YIKES!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
YIKES!
15
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 5:59pm

Hi, I'm a single mom adopting a sibling group of four children. My middle boy has aspbergers. Some days,I feel like my to do list is: 1. Put Caden in time-out, 2. Let Caden out of time-out; 3. Put Caden in time-out, 4. Let Caden out of time-out, 5. Put Caden in time-out, and so on and so on and so on. Some days (like today) he is constantly doing things that he knows he will get in trouble for. He wants to be good, but good intentions are were it usually stops.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 7:04pm

Hi and welcome!! And WOW!!! I am so in awe of what you are doing and what a contribution you are making. To tell the truth, I would love to be able to do the same, adopt some more kids, but my dh is not on board, sadly... as he is too overwhelmed by the life we already have.

How old is Caden? I see you are finding out what doesn't work with him, which apparently is time-outs. Discipline is important for our kids, but it also has to be handled in ways that work specific to our kids and how being on the spectrum affects them. The fact that he knows what will get him in trouble, but does the actions anyways means you are encountering an impulsivity of some sort, where the brain is not involved on a conscious level, in the decision to misbehave. The shouldn't mean no consequences, but they have to make sense to help and help deter the behavior, also if he is very young, he may need more monitoring and assistance such as you would automatically give a younger child.

For my son, time-outs never worked either, but quiet time to calm down, then fix the problem... now does. And much of the behavior that is really troublesome for him comes from misunderstandings or sensory overwhelm, so that means much of our work to help him has to be proactive, practising in advance of difficulties or working with him to calm and cope after an incident, then going over and discussing everything to clear up where the communication breakdown happened, etc. Then he has to make amends. Does any of this feel familiar?

I'd love to hear more about the actual problems you are encountering and any other information you are willing to share about Caden and how his Asperger's affects him. Each child on the spectrum is SO different, but on this board we have moms with kids of all sorts and many will have great advice based on what is happening!

And do stick around. This is a very supportive and friendly group full of great advice, a super place to blow off steam and be understood.

yours,

Sara

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 7:37pm

Thanks Sara for replying. Caden is 6 with an iq of 68. He's borderline mentally retarded with a 3 year delay. His psychologist says he's really around a 2 year old level when you figure in the Aspbergers.

His behaviors range from threatening his pre-k teacher say he would get a gun and shoot her or the MHMR councilor saying he would get a knife and cut her stomach out to things like today when he got in trouble for climbing to the top of a bookcase to get down games that all the kids know to ask permission before playing. He was removed from the situation, but when he returned, he did the same thing. Then later he was taking things off his sister's shelf; then he picked up a glass platter off of a shelf at a store. My kids room are arrange where the things we put on the shelves (especially the top shelf) are not to be played with unless they ask for help or permission first.

I'm at my wits end on how to discipline him. I've tried removing him from the situation, I've given time-outs, I've sent him to bed early, I've left him at home with a babysitter while the other kids went to the pool, movies, etc. The last seems to work pretty good, but sometimes it is not feasible. For example, when we go to his (and his sister's) OT appointment, it is seen as a reward because he gets to ride a horse for hippo-therapy, and then we go to Kinder-Music for music therapy. These things are very fun, which would normally mean they would be good things to NOT allow him to go to if he is not behaving, but he NEEDS them. I also tried reward systems with no success.

Any suggestions?
Cristi

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2006
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 7:55pm
As a CPS worker I just have to say I wish there were more like you.
Also from that line of thought, it may be that Caden wants to see if you'll really keep him. I'm not sure where you at in the adoption process, or how much he knows, but a lot of times when the adoption process starts kiddos will act out to make sre you're really goin to keep them. Some of it just takes time and reassurance from you.
Other bits of it may be the aspie and being ne to the aspie bit myself I'm not much help there, other than to say I know the feeling.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 8:11pm

I've had Caden for over three and a half years. We've been trying to increase his level of care for the last 2 years, but he's been eligible for adoption for a year now. He was only 30 months old when I got him, so he doesn't really know any differece. But he had a rough beginning with medically and physically neglectful parents. I think he has reactive attachment disorder to an extent as it seems he tries to sabotage the relationship at times. When I first got him, he had obvious delays, but his behavior is getting worse the older he gets.

