Does it ever get better???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by michiganmomma, May 3, 2015.

  1. michiganmomma

    michiganmomma New Member

    Hi all, I'm not new, but for the life of me I can't remember my old log in.

    I'm gonna just jump right in:

    Difficult Child (9) had a great week last week. He was well behaved at school and home. He had a very productive therapy session, he was wonderful. Friday, he saw on the calendar when Mother's Day is and he got mad. We usually go to the beach on Mother's Day, so my girls were talking about that and he started yelling and screaming. He walks out the door to get on the bus and yells "I hate you!"

    At noon I was headed to the school (with treats for DDs class) when I get a call from the principal saying he was raging and during his rage he threatened to kill his teachers and me (specifically he said he was planning on killing me on Mother's Day). I pulled into the parking lot just as the police got there. It's school policy to call the police when a child threatens physical harm to staff. So now Difficult Child is suspended, he has a police file started (I don't know what happens, the officer said he writes a report and submits it, but he doesn't expect he would be prosecuted since none of the teachers wanted charges pressed).

    He came home and went on and on about how he's going to kill all of us. Finally got him calmed down so he could go to bed (DDs slept in a secure bedroom with the door locked because they were afraid of him).

    Today my husband and I tried to talk to him about everything and he just kept going on and on about how he hates me...he doesn't care about his family, he wants a new family.

    This is never going to improve. He will wind up in jail before he's 16 at the rate he's going. We make just enough money to not qualify for any all of his medical bills are bankrupting us (literally). I'm never going to be abel to enjoy my life because until the day I die I will be trying to save my son.

    I just wish there was a list at the end of the tunnel...I don't know how much more I can take.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I just don't know what to tell you. I'm not in the US - so medical bills generally don't kill us (although not everything is covered even here so I know what it's like to hurt in the wallet).

    But he's only NINE. No other diagnosis except "mood disorder not otherwise specified"? When did he get that? and what kind of an evaluation?

    It almost sounds to me like you somehow need to get him into psychiatric hospital or something. I don't know the process in the US. But he needs a lot more than just a fuzzy label... JMO of course.

    Hugs. Rage is ugly
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    p.s. you can start a private conversation with runawaybunny, and she might be able to help you find your old board name...
  4. michiganmomma

    michiganmomma New Member

    He has had other DXs in the past...sensory processing when he was 2, disruptive behavior disorder when he was 5, "possible" Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) when he was 7.

    He had a 2 day evaluation by a neuropsychologist when he was 8 (I don't know what kind of evaluation it was), they are the ones who gave him the mood disorder diagnosis. That is the diagnosis his psychiatrist is working off of. His therapist also thinks he probably has some ADHD, but when we tried ADHD medications that made him very violent.

    We took him to the hospital once for suicidal ideation and they declined to admit him because he didn't have a plan, so he wasn't a risk to himself. We live in a pretty rural area and getting help without Medicaid has been horrible. We currently drive 90 minutes to his psychiatrist because there are none around us who take private insurance.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    its tough being rural.
    Normally - it would be recommended that when he rages and is violent or is threatening violence, to contact police for transport to psychiatric hospital. This gives a paper trail both with the police and with the psychiatric hospital. Eventually, somebody starts to get the message that this kid needs more help than he is getting.

    We found child and youth psychiatrists mostly useless. Once they hit 18 and are into adult services, it's a whole different ball of wax - a better one in my opinion.

    Are you keeping a journal of his moods and behaviours (good and bad) on a daily basis? That might also help in spotting trends. Does he swing from really good to really bad? how often? how dramatic or fast is the switch?

    It sounds to me (but I'm not a psychiatrist) that he needs some sort of mood regulating medication.
  6. michiganmomma

    michiganmomma New Member

    Not keeping a journal, I had never thought of keeping one. I'll have to try that.

    He is on a very low dose of lamictal. His PDR just weaned him down off Abilify. I did not feel like Abilify was overly helpful. He had good success with risperidone, but was taken off because he gained an excessive amount of weight. When he was taken off the Abilify we were told they may have to up the lamictal, we go back next month to evaluate that.

    We tried a couple different adhd medications, Ritalin made him very admitted, concerta made him giddy (like, I can fly, watch me jump off the garage roof), intuitive made him violent. His PDR wants to try some adhd medications this summer when school is out since his reaction to them has been so unpredictable.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There's LOTS of other medications for mood disorders. Risperidone is often used as a front-line medication, but not good to be on it for the long run. Abilify is NOT the only other option. I'd be pushing for a change of mood stabilizer before even considering ADHD medications.

    The non-stimulant ADHD medication (Strattera) is not recommended for use with a LOT of other medications, including many mood stabilizers.

    Medications are a challenge. Part of it is not knowing exactly what you are dealing with for a problem, Part of it is that these kids can be really complex, and it isn't easy to figure out which medication will actually work for THEM, and not make some other symptom worse and/or intolerable side effects.
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    How long has he been on the medication that he's on? I would call the doctor and tell him how he had a great week, and then suddenly it all went completely downhill. Maybe a medication change is in order, or maybe you need to add another medication to the one he's already taking. My son takes risperdal and Depakote. It will never be perfect, but it's better.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry things are so rough. I do understand how difficult being on the medication merry-go-round can be. I think my son trialed close to 20 medications before we found a combination that worked.

    It seems like he is very unstable right now if he is threatening to kill you. Are you feeling safe in your own house? Is he receiving counseling on a regular basis?

