View Full Version : How would you handle this discipline dilemma?


Exhaustedmom
11-11-16, 05:16 PM
Hello,

My son is in 7th grade. He has ADHD, anxiety and a very short fuse. He is good for me for the most part, probably because I know how to talk to him. School is a different story. I know you're not supposed to punish ADHD behavior, but the dilemma I am running into is that there is a fine line between punishing or rewarding. Specifically, he will do anything for his pad. He is brilliant with technology and it's all he cares about. So, taking his pad away for a certain amount of time means he will scream and fuss, then calm down, and be much better until he gets it back and for a while after still. I never used to let him take it to school until this year he said everyone has phones (he doesn't) and he's lame for not having anything. He has such a hard time fitting in as it is, I caved and let him take it. I thought maybe he can connect with other tech savvy students. Well, this was a bad idea because he takes it out during class and plays sound clips to amuse or irritate the class. So I said he can't take it anymore, but then he has an epic meltdown and says he won't go to school. He also won't let me take it from him and I'm not about to physically fight him for it, he's strong and taller than me. So once he has a hold of it, I'm "at his mercy" so to speak because he already has the only thing he cares about and no incentive to behave.

All I can do is to take it while he's sleeping, but then he often hides it. Turning off the internet doesn't work because he'll just play on it without internet. All I can do at that point is to tell him calmly that it's gone as soon as I get a hold of it and he will play along for a while and act like he doesn't care, and then eventually remorsefully come out and let him have it.

None of this works though when he gets in trouble at school. I agree with "let school issues stay at school" but only to a point. He's extremely disruptive and disrespectful at school and while I understand he has ADHD and anxiety, not ALL of his behavior is due to that, some is simply misbehaving. I can't let him just do whatever he wants and say "sorry, that's my ADHD". So I told him he needs to earn his pad at school. Mind you, he gets a TON of time on it as it is. Pretty much from the moment he gets home until he goes to bed! But the pad is all I have to work with. I can't ground him as he doesn't want to go outside anyway. I can't make him do more chores, as he just flat out refuses to do them. If he has his pad, he's great. He will do his chores (while huffing, but does them), he doesn't act up. But if I need to take it for any reason, it's all over. Now he has no incentive to be good at all because I took the only thing he cares about.

What I meant about the fine line between punishing and rewarding is that you can either say "if you are bad at school you don't get your pad" or "if you are good at school you get your pad". It's really both the same thing and he figured that out long ago. Reward or punishment, the result is the same - he needs to be good or he doesn't get it. See my dilemma? I tried time limits, like losing only a certain amount of time, but then he of course won't hand it over to begin with.

I'm just lost. I keep his ADHD in mind, but this means I am already A LOT more forgiving with his behavior. I can't let it all slide. I thought an ADHD child needs even more structure and consequences but I don't know how to give them due to everything explained above.

Any advice appreciated!

PS: He does go to counseling once a week, I am working on getting him an IEP for school, he sees his psychiatrist regularly. He was on Vyvanse, Adzenys, now Concerta, and I don't think any of them really did much other than increase his anxiety. Is it supposed to be this hard even with medication or has he not found his medication sweet spot yet? I am facing the true possibility of him being kicked out of school before an IEP is ever in place so I need to know how to discipline him, or help him.

john2100
11-11-16, 06:56 PM
"He also won't let me take it from him and I'm not about to physically fight him for it, he's strong and taller than me. "

That sentence is the most important in your whole statement. Maybe someone can elaborate on it better then I could.

20thcenturyfox
11-12-16, 02:26 PM
I can't imagine how schools can function with students playing their devices during class. Surely this one teenager's behaviour at school is part of a bigger picture, and there is a solution that also fits into this bigger picture. What is the school's policy on devices in class, and what methods do they usually use to enforce this?

It sounds like OP is sympathetic to the school's predicament, but that they are not really working together to craft a strategy to achieve the twin goals of helping a young man learn to control himself in order to serve his long-term interests, and also get an education to equip him for adult life.

The clock is ticking on both these goals. It should be up to the young man in question to justify how having his iPad on a daily basis is going to help him become a responsible independent adult. Otherwise break it over one knee and throw it in the garbage! It might as well be poison.

Tetrahedra
11-12-16, 11:47 PM
Have you talked to his psychiatrist about this? If so, what does he recommend?

What about the school? He's probably not the first kid who has had a problem like this, so they might have tips to help him out while he's in the classroom.

Even ADHD people need to learn when to turn off the device and do something else. It's not easy, but with some work we can slowly distance ourselves from our digital devices. Self-discipline is an important thing to learn. Do you think you could get him into something like karate?

dvdnvwls
11-13-16, 01:42 AM
I really don't want to harp on this because I'm very very unsure about it, but have you spoken to the psychiatrist about the potential of autism? The epic meltdown thing concerns me.

dvdnvwls
11-13-16, 11:38 AM
Other thoughts I had - and I have to emphasize that I'm no expert:

Why is this thing so important to him? In other words, try taking him seriously. Instead of assuming that it's causing problems and misbehaviour, find out what is really making it the focus of his day. The assumption that because the machine disrupts his participation in school then the machine is to blame - well, what if school really IS at fault? What if school is such a bad experience that all he has left is to find a way to shut it out?

There is no fake world. There is no such thing as preparing a child for the real world, because he has been in the real world since day 1 and has never left it for an instant. Everything that ever happens and everything he ever does are real-world already. Anyone who plays the "real world" card, in any circumstance, is just making excuses for their own bad behaviour.

dvdnvwls
11-13-16, 12:49 PM
By no means did I intend to imply that your son is 100% correct about everything - just suggesting that you try taking his point of view the same way you would take a developed serious adult, instead of assuming he's a frivolous kid looking for ways to misbehave.

I can imagine responses from some along the lines of "Well, if this was his job and I was his employer..."

Well, it isn't. Better stick to the real world, keeping in mind just how (un)important 7th grade really is in the grand scheme of things.

Exhaustedmom
11-13-16, 01:35 PM
"He also won't let me take it from him and I'm not about to physically fight him for it, he's strong and taller than me. "

That sentence is the most important in your whole statement. Maybe someone can elaborate on it better then I could.

I realize that this is a big problem. I don't want him to feel like he runs this house, but in a way he does, because he knows he can refuse to do things I ask him to do, as at this age there's no physically making him do anything. Maybe I am misinterpreting your statement but I feel like it is implied that I am a pushover and let him do whatever he wants. But that's exactly what I'm trying to prevent here. I am trying to set boundaries but it's hard when there's only one thing he cares about and it's all I have to work with.

Exhaustedmom
11-13-16, 01:40 PM
I can't imagine how schools can function with students playing their devices during class. Surely this one teenager's behaviour at school is part of a bigger picture, and there is a solution that also fits into this bigger picture. What is the school's policy on devices in class, and what methods do they usually use to enforce this?

It sounds like OP is sympathetic to the school's predicament, but that they are not really working together to craft a strategy to achieve the twin goals of helping a young man learn to control himself in order to serve his long-term interests, and also get an education to equip him for adult life.

The clock is ticking on both these goals. It should be up to the young man in question to justify how having his iPad on a daily basis is going to help him become a responsible independent adult. Otherwise break it over one knee and throw it in the garbage! It might as well be poison.

The school's policy is to not have devices at school, but they don't really enforce it from what I understand because they want students who walk home to be able to have their phones. I met with them and explained to them that I am against him bringing it to school but that this upsets him so much that it makes for an even worse day, and they agreed that that wouldn't accomplish anything. The whole team I met with, and me, are lost on how to deal with this.

Trust me, there have been many days where I'd had it and wanted to throw it on the ground and be done with it. But we are back to my original dilemma, with it being all he cares about, he will have nothing to work towards anymore. Punishment has never worked for him, he will do it and get it over with but learn nothing from it. Incentives are best but this one is all I have now :-(

Exhaustedmom
11-13-16, 01:45 PM
Have you talked to his psychiatrist about this? If so, what does he recommend?

What about the school? He's probably not the first kid who has had a problem like this, so they might have tips to help him out while he's in the classroom.

Even ADHD people need to learn when to turn off the device and do something else. It's not easy, but with some work we can slowly distance ourselves from our digital devices. Self-discipline is an important thing to learn. Do you think you could get him into something like karate?

The school is wonderful and is trying hard to work with me. They too know how much he loves his pad and even tell him that if he does his work and is done early, he can have some time on his pad. Another problem is that he is very tech savvy and can get around any parental control device. I've had net nanny on there, he just takes it off. I told him to delete the sound byte apps, he just downloads them again. I hate that thing and I hate how he is with it.

I do want him in karate, I've already contacted a friend who has an 18 yr old son in a local karate school who also teaches there now. I've had him in karate when he was about 6 but it did nothing for him or self control. He sat out most of the time for being distracting so I eventually stopped because it was a waste of money. I want to try again though and he's on board, he'd like to try it too.

Exhaustedmom
11-13-16, 01:56 PM
I really don't want to harp on this because I'm very very unsure about it, but have you spoken to the psychiatrist about the potential of autism? The epic meltdown thing concerns me.

He has been seen by a great counselor when he was about 7 or 8, and she never saw anything but severe anxiety. We saw another lady years later for just one session, she too just saw anxiety. We now see a child psychiatrist who has seen him many times and I have brought up the rage many times but he never mentioned autism. From what I read about ADHD, it seems to be a part of it quite often? And the psychologist he sees now for his CBT, she too said it's ADHD and depression/anxiety. She said the depression/anxiety can be from years of having ADHD undiagnosed. Plus, I have never really seen anything that would make me suspect Autism except for the rage. He has always been very outgoing, he made friends easily, he was always very popular all throughout elementary school, was the leader of Pokemon clubs, etc...he will eat anything (except for spinach lol), doesn't mind weird textures or scratchy clothes...he's really very low maintenance as far as his environment goes, he doesn't really care about most things and goes with the flow. Except the darn gaming and internet.

