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I'm confused about something

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 8:16 AM
  • 9 Replies

I made a post a while back about my son's meeting with a psychologist who seemed to be leaning strongly toward an autism diagnosis.  But we didn't get a diagnosis, just "autistic characteristics".  No other definitive diagnosis, not even a confirmation of what other doctors have diagnosed (ADHD inattentive, w/o hyperactivity).  Just "autistic characteristics" and a note to follow up with evaluation and therapy at the practice.  I definitely see the autistic characteristics he's talking about, and he's not the first professional to recognize these autistic characteristics in my son.  what confuses me is that the new therapist that we are working with has recommended wraparound services.  I've never heard of this for kids who don't have autism.  As i said in the other post, we still have to meet with the psychiatrist at this practice for a second intake eval, but we were accepted as patients and my son is set to receive his therapy there and the other eval won't happen until November so I'm feeling kind of up in the air about things.  I just don't understand why we're recommended for wraparound as well, my son has no discipline problems at school, though he does have issues related to his ADD--poor grades, problems focusing, poor organization skills.  

I was planning to talk to his therapist about it when we see her tonight, but it looks like my husband will be taking him now and he never asks the questions I would when he takes the kids to appointments, so I'm asking you ladies since you were so helpful before and you all seem to be knowledgeable about this stuff.  Have you heard of kids receiving these services for things other than autism?  If so, can you give me an idea of what it entails?  I love his new therapist, by the way.  She's very personable and easy to talk to and got my son to open up to her right away.  He talked to her for like 20 minutes straight and I can't even remember the last time he talked to me that long.  His new obsession is Japanese culture and he talks about it all the time, but it's usually a long-winded diatribe relating all the new facts he's learned and 5 or 6 minutes at a stretch.  This new therapist was able to get him to switch topics and talk about himself, school, etc.  BTW, did you know that Japanese gas stations have static-discharging touch pads that customers are instructed to touch before pumping gas?  He just shared that with me last night and I thought it was interesting : )

I'm editing to add another question:  the psychologist suggested that my son should have blood testing done.  Anyone have any idea what that's about?  He suggested it in the written eval and I'm assuming the psychiatrist will follow up with that since we don't see the psychologist again for a while.  I've never had one of my son's psych doctors or therapists suggest blood testing.

by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 8:16 AM
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Replies (1-9):
SamMom912
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 8:50 AM
What an interesting fact! I love stuff like that! Last night I learned that Pumba (from the lion king) is the only disney character to ever fart in a disney movie? Hubby swore he heard Cinderella (which DS cracked up over).

Anyway, my opinion is that regardless of what your son is diagnosed as its awesome they want to provide support services and perhaps these support services will give them info about your son (how old?) that can help stretch him socially and emotionally and maybe overcome small obstacles that are impeding his growth.
I think many clinicians are getting away from worrying about deciphering ADD, ADHD, ASD, PDD... They just want to address the issues bringing the whole child up to speed.

Id take the service for a period of time (3 months? 6 months) and see if it is positive change or a waste of time/resource/energy.

Where on Earth do you live that Drs are giving this away? Lol! Cause Im starting to pack a bag. Lol! My son had difficulty at home and at school and we would LOVE wrap around!!! Lol!!!

Made me a little sad to think they offer services to kids who are borderline (to skew stats? To make it easier on providers?) but then thought hey, your kiddo is SO close to the line (what Sams Dr called a bridge kid- on the bridge between ASD & neurotypical) that maybe support for a short but will enable him to have a better chance at life! :)
So go for it!!!

Id also probably call the Doc and ask my questions if I couldn't go.
Macphee
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 9:37 AM
Hugs, my son has been receiving wrap around services, for him.it actually worked on reverse. He was previously non verbal and I considered classic, but after testing him the psychologist said he was higher functioning than expected. The psych probably told you that tobassure you that with aggressive services, your son may make large gains and not have the social and communicative atypical behaviors.

Does he have a diagnosis through the district on the spectrum? Do you feel as if there are services he is missing?

We went through blood testing, its to ensure that some of the target behaviors aren't related to physiological conditions.

I.e. ds would have intense meltdowns followed by blank spells, bloodwork and eeg showed hypoglycemia and mild seizures. So he has been treated nearly 3 years and it has improved his behaviors.

