Recently, during a typical day as a developmental pediatrician, I walked down the hall to schedule an ophthalmology appointment for a toddler. As I spoke with the secretary, I saw a thin “new patient” chart on her desk for another patient. I recognized the name at once and was immediately transported back 25 years ago, to when I was a fellow in training at the center and learned a very ...

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As I have been known to say on this blog once or twice before, one of my favorite things about being a developmental pediatrician is the opportunity to follow the children I see for initial diagnostic evaluation over the long term. New research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies conference makes me especially hopeful. When our clinical ...

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A variety of factors contributes to the challenge. First, even in this era, in which autism is a household word, it is not unusual for me to give the diagnosis to parents who have not considered the possibility that their child has autism. Statistically speaking, the children we see at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center for these initial evaluations are very young -- on average, 24 months ...

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Recently, at a holiday meal with my extended family, it came to light that neither of my typically developing teenage children really knows how to tie his or her shoes. It seems that for the past decade or so, both have been using the “bunny ears” technique introduced to preschoolers for tying their shoes. My children appear never to have moved on from there to the mature “around the tree” ...

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Back-to-school shopping, new sneakers and first-day outfits, sharpened pencils and fresh notebooks in oversized backpacks by the door: As a parent, these are the images I’ve come to associate with the start of every school year. But with my 20-plus-year history as a developmental pediatrician specializing in autism at Albert Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, I have an added association with the start of the school year: a particular type of ...

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I recently fulfilled my civic responsibility by completing a stint on jury duty. Somehow I had never previously been summoned. Being the Law & Order junkie that I am, I was kind of awestruck by my first up-close exposure to the court system. I sat erect and at attention in the courtroom, listening to the judge charge us prospective jurors. I even became slightly teary when he spoke of the important role we ...

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One of my favorite aspects of my developmental pediatrics practice at the  Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Einstein is that I have the opportunity to follow children and their families in the clinic over the long term -- often for many years. Because I am the director of the infant ...

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I recently returned from a 10-day vacation from my position as a developmental pediatrician. I specialize in the early identification and management of autism at Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center. The night before returning to work, I decided to check my voicemail. Since my last vacation, a new office voicemail system had been installed. It seems that I now have an unlimited amount of ...

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I believe most physicians have cases that haunt them, often patients whose treatment courses do not go ideally and who leave a mark on the physician, altering the way he or she practices ever after. When the physician is a surgeon, it might be a patient who died on the table. For a hematologist, it might be a patient with cancer who could not be cured. For a developmental pediatrician, ...

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