Good help is hard to find, right, caregivers?
One of the blessings of our move to Sioux Falls was connecting with Dr. Scott Schneider as our son’s pediatric psychiatrist.
When we moved here over a decade ago, we were overwhelmed with behaviors from Joey’s autism. The worst were sleepless, hyperactive nights and violent outbursts.
Dr. Schneider’s calm and compassionate care soothed Melissa and me as well as addressing Joey’s challenges. Although as leery as any parents about using meds to control behaviors, we found Dr. Schneider to be conservative with prescriptions, testing constantly for side effects, reducing or even eliminating meds whenever possible, and letting us know about the latest insights into the pluses and minuses of the various pills he prescribed.
It was Dr. Schneider’s care that significantly reined in Joey’s aggression and allowed him (and us) to get some regular sleep.
Dr. Schneider was the secret saint we mentioned here four years ago, who admitted Joey to a behavioral unit for a few hours when I was working nights and Melissa was about to be on the end of a beat down.
As Joey aged, Dr. Schneider tapered off several meds on the assumption that some settling of brain chemistry would bring Joey closer to typical behavior and eliminate the need for drugs with long term side effects.
The doctor was right. But along with Joey’s behavioral maturity comes the sad reality that he’s outgrown oversight by this wonderful pediatric psychiatrist. On the plus side, another doctor in the same psychiatric group is taking over, so our confidence is high.
But we’ll miss the kindness extended to us on visits to Dr. Schneider, his nurse Lori and other staff who showed compassion for the caregivers as well as the patient.
Trying to help Joey with social skills, we coached him to say “Hi, Doctor” when Dr. Schneider entered the room. But we could never get Joey to change his preferred form of farewell, “Bye Schneider.”
So we say “Bye Schneider” with a touch of sadness but with great gratitude for a care giving ally who made a great difference for our son and for our whole family.