Just Need to Vent/So exhausted

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by totally drained, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. I don't even know where to start. My 10 year old was diagnosed with Mood Disorder and very slight ADHD. My soon to be 7 year old was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD and Mood Disorder.

    I am so drained. My son (10) is on medication for the Mood Disorder (low dose) and seems to be handling it well. He is no longer suicidal or manic. He still has times when he gets upset quickly and/or cries for minor issues, but he seems balanced.

    The source of my exhaustion is my daughter. I almost do not even have the energy to vent. She is a constant struggle. Every day is a battle to discipline her. It lasts ALL DAY. When she wakes up, she's good for 30 minutes and then the defiance kicks into overdrive. It is continual, draining, frustrating. It lasts until she closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep.

    I have tried counseling, though not consistent like it should be. I've had several tell me that she needs to be on medication. This scares me. She is so young; her brain still not fully developed. I have heard of so many children her age dying from medication used to treat ADHD and Mood Disorder. I am at a complete loss.

    I have read so many articles, portions of books, etc. regarding how to parent a child with these diagnoses and feel completely overwhelmed. I keep praying that God will grant me peace as He has done in the past. Peace and wisdom to know how to treat my daughter. Fear creeps in. Fear for her future, how she will turn out, what addictions she will turn to (just as my husband did when he was younger and diagnosed with Bipolar). Fear of not parenting her as best I should. I know that I fall extremely short right now. I am completely drained. My emotional level is below the requirement for daily function. My physical energy "gas tank" is bone dry.

    Lord, help me to find other parents who can relate and encourage me in this journey. I need this more than the false guilt I feel.:sad-very:
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us, but I'm sorry you're struggling. You will find a lot of support here.

    Would you please go to "Settings" at the top of the page and create a signature similar to mine below so we can keep track of your family details when we're responding to your posts?

    It would also be helpful if you would tell us a little more about your daughter so we can help point you in the right direction. What behaviors are you seeing? What medications is she taking? What kind of doctor diagnosed her? How does she do in school, both academically and with peers?

    Again, welcome.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board. I have a few questions that can help us help you. We really don't know enough to make any suggestions.

    1/Who diagnosed her? Has she ever seen a neuropsychologist? (They are awesome diagnosticians in my opinion...it is common for younger kids to be misdiagnosed)

    2/Are there any psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of her GENETIC family tree? Even if she never met Dad, she carries 50% of his genes so he is still with her, so to speak.

    3/How was her early development? Did she talk on time? Did she like being held? Did she have strong eye contact with you and strangers? Can she transition from one activity to another without raging? Does she have any quirks or obsessive interests? Does she copy things she hears on TV or that others say? Does she understand how to relate to her same age peers and does she do it well? How does she do in school? Any sensitivities to noise/textures/certain foods? Does she sometimes seem to be "out of it" especially in unfamiliar settings yet at other times do you wonder "Is there really anything wrong at all?"

    Obviously, you have an atypical child, therefore she is not going to respond to typical parenting methods and I don't know if a therapist is a good idea until you are sure what is going on with her. Thrapists tend to tell you about interventions that work for kids who are typical children. ODD, by the way, very rarely stands alone and your daughter sounds extreme for ADHD. Mood disorders can be a misdiagnoses too. We had that happen with my son. He was wrongly treated for a mood disorder that he does not have.

    Others will come along.

  4. Small World,

    Thank you so much for welcoming me. I am unsure of how to format my signature? I'm not sure what the letters stand for? The difficult child 1, easy child/difficult child 2, etc. I will be happy to create one :)

    As for your questions, she is EXTREMELY defiant. For example, we tell her several times not to do something (in a day) and she repeatedly does it. When she is asked to do something (like pick up her toys) she yells no and becomes rageful. Again, this is an every day occurrence. At school, she gets into trouble for not sitting still. I have had several conversations with her teacher regarding this, advising her teacher that she cannot control her movement due to the ADHD. It always fell on deaf ears. She literally runs the house. I don't have the energy anymore to argue with her. She picks fights with her older brothers and, shamefully, I yell at them to just leave her be. I know that she instigates it but when I discipline her she rages. She yells, attacks physically by pushing and hitting, throws things, etc.

