The Saga Continues: wow....just wow. :(

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Very possible either way Tanya but also irrelevant. We purchased him MORE than enough food to get by. Its gone and its not on us. Now its time for him to step up and sort this crap out because the shelter and the food bank aren't that far away and he can get food at either one. He gets paid tomorrow so he will have money for a bus pass to go to social services to fill out the paper work for food stamps.

    Its all on him.
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  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    By my addition, between the entrees, mac & cheese, Ramen, and sandwiches, he should have had around 20 meals... that alone would give him six days at 3 meals per. He got a $35 subway card for Xmas too and said he still had some on that last time we asked!

    I hope our being on the lease doesn't louse that up. I'd hate for them to count any of our income.
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Don't let the fact that your son may or may not have a mental health disorder break your resolves. Here is the truth...regardless of mental health issues many people do not commit crimes. It was his choice to do the things that put him in the position he is in now. He needs to be treated the same way as you would treat someone without a mental health issue.

    He will, as you mentioned before, use his possible mental health issue as an excuse for his bad behavior. I have mental health issues and other than times when the depression is difficult I don't use them as an excuse for anything. I would never use them as an excuse to do something illegal or to abuse substances.

    Your son my have a disability that makes it more difficult for him to do the right thing but he has had nothing but support and positive influence from his family. It's not like he was unable to function in society or finish school. He has the ability to do anything he wants if he works hard.

    People with Aspergers 50 years ago learned how to cope without a title for their issues. Some of them did it the right way and some didn't. I am not against the idea that addictions are often preceded by mental health issues. I just think there are different levels of mental health and not all of them make addictions or illegal actions happen. We all have a choice of how we live. Some have it harder than others but it doesn't mean that they aren't still making their choices.

    PS: In the case of severe mental illness I know that the person isn't in control. Lil and Jabber's son has never shown he is that severe in my humble opinion.
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  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If it is mental illness, I'll agree.
    If it's developmental... it's a different twist than MI.
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Could you flesh that out a bit? I don't know anything about developmental problems. Or are you speaking of things like Autism and Asperger's...which I understand isn't really a diagnosis anymore. Aren't they just lumping that in as an Autism Spectrum Disorder?
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I could understand developmental delays if Lil's son had a history of innability to distinguish right from wrong. BUT this is a kid who did pretty well in lif until he hit his mid teens. A developmental delay severe enough that he doesn't know right from wrong or that would make him use drugs should have shown up atleast in some manner before now right? Just asking because I also don't know much about Developmental issues.
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Like autistic spectrum disorder, probably Aspergers unless he had a speech delay, which would put him further down the spectrum. Aspergers is a developmental delay in mostly social skills and communication, even if the person has a very good vocabulary. They also may lack common sense. But he would have had to have shown signs of problems of this nature all his life. School is a struggle for many Aspies. Many have problems with loud noise, certain fabrics, bright lights, crowds, chaos in general. This is more obvious when they are son sort of of outgrew it. Well, to a point.

    Most Aspies are very rule-oriented and don't like changes in routine AT ALL. They can't tolerate chances. Many parents of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids say they do not lie or are very obvious when they lie...they aren't good at it. So maybe he does not fit the bill?

    At his age, he would have to be the one to get help for himself regardless of whether he had mental illness or a neurological difference. There is a lot of testing that goes on before you can be declared disabled.

    In some ways he seems to fit, but in others he seems too clever about manipulating.

    Aspergers is not a mental illness. It is a neurological difference.
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  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    dstc, a developmentally delayed person can tell right from wrong. In fact often they are fanatical about rules. My son knows right from wrong and follows the rules to the letter. Perhaps you are thinking about something else, such as fetal alcohol spectrum, however I'm sure her son does not have that. It is not a trait of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or developmental delays not to know right from wrong.

    There is no disability that forces one to use drugs. It is a decision the person makes.
  9. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    It would be one thing if he ate the food, but it's a completely different story if he is giving it to someone else. That just not acceptable.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    MI = everything from anxiety and depression to bi-polar and other related, to personality disorders.
    Developmental problems are not necessarily obvious, and not necessarily delay. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is one. But they created some new ones when they dropped Aspergers. There are others.

