Newbie from Canada

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jdharris79, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. jdharris79

    jdharris79 2Tired2Fight

    Hi, I really hope you do not mind that I am reaching out from up here but theres not much support around my "neck of the woods" lol. I have 2 beautiful smart independent sons, my youngest is 19 months and his father and i have been together for almost 4 years now who has also stepped up and taken responsibilty for my difficult child who is almost 10 years old. His bio father has had no contact with him for over 5 years and is not stable to see him(who was diagnosed bipolar at the age of 16)

    My 10 year old here is my difficult child, very sweet loving ,independent,charismatic boy in a 130 pound body with a raging temper that he cycles trough 5 or 6 times a day. Just recently we had a full physcological assessment done which came back with a definite diagnosis of oppositional defiance disorder and childhood bipolar BUT NO ADHD. Which I am now trying to get removed from his record with the school board as he has been lablled adhd for 6 years. THe report actually came back that attention and concentration are one of his strongest asssets and he is actually perfectally capable of doing his grade 4 work at a grade 4 level he just chooses NOT TO.

    To date we have tried ritalin which made his aggression 10X worse and he was running around like an adult on cocaine.....dexedrine and adderall had the same adverse side affects. He was on risperadol for almost 2 years but was taken off when he blew up to 130 lbs and now only on serequol which honestly we see no difference and we are up to 150mg a day.....
    We have not seen the pediatrician since the physc results have come in but I am sure I will get an earfull from him as the physcologist was concerned as to treating this child which was clearly not adhd with adhd drugs and concerned that the doctor had diagnosed him oppositional at the age of 4 but we were not made aware of this.

    As it stands now we are donig everything in our power to deter the conduct disorder which we can see happenning already. We have had the police called because he has choked another child and also we had 2 older 13 year old boys charged with assualt with a weapon as they shot him with air soft pellet guns on the way home from school . Which really pisses me off the next day he turned around and punched a little girl at school which she ended up going to the hospital for. Nothing sinks in his head. Not even natural consequences.

    RIght now he sees a long term mental health counsellor once a week for 2 hours, he goes to a social skills group once a week for 4 hours and sees a dietician once a week. I also have a respite worker come in for 10 hours a week that takes him out of the home.Hence why I have recently quit my job to take care of his needs because it is impossible to work with a child like this.

    We are trying to get him into a 4 month residiatintial program here where he only comes home on weekends that is suppose to be amazing in behaviour modification but there is sooo much goverment red tape to jump through to get in its ridiculous and there is only 8 beds in my whole state.

    We have a bed avaible in septemebr for him but I have to finish a parenting course to prove to them we have exhausted all resources in our area and in the community before he can go to residiential and now its just to surivive until september.

    Everyday is a constant fight and constant power struggle. To the outsider looking in I am sure they think I just have a spoiled rotten child throwing a temper tantrum but in reatlity if they took a walk in my shoes they would fall the first step.
    Jill

    p.s sorry for the typos and spelling mistakes...its saturday morning so I have my 9 year old bouncing around me driving me insane.....
     
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard. Glad you found us...sorry you needed to. Sending a welcoming hug your way.

    I'm working on income tax this morning so can't do a long post (much as I would like to avoid the job!).

    The weekend is slow around here but you will hear from caring, informed CD family members soon. I'm sure you will learn alot and feel welcome.

    Off the top of my head I am wondering who is the prescribing physician for your son? I'm a firm believer in using a child Psychiatrist as it is so darn complicated when there are multiple alphabets involved.

    I'll check back in later to make sure some of the sleepy heads are awake and responding! LOL DDD
     
  3. fuddleduddledee

    fuddleduddledee New Member

    I too am in Ontario, Canada. I am not a frequent flyer here but I have a 16 y/o son who has been difficult for a very long time. He was diagnosed bipolar, anxiety disorder and ADHD at the age of 8, just last year we added the diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. It's been a long road but I'm seeing progress. Not sure where you are in the province but some places truly have access to better services than others.

    Firstly, a referral by either your pediatrician or your family doctor for a multi-disciplanary assessment might be helpful in getting a thorough assessment by a variety of disciplines, i.e. a phsychiatrist, a phsychologist, an occupational therapist, etc. This assessement is usually done at the local hospital. At the same time you ask about a multi-disciplinary asseessment, request a referral to a child psychiatrist. You need someone who specializes in psychiatric medications and a pediatrician is just not specialized in these medications. Next ask the school board about section 19 programs available. Section 19 programs are day treatment programs run at a local school but with the exception of the teachers staffed through the Minister of Children's Services. The ratio of these programs is 2 students to one staff member. Sadly, Section 19 programs end at the end of Grade 8.

