Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

In Memory of Dr. Steve Zelenski: September 22, 1944-April 2, 2009

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

In Memory of Dr. Steve Zelenski: September 22, 1944-April 2, 2009

Article excerpt

Dr. Zelenski, a developmental neuropsychiatrist, was a founding member of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry, an organization created to enhance the clinical outcomes of persons with intellectual disabilities. He was a frequent contributing author for EP. He will be sorely missed.

Steve's beat involved people with syndromes--collections of unique human proclivities that when lumped together defined and described them.

He probably knew people with hundreds of these syndromes--some syndromes named for the doctors who first described them, some named for the first patient who showed up with them, and some with names that described how their thinking or mechanical lives were derailed. They were names to most but people to Steve. They are syndromes that were presented at bedside or Grand Rounds, names that were part of Powerpoint presentations and long-forgotten case presentations. Names that were on lists of things the people might have, or could also have, or probably didn't have, depending on where the professor was trained. But they were always people to Steve.

Syndromes that said, if you have these and do that then you might be one of them. Syndromes that said if you're missing that or have extras of these, you might be eligible to be called this. But always people to Steve.

Syndromes that said if you can do this and can't do that, you belong over here. Syndromes that said if you do all this but appear like that, we might need to find a new group to put you in. …

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