diagnosis changed from ADHD to Asperger's - FRUSTRATED!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ellenm0m, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Ellenm0m

    Ellenm0m New Member

    My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6 and we have been "trying" new prescriptions on him since...last November he suddenly turned very violent and angry. Finally coming to a head when he tried to set his bedroom on fire after getting in a fight at school and being brought home by the police! We admitted him to an inpatient facility for 2 weeks, where they took him off of the Concerta (which was NOT good for his Asperger's) and called myhusband and I in to talk. He said it looked more like Asperger's with Pscho-Effective Bi-Polar Disorder. Aparrently, when he gets depressed, he hears voices..

    Also, he is fascinated with fire and internet Porn. Unfortunately, he is so smart that he has hacked into my laptop twice to create a profile to get around the net nanny to view the porn. He is normally a sweet, loving kid who likes to sit close (in my personal space) and play card games and computer games, but when he hit puberty (apparently last November) he was replaced by a monster. I have two little girls (5 and 6) and DO NOT want porn viewed in my house, plus, when he lights matches, he does not make sure they are out, so we have to hide all matches, lighters, etc. Even the BBQ lighter cannot be left in the kitchen.

    Looking for any advice anyone wants to offer - both husband and I work full time, so home school isn't really an option, we cannot trust him at home alone for 8 hours, and he is NOT doing well at school (He got straight a's through 6th grade but as soon as he started middle school he started failing - changing classes is not easy for him). Mostly fighting, and he doesn't do his homework. The police were called twice last year. He will be in a new school this year, but still not sure what kind of accomodations to ask for on an IEP, and he says if we put him in Special Education classes he will not go to school at all.
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Poor kid, and Poor you. ((((HUGS))))

    Middle school and puberty were a very difficult transition for my son (aspie) He was put on Abilify for the depression that manifested at the time. It's working great for him - not perfect, but reduces periods of frustration, and reduces the frequency and intensity of the depressive episodes, which were brought on by typical Aspie frustrations.

    Mine also had a phase of internet porn. I was fully aware of the frequent long showers he began taking (figured it was typical pubescent behavior) but was not aware of his searches. One night, he came and confessed to me. He was feeling intense guilt and shame. I was able to keep calm and discuss the dangers and inappropriateness of his 'addiction' (not to mention it is ILLEGAL for a minor). He promised to try and stop, and assured me his sisters were NEVER around when he searched. It took a few months, but he has finally stopped. Unfortunately so have the long showers. I say unfortunately because this is normal human behavior and a 'good' stress reliever. This past winter when he was getting crazy frustrated with school work, I started suggesting he should start taking those long showers again. Sadly he didn't understand what I really meant. I feel that getting any more specific is inappropriate, and, well, the porn thing is just plain illegal for a minor.

    I haven't done it, but a friend suggested I leave a "Victoria Secrets" or other such catalog lying around. Personally, I used to go digging through my Dad's National Geographic collection. This is a normal and natural curiosity and exploration. Problem is that the internet provides easy access to stuff that goes WAY beyond anything close to age appropriate.

    As far as the IEP goes, you really need to get 'inside his head' and figure out what stresses him out, and what makes things so difficult for him. One of my son's biggest issues is handing in work. He can have it all done but for some reason, he won't hand it in. So one of his accommodations is extra time for assignments. He is excused from assemblies and especially pep rallies. All the noise really sets him off. Due to noise and chaos, he also has the option of going to a classroom for his lunch. The last semester of school he was managing without that by finding 'quieter' areas/tables to eat at (this school has a very strange setup - there is NO cafeteria. The tables are set up in the large hallway junctures)

    He also has a teacher/classroom he can retreat to when he's overwhelmed in his regular classes, or just having a bad day.

    Hopefully he will participate in IEP planning by letting you or staff know what things bug him or are too difficult for him. Not EVERYTHING he views as a problem can be accommodated, but maybe if he sees ppl are trying to help, he'll be more compliant.
  3. Ellenm0m

    Ellenm0m New Member

    Yes, difficult child is on Abilify and it has helped some. Had another fire incident yesterday, but my husband took care of it before I got home from work. Made him light an entire box of matches...hopefully that will work for a while.

