Where to start

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by FrustratedToNoEnd, May 1, 2012.

  1. FrustratedToNoEnd

    FrustratedToNoEnd New Member

    Hey everyone. First time poster. Forgive me if this thread was placed in the wrong forum, or if it runs a little long.

    I'm 28, and I'm not a parent. I'm posting this on behalf of my parents, who are in their early 70's. My parents are raising my 14-year old and 9-year old nephews (their grandchildren). We have concerns about both boys, but this thread is specifially targeted for 9-year old nephew. I'll try to provide as many details as possible.

    The 9-year old has ADD/ADHD. Some classic smptoms...He can't sit still, always moving and jumping, always talking and interrupting. And if that we're it, we'd be fine. However, over the past two to three years, things have been getting worse. He has AWFUL anger problems. To the point where he will throw a total, out-of-control fit if the slightest thing goes wrong. It's gotten so bad, I, myself, have had to carry him away like an infant because his anger was so bad. When in trouble, he slings items across his bedroom, wreaking utter havoc. His relationship with his peers is always on the cusp of an implosion. We're always holding our breath in fear he's going to explode. He has an awful problem riding the bus to school. Always yelling, fighting, disobeying the bus driver. What's worse is the language he's using. Not suitable for adults, much less a 9-year old. And the weird thing is he can be the best kid sometimes, but in the flip of a switch, he can morph into this kid that really scares our family. We've tried a vast array of punishments, to no avail. In school, he's not too bad. His grades are pretty decent, A's and B's. He's been to the principal's office several times for anger and behavior-related issues.

    My parents have tried multiple options. He's spoken with a school counselor and a outside-school counselor. He's taken a variety of medications, including: Focalin, Concerta, Byvanse, and Intuniv. None of those had any success. He is currently taking Stratera, which my mother is trying to ween him off of. My parents even took him to a (and forgive if my terminology is not correct) brain-wave analysis clinic specifically designed for children. They were promised some results/improvement after 10 sessions. After 22 sessions, and no improvement, they stopped going.

    It's a tough situation for my parents to be in. They're raising two grandchildren, when they should be in their retirement phase. Their father is incarcerated, and their mother is around, just not as much as she should be. And it's always been that way. My parents, by their own admission, are not as tough on the boys as they should be.

    Bottom line...After fumbling around the internet in search for a solution, I stumbled upon this forum. It appears you guys have children with the same type issues. I'm not looking for a miracle. I'm just looking for any helpful suggestions. My parents have been dealing with this for the past 3-5 years, and it's finally getting to them. It's literally taking years off their lives. :-/ I had a phone conversation with my father earlier, and the mere sound of his voice, saddened me.

    Again, sorry this is so long. And sorry if I violated some type of introduction decorum you guys frown upon. If you guys need any other information I may have left out, please let me know. Thanks for any and all feedback.

    Oh...one more noteworthy thing I forgot, which I've always found intriguing. He asked very odd questions. Questions that, I believe, stretch the parameters for a 9-year old. Like...What is Heaven like? He's often curious about death. He loves to play army (or other games with similar violence). I hope I explained that properly. He also asks questions about prison and "juvy", and what they're like.
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Hello and Welcome!

    My first question is who's your sibling? The incarcerated father or the barely around mother? Do either of them have any diagnosed (diagnoses)?

    Other than the ADHD has your nephew had any other evaluations? Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), neuropsychologist? There's definitely more going on than ADHD.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi and you did fine! I am on my phone so sorry ....but I agree with keista ...any pre birth or birth tauma? When did they move in and why. What were their earliest years like ...birth to 3? I think first I'd push for a neuropsychologist evaluation. I agree there is more here.
  4. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    sounds kind of like how Angel use to act when still letting them give her stimulant medication, looking in logs she got very aggressive on Strattera also. The flip into rage type behavior you described - I don't think this kid has adHd or if he does there is in my opinion some other food thing or something like bipolar, or autism spectrum going on. There are countless medical conditions that could be causing these behaviors also. I agree with the others a developmental pediatrician should be able to help get some more answers. Seeing a neurologist for an EEG wouldn't be a bad idea either. Good luck it sounds like the kid - the whole family could use help.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    evaluation, evaluation, evaluation. If you don't know what you're dealing with, it's hard to even know what to try.

