Psych Appointment Today

Canada
January 22, 2008 6:00am CST
My daughter had her school observation yesterday. One to determine whether or not she is ADHD. Let me just start by saying that I'm not impressed. The worker only stayed an hour and a half during the morning. The teacher and I were under the impression she was going to be observing for the full day. So what did she get to see? What she wanted - My daughter unable to start her work because she claims she doesn't understand and wants the teacher's full attention. What she didn't see in the afternoon was the meltdown I wanted to her witness. The aggression towards the teacher, the screaming her lungs out in the hall. The teacher broke her wrist back in December and is still wearing a cast. My daughter, by her own admission, purposely hit that very same arm to hurt her teacher during her meltdown. This is the behaviour I wanted them to see but they missed it. Today is the appointment where I will discover her results. I fear she will diagnose ADHD on such a short observation. I know she will strongly suggest I put my daughter on medication again. Since we are having such a hard time with her right now, I'm going to go for it. My question is... What are my questions? What should I be concerned about? not so concerned about? I hear a lot about side effects however they can't be half as bad as what we go through on a daily basis. I know she suggested Ritalin in the past. I want something that will deal with her moods and meltdowns, her aggression and hate. Is there something else I can suggest? I'm going to research Ritalin and Concerta this morning. What else should I look into? Thanks to everyone in advance for your input on this one. You don't know how much it means to me!
5 people like this
12 responses
@sid556 (30999)
• United States
22 Jan 08
ADHD is the most common thing diagnosed in school kids. If I were you, I would get a 2nd opinion and maybe from someone outside of the school system. Your daughters behavior could be something other than ADHD such as bipolar. If you opt to put her on meds, you want the right ones for her problem or you could be doing her more harm than good. I would not trust an hour's worth of observation in one setting.
2 people like this
• Canada
24 Jan 08
The funny thing is, the school system doesn't believe my daughter has adhd... only the psych does. Everyone has filled out reports and none of us believe it's adhd. I've come to the conclusion that I can only agree to the meds in order to prove I'm right in the end.
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
22 Jan 08
Could she be bi-polar? Going from one extreme to the other reminds me of that. I wonder just how much information can be discovered in that short a time. Sounds like the worker was not paying attention. I know that there are somethings that are easy to see but some things need to be observed without the knowledge of the person being observed. People sometimes will be "good" when they know they are being watched. If think I would question the school about that.
2 people like this
• Canada
24 Jan 08
Bipolar along with ODD is what I've been trying to say all along but no one will listen to me. I don't feel anyone is paying any attention to this matter whatsoever and it's damaging my daughter more and more everyday.
• United States
24 Jan 08
First of all, do you think your daughter has adhd? ADHD is genetic. Do you or anyone else in your family have it? Have you looked into intermittent explosive disorder? Aggression isn't usually a side effect of adhd in girls. And I would ask for another observation. I would complain to their supervisor that you expect the psychologist to observe your daughter throughout the entire day to see the whole picture. Not just the trouble with school work. Have you considered home schooling? That would take away the competition for the teachers attention. I am just throwing things out there. Hope they help. I am also afraid that my daughter may have adhd. Her father was diagnosed with it and there is a 60% chance of her having it since a parent had it. But I am unsure of how he was diagnosed. You really have to have it diagnosed by a psychologist and not a regular doctor.
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Jan 08
No I don't believe my daughter has adhd. Bipolar is also genetic. Both my father and I are bipolar. No one is adhd (although I'm starting to consider I might have it now!!!) I have homeschooled my children. The problem now is that my income is the only income and homeschooling will take away from that. There is no way around it. Every year, I end up pulling my daughter out in March because of her behaviour. Once spring breaks arrives, we're all DONE and I opt out to homeschooling her. I'm determined that she's going to finish this year in school. Obviously if it's too hard on her, I won't force it. She just might be the kind of kid that can only handle so much schooling in a year!
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jan 08
Then I definitely wouldn't let them put her on ADHD medication. You need to get a good psychologist who will study your daughter and look more into her behavior. Did you look up intermittent explosive disorder? I work at a mental hospital. The people who have that just blow up for no reason and usually get violent.
1 person likes this
@carolbee (16233)
• United States
22 Jan 08
I do know medication will help control your daughter to some extent along with counseling. I am so sorry you're having to go through all this with your little girl. Our oldest daughter is a psychotherapist but I can't reach her today. She's in private practice and is busy until much later this evening or I'd talk to her about this situation. This same daughter has a boyfriend who has ADHD and he's fine when he's medicated. He has rational thoughts and his behavior is calmer. Without the medication he tends to have a wandering mind and is short of patience. Can you check with your daughter's doctor and see what he might suggest? Even though his specialty may not be psych meds., he still should be able to offer an opinion. Take care and have a good day, carolbee
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Jan 08
I have been trying to get a hold of him for 3 days now. We keep missing each other so I'm just going to make an appointment and cry my eyes out in his office. He's an awesome doc!
@carolbee (16233)
• United States
24 Jan 08
Sometimes that's just what you have to do. Make an appointment and go in even if it's without your daughter. Doctor's have a way of listening better when it involves payment. Maybe that's not nice to say but I found it to be true.
