DD 13yrs old stealing from us(15 Posts)
dd is 13 and has v challenging behaviour. She is having an assessment with CAMHS in September for aspergers. She has started stealing money from us but denies this is the case but yesterday she said she only had 50p but found she has £12 in her purse. Over the last week my husband had set aside £50 but this went missing and since then I have had £8 in pound coins and ds has also had £12 go missing. Dd gets v defensive if questioned. We are now hiding all money but I would be interested to hear from others with similar experience. She will not consider earning extra money through chores as she feels it is too little. She is also v jealous that 15 yr old ds works part time and has more disposable income. Stuff she spends money on is loads of magazines false eyelashes and cover up makeup as this is part of her self esteem problems that she creates a mask of makeup and will not be seen without it
My daughter was diagnosed with Asperger's at 15. We had a terrible time with the stealing. Her consultant said the problem is that although she knows it's wrong, she doesn't feel it at the time. She's had CBT which has helped, but even now I wouldn't leave my handbag lying around.
Thanks for your reply and it has helped particularly as your daughter has aspergers. Life is very complicated supporting her and really am shocked that she is doing this but think she probably wants a spray tan and in a confused way knows that we will not pay for her to have one but she wants one in the week between when we come back from Spain and the week she goes back to school because she thinks all her tan will go and she is so so so focussed on going back to school tanned (she has major self esteem problems)... This will take precedence over all else in her life at the moment. Has CBT helped your daughter with her aspergers as I am not sure our next step after a cahms assessment. Have you any advice or books that you would recommend?
The best advice I can give is to join http://www.wrongplanet.net/ it is a support forum for people with AS and their friends and family. The wealth of first hand knowledge on there is amazing. The books I found the most useful were:
- Parenting Your Asperger's Child by Alan Sohn and Cathy Grayson. Primarily it's younger kids, as most books are. But I still found it really useful because it explained so well where she was coming from in a way you could apply it to the future. I cried when I read it with relief. The book was written about my daughter. Finally I had a name for what was going on. Then I went and got her diagnosed.
- The Complete Guide To Asperger's Syndrome by Tony Attwood. This is considered the bible of understanding Asperger's. It is a mammoth book but it really is the complete guide.
CBT has helped my daughter a bit, but it had to be very structured. She had a change of therapist that was a bit wishy, washy and so she completely disengaged from it and wouldn't go. I'll be honest with you, we've been to hell and back with my daughter and her stealing. She's just turned 18 so will be starting with adult services next week. I'm hoping they'll start it up again because she hasn't done enough yet. She's starting to look for work and I dread the consequences of her being in a position of trust. She's a lovely, gentle, considerate young lady, but when it's in front of her, she just can't help herself.
I forgot to say, when challenged over stealing my daughter would try to deny it, but she can't lie, you can see straight through it. Then she gets really angry, which is because feeling and emotions she doesn't understand are taking over. Then the shutters come down. It like the emotion drains out of her face and she becomes blank and she might be facing me, but she'll be looking off to the side or up in the air. I used to think she was being rude and rolling her eyes and being sullen. Now I know it's an autistic trait that some have all the time and others, like her, have it only at times of immense stress.
Thanks for your reply which was really useful. We have had a real battle to even get where we are today....awaiting a CAMHS appointment. Dd will not at present even discuss appointment going into a melt down throwing things around her bedroom just shouting to leave her alone again and again. There is no way you can communicate with her like this. We are fearful for teenager years ahead that you have been through ... Our dd is v beautiful (despite the fact she thinks she is ugly) and naive - she has an addictive personality eg if she wants something she will focus and focus on it - she gets sugar highs because of her desire for sugar (in my mad world we have to lock away cakes etc or she would eat whole weeks supply...I do leave out a days supply at a time) and are concerned that if this is what she is like with sugar what happens when alcohol or worse comes into the equation. How have you handled these teenage years have they been as tough as I feel they will be?!? My dd is lovely but is so self absorbed we often find it difficult to make our family unit work. (i did not realise that 'switching off' was an autistic trait ..)
Rather than talking to her, try writing to her her. Discuss things over email. That's what my daughter's occupational therapist recommended. Often aspies have real problems in certain areas of communiction, eg listening or speaking. It's like the connections inside the head are broken. I know this as an aspie myself. When I hear things, it all gets confused and stressed on the way to the processing part of my brain. Likewise I know what I'm thinking and want to say, but it all gets confused and stressed on the way to my mouth. But reading and writing doesn't have quite the same issues because you can take you time and reread or rewrite until it's correct.
