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I over reacted didn't I?

59 replies

TheLadyEvenstar · 31/05/2011 22:22

DS1 has had 2 days filming at this school after being picked for a part in a channel 4 production.

So I gave him my trust and allowed him to go.

Last night the filming ended at 6.15pm he got home around 6.40.

Tonight he was meant to go from school straight to my mums which is about the same distance from school to home.

At 6.45 I called the school to see if filmong had finished to be told it was over running by an hr 45minutes. So I thought it would be safer for me to meet him, left home and got to the school at 7.30.

Waited a while and no sign of DS1, tried his phone and no answer. So called mum who said she had just spoken to him and had told him to come back to me. Waited a few minutes and still no sign of him so phoned him again and he told me that he couldn't be bothered to come back.

I told him he had no choice but to come back.
I walked up the road he told me he was at the other end of to me, and there was no sign so I called him again and he told me he was at the pther end now. I walked back down it and was halfway when I called him and said you have not passed me so where are you. He said again he was at the other end of the road to me and was outside his school.

I crossed over the road and as I did looked to my left and there running out of a VERY dodgy estate was DS1. I am ashamed to admit I did yell at him to move his backside.

This estate is very bad, drug deals take place there, it is muggers paradise it is awful. I am furious as he had no need to be there.

I then took him to my mums myself as I was so angry with him and all the way he was telling me I was an embarrassment, had no right to go near his school, Should not have gone to his school, needed to let him live his life etc. This went on until we got to my mums and he then started with the attitude to her.

I have told him and my mum that I don't care who asks him over the next few days while he is with her, that he is not under any circumstances allowed to go out with the other children in the family unless an adult is with them as he has again proven he cannot be trusted to be where he is meant to be.

I must add this is not the first time he has done a disappearing act. But he has recently been chatting to a girl on FB who I have to say I disapprove of, when she is sending him messages that 12yr old girls should NOT be sending and I have told him he is to have nothing to do with her.

So AIBU to stop him going out without an adult and to also take his expensive phone away from him and give him a more basic one. Until he can prove he is trustworthy.

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TheLadyEvenstar · 31/05/2011 23:03

Thingumy normally he goes to school and back and is mostly on time.
On a Friday he walks to my sisters and meets her at work to the be collected by my mum.

Today he decided at almost 8pm to play silly games.

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ohhappyday · 31/05/2011 23:13

Hi TLE I get what you are doing - building up the responsibility, letting him get to and from school etc. He is only 12 he is a kid. He does what he is told. No negotiation - he has to learn a lesson. You are so doing the right thing - teaching your child to stay safe and also that there are consequences to bad behaviour. Sneaking out the back of school, going into an Estate where he has been told not to go etc it is just not on.

TheLadyEvenstar · 31/05/2011 23:27

I know I come across as over protective I wish I could give you all a snippet of DS1's life.
He is always telling me how these so called friends bully him, do I trust them not to hurt him? No not as far as I could throw them.
These are the kids he has got in with since school started back in January.
I am protective of him as I know how easily led he is. I am not being this way just to be mean.

I give him small steps to reach in prepreration for bigger steps. Like when I first let him go to school alone, I did it in steps. The first 2 days I took him all the way, the next 2 I took him to the bus stop where he got off, then I got off half way, then took him just to the bus stop where he got on, evenntually letting him go to and from school alone. This is not done to belittle him but to actually help him.

When he first went and came home alone he ended up phoning me from the school he is now in (had to change his secondary after a month due to severe bullying) crying because he was in the wrong place and panicking.

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ohhappyday · 31/05/2011 23:36

Aw you don't come across as over protective at all. You sound like a brilliant mum who has prepared her son well. You are a lot more lenient than me - I would not have let my child travel on public transport alone at that age - no way - and my DS doesn't have SN. Ridiculous I know but I'm a lot better now. Stop beating yourself up and feeling like you have to justify your actions. Parenting is sooo difficult but you have done the right thing. My Mum would have clouted my ear SN or no SN. In fact it would have been a double the second one for talking back.

yukoncher · 31/05/2011 23:45

Eek, the boy may be pushed into feeling like he needs to escape even more so with overbearing controlling embarrasing parents.
Or you might 'save' him.

It's a gamble to know what to do.

Only advice I can give is to spend more time trying to get to know what's going through his head, why he wants to do this and that which may not be good for him, and explaining why you wanna protect him and having him trust you.
Alienating him and making him feel like he needs to keep things from you, will not end well!

yukoncher · 31/05/2011 23:49

Excuse me, I assumed he was the averag lil amost teenage rebel.

Didn't realise he had special needs like you describe.
Yes I would protect him, but still try to get closer to him rather than punishing.

TheLadyEvenstar · 31/05/2011 23:53

yuk, you tell me how to get close to him? believe me I have tried.

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startail · 01/06/2011 00:10

YANBU my daughter is 13 if I tell her she is coming home now she comes home now. She does not keep me hanging about and she does not walk home through somewhere I feel is unsafe. It will be exactly the same when she is 16.

