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gardenmom5

well, that was a failure...

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dudeling has been really struggling.

so, this afternoon - I attempted "tethering".  I have a lot of climbing rose trimmings to chop up so they can be dealt with.  it's manual, and tiresome, but not hard.  I took him out there with me asking for him to help. (not expecting much - but he'd be outside with me.)  I also have puppy, so he was throwing canes for puppy to chase.  he was whacking canes like a machete.  fine.  he took the loppers to canes on one of my favorite roses - and got all but one main cane before I realized what he was doing. he also got others on other roses.  I admit - i yelled, asked him if he had cut those (I still had some cut on the trellis). his refusal to answer generally means he did.  he was really quiet, and withdrew.  he did eventually apologize - and I told him I know he's sorry.  - and I probably shouldn't have -- but I wanted to know why he had to cut the ones on the trellis, which I had specifically told him to leave alone.

he went to school today - and doesn't want to go back because he had "teachers" (don't know how many that means), asked if he was depressed.  tbh, I wouldn't be surprised if he was.  I know his anxiety has been really high, and we're in the middle of changing antidepressants.

he's currently locked himself in his room.  (he's allowed a passage lock so he can "feel secure".  he's required to open it when asked. and we can open it if we have to.)

this is the kid I worry about the most.

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Ugh. I feel the "oops, that was a bad idea in retrospect" thing. Today I thought it would be good to have my 6 yr old with OCD/PANDAS/Anxiety do some math fact practice on the computer...with a timed quiz style program. 

yeah.....timed is NOT a good idea. Oops. Total meltdown, me yelling because he's melting down, just a mess. (my emotional regulation goes into the tubes when it is cloudy/rainy which today was...so yeah). 

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10 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I am going to be honest.....I don't understand what he did wrong.

 

Are you sure he does?

he cut the canes on the trellis.  the ones that will produce roses this year - NOT the ones on the ground.

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So.....call me oblivious....

what are canes?

 

I know what roses and a trellis are, but the term canes....or loppers....I haven't ever heard those terms.  Well, I have used the term loppers to mean something similar to a machete (which I also know as a term.)

 

But.....the ones on the ground don't produce roses?

 

I promise I am not trying to be obtuse.  My mom has 3 rose bushes that she tried to kill and couldn't and I have gardened for various vegetables and fruit for years.  My mom never did a thing to her roses so I am oblivious to terms like canes.   You said "climbing rose trimmings" and I was envisioning like pruning?   

 

Ok, re reading again....maybe you are saying you already had a pruned pile of refuse that you wanted to chop up to dispose of?

 

 

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8 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

 

 

Ok, re reading again....maybe you are saying you already had a pruned pile of refuse that you wanted to chop up to dispose of?

 

 

Yes that's what she means. She trimmed the roses and had a pile of stems/canes on the ground. She asked him to help her cut those up smaller. He did..but also cut the still standing plants down. 

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Canes are the thick stems. The OP wanted help cutting dead canes up smaller- probably so that they could be put in yard waste or something like that. 

Loppers are another name for clippers- the tool used to cut up the thick stems. 

I would be mad too. It isn’t too hard to understand that canes that go into the ground are still growing. 

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Do you think he was only half listening and just heard "canes" and started to cut some canes? Since it sounds like he has so much going on right now, I suppose I'd cut him some slack which you did. If you think there is anger which is often expressed as depression in males, then it may be time to take a different path.

Hugs to you too. I have cried when a hibiscus died and nobody helped it along. It was my fault for forgetting to take it inside during the one night of the year when we had a dip to F28. Did he kill the roses or is there a chance they will come back more vigorous than ever?

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Ok I think I understand now.  Op I am sorry that he cut plants that were still growing.  I would have struggled if my kids had chopped up growing tomatoes instead of already pruned refuse which had been designated as “ chop this pile here. “.  (Tomatoes are the closest I can think to roses)

 

i wish i had better advice .  If I had told DD8 to cut up the pile on the ground f and she started cutting plants they were growing and not in that refuse pile, I would be at a loss with her too. 

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I think your idea to get him working outside with you was good. I'm sorry things didn't work out the way you intended; the rose canes getting cut* would have upset me, too. Playing with the dog sounds good, too. Do you think he was so upset he won't be willing to try something like that again? Give yourself credit for trying all the right stuff. At least he told you what we going on with the teachers.

