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WTAF - weird psychologist

(31 Posts)
hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 17:47:51

Me and dh have been seeing the consultant psychologist attached to CAMHS as part of ds1's assessment.

His pet theory appears to be that 'attachment disorder' as being responsible for most, if not all, developmental disorders hmm I even asked him outright if this was the cause of autism and he wouldn't give me a clear answer. I honestly fear that he believes it is sad

He went on to describe that neurons in the brain can be disrupted/destroyed if an infant isn't appropriately responded to and that even things like milk allergy and feeding problems can lead to AD as can PND (the universal get out clause). This seems to be quite a good get out clause for CAMHS who seem determined not to diagnose anybody with anything whatsoever at all.

I explained that ds1 was showing exactly the same problems that his father has even down to the soiling and tics, but this bloke was having none of it and basically tried to fob us off.

He acknowledged that 'Refrigerator Mother' theory was controversial, but that nobody has ever come up with a reasonal explanation for autism, asd, adhd etc. so this theory is as valid as anything else that has been suggested shock He said that asd, adhd, aspergers etc. all seem to have symptoms in common and many crossover points.

The most frightening thing about all this is that this bloke honestly believes this discredited drivel sad

How the actual fuck are we supposed to obtain an objective assessment?

Where do we go from here? I've told the school nurse that I don't really have any faith in this bloke, but she said that he has to start from scratch.

ds1 has never been neglected or abused.

hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 17:51:39

I suspect that CAMHS don't want to diagnose anybody with anything due to political and economic reasons - people with a diagnosis are entitled to help which costs money.

I have been so upset that I reversed into a low fence in the parking area outside school and now have a nasty dent in my rear bumper on the car that I love and have only had 6 months sad

I am currently hitting the Bacardi and diet coke (yuck), but have run out and can't drink the Vermouth because it irritates my bladder.

I want a ciggie, but gave up three years ago confused

sannaville Fri 07-Dec-12 18:18:36

Oh dear sad poor you! Personally I'd try and see a different person if you can although I k.ow this can be seen sometimes as causing waves in your case it shouldn't be as he's spouting off a load of crap basically! My dd2 has had AD bandied around a bit until I told them it was bollocks!

hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 18:26:07

There is nobody else to see sad The school nurse was quite chuffed that we'd got this far to see this bloke. If this one isn't up to it, then I don't know where else to go.

I did stand up to him and told him what I understood about AD and that ds had never been neglected or abused and he backed off a bit. I let him know that I knew about this being a discredited theory.

Ineedpigsinblankets Fri 07-Dec-12 18:38:18

What an awful situation hidden, weird is one word for him.

I dont know if it will help but when we go referred to CAMHS I went through my copy of The Complete Guide To Aspergers with a fine tooth comb and put post it notes on every page that mentioned anything that matched Dd3. I wrote examples of when and how this affected her and us. i turned up at the next meeting with the book completely covered in post it notes and my diary which I had been keeping for 12 months and almost dared them not to assess her properly.

It still took another year from that point but at least we felt like we were being taken seriously.

Good luck

Ineedpigsinblankets Fri 07-Dec-12 18:39:45

Other than that I would, start saving, take out a loan, remortgage your house and go private. It is ridiculous that there is no one else you can see but I do know what it is likesad

Ineedpigsinblankets Fri 07-Dec-12 18:40:50

Oh and please dont start smoking again after 3 years it would be such a shame.

I have just reached 5 years as a non smoker.

PolterGoose Fri 07-Dec-12 18:45:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 18:45:37

I did go private Ineedpigs and the paediatrician identified adhd and dyspraxia, but the LA won't accept a private diagnosis sad In order to access help for ds1 we need the LA.

madwomanintheattic Fri 07-Dec-12 19:03:30


ilikemysleep Fri 07-Dec-12 19:04:44

Some of what he says is correct. For example there are lots of crossover points between the neurodevelopmental disorders, and the labels are simply terms for common clusters of behaviours designated at arbitary points on that continuum. He would also be correct to say that you can induce autistic-like symptoms in children by severely neglecting them, and that children with attchment disorder can and do look autistic. On the other hand you can also be beautifully nurtured and still be autistic, and there is a strong genetic influence.

