5yr old and process to detect issues

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MelKret, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. MelKret

    MelKret New Member

    I have a 5yr old boy that shows all the signs of ODD which I know is just an symptom of what is really going on. I am trying to figure out the best method of figuring out what his issues might be. I have talked to many phsychologists but each seem to have a different approach. One suggested right away to get the neurophych exam done but I wasn't sure how to get that done. Then some phsychologists do it but may not be necessarily child phsychologists. Seems difficult to find. Others seem to suggest to meet with the physchologist first and have the child become comfortable in the environment before any testing is done. Others say they just meet with the parents to get an idea from us what has gone on and give parenting tools to deal with and then will meet with child. But, seems that is harder to obtain information meeting with child since it's 1 hour and they can't communicate their feelings at this age. Finding out what is the best route has been the hardest. We have changed our child's sleep routine and added an extra hour and he has been an improved kid but still shows signs of defiancy and combativeness. Not all day just at certain things. Prior to this extra sleep, we would go thru the temper tantrums at the word no to more of the ODD type of symptoms overall. It is extremely draining. Part of me says, okay so now he has more seratonin in his brain and maybe it's a chemical imbalance then so how is a non medicine route going to help? Should we be getting him tested for the imbalance by doing blood tests etc? Should that be done at the same time as seeing a phsychologist?

    Any recommendations on a path to just figure out what exactly we are dealing with? thanks so much.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Grab that doctor! Seriously, I have been fighting docs to get that testing done on mine to pin down her diagnosis's and it took me MONTHS to find one even willing to do any extra testing on her above the little the school did.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Welcome to the forums! It's a great group of people with a lot of experience and strong shoulders to lean on. You can ordinarily get a neuropsychologist done in a Childrens Hospital or Teaching Hospital.

    Me? I'd go to the neuropsychologist - they'll give you suggestions as to whether or not you should go to a developmental pediatrician, a psychiatrist, psychologist or they may direct you to someone else that could help.

    Do you have an idea as to what YOU think may be wrong?

    Let me ask you a couple of questions.

    How was his early development? Any delays?

    Did he line up his toys, become an authority on any particular subject?

    Does he have what I call "itchy tag syndrome" you know - when a tag on their clothes drives them up a wall? Any hypersensitivity to smells, tastes, textures etc.?

    Answers to these questions can help us help you out. I'd also recommend that you take a look at "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene - an easy read, but kind of insightful!

    Again, welcome to the board!

  4. MelKret

    MelKret New Member

    We noticed things starting at 2, we had a really hard time with putting him to bed. It would be a 2 hr tantrum process with him to get him to finally give in. Horrible stressful time for us. We stuck to the system and it took a year before he settled down. Some things like never being satisfied on anything. We could have a great day at the zoo and he would never stop talking the whole way home and then ask what is next after a long day. Most kids would sleep in the car but not our kid. He was very persistent child and always challenging us. He was going to do what he was going to and keep trying. Any kind of time out was a disaster or major tantrums in the room. Today we experience the constant mind always running. He can wake up at 5am and tell me that his friend will be at preschool that day. Can't seem to let go of anything and will continue to ask over and over for it. Yet it still doesn't fully satisfy him. He is just never at peace it seems and is never content.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'd go straight to the neuropsychologist. They normally do 6-10 hours of intensive testing in every area of functionality.

    Does your child have any unusual early development issues? Any strange behaviors.
    You are right. ODD does not normally stand alone. Other issues cause the defiance.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi MelKret,

    You're going to get a lot of different answers here, usually based on what individual parents have found has helped them. I usually tell people to ask around (pediatrician and other parents) and find the most reliable and thorough diagnostician in your area for the primary evaluation. That may be a developmental pediatrician, pediatric neuropsychologist (different than a regular child and adolescent psychologist), or a developmenal team at a hospital. Frequently referrals will be made to other specialists (such as speech/language, audiology, occupational therapy, neurology, etc) as part of the process. In some cases a child psychiatrist might be involved, but under no circumstances would I suggest making that your only stop. The types of professionals available within a few hours of your location, plus your insurance coverage usually factors in as well.

    I think you'll find this book helpful:
    What Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions by Dr. Douglas Riley

    Other than the tantrums and persistance, are you seeing anything else unusual for his developmental age/stage? Unusual fears or obsessions? How's his speech? Is there a history of mental health issues in the family?
  7. MelKret

    MelKret New Member

    Thanks for the response. No unusual developmental issues at all. He is right on par at preschool and does great. It seems like the issues are just with people he is comfortable with like his parents and maybe a daycare person that watches him a couple days a week. No unusual fears but seems more sensitive in some cases but then is aggressive at other things. His mental wheels keep turning and that is one of things we noticed that his mind doesn't relax much. He never stops talking or asking for things, questions. I feel constantly grilled by him. Physically has been great it's more of the emotional side and mainly with us being his comfort zone.

    I did make an appointment for the neuro pysch exam and found someone. That was a major feat to find by the way. I had an appointment to see a phsychologist this week but I suppose I should wait to do that until we have the exam completed. I just felt like I wanted to talk with someone and get some perspective because the test won't take place until April. I could use some therapy for coping measures and download on someone that will have some experience in this area. Everything we have gone thru and been stressed out over for 3 years. He did have bedtime issues when he was 2 that would last for 2 hours of tantruming each and every night for a year. That really took a toll on us. He is great now at bedtime but that was a grueling process.

    School he does great and nothing has come up as a concern. But, he is in a christian based school and they are not certified teachers so they might not recognize things as well as someone certified. I am told he has passed all the things he needs for kindergarten but what I don't hear much of is any emotional issues. I am told he does great just very competitive on winning on projects that there is not a race attached to it.

    Then he might come home and ask for spring cheese and if I say "no" he could end up having a major tantrum over it beyond the normal tantrum.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! it's helped a lot.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Your son sounds a little like mine - basically fine in school, with most caregivers, just problems at home... And my son also talks continually, as though his mind is as hyperactive as his body (though sounds as if your son is not so physically hyperactive?). Incredibly persistent and never gives up "nagging" for what he wants. Temper tantrums if he does not get what he wants (or used to be; I am devising skills and strategies for avoiding tantrums). I very much want to get my son tested by a neuro-psychologist and will eventually do this though the waiting lists are long here. Do keep us posted with the results of your son...
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would go with the neuropsychologist since you found one but you getting the psychologist for yourself isnt a bad idea and if you can get a therapist to do play therapy for your son who can reach him and build a bond with him, that isnt a bad thing no matter what the neuropsychologist finds out. You can always use a person to help you with ideas on how to help your son and unload on when the stress gets bad...and it does! A play therapist can help your son at this age work on different ways to deal with whatever the neuropsychologist finds but also deal with those temper tantrums.