first therapy session

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, May 25, 2011.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    We (difficult child and I) went to the first therapy session yesterday. She asked a lot of question , mainly addressed to me, and difficult child played with the toys. I could tell she (the therapist) was looking at him closely and, at times, talked with about very casual stuffs (his new bike, the big teddy bear in the room, etc...) I felt she really understood our concerns. I also told her we suspected something else was going on besides the ODD. She actually agreed with me! She went on to say (after the hour was almost over) that she was almost certain there was some kind of processing issues that weren't language related. She also added that the importance of his routine, the way things have to be (the cup on the left, not on the right for exemple) were autistic traits....? I went on to say "but look at him, he is not autistic..". She just told me that he, in fact, was not autistic but he had autistic traits: she pointed outt at difficult child who was sorting her play cups according to color. I don't think it is all that weird. Hum... She said he was very interesting and very complex and that the psychiatric evaluation would bring much needed insight. We see her next week. Maybe once she understands the situation completly, she can start with helping difficult child manage his issues. Fingers crossed.
  2. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    Hi we are seeing a social worker, but she hasnt met difficult child yet, she is meeting with us (me and husband) tomorrow and I think she wants to meet him next week. Basically our sessions have been blabbing her ear off with different instances, what we did, how we handled it, what he did. etc. I felt bad all husband and i did was ping pong stories off each other. She kinda explained what she thought was going on, a sensory transistioning integration issue, so she gave us some tips, we tried them, they failed. The 2nd session was just me, husband had a last minute meeting, and I am uncertain about how that went. I felt like social worker was kinda picking on my parenting, one issue we have is cereal, my kids alter who picks the ceral for the week. she was like, why cant you buy 2 boxes a week. I was like, cause thats my rule. I am having the hardest time grasping that we need to change rules and ways to accomodate difficult child. Its like he is winning and getting what he wants. I told her that if he has an "issue", no matter what it is, then maybe I can change my ways but until then I dont understand why we are doing these things. I am starting to wonder if a social worker is not the right person for us, but that is who my insurance company set us up with.
    I am happy you got to bring your difficult child to first apt, atleast she/he is able to see you difficult child from the beginning and start to offer some insight almost immediately. Did she/give you any tips or advice on how to handle difficult child in certain situations?

    Good luck!!

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What do you think autism looks like? My son is on the spectrum and he was always sort of social...just very There is no way autistic kids look or act. They are all very different. It is a spectrum. Some kids are extremely impaired, others have lesser problems. The "HAS to have one thing here and one thing there" *is* an autistic trait. And they don't like change at all. It can cause a meltdown. Can it be normal too? Depends on the other aspects of the child's personality. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids tend to have a terrible time socializing with same age peers...often, at a young age, they parallel play rather than interact. Or they interact inappropriately by grabbing everyone's toys or hitting them (no, this is not normal for a three year old...I've raised five three year olds). Also they are prone to meltdowns over things that puzzle us.

    Sounds like a smart therapist!

    Just my .02 0n that :) Lots of experience with that here :)
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    It sounds like a really good start in that she listened, asked questions, and was picking up things during her observation time.

    I think of kids who have Autistic traits but don't meet the clinical criteria for Autistic Spectrum Disorder as being "spectrumish". Often they'll have some--but not all--of the traits and/or else they're present in milder form or some trait that is associated with classic Autism (such as lack of affection or eye contact) is absent altogether.

    For this reason they often slip under the radar or are misdiagnosed (and often mismedicated). If that's really what's going on, then you will be very fortunate to have found someone who recognized it at this early age.
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    She made very few suggestions yet. We always have pb with food though... I would ask the kids if they want a snack and difficult child tells me know. I ask him 2 or 3 times again to be sure, still no. I make a snack for my other son, clean up and then: difficult child wants a snack! ARGH!!! If I was to give him one any ways, it would be the wrong one. I do let them choose their snack (I have eliminated any food that is not healthy because imposing a limit on those foods created too much stress with difficult child). The therapist suggested to put it in front of him and then ask him. She explained that it might seem like a simple question, but if there is in fact a processing pb, he might not truly grasp the question. I'll try that this week and report with her next week.
    As far as your cereal pb, I would go along with your social worker's suggestion. I understand it is a rule in your house to pick one cereal at a time and I also understand the value of that rule (have to choose, can't have evrything, taking turn, compromising, etc. right?) but maybe your difficult child is just not ready. Is the value of that rule worth all the stress? I,myself, is learning to let go on some stuuf just because it creates too much drama. Right I'm working on accepting a certain level of mess in difficult child's bedroom. I don't handel messy spaces very well (I can't think in clutter), so I'm trying not to react too much and pick up after him. I do ask him too clean up but it seems that doing the entire bedroom is too much of achallenge for him. I also plan on putting a lot of thoughts into the layout of his new bedroom (going downstair, being build right now). I also plan on having less stuff in it so he can handle it better, and hopefully on his own. Conclusion: the clean up rule still exists, but I'm trying to adapt it to his level. It's hard and does require a lot of thinking!! Never had to do that with my other son.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm not sure of all the details behind the cereal but I'll venture a guess at what the therapist was getting at--two things likely. You have rules and ways of doing things that probably work fine for your other kids, but not for your difficult little one. While your desire is to keep your rules in place so it's uniform, your difficult child isn't there yet. You may need to step back and change things first in order for him to progress to the point of being able to handle what your others do.

