Assessing and treating children's developmental and behavioral difficulties
What is the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Program’s Process?
Following receipt of a referral, a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) clinician will contact you to conduct an assessment of your child's needs and to discuss the assistance that the DBP program could provide.
Some of your questions may be answered over the telephone. In most cases, you and your child will be scheduled for an initial evaluation appointment with one of the developmental and behavioral pediatricians. There will typically be a follow-up visit a few weeks later to discuss the developmental and behavioral pediatrician's findings and recommendations from the appointment.
Before the Initial Evaluation
The more information the developmental and behavioral pediatrician can receive in advance of your appointment, the more productive the appointment can be; therefore, please send or bring copies of previous evaluations done by the school or other evaluators, as well as copies of any existing Early Intervention Plans (IFSPs) or school-based services (IEPs). Based on the initial interview with a member of our DBP staff, we may send you forms for you or your child's teacher to complete prior to the DBP appointment.
At the Initial Evaluation
The DBP appointment is typically two parts: the initial evaluation and then a follow-up visit to discuss the evaluation results. The evaluation will take between 45 and 90 minutes, depending on the needs of your child. The developmental and behavioral pediatrician will meet with you and your child at the beginning to ask some additional questions and answer any of yours. Most of this evaluation, however, will be conducted with just the developmental and behavioral pediatrician and your child.
During this appointment, the developmental and behavioral pediatrician will conduct direct developmental testing appropriate to the areas of concern. It is possible that a physical exam may also be done.
The Follow-Up Visit
The follow-up visit will address questions raised by you or your child’s primary care provider about diagnostic implications, medical management and coordination of care for your child. Comprehensive recommendations based on the developmental and behavioral pediatrician’s diagnosis of your child will be discussed with you and may include referrals to other specialists, at-home behavior management strategies, evaluations the school should conduct, possible medications, and resources you and your child should access.
As part of the recommendations, your child may be assigned a DBP licensed independent clinical social worker, a tremendous resource to your child and your family. He/she may remain in contact with you by telephone and can be helpful in providing additional information regarding community-based programs and support services.
You will subsequently receive a report in writing. This report will also be sent to your child’s primary care provider. You may choose to share this report with other providers or agencies.
Further follow-up visits can be scheduled as needed to assess your child's progress, discuss future needs and to make further recommendations.