2 things...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nateisnuts, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. nateisnuts

    nateisnuts New Member

    First~we took 3 yr old difficult child to HersheyPark yesterday, thats our big whoohoo since daddy's on vacation this week, and i am just in shock and awe LOL how can a child that is such an utter terror here at home and in the stores and just makes me feel like the most inadequate parent ever 90% of the time be SOOOO good in an environment like an amusement park! i had myself all psyched up for having a really hard day yesterday. except for i think 3 times when he got over excited and tried to run, he did really well! does anyone elses difficult child do surprise them like this? it makes me question everything you know? if he can behave so well there, then why not here??

    Second~i want to go ahead and get difficult child a neuropsychologist evaluation....but i dont even know where to start. we have private insurance, but they will not pay for anything, so difficult child has medical assistance that takes care of all the behavior issues. BUT his caseworker is brain dead, the only answer ive ever gotten from her about anything is "i dont know". for those who have had this done, did you just start calling places? we live in a pretty rural area so theres not alot of options. we have hershey medical about an hour away and then theres childrens hospital of philadelphia about 2-3 hours away. should i start there? any help would be appreciated!
  2. jal

    jal Member


    I started by searching the internet for neuropsychs in my area. Once I located a reputable group I checked to see if they took my insurance and if my insurance would cover it. Luckily, they did. When I went to the original appointment the doctors office also told me that they would get the approval from insurance and then set up the evaluation. My insurance at that time covered I think around 16 hours worth of testing. I had insurace through my previous employer for that testing though.

    Good luck. My Nate is nuts too!
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    When researching what the medical assistance will cover, call your county and ask for your Financial Worker. In our state, it is not the same as the case worker and the referring case worker does not always (usually does not) check with the financial worker to see exactly what level of health care the person has.

    When you start looking at facilities, make sure to ask if they take Medical Assistance - not all places do.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Most of the time university hospitals take Medical Assistance (they have to because they get federal funding.) They also tend to have neuropsychologist testing and are on "the cutting edge." I prefer university hospitals to private NeuroPsychs.
  5. nateisnuts

    nateisnuts New Member

    i called childrens in philly and they do not take the ma for anything behavioral or psychiatric, so i guess ill keep looking lol
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    How about DuPont Children's Hospital in Wilmington? I think it's about 2 hours from Philadelphia. They are part of Nemours. I don't know too much about their testing and evaluating, but it may be worth looking into.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A University Hospital would probably take Medical Assistance more readily than a private children's hospital.
  8. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    If I were looking, I'd call

    University of Penn Hosptial/School of Medicine
    Temple University Hospital
    Hershey Medical Center which affiliated with Penn State
    Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, depending on where you are
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I can't help you with the insurance stuff or referral, it is too alien to what we have.

    But one thing I could suggest - can you talk to this "I don't know" caseworker and try to get a decision of sorts out of her? The pediatrician our kids see is sometimes like this - he's a nice bloke and a good doctor, but he really hates to commit to anything. A lot of time when official letters are required, you almost have to dictate it to him. He won't say anything he doesn't believe in, but he does need to know what to say.

    Maybe Nate's caseworker is a bit like this? In which case, if you say to her, "Nate is a great kid but he really does have problems. The fact that you've been assigned to him makes that fact obvious. He really would benefit from help in a number of areas including school, but we must have a clear and hopefully correct diagnosis for the most appropriate help. We also would like to know, as his parents, what is the best way to help this child and not hold him back. We must know the right way to proceed. Please help us get this assessment. I've already made some enquiries, we've been told that the most appropriate person to assess Nate is a neuropsychologist. I need your help to make tis happen. While I can make enquiries and talk to other parents via support networks, I need you to dovetail your services from there."

    If she quibbles and tries to say, "We can't go straight to neuropsychologist; there are procedures we have to follow, etc etc" then say to her, "These are things that YOU know. Fair enough. But what I know is, he could get sent to one specialist, then another, then another, and time passes and we still probably won't get a sure answer. Eventually someone will refer him to a neuropsychologist, but at this rate he will be in his 20s. Let's make it happen now, and save not only time but money in the process."
    If she keeps saying, "I don't know," then tell her, "We must find someone who DOES know, then." Alternatively you can say, "You mightn't know, but I do - this is what we need. Now I need you to make it happen. I will help. Here is the doctor's name I want. Here is the form; this is what you need to write. Thank you for your help."

    As for why he did so well at Hershey Park - I suspect it was the interesting, stimulating environment. Some kids seem to desperately need a stimulating, enriched environment. For them, life needs to be one long, intense, university-level education course.

    I remember reading years ago (I was barely out of my teens) about research into Downs Syndrome claiming that the best way to give a Downs baby a good start in life, to give them the best chance to do as well as they could, was to get rid of all the usual baby pastels and pretty flowers in the nursery, and replace it with strong primary colours, alphabet blocks, puzzle toys which are multi-purpose - all the stuff you can find which is designed to stimulate the baby's mind. difficult child 3 has a drama classmate with Downs, I asked her mother if these ideas are still in use. Apparently they are (or at least still were, when their daughter was a baby).
    If you can do the same sort of thing for your son, only at a three-year-old level, it might reduce some of the problems. For example, if you have some fun but educational books for him, or computer software for him that is educational as well as fun - it might reduce his boredom AND keep his mind stimulated. Begin with age-appropriate stuff but if he shows aptitude or interest in a particular area, follow it along and let difficult child choose the level he can handle.

