Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Could his later cognitive struggles be the result of a type of Shaken Bear Syndrome?"

I'm a children's librarian; my husband is a medical student. What happens when our worlds collide? This:

Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: a neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne

It was published as a lark back in 2000 by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). Yeah, it's a joke that seems a bit tired, but what's impressive here is the lengths the authors went to to make this look like a legit journal article. The footnotes! The table! The bizarre suggestion that Kanga buy up the Hundred Acre Wood and turn it into a gated community!

And the medical perspective on all this folderol? My husband responds:

"It seems clear to me that Pooh is perfectly developmentally appropriate for a stuffed bear of his age and that he is a very high functioning individual in his sphere of activity, his eating habits and body morphology are also appropriate for his nature as an imaginary/stuffed bear. This is true for all of the diagnoses given. Whoever says Piglet has failure to thrive has never looked at the standardized growth chart for stuffed/imaginary pigs. "

"Owl is labeled as having a reading disorder from in this chart, but it is clear to all the other inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood and to me that he has advanced reading skill for any owl, living or stuffed. Show me another owl that can even get close to misspelling his name that well, and I will show you a well trained bird. Sure, if these individuals were adult humans they might have the diagnoses suggested in the article, but as clinicians we will have to wait until they are visited by the Blue Fairy, turned into real people, have problems adjusting, obtain health insurance or medical assistance, and visit us in the clinic to give them these or any other diagnoses."

Yeah, that's the man I love.

For further medicine-meets-kidlit fun, check out "Cinderology: The Cinderella of Academic Medicine," which analyzes doctors' use of the Cinderella story as a medical metaphor.

5 comments:

Julia said...

This might even beat the article in Science about whether or not Muggle or Wizard was the dominant gene and if Squibs were autosomal recessive.

Say hi to Brian for me!

Julia said...

BTW, absolutely love that picture of you! You look so alluring, like a John Waterhouse painting.

Kelly said...

Very funny :)

Brooke said...

Oh-ho, a John Waterhouse painting! That is indeed high praise. I've been meaning to change my profile pic for a LONG time (the first time my mom saw it, she said, "what, are you kissing a turkey?").

Sigh. It was a Folkmanis chipmunk puppet, alas.

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