A-Team: Medical Branch

Depending on your child’s symptoms, severity, and a variety of other factors, the medical branch of your A-Team will likely not be the same as the next family’s A-Team. Pediatricians, speech therapists, occupational therapists, gastrointestinal specialists, and any other specialists your child sees.

When you have children, especially children with any kind of disability or sensitivity, having a good relationship with your child’s pediatrician, therapists, and specialists is important. Good communication is key. As much as you must listen to the professionals, remember that no one knows your child like you do. They may be an expert in their field, but you are an expert on your child. You cannot be afraid to speak up, ask questions, share information. You must find that voice within you that is calm, reasonable, but firm.

If you aren’t comfortable with any member of your team – or any part of a doctor or therapist’s staff, if you find yourself disagreeing on the fundamentals of your child’s treatment, it is in your child’s best interest to replace that member of your team. Not every doctor will be the right fit. No matter how hard they try to be objective, there is a certain amount of personal bias that does come into play. It is completely unavoidable and completely human.

Remember that your doctor’s time is valuable. Prepare for each appointment. Make a list of questions you have, information you want to share, any changes in your child’s behavior or symptoms in advance and take this list with you.

Sharing information between professionals is beneficial to everyone involved and you, as the team leader, are responsible for doing so. If there is a change in your child’s diagnosis, therapy, symptoms, behaviors, it is your job to make sure each member of the team is aware of it. It is also your job to keep track of what does and does not work for your child and share this as well.

A good way to keep track of everything and everyone is to have a dayplanner specifically for your child, a journal of sorts of information, questions, therapies, major meltdowns, diet, and any events that might effect your child. Take this planner with you to each appointment. Don’t be afraid to take notes when you are in the doctor’s office. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions and expertise.

If you are uncomfortable with any step of the process, let the professionals know. Don’t be afraid to ask why they are suggesting certain treatments or supplements. Ask for the research behind it, do the research on your own via the internet or a good library. Be an informed member of your team, a strong but reasonable voice for your child.

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