Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dawson's Neurologist Appointment

Thankfully finding the place wasn't hard, the appointment was at a Children's Clinic in St. Paul. I'm used to going to Minneapolis, so I was a bit nervous going to a new place. I never got any paperwork before the appointment, so I told them when I got there and they handed me a 6 page packet to fill out. Sure would've been nice to fill out at home with the baby book in front of me. Not everyone remembers when their 3 1/2 year old first smiled, cooed, giggled, made eye contact, sat, rolled, crawled, etc! I managed to finish and felt my answers were pretty close to when things happened. They also wanted to know my concerns, when I noticed the things starting, a page of family medical history and other stuff.

I thought the Dr was kinda rude. He didn't have great bedside manners and was very blunt about things. He asked me a bunch of questions, at least half of them were on the paperwork I'd just filled out and he stuffed it in his file without glancing at it. That's so annoying! Not only did he ask me those questions, he asked me some of them 2-3 times. It felt like he wasn't listening to what I was saying and it was frustrating. I'd bring up something previously mentioned, like his recent bowel issue and he'd ask "what bowel issue?" Well I just explained all of that about 2 topics ago! He asked me a bunch of questions about Dawson, does he do this or that. How many words does he have. Dawson really does have a lot of words now, probably a few hundred if you really think about it. Those words add up quickly and he knows his colors, animals, shapes, lots of foods, outdoors stuff, family names and many things. The Dr asked if he knew 5, 10, 20, but I said it's more like a few hundred. He looked at me like I was nuts and said "well I don't hear many words". I was shocked at his attitude, he's seen the kid for 10 minutes and is telling me I don't know how much he can talk? Of course he's not talking, he was watching Caillou on the portable DVD player! He asked me if he makes eye contact and I said yes, but only with people he really knows. He tested it out himself and said "no he doesn't, I don't see any eye contact at all". I guess he missed the "people he knows" part! Dawson looks right at me all the time, heck he even takes my chin and makes ME make eye contact if I'm on the computer and trying to finish something while he's trying to get my attention!

Dawson's teacher sent his IEP (education plan with his delays and goals listed) and the speech person sent a list with behavioral, social and communication concerns. The Dr seemed to like having that and finally listened to some of what I was saying. He said Dawson should get some labs to test for chromosomal abnormalities and other things like that which show a diagnosis. I was glad he was at least exploring all the options, I've heard that many don't get that testing unless they feel the diagnosis doesn't quite fit. He did say that he thinks Dawson has a mild to moderate form of Autism, but it will take more testing and evaluations before making an official decision. This is what his teachers and I have been thinking all along, so at least we seem to be on the same page.

The labs went very well, I was prepared for a long hour of fighting and vein-finding like I did with Tyler before he had a central line, but thankfully Dawson's vein was very visible and she was able to get right in there and get what she needed quickly. Dawson knows too well from watching Tyler what needles are about, but thankfully he also knows that there's an end to the torture, so he was only mildly fighting and saying "all done, all done!" It really only took maybe 30 seconds, so I was feeling very fortunate! Once he was done and the bandaid was in place, he looked at the nurse and asked her for a sticker. Hey, if he had to put up with the torture, he was making sure he was going to get his reward! He got 2 stickers and one was a train, so he left very happy.

The next step is the Phsychologist. Thankfully there are child behavioral Pshychologists in town here. He referred me to Children's, but said that it doesn't matter where I decide to go. I called one in town and they just asked the name of the referring Dr and made the appointment. He goes in on February 24th. The Neurologist said to come back to him in 3 months, giving us enough time to see the Psychologist and for the genetics tests to come back. Since we didn't have a long wait time for the Psych appointment, I'm hoping to be able to go back in March to get that over with since the results should be back by then too. I'll have to call them to make sure that's the only reason for waiting 3 months. Otherwise I'll be going in about a month after the baby is born and I'm trying to limit trips to the cities if at all possible during those 6 weeks of recovery time!

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