Introduction and question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by FLC, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. FLC

    FLC New Member


    {disclaimer: We're from Argentina, speak Spanish and some special terms I don't really know how to say in English}

    My 7-years old difficult child was just prescribed Risperdal, and while I was researching online about the drug I came to this site.

    The P-DR that prescribed it did not gave us an actual diagnosis, but she did "mention" "Conduct Disorder". I looked that up and I now I'm in Panic mode: my first reaction was to think that he does not have those symptoms, nor even ODD, but on second thought I'm not so sure.

    So I thought about posting here a bit about our situation.

    The problems started at about age 3, in kinder. At the time, the major issue was that he couldn't stay sit, or follow the teachers indication. He also started to show problems serious with authority (i.e. not doing what the caregiver told him to do, or not do). In kinder 4, we started having kind of regular school meetings where they complained about him, and in kinder 5, when he was supposed to go to first grade of primary school next year, they "invited us" to transfer him to another school and suggested we keep him at kinder for another year.
    We did so but on a different kindergarden.
    Now he is finally at first grade on school (though one year later, he is 7), but the problems only got worse.
    Even though this (new) school is very very understanding and cooperative, we still have regular meetings when we try to figure out what to do. This school has a "double shift": morning and afternoon, but he is going only in the morning. The school year is about to end (we have summer holidays from Dec to Feb here in the south hemisphere), and even though he was able to learn a couple of things, such as *almost* reading and writing, he is quite behind the rest of the class.

    School says that the major problem is, again, that he shows little respect for authority (i.e. the Teacher), so the teacher, which is SUPER sweet, must constantly engage with him one-on-one and very tenderly in order to get him to do just about everything. While she always succeeds, she just can't keep doing that, so for next year we already arranged that he while have a special personal "side teacher" inside the class (in Argentina, and in Spanish, this is call a "maestra integradora")

    From age 4 we tried just about anything: been to psychologists, psychiatrists, "educational psychologists" ("psicopedagogo" in Spanish), neurologists, language-speech therapist ("fonoaudiólogo" in Spanish), even to a "psycho motor teraphist". And reason for such a tour is that he was (and I guess still is) "diagnose" just about every behavioral problem, depending on who you asked. But we never felt confident (specially because nothing changed) so we kept on searching.

    The only thing that everyone told us, and which we agreed on, is that is our (parents) fault (we argue too much and too loud in the house, we don't draw limits properly, and a couple of other parental mistakes). So my wife and I had been seeing our own "parenting therapist".

    On top of that we have a daughter, age 8.5, with her own behavioral issues, but that's another story.

    Going back to our difficult child:

    Currently, he is being "treated" by a team composed of a psychologist, a psychiatrists and a "educational psychologists".
    School needs the "side teacher" I mentioned above, and the P-DR just prescribed the Risperdal. He is supposed to start taking it tonight, 0.25mg a day.

    Reading about the drug makes me quite uneasy, but, on the other hand, the 3 doctors in that team, plus his pediatrician, agrees with the medication.

    But the thing that really scared me is the P-DR "mentioning" that he has "A" conduct disorder. I put it like that because she said it like that, as if she wasn't formally naming it as a diagnosis. Or maybe she did (we'll see her again next week)

    Reading about CD (and so about ODD), I wouldn't think he has that, but maybe is because he is still very young?

    Here is my own assessment of the symptoms that would make him ODD/CD.

    He most definitely has no respect for authority. That's crystal clear. My wife has a (so far) very mild Multiple Sclerosis so I work from home and we have a maid/nanny. Being all day here, I can see how he just doesn't, at all, listen to the maid/nanny when she tells him to do something, and recently he started to give her orders or say things like "you don't tell me what to do". That in spite of the fact that we explained several times to him that she is the adult taking care of him. With my wife the story is similar: she would just keep telling him to do something, or to stop doing something, but, since she can't and wouldn't get physical, he just ignores her or argue back that he wants to do it anyway, etc..
    With me the situation is just the opposite: I lose my temper the moment he defies me (or another adult in charge), so I end up shouting and usually grabbing him by the arm quite roughly for a 7-year old child. In the past I used to give him one, sometimes two, slaps in the shoulder or back of the head whenever he confronted me opposing a direct order, and although I regarded that as "nothing" (I was raised where worst than that), after all the parental therapy I decided not to do that anymore (though sometimes I loose it again). But I do still shout at him, noticeably angry, whenever he defies me, and I just can't (yet at least) picture that going soft in that case is the right thing to do.

