I hope some of you experienced parents on this board can help me out. We have an appointment with a Psychiatrist regarding DS 3 YO. I had suspicions all along, while everyone else told me he is fine I finally pushed for him to be seen by a professional. Our Family practitioner agreed there are enough red flags to search further. She also warned us in terms of emotional turmoil that this could course. DS has always been distant, I had to be on the move when he was an infant he couldn't be still, extremely spirited, impossible to discipline, scary meltdowns, extreme shyness around strangers, difficulties with any change or routine, very inflexible in most situations, difficulties seeing a playmate or anyone needing space, incredible endurance physically, he equates sleep with poison....impossible bedtimes. But, his vocabulary is age appropriate, his problem solving skills like puzzles and such are above his age. He will very rarely make eye contact. I don't say never, but not often. Based all that I mentioned I pushed for a professional opinion. If I am told I am imagining all this , he is fine - great. If not and there is really something at least I tried to get him the tools to make it a bit easier for him.
What can I expect from a first visit, how should I prepare us? Thanks as always.
Hello and welcome to the special needs board. There are a lot of very nice moms here.
For a first visit, I wouldn't expect much clarity on what is going on with your little one. Things are seldom so clear cut as "you are imagining this' or "this is the diagnosis and the steps you need to follow in parenting." Often, the answers we get just led to more questions. And for some kids, their seems to be a thin grey line between being neuro-typical (NT) and having special needs.
After years of being in this world, I think the line comes down to how well a child is coping with the demands of our society placed on a person their age. My DD has had a long list of labels over the years, the main ones are Asperger's and Social Anxiety Disorder. But at some points in her development she seemed almost NT, and at other points she seemed far, far from NT.
Hopefully, one of the things you will get out of the first meeting is some ideas for what the next steps are -- if that is a full evaluation or a specific kind of therapy to start or whatever. But it most likely won't tell you everything you want to know, just the next step or two.
A book you might find helpful is "Quirky Kids" by Klass.
It talks about the various labels used for different kinds of quirky kids, talks about the kinds of specialist and therapies available, about general life (vacations and such) and quirky kids at different stages of life. It's an EXCELLENT book that feels a bit like a hug from a friend.
How to prepare:
- I made a bulletted list of my major concerns. I tried to keep it brief, but to get in the main points and have them organized.
- Organize information about milestones, issues during birth, etc. to the best of you ability.
- Enjoy your little one. It's easy to get caught up in the stuff and let it take over, and while you do have real things you need to do, still enjoy your child. Do things together you enjoy, take pictures. Don't wait until this is resolved to savor the moments with your baby.
but everything has pros and cons
We're slowly progressing on a similar path- we've gone through the Early Intervention and pediatrician stage, and are now waiting for our referral to see a neurologist (DH is calling to nag today, bc they are beyond sick of me, I think...) and Linda is right on.
I think making a concise list is the very best idea, with milestone notes. You'll be asked a lot of questions, your little buddy will be observed and interacted with. I hope no one has the audacity to tell you that you're loony, but, if nothing of concern is noted, you'll maybe feel a little better, *but* if they blow you off and you're unhappy with that, you may want to seek out a developmental pediatrician and/or a neurologist/neuropsych, and/or go through your school district for an evaluation.
Good luck, and welcome! I hope everything goes smoothly for you and your family.
Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.
Thank you both for the suggestions. That will help me tremendous to put my thoughts in order. I know probably it takes more than a visit to come to conclusions, but I like to be prepared somewhat. Again, Thanks.
I will check out the book, I am reading "The out of Synch Child" right now which I find helpful. I am downloading the book you suggested on the kindle right now and start reading tonight...
The evaluation causes emotional turmoil ? It is something you have to process but I found that the evaluations helped stop the emotional turmoil when concerns are validated and you have some idea of what action to take. If you can I'd also make an appointment with a place like this--an ordinary child psychiatrist won't have the expertise; ds' psychiatrist diagnosed him simply with ADHD/ODD and mild anxiety but it is more complex than that.
Ds did all of those things, though I'd say that he wouldn't maintain eye contact rather than not make it often, but we didn't start seeing anyone until mid-kindergarten. Ds' behavior issues tended to be blamed on us, or that he was "all boy," and that he was "too smart" for anything to be "wrong" with him. Ds is doing very well now, his biggest issues at present are social, though that has improved significantly--even since last year.
Even if your ds doesn't get a label (not unusual at that age), everything is not fine and I wouldn't be satisfied with that as an answer.
Yes, I hear that a lot. Same goes for the eye contact. If he makes eye contact at all it is rather brief. I am glad to hear I am not over reacting. By no means am I trying to label DS, however, if there is one, I want to know. If I know, I (hopefully) know how to help. I also like to know how to handle the incredible melt downs. I hope professionals can give us some ideas. He has a younger brother 14 months apart, so keeping an exact routine is almost impossible. Sometimes I fear his younger brother is taking the short end since he is way more flexible.
Our son is 26 months old and was diagnosed autism spectrum disorder earlier this month. most family are now seeing it and we have been in search of answers since middle of this year. Our son also has appropriate language, but he doesn't use it so much for functional communication or pragmatics (doesn't ask for things very often & does not initiate convo). he has waves of limited eye contact but mostly does not like eye contact at all unless with me. he also is great at puzzles, well above his age level. he is an engaging, fun kid who hardly lets himself rest, though he wears himself out so much during the day right now that most nights he will go to bed all right. our son is definitely one of "those kids who could have flown under the radar" for years and years. trust your gut and get your son evaluated-- it cannot hurt him or you! you're a good mommy for doing it.
Great advice from all the experienced momma's here. One thing that helped us the first go around of testing and evaluations (and there have been lots, as well as lots of amendments to diagnoses) was when bringing our lists of milestones and concerns, we also asked for similar lists from other caregivers. You may not have any, but if your son has any babysitter/grandma/preschool/sports involvement, if you can get the other adult's input (especially for group situations) it can help give your practitioner perspective. Try to use lots of specific examples when describing concerns. We found that helpful, too.
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!
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