A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, May 22, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    to quote good old Shakespeare... I am beginning to feel I may never have a name for whatever it is that is going on with J. Visit this morning to the child psychiatrist, the one who originally said she was virtually certain that J has ADHD. She now says that she is not sure; the only diagnosis she is prepared to give is that he has "adaptation difficulty" due to anxiety and his personal life history. J was very different from the first time we went there, when he was absolutely manic, rushing in and out of her office, trying to take her blinds to pieces, yelling and shouting, etc... Today he was almost like a normal human being :) Played with the play-do, sitting at a little desk, answered all her questions sensibly and looking at and attending to her, etc. He was still moving around the room at certain points, picking up and playing with a stethoscope, her mobile phone, etc, but he did put them down when requested. The psychiatrist herself is really strange, I find - she simply does not listen and no sooner has she asked a question than she interrupts a few seconds later, answering it herself... She seems quite verbally hyperactive herself and really one wonders why she went into a listening profession:)
    Anyway, she says he possibly has ADHD but she really couldn't pronounce on it at this stage. Has given me a questionnaire to give to the teacher - Connors, I think. But I don't imagine one can base a diagnosis on Connors alone? I do wonder about learning difficulties. He is very practical, has a lot of common sense (more than me, often - very seriously) and is quick to spot answers or solutions to practical problems. He seems good at maths things. But there are other things that he just does not remember or integrate, however many times you repeat them. Certain words in French, for example, that he routinely uses instead of the English - I must now have corrected him hundreds of times and he never, ever remembers the English word spontaneously. This may mean something or nothing. He still only knows a handful of letters but on the other hand writes his name really neatly, in beautiful joined-up writing.
    I feel a bit fed up with all the uncertainty and my own desire to know what is going on, to put a name to the face... No-one really knows, that is the truth.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Just throwing this out there: is there any chance he is gifted?
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Malika, in what ways has J changed since you first started posting here? In what ways has he stayed the same? I think part of the difficulty in pinning down a problem/diagnosis with J is that he is young and ever-evolving. As an example, some toddlers reveal traits of autism, but pass through them as a stage in development (toe-walking, repetitive behaviors, etc). It is only when the traits are enduring and life-impinging that intervention is warranted. It seems as though J is borderline on some adhd or other traits and he might well pass through them given time. I'm sorry you weren't given answers on your visit. You have found that professionals only glimpse our children's lives and unfortunately if the professional has gotten an impression that is inaccurate you may be hard pressed to change their mind (even if it becomes painfully obvious).
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    It may end up so, that you never get that name. And you will manage.

    We never got that magic word to explain it all with our difficult child and I'm not really expecting any more. We are also European and have more similar diagnostic practices to French than what most people here in the boards are living with. Our neurologists (who are usually the ones giving neurological diagnoses here, psychiatrists give neurological diagnoses mainly if they feel some psychiatric or psychological problem is a main one and neurological secondary. If other way around they tend to refer the patient to neurologist) don't like to diagnose kids under age of 5-6 with ADHD or Asperger. Classic autism is of course diagnosed earlier, but other than that they just go with specific services for problems (SPLs, OTs, PTs, play therapy etc.) and wait and see until kids is little bit older and it is easier to decide what is the real problem. And after reading these boards I think there I live they diagnosis dyslexia and dyspraxia more often, Asperger and ADHD are used to more wider category of problems, bipolar (for children) is definitely much less used etc. And many times it may not matter that much.

    And then there are those who never really meet any exact criteria like my difficult child. He has traits from this and that, he has problems with many things, but never enough, serious enough or all the right ones to get some label. He was through the mill few times. Complete neuropsychological evaluations, never ending testing for this and that. And in the end all the neurologist had to say was: "People are different, some are just little more so." difficult child did have some services and some helped, some didn't, but the label he never got. And we learned to live with that.

    What you tell about J's problems with remembering correct word in English, that of course could be a sign of something going on in his language development, but that too could be also very normal. Our kids (and also I myself) have also grew up with somewhat similar bilingual situation I understand J is growing up with and they at times mixed languages till rather old and they liked to use certain words from other language also while speaking other. In fact they still do. And so do I. I can speak both languages purely and without using the words or concepts from the other if I want to but in my everyday verbal communication I do tend to mix them somewhat, when talking with people who speak both languages. Some words are just so much better in other language. And I do remember that for my kids it took some time to learn to speak both languages purely and without mixing. And at five they still had at times trouble understanding that not all people spoke both language and understood. The concept of different languages took some time to develop.
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    SuZir - I'm intrigued now, where do you live? :) Yes, you're right, things happen more slowly here which in many ways, on balance, I think is a good thing. If anyone thinks Ritalin and other stimulants are easy to get in the States - well, they are not here! A lot of doctors are agin them and there seems to be a growing trend in that direction. A lot of based on prejudice and ignorance, perhaps. I hope you are right about the language thing, that it's just a phase and "normal".
    whatamess, J is still as physically hyperactive as ever he was. That hasn't changed. On the other hand, it seems he is able to moderate it in certain circumstances and when he needs to. He is still oppositional and "difficult" but less than he was. He still has rages and tantrums, but less than he did. Transitions are still difficult for him but less than they were. Things evolve, as you say. What I really need, actually, is an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation and input - Kttlc kindly found a very interesting looking Occupational Therapist (OT) place in the city an hour and a half/two hours from here but it's just too far for regular visits. That said, I am taking him to this city tomorrow to have a session with a highly recommended doctor who works with body alignment! People only see her once or twice a year, which is just as well as she is very expensive :)
    TM, thanks for the suggestion but I really don't think J is gifted. He is bright, sure, and often seems to think in quite original, creative ways but really I don't see how he could be gifted when at the age of five he is not making any strides at all towards reading and writing, for example (not a problem yet as they only start teaching this next academic year). I hear about all these kids learning to read/write at three and four - that seems gifted!
  6. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Malika, have you heard of multiple intelligences? Here is a site to get one perspective (I don't know that this is the original person who formed this theory). http://www.tecweb.org/styles/gardner.html I also get the feeling that J may be gifted in one of these areas. :)
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, in that sense, whatamess, I feel ALL children are gifted in a particular area. I speak very seriously. Trouble is, as we all know, our mainstream educational system only develops and validates selected areas. When I was a young woman, I was very idealistic and believed that we should encourage and facilitate alternatives ways of being and thinking. Now I do not have such dreamy hopes that the world can be changed or is interested in changing; to an extent, children have to be taught to fit in with this fallen and limited world... which part of me still feels sad at :)
  8. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Dream, Malika, hope, Malika! What a torturous place to live if you cannot be who you were meant to be! J is learning social mores, but YOU can help him follow his gifts!
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I think... at my advanced age :)))... that acting with the right intention and according to ethical principles is more guaranteed to lead to concrete good results than hoping and dreaming... but I know what you mean, of course!
    Meantime, while the diagnosis is elusive, the problems caused by J's hyperactivity are real. On the way back tonight after roller skating class, for example, we stopped at a neighbour in the village (typically, J had acted with common sense by asking what we were going to do with the dog tomorrow when we go to the big city - I hadn't even thought of this!! So this neighbour will look after her) and inside their house he goes crazy, manically rushing in and out of the kitchen while the family is having dinner, making a lot of noise and annoying them. Entreaties for him to stop did no good. This family is more cool and open than many others here and these things are never judged harshly with them but still... it's a social impediment, for sure.