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Something's Not Right

Posted by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM
  • 19 Replies

Andrew my son is a three year old and has totally changed over the course of the last 18 months and no matter how I control the situation it's as I can't get it through to him etc or make him understand. I have a doctors appointment for him this evening 4:50pm but I wanted to know what you thought, basically I am going crazy, wondering. 

Andrew is 3 years, 5 months old and this is a list of things he does:

* Used to be able to get himself dressed and now he can't do it, keeps sighing and taking tantrums when he can't do it.

* Crys at the drop of a hat if he sees someone else with something he wants.

* Constantly fidgets: hands, feet, willy, face etc

* Never sits still

* Talks to himself and has full blown conversations

* Gets up over night and starts singing/crying loudly and wakes other siblings up (4 and 15 months) and when you ask him why he gets up, he looks at you blankly and doesn't give you an answer or starts to cry or comes out with "I don't know".

* Has started to lie alot: Comes home with bruises from nursery/falls over outside when playing or walking and then blames it on either mam, dad, sister or teachers, but rotates everytime you ask who done it. (which has lead to social services, coming out twice, and when they have asked him who's done it he always comes out with "I don't know")

* Doesn't understand simple instructions (no matter how clearly I present them):

- He never seems to pay attention when we are talking to him,

- He will never stay quiet (I know you can't expect a child to be quiet 110% of the time) when his father is driving, or when told to do such as when his mam and dad are talking, always interrrupting too.

- Such as hold mammy's hand across the road - pulls away and runs off into oncoming traffic or infront of a car pulling out. Or if he doesn't want to hold my hand will pull away and throw himself on the floor, which in turn hurts himself and blames me, dad, teacher etc.

* He's fully potty trained, however when he now has a poo he will jump down, get it everywhere and i mean everywhere, then pull his trousers up and then sit back down like nothing's wrong.

* He has no comprehension and doesn't understand the word why.

* He will wake up on a morning, screaming and singing, basically like what he does over night and jump on top of his big sister to wake her up, one day i caught him and asked what he was doing and he said it was his big sister who woke him up and then when I said why lie about it, all we get is "I don't know why"
the list could go on....

Well went to the doctor on 25th January 2013 and the doctor said he would put in a referral for a child paediatrician and an referral with CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

This past week I have been at a friends house and he has turned into a little troublemaker, that's what I will call it!

Amy, 21 and her daughter Charlotte, 3. Which is good as the kids get to play with one another and mingle and we get some adult conversation!....

Well yesterday I was ashamed and in two minds on whether to go back round today or not, but in saying that not sure if she wants me to come back or not!. Andrew totally showed me up yesterday, and even Amy was shocked because Monday and Tuesday he was good as gold.

It was as if something, a switch even had been turned on in his head.

* He knocked over a glass vase filled with fake flowers and those glass pebble things all over the living room floor.

* Attacked Amy's Daughter: Pushed her over a few times, Pushed passed her, Smacked her with her "Dress Up" Necklace.

* Turned Amy's Stereo up to full blast (As we were in the kitchen and the stereo in the living room) we were making a cuppa and sorting Jayden out for his mid morning nap and then Amy ran in to turn it down followed by me and Andrew quickly jumped on the settee, looked down at the floor and pointed to Charlotte and blamed her.

* I had made a packed lunch for the kids for going to Amy's house: Sandwiches, Crisps and Pop. Andrew then was throwing his lunch to the dog, and I caught him in the act and when I asked why he said "I don't Know" so I put him in time out.

- Bare in mind Amy has two dogs, one dog in a cage: greyhound, and a big mongrel: that has free roam of the house.

When he was in time out he kept bum shuffling towards the greyhound in the cage and tormenting the dog, which in return made the dog, scratch him.

* Jayden was playing with a closed Fruit Shoot (Imogen's) and happily playing with it and Andrew grabbed Jayden, snatched the Fruit Shoot and then pushed him over which made him cry and then I picked him up and put him in Time Out on the bottom stairs.

I asked him why he did that to Jayden by getting down to his level and talking calmly and all I get is "I don't know" so I told him to sit still, be quiet and sit there for 3 mins, now where her living room door is (it faces the stairs) I hadn't even sat down on the settee and he's bum shuffling up and down and talking to himself along with fidgeting. So I told him to sit still and be quiet. 

In the end even Amy had a word with him and asked him to be good and he didn't listen because five minutes later he started all over again.

Then on the way home me and Imogen were chatting and having a bit of a giggle (Imogen kept saying mammy don't get upset otherwise I'd tickle you all the way home) Andrew then started kicking me and demanding I hold his hand. So I held his hand but kept a tight grip as he kept trying to pull away. Then demanded I let him go, so I did and kept walking and then he kept demanding I held his hand again. So I said no, all I wanted to do was get home and have a cuppa and be in my own space so I could calm down.

Gets home, I also put the pram in the house first, then Imogen follows and then Andrew. Well I have two steps into my house, so you can picture me trying to lift the pram into the house, Andrew pushes Imogen out the way and pushes the pram and trys to push pass it to get into the house so I picked him up and placed him back of the line and told him to wait, once I got in, Imogen then came in and then she didn't even get in the house and he pushed the front door (her foot got stuck under the door and has cut her foot open all because Andrew is so impatient.)

So I sent him to his room, while I could sort out the other two, clean imogen up and put a plaster on etc, change jaydens bum and give him his next bottle etc all the while Andrew is kicking the shit outta things in his and Jayden's room!