    She doesn't take any medications currently. I'm struggling with that one. I don't trust medications with her being so young (will be 7 on july 17th). I am so afraid of negative side effects and even death.

    As for how she does in school. Well, academically she barely passed 1st grade. She had no level of concentration, constantly getting up and wandering around the classroom, talking when she shouldn't have been, etc. We did find out a few months ago that she needs glasses so we do have those now. Hopefully that will be some help for her this coming school year.

    Friends? She has a few. She contantly fights with them. Always telling them what to do. Some of them won't play with her any more.

  5. Midwest Mom,

    She was diagnosed by a psychiatrist. She has not been to a neuropsychologist. We can't afford it. My husband and I both lost our jobs on Feb 25th so we have no insurance. State Aid doesn't cover mental health (at least there are only 3 psychiatrists in this whole state that are covered it seems. All of them are over 2 hours away and we don't have the gas to drive back and forth several times). I did find a Christian Counselor that is seeing us on a sliding scale. I do believe that she was diagnosed correctly as I've researched all of the dianoses and she clearly has them.

    My husband (her father) is bipolar and had struggled with substance abuse but is 17 months sober. His father, we believe, was bipolar as well though he was never diagnosed. My middle son (10) was also diagnosed with mood disorder.

    Her early development was great! She did everything in the normal timeframe. She loved being held and make eye contact. She can transition from one activity to another without raging if it was her choice. When we transition her, she rages. No quircks or obsessive interests that I can tell. She does copy things, but no more than a typical 7 year old. It isn't out of compulsiveness. She can relate to same age peers, but she is bossy. It always has to be her way. If she wants to play dolls and her friend wants to ride bikes, she throws a tantrum until her friend does what she wants to do. No sensitivity to noise, etc. At school, she can't sit still, constantly out of her seat wandering around, talking when she shouldn't, can't concentrate on her work, etc. The teacher will give the kids a packet of 4 sheets to do. She will ace the first sheet but by the time she's at the last page she's gotten every question wrong. She never seems out of it and the only times I wonder if there really is anything wrong at all is when she first wakes up and maybe once or twice during the week. Other than that, the defiance and such is very evident. Others have even pointed it out to me (as if I can't tell).

    Thank you so much for your advise. My problem is I know all the right answers cognitively speaking (I've researched intensely for both of my kids and my husband) and taken several courses in college (was majoring in Psychology) I just don't have the energy to do what I need to do. I do agree with you, the mood disorder is not as pronounced in her right now as the ADHD and ODD are. I do know, however, that eventually her diagnosis will be bipolar. I see the mood swings slightly. My son's mood disorder didn't become completely apparent until he was 9. That's when he started to attempt suicide. I have a few more years with my daughter before that happens.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm really sorry. Suicide attempts a nine. Wow.

    God bless and keep you strong for your babies!
  7. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Welcome. You have found a safe place to land. Many of the parents here have been where you are and walked the hard path as well. This place is a wealth of support and ideas. You are in good hands. It can be a slow process to get the right help and make progress but you are headed in the right direction. I was at my wits end when I got here, I was ready to lose my mind. I was weary, fatigued, emotionally burnt and felt so utterly lost. This site has made such a difference in my life. Just having people who understand is so important. People with average children just don't "get" what we go through which makes it so much harder. I landed here less than a year ago and can already look bag and see myself closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Try to let go of the guilt. You obviously love your kids and are doing the best you can. We all go through stages of feeling so beat down that it is hard to manage our children perfectly. We are parents but none of us are perfect, we ALL make mistakes. We all learn as we go along. No child, especially a difficult one comes with rules or instructions. Parenting is often like a game of blind mans bluff. I worry about my childs future too, I obsess over it sometimes and it causes me a great deal of stress. Your childrens diagnosis or future diagnosis is not your fault. Our kids just get unlucky. A lot of us mourn what we see as milestones they may not reach. None of this is what we pictured. There are still good things along the way and we learn hopefully to accept our kids and love them for who they are, warts and all. You are a good mom!

