I will try to make this as brief as possible. My 11 year old son (adopted at birth by another family and again by me at age 9) has a diagnosis of ADHD combined type, anxiety, conduct disorder, and is on the fetal alcohol spectrum. Providers focus on the ADHD aspect but I am beginning to wonder if there may be something else at play. Medications don't seem to slow him down at all. Years of therapy have not helped. He gets into fights at school and has assaulted his younger bother (1) on several occasions. He can be extremely paranoid (I'm poisonings his food or trying to kill him). He is extremely smart though it has taken a lot to get him engaged in school work, which at times he still struggles to engage. He previous family and placement never expected a lot out of him due to his FASD. I don't know what else to ask for or try. His psychiatrist thinks just getting a new therapist will solve everything but we've done that. Just trying to reach out to people that have been on this path and perhaps know of something we haven't tried yet. Thank you.
Not sure what else to do or ask about - CHADD's ADHD Pare...
As far as I'm aware, extreme paranoia isn't part of an ADHD diagnosis, nor with anxiety, FASD or conduct disorder, though I could be wrong, since I'm not any sort of provider. It might be time for a new psychiatrist if they are just dismissing your concerns. Or even just a second opinion. The fact that something might be there and you can't put your finger on it is enough to explore other professional opinions. Has he gotten a full medical work up? Since I live in the northeast USA my mind always goes to checking someone for lyme disease, but also possibly hormonal disorders like thyroid issues. That may be another avenue to explore. I wish you all the strength and luck in the world on this super tough journey ❤
Thank you for your response. I have set up a medical exam for him and hopefully we can get some blood work done to make sure there is nothing medically related causing these issues. In all the research I have done on everything he has been diagnosed with, paranoia has not come up.
Our son, who is autistic, went through a phase of thinking some food was dangerous and even poisoned. The psychiatrist successfully helped him work through it. We came to understand it was a sensory issue with food and he was trying to communicate texture, smell or taste of certain foods were unpleasant and bad “poison” to him. He’s still a really picky eater but can now communicate what he dislikes about the food he’s rejecting.
Has your kid had a neuropsych eval or been tested for autism? Does he have an IEP? Do you think that his current school placement is supportive enough? You might also want to look into working with a developmental pediatrician. This is not in my wheelhouse, but I would imagine that this child is carrying a certain amount of trauma - do you think he’s working with people who are capabilities of addressing that? There are also services that offer in-home training for families where the kid can be violent or out of control. If your gut is telling you that something’s going on with your kid and the professionals aren’t seeing it, keep looking for the provider who will.
The trouble is that because he is adopted you probably don’t know the full medical/psychiatric history of his biological family.
Do you know why his previous placement broke down?
It looks like he has been through a lot so it’s biological and environmental factors interplaying together.
Have you asked his psychiatrist to twig the medications. Maybe he needs different meds because some medications can have side effect of ‘paranoid ideations’. It’s not right if he exhibits ‘paranoid ideations’ that you are poisoning him. It’s say this is a red light and psychiatrist can’t just ignore this.
I’d say if you have a 1 year old at home as well and you need to make sure that the little one is safe- you can’t compromise on this. If you feel something is not right, don’t quietly out up with it, be vocal with the psychiatrist. Also I imagine you have a social worker attached so it’s worth discussing with the social worker too.
I have to agree. A second opinion by another psychiatrist or a neuropsychiatrist is needed. Have you done any research to identify certain doctors who have experience with specific symptoms and treatment plans. You could research this on your own or meet with a social worker to ask for recommendations. Try to find some parenting support groups or educational groups to support parents of the challenging child. Maybe if you live near a research hospital or mental health inpatient center you could find a group. Has the school had the school psycholigist do any observation for him. Sometimes this can help to document certain behaviors to assist in creating a treatment plan.
I will pray for you and your family. Bless you for loving this child and giving him a home.
Have you looked into OCD??
From what I have read Fetal Alcohol Syndrome permanently damages the brain. My grandson, whose mom was on cocaine when she got pregnant, has always had trouble with stability, anxiety and paranoia. He is on a pretty good mix of meds to control the anger finally. He is still home schooled because of his high anxiety and he always thinks someone is threatening him at school.
We have been working with the counselor for 2 years which has helped some of his problems.
I hope you have a good psychiatrist/counseling combination to help with this.