Newbie with questions

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jamist649, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. jamist649

    jamist649 New Member

    My wife and I have been married for 13 years. We have two children a boy (8) and a girl (5). Our son-as much as we love him-has been a challenge from day one. He had cholic, chronic ear infections, is painfully shy and withdrawn, and has always been an unhappy child. Nothing seems to excite him or make him happy. Birthday parties and Christmas mornings are met with "lukewarm" responses. His favorite thing to say upon receiving a gift or compliment is "yeah, ok".

    That, however, is not the main issue. In the first grade we started noticing that he was not doing well with school work at all. His teacher requested conferences with us, which we attended. She told us that he was having trouble focusing and that he would not answer questions when called upon. We took him to the peds. office and, after much discussion, determined that he should be perscribed Metadate for ADD. The difference was almost immediate and very encouraging. His grades improved and he went on to make honor roll! However, we noticed that he became very irratable and withdrawn in the afternoons. I would pick him up from school and he would say "Where are you taking me?" I would answer him and he would say NOTHING else to me no matter what I would say. He would scream and hit his sister and ignore his mother that evening at home (I work evenings often, so she would be alone with him) when she tried to speak to him.

    Feeling it must be the medicine, we spoke to the pediatrician again. He change him to Vyvanse and the situation remains unchanged...except for the fact his grades have slipped. It's the end of the year and his teacher has told us he will pass his grade...barely. I'm scared to death for him to start the 3rd grade due to the fact that end-of-grade testing will begin and he does terribly with tests.

    My main concern is-with or without the medicine-(I know I'm all over the place here, sorry) he doesn't want to "do" anything. He refuses to get involved in activities (baseball, scouts, afterschool groups) because "those people are stupid". Everybody is "mean", when they clearly are not (we've asked the teacher, other students, and monitored it just isn't happening), he has "no friends" according to him, even though we see countless kids in town that run up to him and want to play, talk to him,. We have asked the teacher how he gets along at school and she says he plays fine at school and has plenty of kids who want to play with him. I just don't understand. He has also taken to saying things like "I hate myself" which KILLS ME and has brought me to tears on more than one occasion. I almost think he says these things because it gets such a reaction out of me.

    I guess what I'm asking is: Is there anyone else out there like me? I don't know if there is a problem or not. He is a very loving affectionate child when he wants to be, but can be so aggressive and hateful at the drop of a hat. He also is EXTRMEMELY fearful of bad weather, almost to the point of anxiety attack "like" behavior. Don't know where in the world that one came from.

    My wife and I have attempted to provide a very stable, value oriented home for our children. Both of my kids were born into the home we now have. They are told several times a day that they are loved. We enforce rules that include sharing, respect for others, and honesty and we try to expose the kids to as much as we can (i.e. vacations, educational opportunities, visits to musems, beach, mountains etc.)

    We're at our wit's end with our son. Our daughter is very outgoing and loving. She has "never met a stranger" and is always wanting to be involved with other people. I just don't know where to go with him from this point!
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! DO NOT BLAME YOUR PARENTING! You both sound so in-tune with your children that you really can't take blame.

    What I would suggest is that you go and have a full neuropsychologist evaluation done on your son. You can have it done often times at a childrens or teaching hospital. It's very intensive testing that will give you a lot more information than you have gotten so far.

    A few questions:

    1. how was his early development? Walking, talking, etc.
    2. was he picky about textures, whether it be tastes, smells, clothing (like itchy tags) etc.
    3. loud sounds?
    4. did he really, really like or have interest in one type of toy, tv show, things like trucks or blocks and know EVERYTHING about them?
    5. any habits like tapping his feet, blinking his eyes, etc.?

    Honestly, he doesn't sound too different from a lot of the kids on here - so there's a VAST amount of information/suggestions and support from a warm, caring and yes, funny group!

    Welcome to the crowd!

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Frankly, with the description you gave, I'd take him for a neuropsychologist evaluation. Rather than ADHD, he could be on the high functioning autism spectrum/Aspergers, which mimics ADHD and causes attentional problems, but also irrational fears, social isolation, and quirkiness. In young kids, it may not show that much--my son had lots of friends as a very young child (like kindergarden). His social "differentness" started to show as he got older. He is a really nice kid, good student, but odd duck. Like the above poster said, your son to me sounds a little bit "off" but not terribly--which is why I thought of Aspergers.

    Did your son dislike cuddling as baby or maybe have "iffy" eye contact? Does he make strong eye contact with same age peers now? Does he know how to strike up a conversation and how to play the social game that people play? Does he have sort of a flat affect? Does he have any obsessive interests that he can do on and on? It makes sense that ADHD medications would activate him. It IS speed. But what is he like without the medication? ADHD medications is to make him focus, not to change him...

    I would have him tested to be sure. It isn't what you and your wife are doing. It's probably just how he was born--the way he was made. I would want to get more of a diagnosis. than from a pediatrician. They don't test and usually don't know much beyond sniffles and ADHD (which is often a catch-all). My son couldn't take ADHD medications--they made him very mean, and he's not like that. He is on the high end of the autism spectrum, but we didn't get a diagnosis. until 11. It is best to know as early as you can so that you can understand the "flatness of affect" and not get upset with it or the isolation or feeling of isolation and work on it. And there are interventions just for that. And, if it's not Aspergers (something else) it is also good to know. NeuroPsychs do very intensive testing--you learn a lot about your kid--things you didn't know about their way of thinking and functioning. It is a very worthwhile 6-10 hours of testing.

    Good luck.
  4. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Hi, Jamist.

    Is there anyone else out there like you? Yes -- a whole community of loving, caring parents who are in similar situations and are willing to share this journey with you.

    Make no mistake, it is a journey. I expected that a diagnosis would solve everything. Then I expected that the first medications we tried would solve everything. Then I expected that adjusting the dosage would solve everything. And finally I figured out that there is no way to flip an "off" switch and make things better. It's a process that involves a lot of trial-and-error and learning as you go.

    I'm still a newbie, but I already have received much support, encouragement and good advice here. It helps to know you're not alone.

    So, welcome.
  5. jamist649

    jamist649 New Member

    Thanks for the prompt replies!

    I really appreciate it. I will look into the testing you referred to. As far as the questions:

    -early develpment was ok. He walked at 10 months, talked fairly early also. We thought/still think he's a smart kid. Had a hard time reading, but reads well now. Math is a challenge.
    -not picky at all about textures. He'll wear anything, no matter how tacky. Unlike his "fashion diva" sister...that's another story..drives us nuts!
    -Loud noises...not really. He's ok. The TV in his room is on full blast almost all the time.
    -His attention span with any ONE toy or item is limited. It usually ends up in the corner and he moves on to the next thing. The only thing he has really grabbed ahold of (and that's here recently) is Marvel comics.
    -He has a mouth twitch that he only does during the afternoons. I think it's the medicine, but I don't know.
    -He was "ok" as a baby. He was our first, so I didn't really have alot to compare it to.
    -His eye contact now is very minimal. He usually stares at the floor when talking to people he doesn't know.
    -He DOES NOT socailize with people he doesn't know VERY well. He has NEVER "struck up" a converstation with anyone. His PE coach told me just a few days ago he hasn't heard him say 10 words all year long. Way to make me feel good, huh coach?

    Thanks again Everyone.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Take him to a neuropsychologist and have him tested completly. I would bet that the ADHD is likely Aspergers, which would explain everything. These kids are often really smart, but have zero social skills. They desperately need interventions, usually in school. The earlier they get help, the better the overall prognosis. This is a form of very high functioning autism, but can be very debilitating if there is no help. ADHD is a common first diagnosis. You should not feel bad about it. It's not your parenting. It's how he's wired--differently than other kids. Whatever the actual problem is, because of course we can't diagnose, I'd have him evaluated by a neuropsychologist. They are at children's hosptials and university hospitals. You may need your pediatrician's referral. Insist on it. Be firm. And stop feeling guilty. It's not you.

    Good luck.