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Ds1 is so nasty to me. End of my tether.

(32 Posts)
Oblomov Wed 30-Oct-13 10:45:44

Ds1(9) AS, is so nasty to me.
This has been going on for years.
He has been seeing the school counsellor for the last 6 weeks because he spent £300 on the internet this summer.
She seems useless.
He has definitely got worse. ( I know they get worse before they get better, but ....)

he is so rude to me. So nasty to me.
He makes me so mad. he is so uncaring.
The stress of him, sends my diabetes mad and I am either having hypos or my blood sugars are so high I am being sick and almost collapsing.
I am under the top consultant in the country and she basically admitted recently that she doesn't know what to try with me next.
I have no other real stresses in my life other than ds1.

I have tried. Over the last 5 years. It was me who got him diagnosed. He has no support at school. No IEP. They insist he is "fine".
I've been back to camhs when he said he wished he was dead. They were useless and told me there was nothing they could do.

I can't do this anymore.
If it was an abusive husband, the whole of MN who tell me to get rid of him.
But what if it is your child who treats you like dirt. He even admitted that he treats me badly. He said he didn't know why. And when he tried to treat me better, it just got worse.

I want rid of ds1. I want him adopted. Or in as Aspergers weekly boarding school. Which is unaffordable.

I deserve a quality of life.

And I told dh this. And he said that I should be ashamed.
Which when you read it back, in black and white. It sounds horrific.
I admit.
But I have been pushed way past my coping point. Along time ago.
Dh has no suggestions. He admits that ds1 is never going to change.

When dh asked ds1 why he was so nasty to me. He said he didn't know. "I wouldn't do it to you, because you(dh) are stricter than Mum and you might smack me," he said".

Interesting that that is ds1's perspective on it. Not his thoughts of why he really does love his mum. No thoughts as to why he should be nice to me.

I appreciate that if I told this to anyone. They too would consider me some sort of unemotional scum, that I could even think this about my own son.

But ds1 is never going to change. And I can't live with him. Or I think I deserve more, than to be subjected to this.
Dh has talked to him about why he is so nasty to me. Again and again and again, but dh talking to him changes nothing. Praising him and encouraging him does nothing. Taking all his priveledges away does nothing. Dh smacked him once. I smacked him once. That's has done nothing. I have tried and tried and tried.

Does that sound as terrible to you SN mums, as it does to a NT mum?

Should I be ashamed at the way I feel?

And what are the realistically possible solutions?

DevilsRoulette Wed 30-Oct-13 10:52:33

does he have a formal diagnosis that the LA accepts? I ask because I could suggest different things depending on whether he has dx yet or not.

Oblomov Wed 30-Oct-13 11:04:25

Yes. He was diagnosed as AS. by CAMHS. He is seen annually by Paed. All totally useless.
school has always insisted that he is "fine".
Any bullying or cheating at school is dismissed.
He is angelic at school. He is nasty at home. Specifically to me. Classically Aspergers, if you ask me, being good at school, but letting it all go at home.

Dh goes to work at 5.30am and gets home at gone 6. It is me who does all the parenting.
I take ds2 to swimming. Ds1 to cubs. Has ds1's friends round. I do it all.
Dh is shocked when he hears ds1 being nasty to me. Sometimes ds1 doesn't know that daddy is upstairs. He speaks to me as normal and dh comes hurtling down, shocked at how nasty ds1 is to me.

Swanhilda Wed 30-Oct-13 11:58:05

My mother had a similar problem with my brother from age 9, who had undiagnosed ASD (and is now happily married with two small children, job etc, but still ASD/depressive traits) He was unremittingly horrible to my mother, insulting her, attacking her, putting her down. He was fine with my Dad. He had close friends, although smallish group. He was an anxious, perfectionist child.

When he was 15, they saw a family therapist, (Db was experiencing bullying problems at school unhappy etc, although academically excellent - 3 top A levels Russell Group uni to come) Family therapist insisted my mother came (after all it was family therapy) I remember at time, (I was five years older) my mother saying why do they think his behaviour is anything to do with me?

