Paula, I sent a PM. As I mentioned, I spoke to easy child in her capacity as a health professional. She got out her (now getting old) textbook and also looked up other psychiatric disorders and checked the diagnostic criteria. Some of the suggestions, such as BiPolar (BP), ARE now being considered in Australia but rarely for a child as young as 5. And he's had symptoms, been a problem, for a long time already. That will be why Aussie doctors (especially your GP, who I've said before sounds like a menace) won't consider it. But the larger teaching hospitals are far more likely to. And I know you've already taken steps in that direction.
I do think that the hospital DIDN'T schedule him because they were still working on the "his baby sister did it, it's an accident" hypothesis. That's also what easy child thinks. Aussie hospitals WILL admit people to a psychiatric ward if they think there is a safety or serious mental health concern. She had to do a rotation on psychiatric, as well as paeds. Some of it was in your town, Paula. She also worked at Liverpool for two years (geriatrics, though). But I do think that if the local mob can't help NOW, try the big teaching hospital you've already contacted. They're world standard.
Risperdal in Australia - yes it's available, but unless there's a diagnosis of schizophrenia it is NOT subsidised. My boys took it for a while, but we had to pay A$70 a box for it (still have half a box). The doctor said he COULD put "schizophrenia" on their file but then that would follow them inappropriately. But if this label turns out to be appropriate then welcome it - risperdal is then available on NHS, which means you should be able to get it for only a few dollars.
I'm sorry I took so long to notice your post on this - between being unwell and busy with the kids' stuff, I haven't been here a lot this past week.
I have another busy week coming up, but if you want to telephone or PM, I'll be watching for you.
Autism interventions - these should have been happening through school, but it's been sounding like the school has been criminally negligent. Either that, or DET has at the Regional Office level (also likely, from my own experience - but I can dig out a phone number and name for you, if you have any energy left over to kick rear ends in high places). But for now - he needs to be admitted to a paediatric psychiatric ward for thorough evaluation. Make your phone calls - mental health teams should be available over the phone even on the weekend and at night, because people are in crisis often. Look through the front pages in your phone book. Crikey, call Lifeline if you have to, they'll have some phone numbers for you. And Lifeline is staffed 24/7. If you don't want your hand held over the phone with a "there, there," tell them you want urgent referral to 24/7 mental health team for the purpose of organising emergency paediatric hospital admission.
And if he does it again - call the ambulance. You are covered? The ambos are more likely to make sure that admission is followed up and are more likely to make sure misunderstandings don't happen. But you have to be strong - once you decide to push for admission, don't waver. He needs it, you need it, your daughter needs it. You need answers for him. In the long run, this HAS to help.
Lifeline - 13 11 14
Crisis Centre - 9358 6577 (don't know if they're the right people - just digging for local numbers for you)
Hang in there. We're not totally in the Dark Ages in Australia!
Big Hugs! I know what it is like to see your child suicidal at such and age. And mine actively attempted it too. I am so sorry you and your entire family are going through this.
Don't leave your younger child alone with him even while you go to the bathroom. It will come back to haunt you if you do. I speak from experience. My daughter has PTSD from things her bro did to her while he was unstable.
If you cannot get help any other way maybe calling child services and telling them you cannot keep your children safe would work?
Thanks to you all for your love and support while w have battled thru this week
MY poor mum was to tears when she saw what my baby had done to his wrist...i think she expected a little cut, not a whopping slice.....she was all for what we could do then to keep him safe
I took master 5 today to the Gp for a re-dress of his bandage and both the nurse and our doctor couldn't believe what he did to his arm cause "he felt like it"..... They said he should have had stitches and to see his paed right away to discuss what our ext step should be...we saw the paed for an emergency appointment at 300pm and he has taken him off ritalin and once again my boy is on anti-depressents this time its Tofranil..He says just till we can get him help thru to mental health for phsyc tests and re-assesssment...
Mental health of course say he has to go on a waiting list approx 6 to 12 mths and i have to laugh...how bad does it have to get b4 they consider it urgent?.....Needless to say that the paed is gonna rush it thru cause even he is very worried about jay and his matter of fact way of saying what happened...He made difficult child promise he wont do it again...He is writing a letter to the new school and as there are no vacancies in the special classes we have no choice but to mainstream even though now i wonder if its a good thing... I am looking forward to telling his new school what happened... Of course you all know i am being sarcastic......
i am getting used to the fact that i will be fighting the Aussie system for a long while yet...so much for their extra mental health funding for kids.....I feel like its just a big joke...all i heard yesterday from mental health depression for kids clinic was next time he does it take him to the hospital and have him committed...Hello i did that....... didnt help as they sent us home without even giving antibiotics...(My gp was livid over that stuff up) and anyway i don't want there to be a next time... thats why i am fighting this time......
so all in all feel like i wasted the day and got no where.... I just hope the paed can get things moving...He says theres a log waiting list for any type of counselling so we are paying thati can keep my difficult child and my baby safe till then
I can't even begin to know how frustrating this must be for you - Knowing your son needs mental health services and not being able to provide this for him without a long wait and lots of red tape.
