Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to their first visit, many parents have questions about the appointment. We are always happy to answer your questions, and to make things easier have included answers to some of our most common questions below. If you don’t see your question here however, please feel free to contact us.

  1. What is a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician?
  2. What is an initial evaluation?
  3. My child has already been tested. Why do developmental screening tests have to be administered during the first visit?
  4. When are the new appointments for an initial evaluation scheduled?
  5. How long will the initial visit take and what will be done?
  6. Why would the doctor order other tests?
  7. How important it is to bring copies of previous evaluations?
  8. What is the purpose of the questionnaires?
  9. What do I tell my child about this visit?
  10. What happens if I have to cancel my child’s appointment?
  11. What is the cost of an evaluation?

What is a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician?

A Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician is a medical doctor with specialized training and experience in child development and behavior. We are pediatric subspecialists who work in conjunction with your child’s primary care doctor to manage behavioral and developmental problems such as ADHD, Dyslexia and other learning difficulties, Developmental Delays, Intellectual Disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Speech-Language delays. In addition, we provide developmental follow up for premature infants.

What is an initial evaluation?

Our initial evaluation consists of two or three visits, depending on the need for further testing. During the first visit, the doctor will interview parents to take a thorough history.  This will include a review of  the reason for the visit, your child’s educational history, early development, birth, health and your family’s history. The doctor will also review the online questionnaires completed by the caregivers and teachers.  During that visit our nurse will weigh and measure your child, check vision and hearing and administer certain developmental tests.  This visit lasts 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

If necessary, the doctor may order further tests following the initial visit.  These psycho-educational tests are administered by licensed school psychologists who consult with our center. Our front desk staff will schedule these appointments, if needed, after the first visit is completed.  The doctor will inform you of the tests that have been ordered and our staff will discuss the cost of such services.

During the final visit, or “feedback session,” the doctor will review the findings of our evaluations with you and recommend an intervention plan. This visit is very important because it gives the physician an opportunity to explain the issues identified in the evaluation. You will learn about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and what to do about them. Please do not bring your child to this visit, unless the doctor has instructed you to do so.

My child has already been tested. Why do developmental screening tests have to be administered during the first visit?

Our battery of developmental screening tests allows us to obtain a first-hand clinical impression about your child. It is essential that we get this “clinical feel” for each patient. This is something that cannot be gained from a written report or test scores.

When are the new appointments for an initial evaluation scheduled?

The first visit is scheduled in the morning. The second visit is usually done in the morning and, occasionally, in the early afternoon. Please allow yourself ample time to arrive, and take into account the Tampa morning traffic.

How long will the initial visit take and what will be done?

The first visit will require 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours. During this time, you will be spending time alone with the physician to discuss your concerns about your child privately, and without the risk of hurting your son/daughter’s feelings. Therefore, your child may have to spend time in the waiting room by him/herself. If you think that he/she will need to be supervised in the waiting area, please make arrangements to bring someone who can properly watch your child. We have toys available for their enjoyment, as well as a worktable to do schoolwork. You will not receive a report or prescription from our center until the doctor has completed the feedback session.

Why would the doctor order other tests?

The doctor may recommend if further tests are needed.  Some of the tests may include IQ, Process and Achievement, often referred as a psycho-educational evaluation.  The physician may also request a speech, language, and/or occupational therapy evaluation. These tests are performed by psychologists and therapists, and are not included in the cost of our evaluation. We will incorporate their findings into our report as needed.

The last visit or feedback session will last 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours. During that time the doctor will meet with you to discuss the findings and recommendations of the evaluation (educational, behavioral, medical or developmental). You will also receive a detailed written report that you can share with other professionals. Please do not bring any children to this appointment, unless the doctor instructed you to do so.

How important it is to bring copies of previous evaluations?

If your child has been evaluated in the past it is very important that you make available the reports of those evaluations before your child’s visit. This helps us assess your child’s problems and makes the process more efficient and cost effective.

What is the purpose of the questionnaires?

The questionnaires gather very important information about your child. They help our doctors identify the concerns and facilitate the focus of the evaluation. This information is essential to preparing the necessary reports that summarize our findings, so the child can receive the necessary services. We must collect information from your child’s teacher and main caregivers because problems may vary from one environment to another.  If you have not completed the questionnaires, register now at the Tridas eWriter website

What do I tell my child about this visit?

First, reassure him or her that there will be no painful procedures. We do not have needles or give shots in our office. Your child will be working with the nurse while you talk to the doctor, and may spend time alone in the waiting room. The nurse will check height, weight, vision and hearing and will also give a vocabulary and fine motor skills test. The doctor will do a physical and neurological examination, and will assess language and motor functions. There is no pass or fail in any of these tests. What we are trying to do is determine the child’s learning and behavioral style to find ways to help with schoolwork, behavior and getting along with friends. Infants and children 3 years old and younger are seen with their parents.

What happens if I have to cancel my child’s appointment?

Our cancellation policy requires that you notify our office of the cancellation  no less than 24 hours before your scheduled visit. If your appointment is on a Monday, the visit must be cancelled before noon the previous Friday. If the appointment is not properly cancelled, there will be a charge of $250.00.

What is the cost of an evaluation?

Please see the financial policy and fee schedule page.