To provide a place for parents and family members to meet and share experience, strength, give hope and awareness, to other families who have similar experiences raising children with ADD/ADHD, SPD, Anxiety, ASD, mental health diagnosis, developmental and behavioral challenges. Through sharing in this experience of raising these hard to raise kids, we grow stronger and more resilient.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
"The Orientation" - Part 1
Jen & I have often talked about when we first started chatting after meeting at the Children's Center. Both of our kiddos (who are only 2 days apart) had started attending the preschool there about a month prior to us first talking. At that point I was pretty checked out from things that were going on around me and completely focused on Miss Emma and her medical and emotional care. I had seen Jen there, and for a brief moment my once super social self had thought maybe I should go say hi. I didn't. I continued sitting in the waiting room reading whatever book was recommended at the time or walking past her in the parking lot. Thankfully Jen ripped off the band aid and came over to chat, honestly I don't know that I would have with the space I was in. Chatting at the Children's Center soon turned to Starbucks runs while we waited for our kids to get out. Jen jokingly asked if there was some type of orientation and for a minute I wondered if I had in fact missed something! We have now been traveling this path for a few years now. I would never claim to be an expert because everyday is different, but we have picked up a few things along the way.
We talk a lot about the "what next". What do you do after your child receives a diagnosis, or even before when you are trying to figure out what is going on. There is no orientation packet or guide to what the "plan" is or should be. There is also only so much you can plan for. So I decided to put together a kind of orientation. It is just a guide of things I have learned on the way, that have helped or made things a little easier. I am not a professional by any means but I know that if someone had given me even a few little nuggets I would have been really really grateful for not having to learn it the hard way!
Because life is so crazy I will be breaking this up in to a few difference posts, that way its more manageable for me and for others to implement. Please leave comments or feedback and let me know if there is anything that you want more information on!
#1 - Have them formerly evaluated. I started with my pediatrician who was monitoring Emma closely. As she got a little older and things got more complicated we were referred to the Children's Center for therapy, meds and preschool. We were also sent to the Child Developmental Clinic for assessment. I was lucky with my pediatrician being the head of the "team" and making sure were were doing what we needed to. If your pediatrician is not on board or listening to your concerns it may be time to look for someone who listens to you and your concerns.
** If you are looking for a pediatrician it is super handy to have one that practices the Medical Home Model. Just ask them, they know if they do! Basically they are the team captain who oversees everything from mental health, specialists, school, Therapeutic services. I can't even tell you how valuable this has been for us.
The Children's Center (therapy services for children under 7)
Child Development Clinic
Clinic 6 University of Utah
Neurobehavior HOME clinic