Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.
So I did it, I made an appt for my daughter to see a psychologist to be evaluated for ADD/ADHD. I am torn up inside regarding this. I was really hoping I did not have to go this route but it seems my daughter is just having more and more difficulties in concentrating, focusing and staying on task. It is an everyday thing with her at school and now that she is in 1st grade her grades are slipping because she is not finishing her work or focusing on it and getting them wrong. She is very smart and I know she can do the work so I get fustrated when she brings home a paper with an "F". We go over the paper again and she gets them all right. That shows me she was just not focusing or in the mood at that time. I just want my bubbly, sweet, silly girl to still be there and I am afraid medication is going to take that away.
There are lots of interventions you can try first before meds and the psychologist should know of some. Are you going to get an IEP with the school? That will give her some protections, and she will get some extra help. You can go to ADHD support groups through the school (FDLRS) or at least get on the FDLRS email list. They offer free workshops for different disabilities and learning disorders all the time. I loved ADDitudes magazine. It had a good balance of information on medication/non-medication approaches.
Honestly, I tried everything I could for my son...diet changes, cutting out food coloring and other artificial stuff, supplements (called the pediatrician first to run it by her), cutting screen time, occupational therapy (he was already in there for other issues, so it worked out well). I even bought games that used the same concepts as interactive metronome therapy. I also bought timers, charts and organizers but he hated that stuff. It "forced" him to use those "organizing" parts of his brain so he avoided it.
The good news is, we're still getting by without meds and he's in 5th grade now! I am tempted to try them, but he has some other health issues that may get worse if he takes meds (side effects), so I avoid all medications, even over the counter, unless it is a last resort. I also worry about it changing his unique personality, like you said...and the long term effects, etc.
Tracy, a psychologist cannot prescribe medications. They do counseling...talk therapy, that kind of thing. So, a psychologist will only refer you to a psychiatrist for medications after all of the approaches she tries/recommends don't seem to be helping. I work in the field, having worked for psychiatrists and psychologists for the last 17 or so years. I had my son on ADHD meds many years ago..he is 22 now, so about 15 years ago. I took him off. He did not like the way he felt, and I, frankly, was leary of "down the road" (later in life) side issues. I wanted him to learn to compensate. He did okay. Sometimes he is still scattered and forgetful, but he does great. Don't give up. It is hard now...I remember those days well. Good luck and God Bless.
This is through my insurance company and that is who they referred me to. I was told by them that psychiatrists do not test for ADHD, that you have to go to a psychologist for that and some psychologist can prescribe medication. At this point I am going to go to the appt because it is under our EAP insurance and they offer 3 free sessions. She is getting D's and F's on paperwork because she is to focused on everything around her and not her work.
I also assumed IEP's where used for children with diagnosed disabilities. I have a cousin that has one but is has Cerebal Palsey. She is currently in the STEAM program because she was so bored in Kindergarten. I am wondering if I ask for extra help for her through an IEP, will they allow her to stay in that class. She can do the work if she could focus.
Psychologists in the state of Florida cannot prescribe medications. Only in New Mexico and, I believe Louisiana can they. Even Nurse Practitioners cannot prescribe Schedule II (controlled substances) medications....such as amphetamines...unless they prescribe Strattera, which is not an amphetamine. You were given incorrect information by your insurance company. Psychiatrists are MEDICAL DOCTORS that DO test for ADD, only not the same way psychologists do. They are the only ones that can RX meds for ADD in this state. Check on the IEP...the child psychiatrist I used to work for in Tampa used to do the forms and write letters to the schools to get the ADD kids who needed it the extra help, the extra test taking time, the extra things these kids sometimes need.
I too am with you and I think we discussed this last year. We had him evaluated last year at the end of school year by a phschologist who diagnosed him with ADHD and we put different alternative therapies in place such as structure routine, diet modification, but nothing has helped so we are having him evaluated by a dr this year. The physchologist stated that "they" the medical field only use medication as a last resort and and if the behavior is affecting the childs progress in school. My little man is in the 1st grade and in the gifted program and brings home all A's, so he's not suffering, but he is a huge distraction to the class. I almost think he needs more work. I know it sounds wierd, but doing all the research and watching my little man, I'm pretty sure I was ADHD, just never diagnosed. As an adult, I find I focus better when faced with many tasks, than just one. As my mind moves a mile a minute, one topic of focus is really hard, but 20 topics and I'm brilliant!
Good Luck with your little one and let us know of your expierence.
We went to the physchologist this morning and everything went good. I was a little emotional at times but this whole thing has just overwhelmed me. Kylie was great with the doctor. He commented on how at ease she was there and typically children come in and are very shy and standoffesh. Not my girl. She was all over the room seeing what she could get her hands on. He can see how she would have a hard time at school because most of the hour we where there she never sat for more than a minute. He definitely feels with observing her that she is ADHD with possible ODD(Oppisitional Defiant Disorder). ODD can not be treated with drugs. He is hoping that once we get the ADHD under control the other with be less and we can get a handle on it. We go back next week. I have spoke with her pediatrician and they need a report from the doctor with his findings and once they review it they will get with us on what the next step is.
Feeling a little as ease with it now but am still really worried about the medication. I have heard so many stories about different drugs and their affects. Does any have any info or know of one drug over the other that is good. I know each drug affects each person different but just trying to all different kinds of info on it.
Tracy, I am so happy that you feel more at ease and you have armed yourself with information and know-how when helping your daughter.
I've known a lot of children on medication, and many it helped tremendously. Those that seemed to have instability already had those tendencies without medicine. I'm sorry I can't help with brand and dosing, I don't have that experience, but I wish you the best luck in your journey. :)