difficult child Help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AmyH, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. AmyH

    AmyH New Member

    I have a 12 yo son who is having some major problems. Over the past year things have been getting worse and worse. He has been medicated for ADHD since he was 5 yo and has ran the gammot of medications. All of them either make him angery or depressed. We moved to a larger town to get him more help we had him tested "again" for ADHD and now they say he is not. That he has something going on but not ADHD.

    I am really worried about him. He gets so sad that he cries alot, comes home from school and goes straight to bed. Other days he is so happy, then other days he is very agressive. Last night he kept crying and yelling and I really don't know what for. On easter he got upset and banged his head on the wall. He does that alot right now. He has said that he hears a voice that tells him it will hurt him and how stupid he is. He secretley hurts his brothers. He is constantly complaining about being sick. He acts like he is between 5-8 yo sometimes and even plays better with kids those ages. He is having major issues at school. Our family doctor. referred us to a pediatrician. and said the thought it was AS and the pediatrician. thought it was Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I have read on both of them and see him in both. I am just so confused.

    We go to a psy. on thursday. Sad to say but I can't wait. I am so stressed right now. I just want my little boy back and I feel like I am losing him more everyday.

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Amy, welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us point you in the right direction:
    How does he do in school, both academically and with peers?
    Any developmental or speech delays?
    Any sensory issues (for example, sensitivity to clothing tags, loud noises, food textures)?
    Any mental health issues or substance abuse in the family tree?

    Obviously, we can't diagnosis over the internet, but the fact that he's hearing voices is serious and needs to be addressed by a child psychiatrist. I'm glad you're seeing one Thursday. Some kids actually do have mood disorders and AS together so you may also want to ask about a referral to a devlepmental pediatrician.

    Again, welcome.
  3. sandman3

    sandman3 New Member

    Welcome to the site! I'm sorry you're having such a tough time right now, but it's great that you are working on getting help. My difficult child 1 is very similar to yours...ie: acting years younger than he is, huge mood fluctuations, etc... I hope that this new psychiatric can address some of these issues for you. Mine has also been chronically diagnosed incorrectly, so I feel you there too!

    The best thing about this site is that it's full of people who really understand what you are going through. I am recently new also, and it's been a huge help!

    Have a better day!
  4. AmyH

    AmyH New Member

    He used to do pretty well in school. But last year and this year he has skimmed by with d's. He has not interest to do the work. He has been seated next to the teacher in both classes and still struggles to work. Now he is back on Ritalin and Zoloft. Has been on Strattera, Focalin, Concerta, Adderall and Prozac. I think there are a couple of others. As far as peers go he has 1 friend who is a from a somewhat troubled home. Other than that he does not get along with anyone. He says that everyone picks on him and is mean to him, but when we talk to teachers they say he is antagonizing and annoying to others. Alot of the time in school he likes to sit away from the group and not participate. He actually got into a fight yesterday and the story he told was extremely different than the story the others told. He always thinks someone is out to get him. And when he does something wrong and is confronted about it he says "I didn't do that, or I don't know, or I forgot" We don't know if he is really that forgetful or not or if it is an act.
    As far as others in the family I am begin treated for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), along with a cousin of mine and my mother was severely Depressed. Addicts run in the family from drugs, gambeling, alochol, it is really sad to think about it. As far as me my mother passed away in 2004 on Christmas and after that I was diagnosis with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) I just fell apart. Now I have been on the same medications for over a year and am doing great.
    He has no delays or anything like that to speak of actually on state tests he tests above his grade level, but if he were to read out loud it is hard for him.
    He hates to wear underwear, only will wear boxers and has been that way since he was 4. Hates socks. He is obsessed with Bionicals he loves to build them. He also loves music all types classical to rock and knows alot about it.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    How much Ritalin and Zoloft is he taking? How long has he been taking them? Is he better, worse or about the same since he started taking these medications?
  6. AmyH

    AmyH New Member

    He is taking 15 mg of Ritalin TID and 50 mg Zoloft in the AM. When they changed him back to Ritalin he was great for about 3 weeks then he started being really angery and when he gets mad he says his mind just speeds up and he can't get things out. He is not as depressed as he was before the Zoloft but he still has times of severe depression. He has been on the Ritalin for about 3 months this time and the Zoloft for about 7 months. They started him at 25 of the Zoloft. It is just so hard to explain how he acts.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has he ever been seen by a neuropsychologist? They do intensive evaluations, up to twelve hours long. He could have several disorders, but it certainly sounds to me like a lot more than ADHD. A serious mood disorder or high functioning autistic spectrum or both come to mind, but a neuropsychologist tests for everything--both psychiatric and neurological. Since medications for ADHD aren't working, I would go another route. medications may not even be the answer, if he is on the spectrum.
  8. AmyH

    AmyH New Member

    No we went to a psy for 3 years then they released him to his pediatrician. And now we are starting all over. His Bio Dad has a 5 yo that is diagnosis AS and CD he is so much like the 12 yo it is not funny.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Um, Zoloft caused my son to be very violent and aggressive. It isn't like this for everyone. But SSRI's and other antidepressants are hard for people (esp kids I think) with bipolar to take. They can cause major cycling, as can stimulants.

