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ADHD October 7, 2008

Posted by linnic in Diagnosis.
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Here is a great blog post about ADHD, and much of it can be related to bipolar as well.  It is posted by Cool Cat Teacher and is her take on a presentation by Dr. Shepard.  Please go read “Get out of that wheelchair and run“!

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What to do June 10, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior.
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I feel like we have turned back the clocks to last October, a point when my son’s tantrums were at an all time high.  He has been very unstable since summer started.  We have had to give a PRN for behavior and had to do more restraints in the past 2 weeks than in the previous 6 months combined.  He is completely destructive, extremely aggressive, and defiant.  Then he will turn around and be the sweetest kids ever.  We have had to walk on eggshells lately.  Today he damaged the shower doors in my bathroom- will have to replace a piece he broke, he damaged a regular wooden door, tore the window shades down and crumpled them up, and put bruises up and down my legs.  NOTHING seems to be working right now.  We did have a med change and I thought that was helping a bit, but maybe not.  We are on a physical and emotional roller coaster all day long and I am completely exhausted.  I don’t know where to go for help or what to do.

I signed up with a yahoo! group of some other parents of BP kids, but haven’t been accepted just yet.  I am hoping that conversing with other parents of young kids with BP will help.

Wordless Wednesday June 4, 2008

Posted by linnic in Humor, Wordless Wednesday.
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Not sure if you can read this too well, but it says:

“By the time I think about what I’m gonna do…I already DID it!”

Spray paint- AGAIN! June 3, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior.
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I THOUGHT we had gotten rid of all the spray paint in the house, but boy was I wrong!  My son found a lone white can and resprayed his car!  I am so furious with him.  I have now taken the chargers for both cars and locked them up for at least a week.  I am trying to decide if I should make him scrub the car clean again- obviously it did nothing to deter him.  I know he is impulsive and that is part of the ADHD/bipolar, but geez!!

Things this summer have been terrible!  We have had to restrain and punish like crazy and NOTHING seems to work.  He has had everyone in the family in tears; including my parents!  I don’t know what to do with him! I am completely at my witts end.  We called the Dr and she wants us to give him a few days on the new medicine, but I’m not sure how much I can take.  We had 4 hours of bliss today because he went to an anger management group for that time.  I wish it would have been all day long.

We have started a positive reinforcement chart in which he can earn happy/sad faces, and then gets a prize if he has so many of them.  Right now, he is earning a face every 30 minutes and if he gets 10 out of 12 by 1:00 then he gets a prize.  Then in the afternoon/evening if he earns 12/14 he can get a prize.  So far he has earned one prize in the past 6 days.

He had been doing so much better before school let out and now we have fallen down the mountain.

Concerta June 3, 2008

Posted by linnic in Medication.
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We have decided to try concerta on my son.  He had been on Metadate with a booster of methylphenadate in the afternoon.  Even with the booster, we were not making it to bedtime with out meltdowns.  Our Dr felt Concerta would offer a more stable dosage of medication.  We shall see.  We began the medicine this morning.  There is always a level of anxiety for me every time we make a med change.  Will things get better?  Worse? or stay the same?  Time will tell.

Summer- UGH!! May 28, 2008

Posted by linnic in Uncategorized.
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I’m not sure we are going to survive summer!! My son and daughter were at Grandma’s this weekend and came home Monday.  Since then they have both been home.  We are in the midwest and have had constant rain since last Thursday, which means we have been trapped in the house.  Yesterday was one episode after the next; today isn’t much better.  My son’s defiance has been horrendous.  The outbursts haven’t been much better.  Yesterday we actually had to give him a PRN of Risperdal and Benedryl just to get him through the day.  I haven’t had to do that in months now.

I am getting pushed to my limit.  He always acts worse with me.  It doesn’t matter if I shower him with attention for good things or take it all away when he acts up.  It sure makes me feel worthless as a mom.  So many times in the past two days I have wanted to get up, walk out and not come home.  Of course I would never do that but I sure feel like it at times!!!

I would love to find a good online support group for kids with severe ADHD, bipolar, ODD and the like.  Do you know of any??  Please leave a comment and let me know if you do.

