PDD-NOS, Bipolar, ODD?? (sorry long) | Autism PDD
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PDD-NOS, Bipolar, ODD?? (sorry long)

[QUOTE=emerald_521]

 We both know children's isn't the place to be! 

[/QUOTE]

IMO - Milwaukee Children's Hospital is not the place to go if you are seeking an ASD diagnosis for your child.  I have heard this from teachers, therapists, and other parents. 

They do have a good speech clinic, and of course they have OT and PT. 

We also went their for hearing evaluations for both boys.

No you don't sound like a crazy person at all.  I've been there and will be there again.  My son had some sever behaviors and he calmed down amazingly when we started efa's I can't get him to take them anymore and the behaviors are starting to come back.  My son was agressive and hyper and....But there have been physical things we had to take care of first like getting tubes in his ears and my son also used to gag himself until he threw up.  That went away after we had his adnoids out.  It was worse than even the ent suspected almost completly blocking the back of his nose.  He had constant runny nose and ear/sinus infections which he was put on constant antibiotics which messed  up his gut.  He also had acid reflux.  With the reflux meds and the probiotics and l-carnitine and efa he was doing really well behavior wise, but like I said he is refusing the efa's so he is not as calm as he was. 

I live in fear of what his future will be like but it seems like almost everything behavior wise could be traced back to some sort of physical thing.  Even if only in hind sight.  He is nonverbal so can't tell us how he feels except through behavior.

I wanted to say the autistic behaviors can come in cycles.  My son's did. Behaviors can even cycle with the seasons.  I would not be so quick to say he is bipolar until EVERYTHING else is ruled out.  With a dx like bipolar Dr.'s will want to put him on a lot of meds that may make him worse if that is not what is going on. 

zayzer39363.4250462963[QUOTE=WIMomOf2][QUOTE=emerald_521]

 We both know children's isn't the place to be! 

[/QUOTE]

IMO - Milwaukee Children's Hospital is not the place to go if you are seeking an ASD diagnosis for your child.  I have heard this from teachers, therapists, and other parents. 

They do have a good speech clinic, and of course they have OT and PT. 

We also went their for hearing evaluations for both boys.

[/QUOTE]

That was our first step was the hearing test and thats the only test we did thru childrens. I have heard horror stories about childrens for autism diagnosis.

emerald - it does sound like bipolar to me, just because the mood
and behaviour can be categorized into little "chunks" of time, you know?
If it was autism driving this, the behaviour should be more random, and
not so patterned, imo.

I've known a few people now with bipolar and asd. The asd makes it hard
initially to pick out the bipolar - it's kind of the first thing you see in the
person. As for meds helping, the people I know with bipolar and asd
aren't as helped by the meds as those with just bipolar or those with just
autism. The two disorders kind of counteract eachother in treatments,
both medication-wise and behaviour-wise. It gets easier when they're
older, according to Donny's psych and neuropsych - after puberty their
metabolism kind of levels out and it's easier to find the right med combo.

While bipolar disorder, like adhd and asd may be over diagnosed in
children, from what I've seen, bipolar disorder is certainly not
overdiagnosed in autistic children, at least not in Canada. I had an
incredibly hard time getting a mental health professional to even consider
evaluating Donny for a secondary mental health diagnosis. They all said
"he's autistic, we could never say for sure that we weren't just seeing
autistic symptoms". It wasn't until Donny's personality did a total 180
and he was thrown out of school and beating the crap out of me and
himself that FINALLY someone said what I'd been saying all along, "gee, it
looks like he's bipolar"

It's taken over a year of living with full blown bipolar symptoms, and 8
months of living with an official, correct, diagnosis for us to finally be in a
place, as parents, where we can manage Don's bipolar symptoms. We
finally have figured out the right response to each behaviour during each
mood that will work and keep the peace. It's taken just as long to
get the right med combo, or as right as it gets for now, anyway. Donny
takes a total of 1mg Risperdal, 1000mg Depakote, and 100mg Seroquel
per day. We do NOT have an effective medication to give Don during
meltdowns - he has an atypical reaction to meds given when he's
agitated. They either don't work, or make things worse. And in answer
to what you asked about, wouldn't ativan help if the behaviour was driven
by psychosis, etc. as well as if it was seizure realted - yes, it would. I
know many people who have Ativan as a "PRN for agitation" (PRN means
as needed).

In regards to charting - you should be able to ask Mason's regular
psychologist/psychiatrist for this. The chart is legal-sized, and a little
bubble form that covers 31 days. You document if the child's appetite
was normal, less than, or more than, and the same for their energy/
activity level. It also charts things like any aggressive acting out (verbal
or physical), number of hours of sleep, naps during the daytime, bowel
movements, and a spot for notes such as "had a cold", "not regular
teacher", etc. This format is widely used because it's very concrete and
objective, and makes patterns clear.

HTH

Holly, yes the seizure meds are usually meds that are used for bipolar too, but at different levels.  for example when we are using depakote for seizures we keep his level around 80-90...when we tried it to help behavior they added more pills and had his level around 120.  Problem was as we raised the depakote the behavior only increased.  I thought for sure she would say then it meant he didn't have bipolar, but she just said it wasn't the right med for him.

We tried a few others, and now have just recently started lamictal.  Right now because his depakote is failing to control his seizures we are looking for seizure control, so I honestly don't know if the lamictal needs to be at a higher level for mood than it is for seizures.  I do know that the long term plan is to hopefully remove both the depakote and zyprexa and hopefully go just on lamictal, but that is going to be a lengthy process.  I will ask more though about the lamictal and what levels are needed to help with moods.

Zayzer, I don't know what efa's are.    I'm so bad with abbreviations, lol.  But I do understand what you are saying about making sure everything else is ruled out before we say that it's something that can only be treated with meds.  I think that is the hardest thing to deal with and why I'm so overwhelmed and confused by all of this!  I can't imagine how hard it can be for you when your ds is non verbal.  Mason has speech and it's so complicated, even when he can express some things to us.

Thanks for all your help everyone!

EFA's----Essential Fatty Acids.

Fish Oil Capsules

My son was dx'd bipolar at 5y. At 6y--it was HFA and Bipolar. Between 5y and 6y----he was on so many meds. He ended up OK with lithium, tegretol, risperdal combo. It wasn't wonderful though. No side effects---but he behavior wasn't "cured".

When he got the HFA dx at 6y---I took him off all meds. Risperdal had to be added back within 3 months. 3 more months later I wanted to try something for his impulsiveness. We had tried the stimulants and his anxiety would go sky high! We tried strattera and he has not been the same child since! He has been on this risperdal and strattera combo for over 1 year now and he is not the same child as he was a few years ago.

I don't regret trying the bipolar meds. It's what needed to be done at the time.

Since your child has seizures anyways---isn't he already on anti-convulsants? That's what is used as mood stabilizers and lithium. Antipsychotics for aggressiveness/violence.

At 7y--my son got the bipolar dx ruled out. (he shouldn't be doing so well on strattera if he was bipolar)

I wanted to add that the just heard something on bipolar in kids on NPR
and the doctor said that kids that get a bipolar diagnosis as kids do not
necessarily grow up into bipolar adults. !!!! In my limited brain that might
translate to 'than maybe it is not bipolar to start with'. Really unless a kid
is a danger to self and others do not sent them to a psychiatric hospital.
They do not deal appropriatey with developmental disabilities and they
are too fast and furious with medication.[QUOTE=emerald_521]

Amberwaves--I think the thing the dr is talking about as being bizarre are his tendancies to lick everything, and his need to mouth and gag himself.  At one point in the eval he referred to these as bizarre behaviors..."Mason exhibits some bizarre behaviors, such as trying to stick toys down his throat to induce vomiting.  Mason was licking his mother throughout the session. I see these as fairly psychotic symptoms."

[/QUOTE]

What?!!!  I'm quite certain it's a sensory issue.  It's even addressed in the book "Raising a Sensory Smart Child."  My youngest went through a phase where he licked and stuck his fingers down his throat.  There was a boy in his class with ASD who liked to mouth and lick the seatbelt on the bus.  I don't understand how the doctor saw this as psychotic.

[QUOTE=WIMomOf2][QUOTE=emerald_521]

Amberwaves--I think the thing the dr is talking about as being bizarre are his tendancies to lick everything, and his need to mouth and gag himself.  At one point in the eval he referred to these as bizarre behaviors..."Mason exhibits some bizarre behaviors, such as trying to stick toys down his throat to induce vomiting.  Mason was licking his mother throughout the session. I see these as fairly psychotic symptoms."

[/QUOTE]

 that is an sensory thing, SID. Both my kids do licking of toys and sometimes me. Take him to an OT, another some psychologists have no idea about sensory integration.