    As for the IEP, we have the same problem with homework, it gets done and I check it before he goes to bed, then he doesn't turn it in because they are expected to just go put it in the teacher's box so she never asked for it. Like I said, this is a new school, so hopefully I can talk to them and set stuff up. Supposed to go in on August 3rd. Right now, I am kind of overwhelmed myself (but nice to know why I feel so overwhelmed all of the time, new Aspie diagnosis) so trying to make a big list of questions and stuff for the school and his new dr.

    Thanks for the response!!
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You can ask that none of his work be considered late (works for my difficult child) and that they ask him for it at the beginning of each day/class. Since that is one of his lacking skills, they need to bridge the gap as well as to try to TEACH him this skill. Also, I put the date he did it and my initials at the top of ALL work he does at home.

    Your original post said you've tried other medications. Which ones have been tried? What behaviors are they trying to control with the medications? If difficult child has never mentioned voices before, I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in it quite yet. I agree with keista. Lighting fires (although not necessarily in the house) and porn CAN be just phases most kids go through. Can you use parental controls on your computer to block those kinds of websites? As for the fires, is there a way he can be given the job of lighting "good fires" such as fireplace, campfires, burning garbage, etc. That would teach the proper use of fire. Being Aspie, that would work better than punishing for improper use. Just some ideas from one who is still learning. Good luck.
  5. Ellenm0m

    Ellenm0m New Member

    Thanks for your response.
    As for medications, lets see, he was on Adderall when he was 6, and it made him violent. the dr wanted to give him a secondary diagnosis of ODD, but when she took him off the Adderall, the rages stopped. Then he did Focalin which worked for a while in getting him to focus, but he did not sleep well while he was on it. He had to take melatonin to get any sleep at all, and then he would still wake up at 5 in the morning. They added Straterra to the mix and he stopped sleeping altogether, so we took him off of that...I think he was 10 when they did that. Then when he was 12, they switched him to Concerta because it was not supposed to have the side effects of the Focalin....bull-poopy to that....Anyway, that was when he started acting out and having suicidal thoughts. He has always come in asking us what we wanted because he thought someone was talking to him, but never said that the voices told him to do anything. That was something that came out in therapy, and could have been a side effect of the Concerta, so he is still in therapy for that. Anyway, last November he started having rages again, starting fights at school (He beat one kid up and they called the police because the kid called him "Ginger"...he has red hair.) Anyway, after that we started going to counselling and things were not really getting any better. Then in early April 2011 he was brought home by the police twice in a week at 2 am and at 4 am because he couldn't sleep so he went for a walk. Then he started another fight at school because a friend of his went to the nurse and the nurse wouldn't tell him what was going on with the friend so he started pushing people as he went through the hall and a bigger kid pushed back. Another trip home by the police. I kept him home for 2 days of suspension and the night before he was supposed to go back to school he started lighting fires in his bedroom. So, I took him to the emergency room and told them I thought he was a danger to himself and to my family, so they put him in an inpatient psychiatric facility for 2 weeks. That is where the voices and stuff came out. The dr there took him off of all of his medications for the first week and observed him with no medications and we had a conference and he said he thought it was more likely to be Asperger's so we did the testing for that and they put him on Abilify. He is sleeping now, thank goodness!!

    Wow, sorry for such a long rant, I sometimes forget myself when someone asks what is wrong.....
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes. Sleep issues.

    The medical community doesn't take this seriously enough, in my opinion. But if the kid isn't sleeping well - as in both quality and quantity of sleep - then there will be behavior problems. Nobody copes well with life, when theya re sleep-deprived. Just ask any sleep-deprived parent of a difficult child!

    So the sleep issues will be part of the problem - not the whole thing, but one more factor.


