Telling difficult child about "gifts"?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mama2abc, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. mama2abc

    mama2abc New Member

    I am curious what your experience has been with telling your difficult child about their diagnosis?

    We haven't sat down with our difficult child to explain things to him yet. Part of us thinks it won't make any difference to him at all. On the other hand, I feel like I'm keeping a secret from my difficult child and think it may help when his brain is misfiring to be able to point it out.

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I would not share a diagnosis such as ODD. Mostly because it doesn't provide anything positive on any front.

    ADHD - sure. Our kids knew their dxes from the time they got the diagnosis... medications were involved as well. But we told them about the positives as well as the negatives (yes, ADHD has positives). Both were relieved by knowing - they knew they were different but not stupid, and the diagnosis reinforced that for them.

    Other dxes, we've shared only when we wholeheartedly agreed with the diagnosis. Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Even Anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)). But never ODD, or depression. The depression wasnt' severe enough for difficult child to really understand.

    If difficult child is different, and knows that deep inside, then NOT sharing the diagnosis makes it more likely to compound add-on problems (like anxiety, depression, and behavior problems). Some kids are too young, some dxes are "possible" but not confirmed... not all situations are black-and-white.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree with Insane. ODD is such a detrimental diagnosis and most often is only a precursor to the REAL issue. All it means is that he's defiant and oppositional at times. Most schools lean toward a "We're the boss" type philosophy and in our case, it did a LOT of emotional damage. My son carried that very same "cocktail" and it turned out to be mostly incorrect. But, during the 3 years he carried the ODD diagnosis, the school staff did soooo much damage to his feelings of self-esteem and he was held accountable for ALL his behavior. We now know that the ODD symptoms were caused by an autism spectrum disorder. He COULDN'T behave better without learning the things he didn't know. His ADHD is very much hyperactivity and his anxiety is above and beyond the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) so he carries those diagnosis's in addition. ADHD/ADD and anxiety are normal symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but difficult child 1's are extreme.

    Who diagnosed you son? When was he diagnosed? How old is your son again? I never "hide" their diagnosis from them but their age and cognitive abilities determined how much I told them, when I told them what, and how I told them. Some kids will use what they've been told as an excuse to avoid things and I didn't want them to do that.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    I didn't share the actual diagnosis with son until he was 12. there really was no reason to. He had in school therapies, and new he was different, and we didnt' hide that fact, jut never gave him a name for it. When I finally told him the actual diagnosis, it took him about 10 minutes to process it, and then he was quite relieved. He finally had an "excuse", "reason", "explanation" for other ppl (mostly on internet message boards) when they called him out on an odd statement or behavior. He was able to say "Sorry, I'm Aspie. Is there a better response?" Amazingly this was well received in his little community. :)

    With DD1 it was a given with the mood disorders. I still have not told her about the Aspie diagnosis (just got it a few months ago). That's partly due to the fact that she does NOT like to discuss these types of things. I will have to tell her sooner rather than later. Doesn't change who she is, just the way everyone around her (including herself) thinks about her thoughts and actions.

    I wouldn't even mess with ODD for your difficult child. Mostly because if you all get a good handle on the ADHD and the anxiety, that ODD will probably fade away. The ADHD and anxiety definitely need to be discussed so he can be part of the "healing" team. His feedback on how he percieves things can be very useful in creating accommodations.
  5. mama2abc

    mama2abc New Member

    That's interesting that you would say that about getting a hold of the ADHD/Anxiety and the ODD would fade away. When he was diagnosis'd they said his ADHD & anxiety would probably go away once we dealt with the ODD behavior. Thank you for your input!
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Most of us have found that if we focus primarily on the behavior when there are underlying causes, it just makes things worse... but if we focus on the underlying causes, the behavior either takes care of itself, or can be changed. It was that way for our difficult child... but it took a long time and much persistence, to get the right dxes. Too long. Too much secondary damage - depression, anxiety, behavior. But once we found the complicated web of root causes, things began to get better.
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Mama, that is VERY typical "misadvice" of a professional that has no PERSONAL experience raising kids like ours. Keista is right, your "professional" is oh so wrong!!

    Who diagnosed you son? When was he diagnosed? How old is he again? Sorry for the repetitive questions you've probably already answered somewhere else. If not, this information would be helpful. If you have, I'm sorry I'm being lazy.
  8. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I have tried to explain to V his issues with very little success.... V just does not understand that level of conversation. And I am used to simplify things for him. But I feel it is important to explain and talk about it freely, with no shame and without implying that the child needs to be fixed. When we do talk about it (V asks me why he has therapies), I keep it very casual and answer the best I can keeping in mind that he is only 4. In our family, it is somewhat easier since all 3 kids have been in therapy at one point or another.
    Even though V does not quite understand his difference (or at least is not able to put it in words), the conversation has already been started and it might make it easier in the future. Specially if we decide to use assistive technology (I assume the same would apply to medications).
    How old is your difficult child?