new psychiatrist appointment

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by somerset, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. somerset

    somerset Member

    We had the appointment with the new psychiatrist on Thursday and it went very well. She really lived up to what I was hoping for from someone with her credentials. I wrote down and brought with me a written statement for her with everything about the situation - difficult child's current situation, physical and emotional problems she's always had, stuff that started in middle school, her medications history, family stuff, etc. She's the first doctor who understands and accepts how complex difficult child's situation is, with the physical and emotional problems making each other worse, and how long it's really been going on. She didn't brush off any of difficult child's physical symptoms by saying they were just because of anxiety. She also told difficult child that her being so underweight has made her body sort of shut down, and that's one reason she feels crummy and has no energy. She is changing her medications to Zoloft, very slowly increasing the zoloft while decreasing the celexa.

    For the first time in I don't know how long, I feel like maybe things will get better. Now I have to deal with the school.

    For school, psychiatrist agreed with the school (previous post about that meeting) that difficult child should right now go to just one or two classes. She gave difficult child a school excuse for all the time she's missed since the start of the year. Another thing she wrote for the school was that "she should be given assistance to make up her other schoolwork in a semi-independent, semi-supervised setting". I'm not really sure how that would work - maybe someone here knows how schools do that sort of thing. Ggf is willing to try going to school under the new plan.

    I have a meeting with the VP and counselor at her school on Monday. I guess we will talk about how to implement this. It sounds to me like too much for a 504. It seems like she'd need an IEP. They have not asked the Special Education counselors to attend, just the person in charge of attendance. difficult child told me that if I put her in Special Education, she'll be scarred for life. I'm not sure I care at this point. We have to do what will work. Her being almost completely out of school for the last 4 months has scarred ME for life.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am very happy to hear you have a psychiatrist that cares and understands. THAT can be huge. I hope the Zoloft works for her.

    As for the school, you might be right about the IEP but the only real difference between that and a 504 (don't quote me on this) is the enforcability. I think a 504 can also have partial school days built into it. My take on the semi-independent semi-supervised setting might mean that there is someone available to help her with the work in a smaller setting, not in the regular classrooms. That should also be doable. As for her "scarred for life" issue, I know of kids that "graduate" out of their IEP. It would only be temporary. It doesn't HAVE to be permanent. As things get better for her, services will decrease again. But for now, it is necessary.

    I think the plan sounds good. The school might balk at it but then get an advocate to help you fight. You have medical documentation from a professional. If they won't honor that under the 504, then push for an IEP. What is the attendance person going to do/say? That she hasn't been in school, duh!!

    Did the psychiatrist have any helpful suggestions about getting her to eat better?
  3. somerset

    somerset Member

    Not really. She knows that the pediatrician and gastroenterologist are working on it, and she said she'd leave the medical stuff to them. She is familiar with them, as well as the neurologist. She thinks highly of them, which was reassuring.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Good to hear. Sounds like you FINALLY have a good team in place. Hopefully the school district will join the team and not fight it. Sending good juju your way!!!
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    LOL, I had to laugh a little about being scarred for life... I am sure difficult child thinks of Special Education as what my son is in...the classes of kids who are easy to identify and pick out....

    She may be reassured to know that there are laws about confidentiality and it is not written on anything that she has an IEP. The law requires LRE meaning least restrictive environment so if that for her is just having a resource person to go to for help but all general education classes, and those being part time (she is not there much anyway) then that is what it will be. Kids her age are part of the IEP team as much as they can be. It is encouraged so they can advocate for themselves. At her age as well, on an IEP there is a mandatory transition piece so that will help her look at future goals and she will be able to make a plan and receive help to achieve those goals (post high school training, college, work, living situations.....whatever she is looking toward).

    by the way I wasn't mean laughing AT her, just the teen drama of it, and in fact many adults are worried about the stigma of special education. But as you said, not sure that is the biggest issue. Unless she tells someone, other kids could think she is going in to tutor other students if she ever was to go to a resource room. But many sp ed teachers consult with the general education teachers so she may not even need to do that. Just depends on her level of need.

