Just Starting out....


New Member
Well, Im new here...been reading some posts to see if this site might be the place for me.

I am a 37yo mom of 4 amazing kids. My son, 10yrs old, was just diagnosed with anxiety disorder and mood disorder, possible learning disability and he has bilateral issues (gross motor clumsiness)

I took the day off from work just to get the ball rolling. I scheduled school evaluations by ed specialist, counseling intakes at mental health, emailed his home room teacher and am still looking for an eye doctor. He has GI issues that are still being dealt with....

We thought it was apergers at first but the evaluation showed he didnt meet the criteria for autism. Turns out my son is depressed and talks about suicide, but at home we cant get him to talk at all about his feelings (which is why we suspected aspergers)

I work with autistic adults in a vocation program so I have implemented some structure at home so alleviate stress of the unknown and have been doing choice/control strategies to alleviate meltdowns.

So far...not too bad.

I was prepared for daughter services...I work in the feild...but now Im dealing with mental health because of my son. And I am feeling a bit lost and way out of my element. I feel bad saying this but I would know how to handle this better if it was autism.

(I am in no way implying that an autistic child is "easier", I simply have more training in that area)

My son is brilliant, beautiful and incredible.

Okay....I quess thats my "hello...Im new" opening....lol.


Welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us.

There is a book called The Anxious Child (don't remember the author) that might help you get acquainted with what you're dealing with. There is another book called Raising a Moody Child by Mary Fristad, PhD and Jill Goldberg Arnold, PhD that you might find helpful as well.

Both of my children have or have had mood issues. My daughter doesn't open up much, but my son didn't at all other to express his anger...which was really the only outlet he was able to use to express his misery. My son's depression was severe, while my daughter's is not severe but is chronic. Basically what I end up seeing are behaviors and then have to try to gently dig to find the underlying cause.

I'm assuming since he's been evaluated then he's lined up for therapy? Have they discussed medications at all?

One thing to keep in mind since your son has been diagnosis'd with both anxiety and depression is that those two things tend to feed off each other. Anxiety can cause depression and depression can cause anxiety, so it's very important for your son to learn coping skills for both.

Good luck and feel free to vent, solicit advice and share a laugh with us.


Active Member
Thanks for that reference, Heather. I'm going to look up The Anxious Child too.

FMZ, welcome. Don't be too hasty to allow Asperger's to be ruled out - keep an open mind. Some of these kids can be VERY different and hard to pinpoint. The smarter they are, the harder it is to diagnose because they use that amazing brain of theirs to adapt to 'normality' as best as they can - it's a natural thing to do, it's part of their coping strategy. For example, easy child 2/difficult child 2's doctor doesn't want to label her with Asperger's because she's very chatty with him and makes good eye contact. But as she pointed out, that's only with people she knows really well and feels safe with. She's done the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire in http://www.childbrain.com by herself, very carefully, and scores in the mild range. She wants to take the printout to her doctor and talk it through with him because SHE says she knows that she has much more than ADD.

difficult child 1 had ANY form of autism ruled out when he was 6, in response to my specific query. He was finally diagnosed Asperger's when he was 15.

What HAS worked for us - we carry on, regardless, and give out kids what they seem to need. basically, we treat the symptoms and give our kids the time to adapt they do best with. We stopped trying to force them to cope at their age-equivalent level because it simply wasn't working. Now we're doing better although we cop flak from family and friends, for "molly-coddling" our kids. The thing is, it's working for us. You know the sort of thing - "You mean difficult child 1 STILL collects Star Wars figurines? That's kid stuff, he's got to learn to leave this behind and get a life in the real world."
But the Star Wars stuff is his hobby which he enjoys. It is a meeting place with other fans and gives him a sense of knowledge and accomplishment. While he's a very bright young man, in this respect he's like a 14 year old swapping football cards in the school playground. He's the knowledgeable one who knows the story behind every card.

Your 10 year old sounds fascinating. And I keep hearing about this constellation of symptoms, coupled with clumsiness, sore joints or hyperflexibility.

So welcome, hang in there and keep an open mind. You sound like you already know how to think laterally!



New Member
It is wonderful that you have a diagnoses and are getting the services rolling. I feel that we all learn to adapt to what we have placed in front of us. We change what we can by interventions and medications, and the rest we learn about as we go. I find it important that we take the time for ourselves in order to keep refreshed and calm. The more information we learn about, the more comfortable we will be. I am taking a NAMI class right now that is very helpful. You might want to Google NAMI for your state and see what support they might have available.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Wanted to pop in & offer you my welcome. You sound on top of things. Keep up the good work.

We're here to offer wisdom but mostly just listen.

Again - welcome.


Active Member
Hi FMZ! :smile: My difficult child misses Aspergers by just a criteria, but has enough of the other criteria to be diagnosis'd on the spectrum. He wasn't diagnosis'd until he was 11, but his therapist worked on his issues for what they were, and a lot of it was the same as if he'd been diagnosis'd on the autism spectrum all along. Since you've implemented some strategies already that seem to help, I think it's probably a good idea to carry on with that. Deal with the behaviors displayed and whatever works, what they label it doesn't matter.

Welcome to the site, hope we can help with ideas, advice, even just a place to vent to others who understand 'cause they've been there done that.
:flower: :angel: :kisses:

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Just wanted to add in my welcome-glad you found us. I can relate to how hard it is even when you work in the field. My experience is not in the mental health field but with teaching. I have taught other difficult children with success-my own has been much more difficult.

You will find much support here-this place has been a lifesaver.