Tag Archives: Diagnosis

Question?: Asperger Syndrome Causes

Chris asks…

Is the recognition of personality and neurotic disorders a good or bad thing?

I understand that its beneficial for people who need medication. The reason I ask is that my Mum reads a lot of psychology books and has a very good understanding of various psychomatic ailments, but I think because she knows so much about such illnesses and disorders she has tried to “label” me and my siblings in a sort of “psychological hyprochondriac” kind of way. I was diagnosed with depression and as having Aspergers syndrome when I was 10 and I think the Seroxat I was on for ten years may have caused further problems. Also, my brother is 9 and she has successfully had him diagnosed for Aspergers Syndrome and Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder – as far as I’m concerned has is a perfectly normal 9 year old. I’m just worried that my brother will grow up into the personality that she’s labelled him as like I did.
I am being ungrateful for my Mum’s help or do you think ignorance can be bliss with these sort of things?

admin answers:

The problem you’re describing is not with recognition of disorders, but their misdiagnosis.

That is, it’s a very good thing to be able to recognize disorders. Seeing them where they don’t exist, not so good, in fact, as you suggest, it can be harmful.

It’s not that ignorance is bliss, it’s that a little knowledge can be dangerous — that is, when it isn’t really knowledge, but is information being misapplied.

Wish I had some advice for you, but I really don’t know what to say.

I’m surprised that the people she took your brother to, who agreed with her “diagnosis” did so. I hope they know what they’re doing.

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Question?: Pdd Symptoms

Richard asks…

What illnesses are impossible to have a confirmed diagnosis on?

As I understand it, there are some illnesses out there that can only be diagnosed based on ruling out everything else. So my question is, what illnesses can someone have when all tests still show up normal?
Currently I’m studying medicine and as far as I know this is the topic after dehydration which we are doing now. I was hoping to get a little knowledge before hand but I haven’t got the books yet and the internet seems to be failing me? Thanks!

admin answers:

There are some diseases which can only be positively diagnosed after death and autopsies because there are currently no lab tests to use for positive diagnosis.

Parkinson’s disease and some of the parkinsonian conditions are a good example although that may change by the time you are out of med school. Look also at differential diagnoses.One problem is that the name Parkinson’s or Parkinson disease is actually a collection of syndromes with varying symptoms, rates of progression and differing genetic and environmental triggers. Not to mention the related parkinsonian conditions which may or may not be l-dopa responsive.

Lab tests are usually conducted in a suspected PD DX to rule out other conditions.

If doctors could recognize precursor symptoms of conditions such as PD, treatments and therapies might be started much earlier and that might delay onset of some symptoms and progression of others for considerable time.

Lewy body disease is an excellent example. Certain symptoms can overlap with PD and AD. Does a person have Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD)? Lewy Body disease? Alzheimer’s? Dementia? Other mental illness may be seen to manifest symptoms which can be associated with several conditions some emotional/psychological and some chemical imbalance.

There are many conditions which are very difficult to diagnose especially when they occur in infants as you can read at the link below. I”m not going to cut and paste since the article is quite clear with additional links.
Here’s a cardiac condition very difficult to diagnose:

Some conditions are simply difficult to diagnose in the early stages. The problem is that without a positive early diagnosis the patient risks death or other debilitating conditions. A simple example is appendicitis. Or how about the headaches or nausea associated with meningitis which are usually seen as the flu?

Diagnostics are very difficult simply because patients may need to go years back to find the precursor symptoms (PD is a great example) or be reluctant to tell the doctor embarrassing issues which they don’t think are related.

All patients should be encouraged to come to that first appointment (unless it is the emergency room) with a printed list of symptoms dating back several years if they still persist. And an extended blood relative family medical history plus a list of medications including OTCs which they have taken in recent.

Several autoimmune conditions are difficult to diagnose because they can be confused with another condition. Examples include Scleroderma and Lupus. Digestive disorders fall into the same category because symptoms overlap.

Oddly enough some of the cancers are also difficult to diagnose although I am still at a loss to understand exactly why. Breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer have been misdiagnosed as simply health issues for years.

Rare disorders are difficult to diagnose because most physicians simply aren’t familiar with the symptoms and assume other causes.

I think you would be better served with difficult rather than impossible. If the disease or condition has a name, someone has diagnosed it.

Listening is key.The difference between a teen and an infant is huge. One can tell you the other cannot communicate except to indicate pain. Knowing the questions to ask is so important. Telling patients to come with written lists is another.

