A young, vibrant girl sat on an orange chair, tablet in hand, in her own world. Her mother wore an expression of fatigue, yet she smiled and hope shined through her eyes. As I chatted with Mom about her daughter's need for consistency, her extreme sensitivity to textures, her difficulty with interactive play, and her erratic speech occurrences, slowly the tablet drew less attention from the girl's eyes. Her little hands grabbed the stethoscope from my neck pulling me toward her. "Heart check," she exclaimed! With sudden excitement, she placed my hand with the stethoscope on her chest. But when we progressed to looking in her ears, no matter how gentle, she was sensitive and apprehensive. After resisting and then being held, she decisively put on her coat and hat and walked out the door before her mother was done speaking.
During our discussion, her mother explained that she desired for her daughter to gain an outlet of expression for her intelligence. However, she recognized the issues her daughter faced in communication adaptation. This is where many parents and providers share common goals. We desire the best for our youth.
Over my 10 years of pediatric practice, I have realized I must continually strive to further my education and knowledge and reach out to subspecialists, therapists, and counselors. The occupation of a child is discovery through play. As a pediatrician, it is my responsibility to understand this deeply and help families, parents, and children alike, to forge new relationships and conquer fresh frontiers through a team approach. We are so excited to make the idea of total child health a reality through collaboration with therapists, counselors, nutritionists, and teachers. Dare2Care Pediatrics promises to serve as a constant source of communication, coordination, and facilitation for families. Our goal is that every child who enters our medical home leaves a little better off in some way.
That day, many possible diagnoses were introduced into our discussion including autism, sensory processing disorder, and language disorder. We discussed these to some extent, but more importantly, we came up with a practical plan of early intervention. We initiated speech, occupational, play, and music therapy sessions. My colleagues communicate her progress with me, and I regularly meet with Mom to talk about ongoing concerns and celebrate milestones. With each monthly visit, she is gaining confidence. The last time she came in she sat on the table, looked at her tablet briefly, put it down and said to me directly, "Doctor, heart check." When we moved to her ears, she liked the imaginary kisses and tickles and did not pull back. Once we'd finished, she gave me a hug and then said, "Go home." This is a perfect example of why I love coming to work every day. Play is the way!
Dare2Care Pediatrics | 11125 Jones Bridge Road, Suite 100 | Alpharetta, GA 30022
(770) 615-7000 | www.dare2carepediatrics.com