Pediatric training and practical experience taught me lessons which are extremely important to child and adolescent psychiatry. Pediatrics taught the lesson of an accurate diagnosis. Diagnosis leads to correct treatment. Pediatrics taught the first hunch was frequently incorrect, Pediatrics taught, listen to parents. Pediatrics taught inquiry. Use the test, make the measurement. There is a balance between the hunch, the experienced clinician and the objective test.
Psychiatry is based on less concrete data than Pediatrics. There is no brain scan and few blood draws to get an accurate diagnosis. Psychiatry is dependent upon good will, accurate information, and the words of the patient and parents. The accurate patient word is the trust given by patients to me. Assessments in psychiatry depend upon the patient and family word in objective paper and pencil tests.
The best objective paper and pencil measurements are determined by standard American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry literature. My practice uniquely emphasizes the use of tests and measurements.
There are standardized questionnaires covering anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, autism, trichotillomania (hair pulling), psychotic disorders, traumatic disorders and developmental disorders.
Tests can be wrong. Words can be misleading. Children and adolescents cannot always place the correct word to what troubles and pains them. Parents, grandparents, teachers, therapists and caretakeers can give measurements and broaden how others see that young person. This documentation makes evidence for accommodations and diagnostic proof clear to others (i.e. schools, camps, special educations progams, standardized tests, primary care physicians, therapists). Children and adolescents grow and change. Child Psychiatry especially, remains very imperfect in diagnosing and interventions.
Parents and young people of age are included and receive the written results of these measurements. Parents and young people get a clear diagnosis and understand the reasons for that diagnosis. The best interventions available are discussed, substantiated and agreed upon by the family and myself. If further testing is needed, I refer to those resources.
I specialize in medication management and therapy. Substance abuse is not a major focus. Further testing for learning disabilities or intelligence testing is referred to highly competent professionals.