Newbie...Can I get some advice please? Dont know what to do!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Have5boys, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Have5boys

    Have5boys New Member

    Im so gratefull for finding this board, I thought I was the only one out there with these problems. I have problems with-2 of my boys. My 7yr old and my 6yr old.

    My 6yr old is CLASSIC ADHD (according to his pediatrician.) we have an appointment. to discuss medication on the 7th. He is constantly "going"...never stops, he is doing poorly in school because he cant focus, he fights with-his brothers, etc. What type of medications did everyone start on? His doctor mentioned 4 different ones but Im so confused about which are best. Any advice?

    My 7yr old is a different story. His pediatrician. said that according to the questionaiir we (and his teacher) filled out, he shows SOME signs of ADD but he is VERY violent. Looking online, I would say he definately has ODD. He hits me, screams, curses, hits his brothers, destroys our property, slams doors, will not listen when my husband or I tell him to do something, he has threatened to kill us (and himself). He goes on rampages where he says he doesnt want to live, he has gone as far as grabbing a knife and saying he wants to die. Im scared....for him, for myself, and my other kids. These episodes usually happen if we take away his phones. Ever since he has been a toddler, he has had an obsession with phones. We have been advised that he needs to see a therapist before any medication can be given. What do I do in the meantime? I cant go on living in fear. He has always had a temper but for the past 6mo or so, things have gotten much worse.

    Any advice/suggestions you all may have are welcomed. Thank you and God Bless you all.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board :)

    My very first recommendation is to take them for a different and more thorough evaluation. Pediatricians tend to be very poor diagnosticians about childhood disorders. Filling out one short test, even with teachers involved, doesn't tell you much. Many of us oldsters feel ODD is a useless diagnosis and most of the time it is not used by higher level professionals such as neuropsychs and psychiatrists. It really doesn't mean more than the child is defiant. It does not tell you why. ODD rarely stands alone. There is usually a larger, bigger issue causing the ODD. I'm going to ask a few questions, not to be nosy, but because the more we k now the more we can give you our best support and advice. I think the big guns should come before the therapist. Therapists tend to focus on parenting methods and if your boys are like most of our kids, therapist's discipline and parenting theories won't work and you will end up feeling blamed. And this is NOT YOUR FAULT!

    This would apply to both boys.

    1/How were they as infants? Did they like to cuddle or did they freeze up in your arms? Did they make good, steady eye contact with you? Did they have stable lives? Dad and Mom? They did not get moved around or experience many changes? What were their births like? Any problems?

    2/Did they reach all their milestones on time, especially speech? Any motor skills issues? Any strange behaviors you can point to?

    3/Moving on, can they transition well from one activity to another? Do they play appropriately with toys or do they take them apart or ignore them or throw them or line up cars, for example? Do they tend to copy what they hear on TV or what other people say? Any strange quirks or obsessive interests? Do they know how to get along with their same age peers without agitating them or ignoring them? Do they make strong eye contact with strangers?

    4/Any sensitivities such as certain foods or clothing material? Are either overly sensitive to loud noise, even though THEY may make loud noise? Do they cover their ears? Do they ever rock or suck their shirts or seem like they are in their own worlds at certain times then at other times seem very alert and aware? Any tics?

    5/Are there any psychiatric or neurological disorders on either side of their GENETIC family tree? Even if Dad has never been in their lives, he did deposit 50% of his DNA before he left so he is still there. So is his family tree and their issues. Lots of things are hereditary. is your husband the biological father?

    Personally I'd hold off on the stimulants. They can make a lot of k ids worse and you aren't really sure your sons have ADHD or ODD or whatever until they are further evaluated. It will be hard for us to help you out until we know what is really going on with the kids. Pulling a knife is extreme even for ADHD/ODD and I suspect a wrong diagnosis there. An obsession with things like phones can point to autistic spectrum, although autistic spectrum kids don't normally pull knives (but some can if very frustrated). You need to get a strong handle of everything going on with your boys. There is the potential for a peaceful life for you and the boys, but you need to get more proactive. A pediatrician and then a talk therapist is not the way to go. You need a psychiatrist (the doctor with the MD) and you need the neuropsychologist with the PhD, the good testing methods, and extra knowledge that a pediatrician and therapist don't have. Some pediatricians don't even touch childhood disorders. I think it's better if they don't. They don't really understand them...sore throats are their specialty, not behavioral problems.

    Others will come along.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hello! Welcome. You'll get a lot of ideas here and it can be overwhelming. First of all please know you are indeed not alone. There are wonderful pediatricians out there but they generally are not the ones who do best diagnosing the wide range of reasons a child has adhd symptoms. There are for sure kids who have adhd and medications can help.

    If you look at my signature would you believe my son has an early diagnosis of adhd? His brain injury and autism results in those symptoms.
    Since many conditions are genetic I'd suggest a comprehensive evaluation....for both boys......including neuropsychology (neuropsychologist ) and occupational therapy (Occupational Therapist (OT) ) and speech language /communication (Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)) because many conditions either look like adhd or go along with adhd so even if medications help, without other interventions the child may fall behind and not make as much progress.