Once I sorted out Imogen and Andrew I asked him calmly why he has been so naughty today and all I got was "Because" so I said no why you been naughty and hurt people and he's saying " I don't Know" so I told him until you can work out why you can stay in here, obviously he kicked off by lashing out at me, IAlan got home 15 mins later seen me in a mess and Imogen told him everything Andrew down today, so we both went up to calmly talk to him and he said the same to both of us "because" 

So I sent him to bed without his tea! 

What to do? 

by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM
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Replies (1-10):
kajira
by Emma on Feb. 23, 2013 at 4:29 PM

My son was a lot like this - he was diagnosed with autism first, and then got a psychotic disorder not otherwise specified with a mood disorder added onto his diagnoses....


Which is basically schizophrenia+mood disorder (also known as schizo-affective) but because they don't like using the label "schizophrenia" they gave it a big fancy name and tried to explain the symptoms.

My son talked to himself a lot - that was one of the first signs and it started young, around age 3ish. Night terrors, aggressive behavior, screaming, unconsolable, as a baby he was a total sweetheart, and by 2, he slowly started having more and more problems.

By 8 - he still wasn't fully potty trained, couldn't bathe himself, oncewe got him on an anti psychotic with a mood stabilizer he did better - but the older he gets, the clearer his symptoms become especially on the meds - he has recently started making up fake languages, and we've really had to explain to him that some of his "quirks" are a sign of his brain going in a direction that we're trying to slow down with his meds... so he needs to work harder to stay in reality with us and try hard to communicate.

At 3 - that's hard. My son was so smart and was an amazing talker at 3-4 - then regressed language wise, and the older he gets, the worse his language gets. 

I have NO idea what's going on with your child - but reading some of the symptoms sound like my son - it's possible to be bipolar and have similar symptoms and stuff too.... And if he's got a chemical imbalance or a mood disorder, or anything else, symptoms could start this early.

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Feb. 23, 2013 at 7:36 PM
1 mom liked this

Welcome mama!  My son is 4 years old and Autistic but definitely different than yours...they are all different:)  Hugs and good luck!

SarahLynn1985
by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 7:50 PM
Hey there kinda sounds like my daughter some shes 2 and im starting the journey to find out if she is or isnt autistic
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VioletsMomTown
by Robyn on Feb. 23, 2013 at 8:11 PM
1 mom liked this

It does sound like something is going on, but it doesn't sound like autism to me. I could be wrong. Of course I would have him tested, but my guess would be ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and maybe ADHD?  Keep us updated! Good luck!

Violet's Mom

Twitter @autismnotebook

JTMOM422
by Brenda on Feb. 23, 2013 at 8:13 PM

I was thinking this too. Didn't sound like ASD to me either

Quoting VioletsMomTown:

It does sound like something is going on, but it doesn't sound like autism to me. I could be wrong. Of course I would have him tested, but my guess would be ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and maybe ADHD?  Keep us updated! Good luck!


lancet98
by Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:56 PM
1 mom liked this

 

 

Quoting JAIL985:

Andrew my son is a three year old and has totally changed over the course of the last 18 months and no matter how I control the situation it's as I can't get it through to him etc or make him understand. I have a doctors appointment for him this evening 4:50pm but I wanted to know what you thought, basically I am going crazy, wondering. 

Andrew is 3 years, 5 months old and this is a list of things he does:

* Used to be able to get himself dressed and now he can't do it, keeps sighing and taking tantrums when he can't do it.

What does the tantrum consist of in that situation?

* Crys at the drop of a hat if he sees someone else with something he wants.

* Constantly fidgets: hands, feet, willy, face etc

* Never sits still

* Talks to himself and has full blown conversations

Can you understand what he is saying when he does this?   Or does it sound like babbling? 

* Gets up over night and starts singing/crying loudly and wakes other siblings up (4 and 15 months) and when you ask him why he gets up, he looks at you blankly and doesn't give you an answer or starts to cry or comes out with "I don't know".

How often does this happen?   Every night?   A couple times a month?   Somewhere in between?

* Has started to lie alot: Comes home with bruises from nursery/falls over outside when playing or walking and then blames it on either mam, dad, sister or teachers, but rotates everytime you ask who done it. (which has lead to social services, coming out twice, and when they have asked him who's done it he always comes out with "I don't know")

Okay.   Do you see any indication that he is generally incoordinated?   What do you think is happening?   He simply loses his balance?   Or does he throw himself down or seem to suddenly lose his coordination?

* Doesn't understand simple instructions (no matter how clearly I present them):

Did he used to understand the same instructions?   Is this a change, or did he just never progress to following directions at the age you expected him to?

- He never seems to pay attention when we are talking to him,

What do you think he IS paying attention to?  Is he looking in one direction?  Or does his gaze move around from one direction to another, ,at these times?

- He will never stay quiet (I know you can't expect a child to be quiet 110% of the time) when his father is driving, or when told to do such as when his mam and dad are talking, always interrrupting too.

So when he is getting a lot of sensory input (a lot to see, hear, feel - moving in a car, several people talking at once) he gets - anxious?   Agitated?   What does he ask you at these times?   What's he saying?

- Such as hold mammy's hand across the road - pulls away and runs off into oncoming traffic or infront of a car pulling out. Or if he doesn't want to hold my hand will pull away and throw himself on the floor, which in turn hurts himself and blames me, dad, teacher etc.

Even before I got to this part of your post, I was already really concerned about your son.    This is VERY concerning. 

Does he always seem to avoid touch, or only at times when there is a lot going on - crossing a street, walking down the sidewalk, etc?

