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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3217
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I am trying to find a doctor who can possibly evaluate my step-son.

Resolved Question:

I am trying to find a doctor who can possibly evaluate my step-son. He started living with his father and myself a few months ago and I am very concerned that he may have some sort of emotional/developmental problem. He is 11 years old but emotionally he acts like a 5 year old. For example if he hears anyone say boobies, butt, vagina etc... he will scream and whine and hide his face. He will also do the same if he see girls in bikini's on tv. It could even be a cartoon character in a bikini such as Ariel from the Little Mermaid. His only interest is video games and would rather not interact with people. If people ask him a question he very often looks to his dad to answer for him. There are times when he does not stop talking though as well. He asks non-stop questions like a 5 year old would and changes the subject constantly. I have also noticed that he will have a tantrum out of no where. He will scream and stomp his feet and wave his arms as a 3 year old would when they have a tantrum. He does this for a few seconds and I find this concerning given his age. He also is a very picky eater. I would even say he has food aversion. He only eats a very limited amount of food and it is impossible to get him to try new foods. He will even sometimes move from where he is sitting if someone puts their plate of food by him. There are times where he does act like a normal 11 year old but I see a lot of signs from his behavior that are very concerning to me. He seems to do ok in school. I have noticed at times when you speak with him he does not like to make eye contact. He does have empathy for others but he does not like to interact with people. I have been able to convince his father he should have an evaluation but we have no idea where to start. We just returned from a camping trip and I became even more concerned of his behavior while we were camping. Every day we were camping he would scream and run away every time he saw a bee, even though they never landed on him or harmed him. We told him multiple times to not worry about the bee's and he would constantly turn to the same behavior. His dad bought him some new hiking boots and he showed him several times how to tie them. Each time he would say he could not tie them and would start whining. I finally told his dad to make him do it on his own. He was able to tie his own shoes but I don't find this as normal behavior for an 11 year old. He also became angry over his dad telling him to do his homework. He had a temper tantrum and threw an open pocket knife he had in his hand. It stuck into the ground. I immediately took the pocket knife away and let him know if he was going to act like that he is too immature to have a pocket knife. He caught a fish and we took it back to camp. His dad wanted to show him how to clean and cook the fish. He was grossed out the whole time his dad was showing him and given his food aversion would not try the fish. Later that night he jokingly told his dad "we should gut XXXXX XXXXXke the fish", I am not sure if this is a concerning comment or not as it did not seem to be coming from an angry emotion. He also does wet his bed occasionally. While we were camping he had peed his bed at least twice. He did not tell us he had peed his bed and slept in his own urine for most of the week. We had no idea until we went to pack up and noticed the bedding was all wet. We told him we were not mad and he should have told us so we could have washed the bedding when it happened. I am just very concerned for him and his father and I have both decided we need to become pro-active in trying to find out what could possibly be wrong. If you can help us in any way or lead us in any direction we are in great need of it. We are planning on having his school set up an IEP evaluation. I am not sure if he acts differently at school as we never hear of any complaints from his teacher.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern about your step-son.

Dr. Z :

I definitely understand your concerns about his behavior and while I do have a few ideas on the possible causes for these behaviors based on the symptoms you described (e.g. Autism Spectrum disorder or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), these would just be educated guesses based on what you described. The best option for you to get an accurate diagnosis would be to seek a Child Psychologist that specializes in Testing and Evaluation. These types of psychologists would perform a battery of tests for your step-son to confirm the diagnosis and then would write a report explaining the diagnosis for you and your step-son. After that, the psychologist will also explain treatment recommendations as well that may involve therapy, medication, and other services. I could recommend a few for you if you like, all I would need would be your zip code. These types of psychologists are not numerous, so if you live in a rural area, you may have to travel to a larger city to seek the services from a Child Assessment Psychologist..

Dr. Z :

Typically what happens when seeing a child assessment psychologist is an initial intake evaluation that involves numerous questions to allow for the psychologist to get an idea of symptoms and what appropriate tests to perform. Then the psychologist will set up a variety of days to administer the assessments (usually these assessments can be tiring and long, so it is not advisable to do all of them in one day). Then after the assessments are completed, the psychologist will take some time to review the results, interpret them, and write a report. After that, the psychologist will call you and your step-son back to review the results and recommendations for you. Then the psychologist will give you a copy of the report for your records.

Dr. Z :

So if you would like I would be happy to recommend a good Child Assessment Psychologist in your area for your step-son.

Customer:

Yes I would like to find a child assessment psychologist. Our zip code is 92399. He is also currently on Medi-Cal, are there any physicians who accept Medi-Cal?

Dr. Z :

Some psychologists do not state if they accept Medi-Cal or not, but I will do my best to look for you

Dr. Z :

Give me a few minutes to compile a list for you

Dr. Z :

So I believe that these psychologists are best to evaluate your step-son. I used to go to school at the University of Redlands, so I know the area well and these psychologists are very professional although I am not sure if they accept MediCal or not. The first psychologist does use a wide variety of accepted insurance plans though

Dr. Z :

In addition, these psychologists also have fair prices and will not overcharge you for testing and evaluation I found.

Customer: Great thank you
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3217
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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