    The intensive focus on an item (the phones)often goes along with autism spectrum. This obsession can continue or shift over time. If this is the case for your son you may consider not using for consequences or any other reason for taking it away until he has more skills for coping. What you said is good news, you know a very predictable trigger for meltdowns (which are also common in children on the spectrum as well as kids with other developmental--or some mental health conditions). Parenting in a traditional way ...rewarding and consequencing behaviors often is of limited benefit because kids who have differently wired brains need to specifically be taught what to do to deal with problems and feelings.
    A neuropsychologist can comfirm the adhd diagnosis and help dig deeper, in case......and for the other son can help see if there is a developmental disorder or a mental health illness or both....they are trained to assess the brain and it's connection to behavior. Mental Health professionals may likely agree with your ODD plus ADHD idea....they tend to look to mental health diagnosis. (Adhd is physical but your dr evaluated for it and many are more comfortable with saying someone has adhd) Does your family have any mental health conditions like bipolar disorder? Any undiagnosed members you know had "issues"?
    For both boys:
    Do they have friends? Do they/have they always had normal looking eye contact? Any other special interests or gifts or talents? Did they talk or read early...or were able to do math/love numbers?
    Do they either seek or avoid noises, tastes, textures, smells, etc? Like do they cover ears, only eat certain foods, refuse to wear tags or have socks that bug them? Some kids love the feel of things for example ...touching everything or jumping/moving to get more input.....and looking very adhd.
    Did they cuddle?
    How do they do when schedules or plans change? Do their moods switch quickly and/or frequently?
    Just FYI, while a common mental health diagnosis. many people here will share an opinion that it is not a very useful diagnosis. The reason is that it really just says "the kid is acting up....". Well guess what, most kids here probably qualify for that label. It can be used to get insurance to pay for dr. And therapy but I'd suggest not saying that especially to school people. If after exhaustive assessment you only have that option you will be able to deal with what to do but for now especially .....(neuropsychologist evaluations take many hours and the neuropsychologist can use Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) findings to help diagnosis and suggest therapies).... ODD is often viewed as a child simply choosing to misbehave and so punishment behavior plans and a view of the child as naughty (affects self esteem big time) often occurs.
    Ok, so...a neuropsychologist evaluation will look at ability, history, learning levels and styles, moods, patterns of behaviors, general language and motor levels, etc. An Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation will offer in depth assessment of motor development (focused more on fine motor) and sensory integration( how the brain interprets sensory information). Ask specifically for both. A speech language pathologist will look at expressive, receptive and social communication skills. They can also screen for auditory processing difficulty (hearing is normal but the brain doesn't interpret sounds including language normally ). Problems in any of these areas can make kids look like they're just not following directions. They can seem quite disrespectful. They don't know they don't know, lol. So, they often compensate ....sometimes in negative ways.

    You can see why it's so important to dig deep. Many docs will say it's not necessary but they dont live with the consequences of not getting proper treatment. And one thing's for sure, it's much harder to undo inappropriate behaviors. Looking back and regretting not making sure a child has or doesn't have something needing specialized treatment feels awful. So many have been in your shoes so we share!

    I never ask...dr., do you think we need an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation? They will say no. Say, I need a referral for an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation......
    Be very assertive.

    Others can speak to other possibilities, but if autism spectrum is a thought.....(red flags with phone issue and meltdowns) remember Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) looks different in everybody. It takes a specialist to really see the signs.

    You might find the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene helpful for teaching your kids skills they need to reduce neg. behaviors. It helps with alternative parenting ideas.

    OK, I'll stop for now. Sorry I didn't proof read, on my phone so I hope this made sense)
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Welcome to our corner of the web. I'm glad that you found us. I can tell you that I have found an amazing amount of support and information here.

    I agree with what the others have said that you need to have both of the boys evaluated by someone other than the pediatrician. Can they maybe recommend a neuropsychologist in your area? It will probably take months (if you're lucky) to get an appointment, but he or she will do a thorough evaluation over several days of testing and will be able to get a really clear picture of what is going on with both of them.

    As far as medications go, every kid is different. We tried difficult child on several different drugs in the SSRI class of medications with disasterous results. They made him even more aggressive than he was to begin with. He takes Rispersol now and does really well on, while there have been other parents here who said that risperdal was the worst thing they ever put their kids on. I explained it to my husband this way: he can't take amoxycilin because he has an allergic reaction to it, but I can take it with no problems. Alot of the these medications are the same. What works for my kid might not be the best for yours. Finding the right medication or combination of medications can be alot of trial and error. Hang in there. Watch for any side effects when you start them and listen to your mommy gut! If you think that a medication is making things worse, tell the prescribing doctor and see about trying something else.

    Keep us posted about how they are doing.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I agree with "most" of what the others have offered. The ADHD has been my road most traveled, sigh. Briefly there are a number of medications that greatly help some children and unfortunately it is necessary to try them in hopes of finding the right medication. Even within a family what works for one ADHD child may not be effective with another. The good aspect of these medications is that they are "fast in and fast out" so if negative side effects result from a dose it will not carry over for days like more complicated medications often do.

