Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Postcript

Or, I could have titled this Why I Love My Son's Doctor.

I don't mean to rank on all doctors out there, because I've had some good ones, but sometimes I wish they'd understand that it really is relatively easy to win your patient's respect and admiration:

1. Listen.

2. Respond (without condescension).

3. Tell me something that I wouldn't find online, something beyond a pat answer, something that tells me you really are invested in your profession and your patients.

I emailed Dr. Milanese after Ethan's appointment yesterday, to touch on a few things I'd forgotten to mention and ask a couple questions.

The fact that Milanese encourages people to email her still tickles me. Even better is that she nearly always responds within 24 to 48 hours, tops. Then there's the fact that she responds to me as almost a peer or at least a partner rather than a clueless one who needs a finger wagged at me for "overreacting."

Then there is the response I got. To my comment on Ethan's teachers one time saying, "He's probably just going to be one of those kids who aren't 'into' play," she wrote:

It's not okay to me to say that he's just not into play. That's like saying that a non-verbal kid just isn't into speaking!

And then, to my question on how to encourage Ethan to be creative in play, after I stated that I have not yet found the switch to flip on his creativity:

The reality is that you can't be with him in play 100% of the time. So tasks that keep him busy and allow him to learn to follow a pattern or list of activities independently are okay. However, to encourage imagination someone needs to play with him, model the flexibility and introduce new's not a flipping the switch metaphor; more like beach erosion a little at a time, with successive dents made.

Something about that statement brought me a bit of peace. There are times I feel I am looking for some sort of holy grail and just not finding it. But now instead of thinking of searching for the spark that will set Ethan off, I will think of the ocean waves, slowly doing their mysterious work.

This is not something you see overnight, and that is okay. It is something you look back at over a period of time and realize, yes, there is a difference. I couldn't see it before, but now, in time, I do see.

I suppose, really, that is how all of us change.

1 comment:

Floortime Lite Mama said...

Deb I LOVED this post
Dr Milanese's comments were spot on
the first one really got me
PS did you know that blogger's word verifications have gotten complicated
I have been asking bloggers ( if they feel like ) to allow comments without verification or do the comment moderation