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Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by raregem, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. raregem

    raregem Guest

    Hello everyone, I have been checking this site weekly for about 6 months and decided it was time to register. I have a difficult child who is 8. We adopted him when he was 4. He is actually our nephew that we did not know until the age of 4. He lived with his bio parents until the age of 3 and then he went into a foster home. His bio mom is Bipolar and schiczophrenic and his bio dad is ADHD. His bio brother is ADD. Before starting kindergarten we took him to a psychologist and had him tested. It was a 3 or 4 day test, only testing a few hours a day due to his age (4). We startd kindergarten and had behavior and academic issues so we took him to a psychiatrist at age 5. He was diagnosed with ADHD. He has been on Clonodine, Focalin, Vyvanse, Concerta at different times. Vyvanse made him angrier, Concerta made him depressed. We had changed doctors. last year and he thought he may have Reactive Attachment Disorder. He does fit some of the symptoms but not the physical hurting to my husband and myself. He has never even come close to that. He is currently on Intuniv 3 or 4 mg?; Adderal XR 20 mg and Risperdal 3 mg in the evening.

    difficult child shows the following personality:

    1. Does not like the word "no". When told no sometimes throws large things, slams doors, lashes out by screaming or throwing something.
    2. If told not to do something, most likely he is going to do it.
    3. It is never his fault.
    4. You cannot "force" him to do anything.
    5. Does not like authority.
    6. Always has to be doing something.
    7. VERY bossy with friends, his way or no way.
    8. Would live on sweets alone.
    9. Constantly teases the dogs.
    10. Sexually curious, have found magazines in his room.
    11. Does not do well in school. Repeated first grade once and did not pass the 2nd time but they "placed him in 2nd grade" which he starts tomorrow.
    12. Low self confidence in school. Does not feel his is smart.
    13. Very jealous of older brother.
    14. Very sweet and caring.
    15. Likes the whole family to be together, doesn't like someone missing from the dinner table.
    16. Very close with me.
    17. Does not listen to me AT ALL.
    18. When yelled at or corrected at a normal tone, wont look you in the eye and gets miserable.
    19. If you try to force him to do something he doesn't want to do he has a "meltdown".

    Sorry this is so long, I could go on with my list for hours as I'm sure most of you could. We have a 504 (IEP) at school that we put into place at the end of last year.

    Does this sound like ODD and ADHD to you?

    Thank you. I looked at some other signatures and hope I did mine right.:D

    The personalities above are the ones he has even on the medication listed above. It was worse without the medications or on the other ones.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    ODD tends to get thrown around a lot and I think can get in the way of real help. I've only got a few minutes to reply, I will try to write more in the morning (it's late at night now). Look around the site especially at recent posts. I posted at length on this in the last couple of days to someone else's thread, see if you can find it. Click on my name and go to "find recent posts by this person" and see if that helps. Because what I would tell you, is similar.

    I also want you to consider the possibility of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form. Not that it necessarily is, but it often gets missed as a possibility, especially once ODD gets mentioned. ODD tends to imply the child is choosing to be difficult, and once you have that in your mind, you tend to be looking for signs of the child being an ornery brat. But Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) can look a lot like your list of things, above. And the kids are like this NOT because they want to be horrible, but because they feel they have to do this, in order to make sense of the world.

    Go to and look for their Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. It's not officially diagnostic, but it can still be printed out and taken to the doctor, to help provide some interesting points of discussion.

    Also get hold of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It also can be a great eye opener, and we found it made a huge improvement in our lives.

    Welcome to the site. More will be along soon.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I don't like ODD either. It isn't very helpful as a diagnosis.
    I would want him seen by a neuropsychologist who will re-evaluate him as he is still young and it's hard to get a right diagnosis. or the right help early on. These things tend to evolve. He has A LOT in his biological family, all of it hereditary and it sounds like more than ADD to me. As an adoptive mom, I think they also throw attachment disorder around a lot too. Although attachment disorder is very often part of the mix, often they focus on that and miss other things.

    It sounds like he could be on the Spectrum. On the other hand, with both bipolar and schizophrenia lurking in the background, he will be hard to figure out. My oldest child still at home had a chaotic birth family (to say the least) so he was automatically tagged with bipolar. He is 17 now and CLEARLY not bipolar. He's not even very moody. He's quirky and has high functioning autism but it took us a long time to get the diagnosis and the help. Get a new evaluation, take it slow, and b e careful of any recommended medication. I'm not fan of doctors who diagnose in one session and throw medications at your k id because that's what they did to MY child and they didn't even have the right diagnosis. In hindsight, I would have been more careful.