Too often doctors rely on patients to provide the best clues. That isn’t always possible. Better diagnostic check lists would be of significant value. Diagrams could be included. Frequent revisions would be required.With a check list, the doctor is reading and thinking about both the questions and the answers and the patient is listening and responding.

Consider also that ‘impossible to confirm diagnoses” might actually refer to diagnoses which can’t be diagnosed by physical exam alone.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Causes

Mandy asks…

How difficult is it for someone who has Aspergers Syndrome to become a law enforcement officer?

My husband is a deputy sheriff and he was recently diagnosed (after many years of misdiagnosis) with Aspergers. I want to see how this will come in to play with his career

admin answers:

Interesting question.

It is important to note that Asperger is a syndrome and not a disease. In other words, it is used to describe a range of behaviours and it is not associated with any specific cause.

Without knowing where you live it is hard to say whether there is some stigma attached to a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome that would affect his career path. However, you could try using the diagnosis in your favour: individuals with Asperger Syndrome often have unusually excellent auditory and visual perception. Both of these skills would be a plus for a law enforcement officer.

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Question?: Angry Autistic Letter

Thomas asks…

DCF and bad therapist not believing diagnosis of Autisum.?

DCF is claiming physical neglect after my high functioning Autistic 9 yr old. Her therapist is angry and dosnt agree with Autistic diagnosis, wants it to be PTSD from her father who left when she was two, she never even brings him up, old news. She told her therapist i tapped her but. I had previously talked with her therapist with my daughter present letting her know that she will make statments like this if she feels she didnt get something she wanted and is mad at me (ex. cant have a cookie before bed, no cartoons before homework) the therapist told her she was calling dcf on her. My daughter came home very anxious and worried. I told her it would be ok, the next day DCF came to her school pulled her from class and put her in the principles office with the doors shut. She wasnt allowed to leave and told her her therapist had sent her about her saying i “spanked” her, she asked her over and over does mom spank you, hit you, hurt you, scare you, ect. My daughter told me she told the worker i tapped her bum and yelled sometimes but was not scared and was finally able to leave, she came home very nervous saying she thought she was in trouble and very scared. I received a letter a week later saying she wanted to meet with me over an allegation of physical abuse the day before i got the letter. I called today (9 days after report was made, 10/17/2013) I told the worker i had nothing to say with out legal councel and i didn’t feel the need to discuss anything with her.

admin answers:

You need to get legal advice. I agree, they went overboard. You mentioned that your daughter is autistic. She sounds like a very high-functioning autistic to be able to hold a conversation with the DCF. Maybe Asperger’s?

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Question?: Autistic Angry Outbursts

Robert asks…

Parents of Older Autistic Children w/ Aggression?

I have been using Safe Crisis Management holds for my son’s aggressive “outbursts” since he was diagnosed (PDDNOS). I have been having some problems lately due to the fact he’s getting bigger and is very flexible.

Earlier today Austins in-home therapist pushed him a bit to far and he lost it. Once I got him in the hold he began to wiggle and fight. He threw his head back and managed to bust my lip a bit and when I tried to steady his head he turned and bit my arm leaving a decent little bruise.

I was calm through it all, and finally managed to get him calmed down. But once he went back to his therapist and my husband got home, I locked myself in the bathroom and seriously considered pulling my hair out LOL. I asked his therapist for advice, but he was no help at all.

Did you have this problem when your child got older? If they were able to overpower the holds, what did you do to keep them from harming themselves/others?
No judging my son, especially if you have no experience with children on the spectrum. He is the sweetest kid on the planet 90% of the time. He just has trouble expressing his “bad moods”.
Erin: I hope it works out with your son. I’ve been through the pre-diagnosis phase, it’s rough. Austin is 8 now, and generally his episodes will send him “after people”. He won’t really sit still through it.

admin answers:

Well, my son is 2 1/2 years old, and not yet been diagnosed with autism, but we believe he has it. He has the same outbursts that you describe your son to have. I have tried holds as well, but all it does is hurt us both. I really don’t have that great of an answer for you, but I do know that you need to keep yourself safe as well as your son. My son will usually stop when he wants to, and I’ve found that the holds just made him angrier. What I do may sound terrible, but it’s the best way I’ve found so far. I have a big, soft chair that I set him in and just let him go. He can’t really hurt himself on this chair, it’s very soft and it’s over-sized. Maybe try something like that, just let the outburst run its course, while making sure he stays safe and doesn’t hurt himself. To me, it’s better than you getting a busted nose or something, and then not being able to help him through is problem because you have something you need to tend to on yourself.

Good luck, if you find any better advice, let me know.

