Developmental-behavioral pediatricians work with parents and primary care physicians to better understand and address the needs of children who have developmental delays and/or learning or behavioral issues.
Physicians in this growing specialty provide assessment and guidance for children with a wide range of developmental or behavioral challenges. They work with the family, pediatrician, teachers and other medical professionals to develop a care plan to help children with specialized needs reach their potential.
Physicians in this specialty are board certified in pediatrics and also attain a second board certification in developmental-behavioral pediatrics. Much like other specialists, the developmental-behavioral pediatrician works as needed with the family and other clinicians to support the individual needs of children in their care.
Conditions We Assess and Treat
Developmental-behavioral pediatricians participate in the assessment and treatment of:
- Delays with speech, language, motor skills or thinking ability.
- Disorders related to self-regulation, including sleep issues, bedwetting, feeding difficulties and challenges related to toilet training.
- School-related learning issues, including difficulty with writing and/or math.
- Behavioral disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and related conditions, including conduct issues, depression and anxiety.
- Habit disorders including obsessive compulsive traits, and behavioral tics.
- Developmental disabilities, vision or hearing impairments, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, spina bifida.
What to Expect
During initial visits, the developmental-behavioral pediatrician will engage the family in interviews to assess psychosocial factors and may request or perform developmental and physical/neurological exams, if indicated. Additional testing may be recommended, including genetic screening, imaging studies and neuropsychological/educational testing. Once all information is obtained, the doctor will meet with the family to discuss findings and next steps.