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Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 3goofykids, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. 3goofykids

    3goofykids New Member

    My difficult child just turned 9 in January. She started her rages when she was 5. The first time she had a rage, it scared the day lights out of me! I looked in her eyes and she just wasn't there. That rage lasted 3 hours.
    Her first doctor was a neuro psychiatric who said she was ADHD and potentially bipolar. I thought 5 was a little early for a bipolar diagnosis. difficult child was put on Ritalin. She was fine while the medications were in her system but as they wore off, she really wanted to kill someone. The doctor added Abilify. We still had frequent rages. So the doctor added Ativan to help. My difficult child hallucinated for 14 hours and didn't sleep for 48 hours after taking it. I dumped those pills down the toilet.

    since then, we've switched docs. The new doctor has difficult child on Intuniv. difficult child seems calmer with it in her system but when it wears off, she belligerent, defiant and quick to explode. Within the past 4 years, she has basically busted holes in every wall in her room. Her bedroom door really needs to be replaced. We've patched holes in various walls in our home. She has busted my lip, left bruises on me. Beaten up her older sisters (there are 2).

    we caught her looking at porn (!) last summer and last week.

    Shes completely fine at school. When she was at public school when this started, they didn't believe me even though I had doctor paperwork and wouldn't help. She's been in private school the last 3 years.

    She seems to think that I have not right to tell her what to do.
    She has what I call break thru rages with the Intuniv. The doctor isn't willing to switch medications yet. difficult child is seeing a therapist who has turned me onto The Explosive Child and we are trying that approach.

    I am starting to believe that difficult child may very well be bipolar. I don't think the Intuniv is effective any more. But I also believe difficult child is gifted as well. She very intelligent. I believe the docs are missing another diagnosis of conduct disorder or something. Her behavior cannot be completely related to just ADHD.

    my oldest daughter hates my difficult child as does my middle daughter who has ADHD and aspergers.

    Ive found my experiences in a lot of the posts here. They have helped to feel assured that I am not alone.

    me: 40 ADHD/ depression/ chronic migraines/ frustrated, Concerta, Zoloft, Topamax
    husband: 40 in denial about his ADHD but an awesome husband and dad
    DD12: average tweener
    DD10: ADHD/Aspie Concerta, Ritalin
    GFG9: ADHD, Intuniv
  2. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Hi! Welcome to the board. I'm sure others will be along soon. Did you say she no longer takes the Ritalin? My difficult child sounds similar. He takes Concerta and Intuniv. He is also very smart / gifted / high IQ. He absolutely CANNOT stand anyone telling him what to do - EVER. Mine was having major meltdowns which was when we added Intuniv. What mg is she on?
  3. 3goofykids

    3goofykids New Member

    She no longer takes Ritalin. We got rid of that because she had MAJOR rages when it wore off.

    she started on 2mgs of Intuniv. She was recently increased to 3mgs. She takes 2mgs in the morning and 1mg when she gets home from school. That is the only medication she's on right now. My gut is telling me that it's not the right medication. She's still impulsive and hyper and bossy and rude and defiant. It is beyond what is developmentally appropriate for her age.

    She never remembers anything from her rages and appears to have zero empathy for anyone. We have narrowed down her life so much, that I feel sorry for her that she basically has no social life. We don't know what else to do to "punish" her. Her sleep patterns are erratic. Her eating is hit or miss. Her hygiene is not what it should be. She won't wash her hair but yet, she lingers in the shower for about 45 minutes! The kids at school told her that her hair was stinky, but she doesn't care.

    weve gone through a few therapists. I'm hoping this therapist can help. The doctor mentioned something about risperdal last time. I've seen kids on that and they have seemed like zombies. I don't want difficult child to be a zombie. I want the sweet child I had before she turned 5. When she is sweet, she is completely adorable. But when she's in on of her rages, omg... My entire house just freezes in fear and frustration.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you have one spectrum child, you may want to have her totally evaluated and see what a neuropsychologist thinks is wrong. Bipolar is hard to diagnose in children. Is there bipolar in the family? Also, high functioning autism can look a lot like a childhood mood disorder or even a Conduct Disorder, which in my opinion it doesn't sound like she has.

