Saturday, February 06, 2010

Emotionally wounded.

So we got Roman's official psych. report on Tuesday. There weren't any real surprises in store there, but it was something to see it in writing. After describing all the tests and giving many examples of his behavior or answers, it came down to these diagnoses:

1. Insecure attachment. Sure, since the minute we brought him home. Officially, she states: due to "...multiple placements with multiple caregivers within the first 10 months, lacks stranger anxiety, is clingy & anxious about sleep but does go to his parents for comfort. Testing suggested his internal model of caregivers was harsh & unreasonable with perceptual distortions." More on that in a minute.

2. Post traumatic stress disorder with perceptual distortions. This one surprised us although it's probably where the anxiety stems from. She states: "Fears are often ingrained, deep seeded, and come from a place the child does not recognize. There is a tendency for him to fear the worst. Roman has excessive worries, bad dreams, is hypervigilant, avoids thoughts and feelings... Perceptual distortions cause a child to misinterpret cues & the intentions of others... illogical conclusions." Once we saw it in writing, sure, this makes sense.

3. ADHD secondary to early neglect & possible heritability. This was absolutely no surprise. Just chat with his teacher a few minutes. She states: "Lab measures showed impulsivity & dysregulation... restlessness... positive at home & school."

As for the perceptual distortions, this was interesting. There were a couple things she did such as having Ro draw pictures or tell a story based on a silhouette picture. In the story part, Roman consistently told stories (this is straight from the report) about harsh & punitive caregivers, unreasonable and who gave extreme punishments when the child made an accidental mistake. They never nurtured or consoled the child. Examples he gave of caregivers were: Not consoled when a child has a bad dream, when the child is injured and in pain it is immediately life-threatening. The mother leaves him to take care of another child. Whenever there was separation or reunion themes they were described without emotion, while his physical behavior became very dysregulated (crawling under the table, for example).

When he drew a nest, there was an egg just about to hatch but it was all alone. The daddy had gone to get a worm for the baby bird. There was no mom. When he drew a bridge, it was to Mackinac Island. He drew himself, me, and Doug in the car with a dog. No Charlie. He put sharks in the water.

So.... so. We've got a pretty sensitive, emotionally challenged little boy here. It was recommended we see a psychiatrist who could talk to us about possible medications to curb the ADHD & anxiety. Makes me sad to see a boy of 6 being considered for that, but on the other hand he's practically out of control at school now, with 2 of 5 days being "good." The other day the teacher had to separate him from 2 groups and even give him a new seat at a different table. She walked him to the office herself so she could have a chat with Doug when he picked him up early, too. First & second grade are SO important to laying the foundations, I can't stand to think what will happen if he can't get himself under control.

and lest you gentle readers think that it's "all Roman" Doug and I have been in some intensive chats with the therapist as well about our parenting styles & what Ro needs vs. what we're used to. All kinds of adjustment happening around here!


Sheryl said...

We know there's a reason you were both 'hand-picked' for Roman. Have faith!

Cat Hoemke said...

Heavy heavy stuff. Praying for your whole family as I'm sure this is going to be a big change in your lives.