Yeah!!! I was right!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Audrey, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Audrey

    Audrey New Member

    I posted a few months ago about my fight with my difficult child's school psychologist and also the counselor. He's in KG. I have been pretty sure he's Aspie or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) for about two years. They argued with me that there was "no way he has Asperger's" because he "doesn't have any speech delay and he's really very bright and initiates".

    Problem is, he initiates inappropriately...especially social stuff.

    Anywho...he's classic Asperger's in my mind (having spent 15 years as a pedi nurse with a group that treated ADHD and Autistic kids in a special clinic.)

    So...we have had a fantastic and thorough neuropsychologist evaluation. Filled out all the scales, scores and dots. difficult child spent over three hours in a personal evaluation with them. Teachers filled out their little scales.


    Guess what???!!!

    He's officially an Asperger's Disorder diagnosis.

    Strange to feel happy about it, but I feel somewhat vindicated. The school was really pushing me to get him medicated for ADHD. I fought that with them. The neuropsychologist said "He's hyperactive secondary to the stimulii that he encounters, but NOT ADHD and no way should he be medicated for that." That's also what he's putting in his notes to the school.

    So...it's been a good week on that front. Now we start Social Integration therapy and I'll get a good IEP going in January specific to the nuances of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
     
  2. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Hi,
    Congratulations on getting some answers! It does feel good to get an expert to confirm your suspicions (and to have a diagnosis for the school district). I practically did a happy dance when my son was diagnosis'd with Tourette Syndrome.
     
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's good to be vindicated. Its also good to get a well-nailed-down official label so you can get him the help he needs.

    medications, however, are not necessarily excluded with a diagnosis of Asperger's. In your son's case they have been ruled inapproprite, but this is not in every case. medications certainly have helped both my boys as well as our daughter, even though their main presenting symptoms are Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). But some of the benefits of medications were unexpected, such as difficult child 3 dramatically improving his language skills in the first week of medication for their ADHD component.

    Marg
     
  4. Audrey

    Audrey New Member

    I know that medications are often helpful with the ADHD behaviors in kids with Aspergers. I didn't mean to imply that I disagreed with their use. However, our son does not display hyperactivity on a consistent basis, only in situations where there is too much external stimulii (however he perceives it).

    The school had been badgering me (yes, that's how I felt) about putting him on medications. After the fourth conversation with them trying to convince me that he needed medications and my telling them that I was going to wait until the neuropsychologist evaluation before assuming that, the counselor at school said to me "How will you react if they tell you he needs medications?". To which I replied, "How will you react if they don't?!"

    So, that's where my "vindication" really comes in I guess. If, in the future, it is deemed appropriate for difficult child to try medications, I'll be all for it! Whatever will help, bring it on!
     
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's OK, I got that. I just wanted to make sure that you were aware of the sometimes overlap.

    You sound like you have a balanced approach to the issue, unlike the school staff.

    When the school asked, "How will you react if the neuropsychologist says he needs medications?" your response could well have been, "If the neuropsychologist says he needs medications, then at least the recommendation will be coming from te appropriate professional, after thorough evaluation. Therefore the recommendation will be worth acting on. But until then, discussing medicating this child is simply premature and inappropriate."

    There are medications for all sorts of things and if at a later stage it appears that difficult child might benefit, then that is the time to consider it. Pressure from school staff is not a reason to medicate, although it certianly should be reason to get a child independently evaluated.

    Further down the track it may or may not be ADHD medications which could help. Or it could be medications to reduce anxiety, or medications to deal with co-morbid stomach upsets. husband lives on ranihexal to settle down gastric hyperacidity, I think difficult child 3 is going to be heading down the same path. easy child 2/difficult child 2 is already on medications to settle down constant nausea.

    As far as ADHD medications go, difficult child 1 was on them from age 6 and they helped a fair bit, but of course there were still a lot of problems left over that medications wouldn't fix. easy child 2/difficult child 2 isn't hyperactive but has benefited a great deal from ADHD medications (at a very low dose) because her brain simply wasn't laying down the longer-term memory she needed, to learn. It was really bizarre - she is very bright, genius level, but would study a Maths lesson in detail (and appear to have learnt it effectively) then a week or two later would not even remember having learned it, and would have forgotten how to do it.

    difficult child 3 was a barely-verbal 3 year old who had a vocabulary of some nouns and a smaller nuber of verbs, all words he had learned by lerning to read them. Then while easy child was away at camp for a week, we started him on ADHD medications (after thorough assessment and multidisciplinary diagnosis). When easy child came home from camp she said, "My ***, he's talking in sentences!"
    We had noticed some improvement but hadn't realised just how stuoendous it really was. Other family and friends who hadn't seen difficult child 3 for a few days also commented on the sudden drastic improvement.

    The thing with ANY medications, for whatever reason - there has to be good reason for prescribing it. Then there has to be a "Wow!" standard response, as in "Wow, that IS an obvious improvement!" because otherwise, what's the point? And then there has to be no nasty surprises (such as we found with difficult child 3 switched to Strattera on the recommendation of difficult child 3's new psychiatrist - the pediatrician precribed it on the shrink's recommendation, but expressed reservations. Justified, as it turned out).

    We've got the basic diagnosis, but we always keep an open mind and always find ourselves rolling with the changes in wind direction. As the kids get older, their adaptation to their condition changes and their medication needs (if any) also shifts. Sometimes new symptoms show up which may or may not do better with medications. Sometimes we find other symptoms eased to the point where the child is now coping in that area.

    What that school has to take on board - every kid is different, even ones with the same diagnosis. What helps one child may not necessarily help another. How one child presents can often be very different. All your previous knowledge can give you, is perhaps a heads up on some of the sorts of experiences you might have with that child. So any attempt to have a "one size fits all" attitude is only going to show up that school as being reactionary, inappropriate knee-jerks.

    Audrey, you seem to be good at listening to your parental instinct. It's paying off so far!

    Marg
     
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