I write today’s post in a state of agitation. I am frustrated by pediatricians who refuse to listen to parents. When a mother sees her child regress into autism after a round of vaccines, I tend to believe them. As parents (especially moms), we KNOW our children better than anyone else. They are connected to us in a special, miraculous way, and nothing else can compare to this bond. Now, I know that I am guilty of diagnosing various ailments through the Great and All-Knowing World Wide Web. Haven’t we all gone searching for answers to medical woes through this venue? And although I know I do not hold a distinguished medical degree from Know It All University (although my parents will swear that I attended a few classes there), I am perfectly capable of researching and understanding medical studies on the Internet.
Why do I seem so aggravated today? Let me start with a little history to bring you up to date. Some of you who are familiar with Skyler know that about 6 months ago, he started having spells where he would hold his breath for no apparent reason. Since a lot of mothers often find themselves checking their little ones during the night to make sure they are still breathing, you can imagine how terrifying it is to observe your child actually stop. Skyler would do this when sitting in a chair watching tv and at night while he was sleeping. So, I go to the Internet and start searching. What I find is that often iron-deficient anemia has been linked to breath-holding spells in young children. That made sense to me because Skyler rarely eats red meat, and I can see how he could easily be iron-deficient. So while I went to work the next day, my mother packed up Skyler and drove to the pediatrician’s office. She specifically asked them about what I had read, but they blew it off and did not do any lab tests to check for iron-deficiency (or anything else). Instead, they referred him to an Ear, Nose, & Throat Specialist who recommended surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids – yikes!
Now, let’s come back to present day. You may recall that we just sent off a variety of lab tests that were ordered by our new DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) doctor. Today, Dr. Biddle’s office called to inform us that…..have you guessed yet? YES, labs indicated that Skyler’s iron was low, and he would need a daily liquid iron supplement to address this! Although I am relieved that we are now aware of this problem so that we can address it before it becomes worse, I am truly frustrated that our pediatrician did not test for this when we first brought it to his attention. I know they don’t have to act on everything that parents bring their way, but couldn’t they have at least given it some consideration before sending us on to get surgery?
No wonder many parents of autistic children end up searching for medical care outside of their local pediatrician. The pediatricians say, “Sorry, but your child is autistic. We don’t know why, and we can’t cure it. There are no actual labs or other tests that were used to diagnose your child. We just observed him, and he looks autistic. You might want to get ABA Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, etc. to teach your child how to function with this disease. Oh, and before you leave, can we administer 6 quick vaccinations? They are completely safe!” From now on, we say, “No, thank you!” We now opt to receive medical care from a DAN! doctor that listens to us, takes time to talk to us as intelligent individuals, orders appropriate tests, and treats actual medical problems that are indicated by those tests. It’s hard to believe that they call DAN! doctors “Integrative” or “Alternative.” In my opinion, they are acting as ALL professional, respectable doctors should; however, pediatricians are now ruled by billon-dollar Pharmaceutical companies. How very sad for our children! I am thrilled with Dr. Biddle, and I look forward to working with him to heal my precious son.
And although this post was not intended as a huge “I told ya so,” directed at our pediatrician’s office, uhm… I kinda did.