Brand New... just admitting the problem

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by needachange, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. needachange

    needachange New Member

    I just found this site and feel so relieved that there are others like our family. My oldest boy, 11, has been hard since he was born.... rigid, noise/feel/taste sensitive, tics, incredible tantrums (although god forbid I call them "tantrums".. that is enough to get one going), focused and slightly obbessive, reactive. He has been seeing a therapist for two years and every time I broach the subject of moving on to a more thorough evaluation and possibly medications, everyone (including the therapist) blows me off. He did give me a recommendation for a neuro-psychiatric who sounds great but she doesn't take insurance and the evaluation costs $3200. Does that sound out of the ballpark??

    My other two kids, 9 and 5, my ddh, and myself are walking around on eggshells trying not to set my oldest off. On so many levels he is wonderful. Academically brilliant, loving, creative, funny. Just his horrendous temper and a completely irrational view of the world when he is off the rocker. He claims he doesn't feel loved, that life is unfair to him, it is ALWAYS everyone else's fault, screaming, stamping, slamming doors. It is escalating into swearing, throwing things.... I worry for what is next. When he calms down he is apologetic, feels terrible about himself, and wants "not to do that anymore... how can I make it stop mom?" It makes me so sad. I want to get help but I am overwhelmed by the information and the diagnoses, the medications. This is tearing up my marriage as husband is just now willing to admit that we NEED help. Something is going on that he won't just grow out of.

    Also... I notice everyone has long sigs.. I don't know what they mean so I'll tell you that husband and I are 40 and 38. Both teachers. Son is 11 with everthing described above. Other children: son, 9, sweet and sensitive. Daughter, 5, loving, outgoing and empathetic.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi and welcome. When you can, try to do a sig. It will save you having to repeat yourself every time you post.

    There are navigation links around the site to help you with abbreviations and how-to things. But for now - difficult child means Gift From God, the child who is causing you concern. easy child means Perfect Child, although we realise no child is actually perfect, except in indulgnt parental eyes.

    I do understand the walking on eggshells, we've had to do it with difficult child 3 and also with easy child 2/difficult child 2 at times.

    A strong suggestion - get yourself familiar with Ross Greene's "The Explosive Child". It's been an incredibly useful book for us in helping us learn a different way to handle our very difficult child. Also check out the Dr Riley thread, he seems to have some ideas on this too that could well be worth a read. I haven't read his book, reading his thread was the first I'd heard of it. I've read a lot of books and not all are much use, but occasionally you find a gem. Nothing is a perfect fit, you take what works and adapt it to your situation.

    There is a lot I could say to you now, but it would probably just serve to overwhelm you. All I can say, then, is read a lot, trawl through all the posts here, go through the archives, read the various books (get them out of the library to begin with or you'll go broke!)

    And if you can, get your husband to also do the same. It has done wonders for me and husband, even though we would have said we already were as much on the same page as was possible. In fact, we're even more in sync now.

    Welcome. There is good help here.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If there was any way to do it, I'd have a neuropsychologist evaluation, even if it's not the person your psychiatrist recommended. Although I'm not a diagnostician, your child has MANY symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome, an extremely high functioning form of autism. These kids are both brilliant (often) and very quirky and socially clueless.They need interventions in school in spite of their intelligence so that they can learn to socialize. Often their frustration in not being understood can lead to raging. My son is in that high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) arena. It would take a neuropsychologist to diagnose him--psychiatrists and therapists are usually not very good at spotting it--it can confuse them as the behavior is due to neurological wiring, not psychiatric problems. Yet they tend to treat it as a psychiatric disorder because that is their field. These kids require special handling and often therapy is not useful. Here are some things to ponder: Does your child know how to socialize with his same-age peers? Does he talked like a "little professor?" Did he have any speech delays or, on the other hand, was he extremely advanced in his vocabulary. Any early interest in letters and numbers and memorizing facts? Can he make good eye contact with strangers? Does he have any quirks when he is nervous (or when he isn't?). Have you taken him to a Neurologist (which is way different than a neuropsychologist) to find out if he has a tic disorder? Here is the DSM diagnostic criteria for Aspergers.

    A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following: (1) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors, such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction (2) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level (3) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people) (4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity
    B. Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following: (1) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus (2) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals (3) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements) (4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
    C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
    D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).
    E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.
    F. Criteria are not met for another specific pervasive developmental disorder or schizophrenia.

    Updated: Feb 14th 2006
  4. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Oh yes, walking on eggshells. *sigh* I can really relate, too. We have bent, accomodated, modified and re-modified this household to suit D time and time again. Rules change, consequences have to change, rewards change - everything changes. And, just when you think things are good - *slam* - it goes again. Or, as soon as you get comfortable - rage. Yes. I can relate to that and I'm sorry you have to go through it, too.

    D is very much the same in that he will rage (we just had an incident last week where he put his head through a window) and act like an out of control teenger, then 10 minutes later cry, want mommy, etc. I have no reasoning for this yet - it has been a 10 year journey for an answer thus far.

