About our Clinic

Visit our clinic to get help for the child, teen, or young adult in your life
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The Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders (CIMAID) is a specialty clinic within the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. Led by Michael Rich, MD, MPH and Michael Tsappis, MD, CIMAID is a multi-disciplinary team that evaluates and treats children, adolescents, and young adults whose excessive online activities have caused problems with sleep, school, social functioning, physical health, and mental health. The CIMAID team accepts referrals of young people experiencing negative consequences of problematic media and technology use, supporting them to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyles and behaviors.

Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend that families seek a referral from their primary care physician or pediatrician. You can request appointments in three ways: 

  • Request an appointment through our online form.
  • Call the Clinic at (617) 355-9447 and leave a message with your name, number, and email address. 
  • Email the Clinic at cimaid@childrens.harvard.edu. Please do not share your child’s personal health information via email. 

If you or your child are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

You will receive a secure email with an intake form to complete on behalf of your child. The form asks about your child’s media and technology use, their physical and mental health, and their academic and social experiences.

Our clinical team will review the form and determine if our clinic is a good fit for your child’s needs. On acceptance, you and your child will attend a 90 minute intake appointment, via a virtual visit. Following intake, the clinician will determine the number of follow-up sessions needed. These sessions are also conducted via telehealth and range from 30-60 minutes in length.

No, most patients can be seen via telehealth visits. However, due to insurance regulations, some states require that the first visit be done in person. Please contact the Clinic directly to determine whether your child is eligible for out of state telehealth services.

Many children and teens suffering with Problematic Interactive MEdia Use do not see their use as a problem and don’t believe it’s necessary for them to come to CIMAID. In some cases, they may even refuse to attend their appointment. Here are some things you can do to prepare your child for their visit:

Give your child advance notice; never surprise them with the CIMAID visit. Explain your concerns and share that the goal is to get a professional’s opinion on how to help your child live a healthier, more fulfilling life. 

Explain that this is not a punishment. Help your child to understand that media use is a part of everyday life, so it’s important to understand how to take control of how their use of media makes them think, act, learn, and grow. 

Many children and teens worry that they will have their device taken away, either by the doctor or by their parents. Reassure your child that everyone involved will work together to create healthy guidelines around media use and that the goal is not to force them to “quit” their technology, games, or apps.

Ask your child to think of questions to ask the doctor, so they can play an active role in their visit.

Family Digital Wellness Guide

Our Family Digital Wellness Guide is designed to provide parents and caregivers with information and guidance based on clinical evidence and scientific research. In it, we discuss both the benefits and risks of digital media use and provide strategies for parents and caregivers of children from birth through young adulthood.

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