“I wonder if it’s possible to admit that you can’t help your child,” began an email to The Ryan Tubridy Show as a mother expressed her despair and helplessness over her 9-year-old son’s aggressive behaviour.
“I have been kicked, punched, bitten and verbally abused for most of his life… I have tried to help him with therapy. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and I’ve gone to courses to try to better understand life from his perspective… I’m currently getting him psychologically reassessed. He’s also on medication but what about me and what about his brother and our dog.”
The listener spoke about the toll her son’s behaviour has taken on her life, including the breakdown of her marriage. She said outbursts can be triggered by the smallest things, like asking him to get into the car or brush his teeth. She tries to make the school day as good as it possibly can be for her son, but when he gets sent home because of his outbursts, he then takes out his anger on her.
“The aggression can often spiral out of control instantly depending on his mood. I’m accessing as many supports as possible but this doesn’t change my day-to-day life because in Ireland mental health is a crisis-driven service… It’s extremely difficult to talk to people about it… You feel like you have failed your child… like it’s your fault, you’ve done something to create this.”
The email received a lot of reaction on the show, including this text from a mother of a child with Asperger’s who is also on the receiving end of violent behaviour.
“I can’t defend myself as Tusla would be called so I have to take the hits. There are many of us out there as frustration and aggression towards parents is part of autism but it’s not talked about.”
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