I am more concerned about Tourette's as he has both physical and vocal tics. When the tics started at about 6 yrs old, his pediatrician sent him to a neurologist who ruled out epilepsy and she said it's not Tourette's unless there are both vocal and physical tics for at least one year. Well he's had that so I pretty much self diagnosed him. When I told his pediatrician again about a year ago that I think he has Tourette's, he didn't seem overly concerned, maybe because there is no cure so not much that can be done. But he suggested clonidine for tics years ago so when I read up on it, it helps for tics and can also decrease rage with ADHD so we just started a very low dose - 0.1mg at night - a few days ago and I haven't seen any change yet but I read that it can take a while and the dose may be too low still.

His psychiatrist also suggested Lamictal for the anger but I'm not ready for antipsychotics yet. I"m not sure I ever will be. So he was on board with trying clonidine first.

Exhaustedmom
11-13-16, 02:01 PM
Other thoughts I had - and I have to emphasize that I'm no expert:

Why is this thing so important to him? In other words, try taking him seriously. Instead of assuming that it's causing problems and misbehaviour, find out what is really making it the focus of his day. The assumption that because the machine disrupts his participation in school then the machine is to blame - well, what if school really IS at fault? What if school is such a bad experience that all he has left is to find a way to shut it out?

There is no fake world. There is no such thing as preparing a child for the real world, because he has been in the real world since day 1 and has never left it for an instant. Everything that ever happens and everything he ever does are real-world already. Anyone who plays the "real world" card, in any circumstance, is just making excuses for their own bad behaviour.

I have asked him many times. I am not sure he knows himself. I suspect that it's because at around 6th grade, right when puberty hit, he got socially awkward. I think he finds it easier to just do his own thing and play games with virtual people who can't judge him? I'm really not sure. It's some kind of outlet for sure. And school is definitely hard for him because he gets teased heavily. But he dishes it out too so it goes both ways. I considered home schooling him but decided against it because it would shut him in even more. I really think he wouldn't leave the house for days and that's obviously very unhealthy. Plus he needs to learn how to get along with peers and that's not going to happen at home. Sigh

Exhaustedmom
11-13-16, 02:08 PM
By no means did I intend to imply that your son is 100% correct about everything - just suggesting that you try taking his point of view the same way you would take a developed serious adult, instead of assuming he's a frivolous kid looking for ways to misbehave.

I can imagine responses from some along the lines of "Well, if this was his job and I was his employer..."

Well, it isn't. Better stick to the real world, keeping in mind just how (un)important 7th grade really is in the grand scheme of things.

I get what you meant. I have done both. I have given him the "well, if your boss tells you to do something, you do it or you're fired" speech and I have tried to stay focused solely on the problem at hand and tried to understand where he's coming from. Neither is getting us anywhere unfortunately. This is why I have him in counseling. But I will also ask her if she can come up with a way to incorporate his pad to change his behavior. Even if that means taking it away completely. I'll try whatever works.

ToneTone
11-13-16, 05:12 PM
So here's a suggestion: forgive me if it was mentioned and I missed it. It sounds like YOU need some support in dealing with him.

So I can think of several ways:

1. Your son is in counseling. Well, you're the paying parent. Maybe you can schedule some separate meetings with the counselor on how to set boundaries with your son.

I know some therapists may not want to share with you, but in this case, you're trying to get help for how to deal with your child.

2. Or go to a different counselor and work on ways to set boundaries with your child ... This is really hard stuff you're dealing with. There is nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed and not very effective. So get some counseling and coaching for yourself in handling your son. This attention to yourself will of course be of great help to your son.

3. Either way, there is most likely a lot of trial-and-error involved here. And if you try several methods and still get no results, even that information, will be helpful in clarifying your son's diagnosis.

Bottom line: definitely don't feel like you have to struggle with this alone. Get professional help. Good professional help! And at some point, you want to get your son's counselor and your counselor (if you go that path) in communication with each other.

Good luck.

Tone

john2100
11-13-16, 10:03 PM
Depression and anxiety caused by untreated ADD in a 14 yrs old? Maybe in adults from frustration of not being able to progress in life as fast as others,even when you are trying really hard. But in kids? Could your therapist elaborate how she came to this conclusion?
ADD and depression and anxiety are often present at the same time,but how is ADD causing depression ? Would it also mean that depression can make one ADHD?

How is he getting his ipad back ? What makes you give it back to him?

dvdnvwls
11-13-16, 10:57 PM
Anxiety and depression are not "adults-only" clubs, and they definitely don't come from"adults-only" situations. In fact, they don't necessarily come from situations at all.

dvdnvwls
11-13-16, 11:21 PM
Is there a way, for now, to deflect the blame for saying "no more technology in school" onto the school itself?

john2100
11-13-16, 11:45 PM
Anxiety and depression are not "adults-only" clubs, and they definitely don't come from"adults-only" situations. In fact, they don't necessarily come from situations at all.

I agree , but I was referring to a statement then OP did which was "

"And the psychologist he sees now for his CBT, she too said it's ADHD and depression/anxiety. She said the depression/anxiety can be from years of having ADHD undiagnosed"
I think she meant- untreated ADHD can cause depression and anxiaty in kids


I would like to see a clinical study or a research that proves that undiagnosed and untreated ADHD causes depression and anxiety in kids.

Tetrahedra
11-13-16, 11:50 PM
Some of the things mentioned in this thread might be worthwhile to investigate, such as the autism thing and the tourette's thing. Even if there is no true treatment through it, they affect his life and his wellbeing, so it might just be positive for him to know and understand what is going on inside his head. Maybe not, depending upon how your kid reacts to all this stuff.

dvdnvwls
11-14-16, 12:10 AM
I agree , but I was referring to a statement then OP did which was "

"And the psychologist he sees now for his CBT, she too said it's ADHD and depression/anxiety. She said the depression/anxiety can be from years of having ADHD undiagnosed"
I think she meant- untreated ADHD can cause depression and anxiaty in kids


I would like to see a clinical study or a research that proves that undiagnosed and untreated ADHD causes depression and anxiety in kids.
It certainly caused massive ongoing situational anxiety in me... I was pretty constantly fearful already by 4th grade, let alone 7th.

john2100
11-14-16, 12:19 AM
It certainly caused massive ongoing situational anxiety in me... I was pretty constantly fearful already by 4th grade, let alone 7th.

How do you know it was ADHD disorder that was the cause of your anxiety?
They could be co=existing condition.

I'm just curious how she made the assumptions,that ADD causes anxiety and depression.
All 3 have direct connection to chemical production and biology of our brain , but how they interact with each other is still not clear. That the reason why I 'd like to see a research that shows some statictics .

dvdnvwls
11-14-16, 02:20 AM
One of the ways we can tell is that in many cases ADHD stimulant medication reduces anxiety. In people with primary anxiety, the stimulant would be expected to make the anxiety worse - but in a lot of people with ADHD, treating the ADHD takes away the anxiety too.

Caco3girl
11-14-16, 09:41 AM
I can see why you are an exhausted mom. I have a 14 year old ADHD kid, mostly inattentive and a bit hyperactive...so I don't know much about your situation. I can only speak for myself and how I would handle it with my kid.

1. I would take the ipad, reset it to factory settings and put in MY apple ID, force a password so only I could download games.

2. Take this with a grain of salt...I wouldn't let him bring it to school. You said he doesn't do anything you say UNLESS he has the ipad...that isn't how punishments are suppose to work. If my son didn't do anything I told him to he would have no TV, no iPad, no phone...he would have books and his bed. Once he was tired of books and his bed he would behave enough to get something back, it may only be his TV, but I wouldn't give him the crown jewel of the iPad off the bat. My son might try to hide his iPad from me but if I insisted he would give it back. There seems to be a major problem in that your son wouldn't. I would definitely check with his doctor about trying some very different meds and or diagnoses.

3. I know it's easier to let him have the iPad but I'm not sure he is learning good behavior = reward. I recall my mother taking TV away for a week when I was younger, I made her life a living hell, I was at her side at all hours taunting her that if she gave me my TV back it would make her life easier. That appears to be what your son is doing to you as well.

peripatetic
11-14-16, 01:07 PM
His psychiatrist also suggested Lamictal for the anger but I'm not ready for antipsychotics yet. I"m not sure I ever will be. So he was on board with trying clonidine first.

i don't have any advice on the tech thing, but i did see this and want to give you some additional information.

lamictal isn't an antipsychotic. i don't know what your exact concerns about antipsychotics are, though i can imagine (i take two of them, just for reference).

lamictal, however, is an anti-epileptic/anticonvulsant/mood stabilizer. it could help with his moods, but might be contraindicated if he has motor and facial tics.

here's more information for you from wikipedia, but i would suggest looking at studies to see if anger reduction is associated, and then also consider whether it's going to be an adjunct to treat depression (if that's what the psychiatrist is thinking causes the anger/rage) and what possible side effects your child might experience in light of his other concerns: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamotrigine

dvdnvwls
11-14-16, 03:51 PM
...

3. I know it's easier to let him have the iPad but I'm not sure he is learning good behavior = reward.
Would you treat your boss this way? (Teaching that good behaviour = reward). If not, why not?

If you try to teach that to your child, that is not what he will learn. He will learn that the person with the power makes the decisions. Any half-way intelligent kid would conclude that getting the power is the appropriate goal. Do you want that to be his goal? No? Then don't teach him good behaviour = reward. Find something better to teach.

john2100
11-14-16, 05:17 PM
Would you treat your boss this way? (Teaching that good behaviour = reward). If not, why not?

