evaluation and medications advice needed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sjexpress, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    As you can see I post time to time but am always around lurking just to feel not so all alone in having a difficult child! difficult child has no diagnosis but we have been seeing a psychologist ( a few different ones) and then family counselor on and off for over 4 yrs now. None of it helpful in the least. A waste of thousands of dollars in co-pays if you ask me. It's probably been a year that we've been to anyone simply because difficult child would not go or would not participate when we got there. Any suggestion any specialist ever had did not work and believe me, husband and I were united in adhearing to them at home..reward charts, behavior charts, punishments, etc... There are no real problems at school, once in a while a teacher would say he talks too much or gets upset easily if he is corrected on something, but he stays in control so mainly only with us does he lose it. And his behavioral/emotional issues come out when frustrated in sports so he'd been benched, thrown off a team for a while, etc...
    difficult child is a smart kid- in 6th grade, high honors, no problems doing homework. He has few friends but gets along fine with them. Social with his teammates. Everyone tells me he is a great kid.....haha, they don't live with him. Living with him is our families little nightmare and we can't escape!
    difficult child wants what he wants when he wants it. He will not give in or change his focus. Since he does not always get his way, he gets verbally abusive and has tantrums. He rarely gets physical but has on occasion. He has little tolerance for his younger brother ( easy child) because he says he annoys him ( yes he is 6 and to me it is typical little sibling stuff) so he bullies him around and becomes even more mean and hateful if husband or I intervene. Everything has to be his way. Nothing is his fault. We rarely go anywhere or do anything as a family because of difficult child. I hate it and hate the way he thinks he runs the house and treats us all, especially easy child. I'd love to call the cops but what can they do about emotional/verbal abuse or verbal bullying?
    Yet, difficult child can also be a great kid. He seems to go in cycles with these moods or behaviors. Sometimes we have days or weeks when things are good and other times a few problems a day. Lately we are in a bad few days so this is the reason for my post.
    When I first found this board, a neuropsychologist. evaluation was suggested. I made an appointment. only to find out my lovely insurance does not cover it and we honestly can't afford it out of pocket. Do you think if we make an appointment. with a child psychiatrist it may offer us some help? I don't know what else to do. easy child even wishes difficult child would leave and not come back. He begged me to not pick difficult child up from practice the other day. None of us should have to live with how difficult child treats us!! Psychiatry is covered by my insurance but before I take on this fight with difficult child and possible medications, I wanted to ask you guys. Thanks for your input.
    By the way, difficult child is our bio ds. We have no history of any mental health issues on either side of the family. I had a normal preg. and delivery with difficult child but he's been a difficult child since birth!!

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Can you tell us more about those early years?
    It helps us to understand more of the picture...
  3. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    Hi -
    I guess what I mean about difficult child being one since birth it is because he was a difficult newborn and it just progressed from there. By 3 days old, he cried constantly and only let up if he was being held. He always wanted to eat and never seemed full even though his weight put him off the charts. He hardly slept, only cat napping. I don't think he slept thru the nite until he was 10 yrs old!! By 4 mths or so he began to not cry so much because he could sort of entertain himself by rolling around, etc... He hit all milestones on cue. He smiled and laughed often. As the toddler years came on, he spoke on time, knew all skills, colors, numbers as he should for his age, etc... but he started to tantrum when things did not go his way. We didn't give in and began time outs, charts, etc... but nothing helped. Nursery, preschool, all fine. He followed the rules, always smartest one, very helpful in class but it seems just like now at almost 12, he reserved all his bad behavior for us!! Everything at home was a struggle. At school age, it became very obvious that he was way more immature than others his age outside of school. Kids did not really want to play with him in the neighborhood because if he did not get his way, he cried, messed up the game, etc... We are sort of the outcasts of sports teams, playdates....I am sure you all understand. We got no assistance thru the school because all there was fine! We even took parenting classes. I really do not think it is us since our 2nd ds is not a difficult child! That probably brings you up to date.

  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi Jan. Interesting that you have escaped a diagnosis up to now - presumably because your chap is fine at school? People on the forum sometimes seem to differ on this, but I have read MANY times that inability to tolerate frustration, reactions of anger, etc, go along with ADHD. Not that I am going to attempt Cyber Diagnosis!!! You want some handle on his explosiveness... have you read and tried implementing the methods in "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene? My son is five years old and I have to negotiate with him much of the time. On the other hand, sometimes I just say to him "Oh for goodness' sake, stop!" and he just does... So I don't know, it's not an exact science.
    I had to smile cynically when I read your comment about all the psychologists, etc, not having done any good whatsoever... Sometimes I suspect it's usually like that. Parental changes and techniques seem more effective than anything else.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I hate to even suggest this, and want to preface my comments with affirmation that in NO way is this because of your parenting.

