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Difference between developmental pediatrician and neuropsychologist -

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    Difference between developmental pediatrician and neuropsychologist -


    I took my younger daughter and son for a regular checkup. I've been frustrated for years with my son's "treatment"? We seem to make some progress, but it has always felt like a bandaid. I knew it was probably about time to find a new doctor...and COVID ended up being a GOOD thing in this department. Long story, but we had to see a different doctor for the check-up. It's someone who we have seen on and off...but mostly a sick visit here or there. I explained a few of my frustrations, some of things we have done and she suggested a developmental pediatrician. She did mention testing, etc. Anyway, what can I expect at this visit? Do we do this, THEN the neuropsychologist...or how does it all work?

    I've been debating what to do with my younger daughter. My other two kids had trouble learning to read initially. However, by they time they were 7.5, wheels started clicking and the reading progressed. My son, in particular really took off. My older daughter was slower, but was further ahead than my youngest is currently. She will be 7.5 on August 9. Initially, I chalked it up to maybe not doing "enough": with her, but I am pretty sensitive to the learn to read stage and I really have worked with her, consistently. She IS making progress, but just not nearly the same as the other two.

    Here are the problems I can identify:

    1)either moves the pages very close to her face (but she does not need glasses), or moves the pages while she is reading. If I hold the page still, so I can read with her...she. moves HER body.
    2)can only decipher words with b and d about 50% of the time (more accurate in context, only 20-30% if read alone) (she can WRITE them well though)
    3) in a list of words that rhyme, she doesn't catch on the pattern.....lane, cane, bane.....(but she can rhyme orally). We are doing core skills phonics 2 and she did actually start noticing some patterns - oh ,all these words end in g...then I pointed out..but look..they actually all end in "og". She is now paying more attention and looks more closely and line by line is intensionally looking for the pattern...but that hasn't caught on in reading a list of words.
    4) just like the oldest, now that long vowels are a thing, she sometimes messes up the short vowel easy words. She doesn't enjoy a challenge, and will just look at an unfamiliar word and say " I don't know that word, I can't read it"...but it will be a 3 letter word. I can walk her through it, but it's like pulling teeth.

    Areas that she is doing well:
    1)dictation - she can write many words through dictation....and writes very neatly. I think she can write just about any cvc word, despite claiming she can't "read it". She can even write many of the common words "and, the, his, come, etc).
    2) like her older sister, can guess her way through books above her actual decoding level
    3) she sometimes can explain things to her older sister that her older sister doesn't get
    4) keen sense of direction. My older two pretty much never had a clue where we were in relation to our home. At 2 years old we were driving somewhere and she asked if we were going the cow way. The other two had NO clue what she was talking about. Yes...there are some cows if we go a certain way just around the corner from our subdivision. She stopped napping at 3. Occasionally she would fall asleep in the car if we were out between 2-3. I enjoyed this and would see her getting a little droopy and intentionally pass our house to see if a few more minutes in the car would put her in sleepy land....she would notice.....and exclaim "I will NOT fall asleep, why are we not going home?"..again, the other two actually did not know we had passed our subdivision.
    5)Of my 3, she's actually quite mellow. I won't say she doesn't have her dramatics, but I chalk that up to simply being 7. I generally don't feel like I am walking on egg shells all day long like I do sometimes with the older two.

    So....I did talk to the doctor about her and said I kind of wanted to give her a few more months of a good routine and see if I didn't see improvement. She said that was fine to wait, or I could call back and also ask for a referral for HER to the same developmental pediatrician my son was seeing...which then brings me to my oldest. Who could/should probably go since the last time she saw someone (a neuropsychologist) she was only 6. As we approach 11, I'm seeing some almost dejavu moments of her from when she was turning 6 (it was not a fun summer the 5-6 transition). Obviously, COVID is a factor, but I started seeing some of this prior to COVID.



    DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
    DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
    DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

    From my understanding, a neuropsychologist is someone you see only a few times for an evaluation but a developmental pediatrician is someone you would see more frequently and could provide continuing recommendations.

    I would think you could pursue both at the same time as I think they have different purposes.

    A (13) - Simply Classical 7/8
    C (12) - Simply Classical 7/8
    G (8) - Simply Classical 1


      Good morning, Christine. If your insurance covers the appointments and you have no pressing reason to avoid going, it sounds as if you're ready to see a developmental pediatrician for all three children. This could be a good time to do so, given covid, staying home more, and having time to reflect upon each child just as you have done here.

      Think of a developmental pediatrician as a more qualified, experienced, in-depth pediatrician than pediatricians you have seen in the past. A "regular" pediatrician knows strep throat, ear infections, and other common illnesses of childhood. A developmental pediatrician has additional years of training and experience to allow him/her to think more deeply about complex developmental, behavioral, or learning issues.

      Unlike a neuropsychologist, child/adol psychiatrist, PT/OT, or neurologist, the developmental pediatrician will become your "hub" for all of these. He/she will help you sort through who does or does not need additional specialists (such as those just mentioned), additional testing, or additional therapies. He/she may then help you formulate good working diagnoses and treatment plans for everybody. Ideally, as Susan said, he/she will also become your long-term pediatric provider for each child.

      If your husband agrees and if finances and time allow, by bringing all three children you will give the developmental pediatrician a helpful context for each child. The family/genetic history portion would be streamlined because it will be replicated for each child, thus making the synthesis of information easier when everyone is seen.

      Your own observations will be invaluable to this developmental pediatrician. Try to consolidate them into concise bullet points for each child. Create categories for each child, such as 1) my most pressing concerns, 2) the child's strongest and weakest areas, and 3) additional observations or concerns. Sometimes our seemingly extraneous additional observations become the bright red flag for the doctor.

      As for your younger daughter, it sounds as if writing -- whether on a mini board, paper, or vertically on a large board -- will become an excellent avenue for teaching phonics, rhyming, word awareness, and more to her. (Good catch.) This could be fun and different for you!
      MP Representative
      Last edited by cherylswope; 08-07-2020, 07:49 AM.