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Behavioral Health

Cleveland Clinic Children’s offers an array of specialized psychological services for children, adolescents and their families. Consultation may be helpful for children who are having difficulty adjusting to hospitalization or illness, or where psychological, behavioral, or emotional factors may play a part in a child’s illness or actions. Our behavioral specialists practice at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation and at convenient community locations.

Consultation, evaluation, and treatment services are provided for children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties related to:

Pediatric patients benefit from our multidisciplinary approach, where pediatric psychologists often consult other pediatric specialty clinics and departments, such as:

  • Allergy
  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genetics
  • Infectious disease
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Pulmonology
  • Rheumatology

The Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health at Cleveland Clinic Children's provides care and support to children and families facing behavioral obstacles that impair everyday functioning. Our services include:

ADHD Center for Evaluation and Treatment (ACET)

ADHD Center for Evaluation and Treatment (ACET) is a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment service that informs children and adults about the presence of symptom criteria for ADHD.

Anxiety Clinic

The Child Anxiety Clinic provides comprehensive assessment, evaluation and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders. Utilizing standardized assessment measures and proven strategies for building coping tools in children and adolescents, the program helps families learn ways to de-escalate anxiety, reduce power struggles and gain more control over anxiety symptoms. For more information about the Child Anxiety Clinic, or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Amy Lee at 440.835.1445 (for west side services) or Dr. Kristen Eastman at 330.888.4000 (for east side services).

Center for Autism

A variety of psychological services are offered through the Center for Autism, including diagnostics, follow-up care evaluations, parent therapy groups, social skills treatment and physician training.

Behavioral Health Specialty Assessment and Consultation Service

Children who are diagnosed with significant physical illness are at risk for associated developmental, behavioral, and emotional problems. Staff in the Section of Pediatric Behavioral Health at Cleveland Clinic Children's provide psychological consultation services to children who are hospitalized for a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses. The pediatric psychologist functions as an active part of a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to patient care, with the goal of providing your child with the best and most comprehensive care possible.

Diagnosis with and treatment for an acute or chronic illness can result in significant psychological and social consequences for a child and his or her family. Sudden and significant lifestyle change is often required, including extensive hospitalization and medical intervention. Some diseases and medical interventions are accompanied by physical changes (such as weight gain, hair loss, and growth limitations) or cognitive changes (such as learning difficulties and memory problems), which can exacerbate the emotional and social challenges faced by these children, as well as their families. The experience of a significant illness can interfere with the development of a child's independence, self-confidence, social skills, and sense of security within his or her environment.

If your child is hospitalized at Cleveland Clinic Children's and there are concerns regarding his or her developmental, behavioral, or emotional functioning, your primary physician may request a consultation with a pediatric psychologist. Consultations are also typically requested for patients who are newly diagnosed with a chronic or critical medical condition, for patients who are candidates for organ transplantation, and when there are concerns regarding the impact of psychological factors on physical symptoms (such as headache, abdominal pain, and tremors). Pediatric psychologists are also active members of the Helping Hands Team, Cleveland Clinic Children's pediatric palliative medicine service. Common psychological interventions include: Supportive psychotherapy with the child and family; assessment and treatment of mood disorders (e.g., depressive and anxiety disorders), particularly as they relate to/ impact the child's physical illness; assistance with procedure-related anxiety management; guidance in the use of cognitive-behavioral (non-pharmacological) strategies for symptom (e.g., pain, nausea) management; interventions to help promote compliance with medical/ dietary regimens; parental guidance regarding management of the child's behavior, emotions, and illness-related academic concerns; and for the most significantly ill patients, psychological support around the many aspects of end-of-life decision-making and care. The pediatric psychologist also acts as a liaison between your family and the rest of the care team.

If your child is seen by a pediatric psychologist during his or her stay at Cleveland Clinic Children's, your psychologist will typically be able to see you as an outpatient, if outpatient follow-up treatment is indicated. This is not always possible, however, depending upon the nature of your child's difficulties and treatment needs and also depending upon your insurance, for example. Families who have traveled a long distance to receive care are referred to providers closer to their homes for follow-up outpatient care, if appropriate and preferred by the family. Alternatively, your child might first be seen as an outpatient by one of our staff, who will then continue to work with your child during his or her hospitalization, as warranted. Psychology fellows (i.e., individuals who have achieved their doctoral degree but are further training and not yet licensed to practice independently) are an active part of our service and are supervised by our attending-level pediatric psychologists.

Information Regarding Insurance Coverage

As with all psychological services, insurance coverage for the costs associated with the consultation services varies. Pre-authorization for inpatient psychological services does not automatically take place when a consultation is requested. Depending upon the clinical findings during your child's assessment, services will be billed using either of two sets of billing codes, as appropriate. Services are either billed using traditional psychiatric billing codes (which require a psychiatric/ psychological diagnosis and are paid out of your mental health benefits) or using health and behavior codes (which require a medical rather than psychiatric diagnosis and are paid out of your medical benefits). There may be a required deductible or co-pay, for which you are financially responsible. If you would like information regarding the fees for services, please contact the financial coordinator at 216.444.1184. If you would like more information regarding your benefits, you should contact your insurance company directly.

