How much do you tell your difficult child about their issues?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovemychocolate, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. lovemychocolate

    lovemychocolate New Member

    I'm trying to get my difficult child tested through his pediatrician. I'm concerned about how much to talk about difficult child in front of difficult child. We're still in the process of getting a diagnosis. We're thinking asperger's and ODD. At this point, difficult child knows that me and his father are trying to get him help with his problems at school and help with his anger and frustration. We've left it semi-ambiguious when discussing problems with difficult child. I'm not sure at what point do you talk about the exact isues with children. difficult child just turned 8. Is it best to keep it in the, "bigger picture" context: i.e., you need help understanding better ways to respond when you're angry, etc?

    I'm fearful about labels and how they could be used against children--especially by their peers at school and in the neighborhood.

    Appreciate any input here.
    Thanks ;)
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    How old is he?

    I'd say just tell him on a need-to-know, developmentally appropriate basis. Like explaining sex.

    When we told my son about his Asperger's, the child psychologist pointed out all the positives, and left the negative social aspects for last, and told him we would work on that together.

    I'm going to ask my son if he remembers any of that ... I'm curious to know how much stayed with-him. He is 12.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, by the way, just to clarify, you mean "through his pediatrician," that s/he is helping to make appts with-therapists, neurologists, etc., not that the pediatrician is dxing, right?
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi! My son was a bit older when going through his evaluation'ing, but I told him it is the same as when his stomach hurts and we don't know why- that doesn't mean there's something wrong with "him" that means there's something wrong that's causing a problem for him and we need to find out what it is and treat it. So, our job (mine and difficult child's) is not to figure out what's causing it, but to go to the appropriate dr and tell him the symptoms, what hurts, etc, and let them do whatever tests they need to- xray, eye test, written test, so they can figure this out. Then, we will treat it as best we can so he can have the best life possible and whatever is going on won't be interfering so much.
  5. lovemychocolate

    lovemychocolate New Member

    I *think* so. pediatrician told me that he uses and has some great referrals. He did give me a questionnaire about add/adhd. I had initally talked to him with-o difficult child there. I told him that I had no concerns about add/hd, so I was thinking he wanted to rule some things out. I was distracted with my other 2 small kids there and we waited too long. I will be super focused for the next apt.
  6. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Well, I *used* to think it was a good idea to talk about it.

    Until I learned diagnosis'es change so much from toddlerhood to adulthood it doesn't really matter what the diagnosis is anyway.

    When D was 9, he was diagnosis'ed Bipolar Disorder-not otherwise specified/ADHD. Even though, prior, he had been diagnosis'ed with other things (i.e. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified). The psychiatrist spent alot of time talking to D about Bipolar. Even told him to get some books (D is an avid reader) from an author, Dylan Thomas, who is Bipolar.

    To only find out now, D is Aspergers LOL! He *might* have some mood issues. He *could*, later in life, be Bipolar. The diagnosis game is a joke, in my eyes.

    So, no, I tell him nothing anymore. When he's 18 and thinking about being on his own, when things are more stable, then we talk. Right now, he knows he has to go for testing, on occasion, for whatever the issue is we're testing (i.e. neuropsychologist to test for learning disabilities). It's simple, to the point, and he wouldn't understand "Aspergers" anyway. Heck, I'm still learning and I'm 37.
  7. lovemychocolate

    lovemychocolate New Member

    Thanks for the thought provoking insight. I am so open to understanding and learning about my difficult child. I don't want to get tunnel vision and lose sight of my difficult child. Thank you.
  8. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Oh, and yes, we work on each issue (I forgot this part LOL I'm so sorry, kids are distracting me) one at a time.

    So, for example, we'll say...."OK, D, we're going to work on coping skills for when you're angry". And work on that. It doesn't matter WHAT the diagnosis is, LOL, he has anger issues. Call it ABCDE Disorder!