* He's fully potty trained, however when he now has a poo he will jump down, get it everywhere and i mean everywhere, then pull his trousers up and then sit back down like nothing's wrong.

Now more concerned.  

He sounds very distracted, overwhelmed, anxious.

* He has no comprehension and doesn't understand the word why.

"No comprehension"?   Can you give an example of the kind of thing he doesn't comprehend?   He doesn't understand all, most or some of what you say?   Which would it be (all, most or some). 

* He will wake up on a morning, screaming and singing, basically like what he does over night and jump on top of his big sister to wake her up, one day i caught him and asked what he was doing and he said it was his big sister who woke him up and then when I said why lie about it, all we get is "I don't know why"
the list could go on....

He says "I don't know" a lot, when you ask him why he did something odd?   Has he ever said anything else?   Has he ever offered an explanation that didn't seem to make much sense to you, or that you simply discarded as  'a story' or 'made up'?


 

Well went to the doctor on 25th January 2013 and the doctor said he would put in a referral for a child paediatrician and an referral with CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

I would have suggested an immediate appointment with an expert child psychiatrist.   I am very concerned upon hearing your descriptions.

This past week I have been at a friends house and he has turned into a little troublemaker, that's what I will call it!

Amy, 21 and her daughter Charlotte, 3. Which is good as the kids get to play with one another and mingle and we get some adult conversation!....

Well yesterday I was ashamed and in two minds on whether to go back round today or not, but in saying that not sure if she wants me to come back or not!. Andrew totally showed me up yesterday, and even Amy was shocked because Monday and Tuesday he was good as gold.

It was as if something, a switch even had been turned on in his head.

So the best description for his behavior would be 'very variable - can change quite a lot from day to day or hour to hour - sometimes he is cooperative and seems to understand our directions, and other times, he doesn't seem to cooperate or understand at all'.

* He knocked over a glass vase filled with fake flowers and those glass pebble things all over the living room floor.

* Attacked Amy's Daughter: Pushed her over a few times, Pushed passed her, Smacked her with her "Dress Up" Necklace.

Every thing you are describing is really making me concerned.  

* Turned Amy's Stereo up to full blast (As we were in the kitchen and the stereo in the living room) we were making a cuppa and sorting Jayden out for his mid morning nap and then Amy ran in to turn it down followed by me and Andrew quickly jumped on the settee, looked down at the floor and pointed to Charlotte and blamed her.

I'm going to make a suggestion.   Don't worry too much about 'getting the truth out of him'.   He may actually be saying what he really thinks happened.

* I had made a packed lunch for the kids for going to Amy's house: Sandwiches, Crisps and Pop. Andrew then was throwing his lunch to the dog, and I caught him in the act and when I asked why he said "I don't Know" so I put him in time out.

- Bare in mind Amy has two dogs, one dog in a cage: greyhound, and a big mongrel: that has free roam of the house.

When he was in time out he kept bum shuffling towards the greyhound in the cage and tormenting the dog, which in return made the dog, scratch him.

* Jayden was playing with a closed Fruit Shoot (Imogen's) and happily playing with it and Andrew grabbed Jayden, snatched the Fruit Shoot and then pushed him over which made him cry and then I picked him up and put him in Time Out on the bottom stairs.

I asked him why he did that to Jayden by getting down to his level and talking calmly and all I get is "I don't know" so I told him to sit still, be quiet and sit there for 3 mins, now where her living room door is (it faces the stairs) I hadn't even sat down on the settee and he's bum shuffling up and down and talking to himself along with fidgeting. So I told him to sit still and be quiet. 

What kind of things is he saying to himself?

In the end even Amy had a word with him and asked him to be good and he didn't listen because five minutes later he started all over again.

Then on the way home me and Imogen were chatting and having a bit of a giggle (Imogen kept saying mammy don't get upset otherwise I'd tickle you all the way home) Andrew then started kicking me and demanding I hold his hand. So I held his hand but kept a tight grip as he kept trying to pull away. Then demanded I let him go, so I did and kept walking and then he kept demanding I held his hand again. So I said no, all I wanted to do was get home and have a cuppa and be in my own space so I could calm down.

Gets home, I also put the pram in the house first, then Imogen follows and then Andrew. Well I have two steps into my house, so you can picture me trying to lift the pram into the house, Andrew pushes Imogen out the way and pushes the pram and trys to push pass it to get into the house so I picked him up and placed him back of the line and told him to wait, once I got in, Imogen then came in and then she didn't even get in the house and he pushed the front door (her foot got stuck under the door and has cut her foot open all because Andrew is so impatient.)

So I sent him to his room, while I could sort out the other two, clean imogen up and put a plaster on etc, change jaydens bum and give him his next bottle etc all the while Andrew is kicking the shit outta things in his and Jayden's room!

Once I sorted out Imogen and Andrew I asked him calmly why he has been so naughty today and all I got was "Because" so I said no why you been naughty and hurt people and he's saying " I don't Know" so I told him until you can work out why you can stay in here, obviously he kicked off by lashing out at me, IAlan got home 15 mins later seen me in a mess and Imogen told him everything Andrew down today, so we both went up to calmly talk to him and he said the same to both of us "because" 

Okay, so I asked if he gave other reasons for his behavior, and sometimes he says, 'because'.   Can you ever get any more out of him than that?

What level would you say his vocabulary is at?   Is it similar to other 3 year olds you know?  

You said before that he seems to not COMPREHEND a lot -   I hope you get a chance to comment more on that.

