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Attachment Disorder - 18 year old

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This is the first time I have used a form like this - so please excuse the rather rambling message.


We have recently realised that the challenging behaviour presented by our 18 year old AS is something more than being a 'typical teenager'.

He joined us at 2 years old and always had some behaviours that we didn't like - lying, temper tantrums, along with a relationship with my wife that ranged from desperate for love/approval to overt rudeness and disregard for her feelings.

More recently he has displayed an inability to develop healthy friendships particularly with girls, with a heavy reliance on social media messaging.

In work and more adult social worlds (he is a keen sportsman) he is popular and successful, and is probably seen as a harmless wally when he says and does daft things.

We have managed these behaviours with varying levels of success until recently.... he has been caught stealing and is verbally aggressive with his Mum. The only way to get through to him that he is doing something wrong seems to be having a row - when the message gets through he switches to 'I'm useless' , 'I'm a failure'


We have started to work with social services and have a social worker who seems to 'get' the situation we are in, but it would be great here the experiences of other who have had similar issues. A bit of a sanity check I guess.


My wife is at breaking point with the repeated problems


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Yes I understand.

Hugs coming your way.

It seems that the sw does know what is happening and that is positive.

You say your son is 18 ....would it be useful to help him in supported lodgings or away from the family home?

I am suggesting this because our girls are better at living out of our home and we parent at a distance. It really saved our relationship. However as your son is adult you cannot access foster care.

He is entitled to support and advice and you need to stress that domestic abuse is not acceptable.

The Potato group may be helpful and you all need support .


Johanna x


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hi, gentle hugs to you and your wife (((())) I have three now 22 20 &19, only one was the acting out child with aggression, the other two had other issues, but I would second Johanna in that our relationship is better if they did not live at home, they all struggled with rules boundaries at home and at school and this then affected them in the adult world, theirs is more trauma related with a dose of attachment, they came as a sibling group with an unhealthy sibling trauma bond as school age children, we knew it would be hard, but we jogged along quite nicely till the teenage years...12 onwards was hard going. As victims of child to parent violence it takes its toll on your physical and mental health, we accessed counselling via LINK/barnados, counsellors with in depth knowledge of adoption and how adoptive families lives are different from birth families, I would suggest if you are up to it to try counselling, also lots of self care, doing something for you, its important as the body keeps score and I know a lot of adopters who have become very unwell. also look at NVR as a way of not always ending up in a row and then your lad feeling the toxic shame that a lot of our young ones feel.


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just to add, domestic violence is not acceptable in any shape or form, the police were one of the only professionals that took our concerns seriously and supported us, you may have to go down that route for your safety.


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Just had an email from AS - he has seen the BBC news story trailing the Radio 4 show linked to AdoptionUK - his comment 'not just us'. First time he has acknowledged the problem


There is no physical violence yet - more a mental torture for my wife worrying about what may happen - to her, to him.


When he is in a good place he is charming and happy. Sadly there is a cycle of good weeks, build up, problem, explosion then round we go again. With me and our daughter caught up in the trauma. She is also adopted but no blood link and is a very different character - with her own problems but none of the secrecy or temper


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Omg he sounds like my son partridge! Partridge is now 22. He doesn't live at home now so I don't have to live 24/7 with the lying. Frankly it's the lying and deceit I struggle with most. If you do a search for Partridge you will see some of our 'adventures' !

I have to say that he's got a lot of positive stuff going for him. He's likeable and fun. He's held a job for over a year now and is good with his manners and helpfulness.

But relationships are a right mess. Mainly because of his thinking he deserves the sh** end of the stick all the time.

I'm slightly more hopeful than when he was 18. I'm hopeful he might grow up a bit more and that time might be his friend ultimately.

Sending lots of warm support

The people on Victoria Derbyshire this morning are all members of www.thePOTATOgroup which is a parent support for families of traumatised adopted young people.


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Hello all


I am new to posting on the forum and really need help!!! Life is really hard and has been for a number of years now.


We have 2 boys who are now 14 and 15. We are having a really hard time with 15 year old. He is not attached to us and is abusive especially to me (mum) and his younger brother. He is physically violent towards his brother and could easily turn it towards me. Can I please get advise about how I can get him living out of the house? I am hoping this will help our situation. Johanna and aprilshowers please help. It seems like it has made life bearable for you.


The boys came to live with us at 3 and 4 and it will soon be 11 years. We have always had issues with both the boys. Younger son has diagnosis for dyslexia, adhd, ld. Older son does not have any diagnosis and that is what we want help with from SS. We have asked for respite but they are just delaying things and suggesting Family Mediation first. We have a Camhs appointment next week but do not know if he will engage. He has been abusive and derogatory to his brother who has been going to Camhs pretty regularly.


I also wanted details of a legal person/organisation so we could get some advise. Our SW said that removing our older son could impact on our younger one too. We feel we could support him as he has an attachment with us.


Thanks very much and warm wishes


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Hi, you are looking at your 15yr old going into lac section 20. Get together all your reports and read up on trauma bonds. You will need to get a placement support meeting set up. Adoption uk have info on this. It won't be pleasant and it's heartbreaking but fwiw I agree you must protect your son from the other.

Yes it made my son feel wobbly when blossom moved. All his stealing and lying came into sharper relief. But. It allowed him to mourn the loss of blossy from our daily lives and gave him space to really connect in a much more meaningful way.

Try the frg.org.uk people for help on requesting a section 20


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The legal people many use are radley and hall

you might find the potato group supportive and helpful too


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Hi

Does his Social worker not see that there is an impact already?

We found the police really helpful ; asking police to come round and to

explain the legal consequences of using violent and abusive behaviours.

We described our girls as extreme teens .. everyone knows that there can be fallouts but it was all in extremes and the stress it created for the family was unbearable.

We had to use Section 20 but always kept in touch. A lot of texting

".Thinking of you " and "Sending love". Short and sweet.

It is more than likely that he has a neurological condition.

As PT says the family rights group can provide help and also the effects of trauma bonds have to be understood.

Section 20 is rarely used over the age of 15 but it can be used very effectively to maintain a family as it has with us in a topsy turvy world.

It is not easy. You have to develop a thick skin. There may be offers of parenting courses etc. We did not find these delaying tactics helpful.


Sending hugs and support. Section 20 worked for us and our girls vulnerabilities and complexities were finally recognised.


It will be a tough time but there is support through AUK ,the Potato Group and frg.org.uk.


Johanna xx


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Thanks so much for the advice and support.

We have done NVR parenting course and PAC too. They all have their place but I think it's time for Parents to be heard more. At PAC DH and myself were seen more than older son. I want respite, assessment of son and relevant support!


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hi Percy51, sorry only just seen your post, sadly you like a lot of parents will be in for a long fight for respite, assesments, support, SS have little to offer parents, you may have to look at things you can put in place yourself, PGL or something similar for a holiday for him and respite for you, call in favours from anyone you can to give you all a break, you have to be very clear with SS that your fears for his younger sibling coming to harm, use the police if you have not already done so, record everything, have someone with you at all meetings with them just to support you. Make your house safe, lock away stuff...you probably already do, find a safe place for younger sib. It breaks my heart each time I hear of yet another family going through this, it is a sad and lonely place, the so called proffs pointing fingers at parenting and lifestyles all so wrong, claiming child out of parental control...well they cant keep them safe either, our children need much more input and us as parents need to be listened to. Try to give yourself a treat some self care, visit your GP as well they too can make referals to services. (((((())))))


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Thanks so much aprilshowers.


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Thanks so much aprilshowers.


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