Why is finding a Dr so dang hard?!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Adarob, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Adarob

    Adarob New Member

    My daughter was been evaluated and pre-diagnosed for O.D.D (not officially)

    We need a behavior specialist.
    I went to our primary care place, their social worker/counselor/whatever the heck she is evaluated her, but can't have sessions with her because she isn't in our insurance network.
    She gave me NO suggestions as to where else to take my daughter.

    I have spent 3 days on the phone and google trying to find someone to take her to.

    Everyone I called doesn't work with kids under 12.
    I live my whole day in fear that my phone will ring and it'll be the school calling me to come get her because she threw a chair, or had a tantrum in the hall, or crawled under a table and won't come out.
    I called my husband in tears and we just wound up screaming at each other.

    FINALLY(!!!! )I got some names! 4 to be exact.

    Well I finally got a call back and 3 of the doctors I called are not taking any new patients.

    I finally found a doctor that was seeing new patients and kids under 12 but they needed a referral from our primary care. No biggie, they faxed it over on Friday.

    I called today because I hadn't heard from anyone and the lady tells me that she can't tell me anything, and referral coordinator will get back to me, they answer in the order received.

    Today my daughter got SUSPENDED for the FOURTH time this year. She tipped over a chair and hid under a table because she wanted a white board and her teacher told her no.

    I feel like the school is just fed up with her.

    The best part? She doesn't do this **** at home. She might roll her eyes, stomp her foot or slam her door but really what kid doesn't. I RARELY have to repeat myself. There are no full blown tantrums here. I feel like, these people at school went to college and got degrees to work with kids and they can't make my kid sit down at shut up? Really!? I get that it's more than that, but honestly thats what it feels like.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you found a doctor and our board :)

    Now...can you tell us more about your daughter? We don't even know her age. What about her early development? When did you notice "different" behavior? What does she do? Many of us here do not believe in the ODD diagnosis...it is sort of a "dumping ground" diagnosis that says the child is defiant but doesn't address why.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    To protect your daughter's rights at school, you need to send a written letter requesting that she be thoroughly evaluated for special education services. Send it Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested. Do it ASAP. It starts a federal timeline AND gives her certain protections regarding suspensions. Just them having the letter makes that happen.

    I, too, am glad you finally found a Child Psychiatrist (I hope). I just hope they are worth their title. Praying that they are one of the GOOD ones.

    We definitely need more information about your daughter, as MidwestMom said. Also, many kids have issues in one place or another. Since she has problems at school and not at home, my guess is that there is some underlying issues related to the demands of academics that she is struggling with and her way to deal with it is to explode (classic avoidance technique for many of our kids).

    Read the books The Explosive Child and Lost At School by Ross Greene. Those should help you get to the bottom of what SHE is thinking and feeling and WHY. Have you ever sat down with her to calmly discuss the exact sequence of events starting with the hiding under the table and working your way back? WHY did she want a whiteboard so bad (ask her)? Kids don't do this for no reason and most kids react this way because they don't really know HOW to deal with it in any other way. Many of or kids have to be specifically taught how.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    HI just adding to what the others have said.... If she was truly one of those kids who just chose to behave a certain way due to her personality as I imagine an ODD child, you would, I think...others here know better on this one.... be seeing it at home too.

    BUT as the others have said, when there are OTHER real true issues going on, driving the oppositional behavior (different from ODD)...

    Follow TeDo's suggestion and ask for a special education evaluation.

    A social worker can not diagnose learning issues, I would see if I could get a neuropsychological evaluation (neuropsychologist).... they look at a wide range of abilities and problems and help connect behaviors to what is going on in the brain. From there you get a much better view of where to go next .... psychotherapy versus medications versus specialized teaching versus seeing a speech/language pathologist or an occupational therapist for further evaluations and possible neurology exam.

    Is the appointment you got with a psychologist or a psychiatrist?

    Hope to hear from you... hang in there...
  5. Adarob

    Adarob New Member

    My daughter is 7.5 and in 2nd grade.
    She started acting out towards the end of her kindergarten year. The age of 5 had a LOT of changes for her. Divorce, moving 3 times, starting school. She had never been in daycare and didn't qualify for head start, so it was her first time in a classroom.

    At 5 we did have some problems at home, but I think it was more of her just reacting to the situation we were in. At she was running around the classroom when she wasn't supposed to and pretty much doing her own thing and ignoring the teacher. As per the suggestion of the school staff I had her evaluated for ADD/ADHD with a psychologist. (Beery VMI, BASC-2, SB5, Bracken School Readiness Assessment, Social Developmental history, Vanderbild ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales - I still have his assessment paperwork).

