What is Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics?

What is Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP)?

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) is a unique subspecialty at Children's Hospital Los Angeles that focuses on a child’s strengths and challenges within the context of the family using a bio-psycho-social perspective.

Who are DBP Pediatricians?

Developmental-behavioral pediatricians are medical doctors who are certified in pediatrics with sub-specialty training in developmental and behavioral pediatrics.  The doctors possess training and experience to consider, in their assessments and treatments, the medical and psychosocial aspects of children’s and adolescents’ developmental and behavioral problems. 

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

Developmental-behavioral pediatricians evaluate, counsel, and provide treatment for children, adolescents, and their families with a wide range of developmental and behavioral difficulties, including:

What are Developmental Disabilities?

Developmental disabilities including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, mental retardation, visual and hearing impairments:

  • Autism spectrum disorders, including autism disorder, Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified
  • Attention and behavioral disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and associated conditions including oppositional-defiant behavior, conduct problems, depression, and anxiety disorders
  • Learning disorders including dyslexia, writing difficulties, math disorders, and other school-related learning problems
  • Delayed development in speech, language, motor skills, and thinking ability
  • Tics, Tourette syndrome, and other habit disorders
  • Regulatory disorders including sleep disorders, feeding problems, discipline difficulties, complicated toilet-training issues, enuresis (bedwetting), and encopresis (soiling)
  • Behavioral and developmental problems complicating the full range of pediatric chronic illnesses and disabling conditions (for example, genetic disorders, epilepsy, prematurity, diabetes, asthma, cancer)

Team Members

Often a developmental-behavioral pediatrician works collaboratively with a team of professionals. This team may include:

  • Child psychiatrist
  • Child neurologist
  • Clinical social worker
  • Educational diagnostician
  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities pediatrician
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Physician’s assistant 
  • Psychologist
  • Speech-language pathologist