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Thread: The weirdness continues

  1. #1
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    Default The weirdness continues

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone can offer me some ideas on how to talk to my ds's psych doc. Ds (to me) comes across as very typical kid. And he is. It is so hard to explain what is going on, to anyone, I don't really know how. But there are these problems that continue, for years and years. He is on third psych doc. I can't tell if they are character issues or if they are illness related, or if it is relational, PTSD, or plain anxiety, or what. I sometimes think it is SPD. It is stressful. ds was hitting himself for not understanding his math again this week. I tell him to stop, rub his back or tell him he is not allowed to hit himself or others and then he stops but kind kind of implodes and acts completely guilty and feels worse. He cries and "implodes" if he can't get his schoolwork done early enough, or if there is a lot of it. But he also doesn't really want me to cut things. He freaks out if I have to help him. He hates being helped, or having things explained to him. He constantly calls himself a "mutton-head." If I bring it up in appointments it will embarrass him to the extreme and make him want to hurt himself, too. Doc is the best one we have found to date, but no dx, and wants to talk with ds in the room with me. He just kind of stopped the long evaluations after asking tons of questions, then said he just wants to meet alone with ds. But gave us no answers. I do trust this doc, he is decent. I don't understand how to help right now. The other behavior is constant saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" for every little thing, as if he is going to get yelled at or something. But we don't yell at him. We do tell him to stop the negative behavior. I am not always the queen of patience, but his reaction does not match the level or reprimand, if that makes sense. dd says that he makes her feel like she is just an awful and mean person- and she is not, she treats him normally, not always perfect, but pretty good. He gets so many bloody noses (his nose will just start to bleed when he gets very upset) This happens almost every day and they last forever.

    He is such a wonderful and nice boy. He is a great kid, funny smart, and cares so much about others. I want to find the real him, if that makes sense, but I don't know how to pull that out, and help him just be him. How can I get a proper evaluation, when he has been to so many doc, physical and psych over his young life and nobody ever says anything? I keep wondering if there is a way to tell whether or not I am making a mountain out of a molehill, and maybe everything with my son is fine, normal- it is just me that is imagining something wrong? I have kind of given up on trying to figure this out, and we are at present just kind of living with it.

    Any ideas or similar situations to compare to?
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria2 View Post
    Hello, I was wondering if anyone can offer me some ideas on how to talk to my ds's psych doc. Ds (to me) comes across as very typical kid. And he is. It is so hard to explain what is going on, to anyone, I don't really know how. But there are these problems that continue, for years and years. He is on third psych doc. I can't tell if they are character issues or if they are illness related, or if it is relational, PTSD, or plain anxiety, or what. I sometimes think it is SPD. It is stressful. ds was hitting himself for not understanding his math again this week. I tell him to stop, rub his back or tell him he is not allowed to hit himself or others and then he stops but kind kind of implodes and acts completely guilty and feels worse. He cries and "implodes" if he can't get his schoolwork done early enough, or if there is a lot of it. But he also doesn't really want me to cut things. He freaks out if I have to help him. He hates being helped, or having things explained to him. He constantly calls himself a "mutton-head." If I bring it up in appointments it will embarrass him to the extreme and make him want to hurt himself, too. Doc is the best one we have found to date, but no dx, and wants to talk with ds in the room with me. He just kind of stopped the long evaluations after asking tons of questions, then said he just wants to meet alone with ds. But gave us no answers. I do trust this doc, he is decent. I don't understand how to help right now. The other behavior is constant saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" for every little thing, as if he is going to get yelled at or something. But we don't yell at him. We do tell him to stop the negative behavior. I am not always the queen of patience, but his reaction does not match the level or reprimand, if that makes sense. dd says that he makes her feel like she is just an awful and mean person- and she is not, she treats him normally, not always perfect, but pretty good. He gets so many bloody noses (his nose will just start to bleed when he gets very upset) This happens almost every day and they last forever.

