frustrated: homeschool issues

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tsp, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. tsp

    tsp New Member

    My son has ADHD, but there are times when it veers into ODD. We homeschool because along with the behavior problems he also has severe learning disabilities. He has always been homeschooled.

    He's 9 year old and in fourth grade, but doing third grade work. I feel like I've reached the end of my rope: he's cursing me, refusing to do schoolwork, tantruming and even hitting. I'm thinking about sending him to public school, but here's what gives me pause 1. school refusal - if he doesn't want to go somewhere he will lose it with complete meltdowns than can be violent where he screams and curses us. 2. he once hit his Occupational Therapist (OT), which leads me to believe he might hit his teacher and I'm fully aware of the consequences for that. 3. He's very peer oriented and if he fell in with the wrong crowd (which, let's face it - with Learning Disability (LD) and behavior problems, who is he likely to end up around?) 4. The structure of school is unfamiliar to him and would mean a lot of anxiety attacks and acting out.

    My husband would send him to boarding school if we could afford it. I just don't know what to do. The cursing and the nastiness are really starting to wear me down.

    I'm sorry if this doesn't make any sense. My thoughts are kind of jumbled right now.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What kind of curri ulum are you using? There are online currculums that are totally on the computer. Would that take some of the refusal out?
  3. tsp

    tsp New Member

    We've tried just about every curriculum option under the sun. We actually have a good balance right now and he's making good progress, as far as the actual academics go. Our biggest issues are the defiance. I just read in another posting where someone said that so many kids with ADHD have ODD because of the stimulation they get from arguing and that really struck a chord with me.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'd like to get back to the ADHD diagnosis. in my humble opinion it sounds like a lot more than ADHD. I have a few questions. And ADHD/ODD often means something else.
    Who diagnosed him and who gives him medications (if anyone).
    Have they helped or made his behavior worse, if on medications?
    Is there any history of early developmental problems--late speech, lack of eye contact, inappropriate interaction with peers, motor skills issues.
    Are there any mood disorders on the family tree on either side? Substance abuse?
    Has he ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation? (These are excellent at pinpointing the real problems).

    Others will come along.
  5. tsp

    tsp New Member

    He was diagnosed by a clinical psychologist and his multidisciplinary team during a two day psychoeducational evaluation. He is diagnosis'd as having severe ADHD that can move into ODD like symptoms when he is feeling stressed or anxious. Right now he is on 20 mg Adderall XR and for a long time this has worked for him, but lately he seems more anxious than ever (lip biting, fingernail biting, etc. to the point we had to do Occupational Therapist (OT) intervention with chewy necklaces etc.) He gets his medication through his pediatrician.

    The only source of change is his father is currently out of work.

    We have also been to a behavioral specialist and he is on a behavior modification program as well.

    Until now, his behavior has been dramatically better on medication, but this year (even before his dad was layed off) we have seen him slip and I'm wondering if we need to switch prescriptions. I was really reluctant to put him on medication, but the Feingold Diet was only marginally effective for him, so we felt we had to. I'm currently looking into biofeedback as a way to help him with anxiety/impulse control without having to further medicate.

    He has a brother with Asperger's but, although I personally feel there is a link between ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders, I don't think he is on the spectrum. He does have dyspraxia along with his learning disabilities.

    Yes, there there is a history of mental illness and substance abuse on both sides of the family. Personally, I feel the person with the substance abuse problem was self-medicating for undiagnosed ADHD.

    Thanks for responding.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was actually thinking of early onset bipolar. He sounds too friendly to be a spectrum kid. Course I don't know him and am not a doctor. I'd take him to a neuropsychologist. I'd want another evaluation. That sort of acting out in my opinion is going way beyond even severe ADHD. If bipolar is in the family, I'd want it checked out completely. Substance abuse is also a red flag for mood disorders. We didn't have much luck with regular psychologists or the school, as far as diagnosing. If he has a mood disorder, ADHD medications can make the disorder even more severe.
  7. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    This was the same age my son starting getting really, really bad. We actually did put him in school, very briefly (6 weeks). Total disaster, pulled him out and resumed HS'ing.

    What worked for us was a food program different than Feingold. He's still on it, nearly 5 yrs. later. The program gives him the sense HE can control his behavior, by controlling what he eats, as opposed to having to take medications that he would have little or no control over, nevermind the side effects. It's more a LIFE program than just food, as lots of other things can change his behavior, and he learns about those and how to handle it.

    It's not perfect but it's a whole lot better than it was. We were seriously considering out of home placement at the 4th grade time.

    We are again having problems with his doing HS, but I think it's more being 16, than the other.

    Pam R.