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Old 02-13-2014, 10:44 AM   #21
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Re: How do I get someone to listen and see it

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Totally unrelated to the OP, but that article gave me chills. I would have flipped out if my DS had talked to me lucidly during one of his tantrums.
It is really disturbing, especially the part about the little girl who was able to manipulate the other boys in the class, even at such a young age.

My friend and I have a theory that personality disorders are being chronically misdiagnosed as mental or neurological disorders (I'm counting autism as a neuro disorder), and that it's really doing a disservice to people who could otherwise be learning coping techniques.

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Old 02-13-2014, 12:23 PM   #22
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Re: How do I get someone to listen and see it

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That article is really disturbing. I suppose we never like to think about the fact that many psychopaths have loving families.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:35 PM   #23
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Re: How do I get someone to listen and see it

A psychologist or psychiatrist should be able to give you and a couple other adults/teachers some checklists that will help with a diagnosis. (it's a tool they use, not really just a checklist but it looks like a fill-in-the-bubble with questions where you fill in bubbles with "sometimes" "always" "never" "frequently" or whatever about various things like "Child shows empathy")
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:05 PM   #24
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Re: How do I get someone to listen and see it

You just keep looking until you find the right doctor. My son was diagnosed with ADHD and odd when he was 6. Nobody would listen to me when I said that wasn't it, that they were missing something. My mom recommended a therapist, who in turn recommended a neurologist. That changed everything. She listened to me, she listen to DS. You should have seen the look of relief on his face when he was diagnosed aspergers, anxiety, and ADHD. It was huge. Just keep on looking, and keep on yelling for your child.

BTW, aspergers isn't a diagnosis anymore, but autism spectrum disorder is. It's where my son falls now.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:32 PM   #25
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You could find a private psychologist (NOT counselor, different degree/training). You could ask for a screening such as a Social Communication Questionnaire and detailed history. They could do an evaluation that could involve cognitive testing, parent rating scales of adaptive behavior and social emotional function, projective measures such as having him draw people, and maybe an ADOS (which is technically for Autism but involves quite a few interactions structured to bring out the "off" behavior).

As a professional if a parent is that concerned, I would pursue it. That way everyone knows.
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:25 PM   #26
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Re: How do I get someone to listen and see it

Thank you everyone! I really appreciate your insight, ideas and encouragement. I'm glad I posted even though I was a bit nervous about it.

I know it can take time for the current counselor to see it. So, I will give her time. But, I am going to make notes like someone mentioned and I will give them to her each week. And, I'm going to push. I'm going to mention to her at his next visit that I don't think she has seen the underlying issue. I believe he has anxiety, but there is something else too. I'm going to push her to see it and make sure I let her know I don't think it ends with anxiety.

Thanks!

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I don't know if this is where you're going with his behavior, and I hope this story doesn't offend or hurt you--not my intention! But I found this article really fascinating and enlightening, so I post it now and then in threads where moms feel something is off and it isn't necessarily medical. Most child development experts seem happy to talk about special needs, autism, sensory issues, etc, but refuse to discuss personality issues that we know darn well exist in adults (and almost certainly exist in kids since personality is rather unchanging). Sometimes kids are off, and it isn't anyone's fault.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/ma...anted=all&_r=0

You didn't offend me. That is scary. But, it really doesn't sound like my son. He has very strong emotions and gets very upset when he hurts someone. He can't turn it on and off like that. He isn't manipulative. I'm not one to be in denial. That just seems very different from my son.

Thanks though!

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We have an adult cousin who is exactly like what you describe, OP. You don't actually see an issue with him unless you start interacting with him and then you notice that something isn't exactly right. I'm very perceptive and it took me a year and only when he was actually in my house that I realized he wasn't 100%. I brought up my discomfort to an aunt (he was kind of being weird and unfriendly to my family in my house) and she explained that in retrospect it's pretty clear he has Aspergers.
This is my son. Very few people see anything at all because they aren't with him long enough. But when they do spend enough time with him, they will notice he is different. They assume he is just a higher needs child or has a bit of middle child syndrome type thing. It is more than that though.

The only person who truly sees it other than me and my husband is my mom. She is around a lot. She sees it.

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You could find a private psychologist (NOT counselor, different degree/training). You could ask for a screening such as a Social Communication Questionnaire and detailed history. They could do an evaluation that could involve cognitive testing, parent rating scales of adaptive behavior and social emotional function, projective measures such as having him draw people, and maybe an ADOS (which is technically for Autism but involves quite a few interactions structured to bring out the "off" behavior).

As a professional if a parent is that concerned, I would pursue it. That way everyone knows.
The bolded is exactly right. I feel like if the parent feels strongly the professional should be willing to pursue it. If I am wrong, great! I hope I am wrong. Then they can say "I told you so" and I can feel better knowing we made sure he doesn't need anything else.

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You just keep looking until you find the right doctor. My son was diagnosed with ADHD and odd when he was 6. Nobody would listen to me when I said that wasn't it, that they were missing something. My mom recommended a therapist, who in turn recommended a neurologist. That changed everything. She listened to me, she listen to DS. You should have seen the look of relief on his face when he was diagnosed aspergers, anxiety, and ADHD. It was huge. Just keep on looking, and keep on yelling for your child.