Please keep in mind that his worst behavior occurs when he's in a situation where more is going on, when he's in a different place, when there's a change of routine.

So I sent him to bed without his tea! 

What to do? 

What to do?   If he were mine, I'd be taking him to a child psychiatrist in a New York Minute(meaning right away).  

And I'd also relax.   I SERIOUSLY doubt your little guy has a conduct disorder or is 'spoiled' or 'badly raised'.  You didn't cause this, it's not your fault.  So rest easy on that.   And don't feel like you must punish him to eradicate this - I don't think anything going on here has anything to do with your 'lack of discipline' or him being 'naughty'. It oesn't really sound like that at all.  It's not really so much about punishment with these kids - sometimes it has its role, but "The Three R's" are usually your best friend - repetition, redirection, reward.   As another psychiatrist told me, 'Keep rules simple and few', and guide more than punish.

I'm not thinking autism and based on your description, am siding with the other poster's comments about the similarity to her child.

He needs a child psychiatrist with a LOT of experience in dealing with childhood disorders.   A good test question for a psychiatrist is 'could it be schizophrenia', and if the psychiatrist says 'no, children don't get schizophrenia', that's a good time to find someone else.   If the psychiatrist says, 'let's not start out by assuming that' or 'childhood schizophrenia is not common', fine.  Those are reasonable things to say.   We LIKE it when psychiatrists do their job, which is to make a careful and thorough investigation.

Children most certainly DO get schizophrenia, but just remember, a child can be 'psychotic' and still not quite fit the criteria for schizophrenia.   As one psychiatrist told me, 'kids, unfortunately, don't read diagnostic manuals' - his way of saying that not everyone fits into neat little diagnostic categories (which is exactly what it says at the front of the diagnostic manual itself!).

The other thing to keep in mind is that children who show psychosis aren't all the same.    It used to be said that psychosis in a child was a very bad sign and led to extreme disability - it's now recognized that different kids have different outcomes and it's very inaccurate to assume they'll all be very disabled.   Getting treatment early and sticking with it makes a big difference.

I realize to some people it sounds like ' a spoiled brat' or conduct disorder, but what sort of situation his behavior deteriorates in, the talking to himself, the seeming to not comprehend what is being said to him, the insistence that others are doing the wrong things and not him(which is exactly what their senses are telling them), and the way his behavior seems to 'change like night and day' like 'a switch goes off in his brain'...no.   None of that suggests conduct disorder.

 

MomOfOneCoolKid
by Gold Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 11:52 PM

 


Quoting lancet98:

What to do?   If he were mine, I'd be taking him to a child psychiatrist in a New York Minute(meaning right away).  

Triple, quadruple agree!

And I'd also relax.   I SERIOUSLY doubt your little guy has a conduct disorder or is 'spoiled' or 'badly raised'.  You didn't cause this, it's not your fault.  So rest easy on that.   And don't feel like you must punish him to eradicate this - I don't think anything going on here has anything to do with your 'lack of discipline' or him being 'naughty'. It oesn't really sound like that at all.  It's not really so much about punishment with these kids - sometimes it has its role, but "The Three R's" are usually your best friend - repetition, redirection, reward.   As another psychiatrist told me, 'Keep rules simple and few', and guide more than punish.

clappingExactly!

I'm not thinking autism and based on your description, am siding with the other poster's comments about the similarity to her child.

He needs a child psychiatrist with a LOT of experience in dealing with childhood disorders.   A good test question for a psychiatrist is 'could it be schizophrenia', and if the psychiatrist says 'no, children don't get schizophrenia', that's a good time to find someone else.   If the psychiatrist says, 'let's not start out by assuming that' or 'childhood schizophrenia is not common', fine.  Those are reasonable things to say.   We LIKE it when psychiatrists do their job, which is to make a careful and thorough investigation.

Children most certainly DO get schizophrenia, but just remember, a child can be 'psychotic' and still not quite fit the criteria for schizophrenia.   As one psychiatrist told me, 'kids, unfortunately, don't read diagnostic manuals' - his way of saying that not everyone fits into neat little diagnostic categories (which is exactly what it says at the front of the diagnostic manual itself!).

The other thing to keep in mind is that children who show psychosis aren't all the same.    It used to be said that psychosis in a child was a very bad sign and led to extreme disability - it's now recognized that different kids have different outcomes and it's very inaccurate to assume they'll all be very disabled.   Getting treatment early and sticking with it makes a big difference.

I realize to some people it sounds like ' a spoiled brat' or conduct disorder, but what sort of situation his behavior deteriorates in, the talking to himself, the seeming to not comprehend what is being said to him, the insistence that others are doing the wrong things and not him(which is exactly what their senses are telling them), and the way his behavior seems to 'change like night and day' like 'a switch goes off in his brain'...no.   None of that suggests conduct disorder.

 

I need to keep you on speed dial mom! SO knowledgeable!

 

kajira
by Emma on Feb. 24, 2013 at 5:04 AM

I agree with her post... a lot...


If you want to talk more about my son's symptoms at 2-6 - send me a pm.

they changed as he got older, he did different things at different ages.

I just want to say that the behaviors you described sound so much like my son it's eery - right down to his answers for stuff, the self talking and blaming others for stuff, doing stuff he swars he didn't do, or doesn't remember doing - and how he handles the situations when asked about it.

My son's crying non stop over everything got him the "dramatic" label - which is where his moodswing disorder part of his diagnoses came into play.

my son lies about everything - the horror stories I could tell you that he caused with his lies would give you a headache too.

