Specialty: Developmental Pediatrics
Areas of Expertise
- ADHD & Comorbidities
- Autism Spectrum Dis.
- Developmental Peds.
- Foster/Adopted Needs
- Fragile X Syndrome
- Learning Disabilities
- Utero Alch. Exposure
- Utero Drug Exposure
Education & TrainingBack to Top
- Board Certification:
- American Board of Pediatrics, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
- Medical School / Education:
- The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH
- Children's National Medical Center, Washington DC
- Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
- University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD
Questions & AnswersBack to Top
Dr. Blitz shared a wealth of information about pediatric autism in one of our first Facebook Live Q&A video chats. Watch the video.
In addition, get to know her better with these fun questions and answers!
What led you to your career as a developmental pediatrician?
My oldest sister had special needs, with intractable epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. My parents were always active in the community, advocating for and building programs, so that my sister could participate in activities in the community, just like the rest of us. My mother started the first integrated Girl Scout Troop in the country and my parents were founders of an organization in Cleveland, Ohio to provide recreational activities, a sheltered workshop, and a summer camp for children with special needs. I knew for a long time that I wanted to work with children with special needs and their families, I was just not sure how. Then, during my pediatric residency, I met a developmental pediatrician and knew that is what I wanted to do. It gives me the opportunity to treat the whole child, help families, teach residents, and advocate for children in our community.
What is the best thing about your job?
I get to play with children every day!
Have you received a special gift of thanks or piece of artwork from a child?
Yes - I have a wonderful bracelet that one child made me. I have many drawings, paintings and colored pictures.
What is your favorite children's book?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
How do you go about calming a child's fears? Aside from the wonderful work of the Child Life team?
I never wear a white coat. I always get on the floor with young children and I never stand over them. I examine most young children in their parent's lap. I often let the child use my stethoscope first and I listen to the parent's heart first. Sometimes, my patients with autism calm with movement, spinning, or being upside down, so we do that first.
How do you build trust with a parent?
I always ask parents what their biggest concern is. I listen and answer questions. I always give them a copy of the report, so they have a record of what was said, what my impressions are, and what my recommendations are. I always ask if I have answered all their questions and if they have anything further to discuss.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy being with my boys (making dinner, watching The Big Bang Theory or a Sci Fi movie or show), hiking with friends, going to movies, and walking my dogs.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Olive and Ivy
Can you tell us about your family?
I have 2 wonderful boys, really young men - they are 20 and 21. They are both in Barrett Honors College at ASU. My 20 year old, Sam, is majoring in physics and math. He wants to be a theoretical physicist. My 21 year old, Aaron, is majoring in molecular biology and biomedical technology. He may want to go to med school. I am from Ohio and the rest of my family is still there. We have 2 dogs - Buster and Scooter.
Where are you originally from, and how did you get here?
I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio. I went to college and medical school in Ohio, and then went to Washington DC for my residency. I met my husband in DC and did my fellowship in Baltimore. We lived in Bethesda, Maryland and then we moved to Arizona in 1996 when our boys were 2 1/2 and 4 years old. My late husband had a brain tumor and wanted to be able to be outside with the boys all year round. I was recruited out here for work and there was a brain tumor center at Barrow Neurological Institute. So, we came to sunny Arizona.
ResearchBack to Top
- Research / Special Interests:
- Autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Special needs of foster and adopted children, in utero alcohol and drug exposure, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and comorbidities, learning disabilities, the care of premature infants
Select PublicationsBack to Top
Kidd SA, Lachiewicz A, Barbouth D, Blitz RK, Delahunty C, McBrien D, Visootsak J, Berry-Kravis E. Fragile X Syndrome: A review of Associated Medical Problems. Pediatrics. 2014 Oct 6.
Academic AffiliationsBack to Top
Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Arizona College of Medicine