Today, results of psychological evaluation for DGD

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ksm, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    We started seeing a psychologist in a larger city, as the therapists that are available in our community had not seemed to be able to help DGD. Two weeks ago, she had an evaluation through the university's psychology department. Her psychiatric went to this university and felt confident with the testing done there. Today we are to get the results. I just feel scared... What if they get it wrong? Plus, tomorrow we go across the state for a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) clinic. I had contacted them two years ago... And just now getting in. I think there are so many things going on... Family history of bipolar on bio moms side, known alcohol use by mom, foster care for a year when she was 5, mom pretty much abandoned her after we adopted, lots of empty promises from mom that was never kept. Diagnosed as ADD in grade school, anxiety and depression by middle school, and I am sure that in my frustrations, I didn't be the parent she deserved or needed. It was like when our relationship started to go well, she would back off, like it was dishonoring her mom.

    I am afraid of what we might learn... That maybe if I had done XYZ instead of ABC... Or found different therapies when she was younger... So many what ifs.

    Talked to my son, J's step dad, and reviewed the history. Met biomom in September 1998, she was working in a strip club about 100 miles from here. Went back to see her a few times. At the end of October, she was at his house and pretty much didn't leave. By the end of Nov to early Dec, she looked obviously pregnant. He says he knows she stopped drinking by Jan. 1, 1998. He said she drank a lot of whiskey, and used cocaine. Sometimes 15 to 20 drinks in a 24 hour period, as she was on cocaine and was awake 24/7.

    J has an average IQ, but very slow processing speeds... Very impulsive. Mood swings. Easily influenced. Unorganized. Procrastinator. Also, very pretty, sings well, out going, very charming on the surface, at least to others, not her family.

    I will update as I learn what I learn the next two days... KSM
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It is better to know than to not know.

    Every round of evaluations we went through added something to our knowledge. It took multiple rounds to get close to the whole picture, and I'm not sure we know it all even now. But knowing what you are dealing with means you can tailor the approach. And sometimes, the combination of conditions can be really challenging because what helps one condition can trip up another condition. Been there done that.

    There is no way you caused these problems, ksm. She came with loaded genetics and a rough start.
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Whatever comes up, remember you can't change the past. And while it may feel like it is too late now that she is almost an adult, that is not true.

    She still has her whole life ahead of her and this kind of information can be pivotal for her understanding herself and learning to live with herself. I have heard so many people tell what a relief it has been, when they have found out why they are different from others and why they have always struggled so, even if that knowledge at that point doesn't change anything nor give them possibility to redo things like school etc. And those kind of evaluations are much more difficult or even impossible to obtain for an adult than for a kid. So while what ever fgindings come up do not change the past, it still helps her to build her future and self-knowledge.
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  4. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    You did the best you could with what you had to work with at the time. My difficult child is very similar, and I've had to work very hard to let go of guilt about the what-ifs, but really all guilt does is drag you down and hamper the present and future.

    I haven't been posting much lately because I've got other fish to fry these days (addict husband went off the deep end with drugs/alcohol, had an affair, and left us), and my difficult child is no longer in my home and never will be again. ksm, you are one of the reasons I check back here from time to time. I hope you find some answers today.
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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    The "what if" game can drive you crazy. There is no going back and even if we could and change this or that, there is no guarantee that the outcome would be any better.
    I'm sure did the very best you could and that is all any of us can do.

    It's a process that can be long and arduous getting a good diagnosis and getting the right medications at the right levels.
    I am glad that you are going to the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) clinic. From the sounds of birth moms history I think you are very wise to go this route.

    Hang in there KSM!!

    ((HUGS)) to you today.
  6. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi KSM,

    Don't feel guilty about what-ifs.

    If the doctors couldn't figure it out, how can you expect that you would know more than they do?

    There is much new out there since you started the process. New thinking, new ideas, new understanding. Just be glad that, hopefully, she will get a more accurate diagnosis now.

    After all, she is older now. As a child, things can change. She may just now be able to be accurately diagnosed.

    What is important is NOW, and going forward with the most accurate info you can get.

    Good luck.

    Please let us know how it went.

  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Well, the psychologists office called to reschedule, she had the flu. But, the guy that did the testing called and gave me some basic info over the phone. H e didn't think it was full blown Bipolar, but had some features. Some personality disorder signs, but not yet diagnosed with it. Here is what he thought...DMDD, ADD, possible PTSD.

    Copied and Pasted... Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is a condition in which a child is chronically irritable and experiences frequent, severe temper outbursts that seem grossly out of proportion to the situation at hand. DMDD is a new disorder created to more accurately categorize some children who had previously been diagnosed with pediatric bipolar disorder. These children do not experience the episodic mania or hypomania characteristic of bipolar disorder, and they do not typically develop adult bipolar disorder, although they are at elevated risk for depression and anxiety as adults. Unlike pediatric bipolar disorder, DMDD is thought to occur more often in boys than girls.

    To me, DMDD sounds like a temporary diagnosis... But, he said the Dr. We have is a very good one to work with teen girls with this type problem. We are rescheduled to next week.

    Now we are in a hotel room about 120 miles from home for an 8:30 appointment tomorrow morning at the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) clinic. I think her problems probably have some Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) thrown in. She has so many problems with remembering things... On Sunday she told me she would like to donate something to their project at school, for people in nursing homes. I bought some lotion and handed it to her before school on Monday. She forgot it. Same, Tuesday, Wednesday, and today. IQ wise she is pretty much on track... But, she loses things, can't estimate how long it takes to do things, complete assignments, etc.

