Catie met with the Psychologist today

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Registered: 05-24-2003
Catie met with the Psychologist today
10
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 1:35am
Well we went. And let me say, this doctor was "amazed". lol, leave it to my daughter to leave a doctor speechless.

We went into the waiting room, waiting for the doctor. He came to get us, Catie didnt want to go because she wanted to play with a toy. He told me to go ahead to the room, and she should follow me. (seperation anxiety, curiosity, etc). I said Bye Catie. She said Bye mommy! and kept playing.

After a few minutes, he arrived in his office alone and said "This is just amazing. In all of my years as a Psycologist i have never seen anything like this before" He finally got her attention with a bunny and she followed him into the office. Then he was intrigued. He sent me back to the waiting area and wanted to test her on how long it would take her to have anxiety. She was in a new place, with a strange person. I sat in the waiting room and read a whole Ladies Journal magazine. After a half hour, He finally had to come and get me cause our hour was up. And she STILL didnt care that i was gone and that she was in some strange place with a strange man. i walked in the room and said Hi Catie, and she said Hi Mommy! and waved at me. Then went right back to playing.

He said "well, she has zero anxiety. We played with toys, and i asked her questions. And she is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. She is soooo smart. I just dont even know what to say"

He said developementally she is the same as an 18 to 24 month old. She just turned three. But he said she knows so much stuff she shouldnt know.

He recommended that i immediately enroll her in preschool, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. He wants her in a private school. He said Early Intervention will not give her what she needs. They dont have the budget or means to do so. He said it is a shame we arent rich, cause if we were, he would highly recommend that we get her special tutors, special teachers, special schools, because she has sooo much potential.

He said the problem is her social and developemental delays keep her from using her full potential.

When i asked him again about Autism or Pdd, he said "i dont have a catagory to put her in. I just have never seen anything like her. She makes good eye contact. She is extremely friendly and personal, she will grab your hand, stroke your arm, wants you to play right beside her. But yet, she is extremely bright, but extrememly behind. I just have never seen this. She sometimes doesnt answer when you call her, but it is like she is so deep in thought she cant hear you."

So he said he was going to meet with some other doctors and discuss our case. We are supposed to see him again next Thursday. So, i will keep you posted.

But geez, this is really starting to freak me out. It is like we have something so special, but no one knows what it is?? LOL

interested in hearing your thoughts on this stuff...

Helen

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 4:11am
Ya know, the more I hear about Catie the more I think she sounds like my step-dad, Bob. He's a real bright cookie too but strange as heck. And we've been over him with a fine toothed comb and can't figure out where to put him either. I am really looking forward to hearing what the docs have to say about Catie. Maybe it will give me some ideas about Bob. LOL.

I don't know if I would agree with the idea of putting her in school for 40 hours a week. BUT it WOULD give you some time to yourself (that I'm sure you despirately need about now, LOL). And on the note of special tutors and teachers, they aren't as expensive as you most people think they are. I could help you find some in your area if your interested.

It must feel good to have the dr see all that in Catie. It probably lets you know once and for all that your not crazy. LOL, I know that's how I felt when Ayla was first assesed. I had been beggining to think that her oddities were all in my head and that I was looking for something that wasn' there. When the doc said "PDD I was soooo relieved.....and frustrated at the same time.

Anyway, keep us updated on what they say. This should be interesting. :)

Candes

Peace,
Candes  
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 10:13am
Hi Candes,

I could probably afford a tutor or special teacher more than i could afford to put her into school for 40 hours a week. I would definately have to go back to work full time to do that. And as much as i have always been a worker, i wasnt happy with my job. I really wanted to try to go to college. So, i think sending her to school would take every extra dime we had, IF we even had enough. We are just getting to where we can buy food and go out to dinner again. Maybe a movie every once in a while. Fix our radiator because it is clogged. So, we are tired of being broke. And as much as i want to do what is best for my child, i think that we can find something a little less demanding.

I do plan on trying to contact some private preschools. I think the problem i am going to find is getting her into a structured enviroment. There is a huge difference between preschool and daycare. I dont need her in daycare. I need her in SCHOOL. So, if that means i need to start homeschooling her, i guess i can inbetween her going to preschool with the school district. He was just stressing she needs all the social interaction she can get. And she needs to be 'worn out'. He said she has so much energy it is unbelieveable.

