Thursday, April 9, 2009

Eagle Scout Project

N is currently considering doing an Eagle Scout project that would involve eating disorder advocacy. He is thinking of putting together informational packets about anorexia and distributing them to local pediatricians and middle-school counselors. He is thinking of including a page telling his story, a list of symptoms and treatment options, a pamphlet with local treatment resources, and maybe the Kartini Clinic DVD. What else could he include?

Previously, as N had thumbed through lists and lists and lists of possible Eagle Scout projects, he just ho-hummed. I could tell that he felt like these ideas wouldn't make much of a difference in the world. After several days of throwing ideas back and forth, he started exploring the idea about helping others with eating disorders. As soon as we starting talking about all the possibilities in this area, he really got excited.

You may remember that N's pediatrician was really unknowledgeable about anorexia. The pediatrician didn't recognize his symptoms as an eating disorder. Once we identified the problem as anorexia and asked for a referral, his pediatrician referred us to a psychologist that deals with children with behavior-disorders (which is obviously an inappropriate referral). As I look back now, I'm also so surprised that the pediatrician didn't immediately order tests and set up a weekly-check-up schedule. At one point when we really needed to have a quick medical work-up, we lucked out and saw a different on-call pediatrician who had done a rotation in an eating disorder clinic. He knew what tests to do and how to read the results. I know that was a huge blessing at the time. Until we found a team at our local children's hospital, N really didn't have the medical attention that he should have had.

Anyway, N feels like it could really make a difference if he provided additional (especially local) information about anorexia to pediatricians like his own. I'd like to help him find a way to do this so that he can maintain some bit of privacy and yet still make a difference. Any suggestions?

7 comments:

Laura Collins said...

Of course I recommend the materials on or linked to from the F.E.A.S.T. site, but I'm prejudiced.

As for his privacy, I'm sure any doctor he approaches with the information will be duty bound to keep his privacy. And he can use just his first name, perhaps? I think people would understand and respect that. He's very young!

Wendy said...

Thanks for the good ideas Laura! I think we will use his first name only. Why didn't I think of that? I do think that we will use some of the FEAST materials. I'm hoping that there is a good list of symptoms and recommended actions for pediatrians there.

Jane said...

From the American Academy of Pediatrics
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/111/1/e98
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;111/1/204.pdf

From the Society for Adolescent Medicine:
http://www.adolescenthealth.org/PositionPaper_Eating_Disorders_in_Adolescents.pdf

Best of luck to your son with his project.

Wendy said...

Wow Jane! These are great. Thank you!

Erica said...

I am so impressed with your son! He is going to make an amazing Eagle Scout.

mommajo said...

What a wonderful idea for an eagle scout project. Way to go!!!

Wendy said...

Thanks for all of your ideas and encouragement. I really appreciate all of you!