What to Make of Recent Meltdown

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ML, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    I wanted to share a little bit about last night's meltdown.

    Manster was highly sensitive and easily frustrated for a good part of the day and it cumulated into this meltdown. We had his friend over, they seemed to have a good time. He was a bit hyper but otherwise in decent spirits. When we came back from dropping his friend home it was about 9. I threw him down his pj shorts and they (barely) hit husband (his stepdad) and manster insisted on having different ones. He wouldn't wear the ones that touched husband. Of course husband thinks it's just behavioral but I feel that there is a sensory/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) quality to this. husband is getting short tempered as manster's mood escalates to a full on meltdown. He insisted I clean off the laptop before he played his games because husband had been on it all day. All of a sudden I have this little boy, tears streaming down his face, crying that everyone was against him; I never take his side; he hates his life; wishes he was dead, should kill himself etc. He even started hitting his head. This is really scary because I'm really not sure what caused this. Except he did wake up coughing and not feeling good. Maybe a sinus infection which he gets about 2x a year due to his chronic allergies.

    Does this all sound like it's part of AS? I'm wondering if the Tenex isn't working or that maybe I should consider a ms?

    I see psychiatrist next week so I'll sure run it by her but wanted to get any thoughts you all may have.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has he been evaluated? Could be Aspergers (the sensory stuff and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) stuff definitely), but often Aspies have two diagnosis...more than one thing going on. No medication will change an Aspie. medications are given to SOME to help some of the symptoms but Tenex is, at best, a very mild drug allegedly for ADHD. Our psychiatric doesn't use it, he doesn't think it's helpful. Is your son in school/community interventions? Do not expects medication to "fix" your son. Is he moody or just different? My AS son was on heavy mood stabilizers...he didn't really need them.
    I think hub needs to chill out and learn about sensory issues...or keep his mouth shut. I don't believe it's behavioral. If my hub even started...he'd be sorry :)
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks MWM.

    I'm not looking for anything to "fix" him, I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I'm just wondering if what I describe could be more than *just* AS. These meltdowns are related to frustration tolerance. I'm not sure if anything out there can help really. But to get as upset as he got last night and not know what caused it except maybe he was tired and getting sick scares the he(( out of me.

    Are these "episodes/incidents/meltdowns" something that would move any of you towards medicating? Alternatives? If so, which ones?

    Again, I do have an apt on Wed so we'll say what the psychiatrist says.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    oh, sorry I didn't answer all questions, MWM. Yes he was evaluated but I'm sure it was wrong at this point. I'm working with psychiatrist to pin down a more accurate diagnosis but she thinks AS is possible despite the evaluation at the clinic 2 years ago saying ADHD and three kinds of anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), separation, social). Now I can see it more clearly then 2 years ago.

    No extra services beyond 504 and some awesome teachers we've been lucky to have.

    There is BiPolar (BP) 2 on one side of the family and adhd and addiction issues on the other. Sadly, genetics have not given him much of a chance.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hi, whenever one of my kids is coming down with something or is indeed sick, I don't judge behaviors for diagnostic or medication purposes but instead attribute them to illness. The only way you can truly know if the behaviors are "off" is observing them when the child is well and in his own environment (home, neighborhood, school, after care, etc).

    Having said that, my youngest daughter M exhibits the same kind of frequent meltdowns related to frustration intolerance. She has recently had a neuropsychological evaluation, and her diagnosis is severe anxiety (with "stuck" thinking and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) tendencies), ADHD, executive function disorder and mood dysregulation. This should not come as a huge surprise since her siblings have similar dxes. M does not have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    We are medicating her anxiety because it became life-threatening 2 summers ago when she developed a choking phobia and refused to eat. Zyprexa has helped her eating issues, but she was still anxious so Prozac was added. She became giddy, disinhibited and explosive on Prozac so it was discontinued and Remeron, an older AD, was started. It has helped, but M is still having meltdowns. Her psychiatrist wants to raise her Remeron dose after she talks with M on Wednesday. If this doesn't work, we will be considering a mood stabilizer.

    It is my understanding that Tenex does not help anxiety at all. It can help with attentional difficulties. But the side-effect profile includes irritability, fatigue, confusion at higher doses and rarely agitation. Because its cousin Clonidine can cause mood swings in children with BiPolar (BP), there is speculation that Tenex can as well.

    You should also be aware that kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can have emotional dysregulation as part of their symptom complex. Since dxes became clearer as children age, I'd strongly recommend another diagnostic evaluation (with a neuropsychologist, a multidisciplinary team or a developmental pediatrician) to see if you can nail down whether your difficult child has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or not. It would be extremely important to know for all facets of his treatment -- therapy (like Occupational Therapist (OT) or speech), school interventions, social skills and medications if necessary.

    Hang in there.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sorry too.
    I would take him to a NeuroPsychologist for a complete evaluation. If he's an Aspie, the best avenues for him are school and community interventions. medications are sometimes also used for the anxiety, although often after interventions the anxiety gets better on it's own. If he has a co-morbid problem, that can also be found by a neuropsychologist. My son had been diagnosed with a mood problem, but the neuropsychologist didn't see it. I never had either. Yet medications were thrown at him and they didn't really do much other than cognitively dull him and sedate him. But not every kid is MY son.
    I would seriously look into a new evaluation. I have bipolar and I NEED medications to stay stable. There is no doubt about it. Asperger's kids are born different, but are not mentally ill. If that's his main problem, the treatment would be way different. I do think it's very helpful to know the devil you are dealing with. For any sort of AS many times Psychiatrists just miss the boat. Many don't know much about Aspergers and chalk the behavior up to things they are more familiar with, such as ADHD or bipolar. I'm very biased toward NeuroPsychs. That is what saved my son from a life of being misdiagnosed and misunderstood. He is still different, but we understand why now. And, yes, Aspies can melt down badly if things are "changed" or "touched" or if their sensory issues are picqued. They really do need a different type of parenting and a different type of help! Good luck.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Manster's meltdown sounds like AS to me. I do agree that a neuropsychologist evaluation will help to unlock some of the mysteries.

