We're BACK!! New medications plus new diagnosis: Does Risperdal help with impulse control?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by butterfly31972, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Does risperdal help with impulse control?

    After a long reprieve, we are back in therapy for some issues we are experiencing in the third grade. My son has been diagnosed as having Intermittent Explosive Disorder. We had some episodes of stealing along with some other impulse control issues. He stole from the school and because I know you guys have dealt with the schools, I would like to share this email I have previously sent out to the teacher and CC'ed to the assistant principal concerning an issue we had with him last month. Here we go:

    While I can clearly understand the seriousness of Sammy wandering around the school, playing and bragging of his behaviors, I have to question the validity of the information you received as it has been fed to you from another 8 year old child.

    Sammy came home to me with a very different and equally serious story. He was agitated and upset, insisting that he is being punished for doing something he simply didn't do, at least not intentionally.

    Sammy has been in therapy for some time and has been taught that when feeling anxious or enraged, he needs to find a place to quiet down. His being in the bathroom was where he chose to calm himself, after wandering the school in search of his class. He tells me that he didn't hear (or fully understand) where Heather tell (told) him where to go. He did know that you would be in "A" lab.

    Please understand that while every parent wants to think the best of their child, I'm more than aware of the challenges that Sammy has faced & continues to struggle with. However, I also know when my child is sincere in his concerns or putting on a show. What I saw the past two days was no show.

    Even this morning, Sammy vehemently denies this wrong-doing. He told my husband, his father, "Dad, I really didn't do it." He stated: "Dad, I went into the bathroom because I had to go, and then I stayed in there longer because I was trying to calm myself down because I was so upset." My husband returned to me from taking our sons to the bus stop, broken-hearted, telling me this news. Just so you know, Sammy will not vehemently deny any behaviors at school. I have him medicated in order to be able to better gain controI of his behavior and emotions in a classroom situation. The one curse of the ADHD medicine is that he is not able to act as quickly and vehemently as he would off the medications. This is my one on-going concern about the medicine, and the psychiatrist and also the therapist are working closely with Sammy and I in order to teach Sammy how to "speak-up" when issues like this arise. One example is when he was being bullied in the first grade. We had to teach him that it was permissable to "tattle" if he was being bullied; but not for something petty.

    I have simply explained to Sammy that the repercussions that he is receiving today of detention, while a direct result of his walking around the building unnecessarily (He should have gone to the office), are also possibly an indirect result of his stealing two weeks ago. I further explained to him that this will be an ongoing issue for awhile in the classroom due to lack of trust as a result of his stealing. I asked him myself, "Would you trust someone who stole?" He very heavy-heartedly said, "NO."

    I have made a plan with Sammy in order to handle situations like this. He now knows that if he does not know exactly where to go, he needs to go straight to the office and tell them what is going on and he will not get in trouble for doing so. There are to be no pit-stops on the way! He has to ask permission before even such a simple thing as pottying in order to not have this happen again to him. He seems to understand this. Please let me know if this plan is acceptable to you.

    Any slight that Sammy receives, whether real or perceived, he takes harder than most. He was taught at a very early age (from birth to 17 months), thanks to his biological parents and the five foster homes he was in for four months, that adults are not to be trusted. The last foster home he was in was shut down and all the children were placed in suitable foster homes - thereby we became Sammy's foster parents and eventually adopted parents! My husband and I, while fostering and adopting him, have worked very diligently to teach Sammy that there are trustworthy adults to be found. My husband and I feel that you are a part of that small circle that we are allowing to help "mold" this child.

    I can't help but stress to you that while your source is one 8 year old child, mine is another. Both are equally able to tell of what they perceived to be true honesty and come out with two different set of circumstances in a similar story. There is no reliable way to know the absolute truth in this and as a result, I take exception to Samuel being written up for this incident.

    I want it to be noted that I've not forgotten that Sammy has stolen, and that these are incredibly serious issues. But one incident has nothing to do with the other. If Sammy were not still denying this incident, I would not be sending this email today. I am quite taken aback by his vehement denial of this accusation. He has never taken a denial this far before; though, I understand that there is a possibility that he has decided to do so for the first time with this incident.