My daughter has just gone a got a tatoo behind my back. I'm really upset over it. I can't quite express what's going on with that. I tried on another forum here but I'm getting ripped apart by other posters. Because I'm upset and stressed, I can't form my thoughts properly and it's heartbreaking that people just don't get what I'm trying to say. I end up responding with sheer anger. Maybe this is the same for your daughter?
I can understand why you would find the tatto upsetting if your dd is anything like mine a lot of it is about control and I guess this is why she did it and just because this is what her focus was on.
From a practical pov keep as little money in the house as possible. As most things can be paid for by card I personally often have less than £10 in my purse. I know it's nowhere near " the answer" but it minimises harm (both your loss and the amount she can spend on stuff that could harm her eg alcohol) until you can work to that " answer".
And don't leave money or handbags lying around. It's not fair to her in a way because she has a problem that she can't control.
With mine and the tattoo, it's a memorial one to her cat who died a few months ago. So I sort of understand her fixatation on having something visible of him that she can always see. It's the lack of thought about outside of her bubble that upset me. All of her plans for the future revolve around going into teaching, working for a few years here and then going to work in schools in Africa. It never entered her head that people with visible tattoos do not get employed as teachers or that in Africa they are associated with witchcraft and people with them are shunned because they are seen as cursed. When that reality sinks in, she will be devasted and she'll want me to 'fix it'. Except this time I can't.
Sorry, didn't mean to thread hijack, or scare you about things to come
I am relatively new to mumsnet and had not even heard the term thread hijack Kladdkaka and find reading your experiences really enlightening - as we both know there is no easy answer otherwise we would have got there. In terms of the tattoo how easily I can see that my Dd could have done a similar thing. In terms of teaching in the uk I really do not think this will be a problem i know lots of teachers with tattoos - primary school. I do not really know about Africa. Is fixation a common thing for aspergers as whisk dd does get fixated I thought this was another OCD type of problem?
Fixation on certain things and/or 'special' interests are one of the diagnostic criteria of asperger's. It's part of the black and white, rigid thinking. Aspies have trouble with shades of grey. So it's normal for them to have either no interest in something or to be obsessed by it, rarely anything in between. Thsi can often be the root cause of some behaviour problems for parents. Mum says come and empty the dishwasher, apie brain can't process switching from playing World of Warcraft, or arranging Barbies, or reading a certain book (example special interests) to something so boring. They also can't grasp that others don't see the importance of what they are doing. Result, screaming tantrums and anger.
It's not all bad though, if you can channel the interests and support them, within certain boundaries, you end up with an aspie at their best. Absolutely brilliant in a way others can't even dream of. My husband also has AS, his special interest was chemicals. The stories he tells of what he just to get up to in his mothers garden shed would make your toes curl. How she managed to stop herself killing him, I'll never know. He's now a professor of nuclear chemistry. My daughter has been obsessed with the holocaust and genocide for years, that's why she is so driven to teaching and working in Africa.
When I went through the AS assessment myself I scored incredibly high on the OCD tests. The doctor said that this would be a serious concern under normal circumstances, but for an aspie, it's to be expected. Aspies cannot make sense of the world around them so they create order that makes sense to them. Doing things in a certain order, routines, lists, lists of lists. It is very OCD like, but it isn't OCD.
Kladdakaka once again thanks for your input and I so want to channel dd energies in a positive direction but it is so tricky. School holidays are as expected sitting in an armchair directly in front of tv watching back to back family guy or some US fly on the wall documentaries or she is spending hours getting ready to have occasional meetings to hang out with friends. This week she will not leave the house because she has rubbed an area of her nose red raw because of a perceived mark/scar where she got hit by a snowball last winter...luckily it is healing well but has a big scab so consequently she has quarantined herself to stay at home in case anyone sees her. It is good to hear how your husband has channelled his focus so effectively. I do encourage any positive focus area eg singing but as soon as I do this she moves on because it becomes too structured eg with singing lessons. It was interesting to read about your dd interest in the holocaust because my dd was really really focussed on this and Ann Frank's diaries when this was covered in year 6 history and I bought her lots of age appropriate books.
Ann Frank was the trigger for my daughter's interest. Grandma gave her a copy of the diary when she was 7. Other interests have come and gone, that one has stayed and got stronger and stronger. We were in England last year and she went to Imperial War Museum nearly every day. Waiting outside for it to open and then getting chucked out when they closed.
One thing I've learnt, you can't change their interest into something you think will be good for them. You can try to stretch them a bit by giving them a chance to try things linked to their interest, but you can't force it. For example, if your daughter spends hours on getting ready to go out, could you sign her up for a short course on say decorative nail painting, and if she takes to it, encourage her to make demo videos and put them on youtube.
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