Additional Information

Kate Eshleman, PsyD
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code S20
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
216.444.9323

Behavioral Treatment for Headache

Recurrent or daily headache pain is a burden for both children and their families alike. Health behaviors like sleep, diet, and exposure to headache triggers can exacerbate this pain. Factors like stress, fear, perfectionism, or frustration can interfere with behaviors leading to good health. Also, children sometimes find themselves engaging in a “habit” or pattern of behaviors which, healthy or unhealthy, they find difficult to change. Behavioral treatment for headache teaches children cognitive and behavioral strategies (i.e., “changing the way you think and act”) that can successfully minimize the pain and distress associated with headaches. While the focus is on the child or teen, parents will also learn about strategies to effectively monitor and support their child’s self-management of headaches and succeed in regular activities. These strategies are meant to complement the other recommendations provided by the referring doctor.

After an initial evaluation it is decided if the child would be better served with a group or individual treatment. Treatment sessions include psychoeducation for children and parents as well as the teaching and practicing of non-drug strategies to manage headaches (e.g., relaxation, problem solving, stress management). Lead by Dr. Ethan Benore, treatments are held at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation (2801 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Cleveland, OH). Treatment typically occurs in 5-8 sessions, over a 2 month period. There is scheduled homework exercises to strengthen a child’s headache management skills. At the conclusion of the treatment, a summary of the treatment and the child’s progress are shared with the parents and referring physician.

To request more information on the program, including the start date of the next session or to schedule an evaluation, please call 216. 448.6253. A referral from the child’s primary care physician or neurologist is requested.

Fit Youth Family Weight Management Program

The Fit Youth program is a family group-based weight management program for very heavy children and teens between the ages of 7 and 16. Participants in the program meet weekly for 12 weeks. Please call 216.986.4128 for more information.

Get Along Gang

The Get-Along Gang is a social skills group designed for children and teens on the autism spectrum (Asperger's Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS, High Functioning Autism). Sessions are typically 8 weeks on Thursdays from 4-5:30 p.m. Sessions include didactic and experiential components with the focus on enabling group members to create age-appropriate skills in the areas of theory of mind, social interaction, self-regulation, coping and self-advocacy; as well as to develop a base of support and friendship within the group. Please call 440.516.8693 for more information.

Habit Reversal Training

Habit Reversal Training is cognitive behavioral treatment combining psychoeducation about tic disorders with multiple components of behavior therapy, including habit reversal training, relaxation training, and function-based interventions designed for children age 9 and up. The goal of HRT is to teach effective tic management skills, and relies on the child's involvement and effort, as well as significant family support. For more information contact us at 216.444.5521.

Learning Evaluation Clinic

The Learning Evaluation Clinic provides psychoeducational assessments and consultation for children with learning and developmental concerns. Concerns may include academic underachievement, giftedness placement, difficulties with a specific academic subject of skill, or general concerns with his or her ability to understand or process information. After the evaluation, the Learning Evaluation Clinic provides recommendations to enhance the child’s learning potential. The clinic services children aged 5 through 18, although referrals outside this age range are considered on a case by case basis. For more information contact us at the Independence Campus (216.986.4000) or the Hospital for Rehabilitation Campus (216.445.7574).

Pediatric Behavioral Health Specialty Assessment & Consultation Service

We offer extensive diagnostic evaluation, psychological testing/assessment, and treatment planning for children with complex developmental, genetic, medical, behavioral, learning, and/or psychological disorders; with specialty focus on those with complex autism spectrum disorders, issues of differential diagnosis, multi-system involvement, genetic and/or metabolic disorders, disorders of sex differentiation or gender identity. Services include consultation with families and professionals regarding decision-making regarding treatment options or for second opinion assessments regarding diagnosis. Please call 440.516.8690 to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program

The Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program is an interdisciplinary program established for the evaluation and treatment of young children (age 0-11 years) with a variety of presenting feeding problems. The Feeding Program integrates the perspectives of Psychology, Developmental Pediatrics, Occupational Therapy and Clinical Nutrition to comprehensively address feeding difficulties including: poor growth/growth faltering; dependence on supplemental tube feedings; aversive feeding behavior; inability to advance texture in the diet; and/or significant food selectivity. The Feeding Team clinicians provide interventions designed to treat severe avoidant and/or aversive feeding behavior as well as oral motor and oral sensory skill deficits. In addition, significant parent guidance and support is also offered as key component of the Program. For more information or to schedule an evaluation, contact us at 216.448.6024.

Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program

The Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program is a unique and innovative program designed for children and adolescents with chronic pain that interferes with normal activities (e.g., attending school or interacting with peers). Our program focuses on helping children manage their chronic pain and restoring daily activity. It consists of inpatient and day hospital components and blends pediatric subspecialty care, behavioral health, and rehabilitation therapies in an individualized but coordinated manner. For more information, contact us at 216.448.6253.