    He is such a wonderful and nice boy. He is a great kid, funny smart, and cares so much about others. I want to find the real him, if that makes sense, but I don't know how to pull that out, and help him just be him. How can I get a proper evaluation, when he has been to so many doc, physical and psych over his young life and nobody ever says anything? I keep wondering if there is a way to tell whether or not I am making a mountain out of a molehill, and maybe everything with my son is fine, normal- it is just me that is imagining something wrong? I have kind of given up on trying to figure this out, and we are at present just kind of living with it.

    Any ideas or similar situations to compare to?
    Today is mental health day on the forum, apparently. Two other threads are currently touching on this directly, with at least two more being affected indirectly. So your question is timely.

    I AM NOT A DOCTOR. But. This sounds like anxiety/depression. In particular, anxiety/depression exacerbated by the onset of puberty. Yes, I have seen this self-injurious behavior in my own son (head smacking, face scratching, face slapping, arm scratching, pulling his cheeks down hard so that his lower eyelids are exposed, throwing things, crying, “everyone hates me”, “I’m just going to die”, “I’m going to find a new family”, “poor me”, “why do I have to do ______?”). He’s basically been this way since he was about four years old, though the physical self harm is much less common now that he’s more verbal. (I’m so tired, Maria! LOL)

    But he’s also scratched and slapped his siblings. The deal breaker was when he stabbed my older daughter in the chest with a blunt pencil. Her crime? She finished her Math before he did. He’s in counseling now and we are looking at meds. His behavior has calmed down in the last two weeks but he’s still exhausting.

    Things that can bring on an attack:
    Great change (we just moved across the country)
    Instability (my husband has been on the east coast since the move)
    Hunger (he turns into an irrational beast)
    Sleep (he needs more than he thinks he does)
    Not knowing what’s happening next (I have a daily checklist on the fridge, very fancy — see attached)CB0550A8-EEFF-4C4F-B7B9-61107E2B7D0D.jpg
    Not enough exercise (he rides his bike multiple times per day, we began swimming recently several times weekly)
    Not enough responsibility (he needs confidence boosting and oversight of something he can own)
    Too much responsibility (he melts down)
    Hormones (gadzooks, I hope they cut me some slack)
    Perfectionism (he gets that honest, poor kid)

    Ask your son’s doctor. He’s 10, this is not a patient confidentiality thing. Your son is a minor. You are his mother. You need to be informed. Ask about possible medications. They can definitely, definitely help.

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/syc-20356007
    Depression symptoms in children and teens

    Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences.

    In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.
    In teens, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using recreational drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.
    Cut his schoolwork down. Cut his responsibilities down. Give him the gift of artistic expression, in his favored form. Make sure he gets exercise, fresh air, good nutrition, adequate sleep, vitamins (particularly B12, D3 and iron if he is a picky eater or an indoor kid) and lots of positive physical feedback. Sometimes a deep pressure hug is all my son needs.
    Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
    Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
    Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
    Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
    ~Pope St John Paul II

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Yep definitely sounds like depression/anxiety to me. I would think that meeting alone with the doctor would be a pretty normal thing with a psych doctor. The doctor will need to build a relationship with him to be able to assess and treat what is going on. The doctor should be filling you in completely though.

    My son does many of the things you and Anita have mentioned. Make a list of when you observe these things so you can give to your doctor. I would also request information about medication. Having personally experienced depression and anxiety, medication has been a lifesaver for me.
    Susan

    2017-2018
    A (10) - Barton reading and spelling, R&S math 3, SC 2
    C (8) - Foundation in Sounds/Barton, R&S math 2, SC 2
    G (4) - Simply Classical B

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Hi Maria,

    I’d agree with the consensus here to look into child/tween anxiety/depression. My son struggles with this too. It was particularly around ages 10-11-12 that we began to recognize it as anxiety. He already had an ASD diagnosis, but anxiety/depression is now, at age 14, most of his daily struggle.

    Don’t discount your observations. You’re not imagining that he’s struggling. At the very least, he has an extremely sensitive temperament that he needs help coping with and learning strategies to keep him from becoming more anxious and depressed.

    My son is older than yours, and I have yet to have a professional insist on meeting alone with him. Usually I meet alone with the professional, and then we three talk together—pediatrician, psychiatrist, counselor, favorite priest/confessor, alternative doctor—I always offer him the option of talking alone with them, but with the exception of the priest, he always wants me or my husband there. And we used to accompany him in that realm as well. Would your son like to meet alone with the doctor? I think it’s pretty hard for kids to articulate what’s bothering them. I’m there as interpreter; sometimes I explain what I think is going on and my son will say yes or no, and then feel more comfortable elaborating on what I’ve said rather than starting from scratch.

