having fun with difficult child & mood swings....probably normal though


New Member
Hi all

Our update .....so every day difficult child got naughty notes for 3 terms......but we finally have got to the other side and only had 1 this term (new medication Ritalin).....which was put up to 1 tab 730am and 1/2tab 1230pm.... we have manic arvos from 3pm...we also have a fight to get him to sleep now and he wont wake...if i manage to drag him out of bed he goes back to sleep on the lounge.....he's yawning all morning after 10 hours

its worse now in that difficult child wont talk... he sits and says nothing alot of the time...he even refuses to do speech and answers i dont know to everything she says..... J is banned from playing with the other children who get in trouble at school(and the only ones who will go near him are alas these kids due to old violent ways which only happen at evening now) .... he has become very depressed as a result of no one else playing with him.... He is downcast and quiet and its breaking my heart..

i have been thru loneliness so i know whats its like and for a 5 yr old its not what i want to hear.... he says he sits by himself at school and goes to the library at lunch... he is unresponsive when i get him at home time and doesnt even like the radio on or the sun hitting his face anymore....

..... and when a kid is just 5 you think that u could c the teacher to discuss..... but alas our school is not great at communicating..difficult children teacher is never there to talk to re any concerns ahd if i manage to grab him he says its great that difficult child is so quiet now........

I in hindsight feel like i am hitting my head against a wall......the office says to talk to the paed if im worried but i want to ask those who have done the ritalin thing if this is normal..... he is only on a low dose so it cant be making him so sad and moody can it?....he doesnt like to eat in the mornings anymore either but will pig out at dinner (overboard pigging out) after drug is out of his system ...Is this normal?


New Member
I was thinking about you just yesterday and wondering how things were going.

I'm sorry things are not sounding so good. I don't have any experience with Ritalin other than 3 days :wildone:, that was enough for us.

Hope someone can shed some light on this issue for you.

Take care,


Any stimulant like Ritalin can absolutely depress a child as a side effect. In addition, it can cause the kind of "pigging out" in the evening that you report. I would strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor about your difficult child's reaction to Ritalin. in my humble opinion, it's unacceptable to swap noisiness for depression.


New Member
Dylan was totally wild on the Ritalin and all the other stimulant trials. They either caused increased moodiness, increased agitation, increased hyperactivity or increased all of the above :hammer: I think just about every medication he's been on has made him want to eat more. That's not a very positive statement seeing as how he's had 17 medication trials.

I'd call the paed, hun.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Sorry to hear you are struggling...
my husband just had to have a talk with- our school... I had tried to explain to her teacher that difficult child doesn't KNOW how to ask for help... kids are bullying her, she keeps getting notes that she doesn't have spare clothes, (she does, she needs help finding them). This is pre-school, so husband said, much nicer than I would have, " here are the socks difficult child borrowed yesterday, and she has extra clothes in her cubby, she just needs help." The 2 teachers looked at him like ha was crazy... "what she seems perfectly capable, and she seems happy." etc.... he looked her in the eye and said "SHE NEEDS HELP" & " You don't know her well enough then to see when she is struggling, I am not mad I am just letting you know she is struggling. " I am so proud of him, but I still don't think they got it....

How do you protect your difficult child??? I know how you feel, difficult child will come home so sad on some days. I don't know how to explain this to her. Or how to help her just yet. We will change schools next year for K, and we have conference next week...
I hope it gets better for you guys... If I had to do it alone I would have lost it. When husband has to work out of town... I get so frazzled, we have the same age kids, I don't know how you do it. I feel for you.


Active Member
Hi Paula. difficult child 1 was begun on ritalin, he went well until he showed rebound problems a few years later (as he got older and needed more). He was then switched to dex - no rebound.

Basically, rebound was the problem behaviour returning BIG TIME as the medications were wearing off. Once medications were fully worn off the behaviours settled down a bit, but still not as good as when he was medicated. Some kids get rebound with ritalin, some with dex. No way of knowing ahead of time.

difficult child 3 has only been on dex. Same with easy child 2/difficult child 2.

Main problems we've had - loss of appetite and insomnia.

