ADD -Vs- Bipolar Disorder

Updated on November 10, 2006
C.S. asks from Plano, TX
5 answers

I don't know much about this (ADD or ADDHD and Bipolar) because this is not my child that I am inquiring about but here is the scoop. My 10 year old nephew is living with my elderly mother and father in-law. His father lives with them as well but doesn't contribute to his upbringing too much. He just moved here this summer and started school a couple of weeks ago. Prior to living here he has been with his mother and 1/2 brother. He's never really been with his father. I think that his mom and dad got married because she got pregnant and were only together a short time before his dad pretty much dropped out of his life. His mom has always been kind of mean to him and treated his older brother much better. His older brother is very mean to him.

Anyway he has some behavior problems and has been on medication for years to control his behavior. Since moving our here, my mother-in-law has stopped giving him his medication because she says it makes him like a zombie. I disagree. When he first moved here he would listen to what you would say if you told him to do something and now he is just out of control again. The first week of school he was already suspended from the bus and my MIL has had to drive him to and from school.

I think he needs to be evaluated here by a qualified physician and that is my reason for posting. My mother-in-law can't control him and would like to take him to a doctor to have him checked out. She knows that I have worked with children in the past and asked me if I knew of anyone, but I'm an x-ray tech and don't know about problems of the mind. Send me a broken bone and I'll help you out! But, I don't know what kind of doctor to take him to.

By the way they live in Poetry Texas which is near Terrell TX. I'm sure they are willing to drive somewhere if we get a good reference.
I am open to any and all suggestions. Thanks!

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answers from Dallas on

Dr. Erik Gonzales in Allen does evaluations. He is also knowledgable about early onset bipolar (bipolar in children). His office is near the Allen Library. He does evaluations and counseling, but if medication is needed, you would need to see a pediatric psychiatrist (which he could recommend).



answers from Dallas on

My son has ADHD, and we were able to take him to his peditrition to have him checked out and provide him with medication. He did act like a zombie when he first started his medication, which made me worry that I should not have put him on the midication. His teacher at school said she saw a difference in him right away, and he was doing so much better in school, as well as his behavior at home. Not all peditritions will treat ADHD, and not all insurance companies will cover them to treat it. When my son was in 2nd grade they were thinking of holding him back because he was not understanding what he was reading very well. They ended up passing him because he was doing so well in math and science, but he had to go to summer school. In 3rd grade he started getting treated for ADHD, and even getting very sick (had nothing to do with his medication he was on), and missing 3 weeks of school, when he took the TASK test that year he only missed 1 or 2 questions. We know it was becasue of the medication he was on allowing him to be able to focus more.

Mother of 4 kids: 4, 9, 11, and 12.5



answers from Dallas on


Do you have a diagnosis for him? You may want to see a developmental ped for that. You may want to see Dr Rao. He has offices in Plano and carrolton. He is a DAN doc (visit Yes you don't want to put the kid on medicine to make him Zombie.

My son (almost 6 ys old) is speech delayed and was showing some signs of ADHD. We started seeing Dr Rao since June this year and my son is showing progress slowly.

Best wishes.



answers from Dallas on

You might want to recommend to them Easter Seals of Greater Dallas. Dr. Wilson is there medical director and he is an expert in the field. Here is there website and they have a report on Dr. Wilson online so you can read about him and their medical consultation services.



answers from Dallas on

Brain chemical disorders have advanced over the past few years. Just a short time ago, Bipolar was not diagnosed unless the person was over 18. It seems that doctors have started ignoring the age of the patient as a qualifier. Correct diagnosis is a must. My son was mis-diagnosed for years. It is as just as important to treat him as young as possible to keep him from becoming an "at-risk" teen. You left out some details such as why he was suspended from the bus. Was it cursing, misbehaving, etc.? Based on his past situation, he could be emotionally disturbed. I know of a couple of resources for him for testing. Dr Rios is expensive ($800, I think) but very good developmental pediatrician. The Scottish Rite will test him, and so will the Child Study Center. All of these are a long way from Terrel. A good place to start may be his school. They can begin testing him with approval from his guardian. If you MIL is not his guardian, they cannot test him, though. As far as medication, maybe he was being over-medicated. ADHD medicine comes in so many variations and strengths. Be aware, ADHD medicine can increase aggravation, aggression, etc. I did not know that. There is a new medication named Abilify that has helped many of the special ed children I know. It also helped my son, but it made him gain a lot of weight. Also, be careful of starting more than one medication at a time. Doctors tend to start 2 or more medication "cocktails", but I have found that this only confuses the issues since you don't know if one is working or causing other symptoms. The libraries have many good books on the subject. Another thing your MIL might want to know is that children with ADHD have improved symptoms short term if they drink a soda like Coke or Pepsi. If this is true, then he could be ADHD. My son would drink a soda and would be climbing the walls. That is when I realized he was mis-diagnosed. Lastly, I am not sure of the bus rules, but she needs to check how long he can be suspended for his offense. Good luck, please contact me if you need any more help. L.

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