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Old 05-18-2009, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,
I have a couple questions. My 4 (almost 5) yr old little boy exhibits some odd behaviors and someone mentioned Bipolar? I did not think that could be diagnosed until teen years? I am scared for him and us. He stresses our whole family out and there has been a strain for yrs He is so sweet when he wants to be but when he has a meltdown, forget it! He says mean things, screams and screams, throws things, hits me, siblings, whomever is in his way, I am not sure what to do or how to help him? He does NOT sleep well at all...it takes him about an hr to fall asleep and then we will wake up throughout the night, it is exausting! I also feel he has some sensory issues. He is VERY smart, he loves clocks! When he is sweet and nice he is super sweet but its like someone flicks a switch and he turns into an angry little boy He also has anxiety issues, he tells me "Mommy, I can't control it" He knows there is something not right, it breaks my heart He is constantly asking if I love him and I answer of course w/lots of hugs and kisses. I think he is just wired differently then my other kids...he is always looking for stimulation from somewhere! He doesn't exhibit ADHD symptoms though.

I am at a loss and just wondered what should I do next? I am getting him assessed w/an OT and speaking w/a behaviorlist. Thanks for listening and if you have any questions...feel free to ask

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Old 05-18-2009, 10:01 PM
 
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Those behaviors sound like they could all fit on the autism spectrum...
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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Bipolar is a hard thing to diagnose for sure in kids. There is still controversy whether it exists at all. In any case, with those issues, you would be well off to do a full evaluation by a developmental pediatrician or a neuropsychologist. Or at the very least get started with a child psychologist who can help guide you.

My DS is similar. He's 8 and dx ADHD, Tourette's, and has a mood disorder we have not yet fully identified but definitely has anxiety/depression -- we are also considering bipolar for him but are not there yet. In any case, we have done occupational therapy for the sensory stuff, regular therapy for the mood stuff, and see a neurologist for the Tourette's/ADHD. We've tried a variety of diets and supplements and he is now on medication. It helps, but we still have many days we struggle. I wouldn't have made it this long without our wonderful pediatrician and therapist.

Hang in there, mama, and get help! Really figuring out what is going on (and really, there is so much overlap between behaviors in the different things it could be, you need to do the testing to really know) will make all the difference for being able to help him. Be sure you are getting enough time to recharge and refill your own fuel tank, too.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:12 PM
 
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Sorry to post and run--kids.

Anyway, yes, as the PP said, your best bet is to consult an expert, be it developmental pediatrician, child psychologist, behaviorist, etc. But all the things you describe--difficulty sleeping, explosiveness, impulsiveness, unusual interests (clocks)--all sound like ASD kids I know.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for responding! I am just at a loss and its hurting our whole family...I just want to know how to help him, KWIM?

What are the symptoms of ASD....that didn't even cross my mind at all. I am waiting on my appt w/the behaviorlist and also the OT.

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Old 05-20-2009, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone else have any idea? Thanks so much

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Old 05-20-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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Hi. I am not an expert but having family members with bipolar disorder, it doesn't sound like the right diagnosis. Bipolar used to be called manic depression. Bipolar usually has extreme highs and lows that last more than a few minutes. You didn't mention anything about depression, which is part of bipolar. There is usually some degree of paranoid behavior too.

My 4 year old daughter just had an OT evaluation. She is extremely hard to control, will run into parking lots (no fear) , and needs lots of stimulation.They think she will calm down when she starts school and gave me lots of suggestions on different kinds of safe stimulation I can introduce. Even simple things like having a tire swing that goes around instead of just normal up and down swings. I know your son's behavior sounds more intense. But the OT is what I would suggest, the OT evaluation was easy and my daughter enjoyed it because there was a lot of playing involved. I think the person who told you bipolar probably doesn't really know what bipolar is, go to someone who can do an actual evaluation.