Of course there was aspects of his behaviour (not all, of course, because he was in retrospect classic Aspie) which weren't her fault, but her responses to him WERE her responsibility. And that was her biggest mistake - she just didn't like him, and he knew it. He needed love and sympathy like the rest of us, whatever our behaviour. It has been a big hole in his life I would say that she basically doesn't like him.

So tread very carefully. Try doing something, anything that makes you feel relaxed in his company, keep remembering he is YOURS he is 9 and he's got nothing to go on except you and dh as far as feedback, selfesteem.
If he's got AS he will be anxious about a whole raft of things that might be triggers for his horrible behaviour. This morning for example my AS son has screamed at me about his Maths homework in a completely irrational manner. But he calmed down, when I treated him as if he was someone who needed kid gloves shockgrin Don't set him up for defiant exchanges, keep reminding him you are on his side. He's your son, you need to be on his side, if you aren't who else will be?

Returning to issue of the useless help from NHS - skip them, read everything you can, talk to other people with AS children, BUT try if you can get referred to Family therapist (as they can help a lot) parenting group for any children, not just AS children. You need some support from somewhere - even if it is just a counsellor to listen to your side of the story, so you can think of strengths you can summon to deal with him.

And smacking won't work. Very important with AS children not to smack due to the revenge factor sad Jokes sometimes work though, suprisingly to distract them from bad feelings.

ouryve Wed 30-Oct-13 11:59:52

You have my every sympathy, but I'm not going to pretend I have the answers. If I did, I wouldn't be constantly teetering on the verge of a blazing row with my ASD/ADHD 9yo. It's a difficult age, in the first place, as they develop the tween attitude, but he has it with knobs on. He mostly takes it out on DS2, who he doesn't think deserves to exist. It's heart breaking, sometimes.

How would your DS react if you made it quite clear that you weren't going to engage unless he spoke to you respectfully? DS1's intransigent behaviours sometimes have my blood pressure rising to the point I have a headache and the only way I can stop things escalating is to pull back a bit and come back when I'm back in control of my own reaction, on my own terms. I'm also a fan of selective hearing and taking a bit of a "whatever" attitude, sometimes.

Have you tried approaching your DS as if he has PDA? Careful wording helps a lot with DS1. bbl!

Swanhilda Wed 30-Oct-13 12:08:01

The other thing, reading between lines is

a) Ds1 says he isn't nasty to Dh because he thinks dh might smack him. However, as you said dh has never smacked him except once, that is not the real reason. Something makes ds feel dh is Strong and you are weak. Ds feels safe around Dh and is therefore not angry with him.

which leads me to consider that

b) is ds1 very sorry and worried that you are not well and is feeling anxiety about that in addition to other AS anxieties. He is responding to your feelings of stress by attacking you. He doesn't want to feel you are stressed, he just wants it to go away. He is not old enough to see that he is making you stressed, he just reacts TO the stress. Could you try pretending that you are not phased by his behaviour, by setting very calm boundaries (not punitive ones, not threats, not personal attacks, not warnings of dire consequences) just simple statements of what you are doing next, and what is going to happen over the day aka routines you all as family are following, what telly is going to be watched, what toys are being played with, when you are doing this and that and what he is doing to help (small things, tiny things - which you are not getting hung up on if he doesn't do, but he might do them..ie: put the washing machine on for you, put the water on the table sort of chores - small expectations to make him feel proud)

ouryve Wed 30-Oct-13 12:49:14

Agreeing about picking up on stress. Both my boys instinctively seem to know when I'm tired, or in pain or just plain frazzled. It's probably not so instinctive on their part, as I know I don't react so well to them when all I want to do is sit on the sofa and let some painkillers take effect. I'm certainly not as proactive with them as I can be.

Anyhow - I was interrupted earlier by DS2, whose world temporarily caved in due to a lego wheel stuck under a sofa. I figured it was about time everyone was fed, too!

So back to what I was saying about PDA. We had a classic example of this, this morning. DS1 had lego and coins all over the table and floor and wanted to use the computer, on schedule, at 11am. I gave him plenty of warning (before we set off for a walk) and phrased it as "when your lego and coins are all tidied away, you can use the computer." We had the predictable moans about it being really boring. I sympathised and said that I know it is, but he made the mess and that if I had to tidy it up, I'd probably find it boring, too - and if I got bored, I'd tidy it all into the garage so I won't have to clear it up again.

