Tuesday, May 22, 2012

C is for CNMC

Yesterday we had our first appointment at the Children's National Medical Center, which is a place we'll be visiting a number of times over the next few months. The first step as recommended by our pediatrician is to "rule out" any other potential causes of Bally's developmental delays and behavioral issues, and we started with our referral to the Genetics department at CNMC.

Playing doctor!
I have to say that they left me with a great first impression. All of the staff were really helpful, and great with both Bally and his sister, even though she wasn't there as a patient. She loved it too. All of the waiting rooms and lobbies have wall-mounted sorting and matching games, and all of those neat super-expensive game tables. I've never been anywhere so incredibly kid-friendly. The wallpaper was cute. The gowns were cute. Even the toilets were cute.

Bally, however, was unimpressed with the place; he pretty much capped out his fun-quota on the ride there. New roads, new intersections to scream "go left! go left!", and the added bonus that it was raining and we let him have the window cracked so that the rain splashed in his face. He was hyped up and fully uncooperative upon arrival. They handled him pretty well though! All in all, he busted through one tape measure before they were able to get his head measurements, he had to have his blood pressure taken several times before the machine stopped reporting "Err", and his height/weight measurements were mostly estimates of what he might be in a perfect world where unicorns exist, Mocha Frappes are slimming, and Bally stands still against the equipment without 2 or 3 nurses hanging tightly onto his appendages.

Anyway, the consultation went fine. They simply asked us a bunch of family history questions and then the doctor played with Bally for a bit while she got an idea of how he is physically and developmentally. She seemed to have high hopes for him, and said that she won't be surprised if the Genetics testing comes back clear. We have to wait for the insurance company to clear us for the testing, return to have a sample taken (blood draw I assume), and wait another month for the results. Apparently only 15% of autistic children have results that show any conditions directly related to the autism, which is then labeled as the "cause" of the autism. We're likely to be with the 85% for whom testing cannot determine the cause.

Aside from our return visit for blood work, and any follow-up after results are in, we'll be heading back to CNMC next month for a baseline hearing test in the Audiology department. That should be a fun one. I'm curious how well he's going to do; we know he can HEAR, he just doesn't LISTEN. I half expect them to have to place electrodes all over him to monitor brain waves in response to auditory stimuli.

Well, it's after 7, and we're grumpy. We'll leave you with some entertainment before we go.
Goodnight world!