New and looking for help and support


New Member
I have a wonderful 8 year old that has been having difficulties since age 3.
I don't know where to start or what to ask ... but had a bad day today and looking for some answers.
His "official" diagnosis from the Neurologist is AD/HD with tics. He has traits of Tourette's; however his tics are of the complex type. He has traits of Asperger's and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
He was taking Strattera 25mg which helped him focus and complete work at school. However,it may be making his moods more labile.
The little bit regarding the book "The Explosive Child" that I read here seems to fit him. He is rigid, obsessed with fairness and very very in-flexible. He tantrums when his routine is disrupted, when he looses a game, when things are unfair.

Today on the way to Tae Kwon Do I told him I would drop him off and come back. He lost it. He got control with threats and went to the van to go. When we got there he lost it again, screaming "I HATE TAE KWON DO" and "I AM STUPID" and "I SHOULD BE DEAD". So, not wanting to drag a screaming, kicking kid into a public place, I brought him home. My dear SO took control and took him back to Tae Kwon Do with a promise of a spanking if he didn't cool it and go. So, he went and did it and had a good time ... had a few tears, which is not unusual ... but had a good time.

I called the neurologist ... he said to stop the Strattera and follow up with him in 2-3 weeks. He said that kids, and my son, are smart and manipulate to gain control and SO did good to take him back. He said that Strattera can make emotions more labile.

I am truly "battle-weary" and I can relate to "tiredmommy". I am emotionally, mentally, spiritually exhausted. I feel like a failure as a parent.

I just want him to be happy and social. He gets teased and called "cry-baby" at school. He would rather sit and read all day than go be social.

I get scared that he will act on his feelings of "I should be dead". He says he says that when he is mad and doesn't really mean it.

He is always remorseful after his tantrums.

I keep thinking ... it will get better soon. It will get better with this medication ... it will get better when he gets his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do and has had some success ... it will be better this summer ...

sigh ... i am tired


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

Hello and welcome to the board. :flower:

I'm just curious, what made you take your son to the neurologist?

Has your son had any evaluations for medical, neurological, psychiatric, or behavior? How does he interact with his peers at school? Does he do well academically? Did he meet childhood developmental milestones without difficulty?

I'm wondering if a neuropsychologist evaluation would be a good next step for your son. It tests over a broad spectrum of areas. Sometimes ADHD can be tossed out as a diagnosis, but the actual disorder can be something else that includes characteristics of ADHD. A neuropsychologist evaluation is awfully good at pinpointing a proper diagnosis because it looks at many different aspects at once.

Hang in there. You've found a wonderful place for support!



New Member
how do i find a neuropsychologist?
He had an evaluation by psychologist that supported AD/HD. Then I heard a speaker about Tourette's. I felt like a lightbulb went off ... like 'finally, this is my son'.
I went to the neurologist that the speaker recommended.



New Member

I am not sure if I can help ... but I can realate to the frustration and share my story. Sometimes talking to a "neutral" person is the best thing.

This is our story.

My name is Debra and my daughter Christina is 6 1/2. I am married. Christina had colic, acid reflux and gerd from birth until 6 months. At 18 months she had double tubes from chronic ear infections. She also takes Miralax to this day for digestion problems. From 18 months to age 3 she was "ok". At age 3 she began being defiant and very much out of sorts. I thought it was just terrible two/threes until her moods increased with intensity and she began to have bouts of violence against us and herself. She started to bite herself when upset and destroy everythign in site. At times she would be VERY sweet. (BY THE WAY SHE IS NOT BIPOLAR and does not have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).) I began with the school system (since she was in a day care center that was part of our city system. She was "evaluated" and had high tendencies of anxiety, anger, defiance and "possible" future ADHD. Of course she was 3 and no one - from the pediatrician to the daycare to the school system could help! We have struggled until last year at age 5. She had a low sensory threshold and rsisted several articles of clothing based on how they felt - socks, everything. It was frustrating and we tried ALL kinds of clothes. She often went to school in pj's ... but it was all we could get to work. she only liked one type of socks that were really hard to find! She also was fighting with kids, biting, hitting and very NOT complaint. She finally got seen for 3 months by a psychologist and finally was evaluated for ADHD ... and guess what? Next step was the psychiatrist who prescribed Adderall XR to her. She was diagnosed with ADHD (impulsive type) and ODD. The medications were a disaster. She began crying excessively and was very overly moody. We got very upset and stopped after two weeks. The psychiatric was ok with us stopping medications too. We then heard of a behavior school in our area for severe to chronic behavior problem kids. We had her in there for 3 weeks before she started kindergarten. It worked great - medications free - until December. Then she was back to her former behavior. Her pediatrician agreed to try a new medication, Focalin XR (the new Ritalin) and it has worked somewhat. She is no longer HYPER. But the ODD can't be treated by medications. She developed anxiety earlier this year and is now also on Zoloft. it was double a month ago to 50 mg. She is doing a lot better. Her elementary school FINALLY listened and approved her for Special Education when she starts 1ST grade this fall. We also have her back in the behavior therapy school. Unfortunately it is NOT apporved as "treatment" per Blue Cross/Blue Shield. We also "make too much money (hahahaa) to get medicare or whatever it is called. But we are trying ...the school gives her consequences for acitng out. Mini and long time outs foreverything. she also gets "reward" points on a daily card. She is still difficult and we want to pull our hair out some days ... but I think this school is helping. I ralize you are not form my area, but you might want to check out their website ... maybe they can give you some professional (and free) advice.

