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my sons behaviour..i REALLY need help

(78 Posts)
thriftychic Sun 11-Nov-12 22:45:01

my son is 13 , he is a big , strong , tall spotty teenager . i love him so much but his behaviour is hideous.
he was diagnosed AS last week.
if he doesnt want to do something he kicks off or if he cant have / do what he wants he kicks off. BIG TIME.

he refused school on friday because hed lost his bike lock and couldnt ride to school. didnt want to walk there.

yesterday , dh bought him ice cream from the shop and then realised he should have also bought some butter. as he had started cooking lunch he asked ds2 to run round and get some (its 5 minutes ) ds2 didnt want to go because he was watching tv . dh is sick of his laziness and unhelpfulness and got annoyed and said that if he didnt go he wasnt getting the ice cream later. he still wouldnt go . dh shouted , ds2 kicked off .

he smashes things up , he shouts in your face , he gets aggressive . he spits .he wrecks his brothers stuff etc in fact i have hardly any posessions left !
He was saying that if he didnt give him his ice cream he would break x y z , which he then did break.
dh told him if he broke anything else he wouldnt have use of the xbox , ds2 says take my xbox away and i wont go to school
and thats how it goes , ds2 outsmarts us all the time. no matter what we do he wants what he wants . we had to keep guard the bloody freezer until 10pm because he kept trying to get his icecream.
now i know dh handled this badly , but we just dont know what to do . i now have a lock on my wardrobe as ds2 threatened to trash all my clothes .

nothing seems to work and i actually feel a bit scared of ds2 and he seemsto stop at nothing.

please help me if you can x

TheCreepingLurgy Sun 11-Nov-12 22:59:56

I feel for you. My DS2 (10) is on the waiting list for an AS assessment and he has similar behaviours. Fortunately he is not as pro-active as yours (yet) by making threats. I have already learnt though, never to call his bluff, because I know he is prepared to go a lot further than I think. Getting cross with him and shouting will only make his tantrums worse, but of course you can't always help yourself. We're only human. I diffuse a lot of situations by explaining to him that he can't have something now, especially not after he's behaved badly, but he can have it tomorrow. It takes a long time before he accepts it, but restating it in a calm voice usually sinks in eventually. I also try not to threaten him with consequences, because I think in his mind he will receive the punishment as soon as I've mentioned it, which makes his temper worse. It is as if he doesn't hear IF, as in IF you behave like this you will not have...

thriftychic Sun 11-Nov-12 23:39:31

i had to really push for an assessment , still took 2 years to get to the bottom of it. i just hope they have given him the right diagnosis.
his reactions are extreme and he always has to be the winner it seems . he constantly blackmailed us yesterday , holding things up , and saying give me the ice cream or this smashes etc for all he did and said losing a pot of ice cream seems wimpy .

im not sure how much of it is AS either , i worry he may just be really horrible . what does everyone think ?

i told him he wasnt going out on his bike last week and he threw food all over the kitchen and went out anyway , pedalled off before i could catch him. the consequence to that was no bike at the weekend but hes tried to go on it as soon as my backs turned .

claw4 Sun 11-Nov-12 23:54:17

I have 2 'normal' boys now 19 and 16, but when 13 they did go through a very defiant stage, not as bad as what you describe, but they didnt have any other difficulties to contend with too.

They got very cheeky, always answering back, never wanting to do anything i asked, angry etc. They did grow out of it.

One thing i did learn, was to wait for them to calm down, before enforcing consequences for bad behaviour, as in the heat of the moment, it did make things worse and they were 'normal' 13 year olds.

How was your son when he came back, after throwing food all over the kitchen? had he calmed down? I would have been tempted to make him clear the mess up when he got the consequence, but i suppose that depends on whether you could cope with the mess and whether he would actually do it.

claw4 Sun 11-Nov-12 23:55:32

I have no idea why i typed 'consequence' instead of when he got back! grin

wasuup3000 Sun 11-Nov-12 23:58:51

What do you know yourselves about AS have you been on any courses about it?

