Drs. Schikler and Szer both encourage their patients’ families to talk to their doctors about any therapies their children have used or are currently using.

While families may be concerned about challenging their doctor’s authority or fear that their doctor will be judgmental about their choice of added therapies, Dr. Szer says doctors are becoming open to discussing alternatives with their patients.

“We know that if we are judgmental, the family just may use them in secret,” says Dr. Szer. “Our goal is to talk with families about the treatments they choose and to make it as safe as possible for the recipients.”

How to Ask the Doctor

Some families find it difficult to broach the subject of complementary therapies with their child’s doctor. The following fill-in-the-blank questions may help get the conversation going.

“I was reading about ________. (Or, I’ve heard that _____________.) Do you think it would be beneficial for my child?”

“Is there anything outside the medicine and treatment we’re already trying that can help symptoms?”

“How do you feel about using _______________ to treat pain (or inflammation, stiffness, fatigue, stunted bone growth, etc.)?”