What type of professional did you have the best luck with for your child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm really curious.
    My son had been mishandled and misdiagnosed and wrongly medicated for years by a highly recommended Psychiatrist. He also had several Psychologists who read him wrong. One even said he had fetal alcohol syndrome (he doesn't) and that "there is nothing we can do for THEEEESE kids." He said it right in front of my non-verbal four year old son (who could nonetheless understand everything). His school district was a wash. They said he had "learning disabilities" but that he had "outgrown them" by kindergarden.
    Our saving grace, as many here know, was our neuropsychologist. The dear man got every record my son had. He read them. He gave me a hundred questionnaires to fill out. He tested my son on every level, observed him, talked to him, talked to me and hub, and spent TEN HOURS with this child. His diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified is probably correct! Since then my son, now off medications, has done NOTHING but IMPROVE to the point where he is no longer a behavior problem.

    I love Neuropsyschs. I think they test the kids at a much higher level than anyone else and spend a lot more time with the kids and don't jump to snap diagnoses.

    Who is the professional that you believe helped your child the most?
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is a tough question. difficult child's psychiatrist has been absolutely amazing. His neuropsychologist. also was great and gave us lots of insight. In addition, the therapist he has now is very good too. I think for us it is truly a team effort with all of the docs.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's great, MM.

    I really like our child psychiatric but I want him to be more aggressive.

    I was not thrilled with-the guy who administered the neurofeedback.

    difficult child's old pediatrician was not good; too blah, not at all curious. I am relieved he retired and we have a new one.

    The psychiatric who did the psychoeducational testing was fairly interesting simply because he explained the test results. But we didn't click and I didn't like the fact that he worked for a tutoring biz and it was a way for them to shepherd in clients.

    The neuropsychologist simply told me difficult child was ADHD and not an Aspie. Referred us to testing for a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), which came out neg. Dead end. Didn't offer any ideas.

    So I wish I could answer your question. I guess I'd have to give it to our regular child psychiatric simply for stamina. :)
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    An MDE was the most beneficial in our case. If I had to pick the most beneficial single professional in difficult child's life, it would be psychiatrist. Although, he alone is not sufficient, unless I could find a psychiatrist that did counselling.

    Personally, I think there are two things that play into this- one is that the "right" professional has a lot to do with the problem that the difficult child has and the second is that is has a lot to do with the repoirte you have with that preofessional.

    Neuropsychological testing was EXTREMELY beneficial for difficult child. It ruled out a lot, helped with school issues, and revealed specificly how his issues were effecting him and his ability to function. But, the nueropsych did not diagnosis difficult child (even though she wrote diagnosis in the report) because she said difficult child's issues were more for the psychiatrist to diagnosis in this case (she worked in the office that 2 psychiatrists own so maybe she defers to them when it is a mood disorder/psychiatric issue). I didn't particularly like this neuropsychologist personality-wise anyway- I found her arrogant and condescending and was not happy that she apparently did not believe me when I told her that difficult child had not always exhibited these problems, so I don't really think she took that into consideration. Which is no problem if she is only reporting test results, but I would have found it problemmatic if she were diagnosis'ing him.

    The MDE, on the other hand, was so beneficial because just like some tests serve to rule-out possible diagnosis's if the difficult child scores "normal", the different professionals involved can collabratively look at history, previous medications, test results, and consider possible diagnosis's from their perspective angles. For instance, difficult child's slowness to answer questions was once seen as refusal to answer (defiance) by a psychiatric, a possible learning disability by an Ed Spec, and cognitive dulling resulting from medications by psychiatrist. Neurospych testing revealed no true learning disability but showed slowness in processing certain things on the day of testing. Since I knew that difficult child did not always have this problem, but that it had gotten worse since taking depakote, we could collaboratively conclude that this was either a part of BiPolar (BP) or being nervous or side effects from medications.

    It sounds very simple, but I shudder to think what direction we'd be going in if only a psychiatric had evaluated him or if only the school would have evaluated him. Even if only the psychiatrist had evaluated him, I would have a doubt in my mind if we had missed something and if something else was going on.

    I assume a social worker would have concluded that difficult child had been taught by me not to answer questions. LOL!

    Sorry- that was probably a lot more than you were asking for!
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    Still looking for them! :)
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree that it's best to have a team of professionals! However, in the case of my son, we couldn't get any professional brave enough to question the psychiatrist. Even when I said, "My son isn't moody" and "my son doesn't rage" we were still told "Well, not all bipolar kids rage and he's not moody because of his medication." Every single professional said "Autistic-like traits" but not one would give him that diagnosis nor suggest removing the drugs. The only one who really got to the nitty-gritty was the neuropsychologist, and every suggestion he gave us WORKED. He was also courageous enough to say, "There are no blood tests so we NEVER know for sure. I worked at Mayo Clinic for ten years and they make mistakes all the time, even there. To the best of my testing ability, he appears to be a solid case of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. I do not see any bipolar, but you can discuss that further with your Psychiatrist."
    Not one other professional admitted that they may not know. But this guy hit the nail on the head. My son went straight up after seeing him, getting the right type of interventions, and going OFF the medications, which were cognitively dulling him. He has still not raged or been moody for four years, telling me that the others indeed misdiagnosed him. It is scary, really. These medications are not small potatoes.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It sounds like your nuerosych had the right "bed-side" manner and treated you with respect enough to level with you, on top of being well-trained/highly qualified. I wish difficult child's neuropsychologist had that personality!! difficult child's psychiatrist does, however. Although, I didn't find it quite as comforting when he gave me the talk about there not being any blood tests to check and sometimes he makes mistakes, at the same time he was writing scripts for mood stabilizers!

    And the attitude of ignoring you when you are telling someone that your child does not have those symptoms- that drives me nuts when people do that. Obviously, it is because they have their mind made up and just want to force the kid into their mold.
  8. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I loved difficult child 2's psychiatrist. He did therapy also. He always ran late because once you were in there, he would take the time needed. When difficult child 2 started going downhill, he called me every day on his way home to see how she was doing. If I ever need a psychiatrist again, I would go to him.

    He did not actually solve/diagnosis her real problem. For both of my kids, I figured it out myself by researching online until something felt right. It turned out it was physical symptoms rather than their mental issues that were the key. Then I found the professionals needed who would treat what I thought was the problem. difficult child 1 doesn't need a professional any more and difficult child 2 has a physician specializing in Lyme Disease. Her mental issues are much better under his care. She still has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but her anxiety and raging are gone, without psychiatric medications. She did all of the SSRI's before and couldn't tolerate the side effects.
  9. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    An LMHC. From the beginning, he believed there was something more going on with difficult child, that it wasn't due to husband and/or me, and he kept pushing to try and find answers. When the psychiatrist gave difficult child his first diagnosis (ADD/ODD), the LMHC thought there was something more, and he didn't quit trying to get to the bottom of it. The school psychologist was also very good at understanding difficult child (and difficult child never gave any of them much to go on. He was pretty much silent during all interactions with professionals). The psychiatrist was good but had to be kind of pointed in the right direction. Then we had two Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)'s that were totally worthless, in my humble opinion, and made our ordeal way more difficult.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    What is an LMHC? Never mind- I found it!
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If I had to pick only one, for sure it would be my pediatrician who listened to my concerns the very first time I brought them to his attention, and every single time afterwards.

    Second would be the developmental pediatrician who recognized right off what realm the issues fell into and helped us get up and going with school and services.

    Beyond that we've been helped by teachers as well as private and school occupational therapists, and speech pathologists. And worth mentioning are peers and peer friends. ALL have played very important roles.
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    We have had the best luck with difficult child's latest psychiatrist.
    He is a forensic psychiatrist who specializes in Asperger's/Autism and complex diagnoses. His expertise (and his chief interest) is in the kids with multiple diagnoses, who have stumped other diagnosticians.

    During the first meeting with difficult child, we knew we'd found the right fit for us.

    Other psychiatrists and tdocs had some insight, but this is the first one who's truly made a difference. The heartbreak is that it took 18 years to find him.
  13. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Good question.

    Due to her ALL diagnoses, she has been tested by so many professionals when I think back on it, it's overwhelming.

    I will just list the best and the worst.


    Her psychiatrist through a children's therapy center (actually they call it a place for "abused" children because that's what gets the wealthy to donate $$$ to it. It always made me bristle because they did so much more than that). He worked with her therapist for correct diagnoses and to get her on the right medication. It helped immensely, if only for a year, or so. At least, I knew there was some hope. He was very pro-parent with me and was also aware of his limitations as a psychiatrist. In other words, there came a time when he was honest and said, "You know, Daughter may benefit from seeing another psychiatrist with more in an expertise in medication combos than I". Then between he and the therapist, gave me a list of psychiatrists that were known to be very good with prescribing medications in combination.

    Therapist: Also through the children's center. I was so wrung out and very defensive that I was going to be labeled a "bad" parent that I was very aggressive and would jump on any comment she made about my parenting skills. She handled it with tact and compassion. Daughter, through it was a rough road, formed a relationship with her.


    Neurologist. I know I say find a Neuorpsych through a university teaching hospital pediatric neurology department. I did for daughter, and it was not good (I hadn't found this site, yet). She, in short, dismissed all of my concerns regarding behavior, meltdowns, and some of the outrageous stuff Daughter did with, "Oh, she's just a little sensitive". Yeah, just a little, sheesh! How she said it still irks me, in a little sing-song voice. Grrrr. Anyway, she prescribed Straterra (good ole ADHD diagnoses) and of course, nothing changed.

    For Son:


    neuropsychologist recommended by university teaching hospital pediatric neurology department. Yes, same one I took daughter to. However, different MD, and I WAS DIFFERENT. 1. I was more experienced. 2. I found this website. I knew exactly what I wanted and needed. I spoke with authority with the Neurologist. Anyway, the neuropsychologist, is a mother of five children, including a difficult child. She knew my pain. She was so compassionate and understood how grueling the testing process was going to be for Son. She was determined to do a thorough job and try and gain some insight into Son.


