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Title says it all really… I can’t cope with him… I don’t know what to do with him, whether it’s him or me..?  Jacob is 9 years old now and recently diagnosed with Aspergers (which I had suspected for a long, long time) but what I’m unsure of is whether his behaviour is just bad behaviour or part of Aspergers.  Every day is just a cycle of me screaming at him just to get basic things done because he just doesn’t do anything he’s asked… I’m looking at having to ask him to do something around 5 times (and by that time shouting) as he just doesn’t do it…. Then more worryingly is the evil, manipulative streak he shows towards his little brothers.  This is
Just find upsetting more than anything else, it’s like he goes out of his way to hurt them but he goes about it in such a cruel way that it surely can’t be normal?!  He lulls them into false senses of security or pretends he’s playing or pretends it was an accident then really hurts them or encourages them to do something really quite dangerous.  He seems incapable of playing normally with them.  I’m finding myself saying more and more hurtful things to him because I’m angry/upset/out of control and I
just want him to listen and acknowledge me, it’s not
Working and I expect I’m just pushing him further away.  He’ll
Soon feel like he’s not loved or wanted the way I’m carrying on.  What also doesn’t help is that he is
So much like his biological dad… He looks, talks, thinks and acts like him which is a
Shame as his bio dad is a div (and I suspect also an aspie sufferer along with his grandma [dads mom]).  It would seem
That no matter how much nurture we put in, it won’t override the nature.  It’s not even as if he spends much
Time with his bio dad, we split up when Jacob was 13 months and my husband and I
have been together since he was three.  He currently sees his bio dad about once every 6
Weeks… So what do I do?!  If I’m brutally honest he’s ruining my days, turning
Them into constant battles, making me sad, upset and even more exhausted… Don’t know if it shows on the post but it’s currently 3am, I’ve been awake for over an hour now as this issue keeps me awake most nights…going over and
Over it in my head… The Aspergers manages to suck the fun out of everything because
He rarely shows excitement or gratitude (never has even as small child/toddler), he can’t really take/understand jokes, is unable
To play fight or really play games… We have an appointment with his consultant on Friday but
Don’t know what they’re gonna do really… I also don’t know if his
Choice of school is appropriate now either… Academically the boy’s a genius, especially at Maths… He can
easily digest facts and figures and regurgitate them so wonderfully like the private school
System loves but common sense and social skills are completely lacking.  I know
I can’t HE him, I can’t manage him the
Hours he’s currently at home
So having him home more won’t help either of us, plus I’m about
To give birth any day as well as him having two little brothers at home.  So do I consider a school that won’t push him academically (which was what we were told we needed to do to keep him interested and
For him not to become disruptive - although after a meeting at school
Last week he IS becoming disruptive anyway)... I don’t
Know what to do, I don’t know what to
Think, I don’t know how to handle
Him or the situation.  Not many of
Our family or my friends
Are aware of his diagnosis, I’m unsure if telling them will make a difference.  All I know is that his behaviour is tearing our family apart because of the HUGE amounts of stress it is causing.

Apologies if this is written all higgledy piggledy but I’m writing it on my phone at 3.15am!

TIA ladies x

Open All The Boxes

Mommy to Jacob (13.03.04), Joe-Joe (17.01.10) Noah (02.03.11) and Thomas (19.05.13)

Taking baby steps towards a more sustainable, conscientious lifestyle.

http://myfreerangethree.wordpress.com/

Hugs, sounds like you are in a really difficult place with all this right now. I don’t know much about asperges, so can’t really offer any suggestions, but I would say, you are very pregnant right now which is probably having a bearing on how you react to your son’s behaviour, and how patient you feel. Also could some of his behaviour be linked to the new baby? I know my girls behaviour towards each other and me has gone down hill through pregnancy and into lyres birth and we seem to be in a house of (all of us) shouting more often than not at the moment :(
I hope things improve for you soon xx

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Sorry I can’t really say much to help, I have very little experience of asperger’s….but I would let your close friends know about his diagnosis? It might relieve a little pressure off you, so they aren’t just seeing him as badly behaved? Don’t know if that would marginally help how you feel when he is around them? Is there anyone you can talk to who knows a lot about asperger’s?

