Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and OHI

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by wincha, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. wincha

    wincha New Member

    Daughter getting evaluated. Full evaluation to make sure no Learning Disability (LD)'s. She scores mid to high 90's on standardized tests ie IOWA basics. She shuts down when doing written assignments, slows down in math if lacking confidence in areas. Has Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) diagnosis. Doing much better since the teacher is now on board, when she had to give an oral book report and was shaking to death the teacher "saw" her anxiety and never "saw" it before because she would shut down when anxious. Need info if she gets an IEP how to argue its OHI not ED. Looking at either private middle or high school she is in 4th grade and make improvements every year. An ED diagnosis would be a red mark against her. If not possible will push for a 504 instead. The tester said her anxiety would have to show a decrease in stamina ect... to be OHI. However adhd doesn't have a decrease in stamina and that is classified as OHI
  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Dear Wincha,

    I'm sorry to say I am not on board with you on this one. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an emotional problem, it is in the DSM as such and as far as ADHD being a medical disorder, that was a political decision that came out of OSEP and doesn't make ADHD "really" any more of a medical condition than major depression is.

    If one believes, as I do, that most problems we deal with here have a neurological underwrite, then by your reasoning, EVERYTHING would be OHI. Then all kids would be in the same "category" which, if every student with a behavior problem were in it would render it meaningless. Soon people would want a NEW category because OHI would have become stimatizing. Despite the possible/probable neurological underwrite and Tx with medications, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a disorder of emotional regulation that is greatly influenced by environmental factors. Therefore, to me, the correct category is ED. If I were a school administrator, I would not accept your argument because it would lead to the definitional deadend I described above.
    A 504 plan might be the way to go because 504, which I do not like in general due to the lack of enforcement, works fairly well for accommodation of medical disbilities. Schools are less picky about who gets a 504 (often because no service result) but if you can get a 504 plan to accommodate the SYMPTOMS your daughter experiences, that might be the best way to go.

  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Are you saying that an ED label would be a mark against her now or later when trying to get into a private middle school or high school?
  4. wincha

    wincha New Member

    yes an ed label would be a huge mark against her if we were to look at private. she is making major strides in her anxiety in school only. however she needs some special help in the written expression when it has to do with her ideas and what she thinks ie about a book. when she is unable to do her work she says she feels very tired as if her brain is telling her to do it but her hand can't write. however her handwriting the last 2 years has gotten rather sloppy and she hated writing anything now her handwriting is beautiful and her only issues now is with written expression of anything personal or what she thinks of a book. the ed label fit my older one with BiPolar (BP) however it doesn't fit her. there is a difference. can a 504 get a teacher to work with her on written expression like a Special Education teacher? in our area we have a special school district and there are teachers in the public school but it is separate.
  5. wincha

    wincha New Member

    "I'm sorry to say I am not on board with you on this one. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an emotional problem, it is in the DSM as such and as far as ADHD being a medical disorder, that was a political decision that came out of OSEP and doesn't make ADHD "really" any more of a medical condition than major depression is"

    WHY? When I read information such as this below?

    Bipolar disorder is clearly a disability, as defined by OHI, that demonstrates “having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that result in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment.”

    When IDEA now states that the list is not exhaustive of examples of OHI and bipolar is not mentioned because it is well know it is a health impairment since it is an organic brain disorder. Isn't Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) also?

    Also my daughter is having difficulty staying on task, completing assignments, she is being docked for her inability to complete some writing assignments, she at times is bothered by other kids noises, or she taps, and she says when she has to write she feels very tired and is unable to write.

    Bipolar is also under DSM and it is being addressed under the OHI section(comments) of IDEA
  6. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    thanks for your explanation. It makes a great deal of sense to me. Even though we got a OHI designation for my older child (with ADHD, bipolar, depression type issues), I can see where it makes sense to think of it as a disorder of emotional regulation (which makes the ADHD type stuff much worse). While we will stick with the designation that we got, I think your reasoning makes sense.

    For my other son, with bipolar type stuff, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), it would also seem that disorder of emotional regulation is the number one bigger, but he also has some lds (executive function, ADHD, slow processing speed) that might argue for OHI.

    Finally I guess what everyone is saying is that one needs to know one's school district and find out whether there are issues involved with these different labels vis a vis placement or whatever.

  7. wincha

    wincha New Member

    I think it also depends on the child and how their disability affects their education. With my son yes ED fit him and also helped get the school to pay for a private therapeutic school. With my daughter, ED doesn't fit in my opinion and OHI would be a better fit.