From our sponsor: The Laughlin Children’s Center announces an innovative service to diagnose mental health in kids

The statistics are staggering: One in five kids in the United States has a diagnosable mental health disorder. Unless those mental health disorders are identified and treated, families are faced with many detrimental consequences for their children and teens.

Despite improved understanding and ability to identify mental health or neurodevelopmental disorders (such as AD/HD or Autism), children and families in our area continue to face several barriers in accessing diagnostic and treatment services.

Some barriers are structural:

  • A lack of availability of providers,
  • long waiting lists,
  • no insurance or inadequate insurance coverage,
  • the inability to pay for services,
  • transportation problems,
  • and inconvenient services.

Identifying these barriers in a timely fashion is essential. Research shows the importance of early identification in improving social-emotional, behavioral, and learning outcomes in children.

Dr. Jessica Bleil (Walters)

In response to these growing issues, The Laughlin Children’s Center is pleased to announce that, in partnership with Dr. Jessica Bleil (-Walters), PhD of Community Diagnostic Center for Children, the Center will now provide comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation and autism diagnostic services.

A neuropsychological evaluation is an in-depth assessment of skills and abilities linked to brain function. Neuropsychological evaluations measure areas such as attention, problem-solving, memory, language, I.Q., visual-spatial skills, academic skills, and social-emotional functioning. Results help to identify cognitive strengths and weaknesses as well as determine appropriate educational and/or treatment recommendations.

Autism evaluations include implementing best practice approaches for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders as well as assessing for associated deficits in other areas, such as attention or executive functioning. An autism evaluation does not just provide diagnostic clarity, but also opens doors to other community resources available for children with autism.

The addition of this service location directly helps families and patients overcome some barriers mentioned above, as the Center offers the services without a wait for self-paying families. The Center is currently working with Dr. Bliel to eventually accept major insurances and hopes to offer insurance-based payments in the near future.

Following diagnosis, patients and families have the benefit of being directly linked to the Laughlin Children’s Center multidisciplinary educational support services, including academic tutoring, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological services. This will allow for continuity of care as well as continued progress monitoring, which can also help to improve educational and treatment outcomes.

Please contact the Laughlin Children’s Center for an appointment today. (412) 741-4087 or