    Schoolwork has been a huge area of anxiety for my son. He also would get so upset when I cut or shortened assignments and would berate himself for being “behind” or would ask repeatedly, “well, when will I ever learn that if we cut it???” This is despite the fact that my husband is a classroom teacher and constantly reminds my son that he cuts things and doesn’t finish all the textbooks either. His anxiety was so paralyzing him that I wrote out a typical public school course of study so he could see how much he really is accomplishing in comparison.

    For us, naming the problem: “You are very anxious about doing your schoolwork well and keeping on grade level” has been very helpful. Or, “you believe you’re failing when you don’t complete an assignment in the lesson plans.” And then challenge the anxious beliefs and make sure I am not communicating any of my own anxiety or frustration about his need to slow down. I also am learning to set him up to succeed by giving him less to accomplish in the first place, and then adding if he’s finished early. We just had a baby this spring, and I cut his assignments way down because I haven’t been very available to help him. It’s nice to be able to say, you finished your work so quickly you can add in two subjects today, instead of the opposite. And my son is so scrupulously desiring to do a good job he doesn’t take advantage of having a short schedule.

    My son also gets discouraged by his sister’s academic achievements. She’s four years younger and moving through the MP materials with ease. We have had to have some conversations about different gifts, different personalities, what it means to struggle with anxiety, etc. It can be painful but better to confront reality now, at home, where we can help him develop a supernatural outlook on his challenges.

    Is this on the right track? I could share a lot more of things we have done to combat anxiety and scrupulosity but want to make sure this is helpful. As for your doc, I would start with talking about anxiety.
    Catherine

    2018-19
    DS15, 9th
    DS12, 6th
    DS10, 5th
    DD10, 5th
    DS6, K
    DD3
    DS 5 mos

    Homeschooling 3 with MP
    2 using First Form series in school

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Thanks ladies- that does seem to be the general consensus. I forgot to mention that he flinches when touched, and has a very low pain tolerance. He can't stand things like having his hair washed, and can't really do a good job himself. He gets really upset at anything involving a transition. (this has improved but is still an issue) This is what has made me wonder about SPD.

    Having experienced havoc that pharmaceuticals can wreak, and because I find them to be a shorter term solution, I am a bit leery to go there, and his father is adamantly opposed to medication, that is not a battle I am going to win- so at this time that is not really an option for us. I need to find non-medication ways of helping him to cope. Your suggestions are very valuable. The other thing i need badly is motivation because I deal with the same issues my son is dealing with, so it is often case of having an empty cup and nothing to give, I need t dig deep her and find a way to pour into him when I feel like I have nothing, and don't really know how to talk to doctors, they make me ridiculously nervous. I read a thread on here recently that had some excellent tips.

    I guess when I say "weirdness" I mean that I find it weird that in spite of seeing multiple psych docs not one has ever given a specific diagnoses of anxiety or depression. We have talked to his ped about the problems, and she referred him to psych. It took two years to get in there, and then they sent me to parenting classes where I was told to stop comforting him, and to put him in his room alone when he acts out, and to make long, complicated lists to expose him to the things he is afraid of, etc. I got some general helps there but most of it just was not happening. Then after another referral, I waited another year, and ended up with the same doc. Now we have gone private with this current doc.

    I suspect that once they find out that we are not going to use medication, they kind of bail out on dx'ing him. Or because I am not a firm advocate, I am far too passive, or waiting for instruction and help that never comes- they just kind of give up on me? I would just like to know for certain what we are dealing with so that I can respond appropriately and discover more about what I need to do differently. I told current psychiatrist that I need input from him on what I may be doing to make the problem worse, and what I could be doing differently. But that is not happening as he is somewhat unreliable. It makes sense that it would be anxiety depression and maybe OCD.

    Sorry this is all over the place!

