help for a newbie

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by medinstr, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. medinstr

    medinstr New Member

    I am new to this site today. I am on my last rope so to speak. I am an educated medical professional with a difficult child 12 son, ADHD, ODD, Depression. We are on medications (30mg Adderall XR, 100mg Zoloft) also cursed with asthma, and allergies. I want to pull out my hair, we have been dealing with this since Kindergarden. MY difficult child is very gifted educationally, however it is the behavior I cannot control, the medications do absolutely nothing we have tried several others. I am willing to try anyting that could possibly help, even considering mood stabalizers,anyone had any success with these? He has seen a psychiatrist with no improvement. He constantly disrupts class, disobeys the rules at home, ignores us as parents, and constantly argues with EVERYONE and blames this on everyone else. He enjoys conflict with anyone he can. I understand this is out of his control and it is all part of his disorder, however emotionally I cannot deal anymore. I try extra hard to hold my feelings inside but cannot help cry constantly. I fear that he will never hold a job or be able to function normally in society. He wants to be a lawyer but in my mind can see no way of him succeeding at this with the problems he has. He has very little friends, and many people do not like him. My inlaws are prime examples they want nothing to do with us because of our "problem" child. I am screaming for some help, support, advice..anythinng anyone is willing to give. My difficult child is whitty, funny, charasmatic, smart, and inventive but the "bad behavior" outweighs the good and there are times I can't stand to be around him which makes me feel aweful to say about my son. I love him dearly but dont know how to help him. My husband cannot deal with him without yelling, punnishing, or arguing which then makes us argue. We only have one child, thank God, I cannot even handle this one let alone any more. Please I am begging for some relief.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Kelly, welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us point you in the right direction.
    What kind of doctor diagnosed your difficult child?
    Are things better, worse or about the same since he started medications?
    What other medications have been trialed?
    Is he in therapy?
    Has he ever had a neuropsychological evaluation?
    How does he do at school, both academically and socially?
    Any sensory issues (for example, sensitivity to clothing tags, loud noises, food textures)?
    Any developmental or speech delays?

    Sometimes the medications don't work because the diagnosis is wrong. That's why a thorough evaluation might be in order at this point.

    Again, welcome.

  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator


    I have to say that anytime I see an ADHD/ODD diagnosis, it makes me raise my eyebrow. Not to say these conditions do not coexist, it's just that too many times I've seen it turn out to be bipolar disorder.

    If your child has a mood disorder, ADHD medications and antidepressants can cause problems. It's my understanding that for best results the mood disorder typically should be stabilized before trying to introduce ADHD medications. Even then, there are some that just can't tolerate an ADHD medication.

    It can be very difficult to get this sorted out, but if bipolar hasn't been ruled out, it's something that you may need to consider. You might want to pick up a copy of The Bipolar Child and see if it rings a bell for you.

    Also, 12 yrs old.... Puberty with kids is hard, but when you have a child with-neurological disorders, it's extra hard. It seems to just put them in a tailspin and all gains can appear to be lost.

    Glad you found us. :smile:

    by the way, we can relate to the frustration incurred when raising a difficult child. You'll find we do a lot of venting here. lol It helps to just get it out.
  4. medinstr

    medinstr New Member

    My difficult child was originally diagnosis by his pediatrician, then went to a child psychiatrist. He went to therapy and we have done the whole star charts...His academic progress at school is ecellent he is in 6th grade and reading at a 9th grade level and all other grades are A's. He has no other speech or developemental delays. His behavior at school is jsut interupting class, shouting out, cannot sit still and has been like this since preschool. At home he gets more of a temper and argues. He has had no other evaluation except to rule out bipolar which they said he is not. Besides this he is otherwise in good health has seasonal allergies and asthma but is growing out of it. That is part of what makes it so hard, me dealing with these problems. The schools haev not been helpful at all. He finally has a 504 this year but the teachers only half the time obide by it. He is 12 and that is such an impressionable year I want and need some help now before things get worse, I dont want him into drugs or slcohol or premature sex or trouble with the law that could come to any child at the teen years let alone one who is predisposed to problems. I have also been reading alot about omega 3 and girlfriend/cf diet going to try that what can it hurt.
    He was on straterra and got tics, was on concerta with no relief and now the adderall with also very little relief. The zoloft does seem to help with the outbursts a little but I still feel there has to be something else to help my child. I dont understand why this has to be constant fight for children with mental disorders. If our childern had "medical" disorders there would be help.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Did the psychiatrist or pediatrician rule out bipolar? How was it ruled out?

    FWIW, anxiety and depression can present with ADHD-like symptoms. If the ADHD medications haven't helped at all, perhaps he doesn't have ADHD (furthermore, stimulants like Concerta and Adderall can exacerbate anxiety). If Zoloft is not helping enough, perhaps he needs a different antidepressant.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Look at his allergy & asthma medications as well. They may be adding to his behavior problems. Also, consider a sleep study. Many kids (even those that log enough hours) suffer sleep deprivation resulting in adhd-like behaviors.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board! :flower:

    TM said what I was going to suggest. Many allergy/asthma medications can add to behavior issues.