    A huge advantage of an IEP is that it would provide protections to you and to her when she has behaviors/challenges that are related to her mental health disability. The teachers must follow the accommodations such as extended time for tests and assignments, private spaces to do work, ability to take a break-no questions asked- if she is having an anxiety attack (planned ways for her to deal with that and check in with safe people if needed). A 504 helps if she would only need fairly simple accommodations that are not too much effort for the gen. ed. staff to follow (sadly, should not be that way because what it really is is a document that provides strategies and accommodations that make it so that they are not discriminated against due to their disability, in the public school setting). An IEP has specific goals and objectives to work toward and staff who are assigned to help her achieve those goals. Accommodations must be followed or the school can be reported and funding can be affected. There is no funding attached to a 504. (you can sue them for civil rights violations but schools know most people would not be able to do this and it takes so much time that your kid will be graduated by the time it is settled). A 504 (and to tell the truth often an IEP, but you have more options there) really is only as good as the staff that supports it (and the parents who keep on top of it).

    I am thrilled for you that you have found such a good doctor. I know that feeling...having people on your side. Let us know how it goes. (ps if the doctor is saying she needs to be out of school, not sure how this would work for part time, but maybe they can do a small amount of home bound schooling for helping her to organize and problem solve/tutor a couple of times a week. My son is getting only home bound for a while here and they meet at the local library. This costs them money so again, without the power of an IEP, not sure you will get it but you can ask!)
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so glad you like the new psychiatrist! When we switched to our current psychiatrist (difficult child was 6 years old) and it was the best move we ever made!
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hooking up with the "right" psychiatrist is worth a zillion dollars. Just knowing that you have a caring expert on your side takes alot of weight from your shoulders and your heart. Congrats on finding "the one". Hugs DDD
  8. somerset

    somerset Member

    I think all she knows about "Special Education" is that it's used as an insult in movies, along with the "short bus" jokes. I've only come to understand what it really means because I've been researching 504s and IEPs for 2 years, and have read a lot of detailed accounts on this board. It's always hard for me not to laugh when she makes these dramatic statements, and it makes it really hard for me to take whatever she's saying seriously. She wouldn't even listen to me when I tried to explain what Special Education really is, that it can address a wide variety of problems kids have, and it isn't the same for everyone. Maybe she herself has even made of fun of "Special Education" kids or used it as an insult, and the idea that she might actually be in it herself is a shock.

    I guess what I really need to take into account is the fact that she has a horror of standing out and being noticed anyway, and she probably thinks the other kids and her friends will figure out somehow that she's in Special Education. Maybe if the school's willing and able to do everything she needs through a 504, we could try it that way, but she will still have more absences than usual and I have to be sure that whatever we do, it will cover ME so I don't have to worry about truancy.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    But in practice, if there are accommodations thru the 504 that are meaningful, they would be the same as an IEP so the same issues of being treated "special" would be there. Does she know the term Individual Education Plan??? Maybe just use that==or not any term at all, how would she know the difference between them anyway unless it is made a big deal of??? and say that she is going to have an Individual plan to support her general ed. plan and it is not the same as a Special Education. CLASS situation. ???? Both my sisters have 504s for their kids and NOTHING is being followed. Just saying..... (and they both do follow up...they call, go on the computer, check in with each teacher, the coordinator of the 504 plan etc... one kid has adhd the other has anxiety disorder)
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    Most kids don't know the difference. If you actually go to sped classes, then it's a given, but just because you are "in" sped does not mean you are going to sped classes.

    My son is in some honors classes and had an IEP and therefore is "in" sped. None of his classmates know this. And even if the were specifically told this they wouldn't believe it because to the average HS kid, being in sped means being on "the short bus" and he just doesn't fit the profile.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Never thought of this before, but our area makes a distinction between "supported ed" and "Special Education". Special Education = the kids who have obvious "mental" problems... IQ, EQ, behavior, etc.... MR, Downs, etc. It always means some level of segregation, being "mainstreamed" means doing their own thing in a mainstream class... usually. Supported ed = kid in mainstreamed class, with "help".

    And then there's the issue of the "helper". Some are REALLY good... and some are not. The good ones know how to "help everybody", and thereby cover for the kids who are getting most of the help... they do not draw attention to the ones they are officialy there for.