Child's Best

Dawn Learsy, MD, FAAP

Concierge Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Psychological services located in New York, NY

About Our Practice

Child's Best, located in New York City, was founded with the intention of providing families with concierge, private health developmental-behavioral and psychological evaluations and treatments in order to help children with an array of developmental disabilities or challenges, such as Autism, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities.  Dr. Dawn Learsy, M.D., Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, and Dr. Lee Ann Annotti, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, practice “slow medicine” when it comes to conducting comprehensive evaluations to determine an appropriate diagnosis and find evidence-based and creative interventions to support your child' development.  

It has become standard practice for evaluations to be conducted in a 45 minute to 2 hour time period, a  diagnosis given, and then a short report with a few recommendations; however, Dr. Learsy and Dr. Annotti believe it takes more time to evaluate and understand a child's development.  The Child’s Best method of slow medicine affords the doctors two days to conduct an evaluation and occurs within a sensory-friendly office as well as an observation in the community, such as at a park.  This allows the doctors to get to know the family and their needs, the child's cognitive strengths and weaknesses, the child's personality and social-emotional functioning, and the demands of the differing environments that the child is expected to function within.  With your consent, the doctors also interview any teachers, nannies, therapists, or service providers in order to gain a deeper understanding of your child across many environments.  

During the evaluation, you will have the Child's Best office to yourself.  No other patients are scheduled during your days.  This provides you and your child with privacy and comfort.  You have full access to the office and all doors are left open, allowing your child to move around as he/she needs.   This is not a 
clinic and is meant to de-stress a situation that most parents find stressful and even scary at times.  The evaluation process should not be a mystery.  Dr. Learsy and Dr. Annotti will explain what tests they are administering, what they are looking for, how your child is performing, and they will provide modeling and ideas for interventions as the evaluation is conducted.  Another benefit of having a two-day evaluation is the doctors can observe consistency in behavior and determine if something else may be influencing your child’s behavior.  This method of slow medicine provides the doctors with the time to change course and assess other hypotheses, if necessary. After conducting a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Learsy and Dr. Annotti conduct research in order to determine the most appropriate interventions to support the child at school and home, as well as any medical recommendations. At Child's Best, the doctors conduct several feedback sessions in order to ensure that the parents understand the diagnosis, the interventions and recommendations, next steps, and how to advocate for their child. You will
learn how you, your child, and your family can better manage day-to- day life.

If any treatments or therapies are recommended, Child's Best can provide the therapies or Child's Best will find referrals that are near your home and interview the referrals to ensure it is a good match between you and the proposed provider.  After that, Child's Best provides quarterly monitoring for one year on the recommendations they provide.  In the end, the evaluation takes 30 to 50 hours.  The resulting report is a comprehensive evaluation of your child's development along with a plan to help your family create sustainable, positive change. Child's Best will help you with the next steps after the evaluation, such as calling a meeting
with your school to acquire services for your child, participate in any school meetings to explain the report or discuss the results with any other doctors, institutions, or service providers. Child's Best will become a medical home for you and your child.

We offer many different services to fit each child’s needs, including but not limited to psychiatric and psychological evaluations, medication managementindividual and group therapies, autism spectrum disorder and adhd evaluations, school problem helpspecial education IEPs, and functional behavior analysis.
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Child's Best
Child's Best, located in New York City, was founded with the intention of providing families with concierge, private health developmental-behavioral and psychological evaluations and treatments in order to help children with an array of developmental disabilities or challenges, such as Autism, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities.  Dr. Dawn Learsy, M.D., Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, and Dr. Lee Ann Annotti, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, practice “slow medicine” when it comes to conducting comprehensive evaluations to determine an appropriate diagnosis and find evidence-based and creative interventions to support your child' development.  

It has become standard practice for evaluations to be conducted in a 45 minute to 2 hour time period, a  diagnosis given, and then a short report with a few recommendations; however, Dr. Learsy and Dr. Annotti believe it takes more time to evaluate and understand a child's development.  The Child’s Best method of slow medicine affords the doctors two days to conduct an evaluation and occurs within a sensory-friendly office as well as an observation in the community, such as at a park.  This allows the doctors to get to know the family and their needs, the child's cognitive strengths and weaknesses, the child's personality and social-emotional functioning, and the demands of the differing environments that the child is expected to function within.  With your consent, the doctors also interview any teachers, nannies, therapists, or service providers in order to gain a deeper understanding of your child across many environments.  

During the evaluation, you will have the Child's Best office to yourself.  No other patients are scheduled during your days.  This provides you and your child with privacy and comfort.  You have full access to the office and all doors are left open, allowing your child to move around as he/she needs.   This is not a 
clinic and is meant to de-stress a situation that most parents find stressful and even scary at times.  The evaluation process should not be a mystery.  Dr. Learsy and Dr. Annotti will explain what tests they are administering, what they are looking for, how your child is performing, and they will provide modeling and ideas for interventions as the evaluation is conducted.  Another benefit of having a two-day evaluation is the doctors can observe consistency in behavior and determine if something else may be influencing your child’s behavior.  This method of slow medicine provides the doctors with the time to change course and assess other hypotheses, if necessary. After conducting a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Learsy and Dr. Annotti conduct research in order to determine the most appropriate interventions to support the child at school and home, as well as any medical recommendations. At Child's Best, the doctors conduct several feedback sessions in order to ensure that the parents understand the diagnosis, the interventions and recommendations, next steps, and how to advocate for their child. You will
learn how you, your child, and your family can better manage day-to- day life.