Hugs, we are here for you. Husbands can be annoying when they are not inquisitive, he'll get there.
funny_girl3
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:01 AM

What a positive way of looking at it.  And here I was, getting all worked up about it and you make it sound so good!  Lol, thanks!

I live in PA, by the way.  I'm not comfortable posting the name of the doctor here, I prefer to maintain a little bit of anonymity in my internet life, especially when it comes to my kids.  There's no telling who may stumble upon the info that we post, you know?  But if you're close and really do want a referral I'm glad to give you the name of the doctor if you PM me : )  It's a multi-location practice, which is why I chose it.  We had a negative experience with an independent therapist once so since then I've chosen larger organizations, which seem to have more resources and more experienced professionals--or, at least that was my experience at our previous service provider.  this is my son's third therapy practice, oh, and he's 12.  

I'm sorry your kid isn't getting all the services he needs.  That's sad.  I'm new to this, so I guess I didn't realize how hard it is to get these services.  My kids are on CHIP right now, I hope this isn't about milking the insurance company.  My son has been therapy for years, but this is the first time extra support services have been suggested, beyond regular therapy and medication.  Thanks for making me feel good about all these changes!

Quoting SamMom912: What an interesting fact! I love stuff like that! Last night I learned that Pumba (from the lion king) is the only disney character to ever fart in a disney movie? Hubby swore he heard Cinderella (which DS cracked up over). Anyway, my opinion is that regardless of what your son is diagnosed as its awesome they want to provide support services and perhaps these support services will give them info about your son (how old?) that can help stretch him socially and emotionally and maybe overcome small obstacles that are impeding his growth. I think many clinicians are getting away from worrying about deciphering ADD, ADHD, ASD, PDD... They just want to address the issues bringing the whole child up to speed. Id take the service for a period of time (3 months? 6 months) and see if it is positive change or a waste of time/resource/energy. Where on Earth do you live that Drs are giving this away? Lol! Cause Im starting to pack a bag. Lol! My son had difficulty at home and at school and we would LOVE wrap around!!! Lol!!! Made me a little sad to think they offer services to kids who are borderline (to skew stats? To make it easier on providers?) but then thought hey, your kiddo is SO close to the line (what Sams Dr called a bridge kid- on the bridge between ASD & neurotypical) that maybe support for a short but will enable him to have a better chance at life! :) So go for it!!! Id also probably call the Doc and ask my questions if I couldn't go.


magmommy
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:15 AM
This is a dumb question and I can pick up the gist through the context. But what does wraparound services include?
funny_girl3
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:59 AM

My son doesn't receive any services through the school, or he hasn't up until now anyway.  He's never even seen the school counselor, to my knowledge.  He has a GIEP and receives gifted support.  I did mention to the new therapist that his social issues are becoming a bigger problem now that he's in Jr. High.  He's 12.  He just doesn't "get" other kids.  He has friends, but only a few close ones that he's known forever.  He doesn't understand teasing or sarcasm, and of course he's coming across a lot more of that now, in Jr. High.  And he has a 504, but we only got that last year because his grades have been slipping for the last few years and he's not good about letting the teachers know when he is having trouble focusing and needs a little help to get back on track.  So I guess I lied, he does get extra things from the school district.

He's had EEG I think (that's where they put the electrodes on the head, right?), ECG, and some other stuff.  He has a heart murmur and a habit of passing out, with a family history of epilepsy so his doctor wanted to get him checked out.  His "functional" heart murmur wasn't detectable the last time it was checked, several years ago, and the EEG results were normal.  He has digestive issues that we've struggled with all his life, and was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea--boy, was that a pain in the butt to get diagnosed.  You'd think we were asking for an act of congress when we requested a sleep study.  It took several years, a tonsilectomy, and 3 doctors before we finally convinced someone to order the sleep study.  So frustrating!  

My son has always had meltdowns, but after the first couple years of therapy they became much more civilized, maybe that's why he was never offered other services or tests?  Or because autism doesn't quite fit him?  The previous two places, one was an independent therapist and the other was a big practice, both also said or diagnosed "autistic characteristics", so this is the third time we're hearing it.  

