Q&A with Dr. Cindy Chestaro – Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician

June 9th, 2020

Dr. Chestaro specializes in the diagnostic evaluation, medical management, and family support for children with developmental and behavioral conditions – including Autism Spectrum Disorder, intellectual disability, complex ADHD, learning disorders, speech and language disorders, developmental delays, and behavioral disorders.

Dr. Chestaro completed her residency, fellowship in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, and fellowship in Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) in Chicago. She is a member of the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Chestaro has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for working with children of all backgrounds. She is committed to providing the best family-centered care for children in the area.

Q: What is the difference between a developmental behavioral pediatric provider and my child’s current primary care provider?

A: Primary care providers have the acquired knowledge and experience to manage the health of your child, including physical, behavior, and mental health issues. They’re trained to diagnose and treat childhood illnesses, from minor health problems to serious diseases. They can help you know what to expect in terms of growth and development and can help prepare you for the changes that will naturally occur in a child’s life. There are instances, though, where a more nuanced type of care may be necessary for your son or daughter. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s social, emotional, behavioral, or developmental growth, a developmental behavioral pediatric specialist should likely be consulted. These providers have additional subspecialty training focusing on developmental behavioral pediatrics.

Q: I have concerns about my child’s development and/or behavior what do I do first?

A: First, talk to your Primary Care Provider about your concerns and get their input. Your provider has the special skills to take care of your child’s health and can refer you to a specialist in developmental behavioral pediatrics if they think your child needs expert care. Developmental behavioral pediatric providers possess training and experience to consider, in their assessments and treatments, the medical and psychosocial aspects of children’s developmental and behavioral concerns.

Q: I talked to my child’s doctor and they sent a referral, what happens next?

A: Once your referral is received an individualized family intake specialist will contact you, help you navigate our intake process, and answer any questions you may have. The intake specialists assigned to your referral will also help with any needed paperwork and help connect you with additional resources.

Q: How soon can my child be evaluated?

A: Early intervention is key to a child’s successful developmental outcome and we are engaging with our families as soon as the initial provider referral is received. The Institute has worked hard to reduce wait times for new patient appointments and in many cases a patient can see a developmental pediatric provider in just a few weeks due to our new intake process. Depending on the types of resources needed, we will connect you with a Family Voices coordinator who can help you navigate your current concerns and help you find the appropriate resources, even before your evaluation.

Q: I thought Siskin Children’s Institute was a school for children with special needs?

A: Siskin Children’s Institute was founded as a school for children with special needs by Mose and Garrison Siskin over 70 years ago. Since 2009, the Institute has been offering medical services in addition to occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, applied behavior analysis therapy, family resource services through our Family Voices program, and now many of our services are available via telehealth.

Q: What makes Siskin Children’s Institute different from other agencies?

A: Siskin Children’s Institute takes an interdisciplinary approach to early identification and intervention for developmental and behavioral concerns. The team consists of specialists under one roof in the areas of developmental pediatrics, speech pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, behavior psychology, applied behavior analysis, nursing, and administrative support staff. These professionals work collaboratively with the family to support the unique needs of each child, applying evidence-based practices, and connecting with community resources. We have a new individualized family navigation intake process that guides you through the Siskin experience and beyond! Siskin Children’s Institute has been serving children with special needs for more than 70 years and we are honored to walk and celebrate your child’s beautiful journey!