He is now almost 12 and has been on methadate I guess since his diagnosis. He does not see a psychologist - only his pediatrician - so he has never been to therapy. He is in an IEP at school and has been since kindergarten after he failed the first time. He is going into 5th grade but it appears to me that he is emotionally and intellectually delayed to the extreme. Both natural parents seem to be in denial and are content with the ADHD diagnosis but I fear this child is not getting the proper help he needs. ADHD is so commonly misdiagnosised with autism spectrum disorders. Autism and mental illness does run in the family and I believe he is autistic. Below are his symptoms:
Fluency - difficultly asking a question or telling a story without stammering/stumbling over words or mixing up words and possible meanings. Has a difficult time verbalizing feelings and cannot articulate, organize and prioritize thoughts. Ie - might say something is tall when it would be more appropriately described as long. May say he doesn't feel good but can't tell you what is wrong. Appears to think faster than he can talk. Has difficulty reading, writing and with math concepts. Has difficulty falling asleep without tossing and turning and it does not appear he is sleepy at all upon wake up.
Speech - has speech issues with th but has improved on r's. He has been in speech at school since 1st grade. The overall improvement has been moderate at best.
Memory- is more likely to memorize than comprehend and retain long term. Ie in 3rd grade had spelling tests and would memorize the words and get A's but in 4th grade had difficulty spelling 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade sight words.
Sometimes confuses emotional pain with physical pain. Does appear to have anxiety.
May recall events to use as a comparison to a current situation but it is difficult for others to see the relationship between his comparison. Gets lost in the details when telling, listening or writing a story.
Is in an IEP at school (resource help) so he does get extra help on reading and speech and gets extra time on writing assignments and tests etc. Maintains pretty much an A and B average with a C every once in awhile. Does not get much help at home with mom but dad will work with him on homework on his day.
Craves positive attention but will settle for negative attention. Lacks confidence ie wants constant reassurance on simple tasks, thoughts, etc. over and above the need for normal reassurance. His feelings are hypersensitive.
Limited range of interests - video games are paramount and then TV and Bionicles. He will play and swim outside and with other kids but does not enjoy this for long periods of time. Prefers alone play - may have constant disagreements with other children if engaged in group play to long
Has difficulty socializing. He does try to be social but has claimed he is often picked on and has a difficult time using wit/sarcasm to retaliate. Also he did have a tattling problem (although he has improved on tattling)
Takes the spoken word extremely literal. Has difficulty processing sarcasm and can get offended if some one is sarcastic or joking. Sometimes it appears he unintentionally embellish his stories. Ie someone touching him might be explained by him as someone hitting him - but when broken down into details he will change his mind that it was really more just a touch instead of someone hitting him.
Coordination - has extremely sharp fine motor skills however gross motor skills are not as sharp. Extremely good at puzzles/lego type toys.
Socially and emotionally immature but very independent on day to day tasks
Imitates or copies phrases from dad or tv, etc. May use catch phrases over and over again when he is conversing. Ie. whenever talking about dogs he will include a dog is mans best friend.
Has a difficult time pulling words and meaning from memory. Ie may call toaster a machine.
Doesn't always facilitate thought provoking conversation or engage appropriately in reciprocal conversation. Ie. Everyone might be talking about a current event Michael Jackson dying and he might respond by asking what would happen if his chicken nugget turned into acid inside him and started oozing out of his body. OR may ask questions that have obvious answers ie Did you feel sad when your dog died.
May over do or not time conversational responses correctly. Ie may say thank you way more than necessary. Ie if you put three different foods on his plate to eat he may thank you three times for every serving instead of waiting until you are finished serving and thanking you once. Tends to see different situations more black and white - has a harder time seeing the gray area.
Enjoys younger children more than older children.
Does not have a bad temper nor is he defiant. However he may have to be asked more than once to do something but it appears that has more to do with lack of retention then disobedience.
Very gentle and loving child. Does like to cuddle with family. Very hyper from the time he could walk until now. No sense of danger as a toddler - may run right into ocean...
Does not hyper focus anything particular - except maybe video games.
Does not have any particular daily routine because his living environment is more disorganized than organized.
My question is if he is on the autistic spectrum is his lack of counseling and the medication being prescribed for ADHD effecting his progress or lack thereof. I just haven't seen significant improvement since I have met him and that was nearly five years ago....Thanks for your help