Edit: I am really sorry to hear that. Nick’s a little bit the same way, until I sit him down and let him go at it in his chair. He’ll come hit and kick and bite me, hit his little brother, and the works. Plus, he beats himself up something fierce. I don’t have any better advice for you, but I think, if that therapist saw it, he should have been of more help. Maybe you should get another therapist? I don’t know, but I think they should be able to help with that.

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Question?: Schizophrenia In Children

Robert asks…

Could me and my fiance still have children if he has schizophrenia?

Someone told me that because my fiance is schizophrenic we would have any children we had taken off us. He went through a bad patch 3 years ago and got into trouble with the police, he went on to medication and had intense physiatric help. When we got together he became a lot calmer and he hasn’t had an episode since, he has been off medication for awhile now. So would this effect us in the future when we decide to have children?

admin answers:

If there is one parent who is competent at all times, and if the parent with schizophrenia has a meltdown, the other spouse was sure to take care of that child at all times, there is no reason for the state to intervene. The issues come up when the child is neglected or otherwise at risk. Most people with schizophrenia are never violent (that’s substance abuse plus mental illness that can increase violence) so the diagnosis alone would rarely be used to take a child away, and in those cases, that’s probably illegal, but the person with schizophrenia cannot afford a good lawyer.

You know, a one time bad patch with psychosis doesn’t mean a person has schizophrenia. It used to be said that a person would have a nervous breakdown, and it was well known that the person would recover and be fine. Nowadays, everybody assumes if a person got psychosis, that they are mentally ill for life and better take their pills. Not true!

Schizophrenia is not particularly genetic. Maybe a little, but not strongly so.

I hope he is in therapy and learning coping skills and stress reduction, to reduce the risk of further break downs.

Good luck!

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Question?: Autism Symptoms Toddler Boys

Mark asks…

experiences with Autism?

I am writing a story based on a girl with Autism
for an assignment for english.

I want to get quite close into how people relate to autistic others
So if you know anyone autistic, or are or have an autistic sibling
can you please tell me about your relationship to them
or any habits they may have etcerta etcetera
information from the net can only tell you so much,
but something personal means so much more.
Thankyou guys =D

admin answers:

My 4 y.o. Son has autism. Many days I think, Why him? Why me? But I have to always remind myself that my son’s condition is so much milder than most cases.

He looks typical, he doesn’t drool or flap hands. He speaks quite moderately, can tolerate people whistling, noises, or getting his lined cars messed. That’s why when he has a tantrum over his frustration of failing to deliver the right message, people just stare at him, labelling him as spoiled and then look at the mother who’s not doing a good job as a parent. Or when he suddenly barks at children or attempts to push them, people’s eyebrows are raising.

He’s very visual, sometimes that means a problem. I can’t go to supermarket because he thought our stuff was gone once we put it in the locker. He’s quite rigid sometimes, and we’ve had fights over how he wants to have things done his way.

I saw the symptoms at 15 months old. He ran away from other kids and covered his ears as if in pain while the kids screamed in delight. He wasn’t verbal until almost 3. We got the diagnosis at 3 years and 2 months. Before that, I’d evolved myself into guessing what he wanted, I made every decision for him and didn’t even bother to ask him anything anymore.

Many days I’d spent in tears, my spirit was broken. I hated guessing his inaudible words. I’d poured my love into this boy, and I never got a hug and a kiss from him. “He’s still a toddler, he doesn’t understand yet!” I’d told myself. Then I saw kids younger than him, rushing to their Mommies and chatted about the slides and swings.

Deep down inside, I knew something’s not right. I’d decided to do something about it. His reluctance to socialize drove me to drag him out of the house 3 times a day. We’d go to playgrounds, park, lakeside, hiking, swimming, crossing a bridge, city centre, supermarkets, shops, bus rides, ferry, every place I could think of. Within a month, I noticed a change. He’s not that scared of loud noises, crowds or buses. He’s looking forward to have these daily trips. He still hates people, but it’s a start.

As soon as we got the diagnosis, we jumped straight into the intervention. We’re doing ABA therapy for 9 months now, and it’s like cracking a shell off him and the real personality emerges. He’s charming, funny, a fast learner, eager to help people, and that cute dimpled smile always melts even the coldest heart.

He now has a playdate whom he likes. The tremendous progress he has in such a short time is nothing but miraculous. I’m in awe at how much he wants to learn and know.