    From about a year or so ago, he use to steal from us, even money. We where told that this is "normal" and is his way to as for what he thinks he deserves, such as taking money to school to buy himself something in the break, like the other kids do.

    Whenever he is confronted with something bad he did, he almost always and consistently lie about it, or blame his sister.

    While we don't think he would do it on purpose, he doesn't seem to care about property in the sense that he would break or tear apart something if for instance he wants to see what it is made for. Or he is playing say kung-fu he would end up kicking his sister, or our dog, or the furniture, and show no remorse if they get hurt or something ends up broken.
    We were also told that this is normal, but on the other hand, at age 7, I would expect him to had develop some sense of respect for things.

    He is very tender and shows (and verbalizes) love for our dog, yet at the same time, if he ends up kicking her (he's playing kung-fu all day by the way) or throwing something that ends up hitting her, he shows no signs of remorse, not even when we talk to him about it.

    Now, on the other hand

    What goes completely astray with my understanding of ODD/CD is that, in spite of all of the above, he is sweet as a honeypot. I mean, seriously and to the extent that, with few exceptions, most adults will not get to get angry with him despite of this lack of respect.
    Also, he, like no one I ever met, is *constantly* and *explicitly* telling us (his family), the nanny, the teacher and his kid friend how much he love us, etc... he is very verbal about his feelings, and he is also very physically attached to the caring adult in turn. For example, he spend most of the time sitting on the lap of the school teacher, or he is most of the day around the nanny and asking her to play with him (whenever my wife is resting on bed or out)

    *That* feels to me like totally contrary to the type of personality I picture from a kid with CD/ODD, but maybe that's entirely wrong?

    Well, that's it.

  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    First, you are not alone...this is a wonderful supportive community and you will find some great information here.

    Second - I'm not sure about the differences in cultures and countries, but generally "Conduct Disorder" is not officially diagnosed until a person is at least a teen. So i don't have a lot of confidence in that particular diagnosis.

    My impression, upon reading your description, is that your child more fits the profile of a child with a form of "Attachment Disorder" - especially the willingness to bond with people outside the family more readily than he bonds with a primary care giver. That might be something to ask the doctor about (obviously, we cannot diagnose here - just share our experiences).

    What kinds of options are available at school? Do they have special education programs that would put him in a one-to-one learning situation each day?
  3. FLC

    FLC New Member

    Thank you for the kind reception :)

    I'm glad to hear that CD would not be diagnosed under 10, because that might mean that the P-DR did not mean that as a formal diagnosis. on the other hand, the context in which she said that still leaves me a bit worried:

    Two years ago, our difficult child was formally diagnose Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) (by a team similar in composition to the one we are seeing now). Since we started talking about it, we end up with a lot of doctors and related caretakers warning us that they considered the diagnosis to be wrong. Eventually we concluded that it was indeed wrong, left the team and tried elsewhere.

    Yesterday when we meet with the P-DR, we talked about school requirements and how they need us to get a "disability certificate". That allows the school to give him a special one-to-one learning program (this answers your second question). In more practical terms, that certificate is mostly bureaucracy so the health insurance is mandated to cover the cost (it's very expensive because there is a personalized teacher just for him that works inside the class alongside the main teacher, tailoring the class as needed). This school we've chosen specializes on doing just that, so they have the experience and "protocols" in place, but someone must cover the costs and we can't, so we seek the certificate.

    Now, such a certificate needs to justify the request and it needs to have a diagnosis. We were worried that they would put Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in there, so when we asked that, the doctor said "no, he is not Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), he has a conduct disorder and that's what I plan to inform the entity that issues the certificate"

    It wouldn't be the first time he gets misdiagnosed, so we need to do our own research.

