looking for a diagnosis

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cabletvl, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. cabletvl

    cabletvl New Member

    I am hoping someone out there is experiencing the same issues and can help me. My 13 year old son was diagnosed at age 7 with severe ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Auditory Perception disorder. His neurologist feels that he may also be bi-polar and borderline Asbergers.

    His behavior is very erractic. He is very disrespectful to all adults, he talks to himself and will stop at nothing to get attention. He says the most inapproriate things and blurts out whatever he is thinking. He is disruptive on the school bus but seems to do a little better in school. He goes to a private school for children with behavior problems. Academically, he is at a 6th grade level (he should be in 8th). His behavior seems to cycle and during a bad cycle, he often gets migraine headaches. When is a good cycle, he is a lovable child who is quiet almost lethargic.

    He is currently taking focolin and periactin.

    Is there anyone out there who has experienced any of these behaviors? I am at my wits end and don't know what to do anymore. I am a single parent and am trying to cope best I can. I feel like his doctor is missing something.

    Thank you,
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take him to a neuropsychologist. They do much more intensive evaluations than any other professionals and are psychologists with extra training in the brain, so they also understand neurology. Sounds like it COULD be a form of high functioning autism. My son has it--he talks to himself a lot. When I ask him why he says both "It's easier for me to understand if I talk out loud even if I'm alone" or "since nobody else is there, I talk to me." He was misdiagnosed with bipolar once for these reasons, which is why I strongly recommend a neuropsychologist. Psychiatrists (with the MD) are my next choice, however many have no idea what to look for regarding Autistic Spectrum Disorder in high functioning kids, and are apt to misdiagnose and prescribe heavy duty medications. Of course, he may have bipolar or he could have both, another reason in my opinion to go to a neuropsychologist. I have a few questions.

    1/How was his early development? Any speech delays, motor delays, poor eye contact, inappropriate peer interaction, strange obsessions? Did he speak very early, on one or two topics, and sound like a "Little Professor?"

    2/Any mood disorders or substance abuse on either side of the family tree? What makes him explode? Do the medications he's been on help his behavior at all?

    ODD is a huge symptom both in high functioning autism (due to frustration) and bipolar (due to wild moodswings).

    in my opinion, as a layperson, if it were my kid I"d be looking for more than ADHD/ODD.

    Welcome aboard and others will come along soon.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My son started seeing a neurologist for his migranes. He started getting them last fall. Have you ever seen anyone just to address this issue? Our doctor prescribed Gaterade and Vitamin B-2 (50 mg in am and 50 mg in pm) along with a better diet as a preventive. He doesn't get migranes very often anymore.

    As you are working on each piece of your puzzle, I think it may help to also address the migranes as a seperate issue. There are preventive things you can try (that is what we are doing with Gaterade and B-2). I didn't realize there were several ways to deal with migranes - I always thought you just had to deal with it.

    I remember getting 2:00 headaches every Spring and Fall for years and years (baromoter changes). People would say, "You don't have migranes. Migranes are only those headaches that disable you to the point of keeping you at home and most likely in a dark room." I have recently learned from my son's doctor that although mild, I was having migranes. Thinking during those hours of headaches were near impossible - I always scheduled no brainer tasks such as filing so that I was still getting work done.

    When your difficult child is going through the migrane cycle, he doesn't feel well and is having trouble thinking through the head pain. He can not handle problem solving so does not want to take on any distractions, can only do one thought at a time. Distractions are loud and intrusive. He just wants all sounds and movements to stop. Thus the bad behaviors emerge quicker - I know I can become (or atleast think about becoming) rude when I can't think. It is a survival response - I just want people to leave me alone until my brain is clear again. I can't even answer the simpilist question. Your son has probably had enough migranes to know when one is coming on. Has a doctor prescribed migrane medications? Our son takes a higher dose of Motrine when his starts and that has helped a lot. He also can differentiate between a migrane and a regular headache so when he says he has a headache I ask if he needs regular or migrane medications.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I had migraines from age 4. I can tell you it is very very hard to be well behaved if you are in agony. There are MANY different preventatives for migraines, and at the very least your son should be evaluated by a pediatric neurologist.

    Some of the behaviors may even be from seizures. Some of the newer migraine preventatives are anti-seizure medications. There are also acute medications to be taken as soon as a migraine starts. These are the triptans.

    Is the neurologist a child neuro, or just a regular neurologist? Children react very differently than adults do to most everything. The way you describe him blurting out whatever is on his mind makes me think either Tourettes or Aspergers, but there are a LOT of different types of seizures. Depending on where the seizure occurs in the brain, it could simply be seizure-related behavior.

    The "good" cycle descriptors of loveable and lethargic would alarm me. It might not be a bad idea to get another child neurologist (assuming your child is already seeing one) to evaluate him.

    Please be aware that many many of us got the ADHD diagnosis and then found out it was something else. And if he is having mood cycles (bipolar disorder) then medications for ADHD and antidepressants can cause the cycles to become worse.

    Many of us recommend "the explosive child" by Ross Greene. It is a different, but very effective, way of parenting. I also recommend Love and Logic Parenting - you can check this out on www.loveandlogic.com . Even the things on the site aimed at teachers have been helpful to my family.

  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Oh yeah. We understand this one. Crikey, do we ever!

    Welcome to the mob.

    You've had some good advice so far. More advice on top - as Susie suggested, find a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene and read it. See if you can find your son in the first couple of chapters. The book also gives some really practical methods of handling the ODD side of him, to make everybody's life a little easier.

    I haven't read Love and Logic Parenting, but Susie and I think a few others at least reckon it's a darn good book, so add it to your list.

    Changing direction and discipline is not a cure, but any improvement in how you all get on, has got to be a bonus, right?

    I have said to others (and sometimes got jumped on) that sometimes you need to change your mindset towards your child, to turn your viewpoint of things on their head to get a different point of view. Even the most expert of us have sometimes found that a different point of view can bring confidence to see things a different way and to try things a different way. I include myself in this - I was teacher-trained, I was previously experienced in helping my sisters raise their children (including some difficult children) and I thought I was an expert in managing children. I've had great success with my easy child, less success than I would have liked with easy child 2/difficult child 2 but she IS still a work in progress and I do have high standards there, and although my boys are still very difficult child, they are doing amazingly. But I have had to recognise that I was doing a lot of it wrong, even when I thought I was following all the advice, all the rules, everything right.

    I was not. I was wrong. I made a lot of mistakes especially with difficult child 1, and in the early stages with difficult child 3.

    Changing mindset worked for us. I stopped being the authoritarian and became their support and assistant instead. I'm still the parent, but it has helped me teach them independence and self-control, instead of them fighting my trying to exert my overriding control onto them. Now - fewer fights, more effective and independent actions from the boys. In my book - that is success! Not total yet, because this is going to take longer for them to be 'finished products' than for the average kids their age, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is NOT an oncoming train!

    Welcome to the site.

  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi cabletvl,

    Welcome to the board. You have already been given some excellent advice.

    A neuropsychologist is definitely the way to go. they give the most thorough and accurate evaluation of our kids. You can contact any nearby Children's Hospital or learning university to reach one.

    You found a soft place to land here. Glad you found us; sorry you had to.