Newbie..needing some advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mythreegifts, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. mythreegifts

    mythreegifts New Member

    I really appreicate this board. I have been coming to the site over the past couple of months, reading and looking for answers. I need some advice. I have an 11 yr old son who is having some problems. He was "normal" baby and toddler. I always felt he was very demanding as far as attention goes. He was always acting silly or saying things that were silly to get reactions. He learned to talk very early and could carry on conversation way above his age. We were told at preschool that "he was very smart". He made it through kindergarden with little problems - the main problem being that he couldn't learn to read. Reading was a big struggle. He couldn't sound out the words and couldn't remember a word from one page to another. When he started 1st grade, the teacher told us she thought he had a Learning Disability (LD). We started the process throught the school system and had him evaluated by our pediatrician and a psychologist. The psy diagnosis him with ADHD. He started him on Ritalin. It made him like a zombie. We even tried the smallest dose possible..same effect. From 1st grade to summer before 6th grade, we tried all the usual ADHD medications. All either made him a zombie or made him more agressive. My son has always had an aggressive nature and an impulsive mouth. He is always the loudest and most aggressive child in the group. No matter what we tell him to do, the first thing out of his mouth is "no". He always has to get the last word in. He always has something to say about everything and acts like he knows everything about everything. He started the 6th grade this yr and I felt like he might need medications this year. I took him to a pneuro who said he might be BiPolar (BP), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ADHD, ODD and started him on Trileptal, Wellbutrin, Tenex and Trazadone. I did see an improvement with his impulsiveness and being calmer. But, it didn't seem to help the focusing, orgainzation with the ADHD. He suggested we add Risperadol. That's were I stopped and took a big breath. I am not against medications, but I was having trouble justifying 5 medications without a definite diagnosis. I took him to see a psychiatrist 2 weeks ago and he thought BiPolar (BP) was probably not the correct diagnosis but suggest a psy evaluation and reduction in medications until we get a more def diagnosis. He thought he might be Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or have some sensory issues. He doesn't like tags, collars, clothes that fit. At night doing homework, he acts like he has trouble comprehending the simpliest things. He gets easily frustrated. Acts like he can't understand 2+2 sometimes and then other times he can do simple algebra problems. Reading is on and off good/bad. Spelling is terrible. Sometimes can't read or even spell the word "the", "was", etc. He requires us to sit near him the entire time doing homework prompting him and helping him. If you get onto about it, he has a melt down and cries like a 2 year old. I'm so confused with him. He can carry on a conversation with you as if he was 30, but sometimes can't do the simpliest of things. Does this sound like BiPolar (BP)? or could this be asperger? sensory issue? Sorry for being so long. Thanks for letting me vent. I just want to sit in the corner and cry sometimes.:(
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    You can vent here anytime ;)

    I am with you. I'd have trouble with my child being on more than two medications (three tops if he didn't seem too changed). I think it's important to remember that no pill (or pills) will take care of everything. If you try to medicate away every symptom, he could end up on nine pills and still not be able to focus (in fact, I've taken medications most of my life and many made me very lethargic and I felt drugged...I'm sure people thought I was calmer when I could barely move).

    Is he in therapy? That's a big part of helping.

    I would get a second opinion on the diagnosis. It's all over the place. How long did the pneuro test him? My son's tested him for ten hours. A one or two hour visit just isn't enough time. Did he test in all areas of function?

    Who put him on all those medications at one time? Usually a medication is given one at a time to see how it works and then slowly others are added if needed.

    I would really wonder about the doctor who threw four medications at your child...and now wants more? For me, at least, that would not work.
  3. mythreegifts

    mythreegifts New Member

    Thanks Midwest mom. I took him to a pediatrician Neuro. He did no testing. He talked with my son and I for about an hour and then asked my son to leave the room. That's when he told me he thought he had BiPolar (BP), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ADHD and ODD. We started on the Trileptal and Trazadone first and then added the others. During our second month of treatment, I continued to complain about focusing and also mentioned that my son was having processing issues (such as the 2+2, he couldn't figure it out, nor could he write it on paper). The teacher also told me that she noticed that he would write some of his numbers backwards. He told me this was part of his problem and that we needed to add risperdal. That this medication would help "clear" up his brain. I did not give it to him. I decided to take him somewhere else. I know my son has ADHD (that is almost a given being around him), but I feel there is something else there also. He has such a low self esteem from school. He has been on IEP since 1st grade and has had resource/inclusion classes since then. Kids have made fun of him. Now in the 6th grade, the work is so much harder. He wants to stay in inclusion classes and I want him to also for his self-esteem - but the homework is so difficult for him. Is that typical with ADHD kids? It's not so much getting him to do it - it's as if he simply doesn't understand sometimes. We go for psy testing with a child psychologist in 3 weeks. It is suppose to last 4 hours. From what I have read on this board, I'm wondering if a psy neuro is where we should be going.
    Thanks again!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take him to a neuropsychologist. A neuropsychologist is NOT a neurologist of any kind. He is a psychologist with special training in the brain. Many of us, including me, feel they do the best testing/diagnosing.

    From your description of your son, in my opinion he has more going on than ADHD. I'd check it out. You can find Neuropsychs in university and children's hospitals. There are usually long waiting lists so, if you decide to do it, expect to wait a bit. But it's worth it.
  5. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I second the opinion that a full neuropsychologist evaluation seems warranted. And, I also would not want to add another medication, especially without a more definitive diagnosis. It often can take a while to get in with a good neuropsychologist, so you might have to wait a while for an appointment.

    I wonder if your son has visual and/or auditory processing issues? Sounds like school work is very hard for him. The neuropsychologist evaluation should point you in the right direction on this.

    It also sounds like he has sensory issues. An occupational therapist can help you with this (as well as visual-spatial procerssing). My difficult child has major sensory issues, but we are now able to manage most of them fairly well with the help of his Occupational Therapist (OT). Take a look at "The Out of Sync Child," by Carol Stock Kranowitz.

    I would also recommend the book, "Straight Talk About Psychiatric Medications for Kids," by Timothy Wilens. I like the authors approach to thinking about when to add medications and when not to.

    Good luck.