Trying to diagnois serious behavior disorders

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Helpmyfamily, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Helpmyfamily

    Helpmyfamily New Member

    I am looking for advice on possible disorders my 5 year old son may have. If I don't get help for him soon I beleive this could negativly impact his future. I am looking for possible disorders so that I can research before I have him looked at. The pediatrician in South Florida was worthless, even as they saw the problems in the exam room... I just relocated to San Antonio, Texas and am hopeful I will find him better care.

    Some points to consider are:

    - There is no real aggression towards his younger sister, typical shoving
    - Puts stuff in his mouth all of the time
    - Seems obsessed with touching everything
    - Very destructive (breaks all toys)
    - Can't seem to stop himself from running all day long
    - Climbs on and jumps off furniture
    - Eliminating on the floor (new within the last month)
    - Continues activity over and over after being reprimanded
    - When reprimanded 1/2 the time smirks while it is going on or laughs after
    - Does not play with any toys except Leap Pad and Lego
    - Only pretend plays with legos but it is just what he builds not action
    - Knows all commercials and can repeat them back at any time
    - Frustrates easily
    - Has an extreme memory

    Besides trying to find out what if any disorder(s) he has I am also wondering how to find a good doctor for him. This is past the psychiatrist for me at this point. We moved 6 months ago.

    I suffer from depression (Pamelor) and anxiety (Klonopin). He has older 1/2 siblings, they do not live with us, 2 of which have some issues. Older son is ADHD, depression (possible bipolar) and anxiety and an older daughter has considered suicide and is in counseling.

    Any help would be appreciated... I am scared for him and hubby refuses to see that "his" son may have some issues. I just want a well child.

  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi Helpmyfamily, and welcome. It sounds like you are one very busy mother!

    For starters, I would look into Sensory Integration Dysfunction:

    Given the family history and the behaviors, it seems likely there could be something else going on here. Honestly with the list that you wrote, I would start looking into the Autistic Spectrum Disorders first. There's a wide range on the spectrum, all the way from what you know as classic Autism, to individuals whose symptoms are milder and less recognizable. Asperger's Syndrome is the highest functioning of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)'s and the one to look into if the child has developed speech without significant speech delays.

    There's a diagnostic screening tool here which is pretty good but the numbers won't be accurate for a child that didn't have speech delays.

    As with any parents that visit here, I want to mention that we're only parents and not diagnositicians. We can point you in directions to research and give you advice, but that's all. :)

    Hope this helps.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take him to a neuropsychologist. He has A LOT of red flags for autistic spectrum disorder. I'd look into it seriously. I would almost bet he has Aspergers or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. He's almost Everything from putting everything in his mouth to not playing with toys to lack of son was just like that. He would memorize entire television shows by rote and never played with toys. He touched everything, looked under it, over it, inside it, etc. He had serious meltdowns, especially when transitioning or in crowds. He couldn't handle loud noise or blinking lights or certain textures of clothes or certain foods. He did not like to cuddle, didn't make good eye contact (especially with strangers) and did not relate well to his same-age peers. He is 15 1/2 now and 90% better, but he got a lot of help and intervention, which is what I think your little guy probably needs.

    Of course, I'm just a mom and can't diagnose, but, wow, I think you need to look into it. Here is an online test you can give your son to see if he falls into the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) range:
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Start with those links and if nothing there rings a bell, we'll give some other suggestions. One thing to keep in mind is that few kids will match up with all the traits/symptoms described with any disorder.
  5. jal

    jal Member

    Hi and welcome. Every thing you have listed fits my son to a T. My difficult child is diagnosis'd Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - Aspergers and I know he has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (waiting for the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation to confirm, but it's evident). As SRL and MWM suggested start with a good neuropsychologist evaluation. I am just a mom too and cannot diagnose, but when I read your list I saw my child. Good luck!
  6. Helpmyfamily

    Helpmyfamily New Member

    Thank you everyone. When I found this site last night I just started crying. The feeling of isolation has been horrible.

    I looked into Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and ADHD which seem highly probable to me... I will go through the Autism Spectrum Disorders next. However, reading others posts and websites I can narrow down to ODD for sure.

    How does one go about finding a good neuropsychologist?

    Thanks again!
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I would suggest looking to different sources for options: your pediatrician and your insurance company for starters. I'd also advise contacting someone from the nearest Autism Society of America chapter as the parents there will have a good idea of the specialists in your area who will be best at these types of evaluations, even if you are still thinking ADHD, ODD, and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). A neuropsychologist is a good option but there may be developmental pediatricians or Autism clinics in your area that would serve your need best.

    Most kids who are represented here at this site are diagnosed with ODD, but from various neurological sources.

    We're here for you. We've walked in your shoes and know what you're going through.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    ODD explains ALL of our kids when they are not stable, but is not a really useful diagnosis in of itself. It means the kids are defiant, but doesn't explain why. ADHD/ODD was my son's first diagnosis. I really do think he is beyond ADHD/ODD. Please look into it. Good luck!
  9. Helpmyfamily

    Helpmyfamily New Member

    The crazy thing is my oldest daughter is interested in volunteering at a camp for kids with special needs and I found a camp very close to my house that has been around for 30 years. It is affiliated with the United Way as well.