If you try to teach that to your child, that is not what he will learn. He will learn that the person with the power makes the decisions. Any half-way intelligent kid would conclude that getting the power is the appropriate goal. Do you want that to be his goal? No? Then don't teach him good behaviour = reward. Find something better to teach.

True, very true. No one likes to be pushed into a corner. That's one reason why kids use manipulation to equalize the power over authority figure.
They don't understand why they are doing it yet .
That is one reason why you have some kids with very strict parents who turn out to be really bad manipulative people.

However OP is not dealing with 100% healthy kid, based on her assumption.So any advice given may not be applicable fully to her.

If the kid was 100% healthy, creating an equal, FAIR relationship without the use of reward and punishment ,directly from authority figure would a perfect situation. Manipulation would not be needed anymore, as it would not work anymore.

dvdnvwls
11-14-16, 06:39 PM
A lot of kids with ADHD develop a very strong negative reaction to being manipulated. I was one. I still am, I guess. :)

Tetrahedra
11-14-16, 11:02 PM
A lot of kids with ADHD develop a very strong negative reaction to being manipulated. I was one. I still am, I guess. :)

I think I'm a little lost. How is good behavior = reward a bad thing? I don't understand how that is manipulative. What would be your suggestion instead?

john2100
11-14-16, 11:57 PM
I think I'm a little lost. How is good behavior = reward a bad thing? I don't understand how that is manipulative. What would be your suggestion instead?

Good behavior=rewards is obviously a good think.

I think that manipulation being discussed here, is in a sense where parents try to convince their kids to do certain things that kids would otherwise not agree to do without being told to ,by using treats or rewards.

Let say your kid is over 12 y old and you tell him

You clean up your room right now or else
If you want me to drive you to your friend's house you do this

That's manipulation, and it creates a certain hostility ,distrust and anxiety.
It can be handled in a different way,if the kid is mature enough.

sarahsweets
11-15-16, 03:55 AM
Depression and anxiety caused by untreated ADD in a 14 yrs old? Maybe in adults from frustration of not being able to progress in life as fast as others,even when you are trying really hard. But in kids? Could your therapist elaborate how she came to this conclusion?
ADD and depression and anxiety are often present at the same time,but how is ADD causing depression ? Would it also mean that depression can make one ADHD?

How is he getting his ipad back ? What makes you give it back to him?
The Op as far as I can tell is treating her son for the add. And depression and anxiety is VERY commonand VERY real in kids his age. My daughter was inpatient at a hospital due to extreme depression because she wanted to overdose on pills. We thought for awhile that it was moodiness and hormones but it was very real and terrifying. She was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in addition to adhd and began taking lexapro. The inpatient stay and subsequent outpatinet program saved her life and was the best thing we ever did for her. She is a different child now, in a good way.

sarahsweets
11-15-16, 03:57 AM
i don't have any advice on the tech thing, but i did see this and want to give you some additional information.

lamictal isn't an antipsychotic. i don't know what your exact concerns about antipsychotics are, though i can imagine (i take two of them, just for reference).

lamictal, however, is an anti-epileptic/anticonvulsant/mood stabilizer. it could help with his moods, but might be contraindicated if he has motor and facial tics.

here's more information for you from wikipedia, but i would suggest looking at studies to see if anger reduction is associated, and then also consider whether it's going to be an adjunct to treat depression (if that's what the psychiatrist is thinking causes the anger/rage) and what possible side effects your child might experience in light of his other concerns: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamotrigine

Good catch Peri- you beat me to it!

sarahsweets
11-15-16, 04:10 AM
OP I feel for you. I had a gut reaction when I read your posts. At first I was like " well who is the parent here? Who does this kid think he is??"
The beauty of trying to use the 'pause' button in my own life is that instead of firing off that zinger I was able to see things more from your way. But either way forgive me if I seem harsh in any way.

My kids all have phones now and in the rare instances(like maybe 2 or 3 times) when we have had to take them it was like the world had ended. The thing is, it wasnt worth it in most cases because instead of teaching them the lesson that certain things lead to losing their phone, the lesson was missed for them. Sure, they knew they f'd up and lost the phone but the catastophrizing of the fact that they didnt have the phone totally overshadowed why they lost it. They could tell you why if you asked them, but the focus on the lost phone was so overwhelming it didnt teach any lessons and was strictly a punishment. I dont believe in punishments for the sake of punishments. If there are no lessons to be learned or behaviors that will definitely be changed then the punishments only make ME feel better- like I have a control and that THEY better to listen to me or else.

See what I mean?
I am NOT saying you should just let him have the ipad for the sake of it either, just that you want whatever consequences to suit the situation.
The only thing I can think of is get a hold of the ipad no matter how you have to do that- even searching the room or having the school hold it- and take it to a computer dude, geek squad or something like that. Take it to someone who can FOR REAL install some kind of software on the ipad that he cant break. I doubt that he is a hacker thats part of wikileaks, hes just managed to outsmart you- but there are smarter computer people out there. Whether the software is a timer-internet blocker-whatever ( not sure of the options) even though he will freak out in a MAJOR way- he will be forced to get used to it. You need to have it in such a way where you can claim that you do not know how to override the controls (even if you do) lest he get aggressive with you.

I dont know if my long winded response even addresses your origional issues and Ill come back to this, but these were what popped into my mind first.

sarahsweets
11-15-16, 04:15 AM
RE: medication...antipsychotics sound big and scary and should definitely be reserved for serious situations, I am one one for bipolar. I think they can be good for certain kids. My son was on one when he was about 12 or so for about a year or two. We realized after some time that he didnt need it anymore and he stopped taking it.
They are not to be triffled with, but they also shouldnt be demonized (not saying you are) because they can truly be lifesavers in certain situations.
I am not a doctor and I do not personally know your son, BUT in the situation you are mentioning with the aggression and disregard for everything its something to talk to the doctor about. They are tools not life sentences and you can always not take them anymore.
I also take lamictal due to bipolar and it as also been a lifesaver for me.

john2100
11-15-16, 08:13 AM
The Op as far as I can tell is treating her son for the add. And depression and anxiety is VERY commonand VERY real in kids his age. My daughter was inpatient at a hospital due to extreme depression because she wanted to overdose on pills. We thought for awhile that it was moodiness and hormones but it was very real and terrifying. She was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in addition to adhd and began taking lexapro. The inpatient stay and subsequent outpatinet program saved her life and was the best thing we ever did for her. She is a different child now, in a good way.

I'm not denying the existence of depression and anxiety in kids .
I'm strictly responding to OP's post ,where she was told that ,depression and anxiety were caused by untreated ADHD. That is a possibility but a it can also be dangerous statement coming from a therapist. That could suggest that adhd should be treated with the first sign to prevent the development of other mental disorders. To make such a claim , there better be enough of study and statistics to back that up.It almost looks like that anything goes and one can make connection to any mental disorder if they feel like. We're are still not sure how even adhd happens,depression and other mental disorders. Even thou we have theories . Why suggest something like this to a parent. Why not simply say ,"it looks like there is a possibility that you child is developing depression and anxiety."

Caco3girl
11-15-16, 11:14 AM
Would you treat your boss this way? (Teaching that good behaviour = reward). If not, why not?

If you try to teach that to your child, that is not what he will learn. He will learn that the person with the power makes the decisions. Any half-way intelligent kid would conclude that getting the power is the appropriate goal. Do you want that to be his goal? No? Then don't teach him good behaviour = reward. Find something better to teach.

I'm confused. My boss has taught ME that good behavior = reward. If I do a good job then I get a nice email, perhaps a compliment in front of co-workers, my annual raise is higher, and when I ask for more money for my department I get it.

My good behavior DOES get me rewards. In the parent/child scenario it is the PARENT who should be the boss, not the child, and that is my point.

Caco3girl
11-15-16, 11:22 AM
Good behavior=rewards is obviously a good think.

I think that manipulation being discussed here, is in a sense where parents try to convince their kids to do certain things that kids would otherwise not agree to do without being told to ,by using treats or rewards.

Let say your kid is over 12 y old and you tell him

You clean up your room right now or else
If you want me to drive you to your friend's house you do this

That's manipulation, and it creates a certain hostility ,distrust and anxiety.
It can be handled in a different way,if the kid is mature enough.

Guess we grew up in different worlds. I don't call that manipulation I call that do your part or I don't do mine.

Being a part of a family means everyone has their own jobs to do to contribute to the family. The jobs are based on their age and other contributions to the house. If my son wants a ride to a party that night he has to do his chores first. He does his part, then I do my part. That is called being in a family. Why would it be okay for me to do everything while he pouts and says he doesn't feel like it? Where is HIS contribution to the household/family?

This is the give and take I am talking about; good behavior (doing what is expected of you) = rewards. Bad behavior (not contributing) = no rewards.

Tetrahedra
11-15-16, 04:26 PM
Good behavior=rewards is obviously a good think.

I think that manipulation being discussed here, is in a sense where parents try to convince their kids to do certain things that kids would otherwise not agree to do without being told to ,by using treats or rewards.

Let say your kid is over 12 y old and you tell him

You clean up your room right now or else
If you want me to drive you to your friend's house you do this

That's manipulation, and it creates a certain hostility ,distrust and anxiety.
It can be handled in a different way,if the kid is mature enough.

Thank you for providing insight.

But I have to disagree because that's not manipulation. As Caco said, when you live in a household, everyone plays a part. One of the major parts of being a kid is keeping your room clean, among other chores. If you fail to clean your room, then you don't get to go to your scheduled activities. That's just part of parenting.

I grew up with a moderately manipulative person. Manipulation is very subtle, so I can see where there might be confusion. An example of manipulation would be this:

Parent: Clean your room or I won't drive you to your friend's house.
Child: -cleans room-
Parent: Sorry I can't take you. Something else came up. Why don't you be sweet and take out the trash for me since you have your shoes on?

Where the "something else came up" doesn't justify the parent cancelling his/her end of the deal.

