Originally Posted by aeh
Thanks for the update.

Personally, as a professional I am a little uncomfortable with attaching diagnostic labels that are "stretching it" for the purpose of making the school take notice, especially when there is likely a legitimate second exceptionality. You only need one disability to trigger the child-find process and disabilities protections. She could just as easily have diagnosed him with Specific Learning Disorder--written expression, which would equally pressure the school to properly evaluate him in that area.

Also, I find that labeling inattentiveness due to instructional mismatch as ADHD contributes to school systems dismissing instructional mismatch as a genuine cause for inattentiveness in the future, which just perpetuates misconceptions about giftedness, and encourages school systems to view all symptoms of inadequate challenge through a disability lens. (E.g., suggesting that you should medicate him for ADHD, rather than that they should instruct him at his appropriate gifted level.) In any case, the standard menu of educational responses for ADHD would not address his gifted needs, nor would it fully respond to any writing disabilities, so this might result in sending the team down non-useful rabbit trails.

Not saying your evaluator isn't operating professionally, or with the best interest of your child in mind, but just adding some alternate professional perspective from someone with a deep pool of school experience.

A good, knowledgeable advocate can definitely be an asset. Make sure to interview any advocate you consider retaining regarding their views on and experience with twice exceptionality.

ETA: although it would be better to have SLD diagnosed by a neuropsych, technically it's in the DSM, so a psychiatrist is allowed to diagnose it.

I agree to some extent. The problem is that he does have some characteristics of ADHD...and we can't be sure whether it's caused by boredom at school because there's nothing to compare it to. He's never been properly challenged in such a way that we can determine it one way or another. The school won't move him into more challenging classes and the school won't help him out with his problems. So there's no baseline for comparison. Right now his behaviors match those of ADHD, whether it's being caused by a lack of stimulation or not, it's hard to deny it. No, there is no intent to medicate based on this.

The hope is that I can talk to an advocate (I have contacted a place near where I live) and go over my options for what to do. The plan is to hopefully get him into a proper classroom environment and then re-evaluate to see how it has affected his behavior and then see if there is a further need for a treatment plan. But until then, we need to treat it as ADHD behaviorally. That's how it was explained to me...I'm okay with that because I realize that there could be factors affecting it.

She did not evaluate for learning disorders because this eval was supposed to be in conjuction with the school (and the school said they would test for learning disorders, but instead used the IQ test and information from teachers to determine whether there was indeed a learning disability for written expression). I full intent to have him evaluated again for a problem with written expression, but I need a referral to do so.

There is NO PLAN to medicate. We have not done so up to this point and I have no plans to do so, nor is there any recommendation to do so. The diagnosis currently fits the criteria for ADHD...and there is an acknowledgement of mitigating factors and therefore the only recommendations are continued therapy and a change in curriculum.