MCITP Family Support Network

A community of families dedicated to early intervention in Montgomery County, MD

Family Picks List: Finding the right health professional

We receive many inquiries from parents wondering about how to find the right health professional (dentist, pediatrician, optometrist, hair stylist, etc). While we can not endorse any health professionals, we encourage families to share with each other recommendations, tips and referrals. As a result, over time, we have created a "family picks list" from the recommendations that families have shared with each other and with us. We would like to update this list to share with families on this website. 

If you think your child's dentist/pediatrician/health professional/hair stylist/etc is fantastic, please help us update our "family picks list"! Post a comment or send an email with your picks to: or

In the meantime, before we get that updated list compiled, below are some starting considerations for choosing the right health professional for your child.  
Finding the Right Health Professional for a child with special needs

Finding the right doctor or dentist for your child with a special need can be daunting. The journey to selecting the right dentist or pediatrician may take time. Beyond general medical expertise, sometimes there are additional factors that you may wish to consider in your search, depending on the needs of your child and of your family.

If you have a child that has dental issues as part of his/her disability, it may be helpful to have a dentist that has experience in that area. Or perhaps your level of comfort with a dentist or pediatrician simply depends on experience the professional has with responding to a specific type of special need. Speaking with the professional can save you some anxiety and provide their office an idea of how to best serve your child. If you have any doubts, trust your gut instinct and keep looking.

Patients need to keep still for dental procedures. If you know that your child will have a challenge with this, check with the dental office about how such situations are handled. Different dentist offices may employ different strategies for keeping patients still--from restraint, to adaptive dental equipment to sedation. Make sure you are aware what approach to expect and that you approve of it being used on your child before the visit.

Location may not often be the biggest concern but with rising gas prices these days, it does matter. If your child requires extensive treatment, factoring in the commute time and any anxiety involved (for yourself or the child) may be a good thing to consider.

Most often, the first question you will get from the dentist or medical office is about your type of insurance coverage. Even so, you may want to call in to your insurance and double-check coverage.

You and your child deserve to feel comfortable in the care of your medical professional or dentist. The dentist/doctor/professional should help lighten mood of a visit instead of add to the dread of a visit. Trust that sixth sense that comes along with being a parent.



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