New-previously posted on General Forum

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tired Cheryl, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    Hi, Early-Childhood folks:
    I posted the following on the General Forum but I am also very interested in hearing from others who have pre-schoolers like my son especially, those on Risperdal and/or have epilepsy.


    I am new to the group and just wanted to indroduce myself. After reading many of your posts it looks like I'll feel right at home here. I belong to an epilpesy group as well but my son's seizures do not cause me the daily problems that his behavior does so, I am glad to have found this forum.

    I do not believe there is anything more isolating than being the parent of a child with a conduct disorder. It must be like what having leprosy was like in the bad old days. I feel like it adds insult to injury after I have my son hit, yell, and spit on me daily to have "normal" adults shun me on top of it all. So, I am hoping to find a "safe zone" here.

    My story is not unique by any means so, I will not bore any of you with the details. Low-lights from this week: son kicked out of third private preschool, school district refuses to admit him into their PPCD program because he tested academically normal, after being spat on many times in the past had son spit in my mouth, three-hour marathon meltdown.

    My son has a neurologist for epilepsy and sees a psychologist at the Children's Hospital weekly for behavior therapy. He was evaluated two weeks ago by a neuropsychologist as well as the school district. school district says that he is not academically impaired. I get the results from the neuropsychologist next week.

    My questions for the group:
    1.Is there really a good way for the doctors to differentiate between ODD, Intermittent Explosive, and Bi-polar disorders in pre-school age children?

    2. Anything on Risperdal! I was terrified to put my son on this drug but after this week I relented. He started taking 0.25mg on Tuesday night and no change so far. It did not make him sleepy like neuro said it would. Darn. I am worried about weight gain-is this as common as I have read about? Does this medicine help anyone out there?

    3. Coping Mechanisms that you can suggest for being out in public with difficult child
    I am thinking about getting a t-shirt made for my difficult child that says, "Don't Blame My Mom, It's my Frontal Lobe." I am not joking.

    Me: tired Cheryl sums it up

    husband: tired too,depression-can't remember which AD his is currently taking, married 9 1/2 years

    difficult child: Boy 3 years 10 mos old with Epilepsy(mostly partial complex seizures) diagnosis 6/2006, ODD diagnosis 8/2007 probably also Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). Trileptal twice a day since 1/2007, just started Risperdal 9/2007. neuropsychologist evaluation at Children's hospital 8/2007, school district evaluation 9/2007.

    easy child: 5 year old girl
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Welcome Cheryl. I'm glad you found us. Well, I'm sorry that you had to find us but as long as you're struggling with these issues it will relieve you to find kindred spirits.

    It sounds like you are off to a good start in having covered all the bases with the neurologist, neuropsychologist, and school district assessment. I suspect your school district may respond differently now that you have some professional leverage via reports from outside specialists. Academics is only one area of development that the school district should be addressing.

    1. in my opinion, it's going to be very difficult to distinguish between ODD, Intermitent Explosive Disorders, and BiPolar (BP) in a child of your son's age. Personally I would consider any of those diagnosis's as a working diagnosis at this point. Live with it awhile and see if it fits. See if treatments help progress. It's very common for diagnoses to be adjusted in these early years.

    2. Risperdal can be a really successful medication for some individuals. All medications can have side effects and/or not be the right medication and there's just no telling until you trial it. If it makes you feel any better, I've seen fewer wilder reactions to Risperdal by the little ones than most of the other medications reported here and am more comfortable with it than most for a first time medication trial.

    3. LOL on the t-shirt. Sign me up for one!

    My first advice would be to go out in public as little as possible because you have no control over what occurs. I know that's not the answer you want to hear but sometimes kids simply aren't ready to deal with the outside world. And in an undiagnosed child you really don't know what's behind his explosions yet. Later on as you get a grasp on those you may be able to address them preventatively.

    There's a post at the top of this board about The Explosive Child book that gives some ideas that you might try for those times you do need to go out.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Welcome to the group!

