Special Needs Kids Doctor Appointment Tips

We took our special needs kid for a doctor appointment yesterday and realized that there’s so much we have to learn. I hope sharing these tips will help others and open up discussion for more information.

Special Needs Child

This is the first time that I’m using the term “special needs” for my daughter, Sammi. At the age of 12, she has been diagnosed with Sinus Tachycardia, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Anxiety, Depression, and Narcolepsy. She has severe indoor and outdoor allergies, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, gets frequent sinus and ear infections. She is being evaluated for sensory, processing and learning disabilities. And she sees pediatric specialists, her pediatrician and a counselor frequently.

Pediatric Cardiologist Visit

Yesterday, we went for a 6 month check up to the pediatric cardiologist. We assumed it would be a breeze since Sammi hasn’t been having any symptoms concerning the Sinus Tachycardia. But we were very wrong. We learned that her EKG was abnormal. The doctor thinks it is due to the new anti-anxiety medication she started just 6 days ago. That’s been discontinued. We now have a large list of medications to avoid as the doctor believes they may cause this abnormality again. We go back in one month for another EKG.

All Children's Hospital Heart

Heart Sign at All Children's Hospital Outpatient

Tips for Doctor Appointments

  1. Don’t assume that an appointment is going to be fine. Be prepared for both good news and bad news.  Now, don’t worry yourself over every doctor visit, but just be ready.
  2. Bring a list of all medications, allergies and medications that cause symptoms.
  3. Bring a list of all doctor’s names, phone numbers and addresses. I keep this information on my phone.
  4. Write a list of questions and concerns as you think of them. Bring the list with you.
  5. Expect a long wait or a long visit or both.
  6. Bring snacks, books, magazines, video games, etc. to make the wait a bit easier.
  7. Don’t plan anything important after the doctor appointment.
  8. If you have the results of a recent test or a report from another doctor, bring that along. The paperwork may not have reached the doctor you’re seeing in time for your appointment.
  9. Expect your child to be clingy, upset, annoyed, frustrated. I bet you are too.
  10. Go out to lunch, dinner, get a special snack or a treat after the appointment. This may be expensive, coupons can help.

Please share your tips for doctor’s appointments with a special needs child.

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Connie Roberts

Professional Blogger
Living in the Tampa Bay area, I'm lucky enough to see beautiful sunsets almost every day. Although life can be difficult at times, focusing on the positive and being with my family is what gets me through.

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  1. Very good tips! My son could be considered “special needs” as well. My son sees a neurodurgeon, plastic surgeon, developmental specialist, pediatrician, and therapists. When we go to the docs I think “oh, no problems so this will be a breeze.” And it’s those appointments where I get knocked back down to reality and there is some sort of problem. We go back to the neurosurgeon in a couple weeks, hoping for good news, but we’ll see. We also go for a special treat afterwards, usually ice cream in the summer.

  2. I have special needs myself and I started tp take a notebook to my optometrist appointments. Useful for writing down important stuff that I get told. Parents can do the same thing for doctors appointments for their children.