Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Erik's assessment

This is mostly copied and pasted from a reply to a thread on a parenting board, so my apologies to anyone who as already (mostly) read this...

We had the assessment this morning. The Dr was lovely, and basically interviewed us about our family and about Erik, including checking for any other issues that might impact on his behaviour (she didn't say as much, but having had counsellors as parents I was aware of what she was trying to find out)... At one point she did ask if anyone in either of mine or Dave's families had exhibited similar lack of impulse control and sensory overstimulation and despite saying I wouldn't tell, I did say Erik was a lot like me as a child, and I had been assessed as having ADD at age 18. She asked about how I was assessed, and seemed happy with my reply. I told her there was a big question mark over my assessment though because of my unusual brain structure (for those of you who don't know, about 1/3 of my brain is not there, as in is liquid instead of structured or some such thing, this doesn't seem to have affected my intellect, but have caused my low vision and possibly other side effects which might be diagnosed as short term memory losses, ADD, and epilepsy, depending on whom you ask - I am not on medication for any of these diagnoses because I'm not convinced that any of them are completely accurate)... She then asked if anyone else in my family had ADD or exhibited ADD like behaviour, and I told her that since my assessment, my mother and brother have both wondered if perhaps they do not also fit the criteria. Mum can also see ADD like behaviours in her father, who passed away 20 odd years ago...

We've now been given forms in duplicate to fill out (with his teacher or someone who knows him well at school getting the duplicate set). Those need to be returned by the end of next week, and then we have another appointment on the 17th of October.

She said it did seem he had all the hallmarks of ADD, but she also said there are a number of other issues he might be dealing with, eg. Auditory Processing Delay, or a Sensory intergration issue, and so they'll find out more through the questionnaire and other testing.

I voiced my concern about misdiagnosis and medicating etc. and she said that that is why they try to be as thorough as possible and treatment always starts with behavioural exercises before medications are considered.

She sents us home with several different sheets on ways to work with short attention spans, distractibility and so on, which was very reassuring as well.

Erik was in fine form, might I add. He started out quiet and fidgety as per usual in a new setting, and by the end of the hour he was getting into EVERYTHING in the office and having great trouble taking direction from either Dh or I.

One thing that REALLY made me happy though, was that the Dr said we're on the right track with how we interact with him, that it was obvious to her that we're loving and reasonable in our expectations, but also setting good boundaries for him. I know it really shouldn't matter what a stranger thinks, but WOW! I could have hugged her for saying those things because some days I feel completely useless as a parent and wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong!

1 comment:

loz said...

I have been wondering all day so glad to hear you had a good first visit and so far none of your concerns beforehand have come to fruitation! Good Luck filling out the questionaires and will be keeping fingers and toes crossed that it all works out to be an easy diagnoses..

Teenagers and the failing parent...