    Maria

    ETA: I will try to go read the other threads Anita mentioned!
    Last edited by Girlnumber20; 05-16-2018 at 12:12 PM.
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Hi, Maria. At the very least, you know that he is a sensitive person. Diagnosis or not, this is good to know!

    You also know that he is similar to you. This can be very helpful. Think back to what helped/hurt when you were young. What made the most significant difference for you? Exercise, art, writing, listening to calming music, having time to yourself, being nudged into friendships, having a teacher or other adult outside of the family to guide you; all of the above? You are not looking to fix/improve him, but to understand him. You may be uniquely qualified to do this! Whatever helps you may be the very thing he needs. This might even include a little space from each other!

    I am sorry to hear that the medical team you've tried to assemble has been less than helpful. Your assumptions or reasons for this may be correct. CatherineS has a son very similar to yours, so her additional thoughts might help.

    Literature may help, so continue those studies. Discuss the characters, the ways they solve problems, the themes for life. Be sure you limit/eliminate any dark themes in literature, media, movies, etc. Keep things hopeful. As you find ways to help him, you will help yourself, and vice versa. Sometimes we learn about ourselves through our children!

    I wonder if you might find one of the Myself & Others sets beneficial for summer study? This could give you a more structured way to proceed, rather than feeling pressured to invent strategies yourself.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Maria, I just reread your original post. You were asking how to speak to professionals about SPD. I'm not sure we adequately addressed that!

    The not-so-good news: SPD is not in the latest DSM-V. This might make things difficult to pursue formally.

    The good news: You might still be able to request an OT evaluation for sensory issues and receive one. This might be obtained through your pediatrician or directly from a pediatric OT. The doctors with whom you have worked previously may not be focused on SPD.

    The best news: You can do quite a bit yourself! Read the various links through the SPD link above. You can read the referenced books, if you have not already, create a sensory diet for him, and otherwise address this yourself. Just be sure to create a plan that does not require significantly more of your own time. You are already homeschooling, and you need your own sensory diet! Try to incorporate the SPD suggestions into your homeschool day. We discuss some of this in SC, the book.

    If you want to speak to a professional as an advocate for SPD, you might have more success with creating a clear list of symptoms drawn from the SPD link above. Include the ones that you see in your own child. Ignore the others.

    You do not need to say, "I think he has SPD," but rather, "These are his symptoms that have been present for X number of years." List them with the exact wording as you find them on the lists through the link or in the books you have on SPD.

    If your husband would prefer you stop pursuing things formally, create your list for your own sake. Then proceed to the lists of strategies to help. (Avoid quackery, which is also expensive!) Select the things that make sense to you, that you think you could realistically implement, and that sound like something he might appreciate.


    If you have never seen the Temple Grandin movie, this might be a good time to watch it. The film depicts with stark clarity what is feels like to be sensitive in these sensory ways. The film also shows the importance of finding where a sensitive person's interests meet his strengths.

    As you "learn" your son, you will know what sensory triggers to avoid, how to modify, and how to help him. None of this is accomplished overnight, but it can be accomplished!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Quote Originally Posted by cherylswope View Post
    Hi, Maria. At the very least, you know that he is a sensitive person. Diagnosis or not, this is good to know!

    You also know that he is similar to you. This can be very helpful. Think back to what helped/hurt when you were young. What made the most significant difference for you? Exercise, art, writing, listening to calming music, having time to yourself, being nudged into friendships, having a teacher or other adult outside of the family to guide you; all of the above? You are not looking to fix/improve him, but to understand him. You may be uniquely qualified to do this! Whatever helps you may be the very thing he needs. This might even include a little space from each other!

    I am sorry to hear that the medical team you've tried to assemble has been less than helpful. Your assumptions or reasons for this may be correct. CatherineS has a son very similar to yours, so her additional thoughts might help.

    Literature may help, so continue those studies. Discuss the characters, the ways they solve problems, the themes for life. Be sure you limit/eliminate any dark themes in literature, media, movies, etc. Keep things hopeful. As you find ways to help him, you will help yourself, and vice versa. Sometimes we learn about ourselves through our children!

