Thursday, November 10, 2011

Escalating Violence

Joseph's tantrums at school are still getting worse. He's begun throwing things at the other students. The kids pediatrician gave Kristy a prescription of Risperdal for him. We had it filled but didn't start giving it to him until last night. This isn't like Adderall or Focalin, where we will know if it works or not immediately, and the possible side effects are much more serious.

It's devastating to get an envelope full of "Critical Incident Reports" from the school, or to hear when I pick him up from his 2 hour school day that he spent half of it throwing things, screaming and crying because he wanted to play with cars instead of washing his hands and it took 5 staff members to keep him from hurting himself or someone else. Or that he broke the skin when he bit his teacher, and now she has a staph infection because maybe that impetigo wasn't really gone. I heard somewhere that you're never supposed to apologize for your parents or your children, but I feel like I should. His teacher tells me that they know that this behavior is not him, and he's the sweet little boy when he's not hulking out, and we're doing a great job considering the situation. Anyway, we're lucky to have one day a week that passes without an incident at school (well, we would be if it happened).

I used to think that ADHD was over-diagnosed. That people just didn't know how to discipline their kids, so they went and asked their doctor for pills to solve the problem for them. I used to think that it was outrageous that someone would diagnose a child with bi-polar disorder and treat them with serious drugs like lithium. When we started the kids on Adderall, I justified it by thinking that it wasn't too different from giving them caffeine. The Risperdal is not so easy though.

It's so discouraging. He has been making so much progress over the last 12 months. He used to throw tantrums, but they were the short kind where he would throw himself to the floor and scream a little. I could scoop him up, get in in his car seat, and once we were on the road he would be fine. Now, when he wants to go outside at grandma and grandpa's and he's not allowed, he starts throwing things and knocking things over. I had to physically lay on top of him on a couch for an hour while he screamed at the top of his lungs and tried to bite me (the bruises from the bites lasted for about a week).

I'm doing the best I can. We'll get through this. Everything will be fine.

I'm emotionally exhausted.

1 comment:

  1. Been there, still there. I got help from my son's pediatrician when he was in second grade. He had ADHD and is dx PDD-NOS. We started Strattera, then later in the Risperdal in third grade because his behaviors were just as you described. It took a while to start working but when it did, it was a wonderful thing to see. My son was able to focus and reduced tantrums was a blessing. As he got older, he gained weight because of this medicine and we continued to increase the dose accordingly. For some reason, possibly puberty, he began to have increased unwanted behaviors, throwing things, hitting kids, turning tables, kicking, punching, but mostly self-injury. It was more than I could handle. I sought out another dr. out of town, a psychiatrist at a behavioral clinic in San Antonio. Six months ago we removed the Risperdal gradually as we introduced Abilify. It made a difference. He's more alert, very verbal and even debates his cause when redirected, etc. He's 13 yrold and takes these two meds together and although these are not cures, they are assistance he needs to function on a daily basis. There are good days and bad days. Read my latest post.