I'd be interested in knowing what other ways your example situation could be handled, though. From what I've experienced, kids work well with treats and rewards. I know that I got a small reward for getting a good report card. It wasn't manipulative. It was a way to celebrate my successes. (Also, when I had gotten a bad grade once or twice, I was still rewarded as long as it wasn't a consistent problem.)

john2100
11-15-16, 05:19 PM
What makes you think , that I'm saying that kids shouldn't do their part?
I'm against manipulation from either side.

I'm even ending my post with:
"That's manipulation, and it creates a certain hostility ,distrust and anxiety.
It can be handled in a different way,if the kid is mature enough."

Tetrahedra
11-15-16, 11:19 PM
What makes you think , that I'm saying that kids shouldn't do their part?
I'm against manipulation from either side.

I'm even ending my post with:
"That's manipulation, and it creates a certain hostility ,distrust and anxiety.
It can be handled in a different way,if the kid is mature enough."

What you quoted and bolded there is EXACTLY what I asked you to explain further in my post ;) What is this different way? And what if the kid isn't mature enough?

As far as what makes me think that you're saying that kids shouldn't do their part . . . the fact that you gave an example and said that it is manipulation when it's not. That's "If you do X, I'll do Y" and it can show kids how actions have consequences. As I interpret your words, I'm seeing that you expect the kids to just automatically do their chores and keep their rooms clean without any reward/punishment system in place. That would be great, but that's not realistic even for non-ADHD kids. Maybe your example doesn't properly illustrate what you're trying to say or you need to clarify it for me, please.

sarahsweets
11-16-16, 05:32 AM
Maybe I am lucky or some kind of magically unicorn parent but -notwithstanding the big stuff like- cruelty,inflicting harm,stealing,or huge things like that- consequences have not proved effective. I am not above Bribes to a certain extent. Like when the kids were little- "let mommy get the shopping done and we will go to the park" that stuff worked great.
But something like " if you dont pick up your toys- you cant go to the park" just never worked the same way.

Exhaustedmom
11-20-16, 02:45 PM
Oh wow! Sorry that I haven't been responding when so many of you took the time to give me the advice I was looking for! I checked a couple times, there was nothing yet, and then I forgot to check again for a long time :-)

Due to so many responses, I can't quote each one of you but thank you ALL for your insight. Regarding the discussion about how does untreated ADHD cause anxiety, I must have worded it wrong. I just understood her to mean that sometimes it can be really overwhelming when someone always feels "different" and is always the one to get in trouble for interrupting, and when kids start to turn on you when you're kind of the "weird one" in the crowd. And by "always" I don't mean all kids, but it sure applies to mine. Now, for him though, anxiety most certainly runs in the family, as well as depression. His dad has both depression and anxiety and I have pretty severe anxiety.

Now, much has happened since I posted. He got in more trouble at school and has now been suspended 9 days already this year. He just has times at school when he just completely loses it, and when he rages like that, there's no stopping it, it just has to run its course. I know at home to just let him be until he cools off but obviously in school this isn't an option. It's two situations specifically that set him off: When he tries to be funny and no one else finds it funny, and when he's criticized (even if it was just perceived that way). He has lots of staff on his side at school because they know his sweet side. They know who he is at heart. But even they are shocked when he goes off like that and have already mentioned that, as much as they want to help him, this can't continue.

Long story short, I saw the psychologist again and told her that what we're doing isn't working and I told her what's been going on and how bad it truly is, and based on what I have described and what she has observed the past 4 sessions or so, brings us to the most current diagnosis:

Bipolar and high functioning autism.

Both broke my heart in a million pieces. I cried so hard when she told me. Not that I wasn't realistic and didn't think there was more to it, but no one wants their child to deal with something life long. Yes, ADHD is life long too, but I guess for me it's easier to accept something very common. Plus, it doesn't mean "psych" drugs.

Which brings me to the psych drugs question. Yes, you are correct, Lamictal is for seizures and not a true psych drug. But it still scares the living daylights out of me that there are fatal skin rashes and things like that. And that's what scares me most about this diagnosis - now there's no way around these drugs. BUT, SarahSweets, I am so glad to hear that it works really well for a lot of people. I have done my research and was really happy to read that for a lot of people it dramatically decreases their anger.

So, honestly now I don't know where we go from here. We are seeing his psychiatrist on Tuesday to discuss what the psychologist said and to start treatment, if he agrees with the diagnosis. Seeing that Lamictal also treats Bipolar, I assume he will stick with his suggestion of trying Lamictal and I will be OK with that and give it a go. I am worried he will want to try something like Abilify or Risperidal on top of it because that's just so many drugs overall! Zoloft, Clonidine, Concerta, Lamictal, Abilify? I just simply can't imagine. But maybe now that the dx changed, he won't want him on Zoloft at all, or stop the clonidine again. I just want my baby off this rollercoaster and on as few medications as possible and finally feel better.

On Nov 30th I have the big meeting to see if he will qualify for an IEP evaluation. Seeing I have even more reason to need one now, I am not concerned that they will approve the evaluation. So I am fairly confident I can get an IEP started for him, I just hope it will be in place before he's thrown out. I kept him home for an additional day after his suspension, simply because I wanted to buy more time. At this point, I feel like it's one day at a time, just inching towards that IEP and proper medication.

I can completely understand how some of you, maybe all of you, silently reacted with "who's the parent here? she's letting him run that house!". Trust me, I have been asking myself this question daily. Sadly, getting help for myself is just not that easy. It is already very expensive getting him the help he needs, in addition to flexing at work all the time. Any more flexing and it would cost even more, I would have to put my other kids in aftercare in addition to spending the money on my therapy. I would LOVE to have time to talk about MY struggles with all this but he comes first. Always. I do however have EAP available through my work and I definitely plan on calling them and letting them give me some pointers as to how to get through the next few weeks and how to help him better than I am now.

Hope is what I need now, most of all. I need hope that, if it's truly Bipolar, we will find the right medication soon, and that I will actually get my sweet child back, the sweet, happy little lovebug he once was.

Tina

BellaVita
11-20-16, 06:00 PM
I'm so glad you finally have some answers, ExhaustedMom. :grouphug:

Those diagnoses must have been quite a shock, but I'm glad you are finding answers. I hope the IEP works out quickly and well.

I want to give you some encouraging words:
Back when I used to read posts about people being heartbroken and in tears over an autism diagnosis, it really hurt.

But I've done some thinking.....I now recognize that parents probably react that way because of the media presentation of autism. It's all they know. Autism is constantly advertised as being a tragedy, a disease, something terrible that destroys families. It makes complete sense why people would react that way when discovering their child is autistic - I probably would too if that's all the information I heard about autism. Thankfully, those are all complete lies and a made-up negative story that has become unfortunately popular in the public. (Hopefully it won't always be that way! Lots of autistic advocates working hard to reverse this bad stigma and incorrect beliefs about autism)

I want to give you some hope.

I can tell you care about your son and just want him to not struggle.

And, I want you to know this message is coming from an autistic. So it really is personal and I'm trying to encourage you.

Autism is actually very common, I think the numbers of those who are autistic is like 1 in 60. Maybe even more common than that.

I do want to say that the studies for outcomes for "low functioning autistics" and "high functioning autistics" show very similar outcomes, regardless of whether they are low-functioning or high functioning.

(Here's a very good article about functioning labels and autism: http://www.printfriendly.com/print?source=homepage&url_s=uGGC%25dN%25cS%25cSnHGvFzJBzrAFArGJBExmBEt%2 5cSJunGF-Gur-qvssrErApr-orGJrrA-uvtu-sHApGvBAvAt-nAq-yBJ-sHApGvBAvAt-nHGvFz%25cS)

But don't let that get you down.

I can't drive, I can't work, shopping is something I'm rarely able to do because it overloads me, but I DO live in my own place, I am married to a wonderful husband, I am happy with my life. I have learned to cook, I clean, do laundry, although there are some days when I'm not functioning as well and I go without showering, I have to make something to eat that is fast-and-easy or my husband cooks for me, or have a difficult time changing clothes, and other things I'm suddenly unable to do. (My husband helps me) Each day my level of spoons(Google "spoon theory") varies - but that's okay.

I'm thriving in life and I really enjoy it. I'm thriving in my own way.

I have my special interests, and they really add much joy and happiness in my life.

I still do have meltdowns and shut downs, but learning to avoid my triggers, and keeping up a predictable schedule, and learning ways to prevent me reaching meltdown are all ways that help me.

My husband has read a lot about autism and that has greatly improved our relationship and he understands me a lot better.
Some good websites to learn more about autism:
(Just type these into Google)
Autism Self Advocacy Network
Autism Women's Network
Autistic Hoya

(Please do not support Autism Speaks, it is actually quite a bad organization that is widely disliked by the autistic community: here's a thorough and eye-opening article with information that explains why: http://www.printfriendly.com/print?source=homepage&url_s=uGGCF%25dN%25cS%25cSGurpnssrvAnGrqnHGvFGvpmJ BEqCErFFmpBz%25cScabd%25cSad%25cSaf%25cSJuL-v-nz-ntnvAFG-nHGvFz-FCrnxF-nAq-LBH-FuBHyq-or-GBB-c%25cS)

Also, one more source of information, since therapy options might come up for your son. :) :
http://www.printfriendly.com/print?source=homepage&url_s=uGGC%25dN%25cS%25cSnHGvFzJBzrAFArGJBExmBEt%2 5cSzL-GuBHtuGF-BA-non%25cS

I know I've provided you with quite a lot of information, I'm just trying to really help people understand autism. And there are a lot of dangerous and misleading sources of information about autism out there, so I wanted to make sure you were provided with the accurate, important, good stuff.

I really wish you all the best with your son.