    So, my opinion on that is what you said, working like that. I like that!
  9. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Yes I think the details and what is appropriate for a specific child is very important.

    the way I talk about "it" is that this is part of normal...because it is...and that everybody is different...and these quirks that people can have have names which are ways to help you and some other people,like your doctor or a school, or even a friend understand what is going on with you.

    and I truly am aware and do believe that human beings depend and work with what is true"(earth orbit, night and day, gravity,hot/cold ect) so having words that refer to certain things is one way that the quirk and the person are seperated. And this way a child can also see the thing for what it is in their own way and the bit about living with it and working on onesself can begin to have a possitive edge, and not be all about the social recrimination from kids at school, or remarks heard by an adult...
    Just start early and start small and let this conversation be a good possitive way to help make another bridge for your young one on their journey through their whole life. Kind,sincere, smiling,safe truthful facts.
  10. I tell my son that he inherited my brain chemistry and that means he reacts differently than most people do. I tell him that it took years for me to work out ways to deal with that and that the folks he sees can help him figure it out faster. I tell him that some people have blonde hair, some have dark; some people have blue eyes, others have green; some people have brain chemistry like ours, others don't. I don't tell him all of these things at once because he really wouldn't listen that long. I don't bother with long words or theories; diagnoses change and some treatments are more effective than others. Why give him a label? It probably isn't going to stick, anyway. I'm more of a "we all got dealt different cards; it's how you play then that counts" kind of person. I come from a long line of people like me. It's my opinion that evolution would have weeded us out by now if there wasn't some powerful drivers keeping these genes in the gene pool. I like to think about that sometimes.
  11. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    At 8, I didn't tell difficult child much. I wanted to give him a chance to learn he "can" before he thought he "can't" because of XYZ. My difficult child is bright but when asked to do something he doesn't want to do, he requires lots of encouragement -- sometimes it's anxiety and the end result is "I CAN do it!; sometimes it's pure lazyness.

    difficult child has known for a long time about the ADHD. Not the term ADHD, but "sometimes you have more trouble than others focusing -- it's what your medicine helps you with."

    Trying to think back, I believe difficult child was 12 when I bought him an age-appropriate book on ADHD.

    Re: the doctor. I have never discussed specifics with-the doctor when difficult child is present. Initially, I faxed him a copy of my Parent Report. He is one that appreciates it. (He actually asked for me to send him a copy when it's updated. lol) When we go for medication checks or if we're having a particular problem related to his disabilities, I fax the info first. If we need to discuss issues I do not think difficult child needs to hear, I ask difficult child to step outside the room.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We told him when he was old enough to understand. He went to an autism specialist to have it explained to him though since we weren't sure how to answer some of his questions. He took it well and says he doesn't mind being on the autism spectrum. Whether he means it or not, we're not sure, but he seems ok with it...good question. For the record, nobody knows his "label" except him nor has anyone ever used it against him.
  13. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I give a little at a time. Funny thing I often find they will ask when they want to know. i think some diagnosis' change yet others do not and are set in stone so to speak.

    My difficult child last week learned of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety disoder. 2 down, 4 to go is the way i see it. Yet I wont' share unless she asks me. She's pretty smart. When she's ready to know, she'll ask.

    that's kinda how i view it now.
  14. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I agree with Janna. It can all change so quickly and often. difficult child knows he has ADHD (It is soo obvious). I am not sure how many people he tells this too, but it is more allowable to be ADHD than bipolar. People think if you are BiPolar (BP) you are a crazy maniac. Plus, what would you think if a 5th grader told you he has cyclothymia? It sounds like something contagious, and many do not have a clue what it is.

    I try to keep it to culturally acceptable stuff, as my difficult child tells every one a lot, or at least I think he does.
  15. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My difficult child is 8 and doesn't know she carries an ODD diagnosis. We just focus on the behaviors here because I don't want her to try to use the diagnosis as an excuse.
  16. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT was diagnosis'd when she was 9. At that time, I told her she had ADHD, and that meant she had to work harder to concentrate, and this medicine would help her do that. She started asking more questions when she got to junior high, and even more when she started high school.

    I agree, keep the explanation simple and age appropriate.
  17. ML

    ML Guest

    I agree with Janna. Manster's diagnosis is very ambiguous and symptoms are ever-changing. I am pretty sure that he has Aspergers and even psychiatrist agrees with me based upon my sharing mostly, but she hasn't officially diagnosis him. She was of the opinion that it was irrelevant in terms of her medication approach. Fran once used a term that made a lot of sense and I still use it. Manster has a "brain wrinkle". The diagnosis on the books is ADHD and social, general and separation anxiety when he was 8. Oh and of course Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). Generally we talk about his "social anxiety, trouble doing new things, trouble paying attention and staying focused". But until the professionals can get it together I leave it vague for now as well.

    Many of our kids are soo unique and diagnosis are fluid and ecompass more than one so it becomes hard to know which is the dominant one. I even sometimes get dissuaded into thinking "well maybe it really is bipolar". Then go back to thinking the label isn't as important as treating the symptoms. The one good reason for talking about it is that they can have a reason to explain why they feel "different". We have to teach them different isn't bad though explaining that to a tween isn't easy.