Coming out of liked mode for help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by rdland, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. rdland

    rdland New Member

    I have a 6 year old son who has completely turned into someone we do not recognize. He started 1st grade in Aug which started our downward spiral. Last year he only had 1/2 day kindergarten and while he had a couple issues they were manageable and after a month or so he settled in. The ONLY thing that changed right when we started having problems was starting first grade.

    The 2nd day of school we got the first phone call with concerns from his teacher. He was constantly talking out of turn and running around the room. 2 more phone calls and they now wanted to meets with me and husband about their concerns as things kept getting progressively worse. So we met with his teacher, the guidance counselor and principal where we found out that after the guidance counselor obseving his class she noted she counted he talked out of turn without raising his hand 14 times in one hour. Plus he would run around the room, throw things, not sit down to do his work,not follow directions and none of the kids wanted to play with him. This is after last and at preschool he had a ton of friends. They recommended we get him evaluated by a psychiatrist to see what we could do to help him. We agreed and set up an appointment which the earliest one we could get was 6 weeks away. The school began the IEP process.

    After awhile he got worse and was suspended twice from school. First time was for telling his class and teacher he wanted to drop a bomb on them. Soon after first suspension he had his appointment with psychiatrist and was diagnosis ADHD, ODD and anxiety disorder. She wanted to start medications but woukdn't without cardiac clearance with his heart murmur. 2nd suspension was for making a stabbing motion with a pencil at a classmate and saying he wanted him dead. The school kept pushing us to admit him to psychiatric hospital and we took him to one to get them off our backs and the dr said they overreacted and sent us home. (took him there before we had 1st appointment with psychiatrist. They pushed again to take him to a different one but we refused telling them we had now seen 2 doctors who did not feel it was necessary at that tine abd the separation from us would not help. They pushed again and this time we agreed to an acute partial hospitalization program. He was only there for 6 days during school hours and our insurance would not cover any longer. psychiatric dr there observed him in class and agree he is ADHD and possible ODD. The days he was there he never said any of those things and never drew any pictures we then started to think the school is certainly ovvereacting and something they are doing is making things worse. We were unable to start medications while at this program because we were still trying to get clearance it with his heart murmur. He had been coming home from school every day so sad and down on himself for getting in trouble at school so much. At the acute partial program he came home happy. We started to wonder about the school even more. They has a para educator with him 2 days and did better but they stopped it because they did not have the resources for one every day. First day without one is when he got suspended the 2nd time. They were still evaluating for his IEP but when he came back after suspension #2 and from the acute partial program they agreed to have a para educator every day.

    Follow up appointment with dr we finally started Vyvanse 20 mg. First day, huge change for the better! He could focus, sit in his seat, not talk out and not be mean to the other kids. He then started making friends.
    He says he can now concentrate and calm his brain now and listen. Well, 2 weeks into the medication it started to get harder for him to take it. He does not swallow pills so we open the capsule, our powder into drink. He started complaining it tastes bad, he does not need it. The last 5 days were h@ll to get him to take it. We tried different foods and liquids. He has been nasty and insulting to us while trying to get him to take it. He says horrible thibgs to me and taunghts me. 3, 4 and even 5 hours it took to get it in him and sometimes not all if it all the while insulting me.

    Once he has enough Ned in his system he realizes how he acted and gets really upset. He knows he needs it and will tell you that on the medication but before he gets it he does not feel that I have to battle with the before medication child to get to the child whip us appreciative of the medication. It is like a losing battle. He goes back to school in the am from thanksgiving break and I am dreading getting him to takrpe it.I am trying hard to have a thick skin but it is hard. His counselor that works with psychiatric dr is going to see him first thing in the am at school to talk with him.I know there is a patch to use but our insurance wo t cover it. We have tried to train him to swallow the pills by putting sugar inside the empty capsules but after trying 2 times he us afraid he will chock on it.

    I am at a loss on what to do about his medication. We have tried everything and nothing works.I do not even know if punishment is appropriate since when medicated he gets it and it would nit be fair for him to be punished then. Our insurance right now will not pay for neuro psychiatric and we cannot pay for it. I have been reading these boards for 2 months and decided it is time to jump in and began active member. Does anyone have any ideas on how to handle this??? Thanks for reading as I know this is long.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    good morning and welcome to the board!

    I too struggled with my son in regards to medications when he was about your difficult child's age. I did everything the summer before first grade to get him to swallow a pill - the big bribe was a trip to Toys 'R Us. I bought that cup that is supposed to make it easy to swallow - tried to get him to practice with tic tacs, etc. Nothing worked!

    A week before school started here's how the conversation went, "difficult child, we don't have any time left for you to try and do this - it has to be done. Here's the deal, you are Stellaluna and I am the momma bird and I am going to give you a nice juicy grasshopper! Just open your mouth and put your head back and I'll drop it in!" Worked! I always handed him a little juice glass with soda because the bubbles seemed to help. But I started that first day by dropping the pill down his throat and we did that for about two years!!!!! He loved the story Stellaluna and it just came to me.

    Whatever works......

    Glad you came out of lurkdom to join us.

  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    First, ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? What a bunch of jerks. A BOMB??? Holy heck, these people were probably people who played cops and robbers, cowboys and indians and all kinds of inappropriate things as kids and now they can't tell the difference between an experession of frustration from an impulse disordered kid and a true threat? I have no patience this week so you get the benefit of my outrage for all difficult child's who are being unfairly treated. Seriously, suspension does not work, research shows this, it is not sound practice and should only be used in true safety situations or for those neurotypicals who make mistakes and are horrified and embarrased, worried about their "permanent" record types...THEY will stop a behavior with suspension. Kids who are having neurological issues or chemical imbalances, are not going to have that go away with a suspension. These kids need time-ins ....they need MORE time to practice and work on things. It is not that they get a "pass" but they need research based interventions that are known to work.

    OK that rant is over, just feel for you and him! Have they started any school evaluation process? (you said they started, sorry... I meant is it done? how long has it been?) This is at the very least an OHI disability and he needs accomodations to help deal with when medications are off or he is just having a bad day medications help but if he has a true disorder of any kind, it does not take it away and there needs to be a plan to help teach him missing skills that he will need when his stress or disorganization goes beyond the level of medications, or if there is a medication error or if he has a growth spurt or gets ill etc. Does he already have any school support other than a para??? That may or may not be LRE, he may need a Special Education. person to help support mainstream teacher or as a resrouce room to go to when things get tough or to learn skills (doesn't sound like it yet... from your post but I may have missed it).

    It does sound like he has impulse issues, and great the medications help. But, have you noticed anything else? I know you said he can't do a neuropsychologist for now, but maybe insurance will pay for other types of evaluations.... occupational therapy evaluation to see if he has any sensory integration or fine motor issues, auditory processing, visual processing tons of things that can be evaluated....others will supply ideas to. When I heard you say he was running around, not able to join the group etc. It sounded exactly like my son. medications help him too. He now has an autism diagnosis. Kids can look very adhd/odd/anxiety but these together often mean autism is the real diagnosis. Not saying it is for you, but to keep open about the possibility because if it is really this, there are interventions that can really help him go far.

    I hope people can give you ideas for the medications....

    Welcome and hope we hear more from you!

    ps Have you asked your doctor if it comes in any other form... a patch maybe?? I have no idea, but some medications do. Ritalin, clonidine, others.

    My rule is if there is an issue with medications it is not negotiable. He can't go to school (which for my difficult child is a huge issue, he loves his routine) and can't watch tv or have any electronics.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Things like this are a HUGE issue for me. They see a big difference in his behavior and his abiity to sit and do his work while he has the para at his side, yet they take it away from him claiming that they don't have the resources for it. Why give to him at all in the first place? That's just a tease and it's not right for your son.

