Special Parents Confidential Episode 38 All About ER

All About ER.

For some parents of Special Needs Children, trips to the ER – Emergency Room – can become as frequent as going on family outings. Those trips can be frightening for both the parents, the special needs child, and the siblings. What can parents do to minimize trips to the ER? When is a trip to the ER necessary?  What can parents do to minimize their children’s fears when going to the emergency room? Additionally, what should parents do to make sure their concerns are being met? 

For this episode, we are fortunate to have as a guest, Doctor Patricia Schultz an emergency medicine trained physician.  After finishing residency and practicing in the ER for a few years, she found her real passion was utilizing her medical training to help patients and families get the best medical care possible. She also taught medical students how to perform to the best of their abilities while having the utmost empathy, respect and compassion for their patients.  Dr. Schultz is currently a healthcare consultant in the private sector, and is working on writing her second book. 

She talks about how parents can lessen children’s fears of the ER and the doctor’s office in general. What parents can do to help doctors and staff members understand the unique challenges our kids face. How parents can best advocate for their kids. How to make sure that in an over-worked environment like a busy ER, that the staff is really focusing on our children.

Dr. Schultz also discusses what parents should do when conflicts arise with the medical staff, which unfortunately can happen. The dangers of trying to diagnose our kid’s medical problems through internet searches. Finally, why it’s important to follow up an ER visit with an appointment to your family doctor or pediatrician.

Disclaimer:  Dr. Schultz’ contributions in this episode are for informational purposes only. Always talk your family physician or pediatrician before trying any kind of medical treatment, therapy, or medication.

Links Mentioned In This Podcast

American Academy of Pediatrics – Their main website page.

Healthy Children From The AAP – Website from the American Academy of Pediatrics that allows for customizing your family health information.

The Mayo Clinic Symptoms Page – Database of illnesses, symptoms, and first aid treatments.

A Reminder: Please share Special Parents Confidential with your friends, family, and  your connections on social media. You can do this easily with the social media buttons located right below this paragraph. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Add us on Google Plus, Tumblr, Linked In, Pintrest, Stumble Upon, Reddit, Instagram, Snapchat, or other social media sites. You can also sign up for our email service and have new posts and podcast episodes delivered right to your inbox the moment they’re available online. That form is located to the right of this text.

We’re also on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIN, and Poddirectory as a free subscription. Additionally, please consider writing a review about our podcast on any of those services. Anything you can do to help spread the word about Special Parents Confidential will help us be able to continue these podcasts. Thanks for your support!

Special Parents Confidential Episode 37 Act Early.

Learn The Signs. Act Early. 

Autism is a growing concern for parents across the United States and around the world. It’s estimated that 1 in 68 children will be diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. The good news is there are now more effective treatments and therapies than ever before, and there is more credible research and information that can help parents, educators, and medical professionals work effectively with children and adults with Autism to lead healthy and productive lives.

To help parents understand what Autism is and how to better monitor their children’s developmental milestones, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, commonly known as the CDC, has launched a new program website: Learn The Signs. Act Early From the website: 

“From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern.”

In this episode of Special Parents Confidential, we talk to two guests from the CDC; Katie Green, who is project lead for Learn The Signs. Act Early, and Dr. Jennifer Zubler, who is a pediatric medical consultant for the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental DisabilitiesYou’ll learn about how the program began, some of the milestones that your child should achieve, the importance of early diagnosis, and how to talk to your doctor or pediatrician if you are concerned about your child’s developmental progress.

Important Links From The CDC:

Learn The Signs. Act Early.

Developmental Milestones.

Printable Milestones Checklist pdf.

Amazing Me – It’s Busy Being 3! Parents, this book for children ages 2-4 will show you what to look for as your child grows and develops. Whether you read this story to your child online or have a hard copy of the book, ask your child to find the koala bears. Each page with a koala bear also has a star and milestone at the bottom just for you. See if your 3-year-old is able to do some of the same things as Joey.

What To Do If You’re Concerned.

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Resource website from the CDC with great information on many issues for parents of special needs children.

As always a reminder that if you like this episode of Special Parents Confidential or any episode we’ve done, please share our site with your friends, family, and all your connections on social media. You can do this easily with the social media buttons located right below this paragraph. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us on Google Plus, Tumblr, Linked In, Pintrest, Stumble Upon, Reddit, or other social media sites that you prefer. You can also sign up for our email service and have new posts and podcast episodes delivered right to your inbox the moment they’re available online. That form is located to the right of this text. We’re also on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIN, and Poddirectory as a free subscription and if you have a moment, feel free to write a review about our podcast on either of those services. Anything you can do to help spread the word about Special Parents Confidential will help us be able to continue these podcasts.
Thanks for your support!

Special Parents Confidential Episode Transcriptions Are Now Available

Special Parents Confidential Episode Transcriptions Are Now Available.

To all of our listeners:

When I first launched Special Parents Confidential in January of 2013, my goal was (and remains) to provide accurate and credible information for parents of special needs children. My other goal was that these episodes would be free of charge. 