One of the first things that came into my mind after reading your latest post, is that I would be afraid to put your son on an antidepressant (spelling?) until he has had a complete evaluation. I don't know much about antidepressants, but others on this board who have more experience in this area have said that antidepressants can make some conditions worse.
Although I have no idea how to help you obtain the appropriate services for your child, I just want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers...
difficult child was on anti-depresants and started hearing voices. Someothers have had even worse psychotic things happen. He really sounds bi-polar (or course I'm not a doctor and can't diagnosis) and bi-polar kids most times don't do well on anti-depresants. Do you have the bi-polar child book? There is a chart in there that helps track moods, energy level, rages, and medications. This chart is really helping me see if the medications work or hinder. It also helps me predict and prepare for difficult child's moods as I can see a pattern for the first time. I got the book from the local library. There is permission to copy the chart in the text of the book.
One thing I've had to do to keep my kids safe from difficult child is have him be my shadow. Its almost impossible to keep a 2 year old right by you at all times. I found it easier to keep difficult child in my sight at all times. Unless I was in the bathroom or shower then I take the babies in with me. Also, I turned the door nob around so it locks from the outside. (I did this because difficult child kept locking easy child in the room.) If its just for a short time I lock difficult child in the room (its a good sized bedroom with toys) so I can go to the bathroom by myself once in a while. I sound like an awful mother locking her son in the bedroom but its a survival tactic.
Paula, this is getting ridiculously serious - what about your local MP? "I'm not getting any help from Mental Health, Education Dept have done nothing for a year and looks like another year of nothing, this is urgent, please help!"
I've sent you a long PM, with some phone numbers and names. It's frustrating that the people you need to talk to in education are mostly away until next Monday, but some are there, including one lovely lady who is there today only. I've listed her details also.
Plus, something I hadn't thought of - do you block your phone number when you ring? Do you want to? (I never bother - I'm too well-known, secretaries recognise my voice). But if you want to block caller ID, check the front of your phone book, call Telstra enquiries and ask them how to block your phone number.
This shouldn't be happening anywhere. It does happen, especially to people who seem more powerless and at times of the year when people are less available or don't want to be bothered, but there are still channels of support.
When is the next dressing change? Can you take him to the big teaching hospital emergency for it? It's air-conditioned anyway, even if you have to wait. You can get there by train, to avoid having to leave your car parked in the sun. But the big teaching hospital (you know which one) has the best diagnosticians and paediatric psychiatric team in Sydney. If they don't suggest referring him, ASK them to.
The only other suggestion, probably a bit impractical, is to get a locking cabinet, put ALL your sharp implements in there and hang the key round your neck. It can't deal with broken glass, but that is then left as the only option.
Someone also suggested you call DOCS (due to lack of appropriate services provided) but I would not do that. At least, not until all other options have been exhausted. Even with all your paperwork on him, letters from doctors etc, it's still to easy for some idiot social worker to SNAFU.
Anyway, here's hoping you can use the next three working days to good effect. Not that you should have to...
I don't know your system, but I do know I wouldn't put my kid on tofrinil. It's an antideprssant and can make even non-sucidal kids/adults suicidal. My daughter was put on Prozac and she pulled a knife on herself and we found knives all over her room. I was on Tofrinil and it gave me a high feeling until I started hallucinating. I'll never forget the day I woke up hearing voices with numbness in all my limbs. It was the day we were moving to a new house. I can tell you, I wasn't much help. Then I had to go off it cold turkey, and I plunged into a bad depression. My own bias, and I'm not a doctor, is I don't like antidepressants for kids UNLESS they are being CAREFULLY monitored by a doctor who KNOWS that they can cause serious problems (like he's being seen every week and is on call for emergencies 24/7).