    Therapist through children's center. Different one than Daughter had. This woman was adamant that Son was an Aspie. Yes, he had a few aspie-like behaviors, but none of the hallmarks. Therapist had a lot of autism knowledge because her autistic brother. We would have these debates back and forth. It was also clear therapy for Son was a disaster. He needed help with life skills, not talk therapy. I discontinued therapy for him. A couple of years later, neuropsychologist testing. The tests confirmed no AS.

    I'm going to give the following professionals a "neutral"-both good and bad.

    Current psychiatrist for Son: Nice guy and he listens to me. Suggested IQ testing on son. Son scores in the mid 70s. Borderline. I don't believe it and question the results. Son keeps up with peers academically, for the most part. What's up? We debate, but he never condescends to me. We try various medications for rages and irritability. This psychiatrist prescribes risperdal and, for the first time, we can do a few typical family things without him deteriorating into an out of control disaster. Currently, he's simply my scrip writer for the risperdal. He also helped daughter in the beginning with her moods and meltdowns before we went to the children's center.

    School District: In the beginning, school kept denying son needed anything beyond what a typical student would get education-wise. Once I got the neuropsychologist results (confirmed mid 70's IQ that I got years before), I wanted him to have comprehensive (as much as one can get through a SD) psycho-educational testing. Of course, by then, I was a seasoned veteran of this difficult child world. I knew who to go to, what to do, and how to do it. I literally handed the request (along with bringing a witness) to the school psychiatric when he came to the school site I work at. He was actually very nice and helpful. Even so much as asking for the tests that neuropsychologist did because he didn't want to give duplicate tests (very important) that might affect the integrity of the results. The result of this was Son getting a 504 plan. However, when he moved onto middle school, and away from me, it was very important that I set up a meeting with all his core academic teachers, and school counselor, to inform them of his 504 plan and my expectations.

    What I have learned on the very rough, sometimes enlightening, and many times frustrating journey with my kids this that I have to lead the way. Not the professionals. I have to be up on my game. My kids are only one of many clients, patients, or students to them. My children will, and have been, like nomads- they come through, perhaps put up a tent, and depending on the resources available, will eventually move on. Sometimes, it's a brief visit, other times, they stay awhile. Yet, it is inevitable they will move on, and the professionals to will move on to new clients, patients, and students. Yet, I make it very clear to all professionals that my children, and I, will have to forever live with the decisions and treatments made by, and with them. So, don't be dissin' mom because she's got game and she'll bring out the:sword:!
  14. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    For us it has only been 2 years but we have been through a lot!
    I guess I would list them as best because they were the ones that tried, although we are still searching for the right "team".

    pediatrician- their office was the first to take us seriously. They continued to help until we just moved.

    Nuero-psychiatric- He was the first one to identify our whole family history and link it all together. He put down all of his would be diagnosis and they have held up for 2+ years now. He spent around 10-12 hours with us and K. He painted an accurate picture of our possible future and was very helpful with what and where to go next.

    psychiatrist1- She was amazing! Lots here know who she is. She got us in under 2 weeks for a complete evaluation. (huge mood disorder clinic in Chicago). Personally answered her phone. Replied to e-mails the same day and worked with our pediatrician. We had to leave her due to the long distance and severity of K.

    therapist- she honestly tried to help us. She was mainly a support during the really tough times in the beginning. It was way over her head though.

    psychiatrist5- current psychiatrist. She is helpful and responsive. She seems to be on the ball and know what is going on.

    I think now for us, it is finding the rest of our team here in Tucson. We meet our new pediatrician next month. We are looking for a new therapist or some type of therapist that can help us with direction and also someone that can help K with her social skills.
    I agree it depends on the diagnosis and getting the right help once you have an accurate diagnosis. (easier said than done)...
    Nothing makes me madder than someone dismissing a parents concerns.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think we had the best help from several professionals.

    first, the psychiatrist in cinci. EVERYONE was telling me it was all in MY head. She spent an hour with us and told me she couldn't say for certain in that amt of time, but she would bet on Aspergers. Every other professional has come to that diagnosis after spending time ruling out other stuff - even ones we didn't tell about the early diagnosis. Her husband was a therapist who ran the most AMAZING social skills group. We were truly sorry to move and not have them on our team.

    Next came the developmental pediatrician who did the MDE as part of their intake. He has it done on EVERY child the practice sees. They were a great group and he, specifically, had great rapport with difficult child and I. He also pegged the distance in difficult child and husband's relationship and also validated my fears for Jessie at a time when my husband thought I was "overreacting" to sibling squabbles.

    The therapist we saw after we moved was a Godsend. She really helped me hold my family together, get each of the kids the help they needed, and not have a nervous breakdown. She was the first one to see through difficult child.

    The senior nurse on the psychiatric hospital unit difficult child was in. another one who saw through all his manipulations, justifications, and trickery. Said he was the most manipulative child they had seen in quite a number of years. Helped me keep him in when they wanted to release him after 4 weeks, and again after 6 weeks.

    The ED teacher and her assistant when we put difficult child back into school in 5th grade after homeschooling him. They understood how smart he is. They worked to challenge him AND to teach him coping skills. She truly understood, as did her assistant. They gave me HOPE, which probably was more valuable than anything else I ahve ever been given.