Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians are pediatricians trained to consider both the medical and psychosocial aspects of children’s and adolescents’ developmental and behavioral problems. They work closely with parents, families, and schools. Often developmental-behavioral pediatricians work collaboratively as part of a team of professionals which may include psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, child psychiatrists, child neurologists, geneticists, and special educators.

They have expertise in the evaluation and care of children and adolescents with a number of conditions including:

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

  • Global developmental delay
  • Specific Developmental delay/concerns (speech delay, fine /gross motor delay)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder
  • Learning disorders (dyslexia, disorders of written expression/dysgraphia, maths disorders and other school-related learning problems)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Intellectual Disability

Speech and language disorders (Stammering/Misarticulation/delays)

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Children

  • School phobia/refusal
  • Nonspecific somatic symptoms
  • Temper tantrums
  • Breath holding spells
  • Thumb sucking
  • Enuresis (bedwetting) and encopresis(soiling)

Sensory Impairments (Visual and Hearing Impairments)

Behavioral and developmental problems complicating chronic illnesses and disabling conditions such as genetic disorders, epilepsy, prematurity etc.

You can approach your child’s pediatrician to take opinion regarding the issues. Based on their recommendation, you can approach a developmental paediatrician if required.

At an initial appointment we aim to take a detailed developmental history from the child’s parent or caregiver. This includes any problems during pregnancy, birth and the period soon after birth. We ask about current concerns, when these started and how they affect daily life. We also need to know about other health problems, medications, medical problems in the family and any other concerns. This often includes a social history.

We also examine the child for assessment of underlying medical problems that could be associated with their difficulties.

We may need further information from other people involved with your child, such as from school or nursery. We might request reports or send questionnaires for this extra information.

Sometimes we may need to organise medical tests such as blood tests, vision or hearing tests and scans if required. These are usually to look for a cause for the difficulties your child has presented with. A detailed developmental and behavioral assessment may be planned and referral to other specialities or therapies may be done on a case to case basis.

The complete assessment may require more than one visit. Each session may last half an hour to 45 mins.


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