View Full Version : Help me understand DSD ADHD/ODD/OCD!


JennK258
11-24-16, 08:06 PM
I feel like I need to preface my questions with a lot of explanation about where I am coming from.

My DS was diagnosed ADHD-C in 2nd grade (now in 10th). Although diagnosis was ADHD-C, the results were always more toward the inattentive side, just barely over the hyperactivity threshold for combined. We chose to medicate at a low dose and it worked wonders.

Over the years we have slowly increased dosages, changed meds a couple times, and backed down on dosages when he didn't like how he was feeling. I had him evaluated by his pediatrician first, then by a psychologist who did a more thorough battery of tests. Had him reevaluated by the psychologist before requesting evaluation for 504. School did thorough battery of tests again. All results over the years lined up and I felt really confident in the diagnosis and the decision to medicate.

All that is to say, I understand first-hand the struggle of a parent who has to deal with uninformed people who disagree with your decisions, disagree with medication, and generally think they know more than you about your own child.

Now, on to DSD, age 7. FH recently took mom to court for second time to reinforce his right to participate in her life. She hasn't consulted him at all for any medical treatment whatsoever- kid broke her arm recently and mom didn't think she needed to tell him. So, I am helping him reinsert himself back into DSD's life and get involved rather than just accepting mom's refusal. (He had DSD half of the week before relocating to GA, very involved and loving dad; mom decided he didn't count anymore when he moved away).

We found out that DSD was on meds for ADHD when she was 5. FH was initially skeptical but I explained that ADHD has many faces and he should not dismiss the idea outright, just because he didn't see it. I didn't see it in my own DS! He was bright, articulate, and well-behaved. He had a wonderful 2nd grade teacher who noticed the signs- he would zone out and get easily distracted- we just didn't have those same opportunities or understanding at home.

Fast forward to today. After this last court order, he began gathering medical records (with no help from mom- took some sleuthing and we are still finding new providers referenced in med records). We were surprised to find out that she has been diagnosed with:

(initial diagnosis at age 5)
ADHD-C
ODD
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Disruptive Behavior Disorder
Impulse Control Disorder

(additional, added since initial)
Insomnia
OCD
Anxiety

A little backstory... DSD attended kindergarten at a rough, inner-city school. Whenever we asked her about school, she would say she didn't like it because bullies picked on her. Thing is, she is no shrinking violet. She is very smart, confident, and assertive. When the bullies picked on her, she fought back. She was suspended a couple of times for fighting in kindergarten. That is when the initial diagnosis was made.

DSD now attends a much better school, has lots of friends, and her teachers rave about her. No discipline problems at all- the only negative report is that when she thinks she is right, she is very persistent with those who disagree, and she sometimes pouts. No outbursts- just pouting. (I was a smart little know-it-all as a little girl, so I can relate lol).

We reviewed her 504 plan, and the school did not do their own assessment (like they do in our school system). They took the initial diagnosis from when she was 5 and set up her 504 with boilerplate accommodations. She is being discharged from the behavioral wraparound service at school because she is not having any issues.

Thing is, (based on med records) mom reports worse behavior than ever at home. She consistently asks for med changes/increases. Currently on 30mg Vyvanse, increased from 20mg 2 mos ago (same dose as my 5'10", 165 lb teen- I know it's not all about weight and dosages and effects can vary wildly for different kids, but still), Tenex 2 mg spread out over the day, BuSpar 5mg, and melatonin at night which mom doesn't bother with, despite physician orders and insomnia diagnosis.

She takes her meds year round and she is TINY. Short for her age, low BMI, she is skin and bones! She picks at her food and doesn't like to eat.

Thanks for sticking with me this far. :)

Does it seem appropriate that the list of diagnoses has continued to grow while her behavior in school is perfectly acceptable? Could a kid really control that list of diagnoses so well that her teachers think she is great, and her dad and I see none of it during visits?? (Especially the OCD- do not see it AT ALL).

In school and with us she is well-behaved, accepts redirection, and accepts being told "no," with either no opposition or maybe a little pouting that doesn't even last very long.

Mom reports screaming tantrums, throwing things, and snapping back when given directions. I understand this could be the effect of meds wearing off in the evening, but when dad has her for several days at a time, he sees none of it. I can see where mom might have to do things that dad doesn't, like make her do chores, etc. I can also see where dad is a little more novel now that they don't see each other as often.