    I wonder if you might find one of the Myself & Others sets beneficial for summer study? This could give you a more structured way to proceed, rather than feeling pressured to invent strategies yourself.
    Thank you so much, Cheryl. I do struggle with knowing how to parent this child since I did not have parents who attended to my needs, so I feel sometimes I am working very blind, I have nothing to compare to except watching what I see other parents do, and that helps a lot! What helped me most as a small child was going alone into nature for long periods of time, but I can't let ds do that, as it would not be safe for him. So we take him at times into the woods in parks but he is different than me- he cries when going into nature and gets angry at being there. I will look into Myself and Others. Guided things help a lot. It always sounds worse than it is when you put it out there, really he is doing very well all things considered! I will read again what you and the other moms said and take some notes, too I think.

    Thank you from my heart!
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria2 View Post
    Thank you so much, Cheryl. I do struggle with knowing how to parent this child since I did not have parents who attended to my needs, so I feel sometimes I am working very blind, I have nothing to compare to except watching what I see other parents do, and that helps a lot! What helped me most as a small child was going alone into nature for long periods of time, but I can't let ds do that, as it would not be safe for him. So we take him at times into the woods in parks but he is different than me- he cries when going into nature and gets angry at being there. I will look into Myself and Others. Guided things help a lot. It always sounds worse than it is when you put it out there, really he is doing very well all things considered! I will read again what you and the other moms said and take some notes, too I think.

    Thank you from my heart!
    Maria,

    We deal with similar things here and that's part of the reason I asked our pediatrician for an OT referral (for three different children!). I needed someone other than myself to help figure out what each child needs. There isn't a medication for SPD so it's strictly occupational therapy, etc.

    I also struggle with the mountain of things to remember when trying to help my children so I have a couple of lists/charts on the walls in strategic spots to help me remember. I have one right in front of where I do school with the younger kids that lists tools we can use when they're having trouble focusing. I have a chart above my desk that lists all the guidelines we're implementing for consequences and modeling/prevention. That chart is also the desktop background on my computer. If I'm sitting at my desk, I'll look up and review what's there to help me internalize it. I've found that these lists/charts work well if they're somewhere where I will be sitting. If they're on the wall in a walk-through area, like the living room or kitchen, then I don't register them mentally (I have my own executive function issues in a house-full of EF-challenged people).

    Making notes is also very helpful for me otherwise all the info gets scattered in my head.

    Aside from the sensory-triggered behaviors, I would focus on helping him recognize faulty thinking: "all-or-nothing", over-emphasizing one aspect of the situation, thinking his feelings rule his actions, thinking something won't work for him because there's something unique about him/his situation, believing everything will turn out bad, etc. Most anxiety comes from faulty thinking so learning to recognize what the false thought is in a particular situation can often help with the anxiety that it is triggering. Just be sure to discuss these things outside of the situations so he is prepared to be reminded/understand/work through them in the situations themselves.

    Another thing: never underestimate what you are seeing. I do this with my own health: "it's not that bad", "i'm just being lazy", "things are better than they were last week", etc. It never ends well when I do this.
    Last edited by jen1134; 05-16-2018 at 01:27 PM.
    Jennifer

    2017-2018
    DS-13 & DS-14 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M)
    DS-9 (SC2)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC1)
    DD-3 (Preschool)

    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Algebra I, Ref/Con
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
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    DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Thank you for posting this Maria!

    We have similar (different areas of sensory issues) problems here. My son, also, in particular is particularly sensitive. He also overstimulates very easily and quickly. He tends not to have a "stop" button, IF he is doing some HE wants to do. It's exhausting. We have trouble sometimes when friends are over because the children will agree on a game or activity and he generally can keep playing much longer than other children. All the other children are ready for a new activity and a tantrum ensues.

    If our schedule becomes overly busy, it's meltdown city. My in-laws came for Easter. In the 8 years we have lived where we do, they have visited about 1-2 times a year, staying on 1-2 nights. This time, they stayed for nearly 5. (I was really glad they were staying a bit longer actually!) My son was great the first 2 nights. The next 3 nights, bedtime was a nightmare. All the kids were sharing a room for those few nights. It was so bad, I had to take him to our room and basically sit with him through the tantrum until he finally fell asleep on our floor. When my son throws fits, he throws his body around so much he almost always hurts himself. He doesn't want to be out of control though. I frequently hear him screaming "I WANT TO STOP CRYING, I CAN'T STOP CRYING". It's also very difficult because he has asthma and I almost always have to hand him his inhaler in the middle.

    We can't do parks for more than an hour- 1.5 hours. Well, we can, but when we come home it is also nearly unbearable. We don't do nature well either. (bugs, humidity, etc)

    Then there is my older daughter, very sensitive as well, but her sensory issues are totally different. Two summers ago I wanted to walk AROUND THE BLOCK. She was hot. She would not walk around the block! She did follow, because I just ignored the tantrum and moved on with my other two children. However, she protested loudly the entire 10 minutes. Things are great if conditions are JUST RIGHT. They are not good at all if conditions are not right. (although, I will say in the last 2 years things have improved)

    (P.s> in the last few weeks, I have turned to the Rosary during tantrum time, playing it out loud on my phone. The tantrums are still occurring, but they are calming much quicker.)

    Cheryl, I will be following that link and working through this at home here as well. We did have "OT" for both kids for a bit, but therapist kept changing and I was never really sent home with a "here is the goal". We quit 2x. Maria, I am with you in needing help in talking to medical professionals about what is going on. I will say that Cheryl's book was an eye opener. I think we are so passionate, we put more emotion into the issues and less into the actual symptoms that perhaps it is hard for the doctor to really hear us?

    God Bless!
    Christine

    (2018-2019)
    DD1 8/23/09 - SC4
    DS2 9/1/11 - SC2
    DD3 2/9/13 - MPK

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3)
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others!)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Quote Originally Posted by howiecram View Post
    Maria, I am with you in needing help in talking to medical professionals about what is going on. I will say that Cheryl's book was an eye opener. I think we are so passionate, we put more emotion into the issues and less into the actual symptoms that perhaps it is hard for the doctor to really hear us?
    My mom was an RN (she had to leave the profession when she became partially handicapped) but between that and hearing the discussions she had when dealing with doctors after her injury, I picked up on the objective style of medical-speak. When I handed the nurse our symptom list (see other thread) she actually asked me if another doctor had written it; I've also been asked before if I was a medical professional when explaining symptoms/background for other medical things.

    I'm attaching one of the lists here (names removed) in case it helps anyone else in wording lists for their own children: Sample Symptom List.pdf
    Jennifer

    2017-2018
    DS-13 & DS-14 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M)
    DS-9 (SC2)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC1)
    DD-3 (Preschool)

    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Algebra I, Ref/Con
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Hi Maria,

    An OT evaluation could be a good place to start. It's true that psychiatrists aren't usually looking for SPD, and a good OT should send you home with a "prescription" for all kinds of things you can do at home to help calm your son. We did sensory OT all throughout elementary school, and it was very positive.

    We found that the sensory diet (which morphed into regular exercise and trampoline jumping as our son got older) helped a lot with anxiety directly related to physical issues--handwriting, toilet training, clothes, food, etc.

    It didn't really help with the emotional anxieties about schoolwork or oversensitivity to being corrected. Those were more complicated. Are more complicated, I should say, because we are still working on them! We also have not gone the medication route yet. Well, we tried one antidepressant a year ago that didn't help and had side effects bad enough that we're still not ready to try the next one. I think you're right that a psych doc may just not be needed right now if you're not interested in starting medications. There may be some psychiatrists that do counseling, but I think usually they just recommend you see a social worker/ counselor if you don't want medication.

    I've found it much more helpful for me to see a counselor than for my son to. I'm the one who's with him everyday, and I need to know how to help him hour by hour. It is hard, as you said, when we see our own struggles reflected in our kids, or when we feel too depleted or anxious ourselves to help our kids. How can you fill yourself up so that you can be there for your son? I see a spiritual director and a counselor, and while we could talk about anything, my son comes up more than anything else!

    For emotional anxiety/ oversensitivity, like Jen said, you want to confront the faulty thinking behind it. You'd still need to do that if you were using medication. But I also know it can be hard to look into more than one thing at a time.

