Q: No One Will Commit to Actual Dx of My Son
I am in hopes that you may be able to enlighten me on some issues.
I am BiPolar and 36 yrs old. Was diagnosed @ age 16. I deal
with my condition very well and am well informed. My question is actually
geared for my son who is 5 1/2 yrs old. He is currently taking1 cc
Risperdal and 10 mg adderall in the AM and 1 cc Risperdal and 5 mg adderall in
the PM. He has been to many doctors. A pyschologist diagnosed him as
ODD ADHD and OCD. (when I say diagnosed, I am referring to verbally).
The Nuerologist (child)diagnosed ADHD in writing but has verbally
discussed with me that he agreed that my son had ODD and OCD and possibly in the
PDD Spectrum. He is the prescribing doctor for meds. I requested a
letter from him for an IEP for school for my child, all he wrote down was the
ADHD though. My son had a full testing done at a clinic for child
development and he had delays is most scores annd note his explosive and
inflexable behavior and suggested that BIPOLAR may be a diagnosis for my child.
No one will committ to an actual diagnosis for my son, I don't get it.
He is, in my opinion, far more than ADHD, the meds hes is on would also
indicate that to me as well. My older son is ADHD and they are night and
day. How do I get the attending doctors to give me an actual diagnosis
without being so vague about it. Is Risperdal common for ADHD alone?
Are children with ADHD prone to being highly aggressive and even violent
at times, irratable, angry and talking of killing self or others? This of
course with the issues of short to no attention span and hyperactive and
impulsivness. Any suggestions? Help would be appreciated, I am
trying to get my son in the correct school setting as he was recently ask to
leave a parochial school. Thanks much!! Dawn in Illinois
Dear Dawn --
Now I'd be way off base to make a diagnosis when other's are making theirs
having actually seen your son, right? So I won't offer one. I
will offer a way of thinking. It's called Occam's
razor. Named after William
of Occam, from the 1300's. It says "don't increase,
beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything".
Or, put more formally: plurality should not be assumed
without necessity (or, in modern English, keep it simple, stupid).
Here's how it might be applied in your situation.
If your son has one unusual though not rare condition,
e.g. ADHD, wouldn't it be quite a coincidence if he also had OCD, another
unusual though not rare condition? And wouldn't it then be extremely unlikely
that he'd have a third unusual condition? It seems more likely that he
has one unusual condition that explains all his symptoms. Now, what
diagnoses have been offered that have the potential to explain all his symptoms with
a single diagnosis: aggressive, violent, irritable, hyperactive, impulsive;
and suicidal (just listing those you named)? Think about that, and ask
your doctors about that way of thinking and see what they think. Occam's
razor does not always lead to the best way of thinking about something -- it
just does so more often than thinking about multiple simultaneous
Published October, 2001