Helping a child with special needs realize their full potential is a journey. It will require a team of professionals, family, and friends. It will take time. It will take patience and perseverance. It is not only possible, but holds the promise of many triumphs. It is important to know that you do not need to journey alone. We encourage you to seek the answers and help you and your child need.
Pedi-Care utilizes the developmental screen, MCHAT, at 18 and 24 months, in conjunction with The University of Connecticut’s department of psychology, to aid early identification of developmental disabilities. Once concerns have been identified, proper diagnostic evaluation is essential. We will consider your family’s priorities and unique perspective when assisting with case management and multidisciplinary referrals.
We encourage parents to prepare their child prior to the first office visit, and as needed with future visits, as follows:
- Come in for consultation without your child to review records, history, and concerns
- Take photographs of the office and physicians to show your child prior to the visit.
- Compose a brief social story about what will be expected at the time of the visit. This can be very helpful for most children. See the “A Visit to Pedi-Care Story” for an example. More information is available in “Sample Social Story.”
- Schedule your child’s first visit when they are not sick and do not require immunizations – this will allow a positive association to take place and assist with future office visits.
Vaccines are a safe and important component of your child’s preventative health care. As Board Certified pediatricians, we adhere to the vaccination guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics. With this in mind, and with concern for our newborn and immune compromised patients, we require that our patients comply with these recommendations. HealthyChildren.org has more information on vaccination schedules and safety.
MENTAL HEALTH EVALUATIONS:
There are times when a child or teen demonstrates difficulties with mood, behavior, or attention. We are here, along with the rest of the team, to help address your concerns. It is important to remember that your child is a child first and that some behaviors may be typical and part of the normal progression through infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Once any underlying medical factors are eliminated, an evaluation with a mental health professional may be recommended.
Monitoring progress, coordinating specialty evaluations, and assisting with finding appropriate resources, services, and support, as well as ensuring proper medical evaluation are essential to our approach. In turn, it is important for our office to receive copies of any evaluations and testing that is done outside of our referral system. (e.g.: school evaluations, parent initiated specialty evaluations). We also strongly encourage families who have a child on the autism spectrum to enroll any newborn family members in the Yale Baby-Sib Project: www.childstudycenter.yale.edu / 203-785-6237 for closer monitoring of development and behavior.