Homeschool families nationwide may face more questioning from their pediatricians because of recommendations in a recent article in Contemporary Pediatrics, a national publication for doctors who treat children.
The November, 2006, article was entitled “What you need to learn about homeschooling.” After a skeptical but not wholly unfavorable discussion of homeschooling, the concluding paragraph urged doctors to be “vigilant” in “monitoring” the socialization of their homeschooled patients. But it did not recommend they monitor the socialization of public school children.
When I first saw the article, I thought I'd be reading that the doctors had been urged to look for signs of physical abuse, which though offensive to me if limited to homeschooled patients, would have been slightly more understandable, given a few highly publicized stories from the past few years.
But now we're warning medical doctors to monitor socialization? Oh brother, what is this, the early '80's? I've BEEN in this movie!
And just what kinds of criteria would a physician, seeing a 7 year old for five minutes, use to determine if a child was appropriately socialized, whatever that means? And who is going to provide the matrix by which these doctors would judge the relative social skills of his little patients? And if my pediatrician is spending three of our five minutes trying to get my shy little guy engaged in conversation so as to figure out whether or not he's socially stunted, is he going to miss a heart murmur or some sign of infection or another symptom that might be crucial to his diagnosis?May those of us who have chosen to take on the education of our own children be vigilant to monitor our doctors, choosing providers who start from a place of support rather than suspicion by default!