New Member

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Snowie, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. Snowie

    Snowie New Member

    Greetings from Australia,

    I'm a very happily married 39 yo with 2 sons. Horace is 11 and suspected ADHD and Boris is 9 with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Apart from Boris' Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), he is my compliant angel child, Horace is another matter. We have had 'problems' with him since he was a baby. He is socially inept, his grades at school have dropped from above average to below average even though he is very clever. I had to take him off the school bus because he was continually getting suspended for not staying in his seat. He is on his last warning at school, any more trouble from him and he gets expelled. He has no organisational skills whatsoever. He can't remember which homework to bring home, he can't remember to take his homework back to school. The list drags on and on and on and I don't want to bore you with details. I took him to see a paediatrician yesterday to get the ball rolling for some ADHD testing but after doing a lot of research, I know in my heart it is ADHD and we will have to medicate him. We've spent the last 12 months in psychotherapy for his social skills but he hasn't made very much progress at all.

    I feel like I've been thrown in at the deep end, however it is great to finally have a 'label' so that we can make some real progress. I just need somewhere to find some support for me and it's been comforting to read that I'm not the only one! The bad mother guilt feelings tend to overwhelm me sometimes.

  2. ML

    ML Guest

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us. Finding these ladies here has almost been worth having the difficult child for :)
  3. Want2Learn

    Want2Learn Sifting Through It All

    Welcome! I'm a Newbie too, but I'm hoping you find lots of helpful info here like I have!:D
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What is Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)? Are you sure it's not Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (Autistic Spectrum Disorder?) Sounds a lot like it! Have you seen a neuropsychologist?
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    G'day, Snowie.

    You're doing the right thing getting your son checked out for ADHD.

    Other conditions can also cause similar signs to what you see, but if he's got to age 11 without someone insisting you get him tested, he's not doing too badly.

    What did the pediatrician say yesterday? By now he should have given yu some idea, some tentative diagnosis that you can take to the school and ask them for support.

    Interesting he has social s kills issues as well - these are not, in my understanding, a usual part of ADHD. They ARE connected to Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), however. OK, ADHD kids can sometimes be doing not so good socially, because of their impulsivity, but generally there are some kids who will be more understanding and who will welcome them into their social circle. Unless the social problems are deeper - just can't 'connect', for example.

    Support is available, but a diagnosis is generally needed. ADHD diagnosis won't automatically get support, and you do have to ask for it. difficult child 1 had a diagnosis of ADHD when he went into high school; I remember talking to the school about the problems he had, and they never once suggested I apply for support funding. And they darn well should have; it was another four years before we applied. And as it turned out, it was the Asperger's diagnosis that made it possible.

    Your son could well have ADHD, but just to think about it (ad maybe help the pediatrician see the range of things that may be concerning you) go to and look for the online Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. You can't use it to diagnose, but if you print out the results and take them to the pediatrician, he will see what is worrying you and may have some answers.

    When difficult child 1 was first diagnosed ADHD at age 6 (which he has as well as diagnosis of Asperger's made when he was 15) the doctor said to us that if he offered difficult child 1 $20 to sit still for ten minutes, he wouldn't be able to comply. He would be highly motivated, and he would know how to do it intellectually, but he simply couldn't do it.

    We punish our kids for what really is often beyond their ability. To punish a kid with ADHD for not being able to sit still, is unfair. It's like punishing a kid with a broken leg, for not running in an egg and spoon race.

    If you want to know about support, check out the Special Education forum here. It is US-based, but the Aussie system is very similar. The thing to watch out for - unless the school has experienced the various bits of paperwork before, they won't be helpful abut getting you support. You have to do it yourself. Also watch out for the District Office disabilities people who do not like to spend money - you could be lucky and be in a good area, or you could be in MY area where we have the Disability staff from purgatory.

    Which reminds me - I use the word 'purgatory' instead of the smaller word because most people on this site ARE from the US and they have different language usage acceptability to us Down Under. So avoid quoting the Toyota ad, also.

