Please Help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Southern child, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Southern child

    Southern child New Member

    My 5 year old son had ODD, mood disorder and ADHD. His behavior at school is horrible, rolling on floor, kicking, yelling, hiding under tables, telling the teacher he hates her, the and school.

    He takes Abilify and Stratera. He is very good at home and plays nicely with the 6 year old neighbor boy.

    How to handle his behavior at school is putting a huge strain on my relationship.

    Please anyone have any advise????
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi Southern child. Wlecome to our forum--I'm glad you found us.

    I have a few questions:
    What type of specialist(s) diagnosed your child and how much time did each specialist spend with him and you before making the diagnosis?

    Have any adjustments to the medications been made along the way?

    Does he have an IEP at school?
  3. Southern child

    Southern child New Member

    He was diagnosed by the child psychiatrist. He sees him like once a month for medication evaluation, the first visit was about a half an hour long. The therapist for the program T-BOSS(therapeutic behavioral something,something...) sees my difficult child for one hour twice a week at school and once a month at home and then she reports back to the doctor and they all go over everyone's case in what they call "staffing" meetings.

    As far as medications go, we tried to increase his abilify, let me start by saying 7 months ago when we first introduced abilify it was like a magic drug, he was the most lovable sweet and cooperative child ever. Now we are back at square one again. Anyway, when we increased the abilify his aggression got worse so we backed down to 5mg again. He has tried him on addiroll, made him cry constantly and another ADHD medication I forgot the name but it made his symptoms worse, we even tried tenex, saw no change with that. I really dont see any change with the strattera either.

    Do you have any experience with depakote?? I wonder if he has bi-polar? And why does he only act up at school? I don't know what an IEP at school is, so I guess he does not have one.

    Any suggestions?????
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    It's not uncommon for kids to act up just at school or just at home. What is important is to make sure that there isn't something going on in the school environment that isn't a good match for him. It's also important to look at other areas that the child psychiatrist might not have dug into. For example, a child who is overly sensitive to sensory stimulus can find school an absolute nightmare due to the noise, commotion, action, etc. Behavioral problems, increased physical activity, refusal to do work, etc could be some of the outcomes. I'm not saying that your child is responding in this particular way but I do think it's important to have other specialists besides a child psychiatrist assess in their areas of expertise.

    Personally I wouldn't stop with a child psychiatrist. We've seen too many partial diagnoses done when parents only go that route. Often it's a pretty short assessment and then quickly onto medications. That's fine if the child's only issues are treatable by medications but often that isn't the case.

    An IEP is an Individualized Educational Plan and it's through the special education department. Traditionally people think of it as being for kids with learning problems but it's far bigger than that--kids with health problems, behavioral problems, speech delay, anxiety, etc all fall under this umbrella. If he's having a lot of trouble at school it would be a good idea to get that ball rolling.

    Hopefully someone with more expertise in medications will pop in here to answer the medications question.
  5. Southern child

    Southern child New Member

    Thank you for the advise and the explanation of IEP. I have a meeting with the school this week and will inquire about the plan. Do you know if his diagnosis qualify him for an IEP?
  6. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I hope you are still checking this thread...Yes, I do think your difficult child's diagnosis's should qualify him for an IEP. You might have to fight with the school district a bit, but do some reading, educate yourself, and go in with confidence. I would guess that with a mood disorder diagnosis, you son should qualify for an IEP under the "Other Health Impairment" (OHI) category. Most SDs do not like to give IEPs for ADHD (because that would be just too many kids, according to our school psychiatric).

    Your son is entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment. To that end, it seems appropriate to advocate for a one-on-one aide for your son (my difficult child has one and we LOVE her) to help him succeed in a mainstream classroom.

    There is a book from Nolo Press that is a good for preparing for dealing with the school: "Nolo's IEP Guide." I think it is available from Amazon.

    Good luck and let us know how your meeting goes.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I may have responded on another thread on General, but how long has he been on Strattera and at what dose? Strattera is known to cause irritability and anger in children and is only about 40 percent effective for ADHD symptoms. Furthermore, I would forget about ADHD until you get his mood issues under control. The Abilify may no longer be working because the Strattera is having bad side effects. Can you talk to the psychiatrist about weaning from Strattera?
  8. Southern child

    Southern child New Member

    Actually he has been on straterra for only 2 months, it seems to help with his concentration when his moods are controlled. I really have not seen any increase in the outbursts since he started the straterra.

    As far as school goes, we got no where with the meeting. They are going to "document his behavior" in prep for an IEP, but apparently it takes a long time and a lot of testing.

    His psychiatrist thinks it might be a good idea to get him a neuro-psychiatric evaluation at the Dan Marino Institute in Miami. He also feels he might not be able to attend regular school. His outburst are becoming a safety issue. He tries to run out of the class and hits and kicks other students and the teacher. He also has started to use bad langauge. I have no Idea where he learned the "F" word. We never swear in the home.

    Everyday has been a bad day and I have had to give him consequances for his behavior at school. I say again, I do not have any trouble with him at home. WHY?????? He has been removed from the classroom everyday this week and brought home a referral.

    I spoke with the VP at the school today. I asked who is liable if he hurts himself or some one else? OH OH I got, I will speak to the school psychologist. I was told we dont have special classes here except for autism and emotional. Well where does mu difficult child fit in???

    I'm so frustrated and angry, please some one help me with some answers for this child....
  9. jal

    jal Member

    Hi Southern Child,

    Just so you know, if feel your frustration and anger. I have been there done that with my difficult child too. My difficult child's problems started around 2 and got him kicked out of 4 daycares and caused me to lose my job of almost 10 years. We have been through countless psychiatrists and medication trials. In kindergarten we put an IEP into place. He had a para, movement breaks, behavior motivators, etc. By the beginning of first grade it was clear we had to move our difficult child out of district to a small class environment that also supports therapeutic interventions. Although it was a heartbreaking decision a lot of good has come from it. Our difficult child was also a flight risk (running from class/daycare), threw chairs in class etc. He is very smart and has no learning disabilities, but his behavior took away from his ability to learn. His world has opened up there and he excels in math and his reading has taken off. He still participates in sports with-kids he should be in school with and had his first successful 3 week stint at camp this summer. So things can get better!

    First off, I suggest that you put your request for an evaluation in writing and send it certified mail to your Director of Pupil Services for your school district. This will get the IEP ball rolling. Check your schools website. I know ours had a pdf of the request for evaluation form. Once received the clock starts ticking and the school has to respond under federal law within 60 calendar days from the day you give your consent for an evaluation.

    Do not sit back and let them document with-o doing the form. If they do not have the form they can drag their feet. IEP's can cost money (testing, specialists, etc.) so there may be times that you have to gear up to fight for what your child needs.

    I would also go forward with having your child tested by an independant neuropsychologist. They can many times pick up things that other specialists miss.

    My son too took Abilify. What we found with-him was that anytime we tried to increase above 5mg he would have a bad reaction to it.

    As I mentioned we went throught countless medication trials from the time difficult child was 4. He's only 7 now too. Nothing worked. We had been told he was bipolar too. (It's on my husband's side - his mom and his aunt). We trialed depakote, lithium, abilify ( I could go on). He isn't bipolar. He has been diagnosis'd as ADHD/ADD combined type with mood disorder not otherwise specified. Yet not one single ADHD medication works for the poor thing (and we trialed them all). What was the biggest help in medications for him was actually Prozac. (I am by no means suggesting this for your difficult child-I am not a doctor-just responding since you asked about depakote).

    With kids like ours a lot will be trial and error. Be it medications or interventions.

    Good luck to you.