    I'll read about Attachment Disorder as you suggested! That's exactly the sort of help I was hoping to get :) thank you very much

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you lived in the US, they'd be looking for a childhood diagnosis, not at the family. Sounds as if your son has real trouble attending and learning without one-on-one, which is not his fault or your fault. I'm afraid that all the parenting therapy on earth will not change him because in my opinion he has something going on that he can not help. I do not feel that you and your spouse arguing is the cause of any of this.

    Do they ever diagnosis learning problems in Argentina? Do they always think it is the parents? It is very frustrating to me to read a post like this as I do not believe it is your son's fault or your fault. And I don't see CD in this. I see Learning Disability (LD)...but I don't know why your child has trouble attending to task and learning. I do not believe it is due to willful defiance.

    Why are you afraid of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)? And how does the doctor know for sure that he doesn't have it? To be honest, most of us on this board (certainly most of the Americans) don't even believe ODD and CD are valid diagnoses. They mean "bad behavior" but don't tell you anything about why the behavior is the way it is. Again, I seriously doubt it is because you and your wife fight, even if you feel it is too often.

    Is there any other sort of professional, other than behavioral, where you can test the way he learns?
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Me too mwm! Look, when there are challenging parenting issues and when kids who are differently wired do not respond in typical ways, do we make some big parenting mistakes? Sure. But generally, at least mho here, if a child shows appropriate love and care in general there is probably something else going on. Do better parenting skills help things, naturally but many of us here have kids who do not respond to the usual parenting methods. There are subtle learning issues that can dramatically affect a childs skills including following directions. They sometimes don't learn the social communication rules that allow us to talk one way to friends and another way to authority figures. There can be many many reasons for this.

    Why did the one place think Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and why did.the other say not? Could you describe the symptoms they saw?

    A couple of books that have helped many of us include The Explosive Child by Ross Green and What Your explosive Child Is Trying To Tell You by Doug Riley. Both are online and I'm not sure if they're in Spanish but your English is great so it could be worth looking into. Really different perspective and solid ideas for working on things.

    My son has times (many ) where he shows zero respect too....I have been called names for years. He has improved and much of that is because we had to help him use a different tone and different words. He needed direct, specific instructions about how to say things. He still needs prompting about what to say in many settings.

    At your difficult child's age...there could be many reasons for his lack of appropriate skills ....adhd, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/autism spectrum, Learning Disability (LD), auditory processing and or.language processing problems, motor challenges (may be subtle and more processing issues rather than coordination again ) emotional or mental health (like childhood bipolar ) kinds of challenges. And I would assume he is doing his best with what he has until you are sure it's otherwise. The way you may have to figure that out is through lots of taking a step back..... and things like giving a direction to clean up (which you'd think he could do ) could be ...let's be a team and pick up your room together ...maybe you pick up one toy then him etc....don't give a chance to have him be overwhelmed because you are there supporting. May even need to do only a few toys at first to build success (just an example ....I'm just saying break it down and build in success to start to increase self esteem and skills) .

    If this doesnt apply no worries. But please know you are heard and most of us know how hard it is to have challenging children! To say the least. Smile.
  6. FLC

    FLC New Member

    OK, is a relief you believe that because I bounce all the time between thinking the same and, well, "accepting" what most everyone seems to think is the case.
    My wife on the other hand, is 100% convinced that is our fault. To the point that she feels constantly guilty and frustrated. I keep telling he that, ironically, if that is in fact true then we're screwed, because the guilt and frustration only leads to more fights, and way less capacity to cope with the problem in a way that could help him.

    on the other hand, I follow my own advice and don't argue about it anymore. In fact, she decided that we, that is explicitly both of us, should see a psychiatric. Her thinking is that if our son needs to take a psychiatric medication then we should as well, and first. I think that it just won't happen (a P-DR medicating us) so I won't argue and go.

