school successes, doctor fails

The first week of school went tremendously well, as did today. M’s teachers described her as “having a blast”, “doing wonderfully”, “knowing the routine”, “working hard in school” and being “a lot of fun”. At drop-off, they tell me she is smart, happy, and engaged. When I pick her up, she appears to be calmly participating in the activities, interacting with her peers, and even forming some friendships already. All of the children seem to like each other, always calling out “bye!” and “I’ll miss you!” as she leaves. Another mom of a boy in her class found me on facebook, and she has also raved about the teachers and the school. They communicate with me on a daily basis, and sent out a personal email at the end of the week highlighting what they worked on and how the kids are doing. I think I made the best mom decision ever when I moved her to this school. She’s growing up so much after a week of attending, and showing more enthusiasm for reading!

Today we had an appointment with her primary doctor (who is never there, and on maternity leave again, so another random doctor in the practice) for a 2 1/2 year wellness check. She was in the 98th percentile for weight and 68th for height. She scored in the top tier for all of her developmental milestones… BUT. He completely blew me off when I described her sensory-seeking and aggressive behavior. He told me that “we don’t worry about stuff like that at least until kindergarten” and “she may be ADHD but we can’t know that for now”. Oh, and also, “she’s growing just fine so that’s good enough”. Good enough?! My child struggles not to be violent, leaps off of tall structures, has trouble with bonding with family members and peers because she is rough and hyper, and that doesn’t even warrant at least an assessment? He seemed to think I was being a nutcase hypochondriac for taking her to the early child behavioral specialist but fuck that. He met my kid two minutes ago and he seems to know less about early childhood behavioral development than I do!!!

So… tomorrow I am making an appointment with a doctor in my town that was recommended to me by a friend who has a daughter with special needs. She says he is very thorough medically, but also holistic in his approach. She says he spends a long time with you at each visit and really gets to know his patients. I wasn’t sure if I was going to switch before today, but now I’m quite sure. I am also going to need a physician’s referral to get her into occupational therapy (or at least assessed) so I need a physician who will take me seriously.

This evening was not the greatest in terms of behavior. M did not like the change in routine as I had to pick her up a little early from school and drive her out to the doctor’s. She got the flu shot (yes, I’m a vaxxer, no I don’t want to discuss it), and was quite thrilled with her new “owie”. She would NOT get into the car. We spent about 20 minutes in the parking lot. I refused to have a physical fight over it. She just was not transitioning well. Eventually, she was ready, and we were off. We spent a lot of time together playing so I thought bedtime would go smoothly… but just as I thought she was drifting off, she beamed me in the side of the head. Then she did it again. After holding her swinging punches and kicks away from me (as calmly as I possibly could while being attaacked) we went to rock. Then to the potty. I allowed her to have a bottle with water in it… the oral stimulation of sucking on it helps her relax, as does playing with a doo-dad in bed while she’s lying down. We ended up going to sleep with three barrettes, a pair of safety nail clippers, a stuffed bear, a stuffed pillow cow, and a bottle of water.

But you know? It could’ve been so, so much worse. Only about a minute of physical assault, and I was able to intervene and redirect her. I provided her with more sensory stimulation (while refusing her repeated requests for “TV” and “toons”), we rocked, and before she (finally) fell asleep, she hugged and kissed and snuggled me. She was out by 8:15!

Progress.

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Categories: education, parenting

6 Comments »

  1. In my experience medical insurance almost never covers occupational therapy, for otherwise physically healthy children. If you wait until M is in public school she could get an OT evaluation and possibly receive OT at school. But the earlier you intervene the better the outcome will be. Good luck! You’re doing the right thing.

  2. I had similar issues when seeking help for G’s crazy. Her inside out socks and food texture issues. “It’s behavioral. Utilize time outs more often.”
    Awesome. Thanks.

  3. That doctor sounds like an idiot. Imagine if you were the kind of mom who just accepted anything the doctor said! It’s a good thing you’re not.

    Well done on your handling of last night’s bedtime stuff!

  4. You should be able to request an OT evaluation through your local early intervention program. She can also be evaluated through the school district once she is 2 years, 9 months or older. I can’t remember what state you are in (I am in NY) but I work in Early Intervention and work with children similar to M.

  5. What a fabulous job you are doing Mom. Ignore the doctor. He may know pediatric medicine but not children and behavioral issues. They are different. Follow your knowledge of your child and get the advice of people who are more knowledgeable in this area.

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