dueling diagnosis


New Member
right now we are pursuing private and school evaluations.

i have mentioned sw at mental health place initially said cd. which most of you balked at. she also said no adhd.

well having a sit down with-school sw and psychiatric they both laughed at the other sw and ridiculed the 'private' psychiatrist world as being too quick to diagnosis.

boy this is going to be fun!

private sw might be wrong but i can see her therapy of social stories and catching that difficult child doesn't recognize social cues is right on with-what i see at home.

i guess i will just have to wait until the iep at the end of feb(just cuz the state says 30 days do they have to take the whole time? grr) and the psychiatrist evaluation
the first wk of feb to see where difficult child falls.

i will say thanks to the suggestion of the explosive child. it is really opening up husband's eyes to what i have been telling him about difficult child not doing things just to piss us off! so how do you get the rest of the world to change their mindset!


New Member
You just keep talking, learning and pushing when you need to. Just save enough energy to do for you once in awhile because you will need it.


New Member
I myself wouldn't put much stock in anything the school psychologist says. I've recently run across one that has "diagnosed" my difficult child (diagnosis'ed by 1 neuropsychologist and 3 different child psychiatrists in the last 18 months with bipolar) and my great neice (diagnosis'ed by a developmental pediatrician in a very large and well known childrens hospital with Asperger's) as both having "Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)". Oh and did I also mention that this same woman just changed her mind and in an re-evaluation 5 months later has descided that my difficult child does not have Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)?. Guess that 5 minute re-evaluation gave her great insight. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif

So, I would take any diagnosis (given by someone not legally licensed to give such a thing) with a grain of salt.

Go to someone who has spent years trained in this area like a child psychiatrist. Just keep plugging away, you will find help.

Sorry, can you tell I've had enough of psychologists for a while?



New Member

We recently got a neuropsychologist evaluation on our 6 year old boy. Although some on this board suggested seeing someone with dual psychiatric and medical degrees, the PhD we saw, I thought was pretty thorough.

She specializes in assessments for children only which I think helps. She does not do therapy, only assessments. Can you find someone in your area who specializes in pediatric assessments/diagnoses? My son saw her for 6-7 hours (not all in one sitting) and she conducted about 16 tests. My husband and I filled out tons of forms. Just trying to give you an idea of what was involved.


Active Member
My own experience and the reports of other parents here are that there are qualified specialists in every profession, as well as those that don't have a clue. It's wise to find out what other parents have to say about the local specialists you are working with as well as find out how their reports/recommendation line up with the rest of the research you've done.


Well-Known Member
I 100% agree that five minutes or even one hour of talking to parents and seeing a kid isn't enough to diagnose. We had really good luck with a neuropsychologist. He tested my son, in two hour increments, for twelve hours. He got a chance to test him on every level and to see how he responds when he's overwhelmed or too bored and to see how he deals with free time as well. He was the first one who got the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) that we had seen since he was a toddler. Three years later, and now off medications, my son is doing great. I don't think professionals take enough time with the kids. And they're all so specialized. A psychiatrist knows psychiatric disorders. That does not mean he knows one thing about high functioning autism. Ours didn't. He kept calling it bipolar, even though son didn't rage or have moodswings. Finally, we took the bull by the horns and dumped him, getting a new evaluation. Took us long enough!!!! I put a lot of stock in how much time and testing and observation of the child a professional bothers with. Although there is no magic blood test for any of this, testing can certainly pinpoint areas of weakness and strength that point to certain disorders. Thankfully, neuropsychologist didn't miss a trick and made no diagnosis until the very end, when all the testing was done. It didn't change who my son was, but it changed his treatment--the medications hit the trash and the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) interventions kicked in. I can't even blather enough about how good all this has been for my son. Guess who diagnosed him right the first time, but kept being shouted down by "professionals?" Me and hub. We saw the autistic traits the day he moved into our house as a foster child. Amazing that the professionals passed it off as "ADHD/ODD" and bipolar. I mean, the kid echoed, banged his head, and didn't speak in sentences until he was five. Hello!!!! Son is very fluent now and can pass for typical. Sorry. This turned into a vent. I really dislike so many professionals. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.


Active Member
Coleen, I do hope you get some answers that help you. Social stories are good for a number of problems - basically, ANY kid who needs helps in adapting to social situations. I had begun to write my own bits for difficult child 3 which I later found out were social stories. Sometimes you work things out for yourself. That's why I tell people to trust their parental instincts and to have faith in yourself.

As for the brilliant diagnostic skills if psychologists and 'expert' school staff - difficult child 3's school counsellor was exclaiming in delight as to how well he was doing (based on her standing on the veranda and watching the kids in the playground, from a distance) and how well he blended in like all the other kids in the compulsory school uniform. "He's just like the other kids, he's fitting in so well! And his language skills are now in the normal range - this all means that he's no longer autistic!" she exclaimed brightly.

I gently pointed out that having a HISTORY of language delay mean that he would always qualify for a diagnosis of autism - learning to talk meant squat,except that he was adapting well and was in the "high-functioning" category.

Idiot woman. And on the basis of remarks like that from an alleged expert in her position, kids can lose all funding support. Of course, difficult child 3 was NOT doing as well as she claimed - it was just that he's adapted, behaviour-wise, to mimic the other kids sufficiently so from a distance he was hard to pick out. From a distance you can't hear echolalia, obsessive pressured speech, other kids telling difficult child 3 to 'stay away, you freak', and so on.

Coleen, welcome to the wonderful world of sceptical Warrior Mum mode. You take the good stuff and use it with gratitude. You listen to all suggestions and follow up on the ones that seem to fit the best. If something you try works brilliantly, you keep it. If it doesn't work, you discard it. And you learn to do this with confidence and positivity, never letting yourself be put down or devalued. You are now your child's best advocate and most knowledgeable expert.

Hold that thought. Good luck.