Andrew had his first appointment with a neuropsychologist on Monday. This is a two, three, or even four trip evaluation. The neuropsychologist does a completely different evaluation than developmental pediatricians. Trenton was evaluated and diagnosed from a developmental pediatrician. Anyway, the doctor only spoke to me and asked me a few questions. His evaluation was primarily on observing Andrew playing with toys on his own will. He also asked Andrew to do a few things for him and completed a special test on him.
Before I get into what the doctor told me, let's first talk about the spectrum. In fact let's talk about the old DSM ( Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). In May 2013 the DSM came out and changed the spectrum in many ways. Before the new DSM, the autism spectrum was
1. Aspergers Syndrome
2. Pervasive Developmetal Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
4. Childhood disintegrative disorder
The new DSM has
1.Social Communication Disorder
3. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
They made two changes. They did away with Aspergers and changed the name from PDDNOS to Social Communication Disorder.
The neuropsychologist that evaluated Andrew is a very conservative doctor. In fact, he told me three times he diagnoses autism as a last resort. I think this is great! There is way too many doctors who do not do a correct evaluation and are fast to blame autism.
With all of this said, the doctor told me half way into the exam that Andrew has Social Communication Disorder, formally known as PDDNOS. However, he thinks he may have mild autism. He needs to evaluate him a time or two more until he comes to his conclusion. The doctor picked up immediately that Andrew's only form of communication is echolalia and learned speech. I tried to give the doctor every good reason as to why I think Andrew has some spontaneous words and the doctor said, "No, Its clear he just has echolalia and learned speech." For example, when Andrew is done with his bath he will say "all done bath". The doctor said that is learned speech. He should be saying "Mommy I want out." or " I am done mom." He doesn't do anything like that. It's always, "all done bath." Andrew says the same thing for almost everything. I can give many more examples but I am tired.
The doctor also noticed right away that Andrew is not socially developing like he should. He also pointed out his big delay in motor skills, such as Andrew has no clue how to jump and we have been working on this. Andrew has no dominant side. He uses his left hand just like he uses his right hand.
The doctor said Andrew is a huge mystery because he is in our world and then goes completely out of our world in a matter of seconds. We have been saying this for some time now. Andrew is a huge mystery!
The doctor did praise Andrew on a few good things! Andrew has great receptive language. He understands everything we say, he just can't express language back. Andrew has fairly good eye contact if you have him engaged.
Unfortunately right before we left, the doctor said one line that hit my wrong nerve. This sentence flowed out of his mouth like water. Right before we left the doctor shook his head and said, " Andrew is very eccentric." Really?!?!?!?!? You are going to tell a mom this who already has one child with severe autism and you just told me my other child has either has mild autism or social communication disorder and you are going to end our session with telling me that he is eccentric?!?!?!?!? Well thank you very much doctor!!!!
We go back in April for another evaluation.