Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


My teenage son is out of control

60 replies

TeenagerHELP · 07/01/2012 05:14

Hello Mums & Dads!

I am hoping to draw on the experiences and expertise of those here who have had "problem" teenagers or those that simply have had any experience or simply those sound of head with some good advice.

As you will know by the topic this is about my teenage son. He is no ordinary teenage son, but one diagnosed, for what it is worth, with sensory processing disorder, (by one of the several people he has seen). He has whilst growing up shown signs of ADHD, ADD, Autism etc and everything else in these groups but never really any clear diagnosis and with several "experts" telling us he is perfectly normal, something they would not say had they have to live with his daily antics and frustrations. However a diagnosis is not easy and he can come across as very "normal" when he wants too and one on one he is a darling.

He is no longer 7, or 8, or 9 however.. He is now 15 and his behavior is spiraling into new directions, directions that are not taking him to good places.

In the past 2 months alone he has stolen from me, my partner and two of our younger children (their bday money). When caught he sneaks through in the middle of the night and reclaims what was momentarily within his grasp the previous evening.

He has stolen 2 boxes of fireworks which were saved for new year. My younger children did not get the fireworks display they so wanted to see.

He has stolen alcohol. And continues to do so where and when possible.

He has stolen cigarettes. And continues to do so where and when possible.

In bulk amounts, not a few here and there and the stealing carries on regardless

He has punched holes in our walls, broken a window, a door, and our car windowscreen as well as shooting my computer monitor with a toy gun, £300 down the drain.

He has not been attending school as much as he aught, and when he does he is asked to leave almost every class he is in due to disruptive behavior. He has been suspended multiple times.

He has abused old ladies.

He has threatened young boys. (He is 6 foot tall, size 36 waist and 14 stone)

He has scared motorists to the point where they have to pull over. (Amazing what you can see in their facebook accounts)

And lord knows what else that he has not been caught for.

I simply do not know what to do any more. He has issues I know, but do not misjudge their severity. Despite his ADHD/ADD style problems, he is also an intelligent young lad who with a bit of effort could overcome his problems and thrive. He is not completely stupid and knows his rights from wrong. But the road he is going down is simply not a good one, for him, myself, my partner or our other 4 children. It is the road to destruction and he has almost reached its end.

We have tried love, talking, activities, family days out, understanding and patience.

We have tried punishment, no xbox, no internet, no friends round, grounding him (he just jumps out the window)

We have tried reward systems.

However he has this "i'm not bovvered" attitude. He simply does not care. He can talk the talk, but out of earshot he is at it again, the "it" being whatever he feels like or takes his fancy at the time.

I do not know what to do. I have 5 children and he is but 1 yet takes up the majority of our time dealing with the aftermath of his antics.

My relationship with my partner is at breaking point.

My business is suffering.

My stress levels are through the roof.

And I simply, simply, simply, have no idea what to do.

Do I do jail time for him? Lock him down? Strip his room? Give him a set of gray PJ's and take all his clothes from him?

Do I let him carry on regardless?

Do I carry on with the loving approach?

Do I seek help?

Who do I seek help from?

He is 16 this year!

I am at my wits end and any and all advice would be appreciated. I have only touched upon what he gets up to and what we have tried. I could write a book on it all.

Thank you for reading.

OP posts:

hb19g08 · 07/01/2012 09:58

Hi there. Reading your post reminded me of our eldest son and how difficult it is to parent such a troubled young man. Firstly, his behaviour is not your fault! I wonder if you know any of his friends and maybe their parents - I know it feels unlikely, but you are not alone.
Our son did not resort to the public things your son gets up to, but we had so much hassle at home, it made me feel like resorting to violence - but would I have stopped once I started? It did get to the point that we gave him the choice of staying and respecting us, our other children, and our home, or moving into a bedsit, which we paid for. He chose to leave, found a room in a shared house and we moved him in.
I had some contact with him, but his Dad didn't. He stopped attending college and was sacked from his part time job due to absenteeism.
BUT, he soon realised he was better off at home - the other residents were middle aged men, no jobs, on drugs and alcohol and they stole his food! I think he realised where he was headed if he continued to behave so badly. Within 4 months, he asked to come home and we decided together the rules he would need to abide by, and he came home the loveliest person in the world. He is 20 now, working full time in a bank, and planning a 'proper' move out to his own flat!
It's very difficult with number 1. When he was younger, was his behaviour 'allowed' while you waited for a diagnosis, and its just spiralled? I suppose the worry is that his siblings will see him 'getting away with it' and try to copy him. I know I sound harsh, but sometimes tough love is the way forward - the old saying ' if you love them let them go' is so true.
I hope this helps you to at least know you are not the only ones going through this tough time. I wish you all the best - keep smiling! xx


Pickgo · 07/01/2012 12:39

Is the sensory processing disorder largely an excuse for his bad behaviour?

