I get to tell them "I Told You So"!!!



difficult child and I saw the new psychiatrist today. It was awesome. They guy is good with difficult child and knows his stuff which makes me very happy. Anyway, if you guys have been reading my other posts, you know I am in a fight to get difficult child's school to give up their heavy-handed "show him who's boss" mentality in response to an unofficial ODD diagnosis they can't seem to get past. When I mentioned that they were dealing with difficult child in the wrong way, they ignore everything I say because ODD is what they have in writing (I'm still waiting for a copy of an OFFICIAL report from a professional stating this).

After only 20 minutes of questions and observations, the psychiatrist said "oh, he's very definitely on the autism spectrum". I was in awe but also relieved that I wasn't just in denial that my kid was purposefully defiant. He is weaning difficult child off the Depakote because it isn't going to help with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) so that's why we haven't seen any improvement. He also started difficult child on Risperdal. He is starting off with a very small dose because difficult child had bad stomach pain from it when we tried it about 4 years ago. Looking back at the records, psychiatrist says it was started too high.

I can't wait to INFORM the school that they are going to need to totally rethink how they handle difficult child and put more effort into teaching him the skills he lacks instead of waiting for even a small problem so they can discipline him yet again (he is currently on a 3 day suspension).

I have a Regional Autism Consultant beginning an evaluation as well as a psychologist to do further testing to see exactly where difficult child is functioning. Since these have already been scheduled, psychiatrist says he will let them figure out EXACTLY where difficult child's difficulties lie. The Regional Autism Consultant is contracted through a collaborative that services many of the schools in our area and they evaluate as well as supervise the services being delivered to kids in these schools with ASDs.

I can't wait to watch the school scramble. If they just would have listened to me in the first place. Sheesh. But then again, I'm only the mother.


Roll With It

See, it pays to look until you find the right doctor with the right knowledge base!! Hopefully the regional group will either work with him or also get it "right" and will help you make the school shut up and do it the way that will WORK!

by the way, you might look into the Love and Logic website - it is a very popular program with schools and if you can get teachers trained in it (and who will USE it) it might be very very helpful. The website has a lot of stuff for teachers that you can check out and then recommend. They also have a book directed at using L&L for special needs kids. I have spoken with Dr. Fay and been to a conference and he would be the first to tell your school to pull their head out of their keisters. Check the special needs book out - maybe it would be a good "gift" to the teacher or principal? If given with a sweet attitude (even if you then go and gag in the car on the way home, lol!) it could really help. The website is www.loveandlogic.com and their seminars count for continuing ed credits for teachers (ALL teachers/principals have to have a certain amt of these a year - if you can get them to plan a L&L inservice it could change the entire school! I have seen this work.)

You have done an AWESOME job as your child's advocate!!!


Active Member
I'm not surprised at the diagnosis. It should prove very useful too. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you tell them they need to change their tactics - as you had forewarned.

My concern is, however, that the school will have the attitude that you simply found a doctor who was prepared to give you the diagnosis you asked for, "diagnosing to order". And that they will stubbornly refuse to accept it because THEy don't ant to. In which case, you might have to go over their heads to the district or higher, and demand services. Be prepared to fight on the basis of human rights.

But I hope you don't have to.



Roll With It
I fear that you may have problems as Marg suggested. The principal latched on to ONE diagnosis that was "unofficial" and has ignored other evidence of other diagnosis's. So he may ignore this also. The school also will want to stick with what their own docs say - and those docs know who butters their bread, so to speak. And it ISN"T kids with disabilities or their parents.

The resource group who's assessment is in the works can be handy. MWM had IEP problems recently and reached some part of the state that dealt with civil rights in schools, not sure if it was part of the state board of education or what, but they really made her school district sit up and pay attention - AND change their ways. It would be worth it to find the equivalent group in your state because I think your principal is going to push the envelope rather than do what is right for your child (and the other kids in his class who have a teacher who spends a LOT of energy policing his behavior and pouncind on anything that might hint of not doing exactly what she wants. First using new techniques takes time, but in the long run everyone in the classroom learns more - and has a better time while learning because it is a lot less tense.

Be sure not to be blatant with the I told you so's. Your son is at the mercy of these people for hours every day so the nicer you are the better it will go for him.

It just makes me angry that the school will take a diagnosis from a letter/document that they won't even let you see, or that is just one small part of the document and use it as a weapon to bash him all day. That they won't even consider that they are at least a major contributing factor if not the largest part of the problem. I worry about what they will do when they cannot suspend him anymore because he has reached his 10 day limit.

in my opinion that could be even scarier for difficult child and you than the suspensions! Esp given their patterns of provoking him, Know what I mean??

Keep pushing the evaluations, and take GOOD, detailed notes of everything that the school does and says. Marg suggested sending an email after each discussion that just states what was said, so that you have records of what the teacher/principal/etc... said and what you said. It probably would be wise to make that a habit, esp with the changes in diagnosis, etc... coming up.


Marge, I am preparing for that possibility with the Regional consultant that works with ALL the area schools but is not on their payroll, an outside psychologist, and a mental health professional that is on contract TO the school but is not on their payroll. I also have an advocate watching their every move. I feel confident that we will be fine with the mountain of evaluations that will be coming their way soon. They may be able to dismiss one psychiatrist but they can't dismiss all the DIFFERENT professionals from DIFFERENT agencies saying the same thing.

Susiestar, they don't have their own psychiatrist's. They have a school psychologist that has seen difficult child once and that was to do a short evaluation for his IEP in November. She has never made a diagnosis or done any real diagnostics, just the usual academic evaluation (memory, etc) and summarizing what has been written in other OLD reports that seems to just get carried over from year to year.

I AM keeping very, very, very detailed notes on EVERYTHING the school does and says. I have been since the very first suspension three weeks into this school year. I also keep every email sent and received as well as ALL responses. I keep copies of every document that goes to and from them. My arsenal is loaded and ready for the next fight. I have no intentions of letting the principal hurt difficult child anymore. The nice thing is that his boss, the administrator, is someone I have known for MANY years as he was one of my favorite teachers when I was in high school. If principal continues to push, I will push back to his boss and the school board, since I have known all of them ALL my life also. I am very prepared to give him a good fight if he really wants one. He may think he is "the boss" but I am prepared to show him who is REALLY the boss, and "it ain't him" lol.


Roll With It
Go for it! You seem to be in a good position and having let Principal My Way do it his way for this year (suspension and punishment at every turn) with the dismal results that he has gotten will show that you are NOT just demanding that he do it "your way" but instead do it the way the law and the professionals say to do it. I hope you get an awesome outcome with a LOT of changes with-o needing to flex your muscles. If you do, use the connections you have - and watch the man sputter impotently!

in my opinion he has broken or at least abused several laws with the suspension and lack of appropriate accommodations and this could have a real impact on the entire school. I guarantee that he treats other sp ed kids this way too - so you may be able to help them all by letting his boss and the school board know what he has done. Kudos on the record keeping - it can be difficult!