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Does your pediatrician support homeschooling or other non-mainstream practices


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you choose to do?

 

Over the years I recall people posting about getting flak from their docs about homeschooling or delayed immunizations or what have you and I just read a post where the poster didn't want to tell their pedi that the baby slept in a prone position.

 

Are most of the doctors out there really that narrow?

 

It's hard for me to comprehend because my husband is a pediatrician who is an avid supporter of homeschooling, delayed immunizations, and stomach sleeping! I don't know if it's just a regional thing or what, but I didn't get the impression that my husband was soooo out there.

 

So how about you? Have you had a hard time finding someone who supports you or at least doesn't talk down to you about your choices?

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I live in New York, near NYC and it is very hard to find a pediatrician who is receptive to homeschooling. The one that we use (rarely) has learned to keep his comments to himself but the office staff is a different story.

 

It is a highly competitive environment where I live and to do something outside of mainstream is considered extremely odd...to say it kindly.

 

On the plus side, most doctors we have come across who are not associated with pediatrics are encouraging with the homeschooling. Go figure!

 

~Melissa

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We have Kaiser Permanente and I've never had any of the pediatric staff talk down about homeschooling. We had one pedi for 9 years and then moved to a different facility where we met our current pedi who is fabulous. I love his no-nonsense approach. He talks directly to the children and includes me rather than the other way around.

 

Unfortunately, my opinion of the adult medicine staff I've met over the years is not so great. :)

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My previous pediatrician was a cry it out, bf-ing was the cause of every perceived problem, co-sleeping was terrible, holding the baby was going to spoil them, the baby will die without vac's on schedule, ear infections must have strong antibiotics, every cough was asthma, the only good baby food comes in a box or a jar ... you get the picture. There weren't many who were not like her and those that were did not accept new patients.

 

When we switched to a family practice doc, he and his partners were tolerant of if not supportive of most of our somewhat crunchy lifestyle. :)

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My pediatrician IS a homeschooler! She has 5 children; her husband stays home.

 

She is also very understanding of my qualms about mecury in immunizations. When I was sharing with her my concerns, she encouraged me to not do it if I was uncomfortable with it.

 

I am very blessed to to have her for our doctor.

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We use a rather large practice, but I try to stick to just a couple of doctors when we go (which is very, very rare.)

The doctor that we've used since my oldest was born (he's 10 now) expressed a great deal of surprise when I told her I was going to homeschool. I'm sure I mentioned her here before. She asked me how I thought I'd be able to teach high school science, considering that she couldn't even help her dd's with their homework and she is a doctor. And then she'd quiz my kids. Oh, and she also scolded me when I told her I was having concerns about vaccinating the youngest.

 

So I stopped using her, and switched to another one who I thought would be more sympathetic.

 

He is much more supportive of homeschooling, but practically threatened me when I told him I didn't want to vax the youngest (at least not yet.) He tried to brush off all of my concerns and then said "Okay, well I'll let you go this time, but the next time you bring him for a well child visit, we will need to do it."

 

Ummmm, do you think I'm ever taking any kid back there for a well child visit? No honkin' way! But I've recently heard about another doctor, one who is pro homeschool, pro delayed vax (or no vax at all), and into natural/homeopathic cures. Woo hoo!!! So I'm planning to check that one out the next time I need a doctor. Oh, and he's family practice, which I think is better for us anyway.

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Our family doctor is incredible, and I feel lucky to have him. He and his wife homeschool, so no problems there--they are totally supportive. He does advocate immunization in the way I wish all doctors would--he respects my autonomy over my family, and he reads/researches avidly and does NOT jump on the bandwagon for every little thing. As an example, when Hep B first came out he had concerns about the formulation and would not recommend it or use it for his family until the formulation changed and stabilized. In terms of my own decision to delay vaccination, and skip some altogether, he has been totally respectful and willing to answer all my questions fully. He has never once pressured me or made me feel stupid.

 

I am pretty lucky to live in an area that is home to many homeschoolers and many funky granola-types who make alternative decisions, so I feel fairly confident I could find another good doctor if I needed one.

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I have no idea what my Pediatrician thinks of homeschooling - which I guess means he at least doesn't strong object.

 

I'm not sure why I should really care what he thinks, though, as long as he doesn't harrass me about it. It's not really a pediatrician issue, in my opinion. I care about his views on health and safety. His views on homeschooling aren't really important to me, though obviously if he made himself obnoxious about it I would care about that.

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We go to a family doc. He has NEVER given me any problems with our differences. He totally understands why we choose to delay vaccinations. Never bats and eye when he finds out I'm still nursing the baby. He hasn't ever mentioned the homeschooling, although he knows we do. When he asked where the baby slept, I told him that she slept with us. He raised his eyebrows and smiled and said, "You KNOW what the experts say about that - right?" He was kidding! He slept with his ds as a baby too.

