Did I do the right thing?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bugsy, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Bugsy

    Bugsy New Member

    My son has been on a downhill since Thanksgiving. Here is the backround:

    **april: started lithium (quickly started to see improvement in everything but focus)
    **did well over the summer other than we tried clonidine
    **august: started school (mood doing real well but focus is an issue)
    **september: started to gradually titrate strattera in hopes to help focus
    **october/november: seeing no help from strattera but was kept on it
    **november: tried Tenex--increased focus buthe was getting angrier and angrier so it was stopped
    **December: starting to be very moody, going downhill, very difficult, meltdowns and a few rages (which we hadn't see in a while)
    **January: almost declined to his worst. saw psychiatrist on Thursay and we had weened him off of strattera and now trying depakote. private school being very supportive and trying to work with him but he is spending most of the day in rest stop (time-out), going to the bathroom, roaming the room, talking non-stop--very disruptive. A meeting is scheduled on Wednesday to discuss and try to come up with plan.

    I decided to pull him out of school for tomorrow and until he shows progress in his stability. I am a Special Education teacher and have a lot of experience with children like my son BUT it is way different when it is your own.

    My thinking is I'd rather keep his learning and skills progressing as much as possible rather than letting gaps grow.
    I spent hours tonight planning his lessons for tomorrow and a behavior plan for him to earn tickets for rewards he likes throughout the day.

    His brain is racing so badly right now.

    I am so exhausted- physically, emotionally, financially.
  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Is he in K or 1st???
    I keep K home anytime she is unstable... it is good/better for her and me... I feel. She is in K still.
    They will catch up... at these ages, I feel it is better on their little minds to have the stability of the comfort of Mom and home... we don't need to be too hard on them. Especially with medication changes, as someone who has BiPolar (BP) and has gone through the medication changes, it is hard on me mentally. Sometimes I nee the break... I just can't think or exert too much... I need the calm.

    Good luck... we are in the same boat.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My difficult child is older than yours and medications work differently on different people anyway, I'm sure you're aware of this. Depakote has so far worked better on mine for rapid speech, hyperness, etc. Lithium worked for raging, at first. Now we are trying to taper off lithium- just a little- because of cognitive/memory issues. Yes, you've done the best you can- don't beat yourself up. If there are things that really don't seem right, there's nothing wrong with getting a second opinion from a different psychiatrist.

    Sorry I can't be more help- {{{HUGS}}} We're going through a similar problem.

    Hang in there! I probably wouldn't worry too much about trying to punish or reward for behavior tomorrow- plain out BRIBERY, ok, but with my difficult child "normal" structured rules fly out the window when he's not stable-
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    It is my firm belief that when they are this unstable, emotional health comes first and education goes by the wayside. I agree that he will catch up when he is capable of it. It might be a good time to relax expectations for both him and you so you can both recover from this very tiring episode. Some good books and movies, board games or puzzles, fun art projects if he likes them might help him relax (and learn a little as an added benefit). Creating a calm environment should be your number-one priority.

    My son (14-year-old ninth-grader) has been in a day treatment program at a local psychiatric hospital since December 12. The program includes about an hour of school and the rest of the time is spent on therapy. He is definitely falling behind academically and may even need to repeat 9th grade, but our feeling is that we need to get him straightened out emotionally before we can worry about the rest.

    I hope tomorrow is a better day.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with smallmom. Mental health to me trumps academics. I also wonder if you realize that people with mood disroders tend to have memory problems and strange, uneven cognitive problems--not all--but many. I just found out myself because I have had a rather severe mood disorder since childhood and always had a poor memory and a high IQ, but inability to perform to my level. I guess they are just now finding this out. THAT alone can lead to frustration and acting out, and I say this as having first hand experience. Focus issues are as much or more an issue with bipolar/mood disorders as it is with ADHD and often ADHD medications just make the mood disorders worse. Straterra can cause worse problems--racing thoughts, for example, childhood mania, etc. If that were my child, I'd forget about ADHD and use other interventions to help with focus--we've done that very successfully with my autistic spectrum son. Between his Special Education tacher and his aide he has pretty much learned coping skills to his trouble with focus.

  6. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    I think you are making a good decision. He is having such a hard time. At this point the classroom is adding stress that your little one does not need. Is his current school day part time or full day?

    I agree with the others about trying to keep things low key. Remember that 1:1 teaching is much more intense so don't feel like you have to plan for "teaching" all day long. I like the idea of puzzles and learning games. I'd definately suggest you consider taking him to the library so that he can choose a few books...and this gets you out for a bit. Does he like the computer? I hope so for you...because this could be a good way to keep him occupied. Try and keep things positive....right now when he is unstable it will be hard to expect him to "behave" all day...Places are less busy during the week so he may be better able to handle some outings...are there any Open Gym times in your area? What aobut indoor swimming?

    Any chance you can find a babysitter to give you a bit of relief? I know my kids actually like babysitters.

    Hang in there, my friend...things will improve...