Alexander Lerman, M.D., P.C.
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Child Psychiatry

Child Psychiatry & Assessment

Children live and grow in a number of different worlds.  Psychiatric assessment of children begins with evaluation of a child’s home life, as well as the child’s academic, social, and emotional development.  

Like many experienced clinicians, Dr. Lerman’s assessment is usually focused on the child as a whole.  A checklist process of determining what psychiatric diagnosis a child “has”, the basis of our present DSM diagnostic system, is important but usually incomplete.

An initial assessment usually consists of a meeting with one or both parents, followed by an interview with the child, followed by a feedback session with parents.  For some adolescents, the order of the meetings is reversed.

Academic records, questionnaires and other records can be helpful.  Artwork, stories, and handwriting samples are sometimes valuable.

Some children require psychological assessment for cognitive and learning problems, particularly since learning problems are sometimes misdiagnosed as emotional ones.  Review of psychological testing records is an important part of a child psychiatric evaluation.  Dr. Lerman will refer a child for psychological assessment when appropriate.

Educational Psychiatry

The benefit of involvement with schools has to be balanced against privacy considerations.  In some circumstances, the involvement of a professional can help a child and school understand one another better.

Learning and reading problems can cause high levels of emotional distress in some children, and can sometimes be misdiagnosed as emotional problems.  Dr. Lerman has experience with many different varieties of learning problems, and works closely with psychologists who specialize in testing and intervention in this areal

Dr. Lerman has extensive experience with assessment an consultation with schools.  He serves as a consultant for the Putnam – Northern Westchester BOCES system, serving schools across Westchester and Putnam Counties.

Family & Substance Treatment

Dr. Lerman has extensive experience treating adolescent substance abuse and addiction problems.

Older children require more privacy.  Dr. Lerman does not disclose substance use or other inadvisably behavior to parents, unless that behavior exceeds a high threshold of risk.  At the same time, parents need and should have information about treatment planning, goals, and progress.   Balancing these needs is usually not difficult.

Dr. Lerman encourages parents and families to participate in their child’s care.  His training and practice is more “family-centric” than that of some child psychiatrists.

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