“This post was sponsored by Floating Hospital for Children as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. Thank you for supporting brands that support my blog.”
My oldest son is on the Autism Spectrum and has a variety of other special needs and medical issues. We are so fortunate to live within driving distance of Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center and the Center for Children with Special Needs there . They’ve been great to help us find resources and specialists that are able to appropriately manage our son’s issues and work together as a team.
When you have a child with medical issues that need to be managed, it can quickly become overwhelming. At one point, my son was seeing specialists in 12 different specialty areas. While there are many, many things that I admire most about the Floating Hospital as a parent, is the way the physicians and the staff work together to streamline as much of the patient care as they can. They have a network of affiliations with various pediatric doctors and specialists throughout the region, so we don’t always have to travel into “The City” to be seen.
For parents, managing your child’s medical situation can be stressful, on many levels. I always take a notebook with me to our appointments so I can take notes. The doctors always take time to spell things out for me, explain things thoroughly, answer all questions, and address concerns that I have. Our specialists know that I am going to do research, because I like to be informed. When you get a new diagnosis, you often don’t know what questions to ask, because you aren’t educated on something you aren’t familiar with. They’ve always been patient with me, and know that I am willing to do whatever is necessary to get the best possible outcome for my child, and I feel like they are my partner is overcoming the challenges we face.
For my child, they’ve always done an excellent job of helping him relax and feel comfortable. For a child with Autism and an Anxiety Disorder on top of other medical issues, there are many frightening moments that need to be handled delicately. My son is quite observant, and from a very early age, he has been an active participant in his own care. He will ask the doctors his own questions. He may be anxious about what is going on, but he wants to know what to expect. The Floating Hospital goes above and beyond in creating a child friendly atmosphere.
These are the Toughlings. Just like the kids who are patients at The Floating Hospital, they are a group of animals who are small but mighty, big and strong. When you visit, you can find them in the elevator banks throughout the hospital and stickers are available for patients in clinics.
- Sage is an Owl. She likes to learn about her medical conditions (like my son!), and share her knowledge (like our doctors!).
- Mica is an Ant. She is small (like my son, who at 13, is just now ON the growth chart), but strong so she can conquer anything, and very tough.
- Buff is a badger. He is fierce and loyal, just like the doctors who are in it for the long haul with their patients, to help them through the difficult moments.
- Elbo is an octopus. He is flexible and adaptable, just like the doctors who are supporting us.
- Cozi is a turtle. He is happy and likes to cheer people up. He reminds me of the nurses, who help keep things positive and can help keep us as comfortable as possible.
When my son was younger, one of the things our Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapists helped us learn, was how to integrate specific play activities into our medical plan. We had a weekly group therapy session where kids close in age to my son played board games together. Not only did the kids have fun playing games, they all learned how to be relaxed and comfortable while interacting with their peers, they learned valuable social skills in relation to taking turns and following rules, and could role play what responses are appropriate in different scenarios. They learned how to feel confident advocating for themselves, while mastering goals in Speech, Gross Motor Skills, and Fine Motor Skills.
I’d love for you to take a moment to watch the “You Don’t Have to be Big to be Strong” Video. It really highlights how the Floating Hospital for Children communicates the strength, courage and determination of the patients that inspire every day.
In closing, I also want to mention another aspect that I admire about the Floating Hospital for Children. Over the years, we’ve had a few situations occur when we needed to visit a Pediatric Emergency Department. Because the Floating Hospital has a dedicated Pediatric ER that is open and operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they can ensure that regardless of what time of day it is, children in need of emergency care can be seen quickly, by doctors, nurses, and technicians trained to treat children specifically. Last year, one of my children was very sick and his pediatrician felt like he needed to have some pretty serious tests run in the ER. We were able to utilize the services of the InQuicker Service to check in ahead of time from home, and arrive at our estimated treatment time. We needed an isolation room, so they were able to get that prepared for us in advance and not expose anyone else to the symptoms. Once settled in the room, we were also able to utilize the services of one of the Child Life specialists who was on duty. They brought a tablet with games to keep him occupied (and still) during the test, and she talked me through things so that I wasn’t a nervous wreck. In the end, everything was fine, he had a reaction that mimicked a very serious illness, but just required extended rest at home, and follow up with our primary care physician.
Should your child need to be admitted for in-patient care, they also offer Mini-horse visits to the inpatient floors monthly and pet therapy dogs too! There are many other great features and benefits that come with selecting The Floating Hospital for your child’s care, and I encourage you to really explore their website in depth to learn more about everything they have to offer!
What do you like most about the “You Don’t Have to Be Big to Be Strong” message?