I really need your advice and opinions Please
This is my beautiful 16 year old son Gabe. I have been a single mother since he was 8 months old and he is my world! I didn't know much about ADHD before Gabe and I knew even less about Autism until recently. Gabe has been diagnosed and treated ADHD since his kindergarten teacher insisted. Gabe had very few friends and couldn't hold still in class. Despite all that Gabe was always at the top of his class in grades. I served as most of Gabe's social time. Which I'll be honest I loved spending time with him, going to the movies, art museums, just hanging out, and listening to him talk about dinosaurs.
I did notice some things but I chalked it up to Gabe just being Gabe. Like he had to have a towel over his face when he washed his hair because he couldn't stand water splashing in his face, he refused to learn to ride a bike, and he would chew black tape like bubble gum but he hated actual bubble gum. He would not eat any fast food except pizza. It was always a battle to get him to brush his teeth!! Then I found him doing something more disturbing that I could/should have handled better, He started rubbing his poop on walls and the metal sides of his bed. I had no clue what to do. I shamed him, made him clean it, and grounded him. This went on for years. I talked to his ADHD doctor and she upped his Adderall which didn't help. Gabe started hiding in his closet and rubbing it on the walls in there. That lasted until he was 9 or 10 years old. Thank God he stopped that!
About 5th grade he started getting bullied bad. His grades dropped and he started pulling into himself. Then he started fighting and getting suspended The school always said they would take care of the bullies but then would say stuff like "Well, if Gabe would take off his winter coat in class it wouldn't happen as much" or "If Gabe wouldn't do things to bring it on himself as much". I talked to his ADHD doctor and she increased his meds again. Gabe started chewing his fingernails OFF!! I'm not talking down to the quick but like OFF leaving bare nail beds. That scared me so I called his doctor and she decreased his Adderall then put him on Prozac. That didn't help after pleading Gabe finally stopped months later. The next few years were more bullying, more fights, more suspensions, and more of me trying to get Gabe to open up and talk to me.
Middle School was a nightmare! The verbal bullying was really bad and the school continued the "oh we will take care of it but if Gabe would stop talking about dinosaurs, Pokémon, and video games it would be better" The kids started mocking Gabe calling him "soulless". Gabe lashed out at them and getting suspended. Then he started having "fits" in the classroom, running way from teachers down the hall screming, and hiding in the bathroom refusing to come out. I had never seen Gabe act like this. When asked what happened the principle would said "I wasn't there and the teacher is busy" Gabe would say he didn't remember. The principle went to the school board to try to have Gabe expelled. The board refused. I went back to Gabe ADHD doctor with all Gabe's school records to show what was happening. To tell her I think there is something else going on with Gabe. She changed his Meds from Adderall to Vyvance.
8th grade the school requested Gabe be tested for Special Ed classes. I agreed if it would help Gabe I was all for it. Gabe tested too high for Special Ed classes. The county independent tester said Gabe scored above average in the part of the test given orally and fell slightly below on the written. The tester said that was consistent with someone with ADHD. In English class he was asked to write about someone he admires and he wrote about me. I was a very proud mom :) Well in the hall after class this boy started yelling that Gabe wanted to have sex with his mom. Gabe choked him. The principle said while waiting on me to pick him up he was nervous and started chewing on the arm o the leather couch in his office. The school ended up expelling. I'm now homeschooling Gabe and working fulltime. Gabe seems to be doing better. He is coming out of his shell a little. He is actually doing school work and talking about college next year. He wants to be a Video Game Programmer and he now has small group of friends. The bad I can't get him to brush his teeth, bath as often as needed, brush his hair, change his clothes every day, or get his hair cut.
So I met this person who has a son with Autism and the more we talked and the more research I did the more it sounded like Gabe! So I went back to his ADHD doctor and requested Gabe be tested for Autism. So we went to the Specialist she referred us to in her office. He gave me questionnaire to fill out and Gabe a questionnaire also and that was the test. He said Gabe was on the spectrum but not enough to give him a diagnosis. He told me to get him some books on social skills. After he started asking why I wanted Gabe test and I told him I want to know how best to help Gabe. Gabe is talking about going to college soon and I want to get him as much help learning to cope and succeed in college. He was like but he is 16 years old and he doesn't seem to be worried about it. Then he proceeded to tell me I couldn't get a disability check on him. I told him I wasn't interested in check if I wanted that I could have got it for Gabe's ADHD a long time ago but I didn't!
Well, tonight Gabe and I went over the questionnaire. He told he would not answer definitely agree or definitely disagree on any of the questions because those are extreme answers. He would only answer somewhat agree and somewhat disagree. On the question "I find myself drawn more strongly to people than to things" He couldn't understand the question. He just looked at me funny I had to give him examples like I find myself wanting my video games more than being around people. He said that the only way he can tell someone is bored when talking to him is they look away. He finally told me he hates the taste of minty tooth paste and it makes his teeth feel too cold!! oh and grape, bubble gum, and cherry flavor children's tooth paste is out also they taste like medicine. Please tell, am I crazy or do I need to find another doctor and have him retested for Autism... away from that whole organization of doctors? Mother's what or your opinions. Does he sound like he has Autism or Asperger's? Or do you think it maybe be something else? I feel like the school failed him, the doctors failed him, but most of all I feel like I failed Gabe.