Best Care for Your Special Needs Child
A medical diagnosis of any sort is rarely good news. Unless of course that diagnosis includes a clean bill of health. As parents we do not like to hear that our children are sick or “not normal” in any way. I do not even like to have a child run a fever or have a tummy ache due to everyday colds and illnesses. But it happens. And when it does, I am comforted in knowing there are doctors and other health care professionals that can help me care for my child.
As a mother of 5, each child brings a new perspective and fresh journey on the road of life. Each one is different and their walks have taken us in vastly different directions. Our middle child spent weeks in and out of the hospital as she battled anorexia at the young age of 7. A team of 7 doctors, therapists, and specialists helped us travel that journey for over 8 months. And, almost as quick as that chapter came to an end, we began to notice challenges with our youngest.
Being the youngest of 5, the excuse is that she does not have to talk because everyone else talks for her. Whatever the cause may be… we recently had her tested and she was diagnosed with Expressive Speech Disorder. Knowing she was “delayed” was one thing, but hearing she had an actual “disorder” hit me in the gut. She was at least 2 years behind in her speech development and we needed a plan. Our pediatrician gave us the referral we needed and we have been working for several months with an in-home Speech Therapist. It was through this Speech Therapist that we also discovered that our Monkey has nodes on her vocal cords, and was in need of some Occupational Therapy as well.
We actually begin Occupational Therapy today. She has officially been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and there as many facets of this diagnosis we must now learn to cope with. The amazing part of her care is that we are able to do it in our home. The therapists both come into our house twice a week and work with our daughter. We are able to sit comfortably in our living room, which is familiar and cozy to her, and work on the needs our daughter has. Each therapist comes with a plan designed especially for her and we can easily address any areas we need to focus on for the week.
Our Monkey said a 5 word sentence this week! That is an incredible improvement from the single syllable words she was speaking just 2 months ago. Her Speech Therapist is beyond incredible and we have heard nothing less about her OT. I am a Special Needs parent and am thrilled. Our daughter has taught us all tolerance, patience, and understanding of others. We could not have been able to manage it all without loving care and support of our medical team.
Hospital for Special Surgery
Whether well or ill, as parents we still want the best care for our children. The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. In fact, it the ranked #1 in orthopedics nationally and #3 in rheumatology. In 2011, specialist at HSS treated approximately 20,000 pediatric patients and over 2,600 pediatric surgeries. They provide comprehensive rehabilitation for both inpatients and outpatients from birth up to 21 years.
Children with special needs may require various specialists and therapists in their care plan. For my own daughter, we utilize speech therapy to teach her how to both talk and sign. Plus, we use occupational therapy to work on her everyday routines such as dressing and eating. These are exactly the types of services you can find at the new the CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center at the Children’s Pavilion in New York City. Its multidisciplinary staff includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists. Together they evaluate and treat children with neurological, orthopedic, rheumatic, congential, and sensory integration disorders.
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