Your child’s pediatrician may be the first to suspect a developmental delay. Physicians should refer parents to early intervention services as soon as possible. Remember, as always, if you are not satisfied with your doctor’s diagnosis, seek a second opinion. A referral to a specialist is often needed to identify a medical or developmental disability.
Listed below are some other medical professionals who can diagnose and/or confirm a disability and/or make recommendations for treatment.
- Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors – diagnose and treat hearing problems, adenoids, tonsils, ear implants and sinus.
- Pediatric Ophthalmologists – diagnose and treat vision problems and specializes in diseases of the eye in children.
- Cardiologists – A physician who specializes in diseases of the heart.
- Audiologist – A specialist who can diagnose and treat hearing problems such as Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Auditory processing is what a person does when the ear receives an auditory message and the central nervous system extracts the meaning from that message, eventually, putting meaning to the message. It is a multi-level process involving the inner ear, central nervous system and brain.
- Gastroenterologist – A physician who specializes in diseases of the stomach and intestinal tract.
- Neurologist – A physician who specializes in diseases of the nervous system.
- Pediatric Neurologist – A physician who specializes in diseases of the nervous system with special consideration given to children. These physicians could order an electroencephalography (EEG), a recording of the brain waves to detect seizure or brain disease. Many but not all Pediatric Neurologists are also Developmental Pediatricians.
- Developmental -Behavioral l Pediatrician – Developmental-behavioral pediatricians possess training and experience to consider, in their assessments and treatments, the medical and psychosocial aspects of children’s and adolescents’ developmental and behavioral problems. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Behavior Analyst – Individuals can be certified at one of two levels to practice. Those who become certified as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (B.C.B.A.) can operate and function as independent behavior analysts, whereas those certified as a Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst (B.C.A.B.A.) must provide services under the supervision of B.C.B.A. More information regarding the required qualification may be obtained at www.bacb.com.1
1 Autism Spectrum Disorders – Interventions and Treatments for Children and Youth by Richard L. Simpson
2 “The Out of Sync Child” by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.