Members of the Care Team
- Neonatologist – A neonatologist is a specialist within the medical field. They earned this designation by undergoing training in pediatrics and completing three years of additional training to specialize in the care of newborn infants needing intensive care. Many neonatologists participate in follow-up developmental pediatric programs as part of their training.
- Developmental Pediatrician – A developmental pediatrician is a pediatrician who has completed additional subspecialty training in the areas of pediatric development and behavior. This training gives a developmental pediatrician the skills needed to evaluate and care for children of all ages at risk of, or experiencing, developmental or behavioral problems.
- Pediatrician – A pediatrician is a doctor who completed three or more years of specialty training in pediatrics. Some pediatricians have additional expertise in the treatment of children with developmental challenges and consider developmental pediatrics an area of interest.
- Advanced Practice Provider– Advanced practice providers are registered nurses with a master’s degree that have received advanced training in the field of pediatrics.
- Autism – Autism is a developmental disorder affecting the nervous system. Symptoms vary in range and severity and may include communication challenges, difficulty interacting in social settings, obsessive interests and repetitive behaviors.
- Developmental Delay – Developmental delay occurs when a child is not reaching all of his or her developmental milestones. Developmental delay can relate to gross or fine motor, language, social or thinking skills.
- Speech Delay – Speech delay, or alalia, refers to a developmental delay in a child’s ability to make sounds through use of the lungs, vocal cords, mouth, tongue and teeth; for example, articulation or pronunciation. This term is often used to describe a language delay, which refers to a delay in expressive or receptive communication ability.
- Prematurity – Infants born prematurely, before the 37th week of pregnancy, may experience motor, language, cognitive or other developmental delays, sensory losses such as hearing or visual impairment or feeding difficulties.
- Growth Delay – Babies born prematurely and children with developmental delays have an increased risk of delayed growth, where their measurements show a slower than normal rate of growth.
Reasons for Referral
- Premature birth
- Complex congenital heart defect
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
- Neonatal abstinence syndrome
- Developmental delay in language, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social skills, adaptive skills or non-verbal problem solving skills
- Concerns for autism spectrum disorder
- Monitor developmental progress over time for a complex genetic syndrome
Who needs to see a developmental pediatrician?
If you are concerned about your child’s development, please contact his or her pediatrician or primary care provider to discuss whether he or she should be seen by a developmental pediatrician. Developmental practices treat infants and children from birth to adolescence who are at risk for developmental delay or who are not meeting developmental milestones, including those with:
- possible developmental challenges related to prematurity or who required support in the neonatal intensive care unit.
- a history of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
- motor, language, cognitive or other developmental delays.
- neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, or a history of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
- neurobehavioral disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
- birth defects or genetic syndromes such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip or cleft palate.
- sensory losses such as hearing or visual impairment.
The types of care each practice provides varies by patient age range. Please contact a practice if you have questions about the type of care they specialize in.
What can I expect at each visit?
Your child’s clinician will address all concerns about your child’s development while providing a clear and practical plan of care, as well as home practices that will assist your child day to day. The practice will also coordinate/collaborate with other members of the health care team to assist in providing the best care for your child.
Should my child be seen by a developmental specialist?
If you have concerns about your child’s development, please contact his or her pediatrician or primary care provider. Your doctor will determine if your child needs to be seen by a developmental specialist and can make a referral to our office by contacting us and filling out a referral information form.
- American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)
- First Signs
- My Child Without Limits
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
- U.S. Department of Education
No matter where you are,
MEDNAX has you covered.
Advanced Practice Providers