But in your case - your difficult child has already had some weird reactions. It could be the ritalin, or it could be - who knows?

Have you tried to introduce a communication book with the school? If they refuse, you can insist - it is recommended by DET Head Office with special needs kids like ours. It could ease the problems you're having with the teacher's unavailability. It could also be easier for you to make your concerns known and by putting it in the book, even though it is an informal system, it is STILL down in b/w and they tend to take a bit more notice. A written record is a written record, informal or not.

What are your plans for him over the holidays? Next year? Have you had a funding meeting yet for next year's support funding? If the school won't put it in place, go over their heads to the Regional Office. If Regional Office won't do it, call Bridge St (DET h/o) and ask for the Disabilities person. I can give you names if you need them, but I've found that ringing h/o and talking to people there helps me get results.

Take notes as you go, keep a record of who you talk to and what you both said, so you can backtrack and follow up promises made. having to deal with DET can turn you into an obsessive-compulsive, but it works.

I hope you get more answers soon.



Well-Known Member
If the moodswings started with the Ritalin, I'd think it's the Ritalin. I trialed Ritalin once and it shot me to the moon only to then throw me into a terrible depression. After all, it IS speed. I never took a second pill because it scared me. If the moodswings started before the Ritalin, then there are other possibilities. I dont know why Ritalin is EVER given to kids with moodswings. To me, it seems contradictory. Anyways, if he is on the autism spectrum, there is a much higher chance that he also has co-morbid mood problems that require seperate medicating (not with stimulants). Bipolar (and kids can have it) is present in 30% of all cases of Aspergers; I'm not sure if it's the same in other sorts of autism. Acting out is common with autism, because of all the frustration. Moodswings are different, and can happen weeks at a time or several times a day. Has he had a chance to see a Child Psychiatrist? I would recommend that if you lived in the US, but have no idea how your health care system works. I hope the little guy settles down and you get some peace. It's so hard. (From one who didn't sleep for two years because son didn't sleep for two years) It can get much better. Is your son in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) interventions? Again, I don't know how it works in Australia. In the US, you get free interventions from the county and the school district.


Active Member
There are supposed to be free interventions here, too, with school, but getting it put in place can be difficult if you have a recalcitrant Regional Office.

Also, re co-morbid diagnosis - I checked with easy child (now working in the health system) who told me that, at least as far as she has been taught, bipolar cannot be diagnosed co-morbid with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in any form. ADHD IS often diagnosed co-morbid with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), but apparently the way our mob use the diagnostic criteria, they won't consider bipolar with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) as a matter of principle.

If there's a chance that your difficult child, Paula, has bipolar, you need to check it out. How, I don't know, considering the fun and games you've had so far.

For my money - I think there's more here than is being dealt with. OK, a real "duh" moment, but I'm not sure how you can get the attention you need, short of maybe kicking in the door at Westmead.

Back to medications - I'm not happy with the sound of things. The school doesn't sound like they've got a workable management strategy in place (although they sound like they're doing the best they can, considering they haven't got a clue) and it also sounds like you haven't got enough (or any?) support funding.

There should be an autism outreach teacher with DET. Failing that (or maybe as well as that?) there is a Behaviour Team (or teacher) accessible to the school. You may need to jog their memories about the services they can access.

It's really difficult for parents to find out what is available, especially if the teachers don't know, either. Then DET claims that the needs in a certain are aren't that great, because nobody is utilising these services! Hey, did they consider it's because we aren't told about them?

Talk to the teacher if you can, then the infants principal, let them know you want to access whatever people and services you can, then if they aren't calling them you do so. You are permitted to. Describe the problems and ask for help. They will visit the school during school hours, talk to the child, the teachers and to you if possible. They will observe and then discuss what could be put in place to help.



New Member
Hi all...just wrote a reply and it ate it without posting.... I have no luck with this forum... so i will reply tomorrow.....

i am gonna write it to word first and then copy and paste......

night all


Active Member
Good thinking. I find if I take too long drafting a reply then it sometimes gets eaten, so I copy it before I click "continue", just in case. And there's always that time when I don't - and lose it all!