11 year old with PDD-NOS

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2010
11 year old with PDD-NOS
8
Sun, 06-20-2010 - 11:29pm
I am just finding this board for the first time. Our 11 year old son was recently diagnosed with PDD-NOS. He was also just hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation related to stress at school. His doctor put him on zoloft and also wants him to start taking risperadol to help him control his episodes of being stuck and his anxiety...I am pretty freaked out. He has had some difficulties in school in the past, but 5th grade has been the WORST. I can't imagine what things are going to be like when he goes to the huge middle school this fall. anyone been there? Please advise!!!! I am having a lot of trouble dealing with this. I cry all the time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2010
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 9:05am

Hi, and thanks for replying. What is your school doing for your son? It might be helpful for me to make more suggestions to our new school as the year moves along. I hate to be grim, but I'm just anticipating that this year is going to be the worst yet. I don't know which stuff is just general puberty issues, etc, and which stuff is the ASD. I don't know how much or how far to push my kid. I don't want him to end up in the psych ward again. It was a horrible experience for all of us.

Kristin

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 8:25am

Hi and welcome to the board. I do not have time to do a very long post as I am trying to do a gazillion things at home and work before we leave on vacation, but I have an 11 year old who is also starting what you would call middle school (we call high or secondary school) next term - Euan has Asperger's Syndrome, and wasn't diagnosed til he was 8 so we have had a lot of struggles with school. We do now have an absolutely tremendous amount of support from the school and his new school so as that develops I am hoping to be able to share some of the ideas about what works, because we are seeing a huge and positive change in both Euan and his school reports.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2009
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 5:34am

Hi!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007
Mon, 06-21-2010 - 7:59pm

The single most helpful accommodation my son has in his IEP is access to a computer for all writing. It made a world of difference not only in his grades, but in his behavior at school as well. We also went through a period of severe perseveration. The slightest setback would send ds into a rapid downhill spiral where everything was wrong, life was horrible, nothing could ever go right... We and his therapist spent a long period of time helping him understand that he can control his own thoughts and he is capable of stopping the slide and moving on. After 4 plus years in therapy this has improved tremendously. He still is prone to go negative very quickly but he also has some skills to pull himself out of there. It is a very long process . When more things started going right(mostly the school finally "getting" him) it made it easier for him to be more positive. Just like with the meds, you may find that you have to try several different types of therapy or activities before you find the one that fits for your son. Each child is different. Not all therapies or therapists are the same. If one thing doesn't work you can switch to something else. Also what doesn't work at one age might be successful a few years later. This "club" we find ourselves in requires a ton of patience and is definitely not for the faint of heart : )

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2010
Mon, 06-21-2010 - 2:35pm

Hi, thanks for replying. After a long, hard fight, we finally got the school to give our son a 504 plan at the very end of the year. This was his first year in the district and he didn't have one at his first 3 schools (we've been moving around a lot due to changes in our family). The plan seems to be a good one, and they will follow it at the middle school as well. I have already met with their special ed team to talk to them about our boy. I just wish there was a way to make things easier for him. He has some friends--not close relationships, but people to interact with occasionally when he chooses to. His grades and academic skills seem to be right at grade level except for writing--he hates it and usually refuses to do anything but the bare minimum. This has caused a great deal of stress and conflict in his school career. He also has a lot of problems with being bullied in places where there is not a lot of structure--bus, playground, etc. Sometimes he exacerbates his situation with odd or inappropriate behaviors. He has been seeing the social worker all year for stress and social skills help. He was enrolled earlier this year in a social skills group at the local hospital. he hated it, so after the 10 week session was over, we didn't sign him up again. ironically, he seems to have the most problems getting along with other kids who have issues similar to his--is this unusual??? also, any thoughts on how to get a kid with PDD-NOS to stop perseverating so much and to be able to have a normal, give and take conversation? The social skills group didn't help. I don't know how much to coach him before he gets annoyed with me.

Kristin

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
Mon, 06-21-2010 - 7:54am

Hi and welcome to you. I hope you will post more and let us help you out. Your son is the same child you have always known and loved, but you are now learning more about him and even though it does not feel like a blessing now, it truly is.

My own son is almost 13 and dx'ed PDD-NOS, but he has always been in private special needs school for high-functioning kids and has never been mainstreamed. You have a son who until now didn't even have a dx, so I wonder how he has been able to manage all this time! The biggest question is what has been undermining his self-esteem so severely. Does he do well academically? My son has always done so, but some kids really struggle with organization and focus. Does he have friends at school? This is always a bigger question for our kiddos on the autistic spectrum, as missing social cues can be a real problem,and often making and holding on to friends is a lifetime challenge. How does he do emotionally, and behaviorally? Does he sometimes have huge upsets? This can be for sensory reasons, and often our kids are confused about what is required of them.

I just want to send you some hugs and let you know that this is the beginning of really finding out what makes your son tick so that you can help him cope. Our own son has been in talk and social skills therapy for years now and has made lots of progress, esp. in making friends and in self-regulating his behaviors. He is now on some medicationa as well, and we had to try several different combinations before we found what is working very well for him at the moment. He was on Zoloft for a few years, but the effectiveness wore off. Every child is different, though, and sadly there is no way to know in advance which medications will work without trying them.

The advice of the previous posters to contact the school now is right on, as it is important to have the school be your partner in helping him cope. They will need to do their own evaluation, but they do need to take into consideration the findings of your doctor.

Stick around and feel free to post often. This is a safe place to vent, and there are many moms here with lots of BTDT advice.

yours,

Sara

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007
Mon, 06-21-2010 - 4:35am
Hello and welcome to the board. I totally agree with Molly. If your son doesn't have an IEP you should try to get that rolling right away. It may be tough at this time of the year
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2003
Sun, 06-20-2010 - 11:59pm

Hi and welcome.

Molly