Does something about your child’s behavior seem off? Do they seem to be losing skills that they had previously mastered? If something about your child’s development doesn’t seem right, you deserve clear and compassionate answers.
One of the best places to find them is with the help of a developmental pediatrician. These experts have the tools necessary to diagnose and treat children with behavioral challenges. It can be an overwhelming world, however, and many parents are unsure where to begin.
Dr. Mike at Developmental Pediatrics is an experienced, qualified professional. His practice is an excellent choice for families seeking a developmental pediatrician in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Read on to learn more about what to look for and expect as you begin this process.
What Is a Developmental Pediatrician?
A developmental pediatrician has all of the qualifications of a general pediatrician. The difference is that developmental pediatricians have extra training and expertise in developmental issues. They can assess and treat children with many developmental and behavioral conditions.
Many developmental pediatricians specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. They use special diagnostic tools that can help describe your child’s unique behavior.
Ultimately, they are experts in both pediatric medicine and psychology. They have dedicated themselves to helping families navigate a new diagnosis, such as ASD, in early childhood.
Attributes of an Excellent Developmental Pediatrician
An excellent developmental pediatrician will be a board-certified medical doctor with experience working with children with developmental disabilities. They will be knowledgeable enough to answer your questions and provide support at every stage of the process. A qualified professional, such as Dr. Mike at Developmental Pediatrics in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, will carry a special certification.
For example, Dr. Charles Mike Rios completed a fellowship in developmental pediatrics. He is also board-eligible in neurodevelopmental pediatrics. His years of specialized experience make him a wonderful ally as you navigate the first steps of your child’s ASD journey.
Dr. Mike works with Lawanna Smith, an early childhood specialist. She can provide personable support based on her experiences with autistic populations. She can answer questions and provide clarity and support for families.
Developmental Pediatrics makes it easy for families with neurodiverse children to get support. They offer services through telemedicine to make all aspects of the process simple. If you are in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, their in-person services are also in a convenient, central location.
Should I Schedule an Appointment for My Child?
If you suspect your child may have Aspergers or Autism, an early diagnosis can help. Children who begin treatment early tend to experience positive benefits on a long-term basis. In Texas, children in the birth to three populations can receive ECI services as soon as they have a definitive diagnosis.
When considering your child’s behavior, you can begin by identifying “soft signs.” These might be delays or unusual behaviors that can provide clues to help with diagnosis. Common soft signs include:
- Not reciprocating smiles
- Avoiding eye contact
- Communication delays
- Preference for playing alone
- Challenges with transitions, new experiences, or change
- Sensory seeking or sensory restricting behaviors
- Repetitive behaviors
- Hyperfocus on an interest
- Loss of skills
Every child is unique. The presence of one or more soft signs does not necessarily mean that your child is on the autism spectrum. If you have concerns, there is no reason not to pursue an opinion from a professional experienced in working with autistic kids.
What Should Happen at My Child’s Appointment?
If you suspect that your child may be on the autism spectrum, then you may have had challenges when taking them to new places. The telemedicine solutions allow us to provide a comprehensive ASD screening without the stress. We’ll connect with you from home via teleconference to help get you the answers that you deserve.
The screening, ideal for children under five, typically takes place across four sessions.
During the first session, you will meet with the pediatrician over video conference. They will take the time to speak to you about your child’s medical history. They will also conduct a simple assessment called the M-CHAT-R.
During the second session, we’ll speak with you again. You will answer some questions about your child’s medical and behavioral history.
We’ll use this information to score the Vineland 3 Adaptive test. That information can teach us more about your child’s level of adaptive functioning.
The third stage is also done from the comfort of your home. We provide you with a protocol that you will use to interact with your child. You can film the interaction on a phone or other camera.
After, we’ll review video footage of the interaction. We will use it to score a third assessment known as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale 2.
The final session will be when we present you with our findings. We should be able to provide you with a definitive diagnosis and the peace of mind that comes with it. We can use that information to prescribe services and help you work with your child at home.
At that point, we’re happy to answer any questions you have about your child’s prognosis. If necessary, we can begin the process of scheduling any follow-up testing. This might include hearing, genetic, metabolic, or neurological testing.
Your Favorite Developmental Pediatrician in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex
If you are a parent grappling with challenging behavior, a developmental pediatrician can help you find answers. Dr. Mike at Developmental Pediatrics is a qualified, experienced professional. It is his goal to make assessment and diagnosis an easy process for all children and families in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
Are you seeking a developmental pediatrician in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex? New patients can quickly and easily request a consultation or evaluation online. We look forward to building a trusting and supportive relationship with you and your child!