    I also want to add in a little Aspie perspective...

    When I'm feeling "off" (very hungry, or tired, or spun out after an unusually active day, or too much sensory input, etc.) then little things will set me off that I would normally be able to deal with.

    If there's something about the way in which your husband leaves the computer that seems askew to your Manster, then after an exciting day with his friend, the computer might need to be "reset" (cleaned, straightened, rebooted...whatever it is) before he can feel comfortable using it. Same thing with the PJ bottoms.

    It's difficult to pinpoint what it is, but it just doesn't feel right.

    An example:
    husband folds the laundry. I will re-fold it because he does the shirts differently than I do. There's nothing inherently wrong with the way he does them. I just can't handle having shirts folded that way. (I also "fix" all the paper towel and toilet paper rolls, line up the shoes, etc.)

    It took me years before I was able to understand or articulate any of this. At 9, Manster may not really have a handle on what's going on inside his head. He just knows it's not "right" and he knows what has to be done to "fix" it. There are definitely Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) elements to all of this.

    I hope some of this helps...

  8. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you so much I am soo grateful for your posts. I definitely think I need another evaluation and will begin by asking Ms. psychiatrist on Wed her thoughts. I really do need a diagnosis that fits, even if it's more than one. It would be one thing if everything was on the mental illness side but when we're talking neuro vs. brain chemicals it does matter whether the letters are. Again, thank you both oxoxoxo
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sorry I missed all this, but you've gotten some great ideas. I agree with-the last few notes, that a diff kind of parenting is needed. When your kid is crying and thinks everyone is against him, won't touch his own clothes and needs the keyboard cleaned, there's something else going on. {{hugs}}
  10. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks Terry. So you think it sounds like more going on than AS? I appreciate your perspective. I know you have your hands full right now and especially appreicate that you made time to respond to me :)
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It certinaly sounds like there is a lot going on. I would not say it is behavioral. i think your husband needs to get on board or stay out of htings - traditional parenting is a recipe for disaster with our kids. I am NOT saying he is a bad person or bad parent - just that he does not understand and really NEEDS to in order to help the family.

    Manster (love the nickname by the way) sounds like he has some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in there. also many sensory issues. I would look for a private Occupational Therapist (OT) to do a thorough sensory integration evaluation. The school does have OTs and will evaluate - but they ONLY evaluate for what they think will impact his education. School OTs do NOT evaluate for what will impact life separate from school. in my opinion they miss a LOT. our first school Occupational Therapist (OT) told me that thank you didn't have any sensory issues. WRONG!!! He has them in every group they test for (for each sense). It was having a HUGE impact on school.

    We use brushing therapy. You have to learn it from an Occupational Therapist (OT), but it does AMAZING things. It uses a gentle brush like a surgical scrub brush and you have a certain pattern in which you brush each area. Some areas are NEVER brushed because it can cause real problems. With thank you we have a much happier, calmer child who has a lot more fun and copes better. It seemed like magic the first couple of weeks. he even feels more confident - we don't hear him say he hates himself anymore. He is only on medications for his asthma, so improvement is solely due to the brushing.

    Aspies are diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) when the obsessions and compulsions (such as not being able to wear shorts after tehy tough husband or use hte keyboard after husband uses it) are significant enough to hamper daily life. some of this is just part of Aspergers. But when it goes to an extreme, tehn it can be helpful to add medications. Usually SSRIs are used. They don't have great luck in kids though. many go very manic on them - even those who do NOT have bipolar. Jess was high as a kite when we trialed prozac and zoloft to help with the PTSD. It wasn't fun at all.

    I think it is time to push for more testing - and include the Occupational Therapist (OT) testing. it might be helpful to find the OTs your insurance will cover and take that to the psychiatrist. I often call the specialist office before going for a referral - I ask if referrals are needed and how long it will take to get in for the evaluation. That way we can be seen as soon as possible.

    Sorry all this is going on. Please give your husband a copy of the Explosive Child or Love and Logic parenting (whichever you prefer) and ask him to read it. Or talk to him about hte various things in the book - some of our dads here have a hard time with the various books. My husband refused a lot of the concepts until I bought a copy of the Love and Logic book. It really made sense to him, far more than any other book we used. L&L also has audiobooks and a great website ( www.loveandlogic.com). Listen/read as much as possible on the site - even the stuff for teachers can be helpful at home.
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Poor little guy...

    Agree with the others that husband either needs to get on the train or off it...but good luck with that. I have a husband, too, i know how those things go sometimes. lol

    In my completely non-expert opinion, this does sound Aspie to me, but trust your gut - mommy guts are the bomb. in my humble opinion, mommy guts KNOW and if yours is saying there's more to this puzzle? Well, trust it.
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Poor kid!

    Sorry I missed this post earlier. I don't have much advice or expertise in the AS department, but sending my support...XOX
  14. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i know i'm sooo late to this!!! ok to share my own thoughts and experiences with my difficult child is the only way i know how to do it. my difficult child has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), among a bunch of other things, and severe anxiety disorder as well. so i think it's a combo to be honest, the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can start it the cleaning of stuff not wanting to touch other people, etc. then kick in the anxiety then finish it off with some just basic bad kid behavior. sounds a bit off i'm sure. yet i watch my difficult child at times, she won't use other's plates, etc. to just name one Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) trait, yet she too will lose it at times.

    when this happens and i know how hard it is i'm sorry. what do you do?

    Jen ((( hugs)))