    Initially, when he was 4, we thought that he had a cognitive problem. In fact I was quite worried about it because it looked as if he where unable to even understand what you said. So, started seeing "brain doctors" and the like. But they run all sort of brain function and cognitive test and he passed them all. In fact, he turned out to have the IQ of a 6-year old. One-on-one against the doctor, he would learn just about everything that was asked. So they concluded that the problem was of an "emotional nature" and told us to move to behavioral diagnosis. The "theory" was that he can learn if he wanted, but in practice he just doesn't care at all, so he doesn't learn.
    For example, to this day, he can't recall the name of things, like the names of his friends. And for the most time he didn't remember the name of his teacher. And he only learned the name of the colors this year (at age 7). So we thought he had a memory problem, but the neurologist that run the test said that he doesn't, he just doesn't care for, say, the name of a color or a friend.

    I'm not so sure about that though. While I do agree that he must be engaged into whatever a teacher is trying to teach him, and it might be very difficult for him to do so, I'm not sure the reason he can't is because he doesn't care, maybe he really cannot connect, as oppose to not wanting to.

    Also, I'm not so sure about his memory being fully functional. I often make the test myself to tell him something, say the name of a book or a song, then talk about something else for about 10 or 15 seconds, then I asked what the name was and he has no clue. And similar experiments which all seems to indicate that he has no, or very limited, "working memory"

    Learning Disability (LD) was indeed our first guess. And while I'm not convinced it's ruled out, currently, the "educational psycologist" (that's the English translation I've found for "pscipedagoga" but is a professional that deals specifically with Learning Disability (LD)), says he has the proper tools to learn but there are "behavioral/emotional" factors that prevent him from doing so.

    Well, actually, I totally agreed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). But my wife was totally against it since day one of the initial diagnosis.
    on the other hand, every professional we consulted with also said he is not Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). The P-DR just said so yesterday.

    My layman opinion is that he just doesn't fit anything on the DSM but because of the degree of the problem. The people that say he is not Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) argue that they treat children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and he is nothing like it. But, if I consider the symptoms point by point, I can see a trace of each one of them.
    But I'm not a doctor or anything like it, just a parent with internet :)

    Yes, and like I said that's where we started. Of course they might be wrong. AFAIK they run a batch of standard test and some measurements (like EEG), then said it wasn't a cognitive problem.

    on the other hand, from my experience, and it might be a characteristic of this country, there is a high tendency to take everything to the "analyst". My mom has Rheumatiod arthritis and for several years, before the disease was "visible", every doctor (lots of them) just sent her to the psychologist because they kept "diagnosing" that the reason she felt pain and was tired was due to depression or some such.
  7. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Welcome to the forum!
    You will find it to be a wonderful resource.
    Over a year ago, when I first joined, V was supposed to have ODD... not very helpful. And yes, an "expert" had diagnosed him...
    Thanks to this forum, a lot of research and never giving up, we now have a real dignosis that fits: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
    But one thing I have learned: the need to analyse difficult child's behavior.
    You are going to have to learn to recognize what is behing your son's behavior. Don't assume anything.
    For example, V likes to step on my parents toes. He is very sensory seeking and usually so happy when they come and visit that he craves for their touch. He just wants to feel them He is not being malicious about it. Therefor, the response should be "V, you're hurting my toes but if you want I can give you a bear hug". If we were to scolde him for the behavior, V would not understand, everyone would get upset and it would only create more issues.
    So my best advice to you: try to understand his perspective, where he is coming from.
    This forum has helped me do that.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Oh my goodness - the memory issues alone should be a "clue" that this has absolutely nothing to do with parenting! (I mean - how in the world would good parenting teach a child to develop working memory???)

    Sadly, I think you are going to end up in the world of "alphabet soup diagnoses". That is the path my family has traveled for many years. Every specialist has a different theory. Every doctor arrives at a different diagnosis. It's maddening!

    At the end of the day - you, as the parent, get to decide what is best for your child. You get to decide whether to medicate. You get to decide what therapy works best for your family.

    This may be a long, tough road for your family - keep posting. We are happy to lend advice and support in any way that we can.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    "Analysts" scare me. In the US, there are very few credible Freudian analysts anymore. You son is displaying many signs of several childhood disorders that have NOTHING to do with your parenting. Unfortunately, I keep learning that many countries, although often ahead of the US in other areas, are behind in brain disorders/learning problems. Some have barely even heard of ADHD. Some claim they never saw a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) child. Others think Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) means only claslsic autism. These are all incorrect. Sadly, I think you are wasting your money on marital counseling. Something else is going on with your son.

