Preparing for Your Child’s Evaluation
Before scheduling the comprehensive evaluation, our program specialist will contact you by phone to talk about your child’s symptoms. She will talk with you about relevant details related to your child’s past medical history and treatment. She’ll also collect results from previous tests, such as laboratory workups and neuroimaging scans (such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging).
This information helps the team decide if the Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center is the best fit for your child. If it is, the program specialist will begin the scheduling process to ensure a timely appointment. If not, your child will be fast tracked to see other specialists at Cincinnati Children’s who can provide the care your child needs.
During Your Child’s Evaluation
The comprehensive evaluation can take place over one to two days or multiple days, depending on your preference. If you are traveling from outside Greater Cincinnati for the evaluation, Concierge Services will help to plan your visit and provide travel and lodging information.
Children, adolescents and young adults who come to the Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center for a comprehensive evaluation will have one-on-one appointments with multiple physicians, including:
- A neuroimmunologist who specializes in treating inflammation in the central nervous system (neuroimmune disorders).
- A neuro-ophthalmologist who takes care of vision problems that are related to the connection between the eye and brain. These problems can be associated with inflammation of the retina, optic nerve (optic neuritis), optic pathway, visual cortex and eye movement center of the brain.
- A rheumatologist who diagnoses and treats autoimmune conditions that affect the central nervous system, such as central nervous system vasculitis.
Each of these specialists will evaluate your child from their unique perspective, with a focus on inflammation that is affecting the central nervous system. This helps the team achieve a fuller understanding of your child’s condition.
After Your Child’s Evaluation
Developing a Treatment Plan
Following a comprehensive evaluation, our entire team will meet to review test results and discuss your child’s condition in more detail. This team includes all of the physicians who saw your child at the evaluation, along with:
- A behavioral neuropsychologist or psychiatrist who can evaluate and treat psychiatric problems that sometimes arise in children with neuroinflammatory disease, including mood disorders and learning challenges.
- A pathologist who interprets laboratory tests to help provide an accurate diagnosis.
- A neuroradiologist who provides expert interpretation of imaging studies specific to neuroinflammatory disease.
Other providers who may care for your child include a nurse, social worker, occupational therapist, physical therapist, registered dietitian and pain management specialist. Together, they will develop a detailed, unified treatment plan.
Sharing Next Steps
The program specialist will share this information with you by phone and send a summary report to you and your child’s pediatrician. The report will include “next steps” to help you know what to expect.
Our program specialist will serve as a point of contact with your family. She can:
- Answer questions about your child’s treatment plan
- Connect you with specialists or services
- Help you navigate the healthcare system so that your child receives the best care possible
When the time comes for your child to transition to a provider who specializes in caring for adults with neuroimmunological conditions, the care team can help by making referrals and sending medical records to that provider.