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Expert Forensic Opinions in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Shahla Chehrazi, M.D. is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with a forensic and clinical practice for Children, Adolescents and Adults who has practiced for over 40 years.  She is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (UCSF).  Dr. Chehrazi brings exceptional expertise on childhood trauma and assessing the presence or absence of symptoms of trauma.  She is an internationally-recognized expert and author who has been invited to teach in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, Central America, the Middle East and the Caribbean.  In addition, Dr. Chehrazi has authored and presented frequently about recognizing and treating children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and emotional trauma, including PTSD. 

Dr. Chehrazi has conducted many assessments of children and adolescents for forensic proceedings regarding:

Diagnosis
Causation
Emotional Distress
Need for treatment
Prognosis

In matters involving:

Emotional Trauma, including PTSD
Neglect and Abuse of Children
Adult Response to Childhood Trauma, Including Sexual Abuse
Child Custody and Divorce Disputes
Pre-Verbal Children, Toddlers and Infants
Coping with Grief and Loss in Children and Adolescents
Diagnosis and Prognosis
Pathological Behavior in Children and Adolescents
Children with Special Needs
Children with Learning Disorders

More detail follows:

TRAUMA
Assessment of the expression of trauma by children and adolescents, including pre-verbal children (toddlers and infants).

  • PTSD; the symptoms of a child or adolescent suffering a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is different than diagnosing adults; assessment by a trained child psychiatrist is essential to render an opinion.
  • “Acting Out” as a response to trauma.
  • Arrested/delayed/regressed emotional development

NEGLECT AND ABUSE OF CHILDREN: IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT 

  • Distinguishing between behavior based on dynamics with abusive adults, or a response to other traumatic events.

ADULT RESPONSE TO CHILDHOOD TRAUMA, INCLUDING SEXUAL ABUSE

CHILD CUSTODY AND DIVORCE DISPUTES

  • Family conflict, divorce, issues of child custody and dysfunction of the extended family as they impact the child, teen or adult.
  • The behavior of children coping with parental and family conflict. 

PRE-VERBAL CHILDREN, TODDLERS AND INFANTS 

COPING WITH GRIEF AND LOSS IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS 

PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS AND CAUSATION IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS 

CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS 

  • Assessment and treatment of children with special needs; identifying the presence or absence of emotional distress in the special needs child.
  • Identifying autism spectrum disorders in infants, children and adolescents: assessment and treatment.

CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISORDERS

  • Learning Disorders as an expression of emotional distress
  • School performance and learning disorders
  • IEP Assessments 

Dr. Chehrazi is called as an Expert Witness for plaintiff or defense, in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings, opining in a forensic setting by report and expert testimony in both American and international jurisdictions. 

Dr. Cherhazi’s Resume is posted on this site and contains a bibliography of her publications and international presentations.  In addition to her clinical practice and teaching, she serves on the Board of Directors for the International Council on Women’s Health Issues (ICOWHI), and presented on children’s health issues at past conferences.  She is further internationally recognized for her work with very young children, and identifying autism spectrum disorders in infants, toddlers, children, adolescents and adults.

Dr. Chehrazi received her medical training at the University of Teheran Medical School, the University of Chicago, Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry and Stanford. She is fluent in English, Farsi – Persian, and Urdu – Afghani.

Dr. Chehrazi is in practice with Forensic Psychiatrist Stephen M. Raffle, M.D., who has extensive forensic experience. Articles, case studies, descriptions and educational articles on a variety of relevant topics are provided by Dr. Raffle at www.rafflemd.com. Dr. Raffle’s practice addresses treatment of adults.