Child Development Unit

The Capitol Medical Center Child Development Unit has – Behavioral Pediatricians who help coordinate the inter disciplinary team efforts of healthcare specialists including Occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists, school personnel and physicians to provide comprehensive care for our patients. We provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for children up to 18 years of age with suspected or identified developmental delays or neuromuscular impairment . These children are referred to us generally by their primary physician, but sometimes by a teacher, therapist, friend or other health professional. Consultation and referral is also available from other subspecialties including: neurology, audiology, ophthalmology, orthotics, physiatry, nutrition, social work and psychology to mention a few.

Purpose

We specialize in the diagnosis and specialty management of congenital and early-acquired disabilities. Children with CNS malformations, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, autism attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental delay, sensory impairments, and behavioral problems constitute the core problems. Considering that development constitutes a spectrum, potentially gifted children may be evaluated as well. Interviewing the child is important for gathering information about his or her feelings, perceptions, and mood. It’s also helpful to have input from the teachers, therapists and other healthcare professionals.

Whatever the recommendations, the involvement of the family is encouraged and is vital for success since the team understands that your child’s well-being affects your entire family. We take into account your family’s priorities and concerns when planning your child’s care to ensure that it is well coordinated, community-oriented and family-centered. The goal is always to understand each child’s strengths and needs, to determine what is typical and what is not, and to access services to help a child grow and develop to the best of their ability and function at their highest potential.

Procedure

The first part of the evaluation process is a history that includes medical, developmental behavioral, social and family history. All of this information is vital to evaluating the whole child and understanding how this child fits into this particular family, community and school. Physical and neurological examinations are part of the evaluation process. A developmental assessment may include a variety of standardized tests, questionnaires, observations, and demonstrations. These evaluations may be formal, with the child or informal, by observing the child at play and interacting with parents and the examiner.

After this extensive evaluation, the developmental behavioral pediatrician discusses their impressions and recommendations with the parents. These recommendations may include:

  • Further evaluation with other specialties
  • Therapeutic intervention (physical, occupational and/or speech and language therapy)
  • Hearing and/or vision assessments
  • Community resource referral
  • Laboratory Tests, X-rays and MRIs
  • Psychoeducational assessment
  • Counseling and behavior management techniques

Neurodevelopmental Conditions

Examples of children who may have neurodevelopmental problems include a child who:

  • At birth cannot suck or has difficulty swallowing
  • At 3 months is unable to lift her head while lying on her stomach
  • At 10 months cannot sit independently, has imprecise  pincer grasp, or is not babbling
  • At one year cannot pull himself up to stand or cannot  speak single words