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Behavioral Health

Why is it important to address my child's behavioral health?

As a parent, you know the importance of checkups with your child's pediatrician, what to do when your child has a cold or the flu, and how to care for scrapes and bruises.   But a child's health is more than physical, and one aspect that sometimes goes unrecognized and untreated is behavioral health.  Having your child evaluated at an early age, and beginning a treatment plan right away, is essential for setting your child up for healthiness, happiness and success. Left unaddressed, behavioral health issues can lead to poor grades in school, difficulty making and maintaining friendships, trouble holding a job, feelings of hopelessness or despondency, a sense of isolation, or lead to disordered eating, self-harm or compulsive behaviors.  

Our providers have more than 40 collective years of experience with pediatrics and behavioral health concerns such as autism, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If your child is struggling with a behavioral health issue, let our providers at Royal Pediatrics in Fayetteville help your family come up with a treatment plan that's right for you.  Please do not hesitate to make an appointment regarding your child's behavior.


What To Expect at a Behavioral Health Evaluation

Our Behavioral Health Clinician will begin by taking an initial evaluation and talking to you and your child about your concerns and any behaviors you have noticed.  If you are a current patient in our practice, we refer to this visit as a "Behavioral Health Consult" appointment. We may ask you to have your child's teachers or therapist, if they have one, to fill out paperwork as well.  We will go over your child's medical history, developmental milestones, social skills and daily habits, asking you about exhibitions of such behaviors and characteristics as temperament, attentiveness, aggressiveness, sleep and interactions with peers. You will then schedule a follow-up appointment with your child once these forms are completed and delivered to our office within 45 days.

If you are not a current patient and have behavioral health concerns, we will first establish you as a patient either by a well child check up or general health visit. Depending on the visit, the provider may order additional follow up or referrals as needed.

Currently, we evaluate patients for autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, and depression. Our Tullahoma office houses Mental Health Cooperative for counseling needs.

Please complete a Behavioral Health Information Packet prior to your visit.


Fast Track

Fast Track is a behavioral health medication refill program designed to reduce the wait-time burden on families while continuing to monitor cardiovascular risk among our patients. Your behavioral health clinician will continue to see children on an every four (4) month basis at scheduled Evaluation & Management (E&M) office visits, but for refills between the four months, we require the child’s presence so that we may check for cardiovascular problems, check height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure. 

To initiate a FAST TRACK visit, call in a medication refill at least 5 days before the child runs completely out of medication, as all refills are subject to a 3-working day processing period from the day you call in.  Please provide our staff with the name(s) of the medication(s) and the dosage(s).  Medication prescriptions will not be changed or added during a Fast Track visit.  Changes in medication require an Evaluation & Management visit with the behavioral health clinician.  If your child is having an adverse reaction to any medication, please call the office and request to speak with a nurse. 

Fast Track will be available only in the Tullahoma office Monday through Thursday between 2p.m. and 5 p.m.  Sign-in with reception as a Fast Track visit, and be prepared to show your photo ID and child's insurance card.  If your insurance requires a co-pay for office visits, we will be required to collect your copay at check in.   Fast Track will be administered on a first come first serve basis.  The nurse will take your child’s vitals, review cardiac history, and answer any questions or concerns relating to your child’s medication before issuing the refill prescription.  If you prefer to see your behavioral health clinician for each visit,  you may do so by scheduling a regular Evaluation and Management (E&M) appointment instead of Fast Track.


Cardiovascular 

In 2008, the American Heart Association (AHA) published guidelines for cardiovascular (heart) monitoring of children who are receiving ADHD medications. Their initial suggestion stated that each child started on medication would need an EKG. They did not consult with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) before they made this very expensive recommendation. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) disagreed with the recommendation and have issued a joint recommendation regarding how children on ADHD medications should be followed.  You will be given a cardiovascular (heart) history evaluation form with questions designed to determine whether or not your child needs an EKG.  Rest assured that most cardiac events associated with ADHD have occurred in adults or in children with an abnormality in their heart and who see their cardiologist regularly.


Do you have additional questions about behavioral health or our Fast Track program? Call Royal Pediatrics in Fayetteville, TN today at (931) 455-2674!

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