My son has lax joints - he's very clumsy, he trips over everything, he often twists himself into positions I didn't even know were possible to contort into. He's always triyng to twist himself into akward positions.

My son actaully "fell" off his pillow last night and bumped his head on his bedframe. He still hasn't fully told me how he managed to do that - just that he "fell off" his pillow.

so many symptoms, if I really went down your list, I Could give you 5 examples for each one of my son at various ages.


The self-talking and making up fake languages and gibberish are still something he does even on his meds to take away a lot of the other parts.


I read an article once on psychosis that said the brain durineg different stages of development can choose to either be a part of reality or not. That psychosis and autism are closely related that way - that the brains who choose to be a part of reality go down autism - and those that choose fantasy, go down the psychosis route.

Quoting lancet98



Quoting JAIL985:

Andrew my son is a three year old and has totally changed over the course of the last 18 months and no matter how I control the situation it's as I can't get it through to him etc or make him understand. I have a doctors appointment for him this evening 4:50pm but I wanted to know what you thought, basically I am going crazy, wondering. 

Andrew is 3 years, 5 months old and this is a list of things he does:

* Used to be able to get himself dressed and now he can't do it, keeps sighing and taking tantrums when he can't do it.

What does the tantrum consist of in that situation?

* Crys at the drop of a hat if he sees someone else with something he wants.

* Constantly fidgets: hands, feet, willy, face etc

* Never sits still

* Talks to himself and has full blown conversations

Can you understand what he is saying when he does this?   Or does it sound like babbling? 

* Gets up over night and starts singing/crying loudly and wakes other siblings up (4 and 15 months) and when you ask him why he gets up, he looks at you blankly and doesn't give you an answer or starts to cry or comes out with "I don't know".

How often does this happen?   Every night?   A couple times a month?   Somewhere in between?

* Has started to lie alot: Comes home with bruises from nursery/falls over outside when playing or walking and then blames it on either mam, dad, sister or teachers, but rotates everytime you ask who done it. (which has lead to social services, coming out twice, and when they have asked him who's done it he always comes out with "I don't know")

Okay.   Do you see any indication that he is generally incoordinated?   What do you think is happening?   He simply loses his balance?   Or does he throw himself down or seem to suddenly lose his coordination?

* Doesn't understand simple instructions (no matter how clearly I present them):

Did he used to understand the same instructions?   Is this a change, or did he just never progress to following directions at the age you expected him to?

- He never seems to pay attention when we are talking to him,

What do you think he IS paying attention to?  Is he looking in one direction?  Or does his gaze move around from one direction to another, ,at these times?

- He will never stay quiet (I know you can't expect a child to be quiet 110% of the time) when his father is driving, or when told to do such as when his mam and dad are talking, always interrrupting too.

So when he is getting a lot of sensory input (a lot to see, hear, feel - moving in a car, several people talking at once) he gets - anxious?   Agitated?   What does he ask you at these times?   What's he saying?

- Such as hold mammy's hand across the road - pulls away and runs off into oncoming traffic or infront of a car pulling out. Or if he doesn't want to hold my hand will pull away and throw himself on the floor, which in turn hurts himself and blames me, dad, teacher etc.

Even before I got to this part of your post, I was already really concerned about your son.    This is VERY concerning. 

Does he always seem to avoid touch, or only at times when there is a lot going on - crossing a street, walking down the sidewalk, etc?

* He's fully potty trained, however when he now has a poo he will jump down, get it everywhere and i mean everywhere, then pull his trousers up and then sit back down like nothing's wrong.

Now more concerned.  

He sounds very distracted, overwhelmed, anxious.

* He has no comprehension and doesn't understand the word why.

"No comprehension"?   Can you give an example of the kind of thing he doesn't comprehend?   He doesn't understand all, most or some of what you say?   Which would it be (all, most or some). 

* He will wake up on a morning, screaming and singing, basically like what he does over night and jump on top of his big sister to wake her up, one day i caught him and asked what he was doing and he said it was his big sister who woke him up and then when I said why lie about it, all we get is "I don't know why"
the list could go on....

He says "I don't know" a lot, when you ask him why he did something odd?   Has he ever said anything else?   Has he ever offered an explanation that didn't seem to make much sense to you, or that you simply discarded as  'a story' or 'made up'?


 

Well went to the doctor on 25th January 2013 and the doctor said he would put in a referral for a child paediatrician and an referral with CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

I would have suggested an immediate appointment with an expert child psychiatrist.   I am very concerned upon hearing your descriptions.

This past week I have been at a friends house and he has turned into a little troublemaker, that's what I will call it!

Amy, 21 and her daughter Charlotte, 3. Which is good as the kids get to play with one another and mingle and we get some adult conversation!....

Well yesterday I was ashamed and in two minds on whether to go back round today or not, but in saying that not sure if she wants me to come back or not!. Andrew totally showed me up yesterday, and even Amy was shocked because Monday and Tuesday he was good as gold.

It was as if something, a switch even had been turned on in his head.

So the best description for his behavior would be 'very variable - can change quite a lot from day to day or hour to hour - sometimes he is cooperative and seems to understand our directions, and other times, he doesn't seem to cooperate or understand at all'.

* He knocked over a glass vase filled with fake flowers and those glass pebble things all over the living room floor.

* Attacked Amy's Daughter: Pushed her over a few times, Pushed passed her, Smacked her with her "Dress Up" Necklace.

Every thing you are describing is really making me concerned.  

* Turned Amy's Stereo up to full blast (As we were in the kitchen and the stereo in the living room) we were making a cuppa and sorting Jayden out for his mid morning nap and then Amy ran in to turn it down followed by me and Andrew quickly jumped on the settee, looked down at the floor and pointed to Charlotte and blamed her.

I'm going to make a suggestion.   Don't worry too much about 'getting the truth out of him'.   He may actually be saying what he really thinks happened.

* I had made a packed lunch for the kids for going to Amy's house: Sandwiches, Crisps and Pop. Andrew then was throwing his lunch to the dog, and I caught him in the act and when I asked why he said "I don't Know" so I put him in time out.

- Bare in mind Amy has two dogs, one dog in a cage: greyhound, and a big mongrel: that has free roam of the house.

When he was in time out he kept bum shuffling towards the greyhound in the cage and tormenting the dog, which in return made the dog, scratch him.

* Jayden was playing with a closed Fruit Shoot (Imogen's) and happily playing with it and Andrew grabbed Jayden, snatched the Fruit Shoot and then pushed him over which made him cry and then I picked him up and put him in Time Out on the bottom stairs.

I asked him why he did that to Jayden by getting down to his level and talking calmly and all I get is "I don't know" so I told him to sit still, be quiet and sit there for 3 mins, now where her living room door is (it faces the stairs) I hadn't even sat down on the settee and he's bum shuffling up and down and talking to himself along with fidgeting. So I told him to sit still and be quiet. 

What kind of things is he saying to himself?

In the end even Amy had a word with him and asked him to be good and he didn't listen because five minutes later he started all over again.

Then on the way home me and Imogen were chatting and having a bit of a giggle (Imogen kept saying mammy don't get upset otherwise I'd tickle you all the way home) Andrew then started kicking me and demanding I hold his hand. So I held his hand but kept a tight grip as he kept trying to pull away. Then demanded I let him go, so I did and kept walking and then he kept demanding I held his hand again. So I said no, all I wanted to do was get home and have a cuppa and be in my own space so I could calm down.

Gets home, I also put the pram in the house first, then Imogen follows and then Andrew. Well I have two steps into my house, so you can picture me trying to lift the pram into the house, Andrew pushes Imogen out the way and pushes the pram and trys to push pass it to get into the house so I picked him up and placed him back of the line and told him to wait, once I got in, Imogen then came in and then she didn't even get in the house and he pushed the front door (her foot got stuck under the door and has cut her foot open all because Andrew is so impatient.)

So I sent him to his room, while I could sort out the other two, clean imogen up and put a plaster on etc, change jaydens bum and give him his next bottle etc all the while Andrew is kicking the shit outta things in his and Jayden's room!

Once I sorted out Imogen and Andrew I asked him calmly why he has been so naughty today and all I got was "Because" so I said no why you been naughty and hurt people and he's saying " I don't Know" so I told him until you can work out why you can stay in here, obviously he kicked off by lashing out at me, IAlan got home 15 mins later seen me in a mess and Imogen told him everything Andrew down today, so we both went up to calmly talk to him and he said the same to both of us "because" 

Okay, so I asked if he gave other reasons for his behavior, and sometimes he says, 'because'.   Can you ever get any more out of him than that?

What level would you say his vocabulary is at?   Is it similar to other 3 year olds you know?  

You said before that he seems to not COMPREHEND a lot -   I hope you get a chance to comment more on that.

Please keep in mind that his worst behavior occurs when he's in a situation where more is going on, when he's in a different place, when there's a change of routine.

So I sent him to bed without his tea! 

What to do? 

What to do?   If he were mine, I'd be taking him to a child psychiatrist in a New York Minute(meaning right away).  

And I'd also relax.   I SERIOUSLY doubt your little guy has a conduct disorder or is 'spoiled' or 'badly raised'.  You didn't cause this, it's not your fault.  So rest easy on that.   And don't feel like you must punish him to eradicate this - I don't think anything going on here has anything to do with your 'lack of discipline' or him being 'naughty'. It oesn't really sound like that at all.  It's not really so much about punishment with these kids - sometimes it has its role, but "The Three R's" are usually your best friend - repetition, redirection, reward.   As another psychiatrist told me, 'Keep rules simple and few', and guide more than punish.

I'm not thinking autism and based on your description, am siding with the other poster's comments about the similarity to her child.

He needs a child psychiatrist with a LOT of experience in dealing with childhood disorders.   A good test question for a psychiatrist is 'could it be schizophrenia', and if the psychiatrist says 'no, children don't get schizophrenia', that's a good time to find someone else.   If the psychiatrist says, 'let's not start out by assuming that' or 'childhood schizophrenia is not common', fine.  Those are reasonable things to say.   We LIKE it when psychiatrists do their job, which is to make a careful and thorough investigation.

Children most certainly DO get schizophrenia, but just remember, a child can be 'psychotic' and still not quite fit the criteria for schizophrenia.   As one psychiatrist told me, 'kids, unfortunately, don't read diagnostic manuals' - his way of saying that not everyone fits into neat little diagnostic categories (which is exactly what it says at the front of the diagnostic manual itself!).

The other thing to keep in mind is that children who show psychosis aren't all the same.    It used to be said that psychosis in a child was a very bad sign and led to extreme disability - it's now recognized that different kids have different outcomes and it's very inaccurate to assume they'll all be very disabled.   Getting treatment early and sticking with it makes a big difference.

