A Developmental Paediatrician is also known as a Community Paediatrician. Developmental/Community paediatricians are doctors in paediatrics and child health, with specialist skills in the care of vulnerable families and children with long-term conditions. This includes children with developmental disorders and disabilities, those with complex health needs, special educational needs, behavioural presentations of neurodevelopmental disorders and those where there are safeguarding concerns, who are looked after or who are in the process of being adopted.
What conditions do we deal with?
We assess and manage conditions like:
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)
Delay in development
We assess and manage children with complex neurodisability, working alongside other specialist doctors and teams, for conditions like:
Genetic and chromosomal problems such as down syndrome
Other conditions such as neurofibromatosis.
Often the children we see can have a complex mix of physical and developmental problems (including learning difficulties) and we are a part of a wider team involved in their care.
What conditions don’t we manage?
We don’t manage physical or mental health conditions such as:
Constipation, bedwetting, weight difficulties
Depression, anxiety, self harm
If you are concerned about your child’s mental health you should talk to your GP, school nurse or health visitor who may suggest a referral to CAMHS. We do not medically manage behaviour problems or isolated sleep problems, and we do not assess for dyslexia, dyscalculia or sensory processing difficulties. However, the children we see can sometimes have these problems and may need assessment for these difficulties by relevant professionals.
What happens at the clinic appointment?
At an initial appointment we aim take a developmental history from the child’s parent or carer. This includes any problems during pregnancy, birth and the period soon after birth. We ask about current concerns, when these started and how they affect daily life. We also need to know about other health problems, medications, medical problems in the family and any other concerns. This often includes a social history.
We also examine the child for assessment of underlying medical problems that could be associated with their difficulties.
We may need further information from other people involved with your child, such as from school or nursery. We might request reports or send questionnaires for this extra information. We may ask to see the child in the nursery/school setting.
Sometimes we may need to organise medical tests such as blood tests or scans. These are usually to look for a cause for the difficulties your child has presented with. We assess each case as to whether further tests are needed.