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Thread: ADD/ADHD Process

  1. #1

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    Default ADD/ADHD Process

    My DS2 (just about to turn 7yrs old) has been seeing a Paed for initially day time incontinence. That has improved.
    At our last appointment, she discussed getting him assessed for ADD/ADHD. This is due to his poor attention at school and when we have appointments with her, he constantly fidgets, wriggles and just does not sit still. She believes he may be on the low end of the scale and worth getting him assessed to get him some extra help especially at school.
    The fidgeting also occurs at meal times and at school during sit down and listen time. He is also very easily distracted.

    I have had a meeting with his teacher and literacy coach, this was before we headed down the Paed avenue. It was hinted in not so many words about his attention, at this time I thought they were angling for me to get him checked out for Auditory Processing.
    He has had his hearing tested and passed with no trouble, she mentioned she had to prompt him a few times to actually listen.

    After the last appointment with our Paed, she suggested I have a look at the Raising Childrens network website in the ADD/ADHD area.
    I had a good look, he seems to hit quite a few of the dot points.

    At this stage, we are just keeping an eye and ear out this term and I have spoken to his teacher about our appointment with his Paed. We have a review booked in to discuss at more lenghth and make a decision later in October.

    So after all my above, my question is this, what is the process for a diagnosis and how long does it take?

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2

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    It requires the teacher and parent filling out a questionnaire. They are then reviewed by the paed.

    If your child scores a particular number on the scale, they are diagnosed.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by nothing2lose View Post
    It requires the teacher and parent filling out a questionnaire. They are then reviewed by the paed.

    If your child scores a particular number on the scale, they are diagnosed.
    Same here we had the meeting with the teacher then scheduled the appointment with the peas took the parent/teacher answers to questionnaire gave that to the pead then they did a full interview assessment of Locky he was 7 - the peas will tell you what they feel is going on right then and there - then it was a couple of weeks with a written formal assessment for the school yourself and a copy to your dr! They will also discuss a plan of action with you re: medication if necessary (we tried it even though it didn't work for us) then a school action plan. Now it's more information retainment we are having issues with) school did a iq assessment and he was over 100 so the kid is smart he just has trouble remembering a long list of instructions. I repeat myself over and over and it's eventually starting to sink in! I know it can be overwhelming you are your child's rock and whatever your decision through your journey know that your an awesome carer and be gentle to yourself it can be tough! Xox

  4. #4

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    I guess our path is a bit different in that as well as the questionnaires we also have an assessment with an educational psychologist who will also do a wisc iv test and psychometric testing and some other stuff.

  5. #5

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    I should add my DD had an IQ test, etc the year before she was diagnosed by the school psych. The paed said he wouldn't do it again until she was older. He had the results of the tests when he made the diagnosis.

  6. #6

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    As Zazou said, my DS had a WISC and psychometric testing done at age 6-7. Many of the behaviours you have described could also describe my DS, ~H~, but the testing determined that he does not suffer from ADD/ADHD. He is a very smart, very active little boy who has a visual processing disorder and likes to push the boundaries!

    My DS really struggled during 'sit down and listen' time at school and a sensory cushion for 12 months has worked wonders.

    These active little boys are a challenge!

  7. #7

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    That's really interesting nickle730 and Zazou, I just had a quick look at the wisc-iv test.
    The Paed did not elaborate on what sort of testing she was thinking about. This appointment was the first time she mentioned further testing as we initially went for his day time incontinence.
    She had mentioned it based on how he is at the appointments and me bringing up the what went on at the meeting with his Teacher.

    I read in another thread about the sensory cushion, at one stage the teacher mentioned DS2 had asked (he had seen another little boy with them) if he could wear headphones to block out noise. She gave them to DS2 and said that he actually sat and did his work withing minutes.

    He is the sweetest funniest little boy, so in some ways this has come out of the blue to myself and DH.

    All very helpful..Thankyou.

  8. #8

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    Sweet, funny children have ADD/ADHD too yanno

    Hope you get to the bottom of it and he gets the help he needs

  9. #9

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    He has been diagnosed with ADHD and we have been given a prescription for Ritalin. A very low does of 1/2 tablet in the morning and other 1/2 at lunch time.

    If were to try and get a WISC and psychometric testing, is this through a child psychologist?

  10. #10

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    Subbing this topic. I had a very interesting conversation today with nothing2lose and I'm taking my ds2 to the gp tomorrow to discuss a ? ? diagnosis

  11. #11

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    Quote Originally Posted by ~ H ~ View Post
    He has been diagnosed with ADHD and we have been given a prescription for Ritalin. A very low does of 1/2 tablet in the morning and other 1/2 at lunch time.

    If were to try and get a WISC and psychometric testing, is this through a child psychologist?
    Yes a child psychologist would do a cognitive assessment (WISC-IV is not the only option but it is the most common).

