This is a continuation of my post yesterday The Therapy Session
The therapist turns to me and says “I have to tell you that your son is so adorable.” “Thank you” I replied. He says, “Okay, so from what I’m seeing your son has anxiety. He worries about a lot of different things. Most people have anxiety so it’s not unusual, but if it interferes in your daily life we want to try to help.”
He asked whether or not Munch has always been anxious. “Yes” I told him. “When he was a baby about 8 months old he started freaking out any time I got on an elevator or escalator. He would start crying and trying to get out of his stroller or holding me tighter if I was carrying him. I told his pediatrician. I thought it was weird, but I didn’t know because he was my first child and she just dismissed it. He would always worry about everything. What if the kids at school don’t like me? What if no one at church wants to be my friend? What if people laugh at me? What if people boo me?
Last month when we had that tornado warning, he freaked out and had to be next to me. He was so afraid that something was going to happen to me that he couldn’t concentrate on his upcoming program. One of the adults supervising brought him to me because he started crying and saying that he needed to check on his mommy. He needed to make sure that I was okay because he was afraid that I would die in the tornado. Sometimes his anxious thoughts cloud his mind and make him sad or depressed. Like he will bring up the dog dying even if there are no animals around and then begin to cry. We created a memory box regarding our dog Bailey but it’s like his mind remembers the death and it upsets him” I said.
He listened and responded “His mind doesn’t seem to work in a linear fashion. It’s like his mind is all over the place, which is why I did the memory test to see if he can focus enough to retain information. He did good. Two out of three is very good. Maybe his mind is working faster than his mouth. Is that possible?”
“Yes” I responded. “It happens to me all the time. That’s how my mind works. I thought it was different, but I can focus when I need to so I just thought it was a special ability I had. My mom does the same thing. Munch doing it seemed natural. However, I know it frustrates and confuses people who are close to me. They’ve just accepted it though.” “Okay” he said. “It may be fine. But, I want to tell you that I think he has anxiety. He was worried about numerous things in our short conversation.
I’m hesitant to diagnosis anything beyond that without psychological testing. The thing about therapy is that many people can give you their professional opinions about what they believe may be the issue, but the psychological testing will give us an actual picture for present behavioral/emotional issues. It’s covered under your medical insurance and I don’t want to do it through the school. I don’t want that testing to track or follow him throughout his educational years. Plus, I’ve seen were they will try to code anxiety as ADHD and that’s not always the case.
Once we get the results back, I want you to make a follow-up so we can see what we can do to help your son. Now, keep in mind that my therapy with children is more play. We may play a board game, Jenga or go outside and toss a baseball. Anything that is play oriented that will allow him to relax and talk to me. It’s shorter than the average adult therapy session to” he said.
“Okay, I’ll get the testing” I replied. Munch opened the door at that moment and asked “Mommy, are you okay?” “Yes, baby. I’m fine” I replied. “Can we go eat now? I’m hungry.” We all laughed.
I did some research and found out more about psychological testing/assessments from Inova Fairfax where I’ll take him for testing and found out that there are four different types of assessments that they do depending on the patients.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Specific learning disorders including dyslexia and dyscalculia
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Emotional/behavioral disorders including those characterized by mood dysregulation, anxiety and disruptive behaviors
As far as emotional/behavioral disorders, my Munch has experienced the following things:
- Low frustration tolerance, difficulty coping
- Sleep problems, sleeps too much or has difficulty sleeping (varies when he’s worried)
- Negative thoughts, pessimistic thinking, hopelessness
So, I agree with the need for testing. My concerns have been somewhat subsided. We have a plan. I’ve found a responsible adult who wants to treat my son that I find trustworthy. I called the hospital testing center and I’m waiting to hear back.
Until the testing happens I will continue to love, nurture and support the child that God gave me. Be understanding. Be encouraging. I will continue to shower him with hugs and kisses and tell him that I will always be here for him. I will wipe his tears and understand that there are things that I may not know that are worrying my baby’s mind and spirit.
I’ll keep you posted.