Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics

Developmental-behavioral pediatricians are medical doctors who are certified in general pediatrics with three years additional subspecialty training in developmental-behavioral pediatrics. With their training and experiencing, the doctors are able to consider in their assessments and treatments the medical and psychosocial aspects of children’s and adolescents’ developmental and behavioral problems.

The experts know that children’s development and behavior happen first and foremost in the context of the family, and seek to understand the family’s view of the child’s problem and its effects on the family. Developmental-behavioral pediatricians advocate for their patients by working closely with schools, preschools and other agencies involved with developmental care and education.

Conditions We Treat

Assessment, management and/or referral for developmental and behavioral problems associated with:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • ADHD
  • Spina Bifida
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Developmental Delays
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Regulatory Issues (toileting, sleep)
  • Depression and Anxiety (mild to moderate)
  • Child Maltreatment
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Congenital Malformations
  • Traumatic Stress
  • Myelomeningocele
  • Medically Complex, Preterm, or Low-Birth Weight
  • Infant/Child Relationship Issues

Programs

  • Boone Fetter Clinic
  • Community Mental Health Program
  • Newborn Follow-Up Program
  • Audrey Hepburn CARES Center
  • AltaMed CHLA General Pediatrics
  • DBP Research Program

The Boone Fetter Clinic offers comprehensive diagnostic services and follow-up care for children and adolescents who have concerns in the areas of neurodevelopment, behavior, attention, sensory processing, feeding difficulties and social-emotional development. There are two pathways: either DBP consultation or a multidisciplinary team that addresses concerns of autism and includes developmental-behavioral pediatricians, psychologists, speech/language pathologists and occupational therapists who deliver services within a single setting.

The Community Mental Health Program (DMH eligible) includes Early Childhood Clinics in Behavior in Babies (0- to 3-year assessment); Early Childhood Assessment (3- to 5-year consultation); School-Age Clinic (5- to 18-year medication assessments); and Feeding Clinic, for behavioral and organic feeding problem consultation.

The Newborn Follow-Up Program of the Fetal and Neonatal Institute provides ongoing developmental, behavioral and growth assessment and follow-up for infants at high risk for growth and developmental issues due to conditions in the newborn period that required care in a neonatal intensive care unit.

The Audrey Hepburn CARES Center provides services for suspected victims of child maltreatment and their families.

DBP provides education and consultation in a Federally Qualified Health Center and General Pediatrics Division.

The Division of General Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles provides comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services that begin at birth and continue throughout childhood and adolescence.

Our faculty are involved in cutting-edge research networks such as DBPNet and ATN (Autism Treatment Network).  Faculty present their findings in peer-reviewed publications and at national meetings such as the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Pediatric Academic Society. We participate in research studies in the following areas:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Infant-maternal interactions
  • High-risk-infant follow-up
  • Obesity
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Underserved communities
  • Adverse childhood experiences

Training and Internships

  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship
  • California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CA-LEND) Fellowship Program
  • Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship/Internship
  • Pediatric Residency Program

The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship is a three-year, ACGME-accredited academic training program that has been recognized by grant funding through the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

We have been training leaders, educating community providers, conducting research and promoting systems change for children with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorders. Our mission is to create an interdisciplinary learning community where leaders in Maternal and Child Health, especially in California, prepare to serve children with, or at risk for, neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. We aim to do this with a life-course perspective, through family-centered, culturally responsive, coordinated, comprehensive and developmentally appropriate clinical care, teaching, research and systems change.

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The University of Southern California University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (USC UCEDD) at Children's Hospital Los Angeles offers an advanced postdoctoral training program in clinical child psychology.

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Pediatric residents at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles benefit from exceptional training by developmental-behavioral pediatricians in a nationally ranked hospital setting.

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