    But keep in mind that will only give you IQ scores. It depends on what you are trying to achieve by the assessment as to whether it will be helpful at all. If you are wondering about his academic skills as well, a WISC-IV alone probably won't be very helpful. I am a bit disappointed the paed didn't request a psychologist assessment prior to diagnosis anyway. Also monitor how he goes with the Ritalin, if you don't notice any changes over a few months then it is worthwhile discussing with the Dr whether they are worth it at all.

    If he goes to a state school in Victoria you should be able to access the school psychologist through "student support services" who can do an assessment. But like any public service there is a wait, so if you want a quicker result going privately may be an option. Most of the universities have a clinic with provisional psychologist (in training) supervised to do assessments and it costs a lot less to do them this way. Just depends on what you want.

    The school psych may also be able to support the school manage some of those behaviours if they are causing frustration in the classroom. But it's tricky, like any strength or weakness it's often about how he learns to cope and manage with it.

    Feel free to PM me if you want, I might be able to give you some names or more direction if I know which part of Melbourne you are in.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    That is really helpful myturn.

    After discussions with my DH last night, we are not going to fill the Ritalin prescription just yet.
    He goes to a Catholic Primary School. Your suggestion of school psychologist is perfect as I think the school does have one and as we have the diagnosis of ADHD, they would be more than willing to refer us to them.

    His main problem is distraction and not being able to sit still. He was a little behind for the first couple of terms last year, we just worked a lot harder with him and made some headway towards last term with help from his teacher.

    My husband is extremely wary of Ritalin and feels it should be an absolute last resort. We are going to try Fidgets and perhaps the sensory cushion as well.

    I will PM you as well, as we would definitely consider a private psychologist if the school could not help in that regards.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    Hi H,

    My eldest son has ADHD. And as myturn said a child psychologist would do a cognitive assessment, we also worked close with the school based one, who spent one on one time with our DS. Again as myturn said Im not sure why you didn't have to do a psychologist assessment before you were given a diagnosis......we had the cognitive assessment plus a psychologist assessment and some other things too before our paed would even diagnose DS. Will try and pull out our paperwork later to let you know what tests we had done.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say that as your DS goes to a Catholic Primary School, definitely try access to the Pastoral Care facilities. They can be absolutely invaluable in terms of helping with a personal, social, physical, emotional, mental or spiritual nature. big hun, it must be difficult xx

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    I went to the gp today and have a referral to a paed, plus a mental health plan so I can get 6 subsidised visits to a child psychologist. What can I expect and should I tell the school now or wait until we have a diagnosis or not?

  16. #16

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    I should add that before the end of school term last year, we had an appointment with the Paed and she sent home an assessment that we filled in and one for the Teacher to fill. This is how the outcome came about on Thursday.

    Traveller, I would tell your DS2's teacher and have a meeting. They may already be aware of issues. Have you had meetings with his teacher before? This is how we came about my DS2's problems in the first instance.
    That way they may be able to get extra help in the class room for him.

  17. #17

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    H I was called into school at the end of term but the teacher seemed more concerned that DS2 needed to try harder and stop getting distracted by his friends/talking inappropriately. He also mentioned a lack of insight into the consequences of his actions/impulsiveness but adhd wasn't ever mentioned. It was only when I thought about his behaviour at school alongside the behaviour at home (which we have found some coping mechanisms for) that I thought it might be something more than just naughty behaviour. He will have a new teacher next week so I'll have a chat to her about my suspicions.

    I haven't particularly liked his teachers the last two years so maybe it's just that, and maybe this new teacher will not have any issues. Time will tell I guess.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: ADD/ADHD Process

    Definitely talk to his new teacher. Diagnosis or not, they'll get no where without an understanding teacher.

    DD's diagnosis was a little more involved. I was more looking into the Sensory Processing side of things. I didn't even really think about ADD.
    We though initially Auditory processing as well. We had her hearing tested & also had the school counsellor do an assessment. It was the school counsellor who noted her trouble with concentration (DD was only just 5 at the time).

    We then went to the GP & got a referral for an occupational therapist, along with the ECP. We did our assessment & she decided that while DD did have issues with her tactile & vestibular senses, she also had concentration issues. We did a few sessions of OT, got some tips & went to the paed. He pretty much diagnosed her without the questionnaire, but we & her teacher filled it out anyway. Unfortunately by that point DD was at a smaller school that really had no idea what AD/HD was. That was frustrating....

    We were prescribed Ritalin, but I took a while to fill the script. 3 months or more. I then only filled it so the script didn't get any more trashed in the bottom of my hand bag.

    12 months later I finally gave up & started medication. After getting her report & basically she'd learnt nothing in 6 months. Her teacher (same one for about 20 months so far & another year with her this year) has been awesome. She even made DD a weighted vest to try. It helped with the fidgeting, but not the concentration.

    We are now on long acting Ritalin & I'd say it'll be a long time before I try her without it. It also helps with her emotions at home. She's a VERY emotional child, & she does struggle with impulse control. (drew on walls til she was 7!)

    She's come a very long way since starting meds. The difference was noticeable within days.


    Once a child is diagnosed with ADD, they are also entitled to a Mental Health Care Plan, on top of the EPC. That's a further 12 subsidised sessions you're entitled too every 12 months.

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