    Hopefully YOU are getting sleep, at least?
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I feel very sorry for him. My son was diagnosis'd with ADHD at 4 yo. Adderall was a big no-no. They put him on Straterra when he was 5. For us, that has been wonderful. In 3rd grade ODD was added. I didn't know any better so it stayed. It wasn't until this last Fall that things didn't seem quite right. He was raging more and was clearly frustrated most of the time. School personnel "ruled with an iron fist" because that is how you deal with ODD. It didn't work and actually backfired. Did further testing in January and the ODD diagnosis was changed to Autism Spectrum Disorder (leaning towards Asperger's). The psychiatrist put him on Risperdal to help with the "autism related anxiety". It took 2 months of non-stop rages and property destruction for me to realize it was the medication. I tried working with the psychiatrist and all they wanted to do was keep changing the dosage. After 2 months, I informed them I was NEVER giving him Risperdal again and the behaviors went away. I also changed how I handled things realizing that his THINKING was different and I started spending more time teaching the lacking skills rather than punishing. Things here have improved drastically. Unfortunately, school personnel won't change their mindset and are still doing the "iron fist" treatment because he "has to be made to follow the rules like everyone else". This caused difficult child to become EXTREMELY depressed. We started him on Prozac and the depression is all but non-existant so we are weaning him off it. Needless to say, we are changing schools so the school-induced depression doesn't come back.

    The reason I asked the questions about the medications is because my son went through some pretty horrible things as a result of wrong diagnosis and wrong medications. Personally, I would still be skeptical of the voices thing for now. What are they hoping the Abilify will do? Just curious.
  8. Ellenm0m

    Ellenm0m New Member

    Abilify is for the mood stabilization and depression.
  9. seriously

    seriously New Member

    You are not going to like to hear this but you or husband must be there to supervise and to care for your other kids. One of you needs to quit your job/take family leave, work part time split or off shift hours or work opposite shifts until he is

    1) out of the house either because he is in residential treatment or has turned 18 and moved (or been asked to move) out OR
    2) his moods have been stable on medications for at least several months and he is no longer doing dangerous behavior like fire setting AT ALL.

    I would not make any assumptions about his ability to distinguish reality from fantasy/psychosis. Given the interest in porn, I think you should have your younger children questioned by a knowledgeable child therapist to make sure they have not been sexually abused, touched or otherwise sexually approached by your son.

    And I would NEVER leave him unsupervised in my home or allow him to go to anyone else home right now.

    Please understand that psychosis means he truly has no idea that what he thinks is real - is NOT real. A psychotic person cannot be "reasoned" with because they are not rational. They believe what they believe because their mind is telling them that it is the truth.

    I am so glad he is out of your home and getting the right assessment and treatment.

    Hugs - he's in the right place now and getting the help needed to ensure all of you are safe.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It is possible to have AS and ADHD. Our youngest is an example. He also has had a fascintation with fire and a BIG fascination with Asian porn. In our experience one medication can not handle (or help) multiple issues. He is now 20 and functions fairly well taking ADHD medications, Risperdal and a medication that helps him sleep. I understand your very real concerns and sympathize with your concerns. It is important, however, not to accept that "one" medication will make life workable for your son. Are you using a Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist? If not I suggest that you do so. Like our youngest difficult child I am sure he wants help. If it takes weekly therapy plus multiple medications...that's what it takes. Hugs DDD
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I want to raise the question - is there really psychosis or not? When there is a diagnosis of Asperger's then you already know that the individual responds differently socially as well as in sensory issues. As a result, it is often too easy for a doctor who is on automatic pilot, to diagnose psychosis where it actually is not an issue.

    I am not saying that this child does not also have bipolar. But sometimes it is too easy. And everything you describe, we went through. Except possibly the voices, but there is no detail in your description. What has he said to you about them? Or have you only heard what hospital staff told you? I'm not doubting them, but if they go in asking the wrong questions, if ANYBODY asks the wrong questions of someone with Asperger's, you will get the answers you're looking for and not necessarily the answers you should have.

