Development and Behavioral Pediatrics is a subspecialty in the field of Pediatrics that deals with the assessment, evaluation, and management of developmental and behavioral problems in children and adolescents. Developmental and behavioral pediatricians undergo three years of subspecialty training on top of their three years of basic training in the field of Pediatrics.
Some of the common conditions that are treated by Development and Behavioral Pediatricians are:
- Learning disorders - Development and Behavioral Pediatricians evaluate and manage learning issues such as dyslexia, writing difficulties, reading and math problems, and other school-related problems
- Behavioral disorders - Behavioral concerns such as hyperactivity, attention deficit behavior (ADHD), sexual conduct problems, aggression, or defiant behaviors
- Developmental disorders - Developmental disorders like cerebral palsy, hearing and visual impairment, mental retardation, and spectrum of autism disorders that cause delays in the social, cognitive, and speech development of children
- Training problems - Training problems like persistent bedwetting, soiling, feeding problems, sleeping problems, and other issues related to discipline
- Mood disorders -Mood disorders in children and adolescents like depression, mood swings, and anxiety disorders
- Other conditions affecting the development of a child like spina bifida, myelomeningocele, epilepsy, and others might contribute and aggravate existing developmental problems in a child
Because developmental and behavioral problems involve more than one aspect of a child’s life, Development and Behavioral Pediatricians often work closely with other parties like psychologists, speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, special education teachers, social workers, neurologists, psychiatrists, and other specialties to promote the development of a child. Most importantly, developmental and behavioral pediatricians work closely with the parents or caregiver of the child to teach them how they can support their child and lead a normal life.