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2E kid and totally overwhelmed.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

edited


Edited by jajmomma - 4/12/11 at 12:46pm
post #2 of 10

Welcome!

First off, you might want to crosspost to get more answers on the Special needs board - most of what you describe sounds like about his special needs rather than his gifted needs, particularly as it appears to have been set off by separation anxiety and the new sibling.

 

Quote:
Without forcing you all to scroll through pages of background, we eventually decided that his hyperactivity and delayed social / spectrumy behaviors warranted an independent neuropsych evaluation.  That concluded this past fall. We were not surprised to learn that James has ADHD, however we *were* surprised to learn that his IQ was high enough to be considered gifted. 

 

 

Our DS is currently being evaluated - we went in wondering about ADHD, walked out with possible spectrum (jury is still out, things appear to be murky...). So I'm wondering how come you ahd him evaluated for delayed social/spectrumy behaviours and walked out with merely an ADHD diagnosis - maybe there is co-morbidity complicating the picture?

 

We decided on an evaluation because DS' behaviour and sleep took a nosedive this summer with having a baby sister  - loss of focus, meltdowns and tantrums, inflexibility and ritualizing, aggression in preschool sleep disruption, sensory seeking, weird stuff that might be stimming or ticcing. (I remember we also had serious sleep disruptions and aggressiveness when I went back to work full time when he was not quite 2 and I had to get in the mornings before he woke up - that time, I stuck it out for almost 8 months, then had to cut my hours). This time, there isn't much to change about the new situation as far as the baby sister is concerned, but we worked hard at getting a good routine going again as soon as possible after Christmas, have started supplements (fish oil, recently magnesium and zinc) and have introduced plain old behaviour management techniques (rewards and consequences). We are seeing improvements, but everything is still *somewhat* there.  

 

We have also found that stuff that appeared to come out of nowhere wasn't quite like that - DS appears to be easygoing about transitions and new and stimulating things but will go into overload and tantrums or meltdowns and something seemingly unrelated later, in hindsight you could see it coming. Transitions, upsets in routine, low blood sugar (apparently a problem more common in gifted kids whose brains burn through fuel faster - search this board for reactive hypoglycemia), fatigue, too much social time are fairly reliable triggers only they are delayed. Same with the new predictability and routines about our lives - they appear to work, but take time. He may need MUCH more time to adjust to the new sibling, particularly as adoption's complicating the picture too. Maybe he has scary thoughts about you "picking up a new one" because there is something wrong with him? "Will they get rid of me?" It's just been January!

 

From hints I got from the psychologists doing the evals, I am currently thinking we may not get a clear answer from them on the question "ASD or not"? The best hope I have is to be able to start OT soon for the sensory stuff which I have great hopes for, and maybe some CBT or ABA or a social skills class or whatever they do for spectrumy kids.

 

I have also talked to our ped and they agreed to do blood testing for possible heavy metals, lack of minerals, allergies and sensitivities, just to rule physical stuff out.

 

Does this help a little? I am afraid I cannot help you at all about public schools as I live in Europe - our problems are very different...

post #3 of 10
I have a dd who is 2E -- she's gifted and on the spectrum. The school thing is tough. There is currently an active thread on the learning at school board debating public or private school for special needs kids.

My dd goes to a private alternative school that does an amazing job at meeting her needs.

I think you might get some good responses on the special needs if you put some of the specific issues in the thread title.
post #4 of 10

Have you gone to the ENT yet? I know that any and all of the issues you posted about could be made far worse by constant sleep disruption--if he has apnea, his behavior could spiral downward for no apparent reason (except that he can't sleep.) Fish oil supplements or other supplements could be helpful, too, but I would definitely consider a sleep study if he has enlarged adenoids.

 

 

post #5 of 10

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jajmomma View Post

 

I've learned that ODD behaviors can be comorbid with ADHD, but I feel completely out of my depth with how to address James' 'episodes' -- they come out of nowhere and I resort to restraining him until he is able to be safe with his body. He almost seems unreachable when he's like this and this is such new behavior for him, that I'm at a loss. 