If he ends up concluding that your child is autistic, will his theories abiut how that may have been caused matter much? I mean, I know it's unjust....but if ds still gets the support and the label?

Btw CAMHS have nothing to do with education processes and don't have any link with funding if they do or don't diagnose anyone. :-)

ilikemysleep Fri 07-Dec-12 19:07:27

Also, there is evidence that PND can negatively impact attachment in infants. Again, doesn't make it relevant in your case, but that theory is not discredited.

ilikemysleep Fri 07-Dec-12 19:19:01

Sorry, I am typing on tablet and find these keyboards very hard so tend to write for brevity. Reading back it sounds snippy, and it wasn't intended to. I think it must be very frustrating and concerning to you to not feel confident in this guy, and some of what he says sounds odd. But though lots of his theories are not relevant in diagnosing autism that has a gentic component, the actual theories are valid and relevant where attachment is an issue.

pinkorkid Fri 07-Dec-12 19:19:46

ilikemysleep, I think it's more worrying that the doctor seems to be implying that AD is likely to be behind all such neuro-developmental disorders. I think that is wildly inappropriate and I don't anyone should have to accept that as the most likely cause of their dc's difficulties where there is no prior objective evidence of neglect.

Is it not possible to go back to gp to ask for referral to another doctor in a different camhs practice?

hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 19:26:55

Yes, I know that neglect, either intentional or unintentional can impact negatively and prolonged crying can effect the infant brain and I understand that many symptoms can 'fit' various disorders, but this bloke is ignoring the genetics that are obviously involved. ds1 hasn't even spent that much time with his natural father, but has all the 'symptoms' that he has. I used to wonder if there was something wrong with his father and came to the conclusion that there probably was, but that it wasn't going to affect me as we were splitting up. Little did I know that ds1 was going to come out with exactly the same problems a while later.

They both have problems with:

Being dictatorial
Being controlling
Having an obsession with food/eating
Being unable to see things from another person's point of view
Being robotic and unemotional
Both have soiling problems
Both can't concentrate or focus
Both can't organise themselves and chronically lose stuff
Poor social/interpersonal relationships

This is more than just upbringing. His father also has three sisters who appear NT and I also have another child who is NT.

I don't even think that this bloke is planning on assessing ds1 for asd. He hasn't even seen him yet and he's already decided upon what the problem is. He was surprised that I even want ds1 to be assessed for asd.

hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 19:33:16

The psychologist seized upon the fact that ds1's father tried to prevent me from nurturing ds1 when he was an infant. His father was all strange and jealous and didn't want me to cuddle/soothe ds when he was crying. I did cuddle and soothe him and used to get stick afterwards from his father, but I never neglected him. He was never ignored or allowed to cry or anything. I loved him and he was my whole world. I eventually managed to get rid of his father when ds was about 16 months old, but he saw him regularly until ds was about age 2 when his father moved 200 miles away.

If anybody has neglected/abused him it's his father. I did worry about this as I know he is mentally abusive, but the courts insisted that I let him see him.

They're too much alike for this to be nurture though. ds1's traits are so strong that even if he'd had the perfect upbringing, he'd still have turned out like this. I feel it in my bones. I know him and the problems too well.

ilikemysleep Fri 07-Dec-12 20:10:20

Hidden, did you give him that list?

I realised that you felt attachment was not relevant, I'm sure for good reason and that genes are the reasons for his presentation. I misunderstood when people were talking about claptrap and discredited theories I thought people were saying the whole of attachment theory was discredited, and that neurodev disorders were discrete natural classes, which is not the case.

