I have a 13 year old son who I believe has PDA. He's recently been self medicating with smoking weed and I really don't know how to deal with him or this situation.
It started in the summer, we tried all the usual methods of punishment such as grounding him, taking his stuff off him, turning off the WiFi etc. He doesn't seem to understand consequences and ran away because we refused to turn the WiFi on. We grounded him and he climbed out of the window in the middle of the night to visit his friends! We tried taking his mobile phone and he became violent, I called the police and he didn't even care. He just sat there and smirked in front of the officer and was disrespectful. He has punched doors, mirrors and throws objects at us if we challenge him on his rudeness or try and take control of a situation regardless of consistency in our approach.
I regularly search his room and confiscate anything to do with weed or smoking. I do not give him any money but he 'earns' his share by rolling for others and he seems to know a lot of other teens who use it so is always able to access it even without any money.
I have tried talking to him to reassure him that we (his parents) are here to support him trying to stop and this is a dangerous path he is taking but he is so cocky, he just tells me that all his mates do it and there is no need to worry! He does it to reduce anxiety and 'chill'.
He was supposed to be assessed in school by an ed psych in September but refuses to go to school a lot so the ed psych made a home visit and chatted to his dad and I instead. We agreed on things like him not having to wear a full school uniform (he wears black skinny jeans and smart black trainers instead), also rather than going to internal exclusion most of the time as this was proving an ineffective method of punishment for him to sit with his head of year instead. He is struggling to go to school at all at the moment even on a reduced timetable and I feel it is only a short matter of time before he is permanently excluded due to his persistent rudeness and inability to do anything he is told to in the class room.
We tried taking him to counselling in the summer, but he refused to engage with the counsellor making our sessions pointless.
His behaviour is making both his dad and I ill and we are now struggling to cope with him. We have a younger child aged 11 with ASD but his behaviour is not aggressive and we are not having any issues with him.
We cannot go on living like this, unfortunately we do not have any relatives he can stay with to give us a break, I know if I called social services he would never forgive me. Does anyone have any idea how I can move forward?
Any strategies or advice would be welcome as we are desperate, and his abusive behaviour is scaring our younger son which I cannot continue to allow.
Many thanks Marie
Please watch this. It helps re-train you to fix broken bonds with your kids. Healing is all about communication.
He smokes for two reasons. One, comfort - which he needs and deserves regardless its source - and two, addiction, a secondary problem.
I smoked weed 14-28 and it did not heal me, it postponed the healing until I was ready, which then too another 13 years to date. Quitting weed took 6-7 years after I made the decision. I had to drop peer group and parents first, as part of the healing.
Had I never smoked, had I been able to cope with family and my history, I would have dropped them ASAP. I’d be further ahead by now. The weed was a comfort blanket and that became a smother, it’s not a healer. It’s a step toward healing however because that comfort is required however long it takes. Pharma is useless, worse than weed. Better green than chemicals.
Stop adding to his stress load. It’s regressive. That’s the big advice in this situation. Change the relationship dynamic. All the weight is on him to change and that pressure causes dis-ease, his smoking weed is a response to that.
Nobody ever died from weed. Medical research and Shamen all say it’s brilliant stuff. The biggest risk is the police, for which you ask a judge about genesis 1:29 and what ultimately empowers his judicial oath. People have been acquitted in uk using that. The cops don’t care about that though, they also create stress because it’s their job, nothing personal. Right to remain silent, just tell them “I got autism” and sleep peacefully in the cell until they let you go. A duty solicitor is on their side, not yours.
The new super skunk weeds are a totally different thing. They are designed to be addictive, not to heal. That’s the real concern here. Putting off healing by getting spaced is one thing - his internal decision to conform and achieve to success in society is not something which can be forced, although it can be subtly guided. That takes a longterm patience and understanding. Punishment is going to make it worse.
If / when he gets violent, walk away. Do not feed angry. You can not be reasonable with someone who is un-reasonable. Wait until it blows out and he will feel sad and possibly apologetic. It’s like a kids temper tantrum - the more you feed into it the worse it gets. So starve the anger, it will break, into sorrow. Psychology. The sorrow and regret is where you begin healing your relationship and rebuilding, because it’s come internally from him. Can not be forced until the anger breaks.
Weed manages his anger by avoiding facing it. If he can’t control it, which he can’t, it will break. If you feed it, you’re the target. Get out of there until he’s sorry.
Better than weed is self discipline which develops from self defense training. That’s what I’d be encouraging him toward, subtly though so he doesnt reject it. Outlet for anger plus internal discipline and recognition for achievement. It costs a bit but it famously is known to work. Not boxing, a dojo which trains internal discipline skills through martial arts, whatever form is available in your area. It’s a lifestyle, even an hour a week, which means a fresh start to shift the routine of current home life into a positive focus. Plus martial art peer group will help discourage weed too.
A lot of his issues is puberty. This will change in the next few years as he stabilizes and meets girl/s. Please don’t call the police again, he’s lost trust of you for that and see’s you as a threat on a primal level. You need to understand each other and heart to heart sbout emotions and breaking the negative cycle you’re all in.
Take deep breathe, yoga breathing. Calm the blood, calm the temper. All of you. These traumatic experiences can, in time and with positivity and patience, bring families closer and help understand each other and yourselves a lot deeper. It seems like you are all reactionary, where you need to be de-escalating situations.
Comedy. Get some comedy dvds. Laughter - at ourselves and situations, it’s a great healer too. Laughing directly at anger aggravates the angry while dis-empowering them internally so be careful of that specific situation. When things are more sedate - laugh together. The laughing Buddha didn’t smoke weed and he’s worshipped internationally for his guidance. Must be something in it.
The Parents of their child are doing the right thing, They are concerned for his welfare. From his mothers information I presume that the son was not perverted to smoke "Weed" by them.
You are obviously an adult living your own life and society could not care less what an adult does.
I personally believe if Normal home grown plants are self consumed, fermented or whatever that should not be a criminal offence, but at the moment even possessing "weed" is illegal to possess.
Your reference to genesis 1:29 is correct to but only to some extent. The Bible reference is to seeds,
You can possess Budgie seeds lawfully for food for your self or your budgie. from my reading of half a century ago when it was first realised that cannabis plants could be grown from budgie seed but it was not skunk. I don't know if it is still in the budgie mix.
If you had cannabis seeds, For Food purposes as with collected magic mushrooms you must not have them stored in measured bags or containers that has been construed in Court with collected MM's in plastic bags after being weighed out as prepared for supply. Similarly possessing the scales used for weighing them out, all part of the evidence to be put before the court, when the user/collector said they were for his use. The same goes for drying them, again construed as preparation for supply.
You are right that communication has been broken, and a professional family advisor may be the best person to help them in this matter.
But you are wrong in relation to prescribed medication being usless.
My severely autistic son used to attack us for no apparent obvious reason having other than It might be that I have spoken to my wife or Vice Versa, or it is Saturday, having not had any medication until about 25, He has now been on Risperidone for the last 10 years it has definitely helped. It has to be authorised by a Psychiatrist.
Well said. You make some excellent points. I enjoyed reading this.
I just looked up genesis 1:29 and in verse 30, it says he gave us every ‘green’ plant as food for all the wild animals ~ me and my (autistic) friend once pondered if we were like feral cats, like wild animals, so maybe we are and the green stuff was intended for me afterall! ;)