Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Treat the child not the numbers!!

OK, I hear that phrase a lot from biomedical doctors. It always seemed fairly obvious to me. Until yesterday. Michael had his 8 year old check up with his regular pediatrician. He weighed in at 56.6 lbs and 50 3/4 inches. (49th and 55th percentiles according to my math) I'm guessing that the nurse charted him incorrectly because the doctor was all concerned that his weight jumped to the 65th percentile.

We are talking about a child who has always been underweight. You can still see his ribs when he breathes in. I asked the doctor how we could possibly need to watch his weight when he is so obviously skinny. She said that obesity is a big problem and that doctors have to watch children carefully. I was absolutely floored. (Did I mention those ribs???) So, I came home and did my own math and felt better that he didn't suddenly jump several percentiles, but really question how such a smart professional can be so blind!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hurray for Captain Underpants!

Michael taught himself to read shortly after he turned 3. Since then, he has been able to read anything you put in front of him. Teachers, therapists, doctors, were all convinced that because he couldn't answer questions about what he read that he wasn't understanding it. This week, we finally got proof that he does understand!

My brother-in-law had given Michael a set of Captain Underpants books for Christmas a couple years ago. Michael had not been interested in reading them because of his overall fear of reading. I guess that he was so stressed about all the comprehension questions that he just decided not to read at home anymore. Every time I tried to suggest it, he just put the book down and wandered away. Between Steve and me I knew he had to have a reading gene in there, so I have been (trying to be) patient about it.

Last week I came across the boxed set sitting lonely on a shelf. I realized that it had a sound effect whenever you opened the box. Michael can't resist sound effects. So, when he was in another room, but could still here, I opened the box. Pitter patter of tromping feet. It took another several days before he would open any of the books. But, this week, a major breakthrough. Michael actually explained the books to my mother-in-law! She had never heard of Captain Underpants and was curious. If Steve or I had asked about it, he would have run into another room. But, because it was Grandma, it was OK. Based on his explanations, we knew he understood everything he read. And, better yet, he asked for the next four books in the series. Life is good! (OK, not exactly Watership Down, but I'll take it!!)