Psychological Services for Children with Chronic Medical Conditions

Psychological services are provided to children with chronic medical conditions to assist patients and families in coping with medical symptoms, new diagnoses, surgical evaluations, anticipatory grief and bereavement, as well as general child/family functioning. These services are provided both inpatient and outpatient to all pediatric medical subspecialties on main campus. Please call 216.445.2450 for more information.

School Consultation & Program Development for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This school-based service offers direct consultation regarding the specific needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, including program development and teacher in-services. For more information, call 440.519.3019.

Selective Mutism Program

The Selective Mutism Program offers diagnostic, assessment, treatment and consultation services for children who struggle with communication at school and/or select social settings. These comprehensive evaluations help to differentiate selective mutism from other disorders, to develop an intervention plan for home/school, and to provide consultation with a child's school team and other specialty service providers for optimum collaboration of care. As a convenience to families who travel from a distance, the program offers a unique full-day assessment model where diagnostic interview, testing/assessment and comprehensive intervention planning can be completed by day's end. For more information about the Selective Mutism Program, contact Dr. Kristen Eastman at 330.888.4000.

Sibling Outreach Program

The Sibling Outreach Program is a multidisciplinary program designed to meet the educational, psychological, and recreational needs of healthy siblings of pediatric oncology patients and transplant patients. The Sibling Outreach Program works with siblings and families to assist them in coping with having a family member with pediatric cancer. In addition to developmentally appropriate activities throughout the year, we also provide a free half-day conference each year to provide educational and psychological support to healthy siblings and their families.

Trichotillomania Clinic

Trichotillomania is a neurobiological disorder that results in hair-pulling from the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or other parts of the body. It affects 2-3% of the population, yet families often have difficulty finding health professionals with expertise in treating the condition. Without treatment, "Trich" tends to be a chronic condition that waxes and wanes throughout life. The Trichotillomania Clinic is for the evaluation and treatment of hair-pulling and other body-focused repetitive behaviors in children, adolescents, and adults. The goals of the program include assisting patients with increased understanding of the disorder and of their unique pattern of pulling, identifying a wide variety of interventions that can be successfully utilized to gain control over the pulling, and identifying and addressing any co-morbid mental health conditions. Please call 440.519.3019 for more information.

Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD)

The Vocal Cord Dysfunction program is designed to provide cognitive behavioral interventions for children and adolescents diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction. Evaluation and treatment focus on providing an evidence-based biobehavioral treatment protocol. This protocol combines psychoeducation regarding VCD, cognitive behavioral interventions involving self regulation skills, cognitive techniques, at home practice, and in vivo rehearsal/implementation of these skills while engaged in physical activities. Please call 216.445.2450 to schedule an appointment.


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Results: 21 Doctors

 

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Gerard Banez, PhD
 

Gerard Banez, PhD

Banez, Gerard, PhD
216.448.6253

Location(s): Childrens Hospital for Rehabilitation

Department: Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health

Specialties: Abdominal Pain, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Functional Impairment, Headaches, Children, Clinical Behavioral Pediatrics, Pain Rehabilitation more

Treats: Children & Adolescents Only

Surgeon: No

Education: Harvard Medical School - Boston Children's Hospital

 
Ethan Benore, PhD
 

Ethan Benore, PhD

Benore, Ethan, PhD
216.448.6253

Location(s): Childrens Hospital for Rehabilitation

Department: Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health

Specialties: Pediatric Neuroscience, Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health

Treats: Children & Adolescents Only

Surgeon: No

Education: Cleveland Clinic

 
Cara Cuddy, PhD
 

Cara Cuddy, PhD

Cuddy, Cara, PhD
216.448.6024

Location(s): Childrens Hospital for Rehabilitation

Department: Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health

Specialties: Behavioral Issues in Early Childhood, Pediatric Feeding Disorders, Behavioral Intervention for Issues in Early Childhood, Clinical Behavioral Pediatrics, Contracted Early Childhood Consultation to Preschool Programs, Early Childhood Mental Health, Parent Guidance and Training more

Treats: Children & Adolescents Only

Surgeon: No

Education: University Hospitals of Cleveland

 
Wendy Cunningham, PsyD
 

Wendy Cunningham, PsyD

Cunningham, Wendy, PsyD
440.878.2500

Location(s): Strongsville Family Health Center

Department: Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health

Specialties: Adjustment Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Behavior Disorders, Depression, Emotional Difficulties in Young Children more

Treats: Children & Adolescents Only

Surgeon: No

Education: Linden Oaks Hospital at Edward

 
Kristen Eastman, PsyD
 

Kristen Eastman, PsyD

Eastman, Kristen, PsyD
330.888.4000

Location(s): Twinsburg Family Health & Surgery Center

Department: Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health

Specialties: Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Depression, Marital & Parenting Issues, Selective Mutism, Behavioral Health Services For Children & Adolescent, Clinical Behavioral Pediatrics more

Treats: Children & Adolescents Only

Surgeon: No

Education: California School of Professional Psychology

 
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