    For example - when difficult child 3 was a baby, I didn't know I had aGFG. I thought I had a bright easy child who was just a bit slow to talk. I used to sing to him as an infant, we would walk and I would talk to him about what we saw. When I sat at the piano to play, difficult child 3 was on my lap. When difficult child 3 reached out to touch the piano I could hear that he was musical - he never bashed at the piano the way babies do, but instead he would softly press the keys, one with each hand. I noticed fairly quickly that he was choosing note intervals which were harmonics and not discords. He quickly showed a preference for some tunes I played over others and tried to copy them. By the time he was able to sit at the piano himself, he was trying to reproduce tunes he liked best, of the ones I sang to him. By about a year old it was clear that his favourite was Twinkle Twinkle - it's also the alphabet song. He was saying the names of some letters, so I used a simple computer program to let him learn the alphabet. I then labelled the piano keys with the note letters and wrote the note letters for Twinkle Twinkle on a sheet of paper. He then used this sequence to remember how to play it.
    It was a short step from there, to writing the note letters on manuscript with the notes on the staves. By 18 months difficult child 3 was reading sheet music.

    All I did was follow difficult child 3's lead. He eventually reached a certain point in his music education where he couldn't go any further. His interests diversified and he no longer plays piano much, although he can. He's now much more interested in a number of his school subjects especially electronics and information technology. So we bought him an electronics kit. He has access to computer games plus we Do provide an enriched environment - when we go to the beach and I see difficult child 3 carefully pouring water from a bucket onto the sand, I ask him what he is doing. If he is studying the way the water and the sand interact, I sit with him and work with him, talking to him about erosion. We make observations together. In this way he has learned the concept of scientific hypothesis and how to test it. All we did was give a name to what he was already doing.

    On our TV are educational TV shows for senior high school science students. difficult child 3 watches these and is learning about organic chemistry.

    Providing opportunities to learn and to explore interesting things are often really important for our kids. But often a difficult child doesn't know where to start, or HOW to start. It's a matter of watching them, and trying to give them more of what they seem attracted to. It also involves spending more time with them than a lot of parents would.

    I don't know if this would work for your difficult child, but I'm wondering if it would help. it might be interesting to try it and see what happens. Whether it succeeds or not, you could get some interesting information out of it.

  10. nateisnuts

    nateisnuts New Member

    Marguerite~ thank you so much for all that! i think i may be adhd too lol sometimes i get overwhelmed and dont even know where to begin to help him. then all we have is a bunch of frustrated people. the caseworker im referring to is not an actual heres his services how can i help you in the firld caseworker, shes just the lady who sits behind the desk at the assistance office and says you qualify or you dont, heres a replacement card if you lose it sort of case worker lol however! your post did make me realize that he does have a caseworker at the place that does his therapy services..duh! lol so i will be outting a phone call into them.

    Sara~ thank you! i didnt even think about temple or johns hopkins! but chop is u of p so they are the ones that wont take the ma. see...this is why i need a place like this lol to help me jump start my brain lol

    thank again soo much ladies!
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Sometimes the insurance will cover if the pediatrician writes a letter pushing for it or stating that it's a medical necessity. Unless you are absolutely sure, I always tell people to try.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If you get frustrated, it's important to try to maintain some degree of seeing the world from his point of view. He may not understand why you are angry, and wonder what he's done NOW to upset you.

    I've found that maintaining my cool as much as possible is really important; we make much better progress that way. Of course I can still express concern or dissatisfaction, but I do it in a way that he can use constructively.

    For example - he has a History assignment that was due two weeks ago, a week before holidays began (we have two weeks' holiday). It is such a simply thing - all he has to do is write about 500 words about a very easy topic. But he has sat in front of the computer, logging on to his school website (which he can access in the holidays) and "researching" through the various websites on the topic (which he could have memorised by now!) I keep telling him, "Do a mind map," and he refuses because he says it will take up even more of his precious time to do so.

    I finally said to him after he called it quits yesterday, "You've done it your way long enough. Tomorrow morning, we will begin by doing it my way - you will do a mind map. I will help you if you like, but it must be done. I expect that once you have a mind map, you can get the essay done in less than half an hour."

    He has a reward incentive to get this completed, as well as knowing that if he doesn't get it done before the end of the holidays (next week) he risks failing, in a subject where he has been scoring very high.

    While I am VERY frustrated with him, I want him to learn some new techniques out of tis, including how to RAPIDLY cut trough the mind blocks with a mind map. But he HAS to see this for himself, because next year he will have formal exams in a school hall and I won't be there to remind him, "Mind map!"

    For anyone with ADHD or problems with recall, or problems in valuing each piece of information available, a mind map is a fast ,effective way to write essays (or do a lot of things - you can do them like flow charts, too).

    I know that if I start really expressing how I feel and yell at him, NOTHING will get done, for days (if ever).

    Relieving a second of my frustration is just not worth the months of setback that can follow.