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Old 02-14-2004, 11:35 PM   #1
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Kierdalt HB User
Please, we need help!

Our youngest son is 8 years old. We have had him on Ritalin RA, Adderal, Straterra and currently back to Concerta 54 mg over the past 2 years. He began to further decline this year with uncontrolled behaviors in school. He has outbursts, refuses to do class work and hides under his desk. He has no friends as he frightens the other children with his outburts (per the teacher).

He's had problems with insomnia and weight loss. We have modified his diet to weed out food dyes, processed foods and have changed to "natural" cleaning products.

In December, he stated he "didn't want to live anymore". The Dr. referred us to a psychiatrist and he placed him on Zoloft in addition to the Concerta. He has become so out of control and angry, I stopped to Zoloft because I felt his behaviors had hightened since the introduction of the drug.

He hates school and constantly says he wants to be kicked out to the point of stealing and lying. When asked why he did it, he states "I was hoping they would kick me out". He is an extremely intelligent child and we have urged the school to challenge him more. I feel he has actually gone backward in his intellect due to not receiving an appropriate education.

The school calls us at least twice a week to pick him up early because "he won't cooperate". We are at such an impass with the school, we have retained an attorney. He does have a 504 Plan and I have requested a CSE meeting to be scheduled for an IEP to be discussed.

We have recently had him tested for Asberger's/Autism, which the results were negative. We have scheduled an OT evail for the near future.

We feel so hopeless and frustrated. I am watching my loving, artistic and brilliant star fade away. I am willing to try anything. I have read your thoughts on beCalm'd and I have also looked into Attend/Extress. I am not sure which would be the best? I have also looked into PlayAttention. Does anyone have any feedback? Is there anything else anyone can suggest? At this point, the drugs haven't worked and he is worse. Please, if anyone has any suggestions we would be so grateful!

Many thanks in advance...from upstate, NY

 
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Old 02-15-2004, 06:15 AM   #2
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Re: Please, we need help!

Oh, Kierdalt, my heart goes out to you. It is so hard to watch our little ones suffer; I can only imagine what you must be going through.

My suggestion is this. I think he needs a *really* thorough psychological evaluation. Not just 30 minutes or an hour with a psychiatrist (that's how it usually works around here, anyway), but a thorough battery of tests with a psychologist. A thorough learning evaluation would be a good idea, too. Hopefully, he's had a good physical as well. {Does he have asthma/allergies? Has he been tested for lead poisoning? Is his blood sugar stable, etc}

The fact that he hasn't responded to any of the ADD medications makes me question the ADD diagnosis. Or perhaps, there is something else going on with the ADD. ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) sounds likely. I'm also wondering if there's any bipolar disorder in the family; given his reaction to Zoloft, I'd consider that as a possibility as well.

Something needs to be done with the school. I'm glad you have a meeting scheduled. I think your son needs to be "special ed" either based on his ADD (as an "Other Health Impairment"), a learning disability if he has one, or, as a last result, as emotionally disturbed. He's not getting the education he needs if he's being sent home early from school. Your school may need to consider either 1) hiring an aide to work 1-on-1 with him in the classroom or 2) placing him in a separate classroom for a while. It Texas, it's called an "AB room" - adaptive behavior, I think it stands for. Usually there are 2 -5 kids in it with 2 or 3 teachers. They are doing schoolwork, but the main focus is modifying behavior until these kids can function in a regular classroom. By the way, what does CSE stand for?

I'm hoping others here will have some suggestions for you as well. In the meantime, you'll be in my thoughts and prayers...

 
Old 02-15-2004, 08:38 AM   #3
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Re: Please, we need help!

What was he like before you put him on the drugs? What is his diet like?
Does he take vitimins? Omega 3 fatty acids are very good for disorders in the brain. Do you think the drugs may be the problem?
Good luck to you, I hope you find something to help..

 
Old 02-15-2004, 09:50 AM   #4
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Dear Maggie HB User
Other thoughts

Quote:
He's had problems with insomnia and weight loss. We have modified his diet to weed out food dyes, processed foods and have changed to "natural" cleaning products. In December, he stated he "didn't want to live anymore".
These things are things that remind me of those exposed to 2-butoxyethanol (aka ethylene glycol monobutyl ether). If the child wasn't were either of the parents prior to his birth? Such as being a 'gulf war syndrome' or an Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup worker? This is the chemical of harm for the EVOS workers FOR SURE and also one of the exposures of the 1990-1991 Gulf War Vets (& other military, too may I add for the past 50+ years)

Insomnia for these would be indicative of nervous system damage.
Weight loss could be an indication of liver damage for this group.
Suicidal tendancies is also indicative of nervous system damage for these.

