Is she qualified?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Alisonlg, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    So, 5 years after our original ODD diagnosis, we're on the path of a re-evaluation to check for any co-morbidities. Last night, we met for the first time at the Behavioral Center and the person doing our 8 yr old's evaluation. She's a Social Worker.

    While I think a Social Worker may be well equipped to help us and offer support and guidance, I'm not so sure she's qualified to perform a medical diagnosis. What are your thoughts and experience here?

    The three of us met with her last night and then she and my son will be meeting alone for the next 3 visits and then my husband and I alone the last "evaluation" visit. Her first impressions were the obvious ODD, and then a possible learning disability because of his opposition to writting (which we've started the ball rolling for testing through the school system), and then depression. I don't know...I grew up with a mother who is clinically depressed...*I* went through a depression...I am pretty familiar with the signs and feelings of depression...I just don't see it...not to say it isn't there and I'm no medical Dr...but I really don't see it. I'm much more concerned with his rapid mood swings and his high anxiety. I'm rambling... your opinion/experience, is a Social Worker really qualified to make a medical diagnosis?
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    While SW may be qualified &/or certified to do the initial testing, the eventual diagnosis is generally provided by a neuropsychologist or psychiatrist.

    Having said that, I've never heard of a SW evaluating & diagnosis'ing.

    I'd ask who would be reading the evaluations & making the final determinations.

    Just something to consider.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Given what you've described, I'd recommend an evaluation by both a board-certfied child psychiatrist (for the mood issues) and a neuropsychologist (to rule in or out learning disabilities). Social workers generally are responsible for therapeutic interventions rather than making diagnoses. They are, after all, not medical doctors.
  4. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style="color: #663366"> psychiatric SW are fine for talk therapy & can perform rudimentary preliminary evaluations. for a diagnosis, however, i would seek testing by a neuropsychologist who works in conjunction with-a child/adolescent psychiatrist.

    </span> </span> </span>
  5. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    Thanks for the feedback...I'm glad I wasn't alone in feeling that her credentials really weren't sufficient here.

    The school will start their preliminary 45 day timeline for the testing, yadda, yadda, yadda...and of course it doesn't help that we're at the tail-end of the school year. At least if the testing doesn't turn up anything conclusive, there is the potential for them to do the neuropsychologist testing. I guess I need to find out more about this whole process, because I feel a little out of the loop and don't really understand what happens when and what specifically they will and won't do.

    And, of course, the SW they assigned us at the Behavioral Center that's doing the evaluation is pregnant and due mid-June. So, this should be fun.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    From my long experience with psychiatric and neurological personnel (I have bipolar II and my son is on the autism spectrum) I would only see a Psychiatrist with the MD (the doctor) and a neuropsychologist (a Psycologist trained in the brain--they do EXTENSIVE testing and were actually more accurate about both me and my son than the Psychiatrists). I wouldn't mess with anybody less credentialed and highly recommend seeing both for a clear picture. Too many, especially therapists, snap their fingers and make a diagnosis without any testing. That leads to wrong diagnosis. The School Districts tend to miss the boat too, and, in my opinion, aren't to be trusted to diagnose behavioral issues. Good luck!
  7. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style="color: #663366"> something i feel very strongly about is not relying solely on the school evaluation for a diagnosis. they look only for what impacts on their education....which is, of course, a necessary part of the picture. however, it's not the entire picture. i'd seek an indepeandant neuropsychologist evaluation in conjunction with-a child/adoescent psychiatrist who will be able to treat difficult child on an ongoing basis. prescribe medications if necessary. that will NOT happen through school personnel.

    </span> </span> </span>