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Need help, I think my stepson is a victim of MBP

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Need help, I think my stepson is a victim of MBP

Postby sharla40 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:58 pm

I have looked all over the net trying to find answers to my questions which has led me to this forum. I'm hoping someone can have some insight for us here. I will try to explain our situation in as few words as possible. My 10 yr old stepson was diagnosed with autism, ocd, adhd and mental retardation at an early age. His mother who has many health issues herself, mainly being anorexic which has resulted in her being on many medications as well as 2 brain surgeries and a heart surgery fell in a store last February with a brain aneurism due to her illness. Let me go back a few chapters...my husband has always been in his son's life but was only allowed to visit the child under her supervision in her home and was never allowed to take him out. This was not court ordered, but what the mother would allow. We did not have the financial ability to fight her otherwise...this is why the situation was allowed. Anyway, my husband worked all of the time and she was the child's main caregiver who took him to all of his doctor appointments, etc. So, speeding back up to current, when she fell last year, we were called and went to pick the child up at the hospital. When we got there he was very much like an animal. We took him home with us and I took a couple of weeks off of work to care for him while figuring out what was going to happen with his mother. At that time, the child could not dress himself, feed himself, was scared of everything, was not potty trained. He was very much out of control and could not even carry on a conversation that made sense. Within 2 days he was able to dress himself, feed himself and was potty trained. Within 2 weeks he could carry a conversation and wipe himself. We thought this to be very strange. We had him for a total of 6 wks in which he flourished. We also enrolled him in school where we live and he done exceptionally well. At that time he was on a ton of medications. He had no contact with his mother at this time. When she got out of the hospital she came and got him at the school and there was nothing we could do because she had custody. At that time we started proceedings and got custody of the child August of this year. Since then he has not missed one day of school and prior to that he had missed over 50 days last year due to "illnesses". He has not even had a common cold this year. He is no longer scared of anything, can talk to you like anyone else, can read, can spell, and is the best child ever. He was previously on meds for aggression, depression and a large dose of ritalin as well as alergy medication and sleeping medication. Within 5 months he only takes 1 1/2 pills per day and was previously on 8 1/2 and his new family doctor feels he will be on none within the next 6 months. I believe this to be a case of Munchausen By Proxy because the mother was getting a social security check for his illness as well as her own. She lives on the system and has not worked in years. Each time she is around the child she gives him meds for various things even after being told not to. When he sees her it is like a light switch being turned on and he reverts back to the way he was until the second he gets in the car with us then it stops immediately. It's all very strange. We believe that his illnesses were all "taught to him". This is a child that was on a bottle until he was 8 and only allowed to play with baby toys. When we first got him he would say things like "I can't walk without Mommy" and he literally felt he could not. Now he appears to be a normal happy child and is progressing like crazy! Are we right in seeing that this is way beyond normal and that this is unhealthy for this child? What can we do? Thanks so much for any help or insight anyone may be able to give us.
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Re: Need help, I think my stepson is a victim of MBP

Postby CarmenRose23 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:30 pm

When autistic children are exposed to trauma they tend to revert. They will typically go through a period where they will have to relearn some things they already knew but the recovery is generally very quick. SO you might have been seeing some autistic behavior those first couple weeks. He sounds like if he is Autistic he is likely high functioning. Have you studied Aspergers?

A misdiagnosis of ADHD and the subsequent prescription of Ritalin could have easily caused his aggression, depression, and likely caused the requirement of sleeping pills. I am surprised that the ADHD prognosis remained after the diagnosis of Autism… these diseases are too similar to be comorbid, one is either adhd, or autistic… not both. But this is a Doctor’s mistake… not a mothers.

SO… all you have left is the 50 days of Illness. If it were MBP you would expect to see some doctors records from those days of illness. Either throughout the periods of sickness or at the end period of sickness when she loses control of her own treatments.

I think it is more likely that he is staying home from school with her, he isn’t directly sick, but she is. I think it’s possible that she is Munchausen… but I am just not seeing By Proxy. Regardless his mother is not healthy, mentally or physically. But you do not want to bring up MBP unless you are certain, and even then… why bring it up if he is now safe?

Check out Learned helplessness, particularly in regards to Autism. Autistic children tend to be eager to please… they want to be what you want them to be… or what you tell them to be, directly or indirectly. I suppose like any other child, but I think with autistic kids the need can be stronger.
At any rate if she “his mom” believed that he was mentally and physically handicapped he probably found himself acting appropriately to fill the role.

“A child is a child first, then a child with disabilities,” says Batts, founder of Focus on the Future Training Center in Plano, an education center for children in pre-kindergarten through grade 12, who have autism and other mental disabilities. “If you as a parent see a child’s disability first, you literally drop a curtain over all of the things he might be able to accomplish. You’ll never be able to see your child’s potential,” she explains.
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Re: Need help, I think my stepson is a victim of MBP

Postby AuntieNanna » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:58 pm

I know I am responding to a post that is several years past, but we have just discovered a similar issue with our youngest daughter (my stepdaughter, but we have full custody now). Her mother (who is diagnosed with other mental conditions) has insisted since the child was about 5 years old that she was on the autism spectrum. We have always assumed you cannot fake a diagnosis of autism, so we have worked with that diagnosis with her.

Daughter is now nearing college age and we needed to submit a copy of her diagnosis to university to obtain necessary supports. Daughter and I went to the local school to obtain a copy of her required supports, only to discover that her birth mother had lied all these years. She had never received a diagnosis of autism. For 12 years, this young woman has been treated by us all as if she is on the spectrum - but she is NOT. Her mother lied to everyone and anyone who would listen.

The school's report showed that all her testing was returned as normal. They also reported mother's insistence that daughter is incapable of leading an independent life, and more.

Daughter is coping well with this news while I (and her father) am livid. We meet with her social issues therapist next week to figure out next steps on how to obtain appropriate therapies for (any) issues she might have.

While it is wonderful news to know that she is not on the spectrum, it is devastating to find out that she should have been never treated as if she were on the spectrum. She has missed out on so many opportunities because of mother's insistence that she is unable to function around her peers. (I am beyond livid actually).
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Re: Need help, I think my stepson is a victim of MBP

Postby CrackedGirl » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:27 pm

I can understand you being very angry about this. It sounds like a terrible thing to have happened. I am not sure what to suggest except to say that thankfully this is known about now and also she has the support of ppl who clearly love her. I really hope that things go OK for her and that you can work through this all - I imagine it must be tough tho.

I am moving this to the MBP subforum as that is the best place for it. I hope that things get worked out for her soon and that this does not have long term effects

Take good care

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