New to the site and to ADHD/Aspergers for my son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jettssy, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. jettssy

    jettssy New Member

    Hello parents,

    I am a 28 year old woman to 2 wonderful children - Gavin, 8 and Addy, 6. Gavin was recently diagnosed with a combo of asperger's and adhd and is currently on Focalin XR 15 MG. He is in 2nd grade and was having a rough time from the start of the year with focusing, sitting still and listening, not disrupting his classmates, etc. He is very, very smart and does very well in school -- it just takes him a long time to complete assignments. His teacher had an IEP written up on him along with the school social worker and they suggested we see a pscyhologist, which is where we got the diagnosis, which led to him taking the medication.

    Well he first first on a smaller dosage of Focalin and the teacher said that he was doing great but only up until noon. Our doctor suggested the Focalin XR since it is an extended release and would be a better alternative to taking the same pill twice a day.

    We went from the teacher saying that he was doing so much better to now saying that he has reverted back to being worse than ever. He is not completing his assignments, he's disrupting classmates, etc. I am very upset that he seemed to be progressing well and is now having such a horrible time with the exact same medication, just different dosage. How could this be? He also says that he is tired a lot. He also says that none of the other boys want to play with him anymore and it just breaks my heart that my son has been outcasted like this.

    I have been upset crying all evening about it not knowing what to do. I know that we should see his pscychologist again to reevaluate the situation... and perhaps try another medication. He is losing interest in school and he used to love school. He thinks it is boring and pointless and it's a struggle to get him to finish homework. I'm just really concerned for my young boy, almost to the point of wanting to attempt homeschooling him if things progress worse down the road.

    I live in Wilmington, North Carolina and I don't have any friends that understand the situation. I could use a sympathetic ear from those who get what it is like dealing with a child like Gavin. He is a loving, sweet and smart boy and I want what is best for him. Also, he is a huge video gamer and it is hard to pull him away from his games. Any suggestions of some other hobbies or clubs for boys with adhd/aspergers would be great. He is not great at sports so needs more intellectual and social stimulation. Thank you parents so much and I can't wait to get to know some of you more.

  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Try a timer for the games and making him earn the time for them with his homework. This (sometimes) works with mine i.e. 15 minutes of homework, 15 minutes of games, repeat until done. My daughter's IEP has a lessened homework load, you might try asking for this, too (helps if it's obvious he can do the work and it's obviously just busywork type stuff).

    Is he getting social skills training? This is very important for Aspies, more so as they get older. It helps if you can get someone in the school as well as out working on this with him.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a great little guy. I have a son with similar issues, but he's nineteen now an d still a love.

    Maybe you should break up homework time with gaming. Fifteen to fifteen. If he's like my son was, he likes the idea of a routine and a certain set of rules and he may even like the idea of a timer. Watch the medications though. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids can often have very weird reactions to them. My son could never take ADHD medication without getting worse.

    Welcome to the boatd :)
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there! There's other families "near" you with her difficult child being newly diagnosed and two other kid. Her difficult child is just a little younger. I bet she'll see your post!

    One thing many of us struggle with is the medication issue. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids being even more sensitive. Even if medications start out seeming to work after time their bodies react and they can act angry, hyper, rage, silly, depressed, etc. My son and others here have even been in the hospital or involved with the police /courts...
    All due to medications and no matter they have a disability!

    Keep great notes about medication start dates and behaviors. Over the years you will be very glad.

    Some find medications just don't help. Not so for my son. It's been worth the effort to find the right medication.

    Even in the same class he might be ok with a medication and not another. He might do better with two short acting doses. That's an easy thing to try out! I hope your doctor is open to your being assertive about changing Doses, types, etc.

    The dose may just be a little too high or low. Always go for the lowest dose of course but a tiny growth spurt can really change the dosing.

    Anyway, I'd start there.....with medications.

    If you find the stimulant class does not work or it's not enough there are other medications that can help.

    The other thing of course is to look at what may be setting him off. Has he had a complete occupational therapy evaluation? Speech Lang pathology evaluation? It is common for our kids to have auditory processing problems which may make them look defiant or like they are not attending. Sensory Integration Disorder is common too. Really goo Occupational Therapist (OT) can be a miracle for kids. I was a school Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) but I always advise private evaluations along with school because they have more time and equipment to do a really deep evaluation. Especially for Occupational Therapist (OT) because the equipment is big and schools don't usually have it. The therapies should be done at school and in private if you can afford it. (in my humble opinion ) because the focus in school legally is what directly impacts school issues. (One can argue it all does but school admin will not agree esp as kids get older).

    Finally, does he have a behavior plan? Sp Ed law requires a functional behavior evaluation be done and that a positive behavior plan (bip or pbip etc) be developed and attached to the iep. Appropriate behaviors need to be taught not just consequence the negative. He may not have all of the skills he needs t know about when to talk when not to etc.

    Anyway, welcome. It is overwhelming at times and a good cry does help. Then we plod on....

    So glad you found us! Welcome hugs!!!!
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You've done well to get the Aspie diagnosis so early. But... that may not be the last diagnosis.
    Like Buddy said... has he had an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory and motor skills issues?
    And a detailed, specialist evaluation for the full range of APDs? (they don't usually do this until about age 7)
    Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), in particular, can cause behaviors that can "look like" ADHD in the classroom - not paying attention, not following instructions, etc. And APDs do not respond to medications, but there are other helpful interventions.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Welcome. The others have given you some really great pointers. In our case, stimulants were awful for my Aspie. He is on a non-stimulant that he takes twice a day because ER form didn't work the way it was supposed to.

    One thing I noticed is that as the school work got harder, where he reached his "threshhold", he started doing and saying the same things as your son is. In my case, he was in 3rd grade and his questioning the purpose of school continues even today (he's 14.5). These comments only come when he is anxious or frustrated over work he doesn't understand or is too hard or too long for his taste. He has a point. In his case, he's going to probably be working manual labor as a career and be perfectly happy doing it. Any schooling after high school is not going to happen. He knows that and I know that so I have a really hard time convincing him that it's worthwhile when even I don't believe that in his case.

    We were able to find a REALLY good Occupational Therapist (OT) that had experience with kids on the spectrum. The things she tested for and discovered were HUGE when it comes to ability to do school. I'm glad we found her and I wish everyone could find one like her. That's where I would start. difficult child 1 has trouble seeing black letters on white paper, holds the pencil too tight (brain doesn't register pressure) so he was starting to get carpal tunnel, he is sensory seeking but at the same time has some sensory avoidance, certain noises and smells send him through the roof, etc. All this information came from our Occupational Therapist (OT).

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. This place is awesome and the people here are the most supportive, understanding, and knowledgeable in the world as far as I'm concerned. They've kept me sane and on the right path.
  7. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    You've gotten some wonderful advice. I wanted to add my welcome and sugest something a bit off topic. You might not want to use your kids names and give out where you live. Some people here don't have a problem with it, but others (like me) have weird/scarey people who would take the info posted here and use it to hurt my kids.

    I know of one school district (i used to work in) that monitors this site. Its hard to imagine relationships with teachers going sour if he has a good one this year, but what about next year or if the school gets a new principal?

    You have my sympathies about the medication issues. We've been on and off medications for 8 years. It is a marathon not a sprint.