Medical school: Graduated from Ohio State University and completed a fellowship in developmental-behavioral pediatrics at the University of Maryland
Years in practice: 21
Why did you choose developmental pediatrics?
My oldest sister had intellectual disabilities and intractable epilepsy... So my parents, along with other parents of children with special needs, founded an organization to provide recreational opportunities, a summer camp, and a workshop... My parents and sister taught me every person has something to contribute, every person has different strengths and abilities, and every person deserves the chance to be happy, healthy, and successful. Being a developmental pediatrician gives me the chance to help other families make a difference for their children.
What are some common issues you treat?
I treat autism, ADHD, learning differences, developmental delays, and children with multiple disabilities. I also treat children who were born prematurely, children in foster care and in adoptive homes who have developmental and behavioral problems, children who were born exposed in utero to drugs and alcohol, children with fetal alcohol syndrome, and children with genetic or neurological disorders that are associated with developmental and behavioral problems.
What’s the darndest thing a kid’s said to you?
Children with autism are often very literal. One day, one of my patients came for a follow-up visit, and his mother proudly announced he had met standards on the state assessment of his written language abilities. His mother urged this boy to tell me “what he wrote his essay on.” He looked very bewildered and refused to answer. I tried to encourage him and said, “Oh, come on, tell me what you wrote your essay on.” He still would not answer... His mother repeated, this time rather sternly, “Right now, tell Dr. Blitz, what you wrote your essay on.” The boy stood up, put his hands on his hips, and said, “Fine, on white paper with lines of course.”
What distinguishes your practice from others?
I am currently the only hospital-based, board-certified developmental pediatrician in Phoenix. Because I am based at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, all of my patients have access to all of the other medical subspecialties that may be necessary to provide comprehensive care.