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To try to get a diagnosis for DS (14) or not? Please help.(11 Posts)
DS2 is 14. Summer born boy in Year 9 at an independent secondary.
I also have an older son in 6th form.
I've posted many times over the years on MN, under different names, and it's often been about difficulties with DS2.
- he was an 'easy' baby, but grew into a distressed toddler, who was sensitive to textures, smells, dirt and (sometimes) other children.
- He seemed a bit OCD at times - liking everything to be 'just so' - how he liked it.
At school he has just about managed, but seems to find it difficult and has never really loved school - often coming home tired and emotional, resulting in 5pm tearful meltdowns (him and me!)
We've had conversations/ school reports about focus/ concentration/ slow processing and he's had initial testing for dyslexia (not found).
When I've sat with him in the past to help e.g. plan a homework essay, I can see that his brain jumps all over the place. I can explain something to him in three simple steps and then when I say, 'OK, off you go, get on with it..' he'll say, 'er... what was the first one again?'
He was tested again 18 months ago at school for 'processing issues' but the SENCO reported back that while he was 'a bit slower than his peers at processing and recall' that it was within the 'normal range' and that he wouldn't qualify for any extra time in exams etc.
He's now into his second term of GCSE work and his school report this time was all about 'needs to settle down and focus'/ 'get down to work quicker'/ 'produce more in the time allowed'.
We had a long chat about it, and he got very upset, saying he really WANTS to do well, but that he just doesn't know what happens in class. That often he feels he hasn't heard/ understood and doesn't know what to do. That he tries to concentrate, but that his ends up thinking of lots of other things instead!
In the past we've had big meltdowns, and it's felt as if the world is ending for him, and then a couple of hours later it's all 'I'm fine, Mum, don't worry'
This time he said 'I think there is something wrong with me - and I wonder if I need to see a doctor to find out what it is'
I don't know whether/ how or where to take it from here? I've often thought that he might be on the spectrum for ADD/ADHD but didn't see what benefit there might be to pursuing a diagnosis.
Would just be grateful to have a chance to chat this through with anyone who has been through a similar experience. Right now I feel I have failed him as a parent
I would have him assessed again, by an ed psych preferably. He might have a spiky profile with strengths and weaknesses. Any strategies which could assist him to use his strengths to revise and plan work more methodically would be of more benefit pre gcse than later.
How do I find a good ed psych? I dont mind paying, as I can imagine trying to do anything through the NHS will be slow and/or impossible?
Is there any downside risk to getting a diagnosis? Would he forever have to 'declare' it as a medical condition on e.g. job applications, insurance forms etc?
The benefit of a diagnosis is several fold:
- You would know and would no longer be second guessing and wondering, and more importantly he would know.
- You would be able to access support, help to find strategies to help deal with the difficulties and bolster strengths
- extra time, concessions or PC use in exams
I don't think he will be obligated to let anyone know, although I may be wrong!
I had similar problems with my DS. He is now an adult and doing well, but there were times when he was a child that I broke my heart about it all. The schools were never helpful and most of the teachers seemed to find him annoying. Long story, but in the end he was diagnosed with dyspraxia. It affected every area of his life, and made everything hard for him,e.g. tying his shoe laces or remembering instructions. Having the diagnosis was really helpful,as we then had something to blame things on, to separate his difficulties from his personality. I won't say he emerged unscarred, but he's a wonderful adult. [mother's bias?].
Came on this board to talk about my son - He's 14, has just been diagnosed with dispraxia. That was a surprise!!
There was some difficulty in school, he was told he was lazy, not concentrating - definitely not producing enough work in the time allowed.
He had interventions for handwriting in juniors, but at senior school - they said they had no record that he had extra help or was on an IEP - so I had to get him seen/diagnosed. It took just over a year from seeing Peads to the occupational therapists to the gp ect but am glad I did as he's now got some interventions and acknowledgement that he is trying, finally.
I would say it's worth it.
oh OP I could have written your post. Currently struggling with 12 yr old DS who I think is on the spectrum. He's very bright but is finding secondary school very tough. Lots of friendship issues, (lack of friends), really struggling to produce work in allocated time, struggling with the whole environment. He's always been sensitive to noise, textures, change etc but it's taken off massively since seniors. We are having lots of meltdowns and it's breaking my heart. 😢I have self referred to CAMHS on recommendation of autusm Hampshire but that was months ago and we are still waiting for an appointment. School not being very helpful. So not much help I'm afraid but just wanted you to know you are not alone x x I'll be watching this post with interest x I hope things get better for you all x x
As far as disclosing a diagnosis I think that the armed forces are the only employers who have a right to ask. The DVLA also have to be told about certain conditions if applying for a driving licence.
OK - well I thought I'd report back!
We finally got a private EdPsych report done and LIZS you were right - he has a very spiky profile. He has been diagnosed with dyslexia and poor phonic blending, poor memory recall, but an underlying ability which puts him in the top 3%. No wonder the poor lad was so horribly frustrated.
Unfortunately it's now the end of term, so We can't get a meeting with the school SEN co-ordinator until September. But it's been recommended that he get extra time in exams.
I am going to have to try to 'gen up' about how to help him with the memory recall issues - GCSEs loom large
Sounds an all too familliar story to me..my son has dysphraxia, A.D.H.D. and dyslexia..all of the above mentioned behaviour and emotions etc were displayed but once he was officially diagnosed the gateways seemed to open as in the school immediately applied for a full statement which gives them xtra funding to be able to provide an L.S.A. for him to work one on one, she sat with him in class and helped him breakdown and process the information the teacher wad giving, he was allowed "timeout" of class with her when he felt he couldnt cope or was overwhelmed with info etc. The school purchased equipment such as sensory equipment for use in calming techniques, which also benefitted other kids as they could use it too seperately. He was provided with transport to and from school/college throughout his entire education and was allowed more time and equipment with regards to exams..in fact he sat in a room on his own with a teacher to do his exams..so i would say it is deffinately advisable to get him diagnosed as his behaviour may peak during the tough teen years and he may become anxious, depressed and angry as did my son. Hang on in there ..it does calm back down and regress slowly..I'm happy to say my son is now a highly intelligent young man with a great career (using his hands), and other than dvla he is not at liberty to disclose any of his previous health issues to anybody unless he were to enter a caring role for employment or a governing body ie police force army etc.
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