Maybe your expectations of him are a little high? He was promised ice cream and then told unless he went to the shop he couldn't have it - this is a lot to expect your ds to manage to do.

You need to make the rules clear and visible you are the parents you are in charge - ignore his threats of not going to school if you take the xbox of him if he breaks anything else. Take the xbox of him if he breaks anything else but have this written up as a rule on how long you will take the xbox away for.

Apologise to him about the ice cream incident and move on.

thriftychic Mon 12-Nov-12 00:00:23

when he came back on the bike he seemed quite pleased with himself , i made him pick up all the food but he was calling me a pathetic cow whilst he was doing it because i told him he wasnt having the bike next weekend.

he had already been out earlier that day on the bike but hadnt answered his phone when i was ringing him to come home which was the deal so when i wouldnt let him go back out on it thats what made him start chucking food , he was also arguing with me about it but at the time i had the guinea pig , dying , in a towel on my knee sad and he shouted ' let her die im not arsed'

yes , i am living in a mad house .

claw4 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:04:17

I do agree with wassup, unexpected consequences, unexpected requests etc, dont go down too well.

I was just going to suggest a list of consequences or maybe he could earn his privelleges such as x-box, this way you not taking something away from him, but rewarding him for good behaviour?

thriftychic Mon 12-Nov-12 00:05:38

i really dont know enough about AS . we are booked on a half day workshop and i have read loads but somehow i cant translate the facts i read into our everyday situations

and theres a part of me that is scared that he isnt really AS because other than this type of behaviour and not having many friends , he doesnt really do alot of things i have read on here . He passed the ados and then when time went by and he was no better a new worker at camhs thought we needed a second opinion (she thought he sounded AS) a new psych saw him and diagnosed him very quickly .
dh is sure they are right though.

thriftychic Mon 12-Nov-12 00:10:09

ah yes i suppose the consequences are pretty random arent they , hadnt really thought.

i tried once before getting him to earn his priveleges but what happened was , it went well for a few days then something wasnt right , he went mad , calmed down eventually but then finds he cant go on the xbox and blows his top all over again.

it just seems like giving him a consequence makes the situation 100 times worse but i feel i cannot let him do what he does without a consequence. i have no idea what i will do tomorrow if he starts refusing school again !

wasuup3000 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:15:01

If he refuses school, he stays in his room all day with no computer games, no tv, so he gets as bored as possible. Don't fight about it - if he is upset about school is there anything school are doing to make it easier for him?

wasuup3000 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:16:30

Re the xbox just let him blow, what is the worst he can do? Just keep anything precious locked away.

claw4 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:23:10

Sorry sounds like you are having a real tough time at the moment.

I think as parents, we can sometimes get stuck in punishment mode. I can remember with my now older boys, at a similar age, it would just snowball, so punishment for doing one thing, then they would be cheeky about punishment, then punished for that and so on and on!

I felt like i was constantly telling them off and constantly nagging them.

I found telling what i wanted them to do, instead of what NOT to do, really helped. For example they would start kicking a football around in the house and i would tell them about 20 times to 'stop kicking the ball about' and would have to shout before they listened. I found when i told them what i wanted them to do, it worked much better 'put the ball in the garden now' Only a slight change but worked wonders!

At the about the same time, i started making them earn their privelleges such as money, TV time, x-box time etc. we had a chart

for example

Cleaning your room earned you 5 points
Not swearing earned you 10 points
Doing your homework earned you 10 points

5 points earned you £2
10 points earned you x amount of TV time
20 points earned you x amount of x box time

Points once earned couldnt be taken away, so they were never 'punished' for not doing something, they just didnt earned the points to gain certain privelleges if you see what i mean?

