The Boston Sunday Globe recently ran a cover story about a Children’s Hospital Boston family being treated at our Gender Management Services Clinic (GeMS). It was an in-depth and well-written piece about a family raising a transgender teenager and her treatment at Children’s. The GeMS Clinic is the first major program in the United States to focus on gender identity disorder in children and adolescents, a population who are often victims of bullying and harassment and have the highest rate of suicide attempts in the world.
I highly recommend the Boston Globe article, as well as the following companion blog, in which the father of the family discusses why they chose to share their story with the world…
My wife Kelly and I have had a number of defining moments since our twin children came into our lives. Each has been special in it’s own way, but most of these moments have been things that all parents can relate to: birthdays, first days of school and teaching the kids to ride a bike. But our family has also seen our fair share of different experiences; experiences that have been both frightening and extraordinary. Even some things that seemed simple at first went on to have a level of complexity we never expected.
Since sharing our story, we’ve met so many special people that have helped Nicole and changed our family forever. When we met Dr. Norman Spack, at Children’s Gender Management Services Clinic (GeMS) it was the first time we felt hope that Nicole could one day achieve her dreams. During that first visit, he lifted a tremendous amount of fear and worry from our shoulders and the smile on Nicole’s face when she left his office will forever be imprinted in my memory. I am not ashamed to say that I had doubts at first, but in one visit Dr. Spack erased them and set my family on a wonderful journey. …
The following was written by the father of a transgender child. His child has seen specialists at Children’s Hospital Boston and the process has drastically changed his views on family and acceptance. Please read their story, as well as his reflections on parenting a transgender child.
Today is Transgender Remembrance Day. A few years ago, if you asked me what this day represents, I would have said I didn’t even know what transgender means, never mind that there’s a whole day dedicated to the memory of transgender people who’ve been victimized by hate crimes. I may have been unaware of these issues back then, but I’m a different person now. Since opening up about my daughter Sylvia’s experiences as a transgender tween, my eyes have been opened to many issues concerning the transgender community; some good, some not.
The other night I had one of those “not so good” moments. As I was tucking Sylvia in for bed, she took my hand and told me she had something to tell me. “Daddy, I’m working on a project for Transgender Remembrance Day,” she said. “Did you know people are being murdered and raped because they’re transgender?” …
Thanks to advancements in medicine and vaccination, many diseases have been all but eradicated. But as powerful as modern medicine has become, there are still holes in its defenses, as proven by a recent Californian outbreak of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, that is well on its way to being the most widespread outbreak the state has seen in 50 years. Learn how the process of cocooning can protect newborns before they’re old enough to be vaccinated against these diseases.
Claire McCarthy, MD, weighs in on the dangers (and advantages) of online symptom checkers and how some parents rely on the internet to help figure out what’s wrong with their sick kids.
When lecturing their kids about the dangers of drugs, many parents are put in tough position when their kids question their own past experiences with drugs and alcohol. Read advice from our expert who says honesty is the best policy when talking to your kids about you own past history with controlled substances.
The Health Family Fun website offers advice on how to limit your family’s time in front of the TV and curb some of their junk food intake.
Children’s Dennis Rosen, MD, wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times about the shrinking field of pediatric specialists and how this could be severely limit the quality health care available to many of our nation’s children.