    I have no ideas on how to help with the medications. When difficult child started medications he started with a liquid, but he did not like the taste and he learned to swallow a pill real fast because I told him that he HAD to take his medications regardless of the taste. Does the medication that he takes come in a liquid form? Maybe that is something to look into. The psychiatrist told us that we could mix it with juice (we used orange juice), but that if we did that we had to make sure that he drank all of it. It sounds like they really do help him, so I'm hoping that you can find a way to get the medications into him.
  6. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    The grade-1 bombshell.

    Doesn't sound like there has been a comprehensive evaluation done - you're just at the beginning of evaluating anything.
    The ODD diagnosis... around here, most of the time, its just a place-holder. The diagnosis doesn't tall you anything about what to do that helps etc. - it just describes a behavior problem. Which might exist, or more likely is the result of other issues.

    ADHD is a common first diagnosis. Schools and psychiatrists and tdocs are familiar with it.
    BUT. There are many other things that are commonly co-morbid with ADHD. AND there are a number of other dxes that "look like" ADHD.

    Here's some things to think about:
    1) sensory issues - classrooms are a recipe for overload on many fronts
    2) motor skills issues - gross motor problems result in the child being left out or worse, and fine motor problems make most school tasks difficult or impossible (coloring/art, writing, scissors, etc.). 50% of kids with ADHD, also have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (developmental coordination disorder).
    3) APDs often aren't even thought about unless the child has an obvious language issue... but certain APDs, especially auditory figure ground problems, make it really difficult to function in a classroom. Auditory figure ground problems are where the person does beautifully in a quiet environment, but can't really function in a noisy environment. And classrooms are notoriously noisy (no matter what the teacher says!). If you can't make out what the teacher is saying, of course you're not going to behave well. 70% if kids who have ADHD and a Learning Disability (LD), also have Auditory Processing Disorders (APD).
    4) learning disabilities, which of course don't show up until they get into school...

    Something about school is driving him crazy. School, of course, believes the problem "must" come from home - from the way he is parented (they don't necessarily come out and SAY that, of course, but... it shows in their approach). But the problem really is that he has issues and challenges that are not recognized yet, and therefore he doesn't have the accommodations and interventions he really needs.
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am among those that agree that ODD isn't a valid diagnosis in many cases. In our case not only was it inaccurate (he carried it for 4 years) it caused a lot of harm by the school staff. Let me explain. difficult child 1 was diagnosed ADHD at 4 years old and put on medications. We tried many until we found one that worked long-term. He started Kindergarten at 5 and after the first 2 days they were pushing for me to put him back in preschool. He was tipping chairs and ripping paper off bulletin boards and acting all wild until they would call me to come and take him home. I went with him the next two days and stood in the back to observe what might be causing the problem for him. It turned out that having me there for the two days was enough to take his anxiety away and he was fine for the rest of the year. It was just such a big transition that he was anxious and was trying to escape the situation (fight or flight response).

    The diagnosis of ODD was added in third grade when his behavior escalated and nothing helped. That diagnosis led to very heavy-handed, rigid discipline at school meant to show him who was boss and that he HAD to do everything adults said because ODD is viewed as PURPOSELY defiant. Things got worse. We tried many medications but nothing helped. Just this last January (7th grade) the diagnosis was changed to Autism Spectrum Disorder. He couldn't help the way he was acting and the school staff being the way they were with discipline sent him into a deep depression that I never was to see again. The school REFUSED to see the new diagnosis and let go of the old. They HELD ON to the old diagnosis and continued with the rigid authoritative discipline so I pulled difficult child 1 out of that school. Allowing the ODD diagnosis without digging for a more thorough evaluation way back when was the biggest mistake I made with difficult child 1.