Have you contacted the national autistic society?  I would tell everyone around him his diagnosis and look for as much help as you can as to what to do from professionals.  Maybe he has issues about your pregnancy and is reacting in his own way.  Do you have any involvement with camhs?

Definitely contact the autistic society - as a child I had a friend whose parents were in the same position as you, and they were able to get respite care for their son through them - several weekends and at least one whole week a year so they could have a proper break from their child’s *very* challenging behaviour.

Angie

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My brother was exactly the same as a child, drove my mum and step-dad up the wall. He is autistic spectrum with aspergers.  One of the things he had which sounds the same as your son is oppositional behaviour which often is only exhibited at home. Don’t know if anyone has defined this for you but there is a link here http://www.yourfamilyclinic.com/ODD/ODD.html.

Often outside the home they don’t show this behaviour certainly my brother didn’t his teachers were always saying how well behaved he was and my mother would just think what are they talking about he is a monster! The only thing I can advise is to fight as hard as you can for any help you can get including respite care which my mother had and the only relief they got for his whole childhood.

http://www.autism.org.uk are fantastic also with the legal side of getting help we used downloads from their site to get my brother help as an adult as social services were saying his IQ was not low enough to get help but their legal advice was that social services cannot use IQ to determine whether someone should receive help but ability to run their own life and social ability. Needless to say our social services dept. was not happy with us but they had to give him help in the end as his social functioning was awful. He has actually improved somewhat with professional help with this, he has had cognitive therapy and other interventions.

As for school he could not get on in a mainstream school. He was good at maths and art but awful with english and communication and just fell behind. The local authority were meant to provide him with one to one help but they were so slow getting it organised that in the end my mother contacted our local special needs school and luckily they had a place and he went there where he flourished. Yes it was a very mixed ability school some of the children were a lot worse than him with their mental ability and some had physical disablity as well but the school was fantastic and taught each child up to their own ability. So, it would be worth looking at those sort of schools for him and contacting them direct if the LA won’t help.

I think if you don’t already have it you should definatly ask for respite care not just for you but for your other children.

Hi, I’m afraid I don’t have any real advice but I didn’t want to read and run, you’re a great mum, hugs to you and your family. X

Happy mama to Ed, Max, Tilly and Ben. Still learning every day.

Hi, Yes, me too, just sending you lots of love and tlc, thinking of you, keep strong. xxx

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((hugs)) It sounds like you are all having a tough time of it. I’m afraid I don’t have any real advice, but I would say, having worked with people with Asperger’s and other ASDs, that the sort of manipulative behaviour you describe is common in those with that diagnosis. That isn’t to say that the Asperger’s itself is necessarily a cause, but there is often a relationship and often, but not always, a causal link. Lack of awareness or understanding of others’ feelings can mean that Asperger’s children (and adults) don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions, especially in the emotional context.
Might I suggest that you contact (if you haven’t already, which I’m sure you probably have) the National Autistic Society or other local charities who may be able to offer you some support?
Be strong and remember that you are not alone.

Squee

Mammy to
Cerys (July 2010)
Violet (November 2013)
GP LETS 113

Thanks for all your replies x

Yes Heggle, I do think that me being so pregnant isn’t helping, I’m so tired and big and trying to nest but everything I try to do is either being destroyed by the littlies or sabotaged by Jacob…  I have horrible pregnancies in that I get hyperemesis for around 5 months so the kids get pretty much neglected in that time, spending lots of time indoors, watching tv and other modern nasties while I loll around puking and being generally useless.  Jacob’s needs end up coming after his brothers as they need more care at the moment with them being the age they are.  I wanted Jacob to have siblings but I often wonder if they have come at too higher price… He has now had to go through 3 pregnancies with me and shortly another long period of adjustment while we get used to being a family of 6, all for him to be almost lumbered with additional people that he doesn’t understand.  I’m not even sure if he understands himself what he’s feeling or indeed not feeling. 