However.... DSD says mom screams at her a lot. Mom has been a regular opioid user for 5+ years (tried to get drug test in court but she showed up with a script and they let it slide). One psych provider (not current) noted at almost every visit that mom seemed angry and "labile" (had to look that one up lol, basically means inconsistent, I think). Multiple providers note mom trashing dad in front of DSD. Mom has had/lived with several paramours in DSD's life, encouraging her to call the current one "dad." He shows up at her school/doc visits and presents himself as dad.

SO, given all that...

Can a kid age 7 with ADHD/ODD/OCD/etc control their symptoms everywhere but at home? Do you think the diagnosis is appropriate given that it only expresses at home?

I'm not buying it, and we are going to have her evaluated when she is here for the summer.

Appreciate any thoughts or insight!!

sarahsweets
11-25-16, 12:03 PM
Fast forward to today. After this last court order, he began gathering medical records (with no help from mom- took some sleuthing and we are still finding new providers referenced in med records). We were surprised to find out that she has been diagnosed with:

(initial diagnosis at age 5)
ADHD-C
ODD
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Disruptive Behavior Disorder
Impulse Control Disorder

(additional, added since initial)
Insomnia
OCD
Anxiety

Wow, thats alot of diagnosis's!

We reviewed her 504 plan, and the school did not do their own assessment (like they do in our school system). They took the initial diagnosis from when she was 5 and set up her 504 with boilerplate accommodations. She is being discharged from the behavioral wraparound service at school because she is not having any issues.

If she truly has those dx's I believe an IEP would be better for her than a 504.

Thing is, (based on med records) mom reports worse behavior than ever at home. She consistently asks for med changes/increases. Currently on 30mg Vyvanse, increased from 20mg 2 mos ago (same dose as my 5'10", 165 lb teen- I know it's not all about weight and dosages and effects can vary wildly for different kids, but still), Tenex 2 mg spread out over the day, BuSpar 5mg, and melatonin at night which mom doesn't bother with, despite physician orders and insomnia diagnosis.

Not saying this is true but...is there any chance that mom may be dipping into daughter's meds? Just curious.

She takes her meds year round and she is TINY. Short for her age, low BMI, she is skin and bones! She picks at her food and doesn't like to eat.

There are ways to work on this-sometimes with other medications to help with appetite, sometimes better high calorie snacks. The mom should educate herself about how to counteract the appetite supression with frequent bang-for-your-buck snacks.

Does it seem appropriate that the list of diagnoses has continued to grow while her behavior in school is perfectly acceptable? Could a kid really control that list of diagnoses so well that her teachers think she is great, and her dad and I see none of it during visits?? (Especially the OCD- do not see it AT ALL).

In school and with us she is well-behaved, accepts redirection, and accepts being told "no," with either no opposition or maybe a little pouting that doesn't even last very long.
[quote]
My first instinct was that yes, sometimes the home vs school behavior can be drastic but it is unusual that no impairments seem to exist outside of home.

[quote]Mom reports screaming tantrums, throwing things, and snapping back when given directions. I understand this could be the effect of meds wearing off in the evening, but when dad has her for several days at a time, he sees none of it. I can see where mom might have to do things that dad doesn't, like make her do chores, etc. I can also see where dad is a little more novel now that they don't see each other as often.

Have you asked the daughter if she really has those types of tantrums? Would she admit if she did fight back against her mom all the time or would she hide it? Or would she act as if she didnt even know her mom was saying those things about her?

However.... DSD says mom screams at her a lot. Mom has been a regular opioid user for 5+ years (tried to get drug test in court but she showed up with a script and they let it slide). One psych provider (not current) noted at almost every visit that mom seemed angry and "labile" (had to look that one up lol, basically means inconsistent, I think). Multiple providers note mom trashing dad in front of DSD. Mom has had/lived with several paramours in DSD's life, encouraging her to call the current one "dad." He shows up at her school/doc visits and presents himself as dad.
[quote]
When you say regular opioid user, what do you mean? Did she at one point have a legit problem that she needed them, or was it illegal?
Trashing Dad is such a no-no! So not fair to the daughter- it will make her feel bad for loving her dad and having mom act like there is something wrong with her because of it.

