Dealing with Autistic/ADHD child - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Dealing with Autistic/ADHD child

LadySingsThaBluez profile image

First and foremost I would like to say I love my kids. But I'm having a hard time with my oldest son who is 5 EVERYDAY his school calls me saying he is throwing things or he won't be still he keeps crying and anything else they can think of. He hasn't been in school a month and they have suspended him and sent him home early I'm honestly at my wits end with them I never had this issue at my sons last school. He is on medication and yet the clonodine(hope I spelled it right) just doesn't seem to be working and I just don't know what to do anymore they call around 9:00am and 12:00pm every day it's like nothing's working I take things from him and nothing changes I'm honestly just clueless about what to do.

14 Replies

Hi Lady, sorry to hear you are having a hard time. It sounds like you have a 5 year old that is really struggling with the structure of a school environment. Don't know what to suggest, but just wanted to give you some encouragement to take it a day at a time and have faith that this is a phase you will move through and things will get better. Maybe you could get a second medical opinion on meds and diagnosis?

LadySingsThaBluez profile image
LadySingsThaBluez in reply to

Thank I have had a formal diagnosis from my local autism center as well as his doctors but thank you. I just get tired of the constant calling to ask my son to do little things like sit down I'm sorry but as a adult how do not know how to handle a child.

Momrocket profile image

Ugh. I am sorry things are so difficult for you. I have three suggestions:

1. Take your child off gluten, dairy and dyes. Our son had behavior problems, high functioning autism, etc., and making these dietary changes made a dramatic improvement in his behavior and disposition. We only saw a difference after 4 solid months on the diet, so be strict and give it lots of time, like 6 months, before you decide it's not working. It will take time for the gut to heal.

2. Have your child tested for pyroluria. Consider using, they are terriffic! Your child probably has pyroluria, treatment with prescription zinc and B6 worked wonders in my child, I wish we'd known about it sooner. Pyroluria is very common in autistic kids.

3. Hire an attorney. Your child has a right to a free and appropriate education. I am not an attorney and do not know the details of your case but I do know they cannot legally send him home and deny him an education due to behaviors that are part of his diagnosis. The school cannot deal with him, so what school can? He has a right to an education and you need to fight to make sure he gets it. There are many private schools that will be able to teach your child, and your school should be paying for it, but they will not unless you hire an attorney.

LadySingsThaBluez profile image
LadySingsThaBluez in reply to Momrocket

Thanks will talk to his doctor tomorrow. Thanks for the attorney suggestion I went there already. The only options I have would be to put him in a special needs school somewhere in Atlanta which is too far for him to go to school everyday or for him to stay I will have to take the diet accommodation into consideration cause they don't have any soy based products at school will see thanks.

ChristinaReader profile image

It sounds like your son is in defense mode. I don't know a lot about autism but I do follow The Asbreger Exps because my daughter has a lot of sensory overload issues. The school night benefit from a more structured routine for him. For example a schedule with pictures so he knows what to expect every day, the same caregiver each day, and a quiet space just for him so he has a calm down place. Trust me I feel your pain with school issues. An attitude of helpfulness and cooperation is a priceless resource. Might be worth finding a new school of this one isn't willing to work with you. Good luck!

vmspencer profile image

Are you in the US ? and have they done a Functional Behavioral Assessment? Children on the spectrum need a spectrum of services to go with these diagnoses: ABA, counseling & social skills development for example. If he doesn't have an IEP, request an IDEA evaluation in writing so they can get started on figuring out how to help him instead of punishing him for having a disability.

LadySingsThaBluez profile image
LadySingsThaBluez in reply to vmspencer

He has a iep he was switched to another school but he will have to go back to his old school because the new one is shutting down their special needs classes. I’m going to give them another chance this will be the 3rd time he has had to return to this school so if I see the same thing play out next school year I will be removing him and placing him somewhere else.

vmspencer profile image

Also, they should be supporting him in his nearest school, before suggesting shipping him across town; proving that with proper supports, he cannot learn at the local school. They clearly haven't done that yet. I would talk to another Special Education attorney or advocate about compensatory education paid by the public school. These years are crucial for ASD kids, and they have wasted time.

LadySingsThaBluez profile image
LadySingsThaBluez in reply to vmspencer

With all the constant shutting down of special needs classes there wasn’t any room for him. He did end up changing schools again but they too are closing there special needs classes so he will be returning August 1st.