    It is truly isolating when you have a child with the issues that ours do. Our formerly easy child daughter is the youngest and she's the only one of our three that's stayed in our school district (and I suspect not for very long!). I did manage to make some friends in our neighborhood. I found that being open and honest with the other moms actually educated them (two of them actually came to me to ask about evaluations for their kids!) about my difficult child's.

    It sounds like a load that the school district feels that they're only responsible for his academics. Uh, wouldn't his behavior have a negative impact on his studies as well as the other students? Isn't pre-k and k supposed to help him with his social skills? Last time I checked, spitting at and hitting mom was a "no-no"! They really have to wake up to reality! :grrr:

    I did the 3 hour meltdown truly is enough to drive you up a wall. Surely helps you feel pride in your heart when you have to restrain your child...NOT! :crazy2:

    This is a great group of people...after a very short time they start to feel more like family than family because they understand!

    Welcome to the club!

  4. Kimba

    Kimba New Member

    My son is being evaluated for Partial Complex Seisure Disorder and we will know by a week or two after comprehensive testing. It is a form of epilipsy but he is of above average IQ and functions normally in academics but behavioral wise is TERRIBLE. I assumed he would have Bipolar disorder but the doctor is not ready to classify him yet until all testing are finsihed and I am exhausted. He can go from normal one minute to outward tantrums the next and he is almost ten...the doctor explained that with PCSD he can stop in growing up at like five behavior wise and that is exactly how he acts. He can read at a high school level and do math that is of the advanced type too but have a outburst at school and makes him become isolated and alone because kids are scared of him. he is unpredictable and that is a common side effect.
    You are not alone that is for sure I feel your pain I promise. Good Luck!
  5. Sunshine1966

    Sunshine1966 New Member

    Hi Cheryl,

    Its me again! I just read your intro post. You asked for help with defense mechanisms for going out in public and I wish I had a good answer for that. I have read "the Explosive Child" book by Ross Greene and realized that I just needed to figure out a way to do my 'public' shopping without my difficult child. It was just too much. He's have horrible screaming and shreiking in the store, I would just ignore it and act like I could care less to give him no attention, yet I could feel everyone staring and wondering. Its AWFUL!! So, now I rarely take him to a store with me. I've had to rearrange things so that I do my shopping when he's at preschool or Dad can cover at home. I've even gotten to the point that I shrink back at the thought of visiting my parents, inlaws and siblings but they all love him but its obvious they don't understand what goes on really and its so frustrating. I had a lady at the grocery store yell "Jesus" in vain about his shrieking and screaming. It stopped him in his tracks, then he was so hurt and he cried. Then he was angry and said he wanted to find her and hit her! I was trying to explain to him that just like he didn't like what she said, she didn't like having to hear him shriek in the store.

    Anyway, just some of my thoughts. I'm sure we'll be chatting more on this site!

    Debbie :flower:
  6. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    Hi, Debbie:

    It made me laugh to read about your son wanting to hit that lady in the store. It so reminded me of my son.

    I had really cut back on going out in public with difficult child but with him out of school that became more difficult.

    Still, most of our public outings revolve around his doctor and therapy appointments. One of my posts details major meltdown in food court of the Children's Hospital.

    Thankfully, the past week, after increasing his Risperdal dose we have had a relatively peaceful week. But even if he is not melting down (the worst thing) in public his non-violent behavior is pretty inappropriate. He talks to all strangers and asks them very private and weird questions. He also invades their personal space and will touch them if I do not gain control over him quickly. He reprimands just about every kid that we see in public-it doesn't matter how old they are or what they are doing-they are breaking his little unwritten rules (like I do hourly!), plus he is very hyper.