    She scored High Average across the board for the Cognitive assessment and her working memory was very advanced, so with all that and the rest of his evaluation he said she was not ADD/ADHD. She was able to sit still through the whole process, was very interested in the "game" and did well.

    She did seem to score low on the Social-Emotional development part. We also were (and just until recently still were) having issues with her having BM in her underwear. Her reasoning was that she was "too busy" to go to the bathroom.

    On the Personality section she was "at-risk" in Externalizing problems, Somatization, Withdrawal, Adaptability, and Adaptive skills.

    He said after talking to me that she also had behaviors associated with depression and anxiety. Personal space and impulse control were/are also areas where she has trouble.

    In his diagnostic impressions he has Adjustment disorder with mixed symptoms and Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  6. Adarob

    Adarob New Member

    In first grade things improved SO much. We were finally able to buy a house and stop moving. Her new school was awesome. She had some problems on the bus with keeping her hands to herself, but she was hitting, just too touchy. We finally had a good routine down and things at home were really good as well.

    Then comes 2nd grade. It was like my kid did a 180. The school has a behavior system called "pride cards"
    They have above the lines and below the lines. Aboves are good things they were doing, belows bad. Things like being on task, responsibility (having homework),behavior, character, being prepared. She was coming home with 5 and 6 belows a day. They only get these after a warning has already been given.

    I spoke with her teacher and it seemed like she was just doing her own thing in class again. Being out of her seat, being in centers she wasn't supposed to, talking. We modified her behavior plan and changed her to a sticker chart, so that she would get more praise for each section of the day if she did well.

    Well that was a bust. Things have escalated and escalated and now she is on her FOURTH suspension from school. I have been taking notes through out the year and I will post those for y'all in a minute.

    Now at HOME, we don't have these issues. I have never SEEN her have one of these tantrums. I mean, I fully believe she is having them, but I don't understand what is setting her off. At home she may stomp a foot or slam a door occasionally but I rarely have to repeat myself and the only things she does that warrant punishment are at school.
    The only issues I have had at home are her playing outside with the neighbors (she is allowed in their house and yard, but them only) and then sneaking across the street to play with the girl over there without permission.

    She is also a walking tornado when it comes to her room, but I don't know many 7 year olds that aren't lol

    As far as an appointment to see someone, she STILL doesnt have one. I have called this office every day this week and only heard "she will get to you when she gets to you"
    Looking at my phone history I have called 28 practices. This was the only guy I could find that had the trifecta (taking new patients, working with kids under 12 and took our insurance) He is a pediatric psychiatrist.

    I don't know anything about add/adhd/odd or any of the other abbreviations. I am really not wanting to medicate her. I am hoping we can get some therapy and find out why she gets to angry at school, and ways we can help her change her behavior. We have tried the count to 10 before you do anything, the walk away and breathe thing and she is still just a little volcano at school.
  7. Adarob

    Adarob New Member

    Faith is having full blown temper tantrums including kicking, screaming, banging head and crying.

    Stealing and lying.
    Can not handle anger or disappointment.
    Has been tested for ADD/ADHD and was not diagnosed.
    3 parent/teacher/principal conferences as of 12/1/11
    7 personal phone calls from principal as of 12/1/11
    We have not seen the tantrums at home, only school.
    Suspended 11/18
    Suspended 12/9
    Suspended 1/12
    Suspended 2/1

    When asked why she hits herself she says "I get so angry at myself. Something in my head tells me to do it when I'm angry. It's like I can't control my body"

    11/18 - Got in trouble on bus and when she was sent to the principle's office (Mr. Spencer) she wouldn't not talk to him and crawled under a side table. When she refused to come out Mr. Spencer said he was going to call me and she started throwing a fit by kicking, screaming and banging her head against the floor.
    She was taken to the Pause & Reflect room (cool down/time out) and a teacher named Mrs. Perone sat with her and tried to ask her why she was behaving the way she was. Faith had another tantrum and wound up kicking Mrs. Perone and the school resource officer was called to make sure Faith did not hurt herself.
    When I got to the school Faith was calm but did not want to talk about what had happened. When I told her that I knew what had happened she began to cry and kept saying "I'm sorry" over and over again.
    Mr. Spencer then suspended Faith for 2 days because of her outbursts and having kicked a teacher.

