Friday, November 16, 2012

Could my son have ADHD too?

I know what it's like to be the mum of a happy, healthy, affectionate, interesting, fit, helpful 11 year old. I was that mum.  I loved being that mum.  That's why I had more children.

But now I am a miserable shouty mum, depressed, anxious, frightened, worried, helpless and sometime hopeless.  I just don't know how to rear a child with Aspergers.  The advice is conflicting, and very little of it works for long.  We had a truce last week in the long long battle, and for a couple of days I was smiling and my son, well he seemed to be himself again: sincere, cooperative, making plans for the future, talking about topics other than video games.

It all ended on Saturday night and I am not proud of my reaction.  I did not stay calm as my hope were dashed once again.

Then last night we watched a programme on Irish television about ADHD.  Some people do not even believe in this syndrome.  We saw the anger and the violence and so much of it looked so familiar.  We saw the out of control teenager being arrested and I shivered.   Is that my sons future?  Perhaps watching it might make him stop and think.   I really hope it does.  He is so bright, he has so much potential, but it seems that everything I do is wrong.



Everything I try fails in the face of his need for total control.  He would rather have that than any reward it seems.  The only sanction that works is taking all his consoles away, and I can't do that 20 times a day.  And if I do take them away I have to make sure that there is someone available to mind Smiley and see to her needs while I deal with the fallout from the punishment.

Can I stop things getting worse?  Not without help, and guess what?

He's back on the waiting list....

22 comments:

  1. *hug* Being a parent isn't easy. x

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  2. I do wish I had something more practical to offer than a virtual hug and heartfelt sympathy.
    When you are trying to change a problem behaviour it almost always escalates just before it improves; so this could be a signal change it imminent. I'm hoping that's the case. Hang in there.

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  3. I really hope something happens to turn this around for you, you deserve a break.

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  4. I know none of this is his fault and he doesn't deserve to be punished for his behaviour but you may have to choose a course of action that puts your needs first for a while - to save your sanity so that you can be there for both of them after a rest.

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    1. I don't really know what is right any longer. I just know when things go well. This afternoon was much better - he drew this picture (it's on my Facebook page) and was so proud of it, normally he is very unhappy with his art attempts, even though they all look good to me. This time he saw that what he did was good. It's good to have something to praise him about :)

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  5. I am so sorry to read this, very sorry. :(

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  6. Thank you all so much for your comments. You're all very good to wade through this, posting it does work for me though: once I'd finished writing this I spent part of the morning making more phone calls and getting him on more waiting lists...so hopefully something will come through for him soon x

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  7. this might sound mean and unfeeling- I don't mean it that way- can your son be inpatient for a week or go to residential treatment so that he gets back on course and you get some rest?

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    1. No I don't think that you are being mean and unfeeling, and I've sometimes wondered if respite would be a good plan, even just to give us both a break and time to think and reflect. It's unlikely to happen though with all the cutbacks and he would probably say no as he has never stayed overnight with anyone else, even when we've tried I've had to go and collect him.

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  8. You are amazing and you should feel no guilt at all for the way you reacted. Being a mum is testing enough, let alone coping with the situation you find yourself in. You're a real inspiration and shouldn't berate yourself for acting in a completely normal way - perfect doesn't exist and sometimes we have to remember that. Sending huge cyber hugs your way and hoping this gets resolved in a way you're happy with soon. In the meantime, keep strength in the knowledge that you're doing a fantastic job, however you may look at it. xxx

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    1. Thanks Molly :) I've been very moany on here of late, but then no-one HAS to read it! And it helps me, and I know that sometimes it helps others xxx

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  9. oh no, so sorry to hear this continues yet again for you AND for him.

    I really want you to watch that Late late clip I told you about. He was an amazing articulate individual who has Aspergers and a high IQ. He specifically mentioned that he finds it challenging to sit still for lengths of time and that High anxiety is a big issue for lots of teens like him. He's come, or is coming, thorough it. His website is www.aspergersadvice.org (check RTE player to be sure) and what interested me is that he has or will have articles written by people like him. maybe something someone will write will resonate with you...or even with Aspie Boy himself ;-)

    Remain hopeful...

    xx Jazzy

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    1. Thanks Jazzy, I've kind of given up at the moment, need to gather my strength and research more ideas and help. But you're right, I should watch that clip and I'd like my son to watch it too xx

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  10. I asked a clinical psychologist whether my son had ADHD and she said that some practitioners when assessing for ASD make an additional diagnosis of ADHD; others don't. She argued that ADHD and ASD cross over which is very much what I see with my son. Unfortunately a lot of people assume ADHD are just those who physically can't keep still but there is also a type where people can't concentrate or organise themselves etc. It may be worth checking whether ADHD applies to your son.

    You also may want to check out pathological demand avoidance (here's a link if you don't have one - http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/related-conditions/pda-pathological-demand-avoidance-syndrome.aspx What I find interesting about PDA is the level of control that people with PDA try and assert which is very much what my son tries to do. I'm about to start reading a book on this (recommended by another parent of an autistic son) as I recognise some of these control issues in my son though he is still very much ASD.

    Hope this helps but a bit but I think you need some time out from analysing your parenting too much. It is clear you are a devoted and loving mum but sometimes when we become too bogged down with caring for our children we can burn ourselves out. I think you are right to try and gather your strength and I hope you can find the time to do so. Deb x

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    1. Deb, once again you are full of information, and sensible advice. I've just found a blog about a child with PDA and it does sound very familiar x

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  11. I know exactly what you are going through. I have my own sons. Please fight. That is your only way out of this. Fight really hard. Get yourself educated. You may think there is no help out there but there is. You just have to fight very hard to find it and make it work.
    Read books and look up the US web-sites and facebook pages on ASD. autism. There is a LOT you can do yourself. You will not get a lot very fast waiting on a list so it's sadly up to you.

    I can recommend the following to start.
    Dr. Rossignol (he does phone consulting to anywhere in the world).
    On Facebook, The thinking moms revolution.
    TACA, www.tacanow.org
    Books: Healing the New Childhood epidemics by Kenneth Bock etc.
    Changing the course of autism by Bryan Jepson etc.

    These are all places to start looking for help. My moto has been, if you don't have your own kid like this, you just can't understand and you can't help. We have come so very far and I wish that for you and anyone else reading this post. I am amazed at how little people on this post know about getting real help and it's very sad. Get your fish oil out and get fighting!

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    1. With every respect, I think some people on here are offering virtual support which is as important as providing practical advice. Sometimes, as a special needs mum we need the odd hug or two so we can find the strength to look for help.

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    2. Well just to say thanks to both of you, for me hugs are important, but I always appreciate practical advice too xx

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