Dr. James D. MacDonald's Website
Helping Parents Help Children. Programs for Parents, Therapists & Educators
Lisa, I took my son to him and I have to tell you it was one of the most satisfying, enlightening, and informative days of my life. His evaluation is not like any evaluation you've ever been to....he doesn't "test" so that you know he is testing. He doesn't sit with a clipboard in one hand and check things off. He doesn't make the child do anything at all that he/she doesn't like. He talked to us on the phone quite a bit first and got a lot of information that way. When we got there he still talked to us, asking us questions, but mainly about Jacob's social self, his interested self, and of course his speech, but nothing about stacking blocks, using scissors, that sort of thing (that a lot of evaluators do). The whole time my son and my daughter were playing in his floor, he watched them the whole time while listening to us. Then......he took off his shoe, put it on his head, and sneezed it off!!! Jacob about fell over laughing. The he took off Jacob's shoe, put it on his head, and sneezed it off, again, tears of laughter. Then, he took off my daughter's shoe, made the silliest faces you can imagine and put her shoe on his head.
He asked us what Jacob liked....we told him. The computer was one of his interests....so Dr. Jim went to his computer, opened up a blank document in Word, increased the font and started typing words. Jacob, who was saying very little at this point, started reading the words. Dr. Jim kept on for as long as Jake wanted to (turn taking) and then he said to me "I think your son is a visual learner and you can use this to your advantage." We got TONS of advice that day, how to teach him, how to help him w/speech, how to avoid things/people that would be counter-productive to him. His thoughts on preschool were given to us, his thoughts on the type of testing to avoid, and his thoughts on what the future would hold.
About 2 weeks later he emailed me his report and in it was all the stuff we talked about, the elimination of any ASD, and his finding of an Expressive speech delay and an emotional delay. He still continues to offer us advice and support, his books and his communicating board gives us support, and his ARM guides us for each step of the process.
I loved seeing him, I highly recommend him to others also. I'm sure your sister will be happy with what he has to offer, it's very casual, it's not "clinic or hospital" feeling, it's in his home and very fun. ~~~Dawn.