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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Katyann has an appointment on Nov. 14 for an evaluation. After

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Katyann has an appointment on Nov. 14 for an evaluation. After I read the notes you gave me I emailed them to my parents and we agreed that many of the things on the list are just like her. Especially being so literal and not understanding facial expressions.
Her doctor didn't have the same problems setting up the testing because he went with those who specialize in the area.

Dr. Z :

Hello again :)

Dr. Z :

I am so happy that she will be getting an appointment soon for an evaluation

Customer: I have so much to thank you for!
Dr. Z :

Well I just steered you in the right direction of where to look and I believe that the evaluation will come to a similar conclusion and will help your daughter with the treatment

Customer: we are too!
Customer: So does her own doctor. He didn't think autistic after she started talking but in the broader sense he gives it a 90% likely.
Dr. Z :

A like I said she is on the high-functioning spectrum, so most likely she will function very well growing up intellectually, but she may have some social interaction issues here and there

Customer: it helps a lot to have the direction because we thought there was something wrong but couldn't put a finger on it.
Dr. Z :

Well it is a difficult disorder to diagnose in a child so young because there are so many possibilities, but like I said I have seen this before and I knew what to look for

Customer: something funny he told me when we talked was to tell me that when you said high functioning autistic spectrum you didn't mean "Rainman."
Customer: at least they will check both her language and socializing.
Dr. Z :

No, "Rainman" was definitely Autistic, but good with numbers. For Asperger's Disorder, try to think like Gregory House on that medical show on Fox a couple years ago

Customer: She is young to test but they are willing to try.
Dr. Z :

Well most tests are usually pretty accurate at 2 years of age, so they should not find any problems evaluating her or at least giving her a preliminary diagnosis.

Customer: That's pretty much the idea. To brag on you a little, her doctor said you were astute in your way of viewing her symptoms.
Dr. Z :

Oh thank you for flattering me, I truly appreciate it, but I am just happy that I was able to help you and your daughter :)

Customer: her doctor reminded me of the time he told her to hop up on the table and in all seriousness she said jumping on furniture is against the rules.
Dr. Z :

Really, she said that! Wow that is very literal, but at least she follows the rules, that is a positive

Customer: that is a prime example of hoe literally she takes things.
Customer: her behavior is fine. But it is things like that where we knew she didn't think like most kids.
Dr. Z :

Well its not so much that she did not like her peers, its just she did not feel like she related to them very well. The good news, like I said in the last chat, is that you caught this early so the behavioral training with a child psychologist will help her with her social and communicative skills a lot

Customer: things like it said in not really knowing how to greet people. That also fits her.
Customer: yes! He thinks most of her treatment at home will be pointing out how people feel. She doesn't know how that works. Catching it now is what gives all of us a sense of peace that we can learn what to do for her.
Dr. Z :

Exactly, the earlier you catch it the better prognosis she will have, so this is really good news that you caught it at this age. Most individuals with this type of disorder get diagnosed in their teens to young adulthood

Dr. Z :

So I predict a very positive outcome for your daughter

Customer: and they are diagnosed after already failing socially. He encouraged me a lot about her future.
Dr. Z :

Well your doctor is right, her future is very bright

Customer: I'm positive about it. It also makes me happy they are willing to test her.
Customer: I really just wanted to thank you.
Dr. Z :

Good, I think they want to help your daughter too and evaluating her early and starting treatment early will be very beneficial for her

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help and you are more than welcome to come back if you need anything else at all

Customer: do you have any idea what kinds of tests she will do? I'm curious about it rather than worried.
Dr. Z :

Oh well actually because she is so young, most likely the tests will be asking her a lot of questions, possibly asking to draw some things as well, and then asking you a lot of questions on her behavior as well. There is nothing invasive about these tests at all, and some children find them fun and others find them boring

Customer: tasks she generally is agreeable to.
Dr. Z :

The M-CHAT is a screening tool that is used for toddlers to diagnose an Autism Spectrum Disorder as well, let me see if I can find a link to a copy of it

