Diagnostic evaluations are best suited to the child who is having ongoing struggles with development or behavior, and you are not yet sure why these struggles are present. These evaluations are usually completed over two visits- an Initial Appointment and a Wrap Up Conference. However prior to the initial appointment, parents and caregivers will spend a significant amount of time filling out forms online and sending in information about the child. This pre-evaluation intake process is very important. It allows us to have an accurate and complete picture of your child's issues, before you even walk in the door of the office. This maximizes the value of your face to face time with the doctor, and ultimately helps to lower your out of pocket costs. At the end of this two visit process, you will have an understanding of the child’s diagnosis and how to move forward with a plan in place.
Initial appointment (120-180 minutes)
At this appointment parents will have the opportunity to describe the child’s strengths and challenges. The doctor will collect additional details about the child, such as health habits, family history, school performance, current or previous medications tried. The doctor interacts with the child - through talking, play, writing/drawing. The doctor may administer some developmental testing and completes a physical exam. The doctor may meet with parents privately for a few minutes, if requested by parents. A follow up visit is scheduled to review testing results and make diagnoses and treatment recommendations.
Wrap Up Conference (60 minutes)
At this visit, the results of all the testing will be reviewed in detail. We will very likely be making medical diagnoses, which will describe your child’s developmental and behavioral challenges. This is not to place a label on your child, but is meant to help you and others working with your child to understand your child’s challenges. A diagnosis often is the first step to a successful path forward in school and life. It allows you to start researching the problem more effectively and finding solid evidence based solutions and supports for the problem. You will leave with a comprehensive written report that you can share with teachers, doctors and therapists.
This type of appointment is suited to the child who has an established diagnosis and is taking medication for a condition such as ADHD, but is still struggling with symptoms. Prior to the initial appointment, parents and caregivers are required to fill out some forms online and send in certain information about the child.
Initial appointment (60 minutes)
At this appointment parents will have the opportunity to describe the child’s strengths and challenges. The doctor will collect additional details about the child, such as health habits, family history, school performance, current or previous medications tried. The doctor completes a physical exam and may meet with parents privately for a few minutes, if requested by parents. A treatment plan is discussed at the end of the visit including possible medication changes. The consult will also address any additional problems that the doctor has found, and other ways besides medication to help the child with their challenges. This may include extra testing or help at school, additional counseling etc. There are many options to help children with developmental and behavioral challenges beside medication, and we want to make sure you are aware of all your options and are choosing the approaches that work for your child and family.
Follow-up visits (30 minutes)
We will see your child in follow up care until everyone feels comfortable that your child's medications are working to control the symptoms and that additional supports such as a school accommodations, counseling, therapies are implemented or that the family feels comfortable with how to access these services.
Follow up Visits and Phone/Email Support
After your initial appointments are over, it is natural to have new questions. This is an important time for you to stay in touch with our office. You have invested time and finances into understanding your child's challenges. Now it is time to get the help and support you need in the community to address these issues. There may be recommendations to see a therapist, contact a state or local agency, apply for aide/scholarships, or get an IEP. This process can seem overwhelming at times. Reach out to us by email or phone. We will listen, guide you, and try to help you get support in place.
If our office is managing your child's medication for a condition, we will want to see them in the office every 6 months. We want ensure that they are growing well and not having side effects. We want to get feedback from teachers and other caregivers to ensure that the medication is working well in all settings. You will be asked to fill out some online forms before the appointment, and to have teachers or other caregivers fill out forms.
Even though your child will be seen periodically for medication checks, we know that there will be issues that come up about school, behavior, emotions, etc between visits. Please reach out to us by phone or email. We are here to help!