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That wasn't particularly helpful

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Well, we finally (finally!) went to an evaluation appointment this morning for Crazypants.


I'm now sitting here a bit....miffed? confused?


So, here in England evaluations are first handled through the school who do a few months of observations, even for something like ADHD. Not going through the school caused some issues at first, and I may have sent a rather forceful email in response to their initial refusal to see him. But eventually they did set up the appointment, along with a stack of (somewhat redundant) behavioral questionnaires, which DH dutifully filled out and sent in.


At the appointment this morning it seemed that the evaluator hadn't seen the papers we sent. She kept asking why we were there. DH said on the way home that that's how psychologists work, they want to know what you say on the day matches what you wrote, and to hear how you explain things. I think this is quite confusing and inefficient, and as I am really bad at thinking on my feet I don't think I explained myself really well.


In the end, though, she offered that she thought he had Sensory Processing Disorder and Anxiety. She said he wasn't ASD, and that she couldn't say one way or the other about the ADHD. She said that maybe the anxiety was causing the mental confusion he exhibits, and that we needed to get that sorted out first before we could figure out whether he had ADHD.


She seemed to be a "tick all the boxes" sort of evaluator. We explained that he chewed through his clothes and had enormous issues with food textures, and she kept asking about whether he had issues with his clothes. He's only mildly concerned with tags or elastics, but she kept coming back to it. Like for him to be SPD he HAD to also have issues with his clothes. Also, it seemed to be that one of the reasons why she wasn't sure about ADHD was because we told her that, if we left CP to his own devices, he would play Minecraft or other computer games nonstop for hours and hours and hours, with only the briefest breaks for the bathroom or snacks. She seemed to suggest that since he could do that, he didn't have any problems focusing. Yeah, but to have only two modes of focusing, none at all or absolutely all-in, is unhealthy, isn't it?


On the anxiety issue, she suggested that it was a parenting problem, and a homeschooling problem. Not in those words exactly, but she said that it was something DH and I would have to work on with him and that he needed to go to school. She seemed to think that homeschooling was just coddling him, that it fed his desire to always be near us, instead of teaching him healthy separation. We told her about all the problems he had in Kindergarten which caused us to homeschool (see post #1 of me on this forum, lol), and also the frequent moves, and she wasn't much impressed by those reasons.


And when I brought up that he was advanced in math and science she thought that was fine, so if the social problems in school cause him to suffer academically a bit he won't fall behind at all.  :confused:


Ugh, I'm willing to see how I'm wrong here and change my ways. But really. I mean, when we first sat down Crazypants was willing to talk about himself (as much as he is able to put himself into words) but when it turned out she wasn't interested in what he said, he got bored and started bouncing around the room seeking stimulation from the spot lamp, the scales, all the puzzles and books, and walked down the hall to go to the bathroom on his own. But no, he doesn't have ADHD, just parent-induced anxiety from social isolation and school will magically fix it.  :rolleyes:


DH is very obedient to doctors, so now he is all like "We should have sent him to school! We need to send him to school!" In some ways the issue has already solved itself - we're about to move back to The Netherlands and he'll have to go to school there. If we stay there for a while (which may or may not happen, though DH is going to try to make us stay there a while, since the doctor said we should) he'd be going back to his small Dutch school with the teacher who initially talked to DH about getting an evaluation. So we could start the process (again) there and maybe get another (better?) evaluation done.


Sigh. This is all just so stressful.  :banghead:

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"She seemed to suggest that since he could do that, he didn't have any problems focusing."

I wasn't in the meeting, and just that tells me she is a blithering idiot.   There are two types of focus, Reactive and I forget the name of the other one bit it is a deliberate focus.   Babies are born with reactive focus.   Video games use reactive focus.  


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Yuck. I can't tell if she's just seeing everything through pre-conceived notions of homeschooling or just ill informed/ignorant of actual diagnostic signs of ADHD and SPD. Sounds like it's both.


Lots (most?) of ADHD people focus well on interests, and video games are often an area of hyperfocus in ADHD.


I'm a. sorry hubby is so apt to blindly trust authority figures and b. sorry you had to waste your time with her


I hope the Netherlands is much more helpful.

Edited by sbgrace
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It is a really icky feeling to come out of a meeting like that.  I am sooo glad our psych wasn't like that, because when I hit a pediatrician that was, it really threw me (and my kid) for a loop.  Try having a doctor tell your kid repeatedly that their anxiety is their parents' fault and that going to school will fix it (um, no thanks Dr. Didn't read the files we sent, a.k.a Dr. Doesn't know us from Adam and is giving us personal biases and general observations of kids without actually considering our particular case).


I don't know what you are dealing with or how it all affects how you need to approach things, but I empathize with the issue of needing a doctor who understands home learning.  Funny thing for you - our psych specifically told us to continue homeschooling (for an extended but indefinite period of time) because of who my child is and the damage that would likely occur in the system because of the challenges and strengths my child has, and then this pediatrician who didn't read the reports subsequently went on this "send the child to school" soliloquy.  



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It's the stories like all of these which keep me hesitating and hesitating about seeking professional help for my daughter.


The last thing our kids need is someone telling them they have something wrong with them.

And the last thing we need as parents is to have our confidence further eroded. Time and money are further, but lesser, considerations.


We need understanding, support, and practical strategies that suit our lifestyle choices and our unique children.

And really, the best place I've found for these is right here on these boards.

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