Recently, I took my 4-year-old to a pediatrician. She was suffering from nasal congestion and stomachache for 24 hours. Although I didn’t know the situation, I reassured her that there would be no needles involved. The doctor instantly said, “We can’t say that. We don’t know the situation yet.” That is when it suddenly hit me that we may be addressing these issues all wrong.
If you have even been in the situation, you may remember the look on the doctor’s face. If you are a pediatrician yourself, you may remember at least a dozen cases that depicted similar behavior.
Usually, doctors, especially special needs pediatricians depend on parents for the correct diagnosis of the child. Along with the identification of the child’s health issues, special needs pediatricians are required to rely on the instincts of the parents. Knowing and understanding your reaction in front of the pediatrician can make the job easier for everyone. Yet, often, parents forget to do this to make their child feel safe and comfortable.
Hence, this article will discuss what you should avoid saying to a special needs pediatrician and how you can effectively handle the situation without scaring your child.
Eight Things You Should Never Say to a Special Needs Pediatrician
- 1 Eight Things You Should Never Say to a Special Needs Pediatrician
- 1.1 Don’t Make Promises
- 1.2 Don’t Trick the Child
- 1.3 Don’t Portray a Wrong Image of the Pediatrician
- 1.4 Don’t Make Over-optimistic Statement to the Pediatrician
- 1.5 Don’t Announce your Diagnosis when You Visit the Special Needs Pediatrician
- 1.6 Don’t Ask the Pediatrician to Check Two Kids with One Token
- 1.7 Allow Your Child/Children to Talk to the Special Needs Pediatrician
- 1.8 Don’t Give Your Solution to the Pediatrician
- 1.9 Conclusion
Don’t Make Promises
Don’t make any promise to your child that the pediatrician can’t keep. For instance, in the needles case given above example. It is possible that the special needs pediatrician may need to conduct a blood test to correctly diagnose the underlying condition of the child. The child would be extremely reluctant towards the idea if you have already promised no needles.
Solution: Promise a trip to the playground or keep the favorite toy of the child in the waiting room to distract the child during diagnosis.
Don’t Trick the Child
Don’t trick the child by saying that they are only accompanying you or an elder sibling. This would come as a shock to the child and he or she would not trust you or the pediatrician the next time. This ends up making the job of the special needs pediatrician very complex.
Solution: Convince the child to visit the doctor and say that it will be rewarded with a trip to the playground, a new toy, etc.
Don’t Portray a Wrong Image of the Pediatrician
Don’t portray the wrong image of the special needs pediatrician. Not only will this make the recovery or treatment painful and traumatic but also it might end up making your child resistant towards doctors for life.
It is not uncommon for the pediatricians to hear, “The mean doctor will use needles if you don’t behave.”
Solution: Don’t scare your child. Make them understand. Tell them that the doctor is trying to help and it will make them better.
Don’t Make Over-optimistic Statement to the Pediatrician
Don’t be over-optimistic with your child infront of the pediatrician or behind by telling him or her that the diagnosis is nothing but play. It might hurt sometimes and then your child could actually become afraid of playing or going to the pediatrician next time.
Solution: Address the feelings and explain that you are there by their side to support. Make the child understand the pediatrician will help you feel better. His stethoscope is only checking their health.
Don’t Announce your Diagnosis when You Visit the Special Needs Pediatrician
There is no doubt to the fact that you are worried about your child, but don’t announce your diagnosis. That is what the special need pediatricians are for. They will make the diagnosis and correctly tell you the condition, which can be the same as what you were thinking but not always.
Solution: Instead, accurately define each and every symptom that you have observed along with the frequency of there occurrence. This will allow the pediatrician to make an accurate diagnosis and start the required treatment quickly. Also, mention genetic history in case of a disease like diabetes, thyroid, Lyme disease, etc.
Don’t Ask the Pediatrician to Check Two Kids with One Token
If you have two children, then take an appointment and token for both. Don’t ask the doctor to quickly check both the children. It is not fair to other children who are waiting in the queue.
Solution: When you call for an appointment, mention that you want it for two of your children. Go with it even if it means that you have to wait extra for the other child.
Allow Your Child/Children to Talk to the Special Needs Pediatrician
When psychological factors impact the child, various consequences are observed. For instance, the divorce of parents causing bed-wetting instances. Allow the child to discuss this with the pediatrician. Do not interrupt or stop the pediatrician to talk to the child.
Solution: Don’t wait till the child leaves, discuss it openly. Help the child relieve negative emotions and make space for professional advice. When you are unable to help your child, let the pediatrician do the job.
Don’t Give Your Solution to the Pediatrician
This is related to pre-diagnosis. Many times, parents visit the special need pediatrician with a diagnosis of their own and only want a solution for this disease. It is possible that your child doesn’t have this disease or may have something entirely different.
Solution: Explain your concerns but don’t throw your diagnosis at the doctor. Allow them to complete the diagnosis and start the relevant treatment.
Parents can make things complicated for their children and the special needs pediatrician. The overprotective nature, especially for a special needs child, seems legit. However, the sooner you adopt your child to the schedule, the better it will be for him or her. Hence, from the starting of the diagnosis, support your pediatrician’s instincts and let them address your concerns. If you face any issues, the right approach is to ask as many questions as you like for clarification.