New diagnosis received today for all 3 difficult children


New Member
Well we met with the neuropsychologist today. Wow! I am just amazed at the written report he gave us for each kid, its like 5 pages long! husband and I both didn't even know what some of the words meant on one!

Here are the new diagnosis:

difficult child 1 (11 yrs):ADHD, Asperger's, Major Depression he put "maybe bipolar"
Behavioral Observations: mood was dysphoric, affect seemed mildly labile? (what is that!?)
Visual Motor Skills he scored in the 18th percentile which put him at a 8 yrs 4 mth age.

difficult child 2 (10 yrs):ADHD, mild mood disorder

difficult child 3 (7 yrs):ADHD, Asperger's, sensory and developmental delays that in his words were "indicative of an austistic spectrum disorder", and he felt some ODD traits as well

He also gave recommendations to the new psychiatrist for types of medications.

Any thoughts? Is this type of report what I should have expected? He wants us to request ARDs for each of the boys at school. I sent the new counselors emails tonight. I don't know what else to do now. We meet with the new psychiatrist Friday again to talk about the medications he gave last week. The sleep medications aren't working for difficult child 1 or 3 at all, up until 3 and get up by 530-6. UUUGHHH!


Well, you have answers. That's great!

Asperger's IS an autism spectrum disorder, which isn't at all surprising since bio-mom is bipolar. Mothers (or parents, can't remember) with a mood disorder are statistically more likely to have a child on the autism spectrum. Dysphoric is depressed, anxious and labile is adaptability.

You should have gotten some recommendations on therapeutic interventions and possibly some referrals. There aren't medications to treat autism, the medications would be for the comorbid disorders (mood disorders, ADHD). Having children on the autism spectrum definitely changes the needs in an IEP. You'll probably want Occupational Therapist (OT) to work with the sensory issues. Check out the autism websites. I think totoro just posted a new one, but I haven't looked at it yet.


Well-Known Member
Interesting report. Sounds like you got quite a bit of information there.

As far as what labile affect means, well, labile affect describes emotional instability or dramatic mood swings. When the outward display of emotion is out of context for the situation, such as laughter while describing pain or sadness, the affect is termed "inappropriate."

And of course you know what "mood was dysphoric" means I guess. It means a mood was a generalized feeling of distress.


Active Member
A point you need to consider (which a lot of psychiatrists don't) is that the environment affects our mood and how we react to things. The child was being seen by a completely new person, he could sense that a lot of importance hinged on how he presented himself, plus he knows something is wrong with him and it worries him, upsets him and also makes him angry.

Further down the track, as he comes to terms with his diagnosis, his condition in practical terms and his ability to cope (and as he finds new depths and values within himself) he will show much less of this.

I saw a psychiatrist when I was a hospital inpatient 10 years ago. I was in hospital to be tested for a number of problems (including the renal problem that's giving me grief now) and feeling frustrated by being there when my family needed me. The day I went in to hospital we had just had our younger three kids all diagnosed as ADHD with both boys being given autism labels. At a time when we needed to sit down together and talk about how we would cope, husband & I were apart and each trying to cope alone.
And the psychiatrist said I had dysthymia! All because when he saw me, I was still trying to deal with this news, in isolation, away from my family and away from my reference library. I was frustrated, distressed and frantic.

My next visitor, just after the psychiatrist left, was a psychologist who I had seen before in other contexts - I'd interviewed her, talked to her as a guest speaker at conferences, etc. She knew me well enough to be able to say, "Dysthymia? Rubbish! You've just got a lot more on your plate right now and you're still coming to terms with it. It's like saying that someone whose father has just died, has dysthymia."

I don't know whether she spoke to the psychiatrists or not, but they never came near me again, for the rest of my three week hospital stay. And since I was also supposed to be getting ongoing psychiatric counselling while there, I found that very interesting.

They labelled what they saw at the time, without considering where it was coming from.

Tests have been done on brainwave patterns of people suffering form depression. They also needed control samples to compare these too. An interesting phenomenon was found - just as they thought they had found brainwave patterns distinctive to patients with clinical depression (hence the reasons for this study) they had to change their thinking. While still hooked up to the EEG and after the main test had been completed, a 'control' subject was asked about her recent break-up with her boyfriend. As she talked about it, her brainwave pattern mimicked EXACTLY, the pattern of someone with clinical depression. Just for the few moments her ex-boyfriend was the topic.

They followed this through with the other controls and found the same thing - when each talked about what made them feel sad, their sadness was indistinguishable from clinical depression.
The big difference - it's a matter of degree. But if the psychiatrist doesn't consider that what he has seen may not have been typical, he can be easily misled.



New Member
He gave us a bunch of things to fill out prior about the kids. Then he spent about 1 1/2 hours with each of them. It certainly didn't sound like the 6-12 hour test that everyone else got, but it was still more time than the previous psychiatrist spent with them all year. Should I accept these DXs or get another opinion?