Child Mind Institute Can Be Destination for Kids, Parents, Educators
By Harold S. Koplewicz, M.D.
It’s always challenging for children to navigate through the first several weeks of a new school year. It’s even harder for kids with learning and psychiatric disorders. The Child Mind Institute is a new organization dedicated to giving those children the proper diagnosis, treatment, educational resources, and accommodations they need to fulfill their potential. I’m very pleased to announce the opening of our New York City-based clinical program.
We know our children’s future is shaped by their mental health and ability to learn. And we know that children with learning or psychiatric disorders need both a caring team as well as a treatment plan supported by science. The institute’s mission is to transform mental health care to enable all children to fulfill their potential. We’re building an integrated, multidisciplinary clinical program that facilitates teamwork among parents, clinicians, and teachers. Our team of nationally renowned child and adolescent psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, and learning specialists are providing innovative, evidence-based assessments and treatments. Their areas of expertise include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and disruptive behavior disorders; anxiety and mood disorders, including selective mutism and obsessive-compulsive disorder; autism spectrum disorders; eating disorders; and learning disorders.
Among the Child Mind Institute’s founding clinical staff is Dr. Steven Kurtz, one of the nation’s leading clinicians in the treatment of ADHD and other disruptive behavior disorders. Dr. Kurtz is one of only nine master trainers in parent-child interaction therapy, which provides parents with behavior management skills and techniques for interacting more effectively with a child to decrease disruptive behaviors.
As senior director of the institute’s Center for ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Dr. Kurtz is working with a team of clinical psychologists, which includes Drs. Melanie Fernandez and Samantha Miller, to provide parent-child interaction therapy and behavioral therapy for children and teens. Dr. Kurtz is also director of the institute’s Selective Mutism Program. Selective mutism is a social anxiety disorder that impairs a child’s functioning in school and social situations.
In August, the Child Mind Institute opened its Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders Program under the direction of Dr. Jerome Bubrick, a cognitive and behavioral psychologist known for implementing one of the most effective treatment programs in the United States for children with obsessive-compulsive disorder. In September, Dr. Roy Boorady also joined the institute; he is one of the most respected pediatric psychopharmacologists in the nation. Dr. Alan Ravitz will join Dr. Boorady as a senior pediatric psychopharmacologist in October.
The Child Mind Institute is also home to the Learning and Diagnostics Center, which has one of the best pediatric neuropsychology and learning assessment teams in the nation. Susan Schwartz, senior director of the center, has over 30 years’ experience working with the independent school system, public school system, and special education providers. Senior pediatric neuropsychologists at the center also include Drs. Matthew Cruger and Dominic Auciello.
The institute is currently rebuilding its Web site in order to provide parents and teachers across the nation with a content-rich, interactive destination for information and resources on child mental health. The new site will launch in November.
I hope that all caring adults — and especially parents and teachers — will embrace the mission of the Child Mind Institute and join us in building our organization, the first global institution dedicated exclusively to child mental health. We can unite to spread a very positive, hopeful message — that kids with psychiatric and learning disorders are just as gifted, intelligent, and capable as anyone else — and we can truly transform child mental health care. Many of our kids desperately need tools (early, effective treatments) to overcome their challenges. Together we can give them and their families hope, help, and answers. #
Dr. Harold Koplewicz is the president of the Child Mind Institute.