A Trip to the Pedatric Neurologist

The psychiatrist said Hope needed to see a pediatric neurologist, given the diagnoses she came with. The only one I knew was the doctor who told me GB was FASD 6 years ago. It was a little embarrassing to go back to him after all these years. When I took GB to see him, I knew she was developmentally delayed – she was enrolled in Early Intervention when she was 7 months old. I hadn’t even thought about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He spent a great deal of time pointing out facial features and discussing what effects were associated with it. It was a while before I realized he was saying that GB’s developmental problems where from alcohol use by her BM and they were permanent.  I was furious. Who was he to say that about my baby! Quack! Even then, I knew he wasn’t a quack- he had just caught me off guard and I wasn’t ready to hear that the problems were permanent.

Fast forward six years. Now I have Hope, with all these problems, and even more labels. This neurologist was the best within a hundred  miles. I called him Monday and he gave me an appointment for today. I filled out paper work and gave a quick social history, while her Dad took her for a walk. The first thing the doctor and nurse asked about was how GB was doing. I admitted he was right. He asked about school and I told him about neurologically impaired class she is currently in. Hope came back and the doctor did a complete exam. He said emphatically that Hope was not PDD-NOS. He also said there were no signs of FASD- ARND. His bottom line was there is nothing organically wrong with the child, besides language delays. Her problems are most likely environmentally induced. I told him the shrink wanted a sleep deprived EEG just to be sure what looked dissociation was not, in fact, a seizure. He said he expected it to be clean and that he would not need to see Hope again. He suggested that he was closer than Staten Island, if we wanted him to take over GB’s care. I said I would think about it. He also said he was 53 and had an 18 month old girl, so I am not the oldest parent I know.