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 As you all know that ds is almost 15, and very aggressive. I also have to take care of my mom with Alzehiemers, my dad with chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure, and my health is going downhill. Me, my mom and dad all use the same family doctor, and it was put to us on Wednesday that we had to put him somewhere. (Usually they just say get him some help. Which we already do.) And when I picked him up from camp on Friday the Psychologist there strongly suggested a group home. He is an only child and only grandchild. How do we let him go? How do we even start the process? When I went in to the meeting on Friday with camp Psych, she seen all the bruises, (which he had told her during the day about fighting with me. He blames it on his step-dad who is in a nursing home), she said that it was considered domestic violence, and was required to report it. What do I do? Yes he is very abusive and controlling, but he is all I have?

by on Jul. 14, 2013 at 2:57 AM
Replies (21-25):
merna
by Silver Member on Nov. 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Hi, I was just scrolling and found your post.  I hope things are going well for you and your family.  Have you been able to find a group home placement for your son.  A few years ago my coworker and her daughter were dealing with this same situation with her son.  He was 16 and there only grandchild so it was a very difficult decision.  Eventually his doctor was able to find  a different medication that was able to control the physical violence and his mother was able to get some respite by him being approved for CAP-C so they were able to have him remain in the home.  Things improved enough for his mother to be able to return to work and he has since graduated HS and is in a day/work program.  So overall things are going well.

I want to encourage to continue advocating for your son through all means possible.  A psychologist is not as trained to deal with issues from a medical standpoint as a psychiatrist so be sure your son also has a pschiatrist, a regular medical doctor and a neurologist that can work together on his services. 

Regardless of your son's placement its not your families fault.  You can still see him regularly. He may just need a more controlled environment.

Merna

SAMI_JO
by Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 4:32 AM

 Thank you Merna! My situation hasn't improved it has escalated. I would give anything if they could find a med that controlled his behavior. I would like to have some happy fun times with him, rather than just fighting all the time. He has so many doctors it is unreal. A pediatrician, neurologist, geneticist, allergy doc, stomach doc, psychiatrist and psychologist. And more these are just what I could think of really quick. It is not for lack of trying, I have taken him to other states for treatment, I feel like we have tried everything, although I am sure we haven't done everything. But I want to thank you for your support and inspiration.

Quoting merna:

Hi, I was just scrolling and found your post.  I hope things are going well for you and your family.  Have you been able to find a group home placement for your son.  A few years ago my coworker and her daughter were dealing with this same situation with her son.  He was 16 and there only grandchild so it was a very difficult decision.  Eventually his doctor was able to find  a different medication that was able to control the physical violence and his mother was able to get some respite by him being approved for CAP-C so they were able to have him remain in the home.  Things improved enough for his mother to be able to return to work and he has since graduated HS and is in a day/work program.  So overall things are going well.

I want to encourage to continue advocating for your son through all means possible.  A psychologist is not as trained to deal with issues from a medical standpoint as a psychiatrist so be sure your son also has a pschiatrist, a regular medical doctor and a neurologist that can work together on his services. 

Regardless of your son's placement its not your families fault.  You can still see him regularly. He may just need a more controlled environment.

Merna

 

lancet98
by Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Going to a group home does not mean 'letting him go'.   You check out each home available, after placement, you can visit him, bring him things he likes, and discuss his care at the group home.   It's not 'letting him go' at all.

He might do better in a group home.   If they have more of a set routine than a regular home has it might do him a lot of good.   A lot of teens with autism are set off by changes of routine and have a hard time controlling their emotions when this happens.   A group home can be a very good solution.   The people who work at the group home work in shifts and can get help from each other, so they are far more able to cope with aggression.

The thing is, a regular family home simply has a lot of changes of routine that can set them off, and very few people to take turns taking care of the child or help each other.    

Sometimes this is just amazing for how well it works.   Parents often feel bad that they can't keep the household to a strict routine but honestly, it's really impossible.   I've taken care of autistic kids who as teens, were constantly in 'melt down mode' because of changes in the house.    One family, the boy's uncle passed away.   They couldn't take him to the funeral, so I went to the house and took care of him for 3 days.   It totally threw him to have such an abrupt routine change.   He bit himself and hit during that time.   I had to deal with many challenging behaviors.   At the time I was young and very athletic and it was easier for me.   I couldn't say that now, many years later.   He saw vacations, holiday celebrations and surprises as his own private nightmare.  A person coming to repair an appliance would send him into a tailspin.   It wasn't at all his fault, or anyone else's either.   he just could not cope with all the ordinary changes of daily life in a regular house.

I would also keep in mind that people with autism are at an increased risk for psychiatric disorders as there are genes in common between autism and some psychiatric disorders.   While some teens are more aggressive simply due to the hormonal shifts of adolescence ocasionally a psychiatric disorder is the reason why a person becomes more agitated or aggressive in adolescence.  

Sometimes people with autism need small amounts of psychiatric meds for that reason - medication should not be given to sedate a person, but only to treat symptoms of psychiatric disorders and only when it provides an obvious benefit to the individual.   A psychiatrist who understands the needs of the autistic teen can sometimes provide help if there are symptoms of a psychiatric illness. 

So the child is not truly being aggressive so much as just reacting to his symptoms in that case.   

Another possibility is seizures.    Autism is often associated with seizures.   If the child sometimes seems to blank out it could be due to a seizure.   Seizures can also cause odd behavior such as repeated complex motions, and the person does not really look as if they are 'blanked out' at all.   Seizures can also be treated.


