View Full Version : Help! ADHD, anxiety, and depression in Kindie


RowiesMama
05-24-14, 10:53 AM
Hi,

I'm new to the forum here. I apologize for how long this post is going to be. My 6-yo son is having so many problems and I need to figure out how to help him. He recently received an official diagnosis of ADHD-hyperactive. He doesn't have a diagnosis for the anxiety and possible depression but it's readily apparent to me and we've been working with a therapist about the anxiety for several months. He also has sensory issues ... particuarly with noise.

He started having behavior issues early on in Kindergarten and they started putting accomodations in place that helped somewhat .. at least for a while ... having sensory toys he could have in his hands, the option to sit at a table by himself if he got overwhelmed, get up and walk back and forth at the end of the classroom, and a special book the teacher made for him about how he could be like a Rhino. We've been working with the school, taking him to a therapist, and earlier in May to a developmental pediatrician. Unfortunately in May things have taken a turn for the worse and his behavior is really out of hand.

It's worth noting that everybody says that in quiet environment and 1-on-1, he's a completely different kid. He's very smart and sweet and will just talk your ear off. At home we see a little bit of the behavior but nothing like what they're reporting at school. At school he makes violent threats towards himself .. like asking to be punched or hurt .. and has even hurt himself ... like pinching his arms or pushing a chair down on his foot.

We had a meeting on Friday with the school and they want to pull him out of the general ed classroom and send him to a separate school program for intensive behavioral therapy. This program is K-5 in 2 classrooms with 10 kids and 2 teachers per room. On the face of it, this seems like a good idea but the thing is we're 4 weeks until the end of the year. The paperwork would take 1 week to finish so the soonest he could start would be 3 weeks until the end of the year and that's with my husband providing transportation for the first week. My son does not deal well with change or transitions. He talks about the daycare he went to almost 2 years ago sometimes. I know he's desperately unhappy where he is, but is this the right move? We've even though about just pulling him out of school entirely for the rest of the year.

Thanks for reading all of this. I really wish I could just fix everything that's hurting my son but I'm at a loss for what to do. He's so sweet and he tries so hard but he comes home from school so unhappy and angry.

Ms. Mango
05-24-14, 01:06 PM
Hi and welcome to the forums!

Some questions--have you had a chance to observe the classroom your DS will be in? Have you discussed this with your son? He may take it better than you think--the environment might be quieter than a regular classroom and that could appeal to him.

Is there any possibility the school could accommodate him where he is for the remainder of the school year--like allowing him to leave the classroom for a breather several times throughout the day? Moving him now seems like a radical change to make with just a couple of weeks to go but a (possibly) great option for next year.

The other option is, like you said, pull him out for the remainder of the year. If the school would agree to this and to monitor him, like sending the work home and meeting with you and your DS weekly, that's a possibility.

He sounds like he's under a great deal of duress.

heytheredelilah
05-24-14, 03:08 PM
Could he do one or two days at the other school and then the rest of the week here? That way he can integrate what he is learning and it's not such a huge change either.

RowiesMama
05-24-14, 04:54 PM
I didn't even think about splitting time between the different schools. They do recognize that switching schools so late would be a drastic step and they're not exactly kicking him out of his current school. He's just recently escalated though and I think his teacher is at a loss with what to do now. And he's starting to affect the other kids in the classroom.

I did ask about taking a break but they immediately pushed back. If I had the ability to stay home, even for a few days a week, I would probably have pushed more for that, but I can't. While my husband works from home and can provide at least general supervision, he does have to work and can't spend a lot of time working with our son. Maybe if he spent an hour during the day and I got home early enough to spend a couple hours in the evening. I don't know ...

My husband is going to tour the school, meet the teachers, and observe at this new school on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I'm out of town for a few days but I'm trying to not be overly controlling about all of this and let my husband take on part of it ... lol

We haven't talked about this at all with our son. I know he would prefer a quieter environment ... he even makes his selection of fast-food playground based on noise and crowds. I just know historically that change is very hard for him.

RowiesMama
05-24-14, 06:07 PM
Some additional details ...
My son is having several fits a day now and in the last 2 weeks my husband has been called to pick him up early 3 times when my son has been unable to calm himself down. He's been spending a lot of time in the school counselor's office and principal's office.

The more I think about it, the more I'm in favor of either moving him ASAP or pulling him out for the rest of the year if we can manage it between my husband and I.

zette93
05-24-14, 06:14 PM
My son is in a school with a similar setup -- 10 kids in 2 rooms, with 1 teacher and 3-4 behavioral aides -- and it has been a godsend for him. The school is for kids with Aspergers (ie mild autism) although they don't necessarily require that dx. I would highly recommend that you observe the school for the better part of a day, and talk in depth with the director about the program. Who is it intended for? What are the other kids like? Do the academics keep pace with mainstream school?

Does the proposed school have summer school? If yes, and you agree to the placement, you might want to push for ESY (Extended School Year) so that he can attend over the summer. In that case, it might make sense to start right away. Otherwise, would they be open to having him go half-days for the remainder of the year and start the new school in the fall?

Actually, with ADHD + sensory issues + anxiety, has the developmental ped said anything about testing for autism spectrum? The gold standard would be a test called the ADOS (autism diagnostic observation schedule).

RowiesMama
05-24-14, 06:51 PM
My son is in a school with a similar setup -- 10 kids in 2 rooms, with 1 teacher and 3-4 behavioral aides -- and it has been a godsend for him. The school is for kids with Aspergers (ie mild autism) although they don't necessarily require that dx. I would highly recommend that you observe the school for the better part of a day, and talk in depth with the director about the program. Who is it intended for? What are the other kids like? Do the academics keep pace with mainstream school?

Does the proposed school have summer school? If yes, and you agree to the placement, you might want to push for ESY (Extended School Year) so that he can attend over the summer. In that case, it might make sense to start right away. Otherwise, would they be open to having him go half-days for the remainder of the year and start the new school in the fall?

Actually, with ADHD + sensory issues + anxiety, has the developmental ped said anything about testing for autism spectrum? The gold standard would be a test called the ADOS (autism diagnostic observation schedule).

I'll bring those questions up with my husband to follow up on in the school visit on Tuesday. Thanks!

In the meeting on Friday, someone did bring up doing half days at his current school. I think if we do stay for the rest of the year, I will push for that. I didn't even think to ask about ESY but it was strongly implied this program doesn't offer that.

At least on the school's part, I think they see the possibility he also has Aspergers. The lady who runs the Rebound program (the new class/school they want to send my son to) brought up "could there be an additional diagnosis?". In the context she brought it up, I think there are quite a few kids on the autism spectrum in the program but that's one of the questions we need to follow up on. The school psychologist agreed but they need to get his behavior under control first .. which I agree with. Actually, I agree with lowering his stress and getting him into an environment where he feels in control and then worrying about Asperger's or not.

I was able to speak with his developmental pediatrician after the school meeting and asked about it directly. She didn't see a lot of things that the school and I have seen and she did see that he has good eye contact, displays affection, and is very interested in being social, so she doesn't think so. Personally, I think a lot of things fit but I also want to see what changes with addressing his current stress. There may be something there, but I'll probably need to really push for more evaluation.

RowiesMama
06-01-14, 02:16 PM
New developments .... I got more information about the program they want to put him in. It's a general ed curicullum with intensive behavioral therapy. The object is to put students back in their base school after 60 days. So now at least I understand why they want to send R to this school even if it is in a dump and far away.

Other, less fun stuff ... on Friday they had my husband come in and pick up an official letter detailing some of R's incidents/behavior and told us he can't come back to school until he sees a mental health professional who signs off that he's not a danger to himself or anybody else. R had an appointment with his therapist anyhow on Friday afternoon so we brought the letter to her. She asked us to take R to see a child psychiatrist. Of course everything is closed on the weekend, so I haven't even been able to find out when we could see one. So if we go by what they want, he may be out of school the rest of the year. Is that even allowable when there are ED classes in the area?

I know R is a handful when he has his fits, but he's not a threat to himself. The therapist didn't want to sign off because he says he "has bad thoughts that pop into his head". The bad thought? Getting trapped in a magical mirror. And, yes, he realizes that is unlikely (at best) to happen.

cathy2
06-01-14, 07:55 PM
I cant offer to much help other than to say I am sorry you are going through this, having a son with aspergers and one with a combination of issues (adhd, dyspraxia (motor issues) and asperger traits, I can say that, when the school doesn't get the child and doesn't understand there behaviours it makes things 100 times worse, I am having these issues currently with my eldest, the school are treating him as naughty and that he is just choosing to miss behave rather than see he is struggling, put things in place to make him less distrated, less stressed and cope better.

From my experience, when you have a child like yours whom is having a hard time the school's need to try and figure out what is causing the child to have the meltdown, he is most likely being over stimulated by his environment, (class full of noisy kids, no doubt changes in routine) these sensory issues and things that then make him anxious, rather than the teacher deal with it by making your son feel better no doubt they start getting upset with his behaviour and demand he calms down, then they get angry with him, therefore making the whole situation worse.

This is what would happen with my youngest, (the one with aspergers) he would get upset and anxious and the teachers reactions with him made the whole situation worse, thankfully once diagnosed the school have dealt with him in a different manner and he has adjusted really well with things that used to set him off.

I really do believe that the schools and teachers handling of these kids make the world of difference, some teachers and schools for that matter just don't understand these kids.

Good luck with your son.