I was very firmly brought up to the rule you will be home when you said you would be (no mobiles for excuses and I don't think they'd have been tolerated even if they had been). I never pushed it, no point, apart from my dad exploding, there would have been no money and no transport. Anyway, even if it annoyed me sometimes, it mostly made me feel loved and safe because my mates knew I meant it when I said no I'm not going to do X.

We live even further out in the sticks so my DDs will have get very fit if they want to go anywhere Mum doesn't approve of.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy · 01/06/2011 02:58

IMO, given all of the circumstances, you didn't overreact and your anger is entirely understandable because it arose from fear.

You are walking a very fine line between equipping your ds for independence while endeavouring to keep him safe, and it's only natural that you should err on the side of caution when it comes to his personal safety.

This obvously isn't the first time that your ds has broken your trust and, unfortunately, it's unlikely to be the last time that you find yourself in conflict with him.

When you have got over this shock and are feeling completely calm, sit down with your ds and explain (again) that trust must be earned, and that any breach will have consequences which may not be to his liking but, nevertheless, will happen.

After you've got some feedback from him (and have had lots of cuddles and a couple of foodie treats), draw up a contract that sets out your joint expectations of what is appropriate behaviour for young people embarking on the road to adulthood and covering such areas as helping with household chores, personal cleanliness, getting up and coming home on time (if any of these are an issue), pocket money (and the withdrawal thereof), etc.

Once you've both signed the contract, refer to it constantly and never lose any opportunity to praise (and reward where appropriate) your ds for adhering to it. Also ensure that everyone involved in your son's care reinforces the message and the boundaries.

I've no doubt that you've travelled a long and sometimes lonely road since your ds was diagnosed and you've got some rocky times ahead, but don't ever lose heart because you'll get there even if your only aid is a long stick with a carrot dangling from the end.

BTW regardless of whether your ds is gong to that notorious estate where the police and Council staff only venture if mobhanded, it isn't safe for any child to be taking expensive mobile phones to and from school or anywhere they are not accompanied by an adult, particularly if they live in an inner-city area.

iscream · 01/06/2011 05:52

I would not want my 12 year old child in a dangerous place like that either. I was strict about always knowing where they were. But your son is even more vulnerable. His safety must come first. I would give him a cheap phone, if he walks near that area on the way home from school, but not for punishment, just because it is better to loose a cheaper one if it is taken from him. I do not know anything much about autism, and I am not sure what sort of discipline would be best. You want him to realize how dangerous it is in that area, perhaps you can find some sort of a way to educate him on that?

Good luck, I hope you can get him to understand.

Goblinchild · 01/06/2011 07:17

'Excuse my ignorance but i thought people with Aspergers had trouble breaking rules and generally stick to them by the letter? Or does that just depend on the person?'

He did stick to his usual rule, worra, go to your gran's.
Then the situation changed and he wasn't prepared for it and that's when the teenaged boy combined with the AS to make him improvise, muck about with no real sense of the danger or appropriateness of the location.
You can't just throw a new rule at my Aspie an think he'll obey it, he needs to recognise it as a rule, understand it, talk about it and embed it before it's part of his world. Sometimes it takes a minute or two, sometimes it takes longer.
So, cheap phone, clear rules that everyone sticks to and more clarity in the structure.

'So called mum who said she had just spoken to him and had told him to come back to me. '
That's probably when the teenager kicked in...Smile

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil · 01/06/2011 07:19


You live in SE London, not a village on the edge of nowhere. I grew up in S London and we moved away so that DS wouldn't have to walk through places like that. I moved away so that I didn't see yellow "murder" signs on the end of my road.

Esp with his AS, it is definitely not safe for him to be wandering round there. I don't know what to suggest as we are just going through the dx process for AS with our 5 year old but just wanted to give you my support.

mummytime · 01/06/2011 07:34

Okay you are supposed to be 13 to be on Facebook (and before you say but everyone is, my sociable 12 year old isn't, my 15 year old is but not much). I think you need to go over stranger danger with him again. Keep explaining why he shouldn't be on that estate, why such messages are wrong etc.

Has his school ever done any specialist ASD sex education? I know they were doing some in Nottinghamshire and it was supposed to be very useful.

Good luck!
(BTW there are lots of possible candidates for the largest estate in Europe, depends on what you mean by estate).

Orchidskeepdying · 01/06/2011 07:44

Tinie Tempah did alright growing up there....

KaraStarbuckThrace · 01/06/2011 07:46

LadyEvenstar - I don't think you are being unreasonable to be angry and upset.
My DSS(10yo) has Asperger's and like your DS, has NO sense of danger and also appears to be quite immature for his age(due to his Asperger's traits), so can understand you are worried for his safety. It is only in the last year or so we feel confident to allow him to play outside in our very quiet street! He plays with the local younger kids, who are far more streetwise than him.