    So, basically, everyone is staring at us for one reason or another whenever we are out in public. The meltsdowns are surely the worst but I fantasize about what it would be like to have a child that I could just blend into the crowd with at least once in awhile! :highvoltage:
    Since you are the same age as me, do you remember the "unknown comic" He was on some silly game show when we were kids and wore a paper bag over his head. I want to be the "Unknown Mommy"

  7. Sunshine1966

    Sunshine1966 New Member

    Hi Cheryl,

    I read your ID and every time I just feel tired with you! I loved the motto of this site "a soft place to land for the battle weary parent" - we can all relate with that unfortunately.

    So, when your son is saying inappropriate things to people how do you get him to stop or get out of the situation? That would be tough. I was in line at Toys R Us yesterday and we were behind two different customers in line. Lines are certainly not one of my difficult child's strong points. He starts talking out loud about how he doesn't want to wait in line, it should be his turn next and why can't they hurry up? I am mortified and try to explain to him about waiting our turn, ect. The guy in front of us turned around and said to my son "but I was here first!" in a joking manner and it took my difficult child off track and he ended up smiling at the man and realizing that he was joking. Then of course he says, "but I want to be first!" and then the man looked at me and said "I feel for you!" and I thanked him. Very seldom have I had a parent give me any kind of empathy in person. Its probably mostly because I try not to look at people when these situations are going on. Your comment about wanting to be the "Unknown Mommy" is hilarious. I totally remember the unknown comic and I can see how you would want to become the UM during the different episodes. Do you ever get hot flashes when you go through these experiences? Sometimes I feel like I'm just turning visibly red and sweat is going to start beading down my forehead any moment out of shame or embarrassment.

    I'm glad that you are seeking assistance for yourself. Are you getting into counseling or something? I recently started going to a counselor and I am also seeing a psychiatrist for my medications since my pcp didn't want to give me anything but Prozac. Its so important that you take care of you as well as those around you. I find that I respond a whole lot better and with more patience when I'm dealing with my own frustrations and issues.

    Today was a pretty good day as far as explosions and tantrums. I started the Guanfacine yesterday afternoon and he had both doses today. He swallows the little pills like a champ which I am so pleased with. It took me until the 4th grade to be able to swallow pills! The only thing so far that I'm noticing is that he is more tired (took a 2 hour nap) and he seemed more redirectable when he would get frustrated today. It scares me when I read about different parents going through the ups and downs of finding the right medications. I read a couple posts that were not happy endings of kids started on guanfacine. I feel like I am watching my child so closely for anything and everything that may or may not happen.

    I hope you've had a decent day. You are somewhere in Texas? So its two hours ahead of Washington state? What business are you about to start?

    Take care!
  8. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member


    When difficult child is saying or doing inappropriate things to strangers I try to distract him away from the situation if possible.

    I recently read somewhere that kids with ODD/ADHD in many ways do not outgrow two year old behavior and that describes my son. He will say highly inappropriate things and also grab and touch strangers just like a two year old. BUT he is highly articulate with a great vocabulary and big for his age so, it really freaks people out and embarasses me greatly.

    I saw a therapist about ten days ago and go back next week. I also have an appointment with a p-doctor to get medications if indicated.

    I'm in suburb north of Houston.

    How are the medications going for you son?

    difficult child's neurologist thinks that his recent arm-twitching and bed-wetting episodes are seizure related and not related to the Risperdal. So, I am taking him on Monday am for Trileptal (anticonvulsant) levels, CBC, and liver enzymes. That should be fun!

    Behavior continues to be much improved and I am enjoying every minute of it!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am glad you are here. And glad you can see some humor in all this, it will help you a LOT. They can drive us nuts, can't they?

    Had anyone assessed your son for Aspergers or tother autism spectrum disorders? The behaviors you describe just made me wonder. Often kids on the spectrum are so smart it is intimidating, but they have no idea what the social rules/norms are, and have no internal way to learn the stuff most of us just pick up by osmosis from other people.

    Just thought I would mention it.