    The kinds of interventions that work for MI are different than what works if its more developmental,
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    What IC said it a good, short explanation. Everyone on the spectrum, even Aspergers, is now called Autistic Spectrum Disorder, although obviously not all are as severe as others. And she's right that mental illness and a developmental delay (which does NOT mean mentally slow) require different treatment and that developmental delays are often tricky to find, but can be debilitating.
    Once again, good post, IC.
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Okay...from WebMD: Asperger's Syndrome:

    Problems with social skills: Children with Asperger's syndrome generally have difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily. They have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation.

    Did my kid fit this? Well yeah. When young, he had a lot of problem socializing. We put him in pre-kindergarten even though I was told by the teacher he could skip to 1st, and started him in kindergarten at 5 when most people kept their kids out to 6, because he needed the socialization. He was whiny and needy and never was one to make a lot of friends or keep them. In the end, he took up with the stoners because, "They were the only ones who were nice to me." He has said he never felt like he ever fit in anywhere. Breaks my heart.

    Eccentric or repetitive behaviors: Children with this condition may develop odd, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing or finger twisting.

    Not that I really noticed. He cracks his knuckles and joints constantly though. Makes me crazy!

    Unusual preoccupations or rituals: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such as getting dressed in a specific order.

    Not a ritual really...although he absolutely HAD to be read to or sung to, to get to sleep until he was about 5. He just liked things a certain way.

    Communication difficulties: People with Asperger's syndrome may not make eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble using facial expressions and gestures, and understanding body language. They also tend to have problems understanding language in context and are very literal in their use of language.

    Yes...difficulty with eye contact, got better over the years and now is mostly when lying. Aw heck...he ticks most of these.

    Limited range of interests: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a few areas, such as sports schedules, weather, or maps.

    His was trains until about age 5. As in that was pretty much the only toys he would play with. He could name every train car by the age of 3. Then video games and that was pretty much it. He tends to fixate on a subject and that is his subject. I wish it was something like maps. His last fixation was the many benefits of marijuana.

    Coordination problems: The movements of children with Asperger's syndrome may seem clumsy or awkward.

    Not really.

    Skilled or talented: Many children with Asperger's syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.

    Again, not really. He's quite good at writing and was a pretty good artist...but nothing spectacular.

    So there you have it. I was concerned enough in his early years to research this. I kept an eye on it. But it never seemed serious enough to have it diagnosed.

    What isn't on the WebMD list, which I've read before, is the difficulty "shifting gears". His was rather extreme. If it was time to go somewhere you'd have to do a countdown, "We're leaving in 5 minutes. We're leaving in 3 minutes. We're leaving in 1 minute. Time to put on your coat." He was extreme in his perfectionism. He had an absolute meltdown when he went over the line on a maze in school at 3 (I had him in a program) and they wouldn't give him another. He got angry at 7 when he couldn't beat Jabber at chess. He stopped coloring outside the lines at 2 and really didn't like coloring after about 3...he preferred to draw. He was NO fun to play with...because he HAD to win or fits would be had. Good Lord the tantrums!

    Another one not on this list is sensitivity to various things...textures, crowds. I kind of blame to food thing on this. He was always really, really difficult to get to eat certain things and it seemed to be a texture issue. For instance, he'll eat chicken nuggets, but doesn't like biting into a piece of chicken. Prefers ground beef over steak or roast. That sort of thing. HATED to get anything on his hands. Eats pizza, brownies, cupcakes, with a fork.

    So maybe I should have done something years ago...but he was just difficult, other than when he was 3, I didn't think he was extreme to the point of worry. It got better with age. But that doesn't mean he ever got over it.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Kids on the edge of spectrum who have parents working to teach kills starting early often appear les disabled than they really are.
    Kids in this mid-late teen age group right now missed most of the early intervention stuff that exists now... lots have no diagnosis.
    been there done that
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Lil......I had to do the same exact thing to Sonic.

    "Sonic, five minutes to go to school! Sonic, two minutes to go to school!" Then there was still no guarantee he would not cry and be difficult when carried out to the car. The train thing is a HUGE red flag for Aspergers. MANY Aspies love trains or train schedules. I have no idea why.