Is it bipolar? May 18, 2008

Posted by linnic in Diagnosis, Resources.
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If you are concerned that your child may have bipolar, or if you are not sure, The Bipolar Child – What to Look For is a great article to read. It talks about how closely related bipolar and ADHD are in children but lists a few distinguishing criteria:

  • ADHD kids break things carelessly while bipolar kids tend to do so in anger.
  • ADHD kids calm down in 20 to 30 minutes while bipolar kids tend to rage for hours.
  • Children with ADHD are triggered by overstimulation while bipolar children typically react to limit-setting, such as a parental “no”.
  • ADHD children are often unaware of the danger of their behavior, while bipolar children tend to be risk-seeking.

I would highly encourage you to read the full article.

ADHD vs. Bipolar April 25, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, Diagnosis, Resources.
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I just found a great article discussing the similarities and differences between bipolar disorder and ADHD in children. I have included an excerpt from the article below. Visit http://www.adhdnews.com/bipolar.htm for the full article. I simply can not believe how well some of this describes my little guy!

By Dr. Charles Popper

Similarities

Both disorders share many characteristics: impulsivity, inattention, hyperactivity, physical energy, behavioral and emotional lability (behavior and emotions change frequently), frequent coexistence of conduct disorder and oppositional-defiant disorder, and learning problems. Motor restlessness during sleep may be seen in both (children who are bipolar are physically restless at night when “high or manic”,though they may have little physical motion during sleep when “low or depressed”). Family histories in both conditions often include mood disorder. Psychostimulants or antidepressants can help in both disorders (that is, depending on the phase of the bipolar disorder). In view of the similarities, it is not surprising that the disorders are hard to tell apart.

Differences

So what features can help in distinguishing these two disorders? Some distinctions are obvious.

1. Destructiveness may be seen in both disorders but differs in origin. Children who are ADHD often break things carelessly while playing (“non-angry destructiveness”), whereas the major destructiveness of children who are bipolar is not a result of carelessness, but tends to occur in anger. Children who are bipolar may exhibit severe temper tantrums, during which they release manic quantities of physical and emotional energy, sometimes with violence and property destruction.

2. The duration and intensity of angry outbursts and temper tantrums in the two disorders differs. Children who are ADHD usually calm down within 20-30 minutes, whereas children who are bipolar may continue to feel and act angry for over 30 minutes and even for 2-4 hours. The physical energy that a child with ADHD “puts out” during an outburst of anger could be mimicked by an adult who tries to “enact” the tantrum, whereas the energy generated by angry children who are bipolar could not be imitated by most adults without reaching exhaustion within a few minutes.

Copyright adhdnews.com

The Beginning October 24, 2007

Posted by linnic in Diagnosis, IEP, Medication.
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My son was born 5 years ago and from the beginning, had more energy than his body could handle. By 5 months, he was doing “tummy scrunches”. He would lift his head and feet up off the floor while lying on his back. He did this so much, his little tummy looked bloated!

Later we hit the terrible twos. He wasn’t much different from any other toddler. He had way more energy than mom and we were forever chasing him. He had temper tantrums like any other boy his age. Unlike many boys his age, these tantrums never improved.

When he was 3 he started preschool. Within 6 months he was being sent home for hurting others. We sought counseling. Things kept getting worse. His tantrums became unmanageable and we had to physically restrain him. I have a background in special education and had been trained to deal with severe behaviors that required physical restraint. Soon we were restraining daily. We sought out a psychiatrist to begin medication. Soon, things at school were not good and he was asked not to return. We sought testing for special education placement. So far we were told this was ADHD (a severe case) and Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

Testing showed he was gifted in math. No surprise there. At 2 years he was able to add and subtract in his head, although he had no idea what math symbols were. He was placed on an IEP and into a special education Pre-K. With med adjustments occurring monthly, things still weren’t right. He completed the program and we had a nice summer. That brings us to the present.

This year my son started kindergarten. His first few days were great. We were in the process of finding a new house, and moved about a month ago. This set us into a downward spiral that we are still in the middle of. At the beginning of October, he had an episode at school in which he was restrained for over an hour, the decision was made (by me and the school personnel) to call in a community police officer to help transport him to a crisis center. A hospitalization at a pediatric psychiatric hospital followed. That had to have been the worst 5 days of my life! Since we have had med changes, and finally, what I consider an accurate diagnosis. The diagnosis of Pediatric Onset Bipolar Disorder was given last week. Since then I have done a TON of research and things are finally making sense. I see the mood swings that he is cycling through at the incredible rate of manic to depressive within minutes.

I decided to begin this blog as an outlet for myself and hopefully as a resource to others. I have not yet found a support group, but am looking for one. Until then, and even after, I plan to use this blog to post my thoughts, research and insight.