Your stories about him sound so familiar to me. We have the door that gets locked, too, and I've had to learn how to get in, and set some firm rules about when it can be locked.

Could cutting the canes have been satisfying in a sensory way, and he just got carried away and didn't think? Dd used to tear up books when she was little, and it drove me to distraction, but I realized later that tearing paper calmed her.

*(Around here, for those who aren't familiar with them, loppers have long handles for extra leverage, like these: https://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-28-Inch-Bypass-Lopper/dp/B000BX1IB6/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=1PVJFX7RKOGPC&keywords=lopping+shears&qid=1553735759&s=gateway&sprefix=lopping+&sr=8-3 )

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Something similar happened with DS23 at about that age, many years ago. He had a hatchet (machete?) and was asked to help cut up some branches (maybe it was an old Christmas tree?) and, when all was said and done, there was some serious damage done to a *living* tree nearby. DH was upset. We figured that it was fun/exciting to be wielding that tool and he got carried away. I have seen that happen, to a lesser extent, with DS9. My guess is that it has something to do with self-regulation that just hasn't developed yet.

I know you have lots of other things going on with your DS, and I can empathize with the feelings of helplessness when trying to help your child and it doesn't seem like anything you do is working. My only advice would be to make it explicitly clear to him that, while you were surprised/angry about the damage to the plants, he is always more important to you than damaged plants. Then, I would take him out into the garden and give him the same tools again for another job, to show him that you still trust him, and try again. Just be aware that you will have to watch him a little closer.

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Could have been an expression of anger...

But it could also have been pretty classic Attention Deficit!

Add or adhd...

 

I’d assume ADD not bad , unless proven otherwise.

Edited by Pen

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Outdoing the apocryphal George Washington and perhaps your son with your rose which will probably eventually grow back — my Ds Attention Deficitedly cut down several cherry trees.  

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3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

So.....call me oblivious....

what are canes? - rose canes = main rose stems, laterals grow off of these and produce flowers

I know what roses and a trellis are, but the term canes....or loppers....I haven't ever heard those terms.  Well, I have used the term loppers to mean something similar to a machete (which I also know as a term.) loppers = oversize pruning clippers - pic attached.

But.....the ones on the ground don't produce roses?  the ones on the ground had already been cut off the bushes.  they were yard waste.

 

I promise I am not trying to be obtuse.  My mom has 3 rose bushes that she tried to kill and couldn't and I have gardened for various vegetables and fruit for years.  My mom never did a thing to her roses so I am oblivious to terms like canes.   You said "climbing rose trimmings" and I was envisioning like pruning?   = these were climbing roses on a trellis.   I had trimmed/pruned them already, and the dead wood was on the ground waiting to be chopped up.

Ok, re reading again....maybe you are saying you already had a pruned pile of refuse that you wanted to chop up to dispose of?

picture of loppers

 

2 hours ago, Liz CA said:

Do you think he was only half listening and just heard "canes" and started to cut some canes? Since it sounds like he has so much going on right now, I suppose I'd cut him some slack which you did. If you think there is anger which is often expressed as depression in males, then it may be time to take a different path.

Hugs to you too. I have cried when a hibiscus died and nobody helped it along. It was my fault for forgetting to take it inside during the one night of the year when we had a dip to F28. Did he kill the roses or is there a chance they will come back more vigorous than ever?

possibly half listening. however,  he said he wanted to kill something.  I don't think he even thought about "oh, I'm going to kill mom's bush".  just - oh, here's something living I can try to kill.

re: the bolded.  this is backwards.   -   depression in males is often expressed as anger.

the roses are own root - so I'm hopeful it will survive.

 

1 hour ago, Pen said:

Could have been an expression of anger...

But it could also have been pretty classic Attention Deficit!

Add or adhd...

 

I’d assume ADD not bad , unless proven otherwise.

or an add kid who is struggling with anger/depression... it can be both.

53 minutes ago, Pen said:

Has he (have you) read Joey Pigza books?  

never heard of them.  tell me more?

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6 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

or an add kid who is struggling with anger/depression... it can be both.

never heard of them.  tell me more?

 

Yes , it could be a complicated mix.

 

Joey Pigza is the main character in a series of 5 books by Jack Gantos.  Joey has Adhd with major hyperactivity.  

Frirst in series is I think Joey Pigza Sswallows the Key,    2nd is Joey Pigza Loses Control, I think.    It has a lot that some kids with adhd can relate to, and though Joey is younger than your Ds he might still enjoy it.  I read 2 or 3, not the whole series.  I think I particularly liked the Loses Control one. 