I realize to some people it sounds like ' a spoiled brat' or conduct disorder, but what sort of situation his behavior deteriorates in, the talking to himself, the seeming to not comprehend what is being said to him, the insistence that others are doing the wrong things and not him(which is exactly what their senses are telling them), and the way his behavior seems to 'change like night and day' like 'a switch goes off in his brain'...no.   None of that suggests conduct disorder.



Living with Autism - The quirky kitty.

Our autistic Family - A Dad's point of view on living with Autism

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Feb. 24, 2013 at 7:27 AM

 Dillon has never been a behavior problem so I don;t have a ny good advice as far as that goes! BUT...getting Andrew diagnosed and getting him the right treatment is when you are going to find a change and results that will make you happy!

lancet98
by Member on Feb. 24, 2013 at 10:10 AM

 

 

Quoting kajira:

I agree with her post... a lot...

 

If you want to talk more about my son's symptoms at 2-6 - send me a pm.

they changed as he got older, he did different things at different ages.

That's a general rule with childhood schizophrenia.   It's because their brain is still growing and changing, so their symptoms change.   Schizophrenia 'starts however it wants' in adults (they may seem to only be depressed at first, or they may have very mild 'schizophrenic-like' symptoms, or they may be manic like a person with bipolar disorder).   But Sheila Cantor, in her incredible book, shows us that children with schizophrenia have a lot in common with each other.   The commonest complaint early on is that they are not sleeping well, also common, that they seem afraid of things other kids aren't afraid of.

I just want to say that the behaviors you described sound so much like my son it's eery - right down to his answers for stuff, the self talking and blaming others for stuff, doing stuff he swars he didn't do, or doesn't remember doing - and how he handles the situations when asked about it.

That's a familiar description for me to - but in my experience, schizophrenic kids don't lie much at all - it may seem like lying to you because it doesn't match what you saw, but it's not lying.   Lying is deliberately telling a falsehood for some purpose.   That's not generally what they do..

My son's crying non stop over everything got him the "dramatic" label - which is where his moodswing disorder part of his diagnoses came into play.

I don't always agree with that view of the crying and upsets, but it doesn't much matter as bipolar meds often help these kids - and a lot of bipolar meds are used for schizophrenia anyway.  Genetically/biologically there is overlap between the two disorders so it makes sense that some meds work for both.

my son lies about everything - the horror stories I could tell you that he caused with his lies would give you a headache too.

As I mentioned, for me, it isn't really lying.   So maybe that will help to make you less upset about it, as he isn't being 'bad' or 'mean'.   Remember, lying is telling a falsehood deliberately, knowing it's a lie.  That's generally not what's going on with these kids. 

That happens with adult schizophrenia too.   It's a part of the illness, and not a conscious action.  It's usually 'confabulation', which is a symptom in many neurological disorders.   The person tells an obviously impossible story when asked what happened.  

But lies can also occur as kids get older - a good many of them are due to the child realizing that his symptoms upset people.   Generally, kids with schizophrenia are more forthright about their symptoms than adults, but they also may learn to say something else based on the horrified looks they get from adults, when they say what's really going on for them.  

One parent I know, any time her son told her his symptoms, she slapped him and told him to shut up.   He 'learned' not to be honest about his symptoms.    But in fact, all that does is make things worse.   They should talk about their symptoms - 'thanks for telling mom, hun!'   That's where we need to be.

Keep in mind, that if a person with schizophrenia has a hallucination (sees or hears something no one else does) or a delusion (has a belief no one else believes in his culture), he really experiences it.   He's not making anything up.   They will actually feel pushing, hitting, see and hear things - for reals.   Those things aren't made up.   

Delusions arise from the things their senses tell them, are going on.   They can't evaluate those sensory things, OR the delusions, like non schizophrenics do.   Medication helps IMMENSELY with this.    

My son has lax joints - he's very clumsy, he trips over everything, he often twists himself into posIitions I didn't even know were possible to contort into. He's always triyng to twist himself into akward positions.

Well, over 90% of children who later develop childhood schizophrenia, have 'hypotonia' - very lax muscles -  at birth.  One mom told me, 'I looked at him while the doctor was holding him and said, 'Why are his legs like that?'  He looked as if both his hips were broken!'   The doctor just shrugged it off and said it would be fine.   And indeed his muscles tightened up - and then it began all over again when he started to show symptoms later at 4.

Keep in mind, this happens to many with adult schizophrenia too.   A very long time ago, a Doctor Bender identified and described this.   He used to bring patients to teaching sessions for psychiatric students, and ask the patients  to lay backward across his arm.  The patients would drape backward over his arm like a limp dishrag.  I used to hear people refer to 'Bender Schizophrenia'....I at first had no idea the doctor's name was ALSO 'bender' (chuckle). 

I used to be pals with a homeless guy that would wait for me on a park bench, to give him a sandwich and coffee.   I swear to god he would drape himself on that park bench like he didn't have a single bone in his body.   And walked the same way, my friend used to call it the 'keep on truckin'' walk.   Very loose and relaxed looking.   The volunteers thought he was 'very cute' and 'very charming' - he was only doing it because of this extremely low muscle tone.  And again, you'll find when they're on medication, they tend to stand much straighter.

Sheila Cantor, in her book, has pictures of these kids, from before the disease showed - they have perfectly straight posture.   When the disease starts being obvious, MANY of them develop a sway back, many start stumbling, MANY start having coordination problems. 

And this is why one of the top residential schools for schizophrenic kids (in Manitoba) had such an active exercise program for these kids.   They actually had the kids lifting small weights to help strengthen their muscles.

