Your choices of pediatric neurologists may be very limited, particularly if you are far from a major medical center. First, determine which pediatric neurologists in your area accept your health insurance and are available to accept new patients. If you still have several choices available, choose a pediatric neurologist who makes both you and your child comfortable. If your pediatrician has concerns regarding a specific disorder, a pediatric neurologist may be available who specializes in the treatment of these disorders. Verify their qualifications, education, continuing education, accepted insurance plans and affiliated hospitals by consulting Angie's List, where you can also read other member's experiences.
Your initial visit to a pediatric neurologist will consist of a physical exam and an in-depth history. If your child's problems have occurred during specific episodes, try to document the date, circumstances and, if possible, a video of the event. Bring documentation of your child's developmental milestones, such as speaking, crawling and walking. Symptoms that appear suddenly may have been progressing for a longer period of time. For instance, a problem with peripheral nerves could be causing your child to grow weaker. However, you may not notice until he or she is unable to stand. Reexamine family photos and videos with this in mind to provide the best history to your neurologist. Bring copies of your child's medical records, in case the neurologist's office has not received all of them. Your pediatric neurologist may or may not need to review each of these documents when diagnosing your child.
The pediatric neurologist may perform additional tests to aid in your child's diagnosis. The doctor may place electrodes on your child's body or scalp to measure the electrical activity of the nerves or brain, perform a blood test to check for markers of disease and take images of the brain, spinal cord or nerves to check for damage, developmental defects or the presence of a tumor. The physical exam will look at how your child moves and behaves to detect any abnormalities.
Unless instructed by your doctor, special preparation for the appointment, such as avoiding food or drink, is not necessary. The wait may be long, so prepare by bringing some toys and a snack.