Just ADHD or more? Lengthy post
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November 18th, 2013, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I need opinions and I don't have anyone else to get them from.
My son Christopher has been diagnosed with ADHD since just before he was 7. We suspected it for some time prior to that, or at least I did. His father, now my ex-husband, didn't want to believe there was anything wrong with him. He has also been diagnosed with a non-specific learning disability, and anxiety disorder. I recently had him evaluated for Asperger's, but that was a no-go. It's very difficult for a psychologist to see in a one hour session in a clinical environment what I see at home. I just feel like there's something going on besides the ADHD. He's extremely immature for his age. He's 12, but most of the time he acts about 6 or 7. Intellectually though, he acts smarter than his 14 year old brother, Steven.
He's got a very violent temper and when he gets upset, he cannot control his impulses. He will hit or push or scratch (I have a hard time getting him to sit still for me to cut his nails, and I swear they grow about a quarter inch every night!) his brother anytime he says something that makes him mad. Very recently, Steven called Christopher an ugly potato (what does that even mean??) and he scratched Steven's face so bad, a clerk at a gas station actually asked if he had been in a car wreck. We have tried every "punishment" we can think of, from spanking, to time outs, to grounding, to taking away privileges. Nothing works. If we confine him to his room as a consequence for misbehaving, he will destroy things or write on the furniture.
He is also extremely sensitive, and gets upset over very minor things. I recently fussed at him for eating ALL of his and some of his brother's Halloween candy. It was a Saturday morning, and he hadn't had his medicine (Vyvanse, which works wonders) yet. I started to get it out, and he informed me that he wasn't going to take his medicine and I couldn't make him. I calmly told him that if he was going to act like that, he couldn't live with me. This was the first time I'd ever said anything like that, but he started screaming about how I hated him and I didn't want him because I was always telling him to leave (again, first time I'd ever said that). I tried explaining to him how the entire family bends over backwards to make him happy, giving him examples of things we did for him that we didn't have to do. None of it sunk in. He went storming out the door still screaming about how everyone hates him, and we all wish he would go away. "Everyone hates me" is a very common theme with him. As is running out the door. Thankfully, we live out in the country and he has plenty of room to wander around and very few neighbors to see his outbursts. He always comes back in after a little while and acts like nothing happens.
One time we were at a restaurant that had ping pong tables, and he had a paddle in his hand. I don't remember what was said, but I said something that made him mad and he acted like he was going to hit me with it. Another time, more recently, he was mad/sad again and got a knife out of the drawer. I made him put it back, and it was just the plain knife that comes with flatware (we call them butter knives, but it's bigger and slightly sharper than a true butter knife), but it was still a knife, and he has access to sharper, more dangerous knives. At his age, it's difficult to keep things where he can't get to them. I asked him later what he was going to do with it, and I never really got an answer. He went to counseling for a while, but he hated his therapist and wouldn't listen to anything she said. I didn't see the point in him continuing. There's only one other place close by, the county mental health center, and I've been reluctant to go there, because if I do, he'll have to stop seeing the behavioral/developmental pediatrician he's been seeing since he was diagnosed. The mental health center has told me if they see him for counseling, then they want to see him for everything. I'm about to the point where if it will actually do some good, I'm willing.
At school, he behaves ok for the most part, although he has had some minor issues with his teachers in the past. He receives academic support, and we both love that teacher. He is graded with accommodations, and takes tests in small groups. His grades for the first quarter were mostly Cs, with one D in social studies, and I can't fault him for that. His social studies teacher doesn't really "teach" he just basically shows them the material and lets them sort it out on their own. I have met him and am not fond of him, but the teachers teach in "teams" at that school, and in order to change social studies teachers, he'll have to change teams. He likes the rest of his teachers, and I don't want to make him change all his teachers because of one subject. He doesn't make friends easily, and some kids pick on him. This happens mostly on the bus, but the school is over 10 miles from our house, and I don't have the money to spend on gas to drive 40+ miles a day just to drop him off at and pick him up from school.
Since about the time he started school, I've been in school or only working part time, but I've recently started working full time, second shift. I only see him for about an hour in the mornings during the week. I leave for work before he gets home from school and I get home after he's in bed. My husband takes care of him and his brother the rest of the time. This is turning out to be more difficult than I originally thought it would be. With my current work schedule, I can't take him to counseling without pulling him out of school, and I really don't want to do that. He struggles enough with his work as it is. I went to the social security office today and made an appointment to apply for SSI for him. I applied once before, shortly after he was diagnosed, and was turned down. I didn't pursue it any further at that time, but his temper tantrums (for lack of a better term) have gotten worse since then, and he has had some therapy, so I'm hoping that her notes will help his chances, unlike last time when he only had the developmental/behavioral pediatrician's records for them to go off of.
I guess what I'm asking is does this sound like typical ADHD behavior, or do you think there are some other problems as well? I'd appreciate any feedback.
Last edited by litlcntrygrl; November 18th, 2013 at
. Reason: Hit the wrong button and posted before I was finished
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