Friday, August 5, 2011

Developmental Pediatrician

Yesterday was our visit with the developmental pediatrician. We saw Dr. Chuck Conlon, located in Bethesda, Maryland. If you've stumbled across this blog and are looking for a good developmental pediatrician in the VA/MD/DC area, I highly recommend him. He was formerly with National Children's Hospital, but is now in his own practice. We were very happy with the visit. I will warn you though, the visit is pricey - $575 for a 2 hour visit, and they don't accept insurance. You can submit a claim to your insurance company though, and hope for reimbursement.

Dr. Conlon was very thorough. The first hour was spent with my husband and I talking with the doctor, and Luke played quietly with the toys in the room we were in. The second hour was spent with the doctor focusing on Luke. He interacted with him, asked lots of questions (to us). His diagnosis for Luke was apraxia, as I had suspected. Part of me was relieved to have a diagnosis. This was mostly because of the insurance issues. I had a strong feeling that Luke was dealing with apraxia from the moment I first read about it. And once again, mom's intuition has proven correct. If I've learned anything from mommyhood, it's to listen to my intuition. If something doesn't seem right, don't ignore it! Moms know their child better than anyone in the entire world.

I am sad too though. Sad that Luke has yet another hurdle to overcome. Sad because I know it means my sweet boy will have a lot of work ahead of him. Sad because I would give anything for an expert to tell me that I'm wrong, and that he'll start talking any day now. I would give my right arm to hear him say I love you. Or hi mommy. Or to even chew his big brother out when he's aggravating him.

Luke's apraxia is not considered severe. Many kids with apraxia will not have a single word. Or may have one or two sounds. Luke doesn't have many, but he does have some. This gives me hope that he will respond well to therapy.

The plan now is for Luke to begin therapy with a PROMPT instructor in September. He will see her for a month, 45 minutes a week, and hopefully during that time insurance will accept the diagnosis and begin coverage. We'll re-evaluate his needs once that month is up, and create a new plan.

He will also be transitioning from early intervention to the school system at the same time. I don't have as high of hopes for the school system helping him. According to the doctor, our county did not do as they should have for Luke with our IEP. They did not give him a full evaluation, and they did not tailor his services to his individual needs. At this point I have lost most hope in Prince William County being of much help. We will begin both services, and if I need to I will request another IEP meeting, this time using an advocate. I will make sure that Prince William County Child Find gives Luke the assistance that he is legally entitled to.

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