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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Andrew's appointment with the pediatric specialist

So, I don't remember if I told you guys about how Andrew's appointment on 9/22 was cancelled and I didn't find out until I got there because the doctor had to leave to get her child from daycare. Anyway, then I had to chase Andrew around the clinic (it's huge) for a freaking hour waiting for my hubby to come pick me up.

So, because of the aforementioned, we were going to not reschedule the appointment--we figured screw it.

Well, on Friday I decided to call to see if I could get him in and they could, on Monday (yesterday) right away at 8:00. So I took the appointment (and then asked my boss if it was okay to take a couple hours off in the morning for this appointment--he obliged, even though it was timecard Monday--a co-worker agreed to start them for me).

Anyway, we get to the appointment and I am surprised to be the first and only one there, but yeah, it was 8:00, so that makes sense. Andrew happily headed over to the [hopefully non-swine flu infested] table with the beads on the windy wires. After getting checked in, I sanitized his hands, as well as mine, and turned on Sesame Street for him (hoping to keep him from running away). Apparently Mr. Andrew is really good in the morning because he sat right by me. They called him back just a minute later and after we got him weighed (almost 27 lbs.) and lengthened (lol -- about 36"), took him back to the exam room.

Dr. H came in and introduced herself and told me her background--she specializes in infant and toddler behaviors and has some sort of psychiatry background.

She asked me some questions about him and observed him playing with some toys. He had three temper tantrums (or something like that) while we were there, but I didn't really care because I wanted her to see the worst possible scenarios so she could offer her advice.

She said when he bangs his head, she observed him looking to me for my reaction. I need to completely ignore it when he does this and only if safety is a concern (like when he bangs it on the concrete driveway, which he has done in the past), can I move him. Don't acknowledge him, but move him to the grass. If he is doing it in the house to the point of injuring himself, it's okay to throw down a blanket for him to bang onto but don't acknowledge the behavior.

She said he actually does play pretty well and is normal for his age. (No, my son doesn't sit and play for hours like some kids can, but it is not a reasonable expectation to think that 2 year olds will play independently all the time.) She said he was sitting nicely for up to 5 minutes at a time and that is very good.

She had me push the button to have the assistant bring in more toys for him to play with and of course Andrew wanted to keep pushing it (holy tantrum #1), saying, "dowah"--his word for "light".

I am to ignore his tantrums. Don't even look at him. If I'm in a store and we're going through the line and he throws one (this happens often when the cart stops), ignore him and the moment I notice him start to calm down some, give him some physical acknowledgement--a hand on the knee, for instance. When he calms down all the way, calmly praise him and tell him how good he is being.

When he throws toys (or any other item for that matter--he does this often), ask him to pick it up and bring it to me and hand it to me gently. Place my hand over his and show him "gentle", pass it back to him and let him do this 3-4 times, praising him the entire time for being gentle.

I am to offer him more choices. For instance, if we are picking up toys, say, "Andrew? Would you like to put away the green ball or the blue ball?" Bring the toys to him if need be, encouraging him to help.

We should also start open cups with him, just filling it 1/4 of the way with liquid. I can give it to him at the start of the meal and have him practice drinking out of it and setting it down on the table. If it spills, it isn't a ton of liquid. (Mr. Andrew always throws his sippies when he's done with them.)

All in all, a very good appointment. It was good to tell my hubby that Andrew is a normal two-year old, not a naughty one bound for an ADHD diagnosis and lifetime of medication. :)

We will recheck in 5 weeks and see how he has progressed.


Morgan Owens said...

I'm glad you posted this Sarah! My little cousin is a little over 2 years old and he has major tantrums! We never know what to do or how to react, so this post gave me alot of tips. Thank you, and I'm glad Andrew is doing good! :)

Rachel said...

Good tips! I am glad you shared. I'm going to keep them in mind for Keegan's tantrums. WOW have tantrums ever set in... my little lovey sweetheart has become a beast lately... :|

Molly said...

It's good to hear the doctor's assessment and that Andrew is just 2.

Being 2 probably sucks, so they are just expressing themselves.

Cassie Channell said...

It is good to hear that Andrew is just a healthy, normal 2 year old! Wyatt does the throwing his sippy cup also and we have started him on an open cup at dinner hoping it will help. It seems to!

Musical Daddy said...

Boy, kids figure out how to push our buttons really quickly, don't they? Anyone who doesn't think kids are intelligent needs to read this. Even though the situation is difficult, isn't it nice to know that your son is so intelligent and observant that he can get you to do so much, without you being aware that he's doing it?

rocket.queen. said...

Wow, sounds like he gave you some great advice! I hope you can see some progress with him soon!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear everything is A-ok. Nothing wrong with a normal
2-year-old! :-)
And I'll try to remember these tips two years down the road when Hunter is at the same stage! :-)

Samantha said...

Yep I always always always ignored Ramona and Teagans tantrums. Even when they were screaming bloody murder and pounding their feet into the ground and attempting to hurt themselves. It was actually really hard to not laugh while the tantrums were happening because they would look so ridiculous and over the top. If the girls would throw their toys or anything in anger I would tell them that we don't throw things and had them pick up the item. I would praise them like crazy afterwards saying they were a good listener for picking it up. If they threw the toy again I told them that if they throw the toy it will be taken away and they can't play with it. They pushed the limits on that a few times and then they learned that I really would put the toys away out of their reach for the day. They could care less about the toy, they just wanted to see how I reacted and see what their boundaries were. Wow this is a lost post, but I feel like I have such good experience being a nanny to all these toddlers hehe.

Samantha said...

Oh and I also started talking to them in a more mature manner saying like "Do you think it was a good thing or bad thing to throw that toy?" If they didn't answer then I would say "It was a bad thing to throw that toy. We don't throw toys." 15 months and up you'd be surprised at how much they can grasp conversation wise. I'm still shocked at what I tell/ask Milena (16 months) and she comprehends.

Birdee said...

Coming from a mom who's son is ADHD. I will say if A gets diagnosed with ADHD in his life, PLEASE Dont put him on meds!! Never regreted anything more in my life!!
K-I said it.
But yeah, sounds like he's just a normal 2 year old.
It gets better about 3 1/2

Sarah said...

Thanks for all the input.

Birdee: we are pretty much anti-medication in our house, so if it came down to it, we'd find alternative treatments or use behavior modification. I, too, think it's just typical 2-year old behavior. And of course he's going to play me against Daddy because I'm at work during the week so it makes sense that he'd try and demand my attention more when I am home. My hubby doesn't understand this and it's very frustrating!