web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



You Are Your Child’s Best Advocate

When you have a child with special needs, whether it be medical or developmental, you are very familiar with signing those lengthy privacy practice information sheets. At some point we don’t even bother reading them because we know that once you have a child with special needs, nothing is ever private. Every professional has an opinion. Still, the ultimate decision is up to you.


I was always very conscious of being polite to every doctor that my daughter has ever seen. From very long hospital stays with rotating residents and attendings to a gastroenterologist, pulmonologist, cardiologist, endocrinologist, neurologist, ENT, radiologist, psychologist and on and on, I had to listen to the recommendations from all of these doctors regarding the care of my daughter. This can be very overwhelming for anyone.


I can recall one time about six months ago, when Eliana was admitted to the hospital because she needed IV fluids. At that point she did not have a central IV line since she was much younger. Putting an IV in her was very traumatic and very rarely successful.


In walks an overconfident resident who thinks that she can get an IV in Eliana’s small veins on the first try. I knew that medically she really needed to have this done and it broke my heart to have to hold her down. After Eliana spent about ten minutes screaming and thrashing around, the resident said to her, “Eliana, if you don’t cooperate with me, you might have to stay here for a month!” Had my ears deceived me? Did I really just hear this doctor threaten my daughter, who spent over a year in the hospital at one point? I felt the steam slowly rising to my ears. It was at that exact instant that I realized that I had the power to stop this doctor in her tracks.


I calmly said, “That’s it. You are done. Please don’t ever come back into this room.” I proceeded to speak to her superiors and told them that if this is how she is going to be with children who are sick, then she is in the wrong profession.


For weeks I had visions of seeing this doctor roaming the halls where I would have the opportunity to give her a real piece of my mind. I began to recall all the times a doctor had made a decision or comment that I didn’t agree with. How many times had I let Eliana suffer needlessly because of my inadequacy in dealing with doctors?


I resolved to myself that what was done was done. But what had I learned? I learned that I am my child’s best advocate. This applies to everything from doctor visits to school conferences. I knew that I had grown when a teacher told me that she was trying to “toughen Eliana up” because she would cry when she got bumped. I replied, “I know you mean well, but Eliana needs no more toughening up. Eliana has gone through more painful medical procedures than 20 people do in a lifetime. She needs you to listen to her when she says something hurts.”


All of my children receive the same type of advocacy, whether they have extra needs or not, and I still make mistakes. Parenting is a learning process.


Here are some tips on effective ways to advocate for your child:


Be proactive and educate yourself on what his/her needs are.


Always come to appointments prepared with questions.


Know that you can question anything a professional recommends for your child.


Keep adequate records of medications, appointments and phone calls.


If your child has a diagnosis of some sort, it is not helpful to keep it secret from your child’s teachers because they spend many hours a day with your child.


If your child is on a medication that may affect behavior in school, it can only benefit your child if the teacher knows. This way, if your child begins behaving differently, the teacher can keep track and be her advocate, too.


Learn from mistakes.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “You Are Your Child’s Best Advocate”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Sections Stories
Nimchinsky-102414-Flag

This past summer was a powerful one for the Jewish people. I will always remember where I was on June 12th when I found out that Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnapped. I will always remember the look on my sister’s face on June 30th when she told me that they were found. I will […]

Schonfeld-logo1

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

Kupfer-102414

The Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

My eyes skimmed an article on page 1A. I was flabbergasted. I read the title again. Could it be? It had good news for the Miami Jewish community.

Students in early childhood, elementary, and middle school were treated to an array of hands-on projects to create sukkah decorations such as wind chimes, velvet posters, sand art, paper chains, and more.

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

More Articles from Heather Wasserman

When you have a child with special needs, whether it be medical or developmental, you are very familiar with signing those lengthy privacy practice information sheets. At some point we don’t even bother reading them because we know that once you have a child with special needs, nothing is ever private. Every professional has an opinion. Still, the ultimate decision is up to you.

When you have a child with special needs, whether it be medical or developmental, you are very familiar with signing those lengthy privacy practice information sheets. At some point we don’t even bother reading them because we know that once you have a child with special needs, nothing is ever private. Every professional has an opinion. Still, the ultimate decision is up to you.

When you have a child with special needs, whether it be medical or developmental, you are very familiar with signing those lengthy privacy practice information sheets. At some point we don’t even bother reading them because we know that once you have a child with special needs, nothing is ever private. Every professional has an opinion. Still, the ultimate decision is up to you.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/you-are-your-childs-best-advocate-4/2011/10/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: