Q: What is a Developmental Pediatrician, and how does one differ from my current Pediatrician?
A: Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians have the training and expertise to evaluate and care for children with developmental, behavioral, or learning difficulties. They are specifically trained to consider both the medical as well as the psycho-social aspects of developmental and behavioral concerns.
Q: What should I expect during my initial appointment?
A: During your initial appointment, expect a comprehensive interview to be conducted. We will gather information about your child's current functioning; areas of difficulty and strength; developmental and medical history; academic progress; family environment; and social functioning.
A full assessment and testing may follow tailored to your child's needs. You will receive the results of the testing, a summary of clinical impressions, and a list of recommendations. In specific cases, a comprehensive evaluation may be recommended and scheduled at a later date(s). After completion of the evaluation, a feedback session will be conducted to provide a copy of the report, explain the results of the evaluation, discuss recommendations, and to provide you and your child with the opportunity to ask questions to find ways to best support him/her.
Q: How do you typically diagnose disorders or conditions?
A: This varies on a case-by-case basis. Some disorders are diagnosed via a comprehensive interview, review of records, child observation and clinical judgment. Other disorders may require more comprehensive assessment, including a psychological evaluation. We will discuss your child's case individually in order to make the most informed diagnosis.
Q: How does your practice differ from others?
A: Our practice takes an individualized approach to both evaluation and treatment. We understand that families often come to us frustrated, having exhausted many other resources. Our goal is to help children as well as their families live healthy, happy lives. Our collaborative approach places us in a better position to reach this goal. During your visit, we expect that you will find professionals who truly care and listen to both you and your child.
Q: My child becomes anxious and acts out whenever he/she goes to the doctor. How will you help him/her to feel more comfortable?
A: We often take the time to help more anxious children acclimate to our environment. This may include engaging in rapport-building activities; for some children it simply involves introducing them to their surroundings and helping them understand what to expect during their appointment!
Q: Will you "replace" my child's long-standing pediatrician?
A: Some families visit us on a consultation basis, or for an initial comprehensive diagnostic, while others are followed throughout development. This will vary based on the diagnosis, treatment, and wishes of the family.
Q: What insurances does your office take?
A: Our office accepts Aetna, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna, United, and Tricare.
Q: Do you often refer patients to other specialties?
A: This depends on the child. Sometimes, we find more information is required to make the most informed clinical decisions. This may include genetic testing; a sleep study; or psychological testing to name a few.
Q: How do you decide whether a child needs to be medicated?
A: This is always a decision that is made in conjunction with the parent. Some factors to consider include:
- What has been tried in the past, and what were the outcomes? Has the child suffered side effects from prior medications?
- Is the child currently taking any other medications? Any contraindications?
- Has behavioral therapy been attempted?
- What is the severity of the child's symptoms?
- To what degree is the child's functioning being impaired at home and at school?
- What is the family's understanding of what medication can and cannot do?
- What is the likelihood that the patient/family will be able to adhere to a medication regimen?