All psyched up

We got results from Dr. Westerveld the Neuropsych on Tuesday. He tested Shade on a variety of mental tasks from intellect to recall to focusing. Most of the results are similar to what we have already observed in his daily life. He has no diminished intellect. He’s still the smart kid he always was. However, he has limitations on recall, i.e. short term memory loss. No surprise there. His ability to unconsciously elevate certain stimuli in importance is also diminished, which is why he is easily distracted. To supplement this, he needs prompts on the conscious level to direct him where to focus. We also learned a new term: the pseudobulbar affect. This is the sudden, uncontrollable outbursts of emotional displays. Shade demonstrated this yesterday when, in the middle of a fun therapy session involving bouncing balls, he went from happy and joking to miserable and crying. A flipped switch! It may also account for his unusual responses, like answering someone’s questions with a “Meow.” Dr. Westerveld says it’s like temporary Tourettes syndrome.

Honestly the results weren’t anything that we hadn’t figured out already. And what we do with them now, we’re not quite sure as it seems that Dr. Westerveld’s main job is to test and report the findings. Perhaps we take the results to someone else to determine strategies for dealing with these issues? In the meantime, his therapists and school will get copies of the reports. And now it’s all down on paper in case we need evidence for government or insurance purposes.

Dr. Westerveld also got permission for us to call the parents of another patient of his who had the exact same AVM in the same place at about the same age. He had the same vestibular problems, palsy, short term memory issues, etc. The boy is now 15. We’re going to chat with his parents and perhaps meet up. I imagine it will be like 15 year old Shade coming back in a time machine and saying, “Hey, I’m you.” Maybe not, but at least we can get a little inkling of what’s possible in the future.

By the way, tonight I, along with some fellow Full Sail teachers, am going to read some of my writing about Shade at Urban Rethink, a chill little venue near downtown in Thornton Park. The writing will be illustrated by students and other teachers. If you have any free time, come on by. Click here for directions.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carolyn Lewis
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 14:35:41

    Perhaps the best thing to come of the testing is that you were put in touch with another family dealing with the same issues. There is so much strength to be given and received when people are walking the same path together. Blessings to you all.


  2. Daniel
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 20:48:49

    Yes, we definitely want to hear how the meeting with the other boy went!…wish we could go to the reading! but great that you are doing that!! still thinking of you and reading the blog faithfully!!! love! the Shens


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