 

Anyway, if I couldn't be honest with my kids' doctor, I'd switch in a heartbeat.

 

Natalie - sounds like your dh is a keeper doc!!!

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Both our ped doc and internist are very into natural foods and health, and both are supportive of homeschooling as a personal choice.

 

There is a local pediatrician though that has turned in two homeschoolers to CPS for what he/she felt was lack of attention to the child's special needs. Obviously we stay far, far away from that one and go to another practice.

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My previous pediatrician was a cry it out, bf-ing was the cause of every perceived problem, co-sleeping was terrible, holding the baby was going to spoil them, the baby will die without vac's on schedule, ear infections must have strong antibiotics, every cough was asthma, the only good baby food comes in a box or a jar ... you get the picture. There weren't many who were not like her and those that were did not accept new patients.

 

 

This was our experience with the pediatricians in our area. I think they thought I was abusing my children. We changed to a family doctor who has a surgeon wife and they homeschool as a team. She teaches the geography co-op. What a blessing? But, things get sticky because he cannot help with everything that my kids have dealt with and has referred us to specialists who were not supportive of our "seemingly alternative lifestyle." He is also not available in an emergency.

 

Laurel T

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I have no idea what my Pediatrician thinks of homeschooling - which I guess means he at least doesn't strong object.

 

I'm not sure why I should really care what he thinks, though, as long as he doesn't harrass me about it. It's not really a pediatrician issue, in my opinion. I care about his views on health and safety. His views on homeschooling aren't really important to me, though obviously if he made himself obnoxious about it I would care about that.

 

Well the problem is that while you're right when you say it's not about health and safety, but.......

We live in a world in which the definitions of "health" and "safety" have been broadened like you wouldn't believe. And so the first pedi that I talked about took extensive notes when we talked about homeschooling. And when she asked my kids questions about their education, she took notes as well. I think that because we don't have a school nurse, and a guidance counselor, and a lunch room aide, etc., pediatricians may well feel that they are the checkers and the balancers for us.

 

Unfortunately in my state there have been a couple of incidents wherein so-called "homeschoolers" have abused their children and now I think that we're under closer scrutiny in some ways.

 

And so I think that some of us do care about our pedi's ideas on homeschooling because if they are against it, they might be more likely to report us when the second kid in our family breaks his arm or when the toddler seems underweight or when the 7 year old isn't reading yet, you know?

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Homeschooling is a non-issue for our doc, and he has been respectful of our choice to vaccinate selectively (read: hardly at all).

 

I do have one funny story: When our dd went in for her annual check up one year - I think she was four or five - the doctor was running down the list of developmental milestones with us. He asked dd, "Can you say the alphabet?" and she replied, "In which language?" She ended up doing it in Greek. ;)

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My pediatrician probably doesn't approve of delaying vacs, but since she knows nothing (and I do mean nothing) about autism, she follows my lead. She's never mentioned hsing, but it's so common here that I can't imagine anyone saying anything about it.

 

In Venezuela, every doctor we came in contact with told us not to vaccinate after our dss were diagnosed. The developmental pediatrician, our regular pediatrician and dds's neonatalogist were all on board with eliminating vaccines for the boys and avoiding/delaying them for dd. The only voice of dissent was a Vzlan friend who practices pediatrics in the US. Go figure!

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I do have one funny story: When our dd went in for her annual check up one year - I think she was four or five - the doctor was running down the list of developmental milestones with us. He asked dd, "Can you say the alphabet?" and she replied, "In which language?" She ended up doing it in Greek. ;)

 

LOL-giggle.gif

 

Our doctors are great too.

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..but what I've found is that they are non-judgmental about it. Many people in Minnesota homeschool, and so many people across the ideological spectrum here are into health, environment, homeschooling....alternative practices. So I think maybe the pediatrician (and the neuropsych for my ds) may not agree with it, but they support our decision as parents because they see that it works.

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HSing is so prevalent in Texas, that many educated adults are receptive to the concept. Even our principal offered support when I withdrew my kiddos from public school.

Our family physician knows us well: how energetic the children are. When we leave he laughs and says, "God Bless and good luck" (in a nice manner) :)

 

We are fortunate to be in an area where there are a lot of other hs families. It would be a tough environment if everyone questioned and condemned our choices.

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If you search this board for "pediatrician rant", you can read about my son's 18 mo. old well child visit last week which served as a big eye-opener to me about our ped's true attitude about my choices.

 

When I told him that we were homeschooling years ago, he seemed disapproving and quizzed my oldest. I chose to ignore it, and he didn't continue with the disapproving attitude in future visits.

