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Children's Specialized Hospital Subspecialty Medical Services

FAQs for Pediatric Physiatrist

Q: Why am I seeing a Pediatric Physiatrist?
A: Your pediatrician or another professional may have referred your child to a Pediatric Physiatrist (or doctor of rehabilitation medicine). This physician is a nerve, muscle, bone and brain expert who diagnoses and treats injuries or illness that effect how we move. The physician looks at the function of the whole person, not just one symptom or condition. A Pediatric Physiatrist is a medical doctor who has also completed residency training in the medical specialty or physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). Pediatric Physiatrists do not perform surgery.

Q: How are children evaluated?
A: The evaluation is tailored to your child's individual needs. A nurse or assistant will check your child's height, weight, and blood pressure. The physician will review all the information you have provided; ask questions about your concerns and child's medical history, and perform a physical examination of your child. The physician will evaluate your child's muscle strength, joints, and ability to walk and play. Depending on your family and your child's needs, he/she may see the parent or child individually. The staff will partner with you and document on a computer during your session.

Q: Will my child be present when I talk to the physician?
Please let the staff know if you do not want to discuss your concerns about your child in front of him or her. It would be helpful to bring another adult to stay with your child so you can talk to the physician privately. If this is not possible, please provide the physician with a written, bulleted list of your concerns so he/she can consider them during the evaluation.

Q: What kinds of testing will my child need?
Some additional information may be needed to asses your child's hearing, speech, movement, learning or behavior. Some medical tests and lab work may also help to provide additional information. Each child is different and you and your physician will decide together what additional testing would be performed.

Q: How long is the initial visit?
A: The initial visit is usually 60-90 minutes.

Q: When will I know the results of the evaluation and get a diagnosis?
A: We know that many families would like answers and specific diagnosis during their first visit. We many not have all the information needed at that time to give a specific diagnosis, but your physician will share with you their initial thoughts. Your physician will partner with you to determine what steps are needed to address all your questions and concerns. After all testing is completed, you will meet with your physician for a follow up visit. Follow up visits are typically 30 minutes.

Q:When will I get a copy of the evaluation report?
A: A copy of the report will be mailed to you in approximately 4 weeks.

Q: What should I bring?
A: Please bring:
-A current photo ID (license)
-Insurance card
-Referral if needed
-A current list of your child's medications
-The questionnaire that was sent to you
-School reports
-Prior evaluations
-Any braces, splints, and a list of any other adapted durable medical equipment your child may be utilizing (ie. hospital bed, stander, gait trainer, knee immobilizers, etc.). You might want to bring a backpack with some toys/games for your child and a snack. Many parents also find it helpful to bring a list of questions to ask the physician. Topics you may want to include in that discussion may be, but are not limited to, possible treatments and therapies, the need for braces, splints and/or durable medical equipment, recreational activities, community opportunities, and stretching excercises.

Q: Do I have to bring my child to Children's Specialized or can another relative bring them?
A: It is a requirement that a parent or legal guardian be present during your child
s evaluation and to sign consent. You have the most helpful information about your child and it is important to have your input.

Q: Will insurance pay for the evaluation?
A: Medical coverage will vary, but health insurance plans cover many of our services. Please contact your insurance company prior to your appointment to verify if you plan offers a benefit for the service for which your are scheduled. You insurance plan may also require you obtain a referral and/or prior authorization. The Patient Access Department will also work with you to verify insurance coverage.
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