New here & need some direction

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by still_struggling, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Forgive me for not knowing all of the cool lingo yet, I will get there, I promise.


    My oldest DS was diagnosed at the age of 5 with bipolar disorder (BD) and ADHD. There was no fancy evaluation done, he was diagnosed through family history (my brother is "suspected" of having BD, but no one has officially diagnosed him).

    DS has taken several medications throughout the years trying to alleviate the BD symptoms. However, nothing worked for him and it was noted that the behaviors remained the same regardless of if he was taking medications for it or not. He has since been taken off of BD medications. He currently takes Focalin xr (20mg) for his ADHD issues.

    The Focalin works for him to an extent, but there are obviously more issues going on with him as he still has violent tendencies. Most recently, he told teachers at school that he wanted to kill my nephew because "he got on his nerves" and described how he would go about performing the act (stab him and throw him in a dumpster).

    I am at a loss with this child. I love him dearly, but the things that he says and does make it very difficult to bond with him.

    We currently have an IEP in place at school, and he's responding well with it, but I'm wondering if a residential facility might be better suited for him based on his anger and aggression. When he's home - it's hell here. It's aggravating that he can go to school for 6 hours, be relatively behaved, then come home and take all of his frustrations and anger out on us.

    I guess my question is - how do I go about having him PROPERLY evaluated and properly diagnosed (because I honestly don't believe that ADHD is his only problem)? I'm basically starting from scratch with him and I don't know where to start.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome - I have a lot of the same issues with both kids and that led me here quite by accident. I've gotten a lot of good advice and pointing in the right direction - so you are very much in the right place!

    One thing that has worked with both my kids - one explosive and one implosive - is the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. You'll probably see that a lot on this board, which is where I got the idea. It was very much worth the cost! Of course, it has to be tweaked for each individual child, but the basics are the same.:reading2:

    Also, to have him evaluated: If his pediatrician will do this (most will), ask for a referral to a neuropsychologist. If not, locate a children's or teaching hospital relatively nearby and ask. It's important (to me, at least) to know what exactly you're dealing with before you try to cope, teach him how to cope or medicate. (Obviously, you as a parent know more about his behaviors and issues than the doctor does!)

    Some towns do not have such a hospital nearby; however, I would say that it is more than worth a couple hours' drive.:crazydriver:

    One last little piece of advice - take care of you. If you can, get away for a time - maybe a day with a friend, more or less as necessary. A long, hot bath works wonders - if you can.

    I am sure more people will be along that have better advice than mine - I'm still pretty new at this too. But so far, this is what I've learned... And having my CD family has kept me sane for a while now!


    Oh - I almost forgot & someone may ask - if you can, create a signature so we get a quick snapshot of your family!:picture:
  3. Virago

    Virago New Member

    I just might be able to get out of bed tomorrow
    Stumbled upon this site today, I am not a techie and totally confused as to the terms but will try to figure it out. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for throwing me a buoy. I have completely exhausted my dear friends with my difficult child's issues and thought there was no hope left. Now I just have to figure out this "posts", "threads", etc. stuff and jump in. Bare with me please and advise.:anxious:
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    A quick welcome from me..I've got work to do! :D Glad you found us. The two experts to seek out are a neuro-psycholosit and a child/adolescent psychiatrist. The first does primarily testing and the 2nd (if you can find one with a great reputation and alot of experience) can guide you with medications and treatment. University based hospitals are usually sought out as the most logical source for up to date info. Hugs. DDD
  5. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Hi :bigsmile: A good evaluation is a must with our kids, and Step gave you the advice I was thinking of. Get a referral to a neuropsychologist, or a multi-disciplinary evaluation. Children's hospitals are a good place to start.

    Just a couple things I wondered How old is your difficult child now? Who/how was he diagnosis'd originally? How was he in early years, development milestones at proper ages? How is he with peers, friends? Anything in the family history? What medications had he tried and how did they work? Any background you want to share could help with advice from our parents been there done that point of view.

    I found The Explosive Child a good help as well, and I think it's worth reading. Check out the FAQ/Board Help forum. There you can find other reading suggestions, explanations of the little abbreviations etc. used frequently on the board, how to do a signature as Step suggested. It also gives a suggestion on doing a Parent Report. This can be helpful with all the various appointments we end up going to for our difficult children. All the info you need is in one place for reference for docs, schools, etc etc etc.

    Welcome to the site. It's a good place to find the advice and ear to vent to you need. :flower:
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Hi and welcome to the board.

    To bring you up to speed:

    difficult child - the child that brings you here
    easy child - neuro-typical children (also referred to as NT)
    diagnosis - diagnosis
    psychiatrist - psychiatrist
    therapist - therapist, whether social worker, counselor, psychologist, whatever

    How old is your son now? How was his development, i.e., did he hit his milestones? Any sensory issues - to clothing, food, noise? Other than your brother, any history of mental health or drug/alcohol abuse (drug/alcohol abuse can indicate an underlying mental health disorder and the person self-medicates with the drugs and/or alcohol)?

    Do you notice any triggers - things that seem to set him off?

    Personally, I wouldn't be thinking Residential Treatment Center (RTC) until you know what's going on. For example, you don't want to send a child on the autism spectrum (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) - Autism Spectrum Disorder) to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that mainly treats mental health issues.

    Depending on the age of your son, I would recommend a developmental pediatrician, a psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist to do an evaluation.

    Welcome to the board. You'll find lots of support here.
  7. DS is 11, was originally diagnosis'd at age 5 (although I say diagnosis'd loosely - no "real" testing was done).

    He has tried the following medications with little to no success:

    and a couple of others which names are escaping me at the moment. As I said before, there were NO changes in behavior regardless of if he took the medications or not, which led me to believe that the original diagnosis of bipolar was wrong. We're working with a psychiatrist now, who also believes that he's not bipolar, but also hasn't evaluated him herself. She's currently only treating his ADHD symptoms.

    I just got off the phone with DS's pediatrician and asked for a referral to All Children's for an evaluation. Hopefully this will get me started in the right direction. I'm also going to check out the library and see if I can find that book!

    Thanks to all of you who've responded so far. I'll keep checking to see if there are any changes or additional info provided. I'm also going to read up and see how to add a signature. lol!
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    My 7 yo daughter has a BiPolar (BP) diagnosis as well her ADHD symptoms some and go with her stability. This is pretty common. Although some people who have BiPolar (BP) do indeed have ADHD.
    Neuro-psychiatric testing can pinpoint a lot of this and also find other areas where our kids have issues, ones that we had no idea about! But, that truly can be affecting their learning, which can be affecting their moods which they then bring home and let loose on most times MOM!!! Also it is very common for a lot of our kids to hold it together at School and then let it out at their *safe place* which is home.

    So many things... so many possibilities.

    Again Welcome
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Re your signature - up near the top of the page click User CP, then about halfway down on the left you will see Edit Signature. ;)
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    See a neuropsychologist ASAP. Never allow a pediatrician, counselor or talk therapist to throw out a diagnosis. and accept nothing without intensive testing. Been there/done that/had the wrong diagnoses for my kid. My kid was diagnosed wrongly with bipolar. There was no testing--doctor diagnosed because he thought his birthmother may have bipolar because he is adopted and she used drugs. In truth, he is on the autism spectrum, is off medications now and is doing great. Beware wrong diagnoses!
    Welcome to the board!