    Welcome to the board, but sorry you have to be here.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hi & welcome. There's always been a great deal of "debate" regarding attachment issues here & even among the professionals. I've never seen it bandied about; I've seen it diagnosis'd appropriately & then not so appropriately.

    Saying that, attachment disorder is considered after all other possibilities are ruled out at this point in time (tho in my humble opinion it should be taken into account as the evaluations are being done). It's a very real, very intense disorder. My tweedles whom we adopted at age 6 (now 16) were definitely attachment disordered. However, there was a great deal more going on that needed to be addressed before we could address any of the attachment issues.

    I would hazard to guess (I'm not MD or anything) that you likely have something of a mix with your young difficult child. For my twins it took a few years of evaluations & hospitalizations to determine the final diagnosis's for both kt & wm: severe attachment disorder, complex PTSD & bipolor.

    The first diagnosis to address was the bipolar ~ get the medications regulated so we could deal with the emotional issues.

    I survived the early tweedle years by not using the word "no" except in the issues of health or safety. I'd spend time redirecting; when asked to play a video game I didn't say no - I'd delay & say yes you may, after you finish your chores.

    I gave kt or wm choices that I could live with - " a cookie after dinner or snack time tomorrow. Bath time in 10 minutes or 30 minutes. Pancakes or french toast for breakfast." This gives a child who's life, for whatever reason was likely out of control , a sense of control that he likely hasn't had ever. Give difficult child choices only you can live with. Don't let them become punitive if at all possible. Use choices only on issues that are not safety or health related.

    Try bringing in some sensory items to help teach difficult child self calming; my favorite is a huge container filled with 10 lbs of cheap rice & as many different types of beans you can mix in - a sandbox in the living room. It's fun to sit & sort things with your child; it's also a self calming technique that difficult child may need to utilize.

    I used a great deal of time to rock my difficult child children & read to them. Again, anything sensory.

    While you struggle to find the right diagnosis for your difficult child I've offered the above as some of my survival techniques. There are still in use for the tweedles even though they are now 16. These are just some common sense mom things.

    Take care of yourself whenever you can ~ it's important not to be drawn into the daily chaos. It's important to maintain your identity.

    Please keep in touch & visit often.

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  5. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    raregem, hello and welcome. You got some good advice that I can't add to. Your little guy has a mix of symptoms that may take awhile to sort through. Sometimes a pattern has to form before you can make sense of it. It's good that you have the genetic information to work with.

    Do you have good support for yourself? How are you doing? How are your husband and easy child doing?
  6. raregem

    raregem Guest

    Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Today was the first day of school and difficult child was dressed with his backpack on 40 minutes before we had to leave. That is an excellant way to start off the school year!

    What exactly is a neuropsychologist? I want to call difficult child's dr and request that he have one.

    Thanks again
  7. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    hi raregem, a neuropsychologist is a long-ish evaluation done by a specialist who evaulates how each specific area of your kid's brain works by doing some specific tests. I was just reading tonight on a thread by Allan and there was a link that describes some of the tests specifically You won't have to ask for them all though -- if you say you want a neuropsychological evaluation. that will be enough.

    For the neuropsychs I've had, I've had to fill out forms ahead of time that give my input on the psychological aspects of behavior that you've observed from day-to-day. The evaluator will integrate your input with the more specific tests that s/he will perform, that will highlight the brain's strengths and weaknesses, what skills need to be built up, what skills need to be exploited. "Bad behavior" can be explained and accounted for by the functioning of the brain. For example screaming "no" because his brain doesn't know how to initiate a task. HTH some. I'm sure there is more about neuropsychs in the archives.
  8. raregem

    raregem Guest

    Thank you for the info:redface:
  9. raregem

    raregem Guest

    I just e-mailed my difficult child's dr. and he asked if it was a complete battery of IQ and educational testing. IIs that what it is?
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Raregem.

    What a lucky kid this is to be adopted by a family member who cares and is interested in information.

    I echo the others in that I hope you take time to take care of yourself. This is going to be a lifelong struggle and you need to be prepared.

    I also agree that ODD and ADHD are garbage bag terms. They are more like adjectives. The underlying issue is whether your nephew/son has schizo-affective disorder, attachment disorder, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or some combination thereof.