   That reminds me Last year I took J. to a uneducated psychologists and I told him about her, licking, toe walking,flapping, echoing her pdd questionarre and he goes do you even know what autism is? Yes I do and he goes let me tell you.What an ace! I'm really thinking about turning him in and he didn't even have AS paperwork. He had no idea what was wrong with her. Then I found out this year that my dad's side does have Asperger's. 

 I took her in to a dev. ped that work at the childrens hospital in Denver and watching her in action (spinning, flapping rep speech, lack social Q's, hyper) He walked back in with the 2 AS questionnaire's.  J results were in the red area, she had AS. That can explain why she scores so high sign in the brain pdd test 158.

amberwaves39363.4162152778

Personally I would not accept a dx of bipolar at your son's age. Especially since he has pdd as some of the symptoms overlap.  You would think that if he did have bipolar the meds would work better.  Meds don't always work well with pdd.  I would find a Psychiatrist that specializes in autistic disorders.  He has seizures also which can affect behavior. Another reason not to accept the bipolar dx right at this moment.  I read an article recently that said that bipolar disorder is being over dx in children.  What can they do for him in a psychiatric hospital except totally traumatize him.  Unless he is a danger to himself or to other people that should not have been even suggested.

 

You and your gut are your childs best advocate. Keep all your reports from this jerko doctor and get rid of him. I know Mason's has been through alot of docs and evaluations but I bet the right one is out there for him. Don't give up and keep doing the great job your doing.

It seems like you posted previously that this Dr. mad his assesment in about 20 minutes? That is hardly long enough to diagnosis all of those conditions! And I agree with Donnys mom that alot of autistic behaviors do look bizarre if you ar enot used ot being around autism. I am so used to  C's stims that I sometimes forget that not everyone else is, KWIM?  I think you should get a second opinion.Good luck and I hope you find some answers soon.

 

(((hugs)))

I was just thinking of something that no one has mentioned yet, could a lot of these behaviors be caused by subclinical seizure activity?

I know with Zachary we've come to learn the different causes of his completely out of control behavior, whether it's due to him being hungry, tired, or underlying seizure activity.  We're learning much of it is due to underlying seizure activity.

Do you use ativan at all?  Sometimes Zach goes into these extreme hyper moods, where he is giggling and seems very happy, but he is entirely non-responsive when we try to get his attention (it can go on for hrs).  This is one of the times we use ativan, and it brings him right out of the behavior and he's able to focus again. 

It's hard when epilepsy is a part of autism, as it's sometimes very difficult to separate the two.  Of course, it never helps that the neuro usually knows very little about autism, and the behavior docs know very little about seizures.  In Zach's case we've found many drs along the way find it's much easier to blame everything on autism, and do nothing to help.

Zachary's behaviors are very difficult, and never once have any of our drs. suggested he needs to go to a pshychiatric hospital (he's 7 yrs old).  This dr would scare me too.

Good luck.

 

 

Zayzer...that seems to be the one thing that I keep asking myself...why aren't the meds really helping?

Mason does have these mood swings.  They are just so bad sometimes...I look and look for a reason and just can't find it.  And I am starting to see what Donny's mom referred to as cycling.  He seems to go in these spurts, but they last a week to a week and a half.  He can be in a good mood, but it's more than that.  When he is actually a happy child, he is wild!  And I'm talking so hyper and absolutely no attention span.  He is destroying the house, not because he is angry or mad, but just so unbelievabley hyper...and along with this I would say is his worst time of defiance.  I just can't get him to comply with anything.  Then he goes into this span of nothing.  He's not mad, he's not happy, he's just there...this is where I get the best listening from him.  He's willing to work, he is willing to listen, he gets a lot out of his reward system during this time.  This is the time where I get a lot of attention, but it's specific things.  He will want to rock on his horse and listen to music for hours!  Or just sit and watch TV, or play computer.  He sticks with what he is doing but the lack of enthusiasm is there.  He isn't really proud of himself for all of his acheivements.  And it seems we get these episodes during this time.  For 1-2 hours each day he does go into meltdown mode.  It just starts and he goes, crying and screaming for that duration of time and as fast as it started, it stops the same way.  Then we move into angry Mason...this is where he is angry and frustrated the entire day...from the time he wakes up until he goes to bed.  You can't talk to him, you can't teach him anything.  Every little thing is just the end of the world to him and he spends the entire day crying and yelling, sad and angry, back and forth.  His mood swings are the worst during this time.  We walk around on pins and needles during these days, because we just can't figure out what is going to set him off.