Exhaustedmom
11-20-16, 08:37 PM
Thank you dvdnvwls! I really appreciate you giving me the trustworthy sites so that I can read up on autism. What better source than a person who is autistic?

The thing that is throwing me off still is that he hasn't always been like this. I am not trying to deny the autism diagnosis or argue it away, but I just don't understand how I didn't see any of this until he hit puberty? His pediatrician screens for autism and has you filling out a form with a ton of questions and my answers never had him suspecting it? I am not educated on autism of course (plan to be though!), but I always thought that autistic children are a little more emotionally intense, from an early age? Please don't get me wrong, I don't mean this in a bad way at all, but I thought they were more high strung, easy to upset, the ones more likely to throw a temper tantrum when they are little (not that this is a sign of autism!).

He truly never gave me any reason to suspect autism when he was little. He loved interaction, he loves giving and receiving hugs and kisses, he smiled and was happy when he got up and was so easygoing all day long. Heck, he's my only child who ever went to bed on time without any fussing! He would go right to bed without any issues, even if it was still daylight out, if I said it's bedtime, he'd say ok goodnight, go to his room and he'd be sleeping 5 mins later. He was his preschool teacher's favorite child for being so sweet and easygoing! Everyone at preschool told me I needed to have more children because there needed to be more like him.

And then as he grew older, I didn't see the things that would raise a flag..you could put any clothing on him, he ate whatever was put in front of him (still does). He didn't care about change, never avoided eye contact, he didn't do anything repetitive (no rocking, etc). Once school started he got disruptive by being impatient with answers, not waiting for his turn, trying to get kids to laugh during class...but the true defiance and anger he is displaying now, that didn't start until 6th grade.

Can signs of autism appear later during childhood? I always thought that was an all or nothing kind of thing (not as far as autism severity is concerned, but just that you either show signs of it or not)

Thank you!

BellaVita
11-20-16, 10:02 PM
Thank you dvdnvwls! I really appreciate you giving me the trustworthy sites so that I can read up on autism. What better source than a person who is autistic?

dvdnvwls is my husband, yes the one on the forums he is my husband IRL, but I understand how the two names could get switched up since I have "Mrs. dvdnvwls" underneath my username. :)

The thing that is throwing me off still is that he hasn't always been like this. I am not trying to deny the autism diagnosis or argue it away, but I just don't understand how I didn't see any of this until he hit puberty? His pediatrician screens for autism and has you filling out a form with a ton of questions and my answers never had him suspecting it? I am not educated on autism of course (plan to be though!), but I always thought that autistic children are a little more emotionally intense, from an early age? Please don't get me wrong, I don't mean this in a bad way at all, but I thought they were more high strung, easy to upset, the ones more likely to throw a temper tantrum when they are little (not that this is a sign of autism!).

There is a saying that goes, "when you've met one autistic person, then you've met one autistic person" or something close to that. We are all different, just like anybody else, and some people's autism might present differently.

That said, it's not entirely impossible for it to be missed when he was younger.

Do you recall him lining up his toys when younger, especially as a routine thing, and going mute in front of others? (Like not speaking in school, or outside the house, or only speaking with you but not anyone else)

Actually, they aren't more likely to throw a temper tantrum, that is a common misconception. However, we are more prone to meltdowns - which can appear to be like a temper tantrum but is actually quite different.

A temper tantrum is a child's way to try to manipulate the parent into doing/giving something, the child has control of their actions, and may even stop the tears and kicking for a moment to "check" to see if the parent is reacting in the way they wish. To see if it is having the desired effect/result on the parent.

Autism meltdowns are an uncontrollable physiological reaction to stress, sensory overload, changes in plan, etc. The hitting self, breaking objects, screaming are all a part of this reaction, and they are not controllable.(usually) Hitting one's own head might happen and this is the body's way of trying to self-soothe - it's called stimming. Autism meltdowns are in no way an effort to manipulate or control the parent. They are however, a way the autistic communicates distress.

Maybe reading the distinction between the two will help. :)

He truly never gave me any reason to suspect autism when he was little. He loved interaction, he loves giving and receiving hugs and kisses, he smiled and was happy when he got up and was so easygoing all day long. Heck, he's my only child who ever went to bed on time without any fussing! He would go right to bed without any issues, even if it was still daylight out, if I said it's bedtime, he'd say ok goodnight, go to his room and he'd be sleeping 5 mins later. He was his preschool teacher's favorite child for being so sweet and easygoing! Everyone at preschool told me I needed to have more children because there needed to be more like him.

Well, I'm not sure what to say. I do know that again, every autistic person is different, so maybe he is just not the "usual" thought of type of autistic child.

And then as he grew older, I didn't see the things that would raise a flag..you could put any clothing on him, he ate whatever was put in front of him (still does). He didn't care about change, never avoided eye contact, he didn't do anything repetitive (no rocking, etc). Once school started he got disruptive by being impatient with answers, not waiting for his turn, trying to get kids to laugh during class...but the true defiance and anger he is displaying now, that didn't start until 6th grade.

Can signs of autism appear later during childhood? I always thought that was an all or nothing kind of thing (not as far as autism severity is concerned, but just that you either show signs of it or not)

Thank you!

I'm not sure. I mean, maybe he just doesn't do the typical autism things? For example, does he consistently hum or repeat phrases? Those are other things people sometimes overlook but can actually be symptoms of autism. Does he use scripting?

I always had signs of autism since I was very little. I'd line up my toys every night, needed routine (I'd meltdown easily if it were broken), had sensory issues, react poorly to changes in plan, meltdowns and a very sensitive child, rocked back and forth and hand flapped, walked in circles to self-soothe, didn't speak to most people for a few years. (Even as I got older, I was mute lots of the time in school etc.)

Actually my symptoms haven't changed much, I still do practically all of those things on a regular basis. (Except I'm better able to accept/deal with etc because now I know why I do those things. Like how I mentioned earlier about meltdown prevention)

I do know that autism can and does get missed, even with obvious cases like mine, mine was still missed. I didn't find out I was autistic until I was an adult.

namazu
11-21-16, 12:07 AM
Actually, they aren't more likely to throw a temper tantrum, that is a common misconception. However, we are more prone to meltdowns - which can appear to be like a temper tantrum but is actually quite different.

A temper tantrum is a child's way to try to manipulate the parent into doing/giving something, the child has control of their actions, and may even stop the tears and kicking for a moment to "check" to see if the parent is reacting in the way they wish. To see if it is having the desired effect/result on the parent.

Autism meltdowns are an uncontrollable physiological reaction to stress, sensory overload, changes in plan, etc. The hitting self, breaking objects, screaming are all a part of this reaction, and they are not controllable.(usually) Hitting one's own head might happen and this is the body's way of trying to self-soothe - it's called stimming. Autism meltdowns are in no way an effort to manipulate or control the parent. They are however, a way the autistic communicates distress.
For what it's worth, non-autistic kids (and even adults) can also have meltdowns in response to stress, sensory overload, etc., too.

(I suspect there's probably less self-injurious stimming involved, though, and the meltdowns may be shorter-lived and perhaps less intense. [?])

Exhaustedmom
11-21-16, 12:33 AM
First, thank you for explaining the naming confusion, and how neat that you and your husband are both on this forum :-)

I am trying to think back..I don't remember him ever lining up his toys (I didn't know that that was something that can point towards autism). He definitely never went mute in front of anyone. He DID have a speech delay but once he started going to preschool, he caught up and he hasn't stopped speaking since LOL. Actually I think it was quite the opposite, I was always envious of how easily he would walk up to other kids on the playground and ask them to play. I was a very shy kid so I was glad that he didn't struggle like I did. He wasn't shy one bit, he would talk to anyone, both kids and adults.

And I did actually mean to reference meltdowns. I am so sorry, I must sound so ignorant and just rattle off every misconception there is about autism. But the little I did know, I knew that an autistic meltdown has nothing to do with getting attention and that they are experiencing sensory overload. I knew temper tantrum wasn't the right word but I kind of meant it in a more general term, meaning at a really young age it may still be harder to tell when a meltdown is a temper tantrum vs a meltdown, especially to someone who doesn't know the child. And that's just something I never witnessed with him at an early age. My daughter surprised me by throwing herself on the floor as a toddler, my boys never did that. They would call me "mean momma" or something like that instead.

He does not hum but repeating phrases I'm not sure about. He does blurt out things from YouTube a lot, whatever is a popular vine at the moment, he's all over it for a while. I can't tell you how much we've overheard the stupid term "Deez Nuts!". I contributed this to his ADHD as I thought that also makes you blurt out things. Sigh. I have so many questions for his psychiatrist..

You said: I always had signs of autism since I was very little. I'd line up my toys every night, needed routine (I'd meltdown easily if it were broken), had sensory issues, react poorly to changes in plan, meltdowns and a very sensitive child, rocked back and forth and hand flapped, walked in circles to self-soothe, didn't speak to most people for a few years. (Even as I got older, I was mute lots of the time in school etc.

Honestly none of this sounds like him, no lining up of toys, he didn't care when things changed, no sensory issues (didn't care about food textures, food touching, scratchy clothes), didn't rock back and forth or walked in circles or anything repetitive that I can think of. He DID however do the hand flapping for a while but he did this in preschool and his best friend in class did it. He stopped that once he didn't see this friend anymore.

What is "scripting"?

The only thing that really stands out to me is that he had a pretty significant speech delay. You could barely talk to him until he was 3 years old. He said many words, but didn't put them together and he didn't understand two step directions. But two things also made it more difficult for him to learn: I work from home so he didn't get spoken to that much until the afternoon when I was done, and then I spoke German whereas he watched English TV all day. His pediatrician said to stop the two languages until he caught up. That's also when he started preschool. Between me speaking English to him and starting preschool, his speech caught up rapidly and ended up advanced for his age and teachers still tell me this today, that he is very intelligent and speaks like someone much older. It's just that he acts much younger.

