Friday, May 17, 2013

Developmental Pediatrician Intake

It's not unusual for a micro preemie to follow-up with a Developmental Pediatrician, actually I'm surprised it's taken so long for us to get connected/referred to one.

I received the intake forms last week and couldn't believe the THREE packets of forms that have to be filled out.

Packet 1:
13 pages of forms and 2 letters to the parent(s)

Packet 2:
2 pages of forms

Packet 3:
15 pages of forms (about 8 pages to be filled out by the child's teacher... yeah, um... not applicable yet)

Besides the fact that filling out medical history forms for so many various doctors and therapists is extremely time consuming, I actually found the intro letter to be a little "off-putting".  I understand that it is a form letter not generally targeted toward the parent of a 1 year old micro preemie, but this is what I read immediately upon opening the large manilla 8x10 envelope, not even sure of who the "letter" came from.

Dear Parents, 
Your child is being evaluated for attention, school, or behavioral problems.
Way to start a relationship with a parent....  do they not know that a parent will read this sentence something like this:

Dear Parents, 
You screwed up your child!!! 

It goes on to provide instruction on filling out the multitude of forms yourself, getting the school/teacher to fill out the other pile of forms, sending them back to the practice - THEN they will schedule an appointment.

To add insult to injury, letter #2 in Packet 1 reads as follows:

Dear Parents,
Here at our center we are frequently asked to evaluate children whose parents are never married, divorced or are in the process of a divorce.  

It goes on to talk about how the parents need to work together in the best interest of the child.  Because of this letter, rather than leaving Father blank on the preceding form I indicated "Donor, no father".

But reading that first sentence of the letter, I read it something along the lines of this:

Dear Parent(s),
Because you are not married, you screwed up your child!!!

Honestly, this is nothing that I lost sleep over, probably because Ella is so young I know I have not screwed her up yet so it's not directed at ME.  But for the parents of older kids who get this package (and generally overall), it just seems like the initial communications come across a bit hostile.

What do you think?


  1. Very much rubs me the wrong way. I can't grasp the reason for thinking it necessary to include that kind of crap.

  2. Yeah, I think I'd have to speak with the office manager about re-wording their standard form letters.

  3. I agree. I would have been pissed off if anything at the babies high risk developmental assessments yesterday would have come across that way.

    Perhaps they need to go through the transition that my field has. It's important to recognize parents as the most important people in children's life, believe that at any given moment parents are doing the best they can and want the best for their children, and recognize their role is to support families (not be holier than thou).

    Surprisingly, I didn't have to fill out a single piece of paper. I believe this is a potential shortfall, as pretty much the entire assessment depended only on what they were able to see during the appointment. But is sounds like what they gave you is overkill. They did ask me about their medical history at the appointment (and I think most of their records are electronic, so they had them at hand).

    I hope that they treat you better than their paperwork suggests!

  4. Yeah, I'd pretty much read it the same way you did. Elena is about to see a speech pathologist since she's not talking yet & the packet I received is clearly geared toward a nuclear type family, definitely not a single mom nor a same sex type family. But those letters you received are definitely more off-putting.

  5. Totally agree with your assessment of the letter.

  6. I think the firm letters they sent were presumptuous and off-putting also.

    We only did one developmental review at the boys' adjusted first birthday. When you're followed by so many specialists and have a decent pediatrician, it was overkill. It was also annoying to find that my insurance didnt cover it and I had a $250 bill per child to pay even though we learned nothing new at the appointment.

  7. I do not like this at all. Can you find a different developmental pediatrician? If not, do you absolutely have to see one? These type of communications are no way to start a relationship. I am offended for you.

  8. I'm with you, that is crazy. I can't believe they don't have a better bedside manner, even in the beginning with paperwork!

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