Monday, January 24, 2005

A visit to the Community Paed

I need to explain this, when Michael was dx'd with Autism, it was suggested that we have J. assessed too. He has various speech and developmental issues that at the time we put down to Michael having been born early and all the interaction and time he'd missed out on. Wishful thinking on our part I think.

Anyway, at the time we were questioning the possibility of him too, being Autistic, high functioning, or perhaps Dyspraxic. J. is a toe-walker, he is clumsy, he falls continuously, he gets very easily distracted, for example he will go off to get a pair of socks, and by the time he's out the room he's side-tracked by something else, you'll frequently find him upstairs playing, he's forgotten what he went for. J. is unable to sit still. seriously he cannot do it, you can put him in the middle of the floor with nothing around him, and time him, within 10 seconds his hands are moving, then he'll get a fit of the giggles and you've lost him.

He struggles with pencil control, I guess they would call it "fine motor skills" buttons etc are a problem to him too, and I'm dreading having to seriously teach him how to tie his shoelaces!! He has it all "up-top" as they say, he is a bright kid, he loves Maths, and is really good at it, his reading is excellent, but struggles to put things down on paper.

The new thing with education around here seems to be that kids learn joined up hand writing from the word go. BIG PROBLEM. When your like J. and struggling to get to grips with pencil control, forming the individual letters is a big enough issue without having to join them up. Who thinks up these silly ideas??????

He's been seeing a Physio and an OT, for about 8 months now, he has inserts for his shoes, and also brace type things to sleep in at night, no I can't remember the proper name for them!!

Anyway, before Christmas he had a fit, a really scary fit, took him almost 30 -45 minuites before he became semi-aware of anything going on around him. We'd called an ambulance who, arrived as he was going into what I called the trace stage, he sat rubbing a spoon on the table and smacking his lips! Long story short, the Dr's at the hospital decided it was a febrile convulsion - am I allowed to say how unconvinced I am??? J. is basically too old for febrile convulsions and this just doesn't fit what I saw with my own eyes that night. For two days afterwards, J. did very little other than sleep, so I rang and asked for an appt to see the Community Paediatirican with him.

So today was our appointment............we discussed what had happened before Christmas, and I questioned the falling that J. does, because sometimes he seems to just fall over nothing, it's almost as if his legs give way from under him. Whilst we were away over the weekend he managed to walk/fall into a wall, left him with a nasty bruise on his head. I mentioned this, and J. showed her his bruise! So we now have a diary to keep of any falling incidents, and apparent staring into space, difficulty in gaining his attention etc.

We also looked at the origional concerns around fine and gross motor skills and his speech, J. has been discharged from speech therapy, so that's ok. But still see's the OT, PT. The PT has mentioned to me muscle weakness - or hypotonia in his midriff, but made no mention of it in the report that she'd written.....(make me out to be a liar why don't you??) She did however mention difficulties that she'd had with J.'s concentration. Which led to a conversation about his inability to sit still, his wandering thoughts and the difficulties that we experience with him.

Long story short, the Paed is looking at ADHD, or ADD, she asked lots of questions and then gave me a questionaire to fill in. I have to say, that I was answering yes to almost everything.

My experience of ADD/ADHD kids is very different from the one I have at home. The kids I came across in my work, tended to be kids who were difficult to control, J. just doesn't fit that. Maybe it's an attention thing rather than a hyperactive thing, although I guess the inability to sit still would fit, but he's not totally hyper. Although you wouldn't have believed it looking at him whilst we were in there, he didn't settle to anything, kept interupting conversations, and finally settled on a big yellow ball to throw himself off!!......................I'm confused!!

The Community Paed also did a through examination of him, when she came to look in his mouth, she asked if he has frequent ENT issues, which he doesn't, but it turns out J. has two tubes in his throat, don't ask which tubes, because I need to go back to her on this, I was still reeling from all the other stuff. But apparently this is fairly unusual, so she's going to discuss it with the ENT people, especially as then J. had a nose bleed while we were in there.

She said she would write to his school to discuss how he is in class, and see us again in 3 months time, when she'll look at prescribing meds. I don't want my child on Ritalin, the side-effects are too risky, I am not happy to have my child on a class A drug.

So I'm looking for safe alternatives at the moment. Wish me luck

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