Friday, May 22, 2015

Evaluating Benj

Getting Benji evaluated to see if we can make school less torturous for him.

Unfortunately, none of the evaluations asked, "Does your child melt down when he doesn't get a turn?"  or "Does your child run when he gets upset?"

So far we know this:

1.  No autism
2. No speech issues that require speech therapy
3. That stupid psychologist who told me I'm just a bad mom and should change religions has since been fired, along with 3 of her co-workers. As she should have been--least competent professional I've ever worked with. She actively modified her behavior to counter any ADD/ADHD and then said he had no attention problems.

So far so good. We'll see what happens next.

What I think:  Benj has no-tic Tourette Syndrome and SPD and is gifted.

This is a controversial, "not real" diagnosis he can't officially get because SPD is now grouped with autism, and Benj doesn't have autism so he will have a hard time getting a "pure SPD" diagnosis because nobody does that, even though it exists.

And the diagnostic criteria for TS require tics of varying kinds even though the TS community all agree that the "behavioral side" of TS is the harder challenge (these: and very real. Nobody, to my knowledge, has ever proposed that there is a non-tic TS except me. I think that they misdiagnose these kids as having ADHD, OCD, Oppositional-Defiant disorder, etc. when in fact it's TS. So it looks like ADHD but has a different timbre to it. Similar, but not quite the same, just like stuttering and palilalia are similar, but not the same. Just like SPD and autism are similar, but not the same. They taste slightly different, just like oranges and tangelos taste slightly different and look slightly different but could easily be mistaken for one another.

And the giftedness is hidden by his challenges, which is officially called 2e (twice exceptional) by parents in the gifted community. (SO so so many gifted kids are misdiagnosed with ADHD or autism/asperger's because gifted looks different than people think it does. See this: and also this:

I know everyone has pushed me (off and on) to put different of my children on ADHD meds for their benefit, and I am certainly in favor ADHD meds for people--I think it breaks shackles. But I have always hesitated to give them to my kids and husband. And I have recently learned that ADHD meds actually make Tourette Syndrome worse. So it was good that we never gave them to my "twitchy" kids (as the TS community calls it) because it would have been a cascade of problems.

So anyway, on we go, waiting to see first what the district concludes and secondly how I feel about that (since their diagnostic criteria includes, I learned today, that the disability, in their eyes, does not exist unless it interferes with how a child functions in a typical classroom. If it doesn't interfere in the classroom, they won't acknowledge it unless you get it diagnosed outside their system and bring the diagnosis to them and force them to recognize it. So that means I'm unlikely to get a good "absolute" diagnosis from them--that's not their goal, no matter how much a child's problems interfere at home or other non-school settings).

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