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  • Behaviour, Anger etc...

    Hi everyone!
    Two days ago we sat down with a social worker from out local Mental Health Unit to discuss our son's recent increase in anger, aggression etc. I have posted a couple of times recently, so won't bore you all with repetition...

    The social worker was meeting us all for the first time, and had just briefly looked over my son's history.

    As I did mention before Matt is very unhappy and angry that he is being followed by MH. He has the impression that it is because there is "something wrong" with him. I have spent alot of time explaining otherwise to him, so far to no avail!

    Matt was very anxious going in. He was rude, beligerent and sullen while meeting with her. Not unusual, as far as I was concerned. Inappropriate, well yes...but understandable under the circumstances I thought. She stated that Matt has figured out a way to "control" his environment and us, and is being manipulative etc. She said she felt that this was NOT related to his Tourette's and that we needed to take the "control" away from him. I asked her if she was very familiar with Tourette's and she said yes she was, and had worked with kids with Tourette's and this was NOT part of his Tourette's!!

    She said we needed to give the token system another try (I posted regarding the token system under Info needed on Russell Barclay) and that we had not given it enough time. She said Matt's frustration with the system was proof it was working! I sat there feeling as if someone had hit me with a stick! She finished the meeting by saying that we needed to sit down as a family and decide whether or not we were WILLING to work togther and be consistent with this Token System and to let her know when we had made the decision... she told my son that if his aggression continued that he could be removed from the home, and that if he becomes physically aggrssive again we should call the police.

    I am no expert, but I have done a a lot of research since my son's diagnosis, and I feel REALLY discouraged by the info she gave us. I look at my bright, mainly loving little boy who is going through all of this, and I feel as if I am not helping, or being gven the help I need for him. Suprisingly, the school has been the most support to all of us, and they are the one's who have had the least amount of experince!

    I should mention we are being followed by a pediatrition and psychiatrist for med management, as well.

    Thanks for your ears and your support!
    MJ
    Last edited by Steve; May 16, 2007, 11:43 PM. Reason: formatted for easier reading

  • #2
    Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

    I am always skeptical when someone who has dealt with a small number of people with TS makes the statement that they know what they are talking about because they have dealt with people with TS before. The very nature of the disorder means that every case manifests itself differently.

    I have talked to several parents who have tried the token system or similar systems and I have yet to find someone who has found that it works. This includes some parents who have implemented it to the letter and been consistent with their approach to it. I have heard of a few people who found some limited success with it, but none of them found it to be an effective way to change behaviour when the behaviour is a result of neurological difficulties.

    That last statement is the key -- if the behaviour stems from neurological difficulties then even the most motivated of children is going to be frustrated trying to modify their behaviour when they have very little control over the difficulties that lead to that behaviour.

    As hard as it may be to hear, the MH worker may have a point about your son controlling the environment. We went through a phase with our son when he was using his behaviour and symptoms to manipulate everything around him -- at school and at home. We had to put consequences in place to deal with the behaviour and we had to be extremely consistent in following through with the consequences. We had already tried a token-type system with no success and did not go that route again. We also found that staying in close touch with his teachers and making sure that they had the right information what was happening with him helped.

    Is there another avenue for you to pursue to get assistance with your son? I can imagine that having the mental health worker threatening to remove him from your home will not help your son's outlook on dealing with his TS.
    Cathy
    Forum Moderator

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    • #3
      Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

      My thoughts are with you MJ. I know this must be a very difficult time for you and your family. It sounds like the social worker does not really understand TS.

      Originally posted by matts_mom View Post
      I should mention we are being followed by a pediatrition and psychiatrist for med management, as well.

      Is it possible for you to get a case conference arranged with the doctors, social worker and school? We have done this twice in the past and it is really helpful to have everyone on the same page. I also find it useful when everyone hears the same words first hand from the experts.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

        First of all, thanks Cathy and Patti for your responses. I really appreciate it!
        I also need to correct a mistake I made in identifying the woman we met with as a social worker. She is a psychologist. Funny how these things are not communicated to parents more clearly. I guess it is neither here no there, but I did want to "fix" my error. Regardless, I am going in to my next meeting with her better prepared, and do not plan to have my son with me that day. After just one meeting I am sure we both need to get a better sense of what the other is about, and perhaps it just will not be a good fit for our family.
        I find we tread a fine line sometimes when it comes to behaviours being the result of "leaky brakes" or not. For the most part my son is very remorseful (later) when the situation has been mostly out of his control.
        I agree Cathy, the token system has raised some concerns for me as well. I found that the short time we did use it Matt was motivated by being able to accumulate "goal" tokens to use for things such as games, TV an outing etc. But that was only part of the system as I'm sure you know, and he often was very frustated with the number of "be careful" tokens he would receive for the negative behaviours, as often he would have trouble with control.
        I think you are right about him trying to control his environment. It is just so tough at times to know what we are dealing with! I do work closely with the school and find them to be very supportive, and they communicate well in terms of keeping me up to date with Matt's day.
        Right now he seems be having a real problem with disruptive behaviour in class, acting the class clown, and teasing other children. We have made it very clear that this type of behaviour is not appropriate and that there will be consequences if we get a call from the school. I feel that there is more to it then just the behaviour as Matt told me that he wants people to like him, and so he feels that his behaviour causes them to laugh etc. I know that he is teased himself, and so I have tried to help him find better ways to fit in. There seems to always be something to deal with!! He has felt comfortable enough to share his Tourette's with his teachers but doesn't want to share it with the class by way of an inservice etc. His friends do know, and I'm sure there are other kids who know (we live in a VERY small town!) but so far he doesn't want to discuss it formally.