My life is much easier than before ABA. His vocabulary skyrocketed and he can express his wants and needs, not specifically, but it eliminates the guessing game. In fact, he likes to play with words and came up with his own joke: “What’s so furni? The funny-ture!” and “Eleven Elephants”

I’m his mother, his therapist, his carer, his friend, his guide, his teacher. I’d do everything for him because he is my world. If there’s a magic spell that can make Autism disappear, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But, in the meantime, I’m content with what we have. My boy is healthy, my boy has Autism. And that gives him extra challenges. But we’ll overcome them. His many hugs and kisses give me strength and hope.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Test

Carol asks…

why do some people have mental problems while others dont?

i have aspergers syndrome, crowd anxiety, depression. my friend has ADHD. my aunt has depression.
why do some people have mental problems while others dont?

admin answers:

I am not saying there are no mental problems but one should ask why USA seem to be the most depressed country in the world? …while there is no medical objective test to prove someone has any of the psychiatry diagnoses.

This 2 minutes long video explains the difference between diagnosis in real medicine backed up by science and psychiatry diagnosis like ADHD backed up by personal opinions.

Psychiatry – NO SCIENCE-NO CURES (4:54min)
Can psychiatrists help you with antidepressants? Are there any cures in psychiatry today? How many people have been cured? What are your chances?
Check it for yourself – hear it from interviewed psychiatrists.


The Marketing of Madness:
Are We All Insane?

The definitive documentary on psychotropic drugging—this is the story of the high-income partnership between drug companies and psychiatry which has created an $80 billion profit from the peddling of psychotropic drugs to an unsuspecting public.

But appearances are deceiving.

How valid are psychiatrist’s diagnoses—and how safe are their drugs?

Digging deep beneath the corporate veneer, this three-part documentary exposes the truth behind the slick marketing schemes and scientific deceit that conceal a dangerous and often deadly sales campaign.

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Question?: Autism Signs In Infants

Michael asks…

What to expect at speech pathologist evaluation with 9-month-old?

My son is 9-month-old and he is not babbling (at all). We’ve been signing with him and he’s never signed back, either. He also has problems swallowing thin liquids, but he can drink his bottle because we thicken it with rice cereal. The pediatrician wants us to get an evaluation with a speech pathologist to check language and swallowing. What can we expect? What kinds of tests will she perform? What sort of therapy is possible for this age? Besides reading, signing, and talking as much as possible (which we’ve always done), what else can we do to speed language development?

admin answers:

At 9 months most of the evaluations will consist of the therapist looking at the physical structure of his mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, etc, observing him as he plays, and asking you lot of questions.

As he is not babbling at all you may need to take him to an audiologist who works with infants to have a specific type of hearing screening done. It consists of them measuring what sound is reaching your son’s brain. (I am just assuming that you haven’t already had this done.)

If it turns out that your son is deaf or has autism or is just severely delayed, than getting that diagnosis this early is crucial because it will allow for very intensive therapy for him while his brain is still very plastic.

I am not sure what therpy would look like for a 9 month old child but I imagine it will be a more intensive and targeted version of what you are already doing-talking, singing, reading and interacting as much as possible with your child. The therapist will probably spend a lot of time teaching you what to do for your child at home.

I wish you the best of luck with your child. Although I don’t work with infants, I do teahc special education and have 4 years of experiance with preschool children who are delayed. Please dont’ hesitate to e-mail me if you have any more questions.

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Question?: Adhd

Susan asks…

What are the alternative treatments for ADHD in a preschooler?

My four year old son was just diagnosed with ADHD (more hyperactivity than attention). My husband and I will choose the medication route only as a last resort after all other methods of treatment have been exhausted. I’ve heard about cutting sugar and processed foods out of the diet and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (flax seed and fish oil), but is there anything else out there that is safe enough to try?

admin answers:

Rebecca M –

There are a number of alternative “treatments” for ADHD, but I would first be curious to know a lot more around the circumstances of how your child was diagnosed? A child as young as 4 has a LOT going on…and while one can start to think that it might be ADHD, I am always hesitant about making a diagnosis at this age.

A 4 year-old child is still growing and developing, and has so much to absorb from the world.

I really applaud you for taking this stance to use medication as a lost resort.

I would strongly recommend speaking with a “therapist” or coach who specializes in ADHD and child development. I would also encourage you to focus more on the behaviors that you are noticing, rather than the “label” of ADHD. There are a lot of different things that can look like ADHD when it is not really ADHD.

So to answer your question, I would really take a look at how your son is different…and what strategies you are using to support him. In my work, I often find that having the right strategies can make all the difference in the world.

Also – diet can play a significant role or have a great impact. Cut back on sugar, increase protein (especially in the morning), and focus on a balanced diet that is a lifestyle and a “punishment.”

Hope this helps!


Child ADHD Coach, “Former Therapist”

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