No sense fighting the school. They obviously need a lot more help to do right by your child, and isolating him will make him feel rejected on top of everything else. He could skip a year or do home school until other things are understood.

Usually medications/drugs make things worse for this group.

Please check my other posts as this is the only topic I usually reply on - those that could have some cause/effect from the chemical that is used all too often in our country & which unsuspectedly harms many, many people.

Another thought: Did any of these symptoms start recently? What was going on then? Maybe something new in his environment or something to do with a new medication is complicating his situation? Did you move to a new town, did he sleep in a freshly painted room; or did you add new carpet?
Quote:
* Children absorb greater concentrations of pesticides (poisons) per pound of body weight through inhalation, ingestion and contact with the skin.
* Children are more likely to play on treated floors and grounds.
* Because many pesticides (poisons) are heavier than air, children’s breathing areas are likely to have higher pesticide (poison) concentrations.
* A child’s biology is different. Their immune system is less developed and may be less protective.
* Children are extremely vulnerable to classes of synthetic pesticides (poisons) that mimic naturally occurring hormones or enzymes.
Is a new type of manufacturing going on in a nearby community? The additives to high octane gasoline were ordered out of the State of Alaska some years ago, and people's health improved. How about your water?

Last edited by Dear Maggie; 02-16-2004 at 04:09 AM.

 
Old 02-15-2004, 05:41 PM   #5
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Coopersmom HB User
Re: Please, we need help!

Is there a hospital in your area that can help you out? I have a friend who was having the same problems with her 7 year old. I believe here in Dallas it is the Scottish Rite hospital but they WILL get to the cause even if it means keeping the child in the hospital for six months. This is what happend with my friend and her son stayed at the hospital for eight months (they have a school there) until all tests had been done and they had him on the right meds for what was wrong with him. Her insurance covered part of it, the hospital covers the rest.

Your son needs some long time evaluation. My heart goes out to you and I will hold your family in my prayers.

 
Old 02-15-2004, 06:27 PM   #6
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Re: Please, we need help!

i FELT LIKE I was reading about my son. he is 7 and im lost in how to help him. we are trying concerta and a small amount of ritalin added to see if it helps, but he's been on it less than a week and i see some changes that are cocerning me, his temper and impulsisivness is 100% worse. I hope you find the answers you need, and hang on.

 
Old 02-15-2004, 08:48 PM   #7
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Kierdalt HB User
Re: Please, we need help!

Thanks for all of the replies! I am overwhelmed by your help and kind thoughts!

CSE stands for Committee for Special Eduaction here in NY State. He currently has a shared aid and does go to a small group setting to complete his class work on his 504 plan. As far as a learning disablilty, he is an avid reader and has excelled in all subjects. He feels the work he currently has to do is "boring". He prefers to read science books while the rest of the class is doing their work (which irritates his teacher and feels he is being uncooperative). We are having an OT eval done to look for Dysgraphia and sensory issues in the near future.

He's had a physical recently, though I am going to call his pediatrician and ask for some additional blood work to be done. Thanks for the suggestions to have his sugar checked, lead screening and I will look into drug level testing to make sure he isn't toxic. I will also ask about the 2-buxtoxyethoral. My husband isn't a Golf War vet and I am not sure what EVOS stands for? The only thought I have is that I am a Clomid baby(fertitlity drug used in the 60's & 70's) and a twinless twin.

My husband works for the local hospital and they don't have any services available in this nature. We had to go an hour away for a psychiatrist because no one here treats children this young.

There is no Bipolar Disorder on either side, though I am treated for depression with medication alone. I had an extremely stressful job, which I left and soon will be d/cing the med I am on.

His behavior was the same prior to the introduction of any ADHD med. His ADHD diagnosis came from a psychologist 2 years ago. His behaviors seemed exacerbated by the Zoloft, which prompted me to take him off this past week. He seems better in the past few days and not so aggitated, but he hasn't been in school since I took him off (holiday long weekend). He's asked me to rock him to sleep again, something he hasn't done in a long time.

I wish I could home school him and ultimately that is what he wants. He asks to be home schooled regularly. But, financially we just can't do it. I am the major bread winner and my husband doesn't have the patience to home school him.