    Do you have the equivalent of a neuropsychologist in your country? A neuropsychologist is a PH.D. psychologist with ADDITIONAL training in the brain. An EEG will not tell you about cognitive problems or learning disabilities. In fact, there are no blood tests or X-rays or MRIs to find the problems. They must be done in a series of behavioral and academic testing. My son was tested for ten hours. He is on the autism spectrum although he is higher functioning and, with help, is doing quite well as a young adult. However, interventions are mandatory. medications, not so much.

    I hope you can find better answers to your son's problems. He certainly sounds like he is having a very difficult time learning because of being differently wired. Seriously, this is not your fault. He needs to find a professional who can test him academically and on every level to see if he has any learning issue (like memory) or auditory problems so that he can be accomodated in school. WILL they accomodate him in school?

    Did your son have a difficult time as an infant? Did he reach his milestones on time, including steady eye contact with your family and strangers, cuddling with you as an infant, speech, toileting, motor skills? Does he know how to interact with his same age peers in school? Does he have friends? Is he bothered by loud noise, certain clothes or socks, certain textures of food? Can he change from one activity to another with ease or is this hard for him? Does he have tantrums when he is frustrated?

    To those who think it is your parenting, I would turn the other cheek. It is not your fault. It is too bad you were told that it was.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, TIA.

    From what I have read so far, I think Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), or as it is called here, Asperger's or some sort of autism is quite possible. (Some doctors use the temrs interchangeably, and some say that they are totally different.) However, I still have more questions.
    Did he have a lot of sinus infections or ear infections as a baby and toddler? Does he have allergies to foods or plants?
    Have you tried a medication for ADHD, such as Adderall or another amphetamine? How did he react?
    Does he make good eye contact with strangers?
    Does he explode over tiny changes in his schedule, or moving from one spot to another, say, from the school building to a grocery store? (Transitions.)

    I agree that Conduct Disorder (CD) is something that is diagnosed much later in the teen years. There are way too many things that could be going on with your son, and most of these things change with maturity, diet, and hormones. You will have many changes so don't get too attached to any one label.

    I think that a one-on-one aide is a very good idea. Clearly, he has difficulty interpreting information when there are too many people around. You need to find out if he is distracted by light, noise, touch, or whatever is going on inside of his head.
    I do not think that a psychiatrist is the right person for your child, based on your description.

    Also, the fighting may be a symptom of issues, not a cause.

    One thing that really helped me to stay calm (and we all yell once in a while) was to think that my son was much younger than his physical age, which is true, at any rate. He is approximately 5 years younger, emotionally. So if your son is 7, he could actually be thinking like a 3 or 4-year old. You wouldn't smack a 4-year-old on the side of the head, but you might do it to a 7-yr-old. So keep reminding yourself that he is emotionally much younger and it will help you to stay calm.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh. by the way, several of us have had kids on Rispersal or related medications. That one and another, Seroquel, actually caused my son to be very aggressive. One other now is helping. Other families have had great success with this medication and as I said others have had serious behavior problems and/or physical problems happen. Just wanted you to be aware.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    I have one of those "alphabet soup diagnosis" difficult children... I don't list them all on my sig, for privacy reasons, but it's a LONG list. The one that we've managed to "dispose of" is... ODD/CD. He has everything else under the sun, all of which combined to create behaviour problems... but the source is not the behaviour, or the parenting... it's OTHER STUFF.

    Ignoring the big elephants in the room for now (Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Asperger's)... there are other issues which are often found in kids with those dxes, but are also found independently... which is where our family is at... Here are three of them, each worth pursuing in dependently, because getting help for these - whether or not there is a more pervasive diagnosis - will make a difference.

