My Child’s Diagnosis

As things have just progressively gotten worse over the last 2 years, I decided it was time. Ever since Pickle started preschool I have wondered if something was “wrong”. I say “wrong” in quotes because having a condition or disability is not wrong, but since it is not normal and interferes with things that is the term that is used. I felt like we needed to do something beyond what we knew.

When he started preschool, he was lying all the time. I actually even wrote a post about it My child, the liar. I didn’t think a whole lot about it then other than being a typical child learning right from wrong. Once we were into the preschool routine I started noticing that his memory was not the greatest. He couldn’t remember what he did during school each day, he couldn’t remember things being told to him; even short term (like in the span of 10 minutes after being said). He started making the comment that he “has a forgetting brain”. Now, I don’t know about most 4 year olds, but I was bewildered as to how he could even articulate that. After a few months of preschool I finally had the chance to speak with the teacher about things. I asked if she had noticed anything off and her response was “no, that is just a typical boy thing”. Beings that he is our first child, we are still learning things as they arise on what is “normal” and what is not. I figured she (teacher) was suppose to be the professional out of the two of us, so I figured she knew better than I did. Of course, he still had his social anxiety, but we already knew that. We were trying to help him through that, but we just let everything else remain the same. Doing what we could with what we knew to try and teach him.

Then we moved and Pickle started Kindergarten at a new school (his old school wouldn’t let him transfer). He still seemed to have the same “forgetting brain”. Now we had to add in his inattention and his need to constantly be moving. I noticed these things before, but wrote them off to “he is just a boy”. After all, that is what everyone kept telling me. His social anxiety definitely improved, but while that was improving other things were getting worse. He was becoming angry, his lies were more frequent, he was stealing, he was having severe meltdowns over seemingly little things. Now, I know kids change all the time as they grow and they learn, but this seemed like more than that. I kept thinking in my mind that something was “just not right”. Sometime after school started, I had noticed his room started to smell like pee. Yes we have animals, but I know the difference between animal urine and human urine. I constantly was asking him if he was peeing in his room or in his bed and his answer was always a very confident “no”. I let it be for awhile, waiting to find the culprit in the act, whoever it was [update on this down below]. It was also during Kindergarten that we had started seeing some deeper signs of things. He had once made the comment that he was going to kill himself with his necklace. THIS was what set me off and said okay this is not “just a boy thing” I have to do something more. I need help. More importantly, he needs help.

I sent a message to his teacher because he had also mentioned he felt like he was being bullied at school. In that message I also informed her of the things he had said. She set me up with the phone number for the school counselor and let me know that she would have to let the principal know about the situation so that everyone is on the same page. I also informed his pediatrician. His teacher talked to the whole class and they talked to the students involved. The counselor had given us some information about taking him to therapy. I called and set up an appointment. We went to this appointment and let me tell you, the lady we saw was definitely not a child’s therapist. She made us feel like our children were a burden to her and her glass objects that they wouldn’t stop touching. She even made the comment to my husband that he needed to take our daughter (2 years old) out of the room if she couldn’t stop touching. Like, what? During the session she really only had Pickle do one thing and that was to draw his anger. I thought that was interesting and to see how he pictured himself. I left there knowing we were not going to go back.

After about a week it was like none of it had ever happened. I left it alone, waiting to see if he said anything or showed anymore signs of depression and violence, but it just seemed to have gone away. Meanwhile, his other issues were still very present. Once again, I asked his teacher if she noticed any of the hyperactivity, inattention, and memory troubles. Yet again, I was told, “typical boy”. I thought maybe he is just a typical boy, maybe all children are like this. Yet, it was still gnawing at me. I saw how my niece and nephew were and kept comparing him to them thinking “something just is not quite right with my son”. I had googled and pinterested everything I could possibly find. All my searches led me back to the same thing… ADHD. Having mental illnesses myself and having learned about a lot of them in my college career, it was always in the back of my mind. Yet, I kept getting the “typical boy” response from others. I finally called and set up an appointment with the pediatrician about getting tested for ADHD. She left some paperwork for me at the office desk and I picked it up immediately. There were 3 packets; one for me, one for my husband, and one for Pickle’s teacher. At the time I did this, school had just finished for the year, so I couldn’t give the teacher the packet. My husband and I filled out the papers separately, but we both came back with practically the same answers; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Now I had already had my suspicions about ADHD, but I had never heard of ODD before.

{A short run down – Oppositional Defiant Disorder is patterns of being angry, irritable, argumentative and defiant; where the child doesn’t see any problems with it.}

Of course I started researching the heck out of ODD to find that many children with extreme ANXIETY get misdiagnosed with ODD. Given we already knew he had problems with anxiety, I am almost certain that that is what is going on. Anxiety so intense that it comes out the same as ODD symptoms would. Granted, I am definitely not a doctor, but that is my “mother’s intuition”.

