The right kind of help

An anecdote I read in NeuroTribes this morning resonated with me: a family recounts how their DAN! doctor had little interest in meeting their son, but rather on recommending (and selling) more and more biomedical therapies. This mirrored our own experiences early on with DAN! and similar practitioners: the focus was always on the labs, tests, treatments and “remedies,” never on who C is as a boy.

The doctor who spent the absolute least amount of time with C — barely a minute — was the DAN! doctor who recommended a heavy protocol for C, and who also admonished us for even saying he had autism. (“Don’t use that word. It won’t apply to him in a year or two,” she said.) Even our first pediatrician who told us C was “probably just shy” at 18 months spent a lot more time each visit getting to know him. And his fee was $110 for a visit, not $500 like the DAN! doctor (not covered by insurance). To be clear, the same thing can happen with any doctor/practitioner eager to prescribe medication and move on to the next patient.

From that point forward, we decided any specialist we saw would deal more with our son and who he is as an individual rather than pushing expensive tests and various “treatments” and “cures.” Some suggested that was giving up on C. We don’t see it that way. We felt it was getting to know him.

2 Comments

  1. Hi there. I’m a mother of a child with autism and in the middle of considering if I’d like to start a blog. Yours is the only autism blog I’ve found that doesn’t speak down to parents of neurotypical children or drill into its readers the “incredible hardships” parents of children with autism face. It’s so refreshing to read someone who doesn’t seem to have an agenda. I look forward to reading (whether to not I start my own). Thanks.