Developmental Pediatrics

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Developmental Pediatrics

Published On 07/11/2011

Caring for a child with developmental disabilities takes a team of family members and medical professionals. In partnership with The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur has the only developmental pediatrics program in the Mid-South.

Our experts

Our comprehensive team performs the evaluation of children who either have, or show symptoms of having, developmental problems. Physicians in our group have extensive training and are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in neurodevelopmental disabilities. The team conducts research to further our knowledge of developmental disabilities.

Developmental pediatric physicians work collaboratively with psychologists, audiologist and speech pathologists, nutritionists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and other specialty physicians to determine the best approach to care for your child and family.

Development disabilities

Developmental disabilities begin during infancy or early childhood and can persist through adolescence and adulthood. Often times these disabilities are not recognized until children start school, which can hinder learning and social development. Approximately 17 percent of children have a developmental or behavioral disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Examples of developmental disabilities or clinical concerns include the following:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental delay
  • High-risk newborn follow up
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Learning disabilities
  • School problems
  • Speech-language disorders

Developmental pediatricians asses a child to see if he or she is meeting developmental milestones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a list of developmental milestones and tips for parents.

Le Bonheur Early Intervention and Development

Le Bonheur Early Intervention and Development (LEAD) provides early intervention services children age birth to three years. Services are provided in homes and community-based childcare centers. LEAD partners with the Tennessee Early Intervention System. LEAD is designated as an Early Intervention Resource Agency by Tennessee’s Department of Education.

Families who benefit from Early Intervention typically have children who:

  • were born prematurely
  • have genetic, neurological or acquired disorders
  • have vision, hearing or other sensory impairments
  • experience delays in one or more areas of developmental or are at risk for delays
  • have feeding difficulties

Specialty areas include:

  • speech and language therapy
  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • developmental therapy
  • adaptive equipment modification and fabrication
  • behavior analysis
  • early childhood education
  • inclusion support for children with special needs in childcare

For more information, contact 901-287-4900.

The Boling Center

Le Bonheur works with The Boling Center at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center to care for families and children with developmental disabilities. The Boling Center's core programs at Le Bonheur include the Spina Bifida Clinic, the Feeding Clinic and the Newborn Follow-Up Clinic. The specialists work alongside clinicians from Rehabilitation Services and Radiology.

In addition, The Boling Center offers the following programs:

  • Diagnostic and Evaluation Clinic
  • Developmental Pediatric Consultation Clinic
  • Family Autism Clinic, a Le Bonheur collaboration
  • ADHD and Learning Disabilities Clinic
  • Latino Clinic
  • Supported Parenting Group
  • Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody
  • Maternal and Child Health LEND graduate training program
  • Harwood Center
  • Shelby County Relative Caregivers program

For more information about The Boling Center, visit Contact Bruce Keisling, PhD, Clinical Services Coordinator (901-448-6511), for further information about clinical services at the Boling Center, or Marion Abbott (901-448-6928) to schedule an appointment.