Psychiatrists for Children
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Psychiatrists for Children
I think we finally need to look into a psychiatrist for my
just-turned 7-year-old (we will probably start up therapy again
too). He received a ''possible'' Aspergers diagnosis two summers
ago, and this past summer received an ADD-inattentive diagnosis.
We've been living with years of emotional volatility and my son is
becoming increasingly physical when he's angry. Although he doesn't
do it frequently, he does talk from time to time of wanting to kill
himself (and not for the dramatic effect) and it's happened often
enough that it's too often. He's negative and unhappy more than he
is happy. I'm looking for someone who is great at dealing with
younger kids, especially ones that are highly intelligent, shy and
not really forthcoming. Someone with experience in the above
mentioned conditions would be great to help us sort things out. I
would appreciate hearing others' experience or suggestions too.
thank you BPN community!
Hi. It sounds like your child, you (and undoubtedly the
rest of your family) have been dealing with a complex and
likely to be ongoing situation. My son was first evaluated
at age 5--he is now 18--one excellent piece of advice from
our pediatrician --this is a marathon, not a sprint. Over
the years, he has had diagnoses of ADD, Asperger's, social
anxiety--all valid to a certain extent. I wanted to make
several points that I hope can be helpful.
First--while assessments and diagnoses can be helpful, each
child is unique and needs to be valued for their individual
gifts and strengths, as well as supported/coached/learn to
compensate for their specific challenges. And it is crucial
to love and support the child.
Second--medication made an immediate and dramatic
improvement in my son's ability to participate in his
''journey'', as well as school and social interactions. He
himself sees medication as useful. Currently we see Brad
Berman for medication and periodic assessment/encouragement.
Third, ongoing therapy from Betty Tharpe, MFT (510) 549-2092
has been invaluable for my son, and our family--she is
positive but clear thinking and pragmatic about what we all
need to be doing. fellow marathoner
Looking for a child psychiatrist in the bay area for my 5 year old son.
Has anyone used a psychiatrist at UCSF? Please let me know if you have
any recommendations at UCSF or other places. Thank you
My friend in Palo Alto has spoken quite highly of Dr. Carol
We have been very happy with Dr. Karen Hardy in San Ramon. Dr. Hardy was
head of the Department of Child Psychiatry at Oakland Childrens's
Hospital before going into private practice. She has really helped our
daughter recover from a severe depression.
The office telephone number is 925-264-4069.
Our son was diagnosed with Selective Mutism earlier this year and
we are looking for a child psychologist or psychiatrist (preferably
in the Walnut Creek or Lamorinda area) who we can meet with on a
monthly basis. While he has responded well to speech therapy,
etc.- we want to better understand what is causing his extreme
anxiety and how to better support him as parents. Ideally, this
doctor would do play therapy with our son and also work with us as
parents on how to better support him.
There are many talented psychotherapists in the East Bay.
Some are more concerned with quick, short-term relief from
symptoms. Others are more engaged with seeking the
underlying causes of problems. One in particular who works
with kids, and adults, is Reyna Cowan. Her office is near
the Rockridge Bart.
My 5 years old child recently told me several times about hearing voises.
The child is much more anxious, aggressive and doing tentrum tantrums
often over last 2 weeks. There was a recent stress (relocation) which
might provoked it. Could anyone PLEASE recommend an experienced children
psychiatrist. Had anyone had an experience with this, and is it possible
at all for a normal child this age to hear voices in his head and to have
''conversations'' with someone in an empty room? I am sooooo scared.
Thank you very much.
Our pediatrician gave us a referral. Try calling your pediatrician and
making an urgent appointment or ask for a call back to get a referral.
The referral we received was great, but not sure if it is the right age
range for your child -- Dr. Philip Grossman in Albany. Best of luck to
WE've seen Dr. Brad Engwall in Albany,559-1819. He helped us a great deal
with my son's ADD and anxiety. He's young, really sweet adn ''kid like''.
The person who recommended him to me (a therapist) said he was great with
figuring out the right meds for the particular person. For my son he did
a brain scan.