I think as much as possible you need to let them take the consequences of their actions eg if he steals alcohol then the police are involved.

I think only yu and your partner will know when/if you get to the stage where you have to ask them to move out as HB did. IMO that was a very brave thing to do and in one act probably saved your son years of heartache/problems.

I don't think anyone is going to be able to suggest a magic wand type of idea but perhaps you can step back a bit and let him take the consequences as an adult. Encourage him to see these things as his problem not yours. Obviously you have to protect the younger sibs but apart from that I would try to let him make his own mistakes as much as possible.

You have my sympathy TH tis hell with teenagers.... but they do grow out of it eventually.


pinotmonster · 07/01/2012 13:36

I could have written a lot of your post myself!! I can relate to the stress sadly only too well. Have had the stealing myself and have now decided its a new year and if it continues I will report him to the police. no advice really as I wouldnt be in the situation I am in but lots of sympathy. my son is 14 and if someone had told me all those years ago what it would be like I would not have believed them.

hope you get some much deserved help x


MaryZed · 07/01/2012 14:24

Hey, I could have written your post four years ago when ds1 was 14.

I will be back later to give you the benefit of my opinion (however useful that may or may not be Hmm).


MaryZed · 07/01/2012 14:33

Just a couple of questions - where are you? Are you in the UK? What does the school say, have they threatened exclusion? Have you been in touch with the local juvenile offenders' officer (or whatever you call him where you are)?


TeenagerHELP · 07/01/2012 19:09

Thanks for the replies folks :)

To answer a few of the questions:

Pickgo: "Is the sensory processing disorder largely an excuse for his bad behaviour?"

Absolutely, 100% correct. It has caused issues, especially with school which has just been one nightmare after another but at 15 his behavior is not so much associated with the SPD but with simply being an off the rail teen in my opinion. It is obviously far more complex than just that, he is behaving now as he did when he was 7, the only difference is the behavior is more adult orientated now where as before he was just young and angry. And it is an allowable excuse to a certain extent, which is why he gets more patience from us and understanding but this can only go so far...

MaryZed: "Just a couple of questions - where are you? Are you in the UK? What does the school say, have they threatened exclusion? Have you been in touch with the local juvenile offenders' officer (or whatever you call him where you are)?"

I am in the UK, North of Scotland. The school say all sorts, we have meetings/reviews every 3 months and because of his in school behavior we pretty much have weekly contact with them. They draw up plans and charts and talk for hours, but it never gets anywhere. I now go to these meetings and hold my head in disbelief at yet another flow chart mapping out a plan of action which may as well be fairy dust in the stars for all they have ever achieved.

They suspend him regularly, however they also just tell us not to send him in for the remainder of the week which is an unofficial suspension.

For the past year he has been attending school 3 days per week instead of 5, this was an agreement made after the horrific year previous.

Of those 3 days he does not attend registration class in the morning and instead wanders the corridors doing as he pleases.

They have given him a "yellow card" which he can display to the teacher any time in class to say he is about to be disruptive and would live to leave the classroom. As you can imagine he uses the yellow card a lot.

Of those 3 days, when he attends, he is asked to leave the classroom or leaves of his own accord in each and every single class he attends. We receive a text message and a letter every time it happens and my phone never stops bleeping at me. Now we just cannot get him to leave the house to go to school at all, he had 2 weeks of before the Christmas break and should have been there Thurs and Fri this week but did not go. Short of violence and dragging him by the hair, believe me it was just not possible.

Next week is going to be fun i'm sure!

OP posts:

MaryZed · 07/01/2012 19:53

Right he really is out of control, isn't he.

I can only tell you what has worked (very, very slowly for us). ds was diagnosed with Asperger's at 9, but really he could have been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, or any combination of behavioural "disorders".

He went off the rails at 13. He did all your son has done and more, he was expelled permanently from school at just 15, and got very heavily into drugs.

We had a nightmare four years.

My advice would be to try to look at this outside the box. It is hard to get my suggestions across in a short message, but try to look at it this way. You are unlikely to change his behaviour (if punishment/reward was going to work it would have by now), so you have to improve everyone else's life.

