re-introducing myself

Sarah Anne

New Member
I was here over a year ago but then kind of drifted away as life continued to move at a clipping pace.

My difficult child is now on two medications - Focalin and Resperidal and seems to be doing pretty well. We also have him taking a very low amount of Melatonin to get him to sleep. (He can't seem to gear his body down to sleep.) He is doing pretty well but goes through periods of strange behavior. Like eating sugar or getting into things he knows are dangerous. We do all we can to make our enviroment safe and secure but it takes a lot of creativity on our part...

I chose to homeschool difficult child this year. So each day is a challenge but he is doing pretty well in learning although reading and writing continue to be a serious struggle. This has been a great option and I don't miss the calls from the principal, bus driver, or guidance counselors on a daily basis. However, it is very draining for me as I feel the desperate need for some quiet/rest in the day.

There are times I feel like we've got things under control, then the next day life is chaos.

Just had to re-introduce myself...


New Member
I understand about the phone calls from school. NO ONE had more problems in first grade than my son did. His teacher was terrible. I considered homeschooling but JK is doing much better now.


Sarah, welcome back!

Is your son under the care of a child psychiatrist? Craving sugar, getting into dangerous household objects and having trouble sleeping at night are red flags for a mood disorder. While Risperdal can help, to become truly stable may require a mood stabilizer (Depakote, Lithium, Lamictal, Trileptal, Tegretol). If you're not working with a psychiatrist, I strongly encourage you to make an appointment to have your son evaluated and treated more vigorously. If you are working with a psychiatrist who isn't taking these issues seriously, you really need to find a doctor who will listen to you and make medication changes to help your son. Your family does not have to live this way.

Again, welcome back.

Sarah Anne

New Member
Thanks for the welcome...yes, my son is under the care of a child pyschiatrist. We have been moving his dosage around and having blood work to check what else might be going on. We are still working on this and can't seem to get the right balance yet. The higher the Respiridal, the more difficult child gets up to eat in the night. (Mostly sugar but can be anything...)


That's because Risperdal is notorious for increasing appetite. My son gained 12 pounds in a month on Risperdal. Some of the other atypical antipsychotics may not affect appetitie as much so if the constant eating continues, you may have to go to another atypical antipsychotic. I'd still recommend looking into a mood stabilizer, however, because APs on their own don't always work over the long haul.


Well-Known Member
Hi, Sara. My son gained twenty pounds in one month on Risperdal. That isn't why we took him off of it, but he's been off medications for three years now and is still overweight from all the medications. Since I've been a victim of medication hunger, I can vouch that his behavior with the sugar is not as strange as you think. Antidepressants also increase your appetite and I'd been known to guiltily eat an entire cheesecake and stash the trash from it in garbage bins far away from home so that hub wouldn't know I bought and ate one whole cheesecake myself. i was embarassed. I finally went on a strict diet and learned to control the cravings (lost 50 pounds), but it was hard. Also, you may want to take him to a neuropsychologist. He could also have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). He has some red flags for that and it can cause explosive behavior. The speech problems are a red flag. Did he have any other developmental delays, problems with sensory stuff, lack of coordination, inflexibility, cluelessness in socializing? Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is often misdiagnosed as bipolar. It was for my son. If it's caused by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), mood stabilizers won't solve the problem. Of course, he could have both, but a psychiatrist often knows nothing about the spectrum. It's not a psychiatric problem, although it can look like one. I'd take him to a neuropsychologist just to cover all the bases. Our psychiatrist really mismanaged and misdiagnosed Lucas, and he had a good reputation, but he knew nothing about higher functioning autism. He said Lucas couldn't have it because he was "too friendly" and made "too good eye contact" and could "go from room to room without melting down." Those are all fallcies, things even I knew, but the psychiatrist didn't.

Sarah Anne

New Member
May I ask...what is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? difficult child was tested for aspberger's several times because he has all the things you mentioned. He had physical therapy when he was little for gross motor skills, extremely sensitive to light and sounds, and had to take social skills training with his speech therapy.

Honestly I think there is more to it than what we are currently addressing...

I often say that only thing consistent about my son is being inconsist. The other great thing he does is make up stories. He can lie like breathing. He says things that often sound realistic. I am pretty good at telling if someone is lying but I can't tell at all with him. So I have to put all the pieces of the puzzle together before I try to find out anything from him.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Hi - welcome back Sarah. I have little to no wisdom to offer you. Just wanted to pop in & welcome you back.

Pace yourself! It's a long journey. :smile:


New Member
"He said Lucas couldn't have it because he was "too friendly" and made "too good eye contact" and could "go from room to room without melting down." Those are all fallcies, things even I knew, but the psychiatrist didn't. "

My son's doctor said the same thing. Now his (ex)therapist who works with the doctor is saying that indeed he may be AS or even autistic. It makes me angry since I had suggested this many times only to be given the above reason why my difficult child was not. I often wonder if things would have ended up differently if my difficult child had this diagnosis. Maybe the hospitals would have been able to keep him against his will and he never would have ended up in the judicial system? Lots of Questions no answers.

You say that everyone feels there is more going on with your difficult child. i was told the same thing but noone ever got a handle on it. My advice is to keep trying to get an accurate diagnosis. It is imperative for proper treatment. The proper treatment will make a huge difference in your difficult child's live and yours. -RM