So, yes, if you have some leads of where i should go to find teachers, i would greatly appreciate it. I could learn by watching and taking tips from others. I would just need someone to tell me WHAT to teach her. Where do i start? How do i know if she is getting it? Is this too much for her? what should i expect? etc.

As much as i was tickled to death when he said i needed a break. Because boy do i. I dont feel like i need 40 hours a week of a break. Like i said, that means i go back to work (so how much of a break is that??). So, i am sure there is something we can do where she gets the benefits of all the teachings, and then as much social interaction as possible.

I thought maybe i could contact whoever about homeschooling. Go ahead and see if i could enroll her in some type of homeschooling program. Maybe go ahead and get her into kindergarden, etc. i dont know what the restrictions are, since i have just started thinking about this.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Any points in certain directions would be appreciated too. I love my daughter with all my heart, and if she has the potential to become some one with 16 PHDs, then more power to her. Who am i to keep her from being who she needs to be. My job as a parent is to support her and give her the tools she needs. (but my job is also NOT to become obsessed with it and push her to into being some brainiac if she isnt.) So i do know the difference. I want her to be a loving charming individual. Who can socialize and grow up and get married and go to college and have kids and have a career.

Thanks alot for the support!

Helen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 12:18pm
Have you thought of Montisorri (sp)? Also, another avenue you may want to pursue is that if you work at a private preschool, they will let you put ypur kid in free and pay you for your time. However, here where I live, the public preschool for special needs children has all the great resourses such as OT and speech. I have never been very impressed with the private preschools in my area except the Montisorri ones. Except there is one really great Baptist one. All of them pay their teachers and let the kids of teachers attend for free. Hope this helps! Sio

Avatar for maresgood
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 4:12pm
Hi, I pulled my dd out of public school {K) when she was five. I knew she was smart just having some attention type difficulties and they were talking about keeping her K for another year. She tested 3 1/2 when she was 5 by the school psychol. Anyway, I found a Montessori school in our area that was home based & only took up to 12 kids. My dd (since diagnosed AS & ADD) thrived there. It was 4K a year. We were broke trying to keep her there. My dh was giving me pressure to pull her out, so I did after 3 yrs. She became a great reader & still is. They had school plays & she really got into acting. She learned how to read music, they went on field trips, gardened, did pottery, etc. She loved it there! I agree with the other poster about trying Montessori. If you can afford it, try it! I wish my dd could have stayed on @ the school, but we needed Special Ed & the public school was the better place for her as she got older. Your daughter really sounds smart & sounds like she needs a pre-school that isn't so structured so that she is free to move around & explore @ her own pace... Good Luck- MaryAnn
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 4:50pm
I think the dr is probably right and that EI doesn't have all of the severices Catie would need. BUT, through them you can get Speech Terapy, Occupational Terapy, etc. FREE. And free is usually good, unless it's a free punch in the nose. Then free wouldn't be good, LOL. Okay, I be good.

Anyway, what you said about combining EI and homeschooling is probably a good idea. Homeschooling doesn't mean keeping your kids locked up in the house all day. Quite the contrary. When I sit down to council new families who've made the decision to homeschool through preschool I always encourage them to get their kids enrolled in one or more of the various Tiny Tots programs in their area. These would be things like Mommy-N-Me PE, Jymbouree, etc. I don't know if you have any big museams in your area but most of them have Little Explorers programs for younger children too. Jade has been a member of the Little Explorers Club through the California Academy of Science since she was 4yo. You can also contact the Girl Scouts of America to see about any suggestions or programs they might have in your area for Catie's age. Our local chapter rep set me up with a thing called Little Mommies for Eva. Little Mommies is the like the ultimate playtime for little girls who love dolls. It's especially good for girls who have a tendancy to sit on the sidelines. They have tea parties, playdates, etc for the DOLLS. LOL. The idea is that the girls are the mommies and they are responsible for making sure their 'babies' go to these functions and act appropraitely. It's one big game of pretend. And it works because each girls gets to have one foot in her own pretend world while interacting with the other girls. Through the program they learn things like good manners and ettiquite, how to hold a lady-like conversation, the basics of food sanitation (wiping down the table, counters, etc......using a napkin, LOL) Eva loves her Little Mommies Club. It's not affiliated with the Girl Scouts, that's just who I heard about it from.

