Modern technology has permeated our youthful culture. Even the very young become digitalized at an early age. Evidence for this phenomenon is found in their expressive speech and spoken responses.
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At her son’s 7-year-old well child exam, a mother confided in me that the boy had been having academic difficulties at school. “He’s a bit behind in reading,” she told me. “We’ve started reading together evenings on his Kindle before bed. If it’s a good book, he’s more likely to stick with it.” Then, to the boy, she said: “What was that last book we finished—‘Into the Woods’?”
The boy nodded his head. “In the story they went for a hike,” he said.
“Where did they go hiking?” I asked him.
“On the Application Trail,” he said.
* * *
Another mother brought her brood of three young boys to the office. One of them complained of a sore throat. Sure enough, the test came back positive for strep.
“We’ll give him an antibiotic to take and he should feel much better by tomorrow,” I explained.
I pulled the prescription pad from my pocket. “Can he swallow pills now, or would he prefer to take the medicine off a spoon?” I asked.
“Probably pills,” the mother said. “He doesn’t like the taste of those liquid medications.”
“That’s fine,” I said, putting pen to paper. “We’ll have him take one tablet—”
Immediately, the younger brother blurted out: “Wow, you’re going to give him a Nook?”
* * *
I finished counseling an 8-year-old with chronic constipation on the value of a high fiber diet with these words: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
To which he replied: “I don’t think so. In our house we’ve all got iPads and iPods, and my mom still drags us in here for shots.”
Author’s Note: This piece appeared in the Winter 2013 edition of “Connecticut PA,” a quarterly publication of the Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants.