New member-Nothing seems to make sense anymore.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by clmuppy32, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. clmuppy32

    clmuppy32 New Member

    Hello, I am new to this forum, confused and hoping someone here can help me.

    Background: I have a son who is now 9, that was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 5. He was having trouble focusing in school and sitting still. At the age of 4, we notcied in daycare that he was not able to get along well with other children and was not able to take instructions very well. Once in Kindergarten and in a school setting our troubles began. The neurologist who diagnosed him put him on Focalin XR. He is still on this medication 4 years later but they continue to bump us his mg every so often.

    My main concern is that I feel there is more going on than just ADHD. He is a very smart child with great scores and grades but has so many social problems. He is very impulsive and angry sometimes. At school, if he feels someone is looking at him wrong he will just explode. He will resort to throwing chairs and pushing tables, tearing things off the walls. He cannot keep his hands to himself and just has an overall hard time making and keeping friends. Once this rage happens, it sometimes take him 10-15 minutes to calm completely down. He has been in In School Suspension several times and even suspended for his behavior. He tends to feel bad after the fact, and then wants to apologize. I notice that often he blames other people for his mistakes. For example: If I ask him why he was pushing at recess, he may say, "John Doe was sticking his tongue out at me and made me do it." He has a very hard time listening and following instructions. He recently decided he wanted to play baseball but now everytime we tell him he has a game or practice, he gets very angry. He says, he is bad at it and all the kids laugh at him, don't throw the ball to him, etc. (None of that is true, by the way). He just seems so unhappy all the time. Even when doing his favorite activities, he complains and whines almost the entire time these days.

    We have tried counseling with him but he just clams up and wont say a word and just sits there. After 8 sessions and nothing, we took him out. We just couldn't afford to take him and him just sit there without any improvement. He sees a pediatric neurologist where we live but all the say is ADHD, ADHD, ADHD. I am so sick of hearing, he just has ADHD, I could scream!!! I kmow, as his Mom, there is something more going on than the typical ADHD diagnosis. He has the sweetest heart and I just want to help him!

    Thanks for any replies in advance.
  2. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Have you done any Autism screening? I've heard that Aspergers sometimes is diagnosis'd as ADHD until one finds a doctor who knows the difference. The anger, impulsiveness and social issues are just like my daughter.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    I agree that there is probably more than ADHD. ADHD all by itself usually does not make a child angry and violent.

    What kind of testing was done to determine the ADHD diagnosis?
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard. My post will be very brief but wanted you to know that I've read about your child and I care. Have you checked into having a neuro/psychological test series run? Many of us have had positive results from that series of testing.
    Hugs. DDD
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Was there something going on that made you take him to a neurologist instead of a neuropyschologist or psychiatrist? You might want to check into those possibilities. Trust your mommy gut. God gave it to you for a reason and it is very seldom wrong. I agree that you need autism testing. Also, in regards to the school, does he have an IEP? If not you need to request he be evaluated for one ASAP.

    I need to go but will check back later. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}}
  6. clmuppy32

    clmuppy32 New Member

    Wow, thank you for the quick replies. The neuro that first dianosed him with ADHD did the BASC test and then just some basic questionaiires and asked him a few questions. We also had to turn in questionairres from teachers and such. I mentioned Autism and the Neuro just shook his head and said he does not have the symptoms to warrant testing for that.

    I would like to find another Neuro for a second opinion but there is a shortage of pediatric Neuros where I live.
  7. clmuppy32

    clmuppy32 New Member

    TeDo- We were going to counseling but that was not working. the counselor then suggested we take him to the Pediatric Neurology Center. I am going to check out our options for neuropsychologists. Thank you for the suggestion.

    I don't know a lot about IEP's? Is that available at all schools? I need to do more research on the subject.
  8. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Hi, and welcome -

    Looks like you'll get a chorus of "yep, more than ADHD"... and I'm on the same page!

    Has he ever had an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory and motor skills issues? These can be huge, and while medications do not help, Occupational Therapist (OT) therapies DO help, and there are accommodations etc. as well.

    Has he ever had a full Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation for auditory processing issues? I know, his hearing is fine, and his language is probably OK too... but there are other issues that can be investigated like auditory figure ground - where the person has trouble filtering out background noise. APDs look a LOT like ADHD. AND... you can have both.

    Whether or not you pursue a comprehensive evaluation, these two sets of testing are of use stand-alone - AND are of use to any person doing a comprehensive evaluation.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi are probably seeing a trend in the responses so far, LOL.... trust your gut. It does seem like something else is going on and isn't it amazing how people outside of the situation but who have lived the same sad story of mis-diagnosis can see you are so right??!! the types of social issues adhd kids have are usually more about impulsive mistakes etc. Sounds like your child is having true social mis-interpretions of facial expressions, intent, etc. Holding back and forth conversations (like in therapy/counseling) usually does not go well so that kind of treatment is often not so great for many of our kids. If you can find a therapist who works specifically with kids who need direct teaching about how to get along with other kids, to develop skills for understanding facial expressions, the different levels of teasing, how to be a good sport and things like that it really helps. (Took my son till age 15-now- to find someone, sigh).

    The types of professionals you are seeing tend to limit their diagnosis to the area you are getting feedback on. With the touching everything issue and social communicaiton problems, You may want to try to get a private Occupational Therapist (OT) and Sp/Lang/Communication evaluation. Those two things will look at fine motor, sensory integration (whether defensive or seeking like the touch thing) and may give you insight as to things that go along with ADHD or sometimes can mask as ADHD.... the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation can help you identify issues affecting social communicaiton as well as auditory processing problems including language processing, which again can look like ADHD. Specifically say you want auditory processing and social communication evaluated when you request the evaluation.

    While doing that, what also has worked for many of us (as stated earlier) is to set up a neuropsychologist evaluation. A neuropsychologist (and some do have typical psychs or docs who do this but as a group this kind of psychiatric is known for doing this kind of evaluation) looks at all the behaviors, will look at your Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) results and do a LOT of other testing (checklists, in person standardized tests, parent forms etc....may be hours and hours worth....very well worth your effort, in my humble opinion) and they analyze the relationship between behaviors/level of achievement/mood to how our brains work. They are much broader in helping to let you know if this is more of a developmental/neurological issue, or a mental health issue, etc.

    I agree that one thing that pops out (because of the level of aggression, social issues, and upsets in social situations, not being able to communicate well with a therapist, plus the adhd-like stuff which often goes along with this) is to look at the possibility of Autism Spectrum (maybe in your case Asperger's) Disorder, or similar types of conditions which really impact a child's ability to get along in the classroom and during activities. It would not necessarily impact his academic achievements unless behavior, organization etc. interferes with his work.

    It is a daunting journey to try to sort out what it can be but not checking it out is NOT an option, as your gut is telling you. Sorry you are experiencing so much resistence from those that should be listening to you the most.

    In school, does he have an IEP? The types of discipline methods they are using do not teach him how to handle things better. He likely needs some direct teaching in a postive-skill building way to do better. If he is on an IEP (if not let us know and we can share info about that too) you can request a behavior analysis and a POSITIVE behavior plan. If he could do better then he would.

    Some books that many of us like include: The Explosive Child and Lost in School both by Ross Greene and What your Explosive Child is trying to Tell You by Doug Riley. I have found good used copies on I am sure they are other places too (recently paid less than $2.50 for another copy of The Explosive Child!)

    So, welcome, you are with many who understand the diagnosis journey and the day to day struggle with all of these issues. Hope you check in often and we can get to know you better.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It can be a range of things, though... our difficult child has "clinically significant findings" when tested for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)... but definitely no where near diagnostic cut-offs... he couldn't process body language fast enough (knew what it meant). The aggression may be... depression, not uncommon to present that way in boys. If their self-esteem gets hammered early, and/or they have even minor motor skills issues, they get left out of school social interactions really fast - so, maybe just lack of opportunity? Our's refused to interact with tdocs, too.

    Until you go down the multiple evaluations roads... you just don't know.
  11. Giulia

    Giulia New Member

    My two cents from someone living ADHD from inside.

    What can I say about misinterpreted social cues can be Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but can also be something else. It has a ton of causes, in my case, it was... PTSD.
    I know it can make laugh, but it was what we finally found out after having thought of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), then ruled out because other diagnosis criterias not met.
    In my own personal case, when I feel hyper insecure in a particular setting, I misinterpret social cues. If I am in a place where I feel secure, then I perfectly interpret social cues. Of course, while under stimulant. Without stimulant, no way to do so.
    It seems a detail, but it can change the situation.
    It didn't help to make friends, indeed.
    The attention deficit didn't help me to perfectly read social cues either, I missed a lot of them (same when I am not under medicine).

