neuropsychologist results

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    difficult child and I met with the neuropsychologist doctor to go over the results of the testing difficult child did just before Christmas.

    difficult child did very well in many of the tests. Intellegience and comprehension of materials is not the issue. Managing the information and remembering multiple steps is the issue.

    Once he is given a task to remember more than one or two rules, he has problems. Thus organizational skills are not his expertise.

    It was discovered that difficult child over focuses at times and shows ADD tendencies at other times. A confusing combination since they are opposite of each other. Could be boiled down to interest. When interested in something, he is super focused to the point where changing the subject is hard. When he is not interested or doesn't like something, the ADD kicks in fueled by the anxiety.

    The doctor and I discussed how in 7th grade, kids are expected to go "cold turkey" without getting any help from the teachers in the organizational area. Teachers no longer prompt the kids when homework is due, the kids are expected to know that on their own. It is now totally the student's responsibility to prepare for classes. I think that this hurts many kids. For the most part, this is the year that the kids START to understand and learn these things that teachers and parents have helped in the past. I think they need one or two more years of more structured "guidance" that must come from the teacher. A parent can not know what is expected from an unorganized child. How can I help difficult child meet homework goals when I am not given the assignments, ect.

    We will ask that the therapist work with difficult child in organizational skills. I have tried but because I am "mom-who-knows-nothing" and loosing whatever knowledge I ever did possess in each passing day (I miss the days when I was all knowing - funny how we loose credibility as the years go on), difficult child will not listen to my advise. He gets too upset with me reminding him or trying to guide him. His anger kicks in too quickly.

    Neuro doctor briefly mentioned ODD. He said he does not like giving that diagnosis because there is almost always something behind it. He agreed with me when I stated that I believe ODD is a symptom, not a diagnosis. difficult child displays ODD symptoms when overwhelmed. ODD is a way of shutting down - stopping the intake of info because the child can not handle one more thing.

    ODD will not be given as a diagnosis for difficult child. I am more than happy with that decision. While difficult child does display some ODD, I have always felt it was beause he was overwhelmed and trying to shut me out until he could make sense of whatever it is again. ADD will be the added diagnosis since that is what most closely fits whatever is going on in this situation.

    We then went to psychiatrist appointment. psychiatrist decided to address the ADD. I have the prescription in the van and can't remember the word for it. I had not heard that terminology before. I THINK he said it is a generic for ritalin but I could be wrong. Something that stays in the system for only 4 hours. We decided to give this to him after lunch, school days only. He has his three hardest classes in the afternoon. I don't think he needs help with his "fun" morning classes unless history becomes an issue. We can always add it in the morning if he feels a need once he understands how it is working in the afternoon.

    We will start this next Monday and I will give him a dose this weekend so he can "feel" what it is like (he is nervous about how it will make him feel). I am mostly concerned that he will forget to go to the nurses office and I don't feel that the teacher he has following lunch is the type of person to be willing to remind difficult child every day! He is the ONLY teacher that I don't feel comfortable getting involved with this. :( I need to come up with a way for him to remember on his own.

    I mentioned that difficult child was having more anger outbursts over this past month. psychiatrist is wondering if that means we should switch the Citalopram for something else. I would rather wait since overall, the Citalopram is helping control his anxiety. I will have therapist work with him on that and if these continue to occur too often, I will take it back to psychiatrist.

    For the anger outbursts, I will try paying more attention to the cause of them. I think they mostly are when he is expected to do a list of things. I will try to wait until one or two things are done before adding the next and perhaps writing a list for him to check off as each thing gets done. That may help reduce these outbursts. The writing lists may help teach him to not be overwhelmed with a list, just prioritize and do one thing at a time. Prioritizing means organizing so this will take awhile to get a handle on. However, with knowledge comes more patience and I feel that will help me handle the outbursts in a more positive way.

    Time for me to start journaling again. I know I will not remember from now until the next psychiatrist appointment what has happened from now until then and which day held issues.

    I am very comfortable with what has been discovered during the testing and how we will start to address the findings. difficult child's psychiatrist is very good about making sure that I feel o.k. with what we are doing. He was going to have difficult child take an 8 hr dosage but respected my wishes to first try the 4 hour one to only cover the classes that I believe are the issue. He agreed that it made sense and stated we can increase later if we want to . I think it amazing how this quarter the classes lined up in this way so that I could have difficult child try a reduced dosage time.
     
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    This actually sounds like a very productive session! That's great.

    Good luck with journaling and the medication changes. Sounds like you at least have a great benchmark to move forward with.
     
  3. Autismkids

    Autismkids Member

    Sounds like a good appointment.

    For the medication reminder- there are watches that you can program with an alarm time and message. I saw them on amazon. If you want me to go searching again, let me know.
     
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Andy, sounds like a very productive & positive appointment. Lots to consider as difficult child gets older. I believe this is the time we had kt & wm start journaling some of their own behaviors & such.

    kt has a day timer sort of calendar that helps her track things & journal her bad days. She misses a lot but it's helping her learn to manage time, appts & such. It's also helping her manage her "to do" list.

    Thanks for the positive update.
     
  5. Andy,

    Thanks for the update. I agree it all sounds quite productive. Your psychiatrist sounds like a good one. Our easy child was on ritalin for quite a few years. It was quite the "miracle" drug for him but I will warn you that the rebound was rough at times. He decided to stop the medication when he was 14, and we respected his decision. Honestly, though, I keep hoping that he will find his way back to it or a similar medication. He is the "poster boy" for ADD - both charming and infuriating. I think his life would be more calm and even keeled if he took this medication again.

    by the way both easy child and difficult child have the "hyperfocus" that you mention. It is really a hallmark of the spectrum (and ADD is part of the spectrum). I do think that there are ways to nuture that focus and use it in productive ways - certainly later in life!

    I know that you are pleased to have some answers and a treatment plan. Please let us know how everything goes...

    Valerie
     
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Once he is given a task to remember more than one or two rules, he has problems. Thus organizational skills are not his expertise.

    It was discovered that difficult child over focuses at times and shows ADD tendencies at other times. A confusing combination since they are opposite of each other. Could be boiled down to interest. When interested in something, he is super focused to the point where changing the subject is hard. When he is not interested or doesn't like something, the ADD kicks in fueled by the anxiety.



    Are you sure you're not talking about my son? ;)

    Best of luck with-the medication changes. Sounds like you're doing the right things.
     
  7. maril

    maril New Member

    Great idea to keep a journal plus the suggestion your son try doing so, too.

    Good luck with the new medication! Let us know how it goes. My difficult child is still having trouble with stims and side effects but on his next visit, treatment for mood and anxiety will be discussed (he takes nothing presently).
     
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