at our wits end

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ccbeall1, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. ccbeall1

    ccbeall1 New Member

    Hello....I am hoping someone may have had a similar experience and can share their thoughts with us.

    Our son is 8-1/2 yrs old. He was born my nephew to my sister who is Bi Polar/Manic Depressive. During her pregnancy, she received no pre-natal care, used alcohol and crack, and delivered him 3 weeks early due to placenta previa. I have had "Jbug" since he was 2 mos old. He was born while she was incarcerated. At that time he was to be put up for adoption and I was picking his parents as I didn't think I could take on an infant when the youngest of my 4 kids was 8. Circumstances changed and we took him in when she decided not to adopt him out. It was supposed to be short term until a long care facility came to pick him up but after 2 days we couldn't let him leave. We have since officially adopted him and at this time he doesn't know that. Not sure if you need that much background but thought it may give you some background!

    During Kindergarten, the private school he was attending felt he needed ADD/ADHD medications. We did extensive testing and after 4 mos agreed to a low dose. Since then, we have done Ritalin, Concerta and now Vyvanse. Our biggest issue is that he loves to push buttons, argue, get the last word in and generally say things that he knows will hurt you. It is difficult not to get wrapped up in these petty disagreements as we both know that is what he wants us to do. We have done Lexapro, Risperdal, Abilify and Tenex. We recently pulled him off the Tenex as it seemed to instensify the behavior issues-we haven't told our psychiatric yet as we don't go until Tuesday. If you say its black - he says its white. He will argue endlessy until he either breaks down and cries or just gets the general who cares attitude.

    He does exhibit many if not all of the signs for ODD. He has not been diagnosed as Bi Polar. He is a good sweet boy when he isn't "off his rocker". We don't know what to do.......How do you handle him when he is flippant about his dislike for you and all you do for him?

    I saw on another thread something about a neuropsychologist exam. I don't know much about all of the acronyms and terminology used on this forum. Do you think this would be beneficial?

    I welcome any comments. Medicines are not our preferred method but are not against them. It seems we play the "Russian Roulette" with medications to see what works and doesn't.

    Again, any input would be appreciated.

    Thank you CCB
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I adopted a child with the same background as your nephew. Absolutely get him a neuropsychologist evaluation. It is 6-10 hours of intensive testing and will tell you much more than anything you have ever heard. With his prenatal background in my opinion there is more going on than ADHD and medications alone are probably not going to do the trick. He also may have fetal alcohol spectrum features--obviously not the entire spectrum, but he could still be alcohol affected, which causes a whole other set of problems and a neuropsychologist would be the one to diagnose it if it's there. My son is on the autism spectrum (we were told he is ADHD at first), and they feel it was probably due to the birthmother's drug use, but they don't really know for sure. They DO know that kids of parents who abuse substances during pregnancy have a higher rate of various forms of autism. My son is high functioning so it took a while for him to get diagnosed. Also, if there is bipolar in the family tree, that can be looked at as well. So I definitely think a neuropsychologist (not a Neurologist, but a neuropsychologist) is a good way to go for our complicated kids who had poor prenatal care. I wouldn't trust a school district to diagnose. by the way, my son is doing great. Lastly, ODD is more a description of defiant behavior than a useful diagnosis. It rarely if ever stands by itself. Welcome to the board!
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hello and welcome. You aren't alone anymore. :)

    I think, at your son's young age, that any diagnosis should be considered a working diagnosis. If the treatment isn't helping then it probably isn't the correct diagnosis. Genetics often play a strong role in our kids' issues and any in utero drug/alcohol exposure should be thoroughly investigated for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). Do you know any of his bio-father's medical history?

    Another point I need to make is to please have your son weaned off any medications only if the prescribing doctor is aware and giving your the correct method. Some drugs must be carefully weaned so as to avoid some serious side effects or withdrawal.
  4. C.J.

    C.J. New Member

    Welcome - I'm glad you started searching to find more information you will need to help raise your son. I came here when my niece - with a similar background to your child - was diagnosed with ODD.

    In addition to the neuropsychologist evaluation, get a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It will help you and the rest of your family get an insight into how your son's thinking, and provides some useful strategies for rules and boundaries in your home.

    Big hugs from me to you and your family for loving and caring for this Gift from God.
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Many of the kids discussed on this board could have been diagnosed ODD.

    Neurological disorders tend to be genetic, so bipolar is a possibility. ADHD and bipolar symptoms look very similar. The problem is that treatment is very different. ADHD medications can cause huge problems when given to someone who has bipolar disorder.

    In cases where bipolar and ADHD co-exist, it's recommended that the bipolar be stabilized before introducing ADHD medications. Even then, some with-bipolar just can't take ADHD medications.

    I'm not saying that your child has bipolar, but with-the family history there are a couple of things I can think of off the top of my head that may be helpful for you to know:

    ADHD vs bipolar

    Scroll down to read about treatment for bipolar disorder

    Welcome aboard!