Developmental Pediatrics and Autism

Preparing for a Developmental Pediatrics Visit

Helpful information for parents

  • Send required records before the initial visit: Send via fax (832-825-9065) any recent evaluations by the school district (Full and Individual Evaluation [FIE]) or other professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, speech/language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and any medical subspecialty evaluations performed outside of Texas Children’s Hospital.
  • Allow about 2–2.5 hours for the first visit: Keep in mind that the visit may be longer depending on your child’s needs.
  • Plan to arrive early and monitor for traffic: There is a 15-minute grace period for your appointment, after which you must be rescheduled.
  • Cancel within 48 hours: “No show” appointments will not be rescheduled, and emergency situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis only.
  • Parking is free of charge in our lot: If our lot is full, you’re welcome to park in the city of Houston parking garage next door for a fee. We’re not able to validate parking.
  • Expert tips for a successful visit:
    • Bring a trusted adult with you to the visit as a “second set of ears” and for support. Other than this one person, family members and/or children will be asked to remain in the waiting area. If you must bring siblings, another adult must be present to supervise them in the waiting area.
    • Try to recall and write down as much as you can about your child’s developmental milestones 
    • Keep notes of how your child’s behavior changes depending on the location and who is present.
    • Gather your child’s information and have it ready for the evaluation.
    • Write down your questions ahead of time and bring your list to the visit.

Preparing your child for a visit

  • Talk to your child about the upcoming visit. Explain to your child that this visit is different from other doctor visits and that the doctors will be mostly talking and playing with them.
    • Use tools such as short videos to help them know what to expect during a clinic visit. Videos are also available for purchase through Model Me Kids.
    • You can also use social stories to familiarize your child with what will happen during the visit.
    • Familiarize your child with the setting: Take photos of the office before your child’s visit to familiarize your child with our office.
  • Use visual schedules. Create a visual schedule for your child to follow from the time they leave home to the time the visit is over. (For example: Car-Waiting Room-Talk To Doctor-Park-Home)
  • Practice. Practice what will happen during the visit. You can use dolls or medical play sets to help your child know what to expect.
  • Stick to your routine. Try to keep to your regular routine as much as possible. Do your best to make sure your child has a good night’s sleep and a good meal before the visit.
  • Stay calm. Try to stay calm and avoid rushing to the visit so that your child is not agitated upon arriving for the visit. If something unexpected occurs, use a calm and reassuring voice to explain to your child what is happening.
  • Bring distraction items. Let your child pick a favorite item such as a stuffed animal, blanket or comfort item to bring with them. Snacks may also be helpful for longer visits as well.
  • Provide rewards. If possible, arrange for a special reward for your child following the appointment (such as a trip to the park, a special food, extra time to play outside, etc.) This may help your child associate positive rewards with future office visits.