    Camp CAMP also works with Autistic children so I guess I will contact them for resources first. Who would have thought that I found this place a couple of weeks ago for a TOTALLY different reason!

    In case no one has heard of Camp CAMP, I am posting a link.

    The idea that my son may have autism is making it hard for me to breathe. I almost don't want to know....

    If that makes any sense.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    It always feels like that at first--like you don't want want to even look at the sites but yet you desperately want some answers. But trust me, it's far worst having a child with behavioral problems with no explanation or no apparent reason.

    Getting answers is usually the first steps to making forward progress so hang in there.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is very treatable. The kids often can and do great, much better than those who are mentally ill. But they need the right interventions. Without them, they grow up not knowing how to interact in a confusing world. Reading an autism site is "iffy." There are different types of autism. Here is one site I dug up about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified (pervasive development disorder not-otherwise-specified). It is atypical autism, but still needs a lot of attention in school. Maybe you can see your son in some of this. No child has every single symptom.


    Symptoms of PDDNOS range from mild to severe. Therefore, the characteristics of this disorder vary from child to child and may commonly include:

    • Impaired reciprocal social interaction - Social behavior may be affected, with children showing a lack of eye contact, no anxiety in approaching a stranger, little interest in playing with other children and a lack of response to the emotions or interests of others.
    • Ritualistic or compulsive behavior - Repetitive acts (such as hand flapping, finger movements or "pill rolling" and head banging) may be observed. Rigid routines may also be seen. A change in this routine may upset children with PDDNOS, resulting in tantrums. They also may insist that objects are placed in a particular order or location and may form strong attachments to the objects. Some individuals with PDDNOS become preoccupied with factual information and may spend their time memorizing facts such as specific dates.
    • Unusual response to sensory stimuli - Some children with PDDNOS may become preoccupied with the texture, feel, smell or taste of favorite objects. Others may seem to give little response to such stimuli.
    • Impaired verbal and nonverbal communication - Children with PDDNOS may simply pull adults by the hand toward an object they want rather than gesturing, motioning, nodding or vocalizing. They may not imitate the actions or activities of their parents, peers or others; nor do they use typical gestures or facial expressions.

      Children may develop echolalia (repetition of words or phrases). They may not use voice inflection or expression while speaking, resulting in a robot-like speech pattern. Individuals with PDDNOS may also have a singsong type speech, may make up words or label objects by their use. Their conversation may not include abstract concepts or exchange of ideas but may instead focus on concrete information and repetitive language.

      Individuals with PDDNOS may have difficulty understanding the speech of those around them. This problem ranges from being confused by a joke to not understanding information or following instructions.
    • Unusual movements Children with PDDNOS may engage in hand flapping, body rocking/swaying, head banging, head rolling, facial grimacing, toe walking, pacing or jumping. Some children may show these behaviors only occasionally while others consistently use such movements.
    • Impaired cognitive abilities - Individuals with PDDNOS tend to do well on tasks or tests requiring manipulation, visual skills and immediate memory. However, they typically have problems using abstract ideas and symbolism. In addition, they may have impaired abilities to learn (such as problems understanding speech, imitating others and applying information provided to them). On the other hand, a few have exceptional skill in specific areas such as mathematics or music.

    Results of research indicate that PDDNOS is associated with a problem in the nervous system (some type of neurological abnormality). However, studies have found not one single nervous-system problem, but a variety of them. As yet researchers have not uncovered any problem common to all cases of PDDNOS and have not clarified the exact cause.

    Regardless of the child's diagnosis within the class of disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), the treatment is similar. Often times a combination of treatment methods is most successful. Special education (including structured educational methods), occupational therapy, speech therapy and/or physical therapy can be very beneficial for children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Treatment may also include behavior modification programs, counseling and/or medications.
    At ODTC, we attempt to provide a highly stimulating, motivating and reinforcing environment for children who have Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Our treatment team identifies symptoms and behaviors in need of active treatment and considers the strengths and needs of each child in developing an individual treatment plan. The environment is highly structured. Consistent routines are established, which become familiar and soothing to the child, providing the safety and security needed to assist them in participating in and benefiting from treatment. Highly prescribed, specific, behavioral intervention systems are used not only to teach skills in all areas of functioning, but to facilitate progress in developing pro-social behaviors and reducing undesirable or dangerous behaviors. Sensory stimulation, sensory integration activities and a high staff ratio also contribute to providing the best treatment environment possible. Our education staff offer a curriculum and classroom support specific to the needs of the child with Pervasive Developmental Disorders. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is designed to enhance the child's strengths and utilizes teaching methods and modalities based on the child's best learning mode.
    The staff at ODTC recognize that each child is unique with individual strengths and needs. Our priority is always the well being of each child. If we find that ODTC cannot offer the very best care and services for your child, we are happy to help facilitate placement in another facility.