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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Well - saw CAHMS today for the first time - you lot might be chucking me out

(85 Posts)
hereidrawtheline Thu 25-Jun-09 13:04:29

Hiya we saw CAHMS today for the first time. The man was a child psychologist I think. We were there about an hour and a half.

He hasnt said anything concrete yet he said he wants to see DS some more for various sessions before he commits himself BUT he does not think DS has any SN. shock

He thinks - ready yourselves - he thinks it is all pretty much down to attachment issues. Between me and DS. He agrees there is a lot of anxiety, control, tantrums etc but he thinks it all likely stems from attachment anxiety and birth trauma. Even things like using his fist to feed himself he said could indicate that because it is more like human contact i.e. me. Anxiety etc is stemming from a traumatic birth, such as him absorbing in infancy that he hurt me. And then I had PND. And he suspects it is all anxiety and attachment problems. Also of course because he now just wants to sleep with me in my bed naked. And when he was a baby he would only ever sleep on mine or DH's chest he was never able to lie in a bed he screamed blue murder. And his comfort item is my tshirt that he's had since he was a few weeks old. And so on and so on.

He did say he isnt ruling out definitely anything like Aspergers just yet but he is not that way inclined. It was attachment attachment attachment.

So... I dont know. I feel really strange. Some of it makes sense I mean I know he and I are extremely close to each other and of course I well remember the issues he had as a baby and the birth and how much he wants me now, pretty much exclusively. I said to him I didnt think that would account for all the meltdowns but he said it might but we will look into it more. Of course some part of this reinforces my feeling it is actually my fault.

He wants to see DS several times starting some time in July for sessions where he plays and talks more with him.

So... what do you think.

Frasersmum123 Thu 25-Jun-09 13:18:07

Glad it went well.

What do ou think? Our Paed hinted at attachment problems with DS which is horrible to hear I know, and I understand what you mean about thinking its your fault. I often wonder what I could have done differently.

Atleast he has commited his time rather than rush a diagnosis

hereidrawtheline Thu 25-Jun-09 13:29:50

I dont really know what to think tbh. I think in all truth I am going to go have a nap and think about it when I get up grin I feel swamped and seriously confused. And guilty. And a little hopeful. I dont know. And also a bit sceptical of the doctor. But trying to avoid that atm.

siblingrivalry Thu 25-Jun-09 14:35:51

I would say to keep an open mind, if you can, for the moment.
It's hard to say this without sounding negative -which of course isn't the case- but my dd was misdiagnosed by CAMHS and they put all of her behaviour down to anxiety.
There were loads of things that didn't fit with a dx of anxiety/OCD.

When it was looked into further, it transpires that she does have AS, as well as huge sensory issues and dyspraxia. I felt that, in our case, CAMHS were too quick to make a dx -based on half an hour in the same room as dd.

Of course, it may be that anxiety is the main factor with your ds and that he doesn't have SN- I don't want to infer that CAMHS generally gets it wrong. But I just get so angry when 'professionals' try to pin all of the blame and responsibility onto the mother. Whatever the outcome, remember that you are not to blame and that you are doing the very best that you can.

lou031205 Thu 25-Jun-09 15:40:45

Well done for at least considering his opinion. You certainly aren't going to be chucked out - doesn't matter what is at the root of it, your DS is still behaving in ways that are hard to cope with smile

The good thing is that he will observe your DS and see him to build up a better understanding.

Has he given you any indication of how to help you both if he is right?

magso Thu 25-Jun-09 16:00:39

Oh HIDTL I hope you are OK? I agree with the others, you still belong here - (and attachment disorder is a sn). Labels are there to help - so I hope that is what the psych is giving - help and support. You are doing your best to support your child.

brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 16:11:40

CAMHS are useless, so i will be chucked out as well! They said the same about me and my son "attachment" disorder. They ignored all the relevant info that i supplied about my son and examples of extreme behaviour when taken to new places etc.

I feel sorry for you because i got quite depressed for a few weeks after they made their crap diagnosis, and my mind was in turmoil.

My GP confirmed that our CAMHS service is rubbish, which upset me even more! She recommended a private pyschiatrist who took a thorough history and listened to all my concerns and met my son (CAMHS didnt take full history at all), she said she thought my son was on the autistic spectrum. I had thought this for over 2 years, and all my colleagues from the special needs dept at my workplace said they thought he had ASD but didnt like to tell me. His reception teacher to be has also said she thinks he has ASD.

So dont be fobbed off, I phoned up the pyschologist and complained heavily and my GP also wrote a very stroppy letter on my behalf.

