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Our 5 y.o. boy has significant sensory processing problems. He
has been in special ed early intervention and has been worked up
for autism, etc. The consensus among professionals to date is
that he has great difficulty processing sensory information,
including language, but is rapidly improving. He is very
hyperactive in that he can't sit still, and his attention span
varies from poor to fair, depending on his interest in the
topic. He can be rigid and negative at times when things are
not going his way. On non-verbal testing at age 3 he was
assessed to have very high intelligence, and we think he is very
smart -- he has a knack for solving problems and a sly way of
winning people over even with his limited social skills. He
loves other kids but does not have good boundaries, sometimes he
comes on too strong.
He is starting kindergarten in September, and the plan is for
him to be in the special ed class. The teachers and principal
have encouraged us to have him assessed for medication, to ''help
him process.'' The medical group will not pay for CHO or UCSF
but they will pay for Dr. Gary Landman in Orinda. I don't know
anything about him so I am asking out there for any opinions and
My son has been seeing Dr. Landman for the last 18
months. My pediatrician warned me that while he's
well-respected, he's good at what he does, but he has so
many patients (he's the only behavioral pediatrician on most
East Bay health plans) that he literally only spends about 10
minutes with you.
Nevertheless, I haven't really felt the need for more time. I try
to come prepared with a list of questions and he will answer
them. But the visit is always rushed but strangely thorough.
He's very nice, and straightforward. He talks to my son and
asks him questions directly and sometimes sees him
alone in his office.
His office sent a detailed questionairre to us and a form for
his techer to fill out. We've tried a few different doses and
types of medication, so he is definitely *not* a one size fits
all kind of doctor.
He doesn't automatically just refill medication, either. You
either need to come in to pick up a prescription or you need
to send in a SASE. My son goes to see him about once a
I hope that helps.
Mom of 2 boys
I don't know what your financial situation is, or your
health insurance situation, but I can tell you that
when given the choice of Dr. Landeman on our health insurance
plan or Brad Berman paying him in cash, I spent the money
on Brad Berman. I talked to Landeman's office and didn't feel
he would have an appropriate amount of time to spend with
us for us to feel he would make an informed diagnosis.
I have heard that there are better choices with Hill
Physicians rather than ABMG, and you might also want to
look at that.
Brad Berman seems to actually look at the kid in front of
him rather than diagnosing from a sheet filled out by a
We are having our son evaluated for learning/attention issues.
Landman was the only one our health plan covered, so we saw him -
- but also made appointments with Brad Berman (which we will pay
for). We have not yet finished with Berman, so I cannot yet
compare evaluations, but I was not impressed with Landman. He
spent relatively little time with us, and did tests that did not
seem well-suited to understanding our son's particular learning
issues. His manner was a bit abrupt. His reputation is that he
sees ADD everywhere, and everyone leaves with a prescription.
True to his reputation, he told us ''Your son is brilliant, and
has ADD. But of course you know that.'' Actually, we didn't
know that; that's why we went to him. We are skeptical about
the diagnosis still; we suspect our son's inattention reflects
processing issues, and that an ADD diagnosis is unsubtle and
does not really help address the underlying problem. Landman
had some good ideas for classroom accomodations, but offered no
suggestions for therapy to help address processing or other
That said, if you have a good sense of what your child's special
characteristics are, and need Landman only to prescribe meds, go
for it. He will be more than willing.
We had our son assessed by Gary Landman when he was in second grade
because his school thought that medication would possibly help with his
focus issues. This was the only available resource that our insurance
would pay for, so we decided to start with his assessment. I had heard
very mixed reviews and had also heard that he was quick to prescribe
medications, so when he wrote his reports that he saw no need for
medication, I took it strongly to heart. He spent an hour with our son
and an hour with me and was able to give some great advice that I still
continue to inform each teacher about. (And used to give each teacher a
copy of his assessment.) We later had more extensive testing done with
the school system and a speech therapist, though no one has been able to
"diagnosis" anything further. He does not qualify for any special ed
services, so we have utilized various tutors on our own. He is now
twelve and does we! ll! in school, but needs a great deal of support
from us. So my opinion is that Gary Landman is a good place to begin
since the assessment is covered and then branch out from there.
As far as medications are concerned, I have seen them assist
with miraculous changes in both children and adults, but finding an
effective combination with minimal side effects is challenging.
Speaking from experience (I work in the psychiatric field, my brother
was "hyperactive" and on ritalin back in the 70's, and we have several
friends with children on medication), sometimes it takes several trials
to find the right medications, and this can cause anxiety for the parent
and child as well. Also, new medications come out frequently, so some
of the children we know have medication changes yearly, according to
their symptoms and progress. On the other hand, medication is only a
part of treatment, so give yourselves the options of reseaching each
step further if you need too. Good Luck!
I have not used Dr. Landman but have heard a few things about
him. My pediatrician did not recommend him for my 3 year old son
with processing problems. She said he has little experience
with young kids, dealing mainly with teenagers, but
unfortunately he was the only person who was covered through
medical insurance. We have gone privately to Brad Berman and
Ann Parker instead.
We had a poor experience with Dr. Gary Landman. We took our child to
him because he was the only referral that our pediatrician would give
(Petra Landman, his wife, which I see as a conflict of interest). We felt
he was not very thorough, and gave his standard diagnosis and treatment
plan for ADHD without investigating the effects of a rarer disorder that he
and we knew also afflicted our child.
We were very frustrated with his one size fits all diagnosis of ADHD.
We heard that Dr. Gary Landman has a reputation for giving the
diagnosis and prescription you want. When we went to him,
within the hour of evaluation, he did just that.
A wonderfully brilliant and insightful pediatrician. whom I
heard speak at a symposium on disorders of the brain. has had
remarkable results with PDD (from autism to dyslexia) by using
vitamin A, cod liver oil, and an allergy-free diet (casein and
gluten). Her name is Mary Megson; her practice is in Richmond, VA.
this page was last updated: Feb 1, 2006
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