Your Child's Doctor

Working With Your Childs Doctor 2There are many benefits to developing a good working relationship with your child’s doctor. 

Even though you can access Birth to Three services without a referral from your child's doctor, a successful partnership with them can help you coordinate care and services for your child. This partnership can also help you make medical and health decisions. Asking questions and sharing insights and information with your child’s medical professionals can make you feel like part of a team and can enhance care for your child.

Tips for developing a relationship with your child's doctor:

  • Choose a provider that has clinical skills, knowledge, experience and interest in your child’s special need.
  • Be a role model. Show by example how you want to be treated and how you want your child to be treated.
  • Let your provider know your whole child. Talk about all aspects of your child’s life and development, not only those you are concerned about. In addition, make sure you talk about all of your concerns with your child’s doctor, not only those that are related to health.
  • Don’t expect perfection.
  • Be understanding. Your child’s doctor sees many patients and has limited time with each one. If you need extra time, be sure to schedule a longer appointment.
  • Think of communication with your provider as a two-way, friendly, respectful conversation. You should feel good about expressing concerns, asking questions and adding insight. You should listen and respect what your provider says as well.
  • Prepare for your child’s appointments. Make a list of questions and concerns you want to bring up with the doctor. Decide what on the list is the most important for you to address.
  • Inform your child’s doctor when you are accessing other services, such as intervention programs or specialized treatment and invite participation in those services, if appropriate.
  • Express gratitude. Say thank you in person or in writing. Let your child’s provider know what was helpful and that you appreciate the assistance.

More information on developing a working relationship with your child’s doctor can be found by visiting the Washington State Medical Home Leadership Network website. The Medical Home Leadership Network is state-wide network of community-based teams promoting medical homes for children with special needs and their families.