Does he just need more time?

by JDS
(Upstate, NY)

For a couple of years now, my son's teachers have "encouraged" me to get him classified for ADHD, because of his high energy. His pediatrician and I are reluctant to go the meds route...he seems like a normal, active boy, who is bored in school. We started by having him evaluated for learning disabilities and it was determined that he is normal and even slightly advanced. That was last year. He is now 8.

Over the last year he has developed fears...mostly of being alone. He wont go anywhere in the house unless someone else is there. He panics in the morning if he wakes up and I am outside walking the dogs or getting the mail. He hears and sees things while he is in the shower and I have found him curled up in a ball and crying inconsolably. He sees faces around every corner and there are "people" in his room at night.

He still has accidents and does not wake up at night to use the toilet. He sleeps with a pull up and is quite embarrassed. He has been to a urologist and we have tried an alarm watch, high fiber diets, and even drugs (ditropan) etc etc. No improvement.

He has always been bothered by tags in his shirt and scratchy fabric, but over the last 2-3 weeks things have started ramping up. He cant sleep on his sheets and he only likes certain sides of the blankets. He cant read books because of the feel of paper. He cant hold a sandwich. He doesnt like to touch his socks to put them on or take them off. He is an extremely picky eater and often does not eat at all because of something or someone that "grosses" him out (texture of the food, odors, hearing someone else chew, etc). Then of course not eating all day at school leads back to behavioral issues and intolerant teachers.

These are just a handful of examples.

I should point out that in August 2012, 2 of his grandparents passed away within 2 weeks. His grandmother cared for him everyday of his life until she became ill. She was as much his mother as I am. He took it very hard and still says he misses her daily.

The hospice counselors attribute his behaviors to grief, and say he just needs more time, but I think there is more going on. From what I have read, all of these things are common in children and not cause for concern. But all of these things at once seems like a problem to me.

This poor child has been seen by pediatricians, urologists, school psychologists, and counselors and only feels worse about himself. Do I hunt for a professional who can connect all these dots, or am I making too much of it? I just want my son to enjoy his childhood.

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