emotional lability. Or a lot of stuff in between. With Concerta, you can also get rebound continuing into the next day, if medications are skipped. In other words, if you give your kid a vacation from medications over the weekend, then you will see some rebound on Friday afternoon (as with other afternoons) but also on Saturday (sometimes even worse) with things easing back to more stability on Sunday.

    We found aggression was a big problem with difficult child 1 on any form of Ritalin. difficult child 3 tried Concerta and accidentally was on a lower dose than he should have been. We found some rebound, but also not as much benefit as we'd seen on dexamphetamine. Then we put the dose up to where it should have been and we saw even more rebound. With difficult child 3, the rebound showed up as extreme talkativeness (almost like pressured speech) and an increase in impulsivity. It wasn't really obvious to us because to a certain extent, as medications wear off you get a return to how the child is normally without medications. Rebound is where it's more than a return, it's a pendulum swing even further.

    We were away for a family weekend while difficult child 3 was on Concerta, when we had the chance to compare and work it out. difficult child 3 forgot to pack his Concerta. Normally he would have a weekly pill container packed, but with the Concerta he'd been taking one pill from the bottle, so no need to carefully set out his pills (which he did under supervision). But he forgot to throw his bottle of Concerta into the family pill pack. We discovered this on the drive north, when difficult child 3's extreme hyperactivity and talkativeness about nothing at all, let us know he was unmedicated. I rummaged in my handbag and found an old bottle of spare medications (dexamphetamine) I always carried. It had enough for a day. husband rummaged and found HIS supply of spare medications - one dose. So we put up with the crud while we were in the car, and dosed difficult child 3 with a tiny amount of short-acting dex when we got to the family gathering mid-afternoon. We knew it wouldn't laswt long, but it would help. However, we were surprised to see the difference in him; although we knew medications were wearing off again very quickly, difficult child 3 was still able to sit quietly with his computer game and even talked to his uncle (fairly normally, not the 'pressured speech' stuff) about how to play the game. Next day we dosed difficult child 3 with a combination of short-acting and slow-release dex, knowing we were giving him a much lower dose than he really needed - and he managed to stay in fairly good control even so. It wasn't a learning situation and he was a bit bouncy, but he was not at all aggressive (verbally or otherwise) and he was controllable. Again as it was wearing off - no pendulum over-swing. No rebound.

    It was a good comparison for us, it taught us a lot about the difference between a kid with rebound, and a kid who simply has worn off his medications.

    The biting - certainly, it could be entirely rebound.

    Also, since your son bit his friend, you know it's not just you. You know you shouldn't have spat your tea at him; if he had done that to you, you would have been angry and seeing it as a very difficult child thing to have done. I hope you apologised to him, at the same time as talking through the whole incident. He needs to know you are fallible too, so he can see that self-control is something within the grasp of everyone as well as something everyone has to work on, not just him. It sets a good example for your son and shows him how to apologise, if he sees you doing it when it is appropriate to do so. Especially if there is any Aspie component to him - these kids learn best when they imitate your example. Or the examples set for them by others. That is why, when a bad example is set, it is so difficult to undo the damage. And we don't always know when those bad examples are being set. A difficult teacher, a bullying classmate - they all undo a lot of what we are trying to put in place, as parents.

    I can't recall - have you tried him on risperdal? It might smooth out the anxiety/stress component that could be a factor in this biting/rebound. That was where we saw improvement with our boys, although once they had left mainstream, there was less stress and anxiety, and therefore less need for the risperdal.

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.

    Confuzzled, yes, he definitely needs to pick up on nuances. HE needs to ... we are sick of tap-dancing around his moods. He needs to be able to figure out when others are in a bad mood, too. Especially, when he has pushed them too far.

    No, Marg, no one has mentioned risperdal. I've seen it a lot on the board here.
    I will look into it.

    And yes, we have had a conversation about the teacher, tea, and the bite (reminds me of an old fairytale ... "The Spindle, The Shuttle and The Needle") although today's conversation will be more in-depth.

    Timer Lady, can I substitute a shot of tequila for a tetanus shot?
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Understanding hugs-difficult child recently tried to bit a staff member at school.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Terry - yeah... Understand. The main reason Onyxx had court originally was her biting a teacher. She's also bit family members and once, BFF - he wasn't worried about it until the horrid bruise showed three days later - he hasn't let her live it down since. I told her point blank if she EVER bites me I'll whack her upside the head. (OK, so that's a bit extreme, and probably not my style - but it worked, so far I'm the ONLY one she has not bitten.)
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Bite him back? I cant imagine what I would do if my teen or almost teen kid had bitten me. I know what I would do if one of mine bit me now...lol. (I think there is a place that sells cheap dentures close by)

    I remember back when mine were little and one of them bit the other...the other one bit back and that was the end of that!
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I would normally react much more instinctively--which may include biting back--but I was driving in rush-hour the Fri b4 Memorial Day and had to keep my other hand on the wheel.

    I spoke to the friend's mom on the phone. She was very sympathetic and in fact, thinks her older son is Aspie. She said she had lots of problems with-him. She also thinks her f-i-l is Aspie. (Not the one who was bitten; the older son has moved out.) So she is well aware of the issues.
    We decided to let the kids hash it out themselves. If her son doesn't want my difficult child over at the house any more, it's his decision. If he does, he gets to make the rules for difficult child.

    I was right, by the way--it stemmed from the friend trying to take the controller away from difficult child. A trigger, for sure!

    I offered to pay for the mirror, but the mom said she'd probably just buy one of her own. I offered to go shopping together. We'll see what happens.