New Member looking for advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mama2boys, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. mama2boys

    mama2boys New Member

    Hi, my story is that we adopted our son from Russia at 9 months old. We knew right away that he was not a "typical" child. He never stopped moving. I use to kid about him being my on-the-go child. He talked early and with an incredible skill. He is bright, happy, full of joy at life. He is also distracted, always moving, ALWAYS talking, and doesn't handle change well.
    At 3.9 years the Montessori school he attended asked us to have him evaluated and medicated if necessary. They were very supportive, but felt he needed medication. At 4.4 years he was diagnosed as ADHD and put on the Catapres I patch. This helped, but we still had lots of ups and downs.

    When DS1 was 6.5, we brought home a little brother who was 2.5. DS1 became very territorial and extremely difficult. During the summer we had some real rages and defiance. After 3 months I couldn't see that it was the adjustment to having a sibling. We decided to increase his medication to Catapres II. This had the effect of making him sleepy to the point he was falling asleep in class. He also developed a mean and angry edge to words and actions both at school and at home.

    Neurologist took him off Catapres last week and after 4 days off medicine he was happy again, but distracted, moving, and talking nonstop. Doctor prescribed Metadate CD 10mg. After 3 days DS1 was moody, irritable, not listening, angry, admittedly more focused on tasks, but unhappy. I took him off this medication this morning.

    I read about Brightspark on-line. Do any of you know of this? Also, any advice you have on medications, etc. I can use. This is long and you may need more information. Please just ask. I need any help I can get. My DS1 is a loving, very bright, full of curiousity, out-going child. Seeing this angry, defiant boy breaks my heart. Sorry this is so long.
    DS1 7 yrs
  2. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    No, I don't have much experience with ADHD medications. My difficult child did have a few short tries with Adderall and Stattera but we didn't see much of a difference with the Strattera and while we saw her initially hyperfocusing with the adderall, it wore off quickly and even with tweaking it wasn't much help.

    I have not heard of Brightspark.

    Welcome to the board though...its a wonderful place for support!:D
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you thinking maybe he has Aspergers Syndrome? Ever see a neuropsychologist with this wonderful-sounding child? I would see a neuropsychologist to make sure it's ADHD and not a mimicker, especially since the medications didn't work. Does he socialize well? Have any quirks? What is his behavior like?
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think seeing a neuropsychologist is a very good idea. As for ADHD medications my son just can't tolerate any of them. Glad you found us, you have found a very supportive group!
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Hello & welcome. It's important to note that we're parents and you can't substitute our experiences for medical advice.
    I suggest you get a very thorough evaluation because adhd-like behaviors can be symptoms of many of the disorders we see in our children. Some of these disorders include autistic spectrum disorders, ahdh/add, mood disorders, attachment problems, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), anxiety and sleep disorders. To further complicate matters, many of these disorders can overlap.
    I would be concerned about trying more stimulants at this point until conditions other than simple adhd can be ruled out. I'm not saying never again, but is does seem like his anger & irritability has been at least partially triggered by the medications.
    Check out the FAQ forum to find out about a multidisciplinary evaluation and how to put together a parent input report. Also, pick up a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene or borrow it from the library. It's been very helpful for many of us.
  6. mama2boys

    mama2boys New Member

    Thank you for the welcome replies. We are scheduled for a neuropsychologist evaluation in August - yep August is the first appointment. I have asked to be on the cancellation list, in hopes of getting in earlier. One of the reasons I requested the referral for the evaluation is that I am not certain it is "only ADHD".

    Midwest Mom - I don't think Aspberger's, but maybe something else. He gets along well with children, but can be bossy. At the playground he will gather the kids and create a game where he is usually the leader. He does very well with adults one on one. He has the most self confidence you would ever see in a child. Everyone knows him - at school, on our street, people make comments like he is so happy, full of life, he'll be a politician some day. But at night he is afraid of the dark and he cannot stay alone even in another room for long without coming to find us or asking us to come to where he is. Just some things - there are many more.

    I will look up that book. If any of you have ideas on getting him to stay in his own room at night (he sleep walks and ends up in our bed every night), please let me know. He has a very hard time going to sleep in his own room. Have to have all the lights on and one of us must be upstairs (not necessarily in his room).
    I've just started reading posts. I look forward to getting to know you all.
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    This isn't my usual advice about sleeping habits, but I think it may fit here. Let him sleep where he's most comfortable for now. I only say that because you are in such flux right now that limiting your demands may go a long way toward calming things down for him. I'm not, however, a proponent for long term co-sleeping. You may want to look into a sleep study and also get him checked out by an ENT if you are seeing sleep problems. FWIW, we put wind chimes on my daughter's door so that we would be alerted when she was having night wanderings.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi and welcome! So glad you found us!