    Sammy has no idea that this incident has us in a quandary. We have totally backed you up throughout this whole incident. Please know this to be true. It is integral to Sammy's ability to be able to trust other adults that my husband and I present a united front with the school, his teachers and administrators.

    There is a fine line to be walked when dealing with a child who has both behavioral and self esteem issues & I think this is something that the school must keep in mind when dealing with any child.

    I'd be happy to sit down and discuss this further if need be.

    Thank you so much!


    Ever since I sent this email out to the teacher, she has been giving me a wide berth. Then I later find that she "looped up" with her class from last year and only my son and a few other children are new in her class. I was wondering why he felt out of place as he usually has a few friends to play with and enjoy being around. Now I know.

    He has stolen twice in the last month and received detention for those offenses. One was a pack of lead for lead pencils which he knew he could've asked for more and I would've provided it; but he just had to have it and after asking his friend if he could have it and being denied, he decided to take it. UGH! In the same week, he took a school library book from another classmate and took it home to read. Very upsetting! After that, he had an incident in which he could not find his class and went on a "trip" from computer lab to computer lab to find his classroom. The teacher was furious when he finally found them and accused him of running around the school and bragging about his behavior. This is the incident that prompted the email.

    The teacher never responded and the assistant principal discussed it with me after the detention. I told him what had happened and said to him that he may possibly want to make himself familiar with his file and learn about my son and his history. I also stated that my son had never been in trouble with the school before since we started medicating him in Kindergarten and that his current behavior is a reflection of the fact that Sammy's medications are not working as well or needing adjusting and that they would do well to remember that in the future.

    Also, my husband was also with me in the meeting and sat there like a bump on a log and said "absolutely NOTHING!!" I can;t believe I always have to do this stuff myself!! IEP's and otherwise. :(
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry that your husband didn't back you up. I hate it when that happens.
    I am also surprised and sorry that the teacher has not responded. That is unprofessional.
    I typically cc the school counselor when I have a teacher with-an issue (in our case, the Spanish teacher). That way I have a backup, both in writing and in regard to school policy.
    Your letter spells it all out. It leaves nothing to the imagination and clarifies it for the teacher. I hope that things improve.
  3. Thanks TerryJ2! I know I should be used to this but I feel sometimes that I just don't have it in me to go another round with the school. But I know if I have to, I will....Hubby stinks when it comes to dealing with stuff like this and I know I should be used to this. We have been together for 16 1/2 years! LOL! Sometimes, I feel like I am going overboard because he is so passive about all this. I guess that's my job as I am the MOM. :)

    Also, I realized I posted under my old name. I am Liz. Soon to be named stressed out LIZ. LOL!
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yeah, sounds like medications do need to be changed, but also that what happens to most kids diagnosis with adhd/behavioral/mood issues happens at this age when they are expected to be far more independent and cooperative with other children in their learning. third through 5th grade...kids sometimes need a full new neuropsychologist evaluation because now that the demands are different, new behaviors are arising.

    Just something to think about if you can. I did a new neuropsychologist evaluation every year when Q was young. His insurance covered it so I could but I realize that is not an option for some people.

    Re: risperdal. When it works, it is supposed to be great, especially with the explosive parts... When it doesn't wow. My son lost all ablilty to think or be in control on it and at age 4 or 5 had to be restrained by several adults and I was working in the building so came up and was horrified. It was not my son. Two days off of it and he was back to baseline. Same thing happened on seroquel when he was in 3rd grade.

    I wish it would work for my son. He needs something that works like this is supposed to work.

    I have a son with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), lower end of the spectrum, too. I do the exact same thing you do with school. I can think they are totally off their rockers but I do not let Q know it . I always support them and want him to think he does have choices and control over his behavior even though I 100% know this is not true all of the time. I want him not to give up and think he is a slave to his impulses. I also dont want him to not feel the adults are all on his side, working together to help him and that he has the power to triangulate us. All the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) stuff they teach us. It is hard sometimes when I think they are being so unfair to him. And lately I even think they are setting him up.

    Does he have any special services? or a 504 plan? Do they have a way for him to "take a break" on paper? SOunds like he is really doing a good job of trying to generalize what he is learning in therapy and home to school. But if they dont know about it and are not part of the plan (you let them know this part for now, but in future) then he will likely get in trouble again until it is sorted out. If he has a plan then they need to tell you about every behavior for the sake of medication adjustment. Especially on a new medication.

    My son's stories/denials always fall apart unless it is the truth. You are right to defend him int his case. You sound like amazing parents. Sorry hubby didn't speak up, but he was there! That is one big thing many of us dont have. It is exhausting to be the one to do all the work though. I definately can relate.

    Hope his day goes well, Buddy
  5. liz

    liz Guest

    Thanks Buddy! That is exactly what I think- that they are not realizing that he needs more helps in place and I am planning to make sure that he has what he needs although I am not sure if that would be a 504 plan or just an addition to his IEP? I do know that they will not help me figure out what that is because they do not want any more work than they already have so I have to DEMAND what I want, not ask for their advice on how to help him. If I have to pull the American Disabilities Act one more time I am going to scream. They say and I quote: "Sammy knows how to look at the poster of the writing process and follow it; but he doesn't do so. He just rushes through it." to which I reply: " Sammy has ADHD. While I am medicating him for this, he still needs frequent reminders to follow certain guidelines while doing his work. Is this not something the writing teacher or someone else can do? Does he need a one-on-one aide in order for this to be accomplished?" Whoa, that gets then every time! I'm reaching for the county's pocketbooks at that point. The teacher should be reminding them anyway, right? When I asked for a copy of this poster, they said they cannot give me one or show me where to purchase it. So, at the Christmas party, I took a picture of each poster in the classroom so that I can remind Sammy to use it at school and we can use it at home also. I asked for a copy of his books so I will know what they are studying and I was told that they are pulling from too many sources; not specifically the text; in order for them to meet the state testing guidelines. You've got to be kidding me?! Very frustrating!
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Once you have an IEP then no 504 plan, they are both under the ADA. IEP is enforcable with punitive and monitory sanctions.

    So, who the heck is his case manager? Who is running the IEP and what does the IEP say???? Under accomodations, that is where you can add what he needs, and sounds like he needs new goals too. IF they are saying that he is choosing not to do what is well known that kids with adhd (PLUS) in your case, do, then you need an advocate. You can call for an IEP meeting at any time. The IEP can be re-written at any time, and a significant change form can be used to change the IEP goals. If he struggles with following procedures on his own then a method needs to be put in place to help work on that. NO matter the reason. AS our home behavior person tells the IEP team all of the time: It does not matter whether he is CHOOSING not to use it or CANT use it. The problem is he IS NOT using it and it is our job to help him to do so. Stop all the judgement and just look objectively at the behavior.

    Keep fighting.... you have a school that clearly only wants to do the minimum and then complain when he is not fixing himself... to think medications are a FIX is nonsense. It only puts a kid in a place to better be able to handle the adaptations and revised teaching methods we have for them. I hate it when they think a medication will just magically fix things.
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree with Buddy. get an advocate and change the IEP to include all of the NEW strategies the therapist has worked on with him. It would even be great if you could get the therapist to be at the IEP meeting. Keep throwing IDEA at them until they give you EVERYTHING your little guy needs. If he needs a "calming" time in a "calming" place, and they don't like his choices, THEY need to find an acceptable one (IF you get it added to the IEP). Don the Warrior Mom armor and GO GET 'EM!! (but don't forget to include your army: therapist, advocate, etc.)
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If their internal motor is reving way too high, Risperidal can "slow them down" enough that it is possible to think before they act... however, they still need to learn to use that window of opportunity.
    So... without the medication, there may not be any way to learn impulse control.
    But the medication itself won't provide impulse control - only the opportunity to learn it.

    Does that make sense?
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I agree with the family. In answer to your question about Risperdal...some of us have had wonderful results. You just can't tell until your child is taking it. What works well for one may be a big problem for another. Hugs. DDD
  10. liz

    liz Guest

    We are on Day 2 of the Risperdal. I am hoping that it will help with the screaming fanatical crying in the morning. It is so extreme that it starts his day on the wrong foot. Hubby is nit happy about it; but my child knows when he is being made fun of for his tantrums while going to the bus stop in the morning, etc. I know it must be the stress of the 3rd grade and an unhelpful teacher; but I have to get him through the 3rd grade.

    I am planning on putting into place lots of changes in his IEP which will be in January. I have to get it all written down and ready to go. Sometimes I just cry and don't know if I have it in me to go another round with the school; but I know in the end I will: for him.