The-libran, I think you’re right, I need to start telling people, a few people know but I have actively avoided telling my own parents as I think they will just dismiss it and make out like it’s a made up condition or that he doesn’t really have it and I know this will make me both upset and really angry…you never know though, they might surprise me… Also, I answer to your question I don’t know anyone who knows a lot about Aspergers…feel quite alone and clueless :( I don’t understand him, I don’t know how to make this situation work for us all.

Sparky - I have heard of The NAS and even looked at their website but I wasn’t really sure what I was meant to do?  Who do I contact on there? What do I say?  We don’t have any involvement with CAHMS…  I’ve had an email from the woman who initially referred us 12 months ago recently that basically told me that all services were being cut… Everything just takes so long while in the mean time things gradually get worse and our relationship is deteriorating.  My biggest worry is that I’m really going to effect him mentally long term and it’s going to have an added negative effect on his ability to form meaningful relationships.

Angie - what happens at respite care?  How would I explain that to him? That I need a break from him? (I do, but I don’t want him to be aware of that!) he already says that he thinks that we don’t love him even though he’s told several times a day so obviously actions are speaking louder than words to him :(

RachelN - have just had a quick read of that link and there are some definite similarities there.  I do think we need some actual help, all of us, him and me & Tom, we need some real time and input to manage this, not to be sent away with a few bits of paper for us to read because we just can’t implement them.  But like you said, it’s a struggle getting help.  Most services that are provided via the NHS or on a voluntary basis aren’t interested in borderline cases only the most needy, the most desperate… You have to be on your knees sometimes for anything to be done, I just feel it’s unfair that I can’t always access “available” services as I’m just not “bad” enough…. Often the people they do try to help (and do need it) don’t want the help therefore making them almost unhelpable!!!  Even though I feel like I’m begging perhaps my situation just isn’t dire enough, cause I’m not on the brink of suicide (who cares about depression eh!) then my family aren’t a worthwhile cause :(  Jacob is currently in yr 4 and from what I can tell is doing ok but I’m worried about secondary school and what’s going to be best for as I’m not sure about mainstream school…  He is very likely to get a place in a grammar school, but again, will this meet his long term needs?!?

Thanks Cheryl and buddhamum x much appreciated x

Thanks Squeedledee - that makes total sense. When I ask him why he behaves the way he does he says he doesn’t know… Maybe he doesn’t?xxx :(

Open All The Boxes

Mommy to Jacob (13.03.04), Joe-Joe (17.01.10) Noah (02.03.11) and Thomas (19.05.13)

Taking baby steps towards a more sustainable, conscientious lifestyle.

http://myfreerangethree.wordpress.com/

No experience but didn’t want to read and run.  Couldn’t you explain respite as a way for him to have a break from you and some time with people who understand more what he’sgoing through, that isn’t school, a time he can relax without parents/teachers being around. Just an idea. x

Mother to Harry (6) and Oliver (4) and Hannah who arrived at 5.57pm on Friday 10th May 2013

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Anriel - I like the idea but don’t think I could do it as a formal thing… Maybe if I sent him to a summer camp?  I
Don’t know? Maybe that’d be even more stressful for him?  I’ll look into it, just wondering where they actually send them? What they
Do with them? Sounds a bit scary ????

Open All The Boxes

Mommy to Jacob (13.03.04), Joe-Joe (17.01.10) Noah (02.03.11) and Thomas (19.05.13)

Taking baby steps towards a more sustainable, conscientious lifestyle.

