Brad Berman, MD

Walnut Creek

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

March 2010

Re: Need new Dr. for teenage boy with ADD
I wish I could help you with regards to doctors in Oakland/Berkeley but can't since we go to Brad Berman in Walnut Creek. Berman is amazing with our 10 y.o. son (and us) and to me would be well worth the drive. Of course it takes forever to get a first appointment with him. If you want to try, his phone number is 925-279-3480.

March 2010

Re: Need new Dr. for teenage boy with ADD
My now 15 year-old was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 13 and has been under the care of Dr. Brad Berman whose practice is in Walnut Crrek: 925-279-3480. It's a bit of a drive, but worth it for us. Dr. Berman does understand teenage boys as well as their parents. He is empathic and insightful, but not a pushover and very appropriate for this age group.<

April 2007

Have anyone has recent experience with Dr. Brad Berman in Walnut Creek? I've found some postings, but are quite old (in 2002/3). My daughter's issue is non-verbal at 3 and also have some delays in gross motor skills. She also has a dignosed genetic disorder called NF-1. She has been receiving speech therapy since 15 months and now attends special ed preschool. MRIs were recently done and nothing found. She is currently seeing Dr. Veronica Daly at Children's Hospital at Oakland on an annual basis. I know that the insurance is likely not going to pay for the visits to Dr. Berman, but is it worth doing so? Any comparison between the 2 doctors?? Thanks. A very concerned mom

We had our daughter evaluated for ADHD by Dr. Berman last year and were very impressed by him. I had heard from many people (via BPN) as well as a close friend about what a wonderful doctor and diagnostician Dr. Berman is. However, I had also read that some people thought he was quick to ''label'' his patients. I found the latter to be untrue in our experience. Dr. Berman is kind and easily connected with our daughter. After thorough testing, he determined that our daughter did not have ADHD and was just on the far end of the ''activity spectrum''. You are right that insurance will probably cover very little of the testing (check this beforehand with your carrier) but we felt that it was worth it given Dr. Berman's credentials and reputation. Good luck! Anon

March 2007

Re: Our pediatrician recommended evaluation of 2.5 year old
I highly recommend our developmental pediatrician Dr Brad Berman. His office is in Walnut creek and phone number is 925-279-3480. I have to warn you that the wait to get an appointment is long and he is expensive - but well worth it. I have also seen Dr Erica Buhrmann, in Albany, but do not feel she helped us as much - her number is 510-540-5320. If you would like to e-mail or call me I'd be happy to give a more detailed answer. Laura

Sept 2006

This is both recommendation and advice, i'm not sure which! My son (now just 7) was diagnosed at 3 w/pdd-nos. He is super-high funcitoning (to the point that his longttime Berkeley Pediatrics pediatrician suspects that the diagnosis, such as it is, may not still hold), he is very smart, lively, outgoing and sweet. He also still speaks somewhat eccentrically, has a somewhat eccentric/creative take on life, and does not fall into ''buddy'' friendships w/ his peers (whom he really enjoys) since he doesn't get the social rules. In any case, we have seen a very nice developmental pediatrician over these years, but I have been feeling for some time that we need a second opinion. I feel our current dr. has been useful, but could have done a lot more. She is rather reserved and not helpful enough in pushing practical solutions. Also, the question of some sort of ritalin-type drug came up last year (vaguely, but ominpresently) around his IEP, since it was suggested that he might have some focus issues that could be aided w/ meds. I am not eager to try these, and so far no one is pushing the issue (no one knows if they would be beneficial for him or not, since he defintiely can focus when he is interested/engaged). Our current developmental pediatrician seemed somewhat ambivalent, thinking that they were worth trying but might not help; very unclear to me. I felt I should at least explore these issues w/ another doctor and so made an appointment w/ Dr. Berman for this fall. So, I'd love to hear about families' recent and current experiences with Dr. Bermen. Is it worth the time, energy and, of course, the money to see him? Also, vis a vis getting a seond opinion, I'd like to hear about experiences w/ this. (Just, for intance, should I tell my current dr. that my son is being evaluated by someone else?) Thanks so much! Julia

I high recommend seeing Dr. Berman for a second opinion. We have been seeing him since my son was 2. He is now 11 years old. He is definetely worth the wait. It's always hard to know what to do, but he has a unique ability to connect with families (both adults and special needs children) and make solid recommendations. Anonymous

