Fetal alcholol/medications question/early male puberty---HELP!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pepperidge, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    I am coming to the realization that my youngest's issues are very much captured by the Fetal Alcholol spectrum. He has various executive function issues, impulsive to the max, is very difficult to medicate etc. He was diagnosed at about 16 mos. For awhile I thought he might have some kind of mood disorder in addition or primarily, but really the more I read the more he seems to fit the fetal alchohol paradigm. HE was diagnosed by prominent child development center as Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), fits birthmother history, has had neuro pscyh testing up the wazoo, has seen at least two or three psychiatrists etc so we are pretty confident about what he doesn't have (e.g. autism spectrum, bipolar, garden variety ADHD etc).

    We have tried to some some medication that would help with some of the impulsivity issues cause it effects both his learning and his social interactions so significantly, but he has not been helped by just about anything (stims, mood stabilizers, AP). ONly thing that helped a bit is Abilify, but we can't increase the dose beyond about 5 mg, cause it leads to tics among other things. Recently we decided to do a medication wash to try to see what exactly it was doing--and when we removed it (titrated down very slowly) the tics have reemerged. We see psychiatrist in a couple of weeks, don't know what we will decide to do on the medication front, school is hard right now, both academically and behaviorally, though he is getting adequate support on IEP front. I feel like we need to provide more specific guidance on IEP front particularly on behavior/social side.

    He seems to have a hard time learning from consequences (a Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) problem from what I read). We have let go of many issues. am just really frustrated with how little traction we seem to have with this kid, and how unhappy he is much of the time with our simple rules/structure (like take a bath before you watch tv in the evening). Negotiating a la explosive child doesn't seem to get us anywhere because he can't follow through on anything he promises to do.

    Plus right now he has started puberty (just shy of 11 years old)!! and I am thinking that our problems are only going to grow. Anyone have any insight into mood/behavior issues with boy puberty, especially early puberty?

    Anyway, all this is background to my questions. Any of you have children with Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)? I am looking for a psychiatrist who is very knowledgeable in this area because of the medication challenges and also for some behavioral/therapist type guidance cause I feel that we are just getting nowhere. Any suggestions on where to go?

    HELP! and thanks. sorry I will update my info below on him when I get a chance.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't think a psychiatrist is the person to see for Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). It's pretty much a Neurological problem--I'd see a neuropsychologist. In Chicago there is a center just for Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) children.
    FAEs tend to need very structured living all their lives. I just recently read a very interesting article on Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) adults who were very relieved to know why they kept on repeating behavior that got them into trouble. They'd always felt "bad." They all said they needed close supervision to keep them out of trouble.
    I don't know if medications help or not. Some Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) kids are on stimulants, but that won't solve the entire problem. Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) is organic brain damage. My son from foster care that we adopted (what a mouthful) was watched for Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). He doesn't fit the pattern, he's on the autism spectrum though.
    I wish you luck. I know there are books out about Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE).
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have always thought my difficult child had Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) although it is very hard to diagnose.ut she does fit so many of the criteria, many that you describe, impulsiveness, does not learn from past behavior, consequences have no meaning, no futute ambitions, loudand obnoxious behavior, seemingly unaware of how she comes across to people, attracted to risky behavior and people. Her birthmother had a severe drinking problem although she claims not to have drank while pregnant. We find that very suspect because she had been in alcohol treatment twcie previous to her pregnancy and she was drunk shortly after the birth.

    The only medications that helped difficult child were strattera for the impulsiveness and to focus her more at school, and lamictal for moods. She is currently on 300 mg of lamictal and 60 mg of strattera although we are going to wean off that this summer and see how it goes.

    It's been a long, aslow road and puberty certainly set her back, but she has matured and while she will always have her issues she is has developed some coping strategies and is beginning to see that her past behavior has caused a lot of her difficulties.

    My only suggestion for a therapist is that the one we had the most success with was very one that made difficult child look at how her actions were causing her prblems. She taught her how to calm herself down and to find other ways to cope with stress and anger.

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would think that a pediatric neurologist would be of great help, esp with tics emerging/reemerging.

    Not sure a neuropsychologist does counselling. Maybe there is a counsellor for kids with Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) in your area?

    Also, a developmental pediatrician &/or a pediatric endocrinologist would be a good idea. The endocrin will make sure all glands are working properly. the devel. pediatrician we saw was EXCELLENT with medications - really really tricky medication situation. I would go there for medications. I know our dev.pediatrician was also a board cert child/adolescent psychiatrist, but also had more training to deal with devel issues.

    Hugs, this is a tough diagnosis to handle.

  5. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    My difficult child was diagnosed by a developmental pediatrician. and she was running a clinic just for that.