    Were there ANY clues that difficult child was atypical before she turned five? Anything happen to her when she turned five? How was she as an infant? Any delays? Does she know how to appropriately interact with her SAME AGE peers? Does she make good eye contact with you and strangers? Is she sensitive to loud noise, crowds, certain material textures, certain food textures? Can she transition from one activity to another without having a meltdown?
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ditto MWM on the ... where there's one Aspie there's often more...

    IF there were NO clues at all of problems before age 5... then I'd be concerned about what happened to her when she started school. It won't necessarily be something you are aware of.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    .....and many of us know people who are spectrum-ish. So, this one may have some subtle Aspie like traits but not meet full criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Still, learning and therapies geared more toward Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) may be more helpful than other methods.

    For kids who are "higher functioning" we often dont see symptoms as clearly until they get older and social demands increase.
  7. 3goofykids

    3goofykids New Member

    My husband's uncle is bipolar. I had an uncle who was schizophrenic and a cousin was just recently diagnosis'd schizophrenic.

    I'm told she acts well with her peer group. When I see her with her peer group she seems ok. At school she wants to be really helpful. No explosions at school.

    we have been trying to rack our brains to figure out if anything happened around age 5 that could have triggered anything. We can't come up with anything. We've tried asking her questions etc.... Nothing.

    I've had people tell me that I should feel lucky for both herself and me that she's having her rages at home. But then people look at me like I have 3 heads about the whole thing.

    No texture aversions like Dd2 or social dysfunction or averted eyes. DD2 has huge texture issues. I cooked chicken the other night, which she loves. I shredded it on her plate. She refused to eat it because it was shredded even though it was the same kind of chicken she's always eaten, it was just shredded.

    difficult child loves to give hugs and be the center of attention, to the point of she will get very angry if the attention is not on her solely at all times. I've never once considered her on the spectrum. No social, texture, or eye contact concerns. No specialization in any one topic. DD2 is an expert on weather, dogs, and dinosaurs. difficult child doesn't display any of this. DD2 sees everything in black and white,no areas of compromise with her at all. difficult child can compromise during her clearheaded moments, which are few and far between.

    As a baby, difficult child had chronic ear infections and was a late talker. She had tubes at 13 months. She started talking and walking right after she got her tubes. She's had one set. She has a ruptured ear drum at the moment and is slated for ear drum surgery later this month. I believe she had a milk allergy that made her ear infections worse as a baby, but she never tested positive for it, even though every time she drank milk, she oozed green gook out of every orifice in her head and got an ear infection. I had her on soy milk after her first birthday. She slept well and aside from the ear infections, was pretty healthy.

    I have puzzled through all of this and I can't figure out any of it, yet she remains an enigma. We parent our girls fairly and have had this affirmed by the therapists we've seen. Although, my mom would say differently....

    No learning disabilities. I think she may be gifted. She has a talent for reading music and plays the piano. She also has a tremendous throwing arm that I wish I could harness into a team and use it constructively.

    It's hard to explain it all and I always feel crazy when I explain it because she appears to act like like this raging child at home.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    You are not crazy at all. The fact is, probably most kids dont fit into any neat boxes. It would be so nice if they did. Kids like IC's, who finally has support because the individual issues that layered upon eachother , were identified...but it is always a work in progress. It takes lots of willingness to explore paths and put puzzle pieces together....often requiring us to seek support in a variety of ways.

    Keep digging, figure out her learning style, what her triggers are, what her calming and coping skills are, etc. The "assessment" checklists for skills in The Explosive Child can really help sort through what issues may be helpful to work on. It overwhelmed me because each issue seemed to be true for my son and all were severe, lol. But in his case we have a couple of clear diagnosis that really do improve when typical therapies/teaching strategies for those conditions are used. Of course everything is individualized but I mean for him Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) methods work teaching, visual schedules, use of sensory integration methods, etc....

    It also seems to me, that once we really catch on to something, eventually it has to be switched up....puberty really hit us hard on all fronts that way. We are finally settling in again to a more positive phase.

