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How long should evaluation take?

My five year old son has had difficulty in Kindergarten.  The school counselor has been a great advocate for him, otherwise I think his teacher would have simply said he didn't "belong" in her classroom.  It's a charter school, so they do not have to allow him to attend.

The behavior that the teacher doesn't like includes talking out of turn, talking loudly, saying "No" to her requests (such as "Give me your bookbag." When the counselor asked "May I borrow your book bag to put something inside of it for you to take home" he complied.), and it seems like basically not being as easy to handle as she would like.  She has taught for 30 years and has a reputation for preparing the children well academically, but with parents she is extremely shy and avoids eye contact.  I hate to say it, but it seems as though she has a personality disorder of her own, in my opinion, which only makes this more stressful.

The school counselor has a background of working with exceptional children and a degree in psychology.  He stated that our son's behaviors did not alarm him (including hiding under the cafeteria table the first morning he attended breakfast, out of shyness and discomfort and having a meltdown over using soap in the bathroom, complaining that the lights were too bright and that the clock was too noisy).  He felt that with mentoring our son would adjust within the first six weeks.  Things have improved considerably during this first month, but I still don't think that the teacher is fond of my son.  

We're also taking him to a private psychologist.  We've detailed his experiences in nursery school, other environments, and Kindergarten.  I provided a detailed list of behaviors and symptoms that I'd prepared beforehand.  He said that this was very helpful. These first five years have been very challenging.  Behavior include:  frequent outbursts/tantrums, strong need for control over his activities and environment, some repetitive behaviors, difficulty sitting still and remaining quiet, interrupting others, sensitivity to noise and changes in his routine and environment.  Essentially a very strong-willed little boy who is strongly reactive, which can cause him to appear aggressive, yet his reactions seem to stem from feeling frightened and overwhelmed, and not understanding what is going on around him. His sister shares many of his traits, yet her reactions are introverted - very shy, to the point of crying when called upon in class.  Because she doesn't disrupt the class, teachers have never had a problem with her. Grrrr!

I am not eager to label my son, but do want to know if he is exhibiting tendencies of Sensory Integration Disorder, Dyspraxia, Aspergers (he is very intelligent with precocious speech patterns and mannerisms, which also seems to irritate his teacher who just wants him to act like the other children), ADHD, or a combination of these things.  We've seen the private psychologist twice and I am not entirely pleased with his response.  He seems very slow to respond, in my opinion, and does not plan to observe our son in other environments.  Visiting an adult's office, no matter how nice they may be, limits a child's response from the beginning, yet this doesn't seem to bother the psychologist at all.  When I point out certain behaviors that I've noticed, his response is "Those have not presented themselves in front of me, so I can't comment on those."

Is this typical in private care?  How long should I give this relationship before looking elsewhere?  I dont' want to confuse our son, nor do I want to waste our time and resources.  Advice is appreciated.
4 Responses
13167 tn?1327197724
I think you're wasting your time with the psychologist.  He sounds like he needs to be evaluated by an OT - he is showing signs  of SID,  as you mention.  The clock is too loud,  the lights are too bright,  hiding under the table,  and the mild Asperbers symptoms - I think OT is the way to go.

Best wishes.
171768 tn?1324233699
the town i work in has a public school but also a charter school available. one of my troubled students from last year was sent by his parents to the charter school. we all felt this was tragic for the child because the charter school simply does not have the resources to help him. all of the evaluations, specialists, etc... are readily available in the public school. the charter school does not. in addition, the public school works hard to help these children succeed in the class by implementing modifications recommended by specialists.  i was told a child like my student (similar in many ways to your son) would be seen as a nuisance to the teacher and the only modification would be to remove him from the class and put him in the office.

your situation is different though. it is clear you are an advocate for your child. these parents denied his problems, and therefore denied him the opportunity to get the help he needed. and, the charter school system by you may be entirely different.

oh yea... and ditto to everything rockrose said.
293420 tn?1243146538
You have to go through the psychologist to get the referral for the OT. Getting a full psych completed will also give you a great snapshot of his abilities and what areas you need to focus on throughout his primary school years.

He doesn't sound like he has Apraxia. You would definitely know as he wouldn't be able to say anything/much at all and would show a great deal of frustration. My son is 2 and he is Apraxic (the call it Dyspraxia in Europe and in some texts). I'm also an SLP.

The SID sounds like a possibility. My son has that along with his Apraxia (they usally go together), but SID is often paired with Autism (and Aspergers, which is also part of Autism) as well. Maybe get a profile completed to see if he's on the spectrum anywhere? There are formal assessments that can be completed along with the psychologist. It's in a checklist format that is mostly filled out by the parents...

Good luck! Let us know how everything goes and what you find out.

**Find a new psychologist! Your son should be able to be tested through the public school system in your county. I have a few kids each year come over from private schools to be evaluated for free through the county. Check to see if this option is available!
171768 tn?1324233699
good point gr8 grl. i wanted to add that in our school, if you go through the child study team, they are required to do everything within certain time frames. they are not allowed to drag their feet. also, they are required to inform parents of all of their rights, including the timeframes.
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