I would LOVE to talk to you and have a friend that really understands the challenges of raising a special needs child. The ODD is the biggest struggle.

Thank you,


New Member
My oldest difficult child, about to turn 11, is this way as well. He resorts to "I hate life" and "I want to die" anytime anything isn't fair or if he gets in trouble. He was also on Straterra and I have wheaned him off recently after finding this board. He doesn't typically have these meltdowns at home, so its hard for me to be sure that taking him off the medications has helped.

I'm also in Texas. The rainy weather sure hasn't helped anything being cooped up all the time.

I hope things get better for you and your son. I'm sure more will be along shortly to welcome you and give some advice.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

Your pediatrician doctor or the neurologist should be able to refer you to a good neuropsychologist. The ones I've found are usually associated with Children's Hospitals. Sometimes you can even manage to get the evaluation done via the school's help. I'm sure they can explain how over in the Special Education forum.


Hello and welcome. :smile:




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

First of all - and most importantly - you are not a failure as a parent. If you were you wouldn't be trying to help your child. Plain and simple. You are, however, raising a challenging child and that can make one feel like a failure. I know I have. I've also spent a lot of time doing the "if only"'s and it's really just wasted energy. The bottom line is our kids are who they are and we have to learn how to parent them.

Traditional parenting techniques aren't especially effective with our kiddos and we have to learn to think outside the box. "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene is highly recommended here and is a great start.

I also second Lisa with the neuropsychologist evaluation. I had never even heard of one until about a year ago and we got more answers in that few hours of testing than we did in years of therapists. Our therapist (therapist) bases her therapy on the neuropsychologist's findings. It was actually our therapist that recommended the neuropsychologist. I think your son has enough flags that show up in several other diagnosis's (not to say that your son has more than one diagnosis, but that some things mimic another, i.e., anxiety can look a lot like ADHD) that a thorough evaluation is in order. Another alternative is a multi-disciplinary evaluation that is usually done at your local children's or university hospital. There is more info on that on the FAQ board.

Again welcome.


Welcome! I agree with the need to have an evaluation with a neuropsychologist. You might also want to have an evaluation with a child psychiatrist since you appear to be dealing with mood issues.

I think you should consider the fact that at his age your difficult child is unlikely to have the cognitive skills to be as manipulative as the neurologist says he is. Manipulation takes forethought, planning, organization and impulse control. It is much more likely that with his symptoms, your difficult child is reacting from anxiety, frustration intolerance and lack of impulse control. You should take a good hard look at Ross Greene's The Explosive Child and Treating Explosive Kids.

Cognitive skills have nothing to do with being bright or not. Cognitive skills include executive function skills, language-processing skills, emotional regulation skills, cognitive flexibility skills and social skills. No matter how bright the child is, young children -- even those without disorders -- have deficits in these areas. Those with disorders have even more difficulty with these skills and frequently end up melting down as their maladaptive way of coping.

I personally would leave any professional who calls a child manipulative. I think that shows a very basic lack of understanding the deep issues that contribute to why a child behaves the way he does. My own son has been called manipulative by several professionals, and they are no longer part of our team. J's psychiatrist has told us on more than one occasion that it's futile to figure out whether he's manipulating or not. It's far more important to understand why he's behaving the way he is (look at those cognitive skill deficits), empathize with the situation and then work WITH him to find a solution that is acceptable to both him and us. It's time-consuming and challenging, but well worth it in the end because we are making progress with him.

Again, welcome and good luck.


Active Member
Hi! Welcome! Because of the great "warrior mom's" on this site, I've stopped chasing my tail and found out that there is such a thing as a neuropsyche evaluation. We're still trying to be scheduled (it seems everyone is on vacation) and I can't wait to get the ball rolling!

