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What happens now? 21 yr old with intellectual disability now VERY violent

(18 Posts)
ilovedplaydays Mon 01-Aug-11 21:04:25

Our DS who is diagnosed with both aspergers and intellectual disability is 21. Over the past 6 months he has attacked us twice, each as a result of having some behaviour of his, to do with girls, thwarted. This time, he crept up on us with our largest kitchen knife. My DH and two of our teen age sons could barely overpower him. He then spent 3 hours swearing and screaming at us, kicking out and head butting whenever he could get freedom to move. What happens now? I am terrified. This is a brand new development. He was angry the first time in January, but this time although he was unhappy with a consequence of his behaviour (obsessive unsolicited phoning of a girl at her workplace; we talked calmly about how he could not ring her anymore but it was ok to facebook her occasionally and visit her at her shop to buy bread each day), he arrived calmly into the room, listened to us silently then pulled the knife from behind him and threw himself on my husband. What do we do? Who can help us? We are pussyfooting around him, afraid to upset him. The consequence being he is getting everything he wants. Crazy

coff33pot Mon 01-Aug-11 21:42:46

How terrifying for you all! shock

Well for a start I would remove all knifes from the kitchen and put them in a box with a combination lock that only you and DH knows. (This I have dont as my DS only 6 mind has a habbit of grabbing them since seeing a plastic knife in toyshop) At least danger is out of the way and lock any tools ie hammers, saws away too.

I would also put an indoor alarm on his bedroom door at night so if he moves around and you have had to give him a consequence he isnt happy about then at least you are awake to protect yourself if needs be.

Secondly is your DS on any meds? as maybe he is needing something to help calm him a little at the moment.

He is a young man now and will have all the usual urges young men have so I expect that is his real inside battle bless him and may be why he is so angry because you are putting a stop to it.

I really dont know what else to suggest to you but send you hugs to you and yours.

unpa1dcar3r Mon 01-Aug-11 21:52:38

Oh Love, you poor thing, what a worry for you. I don't have any really good ideas I'm afraid but it might be worth you contacting the challenging behaviour foundation. (cbf.org I think it is), give them a ring maybe as the lady who set it up has her own adult son with LD/autism etc and I've had some very useful literature off them, inc a leaflet on sexual behaviour in men with LD (I've not read that one yet as my boys are only 12 n 14) but they do DVDs too which are all free.
I know it probably sounds daft but maybe he's going through puberty- I think with LD it's often delayed.
Have you had your carers assessments and has he had his assessment of need too via your social worker? If not get one done immediately, and even if he has had one he needs it reviewing for sure I would say as this is a new development and he might need some boundaries guidance etc plus you need ways to deal with it too.
I hope this is a little bit helpful and sending you hugs

mariamagdalena Mon 01-Aug-11 22:17:15

Oh my God, that is really awful. You need help, lots of it, straight away. And youre entitled to it. If you don't take effective action, social services might well need to step in to remove your other children from danger. In the short term I presume you've locked up the knives and the other kids lock their door on the inside at night?

The police should have a specialist 'mentally disordered offenders' liaison officer, usually a sergeant or above, and in my experience they're pretty good. Even if you don't press charges they're likely to liase with the domestic violence team to get you a panic button etc. Adult mental health services and adult learning disability services might be great, or shuttle you back and forth unless he's already under one or the other (round here it boils down to having an IQ of 69 or one of 71... like it makes any real difference!)

The danger for all of you, and for his long term future, is that he is learning that knife attacks get rewards. And while I know you have kept everyone safe so far (no mean feat) and have few options, if he doesn't unlearn that now, he will be impossible to 'place' outside a secure environment when the day comes that he moves out of home.

I think what I'm trying to say is that you might need to look at all your options including leaving home for a placement, admission under the mental health act. Best of all would be trying for social services to fund a specialist residential college placement for young asd adults before he gets too old to be eligible, and winds up on a forensic placement merry go round.

I'm sorry if that's blunt, and I realise that most professionals and authority people will try to pass the buck, fob you off, minimise the danger.... Because it isn't really any one person or organisation's job, and they will have a lot of grief and aggravation with time consuming multiagency liason that will result in a very large bill. That's why the police can be the most use: they don't pay that bill and so have no reason to pretend you don't have a problem.