    Example - difficult child 3 was often in trouble at school. He was often accused of starting trouble when he had not. I base my "he had not" not on difficult child 3's own statements to me, but on eyewitness accounts from other children not personally involved but definitely there to observe. The teacher would interrogate difficult child 3 as follows - "Did you hit Jake before or after you tripped over your own feet? Did you realise that Jake says he didn't push you, that he just saw you trip? So you shouldn't have hit Jake, should you?"
    That said, all together, told difficult child 3 that first, it was already assumed that he had hit Jake. Second, difficult child 3's own recollection of events was probably flawed because Jake said difficult child 3 had tripped, that Jake had not pushed him. difficult child 3 being on the spectrum and basically fairly honest, assumed other people were equally honest. So when his teacher told him that because of his autism, he was unable to recognise what was really happening and what was not (very untrue - the teacher did not understand) then difficult child 3 believed this, and stopped believing his own observations. "I could have sworn Jake shoved me and tripped me up, I saw his foot sticking out as I walked past, but Mr H told me I can get this wrong because of my autism. So I apologised to Jake for saying he had tripped me."
    Meanwhile another kid (who was later silenced by Jake and his buddies) had told me what he had seen - Jake and his buddies hassling difficult child 3, shoving him and tripping him up.

    Another example - this is form "Life Behind Glass" by Wendy Lawson. When she was about 19, after a major struggle through school, suffering from severe depression (which is common in any level of autism including Asperger's - this is really tough to live with) she was seen by a psychiatrist. Back then Asperger's was not understood. The shrink asked her, "Do you hear voices?" and she replied, "Of course I do."
    On the basis of this plus her depression she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and admitted to a locked psychiatric ward as an involuntary patient. It took quite a number of years for someone to wake up to the fact that she was not schizophrenic, and let her out of the hospital. When later asked about hearing voices, she said, "It was such a stupid question and I misunderstood, because I answered literally, as a lot of people with Asperger's would. Of course I hear voices when people speak to me. You don't see voices, or smell them."

    Another possible angle to consider - when he describes hearing voices, does he distinguish them as a manifestation of his own thoughts? With Asperger's (and some other people near the spectrum) they can really work hard to understand themselves, often because (despite how it looks) they really want to fit in. difficult child 3 was 8 when he said to me one day, "I'm getting very good at pretending to be normal." That was a few months after the incident with Jake and the teacher's re-interpretation of the events.

    Back to thoughts - I said on another thread (and I stand by the opinion I expressed, I know it was not popular) that when I was a young child, I remembered trying to analyse how my thoughts worked. Why did I hear my thoughts as a voice? Why did the voice actually not sound out loud for others to hear it? What was the sound of my deepest thoughts, compared to the sound of my remembered conversations with people? I could even 'model' or role-play conversations with people I knew, 'hearing' their voices in my head speaking words they had never uttered. I did it for the mental exercise of it (I was perhaps not a typical child - who knows? What child with perhaps a better social understanding than I had, would dare admit to such ideas?)
    I tried to discuss this with my mother and my sisters, to be brushed off. Well, they often brushed me aside. Some years later I was regularly seeing a therapist. I'm not really sure why I was taken to see one. In there were psychiatrists too. Again, not sure why. But by then I had worked out what I understood my thoughts to be, and thankfully did not feel a need to share my earlier ideas with the various tdocs etc. I hate to think what could have happened to me if I had said something. At no time did I ever feel my thoughts were not my own. At no time (when I look back now) did I ever have a psychotic break. But I also remember the anxiety I felt while growing up, the depression, the pressure, the fear of bullies. These days I might have been given a diagnosis of Asperger's. But maybe not. It is still difficult to diagnose in girls and really, I'm still not sure I ever met the criteria fully. But I was socially inept, something I blame on an over-protected and sheltered upbringing.

    What I'm saying - anybody who is diagnosing Asperger's needs to really know what they are doing. Anybody diagnosing bipolar of schizophrenia - ditto. But diagnosing bipolar in someone who also has a diagnosis of Asperger's - they need double ditto, they need to know both, plus how they connect together. Or they risk making a very tragic mistake.