    Do you have OTs there? (occupational therapists)
    They can do evaluations for:
    1) Sensory integration issues, and
    2) Motor skills issues (fine and/or gross)

    The third one would require an advanced audiologist, and I don't know what the process would be where you are, but here (Canada), a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) would screen for APDs (including the lesser-known ones like auditory figure ground), and if they find potential issues, the family doctor can refer to the advanced audiologist who specializes in Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) testing.

    These three are frequent sources of behavior problems, for kids with or without pervasive disorders.
    The Occupational Therapist (OT) can provide effective therapies that help sensory and motor skills issues, and can help with figuring out accommodations and interventions that work.

    There's a set of standard accommodations and interventions for APDs, too.

    And NONE of these three are helped by medications.

    p.s. our difficult child is on a scary cocktail of medications, too, and... we don't have any other option yet. The medications make life so much better for him.

    p.p.s. My husband was more like your wife... it took a while for him to really understand the issues and challenges, and to come to the same "page" in dealing with difficult child. It isn't unusual for one parent to "get there" first.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard! We have family company this weekend so my greeting will be short. I find it fascinating that ADHD didn't get identified early on. In the States it is diagnosis'd far too fast and far too often but...I find it odd it was not even addressed for your son. ADHD symptoms often result, for example, in apparent memory problems which in actuality don't exist once medications allow the child to truly hear and follow through at a normal pace.

    Secondly many of us have found that a complete neuro/psychological examination has been worth it's weight in gold. Are those available near you? I'd surely advise exploring. Glad to have you join us. DDD
  14. FLC

    FLC New Member

    Wow, now this is what I call help :)
    So many responses and questions that makes me think. Thank you so much, everyone.

    There are a lot of messages today so I'll respond to all them at once here, if that's OK.

    First, I just realized that we where rather passive in the sense that we just take our son to this or that doctor and wait to be told what's wrong with him and what to do, but since I joined here (that's only yesterday!) I learn a few things, among which that jut waiting for the doctors to come up with the solution won't work. We need to take wheel on this. And like Ktllc said, we need to analyze him ourselves, do a lot of research, and keep posting :)

    Everyone agreed, and with arguments, that this is not our fault, and something that I often miss but it's really important, not our son's fault either. By reading you I came to figure out that I need to separate how much we suck at parenting, or at least at coping with his issues, from the cause. I even talked to my wife last night and she seems to be at least considering that we (that's me and all of you here) could be right. It's shame she doesn't speak English and can't participate directly.

    I think that the underlying theory to blame us is that, say, our fighting, or loose of temper when he misbehaves, or for example the fact that when he was just two we misscarried a 3 months pregnancy and my WF was devastated to the point of having a few suicide attempts (it took her 3 years but she is well now), caused some sort of psicological trauma that resulted in his difficulties, for example to learn normally like any other kid. But, I realize now that this is really just mystical thinking that is only justified by a complete lack of knowledge of how such things actually work. Granted, neither my WF nor I have a clue of what makes the brain and mind to work, so from our laymen point of view this "theory" might make sense, just like it did for the ancient people to think some gods caused rain. But a doctor should know better, so at the very least I will more actively question what I'm told and try to do my own research. (I'm a biochemist working as a software engineer so I'm used to research and such, is just that so far I only did it to help me understand what the doctors said, but not to build my own ideas of what's wrong with him)

    I agree with DaisyFace that relating the memory problems with bad parenting is a stretch, to say the least. Is just that like I said above, I do wonder if a psicological trauma couldn't cause that, but then again, I only wonder because I don't have a clue about that. And now that I'm writing this, I also wonder if supposing the existence of a psicological trauma just becasue we (used to, really) fight all the time or be agreesive to him (and his sister) when we snap is not a streatch on itself.

    It makes perfect sense to me to figure that bad parenting or bad adult behaviour would definitely get in the way of his progress. Granted, so we will keep trying to stop fighting and to cope with him in more productive ways than a slap in the back of the head. But, what I think is the lesson from what you all said: that alone won't even come close. He has a "wireing" problem and that won't go away by us turning into PP. I told my BW that tonight and she agreed.

    My WH also told me that there are in fact Neuropsychs here, at leat in the one center that specializes in the Brain. It's not covered by the healh insurrance and hes fee is like 4 times what we are used for any other doctor though. We are seriously considering that we should nonetheless go see him.