    When you can, do yourself a sig (like mine underneath) so your details/kids' details don't have to get outlined each time. Saves you time etc. You should find it under UserCP at the top left of the page. And keep your details confidential, so you can't be tracked to here - you probably have no reason to worry at this stage, but I found that I was being tracked by local personnel, who were looking for everything I was writing. By using a pseudonym here, I can't be tracked. This means when I want to vent about the lousy rotten so-and-sos who did everything in the book to block difficult child 3's access to Distance Ed, purely because they believe an autistic kid should be in mainstream (to get beaten up and bullied every day) because it's GOOD for him, then I can say so freely, knowing they won't know it's me (and can't use it against me).

    OK, I can be tracked from here to my secret identity (and location) but the chances of them finding this site, considering I won't tell them, are remote. The chances of them identifying ME out of everyone here - even more remote. Which is why I occasionally slip (deliberately) to share personal stuff with friends I've made on this site.

    What I found after joining this site (purely from an Aussie perspective) - I felt empowered to take the chances I was being told not to, by local educators. I found when I took those chances that things improved a great deal. There was also a lot of support available that I wasn't being told about, that is actually supposed to be freely available to Aussie kids too. Fed Govt pays for it, State govt administers it (if you're in state-based schooling). If you're in an independent school you still should be able to access Fed Govt disability funding, but you need to go through the school's counsellor as a first port of call.

    For now - I'd be talking to the school counsellor, ASAP. Your son will be high-school age all too soon, he will need A LOT MORE help in high school, you really need to get ready NOW, even assuming you don't want to apply for support this year.

    And forget about the stigma of labels - what about the stigma he already has, of being the problem kid with poor social skills who can't sit still and who is about to get expelled?

    If you tell the school about his provisional diagnosis, they should hold off the expulsion. A kid shouldn't be expelled when the problems are due to a learning problem like this, and he hasn't had any support.

    Again, check Special Education forum.

    Are you in NSW? Sydney area at all? Or interstate from me? State? Or private? Wherever, help is available.

    Also, we're here too. And crikey, do we understand!

  6. Snowie

    Snowie New Member

    Thank you all for your warm welcome, I really appreciate it.

    Midwest - Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is Auditory Processing Disorder, it is a learning disorder rather than a conduct disorder.

    Marg - I can't begin to thank you for all your advice. The first thing I want to point out is that the school is nothing but 110% supportive of us and it was the principal's suggestion that ADHD might be the problem and he who has set us on the road to diagnosis. The principal is a very caring man whom I trust and respect. I know he has difficult child 1's best interests at heart and he has been his principal since he was 5 yo. My kids are in the Vic Catholic education system and so accessing services is usually no problem and, trust me, I've demanded a few! LOL The paediatrician didn't actually say a lot about diagnosis, but she gave me a 4 page questionnaire to complete and one for his teacher. By the time we have our next appointment in 3 weeks, an evaluation of the questionnaires should be done. Since the principal suggested it might be ADHD, which had never actually crossed my mind before, I've done a lot of research on the disorder and everything about it explains difficult child 1. His behaviour finally makes sense.

    He's been seeing the school psychologist for the last year without much progress, so getting anything from her won't be a problem. If he is diagnosed, will he be entitled to a health care card?
  7. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Hi and welcome!
    My difficult child(gift from God) has Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) - even though your difficult child may have ADHD the organizational skills could be realted to Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) - again - we don't diagnose - but the organizational thing has been a GREAT difficulty with my difficult child. I've often joked that I want to make her a suit out of velcro so I can stick everything to her so things won't get lost!! What I have learned through the wonderful people on this site is that Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) and other disorders are sometimes comorbid (they don't stand alone) Is it possible your difficult child has other things going on besdies ADHD? An official diagnosis would be helpful for you I believe - at least this way you'll know exactly what you're dealing with and in turn it will be a little easier to learn how to deal with your difficult child. It's a rough road, but the people on this board have been incredible - again, welcome, and am so glad that you found us!!!!
  8. judi

    judi Active Member

    Hi and welcome.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi Snowie.