I used to want National Healthcare in the US until I read this board. It actually sounds scary. I'm sorry you can't pick your own doctors and get in to see professionals within a reasonable time frame. I hope you get bumped to the top of the list and that you have some input into who you want your son to see. (((Hugs)))
Marg and Wolonfob, I just read here, and I cant recall where, tho I wish I could, that as of the first of the year, Risperdal had been approved for the use of agression in autistic kiddos. I'm assuming that's just here in the states, but maybe not, and it was only since about Jan 1, so perhaps you can look up there and see if there's been in a change in the prescribing info for Risperdal???
well today is the second day of the new medication for master 5.......
He is telling anyone what he did with a big grin and acting like its so cool....... One woman when told said thats nice( what the)???can tell she wasn't even listening..... when my mum told him it wont help him make friends he said "yes it will, u don't know, ur a liar......"
He, when asked not to do it again by our gp and the nurse, said "at the moment theres nothing to do it with"....(Huh??) He is erratic, up and down,making his noises, unstable and definitely not the baby I gave birth to right now.....apart from belting up his sister every chance he gets he is smashing my floor tiles with a hammer, and throwing things at my head..... I have become a stunt woman this week... ducking and weaving the missiles as they are aimed at me.....
He told me if i cant stop laughing he will have to throw glass at my head so i am making sure there is no glass items bought at the shop..... I spoke to the DET yesterday re him going to school a few days later than the rest (would i be in trouble)and what i should do re the arm (should i tell them).... He said they will have to make sure they have protection for the teachers and students in place b4 he goes to the new school..... But at least i know they cant knock him back now......The cut has opened slightly and i have been told its gonna take weeks to heal due to the hospital not stitching it when he came in rather than days........I got in touch with westmead yesterday and the lady will be calling me back today.....so hopefully we will have more luck with them
Now he is eating anything he can find and telling me he is gonna get fat cause of eating...for the first time in months he ate breakie and then had a second lot....... I try to explain to him as long as he plays etc then he wont get fat the kid only weighs 20 kgs and 118 tall so is a good height but too skinny...He is an interesting person to hang with right now.....I keep walking in to him trying to dry cutlery so all our knives have gone on a journey to a land (or cupboard) far far away...I am recording what he does on this new medication and have to call our paed today to tell him how its going....Its supposed to take 3 mths they say but he is only on one tab of 10mg as he keeps reacting to medications..... at least Paed listened when i said no to prozac as the kid was hearing voices on it.....
I have a hard time with getting them to give us medications here at all and i'm sure risperdal is not yet used a great deal down under......all they wanted was him on ritalin ...
Shari .....the notes they gave me re tofranil say its used someimes for bipolar but then it also says it can make people suicidal.....the pead says its only to try and keep him safe till we can get further help.... and being 6 mths off i am hoping that we wont have another incident.... i just want to know whats going on...will update when i can
I'm only a parent with absolutely no medical training but I think your son needs to be hospitalized ASAP!!! You and your daughter should not have to live in fear of being hurt by difficult child!!! Also, you should not have to live in fear of difficult child hurting himself again!!!
I remember reading that Marg wrote if difficult child tried to hurt himself again, you should call an ambulance. Well, even though difficult child hasn't hurt himself again, he is trying to hurt you and hurts his sister if he gets the chance.
It seems as though he could be getting worse on this new drug. As I previously mentioned, I truly believe he needs a thorough evaluation before being put on any drug.
Please take care of yourself!!! I can't even begin to imagine the h-ll you are going through right now. Please update again soon. I'm worried about you and your children!!! Hugs WFEN
WFEN, I know he sounds bad and worsening, but it also sounds no worse than he HAS been, unfortunately. It's just how bad things are for this kid - last year was a disaster and from what I read, he sounded worse on the medications than now (believe it or not!). Paula, only you can gauge this. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Paula, it sounds like you've been busy. I hope the Westmead people call you back soon. If they don't, keep nagging. Ands tell them about what he's saying, and doing with the knives. Keep emphasising, you're scared he's going to hurt himself, you or his baby sister. You need URGENT help.
And from here, I'm going to explain how our health system works, so those of you with more experience in this sort of problem can have a better understanding of what resources we have (or don't), and maybe be able to help more specifically. Paula, tune out now if you want to. You probably know all this stuff. But if you want to correct anything I've written here, feel free. I may have left out something useful, my brain is mush tonight.
