New here - 8yo DS with PTSD/RAD/ADHD/and ?? (long)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2003
New here - 8yo DS with PTSD/RAD/ADHD/and ?? (long)
20
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 7:26am

Howdy :) I'm Kristin, a single mom of Aryc (8) and Nate (6). Aryc has been diagnosed with PTSD (abuse and neglect from his dad, which is why I'm now a single mom with primary custody 9 months out of the year), RAD, and mild/moderate ADHD, and life-threateningly severe asthma. (In fact, we were just in the ER last night - second time in 2 weeks - because this attack was so bad that he was turning blue!) We just turned new Vanderbilt scales in to his therapist and will hopefully get the results within the next week or two. People with autism experience have also suggested that he may be mildly austic, but that hasn't been tested yet. (I'm working on getting him tested once we find out what the Vanderbilt scales have to say.) It is also entirely possible that all of this is co-morbid with bipolar, as both his dad and I are diagnosed bipolar, and I have been since I was 6. Nate has sensory processing disorder, severe developmental delays, and educational autism. I'm working on getting him to be officially tested/diagnosed ASAP.

Life at our house is...challenging. Aryc really struggles with flips in his behavior and attitude. One minute he's the sweetest, kindest, funniest, most empathetic kid you will ever meet. And then, usually out of seemingly nowhere, his whole body changes -- the look on his face, in his eyes, the way he carries himself -- all changes, like a switch was flipped. He gets hostile, brooding, depressed, lashes out, is destructive. Right after the diagnosis he was put on Geodon to stabilize his moods and calm him down. While he was Geodon (after only 2-3 days) he tried to physically pick up Nate and throw him into oncoming traffic on our busy street, then 10 minutes later, attempted to slit his wrist with a steak knife - while glaring at me. Then 20 minutes later, he was fine, like nothing had happened. Right around that same time, he tried to kill the cat by breaking its neck and back. He's a kleptomaniac and a compulsive liar, with a serious bed-wetting problem. He's disruptive in school -- his teacher most mentioned him throwing his desk to get attention during quiet moments, making noises to distract the class, and overly physical behavior to gain attention, such as leaving the room every 10 minutes (literally) to go the bathroom to play with the water in the sinks, or getting out of line to run around the hallway, etc. He has no IEP (yet!!) and is in a regular classroom with one teacher and about 20 or so other kids. He has a helper/tutor come in for about 45 minutes a day for specialized help with reading and math (both poor subjects), but it's not specifically addressing these issues in conjunction with the studying.

I love him sooo much and I really don't want to seem like I'm complaining about him or making him sound like a monster. He's not!!! But in order to be honest and get the help we all so desperately need, I do need to be honest with where we're at and what we're dealing with on an almost daily basis.

Life is stressful enough as-is right now: I'm recently unemployed and living off our $400 a month in child support, which isn't paying the rent and only barely covering keeping our lights on. Childcare is pretty much non-existant for the types of jobs I'm qualified for (no degree yet...I flunked out last semester because of diversion of attention for the kids' issues), which makes finding a job that much more difficult and stressful. Family feels this is attention-seeking behavior on my part so people will feel sorry for me (that's from his dad) or a lack of discipline on my part (that's my side of the family, which lives close and interacts often...when they have the patience for it). Nate's issues are getting worse and he's starting to regress. And out of necessity, I have taken on my friend's 4 yr old son for good chunks of the day, and he has behavior issues of his own, which exacerbate my kids' issues. /sigh

What I'm working on: education, understanding, and tolerance!!!! There was a link posted giving the basics of some of the lesser acknowledged components of ADHD. WHAT AN EYE OPENER!!!!! I had NO idea that some of the klepto and lying issues, among other things, were part of the ADHD! (They may also be part of the other things he's dealing with, but at least I have a starting point and stop thinking that he's just a "bad kid"!) He's home sick today so I will be using this time to cuddle and spend time with him, and specifically to have short conversations about how his world looks through HIS eyes...something I've never thought to find out before now. I'm really excited to learn about him in this new way! I'm also trying to gently educate my family and his dad. I pray they really take in what I'm sending their way and start using new ways of interacting with Aryc and me. It's sooo hard on Aryc when he's obviously struggling with things, let's just say the noise making, and my dad comes down hard on him for purposely being annoying, and "that's why people don't like you", and yelling at me for "allowing" him to act like that. It's tough on everyone and only makes things worse.

