Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
What to Expect

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.

We ask that you call our office at least 24 hours before your child’s appointment if you need to cancel or reschedule.

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
  • Nurse
  • Medical assistant
  • Child life specialist
  • Social worker
  • Psychologist
  • 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 up to 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.

If you need a follow-up appointment, you may be eligible for an eVisit. Ask your provider for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

A developmental-behavioral pediatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in babies’ and children’s development and behavior. Developmental-behavioral pediatricians evaluate if children are meeting their milestones as expected and, if not, help families understand what is happening with their child’s health and development. Sometimes they recommend medical tests or refer to other specialists to help in children’s care. Developmental pediatricians recommend treatments to help children reach the full potential.

Our nursing staff assist with procedures in clinic and medication refills, review next steps with families at the end of their clinic visit, and help address patient questions by phone and MyChart.

Our medical assistants are trained professionals who welcome the patient and family to their medical room, conduct a brief intake, take vitals, and assist with procedures in clinic and medication refills.

Our child life specialists help make the clinical experience easier and less stressful for patients and families. They are professionally trained with degrees in child development or related fields and provide a range of services for children and families. Child life specialists help optimize the patient’s coping through preparation, play, and procedure support.

In developmental and behavioral pediatrics, our social workers can provide or connect your family with resources regarding emergency needs (clothing, food, shelter, and transportation), education (individual education plans - IEP, 504), treatment, support, and counseling services including crisis intervention.

Our psychologists have specialty training in providing services to children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. They are involved in diagnostics evaluations, as well as consultation and treatment of intellectual delays, autism spectrum symptoms, and challenges related to behavioral functioning (i.e., noncompliance or aggressive behaviors), mental health concerns (i.e., anxiety, depression, emotion dysregulation, etc.), sleep difficulties, and social skills.

Speech-language pathologists in developmental and behavioral pediatrics are involved in comprehensive diagnostic evaluations, as well as consultation and treatment for challenges with receptive and expressive language, pragmatics or conversational language, pronunciation, and other language delays. For non-vocal children, they provide augmentative communication therapy and picture exchange communication system.

Developmental and behavioral occupational therapists support patients and families in increasing their participation and independence in activities of daily living (feeding, grooming, bathing, dressing, play, school, and social). They address motor, sensory processing, executive function, visual-motor, and cognitive skills.