Hypoglycemia is something to do with blood sugar?  I don't recall his doctor ever ordering those kinds of tests, just the EEGs and ECG.  He has tics now too, I feel like there's something neurological going on with him, they just can't seem to put a name to it.  Or maybe, like the previous poster said, it doesn't really matter if there's a name for it as long as he's getting treatment.  IDK, without a name for whatever it is we're dealing with, it just feels like we're in limbo, you know?

Quoting Macphee: Hugs, my son has been receiving wrap around services, for him.it actually worked on reverse. He was previously non verbal and I considered classic, but after testing him the psychologist said he was higher functioning than expected. The psych probably told you that tobassure you that with aggressive services, your son may make large gains and not have the social and communicative atypical behaviors. Does he have a diagnosis through the district on the spectrum? Do you feel as if there are services he is missing? We went through blood testing, its to ensure that some of the target behaviors aren't related to physiological conditions. I.e. ds would have intense meltdowns followed by blank spells, bloodwork and eeg showed hypoglycemia and mild seizures. So he has been treated nearly 3 years and it has improved his behaviors. Hugs, we are here for you. Husbands can be annoying when they are not inquisitive, he'll get there.


funny_girl3
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 12:13 PM

Well, that's kind of why I'm asking here.  I'm not sure what it includes.  I thought wraparound services meant that not only would my son be getting therapy at the doctor's office, but also be getting some kind of services at school and/or at home as well.   It just seems like a lot for a kid that hasn't even been diagnosed with autism, and who doesn't have any other behavioral issues at home or at school--not any major issues anyway.  Like I said in the post, his first evaluation with this new doctor said "autistic characteristics".  Is that something that they say before they do further evaluation?  Is it an ongoing thing, like they may revise it?  In the past, with the other therapists, they said "autistic characteristics" and that was it, they weren't going to explore the possibility of autism ever again and were just going to treat those characteristics.  I don't know how to feel about it, I kind of don't think my son needs much in the way of extra services, but then, what do I know?  I don't even know yet what those services might be and I don't want to hold him back if they're offering something that he needs.  So I guess I just have to wait and see, but I was hoping maybe someone on here had dealt with something similar and could give me an idea of what to expect.

Quoting magmommy: This is a dumb question and I can pick up the gist through the context. But what does wraparound services include?


emarin77
by Gold Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 3:13 PM

My son was asked too to have blood testing too.  I think it is to confirm there are no environmental or hereditary disorders.  I would have more questions and ask about his diagnosis to the psychologist.  My son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/ADHD in 2 months at age 6.  I've never heard it called rapped around services.  My son receives speech/language therapy and a 504 Plan services at school.

magmommy
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 5:56 PM
Quoting funny_girl3:

Well, that's kind of why I'm asking here.  I'm not sure what it includes.  I thought wraparound services meant that not only would my son be getting therapy at the doctor's office, but also be getting some kind of services at school and/or at home as well.   It just seems like a lot for a kid that hasn't even been diagnosed with autism, and who doesn't have any other behavioral issues at home or at school--not any major issues anyway.  Like I said in the post, his first evaluation with this new doctor said "autistic characteristics".  Is that something that they say before they do further evaluation?  Is it an ongoing thing, like they may revise it?  In the past, with the other therapists, they said "autistic characteristics" and that was it, they weren't going to explore the possibility of autism ever again and were just going to treat those characteristics.  I don't know how to feel about it, I kind of don't think my son needs much in the way of extra services, but then, what do I know?  I don't even know yet what those services might be and I don't want to hold him back if they're offering something that he needs.  So I guess I just have to wait and see, but I was hoping maybe someone on here had dealt with something similar and could give me an idea of what to expect.

Quoting magmommy: This is a dumb question and I can pick up the gist through the context. But what does wraparound services include?


Did he have an official school evaluation to get is giep? He could need therapies as well as gifted services.

Whatever the name, you are getting the services so that's great. If they recommend this then I would give it a try. You may notice it helps some things you didn't notice before. You're doing a great job mom for working hard to find ways to help him.

Ok, so here is our story and maybe it will give you some ideas.

Micah (9) was found at around 5 or so to be significantly behind his peers maturity wise. Adhd and anxiety were his only dx.

Last year he was having more meltdowns at home and becoming a bit behind in school so we had him reevaluated. We suspected autism.