At age 3 your there isn't any legal stuff to consider in homeschooling. You wouldn't have to worry about that until she reaches mandatory schooling age (usually around 6yo). Plus, if you get her into EI for SP and OT then she will have a school record stated through them.

Anyway, I will post more later, we have a co-op meeting startng in 5 minutes so I have to go.

Peace,

Candes

Peace,
Candes  
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 8:49pm
You guys have been so great. All of you have wonderful suggestions. THe one post that said she paid 4,000 a year to keep her child in school, i figured that out to be about 300 a month. We COULD do that, and i would still be able to stay home. But we would remain on a VERY tight budget. That is our entertainment/emergency money. I wouldnt mind doing that, but i dont think hubby would go for it. He has been under financial stress for so long... i cant see him saying yes. But i would love to be able to do it. As far as me going back to work, i would if i had to. I just hated what i did, and that is all i have ever done. So, i would only do it if there was no other choice.

As far as homeschooling her. yeah, i thought about it. I mean, preschool? kindergarden? i can handle that, right? i mean, it doesnt take a rocket scientist! lol, i just have to talk myself into it! I thought about it for a while, and one of my best friends is a teacher in california. I have flight benefits, so i do have the ability to fly out and see her. Plus, the neighbor above me substitutes for autistic children. And HER mother is a teacher as well. So i think i will put out the word that i need all the help i can get for someone to give me a little structure. Kinda give me some tips and "train" me on how to do it. The neighbor upstairs also has a 4 year old daughter. So going places could be a little outing for us together as well.

The last two nights we have taken Catie swimming. And let me tell you, she is a little water baby. She is just having a BLAST. She is now jumping off the sides of the pool, she goes under and rarely chokes. She LOVES to be throw around like a ball. She likes to sit in the hot tub. she will often swim around with out the waist floatie, just the arm ones. And tonight we started using the waist floatie as a fetch game. We would toss it in and let her try to swim and get it. She doesnt move very fast, but she kicks away. She is getting very good.

I also got some work sheets from my neighbor upstairs and a match game. The work sheets are to practice writing her letters. Since she knows them, even out of order, she can learn to write them. neighbor suggested to lamenate them to save on money. My neighbor also suggested that i print out a calender and start telling her what day it is. Point to the calender and mark off the day. She said her daughter wouldnt understand, but mine would. I also have a dry erase board. She suggested we hang it in the dining room and start using it. (i live in an apartment and really dont want it in my dining/living room). So, i think we will buy Catie a little table and chairs for her room, and put the board up on the wall. I can start using it for "Letter of Day" things. I was told to choose a letter, and then place different items that start with that letter in a shoe box and then let her take the items out, touch them, play with them, and put them back. Then for her to go around the house and find more things that start with the letter.

Everyone has been so kind to help us with this. And i will ask the Psychologist for more information when i see him again. Like if he wants her in private preschool, can he suggest WHERE? We are new to the State of Utah, and i really dont really know my way around too well. I have found that with Salt Lake City being smaller, there isnt as much options here as there were in Dallas. But i am sure between all my resources now, you guys, my neighbor and her mom, my friend, the doctor, we should be well on our way to giving Catie what she needs.

Thanks again you guys. You guys are AWESOME!!!

helen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 8:21pm
While I was driving home today from my In-laws I thought of something else you may want to give a lot of thought to for your daughter. Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Check out the book The Out-sync Child. You may see a lot of her in it. The best way to find out is from an Occupational Therapist. I take my son to the OT once a week via my insurance. My co-pay is $25.00. I could get it for free from the public school system (Even though he goes to private school). Frankly, I didn't know it could be free and we only went because he hated to color and his principal advised us to get an OT eval. Come to find out he could have benefited from OT for years before he got it. Now, if my insurance ever stops covering OT, I will go to the public school for it, it has been such a positive thing for him. He is just very close to the OT he sees now. Loves her to pieces.