    As TM said, we're just parents and we do bring our biases to the board based on our individual experiences. My bias would be to wonder if there's a mood disorder lurking. Do you have any bio family history? My son was also extremely advanced in language skills and very "hyper" at ages 2 thru... well, he still has his moments, LOL. He did outstandingly well academically in a Montessori setting but he has never taken direction well from adults and has absolutely no problem in letting us know he's going to do what he wants, his way. Didn't fly in Montessori. A negative reaction to stimulants can be (but isn't necessarily always) a red flag for a mood disorder. My kiddo also appeared to be a very self-assured child but at the same time, had some very serious fears that weren't based on any personal experience (aside from darkness and being alone in a room, he was absolutely terrified at age 6 that someone would break into our home - I still have no clue where that came from but it was very real to him).

    Again, just my bias. I think getting a neuropsychologist evaluation is definitely a great idea - just sorry you have to wait so long!

    As far as the sleepwalking - what happens if you gently guide him back into his room? Will he come back into bed with you again? It's hard - sleepwalking is very different from a kiddo who intentionally climbs into your bed in the wee hours. I agree that possibly a sleep study might be an idea.

    Anyway, so glad you found us! We have a wide range of opinions and experiences and always have several steady shoulders when things get rough.
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    You are a wise mom. Very rarely does ADHD exist alone.

    A good ADHD resource is It should be on every ADHDer's parents' "must read" list in my opinion.

    Re: medications: It's pure luck to get the right medication the first time. Our difficult child started on Ritalin. It was a major problem. We've had good success with Adderall XR. As indicated by someone above, however, there are some kids that just can't take any type of ADHD medication.

    If you ever need help getting supports and services for your son at school, please visit the Special Education 101 forum on this site.
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hi and welcome. The others have given great advice.

    As far as the sleep-wandering, would you consider putting a futon or another mattress in your room for him to sleep on? My daughter has severe anxiety and slept in my bed until she was around 10 years old. At that point, I took the mattress out of the trundle in her daybed and put it on the floor in my room. She slept there for another 6 months. To finally get her back in my bed, I got her a new bed that she was able to pick out and be a part of the process.

    The only thing I wish I had done differently was put the mattress in my room sooner.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    ON the social front - just because he's a leader in games doesn't mean it can't be Asperger's. The thing is, while HE is in control, everything is fine. But if he has to follow someone else, and rely on body language and some degree of empathy (at this age) to do so, then you see problems. difficult child 3 is VERY outgoing socially, will approach other kids (and adults) to interact, but because he doesn't always understand APPROPRIATE, he gets the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) label. And it fits. An especially bright child will adapt better than otherwise, and as difficult child 3 put it when he was 8, "I'm getting better at pretending to be normal." Because that is what they try to do, constantly - to fit in.

    Good luck with this one. And read the book - it helps.

    I like the futon idea for sleepwalking/napping with you but not IN your bed. Maybe a good compromise for now.

  12. mama2boys

    mama2boys New Member

    I don't really know about Aspberger's. I will do some reading. A good point about his not recognizing body language clues. He has a hard time with that. He is a touchy/feeling kid and doesn't recognize when someone doesn't want him too close.
    As far as the adult interaction - he does fine with some adults and gives others trouble. If he senses an indecisive situation he will act defiant. If the adult is firm and fair, he acquieses. For the most part he wants to please those around him.

    Sleep walking - if you lead him back to bed he will start crying. After a few minutes he will get up and wander again. He will only settle down once he is in bed with us. If I am downstairs and his dad is upstairs, he will come downstairs to find me. Sometimes he wakes up once he finds me. The pediatrian said there is nothing to do. The neuro said it isn't related to anything, just keep him safe. Maybe the evaluation will make sense of it. Until then we will deal with it.

    Seems I have lots more reading to do. I hope the neuro who is on call for our doctor calls today. He has to go back to school on Monday and I dread telling them he is not on medications. Sigh.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Glad he's getting a neuropsychologist. They are good at finding out weak/strong points and coming up with great ideas. No help on the room--I used to be afraid of the dark so I just kept the closet light on (I have bipolar and had it as a kid). It's true we can't diagnose, so glad you're seeing a good professional. It's hard when you have no history--four of my kids were adopted, two from other countries.