Yesterday my mom and I made the drive to Indianapolis (the far north side, thank goodness) to take Olivia to see her developmental pediatrician.
This is the doctor who diagnosed Olivia with 5p- syndrome when she (Olivia, not the doctor) was just over two years old.
I love this doctor. She’s the one who listened to me, who looked at my little girl and didn’t tell me to give her time, that she’d catch up, that she was fine and I was being paranoid. She looked at Olivia that day and said, “You’re right, there is something wrong with this baby.”
Yesterday was a great appointment. Dr. S was very thorough. She listened to my descriptions of Olivia’s behavior, her interactions with her peers and teacher and she took amazing notes with wonderful suggestions for how we can help Olivia reach even greater goals.
One thing she mentioned that I know my dear friend Lauren will not be one bit surprised about is Selective Mutism. Lauren’s been talking about this for years whenever I mentioned O’s interactions with peers and teachers/therapists.
I should have listened to her more carefully.
Dr. S wants us to find a psychologist with experience diagnosing and treating selective mutism. This will be a good thing. Having this diagnosis for Olivia will take a lot of pressure off her at school. I feel like her teachers can see that she’s capable of more and they want to push her but if they can understand that she’s not just being stubborn and that this isn’t something she can control. With this diagnosis we can start to work on the mutism and get her through it.
So…that’s a start.
She also wants us to keep an eye on her during her first semester of kindergarten and see if attention becomes an issue. She will have many fifteen minute ‘centers’ next year and I need to know from her teachers if fifteen minutes seems too long for her to concentrate. If this is the case, we’ll take her back down to Riley for a full day evaluation and see if she needs anymore therapy beyond what she gets next fall in school.
Dr. S said the psychologist can also help us work with O’s OCD tendancies.
She’d like us to seek out OT and ST for the summer and maybe find a social skills group to attend.
She recommended that I see if I can find out the names of some of the kids in O’s class next year and set up one on one play dates with a few so she can start to get to know them better before the school year. This would be great if any of them were already in her class this year, giving her the chance to actually already know them even a little.
She also recommended I get a list of some of the earliest sight words O will need to learn next year and get started with her on those.
She checked Olivia’s back for early signs of scoliosis and found that while O’s spine looks straight, her shoulder blades are slightly asymmetrical. Dr. S ordered a baseline x-ray done of O’s back of we can keep track of her as she grows and catch this before it becomes a major issue.
The saddest part of the appointment came when Dr. S told us that she’s relocating to Wisconsin this fall. She’s referring us to one of her colleagues who specializes in behavioral issues because Olivia is not really a medically complex kid, but she is a behaviorally complex one.
I’m so grateful that we got to meet with Dr. S one more time. She saved my sanity way back when and she’s always come across like she really, truly cares about Olivia. She was so thorough yesterday and I feel like she gave the absolute best care to my child that I could ask. We’ll miss her even though I’m sure Dr. L, the one she’s referring us to will be just as amazing. But yes, he has some pretty big shoes to fill.