messy. crazy. amazing. joyful.

We're not all officially ADHD. Dad's unofficial. Our ten-year-old twins have ADHD. Our seven-year old wants to have it because everyone is always talking about it. Our three year old has ADHD--just because she's three. And me, Mom, I think it's contagious. Who can remain untouched in a house where shoes seem to be lost every morning, instructions are routinely thrown aside, and fights erupt over which continent capybaras come from?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Neuropsychological Testing

I love the trampoline.
            Next week is our appointment with psychiatrist, Dr. Adam Schwebach.  As we probably all do, I am hoping he will make solid discoveries and diagnoses and will know exactly what to prescribe to solve all our problems. But if I have learned anything about medicine and healing (from infertility treatment, my father having cancer, and trying to figure out family ADHD stuff), I’ve learned that medicine is not an exact science. I already have two conflicting diagnoses for Luke. His pediatrician thinks he has ADHD, but the school psychologist thinks he just has social difficulties arising from being gifted and feeling different.
            We have three different appointments on three consecutive days. The first day we will bring all our files to the office and go over them with the staff. We have been asked to complete several parent forms:
-       a seven-page childhood history form
-       a seven-page Conners CBRS parent form
-       a two-page social attributes checklist
-       a home situations questionnaire
-       a two-page ASRS parent ratings response form

In addition, each child’s teacher has filled out several pages of forms that we will bring. (They were really interesting to read as their opinions about the kids were different from ours in some cases.) And we have been asked to bring school records, report cards, medical records, and previous testing records as well.

We will spend an hour discussing each child’s case. I have funny thoughts about how I am going to respond. Sometimes I think, “I don’t want to give them too much information or influence them with my perceptions, I just want them to come to their own conclusions.” But then I think, “Half of a psychological evaluation comes from observation, and I’m the one who observes them most.” Also, I know their intent is to help us, but I have had some appointments where I feel like I’m advised to just be a more caring or consistent parent. Then I think, “Maybe I shouldn’t have been so open. I shouldn’t have admitted that I’ve spanked them.” How do you let them know that you are a truly committed, loving parent but ready to tear your hair out and send the kids to their rooms for the rest of their lives sometimes?

Okay, so I know we’re not going to arrive at any definitive answers, but there are a few things I hope we can address. I would like to know if ADHD is the right diagnosis for Luke and Isabelle and if they have co-morbid conditions such as anxiety, ODD, or sensory processing disorder. I want to help Izzy have better peer friendships, better problem solving skills, and greater emotional control. I want to help Luke keep a jacket for one entire season, have better peer friendships, less aggression, and be better able to enjoy activities other than television and computer/video games.  Plus, I would like some advice on behavioral and occupational therapy. No instant miracles. Just the next step in climbing Everest.


  1. You have such a clear and concise way of stating things. I wish I had your talent! M

  2. I hope the appointments meet your expectations. We have such high hopes for these and, as you have experienced before, some fail us. Sounds like you are seeing a very thorough doc, we did not have testing and evaluation nearly this lengthy. If there's a neuro component to the eval, I'd love to hear about it. My Luke has never had that and I've wondered about it, that and blood work for iron levels, etc. I don't think there's a neuro in my area that works with ADHD.

    Anyhow, GOOD LUCK!


  3. We are hoping that you get some answers - either way. I think knowledge is power.