Pm me if you need to.
Hope things get a lot better for you all.

ilovedplaydays Tue 02-Aug-11 21:10:46

Thank you so much for all your care and sound advice. I feel bereft if that make sense. We now have an emergency meeting with psychologist who saw us after last - and first - episode, on Thursday. Nothing happened then, hopefully we will be taken more seriously this time. We have discovered on his laptop that he has been emailing a satan website over the last two days asking them to send ME to helll, and giving them my name and our address. So at least we know he has issues with me. I am his step mum by the way. His first mum died from cancer 8 years ago, and we have all been together for 8 years. So really extra complicated because I do not feel the same about him as DH who is incredibly (naturally) protective of him and is a kind of 'deny it and it will go away kind of guy'. I feel scared and gutted by his desire to send me to hell, rather than asking God to take me to heaven. It shows I think how angry he is with me, unknown to us

ilovedplaydays Tue 02-Aug-11 21:11:46

Sorry, first mum died from cancer 10 years ago. not 8

Maryz Tue 02-Aug-11 21:57:23

I really sympathise with you, but I think you need to call the police next time. ds has periods of being very violent, but hasn't since I threatened to call 999 (and ds2 did actually call 999 after ds1 frightened the shite out of him one night, and threatened me).

The thing is, because you have your dh and two teenage boys who are probably pretty strong, you can try to physically stop him. I had two younger children, and a couple of times ds came very close to hurting ds2. So I had to have a no-violence rule. The last time he was arrested he attacked the policeman, and then attacked dh when he tried to let him out, so he had to stay overnight. He has been much more subdued since.

I also sympathise with the hatred bit - ds's hatred of life is often focussed on me, and it seems that many youngsters with ASD seem to focus on the mother figure as the person to hate sad. But you have to dismiss his dealings with a Satan site, or his wanting you to go to hell - in the greater scheme of things that is really irrelevant, it is his actions that count.

You need to sit down with your dh first, then with your other children and then with him, and you need to tell him that the next time he even threatens violence you will call the police and they will arrest him. And you have to follow through. I do realise how difficult it will be, and how wrong it seems to have a youngster with ld banged up in a police station, but the alternative is even scarier.

If your dh doesn't want to involve the police, ask him what he thinks would have happened if you were alone in the house with him when he picked up the knife, and whether he wants his son in prison, because that is where you are going if you don't do something now.

ilovedplaydays Tue 02-Aug-11 22:20:22

thanks for that. He actually screamed at us on each occasion to call the police. We have no idea why. He uses foul language and says phone the f---- guards (we live in Ireland). Last time we called out the doctor and he ended up insisting (DH not dr) that he stay overnight in hospital to get away from us. Is that why he wants to be arrested? So this time we refused to call dr so as not to 'reward' his behaviour. Does that make sense? I cannot imagine what it is like for you. I have 3 other teenage boys, and a girl so have their support. What disability has your son?

ilovedplaydays Tue 02-Aug-11 22:22:28

again, typo error. DS himself insisted that he stay overnight at hospital

Maryz Tue 02-Aug-11 23:09:36

I'm in Ireland too smile and I have found the guards very helpful. They will avoid prosecuting if they can, and will be very understanding to you. Cam I ask why you didn't call them? Because surely if one of your NT teenagers came at you with a knife you would?

It is quite possible he wants to be removed from you, in order to get a bit of space. I know sometimes ds gets so angry, he just wants someone to hit out at. And he really, really needs to get away from us. We have got a punchbag and gloves recently, which has got a bit of a battering, but we have only had one episode of violence in the last year [touch wood].

Have you looked at getting him any sort of sheltered housing? Because I really can't see ds still living at home when he is 21 - he will have killed one of us or himself by then sad? And by the way, if you find any let me know - it seems to me that although help her for children with ASD is lacking, help for adults is non-existant. Have you tried Aspire (the Asperger's Association) - they do a lot of work to help with independent living for adults with AS.

