Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pediatrician update

We went into the appointment not really knowing what to expect. This was a new doctor that we've never seen and all we knew was that it was a woman. She was a lovely lady, in her late 50s. She came out to call Liam in on her own and immediately engaged him in a conversation. Hilary and I just trailed behind, looking like sherpas, carrying all of our coats and knapsacks.

She spent the first 25 minutes of the appointment completely focused on Liam. Getting him to talk to her, asking him questions, having him write out his name, numbers, drawing shapes and pictures. She didn't even acknowledge either Hilary or I for the first ten minutes, when she quietly whispered that she would talk to us after. She wasn't being rude, but just giving her full attention to Liam. She did a physical exam (he's gained 5 pounds since Christmas! Yeah tonsillectomy and dental surgery - my boy is eating again!)

After her time with Liam she turned her attention to us. She wanted to know what prompted the appointment, what we saw at home, what our concerns were. Her "unofficial diagnosis" is "He is PERFECT and ready to start school and I don't see why his teachers should have any concerns." Her outlook is that if his behaviors (fidgety, not focusing, not listening) are interfering with his learning, then yes, we will need to look at doing something about it, but if they are not interfering, then she doesn't care, that is just who he is. Since it was the teachers that first raised the concerns, she did send home the Connor's rating scale questionnaires for both us and the teachers to complete, and she will do some follow up appointments with us to ensure that there is nothing interfering with his ability to thrive next year.

Her suggestions were for us to continue to work at home to help Liam develop concentration skills and working methods. To ensure that he has lots of physical outlets, to always try and do any "desk" work after a physical activity and to start with small increments of time, like 5 minutes, before letting him go do something physical for 5 minutes. Gradually we can increase the time that he is sitting and doing work. She says that if the school can incorporate something similar that he will have even better chances of excelling. Both us and the school have already recognized that he does his best after recess, or after playing hard, so this was not a big surprise, and I think the school will be very open to helping him work out these strategies while he is there to.
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