• Canada
24 Jan 08
I hope the appointment went well I think i will have the same types of questions when my 2 year old gets older. She seems to be doing better now that I have cut out the red juice. It is no good for her at all. But she had a rough night last night. She is sick and it makes it hard for her to breath. Hopefully tonight will be better. Did you get all your answers to your questions at your appointment?
• Canada
24 Jan 08
oh hun, stay tuned as I will have a lot more questions as things unfold... gather all the information you can and prepare yourself because if you have to go through half the bull I've had to go through, you'll want to be educated on it all and have a good defence! Hugs to your 2yo!
• China
23 Jan 08
I am sorry to hear that ,but i believe everything will go well
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Jan 08
Thank you for your response and welcome to mylot! I hope you enjoy this place as much as I do!
@lightningd (1041)
• United States
23 Jan 08
I don't know if what you are describing is ADHD or not. Her meltdowns sort of point me towards thinking she has more than ADHD going on. I would suggest you get your daughter to a psychiatrist and get some testing done to see if she has a chemical imbalance. While alot of what you describe is typical ADHD behavior, the voilent outbursts and intentional harming of others leads me to believe she needs more than just medication. She needs to learn how to deal with her agression. As far as medications, the only one I have had any experience with is Strattera, and we've had good luck with it and the only side effect was nausea after taking it, so we changed to taking it at nite, where he could sleep through the nausea. I hope this helps, and I hope you follow up with more in depth appointments with a psychiatrist to determine if there is more to the problem than just ADHD.
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Jan 08
My next appointment with the psych is next friday to discuss our options with my daughter. I also have an appointment with our family doc on tuesday so I can tell him how I feel about the whole issue. I'm hoping someone will listen to what I have to say!
• United States
22 Jan 08
I worked with children in a mental health facility for thirty years. You are not describing ADHD. How long can your child sit still? Can she attend to a task for thirty minutes? The aggression that you describe is not ADHD. Ritalin will help a child focus on her school work - that is what it was developed for. It has been mis-used in many ways by those who do not understand the disorder. In my experience Ritalin causes no problems when properly prescribed and monitored - but properly prescribed means an evaluation by a Board Certified Pediatric Psychiatrist. It should never be prescribed by a school doctor or a family physician. There must be follow up evaluations and continued monitoring of the child on medication with communication between the teacher, the school, the parent, and the doctor. There are many disorders that result in children's behavior such as you describe - often mis-diagnosed as ADHD. If the school tells you that your child has ADHD take your child to a pediatric psychiatrist and have your child properly evaluated. Perhaps the psychiatrist will agree that it is ADHD or perhaps will give a proper diagnosis. Attention seeking is not attention deficit. What about the afternoon causes your child to change behavior? Does this happen after lunch? What is she eatting for lunch? There are so many things that need to be considered.
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Jan 08
Thank you for your input! I really appreciate it! I also don't believe she is ADHD. She can sit still, she can attend to a task for longer than thirty minutes BUT only if she wants to. The only time she can't really sit still is when she's eating... she has to keep herself busy! But I'm the same way! I read or talk or craft or play on the computer... She's been diagnosed with adhd by a psychiatrist, not by the school (they don't agree with adhd either), nor a family physician (he didn't want her to have the diagnosis) Because my daughter also have pulmonary valve stenosis, I refused the Ritalin but the psych call the family doc and now my daughter is going through all sorts of cardiology testing to see if Ritalin would be safe for her. I've considered her diet to be the cause of her behaviour and up until today, nothing really made sense. However she had a really good day today - but didn't have breakfast (toast with jam) Could the jam be the culprit?? Something to experiment with!!
• United States
22 Jan 08
I am sorry that your daughter has or might have ADHD. What you should do is Ask God for help. He helps us with all of our problems. He will help you and your daughter get through this easier. He is never to busy to help someone.
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Jan 08
Thank you for the suggestion.
@AmbiePam (50943)
• United States
22 Jan 08
Wow, how scary. Putting a child on medication so early is usually frowned upon because the side effects are so unclear, and it often causes even more problems. Whatever medication she ends up on, she needs therapy with it. If they just put her on medication and say that is that, I strongly recommend to fight for the therapy. I'm probably not telling you something you don't know. I'm not talking out of my rear, I've been a young child who needed therapy. At that time, medicine would not have helped me. But cognitive behavior skills, coping mechanisms, and therapy would have been very beneficial. I am bipolar, but was never violent. However, I could have easily been but I kept it bottled up inside. I hope something works, I will be praying!
• Canada
24 Jan 08
I have been fighting for everything you just mentioned for the past 7 years. Only now, are *some* people listening. I'm very grateful I have the school on my side this time!
• Philippines
22 Jan 08
i suggest that you tune in to www.intimetv.com.there might be something there that can help u
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 Jan 08
Thank you for the link, i'll be looking into it right away.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 08
I don't think that the aggression, especially the yelling and the hitting of the teacher, are ADHD symptoms. Personally, I'd have her checked out for bipolar disorder. Going from one extreme to the other sounds like it, but I'm not a doctor nor have I played one on TV. Get a PET or a CAT scan before you start the meds. That scan will tell you whether the ADD or ADHD is there. Otherwise you're just blindly giving your child meds to calm her down.