    As far as your husband's reaction to your son's behavior, been there done that and I can tell you it only makes it worse. Has your husband read material on your son's dxes? I had to drag my hubby to each and every doctor appoint to finally get him to see the light and get on the same page with me. THAT helped tons!

    If his current medications aren't working, it might be time to look at others.

    Tie a knot at the end of your rope and hold on. You've landed in a wonderful place.

  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    (Cleveland Rocks) & Welcome

    Well I don't have any suggestions of what to have diagnosis or not diagnosis. I do think that Zoloft is a big bad drug. At 11 and 12 it made my son have suicidal thoughts. They tried it again at 15-16 and the same thing happened to him and myself.

    Why did you stop seeing a psychologist or a psychiatrist? First before you get the illusion that this can be cured with a pill, or a magic wand or taping chicken livers to your naked elbows and dancing in the moonlight you need to come to the realization that this is a disability. It's not going to go away. It can be managed with therapy and sometimes medications or elimination diets. To think that there is a Fountain of Cure somewhere only will frustrate you to no end. Manageable? Yes. Curable? No. That was the first thing I had to come to terms with.

    A lot of difficult child's are very bright and gifted scholastically. Their behaviors in a school setting snowball until it almost appears that the child is depressed from lack of understanding the material. Moreover it's a lack of self esteem they suffer from. Years of being the kid who constantly blurts stuff out, yells, has tantrums for seemingly no reason - more the case.

    I had hoped too that my son would be a lawyer or a veterinarian. He now is living in a group home 3 hours from me, barely maintaining his GED classes, doing community service for crimes he should have known better to do, and has a huge fine and probation. I can't even look at his baby pictures anymore it's too painful. But he's alive, he's trying to get his GED, he's trying to get a job and learn how to support himself and he's not on drugs or alcohol. I missed entirely too much of a life I loved so wholeheartedly.

    My best advice is to do what you can for today - shorter term goals with realistic outcomes will help you to not become so depressed. You may have an advantage home schooling if you can do it.

    My son was on 64 medications in 11 years and combinations of the same. We put him in around 20 placements, and 5 or 6 psychiatric. hospitals. Therapists from Mental health came to our home, we had doctors, allergists, MRI's, brain scans, EEG's - you name it I've done it in the name of trying to help my son - my only son.

    At 17 years old - I've now had to learn how to tough love, turn my back and attend therapy to learn how to be able to communicate with a child who can't seem to learn how "not" to do some of the simplest things and how "to" do things that most kids just do without being asked.

    It's a long road - keep yourself healthy, get a good therapist your son can create a bond with for years to come - and take a lot of breaks from him. Don't worry about your parents - they're never going to get "it". Don't try to explain it.

    It gets better, then worse, then better, then worse, and then really bad, then somewhat better. And that's the truth.

  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi, welcome to the board!

    Ditto, ditto, ditto everyone.

    My daughter, at age SIX, was diagnosis'd ADHD/ODD. Started on stimulants. First one made her weepy, second one made her MEAN. Doctor decided we should treat her "as though bipolar". She is on Abilify now and doing wonderfully.

    Something to think about.
  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I know someone asked but didn't see an answer:

    Does he show any sensory issues? Picky eater, itchy tags, gets fixated on something of interest (trains, YU GI OH cards, etc)? Line up his toys? Loud noises? Yell, holler or make strange sounds on occasion? Bang into things and when you ask why he says he doesn't know? Basically, stuff that's sort of quirky? Sometimes kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)'s present with the anger, etc. Might be worth considering!

    Also, read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. He gives you insight as to how your child thinks as opposed to how we and other kids do. It helps a lot!

    504's are ok, but I'd start looking into getting an IEP. They cover him better and protect his rights better. There isn't much recourse when you only have a 504.

    well, that's all I can think of! Welcome to the crowd!

  11. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    You've gotten good advice above. Since you mentioned looking into the girlfriend/CF diet, I will tell you I did find the girlfriend/CF diet to be the cure all for my former difficult child. The only time she acts that way is if she cheats on the diet. Her diagnosis was ODD and depression. I had symptoms that went away, too, that I just thought were the way that I was, when I went on the diet.

    If you decide to try it, it is important to know that you need to be very strict and avoid all traces of gluten and casein to give it a fair trial. For me, if I have any traces of gluten, it can take 2 weeks to get back to normal.

    My other daughter is also on the girlfriend/CF diet and right now isn't doing very well. But I do think she looked like she had ADHD before she was on it and stopped looking like that when she went on the diet.

    For info on the girlfriend/CF diet, look at It is mostly about gluten free but there are lots of people who are also CF. You can do a search there for gluten and behaviour problems, too.