    Some of the medications you list, we have had problems with. I know some people do well on those medications. My older son takes Zoloft, which I know a lot of people don't like or have problems with. My younger son can't take Zoloft and reacts badly to other antidepressants too. We've just weaned him off his latest one, it has pretty much sabotaged this last year of school. And yet his older brother (Aspie) does brilliantly on Zoloft. difficult child 3 has serious problems on Strattera. If he had been seen by a psychiatrist at the time, he may well have received an erroneous diagnosis of psychosis. But he had been on Strattera for three days and over the next few days, we got our boy back.

    Depression is a huge problem when you have Asperger's - the world and the people in it just refuse to conform to the rules you assess as being in existence. In the same way Isaac Newton determined the Law of Gravity and formulated his Laws of Motion, so does a person with Asperger's study their environment and determine what they understand the rules to be. But this is not always exact, and when they try to live according to those rules, they can get into difficulties, not least because other people can be very mean.

    My younger three kids were involved in an award-winning feature film, "The Black Balloon". The stars of that film were two very skilled actors who have gone on to do other fine work. Neither has autism, of course. One played the profoundly autistic teen, the other played his brother. They spent time with the autistic brother of the writer/director in order to really get a feel for the roles. In order to really ensure they had the roles down well, they went out in public, in character. What they reported was chilling - yes, they were convincing. Most people were okay. But too often, every time they went out, there were always some people, either late adolescent males or adults, who would deliberately bait the 'autistic' brother especially when his carer was absent. The actor reported that this happened with sickening predictability, that as soon as the other actor left him to perhaps go to the bathroom, there would be guys (mostly) who would deliberately try to upset him so they could watch the fireworks. They reported this in TV interviews later, and also in the "Special Features" segment of the DVD.

    This made me realise all the more, that what difficult child 3 experienced at school was sadly, normal. And very, very wrong.

    It is awful to live with this and feel that it is the way it is done, that it is what you have to accept because it is the rule. I left it almost too late for difficult child 3 - by the time I pulled him out of mainstream, where the bullies had been allowed free rein, he had told himself that the tule where he was concerned, was - "I am autistic, therefore I must accept being beaten up. I may not hit back, but I have to let other people hit me. It is because of what I am, and who I am."

    It has taken a few years but he now knows it is not true. But he had to learn, by experience, that life really is not like that and should not be like that. Later down the track he has had to learn, is still learning, how to cope with the idiots who will try to provoke him purely for their own entertainment. He has developed a lot of skills, some of them quite surprisingly novel (he has done a lot of adaptive behaviour development entirely on his own). He is good at making friends with his enemies, but he has also sadly learned to carry a grudge. it will shield him from false friends, so I have not discouraged him from this.

    I am not saying it is not possible for someone to have Asperger's as well as schizophrenia, or bipolar, or anything else. Only that it needs to be assessed REALLY carefully, and checked out thoroughly. Over and over again.

    With Asperger's, nothing is at face value. or perhaps everything is.

  12. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree 100000% with Marg. She has a way of saying it better than I ever could. She said exactly what I have been thinking but couldn't convey. Thanks Marg!
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, EllenMom.
    My son is an Aspie, too, and we have had a lot of the same issues you have.
    You beat me to it about the matches. And your husband came up with-it on his own--we had to spend $ to see a therapist and have him suggest we have our son light several boxes of matches and throw them into a bucket of water until he couldn't stand to see a single match ever again. After that, when we had parties, I had difficult child light all the candles. I guess we over-trained him, because I had to walk with-him to every single candle because he was afraid!
    Reading your notes, I wonder if you could try him on Focalin again, with-melaton and clonidine for bedtime. Just a thought.
    I'm so glad so many others here have weighed in and given you great ideas.
    You've come to the right place!
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Something I meant to include - we went through the fascination with fire also. All three younger kids. easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 1 went to the same mainstream high school (two years apart) and travelled together. They used to hang around the shops near the school, especially the tobacconist's, who either sold them or gave them (so they said) old but interesting lighters. difficult child 1 would bring home broken lighters and fix them. "He gave it to me," he would tell me. We kept confiscating every lighter we found - as I type this I look up to a high shelf and can see a brass locomotive cigarette lighter. Nobody in this household smokes or has ever smoked. The kids just wanted to play with lighters. And matches. And candles. And the barbecue. And the outdoor pizza oven. We kept finding lighter fluid that difficult child 1 had bought. We'd find cans of it under the couch, or even in his bed. His best friend (also Aspie) is reported to have poured a can of lighter fluid over his hand (at school) then set fire to it. He told me didn't expect it to hurt so much. He never did it again, he told me (that young man is getting married next week, incidentally).

