new and overwhelmed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cupcakes, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. cupcakes

    cupcakes New Member

    My son is 13 and has recently had a risk assessment done because he was in 2 fights at school. The results were that he has ADHD, ODD and CD. I already knew about the ADHD and ODD but the CD was new to me and when I read the criteria for CD he doesn't seem to fit. A few things are true but he seems to be more of Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) than CD or is that the same? I am so lost in trying to understand everything, and to top it all off the assessment recomends he be expelled. He now has pending charges in juvenile court, is under house arrest with a GPS and is not in school. He has an IEP and I am waiting for a manifestation hearing. Should I get an educational advocate? Should I go to the manifestation hearing with a lawyer? Any advice is appreciated, I am struggling:(
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Let me guess- was the assessment done by people being paid by the sschool disctrict? I'd recommend getting to a private professional as quickly as possible. You need neuropsychological testing done, but I doubt seriously that the school will put this on hold that long. First, find out your time limits for an appeal and submit an appeal. Get to a psychologist or psychiatrist asap and get something in writing from them that says you're getting your own assessment done. That's just my opinion.
  3. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I agree on getting your own independent assessment. I'd also advise at least talking to an education lawyer promptly about the situation. Whether or not the lawyer should attend any school meetings may be better answered by him/her. Since an IEP is in place, the school would have to find alternative educational placement, not just toss him "to the wind". Also, the reason for the IEP could have a bearing on what they should be doing.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome :)

    Who diagnosed him? I'm asking because both ODD and CD are pretty much in my opinion (and the opinion of even many professionals) garbage diagnosis. They mean "I don't know what's wrong." I would never again see a professional who dxd. a chld under 18 with CD and frankly 13 is a bit old for ODD. I have a few questions that may help us help you. FIrst off, you may want to do a signature like I have below.

    1/Who diagnosed him? If it's just the school district, I wouldn't trust it AT ALL. I wouldn't even trust anyone they sent you to if they paid for it. Unfortunately, ya gets what ya pays for.

    2/Any psychiatric or substance abuse on either side of his family tree? Is there a chance he is dabbling in drugs or drinking? Is he on medication? Do you feel he is getting good treatment or do you feel they really don't know what is wrong with him. Has he ever seen a private NeuroPsychologist? I like them even more than Psychiatrists. there any history of bipolar in the family? Any chance that somebody HAD it, but failed to be diagnosed?

    3/How was his early development and does he have adequate social skills with his same-age peers? If not, is he quirky?

    Others will come along. Glad you joined us, but sorry you had to.
  5. cupcakes

    cupcakes New Member

    He was diagnosed with ADHD originally by his neurologist. The school district had the risk assessment done by their pyschologist and he diagnosed the ADHD, ODD and CD.

    There is no substance abuse in the family on either side but on dad's side is a history of depression, however in the risk assessment they found no indications of depression. I do not really feel like I know what is wrong with him, he tested in the 98% for fitting the profile for ADHD. He was on adderol, metadate and then focalin, none of them worked and if anything both incidents occurred while taking the medications, he has never had anything like this happen before, although I do feel like he has trouble in the frustration tolerance and flexiblity domains. (I read The explosive Child and he fits that profile to a tee. )

    His development was normal and he has and does have many friends, he is a talented athlete, but not a good student.

    The court wanted to put him in juvenile detention, but he was let out under house arrest. He has to see the court psychologist for an evaluation and I am trying to find a pyschiatrist for him to see as well.

    So should have something similiar done to the risk assessment but by my own person? Obviously I do not agree with all aspects of the school districts evaluation, but that is what they are using to expel him and they used it in court. And is a lawyer imperative for a situation like this? We had one for his court case, but not for the school stuff yet.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, just my opinion. Forget the school district risk assessment and take him to a PRIVATE neuropsychologist. If the school district is taking you to court, you need somebody indepenently. I doubt if the school district does the right testing or has the diagnosis correct. Having ODD and CD together makes no sense, and often ADHD is a wrong diagnosis too. It's totally up to you, but I would never trust the school district to diagnose, including the psychologist. Most of the best and brightest do not work for school districts and are in private practice. You can find a neuropsychologist at university and children's hospitals and they are worth it. Any mood disorders in the family puts a family member at risk for a mood disorder and it could be (and sounds) like he could have one. in my opinion the ODD and CD is likely useless and way off base. With both myself and my son, I've been through the mill with professionals and this is one I would not trust. A lot of things look like ADHD including childhood bipolar and high functioning autism. I wouldn't trust the ADHD diagnosis. either unless somebody outside of the school does it. in my opinion the whole thing stinks. At least, if you are hurting financiially, call your department of public for your state and ask to be put in touch with the free Parent Advocate and don't go to any court of meeting alone. Are you sure your son is not taking drugs? Sadly, my daughter started at 12, and I didn't think of drugs because who takes drugs at 12?? You'd be surprised, and that does cause horrible behavior. Anyway, good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Also, make sure they have a qualified person (someone familiar with adhd- not just school admin staff) in the manifestation meeting. I also suggest a Special Education attny.
  8. cupcakes

    cupcakes New Member

    Ok so I should find a Neuropsychologist and have him/her do another evaluation? As well as a seperate psychiatric evaluation? Also is it unadvisable to go to a manifestation hearing without an attorney?

