To answer your question - No, its not bad to feel that way. Its very normal. You have a stepson who is autistic and ADHD. Either one of those handicaps is very hard to live with. Put them together and its not easy. Its also not easy for him.
There are very set definitive ways to work with kids who are ADHD and also Autistic. I get the feeling that you haven't been given that information.
The things that he is doing is what I would call not unusual for what he has. My first question is does he have an IEP or a 504? Given the new Asperger (austic) diagnosis, he should have an IEP. Which I guess really leads to the next question, what has been done for him? Is he on meds? Is he getting behavioral therapy? Is he getting help from school? I know that you asked for help - but until he is getting help, your life will get only harder.
I would order the book - "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley. Its very concise and will give you lots of ways to help with the ADHD, and also help you understand what is going on with him. You need to realize that all day long at school he is well .....being attacked. That's the last thing he needs when he gets home.
I assume since he got the Aspergers diagnosis, that he has seen a psychiatrist or psychologist. Hopefully, they have given you help on working with him. Autism adds a whole other spectrum to his problems. Please make sure you google Autism to get a good understanding of it.
So to your second to last question - how to deal with it. You need information, lots of information. I do think the book I recommended will help. It would be really helpful if you didn't have to research this all your self. Your school psyc should be helpful. And I would like to know what has been done for him. Knowing that I may be able to help more. Best wishes!!!
First take a deep breath . There are Autism Syndrome Foundations that you can call and they can help you. Look them up in your area. Second may children who have Autism also have Seizures so I would also get him checked for Seizures by asking his Doctor to send him for a sleep study EEG to make sure that everything in his brain is ok and a MRI .
The other thing people need to understand is that they have know control over what they do and might not even know they are doing it.
Belive me when I say that. My son has LGS but was told first he had ADD AND ADHD .My son seizures make it hard to learn and there are times he dose strange things and he aslo can act out and be very hipper and even hit me.He dosen't even know he is doing it some times. And he can't hear a word I am saying at the time because he is having a seizure.
My point is there are many reasons why they act out .There are many test that Doctors need to run and they don't always do it .As parents we need to be our childs best advocate and if the Doctors won't run bloold test and EEG and EKG and MRI and any other test that you want done, then it is time to find a new Doctor that will make sure that your child is getting the best help they should have.
Also Omega 3-6-9 Vitamins can help some along with Vitamin B6 and B12 plus a childrens Mulivitamins.
THANK YOU, for answering me!! Yes he's on Concerta during the day, and Chlonidine at night.. In school he's in all advanced classes with A+ across the board. We did take him to a psychiatrist, and before he went he gotten into trouble for breaking something and he like always played victim, so she saw him looking depressed and recommended him being on more pills. I got annoyed, with her 'cause she didn't give us answers and issisted on pills we never went back. If you met him he's a happy boy, you would never know whats wrong with him, very intelligent,has no friends, they say he's annpoying, never minds his business, he's the classroom policeman the teacher says, he did track for 2 yrs, something happened this yr that he came home and said his legs hurt him and he doesn't want to run, so he quit. I asked the coach and he doesn't know, he just said he was complaining of his legs. Mind you, nothing bothers him, he stubbed his toe with the bathroom door, took the toe nail off didn't complain until I went to watch him wash up ( 'cause we forget why he's in there) and I saw it black, took him to the Dr's and took care of it, when I ask him questions it's "I don't know" Every 6 months he goes to the Developmental DR. and we discuss everything with him, but he Never mentioned The IEP or 504.. What is that?
Geeze, I should have noticed this the first time I read your post, but it wasn't until you mentioned his legs hurting that it clicked.
Does he really have Noonan syndrome? That certainly could explain some of this. Make sure you google it and check the effects of it.
Also, I am curious as to his age. You said he did track for two years and this year quit. So is he a junior in high school. If so he is extremely young. When is his birthday and what year school is he in.
I will get back to you with more as there is more to digest here. But I've gotta run to a meeting. Check out Noonan's and tell me what you think.
Oh, and I will explain the 504 then. It takes a bit more time.
Yes he does. Sept 30,1995 is his birthday. It semmed to have gotten wores at age 13. I did check out Noonan's when he was first diagnosed dueto his webbed neck, crooked toes etc and yes he does have it.. Thank You
I almost don't know where to start.
