ADHD & Social Immaturity

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2003
ADHD & Social Immaturity
Mon, 09-01-2003 - 10:58pm
Hi... I am new to the board, but I must say very impressed with the heart felt answers and advice given to each and every person who asks for help. Well.... I NEED HELP!!! My son is 9 and has been suspended from school already. He's been in school 1 month. I had to remove him from school last year (Oct) and home school him the rest of the year because of anger and agression at school. He did OK with the homeschooling but I told him I could not do it another year. (I also work 40-50hrs a week outside the home)... He agreed to give school a shot. He was tested and jumped from 3rd to 5th grade level on most areas. I and the principal agreed 4th is where he'd be. He is like a 3yr old maturity level when it comes to social settings. Actually after keeping a journal for the last 2mo it's whenever theres more then 2 people. He can play with one child, add a second child to play with and all hel* breaks loose. At home he's fine with me OR my husband... put all 3 togther and he freaks... School is the worst for him, he says it's so noisy he can't think straight... He refuses to write saying that he feels like his hand freezes..? I have been doing alot of research on the web and have some real good places to start to help him more the just counseling and Dr's appt. When he was 2 1/2 he fractured the back of his skull and within 2 months I had a completely different child. They DX him ADHD even though it was a head injury. They claimed they treated it the same. So for 6 yrs he's been on meds. Current RX is Adderall SR 30mg in am, 400mg Seroquel, 100mg Zoloft and .1mg Clonidine. I would love to fix the problem and quit medicating the symptoms. My question after all that babbling is how is everyone else helping their child with Social behaviors and issues and does this sound like anyone else out there?


Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 6:28am
Kevin (11) is pretty immature socially, but is able to handle group situations ... he's o.k. in class, plays on baseball teams, and takes karate lessons, and is fine in all. But, he's also pretty shy, so he doesn't talk a lot or initiate conversations. When he does talk, sometimes it's a baby-talk sort of thing, or one word answers to a question. His manners stink, he rarely makes eye contact, and I really would like to put him in a peer group counseling thing (but we're so busy, there just isn't time.) Had actually put this as one of his electives this year (just started middle school) but he didn't get that choice. Oh well.

BUT, there is one thing on your post that jumped out at me, and that's the noise level/distraction thing. Kevin has (in addition to ADHD/ODD, and being gifted) and auditory processing problem, and doesn't always process information the way it's intended, especially if there are distractions ... and having other kids talking, or even sitting too close to a noisy a/c can be enough to distract him. He's found ways of adapting (self-taught) but I know he's not reaching his potential ... another area we need to explore more fully but haven't had enough time. But, something you may want to look into.

Also, a head injury doesn't really = ADHD, and perhaps it's time for a 2nd opinion. Have you had DS evaluated by a neurologist? If not, it may be worth it. Seems to me like a lot of meds ... and while I know many kids need a combination, I personally get uncomfortable when it's more than 2. Just my own little quirk.

Socially challenged kids, despite their intelligence, have a tough time with older kids. They suggested moving Kevin up a grade when he was younger, and I opted not to do it. I figured I'd rather have him have an easier time academically and do fine socially than to struggle ... and as grades get higher, I didn't want to deal with that. The whole hormonal thing in middle school, etc. ... certainly didn't want him to be the youngest in that group. Again, that's my personal opinion and wouldn't work for everyone. But, many schools do offer some type of peer group thing, and calling the counselor for some direction may help.

Good luck.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 7:48am
You may want to read a couple of books and see if you identify Ty in them. *The-Out-of-Sync-Child*, and *When the Brain can't Hear* The first one is about sensory issues and the second one is about Central Auditory Processing Disorder. My son has both, along with ADD inattentive. In reading your post, I thought of both.

I'm with Keke, I think what ever your sons issues are, it may be time to consult with a professional. We opted to get Liam a full neuro psychological evaluation to actually get a full picture of his learning issues and styles. We are almost finished. We are going through a Child Neuro Psychologist. It is exspensive!

One thing I'll point out is, the meds can help your son with ADHD, but if part of his issues are processing, the meds won't address it. My son becomes very uncomfortable in a group of more then two or three people due to the noise overwhelming him. He becomes socially isolated and withdrawn. If he is uncomfortable enough, he goes into the "fight or flight" mode. To the point I just purchased him some musicians ear plugs for recess and the cafiteria. He even gets them out in class when he gets uncomfortable. They filter out a lot of the background noise, but still allow him to have conversations. Regular ear plugs that block out the noise used on a regular basis can increase sound sensitivities. Another alternative is to let a CAPD child listen to music on a walkman in noisey situations. You don't want to block out sound, just make it more manageable sound.

I'm not saying I "know" what is up with your son, just that a lot of what you are saying about him sounds fimiliar to me. And I'm picking up on the same worry I've felt for my child in you. I didn't feel any relief from that worry until I got on the road to figuring it out. For that I needed someone with the fancy degrees! Also, AD/HD can be a comorbid, or misdiagnosis for a lot of things to include CAPD, epilepsy, NLD, and Aspergers Syndrome, just to name a few. The evaluations you get from the school are set up to address your childs needs within the academic setting, not nessicarily get to the bottom of what makes him tick. It could just be residual from his head injury. That can cause processing issues!



iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 12:37am
Thank you both very much for your input. I learned about CAPD and SID(sensory Integration Disorder this past weekend. Unfortunately Ty's insurance was stopped over the weekend due to lack of funds from the state of Arizona which means we now must pay for RX's ourselves.. Got pricing today for his 4 that he takes $917.07... No clue how we are going to afford any of them. So going to a Neurologist right now is impossible. I am checking out a school not far from here that focus's on CAPD, SID and Autism, hoping that will be of some help. Ty also got expelled from after school care today which creates another problem of no where to go after school...working on that situation..... I am going to the library tomorrow to finds those books also.. Thanks again...
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 12:47pm
Everyone here gave you wonderful advice about getting a neuropsych evaluation. I would also jump on that bandwagon and say the same.

