Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Doodlebug, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Doodlebug

    Doodlebug New Member

    Hello, someone on another forum sent me this week after posting about my son there.

    My son is ADHD and there is something else going on. I think it might be Asperger's but his dad is Bipolar, so that is always there too. His dad is currently active duty, but somewhere else so I had to navigate the military insurance system by myself. Thankfully a really nice guy helped me out. I was able to get an appointment with some type of behavioral health professional, but I'm really not sure who. I have also called the school district (DS is homeschooled), but they don't seem real interested in calling me back. I think I may wait on talking to them again until I have some better answers.

    It just kills me because he will be a real happy go lucky kid and then we have a melt down and the world stops. In this last one, earlier this week, he threw a chair. Not at me, but across my bedroom. I'm not sure how I am going to handle him for the next month till we get seen.

    I have seen the report and assessment and I have begun working on that already. No questions really I guess. I just need a place and people that understand.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello Doodle and welcome!

    I'm not familiar with the military health system/insurance, but we do have a number of members who are. I'm sure there will be some follow up shortly.

    First thing we like to recommend here is that you get a copy of The Explosive Child, by Ross Greene. There's an amazon link here on the site, or contact your local library and see if they have a copy. It's kinda the difficult child bible around here!

    Second, hold in there and be strong. You may have to use some of the old tried and true methods of making sure he doesn't meltdown at the drop of a hat. Advance time warmings, making sure he understands behavior requirements and consequences going into every situation, get down on his level and make eye contact, make him repeat your instructions, stuff like that.

    Your son sounds like he needs a complete evaluation (multidisciplinary evaluation) by a pediatric psychiatrist or neuropdoc. Make sure you express your thoughts and concerns about potential dxs.

    When you say "you've seen the report" are you referring to the parent report?

    You say that your son is homeschooled but I also notice in your signature that you are a full time student. Are you an online student? If so, sounds like perhaps you might some respite with your husband being gone.

    One of my closest friends has a daughter who has two children and her husband has been on active duty a couple times. The army has been really helpful to her regarding swap child care services and such. Perhaps you could get some time alone!

    Again, welcome to site. Glad to have you here.

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Doodlebug, welcome!

    My son upends furniture during a tantrum, too. He's a yr older than your son.

    I'm a bit confused about the rept you saw... your profile has an ADHD diagnosis for your son, but nothing else. Is there some other rept?

    It's good to keep in mind that your husband is bipolar, because there is a genetic component to that. I'm assuming he's on medications, and stable, or else he wouldn't be active duty, right?

    Your son could still be Aspie and bipolar ... it takes a long time to figure out. In the meantime, I agree with-Sharon's suggestion to read The Explosive Child, if you haven't already read it.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. Welcome :)
    What type of professional is going to do an assessment? Is he being tested? What kind of behaviors do you see and how was his early development?
    If bipolar is on the family tree the child has a greater risk of having bipolar, but also has a greater risk of Aspergers. They don't know why, but it's been proven (so I'm told). I'd get a PRIVATE (not school-related) neuropsychologist evaluation before I'd do anything about medication.
  5. Doodlebug

    Doodlebug New Member

    OK,hopefully I can answer all the questions. :D

    My son's father is actually my X, remarried with a new family. Unfortunately he invests very little in DS.

    The X has not been diagnosis. He has however failed the phsyolocigal screening for at least two majoy police deptarments (He is national gaurd and is a cop normally and I have no idea how he made it though their screening.) I lived through his cycles. My well being depended on me predicting his cycles. It wasn't pretty. Right now he seems to be cotrolling some of the effects with excersize, but it's hard to tell from this far away. X's father is crazy (not to offend) very much into consipracy theories personally directed at him. I don't know what his deal is but he is really out there, also undx and unmedicated.

    The report I mentioned is the one from this website to show professionals.

    I don't know what kind of specialist he is going to be seeing. I was going on a referral from the mental health line. (Which makes me a bit nervous, becuase what if it isn't Bipolar, but Aspergers. Can a mental health professional tell the difference, or should he see a neurologist?) Our first appointment is a consultation only, as we have to have approval for all testing. I think I may call on Monday for more info.

    As for the homeschooling. I have known since he was little that he wouldn't do well in school. He'd either be the bully or the one who got picked on by everyone so I decided to HS him. I did it until I went back to college PT and it didn't work well for either of us. I have a very supportive family and my younger sister (who is phyically disabled and as a result can't work) HS him. It has worked out wonderfully for everyone. So far he has never had a physical melt down with her, and I pray he doesn't. That is one of the major reasons I want to firgure him out.

    I'm going to call the library and order that book.

    As for his history. While I was pregnant I worked three jobs to try and keep everything paid and put my X (then husband) through the police academy. I did it, but my health suffered terribly. It didn't help that the marrigae was very abusive. In the end I went toxic and he was born two months early. (I understand premeies have higher risks for things.) I had a really good OB/GYN and he was born healthy because I had been put on steroids and he only had to stay in NICU for 3 weeks.

