Healthy Diet, Healthier Kids

Healthy Diet, Healthier Kids

CDTC is dedicated to the providing our clients with the best health possible, looking at everything that affects their well-being; including nutrition.

For many of us, good nutrition is simply about making healthy food choices that are the key to good mental and physical health. But for the children at Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center (CDTC), choosing an apple over candy isn’t the most pressing concern.

Pediatric Dietitian Elizabeth Donahue carries a caseload of about 250 children in the CDTC Extraordinary Children, Healthy Outcomes (ECHO) Program. The boys and girls she sees are all medically fragile and their challenges unique.

Good Nutrition For All Ages

“My favorite, is working with babies,” shares Elizabeth. When it comes to our infants, she is passionate about helping parents work through challenges with everything from low-weight and reflux to rejecting formula and nursing. In fact, one of her first, most-memorable patients was a three-year-old autistic girl still nursing. Working alongside therapists, she successfully helped ween the growing girl to establish a healthy diet.

However, Donahue’s days are not just spent tending to infants’ needs. Her patients run from birth to age 17. So, she spends a lot of time working closely with our kids’ schools to advocate with, and sometimes for, parents whose children require special feeding plans. Children with special needs already struggle with their health and developmental delays that set them behind in school. Having the right sustenance at the appropriate times is not just healthy, it’s imperative.

Working with families also means being an educator. Donahue teaches parents about choosing the right foods for allergies and special dietary needs. And, that also means educating them about how to read food labels. Do you know how many ingredients are really just another word for sugar or milk? Her patients need to know how to identify what they should and should not eat.

Food security is another issue Elizabeth tackles with her families. Her work includes field trips to the store to teach parents to shop smart. Selecting healthy foods for the pickiest eaters, meals and snacks that create good eating habits, and accomplishing all of this without breaking the family’s food budget are all challenges that could potentially become a barrier to good nutrition and good health.

So next time you read about our CDTC’s multidisciplinary approach to care, know that somewhere Elizabeth is working hard to help in her own very special way.

CDTC April Hero of the Month

CDTC April Hero of the Month

Meet Pierce

Pierce is an adorable ex-preemie born seven weeks early.

His parents brought him to Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center’s Early Steps Program with developmental and communication concerns when he was 15 months old.
The Multidisciplinary team concurred and quickly went to work on a therapeutic plan to help him and his family.

Pierce was shy and withdrawn with his therapists until last year.

As a 2-year-old diagnosed with Autism, he had difficulty engaging with them and wasn’t even interested in playing. There were many sessions where they spent the entire time just trying to comfort Pierce and make him feel at ease.

PierceThen, by chance, they discovered Pierce’s love of music and dancing.

So, they did what came naturally and joined in doing silly dances with him. That little connection was all it took. Pierce started to make steady gains in all areas of his therapy. He began to play games, happily participated in activities with others and found his voice.

“We do fist bumps, say ‘I love you!’, and ‘see you later alligator… after while crocodile’,” shares his developmental therapist.

The once quiet, withdrawn Pierce has transformed into the happy, dancing, playful, talkative Pierce that we know today. While there are still challenges ahead, we are all happy and excited to know that he will continue to make progress and face those challenges with that smile we all love to see.

Now at age 3, Pierce has been transitioned from the Early Steps program and starts with the Broward County school system this month.

 


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Women’s Council of Realtors Casino Night

casino-night

Come out to support CDTC at the 3rd Annual Women’s Council of Realtors’ Annual Casino Night on Friday, October 14th from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Alpine Jaguar!

CDTC is the charity of choice

Tickets are $50 and event is open to all!