Parenting comes with worries and anxieties that never existed before having children. But when you have a child with complex medical needs, those worries and anxieties are compounded. Many families with children diagnosed with complex medical needs are not given clear prognosis or expectations. There is nothing more frustrating for a parent than not having answers as to why something is medically wrong with their child and no clear picture of what to expect or how to move forward.
This lack of clarity, direction, and resources results in families navigating complex medical care feeling exhausted, stuck, and guilty about not spending enough time with their healthy children, disillusioned with the health care system, and ultimately feeling like no one understands. But working with other families and experienced complex care providers like Spark Pediatrics can help.
How we support children with complex medical needs:
Unlike private duty nursing or home care, PPEC Centers are not dependent upon one staff member showing up to the home to provide care. If a private duty or home health nurse is sick or has an emergency, there is often no back up to assume their care duties. This can leave families in a difficult position of having to call out of work or miss other engagements due to lack of care support. Because Spark Pediatrics utilizes a team-based approach, there are always staff there to care for your child. Parents and families can feel confident knowing that our centers are open and accessible during their stated hours.
Opportunities for socialization
The life of a child with complex medical needs often revolves around medical care. Because the tasks associated with medical care are time consuming and individualized, social development and play is often deprioritized or forgotten. Spark Pediatrics creates an environment where a child with complex medical needs receives their necessary medical care, while experiencing the day-to-day joys of childhood. Playing games, building bonds, learning new skills, gaining confidence. PPEC centers like ours allow children to engage with one another and other adults.
Because most kids attending Spark Pediatrics require multiple therapies, we bring therapists to the center. While at the center your child can receive regular physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and swallow therapy as prescribed. Many of the centers also provide music and art therapy. By bringing therapies into the center, there's no burden of transportation on the family and the time allocated for appointments is drastically reduced.
On average, a child with complex medical needs sees 13 specialists. This is in addition to the requirements for medical equipment and supplies. This long list of required needs along with navigating the health plan coverage can be overwhelming. The team at Spark Pediatrics has relationships with local resources, health plans, medical providers, and are experienced navigating these complex systems. Our team is committed to ensuring each child receives the fullest extent of care and equipment required to achieve their developmental goals. The teams work hand-in-hand with families to give advice, provide contact numbers, make phone calls, and help families advocate for a child’s needs. They also provide transportation to and from specialist visits.
Continuity of care
Every child in our care has unique needs. It is essential that we understand each child, know their baseline, and are able to pick up on the smallest of details that indicate a child is worsening or improving. To pick up on these nuances, caregivers must spend time with and develop relationships with children. Children often spend years with our teams. This allows for truly individualized care, and a deep understanding of specific care needs. This continuity of care leads to improved outcomes and development of complex medical needs.
Having your child in a PPEC center like ours gives you access to an experienced team of pediatric nurses. They will listen and understand your goals and needs, and help you develop a plan to meet those goals and needs. Caring for a child with medical complexities can feel like a lonely journey, but you'll have a team on your side at Spark Pediatrics.