    Really early on, we knew Sonic was different because he came out of foster care and had been evaluated closely so we made sure he got all the interventions and that school was a friendly, warm place for him. Many Aspies are on the fringe and never diagnosed so they struggle through life. I am starting to feel teary-eyed for your son, like maybe this is him, at least a little. Maybe he really CAN'T get to work on time or schedule his time on his own...ya know?

    My son never had any big strengths either other than he was a very hard worker and liked to help people...he was a very nice person. Honestly, Lil, if he had not been treated from young on he may have also turned to drugs to feel some sort of connection to people. Lots do. Why? Well, as my daughter who did tons of drugs told me, "they're the ones who are nicest to the loners and nobody else accepted me." My daughter does not have Aspergers, but is shy to tears and when we put her in a new school, she sat alone for months until the "bad" kids started to include her.

    Look, I don't know if your son has this struggle. But if he does, maybe if you present it to him and offer to take him for a neuropsychologist evaluation, you can find out. Maybe your instincts were right in the first place and he does need more help than your average young adult. Sonic still needs help, still calls me all the time, but he is doing well because he has community supports.

    If you are interested in looking into it, I'd go to Amazon and read a few books of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), not just Aspergers. There is also high functioning autism, which is not quite Aspergers and Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, which was Sonics first diagnosis (and it was hard to get). I would truly hate to see your son suffer if it really is not his fault that he struggles. And I know you don't want that. He could still live out of the home if he is diagnosed. Between Sonic's Disavility pay and part-time job, which was carefully chosen for him, he has enough money to pay his own bills. I am his payee so his bills get paid. If I ever can't, somebody else will be appointed. I'm glad I don't have to explain all this to you ;) At any rate, there's another possibility for you. He just doesn't seem like your typical horrible kid or personality-disordered young man who ends up homeless.

    Of course, any evaluation would require his cooperation. But you know that.

    I would love to see a happy ending here. I think all of us have adopted you, Jabber and your son and we all want to see a happy ending. Something about your not quite the same as many other difficult children here. He seems more innocent.

    Lil, spectrum kids, especially on the high end, do get better with age. But they can still really struggle if they are on their own. And they struggle over stuff that has us scratching our heads, such as common sense things. With interventions, even if he is older, he can learn to fit in better...that is if he has it.
  15. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    But he can't live home either. If he has this problem, it didn't make him steal from the only people in the world who love him.

    And now I'm crying.

    That's good...we may have to move in with you when I lose my job because I spend all damn day on this board dealing with my son's issues instead of working. :sigh:
  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Lil, he wouldn't have to live at home, hon. And my son used to steal from me because of his incredibly horrible impulse control. He wanted potato chips (lovely diet) so he'd steal money to buy them. We ended up locking up our money. The impulse control in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is as bad or worse than ADHD. He never did learn to keep his fingers out of our pockets so we locked everything into a lock box for his safety and our own. He also took our car out a few times because he wanted to pick up something he had saved for...some stupid game system. Maybe this will make you laugh. It made ME want to ring his neck.

    The first time he went out, he said, "I want to drive just like everyone else." Of course he didn't really want to learn to drive when it came down to it and he didn't have a license and a cop called us and the cop seemed shaken. "He's crying and so upset. Can one of you pick him up?" That was Time One.

    The second time, was the night of the midnight videogame pick up. He couldn't wait for morning. No, that required too much impulse control. So we're asleep and the phone rings at 1:30am and it', yep, another cop, with the same complaint. THIS cop was even more soft-hearted. "Please don't punish him. He told me all about his disabilities."

    Ok, I was ready to slap him (not the cop, my son). He is hardly mentally challenged. He knows right from wrong. He is usually very well behaved. But when it comes to his dang obsessions, he can NOT wait. As soon as the cop left, I said, "This time you pay out of YOUR money and we will lock up the car keys from now on. If you take our car again, we will say it was stolen and you can sit in jail." He bawled like a baby. Until he moved out, we locked the car keys up and our money. My husband grumbled about it a lot, something like, "'s my house and I have to lock my money up..." But I felt that he couldn't control his impulses and told my husband this was to help him control himself control those impulses and to keep our money and car safe. Would have bothered me if he hadn't had such poor impulse control, but he did so it didn't. Know what I mean??