BTW, aspergers isn't a diagnosis anymore, but autism spectrum disorder is. It's where my son falls now.
Thank you. I love what you said about yelling for your child. I come across much more confident online, but I'm really not good at pushing. Reading this thread and posts like yours is giving me the encouragement and strength to really push and pursue and not take no for an answer.

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I am so sorry you aren't being taken seriously. If you haven't already, look for a counselor or therapist that specializes in autism and other spectrum disorders (since that is what you are concerned may be the problem). Also, behavior diagnosis takes longer than one session. You need to plan and expect multiple sessions (and if possible at least one of the sessions should take place in your home). Start a list/journal and write down all occurrences (dates and times) so you come armed with valuable information. Also, rate the severity (for instance this time when he scratched himself he was at an 8 compared to last time it was a 6). Try to write down where it took place (at home or at the store) and who else was involved (siblings that were present, you, your husband, etc). Don't worry about the journal being all neat and perfect (you can always type it up later before your appointment) just focus on writing down as much info as you can. Keep it short and factual. "Son became agitated because of "x" and scratched himself on his chest and neck. This lasted for about 60 seconds. Son then went and did "x". This incident was a 5. Me, sibling, friend present. date and time.

Doing this will take out that "mother's intuition, something is wrong" that you are getting the run around about. Instead you will approach the doctor/counselor/therapist with concrete evidence regarding your sons behavior.

As others have mentioned, a nanny cam set up would also be helpful (but if that is a no go, just do the above).

Keep fighting for your son, and keep looking for answers. It may be an anxiety problem (like the counselor thought) or it might be a sensory problem. Right now, the diagnosis doesn't matter, it is getting someone to take you seriously and really listen. I know you say it is hard to explain, so the journal is going to help you explain it. Even if it is just your son acting "off" write that down. "Son acted off when came home from park. He ceased eye contact and ignored others when spoken to. This lasted 30 minutes. Me, siblings present. date time. Rating is a 7.
Thank you very much for this! I actually started this before you even posted it. The advice about just the facts is good. I can't write down everything because I have 6 kids and can't just stop at every little thing. But, I'm going to try to write down as much as I can.

I'm planning to give it to his counselor each week.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:39 PM   #27
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Also wanted to mention sometimes social/emotional issues (like anxiety) can result in extreme or "off" behavior because a child doesn't have any productive coping strategies. Its called externalizing behaviors, acting out because we can't control or cope with our thoughts and feelings, and its not always directly related. A severely depressed child could look defiant and aggressive, for example. Just a thought. Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:58 PM   #28
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Re: How do I get someone to listen and see it

I want to tell you that I think it is fantastic that you are not willing to accept their brush off. You know better than anyone how your son behaves and what he needs I can't remember if you have ever mentioned where you live, is there a large pediatric hospital near you? Most if not all peds hospitals have a center for development. IMO you would be well served by having a comprehensive neuro-psych evaluation. The clinicians will rely heavily on your input, you will be asked to fill out extensive questionnaires. The evaluation will be done over a number of long sessions. I believe this would help get a clearer picture.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:38 PM   #29
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Re: How do I get someone to listen and see it

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I want to tell you that I think it is fantastic that you are not willing to accept their brush off. You know better than anyone how your son behaves and what he needs I can't remember if you have ever mentioned where you live, is there a large pediatric hospital near you? Most if not all peds hospitals have a center for development. IMO you would be well served by having a comprehensive neuro-psych evaluation. The clinicians will rely heavily on your input, you will be asked to fill out extensive questionnaires. The evaluation will be done over a number of long sessions. I believe this would help get a clearer picture.
Thank you! We don't live in MD, but we live near MD. Where we live, there are no children's hospitals close, but we live close enough to more than one. I know there is one in DC anyway and I think there is one closer. I'm about 1.5hrs from DC where I am now. I grew up closer.

I will definitely keep that in mind. I think for now I'm going to try to give this counselor a try. She has only seen him once. So, I feel like she should be given a chance before I just blow her off. Maybe she is right and all he suffers from is anxiety and she will help him and things will be wonderful. I don't think so though. That said, I really don't want to wait too long. I'll go around her if I need to. My son is too important to me to let it go.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:46 PM   #30
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Re: How do I get someone to listen and see it

Miranda was diagnosed until the summer after kindergarten, and the reasoning for that was the teacher (who also has a son with aspergers) saw it.

I knew something was off for YEARS since she was around 12m-2yrs, and several different doctors, and psychologists said, "oh she's just high needs, or you need to read this book about high needs kids and learn to parent her" they were all great at making me feel like something was wrong with me.

I will be forever grateful for Miranda's Kindergarten teacher, who went above and beyond what she should of to tell me she saw something up with her and to help me get the answers we needed.

You just gotta keep hunting until you find someone who does see the problems. get ahold of a child psychologist (or your kids doctor, whichever way you have to go about it) and request a autism screening.

Good luck. It can be a tough road for sure.
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