Sudden setback

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by elisem, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. elisem

    elisem New Member

    For the past four months, we've been seeing steady, if jerky improvement. difficult child (turns 8 tomorrow, no precise diagnosis, they offically say he is ADHD-not otherwise specified, which means he doesn't actually exhibit any ADHD symptoms; we brought him to psychiatrist last fall because we suspected bipolar; psychiatrist says no) is now on two medications, Tenex and Risperdal and is in play therapy as well. (We've also implemented the 1-2-3 Magic system with both our boys (including our 4 y.o. easy child). The past month and a half has been really remarkable--difficult child has been experiencing an ordinary childhood! We've been seeing only ordinary little boy misbehaviors, and those fairly infrequently. Our calendar tells the story--he gets a sticker for his "good" days (in our housem that means any day when he doesn't have to be locked in his room, and, to tell the truth, in the past month when he has had to be locked in, it's been only because he wouldn't stay in when he was sent for his five minute time outs, and then he was released five mintues after he calmed down.) We've been having a really good time--he's finally getting to experience a "normal" childhood.

    Except for yesterday. Starting right before lunchtime and lasting until just before bedtime, we saw every scray behavior that started us on the road to therapy in the first place. There was violence, destructiveness, egomania, hysterics. There was screaming and tears (on his part). There was the complete ruin of our plans for a fun afternoon (due to work schedules, Sunday is the only day we're all together, so we frequently try for some sort of fun outing). Dad tells me there was a little of this Saturday morning (I was at work), and there was a tiny bit of this morning, but yesterday was the worst.

    He's homeshcooled, so I know this doesn't have anything to do with what's going on at school! He was well behaved at Sunday school and church yesterday morning, a little quiet even. So I can't help wondering--what's up? Is it normal for a kid on these medications to have sudden, brief, intense setbacks? Dad told difficult child it was like when difficult child won a rollerskating race last week at a homeschooling event--about a third of the way around, difficult child took a nasty fall, but he got right back up and skated his very hardest and tied with another boy for first place.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Elise, sorry that difficult child has been spiraling down. How long has he been on Tenex and Risperdal? What doses is he taking?
  3. elisem

    elisem New Member

    Tenex (well, guanfacine which is generic tenex) 1 mg 4 X a day, since last October; Risperdal, I'm not sure because my husband took the bottle to work to get refilled, but one small pill twice a day, psychiatrist says it's the lowest dose he prescribes.
  4. elisem

    elisem New Member

    oh, I forgot to add--he been on the risperdal since early march, right about the time his behavior started to show so much improvement (surprise, surprise!).
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Like any atypical antipsychotic (AP), Risperdal can wear off over time so there's a chance he may need a higher dose. You should be aware, however, that if there is a mood disorder present, APs generally don't have staying power over the long haul. They are best used as an add-on to a mood stabilizer.

    I think it's strange that the psychiatrist will give him a diagnosis of ADHD-not otherwise specified without any ADHD symptoms. Is there any chance of a second opinion?
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I always think it's worth making a trip into the pediatrician to check throat, nose, sinuses, etc when there's a sudden change.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think you got good advice, but want to add that if you get caught locking your child in his room (no way to get out) CPS will pay you a nasty visit. That's not allowed as a child can't get out in a fire (I was a foster mom). I wouldn't do that. Hold the knob yourself if you want to keep him in, but I wouldn't lock him in.
  8. LoneStar14

    LoneStar14 New Member

    Chiming in with Midwest Mom. Here, you're not even allowed to have locks on the kid's bedroom door. Safety issues. I hope you find out what's going on so you can go back on the road to improvement.