    My gut feeling is that it is not schizoaffective ... I have seen too many people with-Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), severe allergies, drug abuse and physical/emotional abuse who have been diagnosis'd schizo just because the doctors don't know what else to call it, and because it is too difficult to siphon out the differences.

    The best part about your nephew and your circumstances is that he is only 8 and that gives you plenty of time to sift through dxes and issues.

    He really does sound Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) at this point. He could have been my difficult child's twin when my difficult child was 8, and he was adopted at 2 days old.
    Not to say that there aren't issues to work through with-the adoption, just to say that that is just another layer.

    Clearly, there is something genetic going on, which is helpful in diagnosis-ing.

    Many hugs and again, welcome. Keep posting and let us know how it goes. I'm glad you finally decided to join us.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. When you say you "didn't know" do you mean that you didn't know you had a nephew, or you didn't know he was placed in foster care, or that you didn't know he had some serious issues?
  12. raregem

    raregem Guest

    Hi Terry, we new we had a nephew but had never met him. They lived a few states away. We didn't know he was placed in foster care at the time.

    Also, we had a neuropsychologist done at the age of 5 before he started kindergarten. They didn't call it that but it was a series of tests that took a couple days. Should we have another one done now?
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the info.
    I can only speak for myself, but I had psycho-educational testing done 3X, every 3 yrs (until last yr), and neuropsychologist testing done twice. So many things can change--not just your nephew/son, but the testing, and medical/scientific breakthroughs.
    It is expensive, though. Heck, you could wait until HS. As much as we all tout the benefits of neuropsychologist testing, it can still be flawed, depending upon the length of testing, the "experts" involved, and the prejudices of the dr.
    Do you think there are enough interventions in place? Does your child psychiatric or psychiatrist see eye-to-eye on the issues? Your original post makes me think you still have doubts about your dr.
    Also, I am wondering why you think there has to be some physical component to Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). It can come in all sorts of different flavors.
    You may want to do a search on this thread, as well as the younger kids' thread, for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (and also, spell it out) to see if you have any "aha!" moments when you read the others' posts.
    I hope that helps.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. I am using the term "nephew/son" just on these posts for clarification. I assume you call your son "son" and tell him that he is adopted and is completely yours now.
    I have an 82-yr-old cousin who to this day, will never forgive her stepfather for marrying her aunt (long story ... I'll write a book someday) and henceforth, referring to her as "niece" rather than "daughter." She will never get over it.
    I don't know how your difficult child feels, but just thought I'd toss that thought in ...
  15. raregem

    raregem Guest

    Oh, he is definately my son. I wouldn't have it any other way!:D
  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I can tell you raregem, that Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is the only mental illness that can be diagnosis'd as early as 6 months of age. Rarely is though because of all the other issues of an infant - from colic to sleeping patterns & the like.

    If you need or are interested in any information on attachment disorder (which ranges from attachment issues to full blown reactive attachment disorder - inhibited or disinhibited). You will likely need to see an adoption specialist. Again, it's one of those diagnosis's no one wants to consider.

    Make sure there is no other disorder going on. In the meantime, all the nurturing types of activities you can use won't hurt. For my son, wm, he didn't like the physical closeness but would play video games with my husband or myself. Physical contact during that activity occurred frequently, high 5's & lots of eye contact.

    Please keep us updated.
  17. raregem

    raregem Guest

    Thank you for all of your suggestions. difficult child has alot of the symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) but he is very affectionate with us. He loves to hug and snuggle. That is why I was swaying away from that diagnosis. Can they have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and still be affectionate and trusting?
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Keep an open mind with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Because that sounds a lot like difficult child 1. He would snuggle like a koala, would sit on our laps and really cuddle in especially if we were in public (would sit and cuddle all through church, for example). But his social ineptness and tendency to isolate himself made him seem aloof and reserved at other times. It seemed to e a contradiction. Also, a very Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) thing is this attitude to everyone and everything as an extension of themselves; they behave as if your sole reason for existence, is to meet their needs. It can resemble Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

  19. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Yes, raregem, that would be the disinhibited variant of attachment disorder. As Marg & others have stated there is a need to rule out the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) & other likely issues first before attachment issues are brought forward as a possible diagnosis. It's likely, at this age, that my son wm will be diagnosis'd with some form of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) at this late stage of the game.

    difficult child may have a combination of issues ~ all addressed one by one.

    You're a good mum. Keep up the good work. Don't forget to find "me" time.