Grandma01 profile image

Sounds like you've already been given a lot if great advise from every perspective. Your school should have a mental health expert, speech therapy, and occupational therapist that should be involved and can help design a plan get him moving at appreciate times and breaks. Also try a weighted vest, lap pad or blanket.

These use as should help ease some of your tension.

LadySingsThaBluez profile image
LadySingsThaBluez in reply to Grandma01

He was supposed to already have been doing all of these already but I honestly just don’t know why they never started. I can’t babysit grown adults to do what is clearly outlined in his iep. I work and I just started back working he had all the above at his old school minus the iPad been looking into buying him one but he’s a little clumsy like his mom 😂. Just hoping in August he won’t be suspended multiple times like last year or that they can do their job without my help.

Grandma01 profile image

I truely hope things get better. Why did you change schools? Is there or has there been sny medicines or supplements at any point during this?

Seriously think about weighted vest. I think it will ease some of your problems.

PartyOfADHD3 profile image

Hey there,

I feel your struggles and stress. I also have a 5 year old (Asperger’s) ASD and ADHD daughter; plus she is on Clonidine (just upped to 0.1mg at night with Zyrtec).

What time do you give him the Clonidine? My daughter was diagnosed in Atlanta and was also prescribed the Clonidine from the Marcus Autism Center as well. Now my son and I also take it too- but we are all on it for sleep disorder and my daughter is able to take a half dose during the day if she is in anger mode or “off her norm”. But the only thing I’ve noticed it does to her during the day is make her feel worse and she is emotional and then is so tired she sleeps. I’ve stopped giving it to her during the day and only at night or before a long car ride (car rides make her feel stressed out and she claims she has a headache- but we have a history of motion sickness so I think it’s related to the combination of stress and motion sickness).

We all have celiac disease so we are already gluten free (she’s never had gluten in her life bc my 13 year old son was diagnosed with CD at age 6), plus she’s dairy free, egg free, and we just started to cut dyes from her diet due to fecal incontinence. We just moved to Alabama from Georgia so I now have to find new medical teams to help me gather all of our health needs.

She is more the opposite of your son- she was a perfect angel at school and she flew under the radar of the school special education help, but she was SUCH a struggle as soon as she got home and in the morning before school. Therefore the school system pretty much told me they won’t do anything and it was all in my hands. I took her out of school early every Tuesday to bring her to Occupational Therapy to a private therapist since the school felt “she was great”. She’s smart, sweet, and follows the rules- to a T (Asperger’s much?), but sadly bc of this, she is the one that will be secretly bullied and she hides her emotions all day until they explode at home. She said she loved school (since the shutdowns we have yet to do any schooling and we are sort of “unschooling”- if you haven’t heard of unschooling, it’s basically similar to the Montessori method of learning and the child learns what they want to learn at his or her own pace rather than being forced to follow a grade level guideline that may not work for the child, especially if the child needs more in certain areas and less in others)- but her morning meltdowns and after school meltdowns showed me that she was struggling and she was afraid to say anything and she was scared to get in trouble. She’s truly a textbook “Asperger’s”- type diagnosis, even though Asperger’s falls under the ASD umbrella now (ugh), the teachers haven’t really considered that and she’s going to lose so much help in school because of that. In my opinion, combining ASD with Asperger’s was a mistake- I have been told she’s not “ASD enough” for services! What? So her 2 years of formal diagnoses by world-renowned doctors of psychology AT an autism center isn’t enough for her to be treated as having ASD bc she has learned how to “mask” her life outside of the house? It’s awful and so wrong.

I haven’t heard of the polyuria thing but I’m definitely going to look into it. My son and I also have adhd and if we don’t take our daily adhd stimulant medicine (Concerta; name brand only), we are unable to focus and be “normal” (if there really is such a thing; haha).

My daughter is too young for a stimulant medication i think and I have not yet formally had her diagnosed with adhd but it has been seen by my psychiatrist when she was with me for one of my appointments; I know she has it because she’s all over the place every day (but again, at school she’s a different person, and looking back at my youth- so was I. I wasn’t diagnosed with adhd until after my son was; he was 8 and I was 36. Her biological sperm donor has adhd as well- he’s not involved with their lives, hence the “name” for him). She definitely has adhd- and Clonidine is her medicine but during the day it is awful for her to take but it gives her a great night’s sleep of 10-12 hours.

I can’t tell you what to do medicine-wise for your son but he may benefit from a different kind- I hate stimulant meds bc they scare me but my son and I can’t function without them. I’m researching the next step for my 5 year old daughter to address her adhd because she starts Kindergarten in the fall (even though due to the virus I’m probably going to be utilizing the distance learning for both kids bc we are also immune deficient and we get sick at the drop of a germ).