I suspect the school will hang on to him until he is 16 and then ask him to leave (what is the leaving school age for Scotland?), so you need a plan to get him out of the house during the day. I don't know if you both work - I was a SAHM so got the brunt of ds's violence and bad behaviour, especially when he was no longer at school.

Have you enquired into youth training courses? It doesn't really matter what he does as long as he is out of the house.

Meanwhile, you have to look after you and any other children. The day I stopped fighting with ds was the day things started to improve for us. I just stopped. I didn't mention his time-keeping, his work, his clothes, his room. I carried on talking to and communicating with my younger children. I didn't react when he wanted a fight, I just replied politely if he spoke to me (rarely). I cooked him one meal a day (with the rest of the family) and made sure there was food for him to eat.

I went to family counselling with my husband - ds of course refused to go, but talking to someone made a massive difference to us.

I began to keep a diary - not just of all the awful things he did, but also of the odd good thing (the day he voluntarily switched the tv to dd's programme; the odd day he came in on time, that type of thing). I started trying to see the positive.

I locked up everything - I got a padlock on our room, and kept money, paperwork, ipods, the kids belongings, the car keys, everything locked away.

We had to deal with the awful psychotic behaviour and drug-induced violence - he suffered from depression and anxiety as a child, and discovered cannabis and vallium at the age of 12 Sad. He moved on to various so-called legal highs and God knows what by 14, but is now back to (mostly) dope and occasional alcohol. We have had drug dealers calling to the house and threatening our younger kids.

We got a punch bag and gloves, and he has learned to get rid of anger that way (better than holes in walls and doors off hinges).

We did try SS but got nowhere - they offered at one stage to take ds2 into care (he was 10 at the time) to "keep him safe", but never offered anything for ds1 except for an adult homeless hostel, which ds would never have survived.

We have marked time. We have ignored as much as we can. We have held our heads high, protected our younger children, and are finally accepeting that it isn't our fault. That "what-ifs" and "should we/could we's" and blame and guilt are a waste of time.

And we (hopefully, touch wood) seem to be coming out the other end.

ds1 is 18 now, and on Christmas day bought us presents, with money he earned. He started a conversation with me yesterday for the first time in, I'd say, five years.

It has been horrible. But sometimes these kids are emotionally so far behind they are toddlers in teenage bodies. He is probably as angry with himself as you are with him.

I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for him too. Interestingly enough, my younger two have never blamed ds1 for all the awful things he does. Their attitude is that he can't help it, that it must be awful to be him, to be as unhappy as he is. I think their attitude is probably right.

I don't know if this is any help to you.


MaryZed · 07/01/2012 19:56

Just as an extra point - I remember the awful day ds was expelled from school. There were lots of tears (mostly from me), and at the end of the day when dh was coming to bed he turned to me and said "do you realise I will never again have to see the school name come up on a text message, or have to go in and see them again".

It was a very small light in the darkness. I too used to dread the phone calls, the texts, the endless being made guilty and apologising for things I hadn't done Sad.


TeenagerHELP · 07/01/2012 19:59

A lot of help thank you. Let me digest some of it and I do have some things to do so will formulate a proper reply later, thank you though as there is a lot there to think about :)

OP posts:

TeenagerHELP · 07/01/2012 21:05

The punch bag and gloves I have thought about! If anything it would act as a reminder as to why we got it any maybe make him think twice about damaging the house or car.

The leaving school age here is 16 and as you said, even if they do not ask him to leave, all we will hear is "But I CAN leave" so any motivation at all, nevermind how small to go to school we be completely gone. I am fully prepared for the fact he will not be there much longer, and really there is no point anyway and he attends little enough as it is. So the consideration at the moment is to his future, your idea of youth placements I liked so that is something I will bare in mind, knowing that he is not going to walk into a job and college is pretty much out of the question unless something crazy happens in the next few years that matures him. As for being a toddler in a mans body, sheesh... I say the same thing.

The strange thing is that I do know youth workers, but have never discussed the problems with them. Ideally other than with the school we do not discuss his issues with too many friends and family other than the obvious. If anything we play down his behavior and most certainly do not talk about the more extreme aspects, some of which are so extreme they simply stay as non existent. The question I am asking myself now is Do we hide it? And the answer would be a firm yes. As much as we can.