Thing #2 I thought of. Here in my very southern part of the world, we have Friends Schools. They are schools which have a history of working with autistic children. the one in my town doesn't have a good reputation, but it is the only bad one I've ever heard of that wasn't quite good. See if you have one there in Salt Lake. Here, it is a private school for any child, but the technique is supposed to be based on ones developed for autistic kids. Someone out there who has a child going to a friends school would know more about it then I do. See for your self! Anywho, gotta go get the van unloaded! Sio

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 9:34pm
Well, thank you! I did some little experiments today with her. I made some flash cards with different shapes, letters, numbers, etc. I showed her different letters and she read them. "Big A, little Z, big T" Then we did numbers. But what is scary, she also understand the SUM of a number. Meaning, she knows when there is only TWO eggs. Or four dots. She understands the sum. I also laid out her shapes, face down in a matching game. I have about 14 different cards. She played the game 5 times, matching up the shapes. I would ask her, "What do you have?" She would say "Square". And then i would tell her, "Find the other square". And i would ask her, "Is this a square?" "NO!" and she would keep looking. 5 times she played before she got bored and moved on.

I have looked on the Utah State Education board, and found the standards for K-12 grade. Glancing over the kindergarden, i realize that Caitlin already knows alot of it. She knows colors, shapes, numbers, etc. But there is alot about reading and stuff. Plus, unfortunately, i have failed to do alot of art projects with her because i have a thing about messes. ( know, this poor kid!) So, i think i will try to make more of an effort this summer to get some glue, construction paper, little scissors for her, etc, so she can start making her own art.

My friend who is the teacher in California told me this afternoon, Caitlin doesnt belong in basic classes and i should just accept she will never be in a "normal" school setting. She highly recommended that i go back to work, put her in the best school i can find, and then try to attend school myself part time on the side. I told her that is ALOT to take on, but she said i could do it, and so could Catie.

So, i have alot of things i am going to be thinking about in the next several weeks. Caitlin's next appointment is on Thursday, and i plan on making a list of things to ask him.

Thanks again for letting me know. Her preschool teacher from Early Intervention is supposed to be dropping by tomorrow. I plan on bringing all of this stuff up to her. Let's see how they feel once they know i went outside them to get an opinion... MMMM

Helen

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 9:18am
Here in NY, we have what are called ( I think - I always get the initials wrong) NPPF schools- non-public, publiclly funded schools . These are 'private' schools for children with special needs and they are great!! The board of education or the district pays the tuition so there is no cost to the parent. The main problem is 1) there aren't enough to meet the numnber of kids 2) you need to get the board of ed to agree. Because pre-school is not mandatory here, it is easier at those ages ( because they have no public scholl program for them). Anyway, talk to every parent you meet, cast a wide net, call any agency with "Special Need" in them and see what you turn up. Also, at Catie's age, I think you can look at alot of different kinds of schools- our school is primarily for speech/lanquage delayed kids, but we have kids with other issues who do great with the added support. I'm a big fan of special ed when it's right - I've learned alot from the teachers and I think Nicholas really benefited from being in a school where everything was designed to support the kids- I never could have done that at home and it could not have been done as well as at a 'typically developing school". The psychologist you are working with should know about these - ask him specifically for school referrals OR for names of support agencies which may know these. Good luck
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 3:26pm
Helen,

I have been wanting to respond to this post but haven't had the time until now. I'm not quite sure what to make of this but a neurologist and another specialist (in what eludes me right now) have told me that highly intelligent children will sometimes exhibit the same characteristics of asperger children. But what gets me, is how do you tell an asperger child apart from a highly intelligent child who acts like they have aspergers??? They were trying to tell me that my child was the latter but I'm not so sure that is him. While I think he is smart there is just more there than being smart. I mean, it seems that he just doesn't have common sense sometimes, so is that truly smart?? It is hard to put into words but my son, bugsy, didn't quite fit squarely into one category or another but he had enough characteristics to be classified as mildly autistic. I don't know if I've given you any more insight into this but wanted to mention it (just in case there is some validity to it).

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