 

My three boys have all slept (key word) on their tummies, because that is the only way they didn't startle awake frequently (and yes, I do know how to swaddle). I didn't tell the pediatrician about that at all (though the full head of hair on the back of the head might have clued him in.)

 

After last week's visit and the poorly disguised hostility that I received, I am looking for a new pediatrician. In case you don't see my other post, the doc stood outside the exam room with an intern and spoke disparagingly about my homebirth and decision to delay some and avoid some vaccinations, thinking I couldn't hear. During the exam, he showed open disapproval for extended nursing.

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We have 2 different pediatricians at 2 different offices and both could care less if I homeschool or not. Maybe because in Texas homeschooling is everywhere, but I have never had any problems with either doctors (seperate clinics and they both have several doctors in practice) about homeschooling or my choice in seperating vaccinations, taking longer to do them, etc.

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My dd hasn't seen a ped in 5 years. I can't stand most of the doctors we've seen in this area. The DO we had dropped the ball so many times on our family, we switched to an MD and the only one who was taking new patients is a complete *donkey*. I did take dd to a ped once for a check up and that ped was neutral about homeschooling. Since then, we've either used urgent care (very rarely) or we've seen our chiro, who would home school if his wife wasn't the office person in his office! We've actually been healthier since starting chiro than we have in the past, with a staff of doctors.

 

Funny thing, we've not really had any negativity from a doctor, but by golly, the man who came out to fix the dishwasher certainly had an opinion and it wasn't positive. I informed him he was being paid to repair the appliance, not pontificate about home schooling. He finally shut up and did the job and left.

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Homeschooling is a non-issue for our doc, and he has been respectful of our choice to vaccinate selectively (read: hardly at all).

 

I do have one funny story: When our dd went in for her annual check up one year - I think she was four or five - the doctor was running down the list of developmental milestones with us. He asked dd, "Can you say the alphabet?" and she replied, "In which language?" She ended up doing it in Greek. ;)

 

Now THAT is a great story. I love it!!!:D

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Our pediatrician has been very good about the homeschooling. She hasn't made a big deal of it or anything, but she seemed to think it was a good decision. Our allergist was downright enthusiastic about it. Our oldest daughter has severe nut allergies, so the ped. was happy to hear that she would be avoiding the perils of school lunch period. The allergist just talked about academics.

 

When my younger girl started sleeping in stinkbug position at 6 or 7 months, the ped told us it was fine, since she was old enough to turn over on her own and all. Don't know if that counts.

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We have an awesome pediatrician that I just love! She has been so supportive, and very much in line with how I want to raise my boys.

 

She is supportive of us homeschooling. She is a fan of the local Montessori school. When my oldest (just 6) was just in for a check-up, she said not to put him in any school without testing and finding out exactly what the teacher would do to meet his individual needs. She thought that homeschooling was a good choice for him.

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The pediatricians I had for the kids were not supportive at all even in non-mainstream practices. When I switched the kids over to our family dr things changed drastically for the better. Our dr is fine with homeschooling (both dr's in the practice... my dr's partner's wife was homeschooled) and both are very supportive of non-mainstream practices. In fact, my dr recommended our dd with autism to go to a DAN dr for possible eval for gluten free casin free stuff (at that point the DAN dr said no for her but possible yeast). Also when the neuro wanted our dd medicated for hyperactivity and seizers, my dr and I talked about this. He said let's not medicate. Let's wait and see how she does. He told me personally that if he was born today and in school today he would be medicated for hyperactivity. He said that his life would turn out so much differently in this time period than back then. We are the same age so medicating kids were unheard of back in my day. So he is very skeptical about medicating kids for hyperactivity.

 

He is also ok with delayed vacinnations which he encouraged me to do so with our dd with autism. He was leary about vacinating her so young with her being autistic.

 

He is a GEM!!!!! We go to the same church so he knows how we are and we are very open with each about our family's issues.

 

I wouldn't pass this guy up.

 

Maybe there is a pediatrician out there that is like my dr... If I had another child, this dr will be taking of him/her. I wouldn't switch at all.

 

HTH-

 

Holly

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Ours is a Family Practitioner, but he is very supportive. He even suggested to me, off the record of course, that Romy might sleep better if I put her on her tummy. He loves that we homeschool. He encourages immunizations, but is satisfied with my objections to the ones we have opted out of and doesn't bring it up any further.

 

Of course, he was a year ahead of me in med school and his partner was in my class, so I wouldn't have gone to their practice if I hadn't already known how he would respond.

 

There are all kind out there, and you just have to shop around to find one that will work for you.

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....our GP is a friend who, to the best of my knowledge, couldn't care less that I homeschool. It's not on his radar. Although I've not discussed it with him, think it's important to him that children receive standard immunizations and I support him in that regard.

