The child is a 5 yr old little boy and I have noticed many things that have prompted me to research things and have come up with Sensory Processing Disorder. His grandmother, who is raising him, is a RN and will not entertain the possibility that this could be what is wrong. My concern is that he does not eat anything but junk and chocolate milk, and even when he eats he only has about 5 or 6 things that he will eat. He is not fully potty trained and he still uses pull ups for pooping. His attention, eye contact, expressing his needs all fit with SPD as well. He also has fits over crazy things, screaming and crying because his shoelaces are not tied the same…etc. He is having to repeat kindergarten because his teacher says he is not emotionally able to handle 1st grade and he gets picked on in school, wich breaks my heart. His grandmother and teacher seem to think that he is ADHD but I am not convinced. He also has PICA wich I read is a form of autism. My concern is for the child and helping him live a better life by getting the help that he needs. He is smart and caring but without the proper diagnosis and help he will struggle with things for the rest of his life. My question is what can I do if his caregiver will not at least consider it? Please help me help this child! His future could be so bright if someone will do something. How do I get someone to listen to me or at least take him to the dr? I am in a very touchy situation and need your help desperately. I don’t want him to be swept under the rug when I know that this can be dealt with. Thank You.

A. I understand your concern about your friend’s grandson. It can be distressing. You see that he is struggling and feel that his needs are not being properly addressed, but I believe you’ve done all you can and should try to do. Once you have offered your advice, you can do no more. She is under no obligation to take your advice and you can’t force her to listen to you.

It is also important to keep in mind that you are not a trained clinician, at least you did not identify yourself as such in your letter. Consequently, it’s inappropriate to diagnose her grandson. The diagnosis of mental health disorders can be quite complex, especially among children. You should leave the diagnosing to trained professionals.

Offer your support, tell her what you learned in your research and then realize you have no control in their lives. Anything more might be construed as harassment. It may be difficult to let this go, but you should try not to impose yourself upon others. It’s her life, her grandson and ultimately her problem. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle