My News Feed


Mon, Oct 10 at 10:30am EDT by @APMCmoderator in Epilepsy · View  

How can parents best prepare for the anxiety of entrusting your child’s medical issues to teachers and school administrators? Read our new blog post for answers, here:

Login here to comment.

Sun, Sep 25 at 2:05pm EDT by @oanaburhans in Pediatric Surgery · View  

Hi everyone. I'm new to the group. My 7 year old son will have open heart surgery to correct a VSD in December. I am an emotional wreck. Is anyone else in this situation? Thank you in advance.


CHDLife responded Thu, Sep 29 at 3:27pm EDT · View

Hi, I am not in your current situation, but my son has had three open heart surgeries at APH. You have an amazing team, and are in amazing hands. Hold strong all will be ok.


Oana Burhans responded Thu, Sep 29 at 10:41pm EDT · View

Would you be willing to answer some questions? I would really appreciate it.

Login here to comment.

Sun, Sep 25 at 2:01pm EDT by @oanaburhans · View  

Hello, fellow parents. Anyone whose child is going to have open heart surgery in the near future?

Login here to comment.

Tue, Sep 6 at 11:03am EDT by @05071986 in Genetic Disorders · View  

Dear Group member .. Its nice to join your respected group
Actually i have a daughter 3 years old now she is suffering from the first day of birth from Icthyosis which is a gene disorder cause dry skin and scales like fish scaled on all the skin surface of the whole body
My question is anyone face a case like this ?? and if yes what are the solutions ?? and i heard that there is a genetic treatment for such cases .. is that true or not ?
Thanks in advance

Login here to comment.

Mon, Aug 29 at 3:14pm EDT by @michaellcsw in Kidney Disorders · View  

The Benefits of Finding a Good Support Group
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at The Hewell Kids’ Kidney Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital, I have many teenage patients express to me that they feel lonely, isolated, and different. They feel that that no one understands what they are going through, and sometimes, they don’t even know what they are going through, or what to expect in the future. They express feelings of grief from losing some of the freedom they once enjoyed and the carefree attitude they once had. Many of these young patients show symptoms of depression and anxiety, too.

The thoughts and feelings expressed by these kids are expected when suffering from a chronic illness. Knowing this, the issue then is how to help these kids cope and adjust, how to connect them to resources, and how to help them realize they are not alone. Clinicians, like myself, could have all of the training in the world, but we could never truly feel what these kids are feeling, or understand what they are going through. For these kids and families who find themselves in this challenging situation, a support group is often a great resource.

The most important function of a good support group is to provide the opportunity for kids to connect and share with other kids who are dealing with the same circumstances. Your peers can help you develop coping skills to deal with your individual situation. Oftentimes, it can help to talk or just listen to others who are also trying to find ways to cope, since they are the ones who can really understand what you are living with. However, it is important to note that support groups are not designed to replace medical or professional counseling. But, sometimes just telling your story will encourage support from the other members in the group.

Support groups can be a great way to get access to resources as well. Many support groups are facilitated by licensed clinical social workers and licensed mental health counselors who have access to local and national resources, and oftentimes, patients and caretakers are eager to share the resources they have located that could benefit others in the group. Speakers are sometimes invited to address the group on local services that are available and helpful, too.

Another important function of a support group is the exchange of phone numbers among members who are interested in doing so. While it is not a requirement of being in a support group, you may find it helpful to call someone who understands, if needed. I’ve seen, firsthand, how this aspect of the support group experience can be very beneficial.

For patients, support groups assist in coping and adjusting to: loss, a specific disease or illness, addiction or major life change, anxiety, depression, social isolation, self-esteem, and self-management, which can lead to better health and survival. Patients often find camaraderie and support by meeting with peers with similar experiences. It helps them feel like they are not alone. Support groups can also increase the quality and quantity of support between doctor visits, leading to better self-management.

For parents and caretakers, interaction with others assists in coping and adjustment to your child’s illness. Parents and caretakers find similar camaraderie and support through mutual experiences. They assist others in locating support and referral services. Interaction with other parent and caretakers can even reinforce one’s own self-health skills.

In a support group I facilitated, eight teen patients came together for the first time, not knowing each other very well at all. Before the end of the first session, they had transformed from eight individuals to a very supportive group. They openly shared the problems they face each day, and how they cope and adjust to these issues. They answered questions from peers wanting to know what to expect from a medication or procedure. They shared stories about their school, relationships and their scars. They laughed, joked, learned something about themselves, and acted like typical teens together during this time. They eagerly swapped phone numbers and continue to communicate, even on days the group does not formally meet.

