Developmental Medicine

The Developmental Medicine Program at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh provides your child with the most effective, up-to-date care.

Behavioral health providers integrated into the Developmental Medicine Program at UPMC Children’s provide collaborative care with you and your child’s medical team to provide support and intervention to improve health outcomes.

Our developmental medicine psychologists have advanced training in assessing and treating childhood development and related health, social, and behavioral concerns.

Assessing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

In 2021, about one in 44 U.S. children had ASD.

The main role of our psychologists is to decide if a child does or does not have ASD.

Symptoms of ASD include:

  • Trouble with communication and social skills.
  • Narrow, repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

If a child does not have ASD, our experts can diagnose other disorders, such as:

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Anxiety.
  • Specific fears.
  • Disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Selective mutism.
  • Speech/language disorders.

What to Expect at Your Child's Developmental Medicine Appointment at UPMC Children's Hospital

Our clinic sees children between the ages of 18 months and 7 years.

A standard assessment can take 2 to 3 hours. For kids ages 5 to 7, it may take up to 5 hours.

During your child's assessment, our psychologists will:

  • Review records from teachers, therapists, and doctors.
  • Interview you (parents or caregivers).
  • Use standardized cognitive and behavioral development tests, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2).

Then, our psychologists will:

  • Diagnose and decide your child's most pressing needs.
  • Create treatment plans.
  • Connect you with the best therapies for your child.

Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT)

Our psychologists also conduct PCIT with children ages 2 to 7 years old and their families.

PCIT aims to:

  • Enhance the relationship between you and your child.
  • Reduce or eliminate disruptive behaviors and increase positive ones.
  • Improve emotion regulation skills.
  • Increase compliance and listening skills.

PCIT uses cutting-edge, bug-in-the-ear technology to give live coaching to parents.

Children and their parents or caregivers attend weekly sessions for 12 to 20 weeks to complete PCIT.

Learn more about appointments with the developmental medicine team.

Learn more about appointments with the developmental medicine team in Spanish.