Health & Behavior Questions
For many mental health issues, research suggests that a combination of therapy and psychopharmacology provides the most effective treatment. At We Care Pediatrics, our pediatric nurse practitioner can help you and your family decide if medication might play a useful role in your child’s treatment, make recommendations, discuss with you the associated risks or benefits, prescribe directly to your pharmacy, and monitor for safety. Medication can offer assistance with several symptoms, including inattention, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, OCD and aggression. Medication use may require weeks or months of treatment in order to achieve a long-lasting, sustained remission. No matter the course, our nurse practitioner will be available to support your child and family along the way! We also believe that success comes from a collaborative approach between the therapist and your child’s health care provider.
Does your child need an evaluation? If you have concerns call our office and set up an appointment. We can discuss your concerns and gather information about your child symptoms, parental concerns, school concerns and familial history. You will be provided with assessment tools that you can complete prior to your visit.
For Anxiety both the parent and child will be asked to fill out a Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED). Return prior to the visit.
For Depression assessment, parents and child may be asked to fill out Columbia Depression screen ( ages 11 and older) or PHQ-9.
For OCD, assessment tools Children’s Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS)
For concerns of aggression. we use the MOAS Modified Overt Aggression Scale.
What to expect at consult?
Please complete requested paperwork 1 week prior to your appointment. If teacher and therapist observations are available, please submit those as part of the paperwork. You and your child will spend time going over pertinent medical history and familial mental health history. All information and screening tools will be reviewed. A behavioral health plan can be developed. This may included recommendations for medication, therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy) and other options to explore (relaxation techniques, mindfulness, yoga, nutrition).
If the nurse practitioner prescribes medication, we require close follow up by phone and office visits during the first several weeks of beginning medication therapy. Once stable, medication visits can be every 2-3 months. If a dosage change is needed, an appointment must be made prior to any changes being made and to assess the child’s progress.
We can not refill medications for those patients that do not keep their appointments here or with their therapists. The goal of treatment is to achieve stability of symptoms for 9-12 months before medication is discontinued. Discontinuing medication before remission is achieved may result in worsening symptoms. Discontinuing medication should be done gradually and with your health care provider. The goal is not to remain on medication forever; but rather, to help your child get back to his or her baseline and be successful.