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How do I find a doctor that can properly diagnose my son? I've already seen four.

Posted by Fernando Chapa

My son is 9 years old. He repeats himself (entire sentences).

 For example, he will say, "I just finished reading the coolest book. I just finished reading the coolest book."  "It was about this kid who could time travel.  It was about this kid who could time travel."

It started when he was about 2.5 years old.

His pediatrician says that it's probably nothing and that we shouldn't worry.

We took him to the Psychology dept at UCLA and the doctor's there said that he only exhibited mild OCD.

His symptoms have persisted for 7 years, but I don't know how to find a doctor that will understand his symptoms.

We have taken him out of school and we are home schooling him now because the kids teased him mercilessly at his public school.




Answers (3)
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Diagnosing ("labeling") is not easy especially since children often behave one way at home or school and are frightened enough they behave differently with the doctor.  Specialists are sometimes difficult to find and even when you do find a specialist if they can't get a clear picture of what is going on diagnosis is nearly impossible.  That is exactly why I created the documentation system described in PARENTING YOUR COMPLEX CHILD (AMACOM Books 2006).  It is brief enough that docs can usually read it and get it better than if you are trying to verbally explain.  It helps you and the professionals to note triggers to behaviors, etc.

I feel the relationship with the professional maybe more important than their credentials in certain cases.  Case in point, my son and his primary who is a physician's assistant are close so the primary insight into him is significant.  He has figured things out that many of the specialists involved could not.

My best advice is to glean as much information into brief documentation as possible so the provider is can make informed recommendations and build a relationship with the provider that shows concern for your son.

 I hear frequently from parents complaining they don't have time for the documentation but I found out that time seeing more specialists and dealing with side effects from drugs that caused more problems than help took even more time.

 Best wishes,

Peggy Lou Morgan (

I'd suggest talking to some moms and dads of kids on the spectrum and find out who diagnosed their kids. It may be a spectrum disorder, it may be OCD...heck, it could even be Tourettes if he can't help it. But best to rule out spectrum first if you can.  We went to three different doctors before our Aspie was finally dxed. That one took five minutes, just watching him.  So when it's the right one, things will come together.
There are multiple listings of medical professionals for kids with special needs at and www.yellowpages4kids.  That's where I'd start.
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