Now I can't be 100% sure, but this is why I want to start some sort of documentation on his behavior...because the more I think about it, it seems to cycle itself...I'm just not sure if it really is this consistent or if I'm just looking for it to be.

So with all of this, I read about bipolar and it does seem to sound like Mason--but again--that age old question, why isn't anything helping him??  If it was really bipolar, shouldn't something help?  Sometimes I think the meds are helping, but what if I'm looking at it during one of his times where he is really doing good listening.  Or he is hyper this week, so I think...well at least he's not angry and sad.  This is why I need to log this...I need to see if it's really like this or I'm just seeing something that isn't there...but from experience here, does this sound more bipolar or is this behavior fairly typical of ASD too?

Amberwaves--I think the thing the dr is talking about as being bizarre are his tendancies to lick everything, and his need to mouth and gag himself.  At one point in the eval he referred to these as bizarre behaviors..."Mason exhibits some bizarre behaviors, such as trying to stick toys down his throat to induce vomiting.  Mason was licking his mother throughout the session. I see these as fairly psychotic symptoms."

I started a thread awhile back and asked about this...I thought it might be some sort of stim or sensory input...and everyone here thought so too.  Apparently this dr. doesn't agree.

I do think I am going to contact this other facility that I have been told about...but I want to wait a little while...just look at it from an outside view, as much as a mother can, and document etc, so I can go to this appt with this info and say "this is what is happening...please don't dx, just help me!!"  Does this sound like a plan, or should I just call now and get this going?  What do you all think?  I'm usually not one for waiting but I'm afraid if I go in now, I'm just going to get the same things I always get, kwim? 

Smith22--we have thought that many times in this journey!  But our neuro doesn't seem to think this is what is going on...she is the one that originally sent us to the psychiatrist for further help.

We have diastat but have only used with with TC seizures that last longer that 5 minutes or his CP when he is having several in an hour.  Wow, I wonder if I should try it one of these times when he is having one of these breakdowns for no apparent reason?  Maybe I should call his neuro and just see if this could be an option?  I suppose though, it's a valium type med...wouldn't that bring you down whether it's seizure related or actual psychosis?  Might not give us an answer...but would help short term.

I even read that in the out of sync child book if I can remember. Thats not psychotic its sensory. My child also licks stuff. Like right now he's licking our fish tank and he's no way near psychotic and I'm sure Masons not either..

 

I really would like to know what WEAP office you went to. Madison or Milwaukees one. Because I wish you had the dr we had at the milwaukee one she was really nice.

That's what I was thinking!!  Sensory.  I actually just got the book, "Out of Sync Child."  Although I'm in just the beginning part.

Mishy we went to the DePere office.

My youngest was diagnosed by Dr. Deborah Palmer-Seal at the Milwaukee WEAP office.  She spent between 2 & 3 hours with us, and I liked her.  Actually, I thought the people at the Milwaukee clinic were very nice.  We almost went with them, however I wasn't comforatable with the Lovaas approach for my son.  We ended up going with a VB/ABA provider at the recommendation of our speech therapist. WIMomOf239363.3974421296

For you Wisconsinites--I was told about the center in Madison.  Is it the Weisman??

I wrote it down somewhere and I've been ripping through my pages and pages of stuff and can't seem to find it.  I know it's here somewhere!

But what have you all heard about this place?

[QUOTE=WIMomOf2]My youngest was diagnosed by Dr. Deborah Palmer-Seal at the Milwaukee WEAP office.  She spent between 2 & 3 hours with us, and I liked her.  Actually, I thought the people at the Milwaukee clinic were very nice.  We almost went with them, however I wasn't comforatable with the Lovaas approach for my son.  We ended up going with a VB/ABA provider at the recommendation of our speech therapist. [/QUOTE]

We had Dr Ruddmann :)

 

Sorry, I haven't heard anything about them.  I could only find their address.  2nd Round Mom might know more since she's from Madison.

Madison

Waisman Center, Clinical Services Unit (CSU), U of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Waisman Center
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    1500 Highland Avenue
    Madison, WI 53705-2280
    Inquiries and referrals: 1-(608)-263-5815, Intake Office of the Developmental Disabilities Clinic.

