8 yo, adhd/dmdd/odd, and only getting worse.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AlanaGW, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. AlanaGW

    AlanaGW New Member

    So I just found this place today, I'm so glad that I did, so I figured I'd just jump right in and post because as much as I appreciate my friends offering their support I just want someone who can relate and goes through this struggle with me. So to start out, my son has had issues with defiance and hyperactivity since he started preschool. In preschool he was screened for an iep and had one for that year until he improved. Around that time he was living with his dad but I had him regularly so he had consistency. He was a little more violent towards others then, where he had at one point stabbed my youngest in both hands with a nail file when he was just learning how to pull himself up because he didn't want him touching the toys he had on the coffee table. About 2 weeks after his 5th birthday his dad committed suicide and the responsibility was then all mine and I feel like I am failing miserably. The Summer after he turned 5 he had given two children at his day care bloody noses within 15 minutes of eachother and the next day he pushed a kid down the stairs and almost broke another kid's leg. I had no one to turn to then and basically got the blame that "I need to learn how to discipline my child." His kindergarten year was a little rough but he got through it with minimal problems. His 1st grade year he did get suspended quite a bit for violent outbursts in the classroom, failure to participate, elopement, etc. He started seeing a therapist and got in to an after school group therapy program which seemed to help a little. At one point we tried medication but the side effects caused him to start threatening suicide, and what 7 year talks about killing them self? We are now in his 2nd grade year and he's 8. He sees his therapist once a week, we have family therapy twice a month, he is in a special connections classroom that focuses on behavior and coping skills, his school days are abbreviated so at 2pm he gets picked up and taken to group therapy, he also has a case manager that he sees once a week. Recently his behaviors have started escalating again to the point that his classroom at group therapy has to be evacuated for their safety and at school he has to be removed from the classroom and put in a deescalation room and a notice for safety intervention must be sent home and it's considered a form of restraint. I'm starting to get really discouraged by everything that is happening to him. He has to be in control all the time, but it's just not possible and it's a big issue. Friday we have an appointment at the medication clinic where his therapist, case manager, and school have provided all sorts of documentation to help get him on the best medication for him. I guess I'm just wondering, will it work? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? I'm getting so frustrated but have been doing my very best to stay calm and patient with him while we figure this out. He does not like himself and I don't like having thoughts that I just don't like him either. He's my first and I feel like I really screwed him up. I just want to know, is there hope? Will we make progress? Or is his future bleak? And what have others done in this situation that have seen a major turn around? Our main goal is to get him back in to a regular classroom setting. Thanks for reading this long post and for the help!
  2. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    You won't be sorry you posted here. This is a wonderful community and you will find much support.

    Your son has gone through a lot in his short life with the suicide of his father. I hope you are getting help as well. Whether you and his dad were together at the time of his death or not, this is bound to affect you very deeply.

    Medications are a mixed bag with one so young. They often don't have the same effect on children as they would on an adult, and some have terrible side effects such as causing suicidal thoughts and feelings.

    At the same time, from what you describe your son's behavior is far beyond what a typical school, or family setting, can handle. If medication can be found that stabilizes him that would be wonderful, but if he were my child I would be preparing for the possibility that he cannot be safely managed at home. He may require a therapeutic boarding school for his safety as well as your own, not to mention his classmates and teachers.

    It sounds like you have a strong support network at his school and also therapists helping you. I would speak to them about your concerns for the severity of his behavior. It sounds like he will grow more dangerous as he gets bigger and stronger. He will grow to a point where he will refuse to take his medication - this happened in our family. Be prepared and be proactive. It is the most loving approach to take as painful as it is.

    Keep us posted and good luck.
  3. AlanaGW

    AlanaGW New Member

    Thank you! I would like to add his teachers have noted a decrease in violence towards others. He takes out his anger on objects and himself now. He becomes a danger when he starts throwing things, but he does not actually physically attack people anymore. For that, I am proud and relieved, but he still doesn't understand that in an act of rage some times others can get caught in the crossfire. He has a very hard time with accountability too. He's grounded "because I grounded him" not because he got sent home from a school that doesn't even do suspensions anymore. He lost recess one day "because his teacher made him sit out" and not because he refused to do his work during class time. Those are a few examples.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have you ever had him completely evaluated by either a university group of diagnostic ptofessionals or a neuro psycholigist (this is not a neuroligist).