Good Luck. I know how tiring an extremely active child can be.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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Your son sounds very much like mine-research Oppositional Defiant Disorder- I felt like I found a home when things started to click into place for us. If you'd like to talk more you can PM me. Good Luck.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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Here's the DSM criteria for ODD:
http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/odd.htm

Quote:
A. A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months, during which four (or more) of the following are present:
(1) often loses temper
(2) often argues with adults
(3) often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules
(4) often deliberately annoys people
(5) often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
(6) is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
(7) is often angry and resentful
(8) is often spiteful or vindictive
Note: Consider a criterion met only if the behavior occurs more frequently than is typically observed in individuals of comparable age and developmental level.

B. The disturbance in behavior causes clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.

C. The behaviors do not occur exclusively during the course of a Psychotic or Mood Disorder.

D. Criteria are not met for Conduct Disorder, and, if the individual is age 18 years or older, criteria are not met for Antisocial Personality Disorder.
TBH, from what you describe, I don't go to ODD.

Asperger's:
http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/di...s/asperger.htm
(you can also find the diagnostic criteria for autism and PDD-NOS in a user-friendly format here).

I would also not eliminate his reactions as being caused by anxiety. Also, SPD.

A good assessment will include the use of at least one assessment scale completed by his parents (ideally, each does it separately). If he attends preschool or daycare, ideally the main teacher would complete one as well. The scales provide an opportunity to tease out which behaviours are happening and what they might signify.

This is a very informative site:
http://www.mislabeledchild.com/html/Library/index.html

Good luck to you.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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Old 06-19-2013, 06:07 PM
 
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Mom of a bipolar 5 year old daughter with ADHD: My daughter has had fits of anger since she was 3. Now she is on meds but when she does something bad, she thinks discipline don't matter. I have done time out it dosent work. I take toys away and everything. She expects what she wants when she wants it and if not its severe melt downs at the flip of a switch. Its constant battles everyday and I feel like there's nothing I can do. She runs off and everything she has no fear of anything. She tells me she hates me and I'm not her mom, she breaks things and I feel hopeless....please help greensad.gif mom of two fixing to be three. She's the oldest.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:13 AM
 
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My son's psychologist said it is not common to diagnose bipolar in young children. My son is 9 now, and in hindsight, a lot of it was anxiety, really big emotions, a very strong personality, and me not knowing how to deal with them right. My son has a host of minor issues (sensory, vision, leading to anxiety, over excitability and high IQ leading to over reading situations in school and home) but I genuinely think a more experienced mother would have coped better than I did then.

As with some of the previous posters, I would not go with bipolar or ODD. It will be much more helpful and fruitful if you focus on sensory, anxiety (find the roots), sleep issues and provide firm guidelines. You mentioned he is very clever, but do not let that lead you into a debate with him for non negotiables.

And The Mislabelled Child is a very good book to look into. I second the recommendation.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:59 AM
 
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I am a clinician by training...I agree with the other posters who are directing you to consider an atypical autism presentation, like aspergers or pdd-nos, given his strong and unusual interest in the clocks and what appears to be sensory integration issues.  He is sorry for what he's done afterward, he is generally sweet natured and feels he can't control himself when he acts out in a rage.  That is NOT ODD.  Often anxiety presents itself hand in hand with a person on the spectrum.  Almost always, individuals on the spectrum also have some level of sensory integration dysfunction so you are going to want to explore with an OT what his sensory issues are and meet his needs on that level.  This will help alleviate any anxiety and anger he is feeling.  So will good healthy limits and structure for him, that take into account his unique way of viewing the world.  My son who is on the spectrum used to also ask me all the time if I love him, almost always after I was angry at him for misbehavior.  At that time I had no idea exactly what was going on for him and when he acted out angrily which he also would do at 4 and 5, I would set very firm limits and get angry at him for his misbehavior.  He would see my reaction and feel very sad and upset at himself.  I've learned over the years not to meet his anger or frustration level with my own feelings but to stay calm and steady for him and teach him other ways to manage his frustration.  Part of this, is learning how to parent a child who reacts to their environment differently than you expect. 

 

As you sort it out, it does get better.  But, it is work, parenting strategies and good supports when you need it.  I would also consider, if I were you, if he is food intolerant or allergic to anything, and if he has any triggers you can eliminate this way.  I have found with my child that if his diet is free of his triggers his sensory issues and anxiety wash away and he exhibits a more typical amount of self control.

 

Good luck to you....

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