I guess I will start with him and how that may relate to making things easier for all of you.
First, Noonan's worries me simply because something like 80% of the people with it have some form of a heart defect. Has this been checked out? Short stature can be a problem and can be helped with a growth hormone. How is his height and has this alternative been explained to you? You mentioned him quitting track due to leg pains. "Some patients with Noonan Syndrome suffer from severe joint pain or muscle pain often with no identifiable cause." (Wikipedia). The sad thing is that track is a great socializing place- which he sounds like he really needs. Does he have any idea that the leg pains could have been due to Noonan's. In fact, is he aware of Noonan's and its effects?
The Aspergers adds other factors. I think the main one is "walking on eggs with him." But, I can also think of another reason which I will get to. Basically, Asperger's,"is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction." I think that is part of the home life situation, and certainly why he has few friends. Not to mention that, "People with Asperger syndrome often display behavior, interests, and activities that are restricted and repetitive and are sometimes abnormally intense or focused. They may stick to inflexible routines, move in stereotyped and repetitive ways, or preoccupy themselves with parts of objects." Which kind of explains the classroom cop and lack of friends.
Now into all of this you add ADD/ADHD. This pretty well explains all the rest of the things you mentioned. Believe it or not, the, "He lies all the time doesn't hand in assighments in school, my husband and I don't know how to deal with this anymore.he'll pick at his flesh til he bleeds He'll be defiant when he gets caught in his lies and then I'll have **** in his underwares thrown in his draw.etc.He'll argue saying he don't know how that got their and to me I believe he knows what he's doing." Is pretty common stuff. Which is why I recommended the book.
Now, on top of this, you throw into the mix his age. He is probably one of the youngest kids in his class. In fact, California recently went from a Dec birthdate to Sept 1. So you have a very young boy, watching all the other boys start to go through growth spurts. He may be physically short (?), Perhaps looks a tad different. Has no friends. I am guessing that he is (even though he is very smart) struggling to hang on in class. Peer pressure has gotta be not nice, being the classroom cop. I would suspect that when he gets home he should be about ready to explode! and apparently does. I am not surprised at all!
Putting it all together, I can completely understand where you are coming from. I have seen lots of posts from parents whose kids have only ADHD who are going nuts. You have way more on your plate!!!!! So, how to help you (and him).
Get the book I recommended. It also has a full section on IEPs and 504's (more on that later).
Your husband is right when he says, " not now..He doesn't want to hear about it." School has got to be not very nice for him (from all I know about kids with ADHD and autism). When he gets home, he needs to relax, unwind, etc.
As you may have figured out by now - you work with Autism and ADHD kids differently than just a normal, crazy teenage boy. There are things you can do to help them, not set them off, and make your life easier. The book covers a lot of these.
I do think that sooner or later, he will need an IEP or 504 at school. These things can also help him in college (and help him get into college) Basically these two things tell teachers that the child has a disability and needs some special parameters. It maybe as simple as more time for homework, or not making them give a speech in front of the class. Even though he must be very smart. It sounds like he is not doing his homework (extremely typical for ADHD). Thus his innate intelligence is carrying him. That won't work as the subjects get harder. By the way, I should add, working with an ADHD child with intelligence is even harder. They use that intelligence to help them cope - making life difficult for parents (putting it nicely). By the way, I would also make sure you talk with his school counselor and let that person know what his problems are. I would also make a written request to the school principal for special ed testing. They cannot refuse that, and I really believe that sooner or later it will be important.
My main recommendation is that all of you need professional help. SERIOUSLY. This is way more than just reading books will help. He needs to understand what he has and how it effects him. You and your husband need help in how to work with him (which will make your life easier). All of you need help in communicating. He is also going through a lot of teenage male stuff that also complicates things, but right now, you are all that he has! This can be fixed, but it will take work on all of your parts. I honestly do think that there is a lot that you can do to make homelife easier for all of you with a little understanding about what is going on.
Wow! a lot of stuff here, and I have probably missed a few things I wanted to cover. Take your time to digest it. Definitely post if you have any questions or need more explanation about anything specific. Do realize that I am going on not a lot of info from you (I've got tons more of questions), but a lot of what I have seen going on from similar things on this forum the last four years. But you have added several new things to the mix. I would really appreciate it you could keep me informed how things are going on.