Keep in mind that the only "bad mother" is the one that ignores the problems and situations that arise with our kids. Since you're running around like a nut trying to figure out what's what and where, you must be an outstanding mom!

Our son was bounced from pillar to post throughout his academic career for one reason or another. Funny how that happens since transitions are the primary trigger for him!

Remember: most people couldn't walk a mile in our shoes without developing gangreanous blisters!

This is a great really keeps you going!


Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hello and welcome!

I'm so glad you found us-as you will find much support here. You need to know you are NOT a failure as a parent. Raising a difficult child is hard and doesn't make you a failure. A nuero-psychiatric. as others have said can be very helpful. I know for us finding a great child psychiatrist has been a huge blessing as well.

I also know that exhausted, worn out feeling. It is really important to find some time for yourself. Whether you exercise, read, take a bubble bath, do something-it helps to recharge and be more ready to cope with the everyday stuff of raising a difficult child.

Again, welcome!

Sara PA

New Member
I completely agree with everything smallworld said and want to add to that the idea that we should always question exactly what this behavior would gain if the the child were being manipulative. In your son's case, he apparently enjoys Tae Kwon Do and probably wanted to be there. Something else was going on that caused his brain to react in an unexpected and illogical way. Considering that the doctor knew that Strattera (an SNRI antidepressant) can cause or worsen mood disorders, I question why he blamed the child and not the drug. If he would have had vomiting, diarrhea or headaches as adverses reactions, would the doctor have blamed the drug or the child? The drug, of course.


Well-Known Member
Hi there and welcome! If your child is AS, and he does have traits, he is acting, in my opinion, typically like a child who has AS. My son is on the Spectrum, but was first diagnosed with ADHD/ODD.
I echo seeing a neuropsychologist. They do intensive, long evaluations that other professionals don't do and often find things that other professionals overlook. If the child is on the Spectrum at all, school interventions are very important to a happy adult life, even if the child does well academically. Socially the child may flounder so badly that he can indeed become frustrated and feel suicidal. Also, kids like these tend not to be able to express or understand their own emotions so "I want to kill myself" can mean "I'm so frustrated I can stand it. You don't get me, nobody gets me, and I don't get you! HELP!" My son used to say "I want to kill myself." He doesn't say it now. Interventions worked magic on him--medications did NOT in any way solve the problem for him. In fact, they made him aggressive and mean, which we didn't need. ODD behavior is hard to deal with, but it is a part of almost every single childhood disorder and it can get much better. My son really doesn't have ODD symptoms anymore. He's much happier. As a family, we understand him more.
You can find NeuroPsychs at teaching hospitals and children's hospitals. A neuropsychologist finally diagnosed our son right. Good luck and welcome again!


New Member
Thank you all for all the welcomes!!
I am sooooooooo relieved to finally feel that I am not alone in this. We belong to the local chapter of the Tourette's Association; however the meetings are only monthly and they do not have an online forum.

Thank you for the advice. It seems that seeing a neuropsychologist for a more complete evaluation and more accurate diagnoses is something that most of you advised. I am in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and looked at Children's Medical Center website. They do have a neuropsychologist department. I will call there Monday. If they need a referral, I will call the neurologist and/or family doctor.

I appreciate the support and confirmation regarding difficult child not being manipulative. It hurt my feelings that neurologist said that; and I have mixed emotions regarding seeking another professional as this is a child neurologist recommended by Tourette's people. However, I agree that he obviously doesn't understand what is going on with difficult child by indicating that he was manipulative. For now, we have stopped Strattera to see if his mood stabilizes a bit.

Does neuropsychologist make recommendation/referrals for psychiatry, counseling, etc. based on what the testing shows? I am thinking, if difficult child does need an MD for medications that maybe neuropsychologist can recommend someone else.

On recommendation from this site and several of you, I went to the bookstore and purchased "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. All I can say is WOW!!! I stayed up all night reading it cover to cover. I called ex-husband and co-parent today and read the title to him, "The Explosive Child: A new approach for understanding and parenting easily frustrated, chronically inflexible children". His response was, "Oh, like Damon". Greene does not put much into the diagnoses for our children. So why pursue a neuropsychologist evaluation? I like that he says that they simply have a learning disability in regards to flexibility and frustration tolerance. I have started my list of situations that he becomes frustrated in ... 2 so far today. And I tried to apply to techniques. I found that the empathizing really did calm him, at least kept him from escalating further and we were able to stay rational to find a solution.

I am feeling that there may be hope! I have known and others know and say that traditional discipline doesn't work for him, that he is different. Everyone agrees that the regular stuff doesn't work; but no one seems to know what does. This is the first time I have heard a possible alternative solution.

I am so glad I found you all!!