Help me know what tests to ask for!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hersheyb79, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. hersheyb79

    hersheyb79 New Member

    I've posted on the Easy Child forum, but this side seems to get more traffic, so I thought I'd jump over here and try to get some advice.

    My DS has started seeing a therapist (behavioral modification) and a P-DR. I snuck a peek at the computer screen last time the therapist walked out of the room and there were about 12 different diagnosis's on the screen. The 1st 3 were ADHD, ODD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

    My question is, are there any tests I can request to help them narrow this down. His school gave him the BASC-2 and he scored HIGH on everything (except somatization, he scored normal on that). I have determined from my reading that is not a good thing. The preschool didn't give me the interpretation of the I have no idea what that means. He sees his P-DR on April 13 and I plan on taking it with me. I showed it to his therapist, who just kind of shrugged it off (he didn't even want a copy of it).

    I just want my son to be happy. He rages all the time, his P-DR is very careful with medications, which I appriciate, but I also am keenly aware that he's going to need some kind of diagnosis before the end of the school year so that I can get him into the proper class when he starts elementary school next year. I'm just worried that we're not going to have it narrowed down in time. I'm also wondering if he's even going to be able to be mainsteamed and if I don't have a diagnosis I don't know where to go :(

    TIA for any advice.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    You can type in Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) tests online and print out your own to get an example. If you see a distinct pattern, then save a copy for the dr and suggest something along those lines.
    We did psycho-educational testing. Most of the tests were good but there were a cpl that were a waste of time. I'm trying to remember the names ... I'll check difficult child's "baby book" where I keep everything and get back with-you.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A neuropsychologist will test for everything and can tell you about strengths and weaknesses, which point to certain things. However, it takes years usually for kids to get the right diagnosis.

    I'm not a big fan of early/often medication myself. I take it, but I am an adult. They threw too much at my son when he was young for ADHD/ODD (he doesn't have it), then bipolar (he doesn't have it). He is on the autism spectrum and does well without medication. However, he had very early intervention and that helped him a lot. He stopped his rages almost as soon as the early interventions began. I recommend a neuropsychologist so that you can also get early interventions.

    Sounds like the regular psychologist has no idea what your child has so he is putting down everything possible.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    The BASC is a screening tool - that's it. You can think of it as if you were straining sand. A piece of wire screen with big holes catches the big stuff. Then you use a finer piece with smaller holes to catch the smaller stuff. The BASC is more like the first than the second. It only looks at behaviors on a really obvious level and is used mostly to screen out those who do not need further testing.

    If that's what the pre-school did I am not surprised the therapist didn't want a copy. He already knows everything it could possible tell him and a whole lot more.

    Depending on where you live in Wisconsin, it may be hard for you to get to a neuropsychologist or even a good child psychologist for an assessment. But that is what you need with a kid this young with extreme behaviors. If the therapist suspects Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) then you specifically need an autism assessment. You should be able to get that assessment done by your State's autism centers. In rural areas they often have an itinerant autism specialist who does this along with supporting the needs of autistic kids in small school districts.

    I would call your local school district nurse or Special Education department and ask them about it.

    If he is entering school next year then you need to request a Special Education assessment be done now. The results of that will be mostly what the school relies on to guide at least his initial placement. With Special Education the child's needs are supposed to dictate placement (not just the classroom he's in but the whole array of services he receives). Often school districts try to push a particular placement in the sense of a classroom/school and make the kid fit into the existing programs.

    And you should not so much be asking for specific test as trying to find someone highly qualified to administer and interpret the tests. That person will decide, typically as the assessment proceeds, what "tests" to use depending on what they see as they progress through the assessment. Most school districts also do this backwards, deciding in advance which tests to run because for most kids they are sufficient.

  5. hersheyb79

    hersheyb79 New Member

    I actually live in the Denver area. How do I find an autism center?

    He EI when he was 2, but when he was 3 they said he was academically too gifted to continue receiving services. He's been re-evaluated 4 times since he was 3 and each time they tell me that until his behavior starts hindering his academics that they will not offer him any services. That is why his preschool is pushing me to get a diagnosis like ADHD or ODD because they said that if he doesn't have a physical diagnosis that the school will be forced to put him in with the emotionally disturbed kids and they feel like that would be like throwing gas on his fire. I really don't understand any of that...because I thought that ADHD & ODD & Bi-Polar WERE emotional problems...
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I see where they're going with-this. You want calm and routine. Also, you can get special services for the items mentioned above.

    Some things are not covered. You want to make sure the diagnosis you get is covered under special svcs.

    For the record, as we know it now in the yr 2011, (no kidding, because all of this could change in 50 yrs) bipolar is chemical, Asperger's and autism are neurological, ADHD is neurological and can be adapted to later in life, or may be a sign of bipolar or Asperger's, and ODD is an adjective that describes behavior tied into those as well, so it can be either or both chemical or neurological.

    Kind of reminds me of the time we had a Guyanese student living with-us and we went to sign her up for HS. They told her to fill out a form with-her race. She had no idea what to check off--Asian, Black, Caucasian, Hispanic, etc.
    She guessed Hispanic because Guyana is so close to the Latin American countries. She said "What difference does it make?"

    I asked the school receptionist which race received the most $ and services. She said, "I don't know. That's a good question." I told her I'd like to find out and that would be the box we checked.
    (FWIW, she was Asian, because her ancestry was E. Indian. Argh!)

    We never got any services. She was just a "normal" student.
  7. hersheyb79

    hersheyb79 New Member

    Yes, we want calm & routine, but really I want him to have help, not just have a diagnosis to have a diagnosis. I don't know that he can be mainstream and I'm so scared that I'm just realizing this. That BASC test really scares me. The teachers side of it was really scary because I feel like there was a lot in there that I didn't know about (like they implied verbally that he only hits his teachers and that he only is removed once or twice/week, but in the report it was that he hits and kicks other students, and he is removed from the classroom 2-4 times/day).

    I just don't know what to do. I'm so worried. I keep thinking that maybe I should just not do kindergarten next year because our district school is getting a new principal and I won't be able to talk to the new principal before the end of the year. I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing or how to help him, and if I put him in now and he fails where do we go from there...but then how will that affect his social interaction taking a year off from school.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Right there is your proof of negative educational impact. If he is not in the classroom, he is not being exposed to the curriculum. Therefore, his behavior is having a negative impact on his education. I would send a letter to the school district asking for a full and complete evaluation due to his inability to maintain in the classroom environment. Be sure to send it certified mail, return receipt. See for some sample letters. There are also some good links in our Special Education Archives.