    As an infant my son was normal, from what we can tell. However, though he started speaking at normal age, in my opinion he never developed the language at the expected pace. He used to be very very quiet, and he used to fingetr-point and use his body to express as opposed to used words. We used to think that this was the simple consequence of his sister (9 yr.old now) talking *all* the time (sometime I don't know when she breathes) :).
    FWIW, because of that the very first treatment he had was with a "speeach-language therapist" (fonoaudióloga in Spanish), but she didn't get anywhere and even said that she did not found a, say, "wiring" problem and that is was due to emotional reasons. So we moved on centering the therapy on the psicologist which then suggested to push aside the speech language test.

    What I'm thinking now is that there might be two separate running issues: he could have psicological problems BUT ALSO learing problems of a more "physical" nature.

    He is VERY sensitive. For example, from the very first day he was born we had trouble changing his clothing because he was all tight. We couldn't extend his arms etc. We learned that we had to sooth him first. Also, when we put him on the craddle, he would always cry and naturally we thought it was because he didn't wanted to be left alone, but we learned that, no, the real problem was the movement!. If we where just very very, but *very* slow, specially the last part when his head was left in the craddle base, he would be perfectly OK. Even sleep normally like nothing.

    FWIW, due a sierious mistake on the obstetrician, my WF was given ACTH duing the entire pregancy. Only the last month we incidentally learn that ACTH was completely unsafe during pregnancy. But we told that to evert doctor and none seem to give it any importance.

    AFAICT our son is socially normal, though he is rather shy, meaning that he needs time to get along with a new group of peers. But once the initial period is passed he interacts normally with them. One thing do is that he needs some help to detach, for example every morning I can't just drop him at school like nothing. He hugs and kisses me and I'm like "ok now you have to go", and is like that for a few minutes until he goes. When he was 4 and 5 though, it was terrible as in I had to leave him crying and the teacher had to pick him up, almost everyday.
    We think however that the real problem was that kinder, for when we moved it to another one, at 6, that problem went away and he never again had to be left crying like that.

    Although he is very very sensitive, at the emotional level, he doesn't seem bother with noise, or clothing or wheather or anything like it that I can recognize now. BUT, it might be difficult to tell because only now, say since a year or a year and a half, he started to speak normally like all day. He used to be very very quiet and rarely say anything, *including* if he wasbn't feeling right or was in pain. On more than one occasion, when he was younger, we would discoverd that he was hurt, or have a mild fever, etc by observation, but he wouldn't cry or say anything.

    I wouldn't say that he had lots of sinus or ear infections. And he is not alergic to anything that we know so far.
    We never gave him any medication before (he just started on Risperdal last night)
    I would say that he makes good eye contact with people, strangers or not, unless you are scolding him.

    Now I know these are all treats for something in the autism spectrum. And when he was diagnose Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) I thought it was it. He certainly seemed to be just like that.
    But now at age 7 I do see that he seemed to be deviating from the symptoms, that is, now seems to be able to connect with his surroundings, people or things, a lot, lot more than ever before. So I don't know.

    FWIW, I have pretty much no recolection of my infancy below age 12 or 13 (I'm 41 one), but my mom told me that when I was 7, the 2-grade teacher told her I had autism and had to be moved to a special school. She took me to the family doctor and he responded that I was not, that the problem was that I had no interest in shcool, that it was boring, so she just didn't do anything. I stayed in the school and that was about it. I don't recally anything but she said I didn't have any learning problems.
    on the other hand, I had a special situation with my dad: he had his own familiy so he was home only on certain weekends, thus we didn't interact much but I was also told by my mom that he did thing I had some sort of "mental problem". She just ignored it.

    Having said that, I actually always felt like I could totally relate with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), specifically with Asperger's. But the few occasions I told that to a psicologist she said that I was crazy and I was nothing like it. So I always wonder that maybe is all about degree: maybe I was (or am?) indeed Asperger but to such a low degree that you can barely see it.
    And if that's the case, maybe the same happens to my son. (except that he has important learning problems and I didn't.. or maybe I did but when I was in school no one cared if I could read and write, etc...)

    by the way, I told my WF about the "he's is actually younger than he's age" trick and we loved it! I can inmediately see how that will help because ineed we might be asking too much of him.

