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Avatar universal

At my wits end

My son is now 8, I have been working on getting him help since he was 3. I was hurt at work and stayed home with him and noticed odd behaviors that were not the norm for his age. At four he was accepted into a special-ed pre-k program for learning and motor skill deficits. At age five he was tested and I was told that he was ADHD. I have researched mental disabilities and disorders on my own for several years and did not think that ADHD coverd or defined all of the symptoms and behaviors I was seeing. Bipolar runs in my family, I thought that he might possiblly have some mood disorder issues, not certain if it was bipolar. Aspergers made alot more sense to me and described everything I was seeing, the rocking, the banging his back aginst things, the rocking from one foot to another when standing, the inability to stand still, easily agitated and easy to cry. Inappropriate responses to certain things such as laughing at someone who was hurt, smiling when I was being serious etc. As he grew older his agitation turned more into total frustration and agression. He hurts animals and says things like I want to die or I hate myself when he is being disaplined for something, this has been going on for 1 and a half years. He was hospitalized in July of 2007, he was diagnosed with Aspergers and bipolar. We have been seeing a behavioral psycologist for a year now who diagnosed him with AS before he was hospitalized. He is failing at school this year in the third grade. I started the procces of requesting testing for special ed services again as he was released after he completed the pre-k level. They tested him for dyslexia as per my request and found that he was. I was concerd as he turns letters and numbers around and words verbally as well as written. At home he refuses to do what he is asked without a fight and total meltdown. He tells me no all of the time, I don't want to. I get looks that could kill, and he hits himself. All of this is over small tasks like picking up toys or doing homework even if I help him. My husband thinks I should whip him for everything, I think I should chose my battels. The point is, it is causing problems all around in our home. How do we deal with his refusals to do task, fit throwing and meltdowns in a way that we can avoid those things and yet get him to do what we want and exhibit the behaviors we desire?
4 Responses
Avatar universal
You are describing a child that to me sounds like he is really suffering. What medication is he on for his conditions, and do these medications have any effect on him at all? It sounds like any behavior modification program you want to institute will need to be consistent and clear, but he sounds like he needs some medication to get him leveled out enough to make the behavior modification program work.
Avatar universal
He is on Depakote 250mg twice a day, this is for mood disorder bipolar inparticualr. Ambilify 10mg cut in half, one half in the morning and one half at night, again this is another mood altering med. Focalin 15mg for ADHD or impulse control issues. He was taken off of the ADHD meds for awhile until we got the anger and agression under control, and was put back on them about three months ago. I believe from my research the the ADHD meds tend to make kids with mood disorders more agressive. They tried him on that new Vyvanse, I took him off one month later. It worked great for the first few days and then his anger and agression started progressing even more than before, I also noticed that his pupils were dialated all of the time I even tested his pupil dialation ability with exposure to light and dark, they did not change. A few weeks after taking him off, he started to level out again. I am not so sure that he is bipolar, its more like depression. I believe that kids with AS have low self esteem to begin with and I am sure that the misunderstanding of them by most people who are around them does not help. A lot of the post I read sound like my son he has so many issues going on inside of such a small little body its hard to define all of them. The refusing, the agression, the anger, the mood swings etc... I feel like I am dealing with many different people instead of just one small child. Sometimes, he reminds me of my oldest son when he hit his teenage years and short circated to become a smart mouth teenager. My husband has a real hard time he does not understand because he does not go with me any of the doctors appointments. I try to explain it to him, print off articles from places like the American Society of Autism or Oasis foundation; but he seems to not be interested in learning. We differ in our veiws, what he sees as disrespect, defiance, and disobiedence, I know is just the inability to communicate what he is thinking or feeling or how he sees things in his world. I can try different techniques to disipline and get across what I want; but when my husband, or mother-in-law who lives with us, goes against what I am trying to accomplish everything I have done is out the door. I am sure that this is even more confusing to him, I have asked my mother-in-law not to step in, it is not her place to correct or disipline my child even if she lives with us. She is never alone with him or asked to watch him. Her and my husband both seem to think that it is a lack of disipline that causes him to act out and do the things he does; and children should be seen and not heard. I however think that if you don't listen to a child how will you ever know who they are, what their fears or hopes are, and what they dream about. Yes, I beleive there are appropriate times for quite and excessive talking should be controlled; but don't shut them up or cut them off all of the time or you risk shutting them out of your life and out of reach. I am desperate to help my child and yet want to hold on to my marriage too, I love them both. My child also refuses to do his school work, he has spent over half of the school year in ISS(in school suspention) for refusal and disruption. I have been batteling the school since May of last year for Special education services. They finally gave him a 504 (civil rights act for children with disabilities) in Sept., while this was a start, I was not satisfied. I have had at least six meetings that I have called this year with school facilatators and finally got through this January to get him tested for special-ed services, still waiting for that to be completed, they have less than 20 days to finish that and 30 to make the results available to me. I am glad that this is finally taking place; but it is too late for this year, he now has to repeat the third grade. I do not feel like he failed, instead they failed him. I wish there was a lawyer in my area that would take his case 'cause I have two folders full of documentation. Its sad that justice is only recieved by those who can pay for it because children like my son suffer the injustice being done to them with no resilution. I need help to help my son and I am not getting from those who are closest to the situation and should want to help, I feel all alone in my battle to help him. Any advice?
377600 tn?1225167036
I don't think he is bipolar--not now anyway.

I think the drugs he is one are too strong as well.

I think he needs to learn coping skills....he sounds like he doesn't know how to cope with situations and is easily agitated.

Avatar universal
He is also on Clonidine 0.1mg for sleep. Before they put him on this he would stay awake until the wee hours of the morning or wake up in the middle of the noght and stay up, he was sleeping about two or three hours at most. Now, he sleeps all night most of the time. I do not believe he is bipolar nor does his behavior psycologist. His moods can be contributed to the AS. I am trying to teach him coping skills; but its hard when I am the only one in the house of three adults who uses these methods instead of yelling and screaming or wipping. Does anyone have any suggestions on coping skills to teach him or discipline methods I can use to help him? I already talk to him in a calm and firm voice, make him look at me ( he does not like to look at people when they talk to him), and I explain any consequences so he understands and then I stick to my ground. Anything I am missing?
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