I’m fortunate to say I have achieved both those goals. However, despite that there is no charge to listen to these episodes, there are expenses to creating the podcast. Hosting the website, time spent recording and producing the episodes, and promoting the podcast on social media, are some examples. During all this time, Special Parents Confidential has been entirely funded by myself. The result is, because of the costs, and the commitments I have with a full time job, I can only produce these episodes in my spare time, which isn’t very often.

How You Can Help

To help lower these costs, I would like to ask for your help. Special Parents Confidential episode transcriptions are now available on Amazon Kindle Books. The transcriptions sell for only $5.00 USD for the one time download, and is available to listeners in other countries as well.  Each transcription is in the Kindle eBook format, and contains active links to every website mentioned in the podcast. The Kindle Book Reader is a free app, available for multiple operating systems. You can download it on the Kindle Website here.

The first episode transcription that we are offering for purchase is one of our most recent podcasts. Medical Advocacy Episode 35 with Teri Dreher, RN, of North Shore Patient Advocates. You can find this transcription by clicking here

In the coming weeks I’ll be posting other episode transcriptions. If there is a particular episode that you would like to see transcribed, please Like our Facebook Page. Then you can let me know your preference in our status space.

If you have found any information in our episodes useful, purchasing a Special Parents Confidential Transcription eBook is a great way to help support us. This way we can continue producing more episodes in the future. My next goal for Special Parents Confidential is to be able to provide a new episode at least once a week. Your support, through purchasing these transcriptions, can help make that new goal a reality.

Want to help even more? Please be sure to post a review of the episode transcription on the Kindle page. You can also share this post, and your review, with all of your social media sites.

To purchase your eBook Transcription of Special Parents Confidential Episode 35 on Amazon Kindle Publishing, click here.

Thanks for your support!

John Pellegrini

Special Parents Confidential Episode 36 Mentoring Programs

Mentoring Programs

Mentoring programs for children are some of the most successful social and educational support systems available. 

Many experts on child education will tell you that having someone who can mentor, coach, or demonstrate to kids how to do things outside of school and family is vital. Being able to talk to an adult mentor who can help a child with school goals and career choices can make a huge difference for a child’s confidence and outlook. Significant studies over the years have shown that kids who have been helped through mentoring programs are less likely to get into trouble in school, become more confident about their school performance, and get along better with their friends and families.

Now there’s a mentoring organization just for kids with special needs. Project Ready Set Goal , based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, offers mentoring for children with learning disabilities and physical disabilities. They help kids with academic and career guidance, building leadership skills, and help with social issue strategies and learning how to advocate for themselves. And it’s all done for free.

In this episode we talk with Janine Thomas, executive director of Project Ready Set Goal to find out more about the services and help they provide. She talks about their screening process for mentors, gives examples of how mentoring programs can help kids with school, as well as their future life choices.  Janine also talks about why she wanted to focus on mentoring for special needs children, and how she hopes that her idea will grow across the country.

As always a reminder that if you like this episode of Special Parents Confidential or any episode we’ve done, please share our site with your friends, family, and all your connections on social media. You can do this easily with the social media buttons located right below this paragraph. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us on Google Plus, Tumbler, Linked In, Pintrest, Stumble Upon, Reddit, or other social media sites that you prefer. You can also sign up for our email service and have new posts and podcast episodes delivered right to your inbox the moment they’re available online. That form is located to the right of this text. We’re also on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIN, and Poddirectory as a free subscription and if you have a moment, feel free to write a review about our podcast on either of those sites. Anything you can do to help spread the word about Special Parents Confidential will help us be able to continue these podcasts.
Thanks for your support!

Special Parents Confidential Episode 35 Medical Advocacy

Medical Advocacy.

One of the continuous aspects of having a child with special needs is medical care and medical issues. Parents of special needs children often find themselves visiting medical facilities as often as they visit family or friends. Sometimes more often.

Understanding the medical issues our children have, however, isn’t easy. Too often the medical experts we see are not always able to give us the answers we need when we need them. Or in some cases the answers we get create even more questions. Sometimes parents turn to the internet to understand more about the issues and challenges our kids face. But the internet is not always a reliable source of information, and that can lead to poor choices, and bad outcomes that could have been prevented if the parents had access to the right help when they needed it.

With the increasing ‘corporatizing’ of the American medical industry, and insurance companies regulating how medical care can be done, with the emphasis being placed on cost-efficiency, parents can be left confused and uncertain about the care their children are being given. Medical groups and insurance companies are trying to address this situation by offering in-house medical advocacy services, but there are doubts as to whether those services are being made for the good of the patient or the good of the industry.

In the past few years a new kind of service business has taken root: private professional medical advocacy. These companies are usually medical professionals, such as Registered Nurses, who work exclusively for the patients or their caregivers and guardians. Their role is to advocate for the families to make sure that the medical companies and the insurance companies are offering the care and services that the patient really needs.

One such business is North Shore Patient Advocates, based in Chicago. John recently spoke to their President and Chief Advocate, Teri Dreher, RN, to find out about some of the problems that families can encounter when dealing with medical groups and the health insurance industry, and how private medical advocates can help families.

Links Mentioned In this Podcast

North Shore Patient Advocates – Family medical advocacy services based in Chicago, IL.

Alliance of Professional Health Advocates – International database of health care advocates for the United States, Canada, and Worldwide.

National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants – National database of health care advocates.

Or, google search Private Professional Healthcare Advocates for your area.

 

 

Special Parents Confidential Episode 34 Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome. Myths and Facts.

Down Syndrome is one of the most well known of all disorders and disabilities. The common facial characteristics of Down Syndrome, along with certain physical challenges make the disorder easy to recognize. Yet, for all the familiarity, most people know very little about Down Syndrome and how it affects those who have the disorder.

Despite many years of progress and improvements in medical research of it’s causes, most of “what we know” about Down Syndrome is rooted in beliefs that are out of date by many decades. Often, parents who’s child has been given a diagnosis are told to expect a very bleak future, with many medical challenges, along with physical and cognitive difficulties for their child. While that can be true to a certain extent, in most cases the future for someone with Down Syndrome is nowhere near as bad as some people believe.

Fortunately many organizations across the United States, and around the world, have come out to help parents, families, educators, and even the medical community gain a better understanding of Down Syndrome and how it affects those who have it. One such organization is the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan. They offer a variety of programs and services to help and inform everyone who has interest in Down Syndrome. 

We’re pleased to interview Meredith Lange, Community Relations Specialist of DSAWM, who talks about the common misconceptions about Down Syndrome and provides the facts. She also talks about what life is like for children and adults with Down Syndrome and how most of the misunderstandings cause more harm than good. People with Down Syndrome can do well in school, can have successful careers, even becoming business owners and executives.

Links to Websites mentioned in the podcast:

National Down Syndrome Society 

National Down Syndrome Congress 

Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action 

Global Down Syndrome Foundation 

As always a reminder that if you like this episode of Special Parents Confidential or any episode we’ve done, please share our site with your friends, family, and all your connections on social media. You can do this easily with the social media buttons located right below this paragraph. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us on Google Plus, Tumbler, Linked In, Pintrest, Stumble Upon, Reddit, or other social media sites that you prefer. You can also sign up for our email service and have new posts and podcast episodes delivered right to your inbox the moment they’re available online. That form is located to the right of this text. We’re also on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIN, and Poddirectory as a free subscription and if you have a moment, feel free to write a review about our podcast on either of those sites. Anything you can do to help spread the word about Special Parents Confidential will help us be able to continue these podcasts.
Thanks for your support!

Special Parents Confidential Episode 33 Lt. Governor Brian Calley Returns

Lt. Governor Brian Calley Returns.

What a difference a year can make. In December of 2014, the Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules was going to approve some changes to the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) that would have severely impacted parent participation in their children’s education. However, during the only Public Comment time the committee allowed, Michigan’s Lieutenant. Governor, Brian Calley asked the committee to suspend the meeting and take no further action, because he felt that there had not been an adequate amount of time to allow parents to have input into the rules changes.

What followed next, in 2015, was an unprecedented listening tour undertaken by the Lieutenant Governor. He traveled around the State, holding public meetings where he listened to parents of special needs children talk about their concerns. These meetings were up to two hours in length, during which the Lt. Governor said very little and allowed every parent who attended to speak.

I was privileged to attend the meeting the Lieutenant Governor held in Grand Rapids, and had a chance to ask him if he would be a guest on Special Parents Confidential to talk about his efforts. That interview took place in June and you can listen to it here – Special Parents Confidential Episode 24.

In November of 2015, Lt. Governor Calley completed his listening tour and compiled a report summarizing the key points from parents for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who then appointed Lt. Governor Calley to head a Special Education Reform Task Force, which would take the Lt. Governor’s report and make a recommendations strategy for the State Board of Education. That report was presented to the Board of Education in January of 2016.

We are very pleased that Lt. Governor Brian Calley has taken time from his schedule to talk to us on Special Parents Confidential about the Special Education Reforms that the Task Force has recommended, and what Michigan families can do to help. Lt. Governor Calley also talks about a new project that he and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein (who I interviewed in August of 2015 – Special Parents Confidential Episode 30) are working on together, called the Hidden Talent Tour.

As always a reminder that if you like this episode of Special Parents Confidential or any episode we’ve done, please share our site with your friends, family, and all your connections on social media. You can do this easily with the social media buttons located right below this paragraph. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us on Google Plus, Tumbler, Linked In, Pintrest, Stumble Upon, Reddit, or other social media sites that you use. You can also sign up for our email service and have new posts and podcast episodes delivered right to your inbox the moment they’re available online. That form is located to the right of this text. We’re also on iTunes, Stitcher, and Poddirectory as a free subscription and if you have a moment, feel free to write a review about our podcast on either of those sites. Anything you can do to help spread the word about Special Parents Confidential will help us be able to continue these podcasts.
Thanks for your support!

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s Website

Summary of the Special Education Reform Task Force Recommendations

Full Report of the Special Education Task Force (.pdf form)

Information on the members of the Special Education Task Force

Information on the Michigan Hidden Talent Tour 

Michigan Senate Website – including the Find Your Senator link

Michigan House Website – including the Find Your Representative link