    My second thought is that when dealing with difficult children, it's often necessary to put aside the non-essentials to work on what's truly important. In the whole scheme of the issues you're probably dealing with on a daily basis, buying two boxes of cereal is a pretty easy fix. Safety, tantrums, getting out the door when necessary, being able to function on errands, or whatever--those are more critical issues to functioning.

    I realize that this all goes against our grain, especially for those of us who are wired up with my-way-or-the-highway personalities. But over and over again, parents here have found out that in order for their child to change, they often have to change the way they do things first, in order to pave the way for the child to develop and mature. We wouldn't hesitate to put adaptations in place in our homes for a child with a physical handicap to be able to function better, but when it comes to making changes in order for kids to deal with life better on the emotional/behavioral side of life, we naturally don't want to go there.
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Ekirsch, I'm echoing what MidwestMom and SRL said regarding Autism. You can't "see" it. It doesn't always look like "Rainman" I live in an area where there are many Aerospace companies. The big joke in our local support groups is that if anyone wants to study high functioning Autism, they have a HUGE pool candidates to study here.

    There are two shows on TV that I LOVE partly because the main characters are very "Aspie-like" Of course, these are works of fiction, and they don't claim that these characters have Asperger's or any other Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but the similarities to my sno are astounding. He often watches these shows with me, and I let him open the conversations of what he finds similar, of what traits he does have and wishes he didn't, etc My son is 15, so at his age this works for us.

    If you'd like to see a glimpse of how "normal" Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can look, check out Big Bang Theory (Sheldon)- I think there's a re-run on tonight, and Bones (Bones). No, definitely don't want your young son watching them because the material is not appropriate.

    by the way, many in my local support group are also convince that Bill Gates is an Aspie, and maybe even Einstein was. Enter Sheldon and Bones - both super smart characters.

    here's a link to the wikipedia page.
  8. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I am not ruling out some kind of autism problem. But I can't real say "of course, that's what it is". I have to agree, he does some things that would echo autism (find a little piece of old string and that becomes the most precious thing, and God forbid I vacum it!!). My question is: would the psychiatric evaluation. pick it up?
    Do you think he could have several partial diagnosis? Like autism traits (to use the terms of the therapist), some ODD traits, etc? The therapist kept on saying that he was very interesting, like he does not fit in a diagnosis... Is there like a home test I could do, just to see?
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    That's great you've got a therapist you feel may be able to help... that's a small treasure! We do get very hung up on diagnoses, on wanting to know what things are called, and it's understandable but really if you think about it, I don't know how particularly useful it is. It's useful to know what the problems are - eg being fixated on having things in a certain order or colour, for exmple - and knowing what one might be able to do to provide solutions.
  10. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    When I say I need a diagnosis, I don't mean a need a "name". We can see there are some processing issues but we don't know what kind. "qui connait les mots connait les choses" (who knows words knows things... difficult to translate for me). If we knew exactly what was wrong, therefor have a name for it, then I could do some research and employ the right techniques. For exemple: when we have issues at snack time (without going into details), is it because he is defiant/oppositional or is it because he can't process the information? When he does not learn any academics (despite being a very smart little boy), is because he does not want to or because he can't?
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    ekirsch, before being forced into learning about various conditions and disorders by a child with some sort of challenges most of us see labels, disorders, and the like as being pretty black and white. In reality, most of human behaviors and traits--both the good and the not so good--are on a great big spectrum. It's not so clear cut as it seems. You probably know people who are slightly obsessive-compulsive and people who are extremely obsessive-compulsive. You probably know people who are somewhat anxious and people who are extremely anxious (clear down to people who are as laid back as it gets). Autism is like that--on one end of the spectrum are the classic cases that come to mind when you think Autism. On the other end are individuals who have some traits, but not in severe form, or not presenting with all of the symptoms.

