Gary Landman, MD


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Archived Q&A and Reviews

July 2002

Our 5 y.o. boy has significant sensory processing problems. He has been in special ed early intervention and has been worked up for autism, etc. The consensus among professionals to date is that he has great difficulty processing sensory information, including language, but is rapidly improving. He is very hyperactive in that he can't sit still, and his attention span varies from poor to fair, depending on his interest in the topic. He can be rigid and negative at times when things are not going his way. On non-verbal testing at age 3 he was assessed to have very high intelligence, and we think he is very smart -- he has a knack for solving problems and a sly way of winning people over even with his limited social skills. He loves other kids but does not have good boundaries, sometimes he comes on too strong. He is starting kindergarten in September, and the plan is for him to be in the special ed class. The teachers and principal have encouraged us to have him assessed for medication, to ''help him process.'' The medical group will not pay for CHO or UCSF but they will pay for Dr. Gary Landman in Orinda. I don't know anything about him so I am asking out there for any opinions and experiences....

My son has been seeing Dr. Landman for the last 18 months. My pediatrician warned me that while he's well-respected, he's good at what he does, but he has so many patients (he's the only behavioral pediatrician on most East Bay health plans) that he literally only spends about 10 minutes with you.

Nevertheless, I haven't really felt the need for more time. I try to come prepared with a list of questions and he will answer them. But the visit is always rushed but strangely thorough. He's very nice, and straightforward. He talks to my son and asks him questions directly and sometimes sees him alone in his office.

His office sent a detailed questionairre to us and a form for his techer to fill out. We've tried a few different doses and types of medication, so he is definitely *not* a one size fits all kind of doctor.

He doesn't automatically just refill medication, either. You either need to come in to pick up a prescription or you need to send in a SASE. My son goes to see him about once a quarter. I hope that helps. Mom of 2 boys

I don't know what your financial situation is, or your health insurance situation, but I can tell you that when given the choice of Dr. Landeman on our health insurance plan or Brad Berman paying him in cash, I spent the money on Brad Berman. I talked to Landeman's office and didn't feel he would have an appropriate amount of time to spend with us for us to feel he would make an informed diagnosis. I have heard that there are better choices with Hill Physicians rather than ABMG, and you might also want to look at that. Brad Berman seems to actually look at the kid in front of him rather than diagnosing from a sheet filled out by a parent. Mom

We are having our son evaluated for learning/attention issues. Landman was the only one our health plan covered, so we saw him - - but also made appointments with Brad Berman (which we will pay for). We have not yet finished with Berman, so I cannot yet compare evaluations, but I was not impressed with Landman. He spent relatively little time with us, and did tests that did not seem well-suited to understanding our son's particular learning issues. His manner was a bit abrupt. His reputation is that he sees ADD everywhere, and everyone leaves with a prescription. True to his reputation, he told us ''Your son is brilliant, and has ADD. But of course you know that.'' Actually, we didn't know that; that's why we went to him. We are skeptical about the diagnosis still; we suspect our son's inattention reflects processing issues, and that an ADD diagnosis is unsubtle and does not really help address the underlying problem. Landman had some good ideas for classroom accomodations, but offered no suggestions for therapy to help address processing or other wiring problems.

That said, if you have a good sense of what your child's special characteristics are, and need Landman only to prescribe meds, go for it. He will be more than willing. Anonymous

We had our son assessed by Gary Landman when he was in second grade because his school thought that medication would possibly help with his focus issues. This was the only available resource that our insurance would pay for, so we decided to start with his assessment. I had heard very mixed reviews and had also heard that he was quick to prescribe medications, so when he wrote his reports that he saw no need for medication, I took it strongly to heart. He spent an hour with our son and an hour with me and was able to give some great advice that I still continue to inform each teacher about. (And used to give each teacher a copy of his assessment.) We later had more extensive testing done with the school system and a speech therapist, though no one has been able to diagnosis anything further. He does not qualify for any special ed services, so we have utilized various tutors on our own. He is now twelve and does we! ll! in school, but needs a great deal of support from us. So my opinion is that Gary Landman is a good place to begin since the assessment is covered and then branch out from there.

As far as medications are concerned, I have seen them assist with miraculous changes in both children and adults, but finding an effective combination with minimal side effects is challenging. Speaking from experience (I work in the psychiatric field, my brother was hyperactive and on ritalin back in the 70's, and we have several friends with children on medication), sometimes it takes several trials to find the right medications, and this can cause anxiety for the parent and child as well. Also, new medications come out frequently, so some of the children we know have medication changes yearly, according to their symptoms and progress. On the other hand, medication is only a part of treatment, so give yourselves the options of reseaching each step further if you need too. Good Luck! Anonymous

I have not used Dr. Landman but have heard a few things about him. My pediatrician did not recommend him for my 3 year old son with processing problems. She said he has little experience with young kids, dealing mainly with teenagers, but unfortunately he was the only person who was covered through medical insurance. We have gone privately to Brad Berman and Ann Parker instead.

We had a poor experience with Dr. Gary Landman. We took our child to him because he was the only referral that our pediatrician would give (Petra Landman, his wife, which I see as a conflict of interest). We felt he was not very thorough, and gave his standard diagnosis and treatment plan for ADHD without investigating the effects of a rarer disorder that he and we knew also afflicted our child. We were very frustrated with his one size fits all diagnosis of ADHD.

We heard that Dr. Gary Landman has a reputation for giving the diagnosis and prescription you want. When we went to him, within the hour of evaluation, he did just that.

A wonderfully brilliant and insightful pediatrician. whom I heard speak at a symposium on disorders of the brain. has had remarkable results with PDD (from autism to dyslexia) by using vitamin A, cod liver oil, and an allergy-free diet (casein and gluten). Her name is Mary Megson; her practice is in Richmond, VA.