Centers of Excellence
Developmental Pediatrics Department
If you are worried or have suspicions about the normal development of your child it is better to consult your pediatrician and to visit on time a developmental pediatrician
The developmental assessment is a process that aims at deeper understanding of motor, social, auditory, speaking, coordination of the child as well as opportunities given by the family and educational environment, so as to achieve the best developmental potential.
In particular, the specialized Developmental Pediatrician is a medical professional with appropriate training and experience to diagnose and provide specialized intervention in children with suspected:
- Developmental delay
- Learning disabilities
- Speech delay
- Language disorders
- Behavioral disorders
- Autistic disorders
- Attention Deficit and/or hyperactivity
- Mental retardation
- Gifted children
- Motor coordination disorders
- Developmental problems in children born preterm
- Developmental problems in children with chronic neurological diseases
When you visit the Developmental Pediatrics Department, please keep in mind the following simple advices:
- During the assessment it is advisable not to forget that you are the parents of the child. Your emotions and your personal observations are of great importance.
- No one does require of you know the jargon Developmental Pediatrics. The specialist will discuss with you in a simple and understandable way.
- Don’t be afraid to disagree. To accept an evaluation with which you essentially disagree will not have any benefit for the child, you or your specialist.
- It is preferred, though many times difficult, for both parents to come to the review. Thus, they can give more information about the child, the child may feel more comfortable to unfold the full potential and parents can more easily discuss the conclusion of the examination afterwards.
- Although young children don’t get separated from their parents during the process, be prepared to accept that the developmental pediatrician may ask you to not participate at all in the process. Otherwise anything your child succeeds will be assigned to your contribution and not on its own capabilities, something that obviously is unfair.
- Make sure to get clear from the beginning why you came and what are your deepest concerns. Be also prepared to hear concerns raised by the developmental pediatrician during the examination.
- By the time a problem is diagnosed in your child, however big is your concern and your tendency to care for the best of your child, don’t forget to take care of yourself and the other members of your family too. A healthy and united family is the best assistant in a child with developmental problems.
- Don’t hesitate to share your experiences and feelings with other parents facing similar problems. Not only you will learn from their experience, but you will also help some people to take better care of their child and this will give you great courage.
- The care and guidance of a child with developmental problems and of its family is the responsibility of a group of experts. The developmental pediatrician will advise you on the exams that your child will probably need, but also for the specific speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, special educator or music therapist that will help you. This group of people should not stop to be in constant communication and mutual support.
What you need to know before visiting the Developmental Pediatrician?
During visit in Developmental Pediatric Clinic, thorough investigation of each child and its family is conducted, to give a comprehensive diagnosis both in organic and psychological and developmental level. This process includes detailed developmental history, pediatrics and neurological examination but most of all developmental examination with special developmental tests, based on the spontaneous and free cooperation of the infant, toddler, child or teenager to explore all his skills, at their maximum potential. Family counseling follows as well as further reference, if it is necessary, for specialized intervention. Parents, the child’s pediatrician and the therapists receive a detailed written report of the assessment in order to create a relationship of trust and confidentiality, necessary for the family guidance and the follow-up of the child.
When is developmental assessment necessary?
- If parents believe that their child is holding “back” if they see traits in its development that worry them.
- If the pediatrician advised, parents to seek for specialized help.
- If there is a diagnosed problem or disability and parents need further guidance and follow up of their child.
- If your child belongs to a “high-risk” group, e.g., prematurity, very low birth weight or if there is any family history of developmental issue.
When a parent is concerned, usually it is for a good reason. So if you are worried or have suspicions about the normal development of your child it is better to consult your pediatrician and to visit on time a developmental pediatrician, who will estimate whether it is warranted to proceed to diagnostic procedures or it is simply normal variants of development.