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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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Have a child who is now 15. Used to be very outgoing,

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Have a child who is now 15. Used to be very outgoing, sociable. At 3rd or 4th grade started becoming more of a loner. Her eyes move a lot like she isn't paying attention to what you're saying has had hallucinations of spiders..saying spiders were sending her messages...doesnt watch tv or find interest in anything really.(does like music on the ipod) Mostly stands in kitchen or lays in bed. has conversations with herself, but will stop if we ask her in a special ed program. Puts her hand to side of her face as if to hide from something when she is walking or outside around others or even to go into certain rooms of the house(doesnt like to enter living room...where tv and people usually are) We have been told due to test results she suffers from mental retardation and has the ability of a 3rd grader, but there is more to it than that and I have yet to receive diagnosis. Does not have normal conversations...does not really like to talk very much. She gives short answers Never really joins in on conversations unless spoken to directly and then its just short answers. Does not really have any understanding of daily life issues. Very childlike in her understanding of certain things. Very sweet, loving, and a joy to have in our lives. It just pains me to see her like this knowing she will most likely always need to have someone watch over her, but I am hoping she will have some sort of breakthrough so she can have some kind of normal life.


Your daughter's condition is vexing. Her constellation of symptoms is quite unique, particularly given the timing of the onset of problematic behaviors. There are not any conditions I can think of that come on at age 8 or 9... they are either earlier onset (like Rett's) or later (like a psychotic disorder). In the absence of neurological disease/degeneration or medication/injury issues, I am as stumped as the doctors you have already been to.

A couple of things to consider: (a) anti-psychotic medication would only be warranted if you feel she is suffering from the delusions and/or hallucinations she is having. Based upon the brief description you provided, it does not sound as though there is distress... although the medicines would alleviate the symptoms if they ever reach that point. Your daughter's comfort is the most important consideration (as you know); (b) A more radical - and costly - approach would be to take her to a place that has premier research facilities and multidisciplinary professionals on the cutting edge of current knowledge and technology. A place like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota has the resources to rule out a vast array of medical possibilities and arrive at a diagnosis. It sounds like a diagnosis is what would really set your mind at ease and help to formulate a course of treatment.

I wish I could have been more helpful, but complicated cases are hard to answer over the internet. I wish you and your daughter well. If you are satisfied with the response, please click "Accept." That is the only way I receive credit for my answer.

Dr. Steve

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