Hirsch Pediatrics is proud to offer in-network mental health care from our team of dedicated therapists. The goal of our “Healthy Minds” program is to recognize and address mental health needs as early as possible when the symptoms can be more easily managed and not lead to long-term emotional or behavioral issues.
“Integrating the ‘Healthy Minds Program’ into my practice has been tremendously beneficial to our families. For way too long mental health services for children have been difficult to obtain due to lack of insurance coverage and availability. By having our own dedicated team of therapists, I hope to ensure that our children thrive with strong minds and resilience.”
– Dr. Steven Hirsch, MD, FAAP
Diana Kochan, LMFT, joined the Hirsch Pediatrics family in June 2020 to provide on-site counseling services to our patients suffering from anxiety, depression, and difficult behaviors at home or at school. In addition to working part-time at Hirsch Pediatrics, Diana works as a therapist providing solution-focused, short term counseling to at-risk children and military families. When working with a family, Diana’s additional training as a family therapist is invaluable to optimize family dynamics and develop proactive strategies for the child to succeed emotionally.
Diana holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Guilford College and received her Master’s in Family Therapy from Drexel University in 2007. Diana lives in Montgomery County with her husband and daughter and in her spare time enjoys going for walks with the family, long runs and spending time with her loved ones.
“I am passionate about working with children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional challenges. I have experience helping families and individuals of diverse communities overcome various obstacles in their lives and have helped them achieve their desired goals.”
-Diane Kochan, LMFT
For parents of children with ongoing difficult emotional and behavioral concerns, in addition to setting up a consultation appointment with one of our therapists, Dr. Hirsch strongly recommends attending one or more of Dr. Dan Shapiro’s interactive workshops. Dr. Shapiro is a highly sought after local expert in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics and the creator of the ParentChild Journey.
Dr. Shapiro offers a wide range of evening parenting workshops with his team of experts. The workshops cover a variety of topics and are presented throughout the year in various locations. Payment is optional with a suggested contribution of only $20 – $30 per session.
Can’t attend a workshop but want to learn more? Dr. Shapiro’s website has all of his course and presentation information online in an extensive resource section.
Because these concerns are complex and require much more time than is allotted at a typical sick visit or check-up, Dr. Hirsch is able to meet with parents for an extended 30 – 60 minute consultation appointment. Please note that this appointment will be without your child and is very important – whenever possible – for both parents to participate in the meeting. Our goal at this appointment is to learn in greater detail the scope of the issue and then to collaborate on a strategy to address the concerns. This strategy may involve working with the school or county resources, referral to a specialist, or a trial of medications.
In addition or instead of an appointment at Hirsch Pediatrics, many behavior concerns can be addressed through direct parenting interventions (“positive parenting”) alone or in combination with an appointment. The “positive parenting” motto is that “We don’t change their children. We change the parents, so they can change their children.” I have copied below several excellent parenting resources that I highly recommend, especially for families that are having difficulties with anxiety and oppositional behaviors.
Amy McCready is a nationally renowned parenting coach (www.positiveparentingsolutions.com) with extensive online courses and videos.
Dan Shapiro, MD is a local behavioral/developmental pediatrician (www.parentchildjourney.com) who offers local parenting courses and seminars that are extensive and inexpensive as well as individual onetime appointment assessments.
Megan Leahy, MEd is a local parenting coach (www.mlparentcoach.com) who offers phone consultations and online classes.
Claire Lerner, LCSW is a local social worker (www.lernerchilddevelopment.com) who specializes in difficult toddler behaviors and will also do home/school visits.
Steps to schedule an appointment to discuss school and behavior concerns:
Step 1: If you have any behavior or school concerns that may need a consultation appointment, please send Dr. Hirsch a detailed patient portal message explaining those concerns.
Step 2: In most situations, Dr. Hirsch will request that each parent and at least one teacher complete the Vanderbilt rating scale prior to the consultation appointment. Click on these links for the separate PARENT VANDERBILT and TEACHER VANDERBILT versions.
Step 3: Once your Vanderbilt rating scales are completed, please contact our office to schedule your appointment. Note: Since these appointments require up to 60 minutes, we often need 3-4 week advance notice. Please note that this appointment will be without your child and is very important – whenever possible – for both parents to participate in the meeting. Our goal at this appointment is to learn in greater detail the scope of the issue and then to collaborate on a strategy to address the concerns.
Step 4: If you or the school has a concern about attention or a possible ADD diagnosis, prior to our meeting please click on the following KidsHealth link for extensive background information on the following areas:
Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes of ADHD, Related Problems, Treating ADHD, Medications, Behavioral Therapy, Alternative Treatments, ADHD in the Classroom, Supporting Your Child and Yourself
Step 5: If after your extended appointment the decision is made to do a trial of medications, then a follow-up brief appointment with your child will be scheduled.
Step 6: For ongoing management, in most cases children on ADD or depression/anxiety medications will need a follow-up appointment with Dr. Hirsch every 3 months. If you have significant concerns about your child’s current medications, please send Dr. Hirsch a portal message before your appointment so we can ensure the correct amount of time is allotted.