We actually came out of the the CAMHS meeting after 1.5hours with instructions on how to do a star chart properly!

TotalChaos Thu 25-Jun-09 16:22:09

I have a friend whose DS was incorrectly diagnosed by CAHMS as having no SN, just issues due to my friend having had PND. Turned out he has HFA. So I suppose I agree with Brandy and Sibling about keeping an open mind. I would try and push for a paediatrician to look at your DS too (ideally a developmental paed, ideally someone doing a thorough screening tool like ADOS).

bubblagirl Thu 25-Jun-09 16:35:54

well again you will always belong here with us whatever the outcome best to just take on board what every one has said until something concrete is decided but im glad all seems well

debs40 Thu 25-Jun-09 16:51:42

I read what you said with interest. Is your son seeing anyone else e.g. OT or SALT? From what I've heard today the whole dx process is usually multi-disciplinary.

My son has been referred to CAHMS too so I'd be interested to see how his appointment goes too. Howeever, it looks like this was an initial reaction my the psychologist and nothing is set in stone.

Don't blame yourself for anything. We're human and this is life. Shit happens! You've done all the right things by getting him the help he needs and as my HV says, it's about getting the right support not about labelling children. As long as in the end, things get better, that's a good thing.

It will be pretty easy to see if they're barking up the wrong tree!!

brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 17:32:10

Hi debs40, i think the CAMHS teams in different areas are bad and in some areas they are ok. unfortunately in my area they are awful and ping pong you around the services without actually giving any support at all and then when they are met with someone like myself who asks questions and gets them tongue tied, they dont like it.

eg: pyschologist said "so i will be referring ** back to the mental health nurse"

i said "but you just told me he didnt have a mental health problem"

cue her looking dumb with her mouth gaped open and not answering me.

i then add "but 7 weeks ago when i saw this nurse she said my sons problems were too complex for her to deal with, hence her referring me to you"

cue another dumb look. me and my mother were disgusted, but as i say my gp confirmed that they are useless in our area

when i asked how long the apt would take, she didnt want to tell me, in the end i got out of her it would be 3months! so basically my son was seen by a mental health nurse who thought his problems were complex, sent to the multidisciplinary team who ping ponged us back to the original nurse who cant deal with it, with a 3month wait

Hopefully the team in your area will be a good one, im presuming its down to funding

hereidrawtheline Thu 25-Jun-09 17:54:03

Hi everyone, thanks so much for your kind messages. I just woke up a little while ago from a long nap.

I certainly wouldnt rule attachment issues out but I am a bit shock that that could account for all of his things... I mean the sensory stuff too? I dont know.

There is a developmental pead who has seen him once and who we will see again now that CAHMS has seen him so I look forward to her take on it. He has not been seen by SALT for which I am still annoyed as he has got a speech impairment of some sort - huge vocab but misses loads of letters. I mentioned it today to the cAHMS man and he said "yes well he is only 2" which I thought somewhat missed the point as he is 3 in 4 weeks and it is fairly pronounced. But I dont know what the "norm" is.

I know it could be it (attachment disorder) because I know what he is like. But I just dont know.

The very best way to describe DS to someone who doesnt know him, especially as intimately as I know him, is, he is like an open wound. He doesnt seem to have loads of layers of skin over his emotions. He is vulnerable. I am gutted if it is because of me... the prem birth etc and PND. I know I couldnt control it but I still feel responsible.

brandy77 Thu 25-Jun-09 18:02:16

aw hereidrawthline, please dont be upset, although easy to say because i felt exactly the same. i was in shock and couldnt sleep properly for a few weeks, i overly googled attachment disorder which made me even more upset because it sounds awful.

CAMHS tried to pin it on my son having multiple hospital investigations and they said that our bond had been broken where i couldnt stop his pain sad I was devasted, but my son has sensory issues too and they are definitely NOT linked to attachment disorder. I think the problem is that attachment/ASD/ADHD symptons are so overlapping. Dont be scared to question what is put to you about your son. Again easy for me to say, as i spent 19months battling for a diagnosis on my sons medical condition and its only now that ive found my "voice" and have the confidence to question these so called experts.

Really hope youre not too sad, its not your fault.

hereidrawtheline Thu 25-Jun-09 18:08:32

Thank you. I am googling attachment disorder now blush I know googling is not advised but I have usually found it helps because IME the experts have never educated me. Come to that it was terrible advice from experts that caused DS's traumatic birth but I know that is a whole other issue.