As far as his meds go - other than the adderall - all docs have SAMPLES. You call your doctor's office and say, okay, we lost our insurance and I cannot manage his meds because of price. They should be able to help you with everything but the Adderall. AdderallXR is pricey. Shop around, see who can give you a deal on it. Also contact Shire Pharmaceuitcals direct. They may have a program to help you pay for these. You never know. It's worth a shot.

Now to get him evaluated, you're on the right track. Some universities and such have good clinics for things like this. A lot of what you described my son also did at your son's age (mine's now 15). And right now they're pretty sure he has Asperger's. But with that head injury at 2.5, I'd be looking for some major workups. See what's around that's free. You just never know until you start looking. Call your local hospital (teaching hospital is better) and explain your situation. Call your local child psych hospital. I've found that many of them have fabulous systems to deal with kids. (and again, some don't!) but ask around. Call the school and ask who they refer to. You may find a doc who can help you out or will greatly reduce fees for you. Bargain with them. I negotiate fees all the time and I have insurance! (never ever pay full price for a doc - the insurance companies pay them less than they bill, there's no reason you should pay full price!)

There are ways to do this - you just have to know how to get around the systems. If you tell me what state you live in, I can help point you in the right direction.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 10:37pm
Thanks for the great info... I called the Dr and got a 7 day supply of the Zoloft, Seroquel and paid for the Clonidine out right because it was only $9.87. The Adderall is the problem but the Dr is getting me a coupon for a 21 day supply from the rep she has. I also got her to right the 4 RX's so that I can take a drive down to Mexico this weekend (3 hrs away) and see about getting them filled. The prices there are a 10th of what the are here... I have some research to do online in the next few days to find out about assistance for the DR and Counseling... I'm in Arizona and the state funding is pretty low. Thanks again... Tracey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 09-04-2003 - 7:13am
You know, I thought of another thing, how did your son get that head injury? was it in a car, or at home? Did you file a claim? It may still be covered by the old polocy. If his issues are related to the head injury.

I know my cousin had a baby that was injured during birth and her issues came out later in life. She was able to file a claim later. Like years later. You could call the insurence commisioner of the state (the state he was injured in) to find out what the law is in his case.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2003
Sat, 09-06-2003 - 1:22pm

Wow! you do have a lot on your plate. The suggestions for the Rx's are great. I had to work with some pharm. companies regarding my elderly in-laws and I found them to be very helpful!

I am not sure where you live, but there are a few things that come to mind about evalutaions.

1. try the local college where there are Ph.D. courses in neuropsychology. See if they would be willing to take a look at your DS and make recommendations. They might be able to narrow down what is going on. Also, the cost might be close to nothing. Also, they may have or can refer to, some kind of educational system that might benefit your DS.

2. Look into the medicaid system. I am not a big proponent of state funding, but you clearly have a medical and financial need here. Your son would need to have a verified disability (looks like you have a case here--and it being the result of an injury...) This would cover the meds and some evaluations. It is not a perfect system and wont cover every test and proceedure, I am sure, but it will help with the meds and the doctor visits. You will need to be diligent on this one. Medicare can be a hastle to get, but I encourage you to try it

3. Look into a Traumatic Brain Injury Unit at your local hospitals. They may be able to evaluate or at least point you in the right direction (i know in NYS, you have to have a head injury after the age of 18 to be considered a brain injured person....prior to that, a child would fall in the Developmental Disabilities category)

4. Investigate your local chapter of Association for Retarded Citizens. (this is an old name and not real PC anymore so your local chapter might not be called this anymore. i dont know where you live, but all states have at least one chapter.) They may have a medicaid funded outpatient clinic that can evaluate and refer or possibly even treat your son. They will take medicaid and possibly other insurances.

5. Look into the autism possiblilies. He may have developed autistic -like tendencies because of the injury or because of some predesposing issue. That could be the cause of the 'group' problem he has and/or the distractability, etc. Your local chapter on Autism might help in that vein.

6. Finally, look to your local college again and see if you can find some students (male might be best) who are looking to get experience working with children with behavioral issues. The psychology department, social work department, nursing department, etc. might have some students you can hire to be your son's buddy ("big brother style"). Now I know this might sound odd, but if you can get a repore going with the two, it would give your son a positive social experience, a student some experience and you and your DH a chance to sit quietly together, go shopping, do the laundry, etc. I encourage you to get and take the chance to recharge your batteries. You have a tough job and lots of research ahead of you :-) if you need help with research or locating local chapters of the groups i suggested, let me know ( and I would be glad to help you. In my prior life (ie pre marriage and pre adoption of 2 special needs kids), I was a clinic coordinator for the local Arc in Rochester, NY. finding funding sources and referal was my business. I would welcome a chance to help anyone I could--even a bit.

Best wishes!! Isn't this board a great source of info? It has helped me quite a bit and I am fairly new here.