    Vic Catholic system - sounds like it's working for you. The questionnaire thing - yep, we went through that. You may find it gets repeated every 6-12 months or so, just to keep in touch with his progress.

    I'm glad the school is working well for you - that is really important. Despite how I sound at times, I am a great believer in team work. Once you get a diagnosis, you need to request a Learning Team meeting. As the mother, you are a vital cog in the Learning Team. When he is older, so is your son.

    Health Care card - maybe. Not necessarily. I would begin making enquiries with Centrelink NOW, ring them and ask for the forms to be posted. The doctor has to sign off on them, but there is A LOT for you to fill out yourself, mostly detailing just how much work you have to put in for him. What you're applying for isn't disability for him, it's carer payment (or allowance) for you. And it's dependent on how much work is involved, for you.

    You may be entitled to this for your younger son, too. And I didn't pay too much attention initially, but auditory processing is a red flag for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). They can occur for different reasons, but where you get one Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) person in a family, you have a higher likelihood of another with at least some symptoms. If/when you do the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire for your older son, do another one for your younger son.

    If you get a 'normal' score, that's great. I would still take a printout to the doctor. You may find the questionnaire the doctor gave you is similar to the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) online one. There will be differences, too.

    Talk to Centrelink abut eligibility.

    If you qualify for both boys, you get payment for both boys. You also would get a health care card for both boys, which would give you discount prescriptions for them.

    Chances are, Centrelink will reject your application. It's almost standard for those who don't get a blanket approval (such as autism - the approval is automatic). But if you get rejected, appeal. They count on people not appealing, it's definitely worth appealing the decision. If you win, the payment is backdated to the date of your original application.

    A suggestion for school - get a Communication Book in place. We used it as a sort of diary, to take the place of daily classroom consultations. It really made it easier for me and the teacher to work as a team, when handling difficult child 3. I wish I'd used it with difficult child 1 as well.
    You note in the book anything of interest that the teacher needs to know. The teacher does the same. Sometimes it's stuff you each need to know, but don't have time to physically tell each other.
    The book is NOT to be made the child's responsibility in any way. That is not its purpose - its purpose is entirely to communicate between home and school.
    It needs to be used regularly, preferably daily or every second day. Weekly is a bit to long. It helps with immediacy in dealing with current issues. A kid with ADHD needs a fast response to problems, rather than one delayed a week or more. This is a good tool especially where there are social/behavioural/personal organisation issues.

    What to use - I just get an exercise book from the supermarket, put it in one of those clear plastic covers and use that. I label it "difficult child- Communication Book" with a note asking people with anything to say, to please write it in the book. Each entry needs to be dated, but otherwise informal is best. A teacher may need to vent - let them. Better they vent in the book than take it out on your child. Consider it their therapy and yours, as well as an effective tool in working as a team.

    When you go to a new book, you keep the old one. They are fascinating to refer back to, often very enlightening. I used to take the book to the pediatrician as well, he found it useful. And when difficult child 3 changed to a new school - they were very interested in what the book could tell them, about what to expect.

    Hope this helps.

    I'm likely to be unavailable until Sunday night. I might pop in tomorrow night, but not sure. So if I don't answer for a while, don't worry. I'll be back.

  10. Snowie

    Snowie New Member

    Hi Daralex & Judi, thanks so much for your welcome.

    Marg, I did the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire and I knew before I finished it that Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is not a problem for him. He displays no autisic behaviours whatsoever, I think I answered no for every question. He was speaking in sentences by the time he was 18 months old and has always had a good grasp of language. He is a voracious reader and has never displayed any learning problems. He will learn anything in a second, so long as it is something that HE is interested in. He 'gets it' very quickly, often before you've finished explaining, whereas difficult child 2 (with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)) needs things explained over and over before he 'gets it' and that is the only 'problem' that difficult child 2 has. Remember that difficult child 1 is 11 (he'll be 12 in August and due for high school next year) and this has only just come up in the last fortnight and he has been at the same school since grade prep. In fact, the principal, in who's office difficult child 1 has spent plenty of time, only first suspected this might be his problem late last year. He's not so bad that he sticks out like a sore thumb.