    Many people here will recommend the book The Explosive Child and trust me it's worth every cent you pay for it. It gave me back some sanity as I muddled through the dark years. It allowed me to relax as a parent and not sweat the little stuff anymore, actually I didn't even sweat some of the stuff that might have been considered by some parents to be big stuff. My priority was to make it through the day in one piece, not whether my child said please, thank you and may I. Learn to pick your battles is probably the best piece of advice I ever received.

    I think the medications your son is on may be not right but I'm no doctor. I can tell you that my son cannot ever ever ever take a stimulant drug, it just makes him aggressive as can be. Getting the medications right took about 5 years for my son and we still have to tweak them from time to time. We just were able to reduce the amount of seroquel he was taking from 600mg a day to 500mg a day. For my son, 150 mg of seroquel would be like giving him koolaid powder, it's fairly small dose. When he started taking seroquel we just kept adding 25 mg every week till we started to see some kind of improvement. My son's psychiatrist in the very beginning saw him every single week, yes, every single week, then every two weeks, then every month, depending on how things were going. Right now we can hold off for as much as two months depending on circumstances.

    It's a long road, with many ups and downs, but it does at get easier. Currently my son attends an Asperger's Program at a regular high school
     
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome,
    Glad you found us. I also have a 10 year old with bipolar but he also has ADHD. However, like your son he gets way too aggressive on the stimulants so we can't really treat the ADHD too much.
    It sounds like you are doing a lot for your son. Fuddle gave some good suggestions. A multi-discipline evaluation is a great idea.
    Again welcome and you are not alone-you have found a very soft place to land. Hugs.
     
  5. jdharris79

    jdharris79 2Tired2Fight

    Thanks to all of you. I am between london and windsor and i fall under the windsor jurisdiction and theres not much help around here. I have had all the assessments done and we have a team of physcologists,mental health counsellors,children and youth workers both at home and in the school, we also have inhome support workers and all kinds of respite but we just have to wait for september for our bed at windsor regional treatments centre...it is suppose to be amazing working with both family and child.
    I know his medications are not correct but we see the psychiatrist on wednesday and I am sure he will change it once again. so until then I am just hanging in there and i well know that the best advice i have been given is to ignore the small stuff and pick my battles wisely.
    thanks jill
     
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hi and welcome to the board.

    I'm glad you found us, especially with there not being much support up around your way. Sounds to me like you're doing well at being a warrior Mom.

    Glad to hear you have some respite services available. Those can be invaluable to help maintain parent's stress levels.

    Hopefully with the new and correct diagnosis you can get a treatment plan in place soon.

    ((hugsL))
     
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JD,

    welcome to the board! It sounds to me as if you have some great supports in place and need to work on the medications and hold out until September! Glad the evaluations removed the adhd diagnosis so he could get off stims. Many BiPolar (BP) kids are wrongly diagnosis'd with adhd and "come apart" when treated with stims.

    Hopefully the psychiatrist can suggest some new medication trials. Unfortunately, medications and difficult children usually equal a lot of trial by error.

    Glad you found your way to us.

    Sharon
     
  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Welcome! Sounds like you are doing a lot for your son, congratulations on being a warrior mom! I hope you can find the right combination or medication and services to improve your situation. In the meantime, you've come to the right place for plenty of support and information.

    Best wishes,
    Christy
     
  9. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Adding my Hi :bigsmile: You've gone through most everything I could think of to recommend, and everyone's given you good advice so not much to add. I too recommend the book The Explosive Child, it really helped us through. Hope you're able to get the medications straightened out and things level out.

    Again, welcome to a wonderful site, hope you find the advice you need, or even just someone to vent to who understands. :flower:
     
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hey there! Welcome to the family!

    You know in reading your post it brought up a lot of "Uh huh's" that I personally had to endure and still do with my son. I guess the statement that always got to me the most was -

    "He can do it, he just chooses not to."
    ~followed by...
    "NOTHING sinks in- not even natural consequences or tough love."
    ~then to hear
    "What is his psycho-bat analysis telling us? He's ADHD, CD, emerging BiPolar (BP)."

    Don't you just wish ONE TIME everyone would get on the same page about your son? That is so frustrating and only adds to your stress.

    Granted some of our children's behaviors CAN be a choice, but if you NEVER get the tools you need to help you see that you CAN make better choices and DO have the opportunity to learn new coping skills - then how could anyone expect him to change? I think the residential center sounds good, IF he is willing to listen and change. I hope they are as good as everyone tells you. My son has (over the years) been to several. I think now he learned very little while there - but it was tremendously helpful to myself, my health, my DF, my life. I couldn't not handle his rages and outbursts alone.

    I had my mind made up after the first Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that he would come home CURED - and that was all we did - we sent him, they put him on medications, played with the combinations of medications until he was stable and sent him home. I was overjoyed at first and 2 weeks later it was as if nothing had changed.

