difficult child 2 is driving me INSANE! Is it the autism or the ADHD?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I can hardly believe that difficult child 2 used to be a former easy child. Besides his late talking and late walking, he had no real symptoms of Asperger's. He had an obsession with dinosaurs but that was IT. In school he did great. His I believe second grade teacher called him her future engineer. He was super intelligent in damn near everything. Math, spelling, English, you name it. When he was tested he was in the 95th percentile for intelligence.

    . The **** didn't hit the fan till fourth grade. As the work became harder, his grades went down. He has a super hard time focusing and suddenly he is failing when he used to succeed. His hyper ness is outta control! We are all on spring break and instead of relaxing I am going CRAZY! Today, for example, he has been running around completely naked and jumping all over every thing! He jumps on the bed, he jumps all over me (while naked) which makes me totally uncomfortable. He hugs and kisses me real hard and climbs on top of me. He also does this with difficult child 1 and she gets Very offended. Tonight I finally convinced him to put on some pajama bottoms and he did it, much to my surprise. Usually he refuses to get dressed by himself and I have to do it for him. Again, this makes me tremendously uncomfortable but I do it.

    neuropsychologist that we visited wasn't sure if his symptoms were totally due to his autism or if it was an ADHD/Asperger's dual diagnosis. I am not sure either. He was started on Intuniv, a fairly new medication, a week and a half ago. So far, NO help. He goes up from two mgs to three mgs in a few days. So far it isn't working. He still can't focus in school and he is hyper as hell. I really don't know at this point if he really is ADHD or if it's just part of his Asperger's. I am actually hoping at this point that he has a dual diagnosis otherwise if it's just autism I know there are no medications out there to help it. Lord help us all because at this point I simply can't TAKE it.
  2. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Forgive me if I'm repeating myself from an earlier thread.. but.

    4th grade = major downhill? been there done that. And... NO Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis in our case.

    More likely, the "real" problem is something you haven't found yet.
    Has he had a full Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory and motor skills issues? If not, these can be huge. And fine motor skills problems can "hide" until about 4th grade.. when suddenly they have to "use" their writing skills... listen and take notes, etc. And they CAN'T do it, but nobody will believe them.

    How about a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation for auditory processing disorders? If they test for auditory figure ground, they are probably covering the complete spectrum... not every Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) does. Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) symptoms - especially in a classroom setting - are almost identical to ADHD - not listening, not paying attention, restless, etc. Think about it... if you can't follow what the teacher is saying, then you are not going to get the right directions anyway... after a while, the child figures, "why bother trying, 'cause I can't do it anyway"... secondary dxes of anxiety and/or depression are not uncommon. Here, they don't like to test for this until about age 7. Many are not caught at all. This is so huge that it affects sleep, behavior, relationships, social skills, self-esteem, and so on...
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I almost had to laugh about the naked comments. The other day difficult child was taking a shower and I was standing at the bottom of the stairs talking to easy child, when difficult child opens the door, completely naked, and starts moving his hips back and forth so his thingy was swinging away. Other times he has asked me to come upstairs so that he could talk to me and he opens the bathroom door, again, completely naked, and starts chattering away at me. I look at him in the face and tell him to put some clothes on and THEN and I will talk to him. Ewwwwww!! Yes, I was uncomfortable, too. I totally get where you are coming from.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and sorry you are having such a hard time, as well as sorry about your little guy.

    Actually, does it really matter why? ADHD is part and parcel of Aspergers. I know my son could never focus well either, and forth grade was where he really started struggling. I think forth grade is sort of a turning point as far as how much is expected of the kids.

    in my opinion what he really needs is an IEP to help accomodate his issues. Have you explored this yet? Is he seeing anybody who understands Aspergers kids? They are (cough, cough) a bit quirky and difficult, BUT many of them settle down (activity wise) as they get older.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Has the hyperness gotten worse since starting the Intuniv? If you're just starting the medication, then it just needs to be titrated up before deciding if it works or not. If it's actually making things WORSE then it's the wrong medication altogether. That is JMHO after a couple medication disasters. You may not see improvement yet but it "should" get gradually better as the dosage is adjusted.

