Partnering with and supporting Banyan families takes many different forms. The Banyan Family Advocates are here for that specific purpose. Once a year advocates complete a professional check-in with each enrolled family. During one of these check-ins Liz Diaz Torres learned about a concerning medical issue and questions that a teacher was raising about her 4-year-old child. This mother was looking for support.

Durning that annual check-in the mother shared that her child’s preschool teacher had recommended an ADHD assessment due to behaviors in class. Given that English is not the mother’s first language, she was confused by this request and sought the advice of Banyan’s Seedlings Coordinator, Parisa Naini. The mother and her child had been attending the evening Seedlings classes twice a week. Parisa scheduled a meeting with the mother, and they discussed what an ADHD diagnosis means and the diagnostic process. Parisa also requested that Banyan be allowed to complete the recommendation form, along with the schoolteacher, for the youth before their doctor visit.

As the check-in conversation continued, our Family Advocate also learned that when the child was 18-months old they tested positive for lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is not an uncommon issue for families living in the Phillips neighborhood (Learn more: Lead Information for Families – MN Dept. of Health). The mother confirmed that they had completed the follow up soil and paint testing but eventually found that the lead source was from some imported ethnic foods. She assured Liz that the issue had been resolved, however no lead retest had been completed for the child. Liz encouraged the mother to advocate for this at the next doctor’s visit.

Currently the follow up doctor visit is scheduled to be completed later this month. Following that medical visit Liz will connect with the mother in support. Whatever direction and decisions the parent makes, Banyan Community is here to walk along side, to resource, and to encourage.