therapist gave difficult child a new diagnosis

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!


    difficult child got what she wanted. She's been saying recently that she's ADD. I don't buy it. It was ruled out years ago by several different tdocs. I think it's the anxiety first and foremost, and then depression that's causing her attentional issues. Cause that kid can focus when she wants to.

    therapist had her fill out some forms today and told difficult child that she has ADD. I really would have liked to fill out some forms, as well as difficult child's teachers, before anything was said.

    Of course, therapist could have said that it *looks* like ADD and that's all difficult child needed.


    I'm not inclined to do anything about it at this point. I need to talk to therapist first. And I want to see if we get the anxiety under control if the supposed attentional stuff goes away. Because it only seems to be a problem in school - which is the main source of all her anxiety.

    She makes me tired.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm curious about what credentials the therapist has that qualifies him/her to be giving out diagnosis's?
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I was wondering about that as well. Tdocs aren't usually qualified to make diagnoses. They can flag things for a psychiatrist or neuropsychologist to check out, but they are not authorized to issue exact diagnoses so far as I know.

    My AS diagnosis came from a neuropsychologist flagged with "rule out bipolar disorder". My bipolar was formally diagnosed by a psychiatrist after a LONG intake appointment, and that despite my having an extremely strong family history (my dad and sister both were/are bipolar)

    My mom's just an Aspie--she got off light, LoL.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I personally wouldn't trust a therapist's diagnosis. Does difficult child want the stimulants? If so, I would be careful.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    She's a psychologist. And in the state of Ohio, at least, therapists can and do make diagnoses.

    ETA: Most child psychiatrists in the area don't make diagnoses. At least not out of the chute. They rely on the therapists for that.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    A psychologist, just like a neuropsychologist, can score Connors tests for AD(H)D and give a diagnosis. It's not that hard. But I personally think a lot more goes into that diagnosis than scoring questionnaires.

    FWIW, my daughter M was given a diagnosis of ADHD-inattentive after hours of neuropsychologist testing. I told the neuropsychologist I didn't believe the diagnosis because she has severe anxiety. Because of the diagnosis, her psychiatrist talked to us about starting M on stimulants, but husband and I refused. Instead, we talked to the psychiatrist about increasing M's anxiety medications and her "inattention" improved. Lesson learned.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is incredibly easy to get an ADD diagnosis. Almost anyone can. I have very few attentional issues. I have been offered the diagnosis several times anyway. By tdocs AND psychiatrists. I have a bro and a child with ADHD and that, apparently, is enough for some docs to think all other family members "must" have it, regardless of any problems that they have.

    I would be very upset that a doctor of ANY kind gave my kid a diagnosis with-o talking to me first.

    by the way, here one person's opinion is enough for most docs to diagnosis ADHD, where it used to take parents, teachers, and others to fill out the forms. in my opinion it is lazy dxing.

    I agree that it is problem anxiety, just given her history. Follow YOUR instincts. I would refuse ADHD medications, esp stims. Strattera might help her anxiety, or so I have been told.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Not trying to be devil's advocate here, but this is exactly what ADD/ADHD kids do. They focus on things that are highly engaging to them. It's when things are boring, routine, mundane that they truly have difficulty attending and maintaining that focus.

    on the other hand... I also agree with you Heather that the therapist should have gathered input from multiple areas of difficult child's life. That's standard procedure on many of these rating tests... they look at home, school, as well as the self report.

    Finally, attentional issues can manifest due to a whole host of other disorders, anxiety being a biggie.

    I guess the real question here is what will the next step be, based on this "diagnosis"?
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'm not taking any steps until we see what happens when we get the anxiety under control. Not unless difficult child feels it is such a big issue that it is interfering with school. Which she says it is, but again, that's where her anxiety is the highest.

    therapist has talked to me before about ADD and how some with it hyperfocus. I had forgotten about that until just now. So, she might have been thinking it all along. difficult child certainly gets stuck in her thinking and obsesses and catastrophizes (is that the right word?).

    I trust this therapist, but I really don't like her giving a diagnosis without me present. I also really don't like not having any additional information to base it on. When we did these forms when she was younger, she rated high ADHD at home, but not at school - because she shut down at school. So, by the time she got home all that pent up anxiety had to come out. Now, her anxiety is more severe...and I don't know. Can't really think tonight. Anyway, that's what led to the anxiety diagnosis as opposed to an ADHD diagnosis. She certainly doesn't have the H part anymore.

    I see the therapist this week. Was supposed to see her yesterday, but she canceled because of the weather. We don't see psychiatrist again until March 4th, so I have some time to toss this around in my head.
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    husband had ADD and had a very successful military career. BUT, when he was off duty, he let down and basically flaked out. Not in a bad way, but he sort of got incredibly scattered off duty.

    On duty, or in later years reading or playing computer games, he was focussed as they come. We used to call it "hyperfocus". It was like he shut out any unneeded input.
  11. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I am pretty sure that a psychologist in Oregon can diagnose, even a master's level social worker can too.

