Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics

When you or your child's pediatrician have concerns about your child's behavioral, developmental, emotional or learning skills, we can provide comprehensive evaluation and customized care.

Our developmental-behavioral pediatricians at UC San Diego Heath have the advanced training and expertise to address your child's challenges and needs. Working collaboratively with families, we evaluate and provide treatment for infants, children and adolescents with a wide range of difficulties.

We have a strong emphasis on high-quality, family-centered care. We aim to support your child's optimal development and behavior with compassion and specialized services in partnership with you.

Who We Care For

Developmental pediatricians are doctors who have completed a residency in pediatrics and have additional subspecialty training in developmental and behavioral pediatrics.

We treat children from birth to age 17 and have extensive experience treating toddlers and preschool-aged children. Families are usually referred to us by their primary care physician or another professional provider.

In addition to caring for children in our region, we help families from around California, other states in the U.S. and other countries.

Conditions We Treat

Our developmental-behavioral pediatricians work with families to evaluate, treat and coordinate care for children with developmental delays, behavioral issues, learning difficulties and mental health concerns, including:

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Aggression and discipline issues
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Developmental delays and disabilities
  • Genetic disorders, including prenatal drug and alcohol exposure‚Äč
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Learning disorders and school issues
  • Mood disorders
  • Regulatory disorders related to eating, feeding and sleeping

Our Services

We aim to complete a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of each child and recommend treatment or services, including medication management, intervention and coordination of care.

We typically meet with each family for an initial evaluation or consultation and one or two follow-up visits. Still, some families see us for a more extended period.

We work with you to provide what is best for your child and to transition care to your child's physician when an effective treatment plan is in place.

Our services may include the following:

  • Advocating for needed school support
  • Communicating with your child's current providers
  • Conducting a medical work-up for your child's condition
  • Developing or adjusting a medication treatment plan
  • Diagnosing medical issues
  • Following up to see how your child is responding to treatment
  • Identifying needed support and services
  • Providing behavioral guidance
  • Referring your child to our pediatric psychiatry program
  • Guiding your child to community resources, such as early intervention and other programs
  • Reviewing Individual Education Plans (IEP)

At your request, we can provide you with a copy of your child's evaluation report three to four weeks after it's complete.

View Online Medical Records

It's easy to access your child's medical information online through the MyChart patient portal.

Check Rady Children's MyChart

How to Prepare for Your First Appointment

Whether your child is from the San Diego area or elsewhere, we work with you to develop a treatment plan that your child's local physician can manage.

  • Read our welcome packet: Call us at 858-246-0053 for a copy of our welcome package, which includes a primary care physician referral form, patient registration forms, and parent and teacher questionnaires. You can also download the documents. All questionnaires must be completed and returned to us before we schedule your child's appointment.
  • Schedule an appointment: New evaluation appointments are generally available within one to three months. There is increased demand at the beginning of the school year, after grading periods and toward the end of the school year.
  • Collect other pertinent information: This includes copies of previous evaluations, letters from other providers, report cards and medical records. Please forward this information to us before your appointment so we can review it in preparation for your visit.

What to Expect At Your Appointment

  • First appointment (up to two hours): We encourage all primary caregivers to attend this appointment. Multiple members of our team are typically involved in your child's assessment. During the first part of the evaluation, we discuss your concerns and review your child's developmental and medical history. The assessment includes an interview/observation of your child, development/academic screening as appropriate, and a physical exam. Our team will meet to review our findings and discuss our recommendations with you.
  • Follow-up appointments (30 minutes): Our patients typically have one to two follow-up appointments with us, but some families see us for longer. Our goal is for your child's physician to take over care coordination once an effective plan is in place.

Patient Resources

Before making an appointment, read the welcome/intake for children in English or Spanish.

Download Your Welcome Packet

Kearny Mesa Clinic