BellaVita
11-21-16, 12:43 AM
For what it's worth, non-autistic kids (and even adults) can also have meltdowns in response to stress, sensory overload, etc., too.

(I suspect there's probably less self-injurious stimming involved, though, and the meltdowns may be shorter-lived and perhaps less intense. [?])

Yes, I was aware of that. I was just specifically talking about autistic meltdowns. :)

As a child, they would last for hours, I missed lots of school because of it. They still last for hours when they occur, and generally wipe me out for the rest of the day.

BellaVita
11-21-16, 01:14 AM
I want to say I did read your entire post, and I don't really know what to think. I do think that the speech delay could point towards autism. It's a bit odd that he didn't have many "autism behaviors" but maybe he just doesn't show them in that way or shows them differently. But I don't really know.

I relate to the part about your son having an advanced vocabulary for his age, I would test as having quite an advanced vocabulary when I was young. But I still had trouble with not being mute in different settings. It was as if the words would not come out, like I actually couldn't speak. I just thought "I guess that's the way it is." I would be baffled how others spoke so freely but here I was unable to get words out.

But.....when I DID talk (to my mother, who was kinda the only person I spoke to for a few years) I would talk and talk and talk.....To this day, I can still talk for hours (to my husband - again, it's like I have "one person") and hours, he is quite patient and understanding because it tends to be about the same topics over and over again and in great detail.

Thank you so much for being so willing to learn about autism, I don't think you are sounding ignorant at all and I really appreciate your thoughtful answers.

What is "scripting"

Here is a pretty thorough video that explains scripting by an autistic advocate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtbbmeyh5rk

Some things to add to that:
For me, I use scripting in social situations. Especially with people who I do not know very well, like new people I have to meet or speak to in public.

I have a large large large set of scripts that I've memorized over the years in my head, and when someone asks me a question or speaks to me (someone other than my husband) then my brain will filter through all of those scripts and try to pick the best one. Sometimes they can be a little off, because it is like an algebra formula for me trying to find the correct script with the pressure to answer back in a timely manner.

Actually, I've been told that I have a slight (not very noticeable) delay when speaking to people, because of this processing of searching for the right script.

I might also use them in conversation with my husband, for fun, or to help me better express my thoughts and feelings.

For example, he might say something to me, and I might respond with a lyric to a David Archuleta song that matches the situation.

Or I might recite words from a David Archuleta interview and work them into the conversation.

Or I will repeat phrases over and over, because it feels good. (Or I might repeat phrases, when my brain is "stuck" and I'm having trouble articulating anything else, and I'm trying to communicate something, and it can be coming from a kind of frantic place of not being able to choose other words and feeling anxious)

Tetrahedra
11-21-16, 03:01 AM
Affording therapy can be financially challenging. Talk to the psychologist/psychiatrist and the school to see what support groups they recommend for parents of autistic children or bipolar children. You're not the only person going through a situation such as this, and being able to find others who can provide support and give you recommendations based upon their own trial and error could be invaluable for you.

sarahsweets
11-21-16, 05:13 AM
My sister is 26 and was diagnosed as "asbegrers" when she was 3. This was before they had autism spectrum disorder when there only seemed to be people like her-very high functioning or- people that needed to be in some kind of institution or long term care setting. There is a group here in NJ which had been groundbreaking for autism research and integration called 'The Eden institute'. Back in the day they were considered groundbreaking and helped thousands, learn to live with autism and educate the public on how to deal with autism as well. Maybe you could try googling them for info?

dvdnvwls
11-21-16, 05:18 AM
Guess we grew up in different worlds. I don't call that manipulation I call that do your part or I don't do mine.

Being a part of a family means everyone has their own jobs to do to contribute to the family. The jobs are based on their age and other contributions to the house. If my son wants a ride to a party that night he has to do his chores first. He does his part, then I do my part. That is called being in a family. Why would it be okay for me to do everything while he pouts and says he doesn't feel like it? Where is HIS contribution to the household/family?

This is the give and take I am talking about; good behavior (doing what is expected of you) = rewards. Bad behavior (not contributing) = no rewards.
It's disingenuous to call it "Do your part or I don't do mine" - I know you gave it that name, but that isn't at all what you're talking about. The doublespeak is pretty transparent.

The way you're acting is pure punishment/reward and pure parent-directed. There is no family agreement or family cooperation going on at all, not the tiniest hint of true give-and-take, even though you decided to word it that way. Wording "You do this because I said so" as "Please keep up your end of the bargain" is manipulative because you are pretending your child is a willing party to an agreement when in fact he's simply to do as he's told or else.

If your boss pretended you had agreed to get coffee for everyone (when in fact you hadn't agreed, or you only agreed under pressure) and made it a condition of your continuing employment, would you feel like you were treated fairly, or would you feel manipulated?

I'm not saying that parenting by "Because I said so" is right or wrong - I'm just saying be honest about it if you're going to keep doing it.

Lunacie
11-21-16, 12:15 PM
Not every child with autism spectrum disorder will be hypersensitive.

Some are hyposensitive instead. My granddaughter is an odd mix of the two.

She will only wear soft clothing, but hates soft touches.

We had to do some social stories to help her understand personal space as she
was often hanging on her mom a lot of the time.

She has a very high tolerance for pain, broke her arm in kindergarten and they
had no idea how bad it was. She broke her foot in 4th grade, was given a
walking cast and a walking frame but we finally had to practically strap her
into a wheelchair to give it time to heal.

She was a spinner when she was younger, standing and spinning for up to an
hour without getting dizzy. As she got older she moved to an office chair and
would spin in that.

Some kids are bouncers or pacers or rockers. When I'm anxious I tend to
rock back and forth or bounce my leg repeatedly.

Printable SPD Checklist [PDF] (https://www.sensorysmarts.com/sensory-checklist.pdf)

Her first therapist was looking for the classic signs of autism and decided
she must be bi-polar, until he talked to his supervisor who has an autistic
daughter ... and when he described my g-daughter's symptoms she said
they were exactly like her daughters symptoms.

Like Bella wrote above, it's a spectrum disorder and every person on the
spectrum will have some things in common and some things peculiar to only
themselves. If you've met one person with autism, you've met ONE person
with autism.

dvdnvwls
11-21-16, 01:42 PM
Any major new diagnosis is going to bring a lot of emotions and thoughts with it - including fear and confusion. Remember that those are mainly because of the newness, not because of the diagnoses themselves.

Lots of learning, lots of questions - but keep in mind that every new diagnosis needs time to settle in and potentially be reevaluated. Especially in your son's situation, there are no obvious cut-and-dried answers. He is not a "typical case" of any of the things being discussed, and you and your son have a lit of exploring and experimenting ahead to find out what really improves his life.

Exhaustedmom
11-22-16, 09:57 PM
Thank you so much for being so willing to learn about autism, I don't think you are sounding ignorant at all and I really appreciate your thoughtful answers.

Thank YOU for taking so much time to help me learn more about it! I really appreciate it.

I watched the video, and quite a few others from this lady, and found them all fascinating. Especially the part where she said she was scripting for the videos even. I am not sure yet if this is what my son does, he's always been blurting out things that we found incredibly (I'm sorry) annoying and/or frustrating. I don't remember if he did this when he was younger but it seems like ever since he's started watching youtube videos, he repeats various vines all the time. I don't know if this would be scripting, from her description, I don't thinks so because he doesn't seem to use these things in certain situations or to express his feelings, or at least not that I can tell. He just blurts them out and they change based on whatever new vine is out there.

I am in awe that you have memorized scripts that you filter through to try to pick the best one when you meet a new person. Does this get exhausting, or is it like a fun challenge to find a "good one"?

But then you say you repeat phrases over and over because it feels good...hmm...I don't know, I am honestly thoroughly confused now as to what is ADHD behavior versus Asperger's. Because he does that with the vines, but like I said, that was ADHD to me.

On another note, we saw the psychiatrist today and he does not see Bipolar at all. He does notice traits of Asperger's as well though. So that is kind of good and bad. I am glad he isn't Bipolar, but without that, I don't know how much he will improve because then it means all his behavior is from being autistic. So whereas before I was scared of him having to take psych meds, at least it gave me the hope that he will be balanced and not so quick to anger. Now it's more like "hmm, so this is just how it will always be".

He did prescribe Lamictal though so maybe it will do something for the anger. And he ordered neuropsychological testing so we know for sure what we are dealing with.

BellaVita
11-22-16, 10:16 PM
Thank YOU for taking so much time to help me learn more about it! I really appreciate it.

I watched the video, and quite a few others from this lady, and found them all fascinating. Especially the part where she said she was scripting for the videos even. I am not sure yet if this is what my son does, he's always been blurting out things that we found incredibly (I'm sorry) annoying and/or frustrating. I don't remember if he did this when he was younger but it seems like ever since he's started watching youtube videos, he repeats various vines all the time. I don't know if this would be scripting, from her description, I don't thinks so because he doesn't seem to use these things in certain situations or to express his feelings, or at least not that I can tell. He just blurts them out and they change based on whatever new vine is out there.

I am in awe that you have memorized scripts that you filter through to try to pick the best one when you meet a new person. Does this get exhausting, or is it like a fun challenge to find a "good one"?

It is rather draining trying to come up with the correct script, and I feel anxious pressure to "get it right." I tend to not speak to many people because of how much it drains me, I mostly talk to my husband. I am comfortable enough with him that I don't feel that anxious pressure to "find the right script" but I just express things in my own weird way. My husband has taken some time to get used to this, especially since I seem to lack theory of mind, so some things I say can sort of throw him off. (Sometimes though I do end up needing to script to express my feelings to him if I'm feeling low on energy or close to meltdown/shutdown, and other times I just script lines to him for fun. Repeating lines and saying familiar lines that I like make me happy/soothe me/make me excited)

I should have mentioned that I use scripting when meeting new people but also just talking to people in general (like when ordering food, or talking to my husband's mom) or even when on the phone.

