New Member
Thank all of you for the replies. I was really, really, really frustrated yesterday, more than usual.

My grandson is my adopted daughter's son. She abandoned him and 2 other children when he was only 3 months old. We have had him since he was 6 months old. She abused alcohol and drugs before her pregnancy with him and during. Sadly, she was killed in a car accident 3 years ago, drunk. Senseless. At any rate, None of these issues surfaced until about 2 years ago. Like I said, when all of this started, I just had a little boy who did not like school. The school has really, really pushed to have him diagnosed. They had a "licensed child psychologist" evaluate him when he was 7. The first diagnoses were ADHD, ADD, Depression, Intermittent Explosive Disorder and ODD. When things progressed in his behavior, I took that report and had him examined by our pediatrician. She more or less just took what the school psychologist said. But she was more concenred about the depression than the ADHD. His behavior seemed to spiral more. I took him to a Psychiatrist, who in looking back, asked us more questions than him. Never really talked to him, just prescribed medications. Started out on low dose of Focalin XR. ABout the first week, did well. Then he upped the dosage and the behavior kept getting worse. He said he had a mood disorder. He added a small dose of Abilify. When he decided the focalin was not working, he changed him to Straterra. Nothing with that. Then he changed him to Provegil. HE said it was intended for people who work swing shifts to help them sleep, but in studies, it sometimes helps people with ADHD. Well, it helped him not sleep for 3 days. I took him off of that. Then he put him back on Focalin at a higher dose. Things were getting worse at school. I have never had any problem with him with violence or anger before we started the adhd medications. But over the last two years, it has escalated to where he cannot control it. He tried him on a medicine for seizures (I can't remember the name of it) and it did nothing. I called again and asked for an appointment as things were not improving and I could see a blow-up coming. It was building. He said he could do no more and I would have to try to find a hospital to put him in. We are in a very small town, and no services for children, so I would have to go about 60 miles to a major city to find help for him as far as a hospital was concenred. I talked him into going and being evaluated at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital. I took him there, but he did not meet "admission" criteria as he was not suicidal. But, they referred me to their outpatient clinic to see a therapist. He was evaluated by a therapist to see if he would benefit from their therapy and he is the one who pulled us aside and said he had depression that needed to be treated, and made us an appointment with the child psycyhiatrist who is the head of the pediatric department of Laureatte. We have been very pleased with him. He actually talks with my grandson and tries his best. He put him on Zoloft. When we first started the Zoloft at a low dose, it was wonderful. My grandson even noticed the change in how he felt. Then, he had a major, major change in his life. His brother came to live with us. He is 15. He wanted to change his life and begged us to live here. We allowed it and things were going good, I thought, but come to find out, all he did was introduce him to pot. That is when things really took a downhill slide. His brother is now gone. He left to go see his dad one weekend and would not come back. Said we had to many rules and he couldn't smoke pot here. Funny thing, he understood that when he came, but I guess he thought we would overlook it. My grandson is now drug-free. We have him tested randomly at our pleasure. I have had him hospitalized one time at Laureatte. He wanted to go somewhere, at 10:00 at night, and we told him no, it was to late, and he sneaked out of the house and rode on his bicycle, in the dark, down a country road going to this boy's house. We called the police and they found him and we had them take him to a shelter for the night and we took him to the hospital the next morning and he was so agitated and out of control he finally met admission criteria. They diagnosed him with the same thing, ADHD, ADD, major depression and ODD. They upped his Zoloft to 200 mg a day, took him off Abilify and changed him to something I can't remember the name of. Kept him on Adderall. He stayed there 5 days to stabilize on the new medications. They added Lamictil. One of them, whether it was the Lamictil or the new mood stabilizer caused a tardive dyskinesia. He kept chewing and was having all of these hand and foot motions. They took him off of that and started him back on Abilify and kept him on Zoloft and Adderall. It has been horrible since then. Blow up after blow up, severe aggression. The good news is, when we went to the doctor this week, we basically told him that we were at the end of our rope. Let's try something differnet. He decided to take him off Zoloft (he's been off Adderall for 2 weeks now) and add Concerta. He takes two 100 mg pills of Zoloft each morning. He told us to give him 1 zoloft of a morning for a week, and then after a week, give him 1/2 zoloft and a concerta for one week, and then after one week of 1/2 zoloft and a concerta, to cut out the zoloft completely and just give concerta. He has been taking only 1 zoloft now for two days, and there is MARKED improvement in his behavior. Has not been aggressive one time today and very little yesterday. Maybe it could be the Zoloft. I asked if we were going to put him on another antidepressant and he said maybe in the future, but not right now. Now, I am afraid after we take him completely off the zoloft to give him the concerta. I do believe he has ADHD. He moves constantly. He cannot sit still. His therapist said he is "kinetic", which means if I understand it, motion. He does have a hard time concentrating and focusing. The adderall did help, but he just would not eat and he is a small, thin boy. Without a stimulant medicine, he goes 110 miles an hour all day. I have asked the doctor over and over about bipolar and he still says he does not think it is bipolar. He definitely has a mood disorder, but he does not think bipolar. But boy, he can flip moods on a dime. No is usually the determining factor (ha ha). It is such a simple word, but boy can it cause a major fight.

Again, thank all of you for the time you took to answer my questions. It's hard to find someone who knows what we go through. I try my hardest to remember that he has an illness, but when he is pushing those buttons, boy is it hard not to loose it. And, I think his therapy is finally sinking in. He only absorbs small bits, so we only work on one small thing at a time. Sometimes I look at him sleeping and think, how could all of that horrible, horrible stuff come out of this sweet little boy. Just hard to imagine what goes on in his head. He wants so badly to be "normal". I tell him he's normal, he's just wired differently.

Again, thank all of you. Hope I can report a good day again.


Active Member
I am so glad the dr is taking him off the Zoloft....that is good news. My son, and a lot of these kids cannot tolerate the SSRI anti-depressants. They just activate their brains too much, and make them highly impulsive. A lot of these kids cannot tolerate the stimulant medications either, so if the behavior still is not where you want it you might talk to the dr about removing those as well. My child takes Clonidine for ADD which is not a stimulant, and it works very well - you could ask about that.

I have found in my years of doing this, that often I have to be the one that suggests different medications to the dr that I have done research on. I know what groups of medications have worked in the past, and which have not - and I am very picky about which ones I will allow my son to be on. I make sure that I know as much info as possible in order to best help my son, and I do not hesitate to be a bossy, opinionated mom (thankfully our dr doesn't mind). Bottom line - feel empowered!

Overall it sounds like you have a great direction going - and that your son is making progress. Again, welcome to the board!


New Member
What I find strange is that you havent even mentioned a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or FASE. If his mother drank and abused drugs while pregnant with him, that is one of the first things that I would consider. I cant believe docs would overlook that. It might warrant looking into. There are now people that specialize in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/FASE and they might have some ideas or medication recommendations for you. Worth a try.




Just when you think you're going down for the third time, they sometimes give us a break.

Glad to hear things are better today.