Looking for advice re: help for son


I am hoping that when I tell my story, someone out there will know exactly what I am talking about and be able to point me in the right direction. I have and 8 year old son and 3 year old triplets (2 girls, 1 boy) I have felt from the age of 3 that there is an issue with my 8 year old I have never been able to put my finger on. When he was in preschool, he had a terrible time with tantrums, to the point where we had to find 5 different preschools for him because we were always asked not to bring him back. In kindergarten, he had daily, inconsolable tantrums but was much improved by the end of the year. In addition to the tantrums, he had inappropriate behavior including spitting on children, hitting them, biting them, etc. (although this vicious behavior stopped by the end of kinder. During the preschool-kindergarten years, we had taken him to see several psychologists, behaviorists, etc. We had a few bad experiences with the psychologists where they didn’t seem to know much more about children then we did. The only decent psychologists we saw gave us an unofficial diagnosis of low-end spectrum Autism/Aspergers. We also were told by a few of his teachers that they felt he might be Autistic. My son also suffers from migraines, so we took him to a Pedi neurologist and were told he’s fine, he just has childhood migraines. Moving on to 1st grade, the tantrums, uncontrolled behavior, extreme hyperactivity became apparent, but he was much improved by the end of the year. In 2nd grade, the tantrums lessened, he had an AWESOME teacher, she put him in the gifted/talented program and several advanced classes, reading & math and his behavior was so much improved by the end of that year also. At this time, it became very apparent that my son was much more immature then the children his age, yet he was also much more academically advanced. Now we are in 3rd grade. It is very apparent that socially and mentally, he is not on the level of his peers. He continues to amaze us with his knowledge and learning abilities, but he teacher doesn’t see a special need for him to be in any advanced classes. I was at his Valentine party in school today and it is very apparent that the other children find him annoying and generally try to stay away from him, some are even mean, yet he doesn’t seem to realize how the other children treat him. He is EXTREMELY hyper and I can tell the other students and his teacher find him annoying. He is in no advanced classes of any sort this year as his teacher doesn’t see a need for it.

I feel that there is some issue with my son, Autism, ADHD…I am not sure. I just know his behavior is not right for an 8 year. His school has been very little help as far as having him evaluated or tested for Autism/ADHD and my husband and I don’t want to waste money going the psychologist route, as we know of no one that can recommend a good one. I am scared that if we do not get to the bottom of this soon, at least have a way to help him, it will start to hurt his spirit & self-esteem. My son is a very loving kid, sweet as can be to his siblings, smart and easy-going. He is so nice to his siblings and not a bit jealous of them. Yet his maturity seems to have stunted.

Where do we go from here? The school is not helping. Our Dr. hasn’t referred us to anyone that has been helpful. How do you get to the bottom of a problem that you know in your heart is there?


there is an autism discussion on a recent thread here with some fantastic links, great for helping you run through the various types and classifications, and reviewing symptoms.

contact pediatric neurologist at your closest university medical center for name of best specialist in field of autism, then get a referral from your primary care doctor or ped.


Is he in Catholic grade school? As much as I hate to say it, in my experience children who are on either end of the spectrum, learning difficulties to the gifted, are not serviced well in the Catholic school system. If he is in a Catholic school and you want to keep him there, INSIST on a referral for testing in the public school system.


I do not know if I can be much help, but I can tell you that I have a son that had a significant, but different psychological issue. Like a previous poster suggested you do, we went to the local university’s Psychology Department and worked with a doctoral student after having first worked with a psychologist from our HMO. We could not be more pleased with all he did for us.

The thing I would tell all parents is to pray about it and to trust your judgment. I did not believe the first psychologist was a fit for my son, yet I did not trust myself to make the move to another one until some difficult things occurred. You and your spouse know more than anyone else about your boy. While you may not understand everything they are doing, you will likely be able to accurately judge whether there is a fit between a professional and your son.

God bless you and your son.


I can highly recommend The Family Hope Center located in Philadelphia for assistance with children with special needs.

They can offer a diagnostic service, therapy programs, information, advice and support. There is also a parent’s forum. We have a six year old son with special needs and have travelled from Australia to Philly three times. We searched the world for the best therapy program and in my humble opinion this is it. Please PM me if you need more info. :wave:

You may also like to seek out a yahoo chat group for parent’s of special needs kids - just to chat and find others who are in the same boat as you. They will have a wealth of advice and experience to share.

God bless.



Could he be bipolar? There is a book I checked out of the library called “The Bipolar Child” and there really isn’t a whole lot of research about how bipolar appears in childhood, but it does for many bipolars, even as young as toddlers and young children. If it’s in your library, check it out. Some of the things you describe sound like they could be bipolar. Also, if a bipolar child is given medication for ADHD (improperly diagnosed) that usually makes things worse for the child in the short as well as long term. Here’s the website for the book and support as well: bipolarchild.com/


It is so painful to watch and worry about your kid.

I have a friend who has a brilliant son who has Aspergers. When he was in fourth grade, she stumbled across his suicide plan. He was so miserable in school. She pulled him out of school and is homeschooling him. He is doing very well. She can better control his social interactions by redirecting him when he becomes abrasive. Plus, he has freedom to be the academic genius that he is.

Another lady of new acquaintance has an aspergers son who is brilliant. He was throwing up every day before school. She pulled him out for this year.

I can see how it would be very difficult to have this sort of kid in a classroom. Smart, but not good at reading social cues. It would be hard to give him the attention he needs without taking it away from your other students.

I have a quirky kid, so I know how painful it is to see your child suffer and to worry about his future.

I think homeschooling would be the best course of action for most special kids of this type.

God Bless You.


I don’t know what could be wrong, but I do know from working at a public school that you need to insist on testing for your son and not let up until you get what you need. It’s sad to say but the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and in most systems they pay attention to the most persistent.

Get to know the laws in your state and what your son has a right to and good luck!


Ditto. What you describe indicates a definite need for testing. Autism is one possibility, but there are so many possibilities, that it is best to have special ed. professionals look into the matter, so that your son can progress socially AND academically. Don’t worry if the teacher does not refer him for you, as the parent, you have supreme authority here.


My son has Asperger’s. He did not have temper tantrums, but was/is hyper and inappropriate to other children in kinder/1st grade (choking, spitting, etc.) That particular school was NO help in trying to find out what was up. His next school was great and immediately knew something was up. They suggested the right place for diagnosis.

He is now in 7th grade. As a younger child he excelled academically. He could read and write complete sentences at 3 yo. But now, he only excels in the subjects that interest him. If it doesn’t interest him, he only does the minimum to get by.

Socially, it’s as you described. He doesn’t know that other kids are not always reacting well to his behavior. He really can’t make friends well and doesn’t communicate well at all. He only wants to talk about his interests and doesn’t really pay attention to what others want to talk about.

It was so hard to find someone who would really listen. They kept wanting to label him ADHD and put him on ritalin, which did not help at all. You really need to just keep looking for a psychologist who will really listen. If you feel autism is a possbility, you definitely should check out your local resources. At the very least, those professionals will be able to rule it out and you can go on from there. But if he does have something on the autism spectrum, these organizations are a lifesend!!!

Good luck and God bless!



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