What is "Developmental & Behavioral” Pediatrics?
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) is a branch of pediatrics that addresses the physical, emotional, behavioral and social development of children and adolescents. A developmental and behavioral pediatrician is an expert in child physical, emotional, and mental health issues.
What should I expect when I have my child evaluated by a Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrician?
The process of being evaluated by a developmental & behavioral pediatrician often takes several hours, so that a full picture of the child is obtained. This process of understanding a child’s developmental profile often is summarized in a final appointment where diagnoses and summaries are provided. This diagnostic process can be very helpful to children and adolescents. The goal is that your family leaves with a better understanding of your child’s strengths and needs, and a solid plan to to support your child and help them reach their full potential.
How do I schedule an appointment?
You can contact the office by phone or by filling out the appointment request form below. Dr Zimmer will contact you personally to understand your child's needs, and will help you decide which appointment type is right for your child. Before an appointment is scheduled, we request that both parents and teachers (or other caregivers) fill out an intake form. Once this information is back, you will be able to schedule an initial appointment.
What other information do I need to provide about my child prior to the appointment?
Before you come in for the scheduled appointment, we require that you send in as much information as possible about your child. We require caregivers and parents to complete some behavioral and developmental questionnaires online, in the convenience of their own home. We also require parents to send pertinent information about their child; such as previous standardized tests scores, IEP's, and report cards. This extensive pre-appointment intake process allows us to understand a lot about your child, even before you have walked through the doors of our office. This also allows us to streamline the diagnostic process, minimize in-office testing and multiple appointments. Failure to send in this information will result in rescheduling your appointment until the information is back. At other centers, the intake process is much more limited. Although this involves less upfront work for parents, it also results in patients often being subjected to a "one size fits all" approach where they are given broad testing – this approach is very time consuming and costly. Our promise to you is that we strive to make this process as cost and time efficient as possible, while still delivering a high quality evaluation of your child's strengths and difficulties. The more information you can provide us prior to the appointment, the better we understand your child before we have a face to face visit with your child. This ultimately helps to limit your out of pocket costs and helps the doctor understand your child in a more complete way.
Does the office take my insurance?
We are an out of network provider for all insurances. We will submit a bill to your insurance company on your behalf. Many insurance plans have out of network benefits. Please check your plan's Out of Network benefits to determine how much your insurance is likely to pay. www.fairhealthconsumer.org is a wonderful resource to help you understand how insurance works. The calculator tools help you understand how much your out of network benefits are likely to cover.
Is a referral required?
Yes. We believe in the importance of good primary care. We see your primary health care provider as a very important part of the team. We require a referral to help this communication process. Please have your health care provider fill out a convenient online referral form.
How can I prepare my child for the visit?
Children understand more than we know. They often suspect that there is something different about how they are learning, feeling, or developing. They want to understand themselves. Be upfront and direct with your child. Tell them in simple words why you want them to see the doctor and how you want to help them.
We will usually explain to your child that their appointment will involve some tests to understand how they are doing at home and in school. They will have a checkup just like what you get when you go to the doctor, but you will not have to get a shot. Also, your child will have a chance to talk with us about any problems they are having. Some kids are a little afraid or nervous before they come in, but when they go home they often realize that they have enjoyed showing what they know and talking about their life.
Your child should attend all scheduled appointments. On occasion, you may want to meet with the doctor without your child in attendance. That can be scheduled, but please be aware that most insurance plans do not cover appointments when the child is not in attendance.