Integrative Medicine is an approach that looks at each person as a complete, unique person, rather than just someone with a set of “symptoms” that need to be corrected. Integrative Pediatrics offers a blend of conventional and complementary therapies to create a personalized plan that suits the needs of each specific child, family, and situation, based on the best available evidence.
We take the time to carefully and thoroughly evaluate your child’s overall development, including his or her strengths and abilities, as well as challenges. We encourage partnership with your child’s other health care providers to promote the highest level of functioning for your child. We also foster children’s innate drive and capacity for natural healing by engaging them in the process.
In addition to conducting an initial evaluation and providing recommendations, we will work together over time with you and your child to adjust or change our treatments to ensure your child’s long-term success. Through this process, you and your child will receive a treatment plan that emphasizes natural and safe interventions and that complements your family’s unique needs and values.
The Osher Center is a training site for clinical fellows in integrative medicine. At times, one or more fellows may provide supervised care in the pediatric clinic.
The Osher Center provides the following integrative pediatric care:
- Integrative pediatric consultations
- Neurodevelopmental pediatrics for autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and related conditions
- Integrative pediatric clinic for chronic illness
- Pediatric psychology
Being a healthy child means more than being physically fit; the holistic view of integrative medicine includes the wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Consultation in integrative pediatrics is not meant to replace conventional primary or specialty care.
Consultation is available for:
- ADHD and autism
- Acute and chronic pain management;
- Complex chronic medical problems; and
- Some emotional or bio-behavioral problems (anxiety,, bed wetting, and others).
The Neurodevelopmental Clinic specializes in the integrative treatment of ADHD, autism, and related conditions, including Tourette’s syndrome, sensory disorders, and behavioral problems.
Although many children with ADHD benefit from stimulant medications such as Ritalin, they can have significant side effects, and many parents are uncomfortable with the idea of long-term use of these medications. What is not as well known is that there are many safe, effective, and well-researched natural therapies that can significantly improve ADHD symptoms. We will help you work with your child’s diet to ensure optimal functioning, order appropriate laboratory testing for vitamins and minerals, and use only those nutritional supplements that have been proven to be effective. We will also discuss home-based behavioral interventions and help you make sure your child is receiving the best possible school program.
When necessary, we will also help you determine whether your child will benefit from Learning Disability testing or referrals to psychologists for other testing or counseling. If medication is currently being taken or is being considered, we will help you coordinate it as part of the overall treatment program. When appropriate, you may receive referrals for neurofeedback, computer-based training, Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga, massage, or other beneficial therapies.
We practice a “biomedical” approach to autism, which recognizes that autism is a complex, multisystem syndrome, which, regardless of severity or age, retains the possibility for significant healing and change. The biomedical approach may include dietary changes, nutritional supplements, specialized testing, and other interventions that address the many gastrointestinal, nutritional, allergic, and immune problems that often accompany the behavioral symptoms of autism.
Our goal with this approach is to decrease specific symptoms, reach an overall improvement in autistic behaviors, and help your child function at the very highest level possible. We will help you sort out the multitude of conflicting recommendations coming from the internet and other sources, using only those that are safe and have a high likelihood of success. We will also help advocate for and coordinate important therapeutic interventions, such as intensive behavioral management, speech and other therapies that your child needs and deserves.
We provide integrative, whole-family approaches to children, adolescents, and young adults with chronic illness, including physical, behavioral, and mental health conditions. Regardless of the diagnosis, the focus is the patient’s health and life optimization. We create a healing partnership with patients and their families and empowers them with knowledge of what they can do to feel better, prevent illness, and maximize wellness for life.
Options for non-pharmacologic approaches to symptom management, such as nutrition, supplements, stress reduction, mind-body skills, resilience-building, mental health, and lifestyle and behavior changes are addressed. Referrals may be provided to appropriate pediatric providers for such services as acupuncture, massage therapy, biofeedback, and psychotherapy. We work collaboratively with interprofessional colleagues, pediatric specialists, and primary care physicians.
Our pediatric psychology program tailors evidence-based approaches, including the “Nurtured Heart Approach,” cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and other mindfulness-based approaches to address the whole-family system.
Meet Our Practitioners
Talks by Dr. David Becker
Talks by Dr. Brittany Blockman
Talks, Books, and Interviews with Dr. Sanford Newmark
- Do 4.2 Million Children Really Need Ritalin? An Integrative Approach to ADHD on UCTV
- ADHD Without Drugs, a Guide to the Natural Care of Children with ADHD (book)
- Treating ADHD Naturally, a radio interview with People’s Pharmacy (begins at 6:30 mark)
- Patient Power, an interview about autism, sponsored by UCSF
- Autism NPR KQED’s “Forum”, a one-hour interview
- Ways to Wellness, Integrative Medicine for Kids. Visit this website from Dr. Tim Culbert to see kids describing what it’s like to get acupuncture, learn self-hypnosis, and receive other integrative therapies.
- Mental Health, Naturally: The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body, by Kathi Kemper, MD
- For basic reviews of a range of natural health products and supplements, including independent testing for quality, visit www.consumerlab.com. Please note that there is an annual fee. The Osher Center has no financial relationship with this company.
The Osher Center accepts insurance for service. Please check with your health insurance company to determine if coverage and prior authorization is required by your policy. Our Patient Navigator will provide guidance regarding the fees for each service and your action steps to confirm your insurance coverage and authorization. Out of pocket clinical service fees vary based on each individual’s insurance coverage. A 40 percent discount may be applied for this visit for self-pay patients, not covered by insurance, who pay the day of the appointment.