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We live in Texas. My child is 5 years old and an only child. I was a single mom up until 10 months ago. From the age of 9 months until 3 months ago I was the only one caring for and raising my child. We recently moved back to the city where my family lives. The only supporter has always and only been my boyfriend (who I've known for 10 years). My family is in no way supporting me in all this. I get no calls or texts to check on us. I've reached out to them from the start and still no one helps, gives me a break or anything.

I started noticing behavior issues around when he was 2 years old. I reached out to an ECI (Early Child Intervention) program. It started due to delay in speech. So I brought up his behavior issues to our ECI case worker. Also he wasn't around other children until age 3. I wasn't sure if the behavior was a whole different situation. They weren't just tantrums. I literally couldn't be on the city bus, appt or go to the grocery store. My son would swing, scratch, bite and even yell from the top of his lungs. It was horrible and embarrassing. I couldn't do anything. There was always an adult trying to intervene or question my parenting. If I ignored the things my son would do adults would give him attention or say "he's just a kid". If I tried talking to my son to calm him down they disagreed if I told him no or say something to me as if I was the bad person.

At 3, my son was in public school. Placed in a Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) class. I was scared for the teachers and students, but they did great with him. They saw the potential in him. He hit, bit, pulled hair, threw objects, destroyed the class on two different occasions. When put in a time out on a bean bag it would take him 15-20 minutes to calm himself down. Screamed, kicked and threw himself on the ground.

At age 3 and a half I went to seek help because I had people question if he was possibly autistic. He got evaluated, he was not autistic. I then noticed the quick mood changes and anger. I thought maybe he was bipolar. They told me he was too young to evaluate him for bipolar, they could evaluate him for that at 7.

Last year around April, I got referred to have him evaluated for ADHD. The doctor who evaluated him for ADHD said he shows signs of both ADD and ADHD. He was then put on low doses of Risperdone and Adderall. About 5 months ago, I took him off both medications. My son is way too energized. Even his teachers were informing me he was way too hyper every morning.

Now my son is at a new school. New teacher. New surroundings. Big change from the other city. I understand it will take him time to adjust to the big change. But his routine is still the same. Same rules apply as they did in the previous home.

It took us 3 years to stick and make the routine work. But now it's like he forgot it all. My son is in bed by 7:15pm every night. No sweets (unless it's a piece of cake at a birthday party or a lollipop every once in a while). When he doesn't listen or misbehaves I make him stand him on the wall for 5 minutes. Now I send him to his room which he hates. We took his toys and TV out his room. We sometimes reward his good behavior with the TV or a toy or two. I even made him a treasure box for good behavior.

But lately he's been talking back, making grunt sounds, refusing to listen, wetting the bed all over again. Ignoring us or saying "I don't like you." or "I hate you.". He comes home from school telling half truths or making stuff up. For instance, two weeks ago he said his teacher said, "If you don't want to be at this school, fine go to another school see how other teachers treat you." The next day I went to the school and asked the teacher about what he said. He said my child told her, "I don't want you at this school. I don't like you."

He tells the teachers all kinds of rude stuff. I gave his teachers a heads up about his behavior, the lying, picking, and choosing to see who will let him get away with things. And now when I correct his bad choices or behavior he gets an attitude and says "I'm gonna tell on you." Basically he throws his teachers at us. Because of course the school staff aren't his parents, he assumes he can do whatever he wants at school. He gets stickers, maybe a toy from a treasure box or popcorn. He's eager to go to school because he sees it as "play time".

I feel like I tried everything. Like I'm desperate for any advice or ideas on how to get the behavior controlled, stop the wetting on the bed. Stop ignoring us, talking back, and show respect. I love my son so much it hurts me to be treated ugly. All I ever want for him is to be happy and know we care. Not an angry rude boy. A happy loving 5-year-old. Please help us.

