Once in a while parents look for an outside opinion on their child’s behavior. They might be concerned about repetitive movement patterns, lack of eye contact, delay in speech, sensitivity to touch, or any other observations that they or close friends and relatives have brought to their attention. To assist with any processing disorder time is of the essence. It is much better to be one step ahead and get the green light than having to back paddle.
A comprehensive service is available in the town of Sonoma and Petaluma, CA and nearby neighborhoods:
Child observation/assessment in the home setting
This initial 1 hour session includes me spending time with the child and parents at their home. The indoor and outdoor environment will be evaluated according to the child’s needs and behavior. Fine and gross motor skills, language/speech, nap/sleep, nutrition, sibling dynamics, attention span, and anything else important will be addressed and considered. Has the child been part of major changes in his/her life such as a divorce, a birth or death of a family member, sickness or other trauma, moving, did a parent start a new job, etc? During this home visit I will establish a connection with the child and move freely between him/her and the parents, or it might be that the child moves in and out of being with us adults. This is the session when parents communicate everything to me that they want me to know in regards to their child. This communication can be both, verbal and written. Since there might be statements not appropriate to say in front of the child, parents can supply me with written documentation.
Soon after this first meeting, maybe within one week, I will spend at least 30 minutes, but no more than 40, with the child at home while the parents stay in the background. The purpose of this session is for me to assess the child and to fully understand their developmental level. We will play together, talk and laugh, color or paint, dig in the sandbox, whatever the child initiates for us to do. I will follow their lead and gently observe their personality and temperament. There also might be periods of silence between us.
The final time will be our follow-up meeting. This session may take place at home or at another quiet facility without the child being present. I will present a written assessment of the child’s level of development and I will talk at great length to the parents on how to support growth and maturity for the future. There will be a short and long term goal in place. Parents will receive clear instructions on meeting the child’s needs and how to set age appropriate expectations. If needed, I might give referrals to contact other professionals.
The child observation/assessment costs $250.
Sometimes parents ask for private consultations. They are aware of a specific struggle and simply need information and parenting guidance. I think of it as assembling one’s own personal tool box.
Private sessions in my office are scheduled for 50 minutes and cost $90.