The only other thought I have is during his melt-down this past week, he did say there has been another child "hurting" him on the playground. He does have a vivid imagination which leads me to wonder if he is really being bullyed or if this is another attempt for him to leave school. In any event, I am going to check it out. He's stated that he acts up in the mornings so he won't have to go to playground in the afternoon. He has told me many times before that he knows if he is the worst he can be in school, the sooner they will call me to pick him up. Sometimes I feel like I am grasping at straws, but if I make alternative arrangements for playground maybe that will help to calm him down.

I have been reading on the Omega 3. I am very willing to look at suppliments as a replacement for the ADHD meds, since they don't seem to work or help for a very short period of time. Any feedback on beCalm or Attend/Extress? Anyone with kids like mine had any success? Has anyone tried or have any feedback on PlayAttention?

Thansk again for your support and suggestions! We are very appreciative!

 
Old 02-16-2004, 05:53 AM   #8
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Re: Please, we need help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kierdalt
He's stated that he acts up in the mornings so he won't have to go to playground in the afternoon. He has told me many times before that he knows if he is the worst he can be in school, the sooner they will call me to pick him up. Sometimes I feel like I am grasping at straws, but if I make alternative arrangements for playground maybe that will help to calm him down.
I don't think you're grasping at straws, at all, Kierdalt. I think you are an intelligent, caring mother who is researching every possible avenue to help your son. My hat's off to you.

Antidepressants made my ADHD son extemely manic. It took a few weeks for him to settle back down. So, hang in there. If the stimulants are making his behavior worse, you might want to consider tapering those off as well. See what the OT has to say. If you feel he is underchallenged, have him tested for the Gifted and Talented Program (or whatever it is called there). Many, many ADD kids are also gifted.

I'd also share with the school your comments that I quoted above. They need to 1) keep a closer eye on what's happening on the playground and 2) stop rewarding his behavior with leaving school early.

Now, that I'm rereading your first post, I'm wondering about his behavior outside of school. How is he at home? Are his hyperactivity and inattention problems ONLY at school?

 
Old 02-16-2004, 09:46 AM   #9
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Re: Please, we need help!

Hi Index,

Thanks for the reinforcement! It has been a long haul, unfortunately too common with many families.

He is hyper at home, though we can direct his energies and find things of interest for him to do. Play games, paint, draw, read, playing outside etc. The Concerta does seem to help him at home within a few hours of taking it. Though, I am not sure if it is the medication calming him down or if he just has a chance to burn off his excess morning energy. By afternoon, he is calmer. He is challenging in the way that he is a sponge for knowlegde and is a constant "why and how come" kid. He does need to be challenged and kept an eye on or he will get himself into trouble...

Two major issues that developed in December (after the introduction of Zoloft), we had a structure fire at the end of our street where, unfortunately a man passed away. My son developed an infatuation with fire and we caught several times playing with matches. This was even after we had swept the house after the first incident for anything he could start a fire with. He was looking for matches or lighters at other's homes and sneaking them home. We had an intervention with a fireman living down the street and we are hoping he is through with this curiosity.

The other issues was, he began sneaking and hiding food/drink in his room. We have an open food policy in the house and the boys can eat pretty much what they want, when they want. We keep healthy foods and snacks available. He was sneaking downstairs after bedtime and taking food back to his room, then hiding it. I would find it in the morning, stuffed in his bed or drawers.

One very positive note, he is sleeping! Yes! After d/cing the Zoloft he has been sleeping much better (until 11am this morning!) and I haven't found food in his room either.

Other ideas I've been looking at...His brother is a green belt and he is going to start Karate this week as well. I am also looking into massage therapy and chiropracty as additional options. I have also read keeping live lavendar plants in a bedroom helps with sleep. Please let me know if you have any other thoughts.

He is good when we go out in public for shopping or out to eat. He also is no trouble for my parents, when he spends time with them. He engages in nothing that I would consider abnormal for an 8 year old.

Yes, we have been struggling with the school. I have told them several times they have assisted him and rewarded his behavior by calling us to come and get him. It is exactly what he wants. So why would he stop or cooperate? They've helped make this problem...they are going to help solve it. I am looking forward to the Special Ed meeting coming up. We have retained an Education Specialized Attorney to make sure the IEP goes through smoothly. We have tried everything to keep everything on a "nice and friendly" level. It hasn't worked.

