Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Developing the Right Doctor

When we were exploring adoption the doctor we met with commented that we are lucky to have Kaiser Permanente because two great specialists in Down Syndrome in our state were both there. It turned out both were in our neighborhood Kaiser clinic for the first several months after we adopted Billy Ray in our home. One eventually moved to another clinic but has been involved in some measure all these years and the other was Billy Ray's pediatrician for nearly 18 years when she retired.

When Billy Ray was seven his pediatrician sent him to pediatric psychiatrist, Dr. Ron Roy. I learned so much from Dr. Ron. In fact my book would not have happened if not for Dr. Ron. He used to say "I need to know what his day is like" and he taught me to journal. Dr. Ron taught me about communicating my son to professionals who could treat him better if they could understand clearly what he experiences.

It didn't seem to be an issue while we had his longtime developmental pediatrician and Dr. Ron. However, Dr. Ron died several years before the pediatrician retired. We needed to explain Billy Ray's complicated history to new people. We had some great doctors involved following the pediatrician's departure but the challenge of explaining my son to them seemed more difficult.

The way we receive services makes explaining a child's day even more difficult. Even in an hour appointment (rare)it is difficult to explain a month of explosive or changing behavior plus physical symptoms. Explaining it in a ten minute appointment seemed impossible. I used to think constantly about what Dr. Ron had said years before about showing him what we experience. How to do that in a way that could be absorbed in the rush appointments was the challenge.

The documentation system presented in Parenting Your Complex Child came out of that challenge. When the information is communicated in a way that your doctor can absorb quickly it gives him or her more chance to help your child.

Complex children are not typical. They can stump the most skilled professional. With the added understanding you provide with the documentation system your doctor has a better chance of being able to help your child.

Until tomorrow,



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