You covered alot Wow!! You don't know how Great it is to have someone that knows what your going threw. Bought tears to my eyes, our Dr. didn't give us all this info. First Taylor did have a heart defect. He had holes in his heart (the wall that seperates high and low pressures of the heart) he has 9 plugs and 3 they stitched up being they were small. he's 59 inches, 93 lbs..May 2, he goes for his 6 month check up at the developemental Dr. Are there any quetions I should be asking him? Just the other day someone had told me, to get blood work checked to see if a chromozones is missing in his brain? I am getting the book you recommend.. I did tell the school of all his issues, and all they told me was that explains alot., I'll put it in his records. now this Sept he'll be in Highscool (10 th grade) I will set a meeting with the school before school starts and explain to them our issue.. He is scheduled for all advaced classes, which he can handle from his great marks. It's just a new thing with him to have missing assighnments. Taylor does not know of his Noonan's or Asperger's( my husband doesn't want him to use that as an excuse,being he plays victim all the time) We have a business, which my husband had to lay off alot of men, and we had to give up our insurance, so as of now we are finacially tight, we don't qualify for other insurance due to our business. I do agree with everything that you said, you hit everything. THANK YOU!!
Glad to hear that he is going into 10th grade. When you said he had been running track for two years, I automatically thought that meant at high school. Anyway, he is ok age wise which is a relief.
You might want to ask his developmental Dr. about his height and if growth hormone is an option. It is a standard and very safe treatment for height problems. The Doctor might also be the one to explain to Taylor about Noonans. He is a smart boy. Sooner or later he is going to figure out what is going on. If he does start growth hormones, he definitely will figure something is going on. He also should know about Noonans because it will explain why he might be feeling some of the physical pains he may have.
I respectfully disagree with your husband about not telling Taylor about his problems. I do understand his concern about him playing victim all the time. But you have to remember a victim is, "1. a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency: a victim of an automobile accident.
2.a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance," He is a victim. And he is being deprived the option of dealing with his problems. You can tell him to buck it up and be strong, if he understands what he is dealing with - otherwise, its a waste of time.
But more importantly, everything I have read on Autism states that it is important to deal with it early! I can't stress this enough!! If he does have Aspergers, the sooner he starts getting therapy, the better his chances for a full and productive life (it also should make your life better). I do think that the school system may be able to help with this if your own insurance won't cover it.
I think that it is wonderful that he is going into all advanced classes. But I do have some concerns. 10th and 11th grade subject matter (especially 11th) is very different than 9th grade. AP classes are much harder than honors classes. (since retiring, I have subbed for AP chemistry and physics classes-they are tough) It will require a lot more homework time. That is something that ADHD kids don't do well with. (the book will clarify this for you). I would meet with whoever has been assigned as his highschool counselor and explain the situation. Some teachers can be wonderful to work with and some not so good. Getting the right teacher for him could be important. It also may be that just getting a little bit more time on tests or homework could be all that he needs to thrive. That is another reason why a 504 or an IEP will be important. Anyway, I would recommend being proactive on this. It may also be that his medication will have to be tweaked so that he is able to work on homework at night. Then again, if he is really sharp it may not be necessary until much later - just keep an eye open and monitor the situation.
Finally, the three of you don't have to fight all the time. This is something that all 3 of you can work together on. That was not true when he was a kid. He can be an active 'participant fighting these problems, not a victim. I am guessing that with your husbands business, he has had to put a lot of time into it, and perhaps hasn't been able to help out with Taylor as much? This is going to take everybody getting information so that you are all working on the same game plan. The school district may have a psychologist that can help. It wouldn't hurt to talk with their special ed department and see if they can help, or the high school counselors probably know if there are any who work with kids and parents really well. I agree completely, you don't want more meds - you want information. There are a lot of web sites that can give valuable information. I can help out with AD/HD ones if you wish. I think once you have read the book, you will have a better idea of where to start. Best wishes! I hope you are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel !!!!!
Yes I have ,Thank You so Much!! I will let you know how it goes.. All your wisdom on this helped me out a lot.