Thanks again for your help and please let me know if there is anything else I should be trying...

 
Old 02-16-2004, 10:49 AM   #10
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Re: Please, we need help!

Kierdalt, sounds to me like you've got all the bases covered! Let us know how the Special Ed meeting goes...

Just one final thought. I don't think it's any coincidence that your son's behavior got worse, including the food sneaking, after the fire in December. I think that was really traumatic for him. I still remember, very clearly, the first fire I saw that was close to my home. I was in first grade. It was at the site of a home that they had just started building. It rocked my world to think that my house - the center of my very existence - could be destroyed by fire. It had never occured to me before. No one was hurt and there was very little damage done, but I still had nightmares for months. I can only imagine how knowing that someone was killed by fire so close to home must have scared your son.

If he didn't see a counselor, a few visits might still be a good idea.

Keep us posted. You're definitely on the right track!

 
Old 02-16-2004, 12:59 PM   #11
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Re: Please, we need help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kierdalt
Our youngest son is 8 years old. We have had him on Ritalin RA, Adderal, Straterra and currently back to Concerta 54 mg over the past 2 years. He began to further decline this year with uncontrolled behaviors in school. He has outbursts, refuses to do class work and hides under his desk. He has no friends as he frightens the other children with his outburts (per the teacher).

He's had problems with insomnia and weight loss. We have modified his diet to weed out food dyes, processed foods and have changed to "natural" cleaning products.

In December, he stated he "didn't want to live anymore". The Dr. referred us to a psychiatrist and he placed him on Zoloft in addition to the Concerta. He has become so out of control and angry, I stopped to Zoloft because I felt his behaviors had hightened since the introduction of the drug.

He hates school and constantly says he wants to be kicked out to the point of stealing and lying. When asked why he did it, he states "I was hoping they would kick me out". He is an extremely intelligent child and we have urged the school to challenge him more. I feel he has actually gone backward in his intellect due to not receiving an appropriate education.

The school calls us at least twice a week to pick him up early because "he won't cooperate". We are at such an impass with the school, we have retained an attorney. He does have a 504 Plan and I have requested a CSE meeting to be scheduled for an IEP to be discussed.

We have recently had him tested for Asberger's/Autism, which the results were negative. We have scheduled an OT evail for the near future.

We feel so hopeless and frustrated. I am watching my loving, artistic and brilliant star fade away. I am willing to try anything. I have read your thoughts on beCalm'd and I have also looked into Attend/Extress. I am not sure which would be the best? I have also looked into PlayAttention. Does anyone have any feedback? Is there anything else anyone can suggest? At this point, the drugs haven't worked and he is worse. Please, if anyone has any suggestions we would be so grateful!

Many thanks in advance...from upstate, NY
His sleep/weight loss problems are a result of medication since these are typical side effects. Stimulants can cause depression as well according to new studies. I don't know how he was before drugs, but it is clear the drugs have worsened his condition, that is if he really had one to start with. Since kids are given these drugs with no definitive biological tests to determine a biological cause, it really becomes a matter of theory and brain experiment. It's up to you whether to continue the drugs, but slowly weaning off (there could be withdrawals) and going with more harmless things like Omega 3's could work wonders.

Also, I've heard of some special natural supplements for ADD that are supposed to be a more natural avenue for those people who don't do well with meds.

Getting him involved in martial arts may be a plus. My son not only learned self-defense, but it's vigorous exercise and they also teach about disipline and taking care of the spirit. My nephew(who was diagnoised ADD) also benefits from it. He had adverse symptoms from both Adderall and Strattera so his parents decided to get him off drugs completely.

 
Old 02-18-2004, 07:50 AM   #12
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Re: Please, we need help!

I have to agree with whoever suggested childhood-onset bipolar or ODD - these can often cause behaviours similar to impulsive and uninhibited AD/HD behaviour, as well as mood swings and aggressive behaviour (in particular in reaction to restrictions or being denied something they want).

An increase in "hyper" and aggressive behaviour in reaction to Zoloft or Strattera is often seen in bipolar patients who were misdiagnosed with AD/HD.

Both of these as well as CD (conduct disorder) will show more deliberate aggressive, defiant or malicious behaviour than in AD/HD alone, where such behaviour is usually done on impulse rather than planned/with malicious intent.
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Last edited by Redhead23; 02-18-2004 at 07:57 AM.

 
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