Hurting Stepdad

by Fred
(Plano TX)

I am the stepfather of a 19 year old Autistic son that is very violent toward me. Our deal is if I say NO, NOT NOW, LATER, or ANYTHING that he doesn't want to do, I am in for a tail kicking. This stuff has just been happening over the last year, I go to be nightly with blood and bruises all over my arms.
My wife is our son's biggest defender (to the point of making me thinking of just leaving) and her solutions are to just give him every thing he demands. What this ends up doing is rewarding him for his violent outburst toward me (very rarely aimed at her), so he just keeps doing it. I am at a loss on what I should or can do. My wife says that I am angry and this is causing the mess, I will say this...after getting my a>> kicked daily I AM ANGRY!!! Who wouldn't be?

WHAT DO I DO???

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I totally get it!
by: Anonymous

We also have been on these "Lists" for almost 7 years now. We got to the top and then mysteriously got bounced off and had to start all over. Mental and Developmental health care really need more support than they receive. It really is sad. Your best bet would be to contact BDDS directly and speak with somebody high up on the chain of command. Put your foot down and let them know what your situation is. Be firm and let them know that it is out of control and potentially dangerous. Once again I wish you luck!

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Still screwed up
by: Fred

Well it has been two years now and NOTHING has changed with his behavior. I am now relegated to my bedroom from 5pm on on weekdays and ALL DAY on the weekends. Erix has been put on different meds to no avail. He has done nothing but get bigger and madder. He turns 22 in a month and I was less to believe that once school let out this year he would be placed in a group home. Yeah right!! Now all I hear is "he is on the list"! Well I'm not to hopeful that he really is on ANY list! I've been told that he has been on these list for the better part of 10 years. I'm pretty damn sure he should be at the top of these list. Well anyway I just hang in there, IT IS WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!!! I guess

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I can relate...
by: Anonymous

I have a son that has very similar issues with the "No, not now, later!" and it is getting out of control also. After much hard work we are beginning to see some major changes in behavior. First I am going to take a guess and say that your wife wears the pants? By that I mean that she is a pushover with him but demands that you deal with him her way as well? Big step in the right direction is just as simple as mutual respect and getting on the same page and on the same team. Come to your conclusions together and or back each other up on absolutely everything. It is very important because especially being 19, if he senses any wiggle room you are just asking to be played against each other and manipulated. Another thing that seems to really help is to do what you say and say what you mean and stick with it. Draw clear lines and be consistent...even if you aren't always on the same schedule every day, it is doable. Even things as simple as stating why he can not do something at that moment or redirecting by changing the subject work. It is all about speaking tentatively and letting them think that they are in control or that it was their idea. We women do it all of the time (i.e manipulation). ;p You can also try and prepare him for the "no" factor by letting him know what will happen and when throughout the day, by giving specific times for specific things and sticking to them. Lay down some set rules...literally put them on paper. I know these seem like no brainers probably but hind sight is always 20/20 and it is so easy to get caught up in the moment. Try and understand also that the pills he takes could very well be causing these outbursts. All it would take is a wrong diagnosis and that would start the wrong chain of events...especially if he does not know how to verbalize his symptoms/side effects. Get to the root of the problem. I wouldn't leave your wife either...you can work through it but you both have to be willing to try or it wouldn't have worked out anyways. The fact that you are here shows that you are in the game...now get her on your team! You can do it! -I have worked with people with special needs for 10 years in the past and also have two of my own that both have cystic fibrosis and my son also has high functioning autism, ADHD, OCD and SPD. I wish you the best of luck my friend.:)

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Hurting Stepdad
by: Fred

Thank you guys for your words of support. I don't really know what to do! Erix is on a ton of drugs, but he just seems to get madder every day.
Now let me backtrack a little here, my wife is doing what she believes is the best way to defuse the behavior and keep me safe by giving him other things to do (to me, his way), but when she isn't here all hell breaks loose. I am afraid of what he may do to a total stranger and what may happen to him, but is so totally out of control it could happen at any point.

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hope this helps a little
by: Anonymous

Fred, I am in McKinney TX. Very close to you. We have the same problem with our son. He has a rare condition of the brain called MPSIII, but it is often thought to be autism until the child is older and starts getting worse. I can honestly say when dealing with my son it is pointless to fight him. I tried for a few years, but it goes no where. He can not learn and in fact he is going backwards and the angrier he gets the worse things get.
Have you tried behavior therapy yet? ABA therapy uses positive reinforcement to teach and reinforce new better behaviors. We are about to start it with my son. I am hoping it will work, but I am not really sure if it can do a lot for him or not?? We will see, it is worth the effort to find out!!
Sorry to hear of your pain. I can certainly empathize. My husband and I both spent all of Memorial Day weekend getting smacked in the face. We too now do what we can to just give him his way as much as possible. Safety or health issues we must battle him on, but we avoid all the battles we can b/c it just isn't worth getting everyone all worked up over. Yes, it sucks for everyone living with him b/c he runs the show so to speak, but there is no way around it.
It is unlikely your stepson has MPSIII as this is a rare syndrome (and if you look it up the little information given on the internet is lacking and not described in the best way...I was sure this was NOT what my son had b/c it describes it as sever mental retardation...and what it does not tell you is that this is when the child is older...not when younger), but blood and urine test confirmed this was indeed what my son has. We are discovering more and more lately through the rare disease network just how many rare diseases there are and how many are misdiagnosed too. It is not impossible that your step son has another condition that is unknown yet if he seems unable to learn lessons and seems to be going backwards instead of forwards.
No matter the cause for it, I hope you are able to find a solution that works soon so your family is not torn apart.

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Good luck
by: Anonymous

Hi Fred,
Our son Brent was incredibly violent, luckily he is only 10 now and we have his violent outburst under control. Brent is also Autistic but with other issues too. I would (like you) go to bed daily battered and bruised, my husband and kids would cry for what they would hear me go through. After spending 2 weeks in a psychiatric hospital (because of his violence) we agreed to start medication for Brent. It was hard to start with and took a multitude of different meds to find what works for him but damn it was worth it. I have not been hit or kicked in about 1 year, we have even been able to move a few knives back into drawers instead of locked away.
Simply put Fred, if your wife does not get her son the help he needs then you need to protect yourself or one day he may seriously harm you if not kill you. You can not stay where you know you are at risk. Your stepson needs help and so does his Mum because she is doing her son no favours by rewarding his bad behaviour, one day it will be a policeman or an innocent bystander who looks at him the wrong way and he knows no boundaries so will react with violence and it will be too late to help him then.
But the first thing you need to do is protect yourself.
Good luck.

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