    Are the boys biological brothers? Adopted sons? Lots of factors can be involved in finding the best answers. Full neuro/psychiatric evaluations do seem to be the most comprehensive way to get on the right road to understanding and then treating the problems. Glad you found us. Welcome to the family. Hugs DDD
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Until you get into the therapist and hopefully a full neuropsychologist, don't take away the phones. In the long run, it won't matter and it will buy you time to get the evaluation.

    I'd recommend trying to have a neurologist examine him as well (sleep deprived eeg and all) as my son as well as a former member's son had similiar behaviors and both ended up diagnosed with epilepsy and once the epilespy was treated, the behaviors went away. Because they did not look like typical seizures, their diagnosis was missed for years as they both did the merry-go-round of psychiatric medications.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    In addition to what the others have said, I'll add this: when he gets violent don't be afraid to call the police and ask for help with a mentally ill child. Be sure the police know this coming in - some departments have officers specially trained for this. And don't be afraid to go to child protective services and ask for their help, too - any help you can get, in home and out, will be welcome. They might be able to offer help or point you towards someone who can help that you wouldn't know about otherwise.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Great point jjj! Same for q. Can always tell when seizures are worse and before the seizures were caught? Makes me so mad to think of it!
  9. Have5boys

    Have5boys New Member

    Thank you all for the replies. There is so much to learn!! You have given me lots to think about. My husband hated the idea of a therapist also because he said they would try to turn it around on us and say we are "bad parents" rather than trying to find the problem with-the boys.

    As for some of the questions that were asked. I can try to answer them the best I can. Yes they are biological brothers and my husband is their biological father.

    They were both great babies. They both had jaundice when they were born (my 6yr old more) and my 7yr old had a pretty rough birth. (his cord was short and his oxygen level was compromised so they vacuumed him out and gave him oxygen.

    They reached milestones on time (mostly). 6yr old walked at 11mo, started talking at 12mo (sentences by 15mo), and potty trained himself at 24mo. My 7yr old walked at 10mo, but was a VERY LATE talker...he started talking at 2 1/2. He understood what was asked of him, but he didnt talk (besides mamma, dadda). He didnt potty train until almost 4, and even now, at 7, still wets the bed occasionally at night.

    As for playing with toys, my 6yr old is just plain messy....he will play with one thing, get bored, and then take out and play with something else without cleaning up the first thing. My 7yr old, again, is another story. He makes a mess also, but there is a "method" to his mess (especially when he was younger). He has always been obsessed with phones. I have pictures of him at 18mo and almost all of them have him holding a phone. He also loves batteries, remote controls, and taking the battery covers off toys to get to the batteries. But phones are his major thing. He also has a habit of hitting himself on the head with his fists when he gets mad. As for eye contact, neither boy likes to look at anyone in the eye, even when you ask them to. My 7yr old also has an oral fixation. He always sucks his shirts, either the collar or the sleeve (but a blanket or pillow would also do).

    As for having mental issues in the family, my uncle is Bi-polar and my cousin is Schizophrenic. I know I have something going on with me but have yet to check into it. (I have periods of highs/lows, and my mood can change from one second to another).

    I've always thought my 7yr old might have Autism..ever since he was an infant, there was just something that was "off" about him., but nobody would pay attention to me.

    I appreciate all your advice, im definately going to check into the different doctors you recommended and see if I can get more of an "in depth" testing done, ESPECIALLY on my 7yr old. Any other advice is very much welcomed as this is very overwhelming...trying to figure this out, raising 5 boys, etc...thank you all!!
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Please get both of them tested... you've already given lots of good "notes" in your posts, you might want to start pulling that info into a "parent report" (it's on the site resources section, but faster to find a post by suziestar, she keeps the link in her signature). It will help you prepare info for any evaluators you meet with. You won't have to rely on memory, which is proven to be "less reliable under stress"!

    That doesn't mean either or both are on the spectrum.
    But both have challenges.
    Even ADHD, not caught, can be a major challenge.
    ADHD tends to have other things come along with it (although it can be "just" ADHD... I have one of those).
    And... ADHD tends to be a "first diagnosis" for a number of other things... Aspie and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) among them.
    If ADHD runs in the family a bit... it's a risk factor for both ADHD and Aspie/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). So is Schizophrenia, it seems.

    Common things to be co-morbid with ADHD include... LDs (learning disabilities), APDs (auditory processing disorders), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (developmental coordination disorder), anxiety. Much of this doesn't really show up until they hit school.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OH, you were serious about 5 boys age 7 & under?
    The "mess" issue? Well... we never really "solved" that, but someone else I know did this... and I wish I had known back when we had all the mess...

    She said it helped to insist that the current project be "parked" before starting a new one. Not "put away", but "parked". Had a stack of cheap laundry baskets. The kids could put their "active project" into a laundry basket, which got put into "their" parking space. Then, they could start something else. But "their" parking space only held three laundry baskets. So... only three active projects. Once the parking space was full, they had to either pull out one of their "parked" projects to work on, OR put one "parked" project away, to free up a space.