    Malika, what a number of us have been trying to tell you is that there is no one right path for every parent. You appear to be fairly new to this topic and right now I'm seeing a lot of questioning the usefullness of a diagnosis so I'm assuming you're seeing it in a mostly negative light, or at least in a "it's not for me" light. I understand where you're coming from, but there is room here for parents who have already have or will use the diagnostic process and labels to help bring a lot of good in their childrens' lives.

    There is no one right way to go about this. Some parents seek out diagnosis/label and opt not to share it with anyone. Some share it with the school but not with the child. Some tell the child, but not the school. And some will never seek out a diagnosis at all. We have parents here at this site fitting all of those categories and I'm good with that as long as the child truly is being helped. Many parents greatly benefit from assessment results and professional recommendations to help their kids overcome their challenges, and that is not a matter of being "hung up" on a diagnosis. It may not be for you right now, but it can be helpful for others to find that term or phrase that helps lead them to information or others who can help their child.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, I don't think I want to fight about it, SRL :) I do not have the sense that there is one right path that everyone has to follow and so if this seems to be what I am saying, I cannot have expressed myself clearly enough. I make the point made by the author of "The Explosive Child" - diagnoses do not really tell us anything useful; identifying lacking skills does. Like all of us here, I want my son to be seen first and foremost as a human being in his complex round rather than a simple label. I have more or less accepted the label of ADHD for him, as he seems to fit the description of it rather undeniably, and do use it myself when that seems useful. He clearly has problems and difficulties in some areas that arise because of, if what we are told is correct, some neuro-biological differences to the norm. But I find it more useful myself to concentrate on these problems and difficulties in themselves rather than fixating on the ADHD thing. I don't really think there's any great area of contention between us. :)
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That diagnosis is important for getting help in the US. If my son was as he is and did not have his label, he would also not be getting extra help in school or in his adult years. He would be considered capable of doing it himself. It is tricky to get assistance in the US.

    Most of us can not do this alone. We are trying to be good parents by tapping into all the resources available to our children. Thus, the need for this label. by the way, both hub, the rest of the family, AND Sonic are comfortable with his diagnosis and don't really talk about it much. However, Sonic knows he is different. In spite of this, he is a very happy person. I don't think it has hurt him at all to know. JMO
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    I see what you are getting at, and simply put, it still only gives you a starting point to research information and observe your child. You still wouldn't have the answers to the example questions above. Just because MOST kids with processing issues cause a ruckus at meal time, doesn't necessarily mean that is the case for YOUR child with the same processing issues.

    Last quarter, son's grades dropped in Social Studies and Math. He suffers from various issues including information processing etc. Generally he does all his assignments the way he is supposed to. Generally if he does not complete an assignment (or does a VERY poor job of it) it is because he can't. After hundreds of questions, I finally understood that there were some concepts in Math that he just could NOT process. He'd get stuck on a select few problems, and could NOT move on. We need to explore further these problem areas. In SS however, he actually got lazy. Projects required a hand drawn map and flag. Well, he handed in a digital map and flag and the teacher deememd it "acceptable" Son, however did not process "acceptable" correctly and didn't understand that while he was getting a passing grade, it was not a good grade. These grades did not get posted so when he did the next project he did it the same way - digitally. When I notice and ask about it, he responded that teacher "accepted" it last time so it should be OK. Turns out he got Ds for digital. If they were hand drawn they would have been As

    BOTH teachers said that he was NOT putting forth his full effort. And I'm sure that's exactly what it looked like to BOTH teachers. The reality is that there is one child with one label, with two VERY similar situations and behaviors, but only in one case is the real problem a part of his label. The other case he was being a "regular" teenager and being "lazy"(yes, since he didn't process "acceptable" correctly, I could argue and get a "do over" for him, but since his overall grade will be acceptable (barely) to me, I'll save my energy for the bigger issues)

    So, even if you have labels, you still won't know for sure the answers to your example questions.

    in my opinion the more permanent the label, the better. There are some labels that are considered developmental which a child can grow out of. (temporary) Then there are those that a child can adapt to, but will never shed even in adulthood. Many schools like to take away IEPs and 504 plans when a child is showing marked improvement. If your child has a permanent label this becomes more difficult for them to do.

    by the way there is another TV show I remembered - Parenthood. I forgot all about it because it is not currently in season, but you might be able to find episodes online or "on Demand" The show is about parenthood in general with various situations, and one family has a boy who was diagnosed with Asperger's. They handle it very well and realistically, and I am always in awe of how well that little boy plays that role.
  15. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Along side any diagnosis check the Assessed lacking skills and unsolved problems list below

    When we wear the lenses that our kids are lacking skills and would do well if they can , we become more responsive and creative to their developmental stage and needs. It is really tough going , but requires a lot of flexibility and working with the kid , getting him to think and reflect rather than being compliant. Thinking helps brain growth