[quote]SO, given all that...

Can a kid age 7 with ADHD/ODD/OCD/etc control their symptoms everywhere but at home? Do you think the diagnosis is appropriate given that it only expresses at home?

I'm not buying it, and we are going to have her evaluated when she is here for the summer.

Appreciate any thoughts or insight!!
Yes its possible...but IMO unlikely. Its not like visiting with you guys is nothing but a big party filled with all sorts of treats and trips so that she wouldnt even think of acting up right?
You are right to have her evaluated because if you have experts that can basically say that the stuff mom is saying is exagerated bs- then you have some leverage- something to give your husband a say in the care of his own daughter.
I wish I had better advice but I want to validate you and compliment you on being the step mother that I wish all step parents would be like. You truly have the daughters' best interest at heart. There are not many step parents out there like you.

JennK258
11-25-16, 01:24 PM
Wow, thats alot of diagnosis's!

If she truly has those dx's I believe an IEP would be better for her than a 504.

Agree... when I asked our guidance counselor to have DS evaluated for 504 in 6th grade, I was educated on he process. I actually had to do a referral for special education services, and then school did their own evaluation to determine if an IEP was appropriate, and if not if 504 was appropriate. This, when I handed them 5 years worth of data showing exactly what his issues were! I guess we really do have excellent special ed in our system! BUT, I thought this stuff was all standard, mandated at a federal level. Shows what I know!

Not saying this is true but...is there any chance that mom may be dipping into daughter's meds? Just curious.

I wouldn't necessarily rule that out, but I don't see any signs of that. DSD takes her meds regularly so I doubt there is any excess for her to dip into. Also, mom is hardcore into opiates- not sure if stimulants would be of interest.

There are ways to work on this-sometimes with other medications to help with appetite, sometimes better high calorie snacks. The mom should educate herself about how to counteract the appetite supression with frequent bang-for-your-buck snacks.

Great point! I never had to worry about this with my little chunky monkey. :) Unfortunately mom is highly resistant to speaking to dad, but he is scheduling calls with doctors and therapists and may be able to get them to help educate mom. We will try to fatten her up a bit when we have her!! Med records state that mom was given BMI pamphlet at most visits with one doc, but no notes about nutrition being discussed.

My first instinct was that yes, sometimes the home vs school behavior can be drastic but it is unusual that no impairments seem to exist outside of home.

I've done a lot of reading since posting this thread and found a lot of articles and forum posts about kids who are angels at school and demons at home. :) I was skeptical, but you never know til you walk in someone's shoes!

Have you asked the daughter if she really has those types of tantrums? Would she admit if she did fight back against her mom all the time or would she hide it? Or would she act as if she didnt even know her mom was saying those things about her?

We've been realy careful about talking about sensitive issues with DSD. Mom has obviously already put her in the middle and we don't want to add to that or make DSD uncomfortable while we're establishing the new visitation routine. We will have more time to talk when we have her at Christmas, and will find ways to discuss things with her so that she doesn't feel as though she's being put on the spot.

When you say regular opioid user, what do you mean? Did she at one point have a legit problem that she needed them, or was it illegal?

All of the above. She had a legitimate issue and got hooked. She also gets oxy from a family member. She now has a chronic pain diagnosis and is legally prescribed oxy. Depending on how much she is prescribed, she is certainly dipping into the family reserves (FH witnessed this in the past). I'm not sure how this stuff effects your personality- I would imagine it might make you kinda lethargic and would make parenting difficult. :-/

Trashing Dad is such a no-no! So not fair to the daughter- it will make her feel bad for loving her dad and having mom act like there is something wrong with her because of it.

THIS!! It infuriates me because I never trashed DS's biodad even though I had every reason to! I didn't do it because it would have hurt my baby. "Luckily" she's done it in doctor's offices and it is noted in medical records. Gotta say... it is very strange going through this stuff and being happy when we find something bad in the records. It's sad for DSD but good to have it on record so that we can do something about it. Still, just feels weird to find a negative note and go, "YES!" :) We've also found outright lies given about dad's mental history (bipolar, schizophrenic, physically abusive).

Yes its possible...but IMO unlikely. Its not like visiting with you guys is nothing but a big party filled with all sorts of treats and trips so that she wouldnt even think of acting up right?

