Pediatrics - Special Kids Special Help
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This web site was created to serve as a resource for families of children with neurological or developmental disorders, including epilepsy, autism, and developmental delay.
Authored by the experts in the Divisions of Child Neurology and Developmental Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center (BMC)—professionals with special expertise in caring for children with neurodevelopmental problems—this site is meant to guide parents through their child’s development, diagnosis, and treatment.
In addition to descriptions of specific disorders, this site contains general information on planning your child's education, caring for your family’s well-being, and paying for your child’s special healthcare needs. It also presents detailed explanations of clinical research as well as instructions on how to involve your child in a research study.
In an effort to filter the myriad web sites directed to parents like you, we have included links to the sites that we believe are the most accurate, informative, and helpful to you. A note of caution: beware of miracle treatments. These usually lack scientific data and may be harmful to your child.
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Being a parent is a joyful, rewarding experience. At times, it can also be the most difficult and stressful job there is. You probably have a lot to do every day to meet your child's needs. And caring for a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder makes parenting that much more challenging.
A child's development is delayed if he or she is lagging behind other children of the same age in one or more of the following areas: speech and language, motor skills, intelligence, attention span, learning in school, behavior and emotional control, and social skills.
Epilepsy is diagnosed when a person has had at least one seizure and there is a strong likelihood of future events. It is a neurological condition that can vary widely in symptoms, so it is best treated on an individual basis.
In addition to the emotional and physical challenges inherent in caring for a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder, many families also face significant financial hardships.
Every child has the right to an education—regardless of their disability. In fact, there are numerous laws and programs that have been established to ensure that children like yours receive the quality education they deserve.
Pediatrics Special Kids Research
Boston Medical Center has a large research community committed to conducting research studies in order to better understand child health, behavior, and disease. Some research involves observing your child’s behavior, while other research focuses on development and/or new treatments for specific disorders.
This section of the web site contains helpful information about clinical research study types and phases. It also provides guidance to those parents deciding whether or not to have their child participate in a research study.
The Importance of Research
Discoveries made from research studies have saved lives, extended our lifespan, enhanced the quality of our lives, and improved the clinical care we receive.
Outcomes from research studies can influence clinical care in many ways, including:
- Developing new technology to diagnose diseases, such as X-ray machines, EEG, and MRI
- Diagnosing disease earlier
- Developing new medications to treat disease
- Determining risk factors for certain diseases and how to prevent disease
- Preventing disease through efforts such as anti-smoking campaigns, weight-loss plans, and vaccination