Thursday, April 04, 2013

Autism Understanding & Acceptance 2013, Day 4

An ode to Dr. Schechter:

He was our pediatrician in Bloomington who referred us to First Steps, Indiana's early intervention program. We started going to him when Thomas was just over a year old, after we moved from Virginia to Indiana. I...n Virginia, we had been in a large, multi-physician practice, and it was their routine during the first year of a child's life to schedule each well-child visit with a different doctor - so everyone knew each other.

Note: Hindsight being 20/20, I believe this was an extremely ill-advised practice. No opportunity for continuity, or to see lack of progress.

In comparison, Dr. Schechter had his very own small practice, and was never, ever in a rush while in the exam room. He always ran behind because he spent the time he needed with each patient, and then personally TYPED notes from that visit. Then, at your next visit, before he came in the exam room he read over those cards and followed up on questions or stories you had shared. He did "Medical Home" before anyone knew what a Medical Home was.

He was a perfect combination of Mr. Rogers and Ichabod Crane: tall & lean, and one of the kindest & gentlest human beings I've met.

He referred us to First Steps when Thomas was 15 months old because he wasn't babbling yet, he had this funny crawl (which I will post about tomorrow), and had yet to take any steps on his own. Then in the following months & years, paid close attention, listened, and offered medical recommendations & and advice in a way that never made me feel like I wasn't doing enough. With his manner, he managed to put me at ease. Looking back, during those appointments, it was one of the few times I didn't feel like a failure during those early years.

I assumed he was close to retirement back in 2007, so I do wonder if he's still practicing. If not, there is a great hole in the heart of pediatrics that won't be filled.See More

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