    Hang in there, we really get it, it is just a hard thing to sort out!
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Given that you have a kid on the spectrum... here's a different take on the layers:

    ADHD is often an early diagnosis.
    Sometimes it's a stand-in for something else (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspie, Bi-polar, and who knows what else).
    But even when the diagnosis is accurate, it's often not complete.

    It "can" be a stand-alone diagnosis (I have a kid like that), but more often, there are other dxes on top of the ADHD.
    Here are some examples - things that I have more experience with - but the list is not exhaustive:
    1) half the kids with ADD/ADHD also have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - developmental coordination disorder, a neuromotor challenge affecting fine or gross motor skills, or both.
    2) don't know the %, but many kids with ADHD have one or more learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalcula, etc.)
    3) 70% of the kids with ADHD and a Learning Disability (LD)... also have some form of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). There's at least 5 forms, and some of them are easily missed, like auditory figure ground (ability to filter out background noise or focus on a particular sound like the teacher's voice) or auditory discrimination (ability to distinguish between similar sounds). These two APDs in particular do not show up before school age, and can't really be tested until about age 7.

    If she has an Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), her social and academic development may well be normal, but she may be under overload from trying to focus in the noisy world called "classroom".

    Just something to think about... Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) ended up being the absolute biggest single drain on difficult child's mental energy. For some kids Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) may "look like" the inattentive type of ADHD. Both can exist together... or the Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) can be a stand-alone diagnosis.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmmmmmm. For me, rather than thinking spectrum, I am looking at the mental health issues on her family tree. There are a lot of them and they are serious (and hereditary) and in my opinion s he should be watched carefully because of it and probably see a child psychiatrist who is aware of this history and can monitor her. From what you have said, I personally don't see 'spectrum' but perhaps she is going to have "issues" related to mental health that will likely develop further down the road, if indeed they do. If she sees a psychiatrist perhaps he can help with what is going on right now...the rages. I would combine the child psychiatrist with a neuropsychologist so that you can cover her on all fronts and see if she has any childhood disorders (one can have both). I'm a very proactive mom and tend to go by "it's better to be safe than sorry." Your dear child deserves to feel better and you deserve peace at home. Early interventions are a great buffer against bigger problems in the future.
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    In some ways she sounds a lot like my difficult child. Great in school. Does well with peers his own age. Incredibly difficult at home. He takes risperdal ( 2 mgs in the morning, 3mgs at night) and he is definitely not a zombie. medications are different for every kid. Some parents here said risperdal was the worst thing they've very tried. For my son, it's been incredibly helpful. Life with him is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's better. It's the only medication that he takes right now.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. But I'm glad you are trying to get to the bottom of it.
    I agree, that her adhd is probably a symptom of something bigger.
    And with-schizophrenia, bipolar, and asperger's already in the family tree, it's going to be hard to figure out, but I'm thinking that it will develop into something more serious later on.
    I hate to have you wait until a point when it's worse, but sometimes, doctors are blind to anything but an obvious zebra. You will have to keep advocating and pestering the experts.
    I wouldn't worry about other kids being zombies. While I do read notes here about other people's medications and reactions, I still try them with-my difficult child and he has his own reactions and the drugs have their own benefits. It's one big, fat experiment, sorry to say.
    Stay strong, Warrior Mom!
  13. IT1967

    IT1967 Member

    I go through some similar things with-my kids and both are gifted with-ADHD and ODD. I just wanted to tell you that both my kids are on Risperdal, and while I absolutely HATE that they're on this medication, it has helped my difficult child 1 a lot and she is by no means a zombie at all. That's just not a word I would use to describe her on this medication. I'm still sorting out the effect of Risperdal on my difficult child 2, so I can't say whether it's helping him or not. I hope you get some answers and some peace soon.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    The right medication(s) at the right dosage won't make your kid a zombie - it/they will help make your kid their possible best. And yes, trial and error is involved, and medications will likely have to change over time as the child grows and changes.

    Also, have you had her allergy tested? Allergies can worsen underlying conditions, whether it's seasonal allergies, food allergies, etc. Might also help to keep a diary of what she's eaten (just because she doesn't show up as allergic doesn't mean she isn't reacting to something, my daughter reacts to processed meats, for example).