The tale of multiple psychologists

Everyone may have their own opinion of psychologists but since we just changed psychologists today I thought it would be a good time to talk about the good and bad of the world of psychologists.  My son started going to a psychologist when he was about 6.  He was originally referred by the school to rule out ADHD, which he was diagnosed with.  I didn’t find the original psychologist to be very helpful and we eventually quit going.  When he was 10 he was really struggling a lot.  And a lot is really an understatement.  He was really frustrated with school and the lack of supports.  Unfortunately he was at a private school and did not have an IEP or a 504 and I was not nearly as educated as I should have been.  He started making comments about wanting to die and getting into trouble for hitting other kids.  I wish I had journaled more then because looking back it all makes sense related to the Asperger’s diagnosis.  He also has made A LOT of improvement.  His sensory issues are so much better and his meltdowns have decreased.  Other behaviors have improved.  He used to bang his head and have bathroom incidents in his room and in the bathroom.  Now I know these things were related to the diagnosis.  When he was 10 I took him to a physician that supposedly specialized in developmental disorders and I told him everything my son was doing.  He diagnosed him with depression and asked why on earth I brought him there.  I insisted I knew something else was going on.  I specifically remember talking about the sensory issues.  He couldn’t handle gym because it was too loud and chaotic, I thought he had a sensory integration disorder.  He said no it was from anxiety.  So I asked him for a referral to a new psychologist.  Around this time we also switched to the public school so started down the road of getting the proper supports in place.

That psychologist, Dr. L., treated him with cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety and depression.  He was with her for 4 years and had a great rapport with him.  They discussed all kinds of things and worked on goals for him to go out into the world and work through whatever his issue was- social anxiety or social skills.  They also worked on his depression and getting him to accept himself for who he is.  We didn’t know he had Asperger’s but that is okay they worked through what issues he was presenting with.  They made great progress on so many issues.  Dr. L. was great with him but unfortunately she left private practice in January 2011.  He ended up with a different doctor, and he seemed very supportive but my son did not have a good rapport with him so they did not make a lot of progress.  I hate making changes with him because he hates change so much.  But it was getting to the point that he was starting to say he didn’t want to go to a psychologist anymore.  It was time to make a change.  I met with a psychologist a couple of weeks ago and really liked her.

Today I was very nervous to take him to the new psychologist because he hates change and in general has been saying he is done with doctors. He refused to bathe or do any other hygiene care.  He said it didn’t matter and he refused to talk to me the whole drive.  I talked myself into relaxing on the way but it was really hard.  Working in my favor was that my son responds better to women.  When we arrived he was polite and talked to her.   He barely looked at her but he did talk to her.  I was just so excited my son talked to her.  He even laughed sometimes and they bonded over t.v. shows.   She even got him to talk about what he is nervous about with starting school.  The only thing he said is how he has heard that the seniors do bad things to the freshmen.  Well that sounds like a normal worry for a freshman.  And he talked to the new psychologist about it.  I haven’t heard that in months.   Maybe we will be okay.

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