Blended Families

SS- ADHD but maybe more? How to...

So, my SS is 9 years old, soon to be 10. He has always had issues with social interaction, communication, behavior, etc. Since I have known my DH for 4 years, we have thought maybe ADHD. Now that we FINALLY got BM on board, he was diagnosed back in April. The thing is, I think there is something more there. I was not at the appointment. What I understand is it was very much BM and DH saying the symptoms. Dr. met with him once and he was done, diagnosed, and given meds. 

The thing is that BM originally didn't want to do this, she thinks he is a perfectly normal boy. Although she does realize he is having difficulties that her 4 yr old SS doesn't have. We took 4 years to convince her to get him help. And even know she tells him not to take his meds, because he doesn't need it, etc. BM isn't that great anyhow, she is lazy, prefers to sleep than watch them, etc.    

Anyway, I am leaning towards Asperger's Syndrome. Granted, I am no doctor, I just have had experience with teaching kids with autism. But reading through site after site about symptoms, misdiagnosis of ADHD, and talking to some colleagues who have more experience...all leading to this thought.

Granted, I haven't spoken to my DH about this, but the issue is how to tell BM and get him more help. His meds aren't helping. He really is just getting "worse" so to speak. He needs help. I just don't know what to do. I am not his mother. And during the school year we only have them EOW.  

My DH will take some talking to, he is very protective, but he wants what is best. But he is very "whimpy" with his ex. He just lets her make decisions and talk crap. She only makes the decisions with everything about their medical care, if they have insurance, when they go to the dr/dentist, etc. He has tried to have say, but ultimately she just argues, and he doesn't like to argue.  

Any ideas? Any advice? Yes, my DH should get a backbone, but how to help her see this? I could be wrong, which is fine. Just his meds aren't working anyway, because he is just getting more anxious, etc. So, he needs help anyhow.

Re: SS- ADHD but maybe more? How to...

  • If the meds aren't helping, ADHD may not be the issue.  However, it could just be that it's not the right med or the right dosage.  He may also need other interventions which should be addressed with the school or a psychologist.  I'm not sure what your DH's rights are medically or educationally but if he's concerned, he needs to step up.

    As for Asperger's, I can't attest to whether or not he will be diagnosed as such.  Do realize that it's easier for you to face such a diagnosis than BM or DH.  This is their baby and Asperger's is not something he'll "get over".  It's a lifelong thing.  There are stages of grief related to noticing a disability and denial is one of them.  My DH still struggles with acknowledging SS's autism - he regresses back to denial every time life changes.  Be supportive but not pushy or you'll push him away from it completely.  Also, school staff can address his struggles without a diagnosis.  If he has been diagnosed with ADHD, he may qualify for special education services.  Under an IEP, he would receive educational, behavioral, and social assistance.  He may also qualify for a 504 plan where he could also receive this type of assistance without the IEP or pull-out programming. 

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    "To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue...gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness."
  • agree with cheerilee.  if DH has joint legal custody he needs to just step it up (trust me I KNOW its easier said than done) I can't believe his teachers haven't said anything? is DH involved with the school/ parent teacher conferences etc? Its possible he can get tested for a learning disorder through the school I believe.  Since BM is so defensive about it (I get this too, trust me) maybe she needs to hear about it from multiple sources.  your dh, the teacher, etc. 

     

                           
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  • Well, how do you know the meds arent helping if he isnt taking them?

    Why dont you and your H take him to  a neurologist? He doesnt need her permission to take him to  a dr.

    BUT if she isnt on  board and consistant it wont matter.

  • imagemagsugar13:

    Well, how do you know the meds arent helping if he isnt taking them?

     ***very true! During the summer we have them every other week. At our house, he is has to take them. This medicine works by taking it when needed, not a build up in your system kind of deal. The meds don't work for him because it makes his anxiety worse, which is a draw back. Then his social awkwardness, motor skills, and communication (of course) doesn't change, the only thing the meds do is make him talk less. 

    Why dont you and your H take him to  a neurologist? He doesnt need her permission to take him to  a dr.

    ***this is where I am unsure what we can do. We have joint custody, but she carries the insurance (she won't allow us to have a copy of the card or have him on ours). DH is scared of her calling on a lawyer and going to court to battle. 

    BUT if she isnt on  board and consistant it wont matter.

    ***exactly! I think ultimately it will never matter what we think. 

    Thanks ladies! Very helpful! I know this is a tough road, but I won't push it. I just hate I can't do anything.  

    To answer another pp, His teachers have told us possibly ADHD, but they really don't know what to think or recommend, but to go to a professional. Also, last year the teacher pretty much only talked to BM and so we have no idea what the teacher told her. Although, we know of her continual letters home and frequent phone calls to BM, helped us get to take him to a professional for ADHD.  

  • imageIPmama:
    imagemagsugar13:

    Well, how do you know the meds arent helping if he isnt taking them?

     ***very true! During the summer we have them every other week. At our house, he is has to take them. This medicine works by taking it when needed, not a build up in your system kind of deal. The meds don't work for him because it makes his anxiety worse, which is a draw back. Then his social awkwardness, motor skills, and communication (of course) doesn't change, the only thing the meds do is make him talk less. 

    Why dont you and your H take him to  a neurologist? He doesnt need her permission to take him to  a dr.

    ***this is where I am unsure what we can do. We have joint custody, but she carries the insurance (she won't allow us to have a copy of the card or have him on ours). DH is scared of her calling on a lawyer and going to court to battle. 

    BUT if she isnt on  board and consistant it wont matter.

    ***exactly! I think ultimately it will never matter what we think. 

    Thanks ladies! Very helpful! I know this is a tough road, but I won't push it. I just hate I can't do anything.  

    To answer another pp, His teachers have told us possibly ADHD, but they really don't know what to think or recommend, but to go to a professional. Also, last year the teacher pretty much only talked to BM and so we have no idea what the teacher told her. Although, we know of her continual letters home and frequent phone calls to BM, helped us get to take him to a professional for ADHD.  

    Please look into meeting with the school psychologist at the very least...  Truly, if your SS has a disability (ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, a learning disability, anything) he needs help ASAP.  If you wait until it's too much to handle, you miss out on SO many progress opportunities.  Regular educators generally take ONE special education course and ONE course that addresses behavior management.  Sometimes, behavior management is even just a unit in a course - not a full course.  Social skill instruction isn't in the course line up for teachers.  I'm not saying this is the case at ALL universities, but it is at a great deal of them.  I've now been involved in one way or another within the education department at close to 10 universities.  This has been the case at all 10 and they were pretty evenly spaced across the country.  

    I have taught special education and was a behavioral/autism consultant.  I am currently working on my PhD within the realm of special education but focusing more in behavior disorders.  I also have a SS with autism.  Kick, fight, and care less about how BM will react and more about what SS needs to get him services if that is what he needs.  A proper diagnosis is the first step. 

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    "To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue...gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness."
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