Special Needs Pediatric Care FAQS

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Why does a child with special needs need a pediatrician who manages special needs patients only?

Although families may go through financial hardships, adjustments with employment, or lack of family support, research has shown that families that have children with special needs have increased risk for having financial instability, social isolation or family disruption. A physician who manages patients with special needs will address these issues continually throughout the patient’s childhood and even as he/she transitions into adulthood.

The demands placed on primary care doctors to manage both healthy and children with special needs may be difficult for some families. Bon Secours Developmental & Special Needs Pediatrics has committed to providing special attention to these special patients. Longer appointment times for both preventive and acute care are provided. The team consists of a pediatrician, who has had extensive experience in special needs children, and access to child life specialists, nutritionists, social workers and nurse navigators. The team works to ensure that the special needs child receives specialized care focusing on the complete wellness of the child to include medical, developmental/educational, psychological and social needs.

Who are children with special needs?

With the advancement of medical science and technology, children are surviving illnesses, birth defects or complications that they would not have survived years ago. Parents can now take their children home even if they require oxygen supplementation with nasal cannulas, tracheostomy tubes, feeding tubes or cardiac pacemakers.

What is a Special Needs Child?

The Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau in 1995 defined children with special health care needs as those who have, or are at increased risk of developing, a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that usually required by children (Pediatrics 1998; 102; 137, A New Definition of Children With Special Health Care Needs).


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bowman, call 804-287-7463
Bon Secours Developmental & Special Needs Pediatrics
5855 Bremo Road, MOB North, Suite 703 Richmond, VA 23226


Bon Secours | Developmental Assessment Clinic Valerie Bowman, M.D.Valerie L. Bowman, M.D., FAAP, with over 20 years in the Richmond area as a pediatrician, currently leads the Bon Secours Developmental and Special Needs Pediatrics medical team. She lives in Richmond with her husband and three sons.

Read her story here.

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