    I hope you continue reaching out! Like you said, your son is doing pretty well at this time, all things considered, so you've got time to figure this out.
    Catherine

    2018-19
    DS15, 9th
    DS12, 6th
    DS10, 5th
    DD10, 5th
    DS6, K
    DD3
    DS 5 mos

    Homeschooling 3 with MP
    2 using First Form series in school

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineS View Post
    Hi Maria,

    An OT evaluation could be a good place to start. It's true that psychiatrists aren't usually looking for SPD, and a good OT should send you home with a "prescription" for all kinds of things you can do at home to help calm your son. We did sensory OT all throughout elementary school, and it was very positive.

    We found that the sensory diet (which morphed into regular exercise and trampoline jumping as our son got older) helped a lot with anxiety directly related to physical issues--handwriting, toilet training, clothes, food, etc.

    It didn't really help with the emotional anxieties about schoolwork or oversensitivity to being corrected. Those were more complicated. Are more complicated, I should say, because we are still working on them! We also have not gone the medication route yet. Well, we tried one antidepressant a year ago that didn't help and had side effects bad enough that we're still not ready to try the next one. I think you're right that a psych doc may just not be needed right now if you're not interested in starting medications. There may be some psychiatrists that do counseling, but I think usually they just recommend you see a social worker/ counselor if you don't want medication.

    I've found it much more helpful for me to see a counselor than for my son to. I'm the one who's with him everyday, and I need to know how to help him hour by hour. It is hard, as you said, when we see our own struggles reflected in our kids, or when we feel too depleted or anxious ourselves to help our kids. How can you fill yourself up so that you can be there for your son? I see a spiritual director and a counselor, and while we could talk about anything, my son comes up more than anything else!

    For emotional anxiety/ oversensitivity, like Jen said, you want to confront the faulty thinking behind it. You'd still need to do that if you were using medication. But I also know it can be hard to look into more than one thing at a time.

    I hope you continue reaching out! Like you said, your son is doing pretty well at this time, all things considered, so you've got time to figure this out.
    I am thinking of asking for an OT referral. I guess that would be with pediatrician. I am not quite sure what that is or what it would entail, but it sounds like it might put us on the right track? Occupational therapy, is that correct?

    The psychiatrist is doing "play therapy" with ds. He is really kind. I asked ds if he had talked to the doc about any issues, and he says "No we just play games, or with toys. I'm not really anxious anymore." I will say that ds seems calmer and more able to deal between these appointments, but if he goes too long without one the stress levels seem to start to climb? Maybe my imagination. How could playing with a relative stranger help? I don't get it, but...he's the doc. We'll have a session with parents included in a few weeks, I am trying to figure out what I am supposed to ask or talk about? I feel so disorganized and chaotic and overwhelmed in my own mind about stuff, that I don't know how to deal in these sessions, and it goes badly. I also have bad memory issues that interfere with my ability to outline what is happening or to even remember his history at times. It is weird and very frustrating. I need to remember to write more things down! I then need to remember where I put the list...and I need to remember to bring it with me, and remember to pull it out at the appropriate time instead of spacing out...lol! It is a comedy of errors, my life. This will be the second appointment with parents I think. Doc hinted today that I should be prepared for it..

    I know I need my own therapy, but just can no longer afford it anymore or to figure out what I need when I am there, which seems to be the hardest part of all. Too much money we spent already, just thousands of dollars with too little results to really justify it, so I must get on with it on my own- or I fear we'll end up in a cardboard box somewhere, lol!

    Thanks Mamas for all the excellent help!
    Last edited by Girlnumber20; 05-16-2018 at 05:45 PM. Reason: missprints
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    PS- Cheryl do you know what level of Myself and Others would be appropriate for rising 5th grader?
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria2 View Post
    I am thinking of asking for an OT referral. I guess that would be with pediatrician. I am not quite sure what that is or what it would entail, but it sounds like it might put us on the right track? Occupational therapy, is that correct?

