Good Beginnings 9: Parents as Their Children’s Advocates

When 5-month-old Mason’s head became increasingly misshaped, his mother, Jeannette Winkey of Palmdale, knew he needed help. “Specialists had said that a cranial helmet would help mold his enlarged head,” she said.

Mason had been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, an abnormal accumulation of fluid in in the brain.

“He wasn’t holding his head up, or grabbing on to his own bottle, or rolling over like his sisters, Brooklyn and Holland,” noted the mother of triplets. “I knew his problem was more than cosmetic, and I knew he had to get that helmet before the bones in his head hardened and it would be too late.”

After making more than 30 phone calls and responding to numerous requests for documentation, Winkey finally succeeded in getting her managed care provider to approve the $4,200 custom-made helmet.

The family’s ordeal is featured in this week’s “Good Beginnings” segment, which highlights the importance of early learning, health and safety during the first five years of life.

Because new parents often don’t know where to turn if their concerns about their child’s development or health are dismissed by their doctor, medical group, or insurance company, the segments will provide helpful tips for advocating for one’s child.

“Parents are the best advocates for their child, because they know them best,” said Dr. Norma Rosales, a pediatrician and health policy advocate. “I advise parents to write down their observations and concerns, and present them to their doctor at the beginning of the office visit. And insist on tests or followups with specialists if your concerns are not addressed.”

Five Tips for Advocating for Your Child:

1. Know that you are the expert on your child.
2. Write down concerns and discuss with your pediatrician
3. Ask for and accept referrals and assistance.
4. Keep records of health assessments, tests, and medications.
5. Establish a medical home so one doctor who knows your child well can help manage care.

Distance Learning: Up Close and Challenging

Distance Learning: Up Close and Challenging

Distance Learning: Up Close and Challenging Once upon a time, “distance learning” might have sounded easy: Find resources, sit your kids down, and voilà, they "do school" while you mop the floor or hop on the computer to do your own job remotely. The reality is a lot...

October, 2020 Books

October, 2020 Books

October, 2020 Books October means autumn is in full swing! Here is a collection of books celebrating this magical season... We’re Off to Find the Witch’s House by Richard Krieb, illustrated by R.W. Alley On Halloween night, a group of children set out to find the...

October, 2020 Activities

October, 2020 Activities

October, 2020 Activities What happens to the leaves on the trees in the fall? World Farm Animals Day! What sounds would you hear on a farm? The first week of October is “Get Organized” week! What is something your child can organize in their life? I spy something...

Holiday Pretzel-palooza!  

Holiday Pretzel-palooza!  

Holiday Pretzel-palooza! The gift of food is always welcome, and with four different variations of one easy, basic recipe, everyone will have their favorite. And the best part? Preschool kids can measure, pour and make these almost on their own with just a bit of...

The Food Connection: Giving and Getting

The Food Connection: Giving and Getting

The Food Connection: Giving and Getting The holidays are all about friends, family and community. Even during a pandemic, they offer opportunities to teach children about giving and sharing. While challenges with food security are real and on the rise, connecting with...

Creating Low-Cost (and Meaningful) Holiday Traditions!

Creating Low-Cost (and Meaningful) Holiday Traditions!

Creating Low-Cost (and Meaningful) Holiday Traditions! If 2020 has stretched you a bit thin, you may wonder where to find time, energy and funds to make this holiday season festive. Fortunately, you just need a little ingenuity to maximize the fun, minimize the cost...

Translate