My worry in your case is that he might one day take it out on one of the girls instead of you.

coff33pot Tue 02-Aug-11 23:22:36

My DS (awaiting AS diagnosis) is only 6 but gets extremely angry with me and I am usually the target of the missiles that get thrown. I think its because I dont back down and remain steadfast in my consequences for bad behaviour. But at the same time its me to dishes out the cuddles too which confuses him. Its a case of how can you be nice but say NO. As he has got older he is more verbally angry but now takes himself off to his room and throws things up there rather than at me its as if it has to come out of his system before he winds down again.

Perhaps inside your DS thoughts he knows his actions are wrong but that he cant control it. That maybe why he is yelling for you to phone the police to take him away at that moment from a situation he cant control and is afraid of the outcome if he stays. He may actually be telling you in his own way that he needs help.

That said both yourself and DH have to be on the same side and have the same thoughts. I wouldnt hesitate to ring the police if necessary to protect yourselves and children and to protect him from himself iyswim smile

mariamagdalena Wed 03-Aug-11 14:20:20

Hiya again. Looking at what maryz has said, about help for asd adults being limited, hopefully your ds can escape that by using his intellectual disability diagnosis.

Going from UK experience, it sometimes helps to maximise the learning disability as a primary label, with the Aspergers as an additional serious aggravating factor, when trying to get services.It might help to use the term autistic spectrum disorder so staff press their mental button for 'autism'.

Professionals generally accept that someone with a learning disability can need extra help out of proportion to their IQ because it's aggravated by (say) schizophrenia, or alcohol, or whatever, plus they are often relatively experienced in dealing with people who have autism with intellectual disability.

mariamagdalena Wed 03-Aug-11 14:24:47

Maybe it's worth ringing St John of God HQ in Stillorgan? They have a lot of contacts in social services and mental health and I'm guessing might even have some ideas to help with the Satanism dabbling?

ilovedplaydays Thu 04-Aug-11 19:48:19

Thanks so much for all your messages - they really mean a lot. We met with the psychologist today. He took it very seriously thank goodness. We are seeing him again with DS tomorrow. DS seems calmer today and more jolly; however how appearances can be frighteningly deceiving: on his laptop history he has been looking up handgun websites. Does this mean that he is still intent on killing us, even whilst we are being nice and normal and he has not had any consequences eg grounded, etc. that could make him angry? What is that about? His father adores him and could not be more pleasant to him. I - as the (slightly stricter) step mum am far less adoring but enjoy and respect him nonethless

Maryz Thu 04-Aug-11 19:55:28

Looking up websites about guns doesn't mean anything. I remember going to a seminar about older kids with AS, and guns/knives/violence seemed to be a bit of a craze for some of them. But it seemed to be more a control and power issue, rather than the actual guns themselves.

Obviously if you find he is actually trying to get his hands on a gun it is a different story. But I find ds uses the internet to get things out of his system; he doesn't actually follow up on the things he researches. He just want to find out all about things that occur to him, if that makes sense?

I still think you should tell him in words (i.e. sit him down and make it clear) that you will call the police if he threatens you with violence. And follow through. Otherwise you will be scared to be alone with him.

ilovedplaydays Fri 05-Aug-11 20:16:57

We all spoke to psychologist today. He felt the same about websites, insofar as he didn't believe DS intelligence would allow him to plot a plan successfully, so whatever he looked at didn't matter. DH has to sit down with him each night and plan next days activities. He is also allowed to send/contact people as much as he wants, and then (hopefully) he will experience negative feedback around being in peoples 'space'. So rather than us trying to stop him from facebooking/texting girls to protect him and them, we have to let him feel 'the wrath' of the girls.... Also have to dramatically cut down his internet use to one or two hours a day, and it has to be done in the communal areas of the house, and we can use his laptop. (I assume to break the obsession). He is also banned from going to the shop. I questioned this as it seemed like a 'punishment', but psychologist thought it was for the best...? So now we have to head into a ten day holiday with no locks on bedroom doors. I am scared. DH is totally convinced DS will never do it again. Oh the love of a parent...!

mariamagdalena Sun 07-Aug-11 00:55:42

Silly question I know, but how few knives could you do with? If you buy sliced bread, frozen chips, carrot batons, cubed chicken etc could you cope knife-less for the next 10 days?

RCToday Sun 07-Aug-11 01:21:20

Have you spoke to Focus Ireland?

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