    I know the confusion you feel about the "change in roles". difficult child 2 was my VERY perfect child, much as you described your difficult child 2. Things went haywire for us when he hit puberty (this year). Now, I REALLY miss my easy child.
  6. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Let's see if I can answer most of the questions. He has not had any evaluations yet except for ADHD, which proved he definitely has it. Our next psychiatrist appointment is in two weeks and I will be turning in my Asperger's evaluation. I have gone through most of the questions and so far he fits almost every symptom. psychiatrist is almost certain he is on the spectrum somewhere based in his very poor social skills and odd behaviors reported at home and at school. We do not have an IEP yet. I just signed a release form giving the school psychologist permission to talk to psychiatrist. I sent my letter of request for the IEP last week. They now have sixty days to complete all testing. We will most likely find out if he qualifies by the end of the school year. Oh and he has not been more hyper than usual after starting the medications. His behavior is pretty typical as before. I'm just hoping and praying the increase in a few days will help. If not, it's on to the next one.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    My girlfriend and I were talking about this just a few weeks ago. She has two kids on the spectrum, one Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified one high functioning autism. She is also a teacher for teh deaf but has several kids with autism. We used to work together. She asked if I even thought adhd was real when a child has autism, what she sees is it just looks so much like it for most of the kids on the spectrum and medications sometimes help and sometimes dont. She wonders why people argue about it. I get it because medications can be an issue but I get her point too.....If he is on the spectrum, adhd, processing disorders, motor issues, sensory issues, are all things that can be symptoms or go along with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). There is a series called "under the big umbrella" and I can't find it but it does describe just this. So, in part, it really doesn't matter as long as you realize the types of approaches to help him will need (probably) to take the form of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) types of methods, using visuals, structure, direct teaching, not expecting to use motivation like what peers are doing to get the message across etc. I hope your suspicions are confirmed soon (or denied if it is not the case but it seems your gut says yes and I trust that more than anything) and along with that, the checking for processing is important. There is story after story just like yours, and teachers in sp ed expect it even at that age....it is like they finally fall of the cliff. They are still the very smart kids they were but the other issues are just overwhelming now. Things are not so spelled out. The level of language, especially figurative language goes WAY up. Kids have to be much more self-organized. It is also an age where even typical kids start to have pre-puberty issues like headaches and behaviors because those hormones are revving up.

    It is not fun, and I feel for you. My son does the naked stuff too. The more I make a big deal of it, the worse it is so I just pretend he has clothes and he just gets dressed now. (Very awkward after puberty hits, sigh)
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Buddy, it's funny you mention puberty. I think about it ALL the time. difficult child is only eleven and a half and hasn't hit puberty yet but I know it could hit at any time...yikes! I feel uncomfortable now but I'm sure it will be ten times worse if it continues at puberty. I really really hope it's just a horrible phase and as maturity (hopefully) kicks in then it will stop.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I owned a daycare for 10 years. The boys especially had headaches etc. from 10 to 13ish... many parents said their docs said it is common for the pre-puberty time to be rough on them.
  10. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    The primary grades k-2 and 3rd grade is dedicated mostly to learning basic skills, reading, writing, and math. Fourth grade is when those skills will begin to be applied to learn content. As the saying goes: The first years are "learning to read" and afterward the focus is on "reading to learn". Daughter was an academic star in 1-3 grade. Then, she hit 4th grade and had her first classroom meltdown. I wish I knew then what I know now. It may have not changed the situation, but it would have changed how I reacted to it. It was also hard for her to pay attention and looking back now she definitely had anxiety issues.

    Son is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and is hyper-active. His over-social ability and lack of obsessions have always kept him from getting the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnoses, but he tends to have all the others. He also began to experience difficulty in academic areas beginning in the fourth grade. Not to the degree of Daughter, but his anxiety was/is much more significant than hers. He's taken Risperdal for years and it was the only medication that made a difference for him. I've had so many diagnoses for him. He's a difficult one to pin-point because he functions at such a high level that he's aware that he's not quite like other "normal" kids but he insists that he is! Granted that can be a good thing because he doesn't limit himself, but it has also made very highly oppositional when trying to help him in the areas where he has deficits, especially self-care and executive functioning. I get the "I'm the only kid that goes to a psychiatrist" or "I'm the only kid that takes medicine" and when "I'm 18 I'm stopping all medicine" (Yikes!).