Risperdal - having medications approved for use, and having them on PBS, are very different things. PBS is our "Prescription Benefits Service", intended to make it affordable for the chronically ill, the disabled and the needy to have affordable medications. Anyone receiving our version of welfare gets REALLY cheap prescriptions, for all medications listed on PBS. Other people (everybody else) pays the maximum cost allowable for PBS medications - about A$24 this year. Our Federal government pays the rest of the cost to the pharmacist so he can buy the drugs from the companies in the first place. There is a huge amount of paperwork for him to do - who'd be a pharmacist? After you've spent about A$800 in a calendar year per family, you get your prescriptions at the welfare cost. At the end of each year it re-sets. But fewer and fewer medications are PBS-listed. Doctors still prescribe them, usually because the patient needs it, but some medications are more restricted than others. Sometimes medications which are identical chemically are not allowed on PBS because there's already another identical formulation on the PBS list. This means that if difficult child 3 can't take his PBS drug because it has been coloured with something he's allergic to, and we have to buy the more expensive competitive brand, we get charged the full (non-PBS) rate, whatever it happens to be.
Risperdal is one example of a drug which IS PBS-listed if the doctor rings up the Health Department and assures them, in writing, that you have schizophrenia. Then you can buy it at PBS cost. But if the doctor won't do that (because you have autism, not schizophrenia) then you pay A$70 a box. Yes, doctors are permitted to prescribe it, but who can afford it? In our family, we had two kids on it for a while. Fortunately, both were on a low enough dose so one box lasted us three months. Some medications are not permitted to be prescribed, except for certain conditions. The cost - it's determined independently, by a government determined to save even more money (crikey, you can tell who I'm not voting for next election, can't you?).
And our Federal Government right now is rolling in dough and WON'T spend it where it's needed - health and education.
MWM, when it's working well I really like our health system. The trouble is, it was brought in by a competing political party and THIS party seems to be deliberately watering it down and sabotaging it. It IS expensive to run, but as I said, we have a huge Federal surplus, the biggest in history. They can afford to do the job properly. But they don't.
We DO have choice of doctors except when we go to hospital and we have to take whatever doctor in the relevant specialty is on duty. In most cases, we will get to see the person we need to, if the problem is sufficiently specialised as in this case and Paula contacting Westmead. But remember, this is free, completely free, at the hospital level, if you go in as a public patient (which is what we do). We also pay for private insurance - it's our choice. With this, we can choose our own doctor in hospital, but our health fund then also charges an excess for various hospital services. Private insurance can get you admitted to hospital for elective surgery much more quickly SOMETIMES, but vital and emergency stuff is covered for free. So, for example - husband & I used our private insurance for obstetrics (our choice) but go public where possible (such as difficult child 3's attacks of croup and my aseptic meningitis). I've even been admitted to hospital, by my specialist, for free. Had my own room, too.
We CAN change GPs whenever we want to, but we have other problems which can mean that rare problems such as Paula's are often not handled well at the GP level. I have a brilliant GP but he is so popular he's hard to get in to see. We have a proliferation of medical clinics where it's much harder to get continuity of care. However, we can always insist. When we find a doctor we like, we CAN stick with him and come to some arrangement whereby they will bail us out of emergencies like this. It's not like Britain - we DO have a lot more choice.
A lot of doctors increasingly charge over the Medicare fee, because frankly our government simply isn't paying doctors what they're worth. That's why so many docs who bulk-bill (ie charge the government and not us) are such a poor standard. The good ones are often the ones charging more and the chronically ill can't afford it too often. Our paediatrician charges almost double the Medicare fee. We have to pay for the rest. Whatever we pay in all medical costs per year per family above about $2000, husband can claim back on his tax.
We have a once-good system, being ruined by a stingy government. But even our homeless people can get the same health care as a chairman of the board. Our big gap in decent services - dental. But they put fluoride in our water to keep that problem down.
There are resources we don't seem to have - I'd never heard of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) until I came to this site. I watched "Girl Interrupted" and wondered where she was, and why. We have rehab centres, drug referral centres etc but they are short on spaces. Our legal system is patchy and a mess, in my opinion. Our Community Health Centres are the free clinics for specialist services like Occupational Therapist (OT), speech therapy, psychologists and dentists, but with the absolutely stupid waiting lists and big restrictions on what they will do for you. So people on low incomes can get good quality doctoring and specialists via our hospitals, but little else without it costing heaps or waiting for ages. We get welfare payments to help us out if we're raising a Special Needs child (Paula, you HAVE applied for the carer whatever-it-is called-this-week for difficult child, haven't you?). Carer Allowance or Carer Payment, I can never remember which is which. One payment is big but means-tested, the other is smaller but not. You need the paediatrician to fill in part of the form, but otherwise it's up to you. You also get a health care card for him - pension-rate prescriptions, among other things. I've got one for difficult child 3. And our welfare system (programmed by our beloved leader) will generally refuse the application first time round, but will generally give in on appeal. They're just testing, to see how persistent you are.
