Referral examples

The following scenarios were developed to give referring providers and families an idea of the scope of the Child Development Center practice.

A 2-year-old girl recently started to receive speech therapy through a Birth-to-3 program and parents are still concerned about her lack of language (she started the program less than 6 months ago).
It is wonderful that she is receiving services! The parents should be encouraged to continue with this service and to monitor their child's response to speech and language therapy. If, after 6 months in treatment, the child does not make progress, or if the progress made is extremely limited, a referral to the Child Development Center would be appropriate.

A 3-year-old boy has significant behavioral struggles, including difficulty complying with directives and aggressive behavior. He does not have a history of developmental delays. His parents are seeking advice on how to improve his behavior.
Since this child does not have a history of developmental delays, we recommend the family begin by working with a therapist who is able to help the parents to address their child's dysregulated behaviors. The parents may also consider having him evaluated by the school district to determine if he qualifies for services through an Early Intervention program. If, after working with a behavioral therapist, difficulties remain, an evaluation at the Child Development Center would likely be appropriate.

A 4-year-old boy completed a Birth-to-3 program because he didn't talk until age 2 years. He talks a lot now but parents are concerned that he may have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
This child would be an appropriate referral to our clinic, for an evaluation. The evaluation may clarify the diagnosis and provide recommendations to help regulate the child's behavior. Parents should also have him evaluated through their local school district to determine if he would qualify for an Early Intervention program. To initiate this process parents should contact their local school district.

A 5-year-old boy has a history of developmental delays and his parents and teachers are concerned he may have autism.
The Child Development Center performs multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluations of children with a wide range of developmental disorders. However, these evaluations are not specific for autism spectrum disorders. If parents are seeking an autism specific evaluation they should have their child assessed at a program that specializes in autism. Please contact us if you need a list of autism/ABA therapy resources.

An 8-year-old girl is struggling in school. Parents feel she is dyslexic, but her IEP (Individual Educational Plan) doesn't mention anything about dyslexia.
We frequently evaluate children such as this through our School Performance Program. However, our program has a wait list of several months due to high demand. While waiting for the evaluation at our clinic the family should review resources on our website that include information on dyslexia and programs in the Milwaukee area that service children with dyslexia. If parents are interested in having their child attend one, they should sign their child up as soon as possible, since many of these programs also have a wait list.

Parents of an 8-year-old boy, who is primarily Spanish speaking, are concerned that he is struggling to learn how to read and seems to have a hard time explaining himself to others. They are requesting an evaluation to determine if he has dyslexia.
While we specialize in providing evaluations for children with learning disabilities and language delays, we can only perform evaluations in English. Interpreters cannot be used in the child's evaluation process. The family should first contact their child's school and request an evaluation in Spanish through the IEP referral process. If the school denies this request, the family should seek out a speech and language pathologist who can perform the evaluation in Spanish (such as an evaluation through the Marquette University Speech Clinic). They should also be referred to a psychologist who is able to perform psychoeducational testing in Spanish.

A 9-year-old boy has significant emotional and behavioral struggles that are beginning to negatively impact his school performance.
Because this child's primary concerns seem to be related to his emotional and behavioral problems, we recommend that his parents first enroll him in outpatient psychotherapy services. Parents can also refer to the resources on our website that provide education and recommendations for responding to emotional difficulties and associated academic struggles. The child's parents should remain in close contact with their child's school and therapist to assess his progress. If, after participating in therapy for a few months, little to no progress is made, a referral to our School Performance Program for a comprehensive assessment would be appropriate.

A 9-year-old girl is struggling with reading and writing in school but does not have an IEP.
The family should contact their child’s school first and request that she be referred for an IEP to receive individualized educational supports in reading and writing. This process is necessary for her to eventually receive ongoing services in school. The family is also welcome to register for a psychoeducational assessment at the Child Development Center. The parents would likely benefit from reviewing resources on our website that provide recommendations for addressing reading and writing difficulties in children.

A 9-year-old boy who is home-schooled is struggling with reading.
Our recommendations for this child would be similar to that given to a family of a child who participates in a “traditional” school setting. Children who are home-schooled are eligible for assessment by the local public school district. The family is also welcome to register for a psychoeducational assessment with our School Performance Program. However, it is important to note that we are not able to provide lesson plans or specific curricula to use in their home-schooling program.

A 10-year-old girl, who is very bright and doing well in school, but struggles with anxiety.
The first recommendation for an anxious child is to begin a program of psychotherapy. The Child Development Center is primarily an evaluation clinic and has very limited availability for therapy patients. The parents should contact their insurance company to find therapists who are in their network. Parents can also refer to resources on our website that provide recommendations for helping children cope with anxiety. It is important to note that these resources are not meant to replace working with a therapist.

Parents of a 10-year-old girl, with a history of seizure activity, are now concerned that she may have ADHD.
Because of her complex medical history, this girl should be referred for an evaluation at Froedtert Hospital's Neuropsychology Department. The wait for getting into pediatric neuropsychology is generally not long. Parents are also welcome to utilize tips for homework and attention regulation that are listed on our website, while they wait for their child's evaluation to be completed.

A child with developmental delays and associated behavioral dysregulation is being treated with four different medications. His parents are looking for a second opinion regarding his treatment and would like to find a new doctor to manage his medications.
This family would be best served by contacting a child psychiatrist who has expertise in managing children with developmental disabilities. We do not have psychiatrists on staff at the Child Development Center and therefore are not an appropriate referral for such families. The family can locate a psychiatrist by calling their insurance company and finding out who is within network.

A teen who is struggling with depression that requires medication and therapy.

Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to help teens with these problems. Our primary practice focus is on assessment and we do not have many openings for therapy patients. It would be best for this family to consult their insurance to find which psychiatrists and therapy groups are within their network. The family may also consult our website for general information on depression.

View a list of additional resources.

If you have additional questions regarding the appropriateness of a referral to our clinic we welcome your calls or e-mails. Contact Lisa Meder, Practice Manager, at the Child Development Center at (262) 432-6618.

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