Teen son with major problems.. adhd, add, odd, dyslexic,anger and bipolar

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Tired and confused, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. Tired and confused

    Tired and confused New Member

    Hi! Im new here so I hope I am doing this right and can find some help. As a single mom of a 13yr old hitting puberty fast, I am overwhelmed. My son has had problems since he was very young. He has been diagnosed with add, adhd, odd, dylexia, and now bipolar. I have him in a Special Education class but as middle school has just started, things aren't going well. He is already out of the school and we are only 3wks in. This is pending investigation which I may discuss later but not now for privacy and legal reasons. He has been in Special Education since he was young. He never seemed to follow the rules like other kids, no matter what I did to discipline him. His dad (whom I am separated from) was and is very mean to me. He puts me down and sets a bad example for how women and myself should be treated. He now claims he is a changed man and wants me to sign over temporary custody of the child I seem to have no control over. My boy can be very sweet when he wants to. He is quite a manipulator also at times and I often cannot tell the difference. I love him being he is my only child but I need him to grow to be a good man. I do not know what to do anymore. We go to therapy, he takes medications, I tell him right from wrong and he just does wrong all the time. I feel like a failure and am about to give up... please tell me I am not alone
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Oh, honey, you are NOT alone. ALL of us have been there. It sounds like you might need a better psychiatrist. ADD is part of ADHD so having both diagnosis is rather ridiculous. Also, most of us here don't think ODD is a workable diagnosis. All it says is that he's oppositional and defiant. Yea, like we don't know that. ODD implies they are on purpose and the way most schools handle it is to play the heavy hand to "show them who's boss". That does not work. What you need to do is figure out WHY he's oppositional and defiant.

    My son carried the ODD diagnosis for 3 years (and suffered greatly at the hands of the school) before we (me & psychiatrists) figured out the WHY. He was on the autism spectrum and didn't process things like "normal" kids. He wasn't doing ANY of it on purpose, it just took us a long time to figure out why he was acting that way.

    Is there any way you can have him evaluated by a neuropsychologist? They do MUCH more thorough testing and can usually figure out the whole picture instead of putting different labels on each of the pieces (like your current psychiatrist seems to be doing). What medications and at what doses is he on? Have there been any changes in his medications at all in the last few months? I ask because my difficult child 1 had some serious behavioral issues that were CAUSED by certain medications.

    Is he on any medications? Do you know about the "legal protections" guaranteed by having an IEP? He can only be suspended for 10 days total in a school year and then other steps have to be taken. Can you tell us some of what his IEP includes? Have they done a Functional Behavior Assessment? Does he have a behavior intervention plan included in his IEP? Are they following the BIP to the letter? Does the IEP and BIP need to be adjusted? When did they do their last full evaluation. It should be every 3 years (or more often if needed).

    Sorry for all the questions. I understand your pain. I have been there (minus the spouse issues) and fought the school system that just plain wanted difficult child 1 OUT. I hope that isn't the case for you.

    {{{{HUGS}}}} to you. You have done the right thing coming here and you won't find a more supportive and helpful place anywhere. I've been here over two years and it has saved my sanity AND my family more than once. Welcome to the biggest and best "family" in the world.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You are far from alone. I agree with Tedo, it sounds like a reevaluation is very necessary. With an IEP, the school is required to educate him and they can't just suspend/expel him. They must offer an alternate placement.

    When was his last school evaluation? psychiatric evaluation? Who did them?

    i think you know in your heart whether or not having a violent, mean man have primary custody will help.....there are many other options that you can try that are far more likely to help your son.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi new friend! What jjj and tedo said .....yup. of course weapons or drugs or serious assault are times they can be removed for more than ten days from their school but they must provide an education since he is on an IEP .....for anything beyond the ten. (I've been thru this as many here have )
    Id also encourage you to get an advocate even if you know the laws well because the weight they carry ...having a witness, etc helps tremendously. I used an advocate from arc for years then in middle school (so hard for our guys! ) I had to switch to legal aid ....the Disability law center in our state.
    I'd worry about giving up custody given your son's needs and ex's history, but maybe you can get some respite by having him take him sometimes. Then you can see if he really changed over a long period of time. Just a thought ..maybe you already do that.
  5. Tired and confused

