What to Expect at Your First Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Appointment
As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. So do we. Sometimes, that involves understanding what’s causing certain behaviors or developmental delays. We understand this can be an overwhelming time for parents and families. Our compassionate and experienced team is here to help your child and your entire family understand and embrace how to best help your child grow and thrive.
We have unmatched experience working with children with developmental differences who may be having difficulty with communication, learning, peer relationships, or behavior. In fact, we developed our clinic and plan each appointment with kids just like yours in mind. We have fun toys and sensory safe spaces. We even modify our exams to make sure your child feels comfortable and in control.
Our goal throughout your visit is to get to know your child and family. We’ll look through medical history and past evaluations. We’ll discuss in detail your concerns and goals for your child. We approach our appointments with you as a partnership. In developing treatment plans for you child, we seek to understand your child's strengths, their needs, and your family's priorities and preferences and share with available evidence-based treatment options.
Making an Appointment
We accept referrals from pediatricians and other medical and mental health specialists. We primarily see children and families in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area and work closely with many providers in the region.
Your child’s provider can send a referral. We’ll then assess your child’s needs and determine if our clinic will best serve them. Once we receive your child’s referral, one of our team members will contact you to schedule an appointment. Or, you can contact us directly to ask questions or to set up your child’s visit.
On the Day of Your Visit
Before Your Appointment
You are welcome to send any past evaluations of your child to our clinic before their first visit. These records help us get a whole picture of your child, including their strengths and opportunities for growth. Email, fax or submit through MyChart any of the following documents:
- Psychological evaluation report (such as: cognitive testing, behavioral assessments)
- Speech-language evaluation
- Occupational therapy evaluation
- Physical therapy evaluation
- Early intervention documents (IFSP)
- School reports (ETR, IEP)
You also can bring printed copies of these reports to your child’s appointment.
Be sure your child takes their regularly prescribed medications, if applicable, before their appointment, including medications to help with behavior or anxiety.
Please plan to arrive about 30 minutes before your child’s appointment. This allows 15 minutes to park and walk to our clinic, and 15 minutes to check in at our registration desk. You also want to consider any specific needs your child may require transitioning from the car to the building.
Please contact us if you are running late. If you arrive at registration desk more than 30 minutes late, we may need to reschedule your appointment.
At Your Appointment
During your visit, we’ll work closely with you and your child to gain a clear understanding of your child’s developmental, behavioral and learning needs. Depending on the reason for your child’s visit, you may meet with the following members of our team, either at your first appointment or at separate follow-up appointments:
- Developmental-behavioral pediatrician
- Nurse practitioner
- Medical assistant
- Child life specialist
- Social worker
- Speech-language pathologist
- Occupational therapist
These providers bring specialized experience to the evaluation of your child.
Most appointments include the following steps:
- Measuring your child’s vital signs, such as height, weight, blood pressure
- Discussing your child’s health and developmental history
- Reviewing previous evaluations or school reports
- Performing a physical exam
Some visits also include formal developmental testing. For other children, developmental testing will be scheduled separately after the visit.
Your child’s provider may recommend other developmental or medical testing and treatment. This allows us to gain further insight into the treatment plan that is best for your child and family. Our team also may share research opportunities available for your child.
The first appointment is comprehensive and can be 1-3 hours long. Our schedulers will let you know what to expect—from how long you’ll be with us to which providers you’ll see. We offer toys, activities and sensory-friendly spaces to keep your child engaged, entertained and comfortable.
Before You Leave
At the end of your child’s appointment, we’ll spend time reviewing our findings and recommendations. Together, we’ll create a specific treatment plan that’s based on your child’s needs.
You’ll also receive all this information in a printout, called an “After Visit Summary.” This offers a quick and easy place to review your child’s care plan, including upcoming or recommended appointments to make. If your child is referred for developmental evaluations, such as psychological or speech-language assessments, your child will also be scheduled for an Information Sharing Summary “ISS” visit. The ISS visit is where we discuss the evaluation results with you and make a treatment plan. We strongly recommend families meet with evaluating providers at the scheduled ISS visit. Your child’s evaluations, recommendations and treatment plan also will be available for viewing on MyChart.
After Your Visit
If you have any questions between appointments, please contact us directly.
If you have concerns about your child’s safety related to behavior, such as risk of harm to self or others, contact the Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) or take your child to the Emergency Department (ED). Other indications of when to call the on-call doctor or go to the ED will be discussed at the time of your child’s visit. For general health concerns, please continue to call your child’s primary care provider.