What is a Developmental Pediatric Consultation?
A Developmental Pediatric Consultation is a medical evaluation of a child, teen, or young adult for emotional, behavioral, neurological or developmental concerns. Consultations include diagnostic assessments, treatment planning, and monitoring of a patient’s progress.
How is this different from a visit to my regular Pediatrician?
Dr. Aronson-Ramos practices Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics exclusively. She will not replace your regular Pediatrician and she does not provide general Pediatric services (immunizations, sick visits, etc). She will address the specific developmental and behavioral problems which are a concern. She will communicate with your regular doctor and any involved specialists as needed.
What is a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician?
A Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician specializes in the treatment of emotional, behavioral, and neuro-developmental problems in children and adolescents. It is a physician who has sub-specialty certification in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, in addition to general pediatrics. For more information and a listing of board certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatricians click here.
How will my visit with Dr. Aronson-Ramos differ from a Child Psychiatrist or Child Neurologist?
There is overlap in the services provided by a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician, a Child Neurologist and a Child Psychiatrist. All three specialists treat some of the same populations of children, for example Autism, ADHD, developmental delays, and undiagnosed disruptions in development or behavior. However there are exceptions to some of the children each specialists treats, and there are differences in their clinical approaches.
In some cases two or even all three sub specialists may form the best treatment team for a particular patient depending upon the problem. Children with brain tumors, seizures, or primary neurological conditions should be treated by a Child Neurologist. Children with symptoms of schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder or major depressive illness should have the input of a Child Psychiatrist. However, in many of the developmental problems of childhood and adolescence such as ADHD, learning disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Delay, Genetic Syndromes, Anxiety, Depression, OCD, Language Disorders, Disruptive Behaviors, and abnormal behaviors a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician is able to treat the child and family without the input of other specialists.
What many families enjoy about Developmental and Behavioral Pediatricians is the extensive foundation in Pediatrics gives the Physician a strong basis for understanding the developmental and dynamic nature of many problems of childhood. Additionally, the therapeutic interventions recommended are broad, encompassing a wide variety of treatments and disciplines with medication being only one component.
Who should be seen for a Consultation?
Any child from birth to young adulthood, who is not developing typically, who is diagnosed with a specific neurological or psychological problem, or who is experiencing emotional, behavioral, or learning problems is appropriate for a consultation. In some cases a child may not have a specific diagnosis, but the parents are just worried about the child and need help understanding if there is a real problem or if the concern is within normal limits. Young adults from 18-21 who are experiencing difficulties related to a developmental or emotional difficulty from their childhood are also welcome to stay in the practice or join as new patients.
What types of patients are not appropriate for a Consultation with Dr. Aronson-Ramos?
Children or adolescents who are actively suicidal, require a psychiatric hospitalization, have a history of multiple prior psychiatric hospitalizations, or are experiencing seizures should be seen by an appropriate sub specialist. We do not treat substance abuse or eating disorders both of which require highly specialized multi-disciplinary treatment centers. We can give you referral information upon request.
How does a consultation work? What is the typicial schedule of visits?
Initial appointments for new patients may consist of a single visit called a Treatment Consultation or a series of visits consisting of an Initial Consultation, Child Evaluation and Feedback visit. The type of visit depends upon whether the child has had any prior evaluations. Additionally, younger children and toddlers are typically seen in a Treatment consultation with their parents. For a more complete description of these visits see “Consultations” under the Services tab on this website or click here.
Established patients receiving medication management can expect 30-60 minute Follow-Up Visits every three to four months. Some patients may need to be seen more or less frequently. Additional appointments are made as needed on an individualized basis.
Phone consultations are available for parents who need extended telephone time or are unable to schedule an office visit. These sessions cannot substitute for face to face visits with your child on a regular basis, but may occasionally take the place of an office visit.
School Visits are available depending upon the school’s location. You can contact Dr. Aronson-Ramos directly for more information.
Will insurance cover these visits? What about prescription medications?
In many cases insurance plans, other than HMO’s or Medicaid, will cover these consultations. However, every plan is different, and I cannot guarantee your insurance company will reimburse you for your visit. I will provide you with a paid invoice which you can submit to your insurance plan. We do not file claims for you and do not have the staff to handle matters related to your insurance coverage. Please be aware Dr. Aronson-Ramos is listed as a provider on some insurance plans, including Medicaid, however this is not at our private office location. This is strictly for clinical services at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Full payment for your visit is expected at the time of service (credit cards, debit cards, checks, and cash are accepted). In some cases insurance companies may deny coverage for certain prescription medication. Every effort will be made to cooperate with your health plan to limit your out of pocket expenses for medication. Click here for more information.
My child just had a full evaluation by another professional do I still need to have the full work up of 3 visits?
If an evaluation was completed recently and is available for review, a single Treatment Consultation (90 min) with the child and the parents can be scheduled. A Treatment Consultation may also be appropriate for very young children four years of age and younger.
What type of referral is necessary?
Patients may be seen without a referral. Some health plans require a referral from the primary care provider to reimburse you for your visit. If you are knowledgeable about the requirements of your insurance plan, it will maximize the potential for reimbursement for your visits. When a referral is necessary your primary care provider, therapist, or other specialists can make a direct referral.
What are the unique benefits of the Consultation?
The developmental pediatric consultation is an attempt to help parents “fill in the gaps” in the medical care of their children with developmental, behavioral and learning difficulties. I will help families determine if assessments are complete and thorough. I will make specific recommendations for further evaluations only if they are truly needed. I will also help to insure that no underlying problems have been overlooked. I am also available for ongoing support as new challenges arise and to monitor a child’s progress.
How is this visit different from other specialists who have already seen my child?
My Consultations always include the process of helping to uncover the strengths and resources of each and every individual regardless of the underlying concerns. Parents may have lost the ability to see their child’s unique strengths and assets. Sometimes this is due to the negative impact a child may have on the entire family system, making life a daily challenge. It can also be due to a history of diagnostic work ups that have focused exclusively on a child’s deficits. If we are not looking for a child’s positive qualities they may remain hidden from view.
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