Oh totally!! :D No, we do have to redirect her, tell her no, make her do stuff she doesn't want to do... I mean, she's 7! :)

I wish I had better advice but I want to validate you and compliment you on being the step mother that I wish all step parents would be like. You truly have the daughters' best interest at heart. There are not many step parents out there like you.

Aww, thanks! Appreciate the validation- this is hard. It's hard knowing it's going to take months if not almost another year to get things together to go back to court and do anything about it.

I've been thinking a lot about why a parent would insist on their kid having this long list of Dx, and argue that she is worse when teachers and therapists say she is better. My initial thought was SSI benefits. Mom doesn't work, so definitely would qualify. But, FH called SSA and confirmed no benefits.

So let me just get this out of the way... I am an admitted armchair psychologist. :D I have depression/anxiety (well controlled), dated a guy for 3 years who was bipolar, and my family has a laundry list of issues, diagnosed and undiagnosed. My maternal grandmother is 100% Cluster B. My mom, aunt, everybody agrees. I don't talk to her much anymore because of the emotional toll it takes on me and the way she exacerbates my anxiety.

In reading up on why parents would push to medicate kids, overstate symptoms, etc... I came across a lot of material on Cluster B moms who do this kind of thing. Based on things FH has told me about strange behaviors (never, ever, ever admitting fault- even when outright busted cheating!), as well as my own observations, I strongly suspect mom is Cluster B. I doubt we could prove it, and anyway it's not really a great case to make in court- everybody says their ex is crazy in court. :)

Better to focus on doing what's best for DSD and her health.

Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply! Loving this board so far. :D

JennK258
11-25-16, 05:20 PM
Regarding the question of dipping into meds... it just occurred to me that when you change dosage you get a new bottle and have old ones leftover... duh! I still don't know though, and it's not like we could prove it anyway. :-/

sarahsweets
11-26-16, 12:42 PM
Agree... when I asked our guidance counselor to have DS evaluated for 504 in 6th grade, I was educated on he process. I actually had to do a referral for special education services, and then school did their own evaluation to determine if an IEP was appropriate, and if not if 504 was appropriate. This, when I handed them 5 years worth of data showing exactly what his issues were! I guess we really do have excellent special ed in our system! BUT, I thought this stuff was all standard, mandated at a federal level. Shows what I know!



I wouldn't necessarily rule that out, but I don't see any signs of that. DSD takes her meds regularly so I doubt there is any excess for her to dip into. Also, mom is hardcore into opiates- not sure if stimulants would be of interest.



Great point! I never had to worry about this with my little chunky monkey. :) Unfortunately mom is highly resistant to speaking to dad, but he is scheduling calls with doctors and therapists and may be able to get them to help educate mom. We will try to fatten her up a bit when we have her!! Med records state that mom was given BMI pamphlet at most visits with one doc, but no notes about nutrition being discussed.



I've done a lot of reading since posting this thread and found a lot of articles and forum posts about kids who are angels at school and demons at home. :) I was skeptical, but you never know til you walk in someone's shoes!



We've been realy careful about talking about sensitive issues with DSD. Mom has obviously already put her in the middle and we don't want to add to that or make DSD uncomfortable while we're establishing the new visitation routine. We will have more time to talk when we have her at Christmas, and will find ways to discuss things with her so that she doesn't feel as though she's being put on the spot.



All of the above. She had a legitimate issue and got hooked. She also gets oxy from a family member. She now has a chronic pain diagnosis and is legally prescribed oxy. Depending on how much she is prescribed, she is certainly dipping into the family reserves (FH witnessed this in the past). I'm not sure how this stuff effects your personality- I would imagine it might make you kinda lethargic and would make parenting difficult. :-/



THIS!! It infuriates me because I never trashed DS's biodad even though I had every reason to! I didn't do it because it would have hurt my baby. "Luckily" she's done it in doctor's offices and it is noted in medical records. Gotta say... it is very strange going through this stuff and being happy when we find something bad in the records. It's sad for DSD but good to have it on record so that we can do something about it. Still, just feels weird to find a negative note and go, "YES!" :) We've also found outright lies given about dad's mental history (bipolar, schizophrenic, physically abusive).