I hope this helps.
And one final word on Westmead - the only problem I've ever found with it, is the food. It's ghastly. But the hospital where Paula took difficult child has the same caterers, so she won't notice the difference, if difficult child EVER gets admitted! (I know, I've had family at both hospitals, plus others in the area).
Hang in there, Paula (assuming you read this far!).
Do you get to go to specialists when you like? I set up the neuropsychologist without any referral and, like you, everything was covered and I didn't have to fill out paperwork. At least in Wisconsin, if you don't make enough (and we don't make much) we can get insurance that covers everything, including medications, and we can still go when and where we like. My hub's workplace recently got healthcare that covers 80% of all medical costs. Because of that, we no longer qualify for state insurance. I'm upset...lol. It's still only $20 a visit as a co-pay and $10 for any medicine. It's interesting to learn about other countries :smile: I would still vote against ANYONE who tried to bring National Health Care to the US. And I used to be very much in favor of it. In the US, at least in our experience, I've found that any county or state doctors just aren't as good as those who are in private practice. I could tell you some stories (rolling eyes). I don't want to be stuck using the state and county mental health facilities. At any rate, hoping this little guy gets the help he needs FAST!
wolonfob, did you specifically push for hospital inpatient? The behaviors you are describing are alarming and at least here you could be in CPS danger territory if you have one child in the house who is a potential danger to a sibling. Push for inpatient where they can adjust medications in a setting where both children are safe.
well news update
having lots of :smile: cause i cant sleep...Im not eating and im so wanting to cry but i haven't for 4 years..... im about ready to lose it big time..thank goodness tomorrow is Australia day as i need my mum around me just to get a break.... this doctors every second day thing is waring me out big time and watching j and yelling every second minute of the day is sending me grey prematurely...I have been on the phone for 2 days straight....
spoke to westmead who say i need to go local help.... J's arm is healing slowly thank goodness and there is no infection so i'm hoping we wont have a problem...It looks bad though and i can imagine the scar the kid is gonna have...i worry about when he goes to jobs in yrs to come...how will he describe what happened?....
Got a call today from dept of aged, disability and homecare..Still not sure who got in touch with them.... she says that she heard what happened and of course all i got was a name.......the dadhc will take j on for beh therapy if i can prove he is intellectually disabled...otherwise he isn't covered so i have to get my Gp to write the letter he sent when difficult child was 2 stating he is developmentally delayed.....
she did say that 5 yr olds don't cut or try this type of stuff... well my son did so i wish someone would explain to me if its so rare how i ended up with a little kid who knew what to do... what goes thru the mind of a cutter? they say they don't get these thoughts till they are 15 so i guess we are getting thru it earlier than most... I still cant work out what it does for them to do this...is it the adrenaline or is it for attention?....
I was told that i am lucky that Docs didn't arrive on my door re the whole sad situation and once again i heard when...(not if) it happens again then go to emergency and demand a psychiatrist consult...fat lot of good it does me now.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif especially when i am praying he won't do it again.... he is still throwing things and has destroyed his sisters christmas present cause "he wanted too"... The only way to keep him calm is to put him down in front of the tv where he will zone out for a few hours...but dont talk to him or go near him or he will lose it....He told me today that he would miss me if i died....and i thought at least he didnt tell me he wanted me dead like usual... He also started to cry cause his sister loves mummy more than him but then he told her he hated her and started punching her...Poor thing doesnt know if she is coming or going..... :tears:
we got an emergency appointment for mental health, as after they had a meeting they decided he may be a serious case Sorry i have to :rofl: at that one...what gave it away ~ the fact he sliced and diced his arm?) so we go there next wednesday at 330pm... not sure what they will do yet.....
what will they be looking for?.....
does he go in alone?
its 2 chicks looking after him...our last assessment was me in a 2 hr interview when they said he was autistic...hadnt met him at thats stage..... they did a few tests with him and then said okay its autism... he was observed in play for 5 minutes... How do they decide what is going on from a few hrs?........
the paed has said we will keep his medications at the 10mg until we work out whats wrong with him? will they say this is all in my head? i'm still not sure if an autistic can self harm and be so blase about the whole thing..I know he likes to hurt others and lies really well.... Can he have 2 diagnosis? is it just ODD like my Gp said a year ago? I am so confused right now... and as i cant sleep i had to vent big time...