Stacy - posted on 01/25/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )
We had our first meeting with a pediatric neurologist yesterday. The doctor comes very highly recommended, but I did not have a great experience. When we arrived, he was already 2 hours behind schedule, which turned into 4 hours by the time we were seen. We had a 3 PM appointment and we finally got into a room at 7 PM. So everyone was tired and hungry. He spent 25 mins with us - testing Jax's reflexes, having him perform hand movements, etc. Did not ask much about behaviors at all. He finally sits down and says he doesn't believe in autism or spectrum disorders. He thinks there are a lot of brain issues that we don't understand and that ASD is just a nice catchall. Okay, I can buy some of that.
He goes on to say that Jaxson does NOT have Aspergers based on 3 things. First, it's a right lobe disorder which affects the entire right lobe of the brain, meaning many coordinations would be off as well. Jax is fine there. Second, Aspergers kids have no sense of humor at all. Jax laughed when the doctor tapped him on the nose with the reflex tool, so that rules out Aspergers. Finally, Jax was having a whinefest (not a tantrum, just being tired/hungry/whiny) about a toy that DH had taken away when the doctor called him over to see him. Jax turned off the whine and hopped into the chair. The doctor said Aspergers kids can't transition like that. He thinks that Jax has an "immature frontal lobe" and will likely catch up socially with the other kids before age 9 (he's currently 5).
He went on to say that most things noted as Aspergers - the social issues, the lack of inhibition, the focus on ritual - are all things you'd see in a 2 yr old. The speech and analytical parts of the brain continue to grow, so the child is very advanced there. But s/he will still behave like a 2 yr old socially.
I'm not seeking a label per se, but I am wanting to know what I am dealing with here. If it's Aspergers, that's a completely different territory than an immature frontal lobe, which this doctor said we should just take a "wait and see" approach to see if he matures. Which is fine and dandy - except my child has no friends at school and is constantly getting in trouble. His principal and teachers want more than to just "wait it out."
I am wondering what everyone's take is on this doctor's observations. This man is VERY highly regarded, has been specializing in these types of disorders for almost 50 years. But we have seen a psychiatrist for a year (1 hour sessions at least once a month) who says he has Aspergers. He's seen a LCSW for 6 2 hr therapy sessions who said it's Aspergers. He's currently seeing a licensed therapist for social skills who says it's Aspergers. His teachers (past and present) and his principals (past and present) say it's Aspergers. His occupational therapist (a PhD who has analyzed a 2 hr video of him) says it's Aspergers. So do I take the advice of one very highly regarded doctor who has seen him for 25 mins (and NOT in a school setting, where his issues really come out), or what I already know based on several people who are experienced (but not as much so) but have seen Jaxson many, many times and in different situations? We still have one more doctor to see - a developmental pediatrician in March - but this has definitely thrown us for a loop.