    Tired and confused New Member

    I have tears in my eyes just from you all not judging us. Thankyou for making me feel like I am not alone. He is currently on stratera 40mg. He was on concerta and other stimulants but they make him very irritable from not eating or sleeping. This appears to be better but apparently he does some "butt grabbing" inappropriatley and is in BIG trouble for this. He had a psychiatric evaluation on 10/20/12 of this year. I am waiting for the dr. to return my call today of course being I had not heard back from her. He has an IEP every year. I guess since puberty has hit is when it all seems to have gone Awall.. he only wants to think of girls. I let him know he to young and he will realize in time that they all play games. He agrees and then hes right back to the girls. He is a good looking kid and I think that is one thing he feels he can excel at. In the morning tomorrow I meet with-the Special Education department to decide if his behavior was caused by his disabilities. Isn't impulsivness part of adhd?? I am pretty sure thats what it is. The principle said today that I can force him back in after 10 days but with the band of girls he upset I think a transfer is in his best interest and I will just drive him. That is what I intend to suggest/demand tomorrow at the meeting
  6. Tired and confused

    Tired and confused New Member

    I live in Michigan.. macomb county. Do you have any suggestions for how I can find an advocate for the upcoming meeting on the 15th? Is an advocate someone that would help guide me with all this stuff? I am very overwhelmed. I am even burning dinner I am so out of concentration
  7. Tired and confused

    Tired and confused New Member

    I will know about his IEP tomorrow because we are reviewing it at the meeting. We will be accessing if the suspension/expulsion is do to his disability. I do know he is not an angel.. but he is my son and I am gonna help him through this life the best way I know how. Any and all input from you guys is so appreciated. (and any tips on how to use this site haha)
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yes impulsiveness and not predicting consequence fully are manifestations of his disability. Dont volunteer to drive(in my humble opinion ) unless they compensate you. Its their job to analyze the behavior and to figure out a POSITIVE behavior plan to help work on it.
    Do you have NAMI around you? In close to your shoes I called the Disability Law Center. This is a legal issue and just pushing the problem off on another school is not ok. If you need time ask for home bound instruction until you find a better school. (They sound like jerks anyway so you might want to leave ) . But a plan needs to be in place anyway to help teach him....probably including Occupational Therapist (OT) and social skills training. The law center here takes change of placement like this as a priority so make sure to tell them he had a ten day suspension and they are pressuring/manipulating a change of school.
    I can so relate ....my son spanks butts and only lived to see girls ....even got in a fight at our townhome complex ....that has balanced a little now.
    Suspension does not work and now they've used up their ten days for the year! So stupid. The obsession with girls is also probably a manifestation. Does he have any other obsessions or perseverating going on?

    A neuropsychologist is different from a psychiatric evaluation. They have much more training and see a bigger picture. They connect behaviors with how the brain works. They can use all of any other testing you have to help consider diagnosis. and recommendations.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That's pretty low. He might need an increase. Dosage for this medication is based on weight and benefits. My difficult child 1 only weighs 75 lbs and is on 40mg in the AM and 25 mg in the afternoon. If the medication is working, I would ask the psychiatrist about an increase.
    It's only the 10/4/12. Do you mean a year ago or did you get the month wrong?
    . They do a complete re-evaluation every year?? That would be highly unusual. Once he has an IEP, he will have it until/if he doesn't need it any more. But, they have to re-evaluate the need at least every 3 years. When was the last time they did the academic, psychological, etc. evaluations to determine if he was still eligible.
    If he truly is bipolar, the grabbing/sexual inappropriateness is very much part of that. The impulsiveness could be attributed to ADHD. It sounds like they are holding a Manifestation Determination. That's what our school did as a first step to pushing difficult child 1 out of the school and all he did was threw a marker at the wall behind a teacher. The principle said today that I can force him back in after 10 days
    If you demand it, they will let you just to get him out but they don't necessarily have to pay for it. You REALLY need to find an advocate. Call the state dept of education and ask them who to contact for one. If you have a disability law office anywhere in your neck of the woods, call them asap. Make the school suggest a placement change. That puts them squarely on the hook and THEY have to arrange transportation.

    Sorry you are having to go through this. It really hoovers when our kids' disabilities aren't "socially acceptable". I have sooooooo been down the road you're heading down with the school only I chose to fight the school. There was no way in hades they were going to pick and choose which kids went to school there and which one's weren't.
  10. Tired and confused

    Tired and confused New Member

    Regarding the date of psychiatric evaluation..it was last Saturday so I was off on month and day:( (Did I mention I am on overload?) I think the date was 9/29/12
    Dosage was started at 20 and then raised to 40 within a month. His pediatrician specializes in kids with-behavior problems and was able to prescribe it so I could save his "20 visits" for the therapist and not the psychologist. Thats going to change I decided today but it was wishful thinking. It seems that with his needs he should get unlimited visits to the therapist if needed. We have United Health Care through the state.
    Tomorrow is the Manifestation hearing. You sure have been through this. I am going to play on the fact that the girls initiated the hug and he is extremely impulsive with the ADHD. I guess its baby steps to get through this and hope for a rainbow at the end