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Cook Children's Neurosciences.
Neurosciences - We do it all for kids.

Testing and diagnosisCook Children's

Testing and diagnosis

Words like “brain disorder” or “disease of the nervous system” are enough to bring to mind all kinds of fears and questions. Testing and diagnosis are the first steps to answering your concerns. By determining the cause of your child’s condition, our team can help turn those fears into a plan of action.

The highly sophisticated testing and diagnostic tools available at Cook Children’s enable our specialists to identify specific ailments and disorders, and determine the best course, or courses, of care, depending on the results of each child's diagnosis. The types of testing your child undergoes will be determined by his or her current symptoms, as well as a history of past illnesses and symptoms. Clinical specialists will examine the prescribed tests to find and diagnose the cause of your child's symptoms.

For some children–and parents too–testing, like any procedure, can be an anxious and even scary time. The Child Life specialists at Cook Children's are an excellent resource for helping to ease a child's fears and make them comfortable throughout the testing process. Our Child Life specialists are available to provide preparation and support before, during and after medical procedures and other stressful times, utilizing coping techniques (toys, books, guided imagery and relaxation techniques). If your child is scheduled for testing and you have any concerns about his or her ability to relax during the testing, please feel free to talk with your patient liaison about scheduling a Child Life specialist to help during the procedure.

Testing protocols may include the following initial tests, which will help the medical team determine which of the more advanced testing your child will most likely need in our Neurodiagnostics Center:

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Blood tests

Blood tests usually can be done in a doctor's office or in a lab where technicians are trained to take blood. When only a small amount of blood is needed, the sample can sometimes be taken from a baby by sticking a heel and from an older child by sticking a finger with a small needle.

If a larger blood sample is needed, the technician drawing the blood will clean the skin, insert a needle into a vein (usually in the arm or hand) and withdraw blood. In kids, it sometimes takes more than one try. A bandage and a cotton swab will help stop the flow of blood when the needle is removed.

Blood tests can be scary for kids, so try to be a calming presence during the procedure. Holding your child's hand or offering a stuffed animal or other comforting object can help. Tell your child that it may pinch a little, but that it will be over soon. With younger kids, try singing a song, saying the alphabet or counting together while the blood is being drawn.

Common blood tests include:

Pregnancy and newborns tests

Depending on your medical history, such as a predisposition to certain illnesses or conditions that may run in your family, your doctor may recommend testing before and/or after your baby is born to determine if there are any neurological disorders that will require treatment.

Radiology tests

Other tests

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We are here to help.

If your child has been diagnosed, you probably have lots of questions. Call our offices at: 682-885-2500 to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff.

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