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Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jakobsmama, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. jakobsmama

    jakobsmama New Member

    Hi everyone. My son is 8 and in grade 3. He has recently been diagnosed as having ADHD, Conduct Disorder and Cognitive Delays. The school is starting him on an IPP which is helpful. I also have him on a few herbals suggested by his naturopath. Now I'm going to try acupuncture as I was told this could be a good benefit for him. I am extremely reluctant to put him on any prescribed medications because the cons far out weigh the pros for me. The school has strongly suggested the medication but it's my choice. I guess I wanted other opinions on this and sometimes I need someone to talk to. I'm a single parent and his father isn't around so I'm doing this on my own and I don't have any friends with kids who have these issues. All of their kids seem perfect in comparison. I suppose I need a friend who can relate.
    Also does anyone have any other suggestions for me. I'm going to put him on a more consistent program at home with a reward system for good behavior and consequences for bad behavior. Any suggestions?
  2. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Welcome to the board. It can be very isolating to have a difficult child so we know what you mean. And while other folks children may seem perfect, the chances are good that some of them are putting up a good front in public that is very different from what happens at home.

    In general, here on the board, a diagnosis of conduct disorder is thought to be fairly meaningless. That's because our nearly universal experience is that there are underlying problems that may not have been identified yet like autism or a mood disorder that are causing or contributing to those behaviors. To apply that label to an 8 year old is particularly unhelpful in my opinion.

    Has your son had a neuropsychological evaluation? If not, I would strongly suggest that you request one.

    Many people find the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene very helpful. You can order it though this website or are very likely to find it at a local library. I would get it and read it today if you can! It will help you figure out what issues are non-negotiable (safety) and what areas you have some wiggle room. It has many good suggestions on how to choose your battles, an essential skill for parents of difficult child's.

    If you tell us more specifics about the kinds of problems he is having at home and at school, it will help people on the board to decide whether they have experiences to share or advice to give.

    And if you go to User CP and choose signature on the left menu you will be able to create a signature that is included in all your posts. This saves you repeating info over and over (like the age of your child or what diagnoses he has) and saves other people asking over and over. If you look through other posts you will get an idea of the things people include in their signatures. One thing - don't include info that could be used to identify you, your child or your home/school.

    Best wishes
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome Jakobsmama!

    I agree with everything rslnights has posted.

    Some questions to answer that might help us help you:

    What kind of doctor diagnosed your son?
    Does he have any sensory issues (for example, sensitivity to clothing tags, loud noises, food textures)?
    What kind of cognitive delays? Any speech or developmental delays?
    How does he do in school, both academically and with peers?
    Any mental health or substance abuse issues in the family tree?

    Again, welcome. I hope you find a lot of support here.
  4. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Hi jakobsmama,
    Deciding whether to medicate is very hard and it does make you feel isolated. I like the book "Straight Talk About Psychiatric Medications for Kids," by Timothy Wilens. It is very straight-forward about the good and the bad of medications and is very easy to read.

    And, yes, the whole situation can be very isolating. I have noticed that in the last 18 months or so, our social circle has changed a lot because of my difficult child's difficulties. Some people have 'disappeared' from our lives by their own choice (eg, one family whose son Bug hit) and others we have distanced ourselves from because they didn't seem to 'get' it. But, we have also made some very good friends since Bug's problems became more apparent. Some of them also have kids with special needs, but others are just people who seemed to know that we needed help and stepped up.

    I tend to think honesty is the best approach with friends. If they aren't supportive or make you feel bad, then you might need to downsize them, so to speak. Being open also helps lead you to people who will be supportive.

    Good luck.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board :tongue:

    In retrospect, I was sorry I medicated so fast. My son didn't really need that. He is sixteen now and doing great medication-free, however he is on the autism spectrum, high functioning. He had two misdiagnoses leading to a slew of medications: first was ADHD/ODD (wrong) and then bipolar (wrong). Are you able to get an assessment from a neuropsychologist in Canada?

    I would be VERY leery of anyone who diagnosed a child that young with Conduct Disorder. I would probably think the professional was way wrong. I would answer smallmom's questions.

    Have you ever looked into Aspergers Syndrome? I'll give you a link to test for PDDs. in my opinion sounds more like that than ADHD and Conduct Disorder.
  6. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Adding my Hi and welcome :bigsmile: There are a few Canadians here, though I don't post too often (bad me :redface: )

    I too would recommend The Explosive Child, it's a book that helped us quite a bit. And as MidwestMom said, I would question the Conduct Disorder diagnosis myself, especially with an 8 year old. Though I'm not a professional and don't know all your situation, if you've researched that diagnosis at all it's a very serious one. Getting second opinions and re-evaluations can be helpful. It was after my difficult child was re-evaluated a 2nd time that we got what I felt was the proper diagnosis and treatments for him, and finally saw some improvements. If you're confident in your diagnosis then work with that, read and research everything you can.