    Please, get a second opinion from a neuropsychologist or neuropsychiatrist. I suspect there is more going on and I really don't want your son to eventually have to deal with the things my son did. By the way, WELCOME to our little corner of the world.
  8. rdland

    rdland New Member

    I am lol at this post but in a good way. I took a lot out of the post because it was getting so long but you have no idea how p!ssed we are with his school. It was WAY over the line to show up unannounced to our home only 1/2 hour after they tried to reach us when he first made drawings of bomb dropping and so forth. They waited a 1/2 hour and they did not think we responded fast enough!!!! My husband was home with me because he had just been told his job was eliminated and office was closing own. (he since got another jib thankfully) We felt so backed into a corner because they felt he was a danger to himself and the other things. We were honestly afraid if we did not take him to the hospital to be evaluated they would call CYS or somethin. (they never said that but were so forceful in telling us to get looked at RIGHT NOW. It was picture day at school so they got his picture done for us to take him. His picture looks so sad and so upset that I cannot even put it up. I firmly believe they filled his head with **** and really upset him that am. They doctor who saw him at the hospital practically laughed at the school telling us to take him there because in the dr wiords, "he is 6 years old and 6 year olds will draw and act out that while innocently playing." He was not concerned because he had never shown behavior like that before to anyone other than in pretend play aspects which is normal. We were LIVID at the school!! And we had to pay 50% to the tune if $700 dollars when at that time husband did not have a new job lined up and his previous job insurance was stll in affect. (he got a severance package with insurance fir 3 months which goes till Jan and new job does not start insurance till Jan) Add on the irrational demands to take him to a different hospital since in their words, " the first one did not handle him as they should have because he is a danger to himself and others." Yep, they really said that!

    He is an intelligent boy and now is getting 100% on all work. The para is wonderful with him. When they pushed us to take him to the acute partial hospitalization program the principal told us the para had to stop as the did not have the resources or it. I KNEW they would have to do but held back starting that battle because I wanted to try the program the suggested and I hoped THEY would tell the school he needed it which is what they did. When he returned to school after that program they finally gave in a gave him one.

    The IEP was initiated in Oct but not done. I am getting the " we have 60 school days to finish it." (just got a call from school as I type this that they are evaluating him tomorrow for the IEP.) His medication only comes in pill form. As far as Occupational Therapist (OT) right now they wont pay for it bit we will have new I insurance Jan 1. I also applied for medical assistance because his counselor that works with the dr said for these diagnosis they do not look at income and he falls under "MA for disabled child only." We will see if he really is eligible.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Just a quick reply or two this morning. Have you tried giving the pill before he has to get up for school? That worked well for one of my difficult child's....each one is different, of course, so what works for one may not for another. Sigh. I gently woke difficult child up and had a small cup of juice that was a favorite. Then I had a spoon of applesauce with the pill surrounded. The juice "wet her whistle" and the spoon of applesauce helped slide the pill down. Then rolling over and sleeping for another fifteen minutes or so turned into a treat. by the way, all clothes were laid out the night before to avoid AM stress.

    Regarding the N/P examination many School Board Special Education Depts. have funding for those evaluations. Have you tried asking them? Hugs. DDD
  10. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Not to mention that is patently AGANST THE LAW if the kiddo needs the para for FAPE and LRE (free and appropriate public education and least restrictive environment). For a school district to blatantly say that they can't afford it stupid, stupid, stupid. Can you get an advocate through your SELPA? I'm dealing with this, too, but since my grandson is only on a 504, we don't have as much power. Is there a local Parents Helping Parents group around you? They usually know the players involved locally to your area.

    Rant over, for now. I used to be such a sweet, passive, people-pleaser. Not anymore. As the Kathy Bates character said in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes: TAWANDA!
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ask your pharmacist if they can compound that medication into another formula to turn it into a chewable tablet or liquid that could be flavored. If not, call either the insurance company or the manufacturers rep and ask for help. You can appeal the insurance company's denial up the ladder for the patch and you can ask the manufacturer for help getting the patch for free.