New Dignosis

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jere, May 2, 2008.

  1. Jere

    Jere New Member

    Well i have been just lurking for a while now. Finally back on for a question or two. My son has ADHD but they recently think he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I am sure he has that too :) Now school is still horrible having rough days and good days even after he has been on Adderall 15mg for months now. It has helped with his impulses but not with the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), I think that is the true problem. I hope that if we take the angle of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) not ADHD maybe he will start to improve. My question is has anyone tried behaivor therapy? We haven't done anything like that. I hope it is avaible to me but it might not be. I am not going to put him on another medication, not at least right now. I hope that I can go about it another way. It took a year to convice myself he needed medications for the ADHD but I don't like to think about my 7 year old almost 8 year old on anti depressives. Please tell me what you think.

  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I can understand the concern about medication. We have three OCDs in the house, only one on antidepressants - difficult child 1. For him, it works well. He has tried to cut his medications back but finds himself pacing the house, constantly checking and re-checking doors and windows.

    You can TRY behaviour modification, but frankly, we've had t learn to live with it.

    Antidepressants are the medication to recommended, because a lot of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is anxiety-based. So anything you can do to reduce the child's anxiety, is a good start.

    Looking at your son's "list" - he has ADHD, speech delays, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - what's Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), by the way? I'm wondering if you've had him checked out for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). It would explain things under one blanket, instead of different labels.

    Have a look at and look for their Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) test. It's not officially diagnostic, because such things are not permitted to be, but you can print out the results (whatever he scores) and take the printout to a doctor or therapist for their opinion.

    One important thing to bear in mind - you need a good reason to rule out Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). It really requires an assessment, not simply someone talking to him for a while and saying, "no, it's not Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)."
    difficult child 1 was diagnosed as ADHD when he was 6. I remember asking at the time, "Is it possible he has some form of high-functioning autism? There are things about him that ADHD just does not explain."
    I was told no, there was no way he had autism in any form. But I was never given a diagnosis for anything other than the ADHD (which, as I said, never explained the range of problems he had) until he was 15. At that stage he was formally assessed by a psychologist trained in autism plus his pediatrician (it's what we have to do in Australia - in the US, you do best seeing a neuropsychologist).

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 was diagnosed at age 10, as having ADD (inattentive-type) with some Asperger's traits. Since then we've been told she doesn't have Asperger's itself, only traits. The doctor's reason for saying this - she makes good eye contact with him. But she says herself, she has to really make an effort to make eye contact, especially with people she doesn't know well. She knows this doctor very well so the eye contact isn't an issue - with him. When we do the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) test on her, she scores as mild Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

    Although we see Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) traits in easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 3 (plus difficult child 1, of course) they are not medicated for anxiety. We handle it in other ways, in general trying to find techniques to help them calm themselves (deep breathing is good) and to try to give them an environment where they feel safer. For difficult child 3, this has meant home schooling.

    We're also having problems with difficult child 3 NOW, which are connected to his history of language delay. I've posted about this just this week, if you want to have a look to see what can happen further down the track. Although difficult child 3 would probably score as normal NOW when tested for current gross language dysfunction, he is having subtle problems related to his ability to mentally connect words and ideas at the same rate as people who had no history of language delay. Different parts of the brain get pressed into service, for language use, and this means that although he functions well, it is in a sufficiently different way that he needs to learn differently, to be taught differently, in order to be able to cope.

    difficult child 3 is 14 now, I'm just giving you a heads up for when your son is getting older and beginning to have trouble in more subtle ways with some school subjects.

    difficult child 3's language caught up fairly well by the time he was 7 or 8. I remember his school counsellor saying, "Isn't it wonderful to see how well difficult child 3 is doing! He's talking - no more language delay there - and he's mixing with the other kids. It's great to see he's no longer autistic."

    Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. difficult child 3 said it best himself when he was 8 - "I'm getting better at pretending to be normal."

    A label doesn't change your child in any way. All it changes is maybe your perception of your child, and it can make it easier for the child to get the right sort of help and support.

    My three youngest kids still have their ADHD diagnosis and take medications for it (stims). The stims make a HUGE difference in their ability to cope. In fact with difficult child 3, the stims help him function, with language. When he's been on too low a dose, his communication is affected. When the medications haven't been working at all, he has even begun to lose his speech. His understanding is still there, but his ability to mentally access the words he wants to say, seems to be what is affected. As a result we go to great lengths to make sure he has his medications. A day missed here or there - no effect on language. It was after four or five days we began to notice problems.

    difficult child 3 started on stims when he was 3 years old. You can imagine the reactions we got. But because the response was so marvellous, we stayed with it and ignored the critics. Not easy.

    How does the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) manifest itself with your son? Is there any reason it cannot be tolerated or accomodated?

  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My daughter has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and we have tried CBT with her. It is important to find the right therapist to do it. The second one we used did the exercises with her in his office. I think that is important.

    We ended up trying the SSRI's with my daughter because it seemed she was unable to do the exercises without them. The SSRI's did help her but ended up with too many side effects for her to continue them.

    We are not working on her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) right now because it turns out she has Lyme Disease and is too sick to deal with it right now. We think her Lyme caused her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and the hope is that when she is better from that, her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) will be more manageable, if not gone.

