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FatErin
FatErin, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 24
Experience:  Licensed therapist, LMSW, school social worker
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Hello! My son, David, 9 y.o. has been having constant problems

Customer Question

Hello! My son, David, 9 y.o. has been having constant problems at school starting from Kindergarden. He is in the Catholic School Board (Ontario) and they sent him to a specialized class for students with behavioural problems for grade 3. Now he is going to grade 4 and we want him to go to a regular class but the principal and the teachers are against it. David is a vert bright boy, he has good marks especially at math. But he is a perfectionist and can get frustrated and angry when he feel unable to do anything or to solve the task. He can get mad and in the past he even could throw chairs in the classroom. At home we don't have such problems with him. Since 8 y.o. his behaviour in general improved, especially at home. At 7 y.o. we had a psychological assesment, the results were very good especially conserning his learning abilities. When he works with someone individually he shows great results and doesn't get nervous. He also does great at sport club (taekwondo, has been there for 2 years). The main problems are at school, with other boys during recess and gym class (when he thinks that the game is unfair he can get nervous, leave the gym, etc). I'm giving him some homeopathic pills for being calm. I hope that growing older David will be calmer and his behaviour will improve. But the school says he won't, they don't want to see any improvement in him and want to send him to any other facility for children with various disorders. They also don't consider psycologist's report because it is "against school interests" (and we payed a lot for this assesment). The doctor doesn't say anything about this sitiation, we are going to visit a pediatrist in June. We are very tired of this constant struggle with school and are thinking of transferring David to a public school board. David makes a very good impression at all specialtists who talks to him. We visited anger management classes last year with him and he did great there (being the yongest in the group), everybody gave positive opinion on him. I understand that it's very hard to give any advise without seeing the boy. He is mentally normal and very clever for his age but just different. Maybe he needs some psycological therapy, play therapy, etc. But it' almost unavaliable here, in Canada. Do you think that it may be a disorder or he can improve somehow in future and how can we hepl him? Even school says that's a pity that having such abilities he can't behave properly.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

Bill :

Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

Bill :

I have worked with children in conjunction with Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists for nearly 35 years.

Bill :

Are you available to chat now?

Bill :

I am curious to know what the Psychologist report revealed? Did the Psychologist provide a conclusive Diagnosis?

Customer:

Yes


 

Customer:

The psycologist's opinion was that David has problems at school because his Engish (second language) was not at the same level with other kids and because of it he could do as well as others. But now (grade 3) he is at the same level, started to read a lot and has no problems. He still has ESL lessons but there is no difference between him and other students who speaks English at home (we speak Russian at home with him).

Bill :

Ok - did the psychologist provide a specific diagnosis?

Customer:

He had special tests for learnig abilities and interviews. (David's non-verbal abilities are especially strong)


In the summary it is said that he has no disorders and his behaviour issues at school are linked to frustration.

Bill :

So the Psychologist did provide a Specific Diagnosis which would have been the form of

Bill :

AXIS I
AXIS II

Bill :

My experience and what you have written tell me that your son may possibly have some type of learning or attention related problem.

Bill :

What are you giving his Homeopathic Medication for? To treat what?

Customer:

No special diagnosis was given.


 

Customer:
Customer:

To stabilyze his mood. Actually he behaves better now but I don't know for how long.


What kind of disorder that can be and why the family doctor was not able to diagnose him?

Bill :

Family Doctors or GP's in Canada (in my experience) tell everyone they are normal- they are paid to keep people from seeing specialists. Unless there is something flagrantly wrong, they will normalize everything.

Bill :

Your son needs a comprehensive Pscyhological Assessment with conclusive diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Bill :

You obviously feel there is a mood related issue or you would be giving him homeopathic medication.

Bill :

There could be more underlying issues related to learning and attention that need to be discovered.

Bill :

Is possible for you to have him evaluated by a well trained Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist?

Customer:

I agree, it;s very difficult to get a referral from them to see a specialist and if you get it you have to wait for many months.


We will go to the pediatrist this months and try to get a referral to a psychiatrist. what kind of underlying issues could be discovered? Do you think that he can be treated by medications?

Bill :

Yes- My sense is that he he has a Learning related problem possibly some ADD that can often lead to mood problems and frustration and the other behavioral issues you describe.

Bill :

I am going to give you a couple of links so that you can read about this in detail and discuss this with the Pediatrician.

Bill :

So many kids fall through the cracks because they have not been properly diagnosed and then they get blamed by the system as you have found.

Bill :

Here is the state of the art information from Harvard Medical School:

Customer:

OK. But can a person having ADD be able to learn well, to have A marks at all math subjects, to concentrate on puzzles, LEGO building (200-300 pieces), reading, etc. David really can concentrate and is very intelligent,


 

Bill :

Absolutely- Many people who have ADD are extremely bright and function at higher level - but often under achieve because of the behavioral issues that sometimes cause distraction etc.

Bill :

This is why the schools focus on behavioral problems rather that academic Success.

Bill :

In Canada- it is terrible (in my opinion) as they also want to normalize everything.

Bill :

Sound familiar?

Customer:

I'm just wondering, I thought that kids having ADD can't learn properly and can't sit and concentrate.


 

Customer:

Yes, I have a feeling that that want to have everyone be the same, just sit, write and read all the ti


me.

Bill :

There is sometimes confusion between ADD and ADHD , the latter of which has more of the hyperactive symptoms.

Bill :

In the link I provided above, it explains the difference and also has an abundance of CORRECT information for you to consider.

Bill :

The following quiz will help you discern whether ADD or ADHD is an issue:

Bill :

This is also a great site for you to research and learn:

Bill :

I hope this has been helpful and will be happy to respond when you have finished typing.

Bill :

I am also available in the future if you have further questions.

Bill :

You will have a complete copy of this chat in email with links:

Bill :

My best to you and your son.

Bill :

Bill

Bill :

PLEASE CLICK GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON SO THAT I RECEIVE CREDIT FOR MY TIME


I ALSO APPRECIATE POSITIVE FEEDBACK


Have the best possible day!


 

Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  FatErin replied 2 years ago.
Hi! In the US we want all students in the least restrictive environments to succeed. Do you have any way to fight for this in Canada? The school should also have a formal written behavior plan, that you as parents have had a part in writing. Does he receive any psychotherapy in school to work on self-regulation? If not, you may want to have him work with an occupational therapist to work on the mind-body connection, who will also give him some exercises to do for grounding. Good luck!
FatErin, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 24
Experience: Licensed therapist, LMSW, school social worker
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