I really like our developmental pediatrician. If you have a special needs kido, I highly recommend seeing a developmental and behavioral pediatrician. In case you are wondering what the difference between this type of pediatrician and a regular pediatrician is, I will tell you. These are specialized pediatricians who only help children who have some sort of developmental delay or behavioral issues. A lot of the time those two types of conditions go hand in hand. We have been seeing this type of pediatrician for our son Joshua, who also has developmental delays, for a few years now and have been really pleased. Basically, it is just like a really long pediatrician appointment. Whereas your regular pediatrician can have you in and out of the office in a half hour you will usually spend 2 hours in the office with a developmental peds. That way you can give a detailed account of the issues you might be having with your child and they can coach you about how to handle those issues. Raising kids with special needs is not at all like raising typical kids. It’s much harder. I find it so helpful to talk with a doctor who deals with special needs kids all day long.
Yesterday we took our daughter, who is 11, newly adopted from Hong Kong and has Intellectual disability, to the developmental pediatrician for the first time. I am not really sure why I didn’t think of going before, but I didn’t. When we began having trouble with her behaviorally a few months ago, I immediately went to an attachment counselor. To be honest, at this point, we really haven’t made much progress in counseling. Even the counselor admits she can’t do anything with our daughter because Elizabeth refuses to participate. So, we went to see our wonderful developmental peds doctor yesterday to see if he could help us out with her behavior issues. He immediately told us we were doing the right things, but that he thought she might be depressed. I totally agreed and had thought the same thing. So, she is now on an antidepressant and we will see the doctor again in two months to see how things are progressing. I feel like going there is a coaching session. I ask him a bunch of questions and he gives suggestions or tells me I am doing the right things and to just give it time. It’s really encouraging. I find a lot of doctor’s don’t always understand how to deal with kids with special needs. They don’t understand them and how the world is for them. It shocks me that people in the medical profession can be ignorant about how to deal with a kid with special needs since 1 in 5 kids has a special need, but anyway. I find it comforting to go to a doctor who gets it.
We are hopeful that this new medication will help our daughter let down her guard a little and be a happier girl. I never thought I would ever have a 4-year-old on ADHD medication or a preteen daughter on antidepressants, but here we are. Special needs kids just have different needs than other kids and sometimes they need a little more help than we as parents can give. We do not take any decision to medicate our kids lightly, we have prayed and sought the advice of doctor’s in this decision but we knew we had to try something with our daughter, she is just in such a difficult place in her life right now. Her actions are showing us she needs help in this area. So, we are getting her that help.