Child Development Unit

Well-coordinated, community-oriented, and family-centered childcare for developmental behavioral issues

Our Child Development Unit specializes in the diagnosis and specialty management of congenital and early acquired developmental disabilities. It offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment for children up to 18 years old with suspected or identified developmental delays or neuromuscular impairment. It delivers interdisciplinary health specialization tailored to provide comprehensive care to appropriate pediatric patients.

Our behavioral pediatricians coordinate the team effort among occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, school personnel, and physicians. Child patients are generally referred by their primary physician and sometimes by their teacher, therapist, or another health professional.

The Unit also provides consultation and referral from other sub-specialties such as neurology, audiology, ophthalmology, orthotics, physiatry, nutrition, social work, and psychology.

We consider your family’s priorities, concerns, and needs when planning your child’s care. Our goal is always to understand your child’s strengths and needs, enhance your access to their healthy growth and development, and help every patient reach their highest potential.

Services at a Glance

The evaluation process begins with assessing the patient’s medical, developmental behavioral, social, and family history. All of this information is vital to evaluating the whole child and understanding how they fit into the particular family, community, and school.

Physical and neurological exams are the next step, with a developmental assessment comprising a variety of standardized tests, questionnaires, observations, and demonstrations. The evaluations may be formal, informal, or with the child via observing them at play and interacting with parents and the examiner.

Once the extensive evaluation is done, the developmental behavioral pediatrician discusses their impressions and recommendations with the parents, and they 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

Did You Know?

At the core of our mission is to help children with the following issues:

  • Central nervous system (CNS) malformations
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Sensory impairments
  • Other behavioral problems

As development constitutes a spectrum, potentially gifted children may be evaluated as well.

Some telltale signs of neurodevelopmental conditions include:

  • At birth: Cannot suck or has difficulty swallowing
  • At 3 months: Unable to lift head while lying on stomach
  • At 10 months: Cannot sit independently, has imprecise pincer grasp, or not babbling
  • At 1 year: Cannot pull themselves up to stand or cannot speak single words

Interviewing the child is important to gather information about their feelings, perceptions, and mood. Input from teachers, therapists, and other health care professionals is also taken into account. No matter the professional recommendations, the family is encouraged to be highly involved, as it is vital for the success of the team and its efforts.