        Patti, I will look into the possibility of a case conference, although here where we live each dept seems to share info only through email, letters etc. It's tough to get them all togther, but I am willing to try! I did speak with the Middle School that Matt will be attending in the Fall, to set up a meeting, and I have also arranged to have a psychoeducational assessment done over the summer.
        One more question...can anyone share their experience regarding meds with me? I have thought about the possibility of stoping his meds over the summer(with the help of our MD of course) I just wonder sometimes if the meds are causing some of his difficulties!! Anyone?
        Thanks!
        Cheers, MJ

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

          Hi MJ!!!

          My thoughts are also with you. I know how difficult it is. My son just started to see a MH worker last month. He's 7 1/2 and he doesn't want to talk to "Gordon". Well the other day he did fine and he was fine with seeing Gordon.

          Chase tantrums a lot and gets frustrated and angry at the slightest things. It's hard for me because I just want to yell sometimes but I try to keep it together. If you're not happy with this MH worker, would it be possible to get someone else? I agree that there's not enough knowledge about TS out there.

          Good luck MJ and hang in there!!!
          CRYSTAL

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          • #6
            Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

            MJ:

            Maybe your son is trying to control his environment because he needs to. Maybe if he doesn't control his environment he gets completely overwhelmed which is then expressed through tics or inappropriate behaviour. Just food for thought!! I am at the same stage and am trying to figure out my 11 year old son. He gets so overwhelmed at school that he explodes and lets the profanities fly lately (which is a new phenomenon for us).

            The professional that you met may think that she knows about Tourette. I am a professional who has worked with children for over twenty years and I am on a HUGE learning curve right now. Maybe suggest that this professional reads Children with Tourette Syndrome - A Parent's Guide(2007). It is available at Chapters/Indigo online. It is providing some really enlightening information.

            You are not alone. Last week I walked up and down almost all of the Safeway aisles before I could go to the pharmacy and pick up our first prescription (to calm the rages). .... And I was crying in Safeway!!!! But I got through it and got the medication. One step at a time!!! Sometimes that is all that we can do!!!

            Jenny

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            • #7
              Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

              Here is a link with information on the book Jenny referred to:

              Children with Tourette Syndrome: A Parent's Guide

              Thanks Jenny!
              Steve
              TouretteLinks Forum

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              • #8
                Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

                I just finished reading that book Jenny and it was good!!! It was very detailed and I think that everyone should read that.
                CRYSTAL

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                • #9
                  Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

                  Have you read the TSFC Understanding Tourette Syndrome A Handbook for Families? It is phenomenal and written by our own TS people here in Canada.
                  Janet

                  TSFC Homepage

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                  • #10
                    Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

                    No I haven't read that Janet. I have read the handbook for Educators though and I got the video that came with the package. How would I get the family handbook?
                    CRYSTAL

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                    • #11
                      Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

                      TSFC Understanding Tourette Syndrome A Handbook for Families can be ordered using the link and the preface, index and excerpt can be read HERE
                      Steve
                      TouretteLinks Forum

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                      • #12
                        Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

                        It's available from the national office. It is listed on our TSFC homepage in the section for publications if you want to order online.

                        It was written well and in "layman's language" so everyone can read it. I enjoy the first chapter because it gives a great explanation of what is believed to be happening in the brain.
                        Janet

                        TSFC Homepage

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                        • #13
                          Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

                          Thanks!! I will order that sometime. I have to wait to get my membership #. Do you have to order it online? I don't have a credit card so I was just wondering if there was another way.
                          CRYSTAL

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                          • #14
                            Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

                            You can send a cheque or money order to the national office and they will send it to you. Give Michelle at the office a call so she is aware you are sending the order be sure to use the 1-800 number ;)
                            Janet

                            TSFC Homepage

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                            • #15
                              Re: Behaviour, Anger etc...

                              Thanks!!! I will do that tomorrow since today is the long weekend.
                              CRYSTAL

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