    Waisman Center Developmental Disabilities Clinic, 1500 Highland Ave., Madison, 1-(608)-263-5815. Dr. Lewis Leavitt, Developmental Pediatrician.

    ETA - Here's their web page:

     http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/

WIMomOf239363.4037731482

Thanks!  Now I don't have to spend another hour searching for it, lol.

I recall 2nd round Mom telling me about it once too.  I have heard from several people in town here that they are the best place to go.  We both know children's isn't the place to be! 

I do have some concerns with it, one being it's so far away...how much can they offer us when it's a 3 hour drive just to get there.  It's not like I can bring Mason down once or twice a week, with him being in school.  But maybe they can give me some suggestions.  We can try them, see what, if anything is working and just go down once a month or every other month?  I guess that's something I need to call them and discuss.

UGH, I probably sound like a crazy person myself.  I am just overwhelmed and confused.

 bi-polar at such a young age? My hubby's side all the women are bi-polar  and an uncle. Signs normally show up in teen years and adulthood. That has been the case with hubbys family. Another thing bipolar seems to run in families. I would take him to a different Dr. and get a diagnoses. I'm having a hard time believing kids really have bi-polar at such a young age.  I'm not saying it is not possible but I'm wondering.  I can tell if someone has bipolar in mins.. That is bec the moods swings really get on my nerves and it is none stop. Moods swings are worse with bio-polar female than males .
 Another thing what does your child do that is not normal? list? Are you sure the mood swings are from SID? Have you checked it out?
amberwaves39363.3435069444I worked in a psychiatric hospital and there are some wonderful doctors
and there are some 'not so great' ones. I remember your original post and
he did not have the hallmarks of a doctor who makes a considerate
diagnosis. Especially if you consider something more complex going on
you don't just settle on something without meeting a kid a number of
times and talking to everyone who knows him. There are many many kids
and adults who have whole charts full of different diagnosis. And a
doctor like that I would absolutly stay away from when he says he wants
to try out agressive treatment (by that he means medication).
Really -I don't know what your son has or will develop but this is not the
doctor to tell you!

Thank you so much guys!  It was late last night when I wrote this, it had been sitting in the back of my mind all weekend, my dh is one to just regard everything so it's hard to even vent to him.  So I was so overwhelmed with emotion last night!

Donny's mom--I agree, I see a lot of comparison's in Donny and Mason.  Mason is the exact same way with rewards, sometimes they work sooo well and then then all of a sudden they seem to make him worse!  I am going to start keeping a chart (I haven't quite worked out all the details yet) of Mason's moods.  When you talk about Donny cycling--is it fairly consistent?  When I think back, I think Mason's cycles seem to be very consistent.  I want to start tracking them so I can see if there is any sort of pattern to them...it might help me to know exactly what type of temprement I am dealing with.  It seems I find something that works great for him, and then a couple of weeks later it's causing more problems than not.  Then I tend to drop it, maybe if I had a better log of his behaviors I might see that I can go back to this particular reward or learning style depending on his moods.  Do you do that with Donny?  As far as hallucinations, I really haven't seen anything that would make me think he has them.  A few times he has mentioned things to me like smelling certain things that aren't there for example he has told me he smells tacos, or swimming pools.  But these episodes seem to heighten with his seizures, and his neuro told me she thinks they are auras.  He does a lot of irrational talking.  A LOT of scripting, but sometimes he is just babbling things, but nothing that has ever made me think he might be hearing voices.  I will take a closer look though, to just what he is saying at those times.

Kathy--the dr that dx'd him was a child psychologist.  He works for a program called WEAP (Wisconsin Early Autism Project.)  You would think he would be very knowlegable in autism considering, but the more I hear about WEAP, the less and less I like.  I have heard that they only accept children that will succeed into their program.  I have just recently talked to a Mom that saw this dr and she said he was telling her all about different meds she needs to try with her dd.  But from what I have heard only psychiatrists can prescribe meds, not psychologists...so I don't know why he would talk to her about meds when he can't even give them to her.    He only saw Mason for just the one appt. and it was a total of less than an hour.  I gave him the IEP testing and the eval from his psychologist and a history of what we have been doing with his psychiatrist and neuro.  The only reason I went was because I was told that they might be able to help me with getting Mason's ABA started sooner, and give me some ideas on how to help Mason until the ABA went through.  I'm completely regretting my decision to do this now!  I have heard that there is a place about 3 hours from here.  They are supposed to be really good with mental health issues.  I just don't know if I have the energy to do another eval, and be let down again.

