Get Diagnosed

Disabilities come in a broad range of symptoms and appearances. Some disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, Hydrocephaly, Spina Bifida or Paralysis are easily seen and can often be diagnosed at birth. Others, such as Autism (Aspergers Disorder/Syndrome), mild Cerebral Palsy or Developmental Delay are not so easily noticed and can take years before symptoms become noticeable enough for a parent to seek a diagnosis.

You've done the initial test(s) and you have your family doctor's diagnosis and opinion, now is the time to get a second opinion. This is not about questioning your doctor's abilities. This is about making absolutely sure that you and your doctor are in complete agreement as to what the problem truly is. Sometimes a team approach to diagnosing and treating your child will result in better treatment and care. There may also be more information gained by seeking an opinion from a specialist that will help you acquire the additional information and insight you may need. Especially when it comes time to order treatments and apply for specific benefits programs.

Obtain a second opinion by requesting one through your current family physician or pediatrician. You may also ask your attending physician if your child is an in-patient at a treatment facility or hospital. Insurance companies can also request and set up a second opinion for you with one of their panel physicians. (Click the "Insurance" button for more information)

Most often it is up to you, the parent, to request the second opinion. Most physicians will advise this, but on the off chance that they don't, you, as the parent, need to remember that you can take the initiative in having this done.

Remember, Ask, Ask, and Ask! Be sure you understand your child's medical diagnosis and the treatments proposed by the physician.