Bipolar, Aspergers, SPD,

by Kathy
(Clermont, Florida USA)

Hi, I have a 3 year old son, K.

K has been diagnosed with Aspergers, SPD(Sensory Processing Disorder) and Language Delays. I can also say I’m positive he has many OCD's and will fixate on things he loves for months at a time, and when he is done with one he moves on to another item(trains, busses, helicopters to name a few).

As for the Aspergers, I’m not so sure...he is engaging and makes great eye contact with everyone. He becomes non-verbal in most situations. We work with OT, Speech and ABA therapies and I think there is something we are missing with K. K can be right on for strangers, not displaying his true behavior until much later on in his relationship with them. He wants to be the manipulator in all situations and when you take the manipulation away from him, he turns into a boy .

I’m not so sure I know...He is a head banger, biter, pincher, scratcher, spitter, kicker, hitter and most of all he will do these things to himself as well as me and his father and sister. He will scream at the top of his lungs for over 30 min at a time. I’m just not capable of knowing if this is behavior, sensory or the something we are missing. I have read very little on this...I really would like to know if there is concern for Bipolar because I feel like I need to do whatever I can to help himself regulate and be able to be a part of society that can except him and help him except society.

I spend most of my time finding something that "fits". Many tell me "he MAY grow out of this" I just cannot take this chance...he is only 3 now but when he is older this is not something I will be able to handle. He is a smart, cute little boy and is capable of behaving at times and then there is the little boy who can’t seem to rest, get into enough trouble or control his anger which creates temper tantrums that go on for

hours...on and off all day long. If you have any suggestions for me, where to start looking, and information to track, anything that may help my family and K I would really appreciate any information you could give us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this...

Hi Kathy

There is a lot of uncertainty with young children when it comes to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I think it is important mostly to monitor your child’s success or failure when it comes to interventions and medications, in a journal. The biggest problem with young children who have bipolar disorder and remain undiagnosed is that they may get medicine that triggers them to cycle or exacerbates their illness.

I think you should continue to try to get help and monitor the responses but be very determined to communicate to the service providers if you see adverse reactions. One thing I can tell you about Asperger’s is part of the diagnostic criteria is that the child DOES NOT have language delays. If your child has a language delay then they cannot meet the DSM definition of Asperger’s.
Challenge the professionals you work with to explain what they are thinking. Do not give up on your child who may different, but not less than any other child!
Also fixating on things is not OCD, they are two different things. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is when you feel forced to do compulsions to relieve yourself of an uncomfortable feeling of anxiety.

Good luck to you and feel free to keep us updated on your progress, please.

Kristen McClure
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