PolterGoose Wed 30-Oct-13 13:01:44

Everything Swan and ouryve said.

My ds is 10 and has Aspergers too, as well as huge sensory issues that exaggerate everything. Some random thoughts:

These types of behaviours are borne from anxiety, however well he's superficially coping at school, he clearly isn't really coping. Or not in a way that doesn't have a huge delayed impact anyway. Why isn't he getting support at school? He should be on School Action Plus at least, you should be having termly IEP reviews and he should be involved in this. What sort of school is he at and have you ever applied for statutory assessment?

You are getting the worst of this because you are his constant, you're always there, he feels at his safest with you, however it may feel or look. I get the same violence and vile insults from my ds but I've changed how I perceive it, it's not an attack on me, ds has very poor emotional recognition and only sees and exhibits extremes, I make myself become oblivious to it, it is not because he hates me, it's because he has no other way of showing his anxiety, his fear and his bewilderment with the world. His life is really bloody hard, so we are slowly finding ways to soften the worst of it and it is getting better.

For us it has been important to work hard on reducing anxiety, on making home life as demand free as possible, on working to reduce the sensory assaults he experiences continually. Our home life is routine driven and calm. When he is less anxious we can push things forward and challenge him more. It's not that we don't challenge and make demands, we just have to pick moments very carefully.

I found the book 'The Explosive Child' a bit of a life changer, there's a summary of the author's approach here in PDF form. I've also used the Dawn Huebner 'What to do when...' books very successfully. Does your ds know and understand his dx? Mine has always known and this makes it easier for us in many ways.

On a practical note, ds's anger is always worst when his physical needs aren't met, keeping him fed and watered and making him go to the toilet (ds doesn't feel the need to go but we know because his behaviour deteriorates) all help. Deep pressure OT stuff helps hugely. As does screen time, I don't limit screen time at all as it is the only time ds 'switches off', putting him in front of a film with a plate of snacks is very effective!

Has ds has any OT sensory assessments?

Have you had counselling for yourself? Have you considered ADs, my dp was struggling and med's have made a huge difference to him and to his relationship with ds.

Oblomov Wed 30-Oct-13 13:15:54

Thank you.
You both speak sense. And I know this.
I will chase my GP for a family therapy referral.
The counsellor said I need to work on how I phrase things. You mentioned PDA. Do you gave a link?
I am the type of person who needs a spreadsheet, a printout. Idiots guide to how to re-phrase things. 'How to talk' , to autistic children, from parents , who themselves can be abbrassive'.
That I can keep in my desk at work, in my bedside cabinet to refer to often:
" Don't say : you are driving me towards a mental breakdown. Say : xxxx"
"Don't say xxxx: say xxxx"
Do you know of such a spreadsheet/ website?

Oblomov Wed 30-Oct-13 13:30:29

I'd like to talk about HIM.
My previous posts shows I am very prepared to work on myself.
Now let's talk about HIM.
It's not right that he is so nasty to me. Speaks to me so badly. It's not RIGHT. He admits it.
So how does he change. What is driving it. And how do we correct. He needs help , support and guidance.
Thus has to stop.
I will either have a mental breakdown, or I'll push him down the stairs, or I'll stab him and stab him and stab him, if this doesn't get sorted soon.
Hope I'm making myself clear !!!!

ouryve Wed 30-Oct-13 13:36:37

Lots of good info, here, Oblomov
http://www.pdacontact.org.uk/index.html
And I can be pretty brusque, myself, which does nothing to ease conflict!