    And I couldn't keep up with their level of structure. I didn't go to any parenting classes at that time or any family counseling. I just figured if HE went - HE would change and that was NOT the case. It all fell apart very quickly. Yet no one told us when my son went in to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that we should get counseling for US or family therapy for US or extra parenting classes for us. So ask - when you put him in there - WHERE you can take the rest of your family so it's a well rounded experience for all.

    Matter of fact my son is currently living in Therapeutic Foster Care. But the last 2 years we have devoted to going to family therapy and parenting classes - did my son change? A little. What actually worked this time? I did. I made sure I got my hands on everything I could about how to not trigger his anger (not to be confused with NOT correcting) but I learned that there are several things I could do to NOT be a door mat. To draw the proverbial line in the sand and have plans A and B in place if he crossed them.

    THAT is what made the difference to us. My son - maybe the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s planted seeds that are just now beginning to grow...only time will tell.

    Good luck to you come back and post often and keep us updated. Glad you are here.
    Hugs
    Star
     
  11. jdharris79

    jdharris79 2Tired2Fight

    Thanks for all the welcomes...I am truly tackling this head on to hopefully have some control over this before he hits the teens and we have a full blown case of the conduct disorder.
    We seen the psychiatrist today and i guess we are cutting back the serequol because his weight gain is through the roof and he is now sitting at 144lbs. We also getting some blood work checked for the weight gain and ruling out diabetes he said. He also told me he couldnt stress enough how much this is a pure case of DEFIANCE and the text book case of the oppositional defiance disorder without any other underlying conditions. His last appointment before the physc exam they the psychiatrist told me that rarely does a child just have odd and not adhd or a learning disabilty. My child is the rare occasion i guess. He also agreed that there is no adhd no learning diabilty and get this no bipolar....but meanwhile the physc exam is sitting staring him right in the face saying CHILDHOOD BIPOLAR THAT NEEDS CLOSELY MONITORED.He said the sereqoul and risperadol do the same thing and they will help the defiance but the wieght gain is outweighing the good. He also finally agreed to no stimulants are not good for him...I have only been fighting this for 4 years....
    So I guess there was some good that they finally cant lable him adhd anymore and they cant use stimulants for him but now to get him to agree and accept the bipolar part .
    I will just keep relying on the mental health team I am sure they will go to bat with me on the bipolar when they are the ones that got the diagnosis of bipolar...
    Till then I will just keep fighting the fight with my head held high knowing that I am doing all for him I can not just sitting back and letting it get out of control.
    Jill
     
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello and Welcome to a fellow Ontarian.
    You've found a great site with lots of support and useful information.

    I'm just dashing out the door so I don't have time for a long post, but I do have a thought...
    I know that you fall within the Windsor jurisdiction, but is there any way that you can check out the services available at University Hospital in London (affiliated with UWO)? University hospitals are often a good source for neuropsychologist evaluations, paediatric psychiatrists, etc.

    Trinity
     
  13. jdharris79

    jdharris79 2Tired2Fight

    thanks trinity, right now we are in the process of trying to move to london for better services for my son. 4 times now he has been beat for a bed in windsor regional childrens centre and now they say january but I really dont want to wait that long....
     
  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Jill, I hope that you are able to find the services you need for your son in London.
    Sending big hugs, and a fresh coat of polish for your Warrior Mom armour, as you go to bat for your son.

    It's really hard to get the right diagnosis, and then to get the right team in place, but keep fighting. It's worth it.

    It took until my difficult child was 18 before we found a psychiatrist that truly understood him. In that short time, his treatment has made a world of difference, and I now see the possibility of a positive future for my boy.

    We're here for you. Keep us posted as to how you're doing.

    Trinity
     
  15. laurensmyprincess

    laurensmyprincess New Member

    Welcome Jill...I hope we can support you and one another as you go down this road. We are in TO, and get daughter's treatment at Sick Kids...I think we've got every department there covered...neurology, cardiology, psychology, psychiatry....you name it!!

    Hope you can get some better treatment London way. Take care and talk soon.
     
  16. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi and welcome

    i too am sorry that you had to find us. yet you got some great advice from the other's and i know it can be so very hard and challenging yet it sounds as if you are doing alot on your end for your son.

    canda's a beautiful place i took my difficult child's there once yet i can see your point regarding doctor's and support there its rough.

    welcome again :)
     
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi JD, welcome.
    So sorry your son was mislabeled and you had to go through all that medication stuff. I have my fingers crossed that with-your diligence you will find a better medication and better intervention so that he can learn to help himself. It is not at all easy. January is a long way off when you're dealing with-those issues.
    Is he able to get any schoolwork done?
     
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