June 2006

I am in search for a great pediatrician for my two children. One of which has special needs. I have checked the website and didn't see anyone for this paticular need. I need a doctor who specializes in Bipolar, Cerebral Palsy and or syndromes in general. I don't mind driving a ways if he or she is wonderful. I just need to find a doctor for them that is current and fresh with insight. I live in the bay area but am willing to go the distance for them. We have Blue Cross. If you know of or take your child to a pediatrician that sounds like this please, please take the time and let me know his/her name. Thank you, Marie

We took our son to Brad Burmen, a behavioral pediatrician in Walnut Creek, for a behavioral assessment. Dr. Burman is very hard to see, but worth the wait. He gave us suggestions and a full assessment. We now work with our local pediatrician, Ann Parker. Dr Parker and Dr Burmen communicate regarding our son's treatment and medication Anon

I am under the impression that Brad Berman is the star special-needs pediatrician in the East Bay, 925-279-3480. In the past, we've also been referred to both Erica Burhmann and Gary Landman by my son's regular pediatrician, whose opinion I trust. Ultimately, we chose Ann Parker, M.D., 510-528-5580 Oakland Mom

Jan 2006

I am wondering if others have had their children see Dr. Brad Berman and what they thought of his skills in discerning what might be going on with your child (when it is puzzling and confusing) and if he was able to help you and your child? Thank you for any info., pro or con. looking for best direction to go

We visited Dr. Brad Berman on a short term basis many years ago when my young son was having difficulty with social interactions (very introverted). I thought Dr. Berman was terrific in diagnostic skills, ''bedside manner'' (helping my son to feel comfortable in opening up), and giving practical suggestions. A Berman Enthusiast

Brad Berman is fantastic. He's smart, energetic, a great diagnostician, and has a wonderful way with both parents and kids. It's worth the wait for an appointment - you won't find anyone better. Anon

A friend who only sees top notch people uses Dr. Berman. If he can't see you go to whomever he refers to you. You will probably need a development neuropsychological workup by someone else. We haven't used him but have used several referrals of his (like O/T and Speech) and they have all been great. Good luck and don't give up until you have the answers you need. Been there.

Brad Berman has been a wonderful source of assistance and information for our family. It took many years for us to come up with a diagnosis for our daughter (she has nonverbal learning disability), and he was supportive and informative throughout. She still sees him occasionally, and they have a wonderful connection. Last year, when we were having a parent/teen conflict about nutrition, she went to see Dr. Berman and came up with a plan with him! anon

August 2005

Re: Attention Deficit in 4th grade girl
My heart goes out to you! And on a number of the challenges you raise - I've been there and done that.

Call Dr. Brad Berman at (625) 279-3480. He has an office in Walnut Creek. Leave a detailed message. He has a long waiting list, get on it now. The more info you give, the better he will know how challenging this is for you and your daughter. This is more than just ADHD and he tends to respond to the more difficult cases faster. He really likes kids. When I read his recommendations to my son's school I cried. Because he so clearly likes my kid and wants to communicate what a great guy he is to the school. You will need Brad's ongoing support. Things change as your child matures and new issues arise. I TOTALLY sympathize on the not sleeping and then not waking up! It makes your life and theirs sooo hard.

You'll find that since your daughter is very bright, things may bother her MORE because she is aware of more that other kids her age. Being different may bother her and yet modifying her behavior will feel impossible to her. Berman is great at separating the things the kid really needs to take responsibility for (and makes them feel good about it) and the things that they just can't manage. If she needs meds, he'll explain why and what they will offer her in terms of assistance and relief. Believe me, lots of parents know where you're coming from. You are not alone. Get support! Sympathetic mom

April 2003

Does anyone have recent experience with Dr Brad Berman? I have a ten yr old son and he is ADHD and having a difficult time in 5th grade. His Pediatrician recommended Dr. Berman. Can you help me with what to

We have seen Brad Berman four times over my 10 year olds life, and we are going to see him again with my six year old daughter. He was covered under our original insurance plan for the first visit, but we have paid out of pocket for other visits. We have never regretted spending the not inconsiderable amount of money, the difficulty making an appointment or the long drives to his various Walnut Creek offices after he moved out of Berkeley.He is now making appointments for January/February of 2004, so if you decide you want to use him, you should call right away. It's also a good idea to ask for any cancellations he might have.

He is very smart, has a wonderful way with children, is able to see the children for who they are with both strengths and weaknesses, and is able to write a report that helps both us and teachers. He sees such a wide range of children but also knows what is reasonable to expect from a child, a school and your own parenting. He is not afraid to give actual opinions about situations (i.e. This school is a poor fit for your child, get him out now) or tell you if he thinks accomodations can be made to make the school work. He also will tell you if he thinks your expectations are unreasonable. This can be very helpful to us Mama Bear types.

