Balance And Vestibular Program | Your Visit

After a referral from your pediatrician, our Balance Program team will evaluate your child to make sure there is not a more serious, underlying medical issue causing his balance problems. 

Next, our team will take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and addressing your child's specific concerns with a customized treatment plan tailored to his individual needs.

Treatment options could include medication, surgery,  and/or specific forms of physical and occupational therapy to improve head positioning for better balance.

Boston Children’s principal Physical Therapy unit is located next door to the Balance Program at Boston Children’s at Waltham. The physical closeness of the two programs allows patients see multiple specialists in one visit, and facilitates optimal communication among doctors. 

At every step of the way, our experienced team will guide your child, and your family, through treatment with skill, compassion and empathy.

Here are some common FAQ's about the visit:

*My child/I will come in for balance/vestibular testing, what do I need to prepare?

Please note the following pre-test instructions:

  1. DO NOT take sedatives/tranquillizers or any anti-dizziness mediations (e.g. meclizine) at least 24 hours before testing; If you need medication as instructed by a physician, you should continue to take and inform us on the day of testing.
  2. DO NOT wear any eye makeups (e.g. eyeliner or mascara). Other facial makeups should be kept to minimal.
  3. If you are scheduled to have a Caloric or Rotational test, it’s necessary to arrange a driver or transportation to take you home after the testing.
  4. If Posturography/platform test is scheduled, patients need to wear socks. Females should avoid wearing a skirt.
  5. Parents are encouraged to bring any item, e.g. favorite toys that may comfort your child.
  6. Please avoid bringing in younger siblings with the patient if possible to prevent any interference with the clinical testing. 

*How long the balance/vestibular testing will last?

Depend upon the age of the patient and the tests being ordered, the whole testing session could take a minimal of 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

*My child/I have the balance/vestibular testing done, when can we get a copy of the report?

 Usually, the full report can be finalized within 2 weeks after testing and a copy of the report will be send to the referring physician. If you or other people need a copy, please indicate so by filling up a release form during the visit.

 *What should I do if my child/I can’t come in for the scheduled balance/vestibular testing?

 Due to limited availability of testing appointment, a cancellation call should be made 24-48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. Failure to show for a scheduled testing without proper notification will result in putting your future appointment on hold.