    I am sorry for my ignorance, but why do ODD and CD not exist together? In the diagnosis part of the assessment that was the findings.

    Thanks for your help!!!
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think they are loading up the diagnosis. without really knowing what is wrong. I also bet that another professional would strongly disagree with those findings. I would definitely see a private Neurpsych (totally different than a Neurologist). If you can't get in, as they often have long waiting lists, take him to a private Psychiatrist (with the MD) and I'll bet you'll get a different diagnosis than what you have. And, of course, a Psychiatarist's credentials trump a school psychologist. I would definitely bring a lawyer if you can afford it. You may want to bring a School Advocate too. Talk to one on the phone--they know the laws of the school in your state and you don't. And your school district knows that you don't. ((((Hugs)))) and prepare yourself. Good luck.
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    ODD and CD do not generally exist together because they're on the same continuum; ODD can turn into CD. However, competent mental health professionals agree that ODD is not a diagnosis unto itself. It is typically fueled by an underlying disorder such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, autistic spectrum disorder, etc. When the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the oppositional behaviors generally subside. If the fights your son got into only occurred while taking ADHD medications, there's a good chance the ADHD medications were responsible for this behavior, not ODD or CD. By the way, a diagnosis of CD is reserved for the over-18 crowd.

    Definitely retain a Special Education attorney for the manifestation hearing. He/she will tell you what private evaluations to seek to argue your case before the school district.

    Hang in there.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A lot of these diagnoses are very subjective. They are man-made labels for a continuum of behaviour that could be partly neurological and heavily environmental, all mixed in together.

    Basically, unless diagnosis is made by blood test or looking at it down a microscope, always keep an open mind.

    The same kid can be seen by different people, at different ages and maybe even at different times of te day, and be given a different diagnosis. Does that mean all the labels are correct? Or none?

    It's very easy to find yourself drowning in alphabet soup when what you need is a meat and three veg diagnosis.

    Welcome to the site, there is good help here.

  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Cupcakes, welcome.
    You are doing all the right things and seem quite knowledgeable, despite your frustration. I agree with-everyone, get your own psychiatric and evaluation.
    And I agree with-MWM, they are loading up the evaluation with-o really knowing what is going on.
    It sounds like your son is on the wrong medications. And you have a good handle on what is going on with-him.
    You are a great warrior mom!
  13. cupcakes

    cupcakes New Member

    Thank you for all the advice, I have another question about the medications. Would the wrong medications or dosage ever cause over the top physical reactions? Both incidents that happened at school were when he was on medication, once on metadate and once when he was on focalin. He can be oppostional and disrespectful, he will push another kid if he pushes first, but has not done what he did at school before.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes!! Wrong medications or dosages can cause a range of uncharacteristic behaviors, moods, etc. Some are worse than others for this, and I can't speak about the ones your child is on, but it's worth discussing with a psychiatrist. If this is a concern, call the prescribing dr right away, in my humble opinion.
  15. cupcakes

    cupcakes New Member

    I did meet with his neurologist and he took him off of any ADHD medications. So would this be relevant when I discuss his case at the manifestation hearing and/or in court in relation to his charges? I have mentioned it briefly but noone is really keying on it.
  16. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Just wanted to welcome you to the boards! My difficult child is on probation but luckily we didn't need to go as far as a manifestation hearing. However, I did find an advocate to bring so we could reassess and reevaluate her FBA and BIP. Does your son have one along with- the IEP?
    Good luck!
  17. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    As I said in my response above, ADHD stimulants can cause over-the-top aggression, especially if the medication is wrong, dose is wrong or the diagnosis is wrong.
  18. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    You need a Special Education attorney to advise you about how you should "prove" it's the medications.
  19. cupcakes

    cupcakes New Member

    I do not have an advocate yet, it was suggested that I hire an attorney who is a special education one and who will deal with the criminal part of it as well. I would like to do this but its is so expensive I am not sure we can afford it.

    by the way thanks everyone for being so welcoming and kind, I appreciate it!
  20. jal

    jal Member

    You should definately mention it. My difficult child went ballistic on Metadate and destroyed a classroom. Stims do not work for him even though he exhibits ADHD symptoms and we've trialed at least 15. This summer we did a medication wash and then difficult child was hospitalized and his psychiatrist still wanted to treat the ADHD. They trialed Ritalin (which we already knew did not work) and the hospital noted increased aggression and aggitation during the 3 days he was on it.