some answers, possibly :-)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by forkeeps251, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    I just met with the play therapist. The way they do it is that before a psychologist or psychiatrist in the medical network I am going through will see someone my son's age, they first go to a play therapist. She meets with me, then with him twice, and the final session is just with me to let me know her findings.

    Basically, it all boils down to she thinks he has ADHD, and would also like to have him have an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory issues. Which of course, I kind of suspected anyway. Now though, everything makes sense.

    I'm trying to find a way to word this... I guess when you look at everything that is going on with him, it may look to someone untrained (me) like something it isn't. I think he has a few indicators on the autism spectrum. Like his meltdowns at school and trouble relating to peers, and sensory problems, and his speech delay. But if you look at them all seperatly, you can kind of see something else. Take the speech delay out of the equation (some kids just have those), and I think that his aggression and his trouble with his peers, and his impulsiveness are all pretty common in kids with ADHD. And she said that sensory problems (in his case, with noise) aren't uncommon in kids with ADHD. Because there are a lot of sings he DOESN'T have for other disorders, and those are the ones that don't really overlap with ADHD. Again, this is purely from the standpoint of being his Mom and not a trained professional ;-)

    She said that he has "multiple indicators" of ADHD. He is impulsive (he led the way to the play room even though he didn't know where it was or what he was doing), and he switched from one play area to another (she said, he didn't "follow through" with any of the playing), and that he got frustrated when he couldn't do something and immediatly gave up or asked for help, rather than trying to think it through (this is something we see a lot at home and at school).

    The next step is that she will refer us to (I think) a psychologist (I don't know the difference between all of them, but I do know that she is in the same building as the neuropsychologist people, so maybe that is it?), and a psychiatrist, and that she would recommend an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory problems, but that they don't do that there. It may take a few months. She seemed to indicate that medication would probably be the likely outcome, and that AFTER that point we would see what other behaviors there were, and maybe how much medication is able to take care of, and go from there.

    She did say that she didn't see any other behaviors that would indicate problems other than ADHD and possibly a sensory problem. Phew!

    I'm practically giddy over all of this. I'm not anti medication, especially in this situation where his problems are disrupting his life, his education, and are impacting his happiness. My other son, who I think maybe have slight ADD, is another story... since he is happy and doing well and home and school, academically and other wise, I see no need to step in (at this time).. but with difficult child, that is another story. I guess I should mention that my husband was diagnosed with ADHD (and was very aggressive and very similar to difficult child), and that I was diagnosed as "borderline" ADD when I was younger, but never medicated (I think I was just a very heavy daydreamer)(and still am).

    To me, this is one of the best things she could have told me, because NOW I can get him some help!!
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    That is great that you have information and insight into what is going on... you must feel a sense of relief and possibility now of going forward armed with positive knowledge and positive solutions, as you say. It is wonderful when things finally make sense.
    Where in the world are you, I wonder? No-one hear will diagnose ADHD at age 5, and certainly not a play therapist. I would love to be able to take my son somewhere and get some positive info about what is going on - as long as it is accurate, of course. And sounds like you have faith and trust in this diagnosis.
    Bravo for you!
  3. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    I'm in the US. He hasn't been actually diagnosed... that is where the psychologist and psychiatrist will come in. The play therapist just said that she see's "multiple indicators", and that she is referring us to them. I don't think that they (the psychologist and psychiatrist) would even SEE him without her referral. He is almost six (will be next month), and I'm not sure at what age they start looking at that. I don't know if maybe they are seeing him now because he is having SO (principal's office a few times a week!) many problems at school, or if that has anything to do with it.

    I'm honostly do not know what age they diagnose, or what age they begin medications if that is the route they recommend (and that hasn't happened yet). It probably wouldn't be this school year though, I'm guessing... it can take a few months for him to be seen, and then after that, I *think* it can take up to several months to tweak the dosage and for everything to start working properly, and by that point it will be almost summer, so what's the point? I'm not really sure of any of this, but I'm happy that now we at least have a direction to go in :)
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    It is wonderful to have a place to start and to be able to get some help. I am really happy to hear the relief in your post. I know it is so hard to feel there is an issue and to have it hanging out there with no one really for sure supporting your concern. Just a little thing to keep in the back of your mind... diagnoses can change over time, It is a tough part of this. Just be open, as you are, to addressing things as they come. If you feel there is more to it when he hits ages where there are new levels of demands (often 3rd to 5th grade) then just go back and get more info from them. For now, you are getting information that will allow you to address his areas of need and that is very important and reassuring for you, I am sure. With your genetic backgrounds you probably have pretty good instincts as to what you are seeing and they should really listen to you.
  5. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    There are some things that medication does better than other treatments - impulsiveness , but medications don't teach kids to think through frustration and problem solve . Try the collaborative problem solving approach - skills are taught indirectly by solving problems - putting your kids's concerns on the table - avoid talking about behavior - your concerns and start solving actaul problems - not treating symptoms
  6. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    Just a quick update, because I had an ARD meeting today to review his BIP. The plan is for now they are going to keep doing what they were doing, because there does seem to be SOME improvement, and focus even more on a few key areas that are still major problems. They seemed very much of the same mind as the play therapist that he seems very ADHD. The school psychologist is going to do her own assessment of him, but only via interview with me and his teacher. Then she will give me her findings and she said that it would be helpful to his psychologist and psychiatrist when he finally sees them to have her assessment as well.

    I found out a little bit more about their thoughts on him, and felt a lot better about things. Even though he is always in trouble, it seems that he and the principal have sort of bonded. The principal doesn't often see him when he is bad, that is usually the assistant principal, but now difficult child goes for a little visit to the principal as a reward for good behavior. In general, they seem to like him a lot, despite all his problems. I feel a lot better knowing that there are people at the school that care about him!
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, it makes a difference, doesn't it? Knowing your boy is not the school pariah despite his differences makes this whole experience less frightening, I think. It's great that you have got on top of things so early, that your son doesn't have to go through a whole period of being seen as a troublemaker rather than a child with a diagnosis (though I understand you haven't got that yet :) ) Keep us posted.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OH that is really nice. It does make a difference when you know there are people who are in their corner. I often feel like I must have the most labor intensive kid at the school.
    As we were finishing my most recent "core" team meeting, I was thinking how hard my kid is and WHAM... a kid runs across the lawn by the window of the office where we were.... the sp. ed. admin said, and then there is another of our great sp. ed students (clearly the behavior team was working with him too by their smiles) and he said he had gotten a call on the walkie that this kid was threatening to climb the flagpole...and he replied "let him" lol. the behavior team said they would only have had to worry if when he got to the top, he hung sp ed administrators undies up there! (another said it would be worse if he said he was licking it like my son will do on things... the whole tongue frozen to the pole thing would be there then)