what to do when difficult child refuses to go for help?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sjexpress, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    We have finally reached the point of getting an neuropsychologist. evaluation set and although it is not for a while, difficult child is already saying he does not need help and he will not go! He has been so beyond awful lately and I really don't know what to do or say anymore.
    How did you manage to get your difficult difficult child's to go to thier appts and cooperate as well? The last few psychologists we tried, difficult child went but refused to even talk or answer any questions so I don't know how this evaluation will be effective and give us any anwers. Do they speak to the parents as well and let us describe all the behaviors?
    Thanks for your input!!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Good morning!

    Yes, they do speak to the parents. However it is mostly based on the child's responses and behavior.

    difficult child is 10 - tell him he does not have a choice. Failing that, bribe him - you know, the old "you can do X if you do Y"... Give to get.

    Otherwise - no easy answers there... HUGS!
  3. Bean

    Bean Member

    Yes, they will speak to the parents. And, from what I've experienced with adult difficult children, they might not be able give you information, but you can give them information. With our last psychiatrist evaluation we were interviewed just as much as my daughter was. Unfortunately, she didn't go back, then. Good luck.
  4. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    quite frankly, at 10, your difficult child doesnt really get a vote.

    i will tell you this though, and do with it want you want. my difficult child told me flat out that she doesnt want to know about all of these appts until we are walking in the door...she told me it gives her one more thing to stress over. i've always been a big believer in telling my kids everything and "preparing" them. it never once occurred to me that it wasnt a *good* thing. but it turns out it wasnt.

    i will also tell you that my difficult child thought she was the queen of the universe before we started down this path, and also thought there was nothing wrong with her. (maybe there is, maybe there isnt, who knows!). as soon as she had a million appts her self esteem PLUMMETED and she was convinced she was damaged somehow (her words, not mine). i finally actually did take the approach that there is nothing wrong with you and that we just have to go because the doctor/school/whomever said its what we have to do...and "because you are soo smart" we need to discover all the things that are "special" about you...

    so having said all that, i would drop the whole conversation until it even gets closer.

    he sounds overwhelmed.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Your difficult child will have to participate in the neuropsychologist evaluation because it involves paper-and-pencil testing that he needs to do (for example, IQ and achievement testing). That's not something that parents can do for their kids.

    My recommendations is to call the neuropsychologist and ask how he suggests you get your difficult child to cooperate. Our son was very resistant to doing neuropsychologist testing at age 9, but once we got him in the door (very teary-eyed), the neuropsychologist was kind and gentle and managed to work very well with him.

    by the way, we don't give our kids a lot of advance notice of appointments like neuoropsych evaluations -- maybe one to two days before. Why should they (and we) have to live with all that anxiety if you tell them weeks in advance?
  6. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    I prefer to say that we , the parents need help to be more caring and responsive parents and and his input is important. The therapist could in a very genuine way ask the child , if his parents are big nags and bugging him and does he feel that his needs are bing met or his interests are being furthered by them. He could offer to help get you off his back .

    I would focus on connecting , relationship building , just chatting - like to a friend focusing on perspective taking. Mentors, older brothers, buddy-tutors who spend fun time together and chatting helps a lot . Also charity work , sports clubs , hiking etc where the activities are intergenerational .We can try to be more of a ' personal coach ' , help him with his goals and how he can meet them

    It helps to first enter his world , connect and then problem solve

  7. idohope

    idohope Member


    I totally get your question (have lived it) and I think posted a very similar question to this board some time ago.

    Looking back I now know some things that I would not do again and some that worked. We at one point, when difficult child was younger did "force" her to go to a therapist. We had a parent sit next to her in the car and make sure she remained buckled etc. The initial sessions she spent the time tantruming on the floor or trying to run from the office. She was also tantrumming at home for days around the appts and trashing her room. Eventually we once we figured out how to give difficult child some control of the situation were we able to get her to go. She intially agreed to stay for 10 minutes and then leave. Did not have to say or do anything but at least stay in the room for 10 minutes. Once she was able to dictate the time and leave at the appointed amount we were able to extend the time over several appts to a full session. There was also a bribe associated with each session and a fast food meal. But these sessions were never productive. A combo of not right therapist and difficult child just shutting down if anything at all related to issues were mentioned. This was a couple of years ago. difficult child was younger, smaller and less physical. I had not found this board at this time and I regret what we did in terms of "forcing" her to go and would not do it again in that way.

    We eventually found another therapist and for an initial visit the whole family went. difficult child was reluctant and ran off into the parking lot. It was a potentially dangerous situation. Her shoe came off in the snow enabling me to eventually catch her. therapist saw her for 1-2 minutes that day. (but it was enough for me to hear the words ODD for the first time). husband and I worked with therapist for a while and implemented some stuff at home (parent child interactive therapy) that difficult child actually responded to. We eventually got difficult child (with bribes) and assurances that she did not need to actually go in the therapist office (there was a playroom) to go to an appointment. For us things that made a difference were: using a side door, not having any co-pay or paperwork that mentioned difficult children name done while difficult child was there (so for example going into an office and having to say "An appointment with Dr. X for difficult child" could send difficult child running), having the appointment at the "right" time (could not be picked up from school; not missing any activity). The therapist helped us work on these things. Plus the therapist was just a great match personality wise for difficult child. difficult child got to where no bribe was really needed and she would go to appts and into the therapist office. therapist was going slow in building rapport and then moved practices and we could not continue seeing therapist so no real progress was made.

    At this point we realized we needed psychiatrist. husband and I saw psychiatrist multiple times and built a strategy to get difficult child in. It involved getting sitter for PCs and getting them out of the house so they were not around at all and so that we had two parents to try to get difficult child to appointment. With therapist we found that advance notice about appts helped but for this one we did not tell her till just before appointment. psychiatrist allowed difficult child to bring pet to office. psychiatrist actually came out and sat in our car with difficult child and pet when we first arrived because difficult child refused to come in. After talking in car for a few minutes we did convince difficult child to go into office with pet. difficult child did have a very violent meltdown at home after the visit. We are now trialing abilify. You can see recent posts from me about struggles to get difficult child to take medications.... difficult child has not been back to see psychiatrist and that will take some planning and effort.

    I hope that sharing these experiences let you know that you are not alone and that you can you find something in this post that will help with your difficult child.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I vividly remember Tigger's first appointment with current psychiatrist (Tig was 7 or 8) and while I got him into the waiting room he refused to go into the doctor's office. The psychiatrist (huge man) walked out, looked at me and said he'd handle it. He reached under the chair where Tigger was hiding, flipped him over his shoulder and strode into his office. I scurried in after him and pulled my chair to block the door.

    Tigger was unable (not really unwilling just couldn't focus enough) to be tested for a long time.

    A parent report is very key. It will allow the npdoc to get a place to start.