Medication Issues.....Mood Swings....Sleeplessness...

Shannon - posted on 12/16/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son was diagnosed this year with Asperger's, he also has Arnold Chiari Syndrome and had surgery this summer. I noticed there was something different about him when he was 2....he is VERY intelligent but had issues that were not "normal" for a two year old. Finally got the Aspie diagnosis this year, we have tried several different med's and it seems like his outbursts are worse and mainly directed towards his little sister who is 6...Tyler is 8. He also has to have meds to help him sleep at night....IS ANYONE ELSE HAVING THE SAME ISSUES??? I wonder sometimes is is just a VERY INTELLIGENT child who knows how to "work" me...I really don't feel that way but I am at my wits end. We go to therapy once a week for anger mangement and we are working on getting him to understand that there are rules and he will obey those rules or there will be consequences for his actions. He LOVES video games and that is is all time favorite thing to do. I homeschool him and his sister....he felt like everyone at school hated him and his teacher was trying to kill him....some told me that I should just send him to school anyway, but I felt like he genuinely felt this way...he was even hurting himself. Tyler also eats things that he shouldn't and chews on everything.....I am not sure that his meds are helping or making things worse...he is up one minute and down the next it seems. IS THERE ANYONE ELSE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING????? Please respond if so....I appreciate your input...Tyler is the only child that has this diagnosis in the small town that I live in ....thank you so much!

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User - posted on 12/17/2009

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Hi Shannon,

I looked up Arnold Chiari Syndrome on google. My understanding from what I read is that headaches often accompany the syndrome, and migraines are common.

I bring this up because of a boy I taught. I was brand new to the school and everyone had warned me that this boy was a terror. Miserable, grumpy, aggressive. What no one knew was that during the summer he was diagnosed with a chronic, previously untreated disease (Chrones/Colitus) This little monkey had been suffering for years. I met him in September, and never had an issue with him...in fact, I taught him two years in a row and have nothing but very fond memories of this child. Staff couldn't believe the turn around....we used to joke that it was me...but it was that he finally had appropriate treatment. This boy had been in such pain and discomfort, but it was his normal and he didn't know that other people weren't feeling the same way.

Has your child been treated for the possibility of migraines/chronic pain? It is so hard to get children to accurately identify their symptoms, but I can honestly see the possibility that ACS impacts your child's behaviour.

Good luck to you. You and your family have a lot to deal with.

Sheila

User - posted on 12/16/2009

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If your daughter is a typical child, maybe it would be a good idea to send her to school. This way, she gets a break from Tyler, and you only have to focus on one child. If you have deeper reasons for keeping her home for home schooling, I respect that and would suggest looking for other home schoolers in the area so that she might have a swim class at the local community centre once a week, or library time...something where she gets to see other children and gets a break.



My son does not have Aspergers, but autism....so some issues are not the same. You state that he eats things he shouldn't. I believe that his is called Pica (spelling probably wrong)...but it is the eating of what we consider nonedible materials (pencils, glue, dirt?) If you mean he is eating food from other people's plates, that is a completely different issue and not as serious. Non-edible consumption needs to be addressed by the doctor.



His therapy is for anger management, but is it therapy that would be directed for a neuro-typical child? With Aspies, we have to remember that the neurological wiring is different, so typical anger management strategies don't work the same way. A typical child has a greater ability to put themselves in another child's shoes. Children on the spectrum often can't do that and actually don't understand nuances of facial expressions that would help them to understand what another child is thinking/feeling. They can be very ID oriented, but where most of us are able to mask that trait, kids on the spectrum have a very difficult time with it. The consequences aspect are difficult for a lot of these kids to understand because one thing does not have any connection to the other. Yes, I pulled her hair, but why are you taking away my video game. She was bugging me, she was touching me, she was looking at me, she was breathing the wrong way....I am sure you know the drill. Find what works, but make sure the person who is conducting the therapy understands Asperger syndrome...sorry if it sounds like I am stating the obvious! Just want to be sure.



HAve you seen an pediatric specialist? Has he seen an OT? Has he had a language assessment to see where he is at for receptive/expressive communication skills.



I don't know what Arnold Chiara Syndrome is, but I will google after this. Some steps

(if possible)



a) see a developmental pediatrician

b) clear his system of all meds (except sleeping) with supervision of the specialist

c) start with a clean slate...if he is up/down (I am assuming you mean the mood swings) it is possible that you are also dealing with a mood disorder

d) get him an OT...he has anxiety issues, and the OT might be able to identify strategies that will help him to cope with his anxieties...some children like deep compressions, others swinging...circular motions vs back and forth...so many different strategies that a good OT will help you identify and implement...you might also want to see a behavioural therapist...not just for anger management, but anxiety

e) if behaviour strategies have no impact, start with meds....but, be specific as to what you want out of the meds..is it for moodines, aggression, anxiety?

f) besides video games, find him something else that you can use as a reward...ten tokens = trip to arcade world, or new game, or something....initially, you have to inundate with positive responses to his behaviour because he needs to know he will be recognized IMMEDIATELY if he is doing well!

g) and if possible, get him into a therapy where he helps to care for animals...it might sound cliche, but kids who have trouble identifying their emotions/dealing with others often respond very positively to animal therapies...



Good Luck!



Sheila

Fiona - posted on 12/16/2009

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My daughter has Asperger's, ADHD, anxiety disorder, and OCD tendencies. She is 7. I was so against medicating her, but her anxiety and OCD tendencies got so bad, I had to, for her sake. Prozac, or the generic form, fluoxetine has really helped her. She is is much less anxious. Just a thought. My daughter is extremely intelligent too. I talk to her constantly about what she is feeling when she gets mad, frustrated, etc. Altough, I have her take deep breaths and calm down well before we have these conversations. Is he able to talk to you about his thoughts and feelings, and what frustrates him? Have you come up with possible ways to prevent future outbursts? If his anger is really out of control and he is very up and down, you might want to talk to a doctor about bipolar disorder, as this is common with some children with autism spectrum disorders. Hope this helps. Taje a deep breath and take care of you too! =)

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