Gender Development Program
FAQs About the Gender Development Program
At Children’s National, we understand that families have many questions about their child’s condition and care. Here is a list of frequently asked questions regarding our Gender Development Program.
What are the goals of a clinical assessment?
The possible goals of an assessment are multiple and they vary from child to child and from family to family. Some common goals are to understand the child's:
- Cognitive, emotional and social aspects of the child's gender and sexuality development
- Concomitant mental health problems
And to help the child and his/her family with:
- Parenting approaches
- Dealing with siblings, persons outside the family, schools, and/or other social groups
Who participates in the assessment?
Appointments are generally scheduled for Thursday mornings from 9 - 11:00 a.m. at Children's National Hospital (111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington, DC) Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic (located on the P1 level of the hospital's West Wing). It is recommended that both parents (if the child has two parents) and the child attend the meeting.
Typically evaluations take the full two hours. A team led by David Call, M.D., conducts the interviews of the parent and the child. Parent(s) and child are seen together and separately over the course of the evaluation. While parents are being interviewed (30-45 minutes), children stay in the waiting room unsupervised. Please bring an adult companion to stay with your child if he or she is unable to be left unsupervised in the waiting area.
Occasionally parents wish to come to the first appointment by themselves. Although this arrangement is acceptable, it may require a separate appointment with the child to complete the evaluation.
How do I prepare my child for the appointment?
Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, and the fact that sometimes parents and young children have not yet had discussions about it, we recommend that the child be prepared to attend the appointment. You might explain that you [his or her parent(s)] are looking for assistance from a specialized doctor to learn how to parent in the best possible way and that you wish to learn how to help her/him feel good about herself/himself. This example is one that is often useful for young children, but different explanations may be more appropriate depending on age and circumstances.
Some children feel apprehensive about being asked potentially embarrassing or sensitive questions. In such cases, it is important to reinforce that the child will not have to answer any questions that feel too uncomfortable. Some children and teens welcome the idea of meeting someone who can help them with their feelings; in that case the child can be told that he or she will meet with a doctor who understands and with whom he or she can talk privately about their feelings.
If you have medical and school records, drawings, writings, journals, photos or other materials that you think would help us more fully understand your child, please feel free to bring them to the appointment.
What happens after the initial evaluation?
How do I schedule an appointment?
It is advisable to call our clinic staff to confirm the appointment one day before the appointment. This will ensure that if there is any last minute complication you can be re-scheduled without come in personally. Such last minute complications occur rarely, but they can occur.
Cancelling or Late for Appointments
If you need to cancel the appointment, please call 202-476-5980 as soon as possible. Since typically there is a waiting list, your promptness may allow us to schedule someone else and re-schedule you with less delay. If you are late for the appointment or need to cancel at the last minute, please call the Outpatient Psychiatry clinic's front desk at 202-476-5980.
Time and Location
Thursday mornings between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Please allow extra time for parking and check-in. Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic, Children's National Hospital, 111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010.