If any treatments or therapies are recommended, Child's Best can provide the therapies or Child's Best will find referrals that are near your home and interview the referrals to ensure it is a good match between you and the proposed provider.  After that, Child's Best provides quarterly monitoring for one year on the recommendations they provide.  In the end, the evaluation takes 30 to 50 hours.  The resulting report is a comprehensive evaluation of your child's development along with a plan to help your family create sustainable, positive change. Child's Best will help you with the next steps after the evaluation, such as calling a meeting
with your school to acquire services for your child, participate in any school meetings to explain the report or discuss the results with any other doctors, institutions, or service providers. Child's Best will become a medical home for you and your child.

We offer many different services to fit each child’s needs, including but not limited to psychiatric and psychological evaluations, medication managementindividual and group therapies, autism spectrum disorder and adhd evaluations, school problem helpspecial education IEPs, and functional behavior analysis.

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Team
  • Dr. Learsy is a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician located in New York, NY. She acquired her fellowship in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Yale Medical School. During her fellowship, she split her time between the Yale Pediatric Department and the Yale Child Study Center. She has been involved in teaching pediatric residents and research. She was a consultant for Head Start in the New Haven area and was involved School-Based Medicine. She is Board Certified in Developmental and Behavioral Child’s Mental Health and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She was trained under Maternal and Child Federal Grant. Dr. Learsy is also an activist in changing the laws to broaden the definition of Learning Disabilities, in the hopes that all our children can have an equal and fair chance at an appropriate education.

  • Dr. Annotti is a licensed psychologist in New York.  She earned a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Maryland, and she completed her post-doctoral training at the Westchester Institute for Human Development. Dr. Annotti has experience conducting comprehensive psychological, educational, and neuropsychological evaluations for children ages birth to 21, in addition to providing individual and group psychotherapy for children, parents, and families. Dr. Annotti practices CBT, Schema Therapy, and Play Therapy, and utilizes the Early Start Denver Model when working with young children with Autism. In addition to providing therapy sessions with the kids, Dr. Annotti provides psycho-educational and support groups for parents to find a supportive community with other parents and to learn new skills to foster their relationship with their child.

Consultation for IEP Meetings

Navigating the special education system (CSE), whether it be Early Intervention (EI), Committee on Preschool Education (CPSE), or CSE, along with establishing and maintaining your child's individualized education plan (IEP), can be extremely challenging and time-consuming. We will assist you with issues related to your child’s educational planning. We developed this specialized IEP Preparation Consultation in order to help families understand the system, inform families about the services that are available for their child and how to qualify for the services, and how to advocate for your child. This 60-90 minute consultation session involves meeting with an experienced doctor to:

• Discuss any concerns regarding your child's experience at school, or on the bus ride to school

• Review your child's current IEP

• Review the most recent assessments your child has received

• Discuss progress made during the current school year

• Discuss any gaps that may not be addressed by current educational services

• Discuss if your child is receiving the appropriate services for the appropriate amount of time(s)

• Discuss individualized goals for your child's education

• Consider the appropriateness of your child's participation in his/her IEP meeting

• Establish ways to coordinate services across school and community 

• Organize materials and prepare for the meeting itself 

Based on your need, one of the doctors can attend the meeting with you.  The goals of this service are to help you understand the department of education, your legal rights, the services available, and to prepare you so that you can advocate for your child.  This will facilitate your ability to ascertain the services your child requires to access his/her education.

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School Mental Health Consultation

The goals of this service are to strengthen and expand the schools behavioral health practice, to support teachers and staff while they promote social, emotional learning and development, and to address behavioral challenges with individuals and groups of students. As school mental health consultants, Child’s Best provides the following services:

  • Staff Development Trainings - We will provide one staff development training per semester.  This service is approximately 10-15 hours per school year.

 

  • Program Development - We will assess the strengths and weaknesses within the school and develop recommendations to improve the specific need of the program.  A written report will be provided.  After developing the recommendations and interventions, we will provide support via telephone calls to ensure and monitor the implementation of the recommendations.  This is considered a systems-wide intervention and is approximately 20 hours per school year.

 

  • Classroom Management Support - We will provide classroom support for one classroom per semester.  This service includes staff in using management strategies to support the children.  This service is approximately 15 hours per school year. 

 

  • Functional Behavior Analysis with Consultation - We will conduct one Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA) per semester, and then provide consultation and support to the staff in developing effective interventions to address the challenging behaviors.  An FBA is a problem-solving approach to address student problem behavior.  We will use a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the purposes of specific behavior and to help the classroom staff select interventions to directly address the problem behavior.  This service is approximately 15 hours per school year. 

 

  • Teacher Meetings - One of the doctors will conduct one teacher meeting without administration, per semester (Fall and Spring), and act as a liaison between the staff and administration.  This service is intended to develop a model for staff to collaborate with administrators.  This service is approximately 10 hours per school year.

 

  • Parent Workshops - We will provide one parent workshop per semester.  Topics may include transitioning to Kindergarten, managing problem behaviors at home, or toilet training.  Topics may also be chosen after consulting with staff about what they hear parents asking questions about.  This service is approximately 15 hours per school year.

 

  • Phone Call Support - Throughout the school year, you can call or e-mail us with questions about problem behaviors, classroom management concerns, or systems problems.  We will provide consultation support via telephone.  This service is approximately 20 hours per school year.

 

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Location
Child's Best
109 East 38th Street, Suite 2A
Midtown East

New York, NY 10016
Phone: 646-677-4230
Fax: 646-912-9203
Office Hours

Dawn Learsy, MD, FAAP
109 East 38th Street
Suite 2A
New York, NY 10016