Friday, 6 May 2016

ADHD and Autism; A family in crisis and trying to get Thing 1 back into a positive and good routine

So here I am, about to lay bare everything that we are going through at the moment. 

Whilst out on the school run and meeting friends I put on my 'happy' head! If people ask how we are I respond with 'Yes, we are all fine thank you' but the truth is, we are not. 

We haven't been for a long time but we've just carried on getting through every day, every hour, every evening of chaos and upset for everybody in the house. 

As well as the younger ones completely having lost track of any semblance of a bedtime routine, Thing 1 has completely lost any normality of a day/night routine. 

A rare family day out on a happier day

He left his job around 2-3 months ago. First of all he was reprimanded over the trousers he was wearing. He is very fussy about trousers, throughout school he would always wear his trousers tucked into his socks and since then has always chosen skinny chinos rather than a more looser fit trouser. However, skinny chinos weren't good enough and he had to wear a smarter work trouser, he conformed although always changed as soon as work was over. Then once that issue was sorted they told him to cut his hair. He didn't want to, it wasn't excessively long or over styled and he refused. So he left and never went back. 

His place of work didn't know about his disabilities and I am unsure that if they did how understanding they would have been. I think Thing 1 would rather not have told them however that means they didn't understand him as much as they could have done had they known. 

Anyway, he's not worked in a while. Hasn't looked for another job and doesn't go out at all. So he's in the house ALL the time. His sleep pattern is completely all over the place. There are nights where he is up all night and into the next day, he sleeps all day although not all the time. Sometimes he's awake for 24 hours or more before he crashes. 

He doesn't eat properly. There is no breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. It's snacking all the time. Last nights menu consisted of 14 Time Out bars, 6 packs of chocolate shortcake biscuits and some wafer biscuits. He has full access to the kitchen but cooking anything is only permitted at proper mealtimes. He once put some fish fingers in the oven in the middle of the night and then fell asleep. Luckily I woke up and found them just in time, although they were already very burnt. 

Then there is the bad language when he is playing on the PlayStation. It's not just shouting and swearing but abusive, offensive words too. I can't repeat what they are. I was going to but I couldn't even bring myself to repeat any of it. We have to listen to this all of the time he is awake. We tell him to stop, we tell him to leave the PlayStation for a while to calm down, we tell him to go out for run or just to get some fresh air and he ignores it all. 

If we take it away completely, which I am sure most of you are thinking that is what we should do, if we do that he then annoys the other children. He thinks we had more children to entertain him and he gets cross when they don't do what he wants them to do. 

He refuses to take his medication as he is fixated on joining the Army although we have been told that he can't unless he has been off of his medication for 3 years. This meaning that he no longer needs to be on his medication rather than him just refusing to take it like he is thinking that will class as being off his medication. 

So all in all, life is falling apart. Thing 1 is ruining our lives. There I said it. Every day is ruined by his shouting and screaming. His winding up of his younger siblings. His lack of sleep, his moods and the constant arguments between us and him over what he should and shouldn't be doing with his life. 

All the children together

Just as I am about to wave my youngest off to school in September and regain a bit more of my time I still have the oldest at home all day and sometimes it feels like he's more hard work to look after than all of the younger ones put together. 

I am completely at a loss as to what to do next. Having taken on too much with the OH working during the day, myself taking on an evening job, a school governor position at the local school as well as other commitments on some evenings too it just gets all too much and I just want to give up and hide away. 

So when you next see me, my 'happy' head is hiding all of this that we have to deal with every day. It's tough going, I don't want sympathy but just some understanding of how tough some days can be. 

Most people think that because one of our children is now grown up that life must be getting easier for us, you couldn't be more wrong! 


  1. I hear you! Sorry it's tough right now Laura. Life is crazy at times and I think us mums are often hard on ourselves. Wishing you a more peaceful life soon and hoping Thing one gets bored soon and secures another job. I have a contact who runs a resource who support adults with learning disabilities in the work place. Let me know if you need it! x

    1. Thank you for your message. I am hoping we can search out the help we need and things start to settle down, it's gone on for too long. I may message you for that contact, thank you so much. x

  2. I'm getting my tween assessed for autism as she is becoming almost impossible to live with. We love our kids but they can push is to breaking point

    1. I completely agree with you. I do love him but most of the time at the moment it's just too much. Good Luck with your assessment. x

  3. I totally understand. My eldest was understandably depressed after we lost Elspeth, as were we all really, but his behaviour affected everyone the most. He started eating and sleeping erratically, playing the Playstation and swearing and cursing and putting music on really loud at all hours. We told him countless times it couldn't continue, he ruined our sleep, didn't help and didn't contribute financially. It lasted almost a year, and then I forced him to go to the doctor and get help. He now has a 7.30am - 5pm full time apprenticeship at a car body shop and I have my son back.
    Your son would have been protected from minor harrassment like that if he'd come clean about his issues with it. He should consider being honest because it isn't to single him out, it's to let his employer and colleagues understand he has particular things that might seem irrelevant, but are very important to him - like his trousers. My 7 year old son is incredibly fussy about his trousers. For 18 months he only wore 1 pair!!

    1. Thank you for your message Jenny. It's great to hear your son is now back, it must have been a difficult time for you all. I was tempted to call my son's place of work and explain but it wasn't what he wanted me to do, I know it probably would have helped and he would have still been in a job now. It's funny the things that they can get fussy over but it really throws them if they have to wear something they don't want to or aren't comfortable in. x

  4. Thanks for Sharing, I hear you, Im a mum of 3, 2 of which has ASD both completely different my eldest is going through adolescent arghhhh but I totally get you when you mentioned about that happy face - true friends or people that get your kids only have to look into your eyes and it says it all x

    1. Thank you for your message. Yes I agree, true friends know when you are having a bad day. When you say you are fine but really you aren't. We would have good days more than bad days and then we could handle when it got bad but now it's more bad than good and we need help getting him back on track. x