Could you imagine, that this sweet little girl, would grow up to have 4 different labels, by the age of 8? ADHD, ODD, Intermittent Explosive Disorder and Aspergers. Which is correct? How do you determine treatment? How do you know what's best for your child? There are no conclusive tests, for any of these Diagnosis. What I am left with, is a whole lot of opinions! None of which, has helped her get the treatment she needs. She has only attended 1 year of School (she's in the 4th grade) because her needs cannot be met, in a traditional classroom. Even with an IEPand an Aid, she struggles to fit in. The year she completed, was in a Non Public School setting. She succeeded in that class, due to the amazing connection with the Teacher (they are so important to our children).
Over the past 3 and a half years, I have taken her to Cedar Sinai, UCLA, Behavioral Therapy, Neuro- feedback Counseling and Brain Balance. Unfortunately none of these programs have been successful. She has also seen two Psychiatrists, (differing diagnosis) been on 5 different medications and has been to numerous Therapists. What has been agreed upon, is that she is Highly gifted, has Sensory issues and difficulty Communicating her feelings. I have hired a school Advocacy Lawfirm, (twice) a Child Advocate to help with placement, and it's all a slow moving train! In the meantime, she is still barely making it to school. This has all taken a toll, not only emotionally, but financially. It seems like there is no solution in sight.
On a good day, she is smart, funny and thoughtful. She is a leader, (never follows demands, only requests) and enjoys learning. She loves animals over people and is extremely sensitive to her surroundings. Michaelyn spends her free time on the computer. She likes arts & crafts, music, dancing and swimming.
On a bad day, she is easily frustrated, (we're all dumb), has trouble regulating her emotions and will lash out at those who offend her. She then claims, not to remember. There are some who believe this to be true. Again, no Clinical Determinations, only opinions.
In reaching out to different Medical and Counseling Facilities, I was referred to a place called Northwest Passages. They do a 30 day residential, in depth assessment and make recommendations for future treatment. This program is more thorough, than the 1 hour vists to the previous Doctors. The cost for this is 15,000 and Insurance does not pay (I spend 400.00 per month for her Health Ins). I am a Single working Mom (who already feels guilty, that I cannot properly help my child). In reaching out to the community, I am hoping to gain the opportunity, to find a "Diagnosis for Michaelyn"
I want her to have the chance to reach her full potential and become the best version of herself, which is truly amazing!!!!! Thank you all for caring.
P.S. It is hard for me to ask for help, I'm usually the one helping. I know there are a lot of people in need. I want people to understand, that just because you cannot see my childs struggles (as opposed to physical symptoms) it does not make it any less painful. People with Mental/Emotional issues, have a much more difficult time, getting the diagnosis & treatment they need.
- Valarie Hersom
- Marc Spilo
- Gary Herman
- Jack Wishard
- Patrick O'Grady
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