Oh totally!! :D No, we do have to redirect her, tell her no, make her do stuff she doesn't want to do... I mean, she's 7! :)



Aww, thanks! Appreciate the validation- this is hard. It's hard knowing it's going to take months if not almost another year to get things together to go back to court and do anything about it.

I've been thinking a lot about why a parent would insist on their kid having this long list of Dx, and argue that she is worse when teachers and therapists say she is better. My initial thought was SSI benefits. Mom doesn't work, so definitely would qualify. But, FH called SSA and confirmed no benefits.

So let me just get this out of the way... I am an admitted armchair psychologist. :D I have depression/anxiety (well controlled), dated a guy for 3 years who was bipolar, and my family has a laundry list of issues, diagnosed and undiagnosed. My maternal grandmother is 100% Cluster B. My mom, aunt, everybody agrees. I don't talk to her much anymore because of the emotional toll it takes on me and the way she exacerbates my anxiety.

In reading up on why parents would push to medicate kids, overstate symptoms, etc... I came across a lot of material on Cluster B moms who do this kind of thing. Based on things FH has told me about strange behaviors (never, ever, ever admitting fault- even when outright busted cheating!), as well as my own observations, I strongly suspect mom is Cluster B. I doubt we could prove it, and anyway it's not really a great case to make in court- everybody says their ex is crazy in court. :)

Better to focus on doing what's best for DSD and her health.

Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply! Loving this board so far. :D

Nothing wrong with armchair psychologist in your situation! It reminds me of a less lethal verson of munchowsins(sp) by proxy- you know, the moms who make or keep their kids sick, often putting their lives at risk and in some cases killing them because of the attention they get? So shes not killing your dsd or making her sick per se, but maybe shes making her issues into something they arent- so she can be the mom with such a handful of a daughter- and when the daughter seems to do well in certain things she gets praised for being so good an patient. Or to justify her abuse of opiates like- anyone who deals with what she deals with and chronic pain would of course require opitates.

JennK258
11-26-16, 02:08 PM
Nothing wrong with armchair psychologist in your situation! It reminds me of a less lethal verson of munchowsins(sp) by proxy- you know, the moms who make or keep their kids sick, often putting their lives at risk and in some cases killing them because of the attention they get? So shes not killing your dsd or making her sick per se, but maybe shes making her issues into something they arent- so she can be the mom with such a handful of a daughter- and when the daughter seems to do well in certain things she gets praised for being so good an patient. Or to justify her abuse of opiates like- anyone who deals with what she deals with and chronic pain would of course require opitates.

Funny you should mention that... when we started this med record review (and man, it is a lot to go through!)... FH said, "you think she could have munchausen by proxy??" ...then we both were like, nah... that's only on Lifetime movies. :)

It really seems to me that DSD had some issues in kindergarten. She always talked about the bullies, but I don't remember what she said about the teachers. It's a rough inner-city school... I suspect they are just intolerant of bad behavior because they deal with it a lot, and if 2 kid are fighting they both get in trouble without teacher taking a lot of time to understand and mediate (may not have the time!). School is mailing records, will be interesting for sure.

As a result, she went to a psychiatrist who threw the alphabet soup at her. If you look at the diagnostic criteria for ODD and the rest, it seems like most 5-year-olds who act out occasionally might hit on all criteria. My cousins on one side and all their kids would have gotten the diagnosis for sure- they are a rowdy bunch lol! Then you have mom lying to the psych about some things and probably exaggerating others. Boom, alphabet soup. Now mom is vindicated. They put her on meds that made her sleepy and more compliant, mom's life probably got a lot easier.

One thing we're still not sure about and find a little troubling is the mention of frequent restraint- like physical restraint. She was restrained pretty frequently during that kindergarten year... then after meds it is reported that restraint is necessary less frequently... then no further mention. I guess that is just like... a bear hug to get a child who is behaving wildly to calm down?? She must have been having some pretty wild tantrums... but she was also 30 lbs at the time. Is that a common practice?

TygerSan
11-26-16, 10:36 PM
You ask "Is it possible for her to behave everywhere but home?"

The short answer is, yes, it's possible. I always did much better at school than at home. I was able to keep things together (wanted to please other adults, wanted to do well at school). Thing is, that created tremendous pressure. Pressure that I relieved at home in the form of tantrums and meltdowns. Home was safe. I had no mask and no reserves there. School was always incredulous about reports of home behavior given that I did so well during the day. 7 hours is also a long time to keep it together.