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250061687/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_zfeNCbVJD7XDW

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2 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

possibly half listening. however,  he said he wanted to kill something.  I don't think he even thought about "oh, I'm going to kill mom's bush".  just - oh, here's something living I can try to kill.

re: the bolded.  this is backwards.   -   depression in males is often expressed as anger.

the roses are own root - so I'm hopeful it will survive.

 

 

It can go either way. Lots depends on the person's schema of what is an acceptable expression of feelings / emotions. We used to think that this applied mainly to women since women have been told primarily that it is "un-ladylike" to express anger.  So in women it  more frequently manifested as depression.  More recently (that is based on more recent studies) some males seem to think anger is not acceptable and it also can manifest as depression. What most in the field agree on is that there appears to be connection between depression and (unexpressed or undefined) anger and it can go both ways.

But either way, it sounds like he is dealing with feelings of anger or unresolved frustrations as evidenced by his statement. I hope the rose bush recovers.

Edited by Liz CA

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

 

 

Yes , it could be a complicated mix.

 

Joey Pigza is the main character in a series of 5 books by Jack Gantos.  Joey has Adhd with major hyperactivity.  

Frirst in series is I think Joey Pigza Sswallows the Key,    2nd is Joey Pigza Loses Control, I think.    It has a lot that some kids with adhd can relate to, and though Joey is younger than your Ds he might still enjoy it.  I read 2 or 3, not the whole series.  I think I particularly liked the Loses Control one. 

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250061687/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_zfeNCbVJD7XDW

 

I need to look into these as a potential resource. Is there an alternate behavior choice offered or some time of solution?

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2 hours ago, Liz CA said:

 

I need to look into these as a potential resource. Is there an alternate behavior choice offered or some time of solution?

 

I can’t remember!

I think his mom helps to find a medication that helps him at one point, but his Dad flushes it down toilet—or something similar to that. 

He has to learn to, in a sense, advocate for himself, accept that there is a problem, and leave his dad (parents are divorced) and get back to his mom.  

 

It possibly has some over the top humor and exaggerated descriptions—so would be a good idea for that reason to pre read to make sure it would be suitable.    (Sticking finger into pencil sharpener? Running with scissors resulting in cutting off a girls’ nose?  I got those now from customer comments, don’t actually remember them.) 

 

It’s fictional, so coping is very character specific — not a teen Adhd self help workbook .  

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9 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

I am going to be honest.....I don't understand what he did wrong.

 

Are you sure he does?

Destroyed the roses?

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No advice, just compassion.  I've handled situations badly in terms of blowing up (to no purpose), losing my cool, being utterly frustrated... and that's all with neurotypical kids.  

I hope in some way or another, you are also taking care of you as you manage his complicated behaviors and diagnoses.  Big hugs.  

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5 hours ago, Liz CA said:

 

It can go either way. Lots depends on the person's schema of what is an acceptable expression of feelings / emotions. We used to think that this applied mainly to women since women have been told primarily that it is "un-ladylike" to express anger.  So in women it  more frequently manifested as depression.  More recently (that is based on more recent studies) some males seem to think anger is not acceptable and it also can manifest as depression. What most in the field agree on is that there appears to be connection between depression and (unexpressed or undefined) anger and it can go both ways.

But either way, it sounds like he is dealing with feelings of anger or unresolved frustrations as evidenced by his statement. I hope the rose bush recovers.

he's very stressed and feeling pressure to perform/function in school.  - he'd be happy if he could just sit and play computer games all day, every day, with nothing required of him at all.

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

he's very stressed and feeling pressure to perform/function in school.  - he'd be happy if he could just sit and play computer games all day, every day, with nothing required of him at all.

 

 

 

 

For mental health, stepping back from the stress may be necessary.

I pulled one of my kids out of school in January because he had been stressed and unhappy all year. 

I'd avoid the video games and instead encourage physical activity, social involvement, and time in nature.

There's all kinds of research on how bad human brains are at learning academic stuff when under stress. The learning processes just shut down.

Edited by maize
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I will share about my cousin...

He had some similar situations.

As he has gotten older — it seems like he has a very, very hard time following directions as well as coming to logical, common sense (obvious to everyone else) conclusions about how to go about something.

When he was younger — well, he has his pride, he might rather be huffy (as we have always called it for some reason) than “admit” that he messed up something that “should” be so basic and obvious.  

