Today, I took my little kindergartner to the doctor. Nothing was wrong but since we moved, it seemed prudent to have a visit with our new doctor so he is established. Given that there is such a shortage of family practice doctors, it is not uncommon for family practice doctors to have a wait of 6 to 12 weeks for new patients first appointments. Luckily, we have a friend of the family practicing in a neighboring town.
It was a marathon visit. Two hours. We reviewed his medical and developmental history in detail. She clearly was unimpressed with the PDD-NOS diagnosis and wants to have him reevaluated next year. She agreed that he is an anxious little guy. On her own, she came to the conclusion that his sensory issues were related to his hearing loss; so many professionals (MDs, OTs, SLPs, teachers) have rolled their eyes at when I suggested this. It’s interesting because she also focused on things that have been ignored or downplayed in the past but that I have asked about. She saw him as I saw him. Maybe it helped that she has seen him socially, playing with her family. Maybe it helps that it is older and he has had so much support already. Maybe I am getting better at clarifying his history. I think though that it is simply that she is also a pediatric neurologist and has had extensive training with developmental delays.
After all these years of focus on his language, it was his motor skills she was most concerned about. It has frequently been commented upon that he has low muscle tone in his hands. He can write his name but struggles to hold a pencil; just helping him hold the pencil makes his writing so much more legible. His gross motor skills are a major concern and he has been referred to a Physical Therapist for evaluation of his balance, his gait and a gross motor delay.
And now I feel bad. Because he has been complaining since we got here that he tires easily, that walking more than a few blocks is too far for him. Whenever we are out for long, he asks to be carried or to ride in the stroller and I’ve let my husband tell him he is too big to ride in the stroller.*** Only, he may be big but it has become painfully clear that it IS harder for him to walk than it should be, that it is exhausting, that we are asking him to do something that takes extra effort. And I feel bad for not being as sensitive as I should have.
So now that we know this so clearly I am going to have a change in tactics. We have a double stroller type contraption we can (and do) use with him. We will use it when we walk any distance in our area. It won’t work on the T so he will have to walk but we will be more considerate about allowing him to rest or to let his little brother walk (while the eldest rides) in sheltered places. We will keep working on his stamina.
As bad as I feel that I’ve asked too much of him, part of me is still enjoying the I told you so moment. I’m not crazy.
*** Do you remember that stupid website toobigforstroller? I think that was what prompted his “He’s too big for the stroller!” campaign and “He should walk”