If it's possible, I know that this seems like semantics and trivial, and I don't want to either offend you or piss you off so please understand that I am telling you this because psychologists and psychiatrists sometimes jump on things inappropriately...but, if that is the list you use because of the phrasing it might be drawing attachment queries. That is not right of course. If you change the shorthand into longer examples they sound less like a judgement of his personality.

For example, instead of saying 'being dictatorial', say something along the lines of 'frequently wants to be in charge of where the family goes on days out, or what we eat, and gets angry or upset if he is overruled', or whatever, so your comment is on what he actually does.

If you think about it with teachers, if a teacher said 'this kid is lazy' that comes across to the listener as much more of a judgement on the child than if the teacher says 'this child is hard to motivate and often leaves work unfinished'.

This is probably going to come across as patronising, isn't it? God I 'm sorry, I often get it wrong.

PolterGoose Fri 07-Dec-12 20:17:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 20:18:11

Oh, God, yes, I've given him lists, descriptions, diary entries, the lot. I've tried to make the language as objective as possible and given details and descriptions of how we handle his behaviour. The Psych admits that our parentings strategies sound fine sad

I dunno <shrugs> I'm not well educated and I don't know what to say to these people to get them to take notice.

He says he's going to ring the school.

hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 20:24:12

My colleague's sister gave birth to a child (girl). When my colleague visited her in hospital she knew something was wrong with the baby (my colleague's bright and quite perceptive), but said nothing. Later, she did pass her concerns onto their mum, who passed it onto her sister. Her sister was, understandably upset, but dismissed what my colleague's observations. A few months later, she admitted that something was wrong and a few weeks after that the child was diagnosed with severe autism. She goes to a special school now and wears nappies 24/7. There is no way that was caused by the mother, who has subsequently gone on to have a healthy NT child (another girl).

Sometimes, you just know when something's not right.

I don't want ds1 labelled, I just want a reasonable explanation and some help for him.

ilikemysleep Fri 07-Dec-12 21:23:31

There is NO DOUBT AT ALL that autism is NOT caused by neglect. None at all.

However, there IS a condition called reactive attachment disorder that looks a bit similar.

Autism is not caused by attachment failures of any sort. If this guy says so he is about 40 years out of date.

hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 21:27:45

'Autism is not caused by attachment failures of any sort. If this guy says so he is about 40 years out of date. '

I asked him this outright as alarm bells were ringing really loud, but he didn't give me a straight answer sad This is why I'm so concerned. I'm not sure he's firing on all four cylinders if this is the kind of stuff he believes. I did say that this has been discredited, but again, he gave me some woolly answer.

I can't work with people like this. I like the school nurse because she's sensible and intelligent. These people are just full of shit and we both know he's just trying to fob us off. It's like some crap game.

hiddenhome Fri 07-Dec-12 21:30:58

Wouldn't RAD be caused by outright neglect and/or abuse though? What's he saying that stuff like illness or feeding problems can cause this? Surely, the human brain is more resilient or would it just happen in susceptible individuals? Perhaps ds1 and his father are susceptible and any little thing would have led to its' development?

PolterGoose Fri 07-Dec-12 21:53:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

narmada Fri 07-Dec-12 22:06:37

I just saw that he thinks milk allergy and feeding disorders can themselves cause Attachnent Disorder..... This just has to be complete nonsense and would make me doubt anthing further he had to say. On what credible scientific evudence is he basing any of his assertions?!

And for what it's worth, I am not at all sure that research demonstrates a conclusive link between issues in the infant and PND unless the PND has gone untreated.

Guess what - my son had milk allergy and feeding aversion and I had very severe PND after he wss born. So I have done a lot of reading on this. Oh, and the cortisol/ crying evidence is suggestive, not conclusive nor necessarily generalisable - much of it is based on evidence gained from neglectful post-communist bloc orphanages and other extreme situations. Few- perhaps none - of the stufied I have seen adequately control for confounding factors.

Sorry, that was quite ranty but it is too easy for profesdionals to blame the parents for things difficult to explsin.

OP you sound v intelligent even if you sre not educated. Stay strong.

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