Customer: What she won't like much is being asked questions while she is trying to draw.
Customer: Thanks
Dr. Z :

Well usually the questions will be about the drawing itself actually

Customer: she may be agreeable to that but with her if something seems obvious to her, she will respond in a way that makes the asker feel dumb for asking as they should already know the answer
Customer: XLX
Dr. Z :

Well that will help with the diagnostic features and give the evaluator a better idea of a diagnosis too

Customer: I will let you know how it turns out.
Dr. Z :

Here are also a list of other Autism Spectrum tests that are given as well. They are on page 18 and 19

Customer: thanks
Dr. Z :

Definitely keep me updated, I would be very interested to see how the evaluation goes

Dr. Z :

Anytime, is there anything else you are curious about or want to know about this process for your daughter?

Customer: i figure it will take a while since they probably will let her rest a little after one test?
Dr. Z :

It depends, some practitioners use these tests a lot and other do not use any tests and just like to ask questions. I know they will not use all of these tests and they are not meant to be very long either. But they will give your daughter adequate breaks if she needs it.

Customer: i think they will be a bit surprised at her ability to concentrate. Most kids her age have a relatively short attention span but if she is doing something, she will keep at it, even for as long as a half hour. In 2 year old, that is an eternity.
Dr. Z :

Then I think she will do fine with the evaluation then :)

Customer: that is also why her doctor kept assuring them she is testable
Dr. Z :

Just be honest and open with the evaluator and encourage your daughter that she has done nothing wrong and that she should be honest and open too

Customer: She doesn't even fudge the truth to be nice
Dr. Z :

Well then she will do just fine

Customer: I am curious about something. With these kind of kids, will they do something they don't particularly like because they are trying it?
Dr. Z :

Usually individuals with this type of disorder will not do things they do not like to do

Dr. Z :

So they may try it, but end up saying that they do not like it and then stop in the middle of it

Dr. Z :

But with her if you make it intellectually stimulating she most likely will enjoy it a lot

Dr. Z :

Because it would be like a puzzle in a way for her and she likes puzzles

Customer: she is like that most times. The reason I was asking is one of the things we thought was pretty unusual was that when her grandpa introduced her to Brussels sprouts he put 3 on her plate to try them . She is a big veggie eater. Anyway, she tried them asked for a few more, ate them, but then said she didn't like them at all.
Customer: maybe when she asked for more she was still deciding if she liked them
Dr. Z :

Well in that case she was probably analyzing it for every detail and wanted to make sure that she did not like them before she rejected them

Customer: That's also why I think she could be tested. She does like to figure things out.
Dr. Z :

Yeah usually individuals with these disorders have always been my favorite to work with because they like to figure out the puzzle with you

Dr. Z :


Dr. Z :

So I think she will do great during the evaluation

Customer: She has boxes and boxes of puzzles and she's never lost even one piece.
Dr. Z :

That is very impressive, she has a very strong analytical mind and that should be fostered as she gets older too because like I said I think she is going to test high on intelligence if she is ever given an Intelligence assessment.

Customer: that was one of the things her doctor also encouraged me about. Not to worry about the word " disorder" because with each one,comes a set of strengths, too
Dr. Z :

He sounds like a really good and encouraging doctor

Customer: is an intelligence assessment part of the testing?
Customer: he is, and was all for me asking someone else what they thought about her.
Dr. Z :

Not usually at her age, I mean it is possible to do an IQ test at her age, but I usually like to wait until the child has at least reached kindergarten

Customer: that makes sense
Dr. Z :

If you want later as she gets older you can ask for an IQ test, but it is not necessary as there are wide varieties of intelligence not tested on the standard IQ tests, like music, art, and creativity

Customer: and there is also something to be said for just letting a kid be a kid. Strengths and weaknesses will come out in the day to day
Dr. Z :

Exactly, you are very right there

Customer: I've enjoyed talking to you again.
Dr. Z :

Me too, and if you need anything else in the future you know how to reach me

Customer: Good night
Dr. Z :

And definitely keep me updated on how she does during her evaluation

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you