Cristi

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2004
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 3:01pm

First of all, I commend you for adopting! And four at once! My dh and I are about to start adoption classes so that we can be certified to adopt through the state. We're pretty nervous about it. Second, welcome to the group! I wish that I had some great advice for you, but I still feel pretty new at all this. I know there are others on the board who have more experience in this area and I'm sure they have some good advice for you. Or at least they will let you know that you're not alone in dealing with these types of behavior issues. I hope that you enjoy this board and find it as helpful as I have. I may have some questions for you later about the adoption process-if you don't mind.

Amy~mom to Natalie (10 yrs.) and Lily (4.5 yrs, pdd-nos, sensenbrenner syndrome)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 8:30pm

Hi Cristi,

A PDD kid is not doing these things in order to be manipulative, exactly, but because their brains and their impulsivity overwhelm their thought processes. You say he knows better, but I bet he doesn't. He very, very likely doesn't think, in those minutes he is climbing bookcases or picking up glass platters at stores, that he is doing anything wrong at all or that anything he has heard you say to other children or at previous moments in time applies to NOW. See the trouble? And the next time he does tose things, again he doesn't actually KNOW he is doing anything wrong. That's why time-outs don't work. Throw in your boy's lower cognition and the situation is even tougher, although BTW ASD kids and IQ tests are notoriously unreliable together, the kids just don't test well and that number may be low for his actual intelligence...

What do you do? Draw pictures and create stories of the correct behavior you want to change and target. Hide all potential trouble, such as those games, etc., under lock and key and out of sight, child-proof the house as if for that much younger child, because you cannot hold him responsible yet for his own behavior, you are going to have to monitor him while you find ways to teach him.

Might you qualify for social services such as a behavioral counselor to come to your house and help devise a program to help him learn? Maybe through insurance even? Sounds like he could use one at school as well. What services do you have for him through the school? I would look for as much assistance as possible besides a good babysitter, people to really help train this boy. He might be a very good candidate for ABA as well.
I am thinking with 4 kids on your hands, you will need more helping hands while you get all this sorted out. I'm assuming he has been tested, what recommendations were made by the diagnostician as the best ways to work with him?

Anyways, there are definitely other moms here who will have more suggestions. Many here are also specialists. I would not take away any of his therapies and in fact, for now, taking things away will not be very helpful. Discipline will have to be in small steps, mostly proactive to avoid the behaviors and teaching in increments. The best scenario, hard to do, is to calmly correct and emotionally ignore "bad" behavior over and over -- and then lavish praise and affection on appropriate behavior. Reward systems do work, but they take practise and finding strong motivators, what the child rally wants (stars and "good job" NEVER worked for my son, no matter how many teachers wanted that to be his reward, LOL)

Sara

Avatar for betz67
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 9:53pm

yes! I agree w/ everything Sara said. When Weston was younger we had to give up on timeouts, they just were never effective for him and teaching him with pictures (even at age 6 when he could already read) was the best way. His rules had to be short and specific. He needed lots of reminders and we would have him repeat his rules to us when we'd go into a store and we'd carry some reminders with us (a small cue card w/ the rule/picture on it).

Wow, congratulations and well done for adopting 4 kiddos at once! You are an amazing mom!

Betsy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 10:38pm

Welcome to the board.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Sat, 07-14-2007 - 11:21pm

Thanks for all the info. What is ABA? He sees a councilor through MHMR, and he comes to his school also. He sees an OT and speech therapist during the school year through the school, and I also take him to an OT outside of school for hippo-therapy. He's on medicaide and in the past, they have said that we couldn't see a family councilor and an inividual councilor through MHMR at the same time.

I know you are right about coaching him continually. I've even thought about home schooling him to give him more of my attention, but I also feel that he needs to be around other kids to help him with the social interactions.

You have been so helpful. Thanks for letting me talk to you.
Crist

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
In reply to: justmeadopting4
Sat, 07-14-2007 - 11:25pm

Thanks. That's a good idea about the cue cards. His pre-k teacher would carry the discipline cards with her as a reminder for him. She could visually show him that if he didn't change his behavior, she would have to change his card to yellow.

Thanks a lot.
Cristi

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