Actually before phone calls, I write out all of my questions and different lines that I might need to use. (Even the opening line that I'm going to say I write down) I get thrown off and there might be a long awkward silence if the other person asks or says something that I haven't prepared an answer for, especially if it is an open-ended question.

But then you say you repeat phrases over and over because it feels good...hmm...I don't know, I am honestly thoroughly confused now as to what is ADHD behavior versus Asperger's. Because he does that with the vines, but like I said, that was ADHD to me.

It could possibly be a combination of the two, impulsiveness from ADHD causing him to blurt things out, and repeating those phrases because of his autistic traits.

On another note, we saw the psychiatrist today and he does not see Bipolar at all. He does notice traits of Asperger's as well though. So that is kind of good and bad. I am glad he isn't Bipolar, but without that, I don't know how much he will improve because then it means all his behavior is from being autistic. So whereas before I was scared of him having to take psych meds, at least it gave me the hope that he will be balanced and not so quick to anger. Now it's more like "hmm, so this is just how it will always be".

He did prescribe Lamictal though so maybe it will do something for the anger. And he ordered neuropsychological testing so we know for sure what we are dealing with.

Autism and bipolar can sometimes be confused - sometimes autism can be misdiagnosed as Bipolar. I hope you continue to find the answers that will help your son best.

sarahsweets
11-23-16, 06:04 AM
I am glad he isn't Bipolar, but without that, I don't know how much he will improve because then it means all his behavior is from being autistic. So whereas before I was scared of him having to take psych meds, at least it gave me the hope that he will be balanced and not so quick to anger. Now it's more like "hmm, so this is just how it will always be".

He did prescribe Lamictal though so maybe it will do something for the anger. And he ordered neuropsychological testing so we know for sure what we are dealing with.

are you saying you would rather hiim have asbergers or autism instead of bipolar?

Exhaustedmom
11-23-16, 10:53 AM
are you saying you would rather hiim have asbergers or autism instead of bipolar?

Hi Sarah, no, that's not what I meant at all. People who are bipolar and find the right medication that helps them, they are balanced and happy (at least from what I've read, it can be a complete turnaround). There is no medication that treats Autism or Asperger's so while I of course don't want him to be bipolar, I meant that I feared that now there isn't much I can do to help him. Of course he will continue to get therapy which I hope will help him understand social cues better, but that's all there is. I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear. I know you said you are bipolar and I definitely didn't mean to say I'd rather have autism than bipolar. Both are tough to deal with, it's just that there is medication to treat bipolar disorder.

And I'm also still not convinced that we have the right diagnosis, or all of them yet. He has long shown signs of Tourette's, so for all I know the blurting out can be related to that as well.

Let's just say I am really glad that he will get the neuropsychological testing so we know once and for all exactly what we are dealing with and come up with a treatment plan, and helpful accomodations for an IEP. I am determined to get him whatever help he needs.

BellaVita, thank you again. I wish I knew you in person, you sound like such a sweet person. How nice of you to give a stranger so much detail about how autism affects you so that I can understand it better. And I am very sorry if came across as if an Asperger's diagnosis is the end of the world. It is not, I know that now. I just knew nothing about it and I'm glad you helped me and gave me lots of reading material! <3

Pilgrim
11-23-16, 11:56 AM
I think this is predominately an ADD problem. If you want to discipline him ignore him, this will work a treat. In regards to the iPad, never buy him another one. In regards to him repeating phrases this is a self soothing behaviour, get him into some form of physical activity he is just filled with anxiety, might want to keep his dr in the loop. I found medication, properly done, was a godsend here. The more you force him the more he will defy you. ODD. Goodluck, my 2 cents.

Exhaustedmom
11-23-16, 12:20 PM
I think this is predominately an ADD problem. If you want to discipline him ignore him, this will work a treat. In regards to the iPad, never buy him another one. In regards to him repeating phrases this is a self soothing behaviour, get him into some form of physical activity he is just filled with anxiety, might want to keep his dr in the loop. I found medication, properly done, was a godsend here. The more you force him the more he will defy you. ODD. Goodluck, my 2 cents.

Thank you Pilgrim! We already told him that once his pad breaks, we won't buy another one. Same goes for his siblings. We are done with electronics. It is my goal to get his anger out of the way first, and then re-address doing some kind of sport and giving him a time limit on the pad. Here's to hoping I"m on the right track :-)

JennK258
11-25-16, 03:11 PM
Exhaustedmom... sounds like you are making progress! The more serious diagnosis is understandably upsetting, but I know I always feel better when I understand a problem and can focus on working toward solutions. :)

It sounds like there is still some uncertainty around his diagnosis, but hopefully the further testing will clarify things.

I would maybe consider a second opinion at some point- I know it's tough making all the appointments already! I just think that with the disagreement over Dx, and all the meds etc. it would help your peace of mind. Just a thought!

It is already very expensive getting him the help he needs, in addition to flexing at work all the time.

I can totally relate!! I spend so much time taking my kid to appointments, I have been putting off scheduling my own doc appointments because of the amount of time I take off work already!

Thank you Pilgrim! We already told him that once his pad breaks, we won't buy another one. Same goes for his siblings. We are done with electronics.

Ok, techie girl over here... don't hate on electronics! I don't think the problem was the pad itself... if it wasn't that, it would be whatever else is his favorite thing that he loses. Technology can be extremely useful, and it sounds like your little guy is into technology. I would encourage that... I can tell you from a decade of working in IT that tech jobs can be a wonderful fit for people with personality disorders of all types!

Sure, they knew they f'd up and lost the phone but the catastophrizing of the fact that they didnt have the phone totally overshadowed why they lost it.

This particular statement really hit home. DS is grounded for multiple recent, egregious offenses, which means no electronics except the kindle (he pretty much only reads for pleasure when grounded, so I think it works great). However, I busted him with a contraband phone his friend had lent him to stay connected and took it... led to 3-4 hour meltdown that ended up with the kindle being snapped in half. As I was trying to calm him down I was explaining to him what catastrophizing meant. :) Ended up getting him back on Zoloft the next day, and we also made a concession to give him an old MP3 player loaded up with new music. Happy ending- we just had a really long, surprisingly deep conversation about music, where he said he has never really listened to music like this before, without all the distractions of social media, chats, etc. going on in the background.

Anyway, taking the electronics away as punishment does work for us, usually. Didn't work so great this time because of the delayed consequence of actually REALLY losing all of the electronics. Usually though, he is angry and moody for a day until he adjusts and finds a good book to read. I would never eliminate technology altogether- IT is the only thing that interests my son and I encourage it.

No one-size-fits-all solution for punishment/reward- but I think it is appropriate to use both for most kids. When they start gaming the system and only doing X so they can get Y, time for a new strategy. :)

Exhaustedmom
11-26-16, 12:27 AM
Ok, techie girl over here... don't hate on electronics! I don't think the problem was the pad itself... if it wasn't that, it would be whatever else is his favorite thing that he loses. Technology can be extremely useful, and it sounds like your little guy is into technology. I would encourage that... I can tell you from a decade of working in IT that tech jobs can be a wonderful fit for people with personality disorders of all types!


You're right, I often thought that myself. I do like that he at least has something he is passionate about and he wants to be a coder/programmer, and hey that's a good job to have! I just have to find a way to limit its use. When I do take it away, after he blows up and then pouts, he does find other things to do, he mainly writes short stories and I so wish he would also do that voluntarily, not just when he can't have his electronics. I will bring it up to his psychologist to see what she can think of.

When they start gaming the system and only doing X so they can get Y, time for a new strategy. :)

That's the key right there. There needs to be a balance, he can't base all his decisions on if or when he can have his pad. When he throws a fit because I have to stop at the store on the way home and this means he's losing pad time and missing important updates, that's extreme and I always tell him that our family can't live live around his pad.

But, I have to say, I just witnessed something promising. He's on day 4 of Lamictal and I didn't expect any change for at least a month because he's starting on a very low dose (25mg) to be titrated up slowly and safely to 100mg, but today we asked him to watch a movie with us and he did (with pad in hand, but still), and then (of course) my husband and him started arguing over something he did on there and said he would take it, and I expected my son to immediately blow up, I mean that is absolutely where this conversation would have gone normally. And he did get upset, but not nearly as much and he just said that it was unfair. But he didn't scream on top of his lungs and I didn't see that instant rage. It was more of a normal angry response. I was pretty speechless. It may have just been a good day or maybe he's been on clonidine long enough now to have kicked in but whatever it was, I was so happy to see it. On Monday we're seeing the psychologist again and I have hope that with some of this anger out of the way, we can actually get through to him.

JennK258
11-26-16, 02:18 PM
But, I have to say, I just witnessed something promising. He's on day 4 of Lamictal and I didn't expect any change for at least a month because he's starting on a very low dose (25mg) to be titrated up slowly and safely to 100mg, but today we asked him to watch a movie with us and he did (with pad in hand, but still), and then (of course) my husband and him started arguing over something he did on there and said he would take it, and I expected my son to immediately blow up, I mean that is absolutely where this conversation would have gone normally. And he did get upset, but not nearly as much and he just said that it was unfair. But he didn't scream on top of his lungs and I didn't see that instant rage. It was more of a normal angry response. I was pretty speechless. It may have just been a good day or maybe he's been on clonidine long enough now to have kicked in but whatever it was, I was so happy to see it. On Monday we're seeing the psychologist again and I have hope that with some of this anger out of the way, we can actually get through to him.

Wow that is great!! Whether it was the meds or not... a good day is a blessing for sure!! I am not familiar with that med at all... but I know I have taken other psych meds that weren't supposed to work right away that did begin to have an effect earlier than the doc said. I guess you will see!