    So far nothing has worked. If this were my son I would be focusing on seeing if he has any treatable disorders that are being treated the wrong way, such as a form of autism. There are many childhood disorders. medications dont help all of them.

    Are there any psychiatric or neurological problems on your childs DNA tree, including Dad. He is 50% both of your DNA. This is not your fault or a parenting problem. Dont feel guilty. Please evaluate him though.

  5. AlanaGW

    AlanaGW New Member

    I don't even know where to begin there! We live in a small town in Kansas, and as I'm writing this is home with hI'm because he just got suspended from his after school program for having to be restrained because he was trying to strangle himself with his shirt. Is now a good time to call the emergency hot line?
  6. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Alana.

    Ferb started talking about suicide at age 8, long before his father died by suicide or even went nuts. You've already made progress in that his violence against others has decreased. I agree with SWOT's idea of an evaluation. No one can give you a guarantee that medication will work, but what if it helps him to function well enough to learn? Wouldn't that be a worthwhile goal?

    I'm very sorry that your son experienced the loss of his father through suicide. I think that makes it harder for a kid to understand. You may want to read a book called You Are Not Alone by Lynne Hughes. My kids and I read it and talked about how they were feeling about the loss of their father. In my opinion, little boys don't like to feel hurt, so instead they get angry: deep seated, rage at the world. It makes it difficult for them to function.

    Please don't blame your son's behavior on yourself. You can continue to try different things to help him, but his behavior is not your fault. He's his own little person, and we as parents can't control them. We can keep trying to encourage the good behavior and discourage the bad.

    Is he on medication now?
  7. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Has he calmed down any? I don't like that he is actively attempting to hurt himself. Can you distract him with something that he enjoys doing?

    I found a hotline for parents 1-800-448-1833. It's called CEDARS and they claim to be able to help with suicide of children, anger and parenting issues.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  8. AlanaGW

    AlanaGW New Member

    He's calm and sitting in his room. His medication appointment is Friday, it's just getting there that has become the struggle, and then the what if's considering the last time the medication made him worse. His group leaders have suggested again to call the after hours emergency hot line and possible hospitalization. This is insane, because he's never escalated this quickly and this school year had been rather uneventful until now. He's giving in to himself and I have no idea what to do next when he doesn't escalate this bad at home.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is he newly on a stimulant? Adderrall made my calm autistic son nuts. Stimulants are not good for all kids. They can make things worse very quickly if the child is not able to tolerate it.

    I had to travel a good distance yo have my son evaluated, but it was well worth it in the long run. I tend to favor neuro psychologists from university hospitals. We are in a small town too.

    If you think he really wants to hurt himself, do take him to ER!
  10. raraavis

    raraavis New Member

    I am so sorry you are going through this. No parent should ever be in this situation. I know all too well how it feels. I live this life. My son is almost 6 and still directing his anger towards others, but I am sure it will come a time when he will try to hurt himself. His behavior is a reflection of how he feels inside.
    It is so frustrating as a parent to have to see your child struggling like this and not be able to help much. I would consider medications at this point. However, he needs to have an accurate diagnosis first because if he gets put on an antidepressant and in reality he has a mood disorder, the antidepressant can throw him into mania. Try to get in with a good psychiatrist. Stay strong!
  11. JRC

    JRC Active Member

    I don't have much to add that the other women haven't said already, but I wanted to say I'm glad you found us. ((hugs)).
  12. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Alana, if he isn't on any medication that would be the culprit for this escalation in his behavior, then he probably does need to try a medication in order to help him control his behavior.

    I was thinking along the lines of SWOT yesterday. Adderall, anti-depressants, and other medications can cause weird behavior in adults, much less children. By any chance is your son taking albuterol for asthma? I watched a lot of kids totally lose control while taking albuterol. There is a different medication for asthma called xopenex which does not have the same over-stimulating effect on people. My mother (who is 80) hallucinates when she takes antibiotics. She knows this is what is happening, but imagine how that may feel if you were a small child and it were happening.

    It's okay to offer a bribe for going to the appointment. I know I offered Ferb one to participate in his evaluation. I can't remember what it was, but it was substantial. "Mommy needs you to go to an appointment with a doctor. This doctor will help you to feel better. You won't need to get a shot. Mostly he will talk to you and ask you questions. If you go and tell the truth I will take you to the zoo on Saturday."

