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Center for Children with Special Needs


Children, ages birth to 16 and 1/2 years, who have possible developmental, learning, behavioral, school or social problems may benefit from evaluation at the CCSN.

CCSN Boston is located on the 2nd floor of the Floating Hospital for Children in the Tufts Medical Center Complex.

Possible problems might include:

  • Suspected ADHD
  • LD
  • Dyslexia
  • Autism
  • Developmental delay
  • Learning disabilities
  • Intellectual disabilities (formerly known as mental retardation)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Behavioral problems

Children whose primary problems are severe psychiatric disorders (suicidal, psychosis or delinquent behavior) will be better served at a mental health facility. The CCSN cannot provide emergency or crisis evaluations and recommends you contact Child Psychiatry at Floating Hospital for Children.

Children whose primary referral concern is a physical disability (cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, etc.) may need to be seen by the Floating Hospital's Pediatric Neurology or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation staff, though associated learning and behavioral issues can be addressed at the CCSN.

How Do I Arrange an Evaluation for My Child?
There is an intake process for new patient appointments. For your convenience, our intake packet can be downloaded under online forms. [link to Downloadable Forms page]  If you do not have access to a printer, you can call our office and request an intake packet. Complete the parent questionnaire and mail it directly to us. Please give the school questionnaire and PCP (primary care physician) questionnaire to the appropriate people to be filled out and returned to us.

Once we receive the questionnaires back, the information will be reviewed and appropriate evaluations will be scheduled. Our staff will mail you a letter with the dates of the appointment and the name of the specialist your child will be seeing. There is a wait list that varies depending upon the type of evaluation is needed.

Who Will Evaluate my Child?
The professional staff of the CCSN includes developmental-behavioral pediatricians, neuropsychologists, educational specialists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and social workers. Tufts Medical Center is a teaching hospital and trainees are often part of the evaluation team.

Preparing for the Evaluation:
While waiting for the appointment date, we encourage you to take some time to make up a list of concerns or questions that you would like to address with the clinician who is going to interview you on the day of the appointment.

What do I Need to do Before the Day of Evaluation?
Please call pre-registration at 617-636-8600 at least two weeks prior to the day of the appointment. You will receive a red hospital card in the mail.

If you do not pre-register, you will need to stop at one of the registration sites before arriving at the CCSN. This process can take a few minutes by phone but may take 15 to 30 minutes on site.

If your insurance plan requires a referral, please contact your primary care provider and request a referral.

If your school district is paying for the assessment, the approval letter must be mailed in advance.

What to Bring to your Appointment:

  • A list of concerns and questions
  • Your child’s insurance card
  • Tufts Medical Center hospital card
  • Referral number or authorization number from your child’s primary care physician, if required by your insurance
  • Co-payment, if required by your insurance
  • A copy of school letter, if the school is paying
  • COPIES of any previous evaluations your child has had (if not included in the intake packet) if not previously mailed
  • Any requested information

Canceling an Appointment
If you find that you no longer wish to have your child evaluated at the CCSN, or if you need to change the appointment time or date, PLEASE call our office at least 48 hours in advance. We may charge you for missed appointments if you do not call ahead.

What Can I Expect on the Day of Evaluation?
Since there are a variety of professionals who may be evaluating your child, the length and structure of the evaluation will vary from one hour to several hours. The parent interview is a critical element of the evaluation and we strongly recommend that both parents and/or other parent figures attend. If the parent is unable to attend, bring along a list or description of that parent's concerns and questions. We cannot provide supervision for siblings. If possible have them stay with a babysitter or bring a friend or relative to watch them so you can converse with the clinician more productively.

Our appointments are tightly scheduled. Please plan to arrive at the CCSN 15-30 minutes prior to your appointment to complete the check-in process. Parents are generally expected to remain on site while the child is being evaluated.

You will receive a written report of all evaluations done at the CCSN. These reports take some time to prepare. The reports are sent to you and either your child’s primary care provider or the school system (if they paid for the evaluation).