Thursday, April 02, 2015

Welcome to April

I know, I haven't been here in a while.

We've been on a roller-coaster ride. Some was expected. Some wasn't. Puberty is upon us. No one seems to know what to do to help him through it. Spring is here. The usual strategies are apparently out the window.

And oh, look, Autism Awareness Month. Yay.

Hey, we are aware. So, so aware. Today Joey made sure his new school was really, really aware.

How do you discipline a child for whom the usual methods have absolutely no effect- or worse, make it worse, and even reinforce the behavior? What do you do when the mental health support you finally managed to get suddenly stops, because the therapist moved away and no one else handles the special needs of your kid?

I need my kid sleep at night. I need my kid to quit cussing people out just because he is upset or scared or anxious. I need school to stop having breaks and let my kid have a couple of normal, routine weeks. Seriously.

I know he is better where he is than at the regular school, and is moving along academically again. But these are the kinds of days that I just want to cry. How is he going to manage to get through adult life if he can't even handle an environment that was especially designed for him, full of specialists on his needs?

What are we supposed to do?


farmwifetwo said...

Puberty... best help for it is that glass of wine you enjoy after they are asleep... there are days. Actually, it's settling down with the first, the severe one is emotionally "normal" so I get the average teenage behaviour not the excessive autistic one. That, I can live with.

Discipline unfortunately has to start a lot earlier than puberty. If you are starting now, or changing your ways of dealing with it, you're done. The lack of filters before it, don't exist at all now and the ability to reason has vanished. Having read your blog for years I'm going to recommend strict in-school routines that he knows, has visual supports for, proper sensory diet/equipment designed by an OT, and the ability to leave a situation when he's had enough with someone he trusts. What he gets done, he gets done but at the start of puberty... just build the structure to his day and getting him to function in it, should be the primary goal.

Have you considered meds. I can't remember if you had or not. My eldest (HFA) is on about half the allotted dose of Strattera. Just enough to give him control of his thoughts again. Now, headed into 16, when the hormones start to settle some, we return to the child psych to decide what to do until the end of high school. That doesn't mean he isn't still that lovely teenage annoying, narcissistic, refuse to shower, back to our every few months meltdowns compared to daily.. etc..

I just keep telling myself "one day this will end" and from the blog posts of people I have followed for years, young adulthood seems to be the time for growth and independence. I'm looking forward to it.

Joeymom said...

As long as you've been here, you don't think we've had discipline strategies in place? Ye of little faith! The problem is that all the strategies and methods we have been using are no longer helping, and there was a LOT of damage done in the regular school. He is now in a special OT-based school- and even they are at a loss, though they have worked with him for years. Then there are lovely things like snow days and spring break. Yay, us.

He is on medication for both depression and anxiety. We had a psych finally, but she moved, and no one around here is successful and effective in working with autistic kids.

Anonymous said...

My son is 10 and this is exactly what I am dreading...He is at the age where he IS saying inappropriate things in public...My heart goes out to you. Keep hoping.

Suzanne said...

Boy, do I get you here. When Janey was moved from an inclusion classroom to an all-autism classroom and strand, I really thought she'd fit in better. However, it still usually feels like she's the toughest kid there in terms of behavior, and the past year has featured a psychiatric hospitalization. It just so often feels like it never ends. No advice, just sympathy here!