Thought things were gettng better when he started on medication but its just as bad as before now.
!4 years old behaviour is just appaling. It affects everyone in the family. His 4 year old sister. His mum has fibromyalgia which is getting worse.
He uses every trick in the book to get what he wants now. He lies constantly, hes manipulative. Whatever you tell him he just does what he wants anyway. Hes also started using his illness OCD as an excuse not to do things. He also deveopled strange new things like spraying anti-bac spray onto his bits after using the toilet (which is not good).
Also, apparently its all our fault as parents because we made him like this by stressing him out all the time.
Constant letters from school now about homework etc.
Hes done none of the homework given to him by counsellor. Basically, makes zero effort to help himself. Seems happy to just go along as he is, shout at everyone and get his own way. Counsellor has pretty much said to us that she can do no more him until he decides to help himself.
We're been trying to treat him fairly but still sticking to basic house rules. Nothing too difficult. Just put things back, consideration for others (inc dont use all the hot water every day in the shower for an hour!), no shouting and screaming, homework gets done. Thats it. Nowhere near at the moment.
Are we taking the right approach? I guess we should still have rules in the house.
Things we have problem with at the moment:-
1. Homework. "Forgets" to do. Lies that he didnt have homework.
2. Hot water. Uses it all 45-60 min showers. Tried to make rule 10 min max - never sticks to it. What do we do physically supervise a 14 year old?
3. Leaving toilet in a mess. Has so far ruined one floor, one toilet by hosing with water/anti-bac spray. Constantly leaves EVERY surface with spray on. Wont stop doing it.
4. Has sprayed on himself in past and given himself chemical burns. Still sprays on himself if we dont lock it away.
5. Uses 100ml a day of anti-bac hand gel. Shouts and screams like a drug addict if he doesnt get his fix. We've had to put lock on outside of bedroom door to stop him going in there and searching through drawers etc.
6. Gets given homeworks sheets by counsellor. Has yet to do one.
7. Loses his temper and shouts and screams at everyone inc his 4 yr old sister, his mother and me (says he wishes he didnt live with us.) He know he makes his mothers fibromyalgia worse but hes says its not his problem
I would like to respectfully offer you my following thoughts in the simple hope they may provide some form of possible helpful insight...
1.It can be very common for NDs to find it extremely difficult to successfully transition between school and home. Your son may therefore be trying to keep these two parts of his life (school and home) entirely separate by avoiding things which blur those lines, such as homework tasks. Difficulty with transitioning in this way is usually the most common and significant cause of not completing homework tasks. If this is the case your son may find it easier to complete homework while still at school, during his lunch hour perhaps; is there a lunch time study group at school which he could regularly attend which could enable him to do this?
Your son may also live in the ‘present moment’ and when he gets home, he may have entirely lost the thread of what is expected of him with homework tasks and therefore avoids them completely. This 'present momentness' may mean he has genuinely not 'logged' that he has any homework and therefore this does not straight forward constitute lying. He may need more individual steps and clearer written guidance (adjustments) offered to him about his homework than other (NT) kids are routinely getting. So, a good question to ask yourself is, is school actively enabling him to successfully complete his homework tasks by providing additional scaffolding and thus ensuring he is confident he fully understands what each homework task is asking of him when he gets home?
2.Your son likely has communication and information processing difficulties, which will impact negatively on how he interprets and understands himself, others and the world around him. This may directly lead to him appearing to lie and/or be callous when in fact he may be simply offering his genuine (and often well-intentioned) ND understanding of the situation, his comprehension may therefore be ‘skewed’ from an NT perspective. It is therefore not appropriate to assume he doesn’t ‘care’ about his mum’s illness just because he is not responding to it (or her) in ways you would usually expect NTs to respond. He is not NT, he is ND.
His long showers may be because the falling water may be satisfying a sensory need in him. The feel of the water may be very calming for him, for example. Or he may have a very specific routine of washing that he feels compelled to stick to.
3, 4, 5. These are not the behaviours of a wilful teenager ‘wanting his own way...’ These are the behaviours of a child who is suffering, hurting himself via chemical burns, and all three are likely interlinked. He may have a very difficult relationship with toileting/self-care (again not uncommon for NDs) which may be psychological and due to difficulties surrounding themes of loss, compulsions, Mysophobia (fear of germs); or it may stem from physical pain on toileting (BMs) too etc.) The anti-bac dependency is likely the direct result/part of this fixation. These specific issues need unpacking and addressing sensitively and appropriately in decent therapy…
6. Get him a decent therapist. I have some concerns regarding his therapy experience from the information you have offered. If your son has significant difficulty with transitions, which he likely does (see point 1,) he is not going to respond positively to a therapist setting him homework at all as this requires him to transition between his therapy sessions and home, something which young NDs may find extremely hard to do.
In addition, completing ‘therapy homework’ likely requires your son to apply his ‘learning’ in session to other scenarios (at home,) something else which NDs can also notoriously struggle with- i.e. difficulty in applying ‘learnt’ information appropriately to different situations/settings.
Your son may also have difficulty with ‘self-awareness, self-reflection and social-reciprocation (relating with others) abilities; skills which ‘bog standard’ therapy often require and may be required of him to complete his therapy and ‘therapy homework.’ These (self-reflection, self-awareness) may not be skills he actually has or tasks he can actually do on his own at home without direct adult prompting and direct support to do so. So, his ‘therapy/homework’ tasks in themselves may potentially be inappropriate for him on some levels.
These all (above) suggests to me that it may be wise to question his therapists understanding of ASD. It may be because of his therapist’s lack of understanding about autism that he may not appear to be ‘engaging’ when in reality he may not be able to actually access or participate in his therapy at all.
Question hard the therapists training, question their experience and understanding of ASD, and ask what specific adjustments they are making in order to enable your child to participate in therapy. Question their understanding of the points above that I have offered and ask the therapist how they envision that these issues are impacting upon your child’s therapy. If they have no decent and well considered answers to these questions then you have your answer as to whether they are the right therapist for your son and request a different therapist.
Don’t let a therapist blame your ND child for ‘not engaging.’ (Any decent therapist knows that ‘not engaging’ is a form of engaging in its own right.) Instead question harder as to whether the therapist is providing a therapy/therapeutic environment that your ND child is able (being enabled) to participate in.
Best of luck.
Thanks Angel - some very good advice here.
I know part of the problem is that we don't understand it completely. However, as a family we've found the help available to be exactly NIL.
The therapist he has was more of a general therapist so can't blame her. Waiting now for CAMHS treatment to start - as before nothing moves quicly it seems.
I think it may be possible that some of your conflicts with your son may be the product of a genuine 'clash of worlds' as my 2nd reply may have suggested (if you can find it, it can be a bit tricky on here, I find, to keep up with everyone's replies.)
I kind of would blame the therapist a little bit ('general' or not they have a professional obligation to provide a service which is appropriate and ethical, i.e. they should not work with clients outside of their professional competencies.) ) Or at the very least I would not blame your son for not yet having got the help that he really needs from his therapy.
I really hope CAMHS will help, but never stop questioning the 'help' our ND kids are receiving, even if its from CAMHS.
Best of luck and warm regards.