I did smile at you having a conversation with your son, I walked mine to tescos the other day and we spoke for a bit, mainly instigated by him and I came back with us both carrying shopping with a huge smile on my face which I later told my parter about feeling there was some hope!

I have kept diaries also, sporadically over the years. Even considered video diaries with him at his utmost "best". Also records where we have tried reward systems when he was younger. Ignore the bad and reward the good type records, but these are really difficult to keep to when you have other kids.

Why does he get this? That? Why it it HIS TV program and not ours? The screams... I got 9 stars but HE got ten and HE has been terrible this week???!!

The things we have tried and gone through, everything.

Now that he is 15 though, and most of the children that were there for the particularly bad time when he was younger are now a little older. They say the same as yours, I think because as children and balanced children at that, they give him unconditional love. They are not parents and do not have those stresses. They would never be without their big brother no matter how much he torments them, pokes them, shouts at them or even steals their stuff. My other 4 are 12,10,6,4. 12,10 took the brunt of his earlier years and they all now are suffering in one way or another, even if it is simply the fact that they have highly stressed parents. However in his earlier years the anger was directed at both us as parents and his siblings.

Funnily enough he has always been a baby person. Our other two newborns he has shown so much care for as babies. Where as I can get exasperated with a crying baby, rocking back and forth etc. He can stand there, walking, rocking soothing for an infinite amount of time. I think he looks at babies as so little threat and so innocent. With most animals he is the same, except our 10 year old boxer which he gets so angry with. The dog just has to breath loud and he is shouting and marching him through the house to a different room!

Drugs have been an aspect for a few years now - although thankfully any contact he has had with them has been minimal to none. He obsesses about them though and part of me thinks it will only be a matter of time. Pot smoking I can deal with and so too with a little experimentation once he is 17+, I will not say to him it is OK but I do fully understand what growing up is like. This is for him to explore as a young adult, but the problem is his decision making is not excellent, in part due to his SPD. So it is a worry but not one which is current, just in the back of my mind.

I now have a nice lockable box! Not gone so far as padlocking up rooms but I have considered taking the door off his!!!

Money, spare change, lighters, matches, all go in the box.

Alcohol is no longer kept in the house unless to be drunk. (he still manages at times!)

I am not here to spoil his teenage years. I got up to all sorts, however in moderation and when caught I was sorry. I went to school and I respected adults and my parents (to a certain extent!). He is sorry for the moment he gets caught, not beyond, and only sorry for being caught and not for the action. Repeat Daily...(hourly?)

As for looking outside of the box.. I am trying, trying to do something or nothing but minimise if that is the case to be. But my partner will not do that, not yet. Finding a happy medium between a troublesome son and two parents is not proving to be easy in the slightest.

I work from home running my own advertising agency, and my partner looks after the kids so is a SAHM also, in other words we are both stay at home parents with different responsibilities within the house (although mainly shared). When it comes to the children we are both there for them all day, every day. I really am not sure how things would be if both of us were away or just one, but it does mean we are both subjected to the same daily stresses.

I am not ready to give up, I think we have another year or so maybe... But any change would need to be quickly implemented as right now things are going from very bad to extremely unpleasant. When we lived in the countryside the trouble was mainly inside the house, so moving back to the countryside, as far away as possible, might at least achieve something.

OP posts:

MaryZed · 07/01/2012 21:49

You do (sadly) sound as though you are very near where we were a couple of years ago.

A couple of things stand out - our younger children are well aware that we have different rules for ds1 and for them. And though occasionally my 13 year old will say "it's not fair, ds1 was drinking/partying/staying out all night/choosing the tv station/having his washing done when he was my age", the standard reply of "well would you really like to be him?" and a sympathetic "I know it's tough, but" really helps.

dh and I also did a lot of arguing. That's why I would highly, highly recommend family counselling. We started going two years ago (it was meant for ds, but of course he never went), just dh and me. And it really did help. Because before that I was insistent on making him obey rules, I felt that "giving in" would be bad, I felt we had to try. But the counsellor made me realise that I was just setting myself up to fail. I was destroying myself, my relationship, my family, because I was never, ever going to win. I was never going to regain control, or make ds behave, and the longer and harder I tried the more I would blame myself for the failure Sad.

She made us talk about what we wanted for us as a family - not how to deal with ds, and although I thought at first it was a waste of time it has made so much difference.

