Preface for Professionals
fr_26701a1_1Preface for Professionals


It began as a project that started way back in 1988, when I set up a video camera in my office. I wanted to review tapes of office visits and by reviewing them see if I could improve the way I practiced.

It didn't work out that way at all. I never had time to review the tapes, and the camera continued to grind away, piling up more unread tapes. (Parents were always asked if the taping was OK with them). I didn't begin to look at them until after I retired in 2001. Then I quickly began to realize that they were a veritable gold mine of clinical data, not on my pediatric skills, such as they were, but on the wonderful variety of infant and child behavior and the amazing panoply of human relations skills exhibited by the parents.

The idea began to form in my mind of making a catalogue of the challenging ways babies and toddlers behave and the ways parents deal with them. This would not be a catalog of abnormal behaviors but of normal situations and parental responses. (It would also include whatever advice I found myself able to give).

Many hurdles had to be overcome. Computers were just beginning to have enough power to deal with converting videotapes to digital video. Video-editing programs were just appearing on the market. Relational databases were just getting cheap enough and simple enough for a beginner like myself to think of using them.

Slowly the pile of usable video clips began to build and to fall into categories that would make sense for the viewer. And now, more to the point, I began to see more clearly what I and the babies and their parents had been doing all along

Then, at last, computer programs and video-compression engines began to appear that made it possible for beginners to build web sites and to put respectable amounts of information up for public viewing and study.

The result is a web site that I hope will be useful to professionals, especially young pediatricians, and to parents and prospective parents. I have tried to show, through videos of actual unrehearsed office visits, something of what actual babies and toddlers are like, and what ordinary parents can do to be successful in their interactions with their children. The web site also invites parents to submit examples of ways in which they have successfully met a particular challenge.

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