We returned the paperwork and then within a few days the doctor’s office called me to set up a follow-up appointment. I went to that appointment and she referred us to the child’s psychologist (at least I think that is the term they used). However, it was like a month wait for an appointment. So for the last month, his behavior has gotten much worse. Bed time being the worst part of the day typically. I have been trying really hard to practice some of the new things that I found online to see if we would get a positive result from it; some worked and some didn’t.

[A little back note here: Over the Summer I signed us all up for the summer reading program at the local library. Reading was something Pickle was having difficulty with at school so I figured the more he practiced the better he would get. I added reading a book to his daily to-do list. I would track it on the app the library had to keep a tally on the minutes read. Last week, we all finally reached the end minutes goal for the final prize of the program. The kids each wound up getting some galactic slime.]

Monkey had been trying to find her slime for awhile to no avail. Finally Pickle made the comment that “maybe it is just in my room”.

I said, “is it in your room?”

“Just probably” he said.

I said, “so if I go to your room will I find it?”

“Maybe, she does go in there ya know…” he said

“hmm, okay, let me go check in your room” and I got up with the baby to go see.

Pickle starts walking quickly and says, “no hold on let me go check”.

I said, “No, sit down on the steps and I will go look”

Fortunately he complied with sitting down on the stairs, but said “okay, I just took it”

I went in his room and found her slime. Now, yes it is just slime. However, he had his own and didn’t need hers other than the fact that he wanted it for himself. We had a very long discussion about stealing and honesty and how stealing leads to prison.

Update about the pee…

[Back story: In March, after finding out we were expecting baby number 3, We had begun discussing moving Pickle to the 4th bedroom on the main level of the house. He actually was quite excited for it. We moved his room down there, switched Monkey’s room to the room he was in, and set up the nursery in her old room. It didn’t take long before I started smelling pee in his new room. Again, I kept asking if he was peeing in his room or wetting the bed, to which he would reply “no” or “maybe it is the cats”. I shampooed his carpet several times where I found the smell coming from, though it was never actually wet. Perhaps it was a ghost playing tricks?]

SO the day after the whole slime ordeal, I had been thinking about how I needed to clean his carpet again because it smelled and I didn’t want all his clothes smelling; especially with school about to begin again. I decided to ask him one more time.

“So I need to ask you something and I need you to be honest with me,” I said.

“okay..” he replied.

“I mean like really REALLY honest..”

He replied with, “okay”.

I said, “have you been peeing in your room?”

He made a face like ‘oh no’ and said “yes”.

You could tell he felt ashamed for it. Instead of lashing out and reprimanding him, I talked it out with him and said he cannot be doing that because it can cause health problems and how we don’t have money to be replacing carpet in his room. I left it alone until Chris got home from work (he already knew what was going on). After he got home, I had Pickle take me to his room to show me where he had been peeing. However, this time, I stepped in it. I reminded him that he could not be doing this anymore. There is a bathroom literally right next to his room. We spent the rest of the night cleaning carpet and washing his clothes. I told him if he does it again he is going to have to wear diapers. The odd part is, he wasn’t doing it in the middle of the night like you would think a kid would. He was doing it in the middle of the day when he would get dressed. I really don’t know how he has never been caught. This was about two weeks ago from present day.

Today we finally had his therapy appointment. It basically was just a get to know us session to determine what needs to be worked on. One thing I learned is that before she is willing to do any further testing for ADHD, she wants to test his iron and get his sleeping habits to bettering levels first. I am completely on board with her plans. She even said it is going to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better.

I don’t feel so helpless now. I am eager to begin, but I don’t want to overwhelm him with 100 things at one time either. It will be a learning process for us all.

I guess I just want those other parents who are spending the wee hours of the morning googling reasons their child pees in their room deliberately or is this “typical boy” behavior, to know that they aren’t alone. I also want to say that it isn’t a bad thing to need help from outside resources. If your struggling with your child or they are struggling it isn’t wrong to need help. Not helping them, especially ones that do have a disorder or extra needs, is only hurting them more. Don’t be ashamed if your kid isn’t “normal”, get them the help they need and deserve. For not only your sanity, but also their well being.

Jenn

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3 thoughts on “My Child’s Diagnosis

Add yours

  1. Really good message at the end! I’m not a parent. But it does kind of resonate regarding some movies I’ve seen. I hope everything with you and your kids goes fine in the future 💙💙💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It is a hard “job”, but well worth it. I have seen many parents struggle with getting their child help because they feel ashamed or are in denial. Kids only know what they see and are taught. To them it is normal unless told otherwise. They deserve to be successful human beings. I just hope this may help at least one person who is struggling with it.

      Liked by 1 person

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