    Will post more after we get home tomorrow. Thanks for the advice and your concerns.

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  8. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    New diagnosis... Static encephalopathy. And alcohol exposed. Not Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Only one facial part out of three. So now we have those diagnosis, plus the DMDD, ADHD, ans all the other components... Anxiety, depression, poss PTSD.

    Will discuss all this with psychologist next week. KSM
  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am glad you are getting answers ksm, how are you holding up through all of this?
    How about your girl?
    This is a quite a journey for you both, your family.
    We are with you......
    Hugs to you both....
  10. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    We just got home. Things went better than I thought. I even told her that maybe when her mom was younger she had the same difficulties, and her parents didn't know what to do to help her, and maybe that is why she has struggled so much... I got a big hug. Bio mom and bio grandma still are drinkers... But at least bio gma had a decent job and a stable husband, that married her after being a single mom. So maybe she had a better support system.

  11. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Oh, they did encourage us to apply for SSI before she turns 18... So maybe they realize the bumpy road ahead. KSM
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    She is very fortunate to have you on her side ksm. All of this must be exhausting, but, you are on the way to finding help for her.
    Bless you in the work you are doing to provide love and guidance.
    You are doing a wonderful job.
    I hope you are able to have some precious time for yourself to rebuild.
    Take care dear, we are pulling for you.
    Thank you for taking the time to share.
    Your steadiness and strength is a great example for us all.
  13. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    It good that she shows her real her to put it like that it means that she considers you important and a close person to her lower her shield towards you. In my opinion this means that you opinion and actions matter and could influence her a lot to become a balanced person as much as she can be as nobody is.
  14. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Now that I have had a day for things to sink in... And still realizing that mental diagnosises can be fluid and changing. I wonder how this panel of 7 professionals came up with their diagnosis. Was it the result of their questionnaires we completed? Was it their interview with J and I? Did they study the gap on the IQ test between IQ and processing speed? Was it because the gap between her reading and comprehension was very high compared to her math skills? Is the static encephalopathy responsible for why part of her brain works well, like how at 8th grade she could read and comprehend as well as most people in their early 20's but her math fluency was the level if a 2nd grader? Is that why, when I try to reason with her, she just doesn't get it? Why did the neuropsychologist exam did not find anything but major depressive disorder?

    I am hoping the psychologist we see can connect all the dots. KSM
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There are always lots of questions, but this one in particular stands out to me, because we've been through that one too. These specialists are human. They have their own personal biases, their own pet theories, and their own evaluation of people. One tester downplayed OUR input because it was "inconsistent" with her own observations... and the adult specialists took the opposite approach because we had many more years dealing with this individual.

    Usually, we got "something" out of each round of testing, but it was hard to get a complete picture. I really like it that you ended up with a panel, not just "a" specialist - sometimes, this produces results with less bias built in.

    (For the record, there are individual specialists in testing and evaluation that are extremely professional, and have learned to put their own biases aside, and do a very good job. Some are at the absolute top in their field and others are average, or below...)
  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi greenie,
    This caught my eye, hope you are okay, tough road you have been on and are on.....bless you for your positive energy and checking in on a fellow warrior.....

    ksm, I am strengthened by your example and resolve to figure this out and move forward to help your daughter. Keep up the good are a really strong, amazing trooper!


  17. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    InsaneCdn, I went back and read thru the neuropsychologist evaluation, and on the first day of testing she said that J was uninterested and not well engaged, but did have more appropriate demeanor on the 2nd day of testing. She actually had a neuropsychologist intern do the actual testing of J. To get to see the neuropsychologist, we had to have the school do the IQ testing first, and the school psychologist was a real jerk, in my opinion. She didn't seem to want to do the testing because J was not reported as a behavior problem. In my opinion, that meant she didn't fight or cause major problems at school. But all her teachers mentioned her inability to focus and stay on task. When she was testing J, and J asked her why she had to take the IQ exam, this "professional" actually said: "the same reason I have to give you the test, because your grandma said so."

    Plus, the behaviors at 12 and 13 don't seem as severe as the same behaviors in a person who is almost 18. And the results of poor behavior are worse consequences now than 4 years ago! Then, she might have hid in the girls room and missed class. Now, she might leave school property with some one with a car.

    Then, J was more denying that she had a problem, at least now she will admit the struggle to keep on task, and she loses everything, not just homework. Including cell phones, chargers, money, purses, drivers license.

    Maybe the DMDD (mood disorder) is part of her frustration with trying to cope with things. She gets easily angry and frustrated when she doesn't get her way. The panel tried to reassure her that she is smart, and can do most things she wants to do, but she needs to have some structure and organizational help to remember assignments, appts, dates, etc. But in the past, she has fought and denied she needed any help.

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  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is HUGE. It means that there is some hope of interventions etc. helping.

    As for the relationship between the school system and the medical system... let's just say that we never ever did get the two sides on the same page. School said it was entirely a "home problem" - our parenting, our standards, our whatever else. So they did not support the medical side at all... until one day, the medical side started documenting the need for immediate and intensive accommodations and support at school. School didn't like that either, but... harder to say "no" when it's a medical request.
  19. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Alcohol can influence a brain even without facial features of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) is similar to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and thesebpeople have no Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) facial features, just similar issues in life.t can cause all sorts of mood and learning difficulties.

    If you need to apply for ssi, as we did for our son with autism, the professionals think she will need help as an adult. My son is doing well but will probably always needvavlittle help with work and life skills. Glad we did the ssi. It opened many doors when he turned eighteen. Really helped him launch in a positive way.

    Good luck.
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  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Schools have to make accommodations for students with disabilities.....