Advice for a 12 year old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Father of four, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Father of four

    Father of four New Member

    I have a 12 year old son that has been struggling with mood disorders and depression. He has trouble staying in school without "melt downs". Last year I was called to the school often to try to calm him down. He is on medications and has now started out this school year in a similar way. He has not been diagnosed with anything as of yet but they are leaning toward bi-polar. Any experiences or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board.

    I totally suggest taking him to a neuropsychologist for a complete evaluation so you know what you really are dealing with. While nothing is 100% accurate, since there are no blood tests, there are tests that NeuroPsychs do that can indicate certain disorders/problems/deficits/strengths/things to build on. My son had ten hours of testing and finally got the right diagnosis from a neuropsychologist. Many of us are very happy with their method of evaluation, which is different than a pediatrician (they usually don't know), school (ditto), therapists (not really trained to diagnose), and in my case and opinion even psychiatrists don't usually test enough. I have psychiatric disorders myself and have seen ALL types of professionals and this is my opinion on how to best figure out what is going on.

    If you want to help us help you more, we need to know more. How was this child's early development as far as eye contact, speech, cuddling, ability to relate to strangers and same age peers (this is as he grew), motor skills, school performance? Can he transition from one activity to another without a meltdown? How is his ability to hold a give-and-talk conversation?

    Are there any psychiatric disorders, either diagnosed or suspected, on either side of his genetic family tree? Any substance abuse, which often points to somebody who has an undiagnosed mood disorder? Any autism in the family? Aspergers?

    Others will come along. You may want to do a signature like I did below. It will help us remember you.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Heck, I just got off the phone with my son's teacher and he has another meltdown. I'll try and post some suggestions later but for now, know you are not alone.
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I can also reassure you that, as an adult who had my neuro-psychiatric testing done in my early forties, that it is basically a combination of testing, observation, and interviews.

    It takes a lot of time, but is not horrible to go through. My testing was done in one dayeight hours and was conducted by a team of specialists.

    With younger children they break up the testing into shorter segments to make it easier on the kids.

    Not only did the testing finally confirm my autism spectrum disorder, but it showed a couple of learning disabilities that could have been helped by today's interventions had I been a child.

    It also finally showed that my suspected ADHD was actually anxiety and probable bipolar disorder.

    I just wish that something like this had been available fifty years ago.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Does he have a 504 Plan or an IEP in place at school? He will certainly need more supports than the typical student and these "agreement" documents will help ensure that he gets what he needs.

    It can take a long time and several medication trials to finally find the right combination that addresses most of the symptoms. Even then, your child might need therapy, social skills training, or some other kind of psycho/social support.

    Until you know just where his deficits lie and what the cause is, it will be much harder developing a plan for how to help. MWM's advice for the neuropsychologist evaluation is a good way to identify just what's going on. Most medical insurance plans cover this type of assessment. You can also request that the school conduct an evaluation if that has not already been done. While their tests will most likely NOT be as comprehensive as a private evaluator's, it will at least get their attention and involvement in identifying where your son needs help.

    Good luck! It takes time, but you can get there.