As I said before my #2 had her diagnosis yesterday for what exactly this thing is that we are dealing with with her. We walked away having many of those Ah-ha moments that Oprah talks about. And with more questions. Before I go on I would like to take the opportunity to point out some of this may come off as a brag and I fully don’t intend it to be that way. However, to deny that I am not 100% proud of my daughter would be wrong. I am and will continue to be. I won’t downplay her issues or the causes of those issues to make myself seem more proper.
So # 2 went through approximately 3 months of testing. Testing that is boring and repetitive. However, they all bring us to the end result of how can we make things better for her.
We sat in the chair and were asked to backtrack and tell him the issues we saw with her behavior and the issues the school sees with her behavior. They were confirmation of much of her diagnosis for him. We had this conversation that met in the middle. We would say she does this and he would say here is why.
The why is that she has attention deficit disorder. He does not believe at this point she has the hyperactivity part. And here is the reason. She took the two standard IQ tests that are used on children and she scored at 117 on the graph I have included. Which puts her well above average. The IQ scored three different areas which were verbal, non-verbal and reasoning. Her verbal and reasoning were in 116’s and her non-verbal was at 122. This is described as crystallized intelligence. That means she was born with it and it will remain with her. Their are some diseases of the brain like Alzheimer’s that might cause some degeneration but it will remain with her for life otherwise. A typical ADHD child will not score this high. They will score in the average to below average especially in non-verbal and reasoning.
What that means for her though is she is easily distracted if she is not interested in what is going on. It also means she doesn’t easily relate to most around her. Her “vigilance” (which is the psychological term he used to describe her ability to stay focused) is at almost 30%. Most elementary children her age have the attention span of 9-10 minutes. She gives her full attention to whatever for exactly 3 minutes and if she feels bored, angry and tired she retreats.
The second diagnosis was anti-social disorder (social anxiety disorder) which comes with high intelligence. She struggles relating to those around her because her brain is wired differently. Therefore, she reacts initially to all things with her first instinct and a lot of time that first instinct is without thought or regard to those around her because they don’t see the world as she does. So she comes off socially awkward. Therein lies the social anxiety. The social anxiety has created it’s own compulsions to deal with like eating her hair, inappropriate talk and behavior in order to create humor and take attention away from her social skills, yelling, manipulating those around her to exert control over the situation.
There were some autistic red flags but it is typically diagnosed later and he needs more time with her to determine that.
The goal moving forward is trying some versions of therapy to see if we can curb some of the compulsions which are more the issue at school and home. They are unhealthy to family and friends and they do not force her to deal with reality. So at home, at school and in her therapy we are going to force her to face some of these issues. His words, “we need to create a pressure cooker out of her and make her face her anxiety”.
Goal 1: point out inappropriate compulsions and ask her to stop. Goal 2: if she chooses to continue force her to stop however necessary. Goal 3: Talk to her about why she wants to do said thing. Goal 4: Ignore any reaction and not allow her to respond with other compulsions. This forces her to deal with her anxiety.
It goes against every parenting instinct I have and I cried numerous times because even replaces bad compulsions (eating hair) with positive ones (drawing or coloring) are wrong because it does not force her to deal with the actual fear. I know I don’t want her to be like his patients that are much older dealing with similar issues. A few haven’t been to school in a year.
The only way to do that is force her to deal with these anxieties and creating an acceptance of who she is. Meds will work for her and the AD but she is still very young for that in our opinions and his. So we will try this method first and see the outcomes.
For her future outlook. It won’t go away. It will likely spike as she heads into puberty. But with the tools we will give her in the next few months she should be better able to communicate, “I am having a hard time” and get the help she needs. After therapy, we will have biannual check ups and added therapy when needed.
I am pleased to get answers and to have a plan moving forward. I am so glad we addressed this issue now versus later. At her next session he will kid down her own diagnosis for her and begin the real work.