My son and I take Clonidine at night and Concerta during the day. I’m unable to work due to my health issues so I have a different life ability to be at home with my kids- but I struggle with being at home every. Single. Day, with my kids. It’s a double edged sword and some days I wish I did work outside the house and get a “break”- I hope that doesn’t sound like I don’t love my kids to pieces but they are exhausting, lol. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this- as I’m sure many are in your shoes too! This word is NOT easy for sure and just know you are trying to figure out how to get your son the best education he deserves and the school system is often not equipped to handle the large amounts of time and help most students need (or the massive amount of differences in the students methods of learning for success). It’s a shame that it is not handled right but I have lost faith in the schools to give the right help to each student and many just “fall through the cracks” as a “difficult” student, a “quiet” (but needing help) student, a bullied student (that the teachers fail to see bc they are exhausted themselves), and the kids who have help at home versus those that don’t (either by having full-time working tired parents, sick parents, drug addict parents, no parents, and/or more). Some people have more privileges than others and the kids suffer from it- but school should be a place they can get what they need and deserve to help them succeed in their educational life. Sadly the US is just not there- and idk if we ever will be. I’m 42 now and I don’t see much difference in the education from back then to now except the fact that the education is now more technology based than I had- Which I feel is seriously detrimental to an adhd student that lacks self control and uses the computer given to them to play games rather than do the classwork (trust me- I’ve had to take my sons Chromebook away year after year due to his adhd and lack of control to not access games instead of doing his assigned work- even his teachers have had to take his computer away from him and I have to check his “history” on it weekly or more and he gets it taken away if he has been on a gaming site on it). The one thing I am grateful for the school chromebook was when his sperm donor abandoned us when he was 12, my son was looking up “suicide” on the school chromebook he took home daily and on a Saturday morning the mental health therapist from his school and the principal was calling me ASAP bc it triggered an alert within the school system- I luckily was already “on it” because I noticed some writing on his arm and some marks- from an eraser on his leg; so I sprung into action for his mental health and the school also stepped up on checking in on his mental health as well, so for that I am grateful).

It might be time to see what other medicines are out there to help balance his mind and body, plus adding in OT and bump up his IEP/504 plan- school’s tend to slack off bc they have their hands full but the attorney that was mentioned is a great tool to help you with this. I’m not sure what your financial situation is but if you do live in GA since you mentioned Atlanta- GA Legal Aid Services (GLSP) can assist you with it if you qualify for their services- or if you live in or around certain areas of ATL, Atlanta legal aid can also help. There are many free advocates out there to help you with this and help your son get the education he needs- yes, it’s a difficult battle, but sometimes we have to step up our voice and something finally gets done the right way.

I am starting to get my bearings together regarding my kids school IEPs and such as neither have needed them yet but it’s time. I wish you luck with this and I know I surely need it as well!

And talk to his doctors- explain it all and that he needs something else to help his mid try and focus and calm down his executive functioning. I had my son assessed for ASD (Asperger’s again- now that it’s under ASD- Asperger’s kids lose out because they are smarter than many that are on the spectrum and know how to “mask” their insides to appear “normal”- double edged sword again; but I did the same thing as a child). It wasn’t done at the Marcus Center and I disagree with the final results- PTSD and depressive disorder. I think it’s (lightly- if that’s a thing) Asperger’s and ADHD too.

Also look into an extracurricular activity like karate or soccer for him that allows him to release his daily energy- karate, lacrosse, and soccer are wonderful and help my son focus better in school and also get exercise and better sleep at night. Both kids also have to take Zyrtec at night due to allergies so that with the Clonidine is great for a good night’s sleep (and for me too!).

If you want to reach out to me at anytime- please do. I’m on a similar road with my 5 year old daughter and it’s an ever-changing journey to keep up with. I wish you luck and strength- just coming here asking for advice shows you are wanting to do the right things for your child. Stay strong and keep pushing on; we may never have it all right but we are doing the best we can do with what we have. Hugs.


Lindsay3411 profile image

Hello- I am sorry to hear about your struggles. I don’t have advice for you, but I do have a question for you. How did you know that your child was autistic? What symptoms did you see?

My son is 10 has ADHD and Severe anxiety. I feel like he has elements of Autism or Aspergers, but it could also be the anxiety. Any advice on how to recognize the difference?

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