By Beth Arky
Trust is a two-way street. How can you build trust and create rapport with the clinicians treating your child with learning and attention issues? Try these tips from parents who shared their ideas with the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
“We have an exceptional relationship with our OT and a solid one with our developmental pediatrician,” Dana W. writes. “They value our kiddo in ways the regular world doesn’t. [The OT] had one 90-minute session with him and she spoke our language. In so many other situations, I feel like I’m my child’s translator. [The doctor] has ‘Great minds don’t all think alike’ on his business cards. Our child never feels broken or different to them. They make him laugh and work hard.”
“I vented about the initial pediatrician (who was very judgmental and rigid) and let the new pediatrician know what I needed from her so that my anxiety would be lower,” writes Dede W.
“Interview doctors before establishing a relationship,” Sonya S. writes. “Keep the pediatrician in the loop with all the other specialists. Visits are inherently rushed, but [keep] the conversation … focused and effective.”
“I love my children’s pediatrician,” Julie C. writes. “She trusts what mom says and will give great referrals. She and I have both learned over the years that she can help best by referring out to a specialist!”
“I’ve found that many doctors in the same area can be very opinionated [about] one another and have different methods and ideas [about] treatment,” Jenny K. writes. “You really need to shop around and find someone you and your child can trust.”
“While stimulants can be helpful for focus, the side effects … can make the benefit not worth it,” Marilyn L. writes. “Luckily, there are different options. Find a doctor who can work with you to find a combination of behavioral, therapeutic, nutritional and pharmacologic interventions.” Kristin T adds, “It’s important to create a team that listens and works together. We connect with each provider and make sure [they all connect] in a collaborative space.”
Are you looking for a kids’ reading specialist? An occupational therapist? Or another professional who works with children with learning and attention issues? Consider these resources to find nearby specialists for your child.
If your child doesn’t qualify for early intervention services, it’s not the end of the road. Learn steps you can take to advocate for your child.
Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D., is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
Checklist: What to Bring to a Doctor or Therapist Appointment
Specialists Who Work With Kids With Learning and Attention Issues
When Professionals and Parents Disagree
Checklist: Questions to Ask Your Child’s Doctors and Specialists
Reading Specialists: What You Need to Know
Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians: What You Need to Know
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