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Ds, age 11, so ungrateful

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 1:29 am
So ds has pretty severe adhd and some other issues likely stemming from super high functioning spectrum like behavior (for which he is being treated with meds and seeing a social skills therapist). Lately he has had super bad crying bouts (not the norm) and I got to the Crux is that he truly is not happy. He’s not happy bec he’s always looking at “Yenem.” They have more, better etc. he is never happy with what he has and it makes him miserable to be around when he doesn’t get exactly what he thinks he deserves because “everyone else does/has it.” Sometimes he is right and we do limit more Bec of his issues such as screen time (still has plenty) and junk (still has plenty) and sometimes it’s totally in his head.

I think this is a problem for life that he will be unhappy his whole life bec he only focuses on the negative. I am particularly worried bec my husband is like this and it’s awful and our marriage has suffered greatly because of it.

I would love some advice on a therapy style, or a therapist on Lakewood or surrounding, or Shiurim or something that works. Thank you
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amother




Ivory
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 2:17 am
My dd is like this. She is also add, and very emotional. I do know that no amount of preaching or Torah tapes are going to make a difference. You should try to validate your child that they are sad or feel they have less, not validate what they don't have, but the sad feelings associated with it, instead of just preaching "Eizehu Ashir...". Also, I think at least with my dd, she is trying to tell us something deeper that she is lacking, and she just represents it with physical "stuff". Try to see if you can go that route....
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Ora in town




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 4:20 am
That's a toughy. It often goes with mild, high functionning spectrum disorder...

They often have a very hightened sense of justice (that goes both ways, by the way), but sometimes lack perception of what they get what the others don't get...

So they feel deprived when the others get something and they don't, because they did not perceive it when they did get something and the others didn't...
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Chickensoupprof




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 5:00 am
I'm on the spectrum myself, and as child I was sometimes the same as your son. I wanted to be like someone else because they had better skills then I had, I thought I would have had the skills of the other kid if I would have the same things as them because I was totally aware of my shortcomings but I couldn't handle it yet because I didn't know how to yet. Plus what Ora in Town says... the feel of justice, and having the lack of perception.
I think I did not have this either eg. I was 12ish and my classmate was talking about weed (kinda weird), his stepfather had it in the garden and everything (in the Netherlands it is legal to have at least 3 plants), so he was talking about the effect of weed and everything (I think his stepfather was chronically ill and he used it as a painkiller) however, everyone found this classmate streetwise because he was talking about weed, I also wanted to have 'positive attention' so I wanted to have my share too. But I went too far in it and then I needed to have a word with the teacher while my classmate didn't have this word, oh how UNFAIR!!!!! This was most of the time, if X made a joke in class I also wanted to have my share so I made a joke too etc... If X got attention for having a beautiful dress I wanted too because I wanted to be like them and be normal and not have my tantrums anymore in class because of being overwhelmed.

I would have loved if someone could have say to me that I was good enough, and give me a perception, that the joke was funny because X is funny but that a joke can be told only once, and that I might come up later with a better joke. High functioning on the spectrum is an Olympic sport, it is really hard working and I'm still fed up with it. If you want to change thougts about someone who has been there too feel free to PM me.
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 5:13 am
When I was in 5th grade, we spent 10 minutes after tefillah every day filling out "hakarat hatov diaries" - literally just writing down things we were grateful that Hashem gave us. The first few days were easy - imma, abba, food, clothing - but after that our lists became more nuanced, and it was excellent training to appreciate the good we have.

Is there a way you could translate that exercise into a daily routine for your son? I don't know if he has the interest to keep a diary, but maybe you could have everyone in the family list 3 good things about that day at the supper table, or something like that.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 6:10 am
Chickensoupprof, thank you for sharing your insight and experience! That was very kind of you.

OP, it must be really hard to teach your child, if DH is not being a good role model. Is there a chance that DH is also on the spectrum? If so, that's going to make things twice as hard.

My DD also had a lot of meltdowns at that age. She has an extreme sense of justice, and also wanted to fit in very badly. I spent a lot of time modeling gratitude for what we have, praising Hashem for giving us our needs, empathizing with her, and telling her about times that I was frustrated at not getting what I want.

We must have had this conversation a million times! At least a few times a day, for a couple of years. B'H, she has developed a lovely sense of gratitude now. She's still very much into justice, but she's accepted that life is not always the way you want it to be. All you can do, is do your best.

I think that at this age it's very difficult, but you have to hang in there and keep having these sort of conversations. Eventually, with repetition, time, and maturity, your child should be able to move past this stage.

Good luck with DH. Are you two in marriage counseling? It would help to get on the same page when it comes to your child's meltdowns.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 8:51 am
Thank you! I’ve tried marriage counseling and he’s not really present, so I go on my own. I did discuss with him last night that I would like to do the diary thing. I’ve had this conversation so many times and he still feels this way. Would a therapist help? I feel like no matter how much I say it, he still thinks he’s right.
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Ora in town




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 9:01 am
Rappel wrote:
When I was in 5th grade, we spent 10 minutes after tefillah every day filling out "hakarat hatov diaries" - literally just writing down things we were grateful that Hashem gave us. The first few days were easy - imma, abba, food, clothing - but after that our lists became more nuanced, and it was excellent training to appreciate the good we have.

Is there a way you could translate that exercise into a daily routine for your son? I don't know if he has the interest to keep a diary, but maybe you could have everyone in the family list 3 good things about that day at the supper table, or something like that.


I agree that some way of hightening his perception of what he gets could be helpfull...

or a way of balancing his perception what he gets vs. what others get, what he doesn't get vs. what others don't get...
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Ora in town




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 9:04 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you! I’ve tried marriage counseling and he’s not really present, so I go on my own. I did discuss with him last night that I would like to do the diary thing. I’ve had this conversation so many times and he still feels this way. Would a therapist help? I feel like no matter how much I say it, he still thinks he’s right.


I had good experiences with "listening therapy", in my case it was according to Tomatis method, but I don't know if this exists in your place, and if it's possible to recommend therapists on the grounds of the method they use.

It really calmed down my daughter and helped her observe/listen before she reacts. That is very helpfull...
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amother




Gold
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 11:05 am
This sounds exactly like my kid with pandas. Adhd behaviors, asd type behaviors, lots of rages and meltdowns. The “extreme sense of fairness” is actually ocd for us, the ocd causes severe agitation over the “lack of symmetry”. It’s a little hard to explain but that is it in a nutshell. Of course it may simply be fixation ocd too, causing severe agitation over something he compulsively needs or wants. Other neurotransmitter imbalances may ge contributing too, as these kids with brain inflammation may simply not have enough feel good, calming, happy neurotransmitters in general. We have seen improvement with these types of behaviors by treating the root cause, brain inflammation. For myself, I try to tell myself over and over that this isn’t bad middos, it’s his illness. That helps me lower my expectations and react with kindness.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 4:19 pm
Years ago we tested for pandas and it doesn’t seem to be it. He also has a lot of other social issues etc and it didn’t start overnight. He’s had these issues for many years
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Ora in town




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 4:49 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Years ago we tested for pandas and it doesn’t seem to be it. He also has a lot of other social issues etc and it didn’t start overnight. He’s had these issues for many years


Mary Barbera, specialist in Autism spectrum disorder, says this:

When problem behaviors (like tantrums, hitting, biting, running away) occur, it is either because demands are too high or because reinforcement is too low...

This seems a good strategy to go by...

It might be that demands on him in the emotional realm are to high, because of the particular issues he is struggling with, and that they have to be lowered...

Check out Mary Barbera on youtube...
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amother




Gold
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 9:30 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Years ago we tested for pandas and it doesn’t seem to be it. He also has a lot of other social issues etc and it didn’t start overnight. He’s had these issues for many years
pandas can’t be ruled out by a test. Either way, ocd can also explain a lot of asd behaviors. The point wasr really that this behavior is neurological.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 9:41 pm
I hear that it might be neurological (we have been told in the past it might be ocd as well). But what should we do if he’s throwing a tantrum bec he didn’t get what he thought was fair?
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amother




Gold
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 9:46 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I hear that it might be neurological (we have been told in the past it might be ocd as well). But what should we do if he’s throwing a tantrum bec he didn’t get what he thought was fair?
what you do when anyone throws a tantrum? I usually let it ride itself out, while making sure the child and everyone else stays safe. I acknowledge to myself, and to the child if they are able to hear it, that their distress is very real. I really try to refrain from lecturing because I find it counterproductive. Looking at the behavior through the lens of ocd gives you a very different perspective.
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amother




Chocolate
 

Post  Sun, Jun 28 2020, 10:04 pm
My son age 10 is also constantly complaining and looking at 'yenem.' I think this may be normal at this preteen age. Crying and getting emotional can be part of growing up. You may be looking at typical preteen behaviors.
I try to verbalize my own gratitude and model happiness and being bsimcha, rolling with the punches. Certainly not easy to do and to be near a child who kvetches all day, but it may not be so concerning as you make it out to be.
Just my two cents.
Also, don't forget that most likely your child was out of school and his normal structure for the last few months. Give him some space to grow up and keep modeling mature perspectives and resilience. Easier said than done, I know! May you have nachas only.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Jun 30 2020, 1:27 pm
Amein!

I can’t really let it ride out, because he literally Can get out breath and it can last hours if I don’t intervene. It also drives us up the wall
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Jul 05 2020, 10:09 pm
Here we go again. I don’t think it’s normal for an 11 year old boy to carry on and cry so deeply for over half an hour so far about being able to stay out for just five more min. It’s not normal
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amother




Gold
 

Post  Sun, Jul 05 2020, 11:53 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Here we go again. I don’t think it’s normal for an 11 year old boy to carry on and cry so deeply for over half an hour so far about being able to stay out for just five more min. It’s not normal
this sounds like pandas. Please see a pandas literate specialist. I’m sorry you are going through this.
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ra_mom




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jul 05 2020, 11:58 pm
amother [ Ivory ] wrote:
My dd is like this. She is also add, and very emotional. I do know that no amount of preaching or Torah tapes are going to make a difference. You should try to validate your child that they are sad or feel they have less, not validate what they don't have, but the sad feelings associated with it, instead of just preaching "Eizehu Ashir...". Also, I think at least with my dd, she is trying to tell us something deeper that she is lacking, and she just represents it with physical "stuff". Try to see if you can go that route....

This. 100%.
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