Monday, December 14, 2009

second opinion, here I come

You may or may not remember my dilemma earlier in the year regarding whether I should have Danny reevaluated. I debated whether it was necessary to get a label for what Danny was dealing with. He is such a difficult case, I think, because in some situations he practically screams, "I HAVE AUTISM!!!!" and in many, many others, he acts like a "typical" child.

After much thought and internal debate, I got a referral to a developmental pediatrician. I would have preferred to take my friend Sarah's advice, which was to take Danny to a clinic that does a total evaluation. He would meet with several different professionals over a 5-day period, which I think would give such a good picture of what is really going on. Unfortunately, we have no such clinic nearby, so I thought I would start first with the pediatrician that is only 90 minutes away and go from there.

I have heard many good things about this doctor. Danny's private speech therapist, who I trust implicitly, says that Dr. M does not hand out autism diagnoses without being completely sure it is accurate. If he is unsure in any way, he meets with the child multiple times and also looks into nutrition and other factors that might help and/or hamper a child's development. He has a holistic approach; he even had us get Danny's iron tested before our appointment. Apparently, he has seen that kids with iron deficiencies often have focus and behavior issues.

Which brings me to the point of this rambling post: we have an appointment for Danny in January, right after the holidays. I feel like I should be preparing for this appointment in some way, coming up with questions or concerns, etc. but I just can't seem to get my mind around it.

What would you do to prepare? I have already sent the doctor copies of many of Danny's evaluations from OTs, STs, teachers and psychologists, along with some doctor's evaluations. I have filled out a 10-page questionnaire about Danny's development and I have lined up babysitting for Tommy and Charlotte. Bil will be unable to attend the appointment with me, as he just started a new job, and maybe that is adding to my nervousness. I like having him there with me, because he thinks of things I don't and vice versa.

I am just interested in any advice you might have. What sorts of things should I be paying attention to in the coming weeks? What should I bring up in the short 45 minutes I have with this doctor? Or am I overthinking it?


Mrsbear said...

It sounds like you've done enough to prepare. He'll do the rest. I would keep a pencil and pad nearby so that you and your husband can jot down questions or concerns that randomly come to mind. I tend to always forget when I'm in the doctor's office the things that are bugging me the most, sort of like a deer in headlights kind of feeling. The appointment sounds like a good thing as far as getting answers. Deep even breaths will get you through it. ;) Good luck.

Mama Zen said...

It sounds like you've done everything that you can do. Good luck!

Natalie said...

When Hannah had her appointment with the developmental ped I took my laptop with videos of meltdowns. It felt weird purposely videoing meltdowns instead of trying to do something to stop them, but I felt that it was unlikely that Hannah would display the behaviors I was most worried about while we were at the appointment. I also had videos of her interacting (or not interacting as was the case) with other kids.
Good luck with your appointment.

lonestar said...

I was going to suggest the same thing MrsBear did - keep a pencil and paper handy for both you and your husband to write down thoughts or questions when they pop up. It's hard to think of questions "on the spot" but with some time between now and then you'll probably think of some and that way you can bring along your husband's thoughts too even though he can't go.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you're doing the right thing and I agree with what others have said about taking notes or writing down questions that might pop up. I always forget, or I get to the doctor's office and it doesn't seem like such a big deal so I don't ask, but then at home I have the same question again. One thing that I didn't see you mention was any regression on your son's part. That is also a big thing for Autism, if there was speech or some skill that he had and has since lost. Just a thought. Good luck!!!