 


Hi, I have a 2e kid, with one of the e for SPD (sensory processing) and vision processing. Your descriptions immediately reminded me of the worst times I had with him. The psychologist's evaluation was extreme anxiety - this was before we uncovered the SPD and vision issues, and he was midway through school. I think all the PPs have raised good points, esp with regards to sleep (or the lack of), but in addition, I think anxiety is something to look into. You need to understand the triggers for the anxieties, and also a way to process the anxieties. For our son, drawing was a good outlet for the anxious feelings. The psychologist recommended non-cerebral activities like music, drawing, pottery etc to help an anxious child process emotions. There is also CBT, which we didn't need to get into, but you can consider.  After we uncovered the SPD and vision, we worked on those accordingly and while he can still be explosive at times (possible auditory processing issue that I am not yet ready to look into), it is definitely manageable and nothing like before. One of the things that he was bad at before was self-regulation - he did not seem to know when he is hungry, or thirsty, or need to rest. I guided him on observing his body cues and he's better at addressing his needs now.  

 

For your child, separation and transition is obviously a biggie. Perhaps his early years leading to his separation has something to do with this? I believe children with high IQ can remember more of their early childhood and an early separation could have left a mark on his heart. We had a family friend whose family moved across borders four times during her son's early years and he had separation anxieties until he was about 10. My 2e son did not have such big issues, but I remember clearly once when I had to be away for four hours and he was just under 2 years old. He curled up in fetal position and closed his eyes, calling for me over and over again until I got back. He was with his grandparents and they panicked because they had never seen a child reacting like this before. So perhaps a lot of reassurance, perhaps a family ritual for temporary separation, activities to fill the void, and activities to help him process those strong feelings.

 

Another important thing is regular protein rich snacks. Some kids whine when they are hungry, both of mine will suddenly be absolutely miserable, and start howling over minute things. Thrust a snack at them, they will start eating without a word, wipe the tears off their faces and continue doing what they were doing before. 

 

re school, I suggest you take things one at a time. Manage the anxieties at home first, and school issues will seem more manageable. Good luck!
 

 

post #6 of 10

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jajmomma View Post

 

I've learned that ODD behaviors can be comorbid with ADHD, but I feel completely out of my depth with how to address James' 'episodes' -- they come out of nowhere and I resort to restraining him until he is able to be safe with his body. He almost seems unreachable when he's like this and this is such new behavior for him, that I'm at a loss. 

 


Hi, I have a 2e kid, with one of the e for SPD (sensory processing) and vision processing. Your descriptions immediately reminded me of the worst times I had with him. The psychologist's evaluation was extreme anxiety - this was before we uncovered the SPD and vision issues, and he was midway through school. I think all the PPs have raised good points, esp with regards to sleep (or the lack of), but in addition, I think anxiety is something to look into. You need to understand the triggers for the anxieties, and also a way to process the anxieties. For our son, drawing was a good outlet for the anxious feelings. The psychologist recommended non-cerebral activities like music, drawing, pottery etc to help an anxious child process emotions. There is also CBT, which we didn't need to get into, but you can consider.  After we uncovered the SPD and vision, we worked on those accordingly and while he can still be explosive at times (possible auditory processing issue that I am not yet ready to look into), it is definitely manageable and nothing like before. One of the things that he was bad at before was self-regulation - he did not seem to know when he is hungry, or thirsty, or need to rest. I guided him on observing his body cues and he's better at addressing his needs now.  

 

For your child, separation and transition is obviously a biggie. Perhaps his early years leading to his adoption has something to do with this? I believe children with high IQ can remember more of their early childhood and an early separation could have left a mark on his heart. We had a family friend whose family moved across borders four times during her son's early years and he had separation anxieties until he was about 10. My 2e son did not have such big issues, but I remember clearly once when I had to be away for four hours and he was just under 2 years old. He curled up in fetal position and closed his eyes, calling for me over and over again until I got back. He was with his grandparents and they panicked because they had never seen a child reacting like this before. So perhaps a lot of reassurance, perhaps a family ritual for temporary separation, activities to fill the void, and activities to help him process those strong feelings.

 

Another important thing is regular protein rich snacks. Some kids whine when they are hungry, both of mine will suddenly be absolutely miserable, and start howling over minute things. Thrust a snack at them, they will start eating without a word, wipe the tears off their faces and continue doing what they were doing before. 

 

re school, I suggest you take things one at a time. Manage the anxieties at home first, and school issues will seem more manageable. Good luck!
 