    11/20 - Took a prayer book from step-grandmother's house without permission. Lied and said it must have "fallen" into her bag.
    11/22 - Grandfather dies of a heart attack. Faith takes the news well, is sad and cries, asks questions but no outbursts.
    11/29 - tried to steal a brownie at lunch. Faith is not allowed to purchase extras and knows this, so she tried to hide the sweet under her napkins.
    Had recess taken away from her as a punishment and made to walk laps. She refused to walk and Mr. Spencer had to come and speak to her.

    12/9 - Faith got in trouble for something in class, it escalated to her hising in an office, refusing to come out, hiding under table, and trying to get phone out of principal's hand when he said he was calling me. Was suspended.

    12/6 - Had a temper tantrum in After School Care.
    Found a ring on the playground and wanted to keep it. Teacher took it away from her and Faith tried to take it back and lied saying it was her's.
    When the teacher got Faith back in line she began to have a fit and was hitting her arms and head on the wall.

    *3 week Winter break*

    1/13 - Suspended for hitting Mr.Spencer.
    Faith had found a lip gloss and was asked to give it to the teacher. Faith refused, tried to hide it, barricaded herself in the book bag area. Guidance counselor took Faith to her office and Faith hid under tables, had tantrum. Mr. Spencer was called. Faith tried to leave room multiple times and in the process hit Mr.Spencer.

    2/1 - Suspended for throwing/shoving a chair
    Wanted a white board during math, teacher said no, Faith went and got one anyway. Teacher took whiteboard away, Faith then either kicked or shoved a chair. Was sent to principal's office where she his under a table. I was called and talked to her, she calmed down and agreed to go back to class.

    In hallway back to class principal told her that if he was called down to classroom again that I would be called to take her home and she then ran away from him and hid in an empty class room.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you have been diligently seeking the right help. Probably you have already done this since you are keeping records but just in case not, have you asked for referrals each time you have called? I found our wonderful psychiatrist that way...and am still thankful. Sometimes you will get no response but every now and then it can lead to a winner. I kept a personal record of all my calls, wrote down names and numbers for each one I spoke to and then :) made my own personal notation on how that person responded to my inquiry. Frankly I found most of them to be disinterested but a few were bright and seemed caring so I ID's them in case I needed to seek help again.

    If this is her first school experience she may just be reacting to peer overstimulation or homesickness or the teacher's personality or someone triggering her and making her feel insecure. She's lucky to have you as her advocate. Hugs DDD
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK, here comes that insane lady who sticks her neck out...


    We too had a kid who did fantastic until he started school.
    Not the same behaviours and issues... but... starting school being a trigger, is a big red flag.
    There is likely much more going on.
    This may be hard to believe, but... it may not even be a behaviour problem at all.
    Sure - the current behavior is a problem. Not going to argue that one.
    But think of it this way... which came first? the behavior? or some other problem?
    At this point, you don't really know.

    Can you jump start several other evaluations at the same time?
    1) Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation - for sensory issues and motor skills (fine and gross) - can't do dxes, but can provide therapy, AND the Occupational Therapist (OT) report is useful to other professionals. Sensory issues alone can drive a kid around the bend. So can motor skills issues.

    2) Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation - especially for the lesser-known APDs such as auditory figure ground - where the person has normal hearing and normal language processing, but can't "pick out" what they hear in the presence of background noise. (Don't listen to the teachers... classrooms are notoriously NOISY, in subtle ways). This one, alone, can cause serious behaviour issues. To make things even more interesting, kids with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) "look like" kids with ADHD... especially in the classroom. And on top of that... its not usual to have Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) if you have ADHD.

    3) total medical work-up... bloodwork, possibly a sleep clinic, etc. Any of these can create situations where school becomes difficult. Even if these all come up with nothing, you're ahead of the game because the person who then pulls all the evaluations together knows that these are - or are not - a factor.