SAMI_JO
by Member on Nov. 21, 2013 at 3:48 AM

 Thank you for you support and information. I am a single mom, so it is really hard to raise a teenage boy, let alone an autistic, ODD child.  We have so many doctors and psych appointments it is hard to have a schedule. Yes he does have seizures. I am not sure what the name is but it is the blank stare and "zone out".

Quoting lancet98:

Going to a group home does not mean 'letting him go'.   You check out each home available, after placement, you can visit him, bring him things he likes, and discuss his care at the group home.   It's not 'letting him go' at all.

He might do better in a group home.   If they have more of a set routine than a regular home has it might do him a lot of good.   A lot of teens with autism are set off by changes of routine and have a hard time controlling their emotions when this happens.   A group home can be a very good solution.   The people who work at the group home work in shifts and can get help from each other, so they are far more able to cope with aggression.

The thing is, a regular family home simply has a lot of changes of routine that can set them off, and very few people to take turns taking care of the child or help each other.    

Sometimes this is just amazing for how well it works.   Parents often feel bad that they can't keep the household to a strict routine but honestly, it's really impossible.   I've taken care of autistic kids who as teens, were constantly in 'melt down mode' because of changes in the house.    One family, the boy's uncle passed away.   They couldn't take him to the funeral, so I went to the house and took care of him for 3 days.   It totally threw him to have such an abrupt routine change.   He bit himself and hit during that time.   I had to deal with many challenging behaviors.   At the time I was young and very athletic and it was easier for me.   I couldn't say that now, many years later.   He saw vacations, holiday celebrations and surprises as his own private nightmare.  A person coming to repair an appliance would send him into a tailspin.   It wasn't at all his fault, or anyone else's either.   he just could not cope with all the ordinary changes of daily life in a regular house.

I would also keep in mind that people with autism are at an increased risk for psychiatric disorders as there are genes in common between autism and some psychiatric disorders.   While some teens are more aggressive simply due to the hormonal shifts of adolescence ocasionally a psychiatric disorder is the reason why a person becomes more agitated or aggressive in adolescence.  

Sometimes people with autism need small amounts of psychiatric meds for that reason - medication should not be given to sedate a person, but only to treat symptoms of psychiatric disorders and only when it provides an obvious benefit to the individual.   A psychiatrist who understands the needs of the autistic teen can sometimes provide help if there are symptoms of a psychiatric illness. 

So the child is not truly being aggressive so much as just reacting to his symptoms in that case.   

Another possibility is seizures.    Autism is often associated with seizures.   If the child sometimes seems to blank out it could be due to a seizure.   Seizures can also cause odd behavior such as repeated complex motions, and the person does not really look as if they are 'blanked out' at all.   Seizures can also be treated.

 

 

lancet98
by Member on Nov. 21, 2013 at 7:39 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh you're all by yourself!   Good lord, then it's double hard as you have no one to give you a break or back you up!!!  Not only that, as one nurse told me, 'he gets to know you too well' - meaning the child gets to know your reactions too well - it becomes a kind of battle of wills and it's just you and him and no one else to say, 'yes, I want you to do that too, we're a united front here' (lol).

It's not always obvious where it comes from, but even high functioning kids can get really belligerent because of schedule changes.  

It's generally either something they don't understand, a schedule change, or impulsivity (not being able to control their own behavior, the usual 'brakes' are not working - the brakes that say 'that's not a good idea'.).  With either a high functioning kid or a lower functioning kid it can actually be really hard to tell what set them off.   There is some little frustration or change and wham, they're kicking, yelling, having a meltdown.

Mediations can help with schedule changes ('rigidity'), understanding things(focus, hyperactivity), and with impulses.   But many people are anti med or keep switching meds, yet it can take quite some time for a given medication to do anything - weeks, a month - not unusual.

The key is getting someone who is aware of the dose adjustments kids, and epecially teens, need.

Many docs give in to parents too easily - parent will insist every tooth ache or tantrum is 'due to the medication' and the doc will take the kid off it and give the kid something else - the medication hasn't even had a chance to do anything, and they give something else before the other med is even 'washed out' - you can't tell anything from handling medications that way.   They take a long time to do anything.   Too, often the med choices seem like shooting darts at a dart board - it drives me crazy - but the changes are sometimes coming from a psychologist or GP who doesn't have the knowledge to make good choices here.   Some will give the kid an antidepressant, then an antipsychotic, then an antiseizure or mood medication all in quick succession - what's the therapeutic goal of doing that?   What's the problem you're trying to treat?   Fine, then stick to that and give ONE medicine a chance to work before giving something else, and no, not every tantrum is caused by the med, especially when it hasn't even taken effect yet    No - LOL - I never say that to a doc, but I sure do think it sometimes!!!  

These things can work, they can help, he may even still need some help like that in a group home.  There are more people, more sensory stimulation, etc.   The key with the group home is the good ones provide that routine many kids need.

Quoting SAMI_JO:

 Thank you for you support and information. I am a single mom, so it is really hard to raise a teenage boy, let alone an autistic, ODD child.  We have so many doctors and psych appointments it is hard to have a schedule. Yes he does have seizures. I am not sure what the name is but it is the blank stare and "zone out".

Quoting lancet98:

Going to a group home does not mean 'letting him go'.   You check out each home available, after placement, you can visit him, bring him things he likes, and discuss his care at the group home.   It's not 'letting him go' at all.

He might do better in a group home.   If they have more of a set routine than a regular home has it might do him a lot of good....

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