Ok, I am about ready to snap the pad in half myself lol! It seems like it has become such a huge deal with your son and the family that EVERYONE is fixated on it. Hopefully your therapist can give you some good advice to help with that issue!

I think you mentioned family therapy? Sounds like it is definitely in order! I am a big fan of family therapy, even when there aren't major issues going on. I also think it's good for most adults to go periodically to check in and devote a little time to self-love... I try to go once a month at least for a little sanity check. Just think about it... you are dealing with so much emotional stress... don't forge to take care of you!!

Good luck! :)

BellaVita
11-26-16, 06:27 PM
That's the key right there. There needs to be a balance, he can't base all his decisions on if or when he can have his pad. When he throws a fit because I have to stop at the store on the way home and this means he's losing pad time and missing important updates, that's extreme and I always tell him that our family can't live live around his pad.

I can relate to this, about other things.

If there is a change of plans I'm not expecting, I can go into meltdown. It isn't a fit or trying to get attention, it's a reaction to the change of plans. I don't know if that's what it is for your son, but since he is recently diagnosed as autistic I think that it probably could be.

One thing I was told growing up was "the world doesn't revolve around you" because people misunderstood my meltdown reactions to change of plans and how I needed things to go in a particular way and order. I wasn't trying to be selfish or bad, I just needed things to be routine for me and I didn't react well to changes in plan. (Even little, "normal" changes of plan that most people expect to occur in daily life could cause me to meltdown)

He probably relies on those updates/scheduled iPad time to help keep his world in order and to help things not feel so chaotic. That's probably why it feels like everything revolves around his iPad - because to him it really is what helps keep his world in order. Remove that, disrupt that, and his world is suddenly chaotic and scary and out-of-control.

Maybe you could tell him that if you go to the store, he can still have that iPad time just at a different time? And reassure him he will get it? It might not be great for him, but it could work as a compromise instead of him losing his iPad time. And help prevent a big meltdown.

I find that trying to work out compromises as soon as a change of plan occurs, helps me tremendously, it is actually something I've discovered helps me even as an adult. I mean it doesn't work perfectly, but it is a useful tool.

Little Missy
11-26-16, 07:34 PM
I'd tell him to go and get a job, ANY job, raking leaves, whatever, and when he can buy one and pay for it all by himself, have at it. Until then, have it shut off.

YOU have the power.

BellaVita
11-26-16, 07:43 PM
I'd tell him to go and get a job, ANY job, raking leaves, whatever, and when he can buy one and pay for it all by himself, have at it. Until then, have it shut off.

YOU have the power.

If he has multiple disabilities,like autism and other things, this might not be the best approach.

It might cause an even bigger meltdown and make him also shutdown completely and be unable to do anything at all. That might be taking away the one thing from him causing stability and helping him feel secure in a routine. That iPad clearly means a lot to him.

"Go get a job" is not easy for anyone, but for an autistic it can be almost impossible - I think I read the other day that 80% of autistics are unemployed.

Little Missy
11-26-16, 08:03 PM
If he has multiple disabilities,like autism and other things, this might not be the best approach.

It might cause an even bigger meltdown and make him also shutdown completely and be unable to do anything at all. That might be taking away the one thing from him causing stability and helping him feel secure in a routine. That iPad clearly means a lot to him.

"Go get a job" is not easy for anyone, but for an autistic it can be almost impossible - I think I read the other day that 80% of autistics are unemployed.

ooopppss...:eek: I forgot about that part and started shooting from the hip.

Please forgive me. :)

Exhaustedmom
11-27-16, 11:53 PM
I definitely plan on bringing it up to his psychologist (the being obsessed with his pad) but I am not sure if he isn't - in addition to being on the spectrum - simply addicted to the internet and or/gaming. I asked his psychiatrist about this and he said it is a new diagnosis, so it can certainly be that he is truly addicted.

I really don't recall anything during his childhood that he was obsessed with to this extreme. He had his phases where he was really into Pokemon or for a while he was very interested in tornadoes but it was never like this where he couldn't think of anything else. It was simply a hobby but he still also went outside to play with his friends or did other things. Never did he scream, cry or downright panic when any of those things were taken away.

I have read a lot about Asperger's by now and autism in general and I have a lot of hope that with therapy, he will do a lot better with his peers. He definitely does not lack empathy or understanding someone's feelings. He's actually always been really good about understanding my feelings for example - giving me space when I was stressed, hugs when I was sad, and he comes running to make everything better when one of his siblings get hurt. So he doesn't struggle with that part, but he does struggle with how something is meant. That literal thinking, oh boy, does he ever have that. But he can be taught non verbal cues and sarcasm, to at least do better than he is doing now. I am really optimistic :-)

But the pad...I don't know. I really think he's just plain addicted or I think he would have shown this kind of behavior with his previous interests before. But that's for the psychologist to determine, we'll figure this out! I know he wants a phone for Christmas and I know that's not happening.

sarahsweets
11-28-16, 05:58 AM
If he really has an addiction then the only way to treat that would be abstinence.

Lunacie
11-28-16, 10:15 AM
I definitely plan on bringing it up to his psychologist (the being obsessed with his pad) but I am not sure if he isn't - in addition to being on the spectrum - simply addicted to the internet and or/gaming. I asked his psychiatrist about this and he said it is a new diagnosis, so it can certainly be that he is truly addicted.

I really don't recall anything during his childhood that he was obsessed with to this extreme. He had his phases where he was really into Pokemon or for a while he was very interested in tornadoes but it was never like this where he couldn't think of anything else. It was simply a hobby but he still also went outside to play with his friends or did other things. Never did he scream, cry or downright panic when any of those things were taken away.

I have read a lot about Asperger's by now and autism in general and I have a lot of hope that with therapy, he will do a lot better with his peers. He definitely does not lack empathy or understanding someone's feelings. He's actually always been really good about understanding my feelings for example - giving me space when I was stressed, hugs when I was sad, and he comes running to make everything better when one of his siblings get hurt. So he doesn't struggle with that part, but he does struggle with how something is meant. That literal thinking, oh boy, does he ever have that. But he can be taught non verbal cues and sarcasm, to at least do better than he is doing now. I am really optimistic :-)

But the pad...I don't know. I really think he's just plain addicted or I think he would have shown this kind of behavior with his previous interests before. But that's for the psychologist to determine, we'll figure this out! I know he wants a phone for Christmas and I know that's not happening.

I don't remember if this was mentioned earlier in the thread, but puberty
might explain some of the changes in his emotions.

Exhaustedmom
11-29-16, 09:08 AM
I don't remember if this was mentioned earlier in the thread, but puberty
might explain some of the changes in his emotions.

Oh it definitely made it a lot worse! My hope is that he will be much better in a co:yes:uple of years. Every parent tells me that middle school is the worst, even for the typical child.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed :yes:

JennK258
11-30-16, 08:33 PM
It could be an addiction, or it could be that he is able to express himself and experience social interaction in ways that he can't IRL.

When my son had his no-electronics meltdown recently, it was the social connection that he was really distraught about. He is shy and only has one friend IRL that he can really talk to on a deeply personal level. He has lots of interactions with friends on group chats where he can talk about just about anything. Depends what your boy is doing on there and what he is getting out of it.

If he is gaming, he might feel a sense of competence and control that he doesn't get IRL. Maybe on the pad he's a level 500 something or other and gets respect and admiration, while IRL he is maybe kind of an odd kid who has trouble interacting with others. :scratch:

Just throwing this out there, food for thought... :)

Exhaustedmom
12-01-16, 03:38 PM
It could be an addiction, or it could be that he is able to express himself and experience social interaction in ways that he can't IRL.

Wow, that is a really good point! I know he likes the gaming chatrooms and any kind of comment section in general, makes sense that he'd be more comfortable talking to people there, as he can just disappear when things get awkward.

The psychologist's advice was that, for now, he should not have it taken away but to track the things he DOES do. So for example this week we're focusing on him filling the dishwasher and I won't nag or take anything away or tell him what he did NOT do, but only focus on what he did do (by himself, without being asked). Then I will give her the report next week and we'll discuss it. When I had my IEP meeting at the school, all the teachers were surprised to hear Asperger's, including the school psychologist and they didn't think that if this was one of his conditions, it wasn't the one causing him the most problems. I think we all see more of the bipolar symptoms, so I told the psychologist who is going to talk to the psychiatrist ...and then we'll have the testing in January anyway. Soon I'll know what we are dealing with and then he can be properly medicated and his counseling can be customized better :-)

Thank you all for your help!

Pilgrim
12-07-16, 02:54 AM
I don't know if it's really comparable but I agree with Bella in the sense the iPad could form part of his structure.

From what I gather his tendency to keep the iPad is the problem. It's just that I'm going through this incident with someone at the moment and it's an easy fix but over a smallish issue it's much bigger than it should be.
We can't really negotiate it out where just moving in different directions on the issue, and we are both not looking at the others point of view enough. It is a complicated issue and frustrating, probably fatal for us.

JennK258
12-08-16, 08:29 PM
The psychologist's advice was that, for now, he should not have it taken away but to track the things he DOES do.

It helps so much to have the educated outsider's perspective when dealing with this type of thing with kids! We recently made a visit to my son's psychologist after not going for a while, and just one visit (and one teary phone call today) made such a difference. I often find myself setting limits or rules, getting stuck when they don't seem to work, and not really knowing where to go next.

We were able to get to the bottom of why being grounded (no electronics) is so devastating... it's the lack of social interaction. If you really think about what that must be like, having grown up with and become accustomed to constant socializing through technology... I just don't think it affects us the same way it does kids of this generation.

I can't stop thinking of the latest season of Black Mirror while typing this post. :)

Anyway, glad to hear you are making steady progress and looking forward to hearing how things work out. :)