I majored in Paralegal Studies at Johnson & Wales University. Yes they are known for culinary arts but they have a rocking business school on the Providence, Rhode Island campus. One of the courses I had to take was Legal Research & Writing. It was taught by Earnest G. Mayo, one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. He was a bit arrogant. Looking back it was warranted because he knew his stuff and forced us to know ours as well.
Because I was taught by one of the best, I think some of his research magic rubbed off on me. During my pregnancy with my oldest child no one, not even my Top 25 Ranked African American OB-Gyn, could figure out what was wrong with me. So, I took to Google after spending some time praying and rubbing everything I could think of on my itchy skin. At about 3 a.m. one morning I figured out that I might have Itchy Moms Syndrome. When the office opened, I called my doctor and told her what I found. She sent me off to the lab and it was confirmed. Nothing stopped the itching until my son was delivered about 2 months later but that is another post.
My research continued when my son almost stopped eating everything he had been eating. Instead of searching my son won’t eat and help me get my child to eat I broadened my search to include my son is afraid to eat, he throws up after eating certain foods, my son has sensory processing disorder and won’t eat … you get the picture.
I had to think outside of just my current situation and include the things that scared me – my son not eating because of his diagnosis. All of the other searches lead me to the same conclusion: he might have problems with the food’s texture and smell. Again, I was right. He ended up in a long-term feeding clinic complete with a social worker, occupational therapist, a nutritionist and a counselor. I found the resource via Google as well. Don’t you love the internet?
No matter if you parent a child on the spectrum, a child with ADD/ADHD or a typical child you have to trust your instincts. You know your child better than the pediatrician, clinician and other healthcare support you have. You are the mom and that maternal instinct can be just as valuable as those medical degrees hanging on the walls of doctor’s offices.
One of my absolute favorite taglines for a business is the one from Syms: An educated consumer is our best customer. Let that marinate for a moment. This same concept applies to the medical field. If patients, or a patient’s parents, can communicate in detail their symptoms it is easier to help them. A doctor’s job is not to read minds. They need information to go along with their practical experience and education to make valid diagnosis. Your healthcare professionals are a part of your team.
Use the internet, friends and family to help you keep track of your child’s symptoms and challenges. Record the information to provide to your child’s doctors, therapists and teachers so they can help you help your child to be successful.
How do you research? How do you help your team get good results for your child?