JennK258
11-27-16, 03:22 PM
You ask "Is it possible for her to behave everywhere but home?"

The short answer is, yes, it's possible. I always did much better at school than at home. I was able to keep things together (wanted to please other adults, wanted to do well at school). Thing is, that created tremendous pressure. Pressure that I relieved at home in the form of tantrums and meltdowns. Home was safe. I had no mask and no reserves there. School was always incredulous about reports of home behavior given that I did so well during the day. 7 hours is also a long time to keep it together.

I hear ya! I have read a lot more, lots of stories about kids who unload when they get home. I have also read stories about kids who seem to direct their wrath at a particular parent. I was skeptical at first, but a mountain of anecdotal evidence has convinced me it is possible.

Still getting the kid re-evaluated. :)

Little Missy
11-27-16, 05:19 PM
She's in 10th grade now?

JennK258
11-28-16, 07:48 PM
She's in 10th grade now?

Sorry if that got confusing! My son is in 10th grade, been dealing with ADHD and anxiety since 2nd grade. Only mentioned to say that I have some experience with similar Dx in children.

FiancÚ's daughter is the child primarily discussed in this thread, she is 7.

Caco3girl
11-29-16, 12:50 PM
Now, on to DSD, age 7. FH recently took mom to court for second time to reinforce his right to participate in her life. She hasn't consulted him at all for any medical treatment whatsoever- kid broke her arm recently and mom didn't think she needed to tell him. So, I am helping him reinsert himself back into DSD's life and get involved rather than just accepting mom's refusal. (He had DSD half of the week before relocating to GA, very involved and loving dad; mom decided he didn't count anymore when he moved away).

I live in GA, and I have been through the court system with a custody battle. My first insight it that if it is less than 6 months since she moved your husband can file for custody in the county where the child did just live and long story short, if the father was involved with the child the mom wasn't allowed to move. In most cases what happens is the mom has to prove there was a REALLY good reason to move to GA. If she cannot prove that then the courts SHOULD say "You have a choice, you can live in GA but the child will remain with the father, OR, you if you want to retain custody you have to move back to GA.

The courts don't like it when parents decide to just exclude the other parent....especially when it is a HUGE geographic move that pretty much stops the other parent from seeing the child.

JennK258
11-30-16, 08:45 PM
Other way around... dad relocated (for job/higher ed, with proper notice) and mom totally cut him off. Refused to pick up the phone for conversations or to arrange visits when he was in town. Dad and daughter were very close prior to move, and this denial of contact was undoubtedly damaging and difficult for babygirl. :(

In med records, mom said dad was not involved, although she was the one who cut off contact. :-/ Lots of other lies/misrepresentations in the records that will all come to light, eventually. Not really cool in any state, will reflect poorly on mom for sure.

He is making progress though! Now in touch with teachers and med providers and will be included going forward. Very much looking forward to Christmas break!! :D

Will have DSD re-evaluated on summer break... Christmas is just going to be all about fun and good family times. :)

sarahsweets
12-01-16, 06:48 AM
Jenn-I just want to applaud you on being the kind of step mother that others should strive to be. So many step-moms can be jealous and try to alienate the kids from previous relationships out of jealousy or whatever.

JennK258
02-20-17, 04:56 PM
Update: The Christmas visit was great! We had to drive from GA to PA 4 times in about a week, DSD with us for 2 of those trips. If you ask me, this was harder on her than flying unaccompanied would have been! She fine- a little cranky at times like any 7 year old at Christmas. No ODD whatsoever. No signs of OCD. Accepted direction/re-direction. Had a couple of tantrums that dad handled pretty easily (mostly around mealtimes- definitely have some food aversion issues to work through!).

Mom started her on new medication for anxiety in late December, but there haven't been any follow-up appointments since (2 visits cancelled/rescheduled).

Continued compiling medical history and there have been a crazy number of med changes over about 3 years. There was only one visit where mom declined to increase dosage, but it was increased at the next visit. Don't want to come across as anti-medication; DS and I are both on various meds... just very careful with them, especially DS, and especially when he was only 7.

Next step may be to have a guardian ad litem appointed to help review treatment and help make decisions as mom does everything unilaterally and without any sort of notice. It's a little scary though... what if the GAL is a quack?? What if he doesn't see through mom's BS?