    Is the diagnosis right? Will it get her more help at school? Could be. If she wants to give difficult child the label then use it to your advantage. People get ADD, while they do not get anxiety and Borderline (BPD) as much. Should they put her on a stimulant? Why worry about that right now? Just like you said, mull it over in your head.
  12. change

    change New Member

    Good Luck. We are always going through the same thing. My children have been on so many different medications it's ridiculous. None seem to help for long because they have attachment disorder (no pill for that). You are absolutely correct to question and not to jump on the "pill" train right away. I learned my lesson about that and won't let them switch daughter's medications as often anymore. There are too many consequences from switching around sometimes...especially at school. She also loves to use it as excuse to act out. I hope things go better for you...
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    To me, that's the anxiety part. And the ADD and anxiety can absolutely go hand in hand. Which is why when you say this:

    it makes me think that they never got the full picture of the ADD/ADHD affecting her across all environments because her anxiety was a much bigger problem at school.

    difficult child 1 used to completely shut down when he was younger, too. He even did it a little in elementary school, depending on his stress level and the nature of the situation.

    ABSOLUTELY. I'd be furious that I was not called in to discuss the conclusion that was drawn before it was revealed to my difficult child.

    Probably the best thing to really focus on is the disorder that is affecting her the most right now -- which to me seems like it's the anxiety. Once you get that handled, the ADD will probably become more evident in more settings, and you address THAT component then.
  14. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a couple things here - the "hyperfocus" thing is definately a adhd issue - my difficult child has adhd, highly impulsive, combined - one of the "worse" adhd dxs and that kid can hyperfocus like crazy!

    Anxiety and adhd often walk hand in hand.

    I think you are right to tread slowly on this. You are doing what I think is the greatest - following your gut. You are wondering why she wanted this diagnosis so bad. And I would be p*s**d at the therapist for giving my kid a diagnosis without me there or telling me first!

    Have a feeling you may be getting a little pestered about what you are going to do about her add!

  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Here therapists are often the ones who do the diagnosing because the see the patient for the longest period of time. Neuropsychs are almost as scarce as hens teeth. Of course, the therapists are masters level.

    Jamie had severe ADHD and he could hyperfocus on something he really wanted to focus on. With him it is video games. Guess that is a common one. I was told once it is because the games actually stimulate activity in the brain like they are moving so they can focus intently...or something like that.

    Also, girls tend to present differently than boys and ADD is different than ADHD.
  16. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    See, I don't even think she hyperfocuses. I, on the other hand, can hyperfocus like nobody's business.

    I really think the attentional issues are related to anxiety and the horrible D word (depression) that I'm not allowed to say out loud - to her.

    I'll have to talk to the therapist. But, you know, difficult child has done the research and she just knows. :rolleyes: Just like she wouldn't drink Horizon organic milk because it's being boycotted. Until I looked it up (after spending $3.99 on a half gallon) and that was from 3 1/2 years ago and didn't seem to make any sense to begin with. (Yes, she's drinking it now.)
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Your daughter may have been seeking the ADD diagnosis. because it is socially acceptable and doesn't have the "stigma" of mental health disorder. It' almost an "in" diagnosis for peer groups.

    My difficult child gs, for example, is comfortable with ADHD and with Aspergers but
    he will not even mention or discuss BiPolar (BP) or schitzoaffective disorders. The first two are OK...the last two are for people who "are nuts". Depression was also unacceptable in his vocabulary.

    Truthfully I have never heard of a Conner being based on patient input alone. Even in our small community Teachers and family members are solicited to get a pattern for ADD diagnoses. Weird. I'd watch her like a hawk if she starts stimulant medications. They are great for many ADHDers but the sell on the streets just like uppers. Fingers crossed for you. DDD
  18. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'm used to therapist's dxing - of late, that's what gets a difficult child a referral to a psychiatrist.

    Heather, I was upset at some of the things discussed with kt & wm when I wasn't present. I've learned (even with their tendency to obsess) that these professionals are pushing the tweedles to learn about their illness/disorders & take responsibility to "control" themselves.

    Do I like it, no. However, since kt & wm have been 13 or 14 that's the way it's been going. AND like you, I deal with the fallout at home.

    You're doing the right thing ~ sitting on & pondering this information.
  19. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'm not worried about her selling medications. She follows the Straight Edge lifestyle, which is no tobacco, drugs, alcohol or promiscuous sex. She's very serious about it. One thing with my kids I've never had to worry about is drugs and alcohol. Thank goodness. Not that I wouldn't keep my eyes open, but you know what I mean.

    I'm just kind of flabbergasted that she would want another medication. This is the kid that was anti-medications. She's now on 4: birth control (for acne), trazadone, zoloft, and prevacid. All of the anxiety has created stomach problems. And now she'd want to add another? Like I said, she makes me tired sometimes.

    I'm not inclined to start a stimulant until we have a better picture with the anxiety under control. Even then, I'm not sure about stims and her. Then again, she's tired all of the time (depression, anyone?) so maybe it would be helpful. It just makes me nervous.

    Like I said, I'm not jumping on that bandwagon until I'm convinced.

    Linda, I wouldn't normally be upset if the therapist had gotten a FULL picture and if it wasn't a diagnosis that difficult child was actively seeking out. And she could have just said that it looks like ADD and difficult child took that to mean that it *is* ADD. You know how they manipulate things to fit their interests.

    Thanks for the input all. I had 2 hours of neuropsychologist testing today and my brain is tired. We have a meeting with the principal at 3pm about difficult child being harassed in school - well, in one particular class.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just got back from therapy and was so scattered and flustered and just plain brain dead that I laughingly told my therapist that I felt like I had developed ADD along with the bipolar. Oddly enough, she said she wouldnt be surprised if the inattentiveness wasnt a bit of mild attentional issues at play!

    Oh...and sense I have been getting better from the meningitis...I have developed a rather interesting case of I didnt realize I was doing it until she pointed it out and then I knew exactly what she meant. Have no clue what we can do about it because speech is hard to get for adults.