How many got an initial diagnosis of ADHD....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jules71, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    only to find out later it was really something else?

    My difficult child got a diagnosis of ADHD combined type and ODD from a clinical psychologist. psychiatric is convinced and doesn't want to talk about other possibilities. Pediatrician doesn't want to talk about other medical possibilities. We have a decision to make about whether we want to medicate or not. psychiatric told us if we medicate, we may no longer have a need for a 504 or IEP in school.

    difficult child's behavior is being managed in school with positive supports in place. My concern is his academics now and in the future. In the teacher questionnaire, his teacher indicated difficult child is barely passing or failing all subjects (this is Kindergarten). The school refuses to evaluate because they are ‘trying interventions first’ (behavioral interventions) and by the look of it – those interventions are working, so I do not believe without a fight that they will evaluate. One children’s hospital told us they do not do initial neuropsychologist evaluations – the school would need to evaluate first and then if we still have concerns, they could do an evaluation.

    I don’t know what to do at this point. These are my options are far as I can see:

    1. Wait it out to see if difficult child struggles in school academically
    2. Medicate him for ADHD and see if his behavior/academics improve
    3. Find another pediatrician to test for medical possibilities
    4. Find another hospital that will do a neuropsychologist evaluation
    5. ???

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    He will qualify for a 504 based on his diagnosis. He does not need to be having problems. A 504 is basically an acknowledgment by the school that the child has a disability. You can have them document the behavioral interventions they are using in a 504.

    You don't sound convinced that he has ADHD. In that case, I would look for another doctor for a 2nd opinion.
  3. oceans

    oceans New Member

    By law they have to evaluate if you send a certified letter requesting an evaluation. If he is failing now, then the interventions are not enough to be helpful. It sounds like he needs an IEP with a behavioral plan in place for his own protection. He is only 5, so it might be something other than ADD. From what I have seen, that is a common first diagnoses, which does not always hold true over time.
  4. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Oceans & JJJ,
    Thanks for your replies - I sent a certified letter in at the beginning of the school year requesting an evaluation and they refused to evaluate - and their reason is: "pending the outcome of the pre-referral interventions". They wanted to try interventions first, and then see if they still needed to evaluate.
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    The psychiatric is wrong about a 504 or IEP. Your son is entitled to either one with his diagnosis. medications don't change that!

  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I would look for a second opinion. It seems strange to me that they won't do the evaluation.

    I am also surprised that if you sent a registered letter they aren't doing a school evaluation (different from a neuropsychologist evaluation, of course). I would post that part over in spec. ed forum to see if the school is able to do that.

    I am sorry for your frustration. In our case we started with an initial diagnosis of ADHD-for us it did turn out to be ADHD plus more.
  7. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I want to clarify - the psychiatric felt if he took medications, he may no longer have the problems - therefore he would not need to have an IEP or 504.

    I did post in Special Education and everyone is stumped - they should have to do the evaluation.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Well, if he takes medications and no longer has problems, wouldn't that be a good thing?
  9. ggluvbug

    ggluvbug New Member

    Depending on the state's guidelines for referral, your child may have to go through interventions first. I questioned this myself when I was going through this with my own son. We had to do 18 weeks of interventions before they evaluated him.

    As far as the ADHD diagnosis, if you aren't sure, get a second opinion. I have had 4 opinions. It helps to hear from more than one person on things like this.
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    yep, my son was initially diagnosis with adhd, given ritalin, and went off the deep end. it was horrible!!! you really have to use your mom's intuition on these things, before going with the doctors diagnosis. stimulant medications can make a child who is not exclusively adhd have more problems in their moodiness and aggression. to me, multiple opinions, are the best way to go, before giving a child medications.

    if his behavior is in check with modifications, then at this point, and in my opinion, I would not do medications. academics will come in time.
  11. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I agree with this and it's why I am having a hard time. This is exactly what I am contemplating. I just don't want to look back later and say 'gee we should have done more or something different'. I am not saying that I don't agree with the ADHD diagnosis (although I do have to say it did not enter my mind one bit until we started seeing this psychiatric) - I just fear medicating and having a bad bad reaction because it ends up being some other diagnosis.
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    lol No, we're not stumped. You're school district is non-compliant and you're going to have to either force the their hand or wait them out.

    Just to make clear, a diagnosis of any type does not automatically qualify a student for an IEP or 504.

    Regarding medication, if a medication such a stimulant controls symptoms, it's no different than blood pressure medicine doing it's job. HOWEVER, it is the very rare case where an ADHD medication controls all symptoms. Even with-a medication that works, one day the student does well, one day s/he doesn't. The medication may help a student focus, may curtail hyperactivity, but there's much more to ADHD than that.

