My Son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mysrk, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. mysrk

    mysrk Mom 2 One

    Hello All-

    I've been absent for some time but wanted to give an update on my Son's progress. He's now 11 and going into middle school in the fall. For over a year and 1/2 now we've had him going through cognitive therapy (social emotional group), seeing a psychologist and physiatrist. The psychologist has indicated there are many things going on with our son that it's very difficult to pin point an abolute diagnosis. He seems very adament that my difficult child does not have autism or ashbergers, he states he's a very sweet well meaning child that can't control his emotions. We have had him on Abilify 2mg since last summer and we saw huge improvement in his behavior almost right away. The medications have allowed us to make great progress with the group, home and school. In 5th grade we spent the year trying to get back on track. He still suffers greatly with reading, writing and staying organized. He's a IEP student and does have the help and assistance at school but I'm dreading the middle school transition and fear he will be lost and more frustrated there.

    His (so far) official diagnosis is add and mood disorder. He takes abilify (2mg) and Zyrtec for Allergies. Nothing yet for the add. I'm thinking now that he also suffers from deficient emotional self-regulation (desr) and have to wait to typical teen his Dr's. I'm also wondering if we need to add another medication to try and address the add and learning issues.

    I guess what I'm really trying to find out:) Is there any other's out there that has a Son that similar to mine? Any success storys? How do we begin to build up his self esteem and encourage him to get over his fears.

    He has challenges daily:
    Reading and writing
    Huge Lack of Motivation
    Staying on task
    Poor Self Esteem
    Extreme fear of almost everything
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Have you tried to arrange a Neuro/Psychological examination to further define his issues. Many, many, of us have found that evaluation system most effective in identifying problems because it is so all inclusive. Good luck. DDD
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    Just writing to say I'm in the same boat. Manster is a year older than your son but here middle school is 7th and 8th and I too am very concerned about this upcoming transition. Everything you listed could have described my son except for the trouble with reading.

    I've just been talking to him about it. I keep telling him that he will be successful because he's very smart and has many strengths. I think he's also worried about teasing. He asked me if he could take online school because he was worried about kids being mean. I told him that yes they could be but that I knew he could handle it and if needed back up I would be there to support him. One thing we're doing to help improve his self esteem is taking him to the gym. He needs to lose some weight and just loves going. My mom and he are workout partners and so far it seems to be a good thing. He actually asks to go! That is huge for my boy who is more of an indoorsman to put it lightly lol.

    We can support each other through this. We will just take it one day at a time. I guess we'll expect the best and prepare for the worst?

    Anyway, you're so not alone in this!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with the neuropsychologist assessment to nail things down better. They give numerous tests and also observe and do it for 6-10 hours (they are very thorough). psychologists and psychiatrists do not test. Of course, a fresh set of eyes is also in my opinion very helpful.

    I have a daughter with learning disabilities. There are no medications that I know of for learning disabilities. The kids need to learn a different way. I have hired a special education teacher to tutor Jumper in some of the things that give her trouble so that next year will be easier for her. We are going to keep the tutor for the duration of high school too because the accommodations in school are just accommodations and don't address the fact that she should be able to read and do math at grade level (IQ-wise) and struggles. In the real world, if she wants to get ahead, she is going to have to understand the core subjects better (we suspect processing problems).

    Keep us updated and we'll try to help the best we know how. Welcome back :)
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    "He has challenges daily:
    Reading and writing
    Huge Lack of Motivation
    Staying on task
    Poor Self Esteem
    Extreme fear of almost everything "

    Its a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation... and you really do need to figure out which comes first, which is a process, but here's a guess...

    The poor self esteem and lack of motivation are likely the result of other problems, rather than the cause.

    The fear (anxiety, likely) can be both - at the same time. Anxiety can set the child up for negative experiences - and negative experiences can add to anxiety.

