consent to adhd screening? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-19-2011, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As soon as DH and I found out I was carrying a boy we knew this day would come. DS is now in K. His school called me today to ask me to come in and sign a form giving consent to have him screened for ADHD. The person I spoke to said it wasn't going to be a formal diagnostic process with a psychologist, just a "checklist." From what I've been reading online it seems they don't really diagnose ADHD before age 7 but in order to be diagnosed at that time symptoms must be present before then (for at least 6 months).

 

Now, DS is on an IEP and has been receiving speech and occupational therapy for 2 years. He does have issues, including some sensory issues. Up to this point his therapists and teachers have been unanimous--were unanimous at our last IEP review last spring--that they were not concerned about ADHD at all.

 

Now this.

 

Should I consent? I think it may be setting him up for a diagnosis--a false one--when his issues are such as can mimic attention issues--he's wiggly because of sensory issues, for example.

 

I just think it's ridiculous and out of the blue because his kindergarten teacher at our conference last month expressed no concerns, was very happy with him.

 

Help.


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#2 of 12 Old 01-19-2011, 04:43 PM
 
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I'd want to understand what changed for them. It does seem strange as his teacher did not express any concerns just a few weeks ago. Perhaps the school did some grade testing that was not administered by his teacher and that person thought there is an issue?

 

That said, ds' school essentially told us that they did not consider ADHD before 2nd or 3rd grade and our family therapist kept putting us off of it too. For us that was a huge mistake and in K ds had a discipline folder thicker than most high schoolers. We finally had an OT evaluation and an evaluation by a psychiatrist (both private) just before first grade. Ds does have a few sensory issues but also has ADHD.

 

Also, there are several forms of ADD, not just hyperactive.


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#3 of 12 Old 01-19-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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I think you should call a meeting with the teacher, anyone involved with his IEP, and whoever would be doing the evaluation before signing anything. Do you have any diagnosis for sensory issues? I know we all hate to label kids, but if a correct diagnosis (whatever it may be) comes out of all this, the school will be better equipped to formally provide any needed support.

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#4 of 12 Old 01-20-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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It seems like a psychologist or pediatrician would have to diagnose....maybe they were talking about the Connor's scale that the teacher and parents fill out??


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#5 of 12 Old 01-20-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by columbusmomma View Post

It seems like a psychologist or pediatrician would have to diagnose....maybe they were talking about the Connor's scale that the teacher and parents fill out??



Yes, ADD/ADHD is a medical dx and has to be done by a Dr. The schools usually use the Conner for two reasons

 

 

1. to help rule out ADD/ADHD when doing other evaluations (it will prove that further looking in to ADD/ADHD is not needed)- mostly to cover themselves and proof that x concerns were not likely due to ADD/ADHD

 

2. To provide a springboard for families/schools to communicate w/ Dr. about ADD/ADHD concerns.

 

Our school even used it to help form a support group/class for our social worker. Kids that scored x on Conner's were in a social skills class with/wo a formal ADD/ADHD dx. It was a way to help w/ funding grant for the social worker.

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#6 of 12 Old 01-20-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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 My daughter's school when the school evaluated her, me and the teachers filled out the DBRS ( Disruptive Behavior Rating Scale) for seeing if she met the cut off for ADHD. 

 

When a Dr making the diagnosis. they mainly just ask you questions, ask the child questions. and review any evaluations that were done like if the school evaluated your child.

 


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#7 of 12 Old 01-21-2011, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, all, I've calmed down a little. Yes, it's just going to be a checklist for now. With his issues I guess it makes sense to rule out everything or make sure they're doing what they can to meet his needs. Really I've been pleased with the special ed services and the attitude of everyone--they all like DS and act like they like him--as opposed to acting like he's a "problem" which is my biggest fear. Though I have spent some time this morning looking at the websites of some private boys' schools nearby. I have a theory that boys just aren't nurtured, if that's the right word, in a traditional school environment... anyway I signed the form, they will do the evaluation (that and also re-assessing his OT and ST needs) within a month, we'll get the results, and have his IEP review in March.


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#8 of 12 Old 01-21-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Qestia View Post

thanks, all, I've calmed down a little. Yes, it's just going to be a checklist for now. With his issues I guess it makes sense to rule out everything or make sure they're doing what they can to meet his needs. Really I've been pleased with the special ed services and the attitude of everyone--they all like DS and act like they like him--as opposed to acting like he's a "problem" which is my biggest fear. Though I have spent some time this morning looking at the websites of some private boys' schools nearby. I have a theory that boys just aren't nurtured, if that's the right word, in a traditional school environment... anyway I signed the form, they will do the evaluation (that and also re-assessing his OT and ST needs) within a month, we'll get the results, and have his IEP review in March.



Eh, I've seen people post about problems in various school environments. I'm not saying don't investigate to find the best situation for your ds, but if the school is proactive/caring/helpful I'd be reluctant to leave unless you know the new location is better. Last year ds was at a school (well funded district) where he was looked at as the "problem" (suspended twice and ISS five times) -- and they did not meet their obligations under Child Find (I know now)-- and it was awful, awful, awful. His new school (charter/70+% free lunch eligible) is much, much better--the principle actually thanked me for being such an involved parent after ds had a really difficult week.


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#9 of 12 Old 01-21-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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The ratings scales typically have a piece for the school to fill out, as well as a piece for parents to fill out.  Those pieces are taken together and scored, which is necessary to determine if behavior is consistent at home and at school, etc.  More than one teacher can fill out a ratings scale, as well, which helps look for consistent issues.  It's really helpful for a clinician (pedi, psychologist, etc.) to have as much data as possible.  A clinician, BTW, is the only person who should be dx. ADHD, and my guess is that kindy is young for a formal dx., even if characteristics are there,

 

If I were in your shoes, I would be asking the school what they hope to gain with this information?  I think it's important with any testing to be aware of some broad endpoint goals.  What will this information be used for in a practical sense?  What will change for your ds in his day to day school experience?  If your son already has an IEP, is the school looking to add accommodations for this year, or is this a process of beginning to look at what might be needed for first grade?  Is there something that the school is looking to give/do for your son that isn't being done now?  These are the questions I would be asking because a ratings scale in and of itself is not that useful.

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#10 of 12 Old 01-21-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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The Connor's was useful in my DS' diagnosis. He first had it in kindergarten. It was good info to review and I kept it in the back of my head. However I thought DS was too young for a diagnosis. He was diagnosed in 1st grade by his psychologist. We tried many things at school. We tried medication in 2nd grade and it has been a lifesaver for us!  He is lucky that his school and teachers have been very accomodating!


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#11 of 12 Old 01-24-2011, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the feedback. We'll see what happens. I have a further question--which I will bring to them when it comes up. How do they separate ADHD symptoms from all the sensory stuff? He has so many sensory issues and I suspect many of the behaviors that led them to want to do the add checklist overlap with sensory issues--he can be very sensory-seeking. And he has trouble functioning in loud environments (such as a crowded classroom). Anyone have experience with that?


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#12 of 12 Old 01-24-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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I found this interesting article.

ADDitude: Understand the Difference Between Sensory Processing Problems and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD ADHD) in children

 

 

Quote:
By the time Elisabeth was 7 years old, it was clear that SPD could not account for all of her learning and attention problems, and she was diagnosed with ADHD. She now takes medication and receives behavior modification strategies at her school, along with occupational therapy. But the two conditions need to be differentiated, because, again, ADD/ADHD medication and behavior modification will not fix SPD, even if the conditions coexist.70wds

 


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