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Sophomore girl, struggling, first pysch visit next week

VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 2,568 Senior Member
My D20 has been seeing a therapist since the fall, initially for anxiety/depression but as they've talked more the therapist feels like she should be evaluated for ADHD and for medication to treat.

What should I expect from the first visit?

D is highly gifted, particularly in math but as high school has ramped up her grades are slipping and she has trouble staying on task and managing her to do list. She runs or swims 2 hours a day, has since very young and I believe that has helped her manage to now.

She has always struggled with writing, but is better on keyboarding. She was referred for dyslexia tesitng in fourth grade but diagnosis was listed as possible, not confirmed due to 9-12th grade reading level results.

One thing at a time though, I think. Focus on ADHD right now?

Replies to: Sophomore girl, struggling, first pysch visit next week

  • zannahzannah Registered User Posts: 996 Member
    Don't focus on the diagnosis. Remember how people to go a doctor because suspect x and diagnosed z. You need to be open to questions and conclusions, ask for more information or explanation, and question, challenge, explain differences you see. To some degree, what to expect depends on the diagnostician, affiliation such as school or private, the referral with the information and specificity (got one saying unknown quantity), provide timeline and schedule. Diagnosticians are experienced meeting nervous parents. Be more concerned about the report.

    The diagnosis may be ADHD and medication is prescribed. This disorder is not comparable to an illness where taking medication for a period of time and the illness is gone.

    ADHD is a chronic condition that manifests almost everywhere at times. It is important to know when and how it manifests. The impact is broader on learning so needs include time management, attention and concentration, study and test taking skills, etc

    Depending on diagnosis, recommend books by Peg Dawson on Amazon.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 2,568 Senior Member
    Technically I guess it is a self referral. There is no information being sent her by anyone but me.
  • eandesmomeandesmom Registered User Posts: 3,302 Senior Member
    Have you made an appointment for testing yet? There are many ways to be evaluated and kids can present as having ADHD but it may be something else entirely. Having been down this road, a full workup will give you a lot more to work with than a simple ADHD only evaluation by your pediatrician.

    In terms of what to expect it depends on the testing given first but in all scenarios whether they screen primarily for ADHD or other items you’ll be asked to complete questionnaires either paper or online or both, and they will likely request teacher participation if possible.

    But having been down the road of a wrong diagnosis and treating the wrong problem, if you can do the full workup I would. Generally that means an intake appointment and then they will outline what kind of testing they think is needed and you go from there.

  • LeafyseadragonLeafyseadragon Registered User Posts: 206 Junior Member
    Look into Dysgraphia for the writing component. My sophomore girl has an anxiety and depression diagnosis. She thought she had ADHD because my son has it, but after evaluation it appears that her lack of focus or concentration ability are a manifestation of her depression. Increasing her Prozac helped. By the way, Prozac is the 3rd antidepressant she has tried, another frustrating experience, contact me via P.M. if you want to talk about it.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 2,568 Senior Member
    I have suspected dysgraphia since she was very small but the school district doesn't seem to think a B student could have any issues.
  • LeafyseadragonLeafyseadragon Registered User Posts: 206 Junior Member
    Ugh. Of course they don't. So sorry but keep in mind the school district is reluctant to look into it because then they might have to pay for treatment or accommodations.
  • eandesmomeandesmom Registered User Posts: 3,302 Senior Member
    Bear in mind as well that the schools are simply not equipped to understand bright kids, with actual LD's. They see kids that grasp the material and see smart but lazy when really there could be sooo many things going on. Not once has the school suggested either of my kids have issues. And when issues were brought to their attention it was made clear that they really wouldn't qualify for accommodations as...they were B students that the teachers thought were fine. If you have concerns, do testing on your own, it is unlikely anyone else will suggest it.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 2,568 Senior Member
    We have an SST meeting scheduled with teachers and counseling.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 5,008 Senior Member
    I would recommend full neuropsychological testing. It's expensive but it can be very useful and informative in cases like your daughter's where there may be a constellation of issues holding her back.

    Kids under stress can look like they have ADD when they don't. On the flip side, some kids can compensate enough for ADD that they look like they're doing fine when in reality they'd be much more successful with medication and/or therapy.

    The advice to go in with an open mind is good. ADD testing is really just a matter of looking at what the patient and those around them report. If you simply pursue ADD testing you might miss out on other issues that are either presenting as ADD or co-exist with ADD. Dysgraphia, visual-spatial weakness, working memory issues, and many other LD's can go along with ADD.
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