    Medications are concerning. They are to me, which is so hypocritical, as D's been on over 30 of them. So many negative side effects. So many concerns. BUT, if you find the ONE - it's golden. Kind of a take the good with the bad, weigh your options kind of thing. But, if they could control (for the most part anyway - or even some part) of your difficult child's symptoms, you may be very thankful. I wouldn't allow a therapist (therapist) to shoo you away from your concerns. Don't do that. If you feel your son needs more intensive care and medicine, go for it. A therapist is a therapist (sorry). They are what they are, and they are not ones to diagnose, and they are not ones to prescribe medications, and all that isn't in their ballpark. You have the right to tell her thank you for your opinion and call a psychiatrist anyway.

    We did the neuropsychologist route. It was a pretty good one, but it is very intensive testing. We spread it out over 3 sessions - 2 hours or so a piece, but I know some moms who's kiddos spent even more time than that with them. They test for learning disabilities, they can look at things like Autism Spectrum Disorders and ADHD, and they can recommend interventions that can help. I don't know if $3200 is alot, our insurance paid it - but that doesn't sound like alot, considering all they do.

    The diagnosis game is one that is long, frustrating and confusing. I wouldn't focus so much on that as I would just trying to settle some of your difficult child's symptoms. Take care of the explosive behavior.

    I hope things get better for you soon.
  5. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Oh do we know about the eggshells! We walked on them all weekend. Managed to avoid the explosions, but man I am tired! Glad you joined us. Sorry you have to.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome--

    Lots of eggshells around my house, too. You are not alone. Definitely push for more sounds like you have good instincts...stick with them.

  7. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome. Eggshells, if I had a dollar for every time I used that word, I could pay for your evaluation!!!! LOL

    My daughter is 18 and I have walked on eggshells almost her entire life, all to no avail of course. I have found that no matter how much I tried to prepare my household to avoid a "tantrum" it came anyway. I don't think there is much we can do to avoid that. They find something to freak about anyway. It comes from them and not any outside annoyance. After a while (years) I gave up on the eggshells, I began to have the, "it is what it is attitude". The tantrums were still there, only I let go of the stress of trying so hard to avoid them!

    Welcome to the board. You will love this place. I do. I have gained so much strength from the wonderful people here. We all can really understand each other. It really makes a difference to be able to connect with others who share in a similar struggle.

    Hang in there. :)
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I know I shouldn't laugh, but he sounds like my husband before he started medications! husband likely has an undx'd mood disorder, tending towards the depressive end, however I can see manic aspects throughout his life. So if I had to call it for him, I'd say he's cyclothymic (low end bipolar).

    $3,200 does not sound out of the ballpark for the evaluation at all. Find out from your insurance if you can submit it for reimbursement and how much that amount might be. In our case, they cover 80% of a predefined limit that is typically an average for our area. Anything above that is our responsibility.

    Another option is to keep looking for someone who WILL take your insurance. Many children's hospitals have neuropsychologists on staff and accept a variety of insurance plans.

  9. needachange

    needachange New Member

    thanks for your thoughtful responses. I probably should have been a little clearer but I worry that if I start talking about my difficult child I'll never stop... there is so much to say. We have been blessed with an amazing parent community, wonderful school, great therapist. When he was around two I started knowing that something was off. husband and I read EVERYTHING we could find (including the explosive child.. which was really helpful!). The problem was nothing really describes him exactly. He has mostly normal peer relationships (although low self-esteem makes his hyper sensitive to perceived slights), no learning delays, and can go for long periods without any major issues. Behavior issues at school included off-task behavior, arguing with adults, temper outbursts (especially when something is "unfair"), and not following directions. Whenever we called in the school pscyh. she thought that he was an intense kid, but no ADD, no Aspergers, just tempermentally difficult.

    He used to respond to consequences, but those days are over. Dad and I can't impose limits without saying a prayer ever time. He seems depressed to me (problems sleeping, low self-esteem, moody, feels hopeless) but I think that is a result of whatever is really wrong. I've read about Anger Overload and that is the first thing that really makes sense but I can't find out more. We are going to go ahead with the psychiatric evaluation and just hope that something pops out and gives us a handle on what is going on in his brain. I just know that there is some sort of bio-chemical reason for his outbursts... there is no other possible trigger and I am so tired of thinking he will outgrow this.. He is tired too. I breaks my heart to hear him say that he feels he is breaking up our family and just wants this to end.

    Thanks for listening.

    Here is my temp. sig:
    Me... 38, teacher, family history of depression but nothing for me
    husband.... 40, teacher, an all-around good guy
    difficult child, 11..... no medications, no diagnoses, just really horrible tantrums, possible depression
    easy child, 9...... sweet, thoughtful and mellow
    easy child, 5..... outgoing, charming, flexible
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi needachange, welcome!

    I think you've come to the right place.

    I definitely think a neuropsychologist evaluation is in order. I honestly don't remember what ours cost the first time, but it was covered by ins. I don't think we got the right kind ... not real testing, just one person's opinion. :(

    with-your difficult child being rigid and overstimulated as a baby, you've got some clues already. It's neat that he's so smart, though. Some days I wonder how smart my difficult child really is. I have no idea because he has no interest in applying himself. And no interest in anything except arguing.

    Your difficult child is very perceptive and sensitive if he says he feels he is breaking up your family. I assume you hug and reassure him. Does he let people hug him?