http://myfreerangethree.wordpress.com/

(((hugs))) I could have written that post myself about my 10 year old daughter. She was diagnosed last year with aspergers & each day I face huge challenges with her, very similar to the ones you’ve mentioned - the not listening, being very manipulative (it’s scary at times!!) she really acts like she owns the place & appears to have no understanding about discipline & where the line is drawn. She sees her things as hers & god help anyone to touch them LOL but then is more than happy to take other people’s things. The lack of understanding when it comes to emotions has lead to big problems with relationships/friendships :( She struggles to do lots of basic things such as teeth brushing, washing herself, using the toilet etc. That side of aspergers breaks my heart as no mother wants to see her child struggle. The behavioural problems though are so much harder to deal with & it’s daily, plus now she’s very tall for her age & is almost matching me height-wise so when she has a meltdown (which happens throughout the day, and night sometimes) it’s getting harder & harder to cope with as she hurts her siblings, hurts me & hurts herself at times. I feel really sad for my other kids as they really have a rough ride of it at times when Amy’s behaviour gets really bad :( Again, Amy’s behaviour is on the whole very different around other people which has lead me to believe perhaps there’s something more going on (like ODD for example) but the consultant reckons this is typical for someone with aspergers, particularly with girls. We get no help at all, no follow up, simply a diagnosis & then we were packed on our way! I wish I had the answer for you but I’m still searching myself. Just know you’re not alone x x x

Daughter age 11
Three sons age 10, 7 & 5
Baby girl age 3

My brother went to respite at a local authority run place he would just go for a couple of hours at first and worked up to staying overnight but he only ever stayed one night although some of the kids stayed a couple of nights or more. They would do activities with them and take them on trips and things, he enjoyed it. I know it is hard to fight for help but please don’t give up, just because he is borderline does not mean you don’t need help. I think there are other forms of respite where volunteers sort of become a mentor and take kids out for a couple of hours to give parents a break, again I think this is organised by social services but you might be more likely to get this type of service as they do not pay the mentor the way they have to in a residential place.

I’ve just sent my eldest off to school threatening him that if he doesn’t improve with his attitude, he will have to stay with grandparents!  He is really really hard work and he doesn’t have aspergers.
I feel awfull as I often shout at him and most of the upset at home is caused by him :-(
He has a very upsetting personality.
He’s very lazy, spiteful to his siblings, the second he wakes up he’s shouting his mouth off ( hardly ever does a kind word fall from his lips ) he is constantly picking fault with everyone else but thinks that when he does something wrong, he is above being told off.
Nothing is his fault, everything is unfair and he is alwAys shouting at me for something as small as being asked to pick his clothes off of the floor.
He constantly lies, pees his pants in bed and hides them so his room stinks!  ( he has to share with his poor brother! ) I’ve found poop smeared around the room and snot wiped over everything, mindless distraction of toys and other property, stealing from school,, the list goes on!
I’m wondering wether to take him to the GP as a lot of the time I feel I can’t cope with him and he’s ruining things for everyone else. We don’t go out unless we really have to as a family as he ruins any attempt reliably every time :-(
I feel for you. Unfortunately I can’t offer any advice apart from trying to take each morning as a fresh start, don’t begin the morning resentful of what happened yesterday.

Hugs.

SAHM to DS 8 years. DS 7 years and DS 3 and a half years and DD 3 months
Breastfeeding ( exclusively pumping ) , babywearing and very interested in all things green and good.

Hi,

My son has ASD amongst other things. The Aspergers diagnosis is due to disapear because it’s just a part of the Autism Spectrum. The NAS is a good place to start, meeting parents in similar positions and for advice and support. There may also be courses available locally for you to learn more.

From your initial post you seem to be getting drawn in to his behaviour, it’s better to ignore the behaviour that you don’t like (Unless causing harm) and really emphasise the positive behaviour that you do want and how great he is for doing that. Definately no shouting and arguing, it really doesn’t help and you’re teaching him how to interact in an inappropriate manner, you need to stay calm and controlled. There is so much to learn that it can be quite overwhelming. I would try and tackle one issue at a time. Decide what your biggest concern is and tackle that.

Sharing his diagnosis I feel is an important step on the pathway to accepting and learning how to support him. It’s nothing to be ashamed of it’s just a part of him. I find other people are far more tolerant when they understand there’s a reason why behaviour is that way.

Respite can come in many forms, from him staying away overnight somewhere, to someone coming to take him out for a few hours, or him going to a club. It depends on what meets your and his needs.

If there are specific issues that you want support with ask away, but I would grab some books and start reading. A lot of his behaviour will be caused by his autism and lack of understanding rather than him being a mean child.

becky

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