Right from the Start Clinic Identifies Challenges Early for Best Outcomes

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Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics’ Right from the Start Clinic helps you know whether your child would benefit from early intervention to solve or alleviate any issues before they become problematic.

All children learn and grow at different rates. We know that getting help early can lead to the best outcomes for kids. Because these issues are often very subtle in young children, only 20-30 percent are identified as needing help before kindergarten. Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics’ Right from the Start Clinic helps you know whether your young child would benefit from early intervention to solve or alleviate any issues before they become problematic.

Developmental, learning, behavioral and socio-emotional issues are estimated to affect one in every six children

The Right from the Start clinic is a free screening clinic for children between the ages of 1 month and 5½ years old. We provide a multidisciplinary screening evaluation to assess your child’s developmental progress. You will meet with clinicians from our psychology, occupational therapy, and speech language departments, as well as our pediatrician. At the end of the visit, you will receive information on how your child is doing developmentally, with suggestions to target any areas of need that have been identified.

Common concerns that might indicate your child could benefit from a screening include delayed speech, not making eye contact, not smiling in response to you smiling, poor coordination, toileting delays, motor delays, prematurity, concerns about emotional or behavioral development, or other developmental delays.

The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a developmental screening test that assesses communication, fine motor, gross motor, problem solving and person-social skills. Complete the ASQ online before your appointment, and the results will be reviewed with you during your visit.

At the conclusion of the Right from the Start screening appointment, you will meet with a psychologist to review the findings and recommendations. We will help you create an action plan of next steps to take, based upon what concerns were identified, if any. We provide local resources to assist your family, and our Client Care Coordinators are available to provide further guidance in accessing those resources.

Contact info@keystonebehavioral.com, 904.619-6071, to talk to a Client Care Coordinator.

By Rebecca J. Penna, Ph.D., NCSP, Neuropsychologist and Clinical Psychologist, Director of Right from the Start Clinic

Neuropsychological Clinic Assesses Brain Injuries

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Keystone’s Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic is co-directed by Regilda (Rea) Anne A. Romero, Ph.D., licensed psychologist, and Rebecca J. Penna, Ph.D., NCSP, neuropsychologist and clinical psychologist.

Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics’ Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic can provide a comprehensive evaluation of brain functions and processes that is particularly useful for children who have experienced a brain injury. The assessment includes a profile of a child’s processing strengths and needs so that treatment, rehabilitation and educational plans can be developed. Clinic Co-Directors Regilda (Rea) Anne A. Romero, Ph.D., licensed psychologist, and Rebecca J. Penna, Ph.D., NCSP, neuropsychologist and clinical psychologist, can help with making “return to play” decisions.

Kids’ Concussions Cause for Concern

ABC News reported in September on an alarming new statistic: Kids only report one out of every 10 concussions. The danger in not reporting concussions is the possibility of post-concussion syndrome, a complex disorder that, according to Mayo Clinic’s website, can last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury that caused the concussion.

What makes the disorder even harder to diagnose is that a child who has suffered a blow to the head doesn’t necessarily lose consciousness. In fact, the injury may not even have seemed that severe.

The ABC News story reported on 15-year-old Willie Baun who was hit on the field during a game. His father, Whitey Baun, said, “It was absolutely a normal hit, nothing that made me go, ‘Oh! That was a real hit!”

But, in fact, they learned later that it was his second concussion in just six weeks. And, it resulted in Willie losing his memory. It took eight months and help from doctors for Willie’s memory to return.

According to Mayo Clinic, post-concussion symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, loss of concentration and memory and noise and light sensitivity. Parents should seek help if their child experiences a head injury severe enough to cause confusion or amnesia, even if their child hasn’t lost consciousness.

Coaches play an important role in preventing post-concussion syndrome as well. They should not allow a player who has suffered a head injury to return to the game. ABC News refers to the HeadMinder test as one way to test cognitive ability. After a hit, the player is asked a series of questions by the coach or parents. The score is tested against a baseline number to see whether there’s been an injury and whether the play is ready to go back on the field.

However, none of the diagnostic studies are completely objective and should never be used as the sole means of assessment or in deciding when to return an athlete to play.

The November/December 2011 issue of Practical Neurology reports that “the best way to assess an athlete or any individual who has sustained a concussion is still a comprehensive neurological history and detailed neurological examination performed by a properly trained physician.”

Keystone’s Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic also diagnoses other medical conditions that impact the central nervous system and complex clinical conditions that impact the way a child thinks and learns, for example, epilepsy/seizure disorders; neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder and/or language delays; and various medical issues and illnesses that can impact the integrity of the brain, such as cancer and cancer treatment late-effects, viruses and infections, congenital or genetic disorders and stroke or Sickle-cell “silent strokes.”

Keystone child psychologists are eager to share information on neurological assessment with urgent care centers, school counselors, coaches, community and faith groups, pediatricians and other health care providers, as appropriate. To arrange an in-service training or presentation, contact Karen Rieley, director of marketing and communications for Keystone, 904.333.1151. If you are a parent who is concerned that your child may have suffered a brain injury or other medical condition that is having an impact on your child’s ability to think clearly and learn, contact Keystone, 904.619.6071, to set up an appointment with the Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic.