Clinical Neurophysiology; Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation; Neurology; Pediatrics
I am trained as a pediatric neurologist and am board-certified in both pediatrics and neurology with special qualification in child neurology. My clinical practice focuses on autism spectrum disorders and children with related developmental disabilities. I also completed fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology and have related knowledge of seizures as well as skill in reading electroencephalograms (EEGs) used to diagnose and manage epilepsy. Children with autism and related developmental disabilities often have an increased risk of seizures; my experience in neurophysiology contributes to my clinical acumen in thoroughly evaluating and treating my patients. I am the medical director of the Children’s Guild Foundation Autism Spectrum Disorder Center at the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, a center I helped create and one that is jointly operated by the University at Buffalo and Kaleida Health. The goal of the center is to reach the increasing number of children in need of autism evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. The center is the only one of its kind in Western New York for medically-based, multidisciplinary evaluation and diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorders. The center takes a team-based approach to evaluation; during a visit, each child is seen by a developmental pediatrician, child neurologist and child psychologist. After the visit, the team discusses the child and determines the diagnosis and/or need for any additional testing or services. The center has a full-time social worker and nurse and offers a monthly parent group, information resources for parents of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and sessions for new patients that have not yet been diagnosed on the autism spectrum but who may be exhibiting behavioral or developmental issues. Medical students, residents and fellows are welcome to work with me on research projects. I have a particular interest in the neurobiology of autism and conduct research regarding how behavior is affected in autism in the concurrent presence of a seizure disorder. I am also interested in the etiology, screening and evaluation techniques in children with autism. As well, I research epileptiform abnormalities that are seen in patients with autism spectrum disorders. My goal is to find the pattern among children on the autism spectrum who have more risk of an EEG abnormality. My research informs my efforts to promote awareness in, and educate families and medical providers about the approach to caring for a child with these specialized needs.