    If you answer Smallworld's questions, others may have more ideas on advice for you.

    And don't forget to check out the FAQ/Board Help forum. It can give you some insights on the common abbreviations people use on the board, and has some reading recommendations etc., and how to do a signature.

    Again, welcome to the site. Hope you find the advice and ear to vent to you need. :flower:
  7. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Just wanted to second the opinion on Conduct Disorder...Not a very helpful diagnosis at such a young age. How confident are you in the diagnoses? How confident are you in the person who diagnosis'd your son? I think it is important to be very, very confident before you medicate. If you aren't, then you need to get another opinion.

    In retrospect, I wish we had had the necessary information to medicate Bug earlier. However, given the information we had, it was good that we did not medicate earlier. At 4 or 5, he simply would have been diagnosis'd with ADHD and ODD and put on stimulants. That would have been bad. We held off and by 6 he was diagnosis'd with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). So, we knew that stimulants would be a bad choice and moved right past them. I think it saved him and us a lot of problems.

    Good luck. Don't feel the need to rush.
  8. jakobsmama

    jakobsmama New Member

    Thanks for all that. My son was assessed by a psychologist through the school board. She worked with him over a period of a few weeks. I have been doing my research and CD is a common diagnoses in kids between 7 and 16. He fits all the symptoms and behaviors of it and ADHD. I am getting a second opinion but it takes 6 to 9 months to get in to the doctor that my medical will pay for. A neuropsyche isn't covered and can cost more than 2500 dollars in Alberta. I am a single mother on a modest income so paying for second third and fourth opionions isn't really a thing I can do. I have my son on herbals prescribed by his naturopath who did an assessment with a machine that tests through pressure points. We found he was allergic to dairy through this as well as having a GABA deficiency. I don't know what difficult child's are so hopefully someone can enlighten me because trying to find it on the FAQs is slim to none.
    I know what Asperger's is and that is not my son. He fits ODD, ADHD and mild CD on the nose so I'm pretty positive the psychologist got it right. The good thing is that in Canada my son fits the disability criteria for federal and provincial assistance to help me pay for all of the things he needs. Like therapy, accupuncture, herbals and any other program. Thanks for the book recomendations I'll pick it up tonight.
    He does have sensitive hearing and can't handle if anything is extremely loud like at the movies. He is learning at a grade 1 or 2 level. He finds reading extremely painful and I'm sure he has mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as well. He doesn't like other people in his space. He relates well to children younger than him but kids his age and older are difficult.
    I have ADD and depression and anxiety disorder. His father is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and a drug abuser hence the non-involvement.
    He lies all the time, he's deceitful and getting very good at it. The fortunate part is that I recognize it for what it is but I hate that I can't trust him. The herbals seem to be working to a degree but there's a long road ahead of us.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have a few things to add and you can take it or throw it in the trash :tongue:.

    I think he does sound like he could have Aspergers. And CD is not diagnosed in the US until the child is eighteen because many other disorders can look like CD and our kid's brains are not really hardwired until they are older teens. I personally would not accept a CD diagnosis., but that is me.

    Also, I would not trust the school psychologist. Unless they are far different in Canada than they are here, most of them are not the best and brightest and I would want a diagnosis from somebody who is not related to the school district in any way. The school district came up with some whopper wrong diagnosis. for my son and I had to look elsewhere. We ended up seeing a neuropsychologist who did ten hours of testing. He was awesome.

    Well, that's my .02.

    Welcome to the board!!! Sorry ya have to be here.
  10. jakobsmama

    jakobsmama New Member

    Our school psychologists are as well trained as the experts at the hospitals and I do trust her diagnosis but I am getting a second opinion in June because that's the soonest I can get him in with another expert. I don't believe it's Asperger's because from reading about it I don't see any of the signs for it. It could be mild Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) but I won't know without further testing. Like I said I have to wait and keep waiting because everything is done by referrals in Canada to get any experts to even consider looking at him. In Canada ODD and CD are diagnosed as early as 7 and in some cases they present in the pre-school years. But until I get a second third and fourth opinion for my monkey I'm keeping him on herbal remedies as they seem to be helping somewhat and he's definately a little easier to live with. I will check into Asperger's more but I'm not convinced on it.