    Thank you everyone! Oh wow! They are jumping on the couch! I have a play date for Monkey Joe's - an inflatable jumping place. Can't they wait til we get there to jump? OY!
  11. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I'm so sorry about the school troubles! They just never end with our kids. It only takes one overstressed or less skilled or inexperienced or burnt out teacher to create a mess!
    Depending on the writing process that the school is using-this chart should not only be on the wall but at near point on a sheet for the kids. That teacher needs to get you a copy-that's bunk! One process that is popular now is the 6 Traits model. Ask which model. Many are available on-line.

    As far as the book thing-honestly very few states have text books being written that fit their states core standards. Companies will only write for a few of the "richer" states that they know will buy and mandate their use.($$$$) (Especially true of elementary school texts-reading basals are the one exception though, these are more universal but they come in one level per grade, often have nonfiction that doesn't fit the social studies or science core at that grade level, and offer a one-size-fits all set up) Hopefully, when the common core (for the whole coutry) is complete in the next year or so your state will be using it and books maybe more available that fit this core across the U.S and support multiple learning styles.. The problem with textbook however is that they create some real issues for kids:
    1. They are not written on a consistant reading level and never at multiple levels to support struggling readers.Navagating these textbooks can be a bear for many kids.
    2. Teachers who religiously use the texts tend not to incorporate as many hands-on activities and active learning strategies that benefit all children but more so our kids.
    3. Textbooks are soooo expensive. Many elementary teachers have just enough for their classes and sending them home is tough to do-what if the child forgets to bring it in, it gets lost or ruined? This happens, but when you only have just enough for your class, and your principal holds every dollar tightly-it's a real fear. Money spent on textbooks means less money for those hands-on experiences and fieldtrips that make a greater learning impact. It's a catch 22!

    Just a thought-I think you could help your little guy more by asking her for a curriculum map. Ask what she will be teaching when. (If she doesn't have one-this is a sign!) A little preteaching could really help him feel on top of it. Also for next year, ask to be involved in his class placement. If they have a no request policy, get the Sp. Ed. person to be very involved, her job is to advocate and find the best fit. As a teacher I feel an involved parent is a gift. I do my best when they openly comunicate and value me-sounds like this teacher is a poor fit! (Just my opinion)
    Hugs and good luck
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    If the Risperdal does not help, I see you are already on Clonidine. This is the exact reason we switched to the Clonidine patches. (warning: they have generic now they are bigger than the name brand and for us did not stick well but maybe more than one company is making them now). anyway, mornings are still not wonderful because not ALL of the medications are on board, namely the concerta....but having weekly patches which makes him wake with no morning kicking the walls, yelling, aggression has been a miracle. By far the best choice in medications for us.

    Take a breath, write out your thoughts little by little before the meeting. Come back and vent. You are doing well! HUGS
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    An IEP is FAR more enforceable than a 504, so having that is a very good thing. My husband never said a word in an IEP meeting either, until my body broke and he had to do ALL the stuff for thank you's 504 (that was all thank you really needed).

    Get an advocate. They are usually free to parents. If you contact the state board of ed you should be able to find out how to get one, otherwise google "parent advocate" and your state and you should be able to find one. You may also want to try IEP advocate or Special education advocate with your state name.

    Start a Parent report if you don't have one. Update the one you have if you have one. A PR is a document that YOU create that tells EVERYTHING about your difficult child. Wise Warrior Moms before I came here devised an outline that is amazingly helpful. Follow the link in my signature to the thread that describes a PR and has the outline for it. It will be your most effective weapon because you will have every scrap and iota of info about difficult child at your fingertips and can then advocate for him far more effectively. It also helps fill out those very long forms at the doctor's office when they want a history of your child. those things drive me nuts, lol. By age 14 or so I make the kid help with them - they have to learn because as adults they will have to do them and it is their body not mine after all!

    We did not have risperdal help with impulse issues. Wiz was on it for years and years. It helped him not be nearly as aggressive but he needed a different medication for impulse issues. I am not saying it might not help your child's impulse issues, just that it did not help mine.

    I hope you can get the school to be more helpful and I would fight the detention on this issue because in my opinion the school is wrong. There is NO reason why one 8yo's word should be taken over another's. I know it happens, but no one was harmed by difficult child walking around lost except difficult child. Unless difficult child was bullying a child or hurting a child, the punishment is out of line. What punishment is the teacher getting for losing a child for that amt of time? Isn't it her JOB to keep the students together and in class except for occasional trips to the bathroom or office? Why didn't the teacher know where he was or ask the office to find him or make an announcement that he needed to join them in whatever room they were in? in my opinion this is as much a problem of poor teacher behavior as poor difficult child behavior. Why was difficult child not with the group when they went to lab in the first place? Was he in some type of pull out therapy like Occupational Therapist (OT)? If so, why didn't the adult in charge of that send him to the right place? Yes, difficult child needs to learn to go to the office, but the adults are supposed to keep track of the children at all times, aren't they?

    I am willing to bet if you start asking why the teacher didn't know where he was you may get some interesting answers. This is just not an approp detention. I know that if difficult child doesn't see you united iwth the school then problems will happen, but I woudl still ask the hard questions like why the teacher didn't know where he was. What happens on field trips???? If she cannot keep track of them in the school, HOW will she do so in another setting?

    I am sorry that the teacher is such a bad fit for him. As for the books she is using, why can't she just let you get the ISBN numbers once a week if you can pick up difficult child at school? Then you can go to various used book sites and get them for a sm amt of $$. I do this with thank you's books because otherwise his backpack weighs in excess of 50 lbs and that is just way way way too much. Backpacks should be 10% of body weight or less according to our doctor and my child does NOT weigh 500 lbs! We actually weighed his backpack at 57lbs the second week of school, then I ordered his textbooks online. I can give you used book sites that are very helpful if you want them.
  14. liz

    liz Guest

    Definitely gonna ask for a curriculum map, an advocate, the ISBN numbers off the textbooks and a revision to his IEP.

    exhausted, I cannot wait to go in there and ask about a curriculum map! It helps to know what kinds of things to ask for when I go to these meetings. Makes me look smart, too! ;)

    , the Clonidine patch sounds right up our alley!! Also, the only neuropsychologist that I can find here is not covered by the insurance at all! :( I just do not understand it! They cost upwards of $4000.

    InsaneCdn,I am really hoping that the risperdal helps with his impulse control; in terms of being teachable and not so aggressive or emotional right off the bat. His ADHD medication helps him to slow down enough also; but the early morning tantrums have been escalating to where he is out of control in the mornings until the ADHD medication kicks in.

    TeDo, So, if he is going to be having some recisions like calming down techniques, do these fall under the behavior portion of his IEP? He now has only academic revisions in his IEP sinnce he started medicine in Kindergarten. The medicine seemed to "fix" his behaviors. I know that this is probably not really what happened; but that is how it seemed.

    DDD, I really hope that risperdal works for us. :sigh:

    SusieStar I am going to have to start a Parent report. Can I use my emails in it also? I always save those; just in case. Thanks!

    Thank you so much to everyone who is helping me. I truly appreciate it! :group-hug:
    Lasted edited by : Dec 26, 2011
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    You can have both behavior goals and accommodations. For example, if there are skills he needs to (they then teach him the moods, facial expressions, what kinds of activities bring about these moods etc...) Or Sammy will raise his hand to ask for help on 4 of every 5 opportunities daily for ten consecutive days. or when agitated, Susie will follow cues and/or independently ask to take a break and go to identified "chill" spots in the classroom. Under accommodations, chill spots such as a swing, a walled off quiet zone, a sensory space, will be provided at all times. If Janie is working to control her chewing on non edibles, she may have a goal to work on that and accommodations would be added such as providing appropriate chewing things like gum etc. Under accommodations, Q has written that sensory integration items will be provided such as but not limited to: weighted vest, bouncy ball for a chair, gum, calming scents, deep pressure items such as mats and squish beanbags etc.

    In addition to the behavior goals and accommodations to make them happen, We have a positive behavior plan which describes a step by step way of teaching self regulation and how staff records behaviors and new skill development. There is also a plan for if he is unable to control his blurting or if he would become aggressive.

    Clear as mud??? Q is talking to me so I have no idea what I just wrote, feel free to call me on it and ask for a better explanation. lol