I'm new and need to be walked through all of this.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kyanasama, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. Kyanasama

    Kyanasama New Member


    I am a mom to 3 little boys. Ages 8, 7 and 16 months.

    My 8 year old was recently diagnosed with ODD, but all of the forms they sent home with him also lean towards him having ADHD. They've put him on Risperdal .25mg dose and it isn't helping. He's just as violent now, as 4 weeks ago. I know it takes time to kick in, but I'm not even seeing a mild difference. In fact, since his behavior isn't across the board (he's different at home and at school), I'm not even sure he really has ODD.

    I also wonder how much of this is bottom of the barrel treatment because he's on Medicaid.

    I'm so lost in all of this and am having anxiety attacks daily for all the chaos he causes in the house. He scares the baby, my middle son hates playing with him and holes himself up in my room with toys and books. His behavior goes from nice to taunting to deliberately annoying to angry so quickly. He hits, kicks walls, deliberately hurts the other kids, to the point where he's always supervised with the others, and tells us he's going to hurt himself and kill us when he's in a rage.

    I know this may seem a bit disjointed, but I am so lost in all of this.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Nice to meet you, Kyanasmama.
    So sorry about your son.
    There are others here who have used Risperdal who can better advise you. We've only used Adderal, and it worked in less than 1/2 hr.
    It sounds like there's more going on here than just ADHD and ODD, especially the part about telling you he's going to hurt himself. That's not defiance, in my book.
    Speaking of books, almost everyone here loves The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. I'd suggest getting it right away.
    I would also suggest keeping your difficult child occupied with-projects so he can't annoy the other kids. I have given my son the tiniest projects just to keep him moving and occupied--taking out the trash, giving the dog a hug, moving the newspapers to the recyclng bin, doing 10 jumping jacks--just a constant string of commands to keep him doing something nondestructive and useful.
    Who diagnosis'd him? A psychologist or psychiatrist?
    Also, could you type the info you put in your note, into a signature/profile so we can all read it to remind ourselves of the kids' ages, etc? Thanks.
    Best of luck.
  3. Kyanasama

    Kyanasama New Member


    I'm not sure of the difference, really. The same person who prescribed the medications, gave him the diagnosis.

    I try to keep him occupied, but he lashes out if it's not something he wants to do.

    I've added a signature. Hopefully it will post with this.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    I have a few questions to ask that will help us help you.

    1/Who diagnosed him? Has he ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation or seen a Child Psychiatrist? in my opinion this is way above and beyond ADHD/ODD. I would want him re-evaluated.

    2/Are there are mood disorders or substance abuse on either side of the family tree?

    3/Was his development typical--he spoke on time, good eye contact, transitioned easily, interacted well with his peers, had no strange behaviors? Did he play with toys normally? Potty on time? Sensitive to noise or light or fabric or certain foods?

    If you do a signature like I did below, that would also help us.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi and welcome! So glad you found us!

    It's been over a decade since my son was started on Risperdal, but I'm thinking that we saw a change in behavior relatively quickly - certainly by 4 weeks. What we saw was a decrease in frequency and severity of rages - he didn't stop raging completely but initially he was certainly less explosive.

    Sounds like you're doing a great job in terms of making sure he's supervised. I know how exhausting that can get.

    Just based on life with my son, I would recommend that you consider having him evaluated at a hospital ER (preferrably at a hospital that has a children's psychiatric unit) the next time he becomes violent or threatens to hurt himself. It can be a way to fast-track a full evaluation but more importantly it will keep him and the rest of the family safe.

    So he does well at school? That's a positive sign - I know, small comfort when you're dealing with mega-behaviors at home, but it does mean that he can hold it together.

    Is he receiving any therapy? I know 8 seems young, but if you're able to access services I'd strongly recommend it. It can help the professionals involved get a clearer idea of the big picture but also my son's therapy at this age helped my husband and me in terms of coming up with strategies to handle the behaviors at home.

    Again, so very glad you found us!! Welcome!
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us.

    We're not doctors here, but as a mom who has three children with various flavors of mood issues, your difficult child's behavior sounds over the top for ADHD/ODD. The symptoms of aggression, raging and stated intent to hurt self or others relate more closely to a mood issue (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder) than ADHD/ODD. I'd be concerned that the prescribing doctor has not evaluated thoroughly enough to get an accurate diagnosis.

    Sue is right that Risperdal kicks in pretty quickly, usually within a few days. If you're not seeing any improvement at this point, it's either the wrong medication or the wrong dose. Your difficult child is taking the starting dose, and sometimes kids need higher doses to make a dent in their raging and aggression.