He is recommended most highly by our pediatrician, and has a lot of credibility in many schools. We found in our school, that this was enormously helpful in getting my son what he needed.

In terms of process, my son is not ADHD, but has a combination of learning disabilities (Dysgraphia) and social skill issues that folks tend to misdiagnose as ADHD. Dr. Berman sends out a questionairre to be filled out by the parents and the teacher. These are mailed back to him before the appointment and he evaluates them. At the appointment, which is quite lengthy, he will chat with you and your child, and then administer some tests,usually with the child alone.

You will get a report in the mail soon afterward, which gives lots of information. We've never needed more than this, but I know that he also works with folks on medication, etc. Anon

Brad Berman is great!! A skilled and experienced clinicial and an outstanding, empathetic human being. The only problem you'll have is getting into his practice as a new patient- that can take quite a while (he can only see so many patients). But it's worth the wait once you get in. The other issue is that he is not on any managed care plans, so you may need to pay out-of- pocket if your insurer won't.

I have not taken my own child to Brad Berman, but I have known him professionaly for many years. He would be at the top of my list if I needed his services. Astute, kind, knows his stuff. A

We worked with Dr. Berman from 1995 through 2002. I can't say enough good things about him. He is sometimes hard to get along with, since he is very direct (and funny :-), but he has a heart of gold, and as others have said, was in no rush to either diagnose or medicate our child. It turns out that our son has a major psychiatric problem, and when this started to emerge Dr. Berman was incredibly supportive. There were periods during which we talked with him daily, and he once called us on both a Saturday and a Sunday from his vacation. I honestly don't know what we would have done without him.

He also played a major role in getting my son the special ed services he needed to go back to school. And he can really think outside the box, too.

I could go on and on, but Dr. Berman has so much to offer. I hope you can get an appointment with him. We are now taking our daughter to see him. However, when we called the office, they said they are scheduling new patient appointments in January 2004. Anonymous

My son, who went to Brad for his preschool years, was diagnosed by him with information processing issues and ADHD-like symtoms secondary to this. Dr. Berman is great with kids (actually, he was brilliant with my child): very child-centered and communicative with them through his sense of humor, cool toys and infinite experience. He is also very good with assessing ADHD cases, according to my sources. The problem for us was that he does not go out of the office; he doesn't observe in the classrooms and, although he is willing to send an associate, I had the feeling he wasn't ''into'' analyzing our child in another setting other than his office. This poses a great disadvantage for helping you trouble shoot in your child's environment. So, what am I saying? Dr. Berman is great for getting an initial diagnosis but not so good with developing a practical day to day program individualized for your child's situation. He helped us in the beginning of our journey and I am very grateful to him for this. Kathy

Good friends have an 11 y.o. son with Fragile X and ADHD and have had Berman as their son's specialist since he was diagnosed as a toddler. They love him...think he's tops in the field and feel like he's been a tremendous resource over the years. Hope that helps. Berkeley dad

Feb 2000

I didn't catch the original post, but it appears there was a question about Dr. Brad Berman. Let me add an opinion, if it helps. We were referred to Dr. Berman by our pediatrician, as we were slightly worried that our daughter had a possible developmental delay. It turned out there was nothing to worry about. However, Dr. Berman spent about an hour with us and our daughter, conducted a very thorough interview and exam and was very positive and reassuring. He also encouraged us to call if we had questions and returned a phone call a week later, to give some very non-urgent advice. We were very pleased (which we can't say has always been the case with our various and sundry physicians). I also believe he has quite a long-standing good reputation in the community.

Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997

To the parent looking for ADHD resources, we recently went through testing with Brad Berman for our son, and really liked his approach - I would ask him for other resources. He didn't seem too quick on the trigger regarding either diagnosis or drugs, and seemed to accept a wide range of behavior and personality as normal. Good luck!

Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997

My 5th grade son was evaluated last year by Dr. Joan Bradus of Progressions in Berkeley (Dr. Brad Berman's clinic) for ADHD. I liked her and felt satisfied with her evaluation - he was found to have some difficulties, such as trouble staying focussed and inability to organize information, but his problems were also found to include a demanding & stressful school environment and a strongly disapproving teacher (!). He did not have ADHD. Dr. Bradus gave me a list of books to read and referrals to learning disorder specialists. She also advised me to change him to a different school, which helped.

From: Myriam

Although I do not know if he is covered by Hills Physician group, I can heartily reccomend Brad Berman for ADD testing. We had our son evaluated through him and found him helpful and not inclined to diagnose ADD without cause. He is a developemental pediatrician, not a psychiatrist, and works with a very wide range of ADD and behavior problems. Personally, I liked him and his manner with our son.