If you have a child with a developmental disability, such as autism, you may want to consider finding a developmental pediatrician. This is in addition to your child’s regular pediatrician. But why would you consider this? A developmental pediatrician is a specialized pediatrician and they may be better equipped to answer questions or make certain referrals. But how do you go about choosing a developmental pediatrician? We’ll talk about that today and also a little bit more about what a developmental pediatrician does.
Having a developmental pediatrician is certainly not necessary, but having one on your team of support might be helpful. In our case, we looked for a developmental pediatrician to get Sweet B’s official diagnosis. She had already been evaluated by an early childhood educational center, but it was in our best interest to get an official diagnosis.
But why else would your child need a developmental pediatrician?
Even with the increase in the autism diagnosis, many pediatricians may not have experience in treating children with autism. Certainly yes, they are certified pediatricians and they (hopefully) know what they’re talking about. But a developmental pediatrician should have received further training in a specific area like autism.
Based on their prior experience and education, a developmental pediatrician can be a valuable resource when it comes to developing a treatment plan and making recommendations for your IEP.
What sets them apart from a regular pediatrician?
- Four years of medical school
- Three years of residency training in pediatrics
- Board certification in pediatrics
- Additional subspecialty training in developmental-behavioral pediatrics
So, as you can see the major difference is that they have specialty training.
Of course, it may just be the case that your child’s current pediatrician has enough prior experience and knowledge and is able to help treat your child regardless.
We’re very fortunate in this aspect where it concerns Sweet B’s pediatrician. She does not see her developmental pediatrician anymore and the only reason I would have a need to be in contact with them again is if we needed to reclassify her disability.
At this time, it doesn’t seem like she’s going to be going off the spectrum anytime soon.
Do you have a developmental pediatrician for your child?
If you think that you may need to find a developmental pediatrician or other specialist, be sure to check out this helpful guide from Every Star is Different.