    I do think you need to dig deeper into what's causing these behaviors. Is there any chance of getting a second opinion with a board-certified child psychiatrist, testing with a neuropsychologist or a complete evaluation at a children's hospital?

    Again, welcome.
  7. Kyanasama

    Kyanasama New Member

    Hi there! I'm quoting to keep track of what I have answered.

    1. He was evaluated by a child psychiatrist (I, believe - he prescribed the medications) and is seeing an Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) as well.

    2. I have PTSD from dealing with my untreated bi-polar stepmother, but otherwise no mood disorders. My own mother had substance abuse issues.

    3. No, his development is not typical. His eyesight slowed down his speech progression, as he could not see how we formed words. He interacts okay with his peers. He typically has to be the boss, and directs the play. He is violent with his toys. He has a problem making it to the bathroom on time for #2, and it was noted by both my husband and I on his evaluation forms. Noise doesn't bother him, but he hates meat and any type of spices.
  8. Kyanasama

    Kyanasama New Member

    Hi there!

    He was initially evaluated at the Psychiatric ER here in Charlotte. All they did was meet with us for 5-10 minutes over the course of 8 hours and then sent us on our way with a referral to get therapy. Of course he was lucid at the time they saw him. He was half asleep at midnight.

    We've not seen a decrease in rages or the severity. In fact, its getting worse if nothing else, just because he's out of school.

    He does okay, grade wise at school and his behavior is fine amongst 20 other kids. He gets lost in the masses when other kids in his class are replaying gang shootings.

    He sees an Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) 2 times a month and we've only seen her twice, but she mostly just listens and then says "Well, spend some more one on one time with him." Which we do already, or at least try to. Then she meets with him for another 15-20 minutes and tells him that its important to listen to us. He doesn't answer most of her questions, I gather, because either he doesn't quite understand what she's asking or he's scared of the unknown consequences if he acts out.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Just popping to welcome you to the board. :salute:
  10. Kyanasama

    Kyanasama New Member

    I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome. I appreciate it, I really do.

    I do not know if Medicaid will cover anyone other than where we are going. I have to wait for their approval on anything.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Not to get into your personal finances, but if you can afford anything out-of-pocket, I'd get a 2nd opinion... for all of the reasons stated above.
  12. Kyanasama

    Kyanasama New Member

    Yeah, I wish we could afford to do that. Its a no-go on that front.
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Wanted to pop in and offer my welcome!
  14. mama2lexxie

    mama2lexxie New Member

    Hi Kyanasmama!!!

    Hang in there, you have found a great group who are always willing to help and share their experiences and knowledge.
  15. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I'd look into the neuropsyche evaluation. Check into various places that take medicaid and see. If you can't, look into places that don't and explain your situation. A lot of them have grants that allow them to handle things on a sliding scale based on what you can afford. If you can't afford anything, they look into their various grants.

    Heck, it never hurts to ask!

    Welcome to the crowd!

  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Medicaid covered ten hours of neuropsychologist testing for us.
  17. jal

    jal Member


    We trialed Risperdal about 2 yrs ago. It was .25mg. It made no difference with difficult child's behavior and he started having a side effect from the medications. There is a scientific name for the condition (which I have since forgotten) but I call it man boobs. We pulled the risperdal and the side effects went away.

    Does your son receive any support in school? Or does he function appropriately with-out support?
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am from NC so I know a bit about the services here and we have used nothing but Medicaid all these years with my son. I dont know if we have gotten the most cutting edge of services but we havent received bottom of the barrel either.

    Medicaid does cover private practice psychiatrists, you just have to locate one that takes medicaid. You may want to do a combination of a private psychiatrist and a local area group that provides counseling like where you are going now. Im pretty sure there are dozens like the one you are going to that you can change to if you arent happy there. Just call up your local area mental health agency and ask how. Sometimes you have to shop around.

    Mental health changed in NC to community based agencies a few years ago where all these little (for lack of a better word) chains popped up to handle the county mental health care instead of a central county mental health center. It was supposed to work better. I will reserve my thoughts on that one. It does give a person more choices but it appears tons of people have opened them up.

    In NC, you most likely will get your son diagnosed by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) after hours of testing. That is simply the way it is done here. The psychiatrist may meet with him and you to give a working diagnosis but will want the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) to verify that they agree after they spend time with the child. A good therapist wont make a decision in haste.
  19. Wanted to offer my welcome!

  20. Kyanasama

    Kyanasama New Member

    Hi everyone!

    No, he does not receive support for ODD in school. He receives support services for his sight problems.