First ADHD Doctor's Appointment Tomorrow!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jessicat, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Jessicat

    Jessicat New Member

    Hi, I'm brand new although I have checked out your site a few times before. I really need some advice for my doctor's visit.

    My older son is 8 and is in the 2nd Grade. He has had discipline or behavior problems since Kindergarten but seems to be getting worse lately. We started the ADHD paperwork from our doctor in December, had to wait until we attended a class in late January and finally have our first assessment appointment tomorrow.

    The last two weeks, my son has been suspended from school twice. The first time was because he took a pocketknife to school (against our specific instructions, of course). He was just out for the rest of that day because of no malicious intent. This week, he was suspended for threatening to kill another student. He has no anger management skills at all, lately. It is like his brain turns off and he just does whatever occurs to him at the time. When you talk to him, it is always someone else's fault. The blame game has been going on for a couple of years now.

    He has many of the classic ADHD symptoms: failure to sit still, bothering other students, fidgeting with a pencil or eraser, not looking people in the eye, inappropriate comments. He always needs to be the center of attention. Lately he has also been "accidentally" hurting other kids in his class. Things like stepping on their feet, kicking them when in line, pushing on them. We see similar behaviors at home, especially with his little brother.

    We took him to a counselor and she said that he was definitely ADHD but only spend about 10 minutes with him. She also believed that he had ODD, which I can certainly believe. He is a born debater and is very good about misdirecting conversations about minutiae which WE did wrong.

    We have tried point charts, rewards and consequences, etc. at home. Nothing seems to work once the novelty of the new thing has passed. I'm very afraid that we will be told to medicate him and I don't know how to feel about that. I want to be able to be proud of my son but it has been difficult lately when you get a call home from the school every day or two.

    Sorry to go on and on but it has been a rough couple of months (years, really) and I need some advice. Many family members are VERY against any sort of medication and suggest a wheat free diet, or the Feingold diet, or, or, or. We eat pretty good and I am going to try to eliminate tartrazine from our diet because it doesn't seem like it could possibly be good but I don't know how far to take that or who to believe. So much information on the internet is sponsored by the drug companies or is trying to sell you a miracle cure or better vitamins.

    Any advice is so appreciated! Thanks!
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    What kind of doctor is doing the evaluation tomorrow?

    I'm concerned that you're focusing just on ADHD because symptoms of many childhood disorders overlap and it's confusing to figure it all out, even for the professionals. The fact that your son threatened to kill another student makes me suspect that there's more than ADHD going on.

    I'd recommend a thorough evaluation by a neuropsychologist or a multidisciplinary team at a children's or university teaching hospital. You really need to separate out what is what before putting appropriate interventions into place to help your son.

    Again, welcome.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    HI and welcome to the board :)
    I'm also concerned that you are going to an ADHD Doctor because he could have many things, not simply ADHD, and a doctor who specializes only in ADHD is likely to give him that diagnosis. even if that's not the main or only problem. in my opinion, I recommend a neuropsychologist. They do intensive testing for all disorders (ADHD/autistic spectrum/childhood bipolar/Learning Disability (LD) problems/sensory integration disorder/anxiety/etc). Your son has many symptoms that could be many things. My son got 100%; on the Connors, but he has more than ADHD. He is on the autism spectrum. It took a NeuroPysch to diagnose it. If your son gets the ADHD diagnosis. and doesn't really have it (and it happens) stimulants could make him far worse. Same with Straterra.
    Others will come along.
  4. Jessicat

    Jessicat New Member

    Oh, sorry. It is our pediatrician but he had me fill out a bunch of forms about ADHD. The counselor we saw is entirely unrelated but specializes in childhood behavioral issues. We got 5 free visits via my husband's EAP with work and we were desperate for some advice

    Thanks for the input about the NeuroPsychologist, etc. We have Kaiser Permanete insurance and they are sort of an all in one. You basically have to go to the pediatrician for a referral for anything and then have to use their doctors to get covered. I might switch insurance at the next open enrollment if they don't seem to be directing me the right way.

    I don't think he really wanted to kill the child but it is scary. I feel like he is just getting more and more outrageous to get attention from whoever he can. I'm also sure he has Operational Defiance Disorder, which he probably inherited from me and my father. I NEVER was out of line at school though, so it is all conjecture.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    It's Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and it's rarely a stand-alone diagnosis. It's generally a symptom of an underlying disorder. When the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the ODD behaviors typically subside.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Jessica, I'd still try to see a neuropsychologist. I'm not a pro, but it sounds like more than ADHD or ODD to me. ODD rarely stands alone. It is normally the result of a bigger disorder that causes the ODD behavior. If you can't go to a neuropsychologist, my second choice would be a Psychiatrist (with the MD). I've had lots of experience with mental health professionals as I have bipolar disorder and my son is on the autism spectrum. We had very poor luck with regular therapists, social workers and regular psychologists. They don't do any testing. I wish you good luck. He sounds like he's very difficult.