    HAs anyone ever done a trial of lithium, depakote, or the other mood stabilizers on him? WITHOUT the stimulants and antidepressants? IT usually is a good idea to try this, esp with all you have gone through.

    Some people iwth bipolar (is the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder - I get confused on this one) hear voices.

    Has he ever had a multidisciplinary evaluation? It is where a team of docs of many kinds evaluate your child (lots of hours of testing, ours included hte neuropsychologist exam)? Usually Children's Hospitals and major medical centers offer this. Ours was through the developmental pediatrician because no one in my state does these. (Our childrens hospital is just beginning to have quality psychiatric care now - they didn't have any care when we were in need of it.)

    What I read in your post sounded like maybe Aspergers AND bipolar. Or some other autistic spectrum disorder and bipolar.

    I am sorry it is so rough.

    Hugs are here when you need them!

  10. AmyH

    AmyH New Member

    Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is Bipolar. He has only had the traditional ADHD testing first when he was 5 then again 4 weeks ago. The first time they said "yes" he has ADHD and this time all the tests were inconclusive for ADHD. He showed severe anxiety, hidden and showen depression, agressive behavior, lying, behavior issues. This gives me nothing. I am just so worried about him. I would of videoed him last night if I could of without him knowing. He was rolling on the floor and crying. It started with a school project he got frustrated and I told him to calm down. He was wrighting everywhere and I was telling him this needed to be really neat and he kept interrupting me. So I finally said "shut up and let me tell you something" he they growled at me like an animal and started crying. So I told him to do what wver he wanted to with it and he could face the consequences of the grade. This lasted 2 1/2 hours over a 30 min project.
  11. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with Susiestar and MidwestMom who have suggested an autism spectrum disorder combined with bipolar.

    My difficult child has Asperger's, and has recently had bipolar added to his string of diagnoses, and you could have been describing a day at my house several years ago.

    We have been weaning difficult child off stims and SSRIs over the last while, and it has made a dramatic positive change in his behaviour. He's still an Aspie and all the other things, but he just seems more rational overall. It's now possible to have a conversation with difficult child that makes sense, whereas before that was just not possible.

    If possible, I agree that a neuropsychologist evaluation is the way to go. It is in depth and can pinpoint neurological issues that other evaluations cannot. Since bipolar, autism spectrum conditions and a lot of other things often present with hyper behaviour and defiance, doctors tend to diagnose ADHD and/or ODD without identifying the underlying conditions that result in ADHD and ODD behaviour.

    I'm glad that you have a psychiatrist appointment soon, and hope you find some answers.

    In the meantime, sending hugs, prayers and strength your way.

  12. AmyH

    AmyH New Member

    Thank all of you for the great advise!!
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    Just wanted to add my welcome, and to tell you that you could not have found a softer place to land. Good to have you with us!
  14. looking4hope

    looking4hope New Member


    Can you do a signature so that we can see what's going on with everyone in the family? It does help.

    My difficult child sounds a lot like yours about a year ago. Many of us on this board had a diagnosis of ADHD but knew in our guts that there was something else going on. After exhibiting many of the same behaviors, being expelled from third grade and two psychiatric hospital stays later, we finally got a good diagnosis and the medications straightened out.

    I definitely think you need to bring difficult child to a pediatric psychiatrist or a neuropsychologist for a full evaluation. Kids demonstrate different symptoms than adults, so having a doctor who understands kids is important. Getting a correct diagnosis is half of the problem. Even with a good diagnosis and stabilization on medications, you'll still need to have some behavioral therapy so that difficult child understands how to interact with others. He can't learn this until he can think clearly and accept the corrections and model others.

    Also, as you school district to perform a complete psychiatric evaluation to determine if your difficult child qualifies for Special Education, if you haven't done so already. If so, he may qualify to go to a school where they can help him with the behavioral problems, while keeping him up to grade level on his studies. This has helped my difficult child immensely.