  10. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    Hi, Susie:

    The neuropsychs that did his evaluation did not mention Austism or Asperger's but ss you know, with kids this young anything is on the table as far as a diagnosis goes...I am still not ruling out bipolar as well.

    But, from what I have read and seen of Asperger's (I have a life-long friend whose grown brother has it) I don't think that my son has it. But, I have an open mind. As he gets older, making the diagnosis will be easier. He definately fits ODD and ADHD.

    Thanks for the kind words!

  11. Sunshine1966

    Sunshine1966 New Member

    Hi Cheryl,

    I just returned from an outing to the pumpkin patch with my sister, brother in law and a niece and two nephews along with myself and Antonio. I was pretty excited to be going and I thought that Antonio was looking forward to it too. We've been having calmer days at home on the new medication (Guanfacine) and he's been much more cooperative and polite. A real treat to have him sit at the table and actually eat dinner with us. So, I was hopeful on this outing since things have been better...

    It is really tough when you have a brother in law who thinks that ALL kids should march to the beat of his drum in relation to discipline and behavior. He thinks he could 'whip' Antonio into shape in no time and doesn't feel bad at all about getting into the parents space to do it. It wasn't a good experience for Tonio. He ended up crying the whole 2nd half of the time we were there. He was distraught, anxious, crying and screaming. My B-I-L kept trying to fix the situation which only made it worse. We ended up leaving sooner than anticipated and left without going to lunch as we had planned because there was just no way Antonio would last.

    I just wanted to cry in the car on the way home. I was so hopeful because things have been better at home with the new medication and behaviors but they didn't seem changed at all when we were in public or with family. I'll continue to hope that something (maybe the current drug) will work for him in a therapeutic way. I also did some research into finding a neuropsychologist doctor for a full evaluation. I feel a little bit like the psychiatrist we saw was quick to give the diagnosis of ADHD and ODD without delving into other things and he basically did no testing, just history of what's been happening.

    I certainly hope things with your son continue to go well. It is such a relief when we can get some small break from the regular routine of always dealing with the tough behaviors. We love our children so much and its so difficult to watch them struggle or not understand things.

    Let me know how it goes with the P-doctor and what they want to do with your difficult child.
  12. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    Sorry to hear about your brother in law making matters worse. What a shame that you couldn't enjoy the pumpkin outing! It is hard enough to have a difficult child but then you have to factor in friends/family/teacher's opinions! :smile:
    Is this your sister's husband or your husband's brother? Did you get any support from the rest of your family?

    I am happy that you too are getting some relief from your son's new medication. You are so right in saying that getting even a little relief (even if it comes from medications) is a huge help! I for one am going to relish in this tranquilty. Actually, it has been even better than that. difficult child has been a total joy: sweet, funny, thoughtful, playful, <u>happy</u>!
    How miserable he must be when he is angry and violent all day long. This has to be a huge relief for his as well.

    Even if these medications do not work out for one reason or another I see no reason why we should let those worries ruin the effects we are seeing today.
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi Sunshine and Cheryl,

    Hope you don't mind me jumping in on your posts. It's 4:30 AM and I can't sleep, so I might as well.

    Cheryl, good to hear about your child's improvements. Feels good, doesn't it?

    Sunshine (love your avatar!), I read your post about the pumpkin farm and almost cried with you. I wanted to share something with you that maybe you had not thought of, has your child ever displayed signs of sensory issues? I.E., has to wear certain clothes / loves to spin / hates to spin / craves certain textures / loathes certain textures?

    When my daughter was 2-3, I first started noticing her sensory issues, and one that was huge was her inability to handle a huge crowd, even if it was for something fun. Too much stimulation. It was sensory overload, and her nervous system was unable to process it. So there I was, trying to do something nice, and spend $200.00 to take her to see some Disney thing on ice, and she would be crying the whole time. She's almost 7 now, and now she can just about handle it for awhile. she will tell me when she's had enough.

    Oh, and have you called brother in law since the outing? Asked him how that worked for him?