Tech speak

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.

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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?”

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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.