Thursday, August 04, 2011

Finally saw the Developmental Peditrician

After 5 months wait, we finally saw the developmental peditrician. A really wonderful doctor who takes her time and never once look at the clock! We could have gone on and on except the secretary interrupted us and told her that she's got another patient waiting! In all, we were with her for a good 2 hours. Fees RM375.

She played with Reese, interacted with him, talk about his drawings and talk to us to find out more about Reese. At the end of the session, her conclusion was Reese is definitely a gifted child. He is way above average in everything except his social emotional development. She found it odd that he can draw so well and with so much details and yet when it comes to drawing human, he is drawing them at his age and he doesn't feature human very much in his drawing.

She said Reese lacks empathy, doesn't picks up social cues well and this is not normal. He is self centred and it doesn't bother him what others do or how they feel. This is not normal. At his age, he should have a best/favourite friend but he doesn't. Doesn't bother about taking pride, feeling embarrassed or shy at his age, again it is not normal.

She mentioned that Reese has a few signs of an Aspergers child. Asperger is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant dificulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests. Then again, she stressed that she doesn't wanna put a label on Reese because it is not clear and there are some contradictions like his communication skills is above average. He has no problem with writing. (An Asperger child has communication problems and very often writing is a problem too). So it could just be him not maturing up to his age.

So she suggested this: Have supervised play with him. Get him playdates with kids who can converse at his level. Older kids would be good. Play repetitive games that involve taking turns, sharing, role play and etc. He needs a lot of social interaction. Read him books that shows empathy and perhaps learn to be less self centred. She thinks he is a very interesting and different boy.We are to see her again in 6 months time.

She also mentioned that going to a normal school is not going to work for him. Homeschooling is a good choice provided he has a balance in both academic and social interaction. She can see that he is a very intelligent boy. The details in his drawing, imagination, general knowledge and his verbal skills are all above average.

She wanted Reese to read with her and she showed him a book on night animals. Guess what? She casually asked him what animal was on the cover and he said Tessa (Tarsier). We were all blank including the doctor. We didn't know what it was called. Hahahha... but Reese was right except that he didn't know how to pronouce the name correctly. In the car we asked him where this animal can be found and he told us the Philippine. I checked and he was correct. Again, he got these info from reading books on his own. It's just amazing how much he knows. He is constantly surprising us.

When she mentioned Aspergers, my heart sank. But after she stressed that it is unclear, I felt a little better. It still bothers me. I know my son is not very normal in his social part. I hope he will outgrow this oddity and mature up! Please pray for us that we will be able to help him and that he will mature and be a healthy normal boy.


Mumsgather said...

Reese is such an intelligent boy. I hope that his social side will develop soon enough.

I am not sure about one thing. Do kids this age have best friends? My kids both did not have any till they started primary school. My girl has only just started to have a best friend and she is 9.

Whatever it is, it is a good thing you saw the doc, so now you know what to do for Reese.

A gift from God said...


She said at his age, they should start to have preference and seek to play with certain favourite friends. It's not necessary to have a best friend.

I am really glad to keep the appointment. Just hope Reese will grow up normal. ;)

Linda said...

I am also going to bring zihan to see a psychologist for the first time this Saturday, the charge is rm450 for 1.5 hr. So hopeful that it won't be autism.... But I doubt it...

Hopefully Reese will learn how to socialise soon.... The doctor gave few very good advices... Good luck.

Virginia Llorca said...

You have mentioned that Reese does socialize on some levels. He is very bright and beautiful. My daughter's friend was told by a teacher and a doctor her daughter perhaps was Asperger's. The girl was shy when younger and would turn her back when I said Hi. Now she is six and says Hi and smiles tho I know she still feels shy and has learned this social cue. She is unusually attractive. All kids are different. If he is so bright on the intelligence spectrum, how can they say where he should be on the social spectrum? Give him more time and don't look for labels.You enjoy him obviously and he seems to enjoy his life. He seems to be a great joy.(I have a daughter diagnosed with "soft signs of autism". She had social problems but as an adult she has a social circle and functions well at jobs.)The doctor's ideas about certain story books seem very good and appropriate since he learns so well that way. Best wishes for all of you.

A gift from God said...

Hi Virginia,

It's really comforting to hear words of encouragement like this.... :)

The more I read about Aspergers Syndrome the more I am sure my boy is not one. I guess he just needs time to mature! In the mean time, we will work hard on his social skills.

His Intelligent spectrum and Social spectrum is not in sync. They term it Asynchronous development which is very common in gifted children.

Thank you so much and now I have another blog to read! :)