I would love to A) get the official diagnosis so we have a true starting place, B) get good Christian (or really sound secular) parenting resources for children with these special issues, C) get educated about what he's dealing with so I can stop being so angry and bitter, and D) teach (by resources and example) how to better interact, encourage, and deal with their special situations.

Thank you for your patience with my long post. I look forward to looking around and learning more from you amazing women! :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2008
I would absolutely get a comprehensive diagnosis before using any meds, and make sure it is thorough. IF he has BP, it HAS to be treated before anything else.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2003

That's what we're looking at. The tough part is that his symptoms can look like quite a few disorders, so narrowing it down might be difficult. I thought I heard something about DNA or brain scans or something that can almost conclusively prove BP, but I doubt those are covered by my public health insurance.

Honestly, I'm scared to try him on meds. The docs know a lot, but it's still hit or miss, an inexact science, because of how his body may or may not respond. And how it'll permanently alter his growing brain and body... It makes me nervous! But at the same time, his violent outbursts and stealing scare me more. He got the cops called him a few months ago. His dad thought someone had stolen his credit card because there was almost $400 of "erroneous" charges on it. Turns out, Aryc had snuck out the game controllers that had been hidden and charged that much worth of games on Xbox Live to his dad's card. When his dad found out, he called the cops back and said it was all a mistake, it wasn't a stolen card. Lesson learned, but now Aryc has to earn the money back to pay his dad. That's no small amount for a 7 year old to steal!! He thinks it's funny to hurt small animals and can't be left alone with the cat. (We're looking for a new home for our cat, for his protection.) The scariest thing is how it switches, and how visible it is in his face and body when it seems to switch from "good Aryc" to "bad Aryc", as he calls it.

Talked to his therapist yesterday about the Vanderbilt scales and the findings were all consistent. His teacher rated him as high as you can go in impulsivity, hyperactivity, and dishonesty/stealing. No official results yet (at least, not that he would say over the phone), but I go in soon to discuss it and find out what's up. Once I get that, how do I properly submit them to the school for consideration in his 504/IEP? I submitted the official request yesterday by certified mail but that's all I've heard about it so far.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Hi Kristin, welcome to the board! I'm glad you found us, it's so important to have a place to go to for support with people that can relate to what you are going through. I hope that they can get some definitive diagnosis, so you can get him the help he needs. (((HUGS)))

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

Your child's disorders are FAR worse than ADHD & ED.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2011

Sam,

Its always great to see you give advise - without giving names you know me - "A" just turned 24 a week ago - has 3 more classes to get his Bachelors and the darn kid still lives at home

I still talk to Stacy via email - she has 2 grandkids!

Glad the girls are okay based on other posts you

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

Hey Dee--I'm gonna be a grandma too, in about 10 weeks!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2011

Can't find it - give me link - congrats on new baby coming

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2003

It has reached crisis point, and the situation continues to degrade. I drew up and notarized the contract today, and it just left the post office towards its destination. The boys are going to live with their dad until the end of summer 2013. Nothing is going through the court system at this time, but we'll re-evaluate that in Aug 2013 to see if enough progress has been made with Aryc (8) to have them return here, or if he should keep primary placement.

The Vanderbilt results came back and all they found was ODD. There is no medication for that. There are no "helps" for that. It's simply a behavioral management issue. If I can't get thru to him and every single thing I do exacerbates the situation, I obviously can't help with the behavior management. But his dad and that support system CAN make a difference. (Plus, financially, they can support the boys and I can't.) So the tally is: PTSD (a counselor), RAD (same counselor), ADHD (pediatrician, but not on official med documents), and ODD (new counselor).

Once he gets, notarizes, and returns one of the copies of the contract, we will set the day for him to fly out and pick the boys up. So no solid plans are made for that yet, just the wheels set in motion.

This is by far the hardest decision I've ever made. Also the easiest because I know it's better for them in the long run than staying here until the situation completely implodes and there are serious, permanent consequences. I'm relieved, scared, angry, and very very sad. But I really feel this is what I need to do for their best interests. I've been debating this decision, praying about it, getting wise counsel, seeking resources to avoid it, and doing the best I know how...for over a year now. But I've come to the realization that this is what it will take.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2011

I am not a doctor - but this is just way more than ODD

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