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Anyone out there have experience with Kate Mountain? She does
neuropsychological assessments in the Pedi Mental Health dept. over at
Kid needs testing
Dr. Mountain is a colleague of mine and is an excellent clinician. She's
smart, compassionate, thorough and very experienced. You'd be in great hands
and will get thousands of dollars worth of testing for a small fraction of
what you'd pay in a private practice (including hers).
Kate Mountain was extremely helpful to us many years ago when we were
trying to figure out our puzzling son. She was supportive of us as
parents, and not quick to judge or diagnose our son. She gave us
needed reassurance, and guidance. She did not push medication, which
we did not want to do at the time. We saw her after seeing several
other Kaiser people (therapists and psychiatrist) who left us pretty
frustrated. I highly recommend her.
Does anyone have any recent recommendations for a Kaiser
(prefer Richmond, but Oakland is fine, too) child
psychologist? I don't think we need someone w/ a specialty,
but my 6 year old daughter is pretty shy so we would need
someone who could listen to parent accounts and perhaps gently
work w/ her to crack her shell and find out what's going on w/
her. She has a lot of fears that are really adversely
affecting her/our lives. I suspect that she may also have some
OCD tendencies, but I'm not sure. Someone w/ experience in
that arena might be handy. Thanks for any recs!!
Our seven year old daughter sees Dr. Mary Haake (the worry doctor)at
Oakland Kaiser. I highly recomend her. She makes her own
We saw Dr. Mayfield, a child psychologist at Kaiser Oakland.
We only saw her twice, about a complicated issue at school,
but we found her to be very insightful. She immediately
zoomed in to the relevant bits, and was able to get the big
picture based on just a couple of hours of conversation with
us parents and our child. She was very supportive and kind.
Another endorsement for Dr. Mary Haake at kaiser Oakland. She's got a lengthy career of working with kids with all sorts of problems - from the typical issues to the more complex. Our neighbor's kid benefitted enormously from working with her. Harriet
We have two appointments scheduled with Dr. Lopez at Kaiser in
Oakland. It is our understanding that he is a specialist in
Autism Spectrum Disorders. However, our son has been seen by
another psychologist who thinks he has sensory integration
disorder. Kaiser doesn't seem to have anyone who specializes
We filled out an autism questionaire provided by our
pediatrician, and the only red flag it raised was on a sensory
related question- does your child sometimes cover his ears?
We are scheduled for a full autism screening even though I
told Dr. Lopez that my son does not engage in repetitive
behavior, is not obsessive, and does not show any other signs
of autism. He is a happy, affectionate child who is very
sensitive and may have a language delay, though he has been
assessed by OUSD for that twice and they found his development
to be in the normal range. I do not object to the screening,
I guess we just have to rule autism out, but I don't think
anyone is listening to me. They just keep asking me over and
over if my son makes eye contact. He does.
Can anyone share their experiences with Dr. Lopez in a similar
situation, related to autism or sensory issues? I'm afraid that if your
tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail, and that my son
may be labeled inapproprately.
Most kids with autism spectrum disorders have SI, but most
kids with SI do not have an autism spectrum disorder. I have
been reading a lot. I'm not a psychologist but I've read the
DSM, looked at the categories for ASD, and I don't think my
son fits there.
We are scheduled for an assesment by an OT at OUSD, as well as
with a psychologist and a speech and language specialist. I
am not sure if we will hold our son out a year from
kindergarten or send him to a public or private school this
year. A lot depends on these assessments. We are casting a
wide net, looking for a variety of opinions. Any insights on
working with Dr. Lopez or with OUSD, or with the search for
answers in general would be appreciated. If you have any
advice on how to cope with all of this I could use that as
We have a son (now 13) who has been diagnosed as PDD-NOS, an
autism spectrum condition. He has seen Dr. Lopez, but Lopez is
not the only individual to make that or similar ASD diagnosis. He
is very high functioning which makes a firm diagnosis difficult as
you have no doubt read. Kaiser did a neuropsychological workup on
our son when he was 6 and it was very helpful. Kate Mountain,
Ph.D. is the individual who supervises those.
We have found Dr. Lopez to be very helpful. and I do not feel that
we have been ignored by him. He has attended IEP meetings with
the school district and was very helpful in dealing with them.
I would be very cautious about having your son assesed by either
Dr Lopez or the Autism Spectrum Disorder clinic at Santa Teresa.
Our experience with Dr Lopez was not very good. After meeting our
son who was three at the time he seemed very quick to give him an
ASD diagnosis. When I mention that we thought that we thought that
he might have sensory integration disorder he immediately
dismissed that thought, which is strange since every OT that my
son has met since has said,, ''whoa your son DEFINITELY has
sensory issues.'' Part of this may be because right now SPD is not
a ''diagnosis'' and has no entry in the DSM that is in current
use. We found Dr Lopez to be very unhelpful throughout the
difficult process to find help for our son. He gave us a diagnosis
and then had no suggestions for what to do next, the only resource
he recommended was for programs that started with children who
were six years old. When I pointed this out he shrugged and said,
well I'm sure you must know more about what is available in the community than I do???!!!
The worst part was that after the whole painful excersise with
both him and Kaiser Santa Teresea my son was labelled with autism
and it appears everywhere on his medical chart... so now every
medical visit we have for anything is overshadowed by this... ear
infection... oh your son has autism....er visit.. oh your son has
autism... well child visit.. oh your son has autism. The thing is
my son is 7 now and is awesome, caring, funny but the whole
experience follows us round like a shadow.
disappointed with kaiser
We had an extremely painful experience with Dr. Lopez when my child was
3.5. Dr. Lopez very quickly diagnosed my child with ASD and then
proceeded to paint a grim prognosis and suggested that we pay out of
pocket for 40 hours a week of ABA therapy. We felt that he completely
ignored any information that we gave him about our child's imagination or
social interaction and that he dismissed our questions about the
diagnosis. In retrospect he didn't seem to have very much knowledge
about children in general. When we told him that our child was resisting
pooping on the potty and would ask to put on a diaper to go poop he was
astounded and said that was the wierdest thing he had ever heard. He
also refused to give us any written reports or diagnosis saying that we
should 'start fresh' with any subsquent evaluations that we did. We did
manage to get a copy of his notes that we subsequently took to a longer,
much more thorough evaluation at Children's Hospital in Oakland that !
found our child was NOT on the spectrum. In the report we got from
Children's Dr. Wachtel points out that the CARS score Dr. Lopez gave my
child was too low to indicate an autism spectrum disorder even though
that isn't how he interpreted the score he gave. I am always astounded by
how little skepticism there is about the autism diagnosis these days!
People are so ready and willing to accept that autism is everywhere when
the fact of the matter is we know very little about atypical childhood
wish we'd waited the extra months and skipped the appt. at Kaiser
My son was a patient of Dr Lopez from age 8 to 12. Dr Lopez never made a
diagnosis. He insisted that my son's issues were parenting problems that
could be solved by setting firmer limits. I'd describe him as a
''behaviorist,'' examining cause and effect in relationships without much
concern with deeper causes that might be biochemical or addressed through
Dr Lopez saw my son at least 30 times. When my son started adolescence,
his behavior became so challenging (running away from home, failing
classes that he had been getting A's in a semester earlier, extreme,
sometimes violent anger, etc.) We asked Dr Lopez several times for a
referral for a neuro-psychological evaluation, which he refused. We ended
up in the Kaiser emergency room because our son was talking about
suicide. Dr Lopez was on call and handled the situation in a highly
un-professional manner. At that point my husband and I decided that Dr
Lopez may be well-intentioned but was not helping our son.
We paid for an neuro-psych evaluation ourselves and for the past year he
has been seeing a private psychologist. Our son, at age 13, was
immediately diagnosed with ADHD. With this diagnosis we have been able to
move forward and my son is doing remarkably well.
I don't understand why Dr Lopez never recognized my son's disorder.
Spending 4 years with a patient and not once suggesting that ADHD may be
Can anyone recommend an excellent child psychologist at Kaiser
Richmond? My almost 4 y.o. son is having extreme tantrums,
lots of defiance and anger, etc. It may not be at a ''clinical''
level--I just don't know--but our family needs help regardless
because it is affecting us all. I checked the website and
recommendations are mostly for Kaiser Oakland. Thanks.
Several years ago when I went through a divorce, at the
recommendation of my mediator I put my daughter into counseling
at Kaiser. She was in kindergarten at the time and was very
angry and acted out quite a bit. We found Dr. Dan Alterman,
who is a very kind and soft spoken doctor. He totally saved
our daughter and turned her around. He spent several sessions
talking to her to find out how she felt in addition to play
therapy and bringing in a graduate student to do some IQ
testing (which is not standard, but he went above and beyond).
He even went so far as to give her his card with his direct
telephone number and told her to call him if she ever needed to
talk outside of her sessions. She still keeps this close to
this day. After several sessions, he even agreed to have a
session with both her father and I to discuss strategies to
She later attended a group anger management session that Kaiser
offers that helps teach children how to identify their feelings
and frustrations and appropriate ways to deal with anger and
It's been a long journey and I'm not saying it's going to be
easy because I've found that we never truly find out what one
particular thing set her off, but at least she has strategies
to help her cope and communicate her feelings. Also, find other
parents that are going through the same thing. It helps to
talk to someone who knows what you are going through and for
the kids to have play dates because they will tell their peers
more than they will tell an adult and they don't feel so alone.
Hi. I'm new to Kaiser and need to find a good developmental
psychologist/evaluator to assess my 6 year old son who is
having behavioral problems, mostly with self-control, and home
and at school. Has anyone been through this process at Kaiser
Richmond and if so would you recommend the people you worked
with there? Thanks so much.
There is a very popular ADHD class at Kaiser Richmond
taught by Rona Renner - see BPN reviews
for more info.
We are working with Dr. Purvey at Kaiser Richmond for my nearly-
5 year old son, who has been acting out at daycare - expelled
from two programs last year. Our issue doesn't seem to be ADHD,
but I can tell you that they will ask you to attend an
orientation meeting which is the all-purpose gateway to care.
(Friday mornings, call to register). During that initial meeting
they do an assessment with the children older than 5 in a
separate room, and then each family group has the opportunity to
meet with a doctor to discuss the situation. I have been pretty
happy with their approach, which begins with looking at the home
environment and family dynamic before jumping to a 'label'
diagnosis. Good luck with your son.
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