You might want to consider getting an evaluation from both a psychologist
and a psychiatrist. Community Psychiatry Associates offers easy access to
psychiatric services. Their closest offices to Berkeley are in Downtown
Oakland (510-834-2049) and Lafayette (925-299-9033). They have other
offices also. If you want to do a psychological evaluation from a
licensed Psychologist: Alisa Crovetti, Ph.D., is in Albany (510-882-2771)
and Alan Siegel is in South Berkeley (510-652-4185). Evaluations can be
expensive, but some insurance will cover them, depending on the
psychologist and insurance coverage. I suggest that you get a couple of
opinions to make sure your child is being evaluated properly. These
evaluations can be very different, depending on the provider.
You may not like this response: however, try to learn more about where
It could be that your 5 years old is a bit stressed with the move
expesically if she left friends. However, it could also be the case that
your 5 year old really does hear voices- this doesn't mean that it's
wrong or bad.
Don't be scared.. be educated.
Learn as much as you can about ''who she talks to'' (if she open to
sharing with you) The worse thing you can do is issolate your child and
make her think she crazy.
I have had personal experience with a situation VERY similar.
Yes it is very possible for her to have conversations with no one you can
see in the room- it's called using her imagination (which is very
Please don't think she's ''crazy'' or lead her to believe she is the only
one that does that.
When my son was discharged from John George Hospital in May of 2008, I
found myself with the challenge of helping my mentally ill son regain his
life again. I did not have a glimmer of hope, because everywhere I turned
for answers, I was turned away. That was until I found Dr. Janice Cohen.
Dr. Cohen not only helped my son medically, but also educated our family
about his illness and the many resources that existed. She has been
interested in all aspects of my son's life and has helped him address his
recovery like a whole person. Dr. Cohen proved that what I thought to be
impossible was actually very obtainable.
In the six months that we have worked with Dr. Cohen, my son has made
outstanding progress. Prior to seeing Dr. Cohen, my son had two very
traumatic hospitalizations and was discharged on high doses of six
medications with no supervision. These medicines caused him very bad side
effects, which led to an emergency room visit and then a second
hospitalization. Dr. Cohen reduced the number of his medications and
lowered the amount to a point where he now has no more side effects.
From the first day of working with Dr. Cohen, I felt her warmth and
sincerity. Not only has she helped my son recover, but also, she has
helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel ' A light that everyone
else told me was lost. I highly recommend that anyone faced with a mental
illness or simply seeking therapy for life problems give Dr. Cohen a
chance. You will find what you're looking for.
Dr Lisa Hardy at Children's Hospital. Call NOW
You can try Dr. Jonathon Gross (psyciatrist) in Berkeley or Dr. Nancy
Euwing (psychologist) in El Cerrito. Good-luck-your doing the right
I'm so sorry to hear about your son's troubles.
It sounds like his behavior change may have stemmed from the recent move?
Are the voices telling him bad things?
Is it possible he has created an ''imaginary friend'' to help him cope?
I hate to sound kooky, but is it possible he has picked up on something
paranormal going on in the new house? Kids are very in tune to those
It sounds like this change in his behavior most likely comes from the new
adjustment, and not him suddenly becoming psychotic, but that's just my
I still think it would be a good idea to get him to talk to someone, I'm
sure you'll get other good recommendations here.Or you could start by
discussing it with his pediatrician.
Try not to worry, talk to him about it some more. Ask him what the voices
are saying to him. Open up a dialog and let him know it's OK to feel
differently about his new surroundings. Don't be ''scared'' he will pick
up on it and it can cause more unneeded stress.
My almost 4 year old daughter is quite difficult to manage. She is quite stubborn
and defiant, she rarely plays on her own, demanding my attention most of the time,
she has difficulty socializing with other children. I finally think she and I need
help. I am looking for a psychologist or psychiatrist to help with these issues. We
are in Berkeley. Thanks for any recommendations! Tired parent
Brad Engwall MD is an excellent child psychiatrist with a private
practice in Albany: 510-559-1819.
