Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jul 5, 2012.
I'm trying not to sit on the edge of my chair ...
Hoping things go much, much better then you expect... Hugs... SFR
The MMPI is the ONLY thing they used??? Wow. That's not necessarily as good a test as it's sometimes made out to be. I don't know any professionals that use that anymore......except difficult child 1's probation officer. I wouldn't put TOO much stock in it but hopefully it won't be way off base like it was with me YEARS ago.
I hope that there was more testing than the MMPI - and that more than one person deciphered the answers.
I took it in 2005, as part of the court-ordered psychological evaluation. I came across as a sex-obsessed doormat.
I hope you get good info. I have a bias to be cautious when looking at personality inventories or other general tests like even IQ tests....when there are brain wiring differences like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)/fasd, genetic conditions etc....I just look at the results as pieces of the puzzle. Knowing there is an issue with empathy for example is great but how we work on it will depend on underlying factors. My q for example wont be able to really change behavior from talking about feelings and behaviors alone. Knowing if there is a source of cognitive learning challenge. If there is an issue with the brain being able to access stored information consistently or if their learning style is rigid and more visual ....or any of a million wiring issues ...all could influence the validity and more importantly the methods for working on the problems.
From things you have said and his behaviors ....I'd wonder especially given you are thinking of spending a huge amount of moola on treatment options , do you think an updated neuropsychology and neurological exam would be worth adding to the information pile? Or has he recently had that already? I don't mean to add to an already overwhelming schedule. I was just thinking you are at such a critical point and difficult child is cooperating with assessment, could be a golden opportunity to get a clearer picture of his learning style /limits /differences, etc. Just a thought but I know it's overwhelming. I wish there were easy answers that would lead to a definitive treatment program!
Hugs and huge wishes for insight and help coming from your results meeting! Let us know how it goes if you're up to it.
Thinking of you this morning and hoping last night wasn't too draining... SFR
Thank you all.
Our therapist, whom we have used for almost 10 yrs, was also wary of it but believed it was a good marker and tool. He said when he was a grad student, he had to take it, and one of the questions had to do with-seeing and hearing animals that no one else could see or hear. He answered "Yes." Well, the therapists were from the Old School and got all over his case about it, and I was already grinning when he threw out the "punchline"--he was raised on a farm and could spot animal movements in the trees, etc.
So he is well aware of how skewed the results can be.
We also briefly discussed how some very literal Aspies say that they hear voices in their heads, when it's just their own self-talk.
So the first thing he did was explain that it is a combination of two tests. (It has changed a lot over the years.) The second thing he explained was that the first "intro" section indicated how the individual took the test--it graphed out whether they were likely to be telling the truth, whether they were bored and didn't want to be there that day, etc. That first section could skew all the other results. The third thing he told us was that the terminology was very outdated, so not to have a fit when we heard some of it.
And that was a very good thing, because the section that dealt with-sociopathy he said was more of an indicator of a "stick-it-in-your-face, flip-the-bird" attitude, especially since this test is geared toward teenagers.
Also, difficult child scored right in the middle when it came to sympathy and understanding, which meant he wasn't off the charts for either clueless Asperger's on one side, or true, sophisticated, slimy sociopathy on the other. THAT was a huge relief. (He also pointed out that there was a separate score for maturity, which needed to be looked at when looking at some of these other attributes.)
The thing that troubled him the most was difficult child's very high scores on anxiety and anger. And, difficult child just barely tipped the scales to get himself into the category for Conduct Disorder.
Only a couple of points, but still ... sigh. He's on his way.
Which gets us back to the age-old question of, how much of this is hardwired, and how much is situational?
One section in the area of drug use showed that difficult child had used a small amt and was not familiar with-a lot of the doings that a more experienced drug user would have (which paralleled his real life experience) but that he was extremely prone to outside influences and persuasion. Well, we certainly found THAT out the hard way!
But it also indicates to me that we have to totally orchestrate his comings and goings and doings far more rigidly than we had before.
The test also indicated that difficult child believes that he can just barely get by in school and that attitude was just fine (two different sets of questions). We already knew that, but it was sad to see it so obviously on a chart. He is not a motivated individual at all.
The hard part now, the "take-away," as husband put it, is how to treat difficult child, having reinforced how high his anxiety level is, how low his self esteem is, but still follow through on his punishments?
So we're making sure to compliment him on a job well done, even if it's little, and difficult child has actually been doing better this week. He actually unclogged two toilets all by himself (since he cloggled them because he ate wheat he had no choice) but it usually caused a total meltdown on his part. This morning, he openend a box containing a tall floor lamp and assembled it by himself. So he is actually accomplishing things, which in and of itself should help his self esteem.
Our therapist is going to write a narrative about the test, which can be sent to those who are considering taking difficult child into their program. I would assume they'd know how to read the results, but if nothing else, *I* could use a narrative because the coding was nothing like what I'm used to looking at.
We are making an appointment to bring in difficult child to discuss the results, using teen terminology. The therapist suggested that we discuss it as a changeable marker, not as a permanent personality test, so that we can encourage difficult child to change his own results. He does not have to be angry, depressed, or just get by in school. He can change all of that.
One of the therapy camps I'm looking at includes a battery of tests, so we can have more taken later. But I'm glad we did this one at this point in difficult child's life and behavior, and that we did it with-a dr who has known difficult child for so long that he can interpret the results based on years of watching difficult child's behavior, and in addition, doesn't want to throw in the towel and still wants to work with-him.
Wow. I love your therapist. Glad the outcome was pretty much as expected and also that it put some of your fears to rest. Yea, it's going to be tough balancing the punishment/consequences with the self-esteem and anxiety. That's where I have to walk a VERY fine line also.
JMO of course, but... unless you can get to the source of the anxiety, it's going to be hard to deal with the rest of it. And... punishments just make anxiety worse. Logical consequences delivered in a very timely manner, as long as the logic is obvious to difficult child, don't increase anxiety the same way. But it can be a huge challenge to come up with logical consequences for some stuff. (delayed consequences don't work either, no matter how logical they are)
Why is difficult child so anxious?
The therapist said that difficult child is very aware that people are watching him and approving or disapproving of him, but that for whatever reason, his reasoning abilities are off.
So all I know is that we've got to work on that. And a lot of it is genetic. (I've met some of the bio family.) Could be some neurological thing that goes along with-Asperger's, or too few connections between the amygdala and the frontal lobes ... all speculation.
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