    In the long run, you're going to have to get to the bottom of the learning disabilities - really need to get a detailed diagnosis on those, because the approach to take is going to depend on the cause... For example, difficulty with writing can be a physical disability rather than a learning disability - that is, the child may not have the neuro-motor control to handle the task of "printing" or "handwriting"; The lack of effective handwriting makes it difficult to learn how to compose written work, due to lack of practice. This can exist alone, or there can ALSO be a learning disability in this area... whch then makes the situation REALLY murky! Problems with both reading and writing may be related to dyslexia - but there are other possibilities. Has he been screened by the school system for learning disabilities? They "should" be able to catch things like dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc.

    Not sure what the psychiatrist means by "controlling emotions"... this could be either an emotional issue (anxiety, depression, othermood disorders), OR it could be the executive functions issues that are frequently part of ADD/ADHD - shift, inhibit, plan, organize, etc. Immaturity goes with the package - they do not behave their physical age - the gap averages at least 2 years, and is often more... and can vary greatly depending on the situation. There are definitely medications that can help with ADHD symptoms - these don't solve the problem, but provide a little bigger gap between "think" and "do", so that they can learn to be more in control.

    Does he have any talents? Or ways of finding some (that you don't know he has)? There is NO better way to turn around self-esteem, than success. But for maximum effect, it has to be school-related in some way, so that the feedback comes from his school peers. For example... middle school is often when band begins. Is he musical? If so, can he pick or be assigned his instrument early? Then, he could take lessons over the summer and be in really good shape for the first band lessons. Or some sport? Or is he artistic? We found that, in school, you were a real loser unless and until you had a different label. "Artist", "musician", "athlete", "mathematician" (we know one who gets 99% in math and 55% in english...),... anything but "teacher's pet"! Find it. Feed it. Let him excel at it - even if it means a little bit less energy and time for homework. Sometimes, you have to start with a non-school activity - can he train the dog to do tricks? learn to cook a meal? How he feels about himself is going to be more important really fast... It took us 4 years and 3 areas of success... plus some really good diagnosis... and we're starting to pull out of the depths.

    Oh, yes. Those diagnosis. For some kids, it is absolutely vital to get to the bottom of every single issue, because the kid needs to understand the causes and limits of his problems. For years, he will have felt that there is something wrong with him - and will have exploded this out of proportion. Defining the limits of the problems helps change the focus to what is "right" about him - as in, "you are a normal 11 year old boy going into grade x, except for your problems with reading and writing, ...

    He really needs to know that he is not defined by his problems - that the real person is still a real person, with real talents, and something to contribute to society. Find ways for his star to shine, while you all work on the parts that need fixing or polishing or work-arounds...
  6. mysrk

    mysrk Mom 2 One

    Wow everyone... thanks so much for your response! I'm going to take the suggestion and get a neurophy exam. We've been making plans to get a tudor for the summer to help him with reading and writing. If he takes the time to make a genuine effort he really does well and we praise him. He has a great interest in playing with legos and air soft guns, kick ball, baseball and football. My husband and I always encourage him to try new things and that it's ok to not be the "best" at everything.

    His fears are: Bee's, Shots of any kind, Heights, Dentist (he's always had his teeth cleaned) but he had his 1st cavity and they gave him a shot before he knew what was happening and the next year he had a few more cavitys and he was onto them and bolted out of the dentist chair. They told us he'd have to go to a pediatrician specilist dentist which is a whole other story. (didnt work out) we have anothor dental appointment this month. On a very positive note he had to get his imunizations for middle school and I didn't tell him about the shot, after his exam the nurse came in with the shot box and he bolted and yelled from the room that he's not getting a stubid shot. He took a few minutes to calm down, I asked the nurse to give us a minute and I reminded him of other things he's been through that have hurt a little and that the shot will sting for only a 2nd, I told him he could hug me and look out the window and he DID IT!!!!
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I do empathise... Did you know you can get patches (might be a cream in the US) that you rub onto the arm or wherever an hour before the injection and it takes away the pain? I have two ready for our next visit to the blood lab!
    by the way, I had to laugh at your typo of the "tudor" coming to teach your son reading and writing - visions of a man wearing doublet and hose and a ruff around the neck sitting beside your son with a quill pen :)