Based on their checklists he feel just shy of a dx. He greeted the tester appropriately which is unusual. But because of that she couldn't give him a technical dx of autism but ocd instead. However she did say ocd didn't cover all the behaviors and that these dx are flexible over time.

Dev ped sent us to a place with nurse practitioners and psychiatrist, behavioral therapists, and a case manager to help navigate the schools.

We insisted on an evaluation for special ed services at school and they found more needs than we knew of.
He now has other, speech, and special ed at school. Outside of school we have a psychiatrist, therapist, and case worker.

I guess I am confident enough that it's autism to say it is. It helps people understand his behaviors. Whatever it is called however, he is getting help.
funny_girl3
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 8:43 PM

They tested him in second or third grade to get him into the gifted program.  He tests well.  Very high, like years beyond his grade level.  That was one of the things that the psychologist discussed with me when he did the evaluation, he said that my son's intelligence was one of the qualities that he was considering as part of a diagnosis for Asperger's.  That's one of the "autistic characteristics" I guess?  The doctor also talked about my son's meltdowns, he freezes up or melts down with any change to his schedule, or when people don't behave in the way that he thinks they should.  His voice is very monotone.  He gets stuck on certain topics, obsesses over them.  He hyperfocuses.   I'm trying to remember what else he said on the eval, I don't have it in front of me.  The reason that he lists for not diagnosing autism is that my son looked him in the eyes while he was talking to him.  That's out of character for my son, though he has been in therapy for years working on looking people in the eye so I think my son was "minding his manners" so to speak, following his mental checklist of behaviors for dealing with people because he knew this meeting with the new doctor was important and it was kind of formal.  My son's previous diagnosis was ADHD-inattentive without hyperactivity, adjustment disorder, generalized anxiety disorder.  And "autistic characteristics".  They always say "autistic characteristics".  

My husband needs help with something.  but I'll come back and let you know what happened with the therapist tonight.

Quoting magmommy:
Quoting funny_girl3:

Well, that's kind of why I'm asking here.  I'm not sure what it includes.  I thought wraparound services meant that not only would my son be getting therapy at the doctor's office, but also be getting some kind of services at school and/or at home as well.   It just seems like a lot for a kid that hasn't even been diagnosed with autism, and who doesn't have any other behavioral issues at home or at school--not any major issues anyway.  Like I said in the post, his first evaluation with this new doctor said "autistic characteristics".  Is that something that they say before they do further evaluation?  Is it an ongoing thing, like they may revise it?  In the past, with the other therapists, they said "autistic characteristics" and that was it, they weren't going to explore the possibility of autism ever again and were just going to treat those characteristics.  I don't know how to feel about it, I kind of don't think my son needs much in the way of extra services, but then, what do I know?  I don't even know yet what those services might be and I don't want to hold him back if they're offering something that he needs.  So I guess I just have to wait and see, but I was hoping maybe someone on here had dealt with something similar and could give me an idea of what to expect.

Quoting magmommy: This is a dumb question and I can pick up the gist through the context. But what does wraparound services include?


Did he have an official school evaluation to get is giep? He could need therapies as well as gifted services. Whatever the name, you are getting the services so that's great. If they recommend this then I would give it a try. You may notice it helps some things you didn't notice before. You're doing a great job mom for working hard to find ways to help him. Ok, so here is our story and maybe it will give you some ideas. Micah (9) was found at around 5 or so to be significantly behind his peers maturity wise. Adhd and anxiety were his only dx. Last year he was having more meltdowns at home and becoming a bit behind in school so we had him reevaluated. We suspected autism. Based on their checklists he feel just shy of a dx. He greeted the tester appropriately which is unusual. But because of that she couldn't give him a technical dx of autism but ocd instead. However she did say ocd didn't cover all the behaviors and that these dx are flexible over time. Dev ped sent us to a place with nurse practitioners and psychiatrist, behavioral therapists, and a case manager to help navigate the schools. We insisted on an evaluation for special ed services at school and they found more needs than we knew of. He now has other, speech, and special ed at school. Outside of school we have a psychiatrist, therapist, and case worker. I guess I am confident enough that it's autism to say it is. It helps people understand his behaviors. Whatever it is called however, he is getting help.


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