Can someone recommend a good child psychiatrist? Someone with
expertise in OCD who can, if needed, prescribe medication
Any/ All of the psychiatrists at Oakland Children's (Herb Schreier,
Lisa Hardy, Andrew Giammona) are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. You
can't go wrong there. One Who Knows
Child Psychiatrist (MD)
My five year old needs a full evaluation done by a board
certified CHILD psychiatrist. I am looking for a child
psychiatrist (not a psychologist or therapist) since we do not
want to rule out medication. My son responds much better to warm
and empathetic than cold/clinical type, which unfortunately most
psychiatrists we have encountered are. As you can imagine this is
very sensetive and importante to us and we dont want to muck it
up. If you have had a good or even bad experience, please let us
know. Thank you in advance. PS. Isnt it funny that I come to this
site for recommendation before asking our pediatrician?? Thanks
For the concerned mom looking for a warm,
board-certified child psychiatrist, there's one at
Children's Hospital Oakland named Andrew Giamonna.
(don't know if I spelled his name right). I'm a
pediatric resident there, and have had good
experiences working with him. The main number at
Oakland Children's is (510) 428-3000.
Hope that helps.
I can recommend Dr. Philip Gross as a child psychiatrist. He is
an MD but he does not prescribe medications. If he feels meds
are part of your child's treatment he will refer you to another
doctor, probably starting with your pediatrician. While Dr.
Gross or Dr. Phil to our son, spends time with your child, you
and your spouse will consult with his wife, Miriam Gross, a
licensed clinical social worker. We were able to have our
insurance pay for all this; however, if you can't, perhaps, you
can skip seeing Miriam; I don't know. Dr. Gross spent 3-4
months getting to know our child before he felt any additional
testing was warranted. Our child, who was showing quite a bit
of defiant behavior at home, which was why we initially sought a
psychiatist, was always happy to go see Dr. Phil. We felt that
was a testament to Dr. Phil's ability to connect with our
It was very hard to get a psychiatrist, as you may have
already learned. Most do not take new patients. Dr. Gross was
not either, but when we left the initial message on his
answering machine we mentioned we had been referred by Dr.
Gruber who was our pediatrician at the time. Dr. Gross and Dr.
Gruber are good friends so that got us in the door. Another
approach you could try is a developmental pediatrician. We now
take our child Dr. Gary Landman in Orinda for meds management.
Dr. Landman will do testing and meds but he does not do
counseling. I think the only doctor in the area who does all of
that is Dr. Berman in Walnut Creek. It only takes a year of
waiting to get in to see him. No kidding! I called in August
of 2004 and was scheduled to see Dr. Berman in August 2005.
Hope this helps and Good Luck.
been there, done that
Have you ever thought of going to a place like Berkeley Therapy
Institute (don't know if they take kids) where one talks to a psychologist,
but they have a psychiatrist on staff to evaluate and prescribe when
medication is needed?
Just a thought...
Please help. In the past 6 months there was a recommendation
for a Kensington psychiatrist who used to be a pediatrician.
I've looked through archives and past emails but can't locate
it. I'd appreciate getting her name. Thanks!
I think you're talking about Ms. Blacklidge (her first name is
either Virginia or Victoria), who has a private psychiatric
practice out of her home in Kensington.
Hi - My 3 1/2 year old is beyond picky. He now does not want to
eat in front of people, other than family, or at school. I
figure a child psychiatrist could not hurt. Does anyone know one
that deals w/food issues?
Sounds familiar. I recommend that you do a little research
first, to try to figure out what type of professional would be
most helpful. My child has had two related issues about
eating, and it sounds like yours might share one or both.
First, the range of food he likes is very limited. Texture and
temperature are issues, as well as taste. This seems to
run in his father's family, and is related to sensory
processing. An occupational therapist can be helpful with
strategies for expanding the range of food accepted by a
child with sensory issues. You can search for information
about ''sensory integration.'' Second, my child does not eat
in school or in large social groups, such as at birthday
parties. This is, in his case, a symptom of social anxiety
(also known as social phobia), and is accompanied by
other symptoms of discomfort or extreme shyness in social
situations. Some websites to look at are shykids.com and
childhoodanxietynetwork.org. Our initial experiences with
general psychologists and some psychiatrists led us down
the wrong path and did not help. They tended to see issues
of control, limit-setting, and parenting style as the root
causes, and they were apparently unaware of the underlying
anxiety and sensory issues. When we finally learned about
anxiety and sensory disorders, this new information was
enlightening. Psychologists with a neurological
perspective and some psychiatrists have been helpful. I
suggest that you start out by doing some reading to see
what ''rings true'' for your situation, and use that to help
identify the type of professional to look for.
sensitive child's mom
this page was last updated: Oct 21, 2012
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