Evaluation Tomorrow -- Any Tips?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JulienSam, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. JulienSam

    JulienSam New Member

    We go to one of our local children's hospitals tomorrow for an evaluation of Sam by a multi-disciplinary team.

    I don't know why I didn't ask at the time I made the appointment, but I really don't know what will happen during the evaluation. If you've been through one of these, could you let me know what typically happens?

    I've been told that the appointment will last 2 hours...

    I'm almost done completing the parent input form I picked up from this site, and I'll take that with us tomorrow.

    husband is coming for at least the 1st hour while I complete paperwork to help keep Sam occupied.

    On a related note, our school district will be doing an evaluation of Sam as well -- including a visit to his preschool classroom. Hopefully the classroom visit will give them the chance to see a meltdown in progress (not that I really want his teachers to have to deal with that, but...).


  2. JulienSam

    JulienSam New Member

    I did see the evaluation tips in the "best of"... very helpful. Just looking for more info on what might take place. Thanks!
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    The "Tips" covers most of the basics--they were gathered from parents online who had been through the process.

    If the hospital utilizes a team approach, you might have one individual (such as a nurse practioner) do the initial intake information, with the rest of the team coming together after reviewing the paperwork.

    Be prepared for anything as far as the personalities you will encounter. I swear the first person to evaluate difficult child had as many quirks as he did. Excellent diagnostician but quirky as all get out. I can live with a lot as long as they can help my kid.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Two hours is a short multi-disciplinary evaluation. My son had to spend six hours there and they still didn't completely "get" it. My advice is to not expect everything to be found or diagnosed. Go with the flow, don't freak out if you hear something that scares you (the diagnosis on young ones can change). I'm surprised the appointment. isn't for longer, but it's a start. And ya have to start somewhere.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Two hours is very typical for an initial appointment for a MDE, though, so hopefully this is a good first look.

    Good luck today and keep us posted.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    How did the evaluation go today?
  7. JulienSam

    JulienSam New Member

    They were serious about it taking an hour to do all the paperwork. Glad husband came along to watch Sam so I could complete the paperwork -- he had to leave though to take daughter home since she was sick.

    The evaluation was done at one of our local children's hospitals.

    The evaluation was done by a psychiatric. resident -- basically going over most of the same information I had already typed into the input document from here. She asked a lot of good questions -- many of the same things I had discussed with the social worker we'd seen previously at another practice.

    However, she told me about 1/2 hour into the evaluation that she was pretty sure we're not dealing with a mood disorder (as determined previously by the social worker) since he doesn't go through any kind of cycling.

    After an hour or so with us, she told me she thought Sam probably has ODD -- not a huge surprise to me. After consulting with her supervisor, the supervisor joined us for about 20 minutes to review information.

    So far I'm board with what they had to say... start working on behavior therapy, and save medication for a very last resort. They are reluctant to put preschoolers on medication unless it's absolutely necessary.

    They have a therapist on staff who has done a great of work with kids with ODD, and we have an appointment with her next Tuesday. In the meantime, they suggested I get "Your Defiant Child" to read.

    So I think we're on the right path -- it will be interesting to see how the school district's evaluation differs. I have my initial appointment this Thursday, and hopefully can schedule the observation in Sam's class soon.

    Thanks again for asking... I'm so READY to tackle this, but nothing seems to move at the speed I'd like. So I'll take it one step at a time, which probably best with- DS anyway. :D
  8. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    Julie, congratulations on making it through this evaluation. Good luck getting all the wheels in motion. Keep us posted. I am slowly making our way to our children's hospital too. Dragging my husband kicking and screaming, of course.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Lulu, the dads are frequently reluctant. I have a theory on that: Gene Pool Pride, which seems to inflict dads more deeply than moms.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Julien, I was going back and rereading your post. One thing that I want to mention is that most of us who have been around awhile consider ODD as a symptom to an underlying neurological issue/s. According to the standards in diagnostics, professionals can hand it out as a standalone diagnosis, but if an assessment only yielded that as an answer, I'd definitely be out looking for an alternative. For most kids, ODD as a standalone diagnosis is like being able to see a skin wound but not recognizing the lurking germs that caused it.
  11. GinAndTonic

    GinAndTonic New Member

    ODD is a form of behavior, not a medical condition -- at least that's my understanding of it. SRL puts it well right up there.
  12. JulienSam

    JulienSam New Member

    SRL --

    I'm so confused. What else would they be looking for? I know I'm not an expert, but he doesn't have any of the key signs of autism or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)... He's been on target developmentally except for his frustration/anger issues.

    I'm not feeling well (the whole family has had a flu-like high fever this week, except for me & I'm exhausted from taking care of everyone...), so my brain may not be working at 100%...

    I appreciate the help, having not been down this road before... It exhausts me emotionally to think of what other issues we might be dealing with -- esp. when we just received ODD as answer. The psychiatrist didn't seem to think there was anything beyond the ODD -- should I be looking to have someone else evaluate him?

    I do have my first appointment. regarding a school district evaluation tomorrow -- hope my brain is working better by then.

  13. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm sorry, I don't mean to throw you into total confusion. Don't go seeking out another private evaluation at this point but be aware that there are other issues such as bipolar, seizures (non-observable), sleep problems, etc. that can be at the root of ODD behaviors. What you do want to do if it's a standalone ODD diagnosis is to really question the diagnostician as to why other issues were ruled out. Go through the school evaluation and see what they pick up and if all the pieces fit together. Just be aware that we often see parents reporting initial diagnoses of ODD or ODD/ADHD handed out by psychiatrists which later turn out to be incomplete. I'm not saying that will be your situation but be aware.

    I'm sorry to hear that your family has been hit hard with the flu. Once all 5 of us went down within 4 days. I was last and I was incredibly exhausted and all I wanted to do was hide in a hot bathtub and have a good cry. Take care of yourself.