Developmental paediatrics is a subspecialty that provides expertise in child development. It is concerned with the scientific application of medical knowledge within a bio-psycho-social model; and to the promotion of normal growth processes, neuromaturation, development and behavior in children, especially those with chronic medical conditions. It is also concerned with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis and management of acquired and congenital developmental disorders. This includes cognitive disabilities, communication and attentional disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities, sensory impairment, metabolic and genetic disorders, high incidence maladaptive and emotional disorders of children presenting in the context of family, day care or school. The Child Development Program at CH operates at the Thames Valley Children’s Centre and the Child Parent Resource Institute.
The overall goal of developmental paediatrics is to promote and maintain the developmental and emotional well being of all children and their families, especially those who are most vulnerable.
Developmental paediatrics works within a multidisciplinary team including other medical specialties such as child psychiatry, neurology, orthopaedics and physical medicine, otology and audiology, ophthalmology and public health as well as allied health professionals including psychologists, education consultants, speech and language pathologists, social workers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Consultation work is done in collaboration with general paediatricians and family physicians. Pre-consultation requires the accumulation of a lifetime of health, psychosocial and education records. Referring physicians, family and other involved specialists, parents, District School Boards, social service agencies, children's mental health centres and children's treatment centres may be involved in post-consultation conferences.
- Consultations require a minimum of 2 hours per patient
- 15% of all children have a chronic disorder, which affects their development