Did I mention the clinician started by saying, "Let's start with the good news, the good news is that Miss does not have any learning disabilities. However, ..." I thought here we go, what on earth has been revealed?
Miss' low tolerance for boredom and frustration is consistent with her "psychiatric diagnosis' ", primarily Bipolar disorder. She is stable and does have the skills needed to work through boredom and frustration more appropriately. Tantrums and disconnect are quick outs.
She is comfortable with her family and more likely to go right to the tantrum portion of the event, aren't we privileged? In other settings she primarily disconnects. The clinician said that she disconnects often and as soon as she is bored or frustrated or things just are less than interesting to her. Again because she is staring right at you it can be difficult in a class of 20 plus kids for a teacher to realize that she is "checked out". The clinician said, "If you are a teacher that is scanning for eyes you will likely miss that she is not engaged."
Again not ADHD.
But she also felt that after reviewing all the class work that I had brought to her and the report cards and everything else that it seemed shocking that the teacher felt that Miss was putting forth her best effort. The speech teacher and the intern in the classroom all said the same thing though. Children with RAD have skills like a magician!
Miss has no actual processing or sequencing disorder but that is an area of weakness and challenge for her. The clinician felt that this seemed consistent with the malnutrition history and delayed motor skills that had come with that. However, Miss has all the needed ability to push past this challenge and preform better. The clinician said that it isn't that Miss doesn't have long term memory skills she just isn't interested in accessing them most of the time.
Her reading skills were much higher than we would have guessed. Again, she doesn't want to de-code so she just puts a word in but she has the ability.
More than anything the testing confirmed what we believed that we knew about her. I was not confident on how challenged she was or wasn't by processing and sequencing problems or if she had any actual disorder but my belief was that she could do better than she was doing.
With RAD it can be very difficult to trust what you believe you know about the child, at least it can be for me. It was both reassuring and validating but it was also sad to know that I'm not wrong. That she isn't the child she can so convincingly pretend to be with others. I would rather be wrong. I would rather her only hurtle in life be that she got stuck with a family that doesn't jive with her. That our dynamics are too challenging for her abilities. (Someone once said to us that Miss only problem was that we just had too many kids in our family. That we had more children than we could handle.)
To know for sure that she has all the ability to do better she just isn't ... I guess on the positive side is a confidence boaster in terms of how we parent.
The clinician emphasized that Miss needs to be pushed to finish things to the end and that it was crucial that we continue to work on this now before she gets to middle and high school. We need to continue to focus on her behavior being her choice and that she choose the results by choosing to behave in that way.
Keep doing what you are doing and hope for the best. I feel a little
While we had this hour and a half meeting with Ms. Clinician the 3 non-camper kids did really well sitting through that bunch of boring. They brought a puzzle to do and then Lil Bro climbed in my lap and started chanting "hungry, hungry, hungry". Mr. Man played with my hair and complained about how long we had been talking and Big Sis stretched out on the sofa at one point.
We are a funny group.