I just found this board, and have not had a chance to read all the posts. I thought I would introduce our family. Our ds is Stephen, and he was diagnosed at the age of 8 with PDD. We always knew something was different about him. We kept going to different neurologists and psychiatrists to no avail. At first they all told us that he was spoiled and undisciplined. I knew that some of it was true, but not all of it. He is our one and only child. Spoiling comes by nature, and the other does happen in our household.
But we kept asking ourselves how does being a late talker, refusing to play with other children, constantly talking and entertaining himself, and trouble learning have to do with being spoiled. Once he started school, he was clearly labled as the "class trouble maker." I knew this was not my child. I was called constanlty to the school for dis action. We had to be present for the paddling. This happend twice. We then removed him from this school, and placed him in another school. Stephen was in preK when all this happened. The other school was better tolerant since most of the other children were three turning four. We thought our problem was over, and he was just slow.
We agreed to hold him back another year, and let him be five in the four program. He started to thrive friend wise, and was loving this class.
We moved into Kindergarten, and Stephen stopped still in the learning process. We started speech thepary, and was first told that something was there, she really could not put her finger on it. We were sent to the districts doctor who agreed, but could not identify with it. We moved on again spending money on a tutor. This helped some, and first grade we went into.
Stephen fell so far behind so fast. The other children were reading, writing, and doing math. We just stood still in our tracks trying to find out what in the heck was going on. He was still in speech thepary. One of the other mothers told us about a neurologist in another town who worked wonders. It took us four months to get an appointment, and went into the office with some expectations. He explained to our about autism, and that Stephen almost fit the mold. The extreme effection towards dh and I, and the fact he was verbalizing on "major scales" as he called it, did not fit the profile. He told us Stephen was mentally retarded. We left feeling better, but still did not believe that this was not the right DX.
The temper tantrums started or rages as I call it left the dh and I in a torment. Our marriage began to suffer as well. I began to wonder if the first doctor was right about Stephen not being punished correctly was the problem after all. This left us at rock bottom. We were too embrassed to take him anywhere. He constantly entertained himeself by talking to other children with us who never extisted. He would throw the biggest fits of screaming and hitting us if he did not go or get something he wanted.
Finally someone in our church told us about a physician in a larger town who works with children like Stephen. We made another appointment, and paid this clinic 600.00 for a person to be with Stephen all day long testing, talking and playing. We dropped him off at 8am and returned at 5pm.
He finally told us that even though he sits on the fence, he has all the qualities of PDD. He told us that a psychiatrist comes to our town every three months, and is great with children like Stephen. We were thrilled and saddened at the same time. Once we got home, I just cried all night long. I was so releived that he was not MR, but were are entering a whole new world yet to be understood.
We finally met with the psychiatrist who placed Stephen on risperdal and paxil. This really helped the behavior. He was like a whole new chld. I finally felt like we were beginning to have our life back.
We pulled Stephen out of the private school in the second grade, and placed him in a public school in our district in special education. We realized very fast that he was not learning. He could not read, barely write, and math was not existent. When third grade rolled around, Stephen was 10, and we decided to pull him again into a new program. Homeschooling. A small church in our community was going to have a private homeschool program. Children could go everyday just like a normal school, but learn in a homeschool enviroment. We jumped at the chance.
Stephen thrived in this program. He was finally learning to read and write, and make friends. He does get picked on some, but we expect this from children. I know this sounds harsh, but children will be children. He has very slow motor skills, but his teacher tries her best. He loves going to school, and is doing very well. He is now on the lower 6th grade level, with a first level in Math. He makes the AB honor roll, and has some frinds.
Stephen has had a very long hard road, and so have we. We still deal with the anger issues and the overly affection. The medicine is a lifesaver. He takes 20 mgs of Paxil a day for the Social anxiety disorder and the 1.25 mgs of risperdal for anger and sleeping. We are about to start concerta for the ADHD. To most families we are a happy normal family on most days, little do they really know our nightmares. Our road is still going and winding everyday.
It is nice to have others who are along for the ride. I cannot wait to read all about everyone and their journeys.