    The basic idea with CBT for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is to expose them to their triggers and prevent them from acting out. One of my daughters thoughts was about zombies. She was afraid to go anywhere in the house by herself because she kept thinking about them. She knew they weren't real but was still scared. We looked at pictures of zombies to desensitize her to them. Now she is over that. We did this even without the SSRI's.

    From what I've read, dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a life long job. It is not uncommon to get rid of one compulsion and have another one pop up. I think it is also possible that if they allow it to take over, it can get worse. So I think it is important to know how to fight back. That's just based on what I've read, not personal experience.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What kind of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms are you seeing? I have one son with bonafide Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and one on the Autism Spectrum who has certain obsessive interests--this is not Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
    KIds/adults with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) hate their obsessions (like checking locks) and wish they could stop, but they can't.
    Kids on the autism spectrum LOVE their obsessions and would play videogames (if that's the obsession) all day long. They may memorize every sort of dinosaur that exists and LOVE dinosaurs. The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are unhappy if they can't do their obsessions. The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) kids/adults can't stop but wish they could.
  5. Jere

    Jere New Member

    Thanks for all the info! Let see. He was diagnosis with ADHD when he was 5, I knew at the time that it was not the answer to everything. I thought there has to be something else because it does not expalin everything. some things yes, but not everything. Which I know now I may not know why he does what he does or get an offical diagnosis to his strange habits. He only Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thing I see is his bathroom ritual. Whenever he goes number 2, and only number 2, he closes the bathroom door and puts everything againsit it. Like if there are rugs in front of the toliet its now in front of the door, same for anything on the bach of the toliet, towels go to the floor under the door and the trash can is moved to the other side of the toliet. Even the soap that is on the side near the toliet he puts on the other side of the sink! I at first thought he just didn't want anyone coming in or looking under the door. Well when asked by the doctor he said he didn't want the devil to come in. He also has issues with not being first in line. This is only at school. He insists on being in front of the line. Now I know most kids just say okay I am not and move on. He will have a 40 min fit for not being in front. When asked about that he says the devil is in the back of the line. At school he hords things, like if the teacher is missing all her sharpe pens all she has to do is look at his desk and they are all there. Or the clay, or he insists on having extra things for art projects and if he can't take some home it is all over. I don't think that is all Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) issues but its something and I don't know what. I think the ADHD is under control, he is doing good in his studies but is just having a hard time getting past all those other things. Its very frustruting because we is very very smart and when he gets into something he is very much into it. I also thought maybe asperger but am not sure. I know whatever it is is high functioning. I am thinking about going back to the neuophy doctor to see what we are missing. I would like to know before he is in his teen years.

    He is more of a Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kid with being unhappy if he can't do his obsession. But he also has obsessions that change from dinosaurs to spongebob to star wars to pokemon. Its And changes about every month. He will be an experit on whatever he is fixated on that month.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 1 is aware of his obsessions and they're not always what he wants to do. For example, he will play computer games obsessively - he likes that. But he also will pace around the house checking doors & windows, and looking for his wallet & keys. He doesn't like that, he hates it and wants to stop. He does other things obsessively and can't stop them even though he doesn't want to do it. Similar with easy child 2/difficult child 2 - she is obsessive about how she completes certain tasks even though it causes problems with her work colleagues.

    Some obsessions are more like stims; others are true Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), even within Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    And yes, the obsessions and stims do vary. difficult child 1 used to be obsessed with bubbles; water (especially water droplets falling); leaves on the trees; rocks and stones especially falling. He has modified this over the years. He still loves to play with my lava lamp but is less obsessed with bubbles. We no longer have to keep a bucket of bubble mix plus bubble wands at the ready.

    difficult child 1 used to be hooked on dinosaurs. Then it was birds, especially eagles. Then he found religion and the church he goes to (unlike our family church) discourages any acceptance of evolutionary theory (which is causing some difficulty in a house full of scientists). As a result, difficult child 1 is often avoiding TV programs on wildlife because they do sometimes make reference to characteristics which "evolved 10 million years ago" or whatever. In other words, his current obsession is religion. Which is preferable to being obsessed with being an armed robber, but still a concern if it becomes too obsessive and less thought involved. In his new job, when everyone else is taking their morning tea break and grabbing some food, difficult child 1 is reading his Bible. I told him he needs to eat, he's already too skinny. "I need to read my Bible too, Mum," he told me.
    "You can read your Bible AND eat at the same time you know," I said. "Nourish your body at the same time as your soul."

    Hoarding things - we've been there too. difficult child 1 collected Star Trek figurines, and then later Star Wars figurines. Then it was Star Wars light sabers - the really expensive hundreds of dollars ones. He's also collected various bladed weapons, reproductions from history and fiction. He mounted some of these around the house so instead of a lovely print of a country scene, we may find a scimitar, or a samurai sword.

    We try to keep collections of things together. Sticks & stones have to go outside. difficult child 1 used to collect sticks. He had one favourite stick, it was polished smooth from his hands. It was special to him - it was the flower stem of a Xanthorrhea, or Australian grass tree. He took it to school for show and tell and the teacher threw it away. Luckily I was able to go back and find it in the rubbish and bring it home to a hysterical son. I think it's still in his bedroom (I don't go in there any more).

    How does he score on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) test? That can give you some pointers.

    I hope you get some answers soon, to help you.