The other thing is telling people - I have stopped hiding things. There are some people I don't tell (I think it's important, for example, that ds keeps his relationship with his grandparents, and I am now, at last, being rewarded for that decision - ds's relationship with them is strengthening again, and he will choose to see them and talk to them). But my friends, my younger children's parents, ds's friends parents that I have known since they were 4 - I have told them. Not emotional pouring out telling, but plain facts. And the telling has made things easier, not least because they were getting a garbled version from their kids.

We have very few rules - at one stage they were

  1. No violence. Violence against people means I will call the police. violence against property (except in his room), means I will call the police.

2. He must tell me if he isn't coming in at night (I no longer have a curfew, and the day I stopped it he started texting to say if he wasn't coming back).

3. No drugs in the house. I think he keeps (more or less) to that one.

4. He has to go to "work". He wants to stop atm, but he needs something else first.

He clears his dirty clothes/cups out of his room once a month.

That's it. Anything else I let go.

One or two things ds has said to me over the years (or I have realised). When he was younger he genuinely didn't realise how other people thought. So if he walked into the room and dd was watching some girly thing, he would change the station without asking. That is because he thought it was boring. He genuinely thought that if it was boring, she would be pleased if he changed it to a more interesting (Top Gear for example) programme. I honestly think he was 16 before he realised this Hmm.

He also has obsessions - fireworks were a real problem. He used to be obsessed with sport, sadly that got replaced with obsessiveness over drugs. Much of what he says to other people is due to this - he gets unbearably angry if his latest obsession is blocked.

He is a creature of routine - just getting him into a good routine is great. atm he gets up at 8, has a shower, cooks himself breakfast and leaves for work at 9. On the dot. If there is someone in the shower at 8 all hell breaks loose.

We fit in with his routines if we can, and doing so has helped.

But the thing that has helped more than anything else is taking the emotion out of everything (it might be worth talking to your wife about this - as a mother it has been by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life). I have taken a step back, I deal with him pragmatically. I look on him as a rather irritating lodger, I try not to be upset by his attitude (in fact I ignore his attitude all the time, I only respond to the actual words or actions). I walk away from conflict, I never say "I'm hurt" or "I'm upset".

And you know, taking away all the emotion from our relationship has made him much better able to deal with him.

You can look back at some of my posts in the adoption or teenager sections (I was Maryz or MaryZ) and I really felt very hopeless.

But this Christmas, for the first time in years, I feel we just may survive. And it is due to counselling, stepping back and being pragmatic.

And I don't let anyone say I've "given up" because although on the surface it may look as though I have, underneath it all I love him and will always be there for him.

Hope this helps (a bit).

TeenagerHELP · 07/01/2012 22:39

Wow, talk about letting go and taking a deep breath.

I remember reading the book, "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance". when I was a little younger.

The deep breath reminded me of that book for a minute, which was a most amazing read and your post was quite an amazing read too :-)

I know my son is younger than yours, and you have spoken about what it was like several years ago for you. I suppose that what I am really hoping is that we can get to that stage you have gotten too, because that stage is OK. It my not be ideal, it might not be what you wished for, but at least it is dealable with for everyone.

I suppose as a parent you sometimes think of the worst case scenario. Right now I have in my mind horrors of murder rape and mutilation if you know what I mean, parental concern is a powerful emotion. However this does not make "the now" any easier. I suppose we just have to keep dealing with him within reason of what we can do, and just hope that within a few years it pays off in one way or another.

OP posts:

MaryZed · 07/01/2012 22:48

When ds was 14 I remember saying to a very close friend that if I got ds1 to 16 without him killing himself or someone else I would feel I had succeeded.

His best friend killed himself when they were both 15. I thought ds would too, but he didn't (he just sank into drugs).

He is 18 now (with no criminal record Shock - touch wood), and I keep getting glimpses of the child he once was. I have high hopes (but am careful about them being too high) for the future.

It has been worse than your worst nightmare, it really has. That is why I can see exactly where you are. I wish I had been able to talk to someone further down the line (but I wouldn't have believed them). And that is why I post on here - because there is a conspiracy of silence among parents, who all spend their efforts hiding their issues, because we all blame ourselves (and to be honest, society blames us too).

I think kids with AS, ADHD, ODD, other issues, are honestly about 5 to 6 years behind in their emotional development. And if you can just sit tight and let his brain and emotions catch up with the rest of him, then maybe in five years you will be where I am. I don't know, I can only hope. 6 months ago, it was still pretty awful - I wouldn't have believed I would ever be where we are now.

But you need to be sane, together, and with your other children if/when it happens. You need to work on you - you can't change him. If you are anything like me you have spent the last ten years trying to change him, and failed horribly.