Carmen--thank you!  I hate the labels too.  It just seems that everyone wants a label around here to help us!  The school, the private therapists etc.  It's exhausting to even explain to them all I have been told over the last 3 1/2 years!  I mean it would be nice to say, "Mason has ________, and this is how you treat it"...but that isn't going to happen.  And it kind of bothers me that people feel that way anyway, because like the saying goes...if you've seen one child with autism, you've seen one child with autism.  I think that is true for any disorder actually.  I've seen so many doctors and all I want to hear is "let's try this and see if it helps," rather than he is dx'd with this and this and this.  I don't want a dx, I want help for my son.  But you are right, I am overwhelmed, so I need to slow down and stay calm.

Well once again, I wrote a book, lol.  I can't tell you how much you are all helping me deal with all of this.  Thank you sooo soooo much!  I wish I could express just how much everyone here means to me!

I received in the mail this weekend an evaluation report from a doctor we saw back in the middle of Sept.  I don't know if you remember my post about the doctor that was trying to tell me that Mason needed to be committed to a psychiatric hospital...well this is what his diagnosis was:

AXIS I:1. PDD-NOS 2. Bipolar disorder with psychotic features 3. Oppositional defiance disorder.

AXIS II: No diagnosis

AXIS III: Seizure disorder; History of Chronic Otitis Media

AXIS IV: Problems relating to other people

AXIS V: GAF=31; highest in last year 55.

Now I'm not really sure what the AXIS IV & V really are, but my biggest concern is him having all these things being diagnosed.

He goes on to state that Mason has a number of symptoms of PDD and on the CARS he was placed in the severely autistic range.  But then says 'I think Mason would be more accurately described as severely bipolar with developmental delays across the board along with PDD-NOS.  Mason exhibits some fairly bizarre behaviors which I see as psychotic symptoms.  Mason's behaviors are very much out of his control.'  And again under his recommendations he states that he feels Mason would benefit from agressive treatment under psychiatric care.  And in desperate need of intense medication.

Is it common for such a young child to be getting soooo many different diagnosises??  I'm just wondering if I should just disregard this eval, because I was so uncomfortable with the doctor?  Or if I should persue this a little more?  I mean Mason has seen sooo many doctors and I hate putting him through all of these evalutations, but with all the problems he has been having lately, especially at school, I wonder if I need to figure this out once and for all.

I see autism in him, I see bipolar in him...I don't really know all that much about ODD, but from the little I have read it just seems that Mason isn't able to comprehend his behavior a lot of the time.  His IQ is 76 right now so he doesn't fall under MR range, but he just lacks that comprehension of a lot of things.  To me it sounded like ODD is things that children are comprehending their actions, they just don't stop, or don't care.  Maybe I am completely wrong, I will research ODD more.

But anyway, that leaves me to wonder which way I am supposed to go with Mason.  This doctor also wrote that he feels with Mason's current condition it would be very difficult to treat Mason with an intense behavior treatement such as ABA.  We are doing the meds, we haven't found one that seems to work as well as I hoped, but we are still working on this.  I don't know if there is a specific type of treatment for something like ODD.

I have been trying to just let this go and not worry about it, like I said, I just didn't feel right with this doctor, but I also know that we are struggling everyday with Mason.  We do have some things that seem to work a little, but then it feels like we take 5 steps back in other areas, anytime there is a little gain.

This is just so hard.  He is my son and I just want to help him, but I don't know how anymore.  I don't know which type of doctors to call.  And it just seems that everytime I go to another doctor I just get more confused!  I am trying to tell myself that the labels don't matter, but at the same time I don't know how to help him if I don't know what to focus on and which disorder is controlling him more.  Does that make sense?

Wow, sorry this is so long.  I've just kind of been stressing about this all weekend.  Tried not to let it ruin my weekend, but it's been in the back of my mind this whole time.  Guess I just needed to get this off my chest.  Thanks for listening if you got this far!  And if anyone has any advice for me, please, I'll take it.  I just don't know if I should look for more answers or what in the world to do anymore.

Thanks again all.

wow, that is quite the label for a young guy.