    Good work, Mom, for getting him calmed down. :bravo:
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  13. AlanaGW

    AlanaGW New Member

    Thank you every one for your replies! He is currently not on any medication at all right now, occasionally he'll take vitamins in the morning but we ran out a while back and I hadn't gotten more because of articles I've read stating your body doesn't even absorb them. We've been working on him solely by intervention and redirection tactics I guess. Lot's and lot's of therapy and support. I would like to mention, his behavior started to escalate more rapidly after our last family therapy appointment, where I finally had to reveal to him how his father passed away and what suicide meant. I could tell he couldn't process it, but since then he has been more self harming and his own suicide threats and self harm attempts seem to have escalated. He doesn't talk about his dad and that's a hard topic for him to participate in. His father was never formally diagnosed with a mood disorder because he refused to get help so that makes it harder to pin point what is causing my son's mental health to decline but we all agree it has to be a least a little bit based on genetics. I had depression in high school but took my medication and shortly after didn't really need it anymore. I spoke with his therapist last night about possible emergency intervention and hospitalization. We both agreed, that with all the documentation sent to the medication therapist they will have a bit of a handle on what they think he needs and we're going to give it a try. If he continues to self harm and escalate to physical violence after that hospitalization is our next option. It's hard, because he's calm at home, and I just know with how his mind works he's going to see it as we're abandoning him if it comes to that. But, we'll address how to sit down and talk with him about it if the time comes. I'm so sad that it has gotten this bad.
  14. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Sorry for all of this, but Hope I believe is your next step, it seems you have a team on your side.
  15. AlanaGW

    AlanaGW New Member

    I always have hope! It's just when I get the call that my son is throwing chairs and being a danger enough that is classroom has to be evacuated, that's when I'm bawling my eyes out while leaving work screaming to myself "he's never going to get better!" I'm pretty low in those moments, but once I get him home and we have the calm after the storm that the hope comes back and I really believe this has got to be the worst it's going to get and we will figure it out together.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is he okay at home??? I am thinking of the often missed autistic spectrum disorder where people freak put in high stimuli areas. And some REALLY freak out. Does he ever cover his ears? Not like certain fabrics or food texxtures, talk late, potty late, have no idea how to socialize? Get too close to people or seem afraid or disinterested in socializimg? Obsess over one thing rather than having a variety of interests? Act "strange" or do repetitive things like lip smacking or hand flapping? Scream ehen needing to transotion?

    My son did not act out like yours, but he was "different" and misdiagned from ADHD to childhood bipolar and sadly put on tons of strong medications that all didnt change anything.

    At 11 he was diagnosed with high functioning autism. He saw a neuro psychologist for ten hours of evaluation for EVERYTHING. Your son needs that sort of evaluation, not us on the forum as much as we want to help, not just a school counselor talking to him or even a private therapist. They dont have the training or education to nail down what is wrong with our hard to figure out kiddos. You need more.

    My son is 23, out on his own now and doing great. Without the right diagnosis, he would not have received the proper supports and would not have gotten to where he is at. The right diagnosis is important. The wrong supports and/or wrong medications can do damage, even if the helpers have good intentions. In a way, its like trying to fix a car that is not running well, but nobody knows what is wrong with it. Your son is a person, not a car, but it is not so different. You cant make "it" better if you are not sure what is causing "it." Your son needs a fresh pair of very experienced eyes. Even if he wont coopetate, a neuro psychiatric will observe his behavior. They are taught what to look for during observation.

    Your sons behaviors are very severe. I say this with much compassion. He needs the right help. You cant do it alone and he cant stop himself. The help he has been getting has not changed anything for better. Move on. Dont quit. Try a different type of diagnostician. A neuro psychologist is a psychologist with extra training in the brain. I would find one at a major medical center or a university clinic. Many take Medicaid, if that is what he has.

    I wish you all the best. He could have a treatable problem that has just been misdiagnosed. This happens a lot! If one intervention isnt working its time to find somebody new. I did this often. It was tiring but it paid off.

