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annotated_alice
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16 Sep 2009, 5:10 pm

We had our first appointment with a new psych today, and I left feeling really frustrated. It was just my husband and I there talking about our concerns for our sons. One of our primary concerns for L is how to work with him on some of his OCD type behaviours, for instance stringent rules surrounding his room and belongings, because he is very concerned about privacy and harm. The psych said that many people with OCD have underlying anger, and then continued on with the assumption that our son is angry, defiant, manipulative, dishonest etc. I kept trying to get the meeting back on track, by explaining that we see L's OCD type behaviours stemming from great anxiety, and that he is a very sweet, cooperative, teachable kid, when he a.) recognizes a problem and acknowledges a need for change, either based on his or our wishes, and b.) is not overwhelmed by fear. But we kept coming back to statements and questions that clearly showed the psych thinks he is an angry, defiant kid, and when I said for the third or 4th time that I do not think he is a difficult or defiant kid, he kind of laughed and said, "but would his teachers say that?" As if I am just a mistaken, indulgent mother who doesn't perceive her child clearly. HIS TEACHERS CONSTANTLY SAY WHAT A PLEASURE HE IS TO WORK WITH! Psych expressed surprise and mild disbelief at this.

I thought that underlying anxiety could be the cause of OCD behaviours, as well as anger and trauma? I just don't see my son as terribly angry, he is terribly anxious and overwhelmed. I am so frustrated after this appointment. It feels like he has prejudged our son before ever meeting him, and that nothing we said was really getting across a clear picture of what L is really like.



Tonyp
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16 Sep 2009, 7:11 pm

It's helpful to remember that in terms of reliable results, psychiatry is only one step ahead of alchemy.
If this guy isn't listening to you, then he is useless at best.



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16 Sep 2009, 8:07 pm

I've never been to a psych, but I would imagine that there are some out there that only go by what they read, and nothing else. I would say, poor short-term memory, poor time management, anxiety, as well as many other things, all contribute to OCD behaviors. It's like a domino effect.

One example from my personal experience:
I have trouble remembering to set the alarm clock sometimes, and end up going into work late because of that, so I constantly worry if it is set, then keep checking, and re-checking it to make sure it is set properly.



southwestforests
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16 Sep 2009, 9:24 pm

Simple explanation - Psychiatrist sees "Child-in-a-box", Child and box not sold separately

Like my wife ran into with her kids - "I have an expensive education and Initials Behind My Name - You're just a dumb mother/housewife/woman, what could YOU possibly comprehend about your childrens' health and behavior." :evil:

Yeah, time to make a change.
Is it possible to assess whether Psych is open to learning you have some observational skills and general smarts?
Might stay if he shows that.
Better change if not.

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annotated_alice
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17 Sep 2009, 9:13 am

Tonyp wrote:
It's helpful to remember that in terms of reliable results, psychiatry is only one step ahead of alchemy.


This cheered me up immensely. :)

I agree with the "child in a box". I think in his head OCD=anger, and autistic child=badly behaved. Sure, my son gets angry when he feels like no one is listening to him, and can't behave to meet a certain standard if he is in sensory overload, but outside of that he is particularly well behaved and pleasant to be around. We have agreed to see this psych one more time. My husband feels that he just needs to meet L, and his assumptions will change. I am not so sure, and if he approaches L from a negative POV, we are outta there! My son gets enough negativity from the kids at school, I will not allow some old, blowhard of a psych to treat him like a discipline case.



gramirez
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17 Sep 2009, 10:34 am

Ditch the psych. He sounds like the type who just wants to throw pills at everything, even if there's nothing there. You should find a psych that will actually listen to what you have to say. After all, no one knows your child better than you do.


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persian85033
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17 Sep 2009, 2:39 pm

Well, my anger comes mostly from that I get frustrated because people just don't understand.



annotated_alice
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22 Oct 2009, 7:42 pm

An update on this: We are now finished with this psych. We went for a second visit and things seemed to look up, he even had a few useful observations. By the 3rd visit we were back to questions like "Do you think their emotional reactivity is genuine?" The psych's theory seemed to be that the misbehaviour/meltdowns exhibited by my sons is a manipulative ploy to "shut down" their parents and get what they want. He repeatedly ignored my suggestions that we find 98% of their misbehaviour comes from anxiety and sensory overload, and that this doesn't happen often at all and isn't even why we are seeking help. We simply do not have a discipline problem with them. We would like help for them in managing anxiety. But he was totally stuck on the idea of anger/manipulation.

He also questioned one of my son's Aspergers diagnosis, on the basis that my son seems very aware of his own emotional state and sensitive to what other people are thinking, while someone with Aspergers should be oblivious. I tried to explain that a.) we and the school have been working a lot with him to be able to recognize and articulate his feelings (5 point scale). And that people with Aspergers can be keenly aware of their own feelings. And that b.) while my son is very concerned about what other people may be thinking/feeling, he chronically misconstrues what these thoughts and feelings may be. For example he is often beside himself with embarrassment and anxiety because he thinks the other children will notice and make fun of some very small, innocuous thing that no one in a million years would ever notice or care about. And if he does somehow manage to correctly interpret a situation involving someone else's thoughts or feelings, he has NO IDEA what to then do about it. It was amazing how little the psych seemed to know about Aspergers. He kept asking them questions like "would you like to maybe try some anxiety exercises now?" and then would interpret their, very predictable, answer of "no" as more proof of defiance and noncooperation. Hello! Black and white thinking? They can't read between the lines of the fact that we came here to do the exercises and you expect them to say yes, you gave them a choice, so they gave you an honest answer!

When I called him on the phone after this meeting to explain that I was uncomfortable with several things from our session (didn't want to get into it with the boys there), he immediately said that he would refer us to someone else because it isn't a "good fit". While I agree wholeheartedly, I felt frustrated that we had opened up our family's personal lives and wasted our time for nothing.

I felt so bad after that 3rd session that it had me questioning everything we have ever done as parents, my sons' dxs, everything. I even went in to the school to talk to their teachers, just to reassure myself that we aren't just blindly indulgent parents who are in denial about being manipulated by their horrible children (I know it is nonsense, but it is hard to be confident when a very experienced counsellor who came highly recommended sees your family this way). Both of their teachers raved about how "polite" and "pleasant" my sons are, and how hard they are trying. No manipulation. No outbursts to try to get their own way. Just two very anxious aspie kids trying to navigate school as best they can.

I am so glad that we are done with that guy. :(