While parents and families may also face challenges, they know that caring for a special needs child provides many rewards. There are moments when the joy of a simple accomplishment takes on new meaning and the hustle and bustle of normal life can take a back seat to appreciating your child’s unique gifts and outlook on the world.
Caring for a child with special needs can also be empowering, turning the struggles and triumphs experienced by families into powerful advocacy tools for their children and for other families in similar circumstances.
The Developmental Pediatrics program at Mission Children’s Hospital’s Olson Huff Center helps children with special needs and their family work through the challenges and focus on the joys of daily living.
At Mission's Olson Huff Center, we provide a range of integrated medical, behavioral and therapy services for children and adolescents with difficulties in development, behavior and learning. Our goal is to provide guidance and support for parents and caregivers to create the most effective, individualized care plan designed to help your child reach his or her fullest potential in life.
These services include:
- Treatment for children and adolescents with:
- Diagnostic services including physical examination of child, standardized testing, imaging and lab tests,
- On-site therapy, including speech, physical and occupational plus low-intensity developmental therapy in communication and sensory processing,
- Expert management of medications.
- Family Counseling & Support
- Family-centered psychotherapy
- Integrated and collaborative care model
- Play and behavioral therapy
- Parent education
- Pediatric Psychology:
- Diagnostic assessments
- Specialized behavior treatment for children with developmental disabilities
We also work hard to coordinate care with primary care doctors and pediatric specialists throughout the region and we work closely with early intervention services, preschools, schools and other agencies.
Our interdisciplinary team of specialists has advanced training in the evaluation and treatment of children. In addition to the following, our team includes language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and case management.
- Adrian Sandler, MD (FAAP) Board Certified Developmental Pediatrics
- Victoria Sheppard-LaBrecque, MD Board Certified Developmental Pediatrics
- Melissa Thingvoll, MD Developmental Pediatrics
Certified Nurse Practitioners:
- Mary Alice Girardi, PNP, BC Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Scott W. Governo, MSN, FNP/PNP, BC Certified Family and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Darren S. Boice, L.C.S.W. Child & Family Therapist
- Sharon Boyles, L.C.S.W. Child & Family Therapist
- Melissa Lillie, L.C.S.W. Child & Family Therapist
- Steven Love, PhD
Contact & Referral Information
We see children by referral only. Please talk to your healthcare provider if you believe your child could benefit from our services.
Healthcare providers can download the referral form at missionreferrals.org. Complete and fax the referral form, along with the child’s medical records and pertinent information. For more information call 828-213-1780 or 1-800-377-9251
Olson Huff Center is located at Reuter Outpatient Center:
Reuter Outpatient Center
11 Vanderbilt Park Drive
Asheville, NC 28803