I hate this stuff. I worry so much for the little girl and the damage her mom is doing to her. Very grateful that I have a reasonable ex to co-parent with!

kilted_scotsman
02-22-17, 08:46 AM
Having a GAL is a good idea. Even if it is only to interrupt the mothers decision process.

In a situation like this getting a good counsellor on board to help the child is the way to go. Maybe the counsellor then helps the child be involved in the selection of the GAL.

I know it is an anathema to many parents, but the counsellor is someone that the child can trust to keep confidences. If disclosure is made it is with the child's consent.

You're looking for a GAL with rock solid child counselling credentials.... over here I'd be avoiding Social worker types... but that's a personal view borne out of experience.

Lunacie
02-22-17, 11:00 AM
(initial diagnosis at age 5)
ADHD-C
ODD
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Disruptive Behavior Disorder
Impulse Control Disorder

(additional, added since initial)
Insomnia
OCD
Anxiety



Thing is, (based on med records) mom reports worse behavior than ever at home. She consistently asks for med changes/increases. Currently on 30mg Vyvanse, increased from 20mg 2 mos ago (same dose as my 5'10", 165 lb teen- I know it's not all about weight and dosages and effects can vary wildly for different kids, but still), Tenex 2 mg spread out over the day, BuSpar 5mg, and melatonin at night which mom doesn't bother with, despite physician orders and insomnia diagnosis.

She takes her meds year round and she is TINY. Short for her age, low BMI, she is skin and bones! She picks at her food and doesn't like to eat.

Thanks for sticking with me this far. :)

Does it seem appropriate that the list of diagnoses has continued to grow while her behavior in school is perfectly acceptable? Could a kid really control that list of diagnoses so well that her teachers think she is great, and her dad and I see none of it during visits?? (Especially the OCD- do not see it AT ALL).

In school and with us she is well-behaved, accepts redirection, and accepts being told "no," with either no opposition or maybe a little pouting that doesn't even last very long.

Mom reports screaming tantrums, throwing things, and snapping back when given directions. I understand this could be the effect of meds wearing off in the evening, but when dad has her for several days at a time, he sees none of it. I can see where mom might have to do things that dad doesn't, like make her do chores, etc. I can also see where dad is a little more novel now that they don't see each other as often.

However.... DSD says mom screams at her a lot. Mom has been a regular opioid user for 5+ years (tried to get drug test in court but she showed up with a script and they let it slide). One psych provider (not current) noted at almost every visit that mom seemed angry and "labile" (had to look that one up lol, basically means inconsistent, I think). Multiple providers note mom trashing dad in front of DSD. Mom has had/lived with several paramours in DSD's life, encouraging her to call the current one "dad." He shows up at her school/doc visits and presents himself as dad.

SO, given all that...

Can a kid age 7 with ADHD/ODD/OCD/etc control their symptoms everywhere but at home? Do you think the diagnosis is appropriate given that it only expresses at home?

I'm not buying it, and we are going to have her evaluated when she is here for the summer.

Appreciate any thoughts or insight!!

I thought I understood most of the chat type anacronyms, but not these.

DSD = dear step daughter?
FH = ???

Labile means prone to mood swings, emotionally unstable. Mom probably has
at least one mental disorder herself.

I'm a member of a support forum for parents of kids with ODD, and many of
them are confused about how their child can be so well behaved everywhere
but at home. It's pretty common I think.

Several things can relate to this.
As you mentioned, meds wearing off in the late afternoon.
Trying to hold it together at school and just letting go of that struggle at home.

Mom being inconsistent (because mom struggles too)
Lots of changes and transitions (mom's new boyfriends and dad wanting
more time with her)
And of course, mom and dad not working well together
Poor sleep and diet can be huge (she may be exhausted by the time she
gets home from school, needs a snack and a chance to relax)


The diagnoses: most of those seem related to just one underlying issue,
whether that's ADHD or Bipolar or something else. If the treatment isn't
working right and the support is sub-par and the underlying issues isn't
being addressed, she will have to struggle so very, very hard.

Recommended books and videos:
The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene
Parenting With Love and Logic by Dr. Jim Fay
Anything by Dr. Russell Barkley ... start with youtube videos