    I will closely watch out for side effects of Risperdal indeed, altough it seems like a good idea that he is taking it, at the moment at least.

    We do have OTs here and we thought about consulting one. Specially because I had no idea that Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) existes but now that I read about it I think it might be related.

    And now the last post :)

    Indeed I started reading about ADHD and also wonder why it wasn't addressed.
    Specially these days. When he was 4, he was rather shy, always quiet and felt disconnected, so Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) looked like a good fit to me.
    But now at age 7, I wouldn't talk about him being quiet or looking disconnected. Instead, I would talk about him being *all day* running, jumping, kicking the air, and recently also shouting all day mimicking a kung-fu shout (he loves TV shows for the like). In my own words I would definitely say he is "hyper active".

    Well, I'm so glad I joined the forum. I'll keep posting and reading.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If you start getting to the bottom of some of the "physical/developmental" issues, you may find that the psychological issues will lessen or vanish on their own. Sometimes both exist, but sometimes (as in our case), the psychological issues are the side-effect of the physical/developmental issues not being met with appropriate interventions, accommodations, and where necessary medications. Take a kid with serious un-met needs, and let things take their "natural" course for long enough... and the combination will drive the kid to insanity.
  17. Anxworrier

    Anxworrier New Member

    Hi and welcome! I'm a newbie here but there is lots of great advice given and compassion from others who have been there! I have a 12year old boy who has always had temperament, anger issues and now that he started middle school, he as run into a wall with being able to keep up with the work. Lying to teachers trying to avoid work. My husband has add (won't medicate due to side effects) but he also has a temper and can be impatient. Anyway a long time ago we had some counseling with our son and one of the things the counselor told us was that when our difficult child gets angry and husband gets angry,they escalate each other and it isn't healthy. so we really worked on that. And I have also read about executive function and really see that difficult child is not where he should be for his age. I've also read Healing ADD,the five types of ADD. The explosive child was also helpful..keep us posted on how you are.
  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome to another foreigner :) Your English is fantastic, by the way, especially for someone not living in an English-speaking country.

    I think your post and the responses perfectly illustrate the strength of a forum like this... you are getting some very useful perspective and "leads" outside of the ones you have been given. They may not all be accurate, of course, but they are allowing you to think of the problem from a wider viewpoint. You can take what seems relevant and disregard what does not. To be honest, from my perspective your son doesn't sound so bad :) Certainly not like he has this notorious "Conduct Disorder" so I should really throw that one out of the window! I agree that the lack of empathy with people and animals at times is concerning, however.

    In essence, from what you say it sounds like there are two main components to the difficulties: that he is oppositional and defiant at times (as well as also being very sweet and affectionate and, yes, personally I completely understand that contradictory combination!) and that he has learning difficulties that seemed to be centred around working memory difficulties.

    The former problem can indeed be affected by parenting techniques, I think. NOT because any of this is your combined fault or has somehow been created by you but because these children are extremely difficult and challenging to deal with and the whole normal parenting route has to be jettisoned in favour of learning what actually works with them. As has been said, The Explosive Child by Ross Greene would be useful reading for you, as would (I think) reading online about techniques used with ADHD kids (whether or not your son is) - positive reinforcement rather than punishment, primarily. Oh, I understand the desire to slap on the head all too well, alas.... The provocation and opposition can be SO aggravating. In that sense, a clear diagnosis helps, I think, in giving more patience, understanding and clear techniques.

    For the learning difficulties, yes, I would have thought a neuro psychologist would be a good beginning. Argentina sounds like it is very well served in terms of services and professionals :) A bit better than France... My son also has these kind of working memory problems, which always surprises me because he has such a phenonemonal memory and observation/perception in other ways. Like your son, he is also bright, so the challenge with these children is helping them realise their potential.

    Good luck, keep reading, thinking and researching. You're definitely on the right track!