something smells & its not t/literbox

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
something smells & its not t/literbox
Sun, 05-18-2003 - 7:59pm
Friday while my kids where in school I went to see a psychologist (who's child goes to my son's school) about biofeedback. His principal had mentioned her to me as a possible resource and after our big bad experience with the adderall/strattera, I thought it would be a good thing to explore. Quite a while back, the principal had said this lady would sit in on Liam's class and see if she thought he was a good match for it if it was ok w/me. I said sure. Last week I called the principals office to get her #, and she (the principal), never called me back. I remembered her name, so I called her directly. While we were on the phone I found out she'd already observed my son. He is 6 y/o K in private Catholic school. My thought was I didn't sign anything and why hadn't anyone said anything to me. Yet, with all the other things going on, I let that go. I told her she could discuss it with me when I met with her about the biofeedback.

Friday comes, she lets me into her office. She lays down two packets of paper. In the heading of the first one, it says Autism/autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurofeedback. The other says ADD/ADHD and Neurofeedback. One thing that has been a recurring theme at my sons school has been if he has Aspegers Syndrome (Autism Spectrum). She starts talking to me about brain waves and keeps pointing and flipping about the Autism packet. Totally talking fast and over my head. I realize these are results from someones published research as I happen to be published. However, I can't follow it as I am totally focused on the Autism cloud hanging in the room. I ask her to stop talking about the research for a moment and tell me what she saw while observing my son to make her thing he has Asperger's. She goes into this long tirade about how unimportant labels are and tells me it just isn't something we need to discuss. So I say forget about the label and just tell me what she observed. Also, I told her I wanted to know when she actually saw my son. She says she left those notes at home and that information wasn't done as a "psychologist" just as a person sitting there "cutting paper" with the kids. And it was really for the school to help them tell me what to do with him. To which I reply the school has never contacted me about any of it. When she came or what she said. Again she tells me about not acting as a "psychologist" so it wouldn't be information I could use. I say I have taken him to two psychologists and TEACCH only to be told they've ruled out the Asperger's. So what ever she saw that was "in the spectrum" I'd like to know because he will be evaluated by a third psychologist this summer to see what his issues are via learning. He is having a very hard time learning to read and is going to repeat K. At some point she says your son isn't Autistic, nor would he ever get a diagnosis of PDD-NOS or Asperger's. He has an atypical behavior that gave her a feeling of Autism about him. At that she started going back to the biofeedback. I said what is his atypical thingie. Then after a very long pause, she described something my son does (that he has done all his life).

When he is overstimulated, instead of focusing on something external, he will focus on something internal. You can talk to him, and it is like he doesn't hear you. He doesn't look at you and you may start to walk away. But then he will answer you. His diagnosis is ADD inattentive. When he got that diagnosis, I thought that was what they were talking about. One of my older sisters did this until junior high. Everyone says I did, too. I can remember being in school and thinking all about the pretty hula dancers (lived in Hawaii). Thus, I never gave this thing my son does much thought. I know he will outgrow it. Oh, my mom did it, too. Everyone in our family that did it also had a hard time learning to read and my mother is ADD inattentive. My mother and I both have our masters, my sister is a dental hygienist. All of us are social and well adjusted adults.

At this point I let her go back to the biofeedback. After she finishes, I tell her I want to know when exactly she observed him so I can tell my doctor, as he's been on a lot of different meds and doses, so it would be good to compare her observations to a time line because the higher his doses got the more socially isolated he became. Observations other then the atypical thing. (She had some).

She tells me that she said all she was going to say about it to the school in her summery, and I can't disclose to my doctor that she observed him. I told her I have a masters in counseling, and that wasn't something I thought she could do. She got very upset with me. (I haven't worked in years and I worked for a state agency where before we wrote one word down on anything it was copied and signed by the client in a summery and only that summery went into the file). I know I would have lost my job at the observing w/out signed informed consent, in reference to the observation, regardless of of whether or not I said I was doing it as a counselor or a paper cutter. As my sons legal guardian that consent would have been from me: the parent. But I don't know how that works in the public sector. Also, when I called her on the phone, she'd said my son wasn't the only child she'd observed that day and there were a lot of other kids she was "helping out" with. I told her those parents had a right to know she observed them and what she saw. I asked her what was in her summery of my son. She told me ( I think out of a desire to get me to just go away). In it, she told the principal I needed to consult teacch for his Aspergers type behavior, but didn't tell her what that behvior was. I left after saying goodbye rather awkwardly.

This weekend I have been so sidetracked by the idea of biofeedback, I sort of didn't think too much about this whole thing. Of course, with someone else doing the biofeedback other then her. But now that I've come to my senses, what do I do with all this?

The principal gave me the impression she was going to tell me what went on (the psychologist). And now I'm thinking it sort of blew up in her face after she let this woman see the kids. I also found out from the school nurse she only observed kids on the one day. The principal probably got the same business as me. But I don't know. I think I should know and I will ask her. Any thoughts? Any psychologists out there with any thoughts?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 9:08am
Hi. Have you had the chance to read up on PDD or aspergers?

Here is a link to one place that helped me understand

the many degrees of it.

Also the O.A.S.I.S site and Third Planet Syndrome.

It's good reading if the "cloud of autism" is still lingering

in the background. In the very least you could read it and

say "Ok, this Isn't my kid".

Maybe your 3rd psychologist will be more helpful to you than

the first two. Do you keep a journal? a list of behaviors good

and bad? Do you have notes from the teacher that you can take

to your appointment? It took Several dr, psychologist, neurologist

visits to get my sons diagnosis of PDD. He was dxed with ADHD

at age 3. One visit to the office really won't show the dr

how your child is. We had to go in several times at

different times of the day so the dr could note

every moment how he behaved at certain times of the day, with

medication, without medication. Staging situations to

see how his behavior would be. ex. taking a toy away, asking him

to do things.. I could go on and on about the whole diagnostic

progress. He was in Rehab since age 1 for developmental delays

so we had notes from then on.

I hope you get the answers you need and your child gets

the help he needs. We also have an Aspergers and PDD

messege board here at parent soup, your welcome to

come visit us over there as well if you have any more questions.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 2:16pm

Thanks for the sight. That was very helpful. I don't think that he'd meet any of those criteria as he has no developmental delays other that a problem with reading. His language is right on track as is the rest, he just does that pause thing. Like when a lot is going on, he is two beats behind. If he isn't in the middle of a group, then he isn't pausing like that. Thanks!

Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-20-2003 - 11:25am
I would get a copy of your sons file form the school. I know with public schools allyou have to do is show up & say I want a copy of everything in his file. Private I have no clue, you may benefit from an education lawyer. IF they out anything in his records about any of this, it can follow him the rest of his school years. It's really good to know what is in there. Sounds to me like the school is using this lady to observe the kids, for what reason I am not sure of. Maybe to be able to tell the parents that the kid has autism or something and they are not equiped with the right resources for this problem. Just to get the child out & to keep their scores up, believe me I have seen that happen before with an autistic child. Yes it was a christian private school who did it to.

Go with your gut, intuition is usually right. If something is not right about all this, it probably isn't. If you want to follow up on this more, get an education advocate or lawyer to help you.