Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

The Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics strives to become a Center of Excellence in developmental diagnosis, biomedical management and family support for children with motor, communicative, sensory, developmental, genetic, neurological, learning and behavior disorders.

The section’s goals are to:

  • Promote the highest quality interdisciplinary assessment and biopsychosocial management practices to optimize child functioning, support families and maximize prevention strategies across health, education and community care systems
  • Provide the necessary leadership to ensure that children with complex challenges have a high quality medical home and that best practices are used to improve their ability to communicate, move, regulate behavior, interact socially, learn functional and adaptive skills, perform in school and participate in the community 
  • Serve as a resource for primary care practitioners for children with the highest biomedical and psychosocial risks associated with suboptimal educational outcomes
  • Serve as a resource for community professionals and agencies for children with developmental delays, complex disorders (autism,  cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities  multiple disabilities) or complex behavioral challenges
  • Enhance training and research so families will benefit from the best clinical and scientific advances with the highest standards of ethics, professionalism and advocacy

Clinical Programs:

The section, in collaboration with allied professionals, provides developmental and behavioral assessments and care plans for children with developmental delays, complex disabilities and behavior disorders. Some of the common problems addressed include:

  • Developmental delays 
  • Speech-language delays 
  • Motor delays 
  • Cognition delays 
  • Attention difficulties 
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Difficulty socializing 
  • Infant fussiness 
  • Learning disabilities 
  • Difficult behavior 
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with/without hyperactivity 
  • Autism spectrum disorders 
  • Down Syndrome 
  • Cerebral palsy 
  • Intellectual Disability  
  • Behavioral disorders 
  • Colic and reflux 
  • Complex, multiple disabilities

The section also works with other medical specialties to provide comprehensive medical management and follow-up support for children with medical or social issues that may complicate their development and behavior. These at-risk children may have been born prematurely or have conditions such as asthma, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, pediatric malignancies, failure-to-thrive, seizure disorders, genetic disorders and sickle cell disease. In addition, developmental and behavioral consultations are provided to families with children receiving residential service and to families with children in schools designed to meet their special needs. Furthermore, the section offers assistance to families who adopt a child overseas through pre-adoption consultation on the child’s development and medical condition, an initial medical and developmental examination, and follow-up services as needed. 

For more information about our International Adoption Clinic, visit the Comer Children's Hospital website.