 

post #7 of 10

- double post -

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by deminc View Post

 

For your child, separation and transition is obviously a biggie. Perhaps his early years leading to his separation has something to do with this? I believe children with high IQ can remember more of their early childhood and an early separation could have left a mark on his heart. We had a family friend whose family moved across borders four times during her son's early years and he had separation anxieties until he was about 10. My 2e son did not have such big issues, but I remember clearly once when I had to be away for four hours and he was just under 2 years old. He curled up in fetal position and closed his eyes, calling for me over and over again until I got back. He was with his grandparents and they panicked because they had never seen a child reacting like this before. So perhaps a lot of reassurance, perhaps a family ritual for temporary separation, activities to fill the void, and activities to help him process those strong feelings.

 



I have SUCH a fear of this.  DD went through a lot of transitions (international moves) in the first two years of her life and has horrible separation anxiety.  I'm just hoping it ends sometime soon. It got better for a bit but we had to move again (thankfully the last time for at least a couple of years and then it would just be a within city move, no school changes or anything) and we moved away from her grandparents so she's been extremely clingy again and is constantly asking if someone is going to take her away. greensad.gif She used to vomit, though, when I wasn't around so at least we've moved on from that...

 

To the OP I don't have any real advice but here's some hug2.gif.  We haven't had an official diagnosis for SPD beyond our pediatrician agreeing with us that we should get things checked out further but we've thought DD could have that for about a year now.  Because of that we're going with a small private Montessori preschool for her because she doesn't do well in loud, noisy environments (I have a feeling a play based school would be overwhelming for her).  I hope you figure out what works best for your son, good luck!

post #9 of 10
I think that sensory issues can be linked to anxiety and separation issues. For kids with sensory issues, the world is a scary and overwhelming place.

I highly recommend The Out of Sync Child. It's far more productive to figure out a good sensory diet for a child than to waste time feeling like the child is stuck because of their life experiences.
post #10 of 10

I would go on a rule-it-out investigation:

ENT

allergist

developmental optometrist

OT for sensory processing disorder (SPD)

 

It's common for gifted kids to have typical processing speeds.  He may not be able to articulate or understand what he's experiencing just because he's little and overwhelmed.

 

I'm not a fan of the ODD criteria in the DSM, and particularly where a child has a number of other possible complexities.  I'm pretty dang oppostional when I'm feeling overwhelmed, and I don't have ODD.  :)

 

There's also a lot of opinion/some research around ADHD being misdiagnosed in gifted kids.

 

Some reading, just to overwhelm you:

A number of good books, with previews, on SPD:

http://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&tbo=1&q=sensory+processing+disorder

 

Kids in the Syndrome Mix

http://books.google.com/books?id=DmUpCSlnmKAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=syndrome+mix&hl=en&ei=Sz6ITbPzE4ygsQOH1fH6Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

Smart But Scattered

http://books.google.com/books?id=J5MA8e5YHmQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=smart+but+scattered&hl=en&ei=bD6ITe-iNJS8sAPaw8mBDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

When the Labels Don't Fit

http://books.google.com/books?id=hvZQGBJCM4IC&dq=when+the+labels+don't+fit&hl=en&ei=hz6ITcndIYr6sAOv4JiYDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA

 

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children

http://books.google.com/books?id=NQrtt-peg5AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=webb+misdiagnosis&hl=en&ei=0T-ITeqEIpL4sAPT_OyBDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false 

 

Freeing Your Child From Anxiety

http://books.google.com/books?id=QMYr7kib3I4C&dq=child+anxiety&hl=en&ei=pD6ITZvMIomisAPF962QDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CE4Q6AEwAg

 

DS liked this book at this age, but pre-read in case it might introduce ideas he doesn't need:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Mouses-Fears-Greenaway-Awards/dp/1416959300/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300774750&sr=1-1

 

The Mislabeled Child is a treasure trove of info re complicated kids:

http://www.amazon.com/Mislabeled-Child-Solutions-Childrens-Challenges/dp/1401308996/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300774801&sr=1-1

 

Finally, re the spectrumy social stuff:

http://www.socialthinking.com/

 

Winner's stuff is excellent, and SuperFlex is easy to do at home.

 

 

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