    I never mentioned that here because in the big picture Sonic has done very little wrong. The stealing was a big problem, but he won't steal from a stranger so now that he's not in the house that has resolved. He has a heart of gold. He gave his best friend three Christmas presents from his own money. He hugs me and says he loves me all the time. He is a hard worker and a great friend and was nominated for "Best Young Man Award." But he is different. Fortunately for Sonic, it doesn't bother him and he is such a happy young man, but he has been treated as an equal and special and good person from the time he was young, even in school. If asked if his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) bothers him he said, "Nope. I'm happy." And he is!

    I am his guardian and payee. I don't think he'll need a guardian much longer. He has matured mucho in the past two years. He is now twenty one and able to take care of himself, BUT I still have to pay his bills on time. He has no interest in being 100% independent. Your son doesn't seem to mind your helping himl out a bit either. He knows that without a payee, he will empty out his bank account as soon as he gets paid to buy things he wants...and he doesn't want to do that. He's fine with not having access to his money. I am pretty generous at giving him money for things to do and buy anyway. After all, he has minimal bills and it IS his money, not ours.

    Lil, I didn't want to make you cry, honey. I just offered this possibility. Please wipe your eyes. You did nothing wrong. Sonic was more obvious that he had problems and was born with cocaine in his system so we knew right away he had issues. But, if your son does, you could not have known it if nobody saw it. Please be very good to yourself now. And you are both welcome to move in...anytime ;)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  17. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Oh Lil, Jabber, my heart just breaks for the two of you. It is heartbreaking when our children disappoint us. Nothing, absolutely nothing about him and his situation has to be decided right away.
    Whatever is going on with him has been going on with him for at least the past three years and there are more days ahead of you to wrap your head around your feelings, any rage, yes, you can be enraged by your child and their behaviors and still love them very much.
    No matter what the situation is with him, you aren't going to stop loving him, nor he you. You are on the right path, in my opinion, in making him live up to being a man - and yes even that is hard on us as parents as they disappoint us. You have every right to both be angry and fearful about what is going on with him. Lil, I am so proud of you for saying detach, detach detach. Yes, that is the right place to be. Detachment doesn't mean we don't love the person anymore, it means we stop letting what they are or are not doing effect us, our lives. We still get to do things with them, but it becomes more on our terms. It also becomes a situation where you reclaim your any self-respect you may have unwittingly given away to your son and show him the bright shiny new you, who still loves him but is no longer be controlled by him.
  18. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    He was like that when he was younger, but not for years. Actually, since his early teens he has been pretty much anti-schedule. He wanted to just do what he wanted, when he wanted.

    Our son is not only NOT fanatical about the rules, he's just the opposite. Since around his sophomore year he has been very anti-establishment, not hesitating to tell everyone that rules that restricted him were BS. Basically, if he wasn't hurting anyone then what was the big deal.

    Nope, same story. Whether he ate it all or shared with others, the fact remains that he went through two to three weeks of food in less than four days.
  19. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Not really. Don't you remember, "But I can't get food from the shelter pantry because it's against the rules. They let J get food, but it was against the rules. I didn't ask because it's against the rules. They'd say no to me, because it's against the rules, even though they bend the rules for other people." Rule, Rules, Rules. How dare they bend their own rules? He's actually very big on quoting the rules, but doesn't understand them changing. If we said, "Because it's 10 degrees you can smoke in the garage." he didn't understand why it would not be acceptable ALL the time. He's very weird about rules.

    He has been very "take me as I am" for years though. If people didn't accept him unconditionally, then they were wrong. They shouldn't judge him based upon his clothes or hygiene or anything. He's been very much like that for a long time.

    More like 7 days...not anything close to two weeks Honey. He eats more than that. :)

    I love you...coming home soon.
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My son never cared about hygiene either. It would puzzle him. "Who cares if I'm dirty?" "Who cares if I smell? Nobody even notices." "Why take a bath? I'll just be dirty tomorrow." He tried to get away without showering.

    He gets it now. It is just starting to settle in that people judge you by how you look. Only took twenty one years.