The Pediatric Developmental Disabilities Clinic provides a range of behavioral services for children and adolescents who are diagnosed with or suspected of having developmental delays and disorders.
Children and adolescents with developmental delays and disabilities— such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Intellectual Disabilities, and significant speech/language delays— often display behavior problems including meltdowns/tantrums, noncompliance, and verbal or physical aggression. These behavior problems can place significant stress on children, parents, and families, and create substantial barriers to participation in social and community activities. Typical parenting and teaching strategies, as well as traditional outpatient mental health services, might not be successful in addressing these problems. Our mission is to assess these challenging behaviors and provide consultation and intervention to families so that their children’s behaviors become more manageable.
Behavior problems treated at this clinic include:
- Running away from caregivers (elopement)
- Toileting skills deficits
- Sleep problems
- Disruptive and destructive behaviors
- Habit disorders (hair pulling)
- Mild self-injury
This clinic emphasizes a behavioral approach to assessment and treatment, with an attempt to address the multiple factors that may affect behavior. Interventions in the PDD Clinic focus on empirically-based approaches to promote more positive behaviors and decrease or eliminate problematic behaviors.
Assessment and treatment involves active participation of the client, parents and/or other caregivers. Families usually have more frequent sessions at the beginning of treatment, and as the behavior begins to improve, sessions are scheduled less frequently. In general, our services are intended to be relatively short-term with an emphasis on skill development and measurable success in attaining clinical goals. The process involves developing individualized behavior change strategies having parents/caregivers practice strategies at home in between sessions, and refining the methods so that they can effectively decrease challenging behaviors and increase appropriate replacement behaviors.