    I agree with a lot of what the other posters are saying. I would wonder if little sis maybe learned some bad behaviors from big brother and now possibly she is acting out due to it. Maybe it is attention seeking as well especially if big bro took a lot of your time. Definitely follow up with a professional to see what she needs but the younger you start getting help the longer you have for her to start new healthy patterns.
  8. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    I just saw that you are in Illinois. I am as well. I also noticed that you have a 2 hour drive to anywhere decent. I am almost that far from St. Louis.

    If you happen to be anywhere near Southern Illinois or within a decent radius of Saint Louis I can save you months of calls and research...I've already forged this path sweetie!!

    I have names, places to go and some of those also include the state aid coverage all a bit closer to my neck of the woods with easier drives. I know how awful finding help in a rural area can be. There isn't much out here for us but I have bumped into it all a chunk at a time.
  9. jlsanchez08

    jlsanchez08 Guest

    Ok, I have been where you are now and have been here for a while. I hate to tell you for your sanity and for the sake of your family, there has got to be some medication for her. I am sorry to tell you that point blank but I have been in denial about medication for my daughter because I knew at a VERY young age that she was "special". I didn't want to medicate her because she was so young but now that she is on medication I would never have her go without it again. It may sound sad but it came down to her being medicated or me being medicated. She was probably two (if not before that) when I knew that she was "special" but I waited until she was almost five before I put her on medication and I was in tears at the Dr's office. She had been in daycare and private Christian schools learning since she was born (since I worked full time) and did not learn a thing and I mean hardly anything at all. Me wanting to avoid puting her on medication only hurt her. She was starting Kindergarten and was clueless, she was behind every single person in her class and it didn't matter that we worked with her at home or that she was being taught well in Pre-K, she did not retain anything because of her ADHD/ODD, she still can't even cut well. Now granted she has had hearing/speech problems since she was born and is diagnosed with ADHD and ODD and is completely driving everyone crazy I still have the guilt of not medicating her sooner because now she if functional (on medication) but is trying to catch up on learning and is still way behind developmentally, etc. I have had her before she was on medication stab her little brother in the head with a pencil luckily there is a skull to prevent deep penetration from a little girl but he still has a scar on his head the looks like a pencil stab. Even on medication today when it is not in her system (early mornings, late evenings) she will still beat him up or tell me I'm mean and that she hates me, etc. Mind you this is my little princess, the only girl out of five children BUT she is worse than all five of them put together. I am now trying to research even more on how to handle her because you can not discipline an ADHD/ODD child like you could any other child. I understand that you are having trouble because even with medication I struggle with her.
  10. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    Welcome! This is a great place with very supportive people. They help me keep my sanity.

    First, you are doing the best you can from where you are right now. One of the parents here once said "you did the best you could, if you could of done better, you would of." And it is very true.

    Any parent can parent a easy child (perfect child), but a difficult child (Gift from God)... those take a warrior Mom. And that is what you are. You are fighting a huge battle with and for your children. It takes a lot of strength and determination. And you are showing it every day, by reading and researching, and by finding this site to help you.

    I understand the "last all day" battles. My son (difficult child-A) at age 10, started the day with "you hate me. I know you do. Just admit it". It went on and on with me reassuring him over and over that I did love him. After 10 hours of this, non-stop, I finally said, "Fine, I hate you. Are you happy now?" which started the "See, I knew it" until bedtime. Just hang in there. You will survive it...sometime barely, but you will survive.

    I'd recommend reading "The Explosive Child" and "The Defiant Child" (can't remember the authors that wrote them) but they helped me and many others here. And come back and see us often. Just knowing that you aren't alone is a big help.
  11. Dear Farmwife,

    Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I really appreciate it. It feels so much better to see that there are others out there dealing with the same things as us. I saw a new counselor this past Thursday who agreed, Dakota needs to get on some medication for the ADHD in order for the ODD to be treated. I'm so scared of putting her on medication. When I was researching medications for my son for his Mood Disorder I found so many of them had caused death.

    As for living near St. Louis: unfortunately, I'm closer to Chicago. I'm about 60 miles south of. That's where all of the psychiatrists are located. Driving into the city is a nightmare. It may only be 60 miles but can take 2 hours to get there :(
  12. Mom2oddson -

    Thank you so much! I will definitely look into those two books. Also, I see that difficult child is Gift from God - what does the A stand for? Or the S? Also, What does husband stand for? Sorry :( I'm trying to understand how I would create my signature. Thanks so much for your help!!! :)
  13. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Such a bummer you live that far from my gathered resources. I could cry. I am so happy you saw someone. Sometimes having a shoulder or an objective voice of reason is such a comfort.

    husband is dear husband. I'm not sure about a or s though.

    Medication is a difficult thing to accept. I too hated the idea once. I didn't want the side effect risks or to have something dull my kiddos natural personality.

    After a clear diagnosis and solid answers it is easier to make an informed decision. In the case of many health issues, physical and mental the criteria is "will the benefits of the medicine alleviate symptoms and outweigh the side effects." With careful monitoring and slow tapering on and off of medications the risks can be minimized. Careful observation and only one change at a time is ideal as well.

    It is such an individual decision to make. I'm not advocating the use of medications because not everyone gets the perfect mix. What I am trying to say is though, is you should consider your daughters quality of life without medications and what it could be on medications and weigh that against potential side effects.

    In my case my son is very depressed without medications and has serious self esteem issues. I saw a very real future threat of suicide if he was not treated. So, although he could some day down the road face TD (a nasty potential) or a list of other things I still see the medications as being potentially life saving. Aside from that, without medications he had no chance at education, future employment and had all but almost alienated himself from all friends and family. medications were the only choice for us. I hated it but I had no other choice.

    Have you tried and exhausted all other options that appeal to you? Have you tried monitoring her moods to see when they fluctuate and why? are there certain situations or environments or people that set her off? Have you tested her diet for food allergies? Have you tried behavior modification? Not all of these work for everyone but they are ideas, new directions to think about because it is all up to you after all. Sometimes a combination of things helps. I use medications, sleep routines, counseling and natural consequences for my difficult child. Not a perfect system but it fits him as best as we can make it.

    In the event medications are your only option try not to see it as an evil thing. Lots of people such as diabetics spend their lives with medication. Sometimes we just have to accept things as they are and deal with it as best we can with what we are given. Only you can judge what you think the pros and cons are of adding medications would be on your daughters family life, social life, education, well being and quality of living. etc.

    Sometimes none of the options are perfect and no answers are clear or easy. I struggle with that in every choice I have to make for my difficult child. medications are just a small part of his care and total picture. medications help take the edge off but they are not a magic cure all. Even IF you do go that route it takes time for them to work and it takes time to get the right one. It took us a year of chaos before we got the right combo. We now have good days mixed with a couple bad days. I can look back at this time last year and know I made the right choice for my difficult child and our family. Life is still hard but it has become tolerable which sometimes is all that can be hoped for with these high maintenance kiddos. It wasn't an easy year or past 3 for that matter but I can look back now and see tiny bits of progress.

    One day at a time, one small success at a time. You've taken the first step on your journey just be patient knowing you are in the right direction.
  14. boo

    boo Guest

    I know personally and first hand how you feel. My youngest is 6. Medication is not an easy decision to make and I know EXACTLY how you feel. You reach the point where you realize the amount of suffering your child is experiencing and you will do anything to help. Medication is not without risks/side effects as I am sure you know. My son IS on medication and it has taken the edge off of his frustration and rage. My husband and I made the decision to try it, gave it to him one night and the next day it was like we had a brand new child. He calls it his "happy pill". It is not the magic bullet, but it has given him enough relief that he can express his true feelings. I work REALLY hard with him on getting to the root of his meltdowns. I am finding that understanding and listening to his frustrations and responding to them has helped the most. The book on explosives kids is extremely helpful and using plan B has changed our thinking completely. Keep a journal, try only one medication at a time and watch closely. In my opinion on what you have said, I don't think I would personally start with a stimulant. I would address the rage/mood issues first. If she is bipolar, the stimulant could make things worse, but you will know quickly if that is going to happen.

    Hang in there. You are doing the best you can, that's all any of us can do.
  15. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I second you getting a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene ASAP. It is probably the most recommened book on this board. Also, get The Defiant Child by Douglass Riley (he sometimes posts on this board). Your public library may have them.

    I'm sorry you are going through so much. Son started medications are age 8 and when I saw the difference I do wish I had started sooner. That's how much of a difference it made. Didn't make him a easy child by any stretch of the imagination, but at least he was tolerable. And, I struggled a long time before I opened myself to the idea of medication.