I read about autism wrt my younger son, and my main suspicions for “why” are:  executive functioning, gestalt thinking/central coherence (which can mean trouble seeing things that are supposed to be obvious — realizing the purpose of what you are doing), or theory of mind (which also has to do with understanding the purpose for something).

If he doesn’t understand the *purpose* or *what should be obvious* then certain instructions will seem very random to him.  This can mean they seem like the kind of thing that could be changed or adjusted.  This can also mean they are hard to remember because there is no “hook.”  

What I mean is — there is an overall picture here of “mom really likes her roses.  She wants her roses to bloom.  We need to leave the roses on the trellises alone because we want them to bloom later.” 

If this isn’t all understood — it’s easy to see how directions would be understood as “cut up canes” without a real understanding or memory of the instruction (or reason behind) “why we don’t cut the canes on the trellis.”

There might be a corresponding lack of understanding for “why we need to cut the canes on the ground into smaller pieces.”  For trash collection, I assume.  Or maybe to fit in a mulcher.  Something that maybe should be obvious to someone who has been around this seasonal process for years.  

Anyway — when he was younger he would just not want to say “I messed up” ——— he wouldn’t know WHY he messed up etc.

Anyway — that is how the comment about “wanting to kill something” would be for my cousin (when he was younger) I think — a distraction.  

Edit — he was very stressed and anxious!!!!! I don’t discount that.  I just mean — there was a lack of understanding about him not understanding things and he wanted to kind-of hide it or else didn’t know how to communicate his mis-understandings (which again can go along with theory of mind or gestalt-Thinking/central coherence, because those are big requirements for explaining why/how you got confused).  

 

Edited by Lecka
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1 hour ago, maize said:

 

For mental health, stepping back from the stress may be necessary.

I pulled one of my kids out of school in January because he had been stressed and unhappy all year. 

I'd avoid the video games and instead encourage physical activity, social involvement, and time in nature.

There's all kinds of research on how bad human brains are at learning academic stuff when under stress. The learning processes just shut down.

It is in the back of my mind.  On another thread, someone said with an IEP they have until 21 - or at least longer in the system.  I know he won't be learning much until we can get the depression and anxiety under control.  But I can't work with him at home either.  though 1ds has shown, that when the will is there - progress can be fast. ((he struggled with math.  then he decided he wanted to be an engineer and went on kahn academy to learn math. he went from first grade math to calculus in five months so he could start mech eng at the CC level. he gets his BS in june, and starts a MS in sept.)

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15 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

It is in the back of my mind.  On another thread, someone said with an IEP they have until 21 - or at least longer in the system.  I know he won't be learning much until we can get the depression and anxiety under control.  But I can't work with him at home either.  though 1ds has shown, that when the will is there - progress can be fast. ((he struggled with math.  then he decided he wanted to be an engineer and went on kahn academy to learn math. he went from first grade math to calculus in five months so he could start mech eng at the CC level. he gets his BS in june, and starts a MS in sept.)

Yeah it may be that academics just have to be set aside for awhile.

Focus on health.

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40 minutes ago, maize said:

Yeah it may be that academics just have to be set aside for awhile.

Focus on health.

It's the details that are hard.

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https://www.carautismroadmap.org/are-four-years-of-high-school-enough-when-to-stay-longer/

he might be able to have high school programfigured out for spreading required but hard for him classes out over more years with some added study halls, PE, lifeskills training if available, or something he likes if there is anything (robotics, art?) in the extra periods.    If his anxiety and ability to manage improved he could finish sooner. 

 

If hecan manage the tools safely possibly pounding nails into a stump or digging holes with shovel then filling them back in could help be a release for anger.  

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3 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

he's very stressed and feeling pressure to perform/function in school.  - he'd be happy if he could just sit and play computer games all day, every day, with nothing required of him at all.

 

 

 

 

Okay, speculating again, of course...does he need success experiences? I mean everyone does but do you think he may feel like a failure (because school is so demanding and it's hard for him to cope). Not sure now but I think you mentioned IEP in one of your posts? Could it be adjusted to insure he can begin to feel like he is keeping pace? I would feel rather frustrated too if I felt everyone was moving ahead without me and I have a constant awareness that I am not measuring up. This alone can sap any motivation if he has tried and tried to fulfill the requirements but it's not enough. Sounds like the video game is his "safe place."

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