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    Why did you choose to take him off the low doses of Risperdone & Aderall? Did they help at all? Was the doctor involved in that decision? Did you continue to see the doctor that prescribed them? – Dave Nelson Sep 30 '15 at 16:59
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    The meds were low doses & were increased a little 3 times. They weren't helping. His teachers even noticed he had excessive engery. Way too hyper in the mornings. And eating habits were changing. As in eating less or lack of appetite. Now he eats everything & even asks for seconds. I did not inform the doctor because the next step & only otber option she recommended was steroids. I never ever wanted to put him on meds but k needed him to focus & control his behavior at home & school. We are going to be taking him to a doctor & seeing if theirs any other evals or resources to help him. – Christine Oct 1 '15 at 12:55
  • Christine, thank you for your answer to my comment. – Dave Nelson Oct 1 '15 at 19:28
  • Being diagnosed with ADHD myself, I don't see why the doctors would diagnose him given what you described. How many specialists did you take him to when you tested him for autism? – Brandon Thomas Van Over Dec 5 '15 at 8:37
  • Did his behavior at his old school improve with their interventions? – rfornal Nov 24 '16 at 21:11
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I'm wondering if your son was misdiagnosed with ADHD. The Resperdone should calm someone with ADHD and only stimulates someone who doesn't have ADHD. If the diagnosis was made by a a professional whose specialty is ADHD, it is likely correct, but if it was your family doctor or someone with minimal knowledge and exposure to it, it could be wrong. Doctors usually rule out the most common causes, it's a step by step process, so it probably would have been a good idea to have gone back when you knew the meds weren't helping. The next step may have been steroids, but if that didn't work, there would be another. You mention that you are planning to go to another professional for diagnosis. You might consider getting a psychological evaluation. They might be the quickest and most helpful choice for you and your son. Your son's school might be able to arrange for a psychological assessment. Many schools do, as it helps them too because they are very detailed and give advice on how to best manage his behaviour and motivate him.

  • I was diagnosed and medicated for ADHD in 4th grade. But there was a lengthy set of tests done first by a doctor that specialized in such issues. It is important (to me) to know that my diagnosis was not based on my parents perception of my behavior, but on a doctors observations of my behavior. Some of the general symptoms of ADHD are simply things children sometimes do, which is why a professional seeing the behavior is important. ADHD seems to have become a very common diagnosis, which makes me fear that is is sometimes a misdiagnosis. All of this is to explain why Im up-voting this answer – OrangePeel52 Sep 7 '16 at 15:18
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Have you tried pressure and things like sunglasses and earplugs or noise reduction headphones? Pressure is deep hugs or pressure clothing. You could make a small safe place that touches your kid on all the sides he wants. We made one from a cardboard box and put carpet and padding inside. We kept making it smaller until our student said it was good. He entered through a 'swinging door' and he could latch it from inside. It was cardboard so we had no fear of his getting stuck. That student was non-verbal but definitely could make his opinion known.

I taught behavioural students and autistic kids for 30 plus years. I will not do you the disservice of diagnosing over the internet. This sounds like conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), or perhaps depression but I doubt it is depression.. I think you should try another doctor.

Meds sometimes help, but if your child is hypersensitive to stimuli then I highly recommend and I suspect that he needs extra help. It can make a world of difference to reduce light, sound and things that sound nice, like light touch. I've witnessed children go from not being able to cope at all, to being capable of learning academic work and sitting at a desk.

In fairness to all, this stuff is really hard to diagnose and help isn't in a 5 minute article or doctor visit.

http://www.mytjacket.com/the-science-behind-it.html

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If a 15-20 minute time out in a bean bag worked, then if you can replicate a safe place for him to desensitize. Keep the same routine at home and maybe have his new school call his old school and see if they can carry over some of the routines that helped him.

Some kids have issues with light or need pressure to help keep them under control (like a weighted vest).

If that doesn't help you might want to consider a mental health evaluation. I'd ask the school if they know of any community groups or folks that might be able to babysit to give you a break.

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