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Dr. Nicole Danforth

Nicole Danforth, MD
Psychiatrist, MGH

This is a transcript of a video from the Growing Up with Epilepsy Web site. For more information visit

Dr. Nicole Danforth: When a family comes to see a psychiatrist and with the patientaeand often I will see the patient and the parents, sometimes together, sometimes separately what we're doing is an assessment, an assessment of functioning and an assessment of any sorts of symptoms that might be clues of a mood disorder, such as a change in appetite, a change in sleep patterns. And also a school assessment, and how well is this child learning? Is there a learning, a percolating sort of learning disorder that's affecting this child's performance at school, making the child very irritable at school, making it hard for the child to go to school, which then worries the parents and can create even a bigger home stressor? So it's really, how is the child doing as a child? How is the family functioning? Is there a lot of stress? And how is the child doing outside of the family? And those are the sorts of things that we look at. And it really, some of our interventions can range from a referral to sort of a group activity, such as the karate program, or it could be a medication, whether it's something to help with hyperactivity or possibly a mood disorder. And sometimes we will refer them to further testing. Neuropsychological testing is often done in terms of assessing school performance.