Frequently Asked Questions
If your questions are not answered below, please Email or call 630.549.6245.
Do you prescribe medication?
Gone is the myth that mental health is separate from physical health! More and more, research is showing the links between mind and body. As a practice, our philosophy is to support activities of daily living that reduce a child’s vulnerability to having difficulties. We harp on diet, sleep, and exercise.
We believe that food can be used as medicine. We know that adequate sleep is critical to optimal peace. We insist that regular exercise—be it light or vigorous—moves kids toward good feelings, social success, and confidence. Vitamins and minerals can make a big difference, too.
Our Registered Nurse Practitioners consult with all clinicians about health issues that overlap with psychiatric issues. This might include referrals to assess for seizures, for bloodwork, for allergies, for visual/auditory processing problems, for infections, and more.
Most families who find their way to our clinic prefer to consider medication as a later step in treating pediatric mental health. We agree! Research shows that specific kinds of evidence-based therapy, social skills training, psychoeducation, and supportive reflection can go a long way to ameliorate symptoms of mental illness.
And! Medication does truly work, and for many children it’s truly helpful. There are medicines that help with anxiety, sadness, irritability, and energy levels. While medications don’t directly address social, family, or academic difficulties, they do reduce psychiatric symptoms so that gains are possible in all these areas.
Our Registered Nurse Practitioners are prepared to prescribe and monitor your child’s psychotropic medications. They’ll emphasize your child’s wellness within the larger picture of physical health. They are in no rush to medicate. They’re very happy to educate you about the types of medications, side effects, and the pros and cons of trying medications.
Research is clear: for many psychiatric symptoms, a combination of therapy and medication is the best way for children to improve. Remember: your child doesn’t get to redo childhood. A bad year can cost them self-esteem, friendships, grades, and general well-being.
Our Registered Nurse Practitioners are kind, compassionate, and very prepared to help you feel comfortable in understanding options for medications. They believe in collaborating with you, clinicians, other care providers, and schools.
Does Plum Tree accept insurance?
Yes. We accept Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO. We are also an out-of-network provider for many other insurance companies. Be sure to contact your insurance provider to verify benefits. If your insurance will not cover health care services, you can also choose to be a self-pay patient.
What makes Plum Tree Psychology unique?
Your Child has a team.
Plum Tree Psychology is a group practice specializing in child & adolescent psychology. We have many therapists on staff that meet weekly with our doctors to discuss treatments plans, organize strategies, and refine techniques for your child. At Plum Tree, your child has a team of doctors and therapists working behind the scenes to help provide the best possible treatment.
We are one of few CBIT providers in Chicagoland
We provide CBIT (Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics). CBIT is used to treat Tourette’s. CBIT helps train our patients to be more aware of their tics, offer an alternative behavior when they feel the urge to tic, help provide activities to help the reduction of tics, and provide additional coping skills to help make their condition more manageable.
We hold weekly, grand rounds for a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care
Plum Tree Psychology conducts highly structured and documented clinical team meetings for clinic grand rounds. The team includes two licensed medical professionals, a pediatric neuropsychologist, a clinical psychologist, in addition to LCPC, LPCs, LCSWs and interns at various levels. Internal referrals for medication consults, psychological testing, parent support, and family support are then prioritized “in house.” A current patient will jump to the top of our list for augmented support/exploration, as identified in grand rounds. Patients benefit from a multidisciplinary team approach to care. The lead psychologist is a clinical specialist who involves herself on a case-by-case basis for patients who are complex or refractory in treatment, by way of free, limited screenings for various diagnosis and symptoms. This team approach supports treatment planning.
We have weekly ‘In-Service Education’ training for our therapists
Weekly ‘In-Service Education’ brings leaders/providers in ancillary fields in front of our staff to educate/train them. Overlapping disciplines, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, executive skills coaching, residential facility care, local IOP/PHP clinics, pediatric sleep specialists, developmental specialists, board-certified behavioral analysts, and the like help us know when/how to refer our patients for adjunctive treatment, and how we can build our repertoire of the most recent, evidence-based treatments.
Can Plum Tree diagnose and test for Autism?
Yes. We use ADOS-2. ADOS stands for Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. ADOS is a standardized diagnostic test for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), published by Western Psychological Services (WPS) in 2000 and now available in 15 different languages. Since that time, it has become one of the standard diagnostic tools both school systems and independent clinicians use when screening for developmental disabilities.
Can you provide a diagnosis for my child?
Yes. Diagnostic Clarification can help answer the following questions about your child.
- Does my child have: Bipolar Disorder? Depression? Behavior Disorder? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Anxiety Disorder? ADHD Learning Disorder?
- My child has a lot going on; what is the CORRECT diagnosis?
- What are my child’s personal strengths?
- What treatments and in-home, at-school strategies are recommended?
- Are medications or other health interventions advisable?
What is the best way to clarify my child’s diagnosis?
The best way to clarify a diagnosis is with psychological testing.
Psychological testing will require your child to attend 3-8 hours of one-on-one testing. Assessments will include computer-based measures, pencil-and-paper activities, a clinical interview, and questionnaires. Your evaluation also includes: medical/academic record review, online behavioral rating scales completed by parent(s) and teacher(s), clinical interviews with any other providers, and a clinical interview with parent(s).
When all data is gathered, the report of results of testing should be ready within a few weeks. This report will provide detailed explanation of scores, clinical interpretation, and recommendations for support at home, school, and in treatment. You will be emailed the report in advance of a one-hour remote meeting (via Zoom or phone) to review results.
How can academic achievement testing help my child?
Academic achievement testing will help you answer the following questions.
- Does my child have a learning disability?
- Why is my child doing poorly in school?
- How can parents and teachers optimize my child’s learning?
- Is my child a visual learner, an auditory learner, or a hands-on learner?