    I'm sorry for the reasons that brought you here, but I'm so glad you found us. Honestly, I don't know how I would have coped without it; it's been the single best resource in raising my difficult children.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you had to find us but glad you did.
    You've gotten some great ideas and advice here.

    I would add that your daughter must have a strict routine and lots of sleep. She will be much more stable with-a good sleep routine.

    You are lucky to know that your husband and his father are bipolar. That is a big help with-a diagnosis. Yes, it starts out as ODD and ADHD, usually. Pretty typical. I have a bipolar friend who was so hyper when he was little, that the teachers came up with-the idea to build a mini-wall, like a Japanese screen, around him, so he wouldn't distract the other students. Obviously, he was undx'd but hey, whatever works. :)

    Definitely, have your daughter seen by a specialist (you'll have to get a friend to help you with-transportation and gas ... maybe your church can help?) and get her on some medications. Any dr worth his/her weight will start out with-a very small dose. You can read the signatures here, and do online searches to see what typical dosages are.

    Do NOT beat yourself up for being a bad parent. You've been dealt a hand that is extremely difficult. You have a Herculean task. The fact that you have already done so much research and that you found this board speaks volumes. Congratulate yourself on surviving so far and on being intelligent and able to research!

    I would recommed The Manipulative Child, by Swihart and Cotter. It has some blunt and scary ideas that will make you angry (they sure made me angry) but in the end, they are right. Read the section about how adults will tiptoe around these kids to "keep the peace." Avoidance will get you nowhere. You're teaching your child to control you. It's better to do the hard work now than later.

    I know that sounds difficult, if not insurmountable, especially since you are emotionally exhausted already. But with-more counseling, and Al Anon, which you can go to because of your husband's history, is GREAT for detachment issues, and it's FREE, you will find lots of support and ideas.

    Remember to take time for yourself. Go outside, now that it's summer, and breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine, even if it's only for 10 min.

    Choose your battles with-your daughter. For example, if she wants to wear a certain outfit and you'd prefer something else, let her wear it anyway. It's just not worth it.

  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome!!! I am sorry things are so rough right now. You sure have found the right place!

    I know you do not want to medicate your child. No one does. The problems your daughter has are likely caused by chemical problems in her brain. Sadly it is almost never something that can be helped significantly without medication. medications are scary. Having our children grow up with these problems untreated is even scarier, or it is to many of us. Think about how little control she has now, how intense and physical her rages are. Then imagine her at 12 or 14. She will likely be as big as you are, or close, and much stronger. Her rages will be exponentially worse if she doesn't get help. It is almost impossible to balance the chemicals in her body, or change them whatever ways the medications do, without medications.

    I saw some figures about a month ago that stated that Bipolar has a 30% mortality rate. Those deaths are largely caused through suicide. We often forget this as we go about life with a loved on who is bipolar. Which risk is bigger, the risk from the medications or the risk of suicide/death from bipolar? I am NOT saying this to scare you. I KNOW how scary it is to have a child try to kill himself. My son tried at age 7 to kill himself and it was one of the most awful, painful, hideous things I have ever experienced. Having had the entire family survive that, we felt the risk of suicide far outweighed the risk of side effects, even death from the medications. We also felt that if our difficult child was himself he would PREFER the risk of medications to the awful way he felt.

    Your daughter is not happy. The rages are NOT something she has any control over. Until the chemical problems of bipolar are treated (even if they cannot be "fixed" or "cured") she has little chance of ever really being happy, of learning, of becoming a productive person. It can take a LONG time to find the right medications and dosages and it is a very difficult process. But it can also give her a real chance of having a happier, healthier life.

    That being said, the decision is TOTALLY yours and one of the most AWESOME and INCREDIBLE things about this site is that we will support you even if you make different choices than we do!!

    It would be an excellent idea for you to do a Parent Report. Years ago some of the moms here worked out an outline for a document that would keep all the info about a child in ONE place. It has everything, your hopes and dreams and fears, doctor, hospital and laboratory info, school info, etc... It lets you communicate easily with docs and others and even makes filling out those hundreds of forms for each new doctor a lot easier! Here is a link to it: http://www.conductdisorders.com/forum/f7/parent-input-multi-disciplinary-evaluation-10/

    (You can find it, and lots more helpful info like the abbreviations, on the FAQ/Board Help section of this site.)