    As far as the ADHD goes, it generally goes along with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), it's a symptom if you will. I don't think of it as a "disorder' and I will generally refer to him as being hyper-active. But, he does have an official diagnoses of ADHD which I use with the school district. Intuniv has been very helpful for Son and has calmed him down quite a bit. However, I did see the difference within a week. When those hormones kicked in, OMG, he did some crazy stuff like going to the police station to have me arrested for taking away his cellphone. Yes, he did this in all seriousness. And even with the medications it's still very much a rollercoaster with him, though. My philosophy with medication is that I need to see behavior improvement within the first week or he doesn't stay on the medications. Granted it's not one that all parents should follow, but for Son it is appropriate.

    As for the naked stuff, I went through that for YEARS with son and still do to a certain degree. He didn't jump on me, but he would simply walk around naked. He uses my shower and doesn't have a problem with me seeing him naked. He's a little more modest when his sister is around, but not much. A couple of years ago I asked him, "Doesn't it bother you for me to see you naked?" He immediately responded, "You are my MOTHER, why should it bother me??" :wellduh: I asked him if he covers up when he's at PE or at his Grandmother's. He said, "OMG, YES! I don't want them seeing me naked!" :slap: So, for him there IS a difference.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry things are so tough. I totally object to your thought that if it is autism then no medications will work. That just isn't true. It flat out is wrong. My son has asperger's, very very high functioning. he takes 3 medications. he has the adhd diagnosis, but it is part oft he asperger's. Concerta worked miracles and when he was on the max and it stopped working, strattera was even better. Wiz also has unipolar depression, meaning he is not bipolar and never manic. He takes another ssri antidepressant because while strattera is an antidepressant, it works on norepinephrine. he also takes a tricyclic a/d for insomnia. with these 3 medications you would nto know he had any diagnosis at all. it is amazing and wonderful. for years he was very aggressive and risperdal was a lifesaver.

    his adhd isn't really a separate, dual diagnosis. it is listed as a separate diagnosis because you get less insurance hassles if you get more diagnosis's listed. just like the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is part of the disorder but his is a lot stronger than most. the ssri a/d is very helpful with that as well as the depression.

    Please don't assume that just because his diagnosis may be autism 'only' that medications won't help at all. you just can't know that - they are used to treat symptoms and they can be a giant, enormous help or a giant enormous problem. it takes time and trial and error to find the right medications though.

    he also clearly needs an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory issues - it is abnormal to run around naked at his age. Chances are it is sensory and an Occupational Therapist (OT) can find ways to help wtih this.

    i would refuse to talk to him, to let him eat, watch tv, do anything fun even if i had to turn the electricity off for a little while until he dressed. At his age this habit could unwittingly invite grooming from a pedophile and your son has no real way to protect himself. He simply must learn that the naked time can only be when he is alone in the bathroom or hsi room and no one can talk to him, interact with him or do anything with him during that time - it is totally alone. sort of a 'stop the world' consequence. By age 11 this is not so much because it is 'wrong' as it is a safety issue. Sooner or later someone is going to end up reporting this to CPS and it will be difficult for YOU to explain why he is 'allowed' to run around naked. A good Occupational Therapist (OT) should be able to help figure out a way to help with this.

    In no way am I implying that you are allowng this or a bad parent or hurting him in any way at all. it just is that at his age it is beyond just being embarrassing or uncomfortable for others. others will hear and either wonder/worry what s going on or worse, think you are making this happen, or worst yet, think it is great and he is perfect for them and start grooming him.

    i would encourage the older child to tell you every time he is naked and jumping on her or in her face or whatever because it is a type of sexual harrassment of her when he does this knowing she hates it. and he likely does, and likes that it makes him and you and others uncomfortable Not sure how to address this, other than stop the world and everything he likes gets locked down and he must dress to get things back.

    it is a big problem and won't be fun or easy, but it should, in my opinion, be a Basket A issue at his age.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think sometimes the confusion is that professionals, articles, and others tell parents, there are no medications to cure autism or fix autism. But like many disorders and even many illnesses, there are medications that can offer relief for symptoms. When symptoms can be supported and for some even eliminated, then the real work can begin to work on the social and communication/language, and sensory issues which are often the biggest issues for people with autism. If a child is very high functioning then they may not even really show deficits much if the symptoms that can be helped by medication are controlled.

    Of course this is very individual. For some people medications do help. For others they do not, and sadly for others they make things worse.