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21 Nov 2005

Psychologist / Psychometrist?
Hi CS, me and my boys again.

I'm sure you'll remember a while ago I posted about my 13-year old son who is quite difficult at the moment, and him bullying his younger brother (Gr 1).

In the last 2-3 months, my youngest son started misbehaving in class, i.e. speaking out of turn, sometimes cheeky to his teacher, twice lashing out at other children and more recently, he's high standard of work has deteriorated to such an extent, that he point blank refuses to finish some worksheets. We've had numerous meetings with his teacher (he doesn't like her), and 2 weeks ago, a meeting with his teacher and the Gr 1 vice-principal, who wasn't too worried about what his teacher and I call "bad behaviour".

I suggested an assessment by a psychologist, but the vice-principal said she feels there's no need for it, since he's work is very good (he received the book prize for reading and maths). I said although she might feel it's not needed because he performs well academically, I'm more concerned about his emotional wellbeing and therefore, have him assessed anyway, for my own peace of mind. I scheduled an appointment with a child-psychologist whom I do not know, for next week.

Tonight, my son's teacher phoned to ask if he's been to the psychologist. I said no, I'm only meeting with her next week. His teacher then suggested that I rather take him to the psychometrist working for the school, who works closely with the teachers, reporting back on any problems.

I don't know this psychometrist, but attended a school meeting at which she said a few words, and I quite liked her and her approach. I've decided to cancel the meeting next week, and schedule an appointment with this school psychomotrist.

My son will be in the same school until Gr 12, so he has many years ahead of him with the same teachers and friends. I don't want to crap on my own doorstep, i.e. I don't want my son's problems to become public knowledge at school.

My question is, do I have the right to ask her not to discuss our situation with the school, that if there's any report back, she should discuss it with me first, or that I will give the school feedback? Or is she bound by some regulation to report back to the school, because she "works" for them? What about patient/ client confidentiality? And my other question is, what exactly is a psychometrist?

I'm being very sneaky now, but my other reason for wanting to try the school psychometrist, is that if she asks to see my older son (which I'm praying for), he might be more willing to participate because it's a "school requirement". My older son was seeing a psychologist because of all the problems with his dad and the new woman in his life (them having sex in front of my two older kids, the new woman always drunk, many lies from dad, dad running mom down to them etc etc), but eventually he refused to go, saying his father's problems isn't his.

CS, thank you so much for always reading my problems, and giving such valuable advice. As always, know that it's much appreciated, and may you be blessed for your good work.
Answer 382 views

01 Jan 0001

Eish, a long one ! Hi Buzz --- you deserve a long one, if anyone does ! It's always hard to know, before working with a shrink, which one will work best with you and the boy. Both could have been helpful --- but fair enough, see the psychometrist first. Just remember that they're trained and skilled mainly in applying and interpreting psychological tests, and thus they can be valuable in identifying problems ; but most are not also trained and experienced at therapy, in solving the problems they identify.
The issue of confidentiality is, I agree, crucial, and something you should call her office and clarify before going ahead with the appointment. This is your child and she should be bound by confidentiality ( and the fac that you are presumably paying for the assessment ?) to report back to you alone. That she is friendly with and used to working with, the school, is fine, if she will guarantee that she will only discuss any aspect of this case with the relevant teachers / VP only with YOUR consent, and to the extent you agree.
Similarly, if your interesting scheme to use this situation to lure your older son into an assessment, too, is to work, you may need to fill her in on that element in the problem and that option, beforehand.
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