Do no harm–that’s part of the Hippocratic Oath that most medical schools ask their graduates to pledge and abide by. I’m sure most doctors would never intentionally harm any patient, however, I’ve had a couple incidents where my eyebrows went up after comments made by doctors…
My grandbubs recently crossed the line from infants to toddlers each having turned 1 year old. So where did the time go? It seems like I was just flying off to the deliveries of these darn cute bubs! With the 1st year comes another visit to the pediatrician for a well-baby check. I’m grateful beyond words that these boys are both healthy and growing well, but it reminds me that parents—as well as (adult) patients in general—need to be advocates for their children. Being an advocate encompasses having a basic knowledge of the developmental milestones expected of your child and/or researching to verify information given that seems a bit unreasonable.
Case in point….one of my grandbubs’ docs told their parents he needed to be saying 8 words. If you’re a grandparent or seasoned parent you probably did a double-take with that. But yes, they were told a 1 year old should be speaking 8 words. The bub made sounds and had some words—not all full words. For example wa-wa for water, but his intent was clear. Not only that, he understood what was asked of him. But this Mom his stressed; I felt it was unreasonable—and very skeptical.
Now, I have a lot of respect for those in the medical profession—heck, my sister’s an ER nurse and my daughter is an OB/GYN resident. BUT that doesn’t mean I defer all to doctors, as if they were gods walking on Earth. And the experience my husband recently had will show you why!
Poor Mr Teacher Karen succumbed to the flu just after Christmas. It hit him hard—knocking him down for several days. Sadly this was the time I was scheduled to go off for another grandnanny shift so I left him with a fever, aches and chills to pull through as best he could by himself. Apparently he felt so poorly, was coughing so violently he decided to go into Urgent Care. Having self-medicated with NyQuil and being sick sick sick it wasn’t surprising to find his blood pressure elevated. He was scheduled to go back for a follow-up visit a couple weeks later and saw another doctor. This doctor noted what the level for high blood pressure would be. That number made my husband question him: “Didn’t they change what’s considered high blood pressure?” The doctor said, with assured authoritativeness: “Oh no, it’s been this for a long time.”
When Mr Teacher Karen came home he asked me what reading would be considered high blood pressure. I told him it changed to 130/80 mm Hg from 140/90. He asked if I was sure, I said “Yes” but I pulled up an American Heart Association article and sure enough those were the numbers. He then told me what happened at his appointment. I was incredulous. YES, doctors have a lot to keep up on, but THIS is basic. And when questioned, he could have tried to back up his claim…and learned something in the process!
So, why am I telling you this? Because, doctors are people too and they can make mistakes. It’s incumbent that we take responsibility for our own health AND for our children’s health and wellness.
Back to saying 8 words by 1 year’s old….
I’ll tell you right now—that’s NOT what is expected or what the average 1 year old is going to be doing. I’m not saying it could never happen but do NOT stress about it or grill your kiddo with new words trying to make it happen if they’re not ready and/or interested…in the long-run it’ll backfire on you. What IS normal for a 1 year old is up to 3 words…and not necessarily spoken clearly either! That’s a far cry from 8! One year olds WILL be acquiring language quite rapidly however—both in building their vocabularies and in comprehension. Read the Child Development Tracker on Language by PBS for more information.
Parents are their children’s advocates—arm yourself with the accurate, date-backed knowledge…read up on your growing child; get an idea of what stage is coming up next and come prepared with any questions you may have about that stage or any behaviors or skills/abilities you’re concerned about now. Stay abreast of current news—as the above experience with Mr Teacher Karen indicates, sometimes doctors aren’t up-to-date. Join a parent group for support and/or ask family members.
I started this because of my grandbubs’ 1 year well-baby checks, but I know this time of year lot of kindergartens are registering. Families will be wondering if their child is ready to go on to public school—whether it’s the traditional, but quickly disappearing, ½ day kindergarten or full-day. Read Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? I actually was pleasantly surprised by the criteria they listed—if only that was what all the schools expected of their kindergarteners–but it’s not. Too many of them are experiencing push-down academic policies that have them doing work that was being done by 1st and/or 2nd grade students. I remember one of my kidlets going off to kindergarten and being tested on shapes. You’d probably think if a kindergartener knew the standard circle, triangle, square and rectangle that’d be fantastic, but on this test there was diamond, oval, octagon and…. trapezoid! When her Mom told me about it, I’m not going to lie, I was a bit outraged—what was it even doing on a test sheet for a kindergartener? In addition to families preparing to register for kindergarten families might still be looking for preschools. Read Are You Ready…for Preschool?
Yours in Play!