Brandy, I'm sorry you went through that, being told it was because you couldnt stop your DS's pain, that is probably most of our worst nightmares isnt it so not what we want to be told has happened. You clearly love your DS mountains though, sadly we arent gods are we.

debs40 Thu 25-Jun-09 18:32:54

Mmmm, it all sounds rather suspect. How old are your children? I wonder if it's just easier to blame the carer when you're dealing with a young child. There is so much complexity attached to birth and early motherhood that it is very easy for us mums just to accept what we're told and blame ourselves.

My motto for dealing with doctors after problems with my first son's birth is just keep on asking questions until you satisfy yourself and are happy with the answers you receive. Otherwise, you just get more and more anxious.

hereidrawtheline Thu 25-Jun-09 18:53:19

I only have the one DS and he is 3 in a month.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Thu 25-Jun-09 19:01:16

You know your child and your situation

OTOPH I have heard of this before being wrong, for atatchment read blame the mother (and they might just eff of and leave my budget alone)

Go with YOUR instinct. Work with what works coz you know, it doesnt matter if its labelled for ASD, for Attachment Disorder or for pig faced aliens if it works (and doesn't invovle NASA and a spaceship, obv wink)

hereidrawtheline Thu 25-Jun-09 19:03:30



read this I havent done these things!!! I had PND I wasnt locking him up in the bloody broom cupboard! He slept on my chest for 4 months!! He wasnt deprived of maternal affection! This isnt him anyway! He doesnt lie or behave this way. WHAT???

hereidrawtheline Thu 25-Jun-09 19:04:10

someone tell me I have misunderstood this

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Thu 25-Jun-09 19:08:50

You OK herei?

there are degrees of everything forstly and Google always gives worst case scenarios

But you know, I don't see atatachment disorder as a Mum who slept with her baby on her chest no.

This is common thing for CAMHs to throw at people I beleive (have miraculously never had dealing with them- dont think we have them in same way in Wales? only specific psychs fpr post dx problem solving)

DO NOT allow them to upset you more than yu can help. CAMHs have a terrible rep and as soon as I read your post i thought oh no not this shit again!

Put a thread oout asking for experience of this perhaps?

Sounds like your CAMHHs aldy amy well have read a few books circa 1955 about it all and none recently

silverfrog Thu 25-Jun-09 19:11:34


blame the parent/carer is a well known practice; autism was blamed on so-called "refrigerater mothers" for a long while, and I reckon 90% of people who see a paed about worries with the way their child s developing get told "have you tried..." insert: talking to them/playing with them/going to socialisation groups/spending more time with them etc etc.

I second Peachy - YOU know YOUR child (and your situation) best. FWIW, form your posts on here, you sound liek a very loving and caring mother, whose primary interest is helping her ds.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Thu 25-Jun-09 19:15:33

Don;t forget aprentcraft groups silverfrog! I still ger referred tot hem and I used to run the frigging things!

debs40 Thu 25-Jun-09 19:16:14

Sorry, when I said children I meant Brandy's child too as her experience was similar.

Like some of the others, I have read threads on the web about this and it appears to be quite common practice to try and throw it back at the parents. Disgraceful!

You stick to your guns if you're not happy and question it if it doesn't seem right

hereidrawtheline Thu 25-Jun-09 19:18:38

thank you... I am a bit breathless. I wonder how I come across on here I wonder if I dont seem to love him as I do. It is madness to think I am not totally in love with him, he is like gold dust to me. This is going to make me sound really defensive or sad but would you just look at my blog, look at "musings" "imagine" "factory press" these are all pieces I have written for the independent about how I feel about him surely no one who wrote these things would be in those catgories. Sorry I know I sound panicked but the best of those "causes" was young inexperienced mum who doesnt know what to do. I'm a 30 year old journalist who had a prem birth and PND it doesnt seem the same at all I dont mean this in a SNOBBY way its just those descriptions sound like social services reports my blog

Ugh I am not trying to submit evidence of my lovingness to the mothering court but really!

Thank you for understanding. I am embarrassing myself here. But I just had a shock of my life reading the wikipeadia description for attachment disorder it was shocking.

silverfrog Thu 25-Jun-09 19:23:18

Peachy - I escaped that suggestion! I did get told to read books with dd1, however, to help her language progress (dd1 was sitting next to the paed at this point, reciting Hairy MacClary - obviously something she picked up form sitting on her own in the corner hmm)

HIDTL, honestly, don't worry. Paed's ALWAYS come up with silly suggestions - I think they do it to test whether you are listening, tbh.

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