Is Your Medical Team Super Bowl Bound?

Yes, it is that time of year again. The Super Bowl is upon us.

While not everyone is a football fan, the path to the Big Game can offer some insights into teamwork that we can apply in our role as a special needs parent.

Through our parenting journey we are a member of a number of teams. We are part of the medical team, providing our child with the specialized care they need to both survive and thrive. And we are part of the education team, providing our child with the knowledge, skills, and training they need to be the most they can be.

As a parent, you play a critical role in all of these teams. Without your contribution, the team will be less-than-successful. But if you play your position to the best of your ability, you give the team the chance to achieve greatness.

On each of these teams there is a leader–the coach. The coach relies on the knowledge they have gained over many years of training and practice. But they also recognize that each opponent is unique and they must understand those special attributes if they are to craft a customized Game Plan that gives their team the best chance to win.

In our world, our child’s physician, teacher, or social worker is the coach. They call plays based on their understanding of our child’s medical diagnosis. But without feedback and accurate, timely information, they are not able to customize their play-calling to the unique needs of our children.

That is where we make our contribution.

We are the Team Scout.

In football, one of the most valuable team members is the scout. They attend opponent games. They document trends, strengths and weaknesses. They observe how the opponent reacts when faced with certain situations. And then they provide this knowledge to the coach to help them improve their game plan.

We must be a scout for our teams. By reporting changes that we observe in our child, we help improve the play-calling by our team leaders. We empower them to make more informed, more accurate decisions about which plays to call. They no longer have to rely on what they learned long ago. They can now augment that knowledge with current information about the uniqueness of our children.

Scouting requires communication. We must be observant. We must document what we see and hear and what we feel. More often than not, our instincts as a parent are right. Don’t hide it or hold it back. Share it with your team leaders. Communicate with them and let them evaluate the data you have to offer.

As we sit down to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday February 6th, let us remain mindful of our role … our obligation … as a member of our child’s special teams. It can take just a single right play call to win the game. Let that call be from something you offered to your team.


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