Special Needs & ADHD
Special Healthcare Needs at NorthShore
If your child has special healthcare needs, it may feel like you are spending a lot of time at the doctor. Whether your child has severe healthcare needs or needs help managing a behavior problem such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), trips to the pediatrician, specialist, therapy and more extend beyond an annual well-child exam. However, it is important to remember to still schedule an annual exam with your pediatrician. Specialized doctors’ visits do not always ensure your child is up-to-date on immunizations, eating, and developing properly, and you may miss out on important information pertaining to your child’s overall health.
Your pediatrician can also play a role in advocating for your child during the school years by providing documentation to help the school understand your child’s needs and how their disability may affect their education. This could include anything from needing more time for tests, special seating arrangements or providing input on whether your child meets the criteria for an Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and/or 504 plans. This may require that you sign a release approving your doctor to share medical information, including screening results and any medication your child is currently taking, with the necessary members at your child’s school.
Communication and teamwork is key, so make sure to talk to your pediatrician and Family Services Specialist about any concerns or obstacles you are facing when it comes to your child’s healthcare needs. Parents, pediatricians, and the Family Services Specialists at NorthShore can work together as a team to get the education, resources, and referrals needed to help your child achieve optimal health and also thrive in their school system.