I do let DS1 know when I'm truly on the verge of losing it with him - usually "do you really want me to shout at you?" He hates shouting and I hate getting to that point. If he's doing something silly and dangerous, with the insistence that "I can do what I want" or "it's not me, it's DS2 that's doing it" while I'm wrestling with DS2 who would rather crawl around the floor or kick me than have a shitty bum cleaned, then my stress levels go through the roof.

ouryve Wed 30-Oct-13 13:41:36

It's helpful to focus on this being his BEHAVIOURS rather than simply, HIM, Oblomov. I assume that part of what led to his AS diagnosis is rigidity. Well, he is rigid about his beliefs about you and your role in his life. Some people on the spectrum always have to walk a particular way or eat foods in a particular order, or have a ritual that they need to perform after someone has been in their room. Well his ritual is treating you like something he's scraped off his shoe.

Oblomov Wed 30-Oct-13 13:44:11

Poltergeist he has no IEP because school says he had no needs. He behaves very well at school.
When I mentioned how nasty he is to me at home , munchausens was mumbled !!
They think he is an angel.
He had an IEP for 2 years. " he could talk to mrs b*rn*s , if he had any worries". He never once chose to utilise this !!!!
So no IEP since. Been seen EP. She said fine. Applied SA. Me against the world. Refused. Hardly surprising. OT referral. Refused to come visit. Not enough substance.

PolterGoose Wed 30-Oct-13 13:48:07

The Explosive Child has various phrases you can use to explore what's going on.

The thing is he can't just change, you have to guide him and show him. Teach him how to negotiate and compromise. Help him learn about his emotions and how to recognise them and how to respond to them. You have to be the teacher, role model, therapist, someone to practise on, everything. It takes time and effort and a relentless pro-active approach. But it is worth it. I can see the change in ds since I changed approach. But at the end of the day, he's only a child and I'm (you're) the adult and parent. A 9yo is not responsible for their behaviours in the same way as an adult and cannot be expected to 'just behave' if they have never learned how to do so.

Oblomov Wed 30-Oct-13 13:49:34

Ouryve it's his ritual, to treat me like dirt.
But I'm really sorry, I just can't have that. I have rights aswell.
I can't accept this. I won't. I can't have this. It's not ok.
It has to change. Or he has to leave. One or the other.

Ds2 is up playing wii on main computer. I am on my phone.
I will look at all your links ASAP.
Many thanks.

PolterGoose Wed 30-Oct-13 13:54:18

I think you need to ring the NAS Education Rights Service on 0808 800 4102.

Can you secretly record him to show professionals?

Have you read about sensory processing/integration?

Does he know his dx? If so how does he feel about it? Would he use something like The Asperger Children's Toolkit?

I really strongly believe that somehow his needs are not being met at school and that is key to this.

PolterGoose Wed 30-Oct-13 13:56:22

Where are you oblomov? Wondering if any of us are nearby... sounds like a chat over coffee might help

For now here's some virtual (((hugs))) and brew and cake and flowers

bassingtonffrench Wed 30-Oct-13 14:12:16

hi, my sympathies. if your DS is better for your DH than you could it be anything to do with the fact you are female?

I've heard the argument that kids play up for their mothers becuase they feel 'safe' but i've never been utterly convinced by that.

my DS far prefers his father, even when ill, and I now feel it is something to do with his rigidity of thought, identification with being male. the pattern it transfers to all male/female relatives too.

just a thought.

hope you are feeling better soon.

Oblomov Wed 30-Oct-13 14:25:30

Thank you French.
It's me that pushes the school. Me that buys the James Bond aftershave samples, for his party bags
But this seems not to count for anything.
I am naturally physical and emotionally demonstrative. I am big on cuddles. So is dh. Cuddles the boys a lot. They jump into his arms.
Ds1 is jealous of ds2. Ds2 is a cuddly as I am .
I think slit of the problems lie with school. Like Polter said. But my attempts to change are fruitless.
And very good school. Good asd. Just not me.
I am waiting lists for other school. I was 15th. I think I am now 10th.
Won't happen. He's only got yr 6, next year left.
Surrey. NAS woman was lovely but useless. Only suggestion was asd youth group. Miles from me. (On the same night as cubs, where he was a seconded and has just been made a sizer, so loves it. ) Ds refused to go.
And Polter. Yes he knows about his diagnosis. And liked a few of the books I gave him... EarlyBird course recommendations. He said" he knew he was a weirdo but that was ok."
I will look at the link

OneInEight Wed 30-Oct-13 14:29:18

I really feel for you. I had this too when I was undergoing chemo last year and a lot was down to my ds's anxiety about the illness and all the disruption to routine. Does your son fully understand about your diabetes and how it affects you? I ask because we had done such a good job reassuring ds1 that my cancer was gone that he genuinely thought that the chemo was pointless and I was just doing it to irritate him! In hindsight I also should have told them more often how I was feeling (b*** sick for months) rather than putting on a brave face as they did not have the empathy to work it out for themselves.