    All we could do, was keep confiscating stuff. I don't think making either of our firebug problem kids light an entire box of matches would have done a thing. But hey, if it does work for you, I am glad. I just know what our kids were like...

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 now has candles in her apartment. She is older and more responsible. difficult child 1 no longer is as fascinated with lighters, although if there is a fire (such as a barbecue) he will, like his little brother, poke sticks in it to watch the stick burn down. That's when I fetch a bag of marshmallows. I also teach the kids how to cook properly; if you're going to play with fire, you may as well be productive!

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is very much a facet of Asperger's. Not in every case, but in a great many of them.


  15. Ellenm0m

    Ellenm0m New Member

    Wow, you guys are great!! Thanks for all of the advice. Right now quitting my job is not an option, however in 2 weeks when school starts, I will be dropping Aaron off at school on my way to work and husband will pick him up from school on his way home, we have alternating schedules. Now if we can just get an appropriate IEP and school works this year, that would help.

    At this point, he is staying with my brother in law and his wife during the day, and it has been okay all summer until earlier this week with the fire thing again. He is never left unsupervised...and both of the girls have been in to see the cousellor and neither have any problems with being touched. (Thank goodness)

    His stay in the hospital was really very good for him, for one thing, he knows now that he can tell me stuff. My husband is being really really great about this (in fact, he says it is a releif having a diagnosis that makes sense because we can see how the behaviors that were driving us nuts before are just part of it and can work around it), unfortunately difficult child bio-dad wants nothing to do with any of it.

    Right now we are seeing a new dr, we moved to a different state in may, when husband got transferred, this has been a hard summer for everyone. For now, just evaluating and making her own diagnosis. She says she rarely takes another dr's word for anything, so we will see.

    I am glad I came on here, and mostly just trolling around reading stuff, but will offer advice if I have any...still new at this.
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I have to chime in here... As a tween and teen, I was also fascinated with fire. I was usually very careful, however. I'm not an Aspie, really I'm "normal" if there is such a thing. BUT...

    O will burn things. We finally had to install a smoke/heat alarm in her room, that is "tamper proof" - it goes off if you try to tamper, or cover it with anything, which was a problem before. When she left, we found over 30 lighters in her room. Most of which we had never seen, some were ours.

    Lock up matches and lighters. Not kidding.

    As for voices - O was seeing these beginning shortly after her bio-mom's father passed. Or at least that is when bio-mom reported them to us and blamed husband for it. I have since come to recognize that this is the bipolar with psychotic features. Voices, then soon - HUGE RAGE. If she mentions to me she's hallucinating, either visual or auditory - we go on red alert. Because... She refuses medications.

    J, on the other hand - diagnosis'd ADHD - Concerta made him into the world's brattiest brat - I started noticing that his symptoms/behaviors were MUCH closer to Aspie... And the neuropsychologist said Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Well, yes, he has the facial features - somewhat - but he's also 1/4 Japanese. So in my opinion, it's maybe Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), possibly Aspie, and mild dyslexia AND mild ADHD. Stims make his life horrid - but we discovered that with repetition, the behaviors aren't quite as bad. He CAN learn, just has problems doing so.

    HOWEVER, his problems sleeping recently are VERY similar to O at the same age. So I've my eyes wide open.

    Keeping your son supervised and your daughters safe is very important. However you have to sleep sometime. Walmart carries motion detectors armed with a keychain... About $12.
  17. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    mines diagnosis is still in flux, and she may or may not be on the spectrum so i'm not sure if this helps any.

    but i can say with certainty, in our case, possible voice hearing was directly triggered by extremely high stress. you mention moving, and step mentioned a death. its almost a "pushed over the limit" kind of thing--even if it seems out of proportion to a move or or something stressful in our minds--in theirs it can be even more exaggerated, particularly if they are weak in the coping skill area.

