The Atlantic

Many Pediatricians Don't Know How to Handle Gender-Dysphoric Kids

Doctors’ offices are often the first stop for gender-nonconforming kids and their families when seeking guidance. Doctors, however, aren’t always adequately prepared to give it.
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When Robert Garofalo, the head of adolescent medicine at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, gives his seminars for pediatricians on how to care for gender-nonconforming children and transgender youth, he always takes care to tell the story of a 6-year-old kid he calls Andrew. Andrew, born with male anatomy, likes to play with dolls and makeup, and since age 3, Andrew has identified as a girl. When Andrew was 4, a pediatrician waved off this behavior as “just a phase.”

Two years later, though, Andrew’s parents are beginning to wonder if they’ve been “oppressing” their child. They notice Andrew is happiest at home, where they allow Andrew to wear dresses. Out of the house, the 6-year-old is starting to withdraw socially and dread going to school.

Garofalo specializes in treating kids from what

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