    Are there any other situations in which your son explodes and ends to throw up chairs, hit.... ?
    Is there any warning before it happens ?
    etc etc....
    Extreme explosions can happen with ADHD without mood disorder nor Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It's not the most typical pattern, but it can happen to some persons. Also, what I can say from the internal side of the story is that the more I am sarcastically talked, negative sentences, negative discipline... the more it fuels an extreme explosion, like what your son has.

    Inefficient medicine can also lead to such situations. I can testimony that with a stimulant, you won't see me explode, unless you add extreme anxiety and/or in an extreme noisy place.

    What you describe can be Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but it may also have other causes.

    Maybe these informations won't be helpful for you. Take them if they help, leave them otherwise.

    I hope you will be able to figure out what happens to your son.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Chalk up another one who believes a neuropsychologist evaluation is in order and thinks that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a possibility. ADHD is often the first, but not the last, diagnosis our children get. Many a sad child who can't fit in suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It can be helped A LOT!
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    True, I meant it as... one thing (among the many possibilities) that pops out.... Some things are more common than others...but digging for the thing that helps YOUR child is what matters.


    Your son sounds almost EXACTLY like my ten year old son who has been diagnosed with Aspergers/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). The anger, impulsiveness, destructiveness, school problems, etc. This definitely sounds like more than ADHD. Don't let anyone convince you out of what your gut is telling you. Good luck.
  15. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    An IEP is federally mandated for ALL schools receiving any form of government funds IF the child qualifies. There is a bunch of testing and observing the schools need to do and many areas the kids can qualify under. What it does is provide accommodations and/or special programming to help kids fill in gaps in skills they have as they relate to education. It also puts certain disciplinary procedures and limits in place.

    To see if your son would qualify, you need to send a written request to the principal AND the Director of Special Education in your school/district. I usually just write that "I would like _____ to be evaluated for Special Education services. I would like thorough testing in the areas of academics, psychological, emotional/behavioral, sensory, fine and gross motor, language processing and overall speech." Send the letter CERTIFIED MAIL with RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED. This starts a federal timeline for them to complete all their assessments and provide a written AND verbal report to an IEP team that includes you, a general ed teacher, any specialists that did evaluations, a Special Education teacher, and an administrative representative.

    If you get the request sent off NOW, they can have everything completed by the end of the school year and you can have a plan in place for next year. It also puts into place the disciplinary limits and procedures effective the date they receive your request. You need the return receipt to prove the date they actually received the request.

    For many questions about SpEd and IEPs and the laws, check out the Wright's Law website. That is what they specialize in.

    Good luck.
  16. clmuppy32

    clmuppy32 New Member

  17. clmuppy32

    clmuppy32 New Member

    Also, I am typing up that IEP and sending it off on Monday! Thank you TeDo for the website, it was very helpful!
  18. Giulia

    Giulia New Member

  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Guilia, with all due respect to you, I think that France pretty much calls most problems ADHD. I am not sure you would have a diagnosis. of ADHD here. You may have a more complicated diagnosis. here. I personally do not believe that ADHD is such a severe disorder that one can not even function. But I live in the US. Here, you may not even qualify for school help if you are only dxd. with ADHD. ADHD rarely is a stand alone diagnosis, although it can be, but it should not cause one to be non-functional. Also, you do not have experience raising a child yet. No offense meant. I do not mean to be unkind. And again this is me speaking only for myself, not anyone else here.

    in my opinion, this is an example of more than ADHD and the poster feels that way too. To the poster, use your Mom Gut and do what you need to do to help your son.
  20. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Umm, just to clarify - and, like you, MWM, not wanting in any way to be contentious or belligerent - it is actually extremely HARD to get a diagnosis of ADHD in France. Believe me, I have been trying for a long time with my son now :) So I don't think it is a case of everything being dressed up as ADHD here. What is also confusing on this topic is if you read many diagnosistic check lists for ADHD, they talk about tantrums or rages, at least on an occasional basis - although the rages that are described here do indeed seem to be beyond what one might expect to see with ADHD. I do think it is a confusing picture and I do agree that it is not usual to think of people with ADHD as not being able to function in some general sense, although they may perhaps face extra challenges because of the learning difficulties that often accompany it. But then... I am just on a steep learning curve with all this.