    Have you read "The Bipolar Child" by Papalous? If you have not, you really NEED to. The section on medication is incredibly helpful. It explains why you should start treatment with mood stabilizers if bipolar or mood disorders are diagnosis'd or suspected. medications for MANY other conditions can cause cycling! It can take two mood stabilizers and even an antipsychotic medication to stabilize the moods. Until the moods are stable, treating other problems like adhd is rarely successful. The medications for adhd just make things much worse. After moods are stable if there are still symptoms of adhd then a small amt of stimulants can be trialed. Same for other medications. If you start with stims or other medications, it is impossible to get the moods to be stable. The book explains this VERY clearly and is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, and "experts".

    Did you know that often the symptoms that are thought to be adhd/odd/depression/etc... go away when moods are stablized with-o the need for other medications? What is seen as adhd or whatever is often actually a symptom of the bipolar. This is true for many many many childhood mental illnesses. It is one reason that it is best to start with bipolar medications and once they are right move on to treat other symptoms.

    There are some other books that might be very very helpful to you. The Explosive Child by Ross Greene is our favorite parenting book. It suggests a way of parenting that seems counter-intuitive but is quite effective with difficult children. It is a fairly easy read and can really help keep things calm(er?) at home. Parenting with Love and Logic by Fay and Cline is another AWESOME book. There are many L&L books that address various stages of a child's life and various problems. I recommend going to the website (www.loveandlogic.com) and looking at the different books. L&L focuses on natural and logical consequences administered while strengthening the loving bond between parent and child. It is VERY effective.

    You also might find help in "What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You" by Dr. Riley. It is relatively new and very very helpful.

    Welcome to our group! I hope some of these things help in some way. Use what works for you and ignore the rest.

    Sending many many hugs!
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you are interested in the place I think is the best in Chicago (I was in their hospital) send me a PM. You can't post names here. I lived in Chicago most of my life and saw shrinks most of my life. I do have a mood disorder. ADHD/ODD often evolves into a mood disorder or you find out the chld has Aspergers/autistic spectrum. Although I need medications, and many kids do, I would want to be more certain what is going on before taking any path at all.

    I would get a neuropsychologist evaluation first. The kids are tested 6-10 hours and in every way. Psychiatrists don't do that. I've been to at least twenty psychiatrists and the only time I had any diagnostic testing was the ten weeks I spent in the hospital (this was when insurance allowed you to stay in the hospital until you were well). Other than that, all the psychiatrists and psychologists and therapists made snap decisions on my diagnosis (and, boy, I got a lot of them). I started to tune them all out. It took a long time...a decade...to find the right medications, and the doctors tended to overmedicate me which I hated so keep an eye out for that...medications can help or hurt, depending.

    At any rate, I wish you the best of luck, whatever you decide to do.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    How are you doing? Decide on any medications?
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Totally Drained, about the acronyms - difficult child does stand for "Gift From God" but a lot of us add another code to indicate which of our children we're talking about. Some people use a letter (maybe it has something to do with the child's name) while others, like me, use a number. It's up to each person to choose what feels right.

    With medications, I understand your fears. But I have not heard of many children dying from ADHD medications, not when used appropriately as prescribed by a specialist. Also, you are right that her brain has not yet developed. But these medications do get prescribed for immature brains. As for her being young - we started difficult child 3 on ADHD medications when he was 3 years old. We copped a lot of flak, but the change in him was almost miraculous, which gave us the strength to continue.

    The thing with these medications - they are short acting. They also take effect really fast. So you know within hours if they are helping or not. If they help, then you feel better about continuing. If they don't help, you know quickly and you can stop them. No harm done. No need to step down or wean off. Just stop.

    Your daughter does need a neuropsychologist assessment but I hear you on the financial situation. You might be able to get at least some of it done through the school counsellor, but be aware that the school counsellor can only give a very broad assessment. From there you need to look at the subscores and if you can afford some private assessment further, then it can be a little cheaper if it can piggyback onto earlier school assessment. It's a long way from perfect, but when you're broke you have to find a different way.

    Welcome. There is help here.