In regards to the diagnosis, I'd be really hesitant to go with the opinion of
a doctor who describes Mason as having bizarre behaviours which he
sees as psychotic symptoms. A lot of autistic behaviour looks like
psychotic behaviour: stimming can look like a response to visual or
auditory hallucinations, and the verbal stimming and laughter as our kids
replay a funny scene in their head can look like a response to an auditory
hallucination. However, any good psychiatrist familiar with autism will be
very reluctant to say an autistic child is having hallucinations - because
they're verbal skills are limited, it's really hard to say.

Do YOU think Mason is having any hallucinations? Donny does
experience psychosis during some manic cycles of his bipolar disorder.
He has delusions, where he believes things that are completely not true or
possible. He gets paranoid/defensive. He throws up compulsively. He
hears voices, and will start hitting himself in the head and saying "get out
of my head", as well as referring to himself as "we". However, Donny
could look like he was having hallucinations all the time to
someone not familiar with autism - he will throw his head back and laugh
suddenly, or become suddenly agitated in response to no apparent
stimuli. It would be easy to assume he was seeing/hearing things, but
really he's just playing a little video clip of some stim thing (movie, a play
of light, whatever) in his head.

I DO think, personally, from all that you've described that it sounds like
Mason has bipolar disorder. But I'm not a doctor As for the ODD, I've
had laypeople (paras) say they felt Donny has this. I don't think he does.
When Donny is in a manic cycle, he is oppositional, to a point that is
completely out of his control. It's almost like part of his OCD, where he
HAS to do the opposite of what I say. However, it's only during a manic
phase, which makes me believe it's part of his bipolar disorder.

As for treatment - that's a tough one. If Mason IS bipolar, and not being
medicated for that, it will be hard for him to get everything out of ABA.
This is just because, unlike autism, bipolar disorder is a mental illness.
It's completely out of the person's control, and affects their thinking,
moods, etc. Donny really CAN'T control himself when he's having a manic
episode. When he's cycling, he cannot focus on learning, no matter how
many rewards are offered. And reward systems actually lead to rage
when he's cycling, as he is frustrated when he is unable to achieve the
reward due to behaviour that's out of his control. This doesn't mean ABA
won't help at all. How's Mason been responding to it so far? As for
hospitalization, what can they do at the hospital that can't be done at
home? Unless Mason is unmanageable and/or unsafe at home, I'd be
inclined to try and find a helathcare team that is willing to treat him and
get the right med combo at home, versus a hospital. Granted, as parents
it's sometimes hard to report objectively on changes in mood and
behaviour. However, if the doc gave you daily charting, and you filled it
out, they would still see patterns and whether or not the meds were
working.

I have to say - I'm always amazed at how much Mason sounds like Donny
in your posts. I really understand where you're coming from...

I hope this helps, and that all works out.Niki,
I just dont know what to say. My first question is, what kind of doctor
dx'd him in September? What kind of experience does he have in the area
of diagnosing pervasive developmental delays? What level of education
did he achieve? How long did he see your son? What kind of history did
he take. Did he talk to any other professional who are currently treating
Mason?
I would find out who the best neuropsyche is your area? For me
personally I got the names of the top three from three different sources. I
found the one that I liked and interviewed her. It just takes such an expert
who have seen a ton of cases of autism and bipolar and such. I would
also find a very knowledgeable BCBA who have experience working with
Asd and Bipolar clients to ask the effectiveness of ABA on such
conditions. I just find what your first doctor states as pretty premature
and sounds so old fashioned. Treatment options have come a long way.

Your son is 6yrs old! He is your baby boy. Wouldnt it be less expensive to
try home behavioral interventions with meds then send him to a psyche
hospital? I am at a lost for words! I can not imagine what you are feeling
right now. Please get another opinion!

I certainly do not like this doctor either. He sounds scary. I would not consider the labels very important except to access assistance. The ODD seems inappropriate in this case and tells me more about the doctor than your son. Too many professionals see what they expect or desire to see and cannot see anything else. In lablels and doctors, use them if you can and forget them if not. Especially that label. I hate it. There is always a reason for the behavior even if you can't find it that is logical to your son. Like not comprehending or overwhelmed or distressing sensory input.

Follow your motherly intuition and you will find the best ways for your son to thrive. You sound overwhelmed. Try to put it all out of your mind for awhile. Not sure it can be figured out once and for all. He is your unique son, not a bunch of fancy words. Never let professionals push you to do what seems wrong to you. And do not decide while overwhelmed. Ignore this advice too if it seems wrong

carmen

 

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