Dr. Daniel Kessler

Dr. Daniel Kessler is a developmental pediatrician whose areas of expertise include autism and ADHD. He will be speaking to parents at Summit School of Ahwatukee on Feb. 2.

Developmental pediatrician Dr. Daniel Kessler will visit Summit School of Ahwatukee on Thursday for an information session with parents, where he will discuss adolescent progress and development.

Kessler is currently the medical director of the Children's Developmental Center, and specializes in developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Easter Seals Southwest Human Development in Phoenix. This is the first time Summit School has hosted a developmental pediatrician. During the session, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., he will take general questions about childhood development and talk about what a person in his position can do for parents and their children.

"I think people have heard what a developmental pediatrician is, but have never seen one in person," Kessler said. "Parents should see one if they have concerns about their kid's progress and development. Parents may have questions about how a developmental pediatrician differs from a psychologist and those are long, complicated answers."

Andrea Benkel, director of early childhood education at Summit School, said the goal of bringing in Kessler is to talk to parents about the expectations in the normal developmental process.

"Parents want to know when their ears should perk up - if a red flag goes up, what should they do," Benkel said. "Our parents have a reputation for being learners and information seekers. For him to step into a community of parents educated and invested in children's well-being on all fronts, that is an exciting proposition for someone of his caliber."

His areas of expertise include: autism, ADHD/ADD, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, emotional adjustment, feeding and eating concerns and self-regulation.

Kessler said there are many resources out there for parents with young children. One of which is the Birth to Five Helpline in which parents can call in with any type of questions regarding their child's behavior. There is also the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP), which acts as a support system for families who do or have concerns about a child's development.

To RSVP for Kessler's presentation at Summit School of Ahwatukee, 4515 E. Muirwood Drive, send an email to Michelle.Stone@summitschoolaz.org. More information can be found on his website, www.swhd.org/drkessler.

The Birth to Five Helpline can be reached at 1-877-705-5437. To learn more about AzEip, visit www.azdes.gov/azeip.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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