Try being nice to yourself, and thinking about yourself. You are worth more than just being the parent of a child who has gone off the rails.

If that makes sense.

Night Smile.


AnyFucker · 07/01/2012 23:13

Awesome posts, mary

< lump in throat >


MaryZed · 07/01/2012 23:26

I'm amazed you waded through them AF Smile.

It makes forcing the girls to study look quite easy, doesn't it?


AnyFucker · 07/01/2012 23:30

waded ?

I hang on every word...


LaydeeC · 08/01/2012 11:29

Your post brought tears to my eyes. My 14yo son's behaviours are very similar to those that you describe. My son has, however, had a diagnosis of AS since he was 6yo (almost 7yo). I totally agree that it is almost as though he is emotionally about 6 years behind developmentally. My son, however, attends a specialist residential school but almost constantly asks us to move him to a mainstream school. My son's behaviours are pretty much limited to the home or environments where we accompany him - at school he is totally compliant and barely says a word - not at all forward.
From my perspective, I am caught between a rock and a hard place. Of course I would like my son to be at home - it kills me every time he is home for a weekend to drive him back. But on the other hand, I cannot risk him not attending school as we have, perhaps wrongly, always seen that an education for him can only be beneficial. School also focuses on emotional development as well as independence skills not just educational. He, however, just wants to be at home where there is no pressure and he can simply play his xbox all day (no point in confiscating as he will either become physically aggressive or trash the house). I am fully aware of the views that those with neuro-typical children will form. I also have another child (not autistic) and she has also suffered because of his behaviour. She has witnessed levels of aggression and unmentionable language. On good days she is very magnanimous towards him and 'gets' that it is his autism and anxieties that are responsible for his behaviour (sometimes we have contriteness) but on other days she is very hardnosed towards him and hates him.
Life is difficult - actually life is impossible. Unlike others who seem to have learned to embrace it, I'm ashamed to say that autism has ruined our lives. I can't even begin to imagine who my son is going to cope if he ever ventures out into the 'real' world especially with mass unemployment and the loss of benefits available. Of course he can always live with us. Despite everything he is mine and I love him dearly but it is easy to hate him sometimes. It is an emotional rollercoaster. Despite everything that goes on at home, one is also constantly fighting battles outside the home to have his future needs met (eduation, social services, CAMHS etc). We are in his transition year with his review due to take place in the next few months. It is a real watershed because, with cuts left right and centre, I am sure our LEA will be keen to remove his placement (although friends/school think this unlikely as they have no alternative to propose) and I would really want to suck mainstream and see (a sort of dual placement for a few months) to see how he would manage. Although my experience of mainstream for primary has left a very very bitter taste in my mouth.
We had a difficult evening yesterday but then I had a fantastic hour with him at about 1.30am this morning where he was lucid, engaging and even funny.
Oh well, today is another day. Each day I get up hoping it will be positive.
Long post and a bit off topic (sorry OP) but just wanted to basically let the OP know that there are other people out there who have very difficult children (not suggesting either of your son's have AS by the way) but wanted to say that it is not always the parenting as one or two of my family and friends seems to think.


ByTheSea · 08/01/2012 11:37

Wow, LaydeeC, we are in a very similar situation (although DS-14 has Reactive Attachment Disorder rather than AS). I don't have time right now, but just wanted OP to know that yet another family is struggling with this extreme behaviour.


AnyFucker · 08/01/2012 11:48

I have no personal experience of AS, or anything else on that spectrum (apart from professionally) but I think it a real shame that some of your family/friends do not understand

I certainly do not "blame the parents" in these cases, only ignornat and uneducated people do that, IMO


PerishStorm · 08/01/2012 11:55

Hi there,

From what I have read, your son sounds very similar to the young people I work with so althpugh I can empathise, I don't have the experience of receiving this sort of behaviour from my own offspring. A lot of our students sound like your son, has he a statement of SEN for his sensory processing disorder? This should open the door for more provisions in his school, such as 1-1 support etc.

Have you tried your GP? They (or the school) may be able to refer your son to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) who can offer your son further support and with him help him develop his own strategies for managing his behaviour and identifying his triggers. Also, your local Connexions office may be able to offer support and help locate a supportive post-16 placement in education if that is what you would like.



MaryZed · 08/01/2012 12:40

Hang in there, LaydeeC, four years ago I really was struggling very, very badly. I would have jumped at a residential school for ds - we actually sent him boarding because he begged to go, but unfortunately it all went wrong.