    Hint, though - ADHD is not uncommon as an initial diagnosis.
    In reality, frequently it is either incorrect, or incomplete.
    Incorrect... as in, others on this board have started there and ended up with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other things.
    Or, Incomplete... as in, ADHD is correct, but there is more... LDs are frequent, motor skills issues affect half of kids with ADHD, and so on.

    And then there's the really confusing ones that can be both or either... ever heard of APDs? That's Auditory Processing Disorders. A person can have both ADHD and Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). OR... Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) symptoms look almost exactly like ADHD symtoms... so, it could be Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) without ADHD.

    Confusing, right?

    That's why so many of us parents here suggest getting the most complete evaluation possible, and that usually means Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and a comprehensive evaluation by neuropsychologist, children's developmental team, or equivalent.
  6. FrustratedToNoEnd

    FrustratedToNoEnd New Member

    Wow. Thanks for the responses.

    My sibling is my older sister, the boys' mother. She's in her 30's. She's an emotionally and psychologically immature person. I think she's got a kind heart, but she's not fit to be a mother. She had the boys really young and basically dropped them on my parents. She lives next door, so she's around. But as far as motherly duties, she doesn't cut it. No diagnoses I'm aware of.

    As stated, the boys have lived with my parents their whole life. Earlier years were pretty good. As I alluded to in my OP, the 9-year old was always a handful. But never out of control. The anger and the inability to control his behavior has really surfaced over the past two years or so.

    Here's the thing. I think the physicians we've been to or more concerned about treating him or giving him something to ease the symptoms. I'm not certain they've cared too much about what was actually wrong with him. I think you all bring up some good points about diagnosis. I think it's a good idea to see what we're actually up against. But, dang, my parents have been suckered into so many things, they're pretty beat down. They're sort of pessimistic about trying new avenues, even though they're desperate. They even spoke about military school, even though I'm not certain that's the best option.

    But, yes, all the acronyms and diagnoses can be overwhelming. :-/
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm one who would go for the neuropsychologist evaluation. in my opinion more is going on than ADHD. And, although you have no control over it, perhaps your parents should insist on being able to enjoy their golden years by forcing daughter to watch her children more often since she lives next door. Does she work? Do your folks give her money? Why doesn't she watch her own kids? Does she pay her own rent or are your parents still raising HER too?

    I'm 58 and I know I would be sad if my "best" years were spent taking care of my difficult grandchildren when my own daughter was living right next door. Are your parents strong enough to handle the nine year old when he is raging?

    Have you considered family counseling?

    I'm sorry you have to be here...but welcome to the board :)
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Hi, and welcome to our little family.

    Who diagnosed him with ADHD? That diagnosis might be a start, but clearly it's not what the root of the problem is and the medications are either not helping, or making things worse. Some medications cause aggression as a side effect and you might think that the child is really getting worse when it's actually the medications that are wreaking havoc with his little system.

    I agree with MidwestMom that an evaluation by a neuropsychologist is needed. Are the boys covered by insurance? If so, call them and see if they can recommend one. What doe his mom say about he behavioral issues? Does she try to stop your parents from medicating him? Is she "on board" with the idea of getting him evaluated and getting him help?
  9. keista

    keista New Member

    OK, more questions. The mom is "not fit" How so? Drinking, drugs, personality? One or all the above? It's important because the boys have her genes. Whatever issues (even if not diagnosed) she has, could be passed on to them. It can offer a clue as to what's going on with this boy.
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tired or not....I am sure they do not wish to see either of the boys incarcerated. If this is not under control soon, the younger one is likely to get into some big trouble. Then your parents are liable for any damage caused...do they have legal custody? Was the state ever involved? It might benefit them to check with a lawyer about who would be held responsible for the children if they do commit crimes or if something happens to them...where do the boys go then.