We spend a lot of time visiting specialists following up on Aaron's various medical conditions, trying to stay on top of existing conditions, prevent future conditions if possible, and having tests run concerning un-diagnosed conditions while we treat the symptoms. The vast majority of his specialists are located at our local Children's Hospital where the kids are made comfortable and extra attention is given to the small details to make things less scary. To someone who just sees an occasional specialist there, or is visiting, some of the details may be overlooked or under-appreciated. However, to those who spend a significant amount of time there, and to children who have to face a multitude of tests, it's the little details that mean everything.
For instance, at our Children's Hospital, they have several fish tanks. To a child with Asperger's who loves fish, we have to stop and visit them all when we are there. They are like little friends to him. We also appreciate that they have cartoons on TV's throughout the waiting areas to take kids minds off of why they are there. They do have toys, but, when your immune system is susceptible to germs, you tend to stay away from toys and books in public places that can harbor germs, or you bring your own.
The biggest comfort though, is that all the nurses and many of the staff at our Children's Hospital wear scrubs that have kid related themes. You wouldn't think that's a huge deal, until you have to go to a lab where they are wearing white lab coats and solid scrubs or regular clothes. Suddenly my child is afraid. He is scared of what they are going to do to him, and in our experience they usually either aren't accustomed to dealing with kids (specifically special needs kids and their special issues) or they are just in a hurry ready to get to the next patient. I have suggested to a lab we have to frequent (and we see other kids their regularly), that they have at least one technician to be dedicated to taking blood, etc from kids, and for that person to wear kids friendly scrubs. They agreed to try it, and on our last visit they thanked me. They saw that my theory was correct, and said that they do see kids on a daily basis, and since they took the time to focus on their unique needs and fears that it has gotten incredibly easier to run the necessary tests on them.
I say this to encourage each of you to speak up and offer a solution when you see a problem. If you are a nurse, lab tech, or medical office staff person and need a place to purchase scrubs, I encourage you to visit Blue Sky Scrubs at http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/ and look around.