When he came home, I had to send dd to boarding school to escape the violence, which was probably the lowest post. Luckily, she absolutely loves it, and refuses to come home Hmm even though things have settled down.

ds1 has physically attacked his siblings - I am sure that at some stage they will need help to overcome their disturbing childhood. They have seen things that no child should see (if ds had been my husband, I would have thrown him out and got a barring order years ago, but you can't do that to a 13/14 year old).

The one hope for these kids is that they do, eventually, grow up - at least most of them do. So just plod along day to day, make the best decisions you can at the time you are at. Don't waste time and emotional energy on guilt.

ds is 18 now, and beginning to catch up, I think. I worry a lot about the future, of course I do. But I try to put it to one side and enjoy the bits of my life that are good.

AF, my brother and sil (and dh's family) don't believe ds has Aspergers. They think his problems are due to me being over-controlling and hysterical. They think had I just "not put up with it", he would be fine Hmm.

Needless to say they don't like him in their house or with their children, unless supervised. Despite the fact that they know very little about the really awful things he has done.


AnyFucker · 08/01/2012 12:57

That is awful

I understand their fear to a certain extent, but not their ignorance


MaryZed · 08/01/2012 13:04

I sympathise a bit now because of the drugs issue (they have teenagers). But when he was younger I would get loads of useless advice, but ne'er an offer to take him overnight.

It's the "there's nothing wrong with him apart from his attitude" and "why don't you just stop him from doing X, Y, or Z" that I find hard.

I mean, if there was nothing "wrong", he wouldn't have this attitude or do these things.

I don't for a minute believe that children are born "bad" (or if there are, there are very, very few), so imo there are few children who decide to be like this - it is generally the result of issues such as SN, mh disorders, sometimes adoption/disrupted childhood, sometimes abuse/neglect.

If the child has loving caring parents, a relatively stable home life and siblings who are well and happy, I think it is only fair to the parents to consider the fact that there may well be a deeper issue - ASD, ADHD, mental health issues, that type of thing.

Sorry, OP, this is all a bit off-track Smile.


LaydeeC · 08/01/2012 16:32

MaryZed, AF - thanks both for the supporting words. OP sorry for hijacking again.
One of the biggest issues I try to deal with is the 'what ifs'. He desperately wants to come home to go to mainstream, both school and I know he would sink without trace. But he is so earnest in his requests and promises the world. He just 'knows' he would go to school etc etc. I don't live in a parallel universe and I'm too scared to pull him from his current school as I will never get that level of provision again. On the other hand, what if he could manage in a mainstream and I'm doing him a huge disservice and stealing his childhood at home.
I do know that when he is at home, I can't get him to do anything that he doesn't want to do regardless of cajoling, bribes etc (hangs head). I just know that if he decided he wasn't going to go to school he would simply not go. I can't use the alternative of returning to res school as the mental pressure that would put him under would be immense and when he is under pressure kapow!
As you said MZ, if it was a grown up, the police would be called and I would have thrown them out a very long time ago. But he is my son, I love him and will keep going. He initially went to boarding school three years ago and that was probably my lowest point. Just prior to that, soc services told me that my dtr should probably move out (she was 8 ffs) as she was at risk (not from a grown up but from an 10yo (at the time because of how b/days fall). One of my very good friends agreed that she could stay with them (in reality it was only for about 4 weeks) but she still talks about it and crys. I really didn't think it could get any lower at that point. Whilst there have been some improvements, my son has not advanced in other areas. And of course there is less pressure on him at home now as we don't have to make him get up for school or do homework. But still weekends and holidays are hard enough. At least whilst he is at school my dtr has some 'normality' whatever that is.
I think your points about only having minimal rules but that these are non-negotiable are very valid. This is what we try to do. I try not to sweat the small stuff - like making him have a shower. This has even slipped to no longer having the 4 hour argument to go to bed as long as he promises to go by about 2am (and sometimes he stays up all night). I used to get very stressed about this (always worried about what other people would think) but, to be honest, he has simply never needed much sleep.
Anyway, we are due to leave to return to school in an hour and half and we have had two days of him incessantly telling me that he is not going. So the ante is already upped. Couple it with the emotional stress for me (however hard I try to hide it - I find it extremely difficult to take him back esp after holidays) even though he is absolutely fine and thrives whilst he is there.
So, many many apologies again to OP, I know that there is no suggestion that your son has autism but I wanted to acknowledge the kind words and to again let you know that you are not alone. I am a good enough parent, I am not perfect but my dtr is as happy as she could expect to be and I am still able to advocate for my son.
Hugs to all with difficult times at home. Who would have imagined when we held those little bundles and first fell in love with them.


sponkle · 13/01/2012 11:56

Wow what an amazing thread! Such a desperate post from OP has generated such an inspirational response especially from MaryZed! I am so chuffed I clicked on this one as I have reached the end of my tether this week with my DS. I rang social services on Tuesday as I cannot cope with things anymore.

