special needs kids?

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    Hi, I am a psychiatrist with 3 special needs kids. I was just wondering if there are any other MomMD’s out there who play the part of patient as well as doctor (I’m sure there must be!). This is a dilemma which has made it an overwhelming sacrifice to take call, so I”m now not working on this account. Just wanting to make connections, find out how others have managed, etc,


    Hi, I have two children. My daughter is almost 6, and no special needs, but my son is just 3 and has some big speech delays. His problems aren’t severe, and we don’t have a diagnosis yet (waiting for that blessed appointment with the specialist a million years from now). I’m in family practice, and take care of a lot of kids. I find myself so frustrated taking care of kids who are quite advanced, and having to leave my own kids in daycare so I can pay off my school bills.
    I recently forced a change in my schedule with my partners because my son’s one day off of school is a day that they wanted me to work. I tried to make the change nicely at first, and then gave up and became much more forceful, which fortunately they responded to.
    Were you taking care of kids in your practice? What are your kids’ issues? What are your plans/options for the future?


    I can really relate to that frustration of taking care of other kids who seem better off than my own. For me, a big part of that was in the form of treating kids for mood disorders (so, ie, they were getting treatment) before my own got officially diagnosed but still every night I went home and dealt with the same issues that the families of my patients were dealing with, yet my own child was not receiving the meds I was helping the other kids with. Finally, that was all resolved, and mercifully my moody boy is doing much better since I got him in with my colleage. My other two are ADHD with speech problems, but now both also diagnosed and s/p speech therapy. It has been a real learning experience for me in many ways.
    I think it’s the hardest of all when they are three. They are just on the verge of diagnosis and treatment planning, yet it’s become painfully clear to Dr.Mom that something’s wrong. Day care is almost never up to the par that they need. They’re still little enough to be the baby you had all these ideas and dreams about, yet the reality is disparate. Hang in there. It does get better. In some ways, just because with time, you readjust your idea about their life and it becomes easier to see all their wonderful qualities again. Also, with dx and treatment, your son will do better, and YOU will feel better about the WHOLE situation. Just hang in..


    I’m not an MD yet, just a 3rd year med student, but I have a 21-month old who was recently diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. It’s been extremely frustrating dealing with all the pediatricians and others involved in his care. We’ve suspected something wasn’t quite right with him since he was 6 months old, but were repeatedly blown off by his pediatricians. We went to SIX different pediatricians and every single one of them told me I was just being a ridiculous paranoid medical mom. Their chart notes from his well-baby visits all read “Mom (med student) with multiple questions re: development. Reassured.” Finally, we had him evaluated by Early Intervention at 13 months, who documented substantial language, social, and fine motor delays. He was given a provisional diagnosis of autism a few months later, then we finally found a very good developmental ped who finalized the diagnosis last month. He started receiving speech and occupational therapy through Early Intervention and has made a lot of progress since then, though he still has a very long way to go. Now that he has a firm diagnosis, we’re trying to get him enrolled in a behavioral intervention program to work on his social skills.
    I’ve been very frustrated by the entire medical establishment so far. During one of lectures during my peds rotation, an attending claimed that there was nothing you could do for an autistic child. I was so furious I nearly walked out, but I’m sorry to say I didn’t jeopardize my grade by speaking up. Now that the rotation is over, I plan to send her an article about autism to make her see that there is a LOT we can do to improve autistic kids’ functioning. With intensive one-on-one therapy, a substantial minority have gone on to become indistinguishable from their neurotypical peers. It scares me to think of all the misinformation and false reassurances that she is disseminating among concerned parents of autistic spectrum kids.
    During a psych lecture, I DID recently confront the attending when he incorrectly stated that the incidence of autism was 3-4/10,000 (which is what the older textbooks say). I asked him if he was aware that, in fact, the latest studies show the prevalence to be closer to 1/500, a HUGE difference! It turns out that he was aware of that, but just hadn’t bothered to update his handout yet! (I still got an “A” BTW 😉
    Anyway, life is very difficult for us right now. My husband quit his job to stay home and work full-time with Christopher. He has his good days and his bad days, here lately more bad than good. We intend to do everything we can to help our son as much as possible. If I have to quit medical school to get a job to pay for behavioral therapy, I’ll do it.


    Hi there,

    I’m going to move this to family and parenting. Thanks,

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