The power of people can never be underestimated, and the support group process demonstrates the healing an individual can find in the experience of sharing with others in a similar situation.

If you are interested in participating or finding out more about support groups in Central Florida, you can contact the Patient & Family Counseling Department at Arnold Palmer Medical Center at 321.841.8053.

To join the upcoming support group for the Hewell Kids' Kidney Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital on September 29th, visit the information page to the right. -->>

Login here to comment.

Mon, Aug 29 at 11:28am EDT by @michaellcsw · View  

Important information from American Kidney Fund regarding Medicare.

Login here to comment.

Thu, Jul 21 at 1:05pm EDT by @michaellcsw in Kidney Disorders · View  

Join the Online kidney support group!

Hello! Welcome to our online interactive KIDNEY group. This is a place where all of you can interact with each other, share experiences, ask questions, find support, tell a joke or two, or talk about whatever is on yor mind as it relates to Kidney Disorders. I look forward to sharing this experience with all of you. -- Michael


Michael Schwing, LCSW responded Wed, Aug 10 at 1:22pm EDT · View

I spoke to the clinic and they are setting an appointment for your child. They should be in contact with you soon. Mike


Marieli orellana responded Wed, Aug 10 at 2:08pm EDT · View

Thank you i have the appointment for monday

Login here to comment.

Mon, Aug 8 at 8:25am EDT by @MichaelSchmidt in Obesity · View  

As the summer heat continues to scorch, kids are always looking for ways to stay cool. Even though the school year is just around the corner, cooler weather, unfortunately, isn’t coming for a while. As your family enjoys the last picnics, get-togethers and pool parties before heading back to school, you’ll want some sweet treats to help you cool off. Usually, these activities involve eating less nutritious foods such as hot dogs, ice cream, pizza, candy and potato chips. With these tempting foods readily available, it can be difficult to lure kids over to the fruit table for a healthier and more refreshing snack. By making fruit more appealing to kids, we might be able to change their views on this delicious treat.

Registered Dietician, Holly Malcolm, explores cool and tasty summertime treats for the entire family in our latest blog post. View here:

Login here to comment.

Thu, Jul 21 at 1:13pm EDT by @michaellcsw · View  

I was honored to be asked to speak at the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting in Boston, MA. The topic was transitioning patients to adult care from the pediatric care once they reach 21 years of age.


lendychapman responded Thu, Aug 4 at 1:44pm EDT · View

Congrats!!!! That is so awesome and I hope it went well 🙂


Michael Schwing, LCSW responded Thu, Aug 4 at 2:18pm EDT · View

Thanks so much. That is very kind! 🙂

Login here to comment.

Fri, Jul 15 at 7:10pm EDT by @cooperaik in Congenital Heart Defects · View  

Worried about husband/ VSD, ASD, PMV.

When our daughter was born we found out she has a large VSD. Also ASD and PMV. We were taken by suprise and in shock. They told us open heart surgery was likely. She is 3 months now and just had an echo which determined she will need surgery. While no parent wants their child, let alone infant to go through a major surgery, i know it's in her best interest and am trusting God to get her through this. But my husband is a mess. He has been closed off with her from the start. He's afraid to get close to her, afraid we'll lose her. He's depressed. I'm not sure how to help him get through this. Are there any support groups for something like this, or any advice any parents who have gone through this that can help?


lendychapman responded Thu, Aug 4 at 1:46pm EDT · View

Have you connected with your patient and family counselor? There may be some groups available in the community that can help and maybe some at the hospital. Also, sometimes patient and family counselors know prior families who have a shared experience with you and they can facilitate a connection to also provide support. Don't hesitate to ask them for support, suggestions, and more resources. Take care!

Login here to comment.

promo badge for APH community

Upcoming Events

Free clinic for infants and children with Down Syndrome

Saturday March 19th, 2016

8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 

The Developmental Center for Infants and Children

601 West Michigan Street Orlando, Fl 32805

This is a special opportunity to talk with a variety of professionals in the field, learn about resources, obtain information and network with other families. Space is limited, so call 407-317-7430 ext. 2168 to reserve your spot. 


Hewell Kids' Kidney Center Support Group

Thu, Oct 27 2016 at 5:30 pm ET

This group is for patients and their families who have been diagnosed with a kidney disorder/disease.

Mothers Matter: An emotional support group for pregnant and postpartum women

Fri, Oct 28 2016 at 10:30 am ET

This is an open support group for pregnant and postpartum women. Whether it is stress, adjustment to parenting, normal Baby Blues, or pregnancy or postpartum depression/anxiety Mothers Matter is here to help. The group will... Read more

Latest from Illuminate Blog

RSS Unknown Feed