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Behavorial Evaluation Results

Today, Friday, February 2, 2024, at 3:02PM my husband, his ex-wife, and their son’s Guardian Ad Litem received the Final Evaluation from a Behavioral Specialist. As I have shared, this Evaluation was in regard to my stepson’s mental state/well-being and originally for claims of OCD.  


Here are some key points from the 12-page Evaluation:


“It was observed that the parents each had their own ideas related to the child’s functioning. The mother presented few to no issues, aside from her son “not wanting to see his father.” The father reported many more concerns related to mood, worries, and concerns related to self-harm for his son, in addition to the strained relationship between himself and his son. He attributes this strain to relate to his mother’s influence on their son.”


“He was dressed in all black and wore his hoodie the entire time. His fingernails were painted pink. Speech was soft and slow. His demeanor appeared sullen, and his affect was flat. The child hung his head down nearly the entire session. He made no eye contact with this evaluator. Motivation and effort were minimal. Insight and judgement were difficult to gauge given the little dialogue between Ben and this writer.”


“The mother reported her child’s mood to be cheery and content.”


“A family history of depression was indicated.”


“The mother reported substantial improvements this past month since her son has not seen his father.”


“When the evaluator was asking the child about past traumas, he asked to see his mother and refused to answer the question. The child’s limited effort and engagement should be taken into consideration when interpreting the results of this evaluation.”


“A pervasive and profound ambivalence between maintaining a dependent submission to others versus asserting autonomy and independence may be a common source of his difficulties.”


“An immature, uncertain, and wavering sense of self and identity add further challenges.”


“The child’s self-image of weakness, inadequacy, and ineffectiveness often makes ordinary stresses and responsibilities seem too demanding.”


“Separation Anxiety Disorder.”


“The discrepancy between the child’s reporting and his mother’s is alarming, however, it is also important to consider that the child’s challenges are primarily internal and not visible by observation. Yet, the mother did report that her son and she are close, and he shares his thoughts and feelings with her. It would then appear that perhaps the child is not being honest about the severity of his feelings with his mother, and this is an area that can be explored therapeutically.”


What was recommended after the evaluation?


Here are some of the things that were listed by the evaluator:


“While there are substantial differences in symptomatology reported, between the minor child and his mother, based on his own reporting and endorsements, the minor child would benefit from a more intensive therapeutic program beyond individual therapy. The minor child reports daily thoughts of self-harm, and it is unclear if he continues to experience visual and/or auditory hallucinations. Regardless, the severity of his symptom presentation would indicate a higher level of care, such as an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).”


“Ben’s parents would continue to benefit from family therapy, in order to focus on positive co-parenting strategies. Consistency with rules and expectations across both homes will be best for Ben.”

“It would be advantageous for Ben to engage in prosocial activities of interest to him, which can assist with increasing his sense of self and bolstering his self-esteem.”


As we read this 12-page evaluation, we just thought to ourselves will my husband’s ex-wife finally see that there is something wrong with their son? Or will she continue to claim he’s cheery and content as well as thriving with school and family? We were also wondering what the Guardian Ad Litem was finally going to do as well.


We were glad to see when the specialist recommended an Intensive Outpatient Program. But also, we are glad that this Specialist stated in her results that it is alarming that what she saw and what Michael’s ex-wife claims is NOT the same. There is too much discrepancy with their stories.


For now, we were going to enjoy our weekend and wait to see if my husband’s ex-wife, or the G.A.L. reach out come Monday with their thoughts.  

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