|Artist: Thaneeya McArdle|
I took my daughter up to Children's National Medical Center last week for an all-day evaluation. We saw a doctor in the Executive Functioning (EF) Clinic. And just let me say here, Who knew Children's had an EF Clinic? Certainly I didn't, not until one of our other doctors at Children's Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders mentioned it several weeks ago. An EF Clinic. Imagine that. Been coming to Children's since the Fall of 2000, and I never knew.
So I took her to the EF doctor. I had had a "parent intake" appointment three weeks prior and had gotten a really good sense that Dr. H. knew her stuff. I had some homework -- which I tried to do and at least didn't get shut out/shot down by my daughter. Then while my daughter was off with the assistant for a couple of tests, I spoke with Dr. H. again. And just let me say here, Who knew that we'd strike it rich again with a doctor who heard what I said, remembered it, and acted on it? This is just not typical -- not so much at Children's, whose work is fabulous (but whose billing department gives me nightmares), but in the general arena of local service providers who just don't seem to get the especially special needs of my children. (Though I must note that our local asthma/allergist has been wonderful for the three of us who see him.)
Dr. H. laid out some interventions and the research behind them and gave me some more homework. She spoke with my daughter, with and without me, and she gave my daughter plenty to think about and some homework, too. And just let me say here that though I thoroughly intend to have a little breakdown about the colossal amount of work this is going to take, along with the time, energy, and creativity that I don't have, I'm more hopeful of this plan than I have been of any other intervention laid out for us in the past five years combined. Practical. Tangible. Tailored.
My daughter doesn't take to people or situations quickly. She carries a lot of anxiety around with her and puts up a fair number of walls. Past interventions routinely yielded such statements as, "That never works," and "Those things don't help." But just let me say here, my daughter said, when asked what she thought of Dr. H., "She can take anything and turn it into perfect." And when she described her to her dad, she said, "She's like magic. She can turn nothing into magic"
So just let me say here, Thank you, Dr. H., for bringing back my hope that we can help my daughter and my family. And thank you, Dr. A., for telling me that Children's has an EF Clinic.