    Welcome, and let us know how it goes with the new psychiatric. Sending you virtual hugs...
  15. AmyH

    AmyH New Member

    We had a good night tonight. Went to a ball game where easy child played and lost :( difficult child played with a 4 yo in the dirt the whole time. But he was content. He quit Baseball this year after playing for 7 seasons. Went to dinner afterwards and came home. He did tell me that he was hearing the voice again, we will check into that Thursday. But no big outbursts tonight. Thank God! I needed a night off!!!
  16. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hi Amy and welcome.
    I agree with the input you are getting. One of the tools suggested here is a parent report. It is an ongoing journal of sorts to keep all the info straight for you and for the professionals. It takes time to complete but once done you can just add as you go along. It is found in the faq forum but this is it.

    Parent Input and Assessment
    by Jerri/updated by Wildflower

    Parent Report and Assessment for [Name of Child, Date of Birth]

    Prepared by:
    [Name of Parents/Caregivers]

    [Photo of Child]

    Table of Contents:
    1. Introduction to [Name of Child]
    2. Family History
    3. Medical History
    4. Mental/Emotional History
    5. Social History
    6. Scholastic History
    7. Assessment History
    8. Interventions - Past and Present
    9. Concerns - Present and Future
    10. Aspirations


    Do not try to write this all in one sitting. Start with one area of the document and work your way through, one item at a time.

    Gather all of the assessments, reports, report cards, journals, baby books and any other support documents into one folder/box so that you have easy access to the information while writing this report.

    Be mindful that the information will be part of the file/permanent record either at the doctor's office and or the school. Present the information clearly and as objectively as possible.

    The inclusion of your child's photograph lends a "face to the name" and personalizes the report even further.

    Introduction to [Name of Child]
    Describe what your child looks like, who he/she is, what his/her likes and dislikes are. This is meant to be a positive overview of your child.
    List what your child's strengths are in the home, the school, the community, and within him/herself.

    Family History
    Family: Start with whom your child lives with (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.). When introducing the immediate family, indicate what their jobs are, what their interests are, any awards won, challenges they face, and what their relationship is like with your child, etc. You are trying to provide a picture of the influences in your child's life. Information about length of marriage, divorce, deaths in the family are important to address.
    Pets: List the number and type of pets you have and your child's relationship to them, how your child treats them.
    Values: Indicate what your family values are in relation to church, community involvement, volunteer work etc.
    Concerns: If you have concerns about your home, bring them up only slightly here.

    Medical History
    Start with the pregnancy of your child. What complications, if any, were noted? § Describe the delivery, birth weight, and any issues of concern surrounding the birth process.
    List any developmental delays.
    List immunizations and any reactions noted related to them.
    List any infections (example: ear), illnesses (chicken pox), injuries, broken bones, stitches, etc.
    List any medications prescribed over the course of your child's life.
    List any previous hospitalizations (physical/mental) your child has had.

    Mental/Emotional History
    List Family Medical History, in particular, any known disorders such as Bi-polar, Depression, Asperger's Syndrome, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyslexia, etc.
    If any assessments have been documented, note briefly what the outcome of the assessment(s) has been. There is a section devoted to Assessment History that will provide this in detail.

    Social History
    Describe how your child developed socially: were they eager to play with other children, how did they respond, did they have playmates, were they invited to parties, etc.
    Describe any relevant social family information here as well. This would include moves to other locations, divorce, major family upsets, etc. This is the place to frame your family's social history in the light you want it viewed.
    Describe any relevant information regarding interventions with police or other law enforcement.

    Scholastic History
    List the grade level of your child and schools attended.
    Note any awards or academic achievements your child has received.
    Note any difficulties your child has experienced in school (bullying, exclusion, grade failures, etc.).
    If any tutors have been provided, list the subject area and duration.
    If you have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), include it here.

    Assessment History
    Provide any assessments that have been documented.

    Interventions - Past and Present
    Note behavior modification plans, if they worked or not.
    List all medical, dietary, natural remedies that have been utilized and note which worked and which didn't.
    If therapy has been tried, list the outcome and whether or not it was of any benefit.
    If you are using or have used - a methodology (such as the Riley Method, Explosive Child/Basket Method, 1-2-3 Magic, etc.) make note of it.
    Mention the resources you have found and tried, or wish you could try. Things such as biofeedback, music therapy, art therapy, summer camps, etc.

    Concerns - Present and Future
    What is troubling you about your child's behavior at present (education, social life, spiritual life, home life, etc.)?
    What are your concerns about it?
    What are your worries for the future? Why?
    List what your child's weaknesses are in the home, the school, the community and within him/herself.

    Allow yourself to sit back and dream of the life you want with and for your child. Be as specific as possible (enjoy mealtimes, outings, etc.).
    How you would like your difficult child to experience life.