The movement and activity, the eye-to-hand coordination of athletics, all help to improve brain function.   But it's also about self esteem and fitting in - plus it helps to prevent injuries.   Years ago I was told to never criticize them if they miss a ball or throw badly, just KEEP EM MOVIN!

Why do the kids twist themselves into such odd positions?   Partly because of the lack of muscle tone, but mostly because the part of the brain that tells them how to position their body (and detects how it's positioned), is being disrupted by schizophrenia.   You'll notice it improves with medication.   

My son actaully "fell" off his pillow last night and bumped his head on his bedframe. He still hasn't fully told me how he managed to do that - just that he "fell off" his pillow.

I can assure you he's just as puzzled as you as to why these things happen.

They often develop delusions that appear to 'explain' what their senses are telling them.   Again, it's not a lie - they really can't tell that it's not true.  

so many symptoms, if I really went down your list, I Could give you 5 examples for each one of my son at various ages.The self-talking and making up fake languages and gibberish are still something he does even on his meds to take away a lot of the other parts.

 Self talk isn't always such a bad thing.   Often they rehearse what they are going to say to someone, or they 'rehash' - go back over a conversation.   It helps them make sense of things and get organized.

Some of the 'fake language' may be talking to the hallucinations and some of it might be what is called 'word salad' - another symptom.  What that usually is, is 'extra stuff - there are syllables and pieces of words popping up AROUND the word they want to say.   I actually had a whole conversation with a lady who had this symptom quite bad once.   And when I got up and walked away, a young nurse said, 'OKAY-that is...that is freaky'.   LOL.  Because I understood the lady.   Actually it's not that hard.   Most of the older nurses did understand her.  Takes practice.

Medication helps with it, but doesn't always make it go entirely away in every kid.   If symptoms suddenly worsen, I usually call for a doctor appointment to make a medication adjustment or change, but you get used to what level of symptoms is routine for your child.

In our house, we have a policy.  Symptoms are just symptoms, if a kid feels more comfortable talking to himself or rocking, well, he is our guest and he is welcome to.   That's not to say we don't work on 'holding' symptoms when one is out in public, we do, but still, a person needs a place where he does not have to constantly be pretending and stressing and trying to hide things.  The advantage of this is that we are very aware of when symptoms worsen, and can prevent relapses, make medication adjustments, and manage the illness much better.

We had one guy who would run into his room and hide and rock, and I sat down and talked to him and told him that I really loved spending time with him, and preferred he stay out in the living room and socialize with us, if he could manage it.   At first, he just could not believe we meant it.   But gradually he realized we simply did not mind.   

I read an article once on psychosis that said the brain durineg different stages of development can choose to either be a part of reality or not. That psychosis and autism are closely related that way - that the brains who choose to be a part of reality go down autism - and those that choose fantasy, go down the psychosis route.

I'm not at all in agreement with that.   I don't think it works that way at all.  There's no overall organization to it, and no 'decision point''.   I  realize the author didn't mean the brain literally 'decided', as in 'hm, I think I'll be autistic',  but the idea that there is a specific point at which the brain veers away from 'autism' to 'schizophrenia' - I do not believe that.

In fact, many kids appear to have both from a very early age, and biochemically, brain structure-wise and in many other ways, the two disorders have a lot in common, so going 'one way or the other' isn't actually physiologically possible.   It's not at all rare for an autistic or aspie child to develop symptoms of schizophrenia, and many youngsters initially diagnosed with schizophrenia have 'autistic' like symptoms.   Even adult schizophrenics will rock, flap their hands, grimace, repeat what you say, and show many symptoms most people insist only happen with autism.

As a further indication of the overlap, read Catalano's 'When Autism Strikes'.   This book is actually about CDD, a pervasive developmental disorder that has features of both autism and schizophrenia.  In her book, five out of the eight case histories she presented, the children had very, very obvious hallucinations and other 'core symptoms' of schizophrenia.

In fact, if you look at people with more severe developmental delays, MANY of them also have autistic-like symptoms, and around 40 percent, have symptoms of a major mental illness such as schizophrenia.   Weirdly, it's a long standing tradition to NOT diagnose them with mental illness.  They may be given medication for these disorders, but not diagnosed(weird tradition).

These illnesses are caused by genes that mutate.   Most of these genes aren't even inherited - they mutate in the individual, early in development.   The media has suggested various wild theories as to how this process is kicked off - none of those theories are proven.

Often, the SAME genes are involved in autism and schizophrenia - there is some overlap there.   But even if it is the SAME gene, it isn't always altered, in the SAME WAY.    

For example, researchers found that the same area of a nerve cell was affected by both diseases - but in the autistic child that part of the nerve was longer, and in schizophrenia, it was shorter.   So while it was the SAME GENE, it was a DIFFERENT ALTERATION.  

Another intriguing finding with schizophrenia, is that no matter when it develops - in the young years or adult years, there are ample signs very early in life.   Even in people who don't show it til adulthood, a researcher analyzed family videos and found that as little babies, years or decades before onset, as infants, they were crawling, reaching, and gazing at objects - abnormally.   Many had 'hemi-neglect' - not fully using one side of the body, or not reaching for objects as other infants do.  This study illustrated what many had been saying for centuries - this is a neurological disorder.

What's the point?  Well a doctor summed it up for me.   I was taking care of a little guy who was nonverbal, and had features of both autism and schizophrenia.  'So what would you diagnose him with?' I asked the doctor.   The doc said that medication treats symptoms, first of all - then he got a fierce determined expression, looked me straight in the eye and said, 'My diagnosis is whatever gets him the most services and the best treatment'.

 

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