    As a baby he had trouble with colic, but I altered my diet and it stopped. Because he was early all his milestones were pretty delayed. I had Parents as Teachers in, but I gave up with them as I knew more then the lady who kept visiting. He was very high strung. Very easy to distract, over stimulated easily, seemed like he couldn't hear you some times. Making eye contact when being told to do something was a big deal. He could make eye contact normally, but if he was in trouble or was being given an instructions it was very difficult. He travels at night and talks in his sleep. Even when he is asleep in his own bed it seems like his body moves a lot. He got glasses around two.

    At about five he caught up phsically. He lost the premie look. As a preschooler he just seemed really difficult. He would seem to forget things he was just told, forget rules, and we would go over the same ground over, and over, and over.

    I started teaching him kindergarten at 5, which was a mistake. The first year was very frustrating and we didn't make any progress. He didn't even know his phonics even though we had gone over them again and again. His first grade year I threw out the books and tried something completely different. I bought a bunch of educational games (he is very competative) and we played them until he understood his phonics. It really worked like a charm. I found a new very basic, black and white, cirriculum and made everything as hands on as possible. This really made a huge difference. In the first grade the meltdowns were vicious. Awful, like nightmarish and they were happening several times a day. I used holding techniques I was taugh when working with special needs preschoolers so that he didn't hurt himself or anyone else. Eventually they just seemed to stop one day.

    Even though he could read, he didn't have the pateince to, so he would often go over things way too fast and get things wrong. He still does that. It appears as though he is just sloppy. He doesn't organize thing well at all, either on paper or his school work.

    He has an obsession for pens and pads of paper although he rarely writes. He carries adult books around as though he is reading them, but he doesn't (although I do read novels to him, we are working though Louis L'amor ar the moment.) It is difficult for him to stay focused. When we go out with friends (and we don't often, it's too hard) I have to stay right on top of him. If I don't he'll get too hyper and spin out of control. He doesn't get a lot of things, like persoanl space. (We have a bubble rule now that helps but he often has to be reminded.) He grasps almost no social cues at all. you have to tell him "DS I am annoyed right now, leave me alone." or "Stop pushing.".

    Once he gets he mind set on something and it doesn't happen it is THH END OF THE WORLD. Seriously. It's awful. So I do a lot of setting of expectations. His father creates a lot of problems in this area. (He's an I'm going to take you to Disney World, but pretends he never said that later kind of dad.) It's like he feeds the problem. And no amount of counseling has convinced him not to do this or that there is anything wrong with it.

    Wow, well that was way longer than I intended, but it looks like a start to my report. I do use the strategies that LittleDudesMom mentioned. It's just hard sometimes to make him do the right thing when it would be so much easier to ignore it and not have to deal with it.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    psychiatrists often can't tell bipolar from Aspergers. A few of us had wrong bipolar diagnoses (along with the medications) when the kids were on the Spectrum. in my opinion I'd have a neuropsychologist evaluation before I medicated this child. JMO
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    That's a great description. Again, he could be both ... but considering the different way her learned when he was 5, and the way he obsesses over pens and paper, and the hypersensitivity to noise and the way you described how he did or didn't look at you, he sounds like he's on the autism spectrum to me. I would try a neurologist. Make sure it's someone who specializes in autism, and not just any old neurologist. I don't know if you live in a big city (KCMO?) ... seems like there should be a teaching hospital in Kansas City.

    I would operate on the premise that he has sensory issues and be very aware that fluorescent lights may be a trigger, such as the grocery store (or in our case, Hallmark card shops, which even my easy child hated), and keep those trips short, and maybe give him a pr of sunglasses to wear.
    I can tell when my son is going to blow, because he will begin to tap his foot, breathe more shallowly, and pace. Sometimes he follows me so closely it's like he's a magnet, and he harps and harps and then just explodes.
    I have to remain calm and it really helps if I can just leave the scene.

    Best of luck!
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, by the way, his dad cannot, absolutely cannot say one thing and do another. If your son is Aspie, he takes everything literally.
    He will defintely have a meltdown.
    Assuming that his dad isn't going to change, you've got to train your son to take everything his dad says with-a grain of salt. Sit him down and talk to him and explain that his dad is unpredictable. Explain that most people are disappointed in his dad because he doesn't follow through.
    The downside to this (or maybe a plus side ;) ) is that your son will then blurt out all of that to his dad. :( Personally, I'd put my son first and do whatever it takes.

    When you speak to him, be very aware that you, too, must be careful about absolutes and promises. I always tell my son, "I am not making any promises today." It takes me off the hook. Sometimes I'll tell him we're going to the store, and then I'll find what I'm looking for in the fridge, so I'll skip the shopping. Next thing I know, he's screaming, "LIAR!"
  9. Doodlebug

    Doodlebug New Member

    Thanks for the feedback. I think I may be coming at this from the wrong angle then. I think I will put in a call to the family practitioner tomorrow and see where to go. We have KU, which I believe is a teaching hospital as well as Children's Mercy.
  10. Doodlebug

    Doodlebug New Member

    I forgot. Do they do blood tests for any of these things? I don't think I can handle it if they do. He will go ballistic.