However YABU allowing to have an expensive 'phone, DSS is often very careless with his things and breaks/loses things very readily because he easily slips into an "out of sight, out of mind" attitude. Though I suspect that is less of an Asperger's trait as a typical preteen trait Smile
And 12yo is too young to be on FB. The minimum age is 13. Personally I think this should be lifted to 18, myself. There are other social networking sites that are far more appropriate to children.

SunshineisSorry · 01/06/2011 08:26

I dont think YABU at all - aspergers or no, he knows the rules that he is not to be on that estate. Yes, im sure not everyone on there is a drug dealer or such like but as an adult i would feel nervous walking through a place like that, because among the majority of decent people living there, there will be some real dodgy characters im sure. Your son, with his age, and condition, would be extremely vulnerable.

Phone is a great bit of leverage for a parent, yes, keep it til he proves himself again.

Good Luck - ive done the teen parenting, its a minefield :)

MrsDanverclone · 01/06/2011 09:22

As a mum of a daughter with Asperger's who has had to deal with similar situations ( many times) I can totally understand you getting cross. He needs to understand he didn't follow the agreed plan and therefore there is consequences and he has to earn your trust again. But because of the ASD that slight deviation caused him to decide it was a good idea to go for a jaunt through a rough estate, this is one of the bits I am finding really hard to deal with, having to have worked out and discussed plans of action, to every different scenario that could occur when my DD isn't with me, so she knows how to respond appropriately.
You sound as though you are being a good parent to him and encouraging his independence, he needs plenty of chances to practise if he's anything like my Dd!

I wouldn't take away his phone or access to FB and the computer, its hard enough for someone with Asperger's to make friends and be social, but through texting, chat and going on FB they are able to be 'sociable' in a way that is comfortable for them and other people can begin to understand them and maybe friendships develop.
FB has been brilliant for my daughter, she was bullied and had to be moved, her new tutor group students sent her FB requests and gradually over time, she has chatted to them on chat, commented on statuses etc and they have accepted her for herself. She was invited for the first time to a girl's party, they were all dressed as though they could have been going nightclubbing, looking stunning, fashionable and full make up. She took her latest 'interest ' to show them, you wouldn't have believed she was 14, the same as them, and they were just lovely with her. I felt like crying when we picked her up at the end of the evening, as she'd had a great time. Since then she's been invited out to lots of things and now I have the problem of helping her learn life skills that are essential, but are so so hard at times, for a person on the ASD to grasp.

TheLadyEvenstar · 01/06/2011 09:28

Just to briefly explain the FB thing - he has had the account for 3yrs now as it was his only way of contacting his father, and until recently he rarely used it.

The phone well that was my mistake I went onto a contract and I put him on one as well. I am not up on all the new phones around so when they suggested a phone which sounded good I accepted. He has the same phone as me. But I have an old Sony Ericcsson here he will be using from now onwards until he can prove he is trustworthy.

I had a terrible nights sleep last night where I was in such a state over this. And it has made me more determined to sort things out. I am emailing the school to make sure he is not let out until someone gets there to collect him, I reckon a couple of weeks doing this and he will buck his ideas up. My sister is in agreeance with me, my mum is dead set against it.

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MrsDanverclone · 01/06/2011 09:28

I am such a soppy thing, I started to cry, remembering about the party and meant to write 'for a person on the AS to grasp.'

"Get a grip woman, get a grip" chants to self.

TheLadyEvenstar · 01/06/2011 09:32

MrsDanver, the only reason I have taken FB off his phone and taken the phone away is he is not coming home when he is meant to and therefore having that phone poses a danger to me.

As for the FB I am sick of seeing other kids comment on his status with "Retard", "Idiot" , and other insults. Then to find this girls messages where she is telling him what she lets boys do to her was the last straw for me. He will be allowed to use FB on my laptop in the living room where he is fully supervised.

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MonstaMunch · 01/06/2011 09:32

ODD - oppositional defiance disorder. ConfusedHmm

Goblinchild · 01/06/2011 09:34

' She was invited for the first time to a girl's party, they were all dressed as though they could have been going nightclubbing, looking stunning, fashionable and full make up. She took her latest 'interest ' to show them, you wouldn't have believed she was 14, the same as them, and they were just lovely with her.'

There are some lovely people in the world, and it's fantastic that your daughter has found herself in a group of them. Smile

MrsDanverclone · 01/06/2011 09:38

The only problem with you collecting him from school is that its going to make him really stand out, having his mum collect him from Secondary school. Having Asperger's already makes you stand out and my Dd was desperate to blend in, so he might resent you even more and it could cause further problems. Is there a place slightly away from school, out of sight of main school gates you could arrange to meet? The agreement being that he meets you every day for whatever period of time you agree to, but if he breaks that agreement even once, you will collect him from school reception and he can't leave until you have signed him out.

BulletWithAName · 01/06/2011 09:45

Oh wow, I know the estate you're talking about, YADNBU at all.

TheLadyEvenstar · 01/06/2011 09:47

Monsta, why the raised eyebrow? This was diagnosed when he was about 10yrs old. The Aspergers was only diagnosed Febuary this year.

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