My DS is 15. Diagnosed ADHD and Autism, (my father had Aspergers). Thrown out of school last June. No GCSEs and not sitting any. Attending college now but attendence poor and likely to get thrown out unless changes attitude, have meeting with them next week, they seem to be much more supportive than school ever was.

Homelife: we are failry liberal, extremely loving and supportive. Have done EVERYTHING possible to help. Now realise you can only help someone who actually wants help. Have DS2 age4. DS1 comes home in small hours, helps self to food, goes to bed, maybe gets to sleep by 6-8am. Up around 12-2pm showers then goes out. Punches walls, mirrors, furniture, doors. Shouts a lot. threatens a lot. Rants a lot. Once the shower ran cold for a moment while he was in it and so he punched wall so hard picture fell off wall in next room. When injures hand punching, head butts things instead. Went through wardrobe and door last week. Never answers calls or texts. Rarely eats. Smashes mobile to bits about once a forntight.

Police: reported him missing numerous times. been in trouble for climbing onto shop roofs in town centre and trespassing. Has a reprimand.

Drugs. Cannabis everyday. speed. morphine. Mdma. Breaks my heart to tell you that. Has drugs counsellor who he actually seems to respect and talk to. She is trying to set up some family counselling sessions for us. Had to pay off dealer for a debt he had incurred. Never give DS more than £5 cash at a time only about 3 times a week that's it-for food at college.

My DH is away on business this week. I have been struggling big time as have had migraine due to stress. Called him for support, he told DS he is leaving us as he felt so helpless. DS hysterical in middle of night and woke DS2 up. Must say I had 2 cigarettes in a row at that point once settled DS2.

DH is not leaving us, he is back today...just an illustartion of how desperate we are all feeling. I rang SS as DS was refusing to live with us and just cannot cope with all of this anymore especially when get texts from him telling me next time I see him he will be dead. Not sure they will do anything unless I kick him out. I will never do that.

These are his decisions. Decisions have consequenes. He needs to know that. I have done everything I can, it's up to him now. I love him desperately and he will always have a home here if he choses to accept it. he needs to learn his own lessons his own way and I need to stop feeling responsible for his behaviour. (would help if I didn't have to act as a shock absorber and deflect all the shit the people who are supposed to be there to help us pile on to us) I really can relate to your comment about having to apologise for behaviour that isn't even yours.

I have nothing to be ashamed of. I love my son very much and the rest of my family and would do anything for any of them. People know that. Those who want to judge can get on with it, and feel smug that hey drew the long straw when I drew the short one. Fear breeds ignorant comments. Apparently if DH and I disciplined DS properly he would be fine. If it was as easy as confiscating his xbox we would never have got to this.

God sorry this is so long!

After DH announced he's leaving us and DS broke down uncontrollably, I managed to calm him down and got him to come and lie on the bed with me! I read him The Places You'll Go by Dr Suess used to be his favorite as a child...I was utterly amazed he listened to the whole story. Felt like a glimpse of a special moment...just goes to show how vulnerable he really feels beneath the hard exterior. Love that book, it's all about life and all it throws at you but very uplifting and inspiring and positive.

Yesterday, DS stayed off college to look after me! Hoovered, made cups of tea, came to collect brother from school, eat dinner with us and cam ehome by 10pm and went to bed. I am most proud of fact he told his dealer and all his friends he's given up drugs. Didn't have any all day!!!

It's a start. Bloody hope he sticks at it...probably a case of one step forward 2 steps back but its a start. I am so delighted to see a glimpse of the boy Iknow still in there somewhere. I just have to stay strong take a huge leap of faith and let him make his own life. My job as his Mum is to never stop loving him and to be there when he needs me to help him pick up the pieces.

This morning back to the ranting and threats and swearing. He did go to college though.

I now know I am not alone. I want to shake you all by the hand especially you MaryZEd. You have made my day more bearable today and for that I am very grateful indeed.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?