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Special Doctors for Special Needs

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, a city is more like it when it comes to special needs children. And, not just any city. It needs to be a big city full of great services, activities, schools, and people. And not just any people. They need to be supportive friends, family, doctors, therapists, teachers, coaches, aides, and so on. I can attest to the difference made by good doctors in our lives, and also crummy ones.

Though James has a dozen different doctors and I have a lot of crummy doctor stories, I want to tell you about a fantastic one we have here. Our pediatrician/ family doctor is not specially trained to deal with disabled children, in fact all of our children and my husband go to see him. But, I wouldn’t take James anywhere else, and even though he moved his office further away from us last year, he is worth the trek with all 3 kids for the service we get. I actually hesitate to recommend him because I don’t want more people to sign up for him and make my wait time longer!

As an example, a few weeks ago when my 5 month old son burned his hand, I called the office in a panic on a Friday evening, and within 5 minutes had Dr. Meer on the phone. He was at home with his family – I could hear children in the background – but he stayed on the phone with me for 30 minutes while I asked one question after another to determine if I needed to drag the kids into the ER or if it could wait. He called back a couple of days later to see how things were going, and after talking for a little while determined again that I did not have to sit in the waiting room with all 3 kids to get the baby’s hand looked at, unless I wanted to of course.

Dr. Meer acts like it’s cute instead of totally annoying when my 2 yr old and 5 month old are both causing a ruckus in his office, and he always takes his time with the kids. When James comes to see him and is terrified of the pressure cuff, he doesn’t make him have his blood pressure taken. He tries to minimize shots and blood draws to the bare necessity, and accommodates many of James’s unusual phobias or anxieties. He doesn’t make me come in every time I need a referral and more importantly, he doesn’t pretend to know everything about James or his disability. Dr. Meer listens to my concerns and offers suggestions. He is concerned without being overly cautious. He makes me feel important and knowledgeable in my role as a parent, and makes me feel like I have been heard and respected, even if I turn out to be totally wrong.

Dr. Meer works with Manhattan Physician’s Group and is located on W. 71st Street off of Broadway. The number is 212-712-1000. I think he takes all kinds of insurance. If you are looking for a pediatrician or family doctor I wholeheartedly recommend him.

This is a perfect example of how “strength in numbers” can really benefit all of us. Many of the good things I have found have been by word of mouth, and the blessings I have been lucky enough to stumble on by myself I feel compelled to share with others. Do you have a doctor or therapist you’d like to recommend in the NYC area, or one you definitely don’t? Please leave your story and their information below in the comments section to share with others.

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