 

I think many pediatricians quiz kids now a days under the guise of checking development.

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So Chy's sick one day, run in to the Peds because it was bad, not only did he have meds waiting for us, but he has one of those "return to school" slips..

 

I kind of laughed and said "Hmm, I guess my husband would accept this" and he goes "Aww, yeah I forgot you homeschool.. well, tell your husband if he won't accept it, that I can write him another one" ;)

 

Our peds is awesome. He questions NOTHING I say. And he actually LISTENS to me, even his staff are like this!!

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I did use a pediatrician for the first six months or so after my second son was born ~ this was before our current GP and friend practiced here in town. The ped. was a very kind man with a great deal of experience but I told him flat out that I thought the questions and quizzes were just plain silly. Although, they can serve good purpose for parents who are truly struggling and just plain need help. Since I didn't see myself in that category, though, I didn't feel compelled to determine whether my 3 year old could jump on one foot, etc. I have no doubt that many pediatricians would have labeled all my boys as speech delayed and had issues with a myriad of other things that have been of no concern to me whatsoever.

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Ours is wonderful. She even gives my name to parents with Autistic children that are considering homeschooling. She never pushes vaccinations. She doesn't quiz the kids on their education.

She takes all my concerns seriously and will not hesitate for a specialist referal when needed.

We've been with her for 11 years now and I hate the idea of leaving her.

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The main reason I go to our pediatrician is because he's only 10 minutes away by bus (I don't have a car during the day). He is good on medical issues - which is why I want him if either of my children get seriously ill. We vaccinate (though we've delayed some which was not a problem). He does have an issue with homeschooling: the first thing he asked me was "What about socialization?" - but I make non-commital noises whenever he brings it up so he doesn't bring it up much. I was a bit wary last time I was in though - he took me aside and told me that my dh and I would need to take a special class on the "bird and the bees" because my ds10 is going to start going through puberty. He was not amused when I laughed. If he gives me more grief next time we're in (which isn't often - my kids are healthy as horses), I'll look for another doc. on the bus line.

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My pediatrician is a Canadian OB (who is now Family Practice in the US), a father of TEN, and a former homeschooler. :)

 

He's open to pretty much anything that makes sense medically. I have referred a few other homeschool families to his practice, and the one comment they have all made to me is that they appreciated how much he respected their input on their child's care.

 

We have moved and he is now 30 minutes away, but worth every mile!

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Actually, I think he is really against homeschooling but is trying to hide it. Every time homeschooling comes up he tells me that I need to be sure that the children are getting enough socialization.

 

The worst was during my son's ADHD evaluation. The doctor said to my son (as he was prescribing meds for ADHD) that his hope for my son was for him to be able to eventually go to school. I very quickly told everyone in the room that that was not my goal for my son.

 

Since that interaction, the doctor hasn't said a word against homeschooling.

 

I think this particular doctor is fabulous when it comes to practicing medicine, he just doesn't get it when it comes to homeschooling.

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I guess we haven't been the pediatrician in a long time because I can't imagine this coming up. I would think a standard question would be "How are you doing in school?" And a standard answer would be "Fine." What more is there to say? They offer you a back-to-school-permission slip and you either say, "We don't need one," or you take it. Whatever. ??

 

I can remember when I was pregnant and when my son was a baby, people asking me questions like "Does your doctor know you're doing that?" or "Do you have your doctor's permission to do that?" And it puzzled me then. How would the doctor know I was doing it? Why would I ask his permission? Why would I care whether he approved? ??

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We don't go to the Ped. very much. I believe it is because we go to our Chiro twice a month. Now he is all for homeschooling. He is awesome. God bless Dr. Jackson. (It really makes all the difference to have a professional in the community supporting homeschooling.) Now I do get lots of looks from some of the people in the waiting room! I even had one woman who was i guess a Principal at a nearby school. She asked me all kinds of questions that really offended me! When she left the person sitting next to me said that his wife homeschools their kid and made a few jokes about the lady who was interogating me. He was like an angel! I felt so much better.

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We had a ped once that questioned my dd about her friends. She asked her the same question about her friends in about 5 different ways. I decided not to say anything to her because the dd she picked will talk to anyone. She continued to tell her about her friends at church, her friends in the neighborhood, her friends on her sports team, her cousins, her friends at Grandmas house, etc..... It was so funny....the ped couldn't get her to shut up!! Needless to say we found someone different for the next illness!:)

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Our ped in Florida (which we just moved away from), was great. He has 5 kids and they homeschooled for awhile, but I think went back to public schooling. Anyhow, he was the best ped ever and I dearly miss him. We just started with a ped in our new home and she seems to be indifferent about it, which is fine with me.

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