    The psychiatrist is doing "play therapy" with ds. He is really kind. I asked ds if he had talked to the doc about any issues, and he says "No we just play games, or with toys. I'm not really anxious anymore." I will say that ds seems calmer and more able to deal between these appointments, but if he goes too long without one the stress levels seem to start to climb? Maybe my imagination. How could playing with a relative stranger help? I don't get it, but...he's the doc. We'll have a session with parents included in a few weeks, I am trying to figure out what I am supposed to ask or talk about? I feel so disorganized and chaotic and overwhelmed in my own mind about stuff, that I don't know how to deal in these sessions, and it goes badly. I also have bad memory issues that interfere with my ability to outline what is happening or to even remember his history at times. It is weird and very frustrating. I need to remember to write more things down! I then need to remember where I put the list...and I need to remember to bring it with me, and remember to pull it out at the appropriate time instead of spacing out...lol! It is a comedy of errors, my life. This will be the second appointment with parents I think. Doc hinted today that I should be prepared for it..

    I know I need my own therapy, but just can no longer afford it anymore or to figure out what I need when I am there, which seems to be the hardest part of all. Too much money we spent already, just thousands of dollars with too little results to really justify it, so I must get on with it on my own- or I fear we'll end up in a cardboard box somewhere, lol!

    Thanks Mamas for all the excellent help!
    Yes, occupational therapy.

    I can so relate about the $$ — sometimes with our son I can relate to the woman healed by Jesus who had “spent all her living upon physicians and could not be healed by any one!” Hoping you find something that helps all of you.
    Catherine

    2018-19
    DS15, 9th
    DS12, 6th
    DS10, 5th
    DD10, 5th
    DS6, K
    DD3
    DS 5 mos

    Homeschooling 3 with MP
    2 using First Form series in school

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineS View Post
    Yes, occupational therapy.

    I can so relate about the $$ — sometimes with our son I can relate to the woman healed by Jesus who had “spent all her living upon physicians and could not be healed by any one!” Hoping you find something that helps all of you.
    Yes! I had beautiful loving and wise priest helping me and was making huge progress- then he was moved by his superior so back to square 1. But there are always ways forward, even if not the best ways.

    I just remembered last night when I couldn't sleep, to listen to these great podcasts on "Discerning Hearts- Setting the Captives Free" by Father Gallagher that are quite helpful- and free! That was way better than tuning into netflix to distract from anxiety.
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    If you are not getting results with a psychologist maybe try a developmental pediatrician or a neuropsychologist.
    I'd be particularly focusing on anxiety, possibly OCD, and maybe even considering he might be on the autism spectrum in some way? Just another thing to consider.
    These books may be helpful, I know I hear great things about the OCD one.

    https://www.amazon.com/What-When-You...PM4W6W1S0AFD1W

    https://www.amazon.com/What-When-Bra.../dp/1591478057

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Frisco, CO
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: The weirdness continues

    Quote Originally Posted by Girlnumber20 View Post
    He freaks out if I have to help him. He hates being helped, or having things explained to him.

    He is such a wonderful and nice boy. He is a great kid, funny smart, and cares so much about others. I want to find the real him, if that makes sense, but I don't know how to pull that out, and help him just be him. How can I get a proper evaluation, when he has been to so many doc, physical and psych over his young life and nobody ever says anything? I keep wondering if there is a way to tell whether or not I am making a mountain out of a molehill, and maybe everything with my son is fine, normal- it is just me that is imagining something wrong? I have kind of given up on trying to figure this out, and we are at present just kind of living with it.

    Any ideas or similar situations to compare to?
    Clara just finished diagnosis a month ago. She had a pretty extensive 3 day testing. Jennifer (I cannot remember her name on the forum, but she runs Delectare) was able to tell me exactly what we had, and low and behold, it matches the incredibly expensive bill. I hope that she sees this since Clara really got everything you could ask for other than Autism tests because the doctor determined that she did not need them (my husband and I agree that she does not need those tests). Clara also HATES being helped or having anything explained to her. It usually results in her ceasing work for at least 30 minutes, but it still has to be done sometimes. We just found Clara a therapist that we all agree we like, and she starts therapy June 11. I do not have any help to offer yet, but I did want to let you know that someone else has this problem. Oh, and Clara is also a really affectionate kid who truly cares about others, but she was also diagnosed with generalized anxiety. That could be part of your problem as well.
    JeJe Greer
    Mom to:
    Stella (6M in 2018-2019)
    Clara (SC3 in 2018-2019)

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