    PS: See my signature for diagnosis info. difficult child's 1st diagnosis was also ADHD.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son was also diagnosis. ADHD/ODD. He didn't have it. I'd get an outside-the-school-district neuropsychologist exam. I don't trust the school district to do good or unbiased exams. They have an agenda $$$. I also wouldn't accept a diagnose from anyone who doesn't do extensive testing for ALL disorders and in my opinion that's a neuropsychologist. Everyone else got my poor son wrong. Good luck.
  14. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    My difficult child didn't get an initial diagnosis of ADHD/ODD. The doctor nailed it right the first time.

    But, just to show you how prevalent ADHD/ADD is along with neurological disorders, at every single developmental pediatrician visit we went to parents are handed a Conner's scale to fill out. Nothing I could say to the receptionist or intake nurses could excuse me from it. Finally I resorted to taking the form and making like I'd done and then handing it back to the doctor blank.
  15. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Hi Sheila,
    That's what I meant by stumped (I should have clarified more) - the school district is not doing what they are supposed to be doing.
  16. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I think this is how I am leaning. I guess I need to call our insurance to see if they will cover a neuropsychologist evaluation and then call a different childrens hospital to request one. I would really like to have a completely thorough evaluation before we decide to medicate. I'm just not completely comfortable with the diagnosis at this point.
  17. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    My son was originally diagnosis with ADHD by his pediatrician tried over 8 different medications then he went to day camp this summer and we (teacher & I) decided we couldn't tell a difference when he took medications and didn't take medications so we took him off. Then we got his final report card Kindergarten so they evaluate based on above average, average, below average, & well below average in 3 areas; math, reading, & writing. In 2 areas he was below average in 1 he was well below average so we took him to a psychologist and had him cognative tested and then we had an education specialist test him and we discovered that he had a Learning Disability (LD) mostly with reading & memory. He is in Kindergarten again this year I LOVE HIS TEACHER!!!!!!! but during memorial weekend we were trying the patch and he had an allergic reaction so while i had him at the dr for a check up just to make sure the reaction wasn't too serious we were lucky enough to end up with a lady dr. who use to be a Special Education teacher and she said if the school refuses to evaluate your child you can have him privately evaluated and sue the school for reimbursement (not sure if this is a state or federal law) now we didn't sue we were just happy to have people start to listen to us but he does have a new principle this year the principle from last year said that if Chris could get himself together then he felt difficult child could be a productive and successful first grader what an idiot the child is 6 hello anyway sorry it's so long but that's what i've found out just be sure your state allows you to make the school test him before you start threatining or paying out of pocket for tests here the educational test was $500.00 but luckily difficult child insurance covered everything but $200
  18. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    I disagree JMO but I feel that in Kindergarten is where he is gonna learn his beginning reading skills and let me tell you this year my son read a mini book to me with only minimal help and i was so proud but i guess what i'm trying to say is it's like learning to drive if you don't know where the gas & brake are then you can't go anywhere and the same is true with beginning reading skills without them he could get really far behind and then he's gonna end up feeling stupid JMO
  19. difficult child was not diagnosed with ADHD in his first private evaluation when he was 6. husband, the school district and I were very surprised because we all thought he showed the symptoms and easy child had been diagnosed with ADHD several years earlier. The psychologist gave difficult child a test called the TOVA, which showed he is about as far away from ADHD as you can get. The years have shown her to be correct. However, she did not pick up on the Asperger's Syndrome... Nor did his therapist who he saw for many, many sessions...

    by the way, I would not trust the school district to do an agenda free evaluation. First of all, it will take a long time to get it. Secondly, they are going to have their bottom line in mind. Sorry to say that, but our school district, which is a great one by the way - and very small, tested difficult child and they found , drumroll, no problems!!!
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    ADHD is a real diagnosis., but it's still The Flavor of the Day (bipolar is coming up the back though). Almost all of our kids are dxd. ADHD first, which is kind of scary. Stimulants are NOT for all kids--they are speed and they acted like it on my son. He could focus a little better, but, heck, college kids have been using stims to focus on exam night for years. It's not worth giving to your child simply for focus in my opinion. Hyper behavior and inattention is not always due to ADHD and children with early onset bipolar or autistic spectrum disorder/Aspergers will probably score "ADHD" on the Connors. I don't like the Connors because it assumes that ADHD is the reason for the inattentiveness and impusivity. Many other problems cause the same thing. As for schools, I think they're in love with ADHD. I have had at least three teachers plus one school nurse "suggest" medications for my son's ADHD that he doesn't have. It's not their field. They shouldn't make any diagnoses. They can recommend testing your child--then, in my opinion, I'd take the child somewhere that is not connected with the school district. We are on Medicaid (hub gets no insurance from work) and it covered a complete neuropsychologist exam. We didn't pay a dime. Don't assume your insurance won't cover it.