Saturday, 16 July 2011

Paediatrician meeting

After what seems like a lifetime - and for Emily it was a large chunk - we finally had our Paediatrician meeting yesterday.

Sod's law dictated that, having waited 8 months, I would have to be on-site at a client meeting I couldn't get out of. The only silver lining to that cloud is Emily will have more Paediatric care once she starts at Dragonflies, so this wasn't the one-off it could potentially have been.

Anyway, on with the news.

Emily wasn't tested for Autism. Again, there's a few tests they could do, including brain scans, etc., but the treatment wouldn't change, so there's really no need to put her through that stress.

While Emily's not officially a card carrying Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) member, the doctor did say she was showing behaviours akin to someone with it. Sometimes you don't have to have all the facts to make an educated leap of faith. I guess it's sort of like saying, "I didn't SEE you drink 10 beers, but you are showing behaviours akin to someone who's drunk."

The doctor was concerned from the off, apparently, as Emily went up and gave her a hug - a complete stranger. At this point in her life, she should be wary of strangers, even though they're "friends you haven't met yet" (or whatever those cheesy greeting cards say).

I think the most important thing I got from Sue relaying the notes was that we do NOT overuse the word "no", else it will lose all meaning. It should be reserved for actions that would put her in harm's way. Almost like we need to say "No... priority one!", as opposed to when she's turning her milk upside down on the carpet or other mischievous activities.

This includes having her hands up to her ears. We need to let this one go, as it's most likely a defence mechanism and not her odd version of sucking a thumb. If the hands go up, she's in distress and forcing her NOT to do it only reinforces some bad behaviours.

One action point we can do is join Emily when she stares off into space, looking at the trees. We can then gently coax her into doing something else with the powers of distraction.

All in all, I get the sense that we're going to have to face facts sooner than later, but the doctor was also optimistic that Dragonflies will help her immeasurably. I don't think she'll ever be 100% non-ASD but hopefully with all this support and the strategies we're learning and implementing we can get her to a place where she can function as a non-descript drone in Sector 7G of some faceless corporation somewhere in the world... i.e. normal.
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