    You've already booked the other evaluation. Don't let them railroad you into "just" testing for behavioral stuff. They need to test developmental stuff, too.
  10. Adarob

    Adarob New Member

    I will absolutely ask. I have no idea what to ask for and appreciate any suggestions.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with-Insane.
    These issues were probably already there, but it was easier for her to get out of situations simply by leaving the room, going to her own room, changing her clothes, etc. so it seemed normal and did not stand out. Now you've got one child who has to fit into a routine with-dozens of other kids and her behavior is supposed to be conforming, so she's really going to stand out.
    In addition, I bet they have fluorescent lights and other things that can make her wiggy.
    One thing you can do at home if she starts stealing, that worked for us is the Alien Encounter. You sit down with-her (carve out a good hour of your schedule) and tell her you know she took XYZ and need to have it back. She will deny taking it, and you will then say, I didn't take it, your dad didn't take it, the dog didn't take it. That only leaves one solution: an alien.
    She will look at you like you're totally out of your mind, of course. You then say that you are going to do an Alien Watch, and will sit there and wait until the Alien shows up. Which could take a while. (Be sure to tell her this.) Also, tell her that Aliens do not go to kids' rooms (for several reasons ... just in case she's scared, you want her to feel safe in her room, but also, you want her out in the open with-you for this exercise). Just sit on the couch, at the table, or on the steps and stare at the ceiling and walls. If she says she's bored, tell her that it can be very boring, but you cannot leave for even a second, because that's just when the Alien will choose to show up. You get the idea.
    Our therapist said that one of his clients took nearly an entire day for this! But luckily, our difficult child only took about 15 min.
    This works for teenagers, too. (It's actually more fun. You can take their car keys and say the kid can have them back as soon as he or the Alien turns over that book of matches or stolen iPod.)
    But the teachers at school do not have the time or patience for this. So they are going to do immediate discipline/Time Out and then the whole thing escalates.
    Maybe you can sit her down and explain how the school discipline thing works. And tell her that hiding under her desk just makes it worse. That going to a safe place, say, the principal's ofc or the nurse's ofc or an otherwise specified room is a better way to handle it. Instead of reacting to her reactions, make a plan, because this will happen again. The teachers are treating it as deliberate misbehavior, when in fact, she may not be able to control it at all.
    If she tested below average for emotional cognition, she's possibly behaving like a 4-yr-old, and if they look at it like that, she won't seem so "bad." Know what I mean??
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    If you have a children's hospital, especially one known for working with disabled children you should be able to find an Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation.

    There sounds like something different than ADHD going on, I agree with IC need to look further for underlying causes or developmental causes.

    Does she have friends? Does she play with them during school? what kinds of things does she do for fun? Does she prefer adults over kids?

    when you call for the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation make sure to day you want a sensory integration evaluation as well as a motor evaluation. For Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) make sure it is a full language and social communication evaluation and say you want information and recommendations on auditory processing.

    Does that help?

    There are often therapy clinics for kids too...you can look under "children's rehabilitation" or ask your insurance where kids get Occupational Therapist (OT) and SL services.

    Poor thing, she sounds like she has some pretty big upsets.

    In the stories you mentioned, what caused her to be in that place of course is not clear because often there can be an underlying thing as IC says...but an immediate trigger seems to be power struggles. She gets an idea in her head and for some reason you have not fully figured out yet (black/white thinking, rigidity, the last straw, developmental issues, anxiety, whatever....) she can't let it go. I wish people would be careful to pick and choose their battles with kids. Really, what is the big deal about having a white board? Know what I mean?? Not that a kid should be able to demand things but there are priorities and compromise. when she finds things she wants to keep, why not make a deal? They can work with her to help her understand if she lost something she would want a chance for someone to give it back. Encourage her to make a good choice and then reward that good choice even if they have to help her make it. If you wait for X days and no one claims it then you can have it. For the lipgloss, germs can be an issue so, instead of no, you can't have it... explain that. Explain again about ownership and say I would want one too... how about we figure out a way for you to get one?? Then have her write a letter to mom, .... May I please get a lip gloss of my own? You then have an opportunity to reward that problem solving behavior and if she asks too many things if she catches on to that idea, you can morph it into ways to earn such things. Again, within her tolerance level, not her ability level... she needs some support right now until you figure out what she needs, it seems....but you know her best, this is just from posts here so if this is all doo doo to you I wont feel offended, smile! I found writing letters (kids talked I wrote) even with preschoolers can be helpful because they feel heard. My son uses this idea to write mean notes to me but it gets it out of his head because he will say but I can't get it out of my head and it will explode eventually mom! We certainly dont want any exploding heads, LOL

    Just some ideas you could ask them to try while you are seeking help for her. You might want to encourage the school to use positive behavioral supports , but not too challenging.... things she can achieve quickly to start to build confidence in her skills...
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. Sorry, I didn't even address your initial complaint of not being able to find a doctor ... our best referral came from a teacher at school, who had several students who went to that dr and did very well.