Developmental Pediatricians’ Services
The Children’s Learning Institute has one Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician, Dr. Williamson. Developmental pediatricians evaluate individuals from infancy through college age. They follow prematurely born children who are at risk for developmental problems as well as children with developmental delays and/or disorders, including those with neurodevelopmental issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Many patients followed by a developmental pediatrician are seen for suspected or known ADHD, learning disorders such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, Autism Spectrum Disorders, or general developmental delays. Developmental pediatricians also manage medications for patients with ADHD as well as medications for some children identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorders. Although a physician referral is not needed, parents are encouraged to discuss the child’s needs with his or her primary care pediatrician when gathering information for the diagnostic evaluation.
At the first evaluation appointment, your developmental pediatrician will interview parent(s) about prenatal and family history, early development, previous testing, and recent events surrounding the reason for this evaluation. Infants and children up to four years of age are evaluated with parents in attendance. Four- to five-year-olds may be evaluated separately or with parents in attendance, depending on the child’s ability to separate from the parents. Older children and adolescents will be evaluated following the parent interview.
The developmental pediatricians use many different test instruments in their neurodevelopmental assessment depending upon the age of the patient and the presenting problem. Evaluation of the younger child will include assessment of general development, speech and language (expressive and receptive skills), fine and gross motor function, and interaction skills. School-aged children and adolescents will be assessed for academic skills, intellectual ability, attention, memory, and fine motor function/handwriting.
For younger children the evaluation appointment will include history, assessment, and results of the evaluation with a written report mailed at a later time. During the discussion of the results, your developmental pediatrician will discuss his findings and answer parents’ questions as well as make recommendations regarding therapies (speech/language, physical therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, medical studies, etc.).
For school-aged children and adolescents, a follow-up parent conference will be scheduled at least one week after the evaluation, and a written report will be given at that time. Older adolescents are sometimes included at this follow-up conference. At the follow-up conference, your developmental pediatrician will discuss his findings and answer questions as well as make recommendations regarding therapies (speech/language, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and counseling), accommodations needed in the educational environment, further evaluations that may be necessary, medication needs for children with attention deficits, and school recommendations for children.
For children diagnosed with ADHD:
If your developmental pediatrician recommends medication for your child/adolescent and you wish him to manage medication, you have a choice of beginning that management at the time of the follow-up conference or waiting until later. Some families know that they are ready to use medications and are comfortable with that process. Others have not yet settled those issues and need to discuss it or try other recommendations first.
To begin medication management, your developmental pediatrician will discuss and give written information regarding the way he manages medications. Parents will be asked to sign a consent form after he has discussed the medication to be used. At that time, the prescription and a copy of the consent form will be provided as well as a letter giving instructions about the steps for taking the medication. The parent will be in close telephone contact with the developmental pediatrician for the first several weeks of medication use to discuss its effectiveness and to receive instructions regarding any necessary changes in management.
Families electing to begin medications at a later time need to make a 30 minute appointment to sign consent forms and receive written instructions and the prescription. There will be an additional charge for this appointment.
Patients are seen for a check-up six to eight weeks following the beginning of medication and every three months after that.
Make an appointment with a Developmental Pediatrician
To make an appointment with one of our developmental pediatricians, print and complete the Patient Information Form. Failure to complete sections of this form may result in a delay in scheduling. Copies of previous testing, including standardized tests administered by schools or private facilities, should accompany the Patient Information Form. The information in the Patient Information Form and previous testing determines what type of evaluation should be scheduled and what additional forms are necessary. Mail this information along with an application fee of $100 to the address on the form. (This non-refundable application fee is deducted from the charge for your first appointment and is not an additional charge.) FORMS MUST BE MAILED WITH YOUR CHECK. WE DO NOT ACCEPT FAXED FORMS or CREDIT CARDS BY TELEPHONE.
If you have not heard from our office within a week of mailing your forms, please call our office (713-500-8300, option 7), as this will likely mean your forms did not reach us. (We highly recommend keeping copies of everything you provide to us.)
Once appointments have been scheduled, we will send a written confirmation with additional forms for completion by parents and teachers (if applicable). Our confirmation letter also will provide a date by which all forms must be received in our office to prevent the necessity of canceling the appointments. We must receive the completed forms prior to the appointment.
When returning this second set of forms, please include copies (not originals) of recent report cards and previous medical history if related to the present evaluation. This history usually includes reports from neurologists, psychologists and/or therapists, and MRIs, CT scans, hearing tests, chromosome studies, or any significant medical history.