    Have you ever considered that he may have some form of attachment disorder? This is not a singular diagnosis - there are a whole range of possibilities. When a very young child has problems that can't be solved, it disrupts the building of normal attachments to caregivers.
    In your case, it seems like you did everything you could, but there were no explanations, no dxes.
    I fully believe that. There's just too much that modern medicine does not know.
    But... for the baby who screams and screams and can't be soothed... it has an impact. THEY don't know why, either.

    In which case, most psychiatrists and Tdocs don't have a clue.
    You'd need someone with extensive experience dealing with attachment issues.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    So sorry you're having such difficulty. Lord knows our children are not easy to raise! Have you ever had a neuro/psychological evaluation done? The testing usually takes six to eight hours (often done over two days) and for many of us has resulted in a comprehensive evaluation. Hugs DDD
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Your child sounds like a younger version of mine, almost to a T, so I am going to relay my experience.

    For years and years, we didn't have a solid diagnosis. Because of that I resisted medications. I didn't want to just medicate symptoms. If I could go back, I would do it differently. I think not trying medications (and medication trials haven't been easy) has only made her suffer longer, and made some of the behaviors more ingrained. I think it has affected her self-esteem and confidence. She feels like a failure and that she can't do anything right. So, I would go to a psychiatrist and see what s/he thinks.

    Good luck.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would just take him to a neuropsychologist and see what he says. Based on your description of him, it could be many things. A neuropsychologist does intensive testing (6-10 hours) and doesn't miss a trick. He tests in all level and type of function.

    An important issue is what psychiatric or neurological issues are in his GENETIC family tree. He is 50% your DNA and 50% biological dad's. Unfortunately, it isn't just about Dad and Mom. It's Grandma, Uncle Joe (who is a little strange), Aunt Marnie (who had nervous breadowns), and other various relatives. Substance abuse is also a marker t hat there is perhaps undiagnosed mental illness. Is there any of that on your child's family tree? Was his birth difficult? That can contribute to later problems at times.

    I would make that neuropsychologist appointment. ASAP. There is usually a waiting list for that. In the meantime, I highly recommend "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene.

    This is NOT your fault in any way. sometimes kids are just born different and are that way from the start .All we can do is try to find out what is wrong and to get help.

    Big hugs.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Her insurance doesn't cover neuropsyh and she stated that she can't afford it. A neuropsychologist evaluation typical costs a couple of thousand dollars, and just isn't an option for everyone.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok. I read it too fast. That would be too much for me to pay too.

    I guess I'd go to a child psychiatrist then. That's next best.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yeah, if insurance didn't cover it for me I couldn't afford it either... I would check to see if a larger university or community hospital would do small payments but if not I would definitely at least try a child psychiatric. IC has a point too, and I think the kids who suffer almost more than others are those that fall between the cracks. those kids who are just wired differently enough to cause serious issues in some settings but can manage to hold it together when it really counts. He may be using up all of his energy in school.... I really feel for you because I am sure if my son had sibs they would be out of their minds and I would feel terrible. Even if it is not actually difficult child being rude/mean on purpose, it is just too much for easy child to be expected to handle.

    go for it, just because you see someone doesn't mean you have to do anything... but you can at least get an idea. You might also want to see if your insurance covers developmental pediatricians and that kind of team approach. they can often do very similar multi-disciplinary evaluations.
  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Buddy, that's a good idea. A Children's, University, or non-profit hospital will often give waivers or reduced fees based on income. It might be worth checking into.

    However, I wouldn't wait for that before getting into a psychiatrist.
  13. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    Thank you for all the responses. I have a recommendation of a local child psychiatrist that I will call. I think you are correct when you say many children fall thru the cracks, especially if behavior at school is fine, no one really takes you seriously because most of the action occurs behind "closed doors" at home! I bet if they psychiatrist is good, they may be able to recommend a developemental peds as well. Thanks again

  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Flutterby, sorry that I didn't know her insurance wouldn't cover it, or part of it. We were fortunate that the School Board picked up most of the cost as it would have been prohibative for us too. Since her difficult child is doing well in school that's probably not an option. What a shame it is that help is often only available to those with monetary or insurance resources. Sigh. DDD
  15. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Insurance covered mine because the neuropsychologist made it "medical" because of difficult child's anxiety. Had it been just a developmental delay, insurance wouldn't have covered it. Basically, I have the neuropsychologist to thank for getting it covered.