Bearing in mind my older boys didnt have AS, i dont know if that would be too complicated.

thriftychic Mon 12-Nov-12 00:25:47

thanks , yes that sounds my best option re school. school is going much better these days but he would just still rather not go , he says its boring .

i am pretty scared of him blowing , he is awful with it. he just trashes everything, squeezes everything out of tubes , spits at me , throws things at me , goes for kitchen knives and he shouts and shouts in my face. it goes on for hours .
i have lots of empty picture frames after this weekends stint , all pics ripped to shreds , sentimental ones all gone .

nicked a fiver out of my purse again last week , so dh has put a lock on my wardrobe so i can keep my bag and purse locked up at least

thriftychic Mon 12-Nov-12 00:27:36

i like the points idea , no clue if it would work for ds2 .

does this behaviour sound typical of AS though ?

wasuup3000 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:37:25

It does sound like you may need outside support - do you see anyone CAMHs maybe?

In the meantime - timetable a routine - supernanny style into the day, make it very structured. If he starts to blow ignore him don't react, don't argue back.

Everyday put 10 tickets in a tub of what he likes to do maybe 5 with 30 mins of xbox on and 2 with tv time on and 3 with bike time on? Much like claw suggested.
If he behaves well for say an hour he gets a token if not he doesnt?

Sit down with him and explain all the new rules and make copies and stick them up where he can see them.

Stick to it. Don't shout back at him. Walk away from him if he gets violent even if you have to lock yourself in the garage.

thriftychic Mon 12-Nov-12 00:41:05

hes been under camhs for 2 years and it was a psych at camhs who diagnosed aspergers last week.
other than an info booklet and a half day workshop they say there isnt any more they can do as aspergers cant be cured .

thanks for the suggestions i will defo be trying them out . mumsnet is invaluble smile

claw4 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:41:45

The good thing about points, is once earned they cannot be taken away, i think as parents we tend to take the all of nothing route. So any good behaviour has been ignored and we focus entirely on the bad. So even on a bad day, he can still have some small successes and some small rewards for the behaviour he got 'right'.

I think yes it does sound typical AS, not understanding consequences, is quite common. With my 8 year old, i try to make the consequences as natural as possible. If you hit your brother when playing with him, the game stops and you dont play anymore. If you break something belonging to you, its not replaced. If you break something that belongs to someone else, you contribute to replacing it (admittedly its only a small contribution, like no money to buy an ice cream that week or something) but its not the severity of the punishment that is important i dont think, its the lesson learned.

wasuup3000 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:42:32

Yes if he has not structured timetable no routine and is promised something and then doesn't get it. He is learning his behaviour from you - you are saying if he doesn't do this, then that will happen and you are ended up in an ever increasing circle of anger with him. You need to be calm, have a clear routine, have a timetable up, and have a plan to help him learn good behaviour gets good things. His behaviour is maybe caused by the anxiety of not knowing what to do next or how to behave. He clearly didn't understand the ice cream issue.

thriftychic Mon 12-Nov-12 00:43:59

when he does something like steals money he doesnt even think to fasten my purse back up or takes my laptop and then puts it back in a different place , doesnt cover his tracks very well and seems really angry that i trust his brother but i check up on him all the time confused

wasuup3000 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:44:50

CAMHS might be able to help if you tell them about his behaviour or put you in touch with some support groups - ring and ask?

thriftychic Mon 12-Nov-12 00:45:33

thankyou , mumsnetters you are so good at explaining these things smile

claw4 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:46:20

Wassup suggestions of the points hourly is a much better and simple idea, immediate rewards for good behaviour is much more suited to kids with SN, as i said my idea was for my 'normal' boys at the age.

wasuup3000 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:46:32

He won't understand your feelings well or anyone elses - only his own.

thriftychic Mon 12-Nov-12 00:48:37

the focus of all meetings at camhs for the last 18 months has been his behaviour really , its really been the main issue which has led to the diagnosis. i sort of expected them to say either we are just handling a teen badly or its ODD .
i am assuming we might learn something to do with the behaviour at the workshop ? we go back to see the psych in a month also.

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