Child Development Unit

The Child Development Unit (CDU) promotes a family-centered approach to health care in which families participate actively in the assessment. The Child Development Unit is made up of a team of professionals who specialize in assessing a child’s delays developmentally, behaviorally or emotionally; developmental disorders; genetic disorders; or long-term consequences of medical conditions. The staff includes developmental/behavioral pediatricians, nurse practitioners, psychologists, behavioral consultants and trainees who collaborate to provide a comprehensive assessment tailored to the specific needs of children and families.

The goals of the assessment process are to describe a child’s strengths and weaknesses in many areas of functioning and determine, if possible, the factors contributing to a child’s difficulties. The assessment can lead to recommendations for building on a child’s strengths and for helping him or her in problem areas. Recommendations may include appropriate educational goals, settings and strategies. CDU staff members are available to consult with physicians during their patients’ inpatient stays at Children’s.

The CDU also has Down SyndromeFragile X and Autism centers. These centers provide continuity of care and/or research opportunities for these patients and their families.

Referral Requirements

Referrals are required from primary care physicians or other Children’s Hospital specialty services. Referrals for patients enrolled in managed care insurance plans also may require authorization from the insurance provider and primary care physician. All necessary referral and authorization forms must be received before the patient’s visit. For accurate provider numbers or more information, please call the office number listed. Referrals from schools, early intervention programs and self-referrals are accepted with primary care physician authorization.



Clinical Studies

Ira Bergman, MD, PhD

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Kristin M Hannibal, MD

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Miya R Asato, MD

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Stephen J Bagnato, EdD, NCSP

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Diego Chaves-Gnecco, MD

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Robyn Ann Filipink, MD

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Sara Christine Hamel, MD

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Beth Ann Heuer, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC, PMHS

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Dena Hofkosh, MD

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Robert B Noll, PhD

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Abigail Schlesinger, MD

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  • Child Development Unit (CDU)

    Oakland Medical Building
    3420 Fifth Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213

  • Children's Pine Center

    11279 Perry Highway
    Wexford, PA 15090

  • Down Syndrome and Amyloid Deposition, Adult Study

    Natural History Of Amyloid Deposition In Adults With Down Syndrome

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    Fragile X Sleep Study

    Are Children with Fragile X Losing their Zzzz’s … and Y? A Study of Sleep Patterns of School-age Children with FXS using Actigraphy

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