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), true psychosis, medication related--i am also in the camp that says "voices" must be taken seriously, but its a tread very carefully area for me. in my opinion, without being able to crawl in a difficult child's brain, its very hard to decipher what they mean by "voices" and its root cause.

    i can also tell you that was the one and only benefit mine got from abilify as a stand alone--but we also got her in therapy and reduced stress as much as we could, so that could factor in too.

    ITA that he needs to be FULLY evaluated and challenged before release--thats probably my #1 regret for mine's psychiatric hospital stay.

    i wish you all the best--you sound like you have a good plan in case.
  18. Ellenm0m

    Ellenm0m New Member

    You know, I knew the moving was hard, but I never once thought about Grandpa's death in november being a trigger simply because he and difficult child were not really close. but now I can see how even though I hadn't thought about it, it could have been...wow, see, I am so glad I stumbled upon your message board!!!

    I honestly do not know what to think about the voices. I myself have a continual internal dialog, I am CONSTANTLY talking to myself, which i do not know if that is "normal", but I do know that it is myself working stuff out, and not some alien voice telling me to do stuff... But I also do not know how to discuss this with him without him thinking I do not care how he feels or that I think he was lieing or something, because he does NOT like to be called a liar...
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "Describe what it is like inside your head. I want to see how it compares to the inside of my head."

    Purely information-gathering, he may accept this. He may be wary if he has now been led to believe it is not normal, but reassure him that some level of internal dialogue is normal. The difference is whether the voices have their own reality and are causing concern.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about Asperger's, including that they have no imagination. But they can have indeed very vivid imaginations, as well as extreme ability to focus on the fine detail. As I did, analysing thoughts. If I could have put a chemical formula to thoughts, I would have. I had no frame of reference for 'normal'.

    I have since learned a lot more about how we lay down memory and how thoughts work, and realised that I simply had a mind that worked differently, but was still 'right'. Just a tad more detailed, that's all. And it still is, which is why I am now a writer.


  20. seriously

    seriously New Member

    It's good that you are pursuing help for him.

    I think the diagnosis you were referring to in your earlier post was:

    Schizoaffective Disorder

    This is a psychiatric disorder that has both mood and psychotic features.

    It will be interesting to see what the outpatient psychiatrist thinks is going on. Did you get a copy of his discharge summary from his hospitalization? If not, I would try to get one for your records and to share with the new doctor. Or at least make sure that she has gotten a copy from the hospital directly. A 2 week long inpatient stay is a pretty long stay these days and they should have had plenty of chance to observe his behavior and work with him before diagnosing him with that.

    Here's some links to info on Schizoaffective Disorder for you to look at in case it is helpful for you. If you're familiar with this diagnosis it may make it easier for you to talk with the new psychiatrist about what she thinks is going on with him.




    It is very complicated to diagnose a child/adolescent when there are developmental issues like Aspergers AND psychiatric disorders like Bipolar. And there's a lot of overlap of symptoms between Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)'s and both schizophrenia and bipolar. It is not at all unusual for psychiatrists to give a very general diagnosis like Mood disorder not otherwise specified because they want to wait and see how the child's symptoms (sx) change over time and whether they get better as the child gets older.

    Here's an article about diagnosing Asperger's that also talks about other conditions that have similar signs and symptoms and that must be ruled out or at least considered before an autism diagnosis is given (this process is called differential diagnosis)


    Do you know how much experience the new psychiatrist has with diagnosing austism spectrum disorders and treating kids with both Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and psychiatric conditions? If not, you might ask her about this. For example, you might ask roughly how many kids with both she is currently seeing in her practice. She shouldn't be offended at all and I would ask not only about her experience but any special training she's had for working with kids with both diagnoses.

    You can also ask for additional screening at school and through your local Regional Center to confirm the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis.

    All the best