    No one can promise it will get better for sure but I'm here to say I never thought there would be light at the end of the tunnel with our son. He was so violent and so difficult. Now he is doing so well. He is still a difficult child and always will be but the violence is gone, he is working part time, and his teachers love him. It took a lot. He went to therapy twice a week for years, then once a week. In addition he had 6 hospitalizations. We had a great team of psychiatrist and tdocs along with an iep that has allowed him to flourish! If anyone had told me when he was 9 that things were going to get better I'm not sure I would have believed them but it can happen.

    Sending gentle hugs your way.
  10. michiganmomma

    michiganmomma New Member

    He was on Abilify for over a year, we added the lamictal in February. They decided to take him off the Abilify at the beginning of April. I called and they can't get us an appointment before the one we already have scheduled the 1st week of June. They put us on a cancelation list though.
  11. michiganmomma

    michiganmomma New Member

    We are doing weekly therapy, but I don't know how helpful it actually is (it seems like an hour and a half/week that he gets to vomit Pokemon/mine craft facts to someone other than me). I think ABA would be more helpful, but I haven't found an ABA therapist in our area yet.

    I feel safe...I do not believe he is a true threat, he doesn't have a plan, nor does he have access to anything that is a weapon. I think he has discovered something that he knows significantly bothers everyone and gets him immediate attention. He has been off school the last 2 days and when everyone is gone and it is just him and I he has been happy and talkative and nice to be around. It's when you add anyone else to the mix he gets angry, sullen, grumpy.
  12. michiganmomma

    michiganmomma New Member

    Also @Wiped Out...when you say he has an iep that allowed him to flourish can you give me some examples of accommodations? I think my son's iep is ok. He gets all the time he needs on tests, he gets regular breaks throughout the day, he (up to now) has only received in school suspension (I totally understand why he got out of school suspension this time, I'm shocked it was only 3 days).

    I would love him to have his own parapro, but the school always says they can't afford it. I believe they are a little too hard on him, and I also believe the discipline system at the school isn't appropriate for him (it's the green, yellow, orange, red system...but once you're off green you can't get back on it...and I think he should be allowed to earn green back if that makes sense).

    His next iep will take him to middle school so I'm really nervous about making sure I really get it right.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He's in a class with how many other kids? How much noise and over stimulation?

    Does your school system have a special class for kids on the spectrum? It can make a HUGE diff. Here, it's a class of 7 or 8, within a 2 or 3 grade span, in a room that allows for the specific needs of kids on the spectrum. Being in a mainstream class can just be too much to handle.
  14. michiganmomma

    michiganmomma New Member

    He is in a level 4 class for emotionally disabled kids. There are no more than 10 kids with one teacher and one parapro (this year I believe there are 6 students in the class). He is about 50/60% mainstreamed. If it were solely up to me he would not be mainstreamed when he is disregulated, but he tests about 2 grade levels ahead in most subjects, so the school insists he be mainstreamed for core classes (math, english, science/social studies).
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He is an Aspie in with emotionally disabled kids?????

    That is part of the problem. He is NOT emotionally disabled. He is ASPIE. The difference is... the things that work for ED kids work against Aspies. He needs an Autism Spectrum classroom - where they actually understand Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspie kids.

    His time in the ED class alone would make him "disregulated".

    He isn't getting what HE needs. It's not about "where do we stuff this problem kid"... oh, this is the only special needs classroom we have, so this is where he goes.
  16. RR2323

    RR2323 New Member

    Yes! This is VERY concerning to me too. This is what they are doing around here....lumping high functioning autism/aspergers kids with ED kids.

    Can you further explain what they do for ED kids that does not work for Aspies? I would like ammunition against the school district for doing this.

  17. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    It's not so much what they DO for ED kids that is bad for AS kids as it is the ED kids themselves.

    AS folks, (I'm one) have a horrible time reading emotions in others. To subject them to those who do not express emotions normally while also expecting them to deal with the sensory overload of school is just plain cruel.
  18. michiganmomma

    michiganmomma New Member

    I don't know what the difference is for Michigan for kids on the spectrum vs kids who are emotionally disabled. When we moved into this district they did a bunch of evaluations and he didn't meet the school districts qualifications for services under autism. That was however before he was given the label of "possible Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)" by the neuropsychologist. I don't know if a label of "possible Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)" would be enough to warrant a change in that stance. I don't know enough about Michigan's Special Education program to know if there is another class in another district that might work better for him. When we had a meeting in February they implied it was either this or homeschool for him.
  19. RR2323

    RR2323 New Member

    This or homeschool? They cannot tell you to homeschool! They must provide FAPE!
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    "Possible" Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? From a neuropsychologist? That doesn't add up.
    A definitive label is a help in getting the right supports. But it isn't a guarantee.

    GN is right - those two things alone are major problems.

    Add to that, ways of managing ED kids are very "reward and punishment" oriented. Punishment does NOT work with kids on the spectrum, and reward is really IFFY, especially if (as they do in ED classrooms) the reward is some accumulation of tokens. It's too abstract for most kids on the spectrum. And they often use "group reward/punishment" - if we are ALL quiet and have our work done, we can ALL do (whatever reward). So, if one kid spoils it for everyone, the hope is that peer pressure will help next time. With Aspies... this simply totally backfires.

    There's more, but my kids are older and I think I've lost a few brain cells over the years.