I would also try and ask for support - again something I'm not very good at.

If current school is no good then is there another that might be better? A change of school has worked wonders for ds1 (to a BESD school but I realise this is not an option if your ds is having no problems at school).

Do the diabetes charities offer any practical help? Anything, to lessen your workload would be good.

Another source to consider is social services. We got a bit of help in terms of behaviour management (from Spurgeons) and also should have had a referral from Action for Children which might give you a break.

Are there any support groups you can go to - it does help having a moan with people who experience the same problems.

Things have improved for us I think genuinely but also know that it is a heck of a lot easier to deal with the behaviour when you're well.

KennyBanya Wed 30-Oct-13 14:47:43

Oblomov, our experiences are strikingly similar.

DS1 is 10 and has AS. He is rude, violent, sarcastic and patronising to me constantly. He masks quite well at school but angelically so when with my friends or relatives.

The level of bullying behaviour shown towards me is horrendous. I get my inside leg pinched if I open the door 'the wrong way'. If I go to tuck him into bed and he hasn't finished reading his page, I have to wait outside the room, sitting with my back to the door, until he literally clicks his fingers. If I shrug this off and tell him I will come back shortly, or he has to stop reading now, he screams and yells, throwing himself on the floor.

Every sentence is finished with 'dumbass', 'stupid dumb mum', 'fatty', 'shut the hell up' when speaking to me. He breaks wind on me. He burps in my face and howls with laughter. When asked not do this, he tells me to shut up.

Yet, he is unfailingly polite to strangers and friends.

Like a previous poster has said, I have recently tried to change my reaction to this, but I am cross. He can obviously mask his frustration and anxiety when in other social situations, so why should I allow him to treatment like dirt just because I am his constant? I regularly weep out of frustration. He just laughs at me. He then goes to his drama group and behaves with beautiful manners.

I have recently told him that if this carries on, he will not be able to live with me any more. I know exactly where you're coming from.

KennyBanya Wed 30-Oct-13 14:52:07

I actually feel like I am secretly suffering DV. It's an unspoken form, isn't it? And there's no support. I am a CP social worker, time served in the disability team also. I know DS1 wouldn't meet any threshold as I am able to care effectively for him, despite the fact that I am hollow, miserable and feel wretched.

I once made school take photos of my brushing to my breasts and upper arms, just incase.

KennyBanya Wed 30-Oct-13 15:01:00

Oh, and the guilt! Reflecting on the shite day and gaining some perspective, which leads to a positive start the next day. And lasts for five mins until he yells an insult. It is a crap existence.

PolterGoose Wed 30-Oct-13 15:05:20

Kenny whilst it is so very hard, the difficulty with masking is that it isn't sustainable for any length of time, the anxieties have to be expressed at some point. We as parents and carers have to work out what is causing the behaviours, especially if our children cannot verbalise those difficulties. My ds is ridiculously articulate but is completely unable to verbalise his own emotional needs, pain and so on. He needs me to see it somehow and translate it.

On a practical note can you change the bedtime routine? I go in to ds after dp has read story and before ds writes his diary and reads to himself, we don't have a lights out time, he self-regulates very well, after a few weeks of up until gone midnight he's mostly asleep by 9.30. This got rid of the needing to finish a chapter problem (which I have myself so do understand). I find that once a pattern of undesirable stuff has been set the only way to stop it is to remove the opportunity.

PolterGoose Wed 30-Oct-13 15:08:11

See, I ignore the insults, words only have power if you let them. Sometimes I'll deflect with humour, pretending to mis-hear can work with my ds. A lot of the time I accept it for what it is, the only way he knows to show how he's feeling.

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