    I just spoke to the school psycho and discussed this with her. She thinks it is ADHD too.

    It took me a little while to work it out, it finally hit me while I was laying in bed last night! Your comment about don't give out too much personal info had me a little stumped and I finally 'got' why you said that. Horace and Boris aren't their real names ... lol ... I couldn't be so cruel! They are their internet pseudonyms. Horace is a pseudonym for horror head because he gives me so much grief and Boris rhymes with Horace, so it worked for me!!! LOL I usually called my husband Frosty online because, after all, Frosty is the Snow Man!

    I will look into the Centrelink thing. I don't think I do much extra to look after him or difficult child 2, but the paed cost me $265.00 (before Medicare) and if he has to be medicated, that'll be another ongoing expense. I'm not bothered about the carer's payment but the health care card for his medical expenses sure would be handy.

    I understand Communication Books, I had one for difficult child 2 earlier in his school life. We don't really need it for him any more but I hadn't thought to use it for difficult child 1. It's certainly a great idea.

  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the site, Snowie!
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just adding my welcome-glad you found us.
  13. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Hi Snowie,

    I am a Newbie two with a 12 year old who has been diagnosed ADHD. I too have a lot of guilt but have to say that after reading a lot of the posts here my guilt has subsided. You read how other difficult child's have the EXACT same behaviors and challenges (gifts :D) as your own difficult child and you really realize that it is genetic and not something that we did. That has brought me a lot of peace, patience and strength.

    Welcome, I hope you find this site as wonderful as I do.

    Warrior Mom!:smug:
  14. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i'm glad you found us.

  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm glad you've checked out the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and feel OK with the current direction. Makes it a lot easier on you (not getting your energies fragmented).

    The health care card - it is linked to Centrelink and the Carer benefit. If you don't qualify, you have to hope you can get in via combined income, and very few Aussies with two incomes can qualify.

    medications - they should be available on PBS, if you're anything like us you'll get SOME discounted scripts in a year. We usually reach Safery Net any time between June and October. We were later last year because now there's only three of us eligible (the others are now independent adults and therefore responsible for their own medical expenses).

    Had to chuckle about the names - I hadn't realised, but once you mentioned it - of course!

    One suggestion, independent of whatever the pediatrician diagnoses - find a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. The behaviour problems are an issue, regardless of what the official cause is. That book helps a lot of us. There is some discussion of the book on Early Childhood, to give you a sneak peek.

    At least that is something you and your husband can do NOW. Also, any techniques in the book can be used for BOTH boys. It's a different way of looking at discipline in kids with impulse control issues or a high degree of frustration.

  16. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Just adding my welcome, more us needed from 'downunder'. Marg (mainly) and I have been holding up this hemisphere for too long.

    I was thinking Horace as in "'orrible 'orace" to rhyme with "Boris" as in Boris Badinov from the days of "Rocky and Bullwinkle".

    Did you know they used an Aussie - Keith Scott - for the narrator in the movie because he could 'do' the original narrator's voice nearly perfectly?

    Marg's Man
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Typical. Trivia buff, a mind full of incredible detail in specialised areas. Asperger's doesn't just run in our family, it gallops! I'm stuck in bed on the laptop, he's clearly been posting from the office!

    But hey, at least we communicate!

    Seriously Snowie, we (husband & I) thought we communicated well before CD, but having him lurk here and now post in his own right has improved our communication even further. It's all good stuff.

  18. Snowie

    Snowie New Member

    Just so I don't keep repeating myself - thank you to everyone who has and will welcome me to the group.

    My sister in law popped over yesterday with some books, she has an autistic difficult child. One in particular that has grabbed my interest has been Ian Wallace's You & Your ADD Child, Practical Strategies for Coping with Everyday Problems. I haven't got very far into it, but it has certainly been helpful. Understanding why he behaves like he does is half the frustration battle won.

    Got that hearing appointment today, but we won't be seen until early April.

  19. Snowie

    Snowie New Member