    Please take care. You matter too. Look into respite. Call Human Services for that! Respite is for YOU. You count very much.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  17. AlanaGW

    AlanaGW New Member

    He reached all developmental milestones on time, he doesn't have any issues with fabrics or food textures, he actually potty trained himself at 2 years old. He's been "accused" by an outside spectator that doesn't know him of being autistic, but between his doctor and therapist he doesn't show any signs. I checked symptoms thinking maybe aspergers but he doesn't fit in the spectrum anywhere. He just seems to have the mood disorder. ODD practically describes him to a T. I feel like everything I've read about it was written specifically for my child.
  18. Overit

    Overit New Member

    Hi Alana, I am currently going through a stage with my 10yr old daughter which sounds a little like yours. She was kicked out of a few preschools due to restless behaviour, one of the preschools had told me to get her head checked which made me quite angry because it only seemed to happen to a certain quiet teacher which I'd say couldn't cope with her behaviour. I pulled her out as she was no longer welcome then tried home daycare of only 5 kids but they couldn't handle her either. I couldn't get much evaluation done because of her age telling me she just wasn't disciplined at home which also broke me down a bit. I had left a very violent relationship with her father at 4yrs old expecting a lot of her behaviour was steming from life at home. Eventually I found 1preschool that was great and at one stage told me she seemed to be high end spectrum autistic. She ended up going to school at 6 and then the troubles escalated. She locked kids into the classroom, pushed the teacher over trying to get out the door, left the school grounds unannounced a couple of times and headed home, the school asked me to get her evaluated as councelling wasn't helping, she eventually was diagnosed adhd, odd, add and had a problem with authority figures. Her medication seems to work well with keeping it together at school although she has social problems still and is hard to manage. A month ago she created a huge drama at home threatening suicide and getting angry then back flipping into depression, breaking into the teachers computer etc etc etc, I ended up at school with an interview with teacher, councellor, and principle as the school is great and really want to help which I'm so happy for. By the end of our conversation, I have been asked to eveluate her for high spectrum autism which I am in the process of doing now, I'm not sure if this is my answer but I'm going to check it out anyway. It hurts to see our kids sad and unliked by their peers and sometimes family members because they are different and disruptive, in my case my daughter will only eat bland food with not much taste like pasta and cheese which she would eat everyday if u let her, she does obsess over video games, Pokemon and other things that she takes a liking to but only for a period of time. I'm not sure if it's autism but I hopefully will find out soon. I haven't given you any answers but want you to feel that your not alone and yes it does scare me whether there is enough time to figure it out before they hit teenage years. I also searched alot of things wondering if she fit into asperges, bipolar, autism, schizophrenia but I didn't think she fit exactly into these descriptions but maybe in wrong so I'm going for it anyway. All I really want is to understand why she Behaves like she does so I might be able to guide her better, good luck in your venture :)
  19. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    One thing that stuck out for me was that this child is your first and you feel like you've done something wrong. Nope, nope, noppity nope, don't even go there. My daughter has two children: one is the reason I'm on this forum and has many issues that are similar to your son's. His sister is a dream. Same parents, same schools, same daily life but completely different. Parented the same, faced the same issues with a messy divorce between their parents and yet their reactions were totally different. It sounds like you're on top of what needs to be done, and it sounds like there might be some genetics at play. My grandson is the spitting image of his father, and has the same personality. It's would be funny if it wasn't. His father is an extremely difficult person and his parents didn't know what to do for him, so he didn't get the help he needed when he needed it. My grandson couldn't do a whole day at school until he was in the first grade. He just had too many meltdowns, aggressions, etc. It's better now in many ways. Years of drug therapy (always a crap shoot with this little people), talk and play therapy, finally at a school that "gets" him, us changing how we deal with him at home by studying books (Explosive Child, What Your Angry Child is Trying to Tell You, etc.). Our grandson is a bright, sensitive, caring, sweet kid, except when he isn't. And when he isn't: look out!
  20. Melz

    Melz New Member

    You are exactly right. Get evaluation and a diagnosis. Medication may be needed. However, recognizing that there are triggers to your son’s distress that is causing this behavior is key. My grandson’s dad is out of the picture which brought on the noticeable onset of the behavior. He has been diagnosed with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder.
    I ordered this book to help our family cope that was suggested reading:

    Dr. Ross Greene, “The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated Chronically Inflexible Children,”. I look forward to reading it as it seems to hit the heart of the matter.

    One more recommended to me to read for boys without a dad in the picture is

    Warren Farrell